Monthly Archives: March 2006

Split off of free software group

Funny: Although I was the one who initiated the first Linux User group meeting I am now the first one that leaves. I have formed a new group entitled "Free Software". Some thoughts about the split:

In my view the heart of Linux is free software – but many of the Linux users in the SL Linux user group do not see it that way – they see any movement or push to open source as a danger for their usage of SecondLife. they do not see that the only reason why they can use Linux now is that some people like Richard Stallman once began to think that it does indeed matter what license a software is released. It was a hard work and often a tough fight to gain some ground. Finally Linux got some respect and free licenses where accepted as an alternative. Today it seems many users see a more radical approach to licensing like gpl-violations.org does as to being to offensive and harming Linux. They do not see those companies who abuse free software as those harming Linux! I do accept that users do often take a practical approach but I am sure we would not have gotten to the point of today if all Linux developers have thought like those modern, unpolitical Linux users did.

On LUGradio they also had once a dicussion why people always think that proprietary software is better than open source.

I think this has to do with some common misconceptions:

  • If you pay nothing you can't expect anything. it's free!
    • There are major implementations of Linux where millions of money is in the game. And also many, many users and companies are depending on good free software. Many would never use free software if they could not expect the software to work.

    If you don't like, contribute code!

    • This is also very popular within developer circles. There is not much sense that everybody contributes code. There are many aspects where software experience can be enhanced. People who can code will contribute. But it is better ifissues are discussed and either accepted or neglected. Then all sides no more afterwards. Discussing and arguing about issues is not popular but very important!
    • If you don't like the software you use, switch!
      • Sure I can switch. But should I? From a service perspective a user is a customer ans should be served right. A switch should be the last resort. A switch means that there is no way the user can make use of the software. Either this is because the software is useless or because the developers don't accept the users wishes. And even if you switch you will have the same problems
    • If you don't like the software, make a version of your own!
      • This is also very popular. Linux has about a dozen game engines and or RSS feed readers. To be honest there is not much use for anybody to start a new project. This can sometimes be a good idea if a company has other goals or if a developer has new creative ideas that the old developer core neglects. We have seen such thinks with Inkscape and with Galeon. This can be good, but it is often better if many people stick their heads together.
  • Summary: Just be able to use free software is nice, but if we don't do anything to keep it free or to promote it, it will disapear and that will cost us part of our freedom. I am frustrated about how many Linux users are ignorant to those ideas, although they use Linux every day. This for me looks like using Linux with the Windows attitude. Why do those use Linux at all? Just because Windows XP costs a licensing fee?It's important for the community to be strong against any outside forces to break up Free Software and to abuse the work that has been put into it. Free Software only has the respect for the developers that it requests – if this is neglected nothing will be left over. This is great harm to Free Software and Linux community because of disrespecting all the work. I hope this is not the approach of the new generation.

    PS: What you think why it was some radical guy like me who started the SL Linux meetings ? Because these are the ones who do the community work. Without active people believing in Free Software Linux groups get hollow and soon make no sense.
    Vinci

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Is SL a game?

I had the idea to ask me this question again and again after a while. And see who my views re changing. Right now I would say: Yes, because people use it as such.it is an infinite game where the rules are very raw and sparsely defined.

Many citizens pretned to take it seriously – there is money in the hole affair so one could argue with money iots the end of business. But this would mean that computer games as such are no games if sold or borad games – or that sports are no games at all. 

I think it is a game, but the rules are changing. LL makes some rules but most are made by the citizens themselves. Some get aggressive if you dont follow the rules as they see them. That can mean to change your look to something more eye appealing. It sounds stupid but some ppl really expect this from you – they do not accept that one does not try to look good seriously. Well that is not that different as RL. But SL being similar on many parts as RL does not mean that SL is not a game.

Many elders think they must tell newcomers that it is not a game, because it is important to THEM. But I agree that SL is not JUST a game – or it is more than one commonly expects from a game.

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A speach of no(n)sense

Yesterday I followed the speach of Governor Philip Linden. This was awfully slow and he also had some crashes (so the Sim he made his speach, too). I followed it along with a crowd at  a repeater at the new citizen plaza. My general criticism:

This could be a whole more compact.
And I rather would have expected that he talks more about internal issues as about the client itself. I think development goes on at Linden Labs and ppl contribute in forums and via email.

My greatest concern in the internal matters are that in SL there is currently no court system. So all disputes have to be fought through the external laws. this endangers SL as a whole. Rather than having support people to investigate every cause and often reject to interfere Every Sim or region should try to build places where citizens can complain. I think many cases could be settled by mediators, too.
I don’t think that SL is not a game at all. It is a place that is made of RL phantasies and lives from the imagination and actions of the citizens. I think some citizens should try to help in organize the living. This can not be done by Linden Labs. Linden Labs can and should help. I hope there is something going on at Democracy island, soon.

A governor shpuld at first listen to the citizens – but I aslso dont think that a governor alone should rule or decide. The problem we have now is that everything depends on the commercial interests of one company. YOu think this is different to RL? What ybout the time where railways where built? Or new cities? Most of what mankind ever built was driven by interests of a single or a group of individuals. But clearly so, at some point things should become common goods. I think LL will make their profit nonetheless. We should try to start with some kind of decision making. I think this should definetly not be started with design decisions, the software and the client – we should let that in the hands of LL! We can, though enforce the use of more open source (client, infrastructure) in the future. I dont want to help LL make their money. They can try this themselves. I have my own interests in this place.

I have the interests in building anarchistic structures in SL. For me this means that citizens decide by themselves what they do. But this DOES NOT mean that everybody can do what he wants. You need structure and decision making if you do not want people work against each other. Anarchy means that somebody respects his neighbour and does not build advertisements in front of him – that they cooperate and work together, that they share. I think most of SL already is about sharing. This makes SL interesting and strong. I think the more capitalistic structure simply takes profit from the huge amount of Lindens that are floating around and those business simpy satisfy the demands of the citizens. So a citizen is reduced to its role of a buyer. That’s ok if people want that. But I would like to build the opportunity to satisfy my needs in other ways that are more engaging and could even be more fun and cost a lot less money. The proble is, that RL and SL heavily depend on the money culture, Money is an abstraction of giving and taking but it does and can not represent everything that is important for us. But nobody will state that he insits on spending money, when he or she does not have to! đŸ™‚
So this is quite theoretical. I am open to every practical action to test this theories.

Vinci

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ninjafoo Ng: Linux 1.9.0 Might Miss Deadline

ninjafoo wrote about  Linux 1.9.0 Might Miss Deadline.

I think the problem is not Linden Labs not pushing this thing. I think

1) The thing is of open source Clients. Linux and Windows clients should be both open source and developed hand in hand

2) Transparency. People dont know what will come – external developers can not help

I think if Linden Lab continues to got the way of open source they will not have to push the development, but only cooperate and coordinate. I dont see the internals and I have not yet getting any response of the Linden people. Thats a problem. Communication is more important than development . Development will follow. And sure Linden Labs can get in contact with skilled developers and comapnies that  way.

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SecondLife further experiences

SecondLife(SL) is also like a big chat room that has distances. You can not hear what somebody writes until he says is 20 meters from you. or unless he shouts (then it reaches 100 meters). Many citizens of SL are not very experienced in chat. Well they might be long year SL citizens but they don’t know that it is stupid to judge people quickly and that you should never take a chat seriously. Users like to play hiding games. This can be fun but it is childish. As many users have good looking characters and especially women like to dress up hot you must learn to look through it – may be more than in real life (RL). You have a profile with tabs. People are putting pics of the SL into the tab for RL. So they dont want to leave that empty, but also do not tell anything about themeselves. Its ok not to tell anything, but its also stupid to say that RL is waht they are in SL.

In an older forum thread I’ve read that somebody had invented a sailing boat which uses the wind for movement. So you can actually sail. Thats the power of SL – people get creative and the possibilites are ENDLESS. SLs development is FAR beyond the scope of Linden Labs, which is developing the basis. Interestingly there is really a gate between the virtual money in SL and RL with a developing exchange rate. So you can even speculate on a rising or falling SL dollar! Many, many things are like in RL.

The cool thing for people who like to build. can do this together and can be shown how to do it and actually do it in the same moment. So there can be interactive lessons. Most learning of programs is very abstract and not interactively inside the program itself and at the same point showing the results in the world itself where they were made. This has some magic.

There are virtual businesses that became real businesses. THe virtual reality (VR) is floating into the RL.

to be continued…

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