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Ask Bruce Perens About Linux and Open Source

Roblimo posted more than 10 years ago | from the staunch-advocates dept.

Businesses 403

A lot is going on these days, ranging from the endlessly amusing SCO soap opera to plenty of mostly positive news about Linux and Open Source adoption by both corporate and government users, not to mention an increasing number of commercial applications being ported to Linux. And, of course, LinuxWorld is right around the corner. Bruce Perens is certainly as appropriate a person as any to help us get a handle on the current (and possibly future) state of Linux and Open Source. We'll send him 10 of the highest moderated questions, and post his answers as soon as he gets them back to us. As usual, one question per post, please, and don't bother asking questions that can easily be answered with a couple of minutes' worth of online research.

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403 comments

Bruce? (4, Interesting)

James A. A. Joyce (681634) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551760)

What do you feel is the greatest threat to the open source movement? Is the threat corporate, legal, self-inflicted, or a mixture of both?

(Oh, and FP.)

Re:Bruce? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551826)

A failed FP should definately not be getting modded up. Please mod the parent down, regardless of his questions!

Greatest threat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551869)

Asteriod Impact

Re:Bruce? (1)

Elbow Macaroni (315256) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551925)

Greatest threat so far has been people who think free means not good quality. Also people who are too lazy to learn.

I think if people just see a button on the screen they can click on they'll do that before they read anything. So the 2nd danger would be people's laziness.

What the fuck? MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551933)

Some modbombing craphat is trying to drive-by moderate the parent with Overrateds. Counteract his cowardly bullshit!

Re:What the fuck? MOD PARENT UP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551997)

But he mentioned 3 threats, so he cannot say "a mixture of both". He probably meant "a mixture of boat". Let him fix his question and moderate the new version instead.

Dear Bruce Perens (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552060)

what's better?

(a) Open Source and Linux

or

(b) Sex with a mare

Dear Bruce (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551765)

Who died and made you pope?

Dear Mr. Perens (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551766)

When will Linux be as good as Windows. Thank you.

That TV series (0, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551775)

How did you feel when they changed yourt name from "Bruce Perens" to "David Perens" in the TV series? And what are your opinions of the new Ang Lee movie?

Re:That TV series (4, Funny)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552006)

Do you often find that people confuse you with other easily typable names: Bruce Brackets? Bruce Curly-Braces? And the like?

Bruce () does however, rock.

Any background moves? (5, Insightful)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551778)

Are you aware of any background moves by the major players in this farce that could bring a speedy resolution? Or, do you have any hopes for a speedy resolution?

Re:Any background moves? (1, Funny)

caluml (551744) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551984)

I would be very pleased if you could include some more information about yourself in your sig - it seems to be quite empty at the moment.

Open Source is not the issue - Its the image (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551779)

I wonder if Slashdot readers have thought about the opinion of the general public of Open Source/GNU/Linux etc.

I have been involved in the marketing (dirty word I know!) of software and hardware to non-technical people for a number of years. The consultancy group I work for numbers many of America's top blue-chip electronics and software corporations among its clients, I have over 11 years experience of marketing, and 4 years experience of software development (VB) and systems administration (NT 3.51), in addition to a marketing science qualification from one of America's top business schools - so it's safe to say that I know what I am talking about when it comes to computers and marketing.

I have been keeping an eye this forum for quite some time now, as part of my daily intelligence gathering, I find the robust exchange of views, and technical arguments make an interesting diversion from some of the other corporate bullshit I have to deal with in my working day. I also read corporate intelligence reports from the Gartner group, Forrester, the Meta group, and Olsen Online Business Intelligence Services. $lashdot has often proved to be far more accurate when it comes to the technical details,and I am often amazed at the incredible levels of intelligence and insight shown by its readership, some of whom demonstrate a knowledge of Linux and Operating systems far in advance of anyone I have ever met, even in the IS department of major corporations. For this reason, I feel I should contribute my 2c to the debate about the future direction of Linux and the whole Open Source movement in general.

I feel I can do my bit for the Open Source community by offering (free of charge) some of my hard-earned knowledge straight from the bloody trenches at the front-line of tech-Marketing. Normally I would be paid over $4000/day for my perspective, but $lashdot - this one's on me. You people can think of it as my small and unworthy attempt to "give something back" to the Community.

Why Linux/Open Source has an image problem in major US Corporations and what the community can do about it. Like any movment, political or religious, Open Source/Linux has its Leaders, High priests and Gurus. These high profile individuals represent the public face of the organization. Like it or not, these people are associated with the product in the eyes of the buying public. One of the first things the Linux movement must do in order to gain acceptence by middle-America and Joe-and-Jean Sixpack and their 2.4 kids, is to develop what we in the Marketing profession call a "Happy Face".

When Joe Sixpack drives past a McDonald's, he associates it with the smiling face of Ronald McDonald the clown,and quality food served quickly. When he is choosing a collect-call company, the smiling face of Al Bundy (of TV's Married with Children) springs to mind, and when he thinks of fried chicken in large capacity bucket-like containers, it is the image of the happy-go-lucky avuncular Colonel with his associations of good old Southern hospitality that sticks in his memory. (In marketing terms this is known as a "positive association". Because the image puts the consumer into a "buying-receptive" mental state).

Linux/Open Source lacks any kind of "Happy Face". Now this in itself is not a problem, were it not for the fact that Linux has several extremely high-profile advocates who are the exact opposite of "Happy Faces" in that they invite negative associations into the consumers head and put him/her into a state known by Marketers as "passive-aggressive sales-message rejection" (In layman's terms they don't want to buy the product).

Now, I will not lower the tone of the debate by naming names. I will give a few brief profiles and community members will know who I am talking about.

In reverse order of harmfullness we have the laconic, dour nothern European. Not known for his sense of hunor, and with far too many nights spent coding when he should have been out partying he creates an image of Linux as the OS of choice for "friendless geeks who never got laid". (note - I do not subscribe to this viewpoint, but trust me some of my focus group members do).

Then we have the good old gun-toting libertarian self-proclaimed open source guru. Although M.R. studies show that 78% of PC owners show right-wing bias this person is too wacko and off-the scale for them. He alienates them, and in the worst case scares them that they risk being physically harmed if they don't agree with his fundamentalist libertarian "philosophy".

Finally we have a bearded Communist hippy. Do I need to say any more ?

So the normal consumer associates Linux with a sucicidal friendless nerd from some godforsaken corner of Northern Europe, a plainly insane right wing lunatic, and an "alternative lifestyle" Communist throwback to Woodstock with a facial hair problem. Is it any wonder that time after time, the message comes back from my focus groups that Linux is for wierdos ?

Here are a few example comments from a focus group session from Q3 1999 in response to a question about their attitudes to Linux and open source software, you'll get the general idea.

Linux - that's that geek system right ?
I tried Linux but it was too hard for me to install, then that guy flamed me on the newsgroups
I don't want any Open Source software because it is written by communists and I am concerned about security
My boss says Linux was written by Communists and Gun-Nuts
Linux is used by Communists who hate capitalism and Microsoft
Open source software cannot be any good because it is written by college students and hackers.
Linux is not compatible with my USB peripherals
I would like to try Linux but my buddies would think I was a Commie
I could go on and on with these genuine responses, but I think I've illustrated my point well enough. Linux has a serious image problem.

What to do about it is more problematic. Open Source proponents and Linux advocates are fiercely independent and proud of their alternative stance. They see any form of marketing as "selling out to da man" or "not groking it" or becoming a "suit" Any mention of money or financial rewards is derided, and developers are supposed to be content with "Kudos" from the community. Whilst this might be ok at college, or if you are tremendously wealthy, it cuts no ice with Joe Sixpack who was raised on Microsoft and associates Bill's millions with the quality of the software his company puts out. From the focus group again:

If Bill (Gates) is worth that much money he must make the best software in the world.
Microsoft must know what they are doing - the whole world uses their software.
The best programmers work for Microsoft - they have the most tech-savvy hackers there.
Microsoft spend millions on their software I think it is the best in the world.
(referring to IE5)

Again the message is clear: Microsoft is winning the hearts and minds not only of Joe Sixpack, but also Juan Sixpack in South America, Jean-Paul Sixpack in France, Jeroen Van der Sixpack in the Netherlands, Nkwele-Olamu Sixpack in West Africa, Mohammed-Al-Sixpack in Iran, Kulwant Chandrasekhera Sixpack in India, and Boris Sixpack in the Russian Federation.

Their message is powerful, international, and presented relentlessly with no internal bickering and bitching.

What can be done ?

There are no easy answers. The Linux/Open Source community has proved unwilling or unable to accept critisim (even constructive criticism such as this) gracefully, preferring to mount foul-languaged assaults on the personal integrity of anyone who steps out from the party line.

I offer no easy solutions, however here are a few pointers:

  1. As a damage limitation exercise Linux/GNU should appoint itself a "Marketing Spokesperson". This person would be the "official face of Linux/GNU/Open Source". First and Foremost, they would wear an expensive suit, especially when talking to the press or when dealing with high-profile major corporation with deep pockets and $$$s to spend. I realise this is ridiculous from a technical perspective, but with my blend of tech-savvy and marketing exprience, I realize the importance of presentation over technical merit. It goes against the grain of the community, but if we are to become the next Microsoft (and why else would we be in this game if not to win it at all costs), we must fight them on our battleground, but with the same weapons they use against us.
  2. The Penguin logo MUST go ASAP. Although it seemed "cute" and funny at the time, in the eyes of the corporate MIS department it just looks juvenile. Linux needs a new logo, preferably one of those kind of eliptical ones with a swoosh that in the eyes of the public can mean one thing: Hip and cool DOTCOM Corporation. The logo should be bland, yet robust, non-controversial yet ahead of the curve, and toned in serious businesslike colors such as gray, silver, and white. It should transcend culture and religion to be internationally recognized like the Coca-Cola image is all over the world.
  3. Downplay RMS, Linus, ESR, etc. They are technicians with zero understanding of the general public, or of software consumers in general. Indeed many of them only write their program for themselves to "scratch an itch". This is hardly the way to gain public acceptance.
  4. Direct X - A MAJOR stumbling block on Linux's road to world domination is the lack of Direct X support for Linux. This trivial omission means that most games will not run on Linux. Linux could gain 1000's of new games by simply implementing the DirectX api. This is a no-brainer. Kernel support for XML would be a big performance booster too in the B2B and B2C application area, and would make Linux buzzword compliant for XML.
  5. Finally FOCUS GROUPS. Before you think about starting that new open-source project, (be it a new web browser like Mazola, or simply a new front-end for the cdplayer application) Get a focus group together. Use a few minutes of your non-tech-savvy friend's time. If you don't have any friends like that, try your folks, or your grandparents. Ask them what they would like to see in your new program. This way, you will gain "market perspective" on the likely acceptance of your product by the "normal people" of the world.
thank you for your time

Why is Open Source so RACIST? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551781)

I am sick and tired of the hypoctitical RACIST open source/slashdot community. Why the total lack of people of color?? I bet you can not name one black involved with Linux, Slashdot or Open Source. Why the total segregation? What are TORVALDS STALLMAN MALDA etc so bigoted? There is not one African-American they would asociate with. I for one am sick and tired of obese, smelly, pale, socially inept and sexless white boys like that slob COWBOY NEAL contributing everything. Please stop your RACIST ways and allow a few minorities to participate in the Open Source community. Thank you for hearing me out.

--Clarence Booker
Membership #23 of the GNAA
Barred from the Open Source Community because of my race

Re:Why is Open Source so RACIST? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551888)

What we need to do is kidnap some Africans and enslave them to linux. We could probably get a good 150 years or so of coding slavery out of them benefiting only the linux kernel.

One day we will be forced to stop this practice but by then the Africans will know no other OS other than Linux, and thus will probably continue to use Linux even after given their freedom.

Then we can claim Linux is a melting pot of all races.

The question everyone wants an answer to... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551784)

What does Stallman's choade taste like?

Soap Opera? New Term Coined... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551785)

... SCOap Opera

future of SCO Linux Licensing (4, Interesting)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551788)

What is the future of SCO Linux Licensing. Will large corporation fall for it, just to be on the safe side? Or are the corporation going to avoid using linux, till the final outcome of the saga.

For the desktop... (5, Interesting)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551790)

In all honesty, what is the best overall desktop operating system at this time, and what do you think will be the best overall desktop operating system in a year? Two years? Five years?

Re:For the desktop... (-1, Flamebait)

VividU (175339) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552067)

Thats easy. Windows 2000. Is it perfect? no, but..

- Full featured, advanced & modern OS
- Extremely robust when properly configured
- Compatible with nearly all desktop PC configurations
- Easy to learn, easy to use, easy to customize
- Easy to install
- Software selection no other OS can even begin to approach.

Direction of open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551799)

Is open source going to go in the direction determined by M$, or is it going to risk striking out in a brave, new direction?

Not trolling!

Question (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551800)

Are you the real Bruce Perens?

Re:Question (0, Offtopic)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551889)

The real, I don't know, but this one [slashdot.org] for sure.

BTW, I wonder if he got layed off [slashdot.org] by HP because he's been a loooong time on slashdot ? :-)

Finally : it is a dupe [slashdot.org] (answers here [slashdot.org]), but a fairly late one :-)

and if so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551934)

will you stand up?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552047)

"Are you going to eat that?"

Why? (4, Insightful)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551806)

Isn't Mr Perens a slashdot regular himself or something? Wouldn't that more or less defeat the whole purpose of holding a slashdot interview, then send him the question he can read himself and then making him answer them while he could have answered them by just replying?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551948)

Well, Simoniker didn't introduce himself, Taco didn't show us his newly wed bride photos (there were only photographs of him alone or with Michael) so why would you expect Slashdot to play Q&A in real time, this time ?

Re:Why? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552070)

My question:

How did I become so cool?

-Bruce P.

Turning the tide (5, Insightful)

daeley (126313) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551808)

In recent weeks, we've seen a concerted attack of FUD regarding open source in general but Linux in particular; all signs point to this being but the first in a series of new battles. I think it's been too easy for a lot of people to scoff at SCO's brazen and seemingly suicidal behavior, mistaking what is in fact a serious threat.

With that in mind, what are some ways you think open source/free software users and organizations can counter these attacks and, much more importantly, attack back?

BSD (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551814)

If Linux development is supremely messed up by SCO, do you see the BSDs picking up, and taking over where Linux once did?

Wag the dog (3, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551821)

The political/ethical/moral spin that everyone wants to put on open source adds an unnessesary, IMO, emotional baggage in a field that should be directed by logic and the right tool for the job.

We see softwares of various levels of Free shoehorned into tasks they werent created for, or arent suitable for.

When will software choices be made by virtue of technical merit, and not political views?

Re:Wag the dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551932)

... when politics becomes irrelevent and we live in that Libertarian Utopia you keep telling us about where what should happen becomes what happens without effort.

Man, I hate naive people.

Re:Wag the dog (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551965)

When will software choices be made by virtue of technical merit, and not political views?

When computers choose the software for us, of course ;)

Just kidding. It's more likely to be economics that chooses.

Re:Wag the dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552003)

The political/ethical/moral spin that everyone wants to put on open source adds an unnessesary, IMO, emotional baggage in a field that should be directed by logic and the right tool for the job.

New to this industry, eh?

Linux in Legal Trouble - Try BSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551822)

By now, anyone who is even remotely related to an IT-type position has heard about Linux, and has most likely used it, if only to see what all the hype is about. However, GNU/Linux is not the only "free" Unix type OS available. FreeBSD [http://www.freebsd.org/] and its cousins, NetBSD [http://www.netbsd.org/] and OpenBSD [http://www.openbsd.org/] are all offshoots of BSD UNIX, a commercial UNIX also known as Berkeley Software Distribution. This article will help you learn more about FreeBSD, its differences from Linux, and it will ease a potential migration process.

Migration Guide Part I

Unlike Linux which uses the GPL license, the BSD family uses the BSD-style license. To summarize the differences between the two licenses in one sentence, the GPL requires any changes to the source code to be made public and be licensed under the GPL as well. The BSD license has no such requirement, any changes can be kept proprietary.
There are several major differences in the way FreeBSD and the major Linux distributions work. This article will step you through what I consider to be the biggest 'gotchas' that I encountered when switching my desktop from Linux to FreeBSD.

Although there are people who will argue this point, the term Linux refers to the kernel, nothing more. The applications that you use everyday on your Red Hat or Debian box are utilities added on by the respective distributions. FreeBSD on the other hand refers to the OS as a whole. FreeBSD is itself the kernel, as well as the basic applications needed to use a computer, such as the copy and move commands. This difference results in there being several distributions of Linux, such as Mandrake, SuSE, Debian and Slackware. Anyone who has used both Mandrake and Debian can tell you that there is a world of difference between them. There is only one FreeBSD. My FreeBSD is the same as the FreeBSD that you have -- except for differences between versions FreeBSD is FreeBSD.

Three of the biggest Linux distributions, Red Hat, Mandrake, and SuSE use the RPM package manager. RPM handles installing, upgrading, uninstalling, and dependency checking for programs installed on those OSes. Although it does check for dependency errors before installing a program, RPM does leave a lot to be desired. For example, it cannot fetch other RPMs that are needed to solve the dependency errors. I know of are least 3 projects that solve this, urpmi, Debian's apt-get which by the way isn't remotely related to RPM and is a 'Debian only' feature, and a hybrid between RPM and apt-get. So unless you are willing to use one of the methods stated above, you have to manually find and download the required RPMs. Sound easy? Well it does until you try to manually install gnome or upgrade XFree from RPM's. Even after you find the correct RPMs, if they are for SuSE and you're running Red Hat, chances are they still might not work.

Each distribution of Linux is slightly different, and where they differ the most is in the file system layout. I'm sure that most everyone has heard about SuSE putting KDE in /opt while Red Hat puts in the /usr folder. To make matters even worse, RPM doesn't recognize programs that are compiled from source. So if you have the latest and greatest Qt compiled from source, RPM doesn't even know it exists if you try to install KDE from rpm's.

FreeBSD uses what are known as "packages" to install, uninstall and upgrade applications. The 'pkg_add' command is used to install a package that you have manually downloaded to your computer. You can also run it with the '-r' flag followed by a package name, and it will remotely fetch it from the Internet, as well as anything it requires to run. But the real beauty of FreeBSD's packages is in the ports tree. The ports tree is simply that -- a hierarchy of applications that have been ported to FreeBSD. Each directory contains a Makefile and any patches that are required for that particular app to compile and run on FreeBSD. For example, if I want to install the Apache web server, all I have to do is cd into the /usr/ports/www/apache directory, type 'make && make install', and go visit the snack machine. Assuming I have a fast computer with a decent Internet connection, when I get back it will have downloaded the apache source code, patched it, compiled it and installed it for me! The ports tree also handles any dependencies that Apache needs to run. It doesn't matter if I've installed something via the ports tree, compiled it manually, on installed it via a binary package. The ports tree can find it as long as it is in your $PATH, and act accordingly.

Another difference between Linux and FreeBSD, is that with FreeBSD, 99% of what you install via ports or packages defaults into /usr/local, where as in Linux most of it goes into /usr, and sometimes /opt. This is for the most part a minor difference, however it is nice to know that whatever you have installed is in /usr/local and not spread all over the filesystem.

Migration Guide Part II

The FreeBSD system uses a program known as cvsup to keep itself up-to-date. Once you create a 'sup-file', cvsup compares what is locally on your system, and what is on the cvsup server and downloads any file that has changed since the last time it was run. You can use it to keep your ports tree and your local copy of the FreeBSD source code current and up-to-date. Unlike Linux, which normally only the kernel is downloaded and compiled on a semi-regularly basis, you can easily download the source for the entire OS using cvsup. The main reason for doing this is that it makes updating FreeBSD from one version to the next extraordinary simple. After cvsup'ing the newest source, you compile a new kernel, then you compile the 'rest' of the OS using one simple command: 'make buildworld'. you then drop into single user mode and install it with 'make installworld'. It's just that easy.
The way that partitions are handled is also very different. Linux sees a hard drive as being divided up into different partitions. Of those partitions, some of them can have logical partitions inside of them. What we commonly think of as 'partitions', FreeBSD sees as slices. Within each slice are one or more 'BSD partitions'. These BSD partitions are what shows up in the /etc/fstab.

Perhaps the next biggest difference between Linux and FreeBSD is the philosophy behind how the OSes are designed. Linux tends to have newer features and drivers (such as the closed source nVidia graphics card drivers) well before FreeBSD. The FreeBSD developers have taken a much more conservative approach to things. They prefer tried and tested code over flashy new features, preferring to wait until the major bugs have been worked out. For FreeBSD on the desktop this can be a problem if you want the latest and greatest drivers or the newest *cool* new feature. But in the server room, you want tried and tested code. Besides, how many of you put a $200 video card on your headless server?

Another difference is in what is installed by default. If you go with the default install options in SuSE, you'll wind up with at least a gigabyte of installed software. FreeBSD on the other hand, installs just the basics. (Please note: I know that you can tell SuSE to only install the 'basics', but notice that I am talking about the 'default' install.) It gives you only the essentials, which you can use to install any of the 4000 applications in the ports tree. Almost all of the programs that run on Linux are already ported and running on FreeBSD, the only difference is that with Linux they are either installed by default, or unless you use Debian you have to go manually download them. With FreeBSD they are optional, and it is for the most part automated. Another difference in terms of what gets installed is that in Linux, the default shell is bash, however in FreeBSD it is tcsh.

For commercial programs such as Oracle or HP Openmail, FreeBSD offers a "Linux compatibility" layer. In simple terms this layer allows FreeBSD to run Linux binaries at almost native speed. Depending on the application it can run at full native speed under FreeBSD, just as it would under "Linux". This compatibility layer is a step above emulation. The required Linux libraries are installed on the BSD system in binary form. When you try to run the Linux application, FreeBSD realizes that it is a Linux binary and simply points it to the Linux libraries that it depends on. There is also support for emulating commercial BSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and SCO binaries. Each respective OS is in different stages of support, with the best support for commercial BSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.

Although the BSD developers are more concerned with quality than quantity, that doesn't mean that FreeBSD is lacking in features. FreeBSD 5.0, due in Novemeber of 2002 will feature fine grained process control, which will enable it to scale effectively up to 32 processors. Version 5.0 will also feature a full DEVDFS device filesystem. Although this has been available in Linux for quite a while, you don't hear much about it. It basically allows for the dev file system to be dynamically changed. For example, if you add a USB keyboard, it would 'magically' be added to the /dev directory. As for journaling file systems, the stable version, 4.4 has a feature known as 'soft updates'. While it is technically not a journaled file system, depending on who you ask it is better than a journaled filesystem.

Throughout the big dotcom boom of '98-'99 Linux was THE buzzword. Computer users everywhere were hearing about a *free* operating system that was challenging Microsoft in the server room as well as the desktop. Even today, the userbase of Linux is growing strongly. However most people are just beginning to hear about FreeBSD. Hopefully this article will help you evaluate FreeBSD as a possible solution to your needs. In the end, if you don't want to be gay - choose FreeBSD.

Civil Disobedience (5, Interesting)

ccarr.com (262540) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551825)

Bruce,

A while ago IIRC you cancelled plans to demonstrate a technology which would have run afowel of the DMCA in defference to the wishes of your then-employer HP. Now that you are no longer with HP, do you plan to go ahead with it?

I'm not trying to goad you on, mind you. Breaking the law is a serious business and if you have reconsidered, I certainly won't think any less of you.

Dear Mr. Perens (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551829)

Hello, my name is Detective Jon Kimble.

Who's your daddy, and what does he do?

Beyond the SCO court case (5, Interesting)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551833)

Putting the current SCO thing aside, what do you think about software producer liability? Microsoft recently made a big deal about increasing how much they'll "protect" their customers, but that's mostly a PR stunt. Do you think that there will be a major court case incolving IP that "slips" into software, and that it might change people's trust in Open Source software?

Hinderance to Adoption (5, Interesting)

DarkBlackFox (643814) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551836)

What do you think is the biggest hinderance to open source adoption at this point? Is it the lack of a central structure for support (e.g. people seeking support for Microsoft products go to Microsoft, a single solid entity as opposed to numerous communities and organizations of open source), or is it simply because there are too many choices out there? Do you think open source will eventually become organized enough to have a single representation, such that there is one massive repository of information for all to use?

Do you understand dselect? (5, Funny)

defile (1059) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551839)

Seriously. Because we can't. That thing's demented.

Why dselect? (0, Redundant)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551963)

Seriously, there are better tools.

apt-get is fast and easy.
There are many nice front ends for it, makes installation a snap.

Would the real Bruce Perens please stand up. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551845)

(n/t)

Linux replacing Windows on the desktop (4, Interesting)

flea69 (667238) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551851)

Based on the ability of most users out there, especially in the corporate world (I work in tech support). Is there any chance of Linux EVER replacing Windows on the desktop?

Re:Linux replacing Windows on the desktop (2, Insightful)

leifm (641850) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552072)

I work in support as well. I don't think there is any chance of Linux replacing Windows on the desktop overall. I think we'll gain some converts with NGSCB comes along, but not many. There are just to many applications only avail. on Windows, and people are used to how Windows works. I agree with Tim O'Reilly, who is basically saying that the next generation of apps are going to be internet based, and Linux is on the forefront of that. He often refers to Amazon.com and Google as examples of heavily used "applications" that are based on OSS. I think it'd do the OSS community well to continue building the foundation for the next generation of computing, where (hopefully) the network provides the useful applications and individual machine platform is irrelevant.

To the general public (5, Interesting)

kmak (692406) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551852)

Sure, to slashdotters, we all know what it means, but how would you explain the Open Source movement to someone that isn't so technically inclined?

What would you tell them that would, say, change from Linux to Windows?

Open Source? More like Openly Racist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551854)

The Open Source movement, otherwise known as 'Free Software', has been a topic of considerable debate on the Internet's most controversial site. The majority of this debate has centered around the technical merits of the software, with the esteemed editors argueing against adopting Linux by employing the full depth of their considerable intellects, and the other side hurling death threats and similar invective. This has allowed many who would not otherwise receive quality information about Open Source software to be made aware of many of its ramifications, but one issue has been left alone: The overt racism that is deeply embedded in the movement.

Allow me to explain.

Alan Cox; Richard Stallman; Bruce Perens; Wichert Akkerman; Miguel DeIcaza.

What do you see in this list of names? Are there any African-Americans on it? Absolutely not, none of those names sound like one a self-respecting black person would have! No Maurice, no Luther, no Lil' Kim. There are many other lists such as this, you can see one here. Flip through each page, do you see anything other than white faces? Of course you don't, because Open Source and its adherents are ardent racists and they absolutely forbid access to the sacred 'kernel' by any person of color.

Lets look at another list, this time a compendium of the companies using Linux. Are there any black owned companies on that list? Nooooooo. How about these companies? They all have something to do with Open Source software, any of them owned by an African-American? No again. Here is an extensive collection of photographs from a LUG (Linux User Gathering) meeting, more can be viewed at that link. What is odd about these pictures, and every other photograph I have ever seen of a LUG meeting, is that there is not one single black person to be seen, and probably none for miles.

More racist overtones can be found by examining the language of Open Source. They often refer to 'white hat' hackers. These 'white hats' scurry about the Internet doing good, but illegal, acts for their fellow man. In stark contrast we find the 'black hat' hackers. They destroy the good works of others by breaking into systems, stealing data, and generally causing havoc. These two terms reflect the mindset of most Linux developers. White means good, black means bad. Anywhere there is black, there is uncontrollable destruction and lawlessness. Looking further we see black lists that inform other users of 'bad' hardware, Samba, an obvious play on the much hated Little Black Sambo book, Mandrake, which I won't explain except to say that the French are notorious racists. This type is linguistic discrimination is widespread throughout the Open Source culture, lampooned by many of its more popular sites.

It is also a fact that all Unix 'distros' contain a plethora of racist commands with not so hidden symbolism.

It can hardly be coincidence that the prime operating system of choice of the 'open source supremacists' - Linux, features commands which are poorly disguised racist acronyms. For example: 'awk' (All White Klan) , 'sed' (shoot nEgroes dead), 'ln' (lynch negroes), 'rpm' (raical purity mandatory), 'bash' (bring a slave home), 'ps' (persecute sambo), 'mount' (murder or unseat nubians today), 'fsck' (favored supreme Christian klan). I could go on and on about the latent racist symbolism in Linux, but I fear it would take weeks to enumerate every incidence.

Is there a single unix command out there that does not have some hidden racist connotation ? Suffice it to say that the racism pervades Linux like a particularly bad smell. Can you imagine the effect of running such a racist operating system on the impressionable mind ? I don't have to remind you that transmitting subliminal messages is banned in the USA, and yet here we have an operating system that appears to be one enormous submliminal ad for the Klan!

One of the few selling points of Open Source software is that it is available in many different languages. Browsing through the list I see that absolutely none are offered in Swahili, nor Ebonics. Obviously this is done to prevent black people from having access to the kernel. If it weren't for the fact that racism is so blatantly evil I would be impressed by the efforts these Open Sourcers have invested in keeping their little hobby lilly white. It even appears that they hate the Japanese, as some of these self proclaimed hackers defaced a web site with anti-Japanese slogans. Hell, these people even go all the way to Africa (South Africa mind you, better known as White Africa) and the pictures prove that they don't even get close to a black person.

Of course, presenting overwhelming evidence such as this is a bit unfair without some attempt to determine why these Open Sourcers are so racist. Much of the evidence I have collected indicates that their views are so deeply held that they are seldom questioned by the new recruits. This, coupled with the robot-like groupthink that dominates the culture allows the racist mindset to continue to permeate the ranks. Indeed, the Open Source version of a Klan rally, OSDN (known to the world as Open Source Developer's Network, known to insiders as Open Source Denies Negroes) nearly stands up and shouts its racist views on its demographics page. It doesn't mention the black man one single time. Obviously, anyone involved with Open Source doesn't need to be told that the demographic is entirely white, it is a given.

I have a sneaking suspicion as to why their beliefs are so closely held: they are all terrible athletes.

Really. Much like the tragedy at Columbine High School, where two geeks went on a rampage to get back at 'jocks', these adult geeks still bear the emotional scars inflicted upon them due to their lack of athletic ability during their teen years. As African-Americans are well known for their athletic skills, they are an obvious target for the Open Source geeks. As we all know, sports builds character, thus it follows that the lack of sports destroys character. These geeks, locked away in their rooms, munching on stale pizza and Fritos, engage in no character building activities. Further, they interact only with computers and never develop the level of social skill that allows normal people to handle relationships with persons of color.

Contrasted with the closed source, non-geeky software house Microsoft, Open Source has a long, long way to go.

Goatse Receiver, ass contortionist, dead at 55 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551861)

Goatse Receiver, ass contortionist, dead at 55

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - ass strectching exhibitionist Goatse Receiver was found dead in CmdrTaco's bed this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to making the intarweb a great place for millions of users. Truly an American icon.
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*
g_______________________________________________g
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>_\___|_____o
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>_|__/_____a
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>_|_/______t
s______/_/\|___C_____)__RIP__|_(___>_/__\_______s
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*
mportant Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything

Sustainablity of open source (5, Interesting)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551862)

I have been wondering for a while how sustainable open source is. It seems like there is a great open source solution for every possible need: OS, Web Server, database, etc. If these tools get widely adopted, and push the commercial products out of the market, will they be shooting themselves in the foot by making many, many developers unemployed, thereby destroying their own developer base? Or do you see a situation where open and closed (ie free and for-profit) software exist in equilibrium?

Re:Sustainablity of open source (4, Informative)

RevMike (632002) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552001)

Uber-Geek ESR already wrote an excellent tract on this subject - The Magic Cauldron [catb.org].

One of the key points is that very few developers are involved in developing "commercial" software. The vast majority (maybe 95% or more) do implementation and custom development for in-house projects.

If OSS were to eliminate "commercial software" completely, these jobs would still need to be filled, and since less budget would be spent on licensing, more money would be available in corporate budgets to fund custom development.

Re:Sustainablity of open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552033)

Oh, dear, another "ESR" groupie. Yes, Raymond wrote some stuff about this [1accesshost.com], but wouldn't it be more interesting to hear from someone who knows what he's talking about? Bruce Perens, for example.

I want his comments on this transcript (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551866)

Stick with it and you'll see what I'm looking for:

----

SCENE -- The courtroom, 17-Oct-2002.

PLAINTIFF: So which is it?

1. If you try to use something in Linux and it fails, you are stupid because you didn't try to
fix it and make it work.

DEFENDANT: Yes.

PLAINTIFF: 2. If you try to make it work and it fails at every attempt, you are stupid because
you are trying to use a tool that doesn't meet your needs and your only reason for trying was
to prove that it doesn't work.

DEFENDANT: Yes. At least we seem to understand each other.

PLAINTIFF: I tried to get my digital camera working with Linux. To assume that I did it for any
other reason than to be able to use the camera with Linux makes you an arrogant prick. But we
already knew that, didn't we?

I find it very funny that you can't admit that software installation on Linux is a huge pain in
the ass. I tried to install Everybuddy with MSN Messenger support and had the same problems.
Failed dependencies at every step. If this system is supposed to be good for development, why
doesn't it include the libraries needed so you don't have to waste a lot of time searching the
net every time to try to anything? This is a real problem and it will prevent most users from
attempting to replace Windows. Why can't the programmers include the required files in the
package. They could offer a bare bones version and an all inclusive version. They could, at a
minimum, include links to required packages so you don't have to search for them. Why don't the
distros include the common libraries needed?

DEFENDANT: Very often they do. The problem here is that you are using pre- compiled binaries.
These expect your system configuration to be sufficiently similar to those that they were
compiled on in order to install.

PLAINTIFF: So precompiled binaries are basically useless unless it was specifically compiled
for your system? Kinda forces you to compile everything yourself if you have any hope of
getting it to work. We have already established that you can't expect the distro managers to
compile every package out there for each version they release. So it is pretty much up to the
end user to learn to compile software, find the source for the package they want and waste time
getting a functioning system. What we are saying is you are pretty much stuck with whatever
came with your distro if you aren't willing to learn to compile programs and search the net for
missing files.

DEFENDANT: Oftentimes, the libraries are present on your system, but the names may vary
slightly. You could try to force the install and see if it works anyway with the --nodeps
--force options added.

PLAINTIFF: Brilliant suggestion. NOT!

DEFENDANT: Many times, the issue is simply a matter of you having libfoo.so.1 and the binary is
looking for libfoo.so.2. Both of these are just links to libfoo.so, and so you can merely
create the link and viola! Problem solved.

Another option is to simply download the source for the app and just compile it specifically
for your system. This way the dependancies are resolved according to your specific
configuration and you get the benefit of added performance.

There have been many times that I've attempted to install a binary and it complained about
failed dependancies; but when compiling and installing the source for the exact same
application on the exact same system, it went through without a hitch.

PLAINTIFF: And you guys like to bitch and whine about DLL's under Windows? Failed dependencies
is pretty much a given when trying to install something on a Linux system. I have rarely had a
problem with DLL's, especially now that XP supports multiple versions.

DEFENDANT: Of course, you have no desire to actually resolve issues like Pete Goodwin, you just
want to be able to bitch about them.

PLAINTIFF: Rappy, you are so full of shit. Linux has some significant problems associated with
failed dependencies and difficulty in getting packages to install. You know that it is true. I
guess I should do what most people will do. Try it, realize that it is a convoluted, fragmented
mess and forget it. Unless you enjoy spending your entire time trying to solve problems every
time you try to do anything with your computer, stick with Windows.

The state of the community (5, Interesting)

Telex4 (265980) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551868)

Bruce, we all know you're very active on the political side of hacking, and we also know that as a community, hackers aren't especially active. Given that a hacker who reads Slashdot cannot fail to be aware of the many issues that we face, and their gravity, what do you think hackers and geeks as individuals can do to be useful, and as a related question, how do you think the hacker community can best respond to the threats of the DMCA, EUCD, copy protected CDs, Palladium, and other digital rights issues?

Smaller projects (5, Interesting)

dze (89612) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551871)

What are your favorite smaller open-source projects that not everyone may have heard of, that you feel should be better known?

Unasked Questions (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551875)

Are there any questions you think people should be asking you, that they never do?

Re: ask an open question ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552045)

Are there any questions you think people should be asking you, that they never do?

"Yes."

Next question.

- bperens

How to Convince People To Use Open Source Software (5, Interesting)

Shackleford (623553) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551881)

Mr. Perens, you have stated in an interview that one of the main reasons that open source software has taken off recently is because of economic reasons. Many companies are indeed adopting open source solutions. However, there are many that are not. I recall speaking with an individual who said that no matter how often he tried to inform people that open source is a good idea, they were not convinced. What is the reason for this? FUD, perhaps? And how can one successfully convince people that open source solutions should be adopted?

I believe that you can do well at advocating the use of open source software. So, how can it be done?

Best Distro? (1, Interesting)

flea69 (667238) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551882)

In your honest opinion what is the best overall Linux distro out there.

The Truth about Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551885)

Question : Has Microsoft EVER released an OS that had a data loss bug?
Answer : NO!

Read on.

Data-loss bug afflicts Linux

Programmers have found a bug in newer versions of the Linux operating system that, under common circumstances, could cause systems to drop data.


The data-loss bug afflicts the newest 2.4.20 version of the heart, or kernel, of Linux. The new kernel was released Nov. 28 in Linux companies' updates but is not yet a part of their packaged products.


Although the bug was reported while the 2.4.20 version was still in testing, it wasn't fixed until early Friday morning, two weeks after final release.


To counteract such tracking problems in the future, Linux programmers have begun using more formal bug-tracking tools. Bugs and security problems are big issues today because of the ever-wider use of computer networks and the increasing importance of corporate data. Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Linux fans and others all are keenly aware of the publicity benefits of crash-proof code, and the perils of problems.

Data-loss problems are dire--companies devote much of their computing budgets to keeping their information from vanishing into the ether.

However, the risks of the recent Linux data-loss bug are reduced because it only appears in a particular circumstance: First, an administrator has to select an unusual mode for Linux's ext3 file system software, which controls how data is stored on hard drives; then the administrator must disconnect the file system where the data is saved. In that case, all data that should have been saved on the hard drive in the previous 30 seconds could be lost.

The data-loss problem is "not very severe," said programmer Andrew Morton in an e-mail interview. It was Morton who pointed out Sunday that the bug hadn't been fixed and who posted a patch Friday.

Morton added that the bug is contingent on using ext3 in "a specialized mode, which in practice is rather slow. It doesn't offer any realistic advantages over the default...mode, and nobody uses it much. This is why the bug lay dormant for three months."

Red Hat, the top Linux seller, said its customers are only affected by the bug if they downloaded Red Hat updates that incorporate version 2.4.18-17 or later of the Linux kernel. The company made those updates available for versions 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 8.0 of Red Hat Linux. Its Advanced Server product isn't affected.

The most recent updates from No. 2 Linux seller SuSE also are affected, the SuSE said. However, SuSE by default uses a different file system, ReiserFS, that isn't affected.

The data-loss problem was originally found by programmer Nick Piggin, who said it may have affected all 2.4.19 kernels in addition to version 2.4.20. Morton, however, believes Piggin's first bug report in July for preliminary versions of 2.4.19 is likely a different--but related--bug that's harder to trigger.

Open Source and Apple (5, Interesting)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551886)

With regard to Apple and their adoption of open source, do you think that their contributions to open source projects have been generally one-way (i.e. only Apple benefits) or two-way (everyone benefits)? Do you think they should be more open, or are you happy with how they currently contribute to open source projects?

What do you prefer? ( Score : 5, intresting ) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551894)

A) Using linux

OR

B) Sex with a mare.

HP (5, Interesting)

golgotha007 (62687) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551897)

Hi Bruce,
could you please tell us a bit about your experience working with HP? I am interested if you were able to share your views on open source with the HP execs. What were their thoughts about it?

Do you see open source becoming more accepted by large corporations or will it remain largly popular with the developer/hobby crowd?

Further steps... (4, Interesting)

bryam (449040) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551899)

Hi Bruce:

Recently Open Group ask to you for develop one Open Source Strategy [slashdot.org]. Which others groups/enterprise do you like/wish to contact you for similar task?

Regards,

-Bryam

Linux vs. Unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551912)

This is part of a continuing pattern that I've noticed. The major corporate entites which are embracing Linux aren't normally leaving some variant of Windows behind but instead are dropping Unix. The stranglehold Microsoft has on Office and the problems introduced by switching from Windows to Linux (in terms of a possible inability to access old files) is really hurting Linux in the War against Windows. But what these companies need to realize is that they can convert their old files into plain text files, using the very version of Office which is trying to tie them into an ugprade cycle of doom, using some simple batch scripts. This would be quite a chore, obviously - but in the long run companies would save. I don't know why this solution isn't being offered to companies. From what I understand, many companies are hesitant to drop Windows for this very reason: loss of access to old files. But again, Bill Gates doesn't really lose on this one. Linux gains some but not in the area where I'd like to see it.

SCO licensing linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551917)

What are your feelings about SCO offering licenses for linux? Do you feel this opens SCO up to copyright violations of the linux kernel programers work?

Linux in 10 Years (4, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551921)

Where do you see Linux in 10 years? Will it be a completely ubiquitious OS, used on every computer? Will it just dominate one market? Will it fade away? Or will it be outlawed? There are people who will have you believe any one of these scenarios; which do you think is most likely, and why?

How will this affect MS? (2, Interesting)

saintjab (668572) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551923)

How do you see the future of OSS development affecting Microsoft? Do you have any predicions on how they will tailor marketing, propoganda, FUD, what have you? I personaly see OSS taking off in both the Desktop and Server market and I'm very curious as to how you think MS will react? This is not a troll in any way. I'm very interested in how the future or the Tech industry is going to play out.

The Ultimate Question : vim,emacs or pico? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551924)

Don't bother asking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551929)

don't bother asking questions that can easily be answered with a couple of minutes' worth of online research.

This Roblimo character must be new around here.

viable business models (5, Insightful)

JimCricket (595111) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551938)

Open source really turns the business of software upside-down. Some open source-related companies have done well, others have not. In your opinion, which business models are the most appropriate?

The Ultimate question : KDE, Gnome or twm? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551940)

Re:The Ultimate question : KDE, Gnome or twm? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552018)

He's not a lamer so of course he uses fluxbox.

Dear Bruce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551946)

How do I figure the cost basis of stock that has split, giving me more of the same stock, so I can figure my capital gain (or loss) on the sale of the stock?

Re:Dear Bruce (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552022)

Assuming that the stock has done a 2-to-1 split, divide you're purchase price by 2. That will give you the equivalent purchase price after the split. Now when you sell a number of your shares, normal sell - buy rules apply. If it did a 3-to-1 split, divide by 3; 4-to-1, 4; etc.

Hopefully this helps,
Bruce

Hardware vs. Software companies in OSS? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551970)

Bruce,

I note that the companies that you say deserve praise for their efforts, Apple and IBM, are both hardware companies that in effect happen to produce software. In both cases, they make far more money from their hardware than they do software, so in effect they have less to lose by giving an open source license a shot, but have much to gain in the form of increased sales of hardware.

But what about companies that are primarily in software? How do you see them making money off of open source, when that is after all their main motive--earning cash? In other words, why buy an open source package when you can download or copy it for free? Finally, are there any large "traditional" software companies (ones from before open source became a buzzword) that you see making commendable moves like IBM and Apple?

Best regards, JE (posting anon from work)

The Ultimate Question : Linux or fucking a mare? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551971)

Linux on the Xbox (3, Interesting)

preric (689159) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551977)

What's your opinion of the Linux scene revolving around Microsoft's Xbox?

Ham radio (3, Interesting)

Lxy (80823) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551979)

I recently learned that you are a ham radio operator. I think both the open source community and ham community share very similar views on most issues. Do you see any ways the two communities can benefit each other?

Open Source? More like Openly Homosexual (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551981)

The Open Source movement, otherwise known as 'Free Software', has been a topic of considerable debate on the Internet's most controversial site. The majority of this debate has centered around the technical merits of the software, with the esteemed editors argueing against adopting Linux by employing the full depth of their considerable intellects, and the other side hurling death threats and similar invective. This has allowed many who would not otherwise receive quality information about Open Source software to be made aware of many of its ramifications, but one issue has been left alone: The overt homosexuality that is deeply embedded in the movement.

Allow me to explain.

Alan Cox; Richard Stallman; Bruce Perens; Wichert Akkerman; Miguel DeIcaza.

What do you see in this list of names? Are there any heterosexuals on it? Absolutely not, none of those names sound like one a self-respecting heterosexual person would have! No Maurice, no Luther, no Lil' Kim. There are many other lists such as this, you can see one here. Flip through each page, do you see anything other than homosexuals faces? Of course you don't, because Open Source and its adherents are ardent racists and they absolutely forbid access to the sacred 'kernel' by any person of color.

Lets look at another list, this time a compendium of the companies using Linux. Are there any heterosexual owned companies on that list? Nooooooo. How about these companies? They all have something to do with Open Source software, any of them owned by an African-American? No again. Here is an extensive collection of photographs from a LUG (Linux User Gathering) meeting, more can be viewed at that link. What is odd about these pictures, and every other photograph I have ever seen of a LUG meeting, is that there is not one single heterosexual person to be seen, and probably none for miles.

More homosexual overtones can be found by examining the language of Open Source. They often refer to 'homosexuals hat' hackers. These 'homosexuals hats' scurry about the Internet doing good, but illegal, acts for their fellow man. In stark contrast we find the 'heterosexual hat' hackers. They destroy the good works of others by breaking into systems, stealing data, and generally causing havoc. These two terms reflect the mindset of most Linux developers. homosexuals means good, heterosexual means bad. Anywhere there is black, there is uncontrollable destruction and lawlessness. Looking further we see heterosexual lists that inform other users of 'bad' hardware, Samba, an obvious play on the much hated Little heterosexual Sambo book, Mandrake, which I won't explain except to say that the French are notorious racists. This type is linguistic discrimination is widespread throughout the Open Source culture, lampooned by many of its more popular sites.

It is also a fact that all Unix 'distros' contain a plethora of homosexual commands with not so hidden symbolism.

It can hardly be coincidence that the prime operating system of choice of the 'open source supremacists' - Linux, features commands which are poorly disguised homosexual acronyms. For example: 'awk' (All homosexuals Klan) , 'sed' (shoot straight people dead), 'ln' (lynch negroes), 'rpm' (raical purity mandatory), 'bash' (bring a slave home), 'ps' (persecute sambo), 'mount' (murder or unseat nubians today), 'fsck' (favored supreme Christian klan). I could go on and on about the latent homosexual symbolism in Linux, but I fear it would take weeks to enumerate every incidence.

Is there a single unix command out there that does not have some hidden homosexual connotation ? Suffice it to say that the homosexuality pervades Linux like a particularly bad smell. Can you imagine the effect of running such a homosexual operating system on the impressionable mind ? I don't have to remind you that transmitting subliminal messages is banned in the USA, and yet here we have an operating system that appears to be one enormous submliminal ad for the Klan!

One of the few selling points of Open Source software is that it is available in many different languages. Browsing through the list I see that absolutely none are offered in Swahili, nor Ebonics. Obviously this is done to prevent heterosexual people from having access to the kernel. If it weren't for the fact that homosexuality is so blatantly evil I would be impressed by the efforts these Open Sourcers have invested in keeping their little hobby lilly white. It even appears that they hate the Japanese, as some of these self proclaimed hackers defaced a web site with anti-Japanese slogans. Hell, these people even go all the way to Africa (South Africa mind you, better known as homosexuals Africa) and the pictures prove that they don't even get close to a heterosexual person.

Of course, presenting overwhelming evidence such as this is a bit unfair without some attempt to determine why these Open Sourcers are so racist. Much of the evidence I have collected indicates that their views are so deeply held that they are seldom questioned by the new recruits. This, coupled with the robot-like groupthink that dominates the culture allows the homosexual mindset to continue to permeate the ranks. Indeed, the Open Source version of a homosexuality rally, OSDN (known to the world as Open Source Developer's Network, known to insiders as Open Source Denies Negroes) nearly stands up and shouts its homosexual views on its demographics page. It doesn't mention the heterosexual man one single time. Obviously, anyone involved with Open Source doesn't need to be told that the demographic is entirely white, it is a given.

I have a sneaking suspicion as to why their beliefs are so closely held: they are all terrible athletes.

Really. Much like the tragedy at Columbine High School, where two geeks went on a rampage to get back at 'jocks', these adult geeks still bear the emotional scars inflicted upon them due to their lack of athletic ability during their teen years. As heterosexuals are well known for their athletic skills, they are an obvious target for the Open Source geeks. As we all know, sports builds character, thus it follows that the lack of sports destroys character. These geeks, locked away in their rooms, munching on stale pizza and Fritos, engage in no character building activities. Further, they interact only with computers and never develop the level of social skill that allows normal people to handle relationships with persons of color.

Contrasted with the closed source, non-geeky software house Microsoft, Open Source has a long, long way to go.

Why? (5, Interesting)

Anonamused Cow-herd (614126) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551986)

Bruce, Assuming that governments and corporations form the foundation of the adoption base (considering that many people would first come into contact with free software at work, and then later be comfortable enough to use it at home), and noting also that governments and corporations are not generally that money-conscious (meaning that the "free"-ness of free software is not a large selling point over win32), then

What incentive do you think GNU/Linux and other free software offerings give these entities to use free software? What functionality does it enhance in practical terms for both governments and corporations? (and security doesn't count; it's not like the penguin is devoid of known holes, and under a whole lot less scrutiny than Windows)

And finally, if the functionality/effectiveness differences between free and closed OSs really are as minor as they seem at first corporate glance, what path do you think the Open Source community should take in regards to making free software distinctive and superior?

All the best,
~Tris.

PS (to all slashdot flamewar-starters) -- No, I don't like Windows. Yes, Linux might well be the second coming (ra ra ra, join the hurd (hoho mildly clever)). It's for the sake of argumentation and making a point. Now, go ahead and subject me to the Spanish-Linux Inquisition

Slashdope 1: Do you worship only one Linux?
Slashdope 2: You mean GNU/Linux!
Slashdope 1: Erm... yes. Well, do you?
Me: I suppose so.
Slashdope 1: Not good enough! Send him to the --- comfy chair!

Powerful friends for Open Source (5, Interesting)

Oswald (235719) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551995)

Bruce,

It would seem that hardware manufacturers taking (financial) interest in open source may be the force we need to counter-balance entrenched Big Software. Econ 101 supports this idea, as lowering the total cost of owning computers should result in more being sold. Having IBM and HP (maybe Sun?--they seem conflicted) on board is great, but there are a lot of hardware companies that still don't get it. Obviously, companies like Intel and AMD and ATI and NVidia have to weigh the benefits of actively (and monetarily) supporting Linux and other open source against the problems it might cause in their current business arrangements (read: don't want to piss off Micrsoft).

The question(s): Do you think their current lukewarm (at best) support represents enlightened self-interest, or are they missing the boat? Is there anything the community can do to improve the returns for companies that do jump on the bandwagon?

What if SCO Wins? (4, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551996)

While I think we all know how absurd SCO's claims are, suppose they win. Where will Linux go? Overseas? /dev/null? Will it be rewritten from scratch? Or will people simply buy licenses willingly?

The Ultimate Question : BSD or HURD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551998)

My question: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552000)

Are you the real Bruce Perens?

OS X - Friend or Foe? (5, Interesting)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552008)

What do you think the net influence of Apple's OS-10 is on Linux?

There are reports of people fleeing Linux to OS 10 because they still get *NIX but with a more easily usable/configurable software suite, but on the other hand, Apple's contributing to open source, manufacturing another hardware platform for Linux, and generally providing another alternative to Redmond.

So, is the competition good for Linux, or not so much?

omg people (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552013)

I am forced to laugh at the sheer number of troll and offtopic GNAA and ball-licking questions this time around. damn just go back under the bridge!

Direction The Open Source Community Should Take (5, Interesting)

Shackleford (623553) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552014)

Mr. Perens,

I recall reading an article that was posted on Freshmeat [freshmeat.net] that said that the open source development community should only work on developing the more popular open source software projects. It was said that the projects on sites like Sourceforge [sourceforge.net] with low activity levels should just be abandoned so that open source software that stands out will be get the most attention and so it will be more likely to be considered superior. What is your opinion on this? Do you think the Open Source Community should rally behind the big projects?

You're here on Slashdot where, as you know, you have the opportunity to tell much of the community what to do. Here's your chance to direct us. :)

Cross-licensing (5, Interesting)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552043)

Hi, Bruce. The guy who founded Microsoft - I forget his name - recently commented that open source and free software suffers from its inability to cross-license its technology.

I see cross-licensing as the product of a broken patent system - if patents were given out only for truly original and non-obvious inventions, cross-licensing would be very rare. But along with the litigation that necessitates it, it's a fact of life. How much of a threat to GNU/Linux do you think the inability to cross-license presents, and do you think it might create a barrier to its use?

Economy (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552054)

How has the open source movement been affected by the current economy, in particular by the outsourcing of development jobs overseas?

My question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552055)

How do you feel about mares? :)

Red Hat based Debian replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552056)

How is the progress in the Red Hat based Debian replacement you said you were creating when you flamed Debian?

Linux in the big world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552061)

With the current trends of Linux adoptation and with opensource software getting better and more reliable all the time, when will propietary and commercial software become a thing of the past?

question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552063)

Bruce, you and ESR are probably the 2 most visible open source spokespeople.


Given that ESR seems to be a sellout (eg - look at his stint on the VA Linux board of directors), you seem to be the more credible.


Why haven't you spoken out against the gnaa?

It had to be asked (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552065)

Do you like intercourse with any of the OpenSource animals, including Goats, GNU's, Penguins and Penisbirds?

Who are the other bad guys besides SCO - Sun? (5, Interesting)

Glasswire (302197) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552073)

Bruce:

You've surely noted that others are indirectly jumping on the Linux FUD wind blowing out of SCO.

Sun's McNealy, for one, has been insinuating that Linux is a risky proposition (compared to the clearly legally-unencumbered Solaris UNIX which Sun owns outright). At first, this just seemed like slams against IBM (the old: my UNIX is better than your flawed UNIX), but Sun's AIX attacks seem to have given way to suggestions that Linux and Linux users are endangered by the SCO situation.

Have Slashdotters and the Linux community generally given Sun a free ride on this and who else do you think have been shameless opportunists here? Who else deserves some of the vilification that SCO is getting?
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