[Haifux] Where were the organizers?
eli at billauer.co.il
Sun May 23 15:05:38 MSD 2010
I hoped that this thread would die out sooner or later, but I realize
that people have a lot on their minds.
To the plain user, the critical difference between free software and the
one you pay for, is that you don't have a number to call when something
goes wrong. I know, there are companies offering support. But the
classic model was that users looked for the solutions by themselves, and
most of us still work that way.
The argument always was, that searching for the answer on the web will
take more or less the same time as explaining the problem to some tech
support person, only the web is more likely to help you. And that even
though free software isn't managed centrally, it evolves to become
better than software developed by an organized team.
And it just so happens that Haifux is running like a free software
project. I'm not saying that everything's been 100% all the time, but
somehow this system got Haifux a vast variety of lectures and glitches
comparable with organized events.
The issue about this last event is not where Orna or I were. The
question is why the system failed. My personal impression is that the
reason was more like people expecting a customer support. Had there been
some good-old "Nobody solved the problem, so I'll solve it" spirit
around, we wouldn't have an incident to discuss at all.
What really worries me is not lecture organizations. I'm sure everyone
is informed enough by now, so this will not happen again.
What worries me, is that as recent Linux distros talk to us in terms of
Windows ("lean back, the system now fixes your problem, don't ask me
what I'm doing") that kind of spirit takes over the way we think. And if
that's where we going, we will all be served by companies we depend on
sooner or later, and it won't matter anymore whether the software is
free or not, because we will be hostages to our supported distro providers.
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