WHY GNOME OS
I add this disclaimer
to “warn” that’s highly contradictory, possibly inaccurate & self opinionated post. And to add that I’m only responsible for what I say, not for what someone will understand :p
If we could estimate the value of open source market today, it will give us a worth 10s of times over the proprietary one. Proprietary code simply cannot stand alone, and it is a small set with a big intersection to open software set.
Open software market growth is quite fast because contains all the elements of the most extreme form of capitalism, together with a paradox: The only valuable asset of software organizations is the people. Till AI replaces us at least :/
Apart competition, anarchy (no rules, no agreements), collaboration, sharing and equal chances that open source is build on, the fundamental principle remains, as in every capitalist model; the personal initiative, the personal benefit, the fame & the money, or with a slight modification “the human motivational cause and effect”. And there are always exceptions.
No matter if you are Microsoft, or Google, or Apple, you ~never initiate new products; it isn’t feasible. What those corporations do, is to buy other companies (people actually) or sponsor organizations and invest on those and their ideas. And this is how they expand. Never internally.
Having money and a large marketing pool is crucial to be micro-sustainable, but it is not a guarantee for macro-sustainability. The key factor is to have insight, to know something that others don’t, use this information, and evolve constantly. How you can do that on open, when everything is open?
The answer is obvious. Timing.
Do it first. Delay is Denial
, and denial always leads straight forward to failure. And delays and lack of determination is the main characteristic of what we call “community open source”.
I want to open a parenthesis here and explain what I mean by community. By community of a project
I only mean the people that are directly involved on development and maintainership. Not the users or the rest ecosystem. A real community project
involves no ownership.
Perhaps GNOME (& similar products) is a very good example of a community project to investigate, because it describes the primitive form of how Linux open source started, and it runs for quite long time now (18 years). But is it successful?
According to GNOME founder (de Icaza) and Linux founder (Torvalds) GNOME (and Linux desktop in general) has failed. So far at least. The word failure reflects not what GNOME is now (GNOME/Linux is a great OS), but what GNOME should have been by now, and it isn’t.GNOME simply failed to fulfill the expectations.
My personal opinion is that GNOME missed a huge chance back in early 2000 to establish a major operating system in a market. Anyway, that’s all behind us now.
The defeat of “community open source” in every level from “commercial open source” was inevitable by the definition of what open source requires. The personal motivation and determination. Besides our personal good, most of the times comes along with the common good.
It is perfectly justified too. They are not skeletons in the closet, everything is transparent and in the end of the day anything gets what it deserves.
We cannot blame anyone but ourselves, or more correctly we should accept that others do better. Perhaps GNOME did everything right in first, but then failed to readjust in the times.
GNOME started as an open source desktop, on the top of Linux and being community based. From community to community, without leaders (de Icaza claimed no ownership). Funny fact, people don’t like leaders, but can’t do without them. Like babies that cry on mom commands, but they still need her.
My point is that GNOME should change Foundation’s operation model, but since that’s not going to happen soon (and if ever), GNOME at least should take advantage of its biggest asset; GNOME’s universe,
release an actual operating system, strengthen its brand name and restore/increase users trust.
Because that's already large, and I don't want you getting tired (and most importantly I don’t want to get myself tired!), I stop here, and I will continue on another post.
Next I want to talk about why I believe the change will only come from personal initiatives, why I don’t believe Ubuntu relative success is due to Canonical’s money, investigate why Ubuntu has such large user base, even if they have a low maintained desktop for 2 years now, and of course why I'm convinced that GNOME should release GNOME OS ASAP!
Also I want to talk about a theoretical model, how GNOME can get funding from community by issuing virtual shares of immutable value, and turns into to a community profitable no-profit organization. Legitable 501c.
And of course keep in mind that Linux desktops like GNOME are a special kind of software. They are not like libraries, for other to “include” and use. #GNOME #OpenSource #Linux