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There is no guarantee that your questions here will ever be answered. You can be published anonymously - just let us know!
From darrell rolstone
Answered By Ben Okopnik
Dear Staff of the Answer Gang!
I hope you folks appreciate the occasional question from a non-techie....whose really into seeing and helping the information revolution FLOURISH!
I'm a 52 year old "synergy design consultant" from Marin County California....living in Thailand for the last 6 plus years. I was a pioneer in the Wholistic Health movement of the 70's and a student of R.Buckminister Fuller. I'm a world class Nordic Physical Therapist.....and I have trouble with even the simplest technological things like copying something onto a disk! REALLY!
[Ben] <laugh> The two are not necessarily related... but say on.
But inspite of nearly total techno ignorance.....I'm quite skilled in the social aspects of the techno evolution/revolution! And I sincerely want to help that process along it's path.
So, my question('s) to you guru's of "geekness"....just what is being done in the area of co-ordinating all the linux "programing development" that is manifesting? Is there a "co-operative" formed? Can a (traditionally "left-brained" dominant) programer offer up his/her work to a linux "group of (traditionally right-brained dominant)marketers" that will then take over and bring his/her work to fruition?! (thereby "sharing the knowledge" at a higher level of efficiency).
If there is such a "group"......can you direct me to them? Praises upon you all for sharing your knowledge! Really!
[Ben] Well, Darrell... that's a heck of a question to ask of a bunch of traditionally left-brained computer types. <smile> Actually, if you're a student of revolutionary processes, you may find Linux very interesting for just that reason.
The Linux kernel itself - as wonderful of a thing as it is - is not (from my perspective) the thing that is responsible for the popularity and the tremendous growth of Linux. What is responsible for it is the Linux/Open Source model - that of people working on their own, or with a team, and getting full recognition for their work. The traditional hurdle of marketing a product is largely eliminated, since the greatest majority of the programs for Linux are free; the "distribution channel" - the Internet - is also mostly free (the costs are not assignable to Linux, so it is free in this regard.) In those terms, the marketing model for Linux and its software is not the traditional "push" - we have no need to stuff it down the gullets of barely willing customers - it is "pull": when people need a piece of software, they research it, download it, and install it. As well, the "feedback loop" that is usually set up between the programmer and the interested users of the program is a tremendously powerful tool: if fifty thousand people have pounded on your program for a few months, and the flow of bug reports has finally ground to a halt, either that program is as perfect as code can be, or it has simply been cowed into submission.
The effect of this is exactly what Robert Pirsig talked about in his "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (I would guess that you're familiar with the work) - a shift toward Quality being the focus. That, to me, is the most exciting thing about Linux: quality really is "Job #1".
As to co-operatives... well, have you ever tried herding cats? There are several things that have worked well in the Open Source community, usually by providing maximum assistance and convenience but minimum direction: any of the large-scale programming projects, such as WINE, Mozilla, the whole series of GNU projects, KDE, etc. There is also SourceForge, which provides an archive/code repository/distribution point for development efforts.
I'm not sure if this is any kind of an answer that you were looking for; mostly, these are just the ramblings of a right-brained guy who loves using his creativity in a left-brained way. <chuckle> I think that dichotomy was a no-starter, for me; never could see it...
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