We’ve won on so many fronts, but we’ve also …

We’ve won on so many fronts, but we’ve also lost our way. It would have been unthinkable and scandalous even a decade ago for a presenter at a Linux conference to use Powerpoint on Windows, but you only have to count the Macbooks at a modern Linux conferences (even among the presenters!) to see how many in the community have lost the very passion for and principles around Open Source software that drove Linux’s success. A vendor who dared to ship their Linux applications as binaries without source code used to get the wrath of the community but these days everyone’s pockets are full of proprietary apps that we justify because they sit on top of a bit of Open Source software at the bottom of the stack. We used to rail against proprietary protocols and push for open standards but today while Linux dominates the cloud, everyone interacts with it through layers of closed and proprietary APIs.

Linux has become the vegetable we batter in proprietary software and deep fry–sure more people will eat it that way but it’s not nearly as good for you. Over time we’ve all started eating our vegetables that way and it’s made our community unhealthy. In our healthier days we fought and won against proprietary software giants like Microsoft, Sun, and Oracle, but in the meantime our appetites have changed and other giants have taken their place.

Kyle Rankin: So Long, and Thanks for All the Bash

(View on gamamb.tumblr.com)

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