There was a time when Linux mailing lists
were all about collaboration. Sysadmins
would collaborate with other sysadmins, hobbyists would collaborate with other hobbyists, developers
would collaborate with other developers.
It was widely understood that without the developers, this glorious project and movement didn't exist.
Blessed were the coders.
Look at Linux , *BSD, and open source today. Look at your favourite distro in particular. Who would have been game enough to stand up and predict what a distro was capable of, just two short years ago?
These days, there are more developers than ever, of course, and vastly greater numbers of users. Once, the only users were by definition developers..
I read my Linux lists daily and rely on the sage advice of many of their posters, and sincerely try to put back what little I'm capable of.
What I'm seeing more and more, however, and what makes me a little sad and nostalgic for the pioneering days, is a general movement towards "complaining to the developers" 'cause something doesn't work to a user's full expectations.
I make a point of swallowing my flamage, however I think that it's time for us evangelists all to remember that Linux is a journey, not a destination.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to open source developers the world over. In fact, we owe them a bloody big thank you.
On behalf of every internal voice I have that curses their work when it doesn't do what I think it should ;-) , THANK YOU. I promise I'll have patience and I'll always try to remember how hard you folks work, for not enough material reward. I'll try pay you back by spending some money on your products. I'll buy your deluxe box sets. I'll buy support points. I'll buy a tee shirt now and then.
And I'll try to pay you back with my evangelism of your work.