[Haifux] Where were the organizers?

Eli Billauer eli at billauer.co.il
Sun May 23 15:05:38 MSD 2010

Hello all,

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.


Web: http://www.billauer.co.il

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