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

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  • Vassili
    started a topic How to help / support Linux ? - your idea's

    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!

  • renkin
    replied
    Originally posted by devius View Post
    ... for the company doing the domination, not the user. OSS radeon drivers are pretty good, and generally so are intel's (except for poor performance in some chipsets), so there are already some companies "dominating" the open-source driver space. Besides this little aspect, I agree that it should be the hardware manufacturer doing what it takes to stimulate the market.
    Oh.. yeah that's what I meant. A plus for the company. Just listing some incentives for them.

    Leave a comment:


  • devius
    replied
    Originally posted by PsynoKhi0 View Post
    Eh... What?
    Beats me...he talks about buying only hardware from companies that support and invest in linux, but then implies that AMD doesn't do this? Did I got that right? AMD really? Shouldn't that be VIA instead? A little mix up of acronyms maybe?

    Leave a comment:


  • devius
    replied
    Originally posted by renkin View Post
    And dominating the market, no matter how small it is, is always a plus...
    ... for the company doing the domination, not the user. OSS radeon drivers are pretty good, and generally so are intel's (except for poor performance in some chipsets), so there are already some companies "dominating" the open-source driver space. Besides this little aspect, I agree that it should be the hardware manufacturer doing what it takes to stimulate the market.

    Leave a comment:


  • renkin
    replied
    Originally posted by acolomb View Post
    That scheme relies on the influence of the masses. Unfortunately, the group of linux users is just a fraction of the potential hardware buyers, which was the problem in the first place. From my experience, the desired market pressure is purely wishful thinking. No change in hardware vendors' strategy based on it.
    I feel that hardware manufacturers should be the ones taking initiative here..

    Linux (with OSS drivers) is (still) an untapped market. Whoever can get good OSS drivers out the door first would be the first to dominate that market... And dominating the market, no matter how small it is, is always a plus.

    Leave a comment:


  • PsynoKhi0
    replied
    Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
    How about you purchasing hardware and manufacturer simply refusing or puting you on the long todo list, like in case of amd?
    I think the thing is dead simple - buy only working linux hardware - hardware from manufacturer that does not hestate to speak to linux user or invest their money in their development.
    Eh... What?

    Leave a comment:


  • PsynoKhi0
    replied
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    well thats like saying someone is in the middle of a gun fight and just decides to run away because they don't feel like being killed - not everything is the right choice for everyone. linux isn't the best os for the average person and if they're caught in an unexpected mess then they're not going to waste time trying to fix something they know nothing about.
    Not every piece of software is a matter or life and death though
    Leaving aside the "best os for the average person" argument, if, say, your business relies on a computer-related tech that isn't available on anything else than a particular OS, you may have other priorities than expecting the manufacturer to support your OS of choice.
    What I mean is that letting your voice heard so that suppliers know you want a Linux port is still some kind of support, one that any user can provide.

    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    manufacturers don't usually make the drivers for linux, so they don't have a way of helping anyone. video cards and some wireless cards are really the only common drivers made by the manufacturers. you idea isn't a bad one but remember that one of the greatest weaknesses of linux is a lack of professional and/or dedicated support.
    They can release specs.
    There might not be any centralized support for the GNU/Linux ecosystem as a whole, there is a dedicated community instead
    Just curious, how many would apply if a Big Name OEM among e.g. PC manufacturers went out and said: "Look, we've got that new model coming out soon, we'd like to offer Linux as an alternative on the base install, but we can't test each an every distribution out there, so we'd ask users to test run the hardware for us, under NDA"?
    I'd sure raise my hand at once

    Leave a comment:


  • masinick
    replied
    I believe in choices and alternatives in freely available software

    I believe in choices and alternatives in freely available software, and I believe those choices should apply to which distributions we use, and how we contribute - and even if we choose to contribute or not. Personally, I see it advantageous to contribute in one or more ways to free software projects, but that, by its very nature, is a choice.

    I believe in the choice of whether or not to financially contribute to projects, whether or not to test and provide feedback to projects, whether or not to suggest new features, removal of aging features, coding, testing, helping, documenting, managing projects, and so forth.

    Two of the easiest ways a relative newcomer can get involved is to try out new systems, and report back their findings. In order for that to be helpful, it takes a little - but not an overwhelming - amount of detail and discipline. Simply, the best thing to do is to write down what you did, the steps and order in which you did them, the outcome you encountered, and the reasons why you feel that outcome is either good - and praise is always nice to see for a job well done, or constructive criticism, when you believe that the expected results ought to be different, and the reasons why you'd like to see them different.

    There are plenty of people who write to forums. Unfortunately, only some of them follow any kind of discipline when writing in. Statements about likes, dislikes, expectations, and so forth, without any kind of substantiation tend to be time wasters, rather than helpful comments. Opinions certainly have value, but to me, the value is exponentially increased when the reasons behind the opinions - and the value the opinions hold. make them much more useful.

    For example, if you find that you download a particular distribution and it will not boot, a good problem report might include some or all of the following information: 1. Where did you download the image from (which site or mirror location)? 2. Did you perform any kind of checksum or other form of media verification, and did it match any published information? 3. How did you create the boot media - (what speed was the image creation, if using a CD or DVD burning application, for instance)? 4. What are the hardware specifications of the system or systems you attempted to use? Include graphics driver information, disk type and capacity, model numbers, and any other identifying information that could assist in locating and identifying possible hardware compatibility issues. 5. Describe the process you used to install or test the software in question. Include the steps you performed and the results you encountered. If there are unexpected results, briefly describe what you would expect to see in order to be completely satisfied.

    These are some ideas; there could be other statements, other ways to be helpful, but these are some of the most helpful things that most of us ought to be able to do that could considerably help others - those who answer questions, as well as those who have encountered similar issues. Modeling our reports in helpful ways can be useful to others who are learning.

    Leave a comment:


  • dacha
    replied
    Originally posted by acolomb View Post
    That scheme relies on the influence of the masses. Unfortunately, the group of linux users is just a fraction of the potential hardware buyers, which was the problem in the first place. From my experience, the desired market pressure is purely wishful thinking. No change in hardware vendors' strategy based on it.
    How about:

    1. Hardware test farm

    Construct a farm of thousands of machines with a wide variety of hardware, and every day, build the kernel head and run a battery of extensive tests (kernel bootability, OpenGL frame rate, network connectivity, CPU benchmarks, disk I/O, USB I/O, suspend/resume, dmesg errors, system stability) and mail the report to lkml.

    This simple step would create a major improvement in kernel quality. Hardware regressions would be obvious within 24 hours. Distributions would only release kernel versions that work with all hardware. Developers wouldn't have to guess how their driver patch affects other variations of the device that are in the field.

    The test farm doesn't have to cost a lot. Volunteers could run an application on their computer that connects to a central server and downloads and runs the necessary tests.

    2. Unsupported device count

    Distros should automatically scan your PC for PCI and USB devices that aren't supported and then report these to the manufacturer.

    Canonical saying "250000 users are costing you bad PR because they can't use your device on Linux" seems a lot more convincing than a single user's "Please make me a Linux driver".

    3. "Works on Linux" labels on hardware

    4. Linux app store

    5. Get Apple's gadgets, Blackberries and Android phones working perfectly on Linux

    Leave a comment:


  • crazycheese
    replied
    Originally posted by saysilence View Post
    To put money on some specific target you first have to have money. Granting a small sum to an organization which can be trusted that will gather a larger sum ( lets say 50 000 000 users pay one buck ) you get a capital that can be redistributed to the important projects that needs support.
    For what reason? Why not to allow people vote with money themself on clearly defined targets?

    Originally posted by saysilence View Post
    A well constructed license is essential to protect the intellectual property of the developers. A port of the gathered money could by used by the foundation to prosecute those who breach the license and protect you (the developer) from let's say, someone re-branding your code and selling it as their own.
    You already have "proprietary" for say, since AT&T unix deal. You already have proprietary windows. What are you trying to protect on linux? Something that EFF already deals with?

    Originally posted by saysilence View Post
    Please study the mining of "Synergy" and "Unification". Gathering the whole potential of community in one place can create a leverage able to push development forward.
    Like I sayd, you are reinventing microsoft.

    Originally posted by saysilence View Post
    Have you ever heard about Humble Indy bundle? Many people are not like you, many would willingly pay one dollar and much more to help the community. And people that can't pay one dollar a year usually don't have computers and they usually don't care for open software.
    Of course I have heard. It is an attempt to
    - sell more proprietary code
    - attract more proprietary companies to linux, as additional market

    It has nothing to do with opensource, nothing to do with opensource development and it is not long-term.

    Leave a comment:

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