LEGO vs Playmobil

I know I’m late to coming across this, but I found a presentation where someone was explaining the idea behind Fedora.next where there are 3 core products: Fedora Server, Fedora Workstation, and Fedora Cloud. But I also think it works rather well if you think of Gnu/Linux distros as LEGO sets and Windows/OSX as Playmobil. (Also, I’m now at the point in my life where I realize the benefits of each system, although I still think people should have the right to explore code they run)

One of the related (and perpetual) community discussions centers around what exactly Fedora is. Traditionally, the answer is: we take the “raw plastic” of the software out there in the universe and we mold it into high-precision Lego bricks, and users can plug them together. “Here! Here are your bricks. It’s Fedora! We’ve made these bricks nice and pretty and you can put them together however you want!”

Another approach in operating system design is Playmobil. It’s a playset, you buy it, it’s a castle with a knight, and that’s what you get. No assembly required — you can take it out of the box and start playing with it right away.

So, a lot of people feel this tension between “here’s your bricks” and “here’s your playset”, and are worried that with Fedora products is that we are going to take away your bricks, give you a set, and if you don’t like it, too bad for you.

But actually, we are doing something different

We can ship sets… without taking away the basic blocks.

The idea is: we can take some of our bricks, and we can ship those as sets. And maybe even, unlike Lego, we will ship them preassembled for you, but we’re not gluing them together, and we’re not getting rid of the basic supply of bricks. You can build other things — we want you to build other things. If you want to take apart the sets we ship and reassemble them into something else, that’s great, although when you do that, it should be clear that you no longer have the official set, you have your new asteroid mining complex or whatever. Share your creations, maybe even make new sets.

By the way, growing up, I was a huge LEGO geek and hated Playmobil. Now I love Linux…coincidence?

Author: Eric Mesa

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