Saturday, July 11, 2009

Open Letter to Software/Game/Hardware Makers - Be Linux Compatible

Evolution of Technology is truly amazing.
In my previous open letter to computer video game makers entitled "Investigate the niche of GNU/Linux compatibility", I wrote about how game makers should investigate the GNU/Linux niche market for computer-based video games.

In the letter, I made a prediction that GNU/Linux would become the predominant platform of choice for computers everywhere within the next couple of years. For this reason, I suggested that computer video game makers port their games to GNU/Linux, or at least take steps to define the demand for games on GNU/Linux and ensure they were prepared to embrace the opportunity of GNU/Linux as the Universal Operating System.

While I still fully stand behind the idea of porting software and games directly over to GNU/Linux, I now realize things are happening faster than I originally predicted. A few examples are: the movement of Linux into netbooks(no this has not failed, despite all the marketing from from the tech-media-puppets), and the announcement of the Google Chrome OS.

So now I'd like to update my message to also include the entire spectrum of computer software applications, computer games, computer peripherals, and of course computer hardware in general. The message is this: Now is the time for you to make your products work well with GNU/Linux! Now is also the time to show that you support GNU/Linux!

As for how to add GNU/Linux support to your product, here are some of the ways that it can be done effectively:
  • Hardware/Peripherals - Get Free Linux Driver Development for your devices, or you can create your own open source driver initiative (e.g., the Hewlett Packard Open Source page on Also, you should proudly display on your hardware packaging that your equipment works with Linux!
  • Games - port your games to GNU/Linux, or at the very least - make your games work well with WINE. Also, consider using/improving an Open Source game engine and building your games in cross-platform friendly 3d technologies (e.g., OpenGL). At the
  • Software Applications - When building your software, think of the bigger picture. Design your software to be cross-platform capable from the start. This will give your software the capability to scale across more platforms and devices. Help to build and maintain the giant upon whose shoulders we ride. Build your software using Open and Interoperable Standards. Also, if your program uses fonts, consider using Open Source Fonts to make porting the software to different platforms less painful. At the very least - make your applications work well with WINE. While some software companies have made massive profits on purposely working against Open Standards. These companies tirelessly weild vendor-lockin, predatory, and destructive practices on computer technology, which are the same actions, along with the willingness of other companies to embrace Open Standards, that will spell defeat and extinction these companies (Good Riddens). Technology is meant to enable humans, people increasingly will not accept companies who destroy innovation, and our technological future. We have arrived at the day when purposley destroying technological interoperability is considered Bad Corporate Citizenship!
Note on Software Applications: Porting everything over to GNU/Linux on the drop of a hat can be difficult or impossible for some companies. So at the very least, make your programs work well with the WINE software. WINE is translation software that enables Windows software to be run on GNU/Linux, MAC OSX, and Solaris. There are many popular games and software that already work well with WINE (78 pages worth of entries), but there's always room for improvement.

Here's looking forward to the exciting future of enabling humans with technology and GNU/Linux!

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Shannon VanWagner
humans enabled

Linux on Netbooks - ALIVE and WELL!

Doing my part to bring out the truth about Linux on the Netbook.

There's been a lot of buzz lately about netbooks, and many sources out there have not done their due diligence to debunk the myth of "Linux is Dead on the Netbook". C'mon people, don't just jump on the bandwagon and repeat the marketing spew, do some research and tell the truth!

The real problem is that the vendors who are selling Linux on Netbooks are being mum about it, and so there's not much spoken proof of the true figures of Linux Netbook sells.

Well here's what I say: "Linux IS NOT DEAD on the Netbook!". Why do I believe this? Well, simply have a look at the screen-shots I captured TODAY(07-11-2009) at Dell, HP, and Target websites. Yep, every one of them provides a Linux netbook option. Now why would these prominnet computer sellers (and Target) be offering a "Dead" netbook? Doesn't make much sense does it. Here's a hint, because it sells!

Oh and guess what I saw when I went to the nearby Target store in Factoria(Seattle), WA this past Friday - Yep, you guessed it, the Linux version of the Asus EePc, sitting right there on the shelf.

So technology reporters out there... How about we skip all the predatory Marketing and Sales tactics, and start doing some real research before reporting on technology!

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Shannon VanWagner
humans enabled