From the Publisher - Ten Years of <citetitle>Linux Journal</citetitle>
First, I have some questions that need answers. Actually, we probably will never get the answers, but I find them interesting to think about:
At what point did Microsoft spend more on bad-mouthing Linux than all Linux vendors combined spend on marketing?
When will the number of installed copies of Linux exceed the number of legally installed copies of Microsoft OSes?
When will the number of installed copies of Linux exceed the number of total installed copies of Microsoft OSes?
Notice that I say when, not if. This will happen. It may happen last in the United States, but the combination of Linux maturing and the world economy dictates that this will happen. All of us have an opportunity to make this happen faster.
By the time you read this, I probably will be in Nicaragua helping get some Linux classes started. These are not classes for systems administrators or even computer users. The average person will have never used a computer before and currently makes about $3/day working in a cigar factory. This is not the profile of people that Microsoft is interested in marketing to, but they are typical future new computer users. This is my current path; you don't have to pick this same path. You simply can use Linux and set an example.
Another good approach is to help someone convert to Linux. For example, my neighbor does computer consulting. All his customers run Microsoft software, but they are getting pretty irritated by worms and viruses. Most of them run typical office software, including word processor, spreadsheet and e-mail, so it is the perfect time to offer them an alternative.
Although Linux certainly has become mainstream, it still has a great distance to go before we can claim a World Domination success story. If you are a Linux Journal reader, you are likely ahead of the crowd. Put a little effort into getting that crowd moving in the right direction, and we can reach World Domination long before Linux Journal is 20.
Looking beyond Linux, we also need to look at how what has happened with Linux is a template for what can happen in other areas. In mid-2003, we started our WorldWatch site as an experiment (worldwatch.linuxgazette.com). We saw the need for a worldview of what was happening with Linux and open-source software from a social, political and economic point of view. What happened made WorldWatch Editor Willy Smith realize that we needed to tie together free, libre and open-source software (FLOSS) with similar efforts in other areas. One of the best examples is what we called Open Source seeds. That is, seeds that actually can reproduce rather than the genetically engineered ones that have to be purchased from the patent holder.
This revelation resulted in our creation of a new Web site, A42 (www.a42.com). The Linux-related technical side of what WorldWatch was will be appearing on Linux Gazette (www.linuxgazette.com). A42 is going to be where we try to tie together the whole open-source revolution—whether it applies to computers or not. In order to remain sane, A42 will take a light-hearted approach.
So, let's just say Linux moving toward World Domination is well on the way, and I feel comfortable enough it will happen that I am going to go further out on a limb this time and say that Open Everything is the real goal. Hasta pronto.
Phil Hughes is publisher of Linux Journal.