The Good Parts
I’m a big open source advocate and spend quite a bit of my spare time contributing to various open source projects. Everything form managing full projects such as Sigil, and KDocker. Also, heavily contributing to projects such as calibre. As well as doing one off patches and filing bug reports to various projects I use.
I believe in the open source philosophy to the extent that I’ve even gotten permission to push patches upstream to open source projects we use internally at work (fully compliant with the licensing) such as PenLight.
At work we use Linux on all of our development work stations and on our servers. The concept of running into an issue and being able to open a bug report or push a patch that fixes the issue is an amazing concept. In practice it works so well. I do work for a commercial software company and our core project is not open source but that doesn’t diminish our use of, reliance on and our love of open source. We even supply full code freely on our website for products surrounding our core application (which it self is closed source). So while we’re not fully open source we are somewhat and becoming more and more each day.
Even the variety of licenses (while some see as a bad thing) I think is a great thing. Most people and even I’ve had issues where trying to get two libraries working together has been hard due to incpompatibilies in the license. But you know what. The differences allow the author of the code to really determine how they want their code to be used. Such as the GPL which doesn’t allow the code to be incorporated into a proprietary project while the MIT license does. I see this choice as a huge benefit.
This even extends to distros themselves. There are so many out there that you can find the one that really works for you and does what you need. The point is open source allows choice and allows people to take an existing project, keep it from dying or even extend it in their own way.
I realize that this has been more about open source in general than linux distros but the two are intricately tied together.
The Bad Parts
This is why I refuse to support (building and running is supported but I mean as far as providing help) for Linux users. Linux packagers (I work on multiple projects including Sigil) rarely communicate with upstream and are often hostile and uncommunicative when upstream tries to reach out to them to resolve any issues they may have. I simply have no desire to waste my time or effort reaching out to every distro to see if they have any issues or complaints. If they have an issue they know how to reach me and we can talk about it. But they don’t!
So… Tell me what’s wrong and I can look into resolving the issue. If you have patches that don’t break multi-platform support I’ll review them. But not communicating with upstream (me) won’t get any changes or fixes integrated into the upstream code.
I should say at this point that not all distros have this attitude. Arch Linux for example has always been very good and positive about pushing issues upstream. This is really an issues with the attitude some (but not all) distros have toward upstream.