Chris Walden, here, Managing Editor for Linux and Open Source on developerWorks and creator of this "Real World Linux" community. I wanted to share something with all of you as we close out 2012. PC World, a publication that is not necessarily known for pushing Linux had a recent article: Five reasons 2012 was a great year for Linux. If you are feeling discouraged about spreading more Linux around your life, it may pick you up a little. If you already have plenty of Linux and want to help other people understand it might bring them round.
I know that many see this as a silly sort of discussion, but those people have never used a spoke shave.
Spokeshaves. (Photo by Malene Thyssen)
A spoke shave is an unusual tool, born from a time when there was a need to quickly and consistently create rounded objects for the spokes of wagon wheels. The are a sort of draw knife which allow you to pare a piece of wood, similar to how a peeler works on the skin of a cucumber. Using one is a little awkward at first, but with practice you can shave and shape wood in miraculous ways. Oh, there are other tools that can be used in similar ways, but once you have practice with a spokeshave they are clumsy and inefficient.
I don't want Linux to be the only choice. Mac OS, Windows and other operating systems have their places and any serious technical professional should be willing to support whatever fits the needs of the users, some of which are just personal comfort. For me, though, Linux has become a sort of a spokeshave. I like the way it feels. I've learned some of the ltitle tricks to making it do what I want and how I want and anything else is just a little clumsy. It looks like it will continue to be a choice and maybe a bit more.
Happy New Year!