Why not Wikipedia?

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Wikipedia is great. It is to general knowledge what GNU/Linux and FLOSS are to software. This site even runs on the same FLOSS software. And some of the contents of this site has indirectly come from Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia encompasses all general knowledge. It is not a guide.

Though you could spend many more hours putting together the information you require to get GNU/Linux up and running, this site is a far better guide. Wikipedia gives you too much information! Although I like teaching others about the history of this or that software, I've made an effort to balance the benefits of knowing what you're using with the need to have succinct, practical information available to actually make things work. I am a firm believer that you should take the time to understand the world around you, rather than living in it uncritically. And so I have included some of that information, which is a little more than what you need to make things work. But I have also made sure to significantly cut down on additional details so that you can get things done. I can also include some humor and indicate personal preferences here, which is not possible on Wikipedia (unless everyone agrees with you to call it "objective").

Why did I write this page? Because some years ago I put up another wiki. It was a collaborative effort on another topic. Although several people contributed, it suffered some technical issues and even after getting it back up other individuals commented that it was a redundant effort, since Wikipedia was available. Whole swaths of our work was copied wholesale and posted on Wikipedia. Although the license we chose allowed this, this was very demoralizing. This was a volunteer work, and we chose to fund it ourselves, without any expectation of monetary return. The project failed, in part because of this.

I don't mind if someone uses my work for educational purposes or in some other work, as long as credit is given. But I do mind others rendering my efforts worthlessly "redundant". Although I believe strongly in FLOSS, unlike some of its other advocates, I do see a place for copyrights and patents. Perhaps if I were rich or even earning a lofty salary, I wouldn't mind as much in practice, though the principle still stands. As it is, credit to this site is all I want. I won't even put ads on here because I believe they give very little gain while tainting the site with unnecessary tracking, and visual clutter.

This is why I've chosen a different license for the content of this site. If you want to do more with the content than the license permits, there's an old tradition to go by: Ask. In fact, I would love it if somebody liked this guide so much they wanted to do something more with it.

If you appreciate this site, don't hesitate to drop me a line. I really appreciate hearing from people who have benefited from my work, even if its something as simple as this guide. In the age of information and connectivity, we are all so disconnected from each other because our machines make it too easy to do things without directly interacting. But an e-Mail can compensate for that. Thank you.

--Gnuguru (talk) 03:17, 25 November 2014 (CST)