Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

de Icaza: Rest of World Will Force US Into Linux

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the hopefully-but-we'll-see dept.

Ximian 886

Eugenia writes "OSNews had an interesting discussion with Miguel de Icaza about all things Linux and Novell. Miguel talked about the general patent problem and how this will become the one single stumbling block of widespread adoption of Linux in USA, while he asserts that Longhorn uses some 'new' technologies already found on Gnome and elsewhere. Miguel believes that poor countries will be the first that will adopt widely Linux, and as long the EU won't adopt a similar system to US for patents, Europe will follow soon after, leaving no option to USA but to eventually adopt Linux as well in the long run (despite potential patent problems). Another strategy Miguel discussed was about moving as many F/OSS applications as possible to Windows in order to familiarize the casual users with open source. Among many other interesting tidbits he also mentions that Quark is now using Mono on Mac OS X." Of course, the EU not adopting software patents seems to be less and less likely.

cancel ×

886 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Maybe Not... (5, Insightful)

dre80 (613210) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105734)

Well, that's a nice idea and all, and the initial logic seems to follow, but... will the US actually follow suit? The US isn't exactly known for following the rest of the world. Think of the metric system, for one...

Re:Maybe Not... (-1, Offtopic)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105792)

Also the death penalty! The US is one of the few industrialized nations which still practices it, and because of it some nations refuse to turn over accused/convicted persons to us with out assurance that they will not face the death penalty.

Re:Maybe Not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105884)

And what's wrong with that? The only problem with the death penalty is that it costs just as much as putting them in prison for life with all of the levels of appeals. I don't have any problem with executing somebody who without a shadow of a doubt committed atrocities. It's not life is really all that precious. As Tyler Durden would say:

"You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake."

Re:Maybe Not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9106004)

It's not life is really all that precious.

What about Hippocrate's Serment ?
Life is precious if you vowe to sustain it and to make it better for mankind.

This is just way too American to declare such idiocies while hypocritically keeping some stuff about God on your green notes.

Fuck you, assholes : either life is sacred or you desserve to be killed !

Re:Maybe Not... (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105887)

Or the war in Iraq ;-)

Re:Maybe Not... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105950)

The only countries that were greatly outspoken against the war in Iraq (specifically France and Russia) were heavily involved with UN "Food for Oil" kickbacks.

Re:Maybe Not... (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105986)

"The only countries that were greatly outspoken against the war in Iraq (specifically France and Russia) were heavily involved with UN "Food for Oil" kickbacks."

Here in Spain over a million people regularly turned out for protests again the war last year. Spain has never tried to profit from Saddam's regime, and its government even entered the war against the will of the people. Fact is, most Europeans are greatly outspoken against the war, even if their governments don't cooperate in voicing their displeasure.

Not to mention (4, Insightful)

2names (531755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105837)

that it is an extremely rare occurrance for the entity that _has_ the money to listen to the entities that don't.

I mean, when is the last time you heard of a successful business person taking advice from a skid row bum?

And, yes, I know it sounds harsh, elitist, and rude, but it is the truth and we all know it.

Re:Not to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105897)

Yeah, but in this case, the successful business person is more directly responsible for the guy becoming a skid row bum, whereas in your scenario, there is no direct or implied responsibility.

Do not underestimate the EU (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105941)

The EU is becoming more and more unified every year, and the economy of Europe is quickly becoming simmilar to the economy of the US, where you can compare a European country to a US state.

United States:

Total GDP (2002) - 10.4 Trillion $

GDP/head - $37,600

Ranked 1st (countries)

European Union:

Total GDP (2002) - 9.61 Trillion

GDP/head - 21,125

Ranked 1st if counted as a single country

Europe is coming up fast... not to mention China and India. The days of the US as the economic superpoer of the wolrd are numbered by just abount any metric you use.

The European Union is not "Europe" (2, Informative)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105978)

"The EU is becoming more and more unified every year, and the economy of Europe is quickly becoming simmilar to the economy of the US, where you can compare a European country to a US state."

The "European Union" is not yet "Europe": about half of the European countries, and more than half of European territory are not even part of the EU.

All that needs to happen (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105843)

Is for the big important games to start coming out for Linux instead of Windows.

Of course, while the U.S. sucks for console games, it rules the PC game market. So I don't know how likely it is for games to be a way for the world to force the U.S. into OS compliance...

Also if De Icaza gets his way this won't happen.. since Icaza's glorified-Wine mono project is more likely to lead to crossplatform games than linux-only ones...

-- Super Ugly Ultraman

Re:All that needs to happen (1)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105975)

Is for the big important games to start coming out for Linux instead of Windows.

Well that's not going to happen unless Linux is the dominant OS. Not company is going to spend millions of dollars to create a game and then release it for only an OS with a user base of only 2 or 3 percent.

Games need to be released for both OSs.

Re:Maybe Not... (2, Insightful)

corngrower (738661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105858)

The US certainly does not look to be a leader in the wide adoption of desktop linux. He's right in saying the us will be a follower. The US government's anal policy towards intellectual property will a detriment to the advancement of science and technology in the US. The US. was built on the idea of free flow of information and ideas. Now that it's getting to be hard to make a buck in manufacturing, executives see more value in their 'intellectual property'.

Worrying reliance on OSS (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105961)

and if people are using F/OSS applications on any operating system, this is a win-win situation for the F/OSS future.

..the above worries me. Allot of the time users
who download and run OSS programs don't even
know that they are Open source or in any way related to Linux. We cannot rely on peoples views being tainted by apps especially when they have a
"Windows look and feel" as most of them do. In fact almost every app. I've seen running on Win has the Win. theme.

One of the few examples of softwarethat buck this trend I can think of is Valves's Steam which to my knowledge is not in any way OSS.

The Os community need to help open the minds of the average joe bloggs end user, by giving apps targeted at Windows an alternative theme- anything: Cocoa, Aqua, KDE - all of these are perfectly nice and not "assimilated" into windows.

It is possible not to scare off users just becase an app doesn't hav Win L&F.

Anyone agree?..

Metric System (4, Interesting)

Venner (59051) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105919)

What are you talking about? The United States Congress officially adopted the metric system in 1866. :-)
They just didn't force people to stop using the units and measures with which they were familiar.

Coming from a science/engineering background, I *hate* working in traditional/avoirdupois/empire units.

On the other hand, it feels unnatural to talk about the weather in anything but degrees Fahrenheit. I've tried. I have plenty of European relatives. But centigrade's units feel too "big" and awkward.

Re:Maybe Not... (1)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105942)

The UK went metric for most stuff a couple of years ago. It'll take a few years for everyone (possibly a generation) in the UK to switch over and there are a few odd things like miles which will take a while to go away, but it's happening. America will convert to metric eventually.

Re:Maybe Not... (5, Insightful)

OECD (639690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105952)

The US isn't exactly known for following the rest of the world. Think of the metric system, for one...

Well, the metric system has made inroads here. It's patchy--you buy liters of Pepsi, but gallons of milk. In certain occupations, though, it's the lingua franca.

Linux adoption will probably be equivalent. It'll be here-and-there, except in areas where it's omnipresent. And that's a good thing, as it avoids a software monoculture.

It's all about the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105971)

Going metric means changing every set of scales, every printed label on every product sold by weight and educating the entire populace

Going to FLOSS means using the same hardware, the same user interfaces, but just not paying for the privilege.

Cost is a barrier to adoption of the metric syste, the conveniences it brings are only really useful to the scientific community, hence NASA's partial adoption.

Saving money is a different matter entirely...

GUESS WHAT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105736)

NO ONE CARES!

Uh huh... (4, Funny)

Boing (111813) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105743)

Rest of World Will Force US Into Linux

Umm, yeah... because that worked so well with the metric system.

GOOD 2 KNOW!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105751)

AND WORLD PEACE!!

Re:Uh huh... (4, Funny)

ballpoint (192660) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105857)

Is this really an "US and them" issue ?

After all, we're only ordinary men.

Re:Uh huh... (3, Funny)

Ari Rahikkala (608969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105979)

Why, certainly. Who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?

Re:Uh huh... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105879)

The rest of the world does work well with the metric system. Recall which country's space probes puked when they converted back to the ancient Imperial system for fuel calculations.

A great example of US/non-US mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105889)

Non-US: More people = more power
US: More money = more power

In practical reality, the US approach always seems to pan out.

Re:Uh huh... (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105908)

My though exactly. The US doesn't mind changing just as long as it changes in the way they though of. If the metric system was created in the US then it would be fully used right now. The same with Linux adoption, Linux wasn't an American product it is more of a world product which is competing against Microsoft (An American Product). As well the poor job in education in the US in the Math/Science areas has extended to computer technology. So before we were doing a poor job teaching the metric system to kids and encouraging them to use the English System (Until late in high-school, where the courses are elective). Now we are doing a worse job in teaching computers to the children (where 20 years ago the intro computer courses would cover programming in Basic and Logo, and now they are teaching hotkeys for Word) So this generation who grows up with the Microsoft is the American Way mentality will be extremely resistant to change to an other os no matter how good it is.

Re:Uh huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105918)

Well, if we don't follow suit this time, then the US corporate and consumer markets will lose out on all those popular applications that are coded overseas only for Linux boxes.

Like... erm... hm... nevermind.

The US will have to follow (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105973)

There is a big difference between the Metric system and this. The difference is times have changed. The US is no longer as dominant as it used to be. It is ahead but by not as much. And we are now on a world economy where the US is getting knocked out of the drivers seat. You don't keep you spot there by dictating the rest of the world do something. It's competition. You get there by doing it better than anyone else. And the US (I live there) at it's current rate will not stay as the world leader.

A great idea (4, Insightful)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105747)

to move F/OSS to Windows. It helps the migration to Linux a lot better.

Linux needs to improve to become a better desktop OS.

Many organizations do not use Linux and F/OSS becuase they have not been certified for use with their profession, like accounting etc. So there needs to be certification of Linux and F/OSS products. If the organization doing the certification is in the pocket of MS, fat chance of that happening.

GOOD 2 KNOW!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105799)

[running out of shit too say]

Re:A great idea (5, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105825)

Absolutely.

In the good fight with Microsoft, we must use every advantage we have. Coverting OSS packages to work on windows is a killer because Microsoft can't do it without aiding us! If we have applications that work across a variety of platforms, then we have a selling point that Microsoft doesn't. However, if they tried to do the same thing - for instance, porting Office to Linx - that would only benefit us anyway. So it's win/win for us and lose/lose for MS.

*Cough* metric *Cough* (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105750)

'nuff said?

EU software patents. (5, Interesting)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105757)

Note: The European elections are due in a month or so, so contact your MEPs to ask why they exist if the parliament can be bypassed like this.

Re:EU software patents. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105863)

The European wasn't bypassed. It's part of the law making process. The proposal bounces between comission an parliament several times until one side accepts the proposal of the other. The comisions proposal will hit the parliament after the election, so elect wisely.....

Re:EU software patents. (1)

irokie (697424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105870)

The parent isn't off topic... he's urging the european readers of /. to contact their MEPs and let them know that we're concerned about European Patent law, on which there's a big election soon. and didn't the entire first page of the article talk about f/oss being strangled by patent laws in the US, but europe was still a relatively welcoming climate.
RTFA and consider the issues raised before modding OT...

de Icaza and software patents (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105759)

Of course Miguel de Icaza hates softwares patents. He has already made his money - I suspect his net worth is more than most of us will make in a lifetime.

So since he has already made his fortune, why should he care if there are strong IP laws to insure that others get paid for their work?

Actually, the same criticism applies to all these big name open-source advocates.

Wake up, people.

Re:de Icaza and software patents (2, Insightful)

JohnGrahamCumming (684871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105791)

> So since he has already made his fortune, why should he care if there are strong IP laws to insure that others get paid for their work?

> Actually, the same criticism applies to all these big name open-source advocates.

Right, RMS is in it for the $$$:-)

Re:de Icaza and software patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105819)

ESR certainly is. As soon as he became a millionaire he posted his 'Surprised by wealth' shitstain to let us know how well off he now was.
Easy knowing these morons don't actually have to earn a wage programming.

Re:de Icaza and software patents (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105803)

Are you really this stupid? Is anybody?

Re:de Icaza and software patents (1)

phats garage (760661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105841)

When all of the obvious, trivial methods of computation are patented, how will I, the "after working hours, pursuing my dream" programmer be able to produce the next new whiz bang program? Doesn't the US like the small startups anymore?

Havn't I heard this before? (-1, Redundant)

TexasDex (709519) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105761)

I thought that the rest of the world was supposed to force the U.S. into Metric.

Not to be a pessimist, I would love for Linux to take over, but I currently see the entire U.S. using an inferrior system that is used only in the U.S. and incompatible with everything else in the world.

Re:Havn't I heard this before? (2, Informative)

kahei (466208) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105828)


Yes, but unlike the Metric system, Linux offers actual benefits.

Linux benefits: Free, open, stable, secure, easily modifiable. Saves billions of dollars and reduces dependence on single vendor.

Metric benefits: Measures everything relative to a single lump of iridium kept in Paris and on the incorrect original French calculation of the size of the earth. Good if you really like the number 10... except for time... and angles.

See, the metric system's benefits, while of course they are great, aren't really as compelling, commercially.

(Let the metric system advocacy commence!)

Re:Havn't I heard this before? (3, Interesting)

Yorrike (322502) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105853)

I thought that the rest of the world was supposed to force the U.S. into Metric.

No it didn't work, but the rest of the world cares not for the backwards, stone-age measurement systems used by the US. Instead of persisting, we just point and laugh when the US talks of feet and inches.

The US won't be the world's super power forever, once they're second or third for a half century, I'm sure they'll make efforts to fall into line.

Re:Havn't I heard this before? (4, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105874)

There is at least a bit of a fundimental difference.

Joe Six-Pack in the U.S. doesn't usually need to use the metric system in his life, so he has no incentive to change over to it. He DOES however use the internet regularly, and his company may do deal with some overseas companies. If Linux is adopted overseas, all it means it that interoperability will probably have to be maintained between Linux and Windows. Once that happens though, managers in the US may start to see the cost savings, and switch.

On the other hand, as long as the interoperability is maintained, there is no incentive to switch.

For instance, if the U.S. was REALLY serious about moving to the metric system, they should offer incentives to Juice/Bottle makers too only put out things in metric containers (instead of a Half gallon of milk/Juice, go get a 2 liter contianer). They should also mandate that all gas pumps should be switched to the Liter instead of the Gallon. Those two things alone would bring the Metric system into the average persons, life in such a dramatic way that it might foster adoption (one they get past the resentment that things have changed :) ).

Re:Havn't I heard this before? (3, Insightful)

Yorrike (322502) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105926)

They should also mandate that all gas pumps should be switched to the Liter instead of the Gallon.

And at the same time, avoid pissing off the rest of the metric world by spelling litre properly. I know "liter" is an accepted way of spelling litre, but it just looks wrong IMHO.

Re:Havn't I heard this before? (-1, Flamebait)

Shalda (560388) | more than 10 years ago | (#9106007)

Firstly, the Metric system sucks. That's why the US doesn't use it. Imperial measurements are based around two things: commonly used amounts/distances and binary division. You can take a half, a third, or a quarter of something and not get some goofy decimal. Metric is great for chemistry, good for physics and engineering, (ironicly, Metric would be excellent for physics and engineering if everything else in the US was metric) but it stinks for around the house.

This gets us to point number two: Windows is and will be surperior over the long run. That's because Microsoft has virtually unlimited resources. They can pay people to do the work a lot of F/OSS developers aren't interested in doing. Like documentation and ease of use. Frankly, Windows Server 2003 the nicest system I've ever worked with. I'll take .NET over Java any day of the week.

I'm 6 feet tall, weigh 200 pounds, enjoy a good pint and I use Windows. Let the flames begin.

Look at the metric system. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105771)

The rest of the world uses the metric system. You would think that by now the US would have converted to it... but no, we're damn stubborn, and proud of it!

Unless there is money involved, an American will not change.

The Poorer Countries Will.. (1, Interesting)

HoxBox (670161) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105772)

Pirate the software! Oh wait they already do....

The new market for the 21st century (4, Interesting)

spidergoat2 (715962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105773)

Is the 3rd world. While these countries are poor now, their economies will be openning up. If they have adopted a standard of open source, they will have no reason to change. Certainly not at Microsoft's prices. The point will come where, if the US wants to do business, we will be forced to adopt their standards. Good thing we already have Linux here.

Re:The new market for the 21st century (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105896)

All that means is that we would/will need to adopt their standards, not necessarily their OS.

Open protocols and standards would suffice for this, although it would be a big club for getting MS to "play nice" with open protocols and standards :)

Re:The new market for the 21st century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105922)

Except that there have been promises for the third world to be the new economy for around 50 years. Until these countries can stop killing each other and spreading AIDS they have little shot of becoming part of the world economy. Which country specifically do you see being the next great powerhouse?

SLASHDOT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105775)

News from de Icaza. Stuff that doesn't matter.

Just like the .. (-1, Redundant)

Kallahan (599898) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105780)

Just like they did with the metric system... :(

Just like... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105782)

we went Metric when the rest of the world did?

The rest of the world... (4, Insightful)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105785)

...largely uses either legitimate copies of Windows (most of Western Europe and Japan) or pirated copies of Windows (poorer regions like most of Africa, South America, Asia).

I really don't see this changing.

Re:The rest of the world... (3, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105964)

However slowly, a lot of the third world countries are industrialising/modernising. And if you're actually trying to run a legitimate business, it's often preferrable to have a legal infrastructure to your operations. If you start making enough money using things that you don't legally own, you're going to eventually get busted, whether you're stealing electricity, or stealing software.

The advantages of linux and the like extend beyond price alone. Linux did not exist in a viable form when the windows empire took hold of the states, but it has a fighting chance in some of these new markets. While I doubt that linux will ever reach a point of domination similar to what windows has gotten, (honestly, would any reasonable person want it to?), it will force a lot of interoperability efforts on behalf of MS.

Evolution Win32 (Slightly OT) (4, Interesting)

CdBee (742846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105787)

I'm genuinely looking forward to the release of the Ximian Evolution Windows port as it'll finally give a decent free mail client, which I can distribute to the several dozen friends' PCs I unofficially support.

I've been trying to get them off Outlook/OExpress for ages (for safety purposes) but most refused to go to Thunderbird as it was "too different"

They can hardly say that about Evolution.

Re:Evolution Win32 (Slightly OT) (2, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105871)

Miguel believes porting apps like Evolution to Windows will help make people more comfortable with F/OSS and may therefore switch to Linux later. Since you have a great example here, do you agree? If your friends were off Outlook and all other closed source programs (i.e. they switch to Firefox, OpenOffice, etc.) would they be comfortable then switching to Linux?

it's up to everyone else, not us... (1, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105789)

Miguel realizes that while, for example, OOo doesn't have all the MS Office features, "it's good enough" and that's a great start for the majority of users.

But the problem is that it is NOT "good enough". Just because OSS zealots think it is does not mean that it is.

When I can open every single one of my Word and Excel files without a single error then it will be "good enough". The missing features, etc, are one thing but not having the exact replica of what I saved in Office is a hassle.

I agree with him that if OSS software gets rooted on the Windows side then the transition to the Linux side would be easier... Only if Linux becomes a large percentage better than Windows at somepoint. That point comes when the rest of the world decides it not when "we" do.

Re:it's up to everyone else, not us... (5, Informative)

bigchris (54369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105823)

Wrong. As has been pointed out oh-so-many times, not even Microsoft can open their own documents in different versions of Word in the same way. So close enough is good enough for most users.

Re:it's up to everyone else, not us... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105945)

Great. I am talking about MY documents. I can open any of my Documents w/o a problem in 97, 2000, and XP. I cannot open those same documents without a problem in OO.

Thus, I am not wrong.

Re:it's up to everyone else, not us... (1, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105885)

Not even close to "good enough" for my business. Until I have fully functioning apps that I can run my business with, OSS is useless to me. At the current rate, my company will probably be with MS, Intuit, and several other closed source vendors for quite a while.

Of course. (-1, Offtopic)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105793)

That's why the Amiga is still so popular in the U.S.

Mercatur - my daily adventure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105794)

The day begins as most days begin. I stare wide-eyed at the stains on my ceiling and begin the fantasy.
Mercatur, her fair features and heavenly body are calling to me, calling to my nadular region.

Then I spew and clean up with some toilet paper.

Universal Standards (-1, Redundant)

Scoria (264473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105796)

In other news, the United States has also adopted the metric system!

Re:Universal Standards (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105932)

Can any US scientist help me out here - do _you_ use the metric system? What I'm getting at is: I seem to recall that US scientists _do_ use metric; it's just not a mandated standard for society at large. Am I way off-base here?

Incidentally, before knocking the non-metric US, remember that there are other guilty parties: the UK still proudly uses miles, pints and it's a real concession when weather forecasters deign to tell us the temperature in "Centigrade" as well as degrees Fahrenheight. ("Centigrade"? WTF? How difficult is it to say "degrees Celcius"?)

Re:Universal Standards (1)

magefile (776388) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105989)

Yes, US scientists use metric. High school students use it in science class, too, and I've noticed (in my years in school) a trend towards math class using it as well - although non-decimal systems are useful for some things (modulus, anybody?).

Part of the reason metric is used is because it makes solving equations easier (what's 1/12 of a foot in angstroms again?), but also because no one has ever come in contact with a slug (which is apparently the US answer to the kilo; the pound is technically force, like Newtons, not mass).

I'm a geek (gasp! a geek on /.?), so this may not mean anything, but I estimate better in meters and liters than in feet and gallons. Mass/weight I suck at estimating anyway, so that doesn't matter.

Nothing to see here. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105797)

Linux had its chance. It has certainly proven itself in the server world, but it just doesn't have what it takes to be a true desktop alternative. There are a number of reasons that it isn't ready, but the biggest problem of all is that when you tell a Linux zealot that Linux isn't ready for the desktop because of X reason, they flip out and tell you that you are wrong. The general Linux community needs to learn to accept helpful and honest criticism, and use it to better the OS. Linux is good, but it has shortcomings, and it is certainly not ready for mass adoption on the desktop. Until the Linux community is ready to accept that and start addressing the problems that people have, Linux will never have a chance to become a true alternative.

Re:Nothing to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105848)

Windows had its chance. It has certainly proven itself as a liability in the server world, but it just doesn't have what it takes to be a true desktop alternative. There are a number of reasons that it isn't ready, but the biggest problem of all is that when you tell a Windows zealot that Windows isn't ready for the desktop because of X reason, they flip out and tell you that you are wrong. The general Microsoft astroturfers need to learn to accept helpful and honest criticism, and use it to better the OS. Windows is good, but it has shortcomings, and it is certainly not ready for mass adoption on the desktop. Until the Windows astroturfers are ready to accept that and start addressing the problems that people have, Windows will never have a chance to become a true alternative.

Re:Nothing to see here. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105886)

Oh good, you proved my point through example. Thanks!

Here's to another 7-10 years of the Linux community ignoring people telling them how to improve the end user experience!

Because Miguel de Icaza is unbiased? (4, Interesting)

mhesseltine (541806) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105798)

Of course someone deeply involved in the Open Source software movement is going to say that Linux will become the dominant system. It's in his best interest to say that.

Bill Gates, Steve Balmer, Craig Mundie, etc. all feel that Windows and Microsoft software will be the dominant platform. Steve Jobs thinks that Apple and OS X will be the dominant platform. Is this really news?

The more interesting question is if de Icaza *really* believes that Gnome and Mono are going to be the dominant desktop. I know as the founder of the project, again it is in his interest to say yes. I just wonder if he's tried to use a KDE 3.2.x system and what his impressions are of it?

Re:Because Miguel de Icaza is unbiased? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105999)

Actually, a more accurate statement would be to say that Miguel de Icaza is heavily involved in Microsoft. Not that he's actually, you know, a coder or anything but a PR mouthpiece for Billy Boy. He "knows" GNOME and MONO will dominate because they SUCK - they can't POSSIBLY compete with Windows. KDE might, which is why he'll never mention it.

Metric system. (-1, Redundant)

stashluk (470172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105802)

Just like they've forced us to use the metric system.

Do as I say, not as I do?? (3, Interesting)

moehoward (668736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105804)


It always bugged me that Evolution was not available for Windows. I'd be more than happy to ditch Outlook, but a good alternative does not exist. The Mozilla family is not a good alternative.

I hope that this means we'll see Evolution and others ported to Windows in the near future.

Re:Do as I say, not as I do?? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105931)

but a good alternative does not exist
Pegasus, Foxmail, Eudora, Mozilla etc. are as good as (or better than) Outlook Express for the home.

Outlook itself is a different matter, for one thing it's not free so you would need to compare it with other commercial offerings to be fair. But there are certainly alternatives (Lotus Notes, Novell Groupwise).

Most small companies tend to stick with Outlook as it comes bundled with Office anyway, I'm not sure how much difference it would make to have a free alternative in Evolution.

Albrecht Einstein thought something similar (0, Flamebait)

Azahar (113797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105809)

Albrecht Einstein once thought that the amount of input that Jews contributed to scientific thought in Germany and Austria would make Jews accepted in mainstream Germanic society.

Re:Albrecht Einstein thought something similar (1)

Frit Mock (708952) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105912)


Who the fuck is "Albrecht Einstein" !?!? ;)

Move on, nothing to see here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105827)

In unrelated news Great Britain and all of it's former colonies will now drive on the right side of the road because the rest of the world does. Also the EU has decided to make English its official language as nobody in the world nowadays speaks french, german etc... troll.

"US" is one entity? (2, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105836)

What does "US" mean in this case? It's not like there aren't already American people and companies using Linux. Does he mean the US government?

Russia and China (5, Interesting)

thodu (530182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105840)

Two countries that simply refuse to be bullied by anybody. Watch out for Linux development heading eastwards - patents or no patents. China, as we have seen went out of their way to develop an alternative DVD standard just to get around patent crap. And they almost went their own way on WiFi too. I wonder what the terms of settlement between Intel and China amounts too. Japan too, for their consumer electronics industry adopting Linux in a big way. NTT DoCoMo's reference platform for the next generation phones is based on Linux.

In Soviet Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105939)

You mean, that in Soviet Russia, government bully YOU?

Hello! World to Miguel! (0, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105850)

Wakey, wakey!

Don't forget: this guy also thinks Mono is a great idea.

Sometimes I wonder if he's actually working for MS with the ideas or "strategies" he comes up with.

Re:Hello! World to Miguel! (1)

szo (7842) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105905)

This world to stuff should be filtered by the lameness filter!

Szo

Yes! Let's all use Linux! (-1, Flamebait)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105855)

Then we can have giant software monoculture based on Linux instead of Windows :P

Re:Yes! Let's all use Linux! (1)

AgntOrnge (718563) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105981)

I was thinking the same exact thing actually. The drive seems to be towards another monoculture. I have to question how one or another can possibly be any better. Though I am sure companies who are seeking to sell IT as a service, such as IBM, would love to see an OSS future. With developers being a less than autonomous group and direct support being hit or miss for their product it would generate an enormous marketplace for service/support providers, implementers, etc.

The Third World (5, Insightful)

aynrandfan (687181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105866)

From the article:

Poor countries don't have the money to buy and maintain Windows; this is where open source software is becoming a real and powerful alternative," he said.

OK, but if they are too poor to maintain Windows, doesn't that also mean that they are that much more open to pressures and special "deals" (to ensure lock-in) from Microsoft?

*** marker *** (5, Funny)

dash2 (155223) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105867)

This is an (un)official Slashdot repetition marker. Any further posts on the Lame Ass Metric System Analogy (LAMSA) are now Redundant, and their posters may be spanked with a metric ruler.

Posts utilizing the LAMSA _above_ this marker may also be moderated Redundant, but you may not beat the poster for more than forty five minutes at one sitting. Thank you. Have a nice day.

Cross-Platform (5, Insightful)

brolewis (712511) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105880)

I think its good to see a leading F/OSS developer saying there needs to be F/OSS software made available on Windows. I am a developer that releases software under the GPL and try to make all of my software cross-platform. I believe that F/OSS developers needs to get out of the Linux bubble and realize that there are other platforms which are hungry for the software. I think that cross-platform is the next logical step for developers. I want to be able to use the same software at work (SolarisOS), home (WindowsXP), and develop environment (Linux).

I'm going to write a news article (0, Flamebait)

ValuJet (587148) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105888)

1. Write a news article using wild assumptions and speculation explaining how Linux will become the predominant OS soon. 2. Get story published on slashdot 3. ????? 4. Profit!

Re:I'm going to write a news article (1)

ValuJet (587148) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105906)

Preview is my fiend :(

Either that, or it will be soccer and metric (1, Redundant)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105894)

Either this, or it will be like "soccer" and metric: two world standards that the U.S. will continue to buck no matter what.

Business.. (4, Interesting)

xxx_Birdman_xxx (676056) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105898)

I've been following Linux for several years, but it's only this year I been able to stay exclusively on linux for a week or so while doing uni work. It's like everything has clicked for me, and I'm finding that I'm prefering to work under linux for coding. Maybe it's because i've been fiddling around long enough that I've grown to love the OS and desktop managers like KDE, or maybe it's because projects in the open source community have risen to such high levels of quality.

Thats not to say though that I haven't had my share of problems- cant get tv out working nicely, or 5.1 sound, or my OpenGL working right...

But for sitting down and doing research, coding and web activites, I'm finding Linux (i'm using Mandrake 9.2 btw) is more productive for me than Windows.

And when it comes to business, productivity is a significant drawcard. Due to my new found fondness of linux and OSS this week, im thinking that OSS will win users over due to it's increasing quality moreso than patent issues.

Gut reaction (3, Informative)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105913)

First, I will admit that I didn't RTFA yet, so let's get that out of the way. Mod me down if you don't like it.

That said, I would say that the US is unlikely to adapt a standard just because the rest of the world has. Witness:

  • Metric system - we still stand by our archaic and inexcusable system
  • DVB - we developed ATSC instead of adopting DVB for broadcast, requiring folks using DVB satellite or cable systems to ALSO get ATSC receivers for over-the-air
  • GSM - finally gaining a foothold but only after we developed THREE other formats (though I do feel that CDMA is superior).
  • Frequency allocation for mobile phones including GSM - we use 800 and 1900MHz while everyone else is using 900 and 1800MHz (except Canada who joined us on this one)

Microsoft might prefer piracy over Linux usage... (4, Interesting)

jaylee7877 (665673) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105928)

One interesting question this raises is which MS would prefer the poor countries to do: Pirate MS Products or use Linux. My guess is MS would prefer them to use pirated Windows than Linux because MS at least then has the vendor lockin. MS change of heart concerning WinXP SP2 installation on pirated machines would certainly argue for this.

Yes and No (5, Insightful)

Rick.C (626083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105960)

My first reaction to this was, "Look at past 'standards' that have not swayed the entrenched users."

Metric vs. SAE
240V 50Hx vs. 120V 60Hz
Drive on left vs. drive on right side of the road
EBCDIC vs. ASCII (IBM vs. everyone else)
... and a lot of other things

But then this weekend something happened that changed my mind on the future of Linux. I downloaded Knoppix 3.4 and stuck the CD in a friend's WinXP box with a failing HD. WinXP wouldn't boot. Knoppix "just worked". It auto-configured all the hardware (a Dell 4550 series P4) and allowed me to back up most of this person's data to a CDR.

This is the kind of thing that will make people take notice of Linux. They want a car that they can turn the key and drive away. People don't want a car that needs to have the engine tuned before they can drive it off the lot. Or one that they actually have to read the owner's manual.

They want an computer that auto-configures and is intuitively obvious to use. Knoppix 3.4 is a step in that direction.

don't cry for US miguel (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9105974)

you've gotten your corepirate nazi execrable monIE, now keep your distance.

US and EU patents (3, Insightful)

panurge (573432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105976)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the difference between US and EU patents was that US patents are backdated to the claimed date of invention while EU patents are based on date of filing. In the EU it should not be possible to patent any existing technology that is in the public domain - and that means all of OSS, by definition.

In the US it is all too possible for something to be well established prior art, but an inventor claims to have made the invention prior to the first date of open publication. Having been involved with both US and European patents until about 1995, I considered the US system to be deeply screwed - the opportunity for fraud is immense. (though yes, that didn't stop me from filing US patent applications...)The EU system should not be so bad.

If this still applies, the important thing is for all ideas and concepts being brought to the OSS table to be published as soon as possible after they arise, thus creating prior art even if it is only in a very buggy bit of code.

Of course, if the US gets the entire IP world to rely on "date of invention", we're all screwed, and I'm going to buy a farm and retire.

Does it matter? (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9105984)

If by the time GNU/Linux is adopted throughout the world (assuming that happens), it's just a poor clone of Windows, will it matter if the US adopts it?

And does anyone actually want a monopoly operating system? I know I don't.

There are two or three agendas in the FOSS movements which can be summarized thusly:

  • "Why? What are we going to do tomorrow Brain?" "Same thing we do every night Pinky... try to take over the world!" Microsoft, goes the argument, is eeeeeeevil. We must topple it at all costs. While it may or may not be true, there's an element of 1918 here, toppling a cruel and dictatorial czar and not caring what the regime is that replaces it.

    Above all, the regime being proposed is frequently the worst of all worlds. People who hold this view tend to argue that Windows needs to be replaced with a version of GNU/Linux that looks like Windows. But a version of GNU/Linux designed to be as similar to Windows as possible to an end user is going to be dysfunctional by definition. GNU/Linux isn't Windows, it shares few of the same concepts, the solutions Microsoft came up with for interfacing the underlying OS with the user are unlikely to be relevent to GNU/Linux and rarely are in practice. And Windows is simply not a good example of a user friendly operating system, unless you're talking about the original version of Windows 95, which at the time was "pure", it hadn't been hacked to try to push certain competing middleware out of the market. And do you really want to switch to Windows 95 today? GEM and Mac OS System 6 were user friendly too, would you like to clone either?

  • "Freedom!" - Proprietary software is eeeevil, we must topple it at all costs, toppling dictators whereever we might find them even at immense cost to ourselves.

    There's some legitimacy to this view, but again it has a tendency to be undermined by its own supporters who frequently assert that, as a starting point, you need to clone whatever's already there. Again, the Pinky and the Brain scenario springs to mind here, with the more vocal supporters being in favour of a dysfunctional system "because it's what users know." In fairness, most also argue that free software, by its very nature, improves choice because if you don't like the way something works, you can modify it. However, it's not "free software" that's taken hold so much as "open source", where programmers across the world collaborate. This is both a strength and an Achile's Heel, because just as Microsoft and other proprietary vendors cannot keep up with such a freight train, neither can most ordinary users who'd like their software to work with a better paradigm.

  • "Choice" - The problem isn't Microsoft, it's Windows. If Windows was what we wanted, we wouldn't be so hostile to it.

    This is the only one of the three scenarios that has immediate and obvious benefits to end users. A view based on choice works best when people create Free Software, when programmers try to do original things, and when people try new things.

My problem is I see too many people who see GNU/Linux as a chance to create an alternative Windows. And I don't see how anyone really benefits from that. We replace one monopoly with another, that monopoly might be less "evil", but we don't even know that. What we do know is that an inappropriate clone of someone else's work isn't likely to be as good as the original. And many, many, of us do not like the original.

Personally, I love free software. Given the choice, however, between One (Supported) Free Operating System (the "Supported" is important), an Operating System whose design choices have made me dislike it intensely, and a miriad of supported proprietary systems, at least one of which works in the way I prefer, I have to go with the Devil and chose the latter. It's not Microsoft I dislike, it's their operating system and the dull grey rock of monoculture. Changing who owns that rock doesn't make things much better.

Rest of World Will Force US Into Linux.. (-1, Redundant)

Tingler (56229) | more than 10 years ago | (#9106003)

....Just like the metric system.

Sorry guys, but it is much easier for me to imagine the US as a bastion of gallons, feet, & active-x. Perhaps you can work on upcoming generations by throwing away all the foot long rulers & AOL cds.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>