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Linuxhelp _ General Discussion _ Defending Gnu/linux

Posted by: Hemant May 27 2004, 01:39 AM


I am about to jump in the 7th semester of my engineering studies(B.Tech) and from this semester companies will start coming for the campus placements.

Now my obvious choice is going to be software companies and certainly since Linux is my strong point i am going to talk about the little work i have done in Linux.

Though i have done a lot of programming on Linux(C,C++,QT,PHP,Shell Prog etc) But i can't say the same for the windows platform.So the questions they will ask is :-

1.Why software should be free??( or at least open)
2.We don't develop any free softwares,why should we take you???
3.Let's say you join our company and we assign you a project and you will be invloved in development of non-freen,non-open software!!Then why and how will you change your ideology??
4.Why so much affinity towards Linux??( though this question has been asked in this forum,but think on it from point of view of a company interview)

This is just a small list but i am sure once i start talking about Linux..I will be bombarded with such type of questions..because Profits and free software doesn't go together very well!!!

Posted by: Termina May 27 2004, 12:26 PM

1.Why software should be free??( or at least open)
A: Encourages people to work on it for the purpose of getting it to work as well as possible. And some people have alot of free time. happy.gif This also allows people to be able to use it before they decide to donate/buy the commercial package. The more people that use it, the more likely it is that a company will want to use it for commercial purposes. If you charge for software (and have no demo, or a shitty demo) not many people will hear about it nor want to buy it.

2.We don't develop any free softwares,why should we take you???
A: Because if you don't, I'll file a sexual harrasment suit. <.< >.> And I know where you sleep at night. happy.gif

3.Let's say you join our company and we assign you a project and you will be invloved in development of non-freen,non-open software!!Then why and how will you change your ideology??
A: I will not change my ideology, but I will still work on it. I'm not a fanatic, nor am I a zealot. If I must be paid to work on non-free software... *shrugs* A job's a job. And I could always leak the source. wink.gif

4.Why so much affinity towards Linux??( though this question has been asked in this forum,but think on it from point of view of a company interview)
A: A great community (Well, at least on these forums... <.<), a large number of people willing to help you, etc. That and not having to pay/pirate an OS is nice. (Not that I have anything against piracy, but downloading a Windows2000 ISO at 5k/s is a pain in the ass, believe me). Downloading 4 ISOs at 300-400k/s is really quite nice.

Posted by: Hemant May 27 2004, 01:24 PM

Because if you don't, I'll file a sexual harrasment suit. <.< >.> And I know where you sleep at night

biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

Posted by: Hemant May 27 2004, 02:37 PM

hey i am looking for serious answers.....

Posted by: lesio1974 May 27 2004, 07:00 PM

ok, let me have a try at this one

Ad. 1

This is a wrong question I think, the only thing that SHOULD be in the software marketplace is choice. There will always be proprietary/paid software as well as free/open applications. All of them have their so to speak audience and their uses and I am not sure why would anybody want to fight for all software to become free/open? Just as an example: you want to burn a CD. You can go out and buy Nero for Windows or boot up Linux and download K3b, so you have a choice, you can pick whatever suits your needs and budget and that what is most important. Ultimately, the user wins as paid-software companies have to keep improving their product and lower their prices to keep sale proceeds flowing in and at the same time Open Source programmers keep improving their product for other than monetary reasons.

As long as Linux and its applications fullfill my mundane, simple computing needs, I will use it over the other OS and paid software. But if there is a task that cannot be done to my satisfaction with an a free, open source program I will buy the needed software and boot into XP without hesitation. See, most users just want their job done (whatever it is that they try to accomplish) and we should be able to choose the tools and methods according to our criteria, not have them forced on us because of lack of choice.

Ad. 2

This should not matter when trying to get a job, unless you specifically want to work for the company that makes free software. You are a good programmer and this is what should be most important to the company that wants to hire you. Your liking or disliking of proprietary/paid software has no influence on your qualifications and no company should reject you only because of your support for Open Source.

Ad. 3 and 4: Same as Termina posted. Let me just add that as long as you do not work on Open Source projects on the company time and concentrate on your job while at work they have no right to object your pass-time hobbies and make any fuss about you creating open source software.

That is it. I wish I were paid per-word :-)

Good luck and let us know how it all went.


Posted by: Hemant May 28 2004, 08:25 AM

I wish I were paid per-word :-)

Bill Plz....i can't count number of words!!!
Good luck and let us know how it all went

Sure..i am damn excited !!!

Posted by: Termina Jun 1 2004, 12:59 PM

Gah, I was being serious, in my own way. happy.gif

I think some people make the entire open source movement into a religous thing... and those who don't quite understand it assume that every linux person if a zealot/fanatic. (After all, only hippies/commies use linux) XD

Those four questions seem to be like that. Words like "affinity" and "ideology" get me a little miffed. I don't worship linux, nor do I feel like using it makes me part of a cult or "family". <.<

If you were talking about your preference of a soda, wouldn't you be a little put off if someone started preaching to you about how your "ideology" was wrong, and how this "affinity" with a particular soda made you strange? Or how one soda was better than another, and that you had to be stupid to, say, prefer Coke over Pepsi? (Coke has more than 10 calories more than Pepsi, fool! I bet they make it out of babies! What, do you hate freedom?)

A computer-guy I used to look up to once said, in response to me asking what OS he prefered: "All operating systems are monsters."

I belive this to be true. In the end, all operating systems will give you problems. Even if you come to enjoy using one over all the others, they will still come a time when using that OS will screw you over. =P

Just my 2 cents...

Posted by: hughesjr Jun 1 2004, 09:32 PM

Actually, profits and open source DO go together.

Novell just made a profit, IBM and RedHat also make Linux money.

Most major companies will pay big bucks to get software support for systems that they feel are critical. If you write a good program (like MySQL), people will pay for it ... or pay you to provide support for it.

I would also tell them this:

While I support Linux and the free software movement, I am a team player with skills that will benefit your company regardless of the software developed. I will try to convince you that free software under the GPL is good for your company. But you have the final say ... and wether the projects I work on are open or closed source, I will be a great asset to your team.
But termina's answers are probably more colorful smile.gif

Posted by: Corey Jun 2 2004, 10:54 AM

Mandrake has also just reported a profit, which is extreamly good considering that a little over a year ago they filed for Chapter 11.

I will have to agree with lesio1974 on his opinion for question 1. I have no problem with proprietary software, and I have no problem with people charging money for software. I enjoy open souce software and enjoy the idea of hundreds and thousands of people working together to create free and open software, however, people do need to make money. I know there is money in free software somewhere, theres not as much as in proprietary software, and people need to pay the bills.

Posted by: lesio1974 Jun 4 2004, 10:04 PM

this might be more suitable for another topic but I think it may have something to do with affinities and zealotry that Termina mentioned;

i happen to know one of these know-it-all mister-big-shot smarter-than-anyone Microsoft Certified bla-bla "Engineers"; once I casually mentioned that I was about to embark on a Linux adventure at home, hoping for some professional conversation and exchange of opinions; boy, I got much more than bargained for; his response was all-out stream of BS aimed at ridiculing Linux and anyone using it; he had no technical arguments against Linux (those he had was just mumbo-jumbo pseudo-IT jargon meant to confuse and impress me, nothing else) but kept lashing out and out; for the next few days he mocked me, kept asking how my pinguin was, how I liked command-line and other "funny" stuff; kept ingoring him, at the same time worked on my installation and configuration (with soo much help from you guys) and now I am a happy Fedora user that can stick it to each Windows user that "anything you can do on your PC, i can do in Linux, ha"

if this guy's behaviour was not a display of Windows zealotry and Microsoft worshippism (is that a word???), then I do not know what that was...

anyone had a similar run-in?


Posted by: Termina Jun 5 2004, 10:28 AM

I havn't from a professional, but I know some of my friends who have ridiculed linux. Hell, after the first time I Installed Redhat (6?), I ridiculed linux. ;D

Most of them now use linux, on atleast one machine. One lost his entire HDD due to a virus, one had all his anime (he had collected 70 some gigs of it over the course of 4 or 5 months) corrupted, and some just was impressed by the screen shots I showed them. wink.gif

Posted by: Robert83 Jun 5 2004, 06:47 PM


guess what , when I started to learn linux, I asked a local computer dealer, and he told me that even win95 is better for a server machine then any distro of linux smile.gif ,....

... later the same guy tried to hack my computer, and he told me to turn on the computer because he cannot ping my machine smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif

I think that linux is a lot better for a server then windows , since if it's once configured it needs little to no adjusting later it just works... I had my server up and running for 43 days smile.gif and that is something new for me.

By the way would you girls and guys tell me what is your server uptime record ?

Robert B

Posted by: Termina Jun 5 2004, 09:14 PM

I once had over 1000 hours uptime. Then I started getting 40-50 connections on my game server, and I had to restart. XD

1.4 months. =)

Posted by: Hemant Jun 5 2004, 09:19 PM

I agree to most of your opinions...But have any of you read the book by Richard Stallman titled.."Selected Essays by Richard Stallman...Free the software free the society"??I have a printed copy.I will try to arrange one downloadable edition.(if any of you want!! smile.gif )

I must say that it was very compelling...the ideas were really revolutionary !!! And Again..we have confusion over free software and open software.Though from a user point of view..these "ideologies" doesn't matter much.But from a developer point of view they does matter.Let me explain how:-
1.Linus Torwalds and company writes a excellent releasing the kernel commercially they can make millions!! Why don't they do so??
2.Why FSF..releases such a huge amount of free software and maintains it??Why RMS believes that software should be free??
3.Above all friends..I think that..after devoting so much of time and resources..if one releases the software as free software he certainly likes the idea of free software!!
4.And most all of you this whole free software movement has split up!!
free software and Open software.RMS and company doen't want to be remotely associated with open software.Say..Linux in front of RMS and he will chew you!! He says OS should be called GNU/Linux..not Linux.More so the differance between open source and free software..they say is..basically ethical.I mean free software camp believes that software should be free and it is a ethical issue.They say it is wrong to develop non-free software.On the other hand open source movement is just the same minus ethics.and their torch bearer is Eric Raymond.(famous author of "the cathedral and Bazaar").

Really though open software is cool with corporate world..term free software baffles them!!!

Posted by: Termina Jun 6 2004, 11:04 AM

Perhaps I'll care later in life, but for now I really don't care about ethics when it comes to computers. There doesn't seem much point in it, as long as it doesn't get in the way with me using a computer, which it doesn't.

Some loose change, compiled from three 2 cent pieces... XD

1) The end user will always try to get away with as much as they can, as long as it doesn't require learning much

2) People will always want to get software for free. When you don't have a job/allowance, a $60 - $200 dollar software application that you need (be it for school, work, or pleasure) is impossible to get any other way. They will not care if the software is freeware, open source, warez, etc.

3) The majority of users couldn't care less about the diffrence between free software and open source. To most of us, it's the same thing. If I can get it for free, whether it's acually free, it's still free to me. I'm not a programmer, so why would I care if a product is open source?


I'll see if I can find that book though. =D

Posted by: Hemant Jun 7 2004, 04:02 PM

Well the book i am talking about is accessible from

Posted by: Termina Jun 8 2004, 03:32 AM

Sure, give me a reason not to put it off. XD

*starts reading it*

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