Thank you, to everyone on this list, for making VO what it is, whether you
communicated feature wishes, documentation, scripts, feedback, portability or
You might wonder what prompted this. On a Linux list (not GoLUG), someone made
the point that Free Software people shouldn't evangelize or help businesses
because "businesses take but they don't contribute back".
I and several others made the point that businesses create more Linux users,
which in turn creates incentive for manufacturers to write better drivers and
release better specs. Recently I needed to acquire and configure (with Linux)
a laptop very quickly. What would have been trivial in the Windows world has
taken over 40 hours working around all the various hardware in my new laptop
that neither the device manufacturers nor Compaq bothered to make Linux
drivers or even Linux documentation for. This has probably cost me over a
thousand dollars in lost and delayed sales, and my point is that if Linux had
even 30% market share, manufacturers wouldn't dare treat us like this, and I
wouldn't have lost that money.
What does this have to do with VO? When I first conceived of VO in 2001, my
attitude was "I'm not gonna spend any time on Windows portability -- let the
Windows users go without VO -- nobody in the Windows world ever did anything
for me." In other words, the same attitude as the guy on the Linux list.
Once the project got bigger than Noel, Matej and myself, lots of Windows users
came in, created a Windows version, added documentation, scripts and add-ons,
and perhaps most importantly, feedback, ideas, mindshare, and "market share".
All of this helped create a much better VO, which helps all of us every day.
A project isn't just the guys who write the code. A big, vibrant and
intelligent user community is what makes a truly great project. Thanks to all
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