[W2l] Welcome-to-Linux/Welcome-to-FOSS Planning - what we'd like to have

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Sat Sep 19 16:54:57 IDT 2009

Hi all!

Well, as you may have noticed, there wasn't a general consensus on whether 
"Welcome-to-Linux" (= W2L) or "Welcome-to-FOSS" (= W2FOSS) were better. 
However, looking at the schedule at:


it seems very old-fashioned and rehearsed. We can just keep the slides and 
refer people to them. As the Telux/TelFOSS "benevolent dictator"[1], I think 
we'll do something which is kind-of in between.

What I think is that we need at first is a two part series. The first 
installment (not necessarily the first one to be given) will be a showcase of 
lots of FOSS (Linux, but also portable software) awesomeness-factor: graphics, 
features, usability, some free games[2], Amarok, kaffeine/totem, etc. We 
should remember that using a laptop (with Linux or otherwise) and having an 
Internet there are mutually exclusive, unless we can get Eddie to somehow give 
us the necessary Tel Aviv Uni INET privileges.

The second installment will be about the FOSS philosophy, ideology and its 
practical implications. The summary of it that I have so far is:

Welcome-to-Linux / Welcome-to-FOSS abstract

* Introduction:
    - What is Free Software/Open Source:
        - source code
            - analogy to wikipedia. (?)
                - Edit/View source.
        - The FSF Free Software Definition
        - FOSS != Public Domain
            - copyleft.
                - some restrictions.
                - share-alike
            - permissive licences (BSDL, X11L, etc.)
                - do what you want with them?
                    - mostly

* Examples of open source software:
    - Firefox.
    - OpenOffice.org
    - Linux.
        - what is an operating system.
        - A free kernel.
        - The GNU/Linux run-time.
            - lots of names - X11 (X.Org), KDE, GNOME, OpenSSH.
                - don't be alarmed.
        - Other similar OSes (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD).
        - Many distributions.
            - all packaging the same FOSS components (with some 
            - Different glue, behaviour and features.
                - Different bugs.
        - Our recommended distributions:
            - Fedora
            - Mandriva
            - Ubuntu
            - links to pages with information about them
                - material of previous presentations.

* Advantages of open-source:
    - May not cost money.
        - gratis/costless/free-as-in-free-beer.
        - freely distributable
        - Note: it's ok to sell it!
            - Story of Stallman selling tapes of GNU software to people who
            could not download them from the Internet.
    - Can be modified and enhanced:
        - study the source to learn how the program works.
            - for enlightenement.
            - to compensate for lacking documentation.
        - fix bugs.
        - add new features.
        - refactoring.
        - fork 
    - Use the Internet for collaboration
        - Bazaar model of development.
            - Refer to the Cathedral and the Bazaar series.
    - Not anti-commercial / anti-business.
        - Many valid business models.
            - Examples (?)
        - Lots of profitable companies.
        - As opposed to tangible goods (e.g: hammers, cars, food), software
        once developed, can be mass-produced at zero cost.
        - Many developers develop FOSS for fun 
        - Many developers get paid to develop it.

It could use some work, but I hope you get my drift, and suggestions will be 

After these two presentation (whose order I'm still not sure about but I'm 
leaning to make the first one the first.) we can have a presentation for 
developers covering the various options for FOSS development (not only C or 
even only Java) and maybe then have some Haifux-like "Staying-in-FOSS" 
presentations. These seems more hip, more modern and less resource consuming 
than having a 5-installments long series just about Linux.

I also see that Haifux will have a Welcome-to-Linux series this year, and 
would like to commend them for it.

Thoughts anyone?


	Shlomi Fish

[1] - not "for life", though. I welcome spin-offs of Telux, coups, etc.

[2] - Yes, I know that they are not up-to-par with commercial offerings, (see 
the other thread) but many open-source games can still be impressive: PySolFC, 
Extreme Tux Racer, etc. These can provide a large glitz factor too.

Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
Parody on "The Fountainhead" - http://shlom.in/towtf

Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.

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