From: pdcr...@ee.uwa.edu.au (Patrick D'Cruze)
Subject: RFV: Linux International proposal
Date: 20 Jan 1994 23:28:37 +0200
Approved: linux-annou...@tc.cornell.edu (Lars Wirzenius)
Keywords: Linux International, voting
The purpose of this posting is to announce that the request for discussion
period on the Linux International proposal has now finished and that
the Request for Voting period has now begun.
The voting period will last approximately 2 weeks and hence will close
on the 5 February.
Votes are to be directed to
The original Linux International proposal ahs been appended to this posting
for those that may have missed it.
Patrick D'Cruze pdcr...@swanee.ee.uwa.edu.au
Proposal for the formation of a non-profit organisation
The operating systems industry is rapidly fragmenting into three key operating
systems: the Windows (tm) family developed by Microsoft, OS/2 (tm) developed
by IBM Corp., and Unix (tm).
The Windows family of operating systems already has an enormous head-start
over its competitors with an estimated installed base of approximately 40
million. OS/2 is also being rapidly pushed by IBM into receptive markets and
is estimated will have an installed base of close to 5 million machines by
the end of 1993. However, the picture is not quite as rosy for Unix (in all
its many incarnations).
Unix is arguably the father of all modern operating systems. Many of the key
technologies developed in Unix have now found their way to OS/2 and many of
the Windows products. However, Unix suffers from a number of problems. One
of those problems stems from the portability of the operating system.
Workstation manufacturers have standardised upon Unix for this market segment
however each offers a customised version of Unix for its own brand of hardware.
This has resulted in a number of incompatibilities among different vendors
operating systems (although the degree to which they are incompatible has been
greatly exaggerated by the media and the non-workstation market in general)
and this has resulted in third-party software developers avoiding the market.
However, the biggest handicap that Unix faces to its evolution and survival
lies in its exorbitant licensing costs. While personal computers have become
commodity products, operating systems remain value-added products, however,
acceptance of a particular operating systems on the desktop (negating other
obvious factors) is still very much dependent upon the price of the operating
system. This can partly explain why Microsoft has sold far more copies of its
Windows 3.1 operating system (yes I'm using the term operating system very
loosely here) than say Novell has sold of its UnixWare - the reason is that
Novell's UnixWare operating systems has a retail price that is at least double
that of Windows 3.1 (note: your mileage may vary). Novell and all the other
Unix vendors realise this and it is not their intention to deliberately keep
the prices of their products high however they have no option. The price that
they sell their products is determined by the enormous licensing costs that
they must pay to either USL (which is now a division of Novell) or OSF.
These two organisations are required to charge high licensing fees to recover
the costs of hiring programmers to continue to develop their respective
operating systems. These high costs will however, be the single biggest factor
that will determine the level of success that the Unix operating systems will
achieve in the years to come. Sure there are other factors that will affect
Unix's success, however its end-user cost will be the biggest determining
factor and for the foreseeable future, Unix's cost will remain high.
Well, so what - why should I care? The computer industry is still very young
and there is much more work to do in both the hardware and operating systems
areas before the computer industry matures and products become homogenised (if
they ever do). With the way the industry is shaping it appears that well
before the end of the decade we will have two giants dominating the operating
system industry - Microsoft and IBM with Windows and OS/2 respectively. This
would prove disastrous for the industry and would slow operating systems
development enormously. The reason is that innovations in operating systems
would be effectively stifled. The reason that Unix has been so innovative
over the years is that it has had so many parents. Many organisations and
individuals have contributed many of the innovations that have found their way
into Unix. It is totally inconceivable that any single organisation could
have come up with all of these innovations by itself. And yet, this is the
situation that may prevail by the end of the decade. Operating systems being
developed by two industry giants. No room for other individuals however
innovative they may be to influence and contribute to the design of future
generations of operating systems. This is why it is imperative that Unix
succeed and that it continues to grow and flourish and incorporate the
innovations that many individuals and organisations have to contribute to it.
It is based upon this analysis that I am proposing the formation of a
non-profit organisation that I have tentatively dubbed Linux International.
The aim of this organisation will be to promote the adoption of the Unix
operating system within the mainstream PC marketplace as a viable alternative
to both OS/2 and Windows. This will be achieved by promoting the Linux
operating system to consumers, businesses and original equipment manufacturers.
One of the strengths of the Linux operating systems is that it is completely
free of licensing fees of any kind and hence can be adopted by end-users with
little initial outlay.
Linux International will be required to perform the following tasks:
- promote the Unix operating system as a solution to many customer's
- promote the Linux operating system as a low-cost implementation of the
Unix operating system.
- market and advertise Linux to those market segments that are deemed
will benefit most from the adoption of this operating system
- work with existing distributors of Linux in coordinating our efforts
and reduce duplication of distribution channels
- seek donations from various third-parties to allow the continued
development of Linux
- encourage third-party software developers in developing software for
Linux in particular and Unix in general
- develop the necessary after-sales support and service infrastructure
that will be necessary to promote Linux
- provide any facilities and/or services for the numerous operating
systems engineers (nearly all you people reading this) that are
contributing to the development of Linux
The key requirements undertaken by Linux International will be the marketing
and support of Linux. It is envisioned that a suitable marketing campaign will
be mounted and that the 'Linux solution' be expounded upon in the general media
and to potential customers. Also Linux International will be responsible for
developing a suitable support infra-structure so as to encourage adoption of
Linux and to aid customers from the transition of their existing operating
environments to Linux.
Linux International will be formed as a non-profit organisation. It is
envisioned that Linux International may start distributing and selling Linux
and we will endeavour to work with other existing distributors. Note though
that the price that Linux International will be selling Linux for will be
determined by the cost of the media involved (ie basic material costs - floppy
disks and CDROM masterings), the cost of the advertising and marketing
campaign, the costs associated with setting up a suitable support
infrastructure and any administrative costs. Any profits that are made by the
organisation will be used to either reduce the initial purchase price of Linux
sold by Linux International or will be used to strengthen either the marketing
campaign or the after-sales service and support network.
Note that there will be many organisational and policy decisions that will need
to be made and it is expected that the general Linux community will not only
participate in their discussion but will ultimately and collectively make those
decisions. Some of the organisational decisions that will need to be made
- the setting up of at least three offices - one in the USA, one in
Europe, and one for the Australasia region. Where will they be located?
- the organisational structure ie who reports to whom and how can
everyone get involved?
The policy decisions that will need to be made are far more extensive:
- do we need a reference version of Linux? (it would certainly make Linux
International's task easier)
- what do we bundle with Linux?
- what level of after-sales service and support is deemed necessary?
- what will be the emphasis of our marketing campaign - what features of
Linux do we emphasise (or de emphasise)?
- what distribution channels will we use?
- how much time and resources do we spend on the advertising campaign;
the support infra-structure; encouraging third-party developers to port
software to Linux?
This is by no means a complete list of decisions that will need to be made but
certainly gives an idea of what will be required.
Who will fund (initially) the formation of Linux International?
This has not yet been finalised. There are two options that are available. The
first is that the necessary initial capital outlay could be sought from you the
various developers, programmers, hackers and end-users of Linux. This option
has a number of pros and cons. The advantages are that the organisation will
be controlled by you and as such its operation and the policies that it adopts
will be under your direct influence, ie essentially you will be its
shareholders. The cons are that unless many of you are willing to forego your
initial capital outlay, then the charter of Linux International may have to be
modified from it being a non-profit organisation to a profit making
organisation so that you may recover your initial investment in the
organisation through dividends.
The second alternative is to seek funding from various industry sources. The
organisations that will have the most to gain from the success of Linux
International will be the various Unix vendors. Why would they benefit? Surely
we would be stealing sales from them? Not really. The objective of Linux
International is to grow the Unix market (at the expense of Windows and OS/2).
It would be ludicrous of us to steal sales from say UnixWare. The latter
product has much to recommend it to many business organisations not the least
being a very efficient and very effective after-sales service network. The
advantage that we would bring to the various Unix vendors is a number of
third-party software developers. These developers would see the astonishing
level of sales of Linux in the market-place and hence would begin writing and
porting software to Linux. Developers would then discover that with a little
more effort they could port their software to all the other Unix variants out
there. Hence it would be worthwhile for the various Unix vendors to contribute
funds towards the formation and success of Linux International. Note though
that the contribution of funds does not in any way allow the contributor to
influence the decisions and policies made by Linux International. We will
accept their money - but that's all.
We don't want to turn Linux into some sort of commercial monster!
This may be a legitimate concern of the Linux community but let me assure you
that this will not happen. Linux always has been and always will be a freely
distributable operating system. The only reason that Linux International will
charge for the distribution and sale of Linux will be to meet costs. However,
it should be emphasised that Linux International will be under orders to
contain costs as much as possible. The end-user cost of Linux must be as low
as possible - this is after all a crucial aspect to the success of Linux in the
marketplace. In any case, Linux will still continue to be freely available on
the Internet for all to see and use.
This then begs the question - why would I purchase Linux from Linux
International or one of the other distributors when I can grab it for free from
the Internet? There are many answers to this question. The first is that not
everyone has access to the Internet and so a distribution channel is needed to
reach those users who cannot reach the Internet. Secondly, users who purchase
from Linux International or another distributor will be entitled to after-sales
service and support from Linux International (whatever that level of support
may be). Thirdly, purchasing from Linux International will allow the
organisation to continue the development of Linux by assisting all operating
systems engineers in their job of further developing Linux. This will mean
that Linux International is required to help obtain funding to support all of
its operating systems engineers and provide whatever services and facilities
that they may reasonably require.
Why should I vote for the proposed formation of Linux International?
Your vote for the formation of this organisation hinges on the fact that we are
presented now with an opportunity to massively affect the future direction that
operating environments will take and the success that Unix will play in the
coming years. This opportunity is very real and will require a coordinated
effort to ensure that Linux (and Unix in general) becomes a popular option as
an operating environment in the mainstream computing society.
Throughout its years of development, Linux has evolved into a first class
operating system that is capable of satisfying many user's computing needs. The
questions you must now answer are:
Do you want the world to learn of the benefits that Linux has to offer?
Do you want to see the widespread adoption of Linux with all the attendant
benefits and pitfalls that this may bring?
I believe that the answer to both of these questions is a resounding YES. We
have now an opportunity to take on the likes of IBM and Microsoft and to
deliver a product that is virtually the equal of products that they already
offer. The time is ripe for Unix to join the ranks of mainstream computing
society as a very capable operating system that can successfully fulfil many
user's requirements. The time is ripe for change - change from the Microsoft
dominated OS environment to a Unix led environment. That time is now. And
Linux is the key to that change.
Why shouldn't I vote for the proposed formation of Linux International?
Note that this is only a tentative list and that many more reasons may become
apparent in the ensuing discussion on the merit of this proposal.
The chief reason that people may vote against this proposal is that they fear
that Linux may lose sight of its origins and that it will become a commercial
Unix. They fear that Linux International or other organisations will take over
the development of Linux and abandon its existing developers and operating
systems engineers. (It is my opinion that this will not happen and it will be
incorporated into Linux International's charter to prevent this kind of
situation from occurring. Despite this though, many may still feel that this
possibility may occur)
I have proposed that we vote on this proposal and to discuss its merit on the
net. In the absence of any better mechanism, I propose to adopt the voting
mechanism used when proposing the formation of a new newsgroup (yes I know that
there are significant differences between the formation of a new newsgroup and
a non-profit organisation - but the principles are valid). Therefore the rules
for voting are outlined below: (please notify me if you have any serious
objections to this or if you think that the rules should be modified for this
1. Voting will be open to any users on the Internet. Users may vote only
once (one vote per user). If you have already voted and would like to change
your vote, include a note in your email message indicating as such. Voting
will close on the 5 February.
2. The email address to send your votes to is:
3. The only requirement for you to vote is that you must clearly and
unambiguously indicate either in the subject of your email message or in the
body of your message whether you are voting for or against the proposal.
4. There must be at least 200 votes before this proposal will be
5. At least 66% of the votes for this proposal must be a yes vote for this
proposal to be considered a success.
One further optional requirement is that if a voter has the time, it would be
greatly appreciated if they could include any constructive comments on this
proposal (whether deriding the proposal or supporting it). A summary of all of
these comments will be provided in the first week of January.
If you have any queries, comments or criticisms do not hesitate to contact me
(again at pdcr...@swanee.ee.uwa.edu.au).
Mail submissions for comp.os.linux.announce to: linux-annou...@tc.cornell.edu
PLEASE remember Keywords: and a short description of the software.
From: su...@magnetic.demon.co.uk (Mr Sunil Gupta)
Subject: Re: RFV: Linux International proposal
Organization: Paglis Software
X-Newsreader: Demon Internet Simple News v1.27
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 1994 00:37:47 +0000
I would like to register a *No* vote, for the following reasons:
I feel that the marketing of linux is redundant, the product is already
well known. Novell, SCO, Microsoft and NeXT will be very hostile to a
A commercially successful product isnt primarily determined by the
quality of the product, but by the amount of resources thrown into
the marketing campaign. It is worth remembering that, the clients
will initially be non-technical management.
|- promote the Linux operating system as a low-cost implementation of the
| Unix operating system.
I don't agree with a cost being attached to the Linux OS. If there is a cost
it should be a client commiting themselves to a support contract only.
|- market and advertise Linux to those market segments that are deemed
| will benefit most from the adoption of this operating system
You will have to come up with some pretty convincing arguments to persuade
people to change from UNIXware/SCO/NT/NeXTstep/Solaris.
|- work with existing distributors of Linux in coordinating our efforts
| and reduce duplication of distribution channels
What gain is there for the existing distributors?
|- seek donations from various third-parties to allow the continued
| development of Linux
|- encourage third-party software developers in developing software for
| Linux in particular and Unix in general
Developing an add-on libraries and header files to provide standards
conformance such as XPG4 is not too difficult, there are several freely
available test suites out there for the purpose. This would go a long way
to convince 3rd part developers to support linux.
if you really want to see > $500 commercial products available on linux, you
have to convince the 3rd party people that there is a market: market research
|- develop the necessary after-sales support and service infrastructure
| that will be necessary to promote Linux
This is all I could agree to.
|- provide any facilities and/or services for the numerous operating
| systems engineers (nearly all you people reading this) that are
| contributing to the development of Linux
Linux Books have allready started to appear. THe linux community is currently
self sustaning, even the most esoteric problems are answered by people on
the net. Your role would be to distribute that information to people
not on the net, why should they come to you when they could easily get a
public access IP connection and get the solutions/updates direct?.
|non-profit making organsation
No such thing exists (perhaps excepting the FSF).
|Note that there will be many organisational and policy decisions that will need
|to be made and it is expected that the general Linux community will not only
people on the net are transient, policy makers would change every few months,
|- the setting up of at least three offices - one in the USA, one in
| Europe, and one for the Australasia region. Where will they be located?
Offices cost money, charge rent etc.
|- the organisational structure ie who reports to whom and how can
| everyone get involved?
they can't you're talking 10s of thousands of people
In order for your organisation to succeed, you need to recruit experienced
professionals in sales/finance. These people demand mega-bucks. A non-profit
organistional will never have the resources to mount marketing campaigns.
I hope for your sake you get an overall no vote. The scale of the problem
is much more than you can possibly imagine. Please rethink your aims
and objectives otherwise you will create an unmanagable infrastructure with
poorly defined milestones. Another problem you will face is communication
between the developers/support people on the net, and your clients.
Problems almost invariably scale up exponentially for the sort of
organisation you propose. I suggest you gain experience by trying
this project on a small scale.
Work: su...@novell.co.uk, su...@uel.co.uk
From: mi...@eurom.fsag.rhein-main.de (Michaela Merz)
Subject: Re: RFV: Linux International proposal
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Organization: FSAG ++49-69-6312083
X-Newsreader: MINEWS [FSAG] Version: 0.1
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 1994 18:36:35 GMT
On Sat, 22 Jan 1994 00:37:47 +0000,
su...@magnetic.demon.co.uk (Mr Sunil Gupta) wrote:
> I would like to register a *No* vote, for the following reasons:
I would like to register a *YES*.
There are too many little companies which are selling Linux in a kind
of fire and forget. Nobody feels responsible for after sales. There
is no support available, and everybody will become a true Windows or
OS/2 users if he/she is gettin' into trouble with Linux because there's
no help available. This companies are doing a good business but they
are also destroying a lot of confidence. Remember: not everybody has
access to netnews.
Linux will *never* become important to commercial users as long as the
most needed applications (i.e. textprocessing) are not available. The
free software community has not been able to produce software for
endusers. And commercial organisations will not port any software,
as long as there is nobody they can talk to.
We *will* support LI. Because we want to support LINUX.
Free Software Association of Germany
FREE SOFTWARE ASSOCIATION irc: misch @ #fsag
OF GERMANY gopher: eurom.fsag.rhein-main.de
Voice: ++49-69-6312083 www: http://callisto.fsag.rhein-main.de
From: ling...@math.uni-frankfurt.de (Anselm Lingnau)
Subject: Re: RFV: Linux International proposal
Date: 24 Jan 1994 16:49:02 GMT
Organization: University of Frankfurt/Main, Dept. of Mathematics
In article <CK3ICz....@eurom.fsag.rhein-main.de>,
mi...@eurom.fsag.rhein-main.de (Michaela Merz) writes:
> There are too many little companies which are selling Linux in a kind
> of fire and forget. Nobody feels responsible for after sales. There
> is no support available, and everybody will become a true Windows or
> OS/2 users if he/she is gettin' into trouble with Linux because there's
> no help available. This companies are doing a good business but they
> are also destroying a lot of confidence. Remember: not everybody has
> access to netnews.
Do you think LI will get into the business of direct end-user handholding? I
doubt it. Let's face it: Linux support will, at least for the foreseeable
future, be done over the Net. Maybe zealous Linux vendors and local user
groups will be able to provide more direct end-user support, but a consortium
like the proposed `Linux International' won't. Not that there's any reason to
go crazy over the fabulous support companies like Microsoft are providing;
I'll take the Net over that any day, thank you very much.
> Linux will *never* become important to commercial users as long as the
> most needed applications (i.e. textprocessing) are not available. The
> free software community has not been able to produce software for
This has nothing to do with `able'. It's just a question of what kind of
software the free software programmers would like to have. There is no
technical difficulty in writing, say, a free clone of Word or 1-2-3 that
Microsoft or Lotus didn't have to address in the same manner. It just turns
out that, until now, nobody seems to have needed a free Word or 1-2-3 clone
badly enough to actually sit down and write one (or raise the money to get
someone else to write it for them as free software).
Right now most of the effort of writing free software seems to go into
producing tools. This may be because the FSF, being the folks who invented
free software, consider it their mission to produce a Unix-like operating
system. There are various `end-user' programs which are freely available, but
even these are mostly targeted towards the hacker type. Possibly the hackers
write that software for themselves and don't bother too much about the
> And commercial organisations will not port any software,
> as long as there is nobody they can talk to.
I don't buy that. Commercial vendors will port software to Linux if they think
the effort will pay through sales of that software, or because they think it's
worth it for other reasons. Look at what ParcPlace do with their UI builder;
they're giving it away for Linux, presumably to increase their sales for
non-free platforms. Evidently, you don't have to have `somebody to talk to' to
> We *will* support LI. Because we want to support LINUX.
IMHO supporting LI and supporting Linux are two entirely separate concerns.
Consider people like Martin M"uller and Sebastian Hetze, the authors of the
_Linux-Anwenderhandbuch_. In my opinion they have done more for making Linux
accessible to newbies than all those who were proclaiming consortia and their
assorted lofty goals.
If you absolutely want to convert people to a new OS, you'll have to show what
benefits they will reap from a change. If they don't benefit from their
trouble, you'll look mighty silly. Right now, we don't need `Linux
International', whoever that will be, to do that and make Linux look silly.
Right now, we'll have to work on giving people a reason to switch other than
`DOS is sh*t'. There may be time for LI later, when we'll actually have
something to show. [*]
[*] Don't get me wrong -- Linux is a nice piece of work already, if you're a
Unix hacker. It might look somewhat different if you're an accountant or
Liberal Arts major.
Anselm Lingnau .................................. ling...@math.uni-frankfurt.de
Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true
virtue. --- Confucius, *Analects*
From: li...@fylz.com (Linux Journal)
Subject: Re: RFV: Linux International proposal
Organization: Linux Journal
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 1994 17:36:36 GMT
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]
Anselm Lingnau (ling...@math.uni-frankfurt.de) wrote:
: In article <CK3ICz....@eurom.fsag.rhein-main.de>,
: mi...@eurom.fsag.rhein-main.de (Michaela Merz) writes:
: > There are too many little companies which are selling Linux in a kind
: > of fire and forget. Nobody feels responsible for after sales. There
: > is no support available, and everybody will become a true Windows or
: > OS/2 users if he/she is gettin' into trouble with Linux because there's
: > no help available. This companies are doing a good business but they
: > are also destroying a lot of confidence. Remember: not everybody has
: > access to netnews.
: Do you think LI will get into the business of direct end-user handholding? I
: doubt it. Let's face it: Linux support will, at least for the foreseeable
: future, be done over the Net.
For many people, this is true but not for everyone. As Linux starts
to get out into the world, people are asking for real support -- the kind
they are willing to pay for.
We offered to include free listings in a Consultant's Directory in
the first issue of Linux Journal. It has 25 listings in it and more
consultants are asking to be added daily. We also have advertisers
(Signum Support, for example) that offer support for Linux.
This support issue is very important if we want to see Linux offer
real commercial solutions. There are people out there on the leading
edge right now (again, going back to some of our advertisers, Fintronic
offers complete Linux systems including hardware, Amtec Engineering
has ported they commercial software to Linux and Windsor Technology
has both advertised and submitted one of their system hardware test
packages to us for review).
If we, the Linux community on Usenet, continue to show that support
is possible and that Linux is a real product I think the commercial
support organizations will grow as well. And I expect that many of
the people who have helped on the net will have a chance to offer
commercial support if they wish.
: > Linux will *never* become important to commercial users as long as the
: > most needed applications (i.e. textprocessing) are not available. The
: > free software community has not been able to produce software for
: > endusers.
: This has nothing to do with `able'. It's just a question of what kind of
: software the free software programmers would like to have. There is no
: technical difficulty in writing, say, a free clone of Word or 1-2-3 that
: Microsoft or Lotus didn't have to address in the same manner. It just turns
: out that, until now, nobody seems to have needed a free Word or 1-2-3 clone
: badly enough to actually sit down and write one (or raise the money to get
: someone else to write it for them as free software).
I expect this will change very soon. In addition to going to subscribers,
the first issue of Linux Journal will go to close to 20,000 people who
are not Linux people. I expect that half of these people are not readers
of Usenet news groups and probably 95% of them don't read the Linux groups.
We'll see but I expect these will be the people who will write the letters
to the editor that say "we need Word" or "we need 1-2-3". If this
is the case, developers will quickly see a market. It may end of
as copylefted software or it may end up as commercial but it will appear.
[Note: if you want to be added to our consultant's directory, send
your business info (company, address, phone, fax, e-mail, contact
name and a brief description of the services you provide) to
joa...@fylz.com. The listing is free but I will warn you that she
is our advertising manager and will probably try to convince you
to run an ad in LJ. If you would rather send paper, send it to
Joanne Wagner, Linux Journal, P.O. Box 85867, Seattle, WA, 98145-1867
or FAX it to +1 206 526-0803.
Linux Journal -- The magazine of, for and about the Linux Community
P.O. Box 85867, Seattle, WA 98145-1867 USA
E-mail: li...@fylz.com Phone: +1 206 524 8338 FAX: +1 206 526 0803
From: email@example.com (Patrick D'Cruze)
Subject: Results of Voting on the Linux International proposal (LONG)
Date: 12 Feb 1994 09:55:29 +0200
Approved: firstname.lastname@example.org (Lars Wirzenius)
Announcing the results of voting on the Linux International proposal.
Voting closed on the 5th February.
Votes received on the close of voting are as follows:
Yes votes - 186
No votes - 21
Total votes - 207
Therefore it can be concluded that the general net community is in favour
of the Linux International proposal and that we will be proceeding in plans
to form the proposed not-for-profit organization and carry out its aims
and objectives (as was stated in the proposal document).
Listed below are some of the comments that were included within the votes:
COMMENTS INCLUDED WITH THE YES VOTES:
Having a definitive Linux product, with a good support mechanism, can
only be a good thing for the community at large.
Reason I support this: a mainly Usenet-supported Linux (as it
presently stands), is fine for someone such as myself, but this is
obviously not the best long-term solution. As far as I can see, your
proposal for Linux International follows the basic philosophy outlined
in the GNU manifesto: create an operating system that charges nothing
for source, provides/makes available all source upon request, and
charges only for service.
I do vote for forming the proposed non-profit organization "Linux
International" as this is the only way to distribute Linux outside the
net while keeping the original intention of a freely distributable and
broadly developed unix.
I think Linux has to go and take commercial operating systems by the
throat and this is one way to do it.
I agree with your analysis of the situation, and I agree that it would
be bad for the world if UNIX did not win out as the operating system of
I believe that Linux International would help to further the Linux
movement. The thing that bothered me about getting Linux was that their
was no-one that I could go to for help, complaints etc. That's why I
bought it from Linux System Labs for $60.00. I didn't have internet
access at the time. I think that Linux International would show a
professional interest and sponsorship of Linux.
I believe that Linux is now the only lever we have left to stop Windows
NT becoming the ubiquitious, uniform operating system of the next 25
years. It could be a boon to companies that sell solutions who at the
moment have to persuade their customers to spend hundreds of pounds on
flakey systems like Interactive Unix. An organisation like Linux
International could raise the funds to support the WINE project whose
success is urgently needed for Linux to act as a contender against
I believe that this is an excellent approach to spreading the word
about Linux. I think that there definitely should be a "reference" or
base system that developers can count on being there (ie: the core of
most commercial Unix systems today is AT&T's SVR4). This base system
should be defined by Linux International and should become Linux
It can only help get Linux spread and thrive.
The reason that I vote yes is that I feel that the more people that are
using Linux (and unix in general), the more I will benefit as a Linux
We have an example of similar arrangement between the GNU and CYGNUS,
that works successfully.
We need to do it as professional as possible to make the appeal of a
hacker's os vanish. The broad audience (i.e. the windows & os/2 users)
wants to believe to be in business with professionals.
The formation of such an authority will represent a force to be
reckoned with, and which can easily challenge Microsoft and IBM.
I support this proposal because it will standardize the released
versions of Linux and promote it to a wider audience.
Promoting the use of Linux has to be a good thing. A lot of people have
put a lot of work into it and it would be a shame to see it go to
COMMENTS THAT WERE INCLUDED WITH THE NO VOTES:
I believe the Linux Review Group fills the most important function for
your LI - letting people know that there is such a thing as Linux and
where they can get it. If you want to do more, set up something similar
to Cygnus, but for Linux only. Just don't try to represent the entire
My reasons are:
More stability is needed in the TCP/IP parts of Linux. More
complete documentation is needed. But most of all, a
'Standard' set of Linux Installation Disks needs to be made. I
think first a Consortium needs to be formed to agree on the 'Standard'
then the 'Documentation' needs to be done.
I'd rather see Linux kept free but marketed and supported by third
parties. They'd compete and offer the same (free) software, so it
wouldn't be commercialized; but the packaging and support would be the
subject of free-market competition. I worry that Linux International,
as a non-profit group, wouldn't have the motivation to keep improving
Linux's marketability over the long term.
I am oppose to the Linux International Prorosal; there are enough
"non-profit" organizations around, and it turns out that none of them
has done anything good to promote their products. Among them, OSF is a
very good example. If there is no OSF, Mach might has been taking over
the world already. "Non-profit" organizations are either taking the
label for personal good, or for game playing for companies (OSF is
Linux has flourished in the climate in which it has grown. I think
that stealth may be one of Linux's greatest assets right now -- stealth
in certain quarters.
I think that Linux will grow if there is a need for it, and die if
there isn't. I don't expect it to die, but I intend to contribute to
its usefulness directly, and I think that Linux International would be
mostly a boondoggle, and might possibly waste contributor time.
If people are to get into Unix, they will also, with very little
doubts, enter internet in one way or the other, adhere "grabing"
culture, program POSIX and support Open Systems engineering. With GNU
public licensing mentality spreading fast they will also become
computing and programming litterates and make use of availble source
code and documentation. None of this should require expensive
advertisement and administrative costs. This is an educational process
(and NOT a commercial one). Stop believing blindly in the merits of
free enterprise. Learning and getting into a culture is a matter of
Unix or any of its many variations is not targeted for layman use (no
matter how good the documentation). As a development tool, of couse, it
(unix) is indispensible. What you failed to mention is that Unix/Linux
is not cost effective when a XXXXXXX$ person tries to figure out how to
setup a package as compared to to a more expensive ready to plug in for
PC386-486-pentium-$$$### model with optional &&&& attachment.
I don't see any reason why Linux should be marketed in the sense of
convincing lots of people to use it. I think this will just result in
needless problems. Unix is still harder to use than the mass market
operating system, unless you have a user interface like the NeXT, which
Linux doesn't. I don't see any need for the committee you propose.
People who like Linux/Unix will use it, others won't. Why try to
I don't believe it's either needed nor viable as an alternative to the
various for-pay companies. I also do not believe that any commercial
customer will accept a 'free-OS' due to culture and paranoia,
regardless of how good it is.
OTHER VARIOUS COMMENTS:
The FSF will not be too happy with this proposal unless it is made
clear that what is being sold is the support contract, not the software
itself. By this token, support contracts could be offered independently
of the software, so that the software would be sold at a certain price,
and the support would be an add-on. The possibility of selling Linux
copies without support, comes to mind and could be debated.
The name of the game is support, support, support. LINUX will only take
off in the business world if there is a number a suit can call to
request help; it would be nice if this support were not limited
(timewise) but not necesary;
A copy of the release of Linux from Linux International must be
available free to anybody who is willing to go with their own media (or
via Internet) to the server and make a copy. This does not mean that
they automatically get support/easy to use installation format etc, but
that they can get the software free if they invest their own time.
Irrelevant of the costs involved by Linux International.
Not-for-profit? I do not see why the organization has to be
not-for-profit. I would personally be willing to invest money into a
concern such as this, especially if I had some way of having an effect
on the organization.
We've got the best designed OS in existence, the best Window
"subsystem", great widget sets, the best development environment, and
a world just dying for "the right solution". All that's left for Unix
to win is to 1) make it cheap, 2) get applications ported to it, and 3)
bundle it all up and put a warm, friendly front end on it.
Since there are already people working on a Linux Journal, it may help
the promotion of Linux if Linux International were to distribute or to
involve in the development of LJ.
Below are the names of all who voted FOR the Linux International
Ronald Holt email@example.com
neil miles firstname.lastname@example.org
John Brady email@example.com
Dave Edick firstname.lastname@example.org
Han-Wen Nienhuys email@example.com
Mario Camou firstname.lastname@example.org
Birgitta M-L Lonnroth email@example.com
Davor Cubranic firstname.lastname@example.org
Andreas Zisowsky email@example.com
joe sloan firstname.lastname@example.org
Jef Spielberg email@example.com
L.G. Ted Stern firstname.lastname@example.org
Sten Eriksson email@example.com
Christopher Shaulis firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric M. Breault email@example.com
Jeremy Laidman firstname.lastname@example.org
Karsten Ballueder email@example.com.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE
Jim Lynch firstname.lastname@example.org
Jay Lawrence email@example.com
David Simmons simmons@Dune.EE.MsState.Edu
Edward Baichtal firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Weber email@example.com
Richard Gooch rgooch@atnf.CSIRO.AU
Florian von Samson firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew J. Piziali email@example.com
Jan-Piet Mens firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Andrew email@example.com
Matti J Lehtiniemi firstname.lastname@example.org
Cesare Mastroianni email@example.com
Daniel Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Ives email@example.com
Dan Shearer firstname.lastname@example.org
Sven Dirks email@example.com
Al Smith wbuj@chbs.CIBA.COM
Grant Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Tanner email@example.com
Stephen Bruce firstname.lastname@example.org
Georg Vollmers email@example.com
Markus Kohler firstname.lastname@example.org
Wolfgang Schreiner Wolfgang.Schreiner@risc.uni-linz.ac.at
Michael Fuchs email@example.com
Stuart Boutell firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Laforte email@example.com
Robert Blair firstname.lastname@example.org
Kayvan Sylvan kayvan@satyr.Sylvan.COM
Eric Maryniak email@example.com
Bernhard Strassl firstname.lastname@example.org
Kai Schwermann email@example.com
John T. Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Martin MARTIN.A@fs.reid.wlu.edu
Chris Fletcher email@example.com
Alfred Keller firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Yates Unisys Bern email@example.com
Michael Rayment firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason John Griffin White email@example.com.EDU.AU
Pieter van Prooijen firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Morris email@example.com
Daniel L Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
Rich Hart email@example.com
Stuart McLean firstname.lastname@example.org
William Magro email@example.com
David Jeske firstname.lastname@example.org
Jens Hartmann email@example.com
Jens Henrik Jensen firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Arras email@example.com
Danny ter Haar firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Egnor email@example.com
Miguel Alvarez Blanco firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Royle email@example.com
Amrik Thethi firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Crowley email@example.com
Michael Andrew Iverson firstname.lastname@example.org
Kari Alho email@example.com
Ken Rice firstname.lastname@example.org
Badrinarayanan Seshadri email@example.com
Darren Hiebert firstname.lastname@example.org
Mario Camou email@example.com
Ketil M. Malde firstname.lastname@example.org
Jake Vogelaar email@example.com
Christopher M Richmond firstname.lastname@example.org
Bernd Kratz email@example.com
Vinod Menon firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin S Ho email@example.com
Christopher Shaulis firstname.lastname@example.org
Douglas R. Floyd email@example.com
Dean W Bettinger firstname.lastname@example.org
Alireza Setayesh email@example.com
Guenther Thomsen firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Wahlberg email@example.com
Salvador Pinto Abreu firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Gfuellner email@example.com
Abdallah Chatila firstname.lastname@example.org
Zack Evans email@example.com
Jurgen Botz firstname.lastname@example.org
James V. Silverton email@example.com
John Green firstname.lastname@example.org
Zenon Fortuna email@example.com
-=| Bantolph |=- firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Bob email@example.com
Gal Shalif firstname.lastname@example.org
Habibie Sumargo email@example.com
Dave Truckenmiller firstname.lastname@example.org
Kosta Kostis email@example.com
M.J. Lush firstname.lastname@example.org
Ralf W. Stephan email@example.com
Kai Poehlmann firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark D. Roth email@example.com
Asaf Kashi firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Persson email@example.com
Robert Pamer firstname.lastname@example.org
Herbert Weinhandl email@example.com
Max Buchheit firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Uhl email@example.com
Warwick HARVEY firstname.lastname@example.org.OZ.AU
Wolfgang Schreiner Wolfgang.Schreiner@risc.uni-linz.ac.at
Hartmut Schwab email@example.com
Harvey J. Stein hjstein@MATH.HUJI.AC.IL
Asi Kotiharju firstname.lastname@example.org
Kai Altenfelder email@example.com
Volker Lendecke EIFFEL firstname.lastname@example.org
Irina Athanasiu email@example.com
Cornec ESLOG firstname.lastname@example.org
Detlef Lannert TSOS@uni-duesseldorf.de
Raghu Krishnamurthy aicrelay@uunet.UU.NET
Thomas Boutell email@example.com
Andy Oram firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Puchrik asp@PUCK.ASSABET.COM
Matt Welsh mdw@SunSite.unc.edu
Ulrik Pagh Schultz email@example.com
Gili Granot gil@cs.Technion.AC.IL
Mike Dowling firstname.lastname@example.org
Theodor Ivesdal email@example.com
Ralf Muehlen firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Maechler email@example.com
Florian Wagner firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Maute email@example.com
Paulo da Silva firstname.lastname@example.org
A. Sridhar email@example.com
S. Venkatesan firstname.lastname@example.org
Erlend V Boe email@example.com
Daniel O'Callaghan firstname.lastname@example.org
Thorsten Gau email@example.com
Frank Kemmer firstname.lastname@example.org
Wai Ming Ho email@example.com
Christian Henry firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Averkamp email@example.com
Michael Firth firstname.lastname@example.org
LD Landis ldl@ldl
Michael Berry email@example.com
Greg Butenko firstname.lastname@example.org
David SHERMAN David.Sherman@labri.u-bordeaux.fr
James E. Leinweber email@example.com
Dane Jasper firstname.lastname@example.org
Maurice Siu email@example.com
Herbert Xu firstname.lastname@example.org
N T Clifford email@example.com
Zoltan Hidvegi hzoli@konig
Roland Ryf firstname.lastname@example.org
Total yes votes = 186
Below are all the names of those who voted AGAINST the Linux International
Magnus Y Alvestad email@example.com
Tom Collins esvax::firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Shields email@example.com
Raul Deluth Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
Shao Ai Wu m-sw2360@HAPPY.CS.NYU.EDU
Jeff Randall JRandall@uiuc.edu
Michael K. Johnson johnsonm@SunSITE.Unc.EDU
Wim van Dorst email@example.com
Francois Genolini firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruediger Helsch Ramz email@example.com
Navid Haddadi firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Patten email@example.com
Bill C. Riemers firstname.lastname@example.org
Erik Troan ewt@SunSITE.Unc.EDU
Winfried Truemper truemper@FileServ1.MI.Uni-Koeln.DE
Klaus Weidner email@example.com
Vince Skahan firstname.lastname@example.org
Nigel Gamble email@example.com
Stephen Harris spuddy!sweh.womble
Peter Busser firstname.lastname@example.org
Total no votes = 21
Mail submissions for comp.os.linux.announce to: email@example.com
PLEASE remember Keywords: and a short description of the software.