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w : 13 September 2009 • 3:39PM -0400

Re: [W2l] Idea: "Welcome to Open Source" instead of "Welcome to Linux" this year
by Shlomi Fish


ׁHi Dotan!

On Sunday 13 September 2009 09:43:00 Dotan Cohen wrote:
> > When talking with someone a few days ago, I had a moment of Serendipity
> > (see: ). Why don't we do a
> > "Welcome-to- FOSS" (Free and Open Source Software) this year instead of
> > "Welcome-to-Linux"? We could show people some cool stuff about FOSS in
> > both Linux and Windows:
> I think that this is a great idea, in fact I often introduce new users
> to Firefox and occasionally to Open Office as well.


> > 1. Cross-platform (or even Windows-only) User-oriented FOSS - Firefox,
> >, Inkscape, VirtualBox, GIMP, 7-zip, Notepad++, Audacity,
> > various FOSS games, other stuff here -
> > and here -
> >
> This is a great idea. I must state, however, that in contrast to other
> FOSS applications (such as Firefox, Audacity, and Thunderbird),
> introductions to Open Office and Gimp should start with their
> drawbacks (OOo-MSO compatibility issues, Gimp UI different than
> Photojopa). Once users convince themselves that they can live with the
> drawbacks, they are then ready to accept the benefits. Firefox,
> Thunderbird, and Audacity do not suffer from serious drawbacks so this
> is not really an issue with them.

Yes, indeed. I also found Inkscape to be relatively complete and intuitive,
even for me who was used to Corel-Draw. Last time I checked, Corel-Draw didn't
support partial opacity (= "alpha") very well, which Inkscape does very well.
I haven't worked with Adobe Illustrator, or , so I can't compare it to

Dia also has some drawbacks like missing features, or a relatively clunky UI.

> > 2. Open Source Development with a focus on rapid
> > scripts/GUI-programs/etc. development using
> > Perl/Python/Ruby/etc.[ScriptLang]
> >
> > 3. "Don't be afraid of the command line." - why the UNIX command line can
> > be useful.
> No! This should _never_ be in an introduction to anything! _You_ find
> it comfortable, others find it scary. Don't tread here.

Yes you're right. ("Bad Shlomi! No cookie!"). Anyway, we may delay such a
presentation presenting command line opossumness to shortly after the series.
(a la Haifux' "Staying in Linux").

> > 4. The Free and Open Source Software philosophy and ideology and its
> > positive implications on FOSS development and the computer and software
> > industry:
> >
> >        -
> >
> >        -
> >
> >        - Also see the links from there.
> >
> > (Ori would probably be happy to give it.)
> Just don't make it a religion and people will be interested.

It is a religion:


(short URL: )

> > 5. And naturally and possibly - something about how to try out Linux,
> > possibly using a VirtualBox/etc. VM.
> I find that giving them a dual-boot system works better than giving them a
>  VM.

Ah, well, it cannot hurt to tell them about the possibility of a VM.

OK, it seems there isn't a consensus about whether to have a Welcome-to-Linux
or Welcome-to-Open-Source .  Looking at:

I think it is showing its age. Even if we do a Welcome-to-Linux, we should
rethink the format.


Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish
Interview with Ben Collins-Sussman -

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