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It's Not the 15th Birthday of Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the burn-the-cake dept.

Programming 261

Glyn Moody writes "There's been a spate of celebrations of Linux's 15th birthday recently. What they're really marking is the 15th anniversary of version 1.0. But do version numbers matter for free software? The 'release early, release often' approach means there's generally little difference between version 0.99.14z, say, and version 1.0. In fact, drawing attention to such anniversaries is misguided, because it gives the impression that free software is created in the same way as traditional proprietary code, working towards a predetermined end-point according to a top-down plan. So how should we be choosing and celebrating free software's past achievements?"

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Who cares? (5, Funny)

Probie (1353495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254095)

It's an excuse for a party! I celebrate Christmas to but I don't believe in santa.

Re:Who cares? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254213)

Or Jesus for that matter.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254331)

wooosh

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254417)

Why the woosh? Christmas is about Jeasus's birth you fucking moron.

oh I get it, I get it.. "Woosh" because you know you're wrong and are trying to cover your own stupidity..

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

TCP-mHz (606294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254527)

Educate yourself my friend. Christmas is based on non-Christian traditions that were absorbed by Christianity because they could not get people to stop celebrating them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas [wikipedia.org] or if you don't like Wikipedia http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=61264&display_order=2&mini_id=1290 [history.com]

Re:Who cares? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254609)

Christmas is based on non-Christian traditions that were absorbed by Christianity because they could not get people to stop celebrating them.

Although that's true, you're glossing over a little history there. The church couldn't get the countryfolk to stop celebrating Saturnalia, Solistice, etc. so they simply scheduled a Christian service for the same time, and anyone who didn't show up was subject to sanctions (note the root of that word, eh?) up to and including being burned at the stake as a pagan idolater.

Hahahaha! My captcha is "oppress"! Jung wins again!

Re:Who cares? (3, Interesting)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254771)

This is true, I am a Christian and the fact is Jesus was probably not born on Dec 25th does not bother me no more than birthdays of various people (such as Washington's birthday being celebrated on the 3rd Monday of February. As long as its celebrated that's all that matters....he could have been born then but probably not. In around 350 ad, Pope Julius declared that it would be celebrated on December 25. This was to make it easier on the Romans who celebrated their pagan winter solstice holiday on that day...it was called Yule...and this is where the word yuletide came from that is often used to relate to Christmas songs :).

Re:Who cares? (0, Troll)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254857)

I'm sane and the fact that Jesus was probably not born doesn't bother me either.

Re:Who cares? (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254897)

Next you'll be telling me that the Queen wasn't born on the Queen's Birthday! (she wasn't - in fact it's celebrated on different days in different states of Australia) And that the Easter Bunny wasn't born on Easter Sunday! Was I even born on my own birthday?

Re:Who cares? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254975)

Sort of. Christmas is based on non-Christian traditions, but it wasn't entirely Christianity's choice. Constantine (the Roman emperor, not the Hellblazer character) wanted to harmonise religious observance across the empire, and essentially gave Christians a choice: have a party at the time of Saturnalia, or be killed. The strand of Christianity that has come down to us is the strand that chose to have the party. Natural selection in action!

Re:Who cares? (2, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254327)

'So how should we be choosing and celebrating free software's past achievements?'

Well, there are enough projects so that, like saints' days, there is something to celebrate every day. For, celebration involves tasty alcoholic beverages and comfy women (well, woman really; my wife).

Re:Who cares? (1)

Probie (1353495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254835)

I want comfy men! Double standards! humph.

Re:Who cares? (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254329)

You better believe in Santa or the Coca-Cola guys are gonna come to your house and make you believe.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Probie (1353495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254881)

The thought police are comin', the thought police are comin' Tis the season I 3 cola and linux....

Re:Who cares? (1)

Probie (1353495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254907)

damn they removed my symbol "heart"

Yeah Yeah Yeah (5, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254099)

Free software isn't developed according to the same models as proprietary software. We get that. It's just backwards to complain about how people take the time to celebrate the achievements of free software developers.

LK

Re:Yeah Yeah Yeah (3, Funny)

overlordofmu (1422163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254893)

PARTY!!!!!!

*dances*

*dances badly but with passion*

"Release early, release often" (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254113)

I've always thought "release early, release often" is a terrible idea. That just means all your end-users will see the crap you're working on before you do the testing, and get a bad impression of your software right from the get-go. It makes sense to do that *after* you hit 1.0 and have a pretty clean product, but why would you want people forming their first impression of your software from untested development releases?

Re:"Release early, release often" (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254177)

Because waiting YEARS for Vista sucked, and the end product sucked even harder after all that wait... that's why.

Re:"Release early, release often" (2, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254251)

The OP obviosuly wishes more software projects were like Vista.

You know, announced before it was begun, released before it was stable, out of date before it was fixed, over-priced, under-supported, and just plain crap !

Me, I'll choose evolution over revolution because it seems to work well for other complex systems too.

Re:"Release early, release often" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254447)

Except for our government; sometimes a Revolution is a necessity.

Re:"Release early, release often" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254577)

Except for the UK government; sometimes a Revolution is a necessity.

fixed now.

Re:"Release early, release often" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254693)

Given the level of complexity and the general short-livedness of government, revolution could be the exact problem of why they haven't evolved into better implementations. If you want to get your government working better, help it move into the electronic era. So many government agencies don't realize computers are not just electronic filing cabinets. The government is still full of paper pushers that just do not get it. And most of the next generation coming in also doesn't get it.

If you tear apart the bureaucracy, you begin at square one in establishing the next one. Unless you happen to have an army of e-savvy bureaucrats at your disposal?

Re:"Release early, release often" (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254305)

At least it worked. That's better than most "released early" open source software I've tried.

Re:"Release early, release often" (0, Flamebait)

Altreus (1492723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254929)

This seems debatable. I would consider any operating system that periodically required a reboot, had security holes and was notorious for crashing to come under the heading of 'not working'.

This is why we have release versions. 1.0 means "it works now". A version of 1 means "might go wrong".

What version is Vista, then, given that it "might go wrong"?

Re:"Release early, release often" (4, Interesting)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254227)

Release early, release often, release statements of current functionality. Seriously, no non-geek is going to be installing software that isn't test by some bff geek anyway. So release early and often so the geeks can help guide its direction and give feedback.

Re:"Release early, release often" (5, Funny)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254263)

I've always thought "release early, release often" is a terrible idea.

My wife tells me the same thing.

Re:"Release early, release often" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254773)

It wouldn't be so bad if you did release often, instead of falling asleep afterwards so she has to come over to my place to relieve the frustration.

Re:"Release early, release often" (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254311)

I don't seem to remember many people complaining about Mozilla Phoenix/Firebird, not-so-many years ago when it hadn't even reached 1.0 ...

Re:"Release early, release often" (1)

darkvad0r (1331303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254325)

well, the point is to get people to test it so you can know if it's carp or not and why it's crap. Release early, release often doesn't necessarily mean that you release it to customers.

Re:"Release early, release often" (5, Funny)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254871)

well, the point is to get people to test it so you can know if it's carp or not

Damn straight. I always want to know if there's anything fishy about the software I use.

Re:"Release early, release often" (1)

adyroman (878107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254381)

I think this may depend on the software development model. The "release early, release often" probably works well when you just add small bits of functionality that are properly tested, and that slowly build up to a level where they collectively constitute a greater goal. To achieve this you need to have refined business requirements, properly trained devs, and a good set of check in and test procedures. I believe this software development model is called Rapid Application Development (RAD), where you have many small code-test-release cycles.

On the other side of the coin is the traditional waterfall model, where "release early, release often" creates a complete mess. Since the product is not supposed to do anything meaningful until it's all coded, pre-releases are crap, and so are intermediate releases. It only makes sense to release once you're at the end of a cycle when using this model.

And there are many examples of free software products that have clear goals, and use version number below 1 until they reach the desired set of goals, where they call their product "1.0" or something like that. In the meantime, they can still be useful. WINE is just the first that comes to mind.

Re:"Release early, release often" (4, Insightful)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254415)

I personally would not argue with Linus on how to run a successful open source project. You, of course, can do what you want.

Re:"Release early, release often" (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254477)

How exactly do you plan on having an open-source project if you don't release it?

Re:"Release early, release often" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254495)

I guess open source projects work differently from commercial projects. They don't have that much expectations to live up to.

Re:"Release early, release often" (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254539)

The point about "release early, release often" is that you do it to people who are aware that it is not the final version, and who will give you constructive feedback....

Ordinary users who will at best say "It didn't work" are not your target audience....they are the people who you give v1.01 Stable release to ....

The reason Vista is hated so much is it's usability, which beta releases should have found and corrected, but the Beta testers seemed to all be people who didn't complain enough?

Re:"Release early, release often" (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254701)

Whether it's bad or good depends on your target audience. If your software is intended for geeks interested in giving feedback or directly helping with project development it's good to get that feedback early and often. If your software is intended for Average Joe User who just wants it to work with little or no hassle so he can do what he needs to do and get on with his day, then you're better off waiting until you have a pretty clean product.

Re:"Release early, release often" (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254865)

The people seeing these fast releases aren't the end-users, but rather people that will be actively involved in the project and contributing back (coding, testing, etc.). This creates a fast feedback cycle. It's the core of running the development "bazaar", if you will.

After OpenBSD opened up their code repositories for anyone to read, everyone else started doing it. This pushed even further, so that anyone could access the exact state of a project at any time.

Linux' Birthday is ... (5, Funny)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254119)

when Linus says it is. He has final approval on any birth date.

Here's one that will last forever... (3, Funny)

Quarters (18322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254125)

Start celebrating the years when someone says, "This will be the year that Linux will take over the desktop."

Re:Here's one that will last forever... (2, Funny)

silent_artichoke (973182) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254515)

That's more like a drinking game around here...

Ummm yes... (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254149)

But do version numbers matter for free software?

Version numbers matter to the average user. If you have a product that takes years to break version 1.0, the uninitiated will wonder why it took you so long to "get it working." This question is another example of how many FOSS developers and advocates don't understand the basic psychology of the masses.

Re:Ummm yes... (3, Insightful)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254293)

Right... the masses... Lets perform a psychology "experiment" here. Ask any non-geek what version number of any piece of software they are running. Hell, ask them for the name of that software. Most cannot answer either. Generally, "the masses" only know a couple things "this is my internet", "this is how I type stuff", "this is how I email", etc.

Re:Ummm yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254465)

How many problem reports have I received over the years saying "Microsoft is not working". Yes, Ma'am, but which Microsoft?

Re:Ummm yes... (1)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254469)

For me, version 1.0 indicates that the software application at the very least contains the minimal amount of functionality, help files and documentation needed to comply with its mission statement.

So, if I search for a password manager tool and find one that's at version 0.35d, I'm wondering: "what is missing from this software that would actually make it a password manager?" Maybe there is no encryption of the datafiles? Maybe the developer still wants to include a print report function but hasn't had time yet? Maybe there is a occasional corruption bug that messes up the datafiles 1 time out of 1000000 saves?

Version 1.0 means: "Minimally feature complete".

Re:Ummm yes... (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254681)

So, if I search for a password manager tool and find one that's at version 0.35d, I'm wondering: "what is missing from this software that would actually make it a password manager?" Maybe there is no encryption of the datafiles? Maybe the developer still wants to include a print report function but hasn't had time yet? Maybe there is a occasional corruption bug that messes up the datafiles 1 time out of 1000000 saves?

Or maybe nothing is missing at all.

Re:Ummm yes... (1)

Aexia (517457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254899)

Which means the programmer doesn't have any confidence in his/her product to declare it finished.

So why would I want to use it?

Re:Ummm yes... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254913)

Or maybe nothing is missing at all.

Then the project lead should officially tag it as '1.0' to let the world know that no essential functionality is missing.

Version numbers have meaning, or at least used to prior to 1995. If the developers have designated a release as version 0.35d, you'd be a fool to entrust it with any critical or sensitive information.

Usenet post? (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254165)

Isn't the most logical Linux birthday when Linus first posted his code for others to improve upon? If memory serves me correctly it was a Usenet post?

Re:Usenet post? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254441)

No I think I would stay at the version 1 release.

As after version 1.0 was released it was actually started to be used as a real OS for non-kernel developers. Other apps may be different. I have been using the text editor jed for nearly 15 years as well and it is still not version 1.0.

However Linux has a more sane Version Number system, so it is fair to use 1.0 for its birth date. Other systems not so much.

Re:Usenet post? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254623)

As after version 1.0 was released it was actually started to be used as a real OS for non-kernel developers.

My company was running its corporate mailserver on a Slackware distro using kernel 0.9 something in 1993. Compiling your own kernel was compulsory in those days - I think Slackware came with a minimal kernel to get you bootstrapped.

Re:Usenet post? (3, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254457)

I believe the most logical choice for the Linux birthday is to take whatever date is median to Linus Torvald's birthday and UNIX's birthday.

Re:Usenet post? (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254649)

pardon me, sir, but that would be truly stupid.

How to celebrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254179)

So how should we be choosing and celebrating free software's past achievements?"

With hookers and blackjack. Duh.

End Point is nothing to do with age (1)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254185)

" predetermined end-point according to a top-down plan"

Even if FOSS isn't working to an 'end-point', it still ages. Why does having an age attached to it imply it has an end point or an overall plan? (See also: The anniversary of the war in Iraq)

Nag nag nag (1)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254207)

Nag nag nag, my 0.12c version has more features then your 1.0, nag nag nag, Linux isn't a operating system, GNU is a operating system and Linux is just the kernel, nag nag nag, no rules, great scotch, nag nag nag, GPL is great!, nag nag nag

In reply, I'll be succinct: Shut up bitch.

Honestly? (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254215)

Who gives a shit?!

To be honest, I think that this might be part of the reason half the world is having trouble adopting to open source software. It's like a freshman trying to date a senior. GROW UP!

Major versions matter (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254217)

As long as the developer still has the human trait of assigning meanings to numbers, any major version X will have a gravity that version X-1.9.Z does not. Barring minor versions that happen to match up to pi, prime numbers, fibonacci sequences, etc.

Consciously or subconsciously, someone is saying "what happens next is different", otherwise they'd just make it a point release, or pick a different versioning system.

Re:Major versions matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254841)

As long as the developer still has the human trait of assigning meanings to numbers, any major version X will have a gravity that version X-1.9.Z does not. Barring minor versions that happen to match up to pi, prime numbers, fibonacci sequences, etc.

Consciously or subconsciously, someone is saying "what happens next is different", otherwise they'd just make it a point release, or pick a different versioning system.

This is why in my projects I always version to the following system: major.minor.howevermanyneeded.buildnumber

The PHB's can call it whatever they want. "Oh it's 1.75.b now? OK" I just put the build number on the end and know exactly what I'm dealing with. If the phb's don't want the build number displayed I just bury it as an easter egg where it's most convenient for me to find it.

This also makes the labelling of the software more agile as regards specification versions. Specifications are really where version numbers come into play as they're still developed in a chunkier fashion. Eventually they get ratified or signed-off and published as an artifact. Then they get implmented. This line is obviously being blurred these days as the process takes too long (see: 802.11).

When specifications start getting worked on collaboratively in a wiki (It's probably already happened) then we'll start needed a method for linking the source to a snapshot of the specification. Has anyone dealt with this yet?

The first ship date (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254237)

If you don't like the 1.0 milestone, then use first time someone outside the developers (collaborative or otherwise) of the product themselves could actually get the product to use it.

I still have an old .9-something Yggdrasil Linux on CD I bought at a university bookstore back before 1.0 was out, and I definitely wasn't one of the developers for Linux.

2000 all over again (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254265)

After about the 100th anal-retentive jackass to smugly point out "2001 is the ACTUAL start of the millennium, you know!" I just started punching them.

Re:2000 all over again (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254423)

Are you sure it wasn't the 99th, since your counting system evidently begins with zero?

Re:2000 all over again (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254523)

No, it's 100. You see, my counting system is based it on an arbitrary number that some monk incorrectly calculated in the first place--and I'm too stupid a jackass to realize it.

Seriously ? (1)

ad0n (1171681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254283)

That's like saying to your little girl, "It's not really your puppy's birthday honey, it's only the anniversary of its adoption".

Just enjoy the party and stop politicizing the invite.

Re:Seriously ? (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254501)

And, really, shouldn't we be celebrating the day the puppy was *conceived*?

Re:Seriously ? (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254555)

That would be celebrating the conceptionday, not the birthday. Inconceivable!

Who cares? (1)

grendian (987720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254309)

So it's been 15 years since 1.0. I'll drink to that. There's got to be a reason Linus designated the code worthy of 1.0 status. It may be kind of arbitrary for a first birthday, but like I said.. who cares? It's Linux, it's awesome, it's been around for at least 15 years. Specific dates are irrelevant.

Re:Who cares? (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254587)

All birthdays are arbitrary.

Why do we celebrate our age from the time of exiting our mother's womb? Why not conception? And what is a year exactly? Calendar year, sidereal year, local time or standard Earth time? How about if I travelled faster and slower during the year, and relativity effects kick in? How do we know the dates are correct? Humanity's obsession with these things is fascinating, and I get caught in it myself sometimes, but then I stand back and realize it's all arbitrary.

Yet it is not meaningless. The point isn't to celebrate the specific day or year, but to select a moment to celebrate an event that means something to us. The date selection might be arbitrary, or incorrect, but that's not the point. We are celebrating a reasonably long time (around 15 years) of the Linux kernel having been established and reaching a point where it was stable enough that the main developer chose to give it a 1.0 version.

How? That's easy. Why? Because we can. (4, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254315)

So how should we be choosing and celebrating free software's past achievements?"

Booze. Lots and lots of Booze. And strippers. Lots of strippers. And pie. Gotta have some pie.

Re:How? That's easy. Why? Because we can. (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254977)

How will we celebrate? Well apparently we celebrate by doing what all slashdot-posting, Linux-loving nerds love to do - argue over pedantic details!

shut the fuck up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254333)

shut the fuck up

Re:shut the fuck up (0, Troll)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254643)

oh, i wish i had mod points for +1 insightful.

15 years old (1)

oreoferret (1504355) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254347)

I still have my, 9 pin dot matrix printed, copy of the Linux Installation manual from March 1992 :) So CLEARLY it is > 15 years old

Birthday. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254353)

2 other points:
-Celebrating a birthday dow not make it better software. So this is pointless anyway.

-Linux was not born. In fact it is questionable if it was conceived 9 months earlier. You know, to write a OS is nerdy, and nerdy was not hot 15 years ago.

And 15? you can watch porn now with linux, no reason to wait 3 more years.

Whole numbers in versions = big deal (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254357)

When going from #.99 to a whole number (version 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) it is a BIG deal actually. Even going from 0.99zzz to 1.0 is a big milestone. The changes are fairly significant and the software has reached a maturity the developer(s) believe warrant that. Now I am speaking in the traditional/ideology sense...I am sure some people put out version 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, n+1, where N>0 but in a traditional sense...version 1 = big milestone. I wouldn't celebrate it as it's birthday. Getting to version 1.0 is like a Jewish boy getting to age 13...big deal, but the kid was still born 13 years before that time.

boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254359)

Glyn Moody is the most boring person in the entire history of the universe.

Re:boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254783)

No, the guy who removes any post critical of his beloved purveyors of overhyped, overpriced, underhardwared junk is.

http://images.slashdot.org/hc/11/50ae838c7097.jpg [slashdot.org]

I've been using it longer than 15 years. (3, Informative)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254363)

Yea this is an annoying trend. I used Linux for a year or two before it hit the 1.0 kernel. The 0.99 releases were very useful at the time, and in many ways better than the SCO release that cost BIG money for a PC unix.

A real milestone (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254365)

Maybe Linus' birthday would be a clear cut milestone?

Celebrating Linux is like Celebrating the Holocaus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254391)

There is more to life than giving Jews the same treatment they give the rest of the world.

Re:Celebrating Linux is like Celebrating the Holoc (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254517)

I'm confused. Is this an insult to Linux or to Jews?

free as in speech or free as in love? (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254483)

So how should we be choosing and celebrating free software's past achievements?"

Declare it must be 5-o'clock somewhere, start drinking.

yeah but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254507)

Yeah but the second it turns 18 I will lose all interest...

Linux is not a mammal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254519)

nor is it anything that can be given birth to.

Much older then 15 years. (3, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254533)

We all know that Linux was made in 1979 [wikipedia.org] .

[yes this is a joke post]

Might as well celebrate Windows 3.1 (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254541)

That release of linux bears as much resemblance to the stuff running today as W3.1 does to Vista. There's nothing to be gained from drawing parallels between the two, so celebrating v1.0 as the "birth" of Linux, as people understand Linux today, is bogus.

Anyhow, the first usable releases, such as the one I started on: 0.96 came out a couple of years earlier

why? (1)

bickle (101226) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254549)

"So how should we be choosing and celebrating free software's past achievements?" Obviously by being as annoyingly pedantic as possible.

In Korea (4, Insightful)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254551)

In Korea, you are 1 year old the minute you are born. In most other countries you are considered 0 years old until your first birthday.
It's a different way of counting.

You can consider software (such as Linux) beginning as the first line of code is written, or when the idea was first conceived, or when it was first on the internet, etc. Most people consider version 1.0 to be more of the official "birth" of software.
It's a different way of counting.



Both are correct when thinking of them from different perspectives. To understand this requires mental flexibility in your ways of thinking.

As a further illustration:
The argument presented in both the article and summary:

there's generally little difference between version 0.99.14z, say, and version 1.0

There's generally little difference between a fetus the day before it's born and the day after it's born. But culture generally starts counting after it's born and not at conception. Computer culture often starts counting at v1.0

Re:In Korea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254775)

So Gmail doesn't exist yet?

Re:In Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254909)

I cant wait for ffmpeg to be born, I hear it will make video on Linux much easier in the future, maybe even as soon as in the next decade.

Remember the Millenium (2, Insightful)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254565)

Despite the quite correct statement by a few people that the millenium changed Jan 1 2001, the vast majority of people ignored that and celebrated the arrival of 2000 as the new millenium. No matter how right you are about Linux's age etc., the vast majority will completely fail to notice you and your dogmatic assertions, and will enjoy themselves in spite of you.

Its over 40 years old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254581)

Linux was a clone of Minix, which was a clone of the then 20 year old Unix, which was set set up by some nerds doing research at ATT / Berkeley. Then there was X11 which was developed in the 80s to allow Unixes compete with Mac which then followed KDE/GNOME in 1998.

When it comes to evolution, we are all super-ancestors from the same primordial the soup of "0.1" version of RNA/DNA.

Simple... (1)

jacksinn (1136829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254637)

Celebrate early and often! Free parties with free beer!

Faulty Anniversary Inductive Logic (FAIL) (1)

wykell (1323665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254639)

By this "logic" it doesn't make sense to celebrate birthdays or wedding anniversaries either, as most babies, are more or less the same in the days and weeks before they are born. By the same token, many couples are engaged well before they are married, and begin to live a life very similar to what married life will be like for them. Humans LOVE to celebrate anniversaries (except for Jehovah's Witnesses, I've never really understood that), and we need SOME sort of reference point. version 1.0 or whatever whole integer people use seems to be that for software. Except Google, they don't care and will always keep things in beta.

Jeez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254683)

Lay off the "Mr Logic" juice.

Shit like this is why nerds are looked down upon by the wider society. Nobody really cares if the anniversery is exact. Let it go.

celebrate linux (1)

argontechnologies (865043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254725)

I celebrate linux every day.... It runs on ALL of my servers.

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27254801)

Well going by the v1.0 is the birth of a project, then Wine is very young

Thanks for pointing this out (3, Funny)

joeyblades (785896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254831)

I, for one, do not plan to attend the parade, now that I know it's all a misguided sham...

Unbirthday (1)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254895)

Well if it's *not* the birthday of Linux who cares? It just happens to be one of 363 other UNbirthdays, all of which require celebration in a manner of your choice. "A very merry unbirthday, to you!"

I think you're analyzing it too much (3, Insightful)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27254999)

If you think about birthdays among people, they don't simply grow on the date of their birth. They are constantly growing and learning and developing. Birthdays are commemmorative events that celebrate when someone joined a specific family (or the human family in general). That's really not that different than what you described regarding open sources software.

Perhaps "anniversary" would be a better term. A marriage rarely has its beginnings at the altar or in front of the justice of the peace. The persons involved typically began interacting with each other, learning, and growing together before the date of the actual ceremony, yet we celebrate their anniversary on the date they made their public vows in front of witnesses. I can see a parallel between pre-release and beta editions culminating with a public 1.0 release (or whatever the given name or number of a product may be). I don't see it as a disservice to the open source community to mark such milestones. In fact, if they were to describe the development process similarly to how I described it here--as an ongoing, growing, developing thing--it might actually mean more to some people.

In any case, observing a birthday or anniversary holds powerful meaning regardless of the context (human or inanimate): it means the person or the thing survived the test of time. That's why so many businesses are quick to proclaim "...since 1933", "...established 2006", or similar sentiments that convey age. They understand that people tend to trust established brands, thinking (consciously or subconsciously), "if they've been around that long, they can't be too bad," or, "if they've been around that long, there's a good chance they'll still be around in a few years if I need to exercise my warranty rights."

So, for me, I'll say happy anniversary Linux. You've had a good start. I'm looking forward to what the next 50 years will bring.
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