The Linux community has never really been a place for...er...quiet wallflowers. Over the years it has become known as a community filled with raucous debates that rage back and forth between passionate Linux users. Datamation thinks that it might be time for the Linux community to move forward with less rancor and bickering.
According to Datamation:
If we as a collective Linux community did a bit more of the positive and a little less of the berating of one another, our Linux enthusiast community would be a whole lot more welcoming to newcomers. Because if there is one thing I see in my inbox every single day, it's another blog post from some "figurehead" making a big deal about something most Linux users honestly don't have a stake in.
That last statement might seem a bit extreme, but to be honest, I for one am tired of the ongoing bickering about stuff that the community will decide the fate of anyway. Trust the community's vision and let's begin quelling the divisive nature of the desktop Linux community.
I think the title of the Datamation article is somewhat unfortunate and lends something of a negative air to the article by using the word "divisive" instead of "diverse." I've always thought that the more voices we had talking about open source and Linux, the better. I can't imagine what Linux would be like if there wasn't a vibrant give and take happening in the community about so many different things each day.
I remember when I launched my Desktop Linux Reviews blog years ago and someone asked me about another blog being a competitor. Was it something I should worry about? I responded that I thought there was plenty of room for more blogs to review Linux distributions, and that the more voices there were the better it would be for Linux users.
One blog might focus on this or that in a review, while another would zero in on something else. And those sometimes conflicting points of view serve Linux users well by giving them a wider range of information about a distro. I would certainly never want anything I said to be the last word about a distribution for the simple reason that no one reviewer is likely to cover everything to the satisfaction of every reader.
And I think that approach applies to the Linux community as a whole. I'm glad that Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds do not agree on various issues. It gives me a chance to view things through two different perspectives, and that goes for anything else related to Linux and open source. Creative conflict in different points of view serves us all well indeed.
Oh sure, some people get carried away at times and go full-tilt-crazy about a particular Linux issue or problem. But that certainly isn't the case for everybody and most people are generally able to focus on the technology and issues involved instead of making everything into a personality conflict.
So I don't think it's a bad thing that the Linux community enjoys duking it out at times about various things. I'd rather have raucous debates by people who are passionate about Linux than a cold, dead community where nobody has the energy to care about much of anything.