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  • How to help / support Linux ? - your idea's

    So I was wondering what are the best (and most efficient) ways to support Linux?

    I've first tried Linux in 2003, a dual boot with Mandrake and Windows XP. I was overwhelmed by the possibilities and to much addicted to games to really use it at the time. But given this negative experience I have loved Linux since that moment.

    Several years later I tried Fedora Core 4/5/6, but my hardware wasn't up to the task (ATI X850), so I sold my computer and for some years I didn't use computers that much other than the basic stuff.

    Yet some years after that I bought a computer again and have used Ubuntu since 8.10 (I think) till 10.10.

    I love it! And now I would like to contribute to the community, but how? I can do some HTML and Java but no other programming. So what would be the best way to start? (I've got a lot of free time the next 6 months so that's not a problem.)

    The other options to support I came up are:
    - Join the Linux Foundation (I see this a donation, but how helpful do you think this is?)
    - Report bugs. (I've never done this though and don't know how yet)
    - Donate hardware to developers (I have a lot of hardware available, but don't know any developers)
    - Translate at https://translations.launchpad.net/

    But I can't come up with more idea's, so that's why I am asking here! Does anyone have a good idea or an answer to my question? Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Vassili View Post
    So I was wondering what are the best (and most efficient) ways to support Linux?

    I've first tried Linux in 2003, a dual boot with Mandrake and Windows XP. I was overwhelmed by the possibilities and to much addicted to games to really use it at the time. But given this negative experience I have loved Linux since that moment.

    Several years later I tried Fedora Core 4/5/6, but my hardware wasn't up to the task (ATI X850), so I sold my computer and for some years I didn't use computers that much other than the basic stuff.

    Yet some years after that I bought a computer again and have used Ubuntu since 8.10 (I think) till 10.10.

    I love it! And now I would like to contribute to the community, but how? I can do some HTML and Java but no other programming. So what would be the best way to start? (I've got a lot of free time the next 6 months so that's not a problem.)

    The other options to support I came up are:
    - Join the Linux Foundation (I see this a donation, but how helpful do you think this is?)
    - Report bugs. (I've never done this though and don't know how yet)
    - Donate hardware to developers (I have a lot of hardware available, but don't know any developers)
    - Translate at https://translations.launchpad.net/

    But I can't come up with more idea's, so that's why I am asking here! Does anyone have a good idea or an answer to my question? Thanks!
    Well, I think that bug reporting (and even better bisecting) would be the most important contribution to any project. And it will also be useful to you: just use the system normally and whenever something doesn't behave correctly try to find the problem and if it is not known report it; this way it will probably be solved in the next release of the project and you will benefit from it.
    A suggestion, though: don't bother reporting bugs to launchpad, usually the will be set to "triaged" and stay that way until upstream finds them and solves them. It is usually more productive to report them directly to the projects bug tracker.
    I hope this is useful.

    Comment


    • #3
      An integrated, distributed, transparent, independent or venture solution - payment platform for opensource software development.

      1. User has a problem or has a wish.
      2. User browse for similar problems or wishes and looks at their state.
      3. Developers offer a solution for money and put the required implementation time.
      4. More devepers offer a solution for money and put the required implementation time.
      5. Users browse available developers and sets his money on developer.
      6. Once implementation time matches with estimated time, the machine calculates ideal team.
      7. Machine gets money from users to bank account and gives green light for devteam.
      ---
      8. Once the solution is implemented users are to test it out and vote.
      9. If it is very acceptable, the machine opens moneyflow to developers.

      10. Everyone is happy, the money is sharply distributed and the result is a quality opensource solution.


      And no, it SHOULD NOT be lead by ANY Canonical crap. RedHat should take on this or similar PRODUCTIVE company.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for your replies!

        It's good to know where to post the bug-reports.

        @ crazycheese
        It's a very interesting idea you have there, but woudn't it have a to big impact on the people who are programming for free in there spare times? I mean if they would also start asking money we woudn't have helped Linux at the end...

        And do you think it would only work if a big company got on with it? Or would it work if, for example, we would start it?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Vassili View Post
          It's a very interesting idea you have there, but woudn't it have a to big impact on the people who are programming for free in there spare times? I mean if they would also start asking money we woudn't have helped Linux at the end...

          And do you think it would only work if a big company got on with it? Or would it work if, for example, we would start it?
          You may program for free if you wish or want something and able to do it yourself.

          You should program for money if you are a professional programmer, and only professional programmers bring very good results. Results that other people with money, that want that results, can and want to fund.

          Linux will be professional and everyone will have family, house and car.
          But the difference is that result will be open and available for free as well. For further study and development(involving money).

          Comment


          • #6
            That's true. So reading your message I conclude you think a website started by Phoronix members to let people pay developers (any, professional or not) to fix bug, write drivers etcetera would probably result in less quality code? I that correct?

            But it might still be a great idea to start though, wouldn't you think?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Vassili View Post
              That's true. So reading your message I conclude you think a website started by Phoronix members to let people pay developers (any, professional or not) to fix bug, write drivers etcetera would probably result in less quality code? I that correct?

              But it might still be a great idea to start though, wouldn't you think?
              More money, more developers, more code, less bugs, more support, more linux user base, more money->

              The difference though is that
              a) people push features, not companies push features on people
              b) it is distributed
              c) the code will live up to the point it is needed
              d) security
              e) no artificial boundaries
              f) people with no money or huge financial troubles may use, learn and contribute - legally.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Vassili View Post
                So I was wondering what are the best (and most efficient) ways to support Linux?

                I've first tried Linux in 2003, a dual boot with Mandrake and Windows XP. I was overwhelmed by the possibilities and to much addicted to games to really use it at the time. But given this negative experience I have loved Linux since that moment.

                Several years later I tried Fedora Core 4/5/6, but my hardware wasn't up to the task (ATI X850), so I sold my computer and for some years I didn't use computers that much other than the basic stuff.

                Yet some years after that I bought a computer again and have used Ubuntu since 8.10 (I think) till 10.10.

                I love it! And now I would like to contribute to the community, but how? I can do some HTML and Java but no other programming. So what would be the best way to start? (I've got a lot of free time the next 6 months so that's not a problem.)

                The other options to support I came up are:
                - Join the Linux Foundation (I see this a donation, but how helpful do you think this is?)
                - Report bugs. (I've never done this though and don't know how yet)
                - Donate hardware to developers (I have a lot of hardware available, but don't know any developers)
                - Translate at https://translations.launchpad.net/

                But I can't come up with more idea's, so that's why I am asking here! Does anyone have a good idea or an answer to my question? Thanks!
                I am donning my asbestos suit.


                Kill off the damn distros and enforce a bit of discipline in the community.

                stop jamming everything in the kernel.

                Get it down to maybe 3-4 distros tops, focus developer efforts.

                unify the tool kits and GUI enviroments.

                Work closely with hardware manufacturers.

                Improve the latency issues with audio, video and system responsiveness.

                Be polished and professional and couterous.

                Polish existing applications and canabilize redundant ones, you don't need 400 programs that rip CD to mp3's just 1-2 really good ones.

                then once you achive those goals, PC builder and OEM's will be knocking on the door. The only good way to improve linix is to objectively look at the weakest parts of the system cuasing low adoption.

                OEM's don't like takining risks.

                Linux should be as easy to use as windows " for the average dummy"

                To be honest Linux should have a tennet that it should ship without a terminal, however that gets achieved. when its reach that point. Put the terminal back in.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thatguy View Post
                  I am donning my asbestos suit.


                  Kill .........
                  I don't know if that asbestos suit is meant to kill you or us.


                  Linux needs more third party software support. We need more companies producing proprietary, closed source software that you have to pay for.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by superppl View Post
                    I don't know if that asbestos suit is meant to kill you or us.


                    Linux needs more third party software support. We need more companies producing proprietary, closed source software that you have to pay for.
                    Which is not going to happen until linux is a somewhat standardized OS with alot less fracturing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by superppl View Post
                      I don't know if that asbestos suit is meant to kill you or us.


                      Linux needs more third party software support. We need more companies producing proprietary, closed source software that you have to pay for.
                      No we don't need it. While for some extremely rare cases proprietary closed source is the only way (and even this is HIGHLY questionable as recent case with default & recommended so(!) passwords on Siemens system running on outdated Visual Basic(!!) on top of Windows(!!!) driving Nuclear plant in Iran clearly shows) due to the extremely small market(like live television mixing system, inclusive studio hardware and service), in absolutely most cases it will wreak havoc instead of benefits.

                      Android has already got viruses due to the cases you two provided:
                      - closed source software
                      - running in standartized environment
                      - with stupid userbase

                      This is for sure not what linux needs.
                      Windows is much better, already set platform for closed source mass produced corporation crap. Use it. Dump your stuff there.

                      Corporative entities are able to provide opensource code, if they stop selling bits and start selling solutions or their implementation. This is big shift in understanding, instead of playing trader role - start actually inventing. Very hard no?

                      For that case, linux does not anything standardized unless there is need for it.
                      It does not need reduction in amount of projects, because if it was needed - it was needed.
                      It does not need proprietary, for proprietary deadlock IS why linux exists in the first place and there is already enough proprietary trash.

                      Why does linux have proprietary then? Its fairly easy.
                      1) Make something very popular, or even better - essential (ISO/IEEE standard).
                      2) Put a lock on it - both implementation(obfuscation) and logic(patends, NDA).
                      3) Start milking everyone dependent.

                      Now this scheme is great for making money, but it has nothing with freedom, nor with actual innovation work.

                      If you really want help linux that way, I have an instant solution for you.
                      1) Buy Linux label.
                      2) Put in on Microsoft label on your PC.
                      ....
                      3) PROFIT

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Linux is about choice. If you want a pure open source solution, then use Debian.

                        I need a product that works, and I honestly don't care about the logistics. I drive a proprietary car, I eat proprietary foods, I wear proprietary clothes... I do care about my privacy and issues regarding freedom, but there is a far cry between paying money for something privately owned by a small corporation, and selling my soul to check my email.

                        Don't attack me for what I've said; this is how the market works. No one is going to buy a car because it's free speech, people buy whats safe, reliable, and inexpensive.

                        I'm not saying we need a marketplace dominated by scams and ripoffs, and I'm certainly not saying I want free software to disappear. I think this debate between you and I is about choice, and we probably won't convince each other.


                        In any case, we might actually be arguing the same thing: don't we both want corporations and professionals to take notice of and treat Linux and free software seriously?

                        What can a group of small people accomplish?
                        I'm not Muslim, so don't take this as preachy; in the start of Islam, Mohammad was preaching ideals that were heretical to the people of Mecca so they exiled him. Yet in a few years he raised up an army of millions and took his city back.
                        A small group of well motivated individuals can do a lot.

                        I think a more important question is WHAT can we do to get some results? I suppose that's also the question of this thread.

                        A few people voting with their wallets and spamming support forums for Linux support hasn't done much, and probably won't.


                        My idea, which is aimed at what I want, is to write to the executives of software companies and sway their opinion towards linux. I'm not a very convincing writer though. It may also be more effective to call.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Try this

                          Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                          You should program for money if you are a professional programmer, and only professional programmers bring very good results.
                          Well, that's just not true because it depends on your definition of "professional" - but if you really meant "resourceful, skilled and responsible", then you're absolutely right and there's no doubt that it's in our best interest to cherish and support such people.

                          Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                          Linux will be professional and everyone will have family, house and car.
                          But the difference is that result will be open and available for free as well. For further study and development(involving money).
                          I don't see anything particularly "unprofessional" about Linux (the kernel), even GNU/Linux (OS), but more polish can never hurt if that's what you mean.
                          However, you made an excellent point with implied difference between buying libre and proprietary software - I have absolutely nothing against paying for software I'm using as long as it's free and open and therefore comes with certain guarantees.

                          Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                          More money, more developers, more code, less bugs, more support, more linux user base, more money->

                          The difference though is that
                          a) people push features, not companies push features on people
                          b) it is distributed
                          c) the code will live up to the point it is needed
                          d) security
                          e) no artificial boundaries
                          f) people with no money or huge financial troubles may use, learn and contribute - legally.
                          That's exactly why I came to GNU/Linux and why I'm never ever coming back. It's kind of funny how many people are having serious trouble understanding such reasoning, but never mind.

                          Anyway, back to the topic.
                          This is how I support GNU/Linux and libre software in general:
                          1. I no longer provide free tech support to M$ crapware lusers while doing whatever I can for GNU/Linux fellas at the same time. (If you wonder why - Why the hell should I volunteer to sacrifice a part of my life so that I could help a vicious corporation that's obviously screwing even their own customers? Why the hell should I be helping anyone who's gonna turn everything I've done for him against people like me for his own selfish purposes?)
                          2. I'm encouraging people to replace proprietary software with libre alternatives wherever it's possible and then helping them with whatever problems they might have, but I'm never forcing or manipulating anyone because it always has exactly the opposite effect than desired.
                          3. I keep telling people why libre software and open standards are good for everyone, unlike closed and proprietary stuff (especially my all time favorite DRM).
                          4. I recommend purchasing hardware only from manufacturers playing nice with libre software.
                          5. I'm making donations (both cash and hardware) whenever I can.

                          Throw in some help with debugging and translations and you should be rocking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Thatguy View Post
                            I am donning my asbestos suit.


                            Kill off the damn distros and enforce a bit of discipline in the community.

                            stop jamming everything in the kernel.

                            Get it down to maybe 3-4 distros tops, focus developer efforts.

                            unify the tool kits and GUI enviroments.

                            Work closely with hardware manufacturers.

                            Improve the latency issues with audio, video and system responsiveness.

                            Be polished and professional and couterous.

                            Polish existing applications and canabilize redundant ones, you don't need 400 programs that rip CD to mp3's just 1-2 really good ones.

                            then once you achive those goals, PC builder and OEM's will be knocking on the door. The only good way to improve linix is to objectively look at the weakest parts of the system cuasing low adoption.

                            OEM's don't like takining risks.

                            Linux should be as easy to use as windows " for the average dummy"

                            To be honest Linux should have a tennet that it should ship without a terminal, however that gets achieved. when its reach that point. Put the terminal back in.
                            Does anyone agree with this?
                            Anyway. I'll go nitpicking from this list.

                            How do you kill off distros anyway? They're community driven. People fork when they want to.

                            Also, having different distros may not be a bad things. All these distros are based on the same kernel, same userspace utilities and run the same programs. All the non-distro specific work goes upstream, where it then goes downstream and everyone gets to benefit from it. Everyone benefits from everyone's work.

                            About jamming things into the kernel.. How else is linux going to have broad hardware support if they don't jam things into the kernel? Plus the kernel is modular, which means that you can compile a kernel for your own specific hardware.

                            Even if you include every single driver in the kernel as modules, it still doesn't add any bloat, since those extra modules won't be loaded if they're not needed by the hardware.

                            Unify the GUI? Lots of people will be angry about this. Not everyone uses GNOME or KDE. Some people don't even use desktop environments. I personally use Pekwm as my window manager because it allows me to bind any key to do anything.. It's amazing..

                            Unless by "Unify the GUI" you mean to make ONE desktop environment that has all the features from all the other window managers and desktop environments (and you can set which features you want and which ones you don't want) -- Then there's no point, because everyone's "unified" gui would still be unique.


                            Working closely with hardware manufacturers is a must. I can't wait till the day AMD graphics drivers are awesome and also allow UVD video acceleration.

                            I haven't noticed much latency issues even with Pulseaudio, but I don't do any multimedia or studio work (but there are distros that are optimized for this). Pulseaudio is a good step in the right direction IMO. Every application has a server to plug into to reach the sound devices.. The problem is that sometimes ALSA emulation isn't perfect. Audio should definitely be standardized. ALSA + Pulseaudio.


                            "Ease of use" is subjective. Linux distros are easier to use than Windows. That is true (for me). I can easily set up a webserver to transfer files to all devices in the house, stream videos, bind arbitrary keys to play or pause my music and even use crontab as my alarm (I actually do that). Anyone who's curious and open minded can adopt linux as their primary OS.. It's not about being smart or computer literate.


                            As for scrapping the terminal. That's just silly

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                              An integrated, distributed, transparent, independent or venture solution - payment platform for opensource software development.

                              1. User has a problem or has a wish.
                              2. User browse for similar problems or wishes and looks at their state.
                              3. Developers offer a solution for money and put the required implementation time.
                              4. More devepers offer a solution for money and put the required implementation time.
                              5. Users browse available developers and sets his money on developer.
                              6. Once implementation time matches with estimated time, the machine calculates ideal team.
                              7. Machine gets money from users to bank account and gives green light for devteam.
                              ---
                              8. Once the solution is implemented users are to test it out and vote.
                              9. If it is very acceptable, the machine opens moneyflow to developers.

                              10. Everyone is happy, the money is sharply distributed and the result is a quality opensource solution.


                              And no, it SHOULD NOT be lead by ANY Canonical crap. RedHat should take on this or similar PRODUCTIVE company.
                              I think Google might have something similar to this for Chrome. Whenever Chrome has another stable release, on their release blog, you see Devs or bug reporters that are awarded money for their work. Occasionally, people are awarded $1,337 for the good stuffs.

                              Comment

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