The Lino vision

The basic long-term idea behind the Lino project is developed below in a few steps:

  • We believe that software must be free. Details in About software and copyright.

  • The free world has already an operating system, an office suite, several good frameworks for developing web and desktop applications, and many other projects that are steadily gaining users.

  • But until now there is no sustainably free solution for developing customized database application. The market for this business is currently dominated by a few proprietary giants.

  • We believe that the Lino framework has the potential of becoming a solution for this problem.

  • At the moment this potential is merely visible to investors and stakeholders. A framework like Lino actually needs a reliable international organization as carrier. Some important features are still missing or unfinished. There is much work to do to bring Lino to the next level so that it can grow from a project with a handful of developers into a reliable international infrastructure.

  • The reason for this is obvious: Rumma & Ko Ltd as the motor behind Lino is a family-sized private corporation who wants to remain small.

  • The job of bringing Lino to the next level must be done by a non-profit organization. Even if Rumma & Ko would decide to become big and do this job, this wouldn’t be a solution. Sooner or later they would turn Lino into something which is no longer really free. A private corporation with limited responsibility is not a valid candidate for the job of bringing Lino to the next level. This role must be played by an organization that does not have any private interest.

  • That’s why Lino needs a foundation like the PSF the DSF or the WMF, or a similar legal person.

Advantage : How Lino is different

Primary target users of Lino applications are organizations who need a customized application and do not have their own in-house developer. Such organisations are traditionally doomed to agree to some level of vendor lock-in. Lino applications avoid vendor lock-in because both the source code and documentation are published under a permissive Free Software license.

The advantage of Lino versus other frameworks is a reduced total cost of ownership. Most parts of a development project become easier and cheaper for the site operator. This includes analysis, writing a prototype, adapting your application to changed needs and long-term maintenance. Lino applications are “more reliable and maintainable than MS-Access for cheaper than SAP”.

See also Business model.