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Follow Up to "Linux's Achilles Heel"

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the at-least-some-of-us-are-polite dept.

Linux 533

donheff writes "Fred Langa has posted an Informationweek online followup to his "Linux's Achilles Heel" column that drew a lot of attention on slashdot recently. He responds to several of the most common criticisms and 'posits that high-priced commercial Linux vendors are on a suicidal course, unless they lower prices to accentuate their advantages over Windows.'"

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yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182947)


Re:yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182952)


Re:yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182976)

first post is never off topic !

Re:yeah (-1, Offtopic)

selfabuse (681350) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182992)

Whaaaat??? Whaaaaaat??! Ooohkay!

Something about this week? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182949)

This is Linux FUD week [] it seems

Re:Something about this week? (1)

jg21 (677801) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182972)

Plenty more [] where that came from...

Re:Something about this week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183136)

Enjoy The Linux FUD Factor FAQ [] home page

Re:Something about this week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183179)

Don't forget there's pro-Linux FUD [] too.

FUD = something negative about something you like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183081)

Regardless of its veracity.

Re:FUD = something negative about something you li (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183373)

actually, it just means bullshit.

It's quite possible... (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182954)

...that future Linux distros will move away from being "Linux" and toward being independent OSes. They'd still retain the Linux kernel, and perhaps some of the CLI userland, but the GUI and standard programs will be proprietary.

Apple has already accomplished this with BSD and OS X. Looking at the Java Desktop System [] , I think that this is Sun's endgame as well. For now they'll leverage everything Linux, then slowly replace all programs with Java ones, and the Desktop with Java Looking Glass. It's hard to say how it will work out, but I wish them the best.

Diversity == Good; Fragmentation == Terrible (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183084)

Apple has already accomplished this with BSD and OS X. Looking at the Java Desktop System, I think that this is Sun's endgame as well. For now they'll leverage everything Linux, then slowly replace all programs with Java ones, and the Desktop with Java Looking Glass. It's hard to say how it will work out, but I wish them the best.

I don't.

It is exactly this sort of shit that nearly killed UNIX in the 1980s and allowed Microsoft the opportunity to supplant technically superior systems with their shoddy software and then leverage that toehold into a desktop monopoly.

Fragmentation is bad for everyone. Sun, HP, et. al. made this mistake before. If they insist on repeating it (and I believe Sun is perfectly capable of repeating acts of inane stupidity perpetually, as they really do seem to have difficulty learning from past mistakes -- remember sunview, openwindows, etc.) they will meet the same fate as before, this time with no one to rescue them.

Apple is different, in that they have always had their own OS and their own niche, and have used their underlying BSD system to actually broaden that platform some. What you are describing for Sun et. al. is a narrowing of their (Linux) platform, and undermining one of the great values of Linux ... that it is a defacto standard system that runs the same basic flavor of *NIX on multiple hardware platforms, irrespective of distribution, CPU type, 32-bit vs. 64-bit, 1-way vs. N-way processors, etc.

Lose that and your right back to the state of UNIX circa 1990, and that wasn't a pretty picture (or a viable state of affairs, with every hardware manufacturer's proprietary system incompatible with everyone elses).

Fragmentation is bad, and I do not "wish the best" for anyone trying to fragment the free software world in general and Linux in particular. Quite the opposite: I hope any such efforts fail miserably and teach a lesson certain parties seem quite challenged to learn, no matter how often they burn themselves trying.

Re:Diversity == Good; Fragmentation == Terrible (0, Offtopic)

Psiren (6145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183167)

An interesting and well written response, but please learn the difference between your and you're.

Re:Diversity == Good; Fragmentation == Terrible (1)

andalay (710978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183214)

Compare the /. ID's of the grandparent and parent, and you understand the difference in views :)

Re:Diversity == Good; Fragmentation == Terrible (1, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183276)

Look who's talking. Does your exceedingly high user id mean that we should not take your post seriously? Or does it automatically mark you as a troll? Or perhaps your just despondent over the fact that you're missing a +1 modifier?

Evaluate peoples opinions for their content, not how soon they signed up for an account on Slashdot.

Re:Diversity == Good; Fragmentation == Terrible (1)

andalay (710978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183324)

/me hands AKAImBatman a chill pill

Relax. What I meant was that other dude seemed to be around at an earlier time than yourself and thus had a different view because s/he saw what went down.

And I did evaluate based on content, I thought the other guys view was more informed.

Re:Diversity == Good; Fragmentation == Terrible (1, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183233)

It is exactly this sort of shit that nearly killed UNIX in the 1980s and allowed Microsoft the opportunity to supplant technically superior systems with their shoddy software and then leverage that toehold into a desktop monopoly.

I believe you mean the 1990's. Unix was not having all that many troubles in the 1980's. It's biggest competitor was mainframes and "smart" terminals that allowed things like an independent Word Processor to interface to the mainframe.

What you are describing for Sun et. al. is a narrowing of their (Linux) platform, and undermining one of the great values of Linux ... that it is a defacto standard system that runs the same basic flavor of *NIX on multiple hardware platforms, irrespective of distribution, CPU type, 32-bit vs. 64-bit, 1-way vs. N-way processors, etc.

Hmm... Not sure I follow you here. Sun has release JDS for x86. They've promised to also release JDS on Solaris for x86, AMD, and Sparc. In this way, you can choose what features meet your needs. If you need a kernel that handles all the exotic x86 hardware, then a Linux kernel is best. If you want to run JDS for 200 people using SunRay stations, then JDS Solaris is for you.

Lose that and your right back to the state of UNIX circa 1990, and that wasn't a pretty picture (or a viable state of affairs, with every hardware manufacturer's proprietary system incompatible with everyone elses).

True. But I'd like to point out that Sun isn't bucking any specs here. Their JDS system still interops with all Unix and Windows machines. In the process, they're attempting to blaze a trail for what Linux can be used for. Assuming they don't open source Looking Glass, what stops the Linux community from creating a better engineered knockoff? And how will Sun's desktop fragment the market? It's still X11. It just has 3D features not present in today's GNOME and KDE desktops.

Re:Diversity == Good; Fragmentation == Terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183262)

and this is why the only 2 distros I truely call linux are Gentoo and Slackware...

the fricking apps are installed WHERE THEY BELONG not where come "committee" decides where they go.

where the developer decided that it wants to go when you type make; make install is where the fricking things belong until there is a LINUX Filesystem layout that is required to be used if you want to use the name linux the mess will get worse and worse...

Re:It's quite possible... (1)

wolf31o2 (778801) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183226)

This does seem to be a growing trend with Linux companies. All I can say is that I am glad to see Novell is doing the right thing and opening much of what was once proprietary software. I can only hope to see this trend increase in the coming years.

I believe that both Sun and Apple can pull this off only because they also sell hardware. There's nothing wrong with having a mostly open, yet still proprietary operating system on hardware that you control. After all, it allows you do make optimizations that would otherwise be impossible, or at least very complex, to create in an open environment.

Linux can very well become quite splintered, but due to its open nature, I tend to belive that distributors whom diverge too heavily from the norm will be left out simply due to the lack of mindshare. Linux's biggest strong point is the fact that underneath all of the "value add" from your distribution, it is still Linux and it still works the same way.

Re:It's quite possible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183360)

what makes you think they aren't independent OSes already? Why do they have to be proprietary GUI's to make them different OSes? What is it about being all locked up like sun that makes it distinct? Is it the incompatibility caused by being locked up, or is it that people consider everything with a free license to be part of the system?

(why did i phrase everything as questions?)

Distracted by flash (-1, Troll)

radoni (267396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182962)

I attempted to read the article, but was distracted by chirping bird noises

and a trojan chickenhead rolling through the security gates of troy.

Re:Distracted by flash (0, Troll)

radoni (267396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183092)

parent post was no troll. grr.. it says comment so i commented.

Are there any... (3, Interesting)

dijjnn (227302) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182964)

... Legitimate TCO analysis studies out there? Obviously it's different from company to company, but it would be nice if there were something we could point to when we tell our various employers that they should be using Free Software.

Re:Are there any... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183140)

What do you find to be illegitimate about existing TCO studies, except for the fact that the conclusion isn't what you'd like it to be? I've seen a lot of finger-pointing attacking the sources as biased, but never any coherent deconstruction of the material.

If Osama bin Laden says that two plus two equals four, should that information be considered illegitimate?

Re:Are there any... (3, Insightful)

dijjnn (227302) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183281)

What do you find to be illegitimate about existing TCO studies, except for the fact that the conclusion isn't what you'd like it to be?

That they're published by organizations with clear conflict of interest issues. Most of ones with published papers are funded by Microsoft directly or indirectly.

hmm, i wonder what they'll say about the competition of the people paying them... hmmm...

Re:Are there any... (3, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183218)

Most of the TCO studies cite that to deploy linux, you need competant admins that cost more because they have pesky unwanted skills like security, programming languages, and generally a lot more experience with more complex software packages than an MSCE.

Will they? (4, Funny)

Cyclopedian (163375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182965)

From the article:
To me, the answer is obvious: The commercial Linuxes should reduce their prices. That will instantly reduce the expectations of the end-user community and avoid the direct comparison to Windows' level of support. Linux will again be a bargain, and issues like incomplete hardware support and other rough edges will matter much less.

Commerical linux companies that have a bunch of support and execs willing to lower prices to make linux itself a bargain while lowering their profit margin and revenue?

I think I'll see a gramatically correct slashdot article before that happens.


Debian (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182969)

Debian is free, works quite well. SUSE also works well.

Achilles Heel? (5, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182989)

Achilles Heel?

That Linux is a terrible actor with a great body?

...Don't hurt me! I'm not the one making the Troy references!...

Re:Achilles Heel? (1)

Lugor (628175) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183061)

Well, just have to kill M$ 'Paris' ASAP!

Re:Achilles Heel? (0, Troll)

radoni (267396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183062)

I guess i'm not the only one who saw that flash applet?

Overall the guy comes off like a technophobe, getting the business ideas right but the terminology all wrong.

Linux is not what fails miserably to test against high standards of "Windows" (whatever the hell that means, we all know what high standards microsoft has for its products). The point is that he didn't drop any names. He mentions Microsoft Windows, but not Redhat RedHatAdvancedServer. He mentions Microsoft Windows, but not Mandrakesoft MandrakeLinux.

what the fuck?

I expect that Redhat's product if it costs say $180usd to be a product that is worth $180usd.

it's no fault of the Linux kernel or GNU project, not even the BSD software authors etc. etc.

Re:Achilles Heel? (1)

Jotaigna (749859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183130)

isnt this more like David and Goliath?. Most of the criticism Linux gets its basically true, usability and compatibility are serious issues that stop my sister or my grandpa to use it on a daily basis.

Usability: of course thats the last thing you worry about, being a OSS developer, because you do it in your free(as in beer) time!.

Compatibility: well, Goliath gets all the hardware specs from all the vendors and everything locked up in patents. OSS developers stuck with reverse engineering is like eating the crums of Goliaths food.

All in all you can reduce it to Davids courage, nailing the giant with brains, not with muscle.

I have a plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183151)

Launcelot, Galahad, and I, uh, wait until nightfall, and then leap out of the rabbit, taking the French, uh, by surprise. Not only by surprise, but totally unarmed!

Reverse? (4, Insightful)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182991)

"lower prices to accentuate their advantages over Windows"

So, Microsoft raises it's prices to accentuate it's disadvantages over Linux?

Commercial distros, last time I checked, are still a hell of alot cheaper than Windows. Employees of Commercial Linux Distros still need to be paid.

[Grammar-Nazi] "Its", not "It's". (-1, Offtopic)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183125)

So, Microsoft raises it's (sic) prices to accentuate it's (sic) disadvantages over Linux?

No, Microsoft raises its prices to accentuate its disadvantages over Linux.

Re:Reverse? (3, Informative)

ThisIsFred (705426) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183269)

I think he's talking about stuff like RedHat Advanced Server. See, this has been a pro-Windows argument that floated around Usenet for years. And it's very easy to knock down:

The price of commercial Linux is that "high" is because 1) the Linux distro actually includes applications and services that Windows does not, and 2) it includes support, unlike Microsoft's licensing.

Next time you're buying a $2000 SQL server license, ask them if you can get 1) a CD, 2) a manual, and 3) ask how many hours of phone support are included. Of course, the answers will be "no", "no", and "zero".

Re:Reverse? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183364)

Stop obsessing over Windows for a minute and look at it from a consumer's point of view -- an install of a new Linux distro (or even an upgrade) might run beautifully, or it might not set up a peripheral properly or it might require a couple of days in Google Groups or IRC or the install disk might not boot at all. That's why downloadable ISOs are so important. I've been using Linux for years and I still won't drop $80 on something that there's a strong possiblity won't work for me. (I try to download, and then buy the next version from whoever worked for me last time.)

"Yeah, well what about *Windows*!" is irrelevant, especially since almost everyone is using a bundled version.

Is linux really priced the same as MS? (5, Informative)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183000)

The price from suse for five copies of linux [] is $598. Isn't this still almost half the price of Microsoft Operating Systems?

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (1)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183068)

And it's even cheaper [] from Novell!

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (4, Insightful)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183229)

Considering that you can get 5 copies of XP home (yes, that's not the "workstation" version of Windows, but still) for $500, AND considering that XP is going to be more compatible with hardware than SuSE's offering (this was the guy's main gripe), then perhaps you understand where he's coming from when he says that commercial Linux distros are overpriced.

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183413)

XP Home for $99? Where? That, surely is the upgrade price, or OEM. So either,

a) Add in the cost of 5 full licenses that you can upgrade to XP home
b) Add in the cost of 5 new machines with XP
c) Use the full XP Advanced Server price, with 90 day support from MS (about $600).

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (1)

wolf31o2 (778801) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183249)

This is especially true if you're using it as a server. With the low level of Microsoft Volume Licensing, a copy of Windows XP Professional is approximately $130US. A copy of Windows 2003 Server Standard is approximately $650US.

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (1)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183402)

Additionally, you need a CAL (client access license) for, at a minumum, each machine that is concurrently connected to the Windows server. I think those run around $50 each.

On the flip side, you need to compare apples to apples. Here's [] Red Hat Enterprise costs. A one year subscription to RHE AS Standard on the X86 is $1499.

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (1)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183435)

Replying to myself. A more accurate comparison for Windows 2000 server is probably RHE ES Standard, which goes for $799 for an anual subscription.

And that isn't even the point (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183258)

This guy misses the mark by being concerned about price. Corporations are less concerned with acquisition price as they are with operation costs.

And as for hardware support, corporations are typically smart enough to buy hardware that is listed as being supported by the software they buy. Any specialized commercial software may have more limited hardware requirements than Windows XP does, and companied will readily comply. The same is true for Linux.

This guy is really just clueless. He sounds like a journalist (I use the term loosely) with no practical experience in the business world. He certainly doesn't have CTO-level experience.

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183303)

No it's free []

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183347)

no it's not - you're forgetting the $699 licensing fee.


Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183382)

Why would anyone buy more than 1 copy of Suse Linux? I'd understand paying for more support, but those DVDs and CDs are a little expensive to have them pile up in the cabinet.

Re:Is linux really priced the same as MS? (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183407)

The price from suse for five copies of linux is $598. Isn't this still almost half the price of Microsoft Operating Systems?

I've never quite puzzled out what the SuSE Desktop Linux is intended for... The price is higher than the SuSE Server 8 package and way higher than the SuSE 9.1 Pro, which is a pretty good desktop OS at comparable price to the OEM version of winxp home..

That said, the real Linux market is the Server market. If you price a five user win2003 server, it is pretty much break even with the SuSE server price. Go figure. Things get a lot more interesting when you bump up the CAL cost for adding more users to the windows side.

Moving away from us geeks? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183017)

It makes me kinda sad that we're heading for this plug-n-play
easy-to-use point-and-click world with Linux (and BSD, et al).
One of the (lesser) reasons I use BSD on on my desktop is because
I feel like a geek/hacker using it. It's enjoyable to use.

I often get more productivity out of the command line than I would
with a fancy point-and-click GUI. If I'm in X, I have not much more
than a dozen xterms open.

I'm glad that Linux is moving forward and providing an alternative
for users, but I can't help but feel disheartened at the fact that in a few
years Linux will probably be as commericialised and consumer-orientated as
Windows is, and perhaps Linux will (as it currently does to some
extent, IMO) lose sight of it's goals as a secure and reliably
operating system, and focus on ease-of-use and user-friendliness(sp?).

Re:Moving away from us geeks? (4, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183220)

You're falling prey to the same error as the article writer - viewing Linux as a single operating system.

Commercial distributions are intended to be polished, consumer-oriented OS's. The writer is correct that they aren't there yet. However, Mandarake, SuSE, Red Hat, etc., are not "Linux." They're a Linux, or a Linux based OS, but not Linux.

Debian, for one example, is still around and still focused on security and reliability rather than consumer use. Gentoo is another. Linux will not lose its focus. Various distributions will have their own focus, but the focus of that distribution does not affect the focus of "Linux" over all.

Re:Moving away from us geeks? (2, Insightful)

TTL0 (546351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183267)

The big difference is that no matter how outwardly "dumb" the system is, you still have access to the internals via the CLI and .conf files.

In the Windows world the user, (or better the admin who is trying to save/fix a broken system) is locked out of that part of the OS

lowering prices (3, Interesting)

lcde (575627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183023)

To me, it seems to me that RedHat would be the kind of company that would lower prices and haggle with you just to get your buisness. A lot of people just look at the price and think it is too expensive. I bet if you got a sales rep on the phone you could make deals.


High priced distros are for servers (3, Interesting)

GMill (734492) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183024)

High price commerical Linux distros are appriopriate for value added components useful for servers, e.g. ldap, mail servers. Nobody expects such a computer to support every sound card or other peripheral.

PC users don't need high priced commercial Linux distros.

Re:High priced distros are for servers (1)

L-ViS (5612) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183175)

That's exactly the kind of answers the Linux community doesn't need. Why? Because it's horseshit. Look at the specs of SuSE 9.1 Professional for example. What indicates that it's targeted at being used as an LDAP server? The details speak of KDE 3.2, Gnome 2.4 and Samba 3. Not of LDAP.

SuSE 9.1, along with several other Linux distributions, are targeted at the corporate desktop. And on a desktop you expect to find fully working sound for instance.

You claim that PC users don't need high priced commercial Linux distributions, but what makes the server crave a high priced Linux distro? A high priced Linux distro would be ideal if it could promise (and keep that promise!) to support pretty much all sound hardware out of the box, support common and not-so common disk controller (SATA RAID, anyone?)...and so on.

I think SuSE and the likes are doing a great job for increasing Linux's credibility on the desktop but there is still a long way to go.


Achilles What???? (2, Informative)

Scrab (573004) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183030)

Quick site for those who don't know who Achilles was or the significance of the heel.

Re:Achilles What???? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183141)

Are the schools in the US really getting that bad?

Also, I would think that with the (assumed) hype surrounding the new movie Troy (which wasn't that bad) that all slashdotters would recognize Achilles and a least know that a foppish prince could really harm him, if only in his heel!

support is by the masses (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183034)

It seems to me that yes, Langa is correct: commercial support for individual users is poor. But options that Langa didn't seem to explore, like IRC and message boards, are in my view Linux's saving grace. Thousands of knowledgable power users are at any given time willing to help troubleshoot.

However, in this latest article, Langa seems able to listen to and quote Linux users just fine: when he's illustrating in his article just how dumb some of them can be.

Re:support is by the masses (4, Insightful)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183274)

But options that Langa didn't seem to explore, like IRC and message boards, are in my view Linux's saving grace.
<langa> I bought a Linux distribution and my soundcard doesn't work, what can I do?
<LiNuXRlz> RTFM n00b.

I think (5, Insightful)

Phidoux (705500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183035)

It would be good if the Linux community, as a whole, saw these criticisms in a positive light rather than getting our collective backs up and getting on the defensive. If Linux is ever going to replace Windows, we all have to be prepared to listen to criticism and then do something to correct the weaknesses, even if the weaknesses are only perceived, because to the perceiver, perception is reality.

Re:I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183188)

we all have to be prepared to listen to criticism

The beauty of it is that I don't. I owe you nothing. It still works. If you were to pay me money, that would be a completely different situation, but since you don't pay me you can "talk to the hand".

Exactly (4, Interesting)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183205)

Exactly. Every time someone brings up an experience they had of not being able to get some stupid piece of hardware working in linux that they easily could in windows the typical response around here is "well I got it to work so you must be dumb!" I would have switched a while ago however my printer doesn't work and in school I needed to use a specific software title only available for windows and I didn't feel like switching back every time homework was due or I needed to print something.

But I'm not complaining, linux is free and so I have no right to complain as I didn't pay a dime for it. It's just that whenever someone says linux should be on everyone's family living room computer there are a lot of things in the way. People getting offended and the mods posting trolls and people getting +5 insightfuls make this whole free software movement seem really childish. It's sad because I'm sure the people who develop linux, gnome, kde, mozilla, ect. are not here bitching about windows all day long but are actually doing something. I'd do something myself, but I'm still just learning software and I don't have the skills to write a driver for the printer or port PSpice over to linux.

I'm really impressed with KDE3.2 and it's amazing how fast it's updated that is very much beyond Microsoft. There is definatly a window of several years here until longhorn debuts and I think that linux could very well make its way into more people's houses. I just wish something just like apt-get existed for the rpm world that made it just as easy to update. However, I've read of projects in the works just for that so I'm sure "rpm hell" will be over a lot sooner than "dll hell" lasted.

Re:I think (1)

andalay (710978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183275)

I dont get it. Why would users of Linux be interested in replacing Windows? I am a user of Linux, I dont see any value in replacing Windows unless I want all the people to call me asking for help.

Now if a distribution wanted to undertake the task of replacing [] windows, then you can blame them for not being user-friendly, etc.

That's "insightful"? (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183323)

Okay, I'm looking at this criticism in a positive light.

I'm even willing to fill out the bug report for Fred.

Now, maybe you can help me with some of the specifics. What chipset was it?

Ooooh. It looks like fixing this "problem" will be a little more difficult than you implied. Without knowing WHAT HARDWARE was giving the problem, we won't know WHAT DRIVERS need fixing.

Real world vs. fanboy fantasies (0, Troll)

Mike Bourna (748040) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183036)

While pricing matters, I don't think it can save LinuxOS.

I am what most people would consider a highly trained technical professional. Unlike most people who spout off at this site, I have the certificates to prove this, and furthermore they're issued by the biggest software company in existence.

I know how to tell facts from marketing fluff. Now, here are the facts as they're found by SEVERAL INDEPENDENT RESEARCH INSTITUTES:

Expenses for file-server workloads under Windows, compared to LinuxOS:
  • Staffing expenses were 33.5% better.
  • Training costs were 32.3% better.

They compared Microsofts IIS to the Linux 7.0 webserver. For Windows, the cost was only:
  • $40.25 per megabit of throughput per second.
  • $1.79 per peak request per second.

Application development and support costs for Windows compared to an opensores solution like J2EE:
  • 28.2% less for large enterprises.
  • 25.0% less for medium organizations.

A full Windows installation, compared to installing Linux, on an Enterprise Server boxen:
  • Is nearly three hours faster.
  • Requires 77% fewer steps.

Compared to the best known opensores webserver "Red Hat", Microsoft IIS:
  • Has 276% better peak performance for static transactions.
  • Has 63% better peak performance for dynamic content.

These are hard numbers and 100% FACTS! There are several more where these came from.

Who do you think we professionals trust more?
Reliable companies with tried and tested products, or that bedroom coder Thorwaldes who publicly admits that he is in fact A HACKER???

Copyright (c) 2004 Mike Bouma, MCSE, MCDST, MS Office Specialist, widely respected Amigan

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".

Re:Real world vs. fanboy fantasies (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183309)

I sort of hope that you didn't bother to waste minutes of your life typing in all of that wank, but then given you're an asshole cockjockey, you probably did.

If you could just close the door on your way out it would be appreciated. Fucktard.

Cheapbytes? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183040)

What's to stop folks from buying from Cheapbytes [] or other discounters?

Hmm (4, Insightful)

DaveJay (133437) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183048)

Putting aside the other issues for a moment, is an article that essentially cherry-picks forum posts from random people -- specifically the ones that look the most foolish and are most easily refuted -- anything other than sensationalistic journalism?

Before you answer, keep in mind I'm going to pick the most foolish replies that are most easily refuted and write an article about it. ;)

When was the last time ... (1)

JSkills (69686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183054)

When was the last time you needed sound (or even a GUI) on your web server anyway?

I know that's not the point of this article, but he also completely fails to even mention the most common use of a Linux install - on the server.

A solid response... (5, Insightful)

YodaToo (776221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183056)

Maybe he's just covering his ass in retrospect, but it sounds to me like this poor bastard really got flamed for writing an honest article.

His points seem valid enough to me and while Linux beats M$ hands down on many points, there are still areas where Linux has to step up before it will be an attractive alternative to Windows across the board.

Having said that it is attractive in many cases now. I migrated all of my employee workstations to Fedora a few months ago and couldn't be more pleased with the results.

Look beyond the up-front cost (1)

caston (711568) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183080)

Open source models are usually largely based on support. When you buy Linux from a commercial vendor your are presumabley buying something that they have put together well and know inside and out, putting them in a position to provide you with excellent support.

I don't see companies such as Redhat on the road to destruction. In fact the cheaper distros may be because they cannot compete with what is free. Of course it depends on which market. OEM Linux has to be cheap for the home user and mass desktop roll-outs but as for support you get what you pay for and in the end you pay for what you don't get.

How about both? (2, Interesting)

Bandit0013 (738137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183089)

My company has a .NET shop for development with many of our internal applications going to ASP .NET. We're actually exploring only using windows machines for developers and managers/executives and turning all of the lower level end user machines to linux clients since all they really need is a browser.

Not sure how it will work out, but it seems to me a good way to leverage the power and ease of the .NET environment with the cost savings of linux.

Re:How about both? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9183243)

Fire your VB developers and hire some PHP or perl or ZOPE/python developers and you can save even more money.

Err ... (1, Funny)

hattig (47930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183097)

Aren't the high-priced Linux systems meant for those people who don't care what they get, as long as they pay a lot for it? (bosses who won't get free/low priced stuff because they see it as 'cheap') I thought they included a lot of support over competing products as well.

Re:Err ... (1)

Quickening (15069) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183401)

exactly. that is precisely what seems to happen at my company (10000 employees). The managers are actually rewarded for how BIG (and expensive) their projects are!

Linux needs FULL hardware driver support. (4, Interesting)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183113)

I think there are two issues that plague Linux:

1. Will the software and/or software driver be able to be loaded and unloaded easily without a complete system reboot? They're getting better but we're not there just yet.

2. Will we get Linux drivers that take FULL advantage of the hardware? That means something like supporting all the soundcard functions of the Sound Blaster Live! and Audigy sound cards, all the graphics-processing functions of the graphics card chipsets from ATI and nVidia, and all the functions of all-in-one printers like the Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 6110.

It's the hardware driver support issue that is currently the bane of Linux, though of course this is less of a problem with very recent Linux commercial distributions.

Re:Linux needs FULL hardware driver support. (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183244)

The primary problem with hardware drivers for Linux is that hardware vendors (usually) aren't interested in making them. The only reason they are interested in making Windows drivers at all is because the environment is already so popular.

So it's interesting that you appear to be saying that Linux needs better hardware driver support to become more popular, but the truth of the matter is that most hardware vendors are simply uninterested in supporting a platform that isn't already popular.

Interesting Catch22, no? Actually, it probably won't matter to anyone who isn't trying to evangelize others to their pet OS.

Re:Linux needs FULL hardware driver support. (4, Insightful)

phats garage (760661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183289)

And this is further support for a pragmatic attitude regarding binary only modules. Companies continue to prefer having trade secrets for competitive advantage, and linux advocates should keep a bit of pragmatism available for those companies who at least offer binary drivers for download instead of going all batshit RMS-like.

Re:Linux needs FULL hardware driver support. (2, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183292)

>> 1. Will the software and/or software driver be
>> able to be loaded and unloaded easily without a
>> complete system reboot? They're getting better
>> but we're not there just yet.

What the H*LL are you talking about? If there
is a driver available, it will certainly be loadable and unloadable without a system reboot. The problem (if any) will be the avoidance of subjecting the end user to any arcana.

Re:Linux needs FULL hardware driver support. (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183306)

With regards to 1:
I don't know how you think Linux is "getting better" when we're talking about yanking rmmod entirely.

However, realize this is not something that's fully under control of the kernel devs anyways. Some hardware simply does not enjoy being reprogrammed.

With regards to 2:
This is a vendor problem, not a Linux problem. Linus is not the one who should be held accountable for irresponsible hardware vendors.


The article does make a good point. (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183114)

Agree or disagree with the author, there is one thing he shows quite clearly: Many Linux users would rather attack than help. Regardless of whether it's an EBKAC problem or not, don't you people think that you should be using polite language to discuss the issue? A little bit of "Oh, it's all right. You merely did this wrong. Now you're up and going and you know for next time. :-)" would go a long way toward getting Linux a positive review. Instead users are assailed as "stoopid" and "the real problem is that you don't know what you're doing". This is extremely frustrating!

I myself have years of experience with Linux, *BSD, Solaris, and several other Unixes. When I try to point out a deficiency that I think should be fixed (binary compatibly, PLEASE) I merely get the "you're stupid and don't know anything about Linux", or the "You're using the wrong distro. MY distro doesn't have this problem!" Of course, you can switch, run into some other problem, then be told, "Well this OTHER distro (which you were previously using) doesn't have this issue! You should switch!"

In all fairness, many people have managed to be polite, as evidenced by many of the replies I received in my Linux reviews [] . Unfortunately, one bad apple tends to spoil the bunch. Stop the fighting and name calling! Work together! So much more will be accomplished that way.

And disagreement is no excuse for wanton flamage (3, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183354)

Agree or disagree with the author, there is one thing he shows quite clearly: Many Linux users would rather attack than help.

I disagree (rather strongly) with your use of the word "most." It isn't "most" users, it is the "loudest" users. There is an important difference.

Any crowd has its bullies, and the RTMFYDMF ("read the fucking articile you dumb mother-fucker") crowd rears its ugly head in almost every community of sufficient size (I've seen variations on that in the MSFT support groups, the FreeBSD groups, and plenty of others).

Unfortunately, while the RMTFYDMF crowd is a tiny minority, it tends to be the loudest subgroup by far, while other, helpful, normal people tend to be quieter (as they are not looking for the first opportunity to put someone down ... they are too busy leading real lives, be they on-line or in meat-space).

Most Linux users and enthusiasts can take criticism reasonably well, just as most OS X enthusiasts, *BSD enthusiasts, Blender enthusiasts, etc. can. Those who cannot unfortunately scream the loudest and get the most attention, emberrassing the rest of us (I have been moderated into oblivion and flamed to hell for posting rather mild criticism of Apple on this site a time or two ... and I'm a fan of Apple who owns one of their high-end laptops).

I disagree with several of the points in the original article (and agree with others), but I shudder to think of the rude flames the guy probably received from the RTFMYDMF crowd.

It isn't helpful, nor is it an accurate representation of our community. It is, however, the most often seen (or heard) group because of its loud obnoxiousness, and there are certain parties that no doubt would be perfectly happy to enhance that loudness to the detriment of us all (and to their PR advantage).

While I disagree with the current article's posits (commercial Linux distros remain significantly less expensive than their commercial equivelents, particularly Microsofts) and believe it based on too few data points (RedHat is the glaring exception to the above), the author does seem to have tempered his response to what must have been some aggrivating flamage from the more boistrous, and generally more anti-social, parts of the peanut gallary.

Hopefully more reasoned and enlightened disagreement (where appropriate) will prevail in response to this article, instead of some of the knee-jerk flamage that so often gets shouted from the rooftops by an undiplomatic few.

Re:The article does make a good point. (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183388)

The author also entirely misses another related point. That is that people wanted to know exactly what hardware he was trying to get working so that they could verify the problem and fix it. The community aspect cuts both ways, and if he isn't willing to share then he isn't helping.

The fact is that linux drivers are often not written by the hardware manufacturer, they are written by users. So if you have a problem you have to turn to other users and give them the information they need to help you. Of course since he paid "near windows prices" for a distro, he expected that help from the distro vendor. Often Linux support comes from other users and the driver developers.

Settle Down (5, Insightful)

WordODD (706788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183115)

No matter how Pro-Linux anyone is they have to realize that charging as much for a distro of Linux as a copy of Windows XP is wrong. Constantly I read on Slashdot how MS is overpriced and Windows XP is not worth even half of what the retail price is but when this guy comes out and says that commerical distos need to reduce their prices the pro-Linux slashdotters go wild and a flameware ensues. I think what he said that set everyone off was that the quality was lacking in the Linux distros and that what was made them worth less then the asking price, what he should have said is that the prices are ridiculous for both commerical Linux and Windows because both are in fact priced outrageously. The price points set by Microsoft have made their OS one of the most pirated peices of software on the planet and even with their size and influence they know that there is no way to ever experience complete success against piracy of their product. We do not want the commerical Linuxs to experience the same problem or else it will slow their development because the do not have the resources of a Microsoft or an Adobe to live off of. Commerical Linux needs to lower its prices and start selling itself as what it really is, a MS alternative that may take a bit more effort to get off and running but will pay dividends down the road.

Re:Settle Down (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183330)

As long as the "product" can be downloaded legally for FREE, any blatherings about price are mindless babble. Support for $50-$200 software products suck regardless and have always sucked. This is a simple fact of life.

The cheap entry point is what is really relevant. Those that try to choose Linux will need a local support network just as they do with WinDOS. THAT is where the real "Microsoft support" comes from.

Re:Settle Down (1)

Gabey (18874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183356)

Although I do agree with your basic points, people have to remember that a distribution of linux is not just the kernel -- it includes an office suite (or several), graphics programs, programming environments, cd burning software, etc, etc, most of which people pay extra for in the Windows world.

I do agree that many distros are overpriced and that lowering prices would likely help, but, it's not an apples to apples comparison.

Price Point at the desktop is a only one area (5, Informative)

ralf1 (718128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183134)

His recommendation that vendors lower prices is taking htings much too simply. As a person whose job it is to sell Linux to non-Linux shops, I can tell you there are two conversations here: 1)Linux on the server - here it is already price advantaged as most Linux deployments in server rooms are replacements for mainframe/solaris/sco enviroments and WAY cheaper than those solutions 2)Linux on the desktop - here the price issue of the distry is a secondary concern. Customers worry first about retraining, security, disruption of business due to change, application compatibility, vendor support, price of the productivity suite (Office/Openoffice) then the price of the OS.

Time waste (2, Interesting)

alex_tibbles (754541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183147)

Since Windows is the dominant desktop OS by a significant margin, it is the only OS for which you expect all hardware to work. (This expectation will be violated from time to time, of course, and we all have anecdotes to show it). That much is pretty damned obvious.
The original article was annoying because he "didn't want to make this an issue about tech support", but it is just that. Not everything works straight off. Some people need to be told to turn the volume on. This can take a while for a tech support person to suggest.
Grrrr. This is just more of the same: mentioning a specific case, then arguing to the general. He is annoyed that people look at his particular problem and try to solve it for him! But his general point is either completely unjustified, or so painfully obvious that we don't need to be told (since he provides no evidence or argument to support anything more).
Stop posting this stuff!

Fred still won't Name That Hardware? (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183208)

From the article:
"There were a few more posts in the "Fred is lying/hiding" vein, but most of those died out when the participants in the discussion saw that the sound system indeed should have worked."

How can they see that it "should have worked" when Fred still won't Name That Hardware?

Once Fred is willing to Name That Hardware, then everyone can progress to the next round!

Is it a BUG in Linux
Is it a BUG in the hardware

But Fred sez:
"The omission was simple: I had seen no need to burn space in the original article with a list of the hardware specs because the vendor I was dealing with specifically said the system should work with their distribution (I had provided the support techs with a complete hardware rundown); and the sound chipset in question is listed on the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) site as supported."

It would take Fred less space to Name That Hardware than it took to write that paragraph.

IBM Thinkpad T40
(16 characters plus carriage return)
Fred's reasoning why he shouldn't have to to identify it...
(approximately 400 characters)

What was that about not wanting to "burn space"?


"You were an idiot to think that would work..." (5, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183212)

Langa's criticism sounds fair to me. I've been there, done that so many times. Official spec sheet says product X supports product Y. You have product Y. You buy product X. Product Y doesn't work with it. You complain. Then you hear variations on the following theme

*Very few of our customers are using product Y.

*Personally, I would never have recommended product Y.

*Why are you using product Y? Product Z is so much better.

*You don't really need to have product Y work with product X.

*By "support," all we meant is basic functionality. It does allow product Y to frangulate over the standard three-gnorgl raniseft. I know that the main selling point of product Y is that it can frangulate over eight gnorgls more than standard products, but we only support the basic functionality.

*Anyone knowledgeable could have told you that X's support for Y sucks. It was your dumb fault for believing the spec sheet.

*We've found that most of our customers LIKE having Product Y hang, freeze, and emit smoke.

*Oh, we're sorry about that, but it was marketing that put that on the spec sheet, not engineering.

Linux on the desktop? It's not 'there' yet.. (4, Interesting)

harikiri (211017) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183231)

When Linux is free, or nearly so, there's no reason to complain if its hardware support isn't quite up to Windows' level, or if there are other rough edges: You're getting a great price on a very good operating system, and the low cost more than makes up for any shortcomings

Linux distribution vendors only have the right to charge equivalent costs to Windows if and when their distribution is equivalent or better than Windows in all respects, out of the box. This has yet to happen for the desktop market (which appears to be what he's referring to in the article).

In the server space, Linux is definitely "there". Just look at what you can do on some of the new blade servers that HP, SGI, IBM are selling.

However, even the most rabid Linux advocate will agree that you can't typically get a Linux desktop-focused distribution to work across the board, out of the box. Efforts are definitely being made, with most of the commercial vendors producing better-integrated desktop offerings that tie together the various open source projects (evolution, openoffice, mozilla, kde) into something cohesive and easy to use. Problems however, still exist. Partly due to lag-time between getting drivers for cutting-edge hardware, and secondly, because work still remains to be done in the whole "integration of the desktop".

As I read in a fellow slashdotters post a while back, "Linux will be ready for the desktop when users don't need to understand mount(8) parameters" (paraphrased).

The cost of Linux vs. cost of Windows (4, Insightful)

Teckla (630646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183245)

First, I think it would only be fair to point out that the cost of Linux should be compared to the cost of the server version of Windows. XP Home, and even XP Professional, are much more limited than your typical distribution of Linux.

Second, if you're taking the Linux plunge, it's generally trivial to test drive a free (as in beer) distribution of Linux before making the dive into a commercial distribution of Linux that comes with support contracts and other goodies.

Third, the fact that Linux lags behind when it comes to drivers can hardly be blamed on Linux. Hardware manufacturers (whether rightly or wrongly) tend to put a low priority on writing Linux drivers, if they write them at all.

Honestly, I blame this in part on the GNU Public License, since it's somewhat business unfriendly. This is just my honest opinion, please don't flame me for it.


Bad Slashdot, Bad! (1)

jabagi (83535) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183280)

I got as far as page 3, and then Wham! Slashdot effect!.. Does anyone have a cache of page 4:

I agree (5, Insightful)

TwistedSpring (594284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183283)

Zealots aside, I agree with this article and the former article. It's been a frequent issue for me when installing many different Linux distributions that:

1. It's not a surprise if my network card works.
2. It's a mild surprise if my sound card works.
3. (up until recently) It'd amaze me if my graphics card worked to its full potential.

Net, sound and graphics are the most important peripherals that should work flawlessly. Sound and graphics especially, as they're the sensory output of your computer, without them you don't know what's going on.

Linux does not have the same quality of driver database as Microsoft's OSes do. This is merely because Microsoft is dominant. Perhaps a sweet way to handle the problem would be to create some kind of abstraction layer that allowed you to use vendor-supplied Windows drivers under Linux, but that is extremely unrealistic, and it'd be slow and bloated (someone will now pipe up and tell me that it is being worked on).

Linux has been given a boost by the recent dominance of particular audio chips from Creative (such as the EMU10K1) and graphics chipsets from ATI and nVidia.

Sadly, Linux drivers are provided mainly by people who have some hardware that doesn't work under Linux. So they start a driver for it, get far enough for the driver to work well enough for their needs, and then leave it to deteriorate over time without any attention paid to it, as they change hardware. End users then get some kind of beta thing that hasnt been worked on for 3 years but still have to use it. This is the hardware manufacturers fault -- Linux devrs dont have the money to buy and reverse-engineer every piece of hardware. They need the specs, and ultimately they need the vendor to make a Linux driver by proxy, as vendors do for Windows.

Currently though, you don't look bad for not making a Linux driver. People don't open the box and say "wtf is this? No linux driver?!", because they morbidly expect Linux support to be limited. In the domain of onboard sound or graphics, or newer hardware, Linux support is the exception rather than the rule. Vendors need some good reason to add Linux support, and it's not up to me to decide what that reason would be. "Thanks" is not good enough.

I should also mention that even if most home Linux users do obtain a driver for some hardware, they'd be at pains to find out how to install/compile the damn thing, especially if it involves recompiling the kernel.

I'm not flaming Linux, I don't need a crock of shit from the zealot crowd telling me I'm an idiot faggot and so on, I'm just being realistic and saying there is work to be done.

What I'd like to see in the future is a Universal Driver Abstraction Layer, some kind of compile-once-run-many virtual machine that allows the same drivers to work on any OS that supports it, the only problem is that OSes make very different demands of the drivers so this may never come into fruition.

Informationweek's Achilles Heel.... (1)

Uncle_Al (115529) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183285)

...the webserver?

Looks like it is slashdotted? ;-)

Some things just don't change.... (5, Insightful)

Malor (3658) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183295)

Boy, one thing that really struck a chord here with me was Mr. Langa's observation of the "if we don't have it, you don't need it" syndrome. I've seen that so many times with Linux. If you ask how to do a given thing, and it turns out that thing is hard to do in Linux, inevitably multiple people will suggest that you shouldn't even need to do that. It doesn't matter what it is, if it's not in Linux, someone will tell you that your need is silly.

A great example is one of my early posts about how I didn't trust Linux filesystems, and that I'd lost files on numerous occasions due to power failures on ext2 systems. I went back and looked through my whole archive, but apparently this thread was before the cutoff date for archiving... lost to history.

Roughly summarizing, I posted that I didn't trust Linux in a production environment because ext2 was unreliable: you couldn't trust it in a power failure. I didn't get EVEN ONE useful response. What I got, instead, were a mix of (approximately):

1) "Well, gee, I've lost power 14,232 times and I've never lost a file"; (ie, problem doesn't exist)
2) "You should always have backups"; (problem is unimportant)
3) "You're an idiot, you should have copied a backup superblock. Moron. Go play with Windows." (problem is stupid user)
4) "I lost power to my NT machine and I lost 23,124 files!' (NT is worse so it's okay for Linux to suck.)

It was really interesting to see how different the posts were when I mentioned that a couple of years later. I can't find that post now, but by that time, Linux had journaled filesystems. We had a fairly interesting commentary back and forth about how NT 4.0 didn't really have journaling, and that it wasn't until 2K that NTFS was truly robust. But everyone agreed that journaling was good, now that Linux had it. Pretty significant shift in stance, eh?

I've seen this so many times that I'm forced to conclude it's some kind of defense mechanism.... if you really love your pet project, and it has shortcomings, gloss over them or dismiss them as unimportant. I think we would be wise to be more aware of this, and that users in general don't request things for no reason at all. They may just need education. It may be simple ignorance on how to approach the problem in Linux.

Chewing them out, on the other hand, for not manually repairing their filesystems by copying a backup superblock, well.... that's stupider than their not knowing how.

Re:Some things just don't change.... (1)

Malor (3658) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183321)

Oops, I forgot one:

5) "What kind of idiot would run a server without a UPS?" (another variant on stupid user)

No "Linux" corp...??? (1, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183299)

Right... just like there's no "English Alphabet" corp... yet it seems like there's a lot of people that use that (including the writer of the article).

But somehow the idea that a lot of people would ever be comfortable using a system that isn't managed by a central organization is unthinkable!

SHOCK! Linux community anger! (2, Troll)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183316)

It seems to me as if Fred wrote the article knowing that he'd provoke the Linux community.

He seems amazed that people could react in this way:

Many readers thought I was trying to hide something; or was secretly trying to stack the deck against Linux; or that I had some other evil motivation in not detailing the hardware.

some readers from the Linux community are deeply suspicious of criticism of Linux.

I find it hard to believe that an experienced writer such as Fred Langa would express disbelief at the reaction he received.

Look at all of the FUD that's spread about Linux, the lies, the half-truths, the selective analysis, the ignorant writers expressing their opinions based on hear-say. Surely Fred is aware of the mass of tripe written about Linux, how can he not understand why the Linux community is suspicious?

And if he knew of this, why didn't he provide more details? Surely he should have anticipated the questions that would be asked?

Maybe Fred acts the way he does for one of the following reasons:

1) Fred is biased against Linux/Open Source and wants to make the Linux community look bad.
2) Fred loves to cause discord in general.
3) Fred isn't very perceptive or just doesn't think.
4) Fred is pro-Linux and attempts to make a big deal of certain issues in the hope that they'll be resolved faster.

I don't know, I don't care. But to act amazed at the reaction he got seems like a sham, it would appear that it's just what Fred wanted, especially as he wrote up a whole new article focused on the angry, suspicious, Linux community that won't have anything negative said about their OS!

Langa has a point -- but perhaps the wrong way (3, Interesting)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 10 years ago | (#9183437)

Fred Langa is "right on" when comparing Microsoft OS offering against the attempted commercialized Linux offerings. From the perspective of a consumer.

He had the expectation that "all would work", and be "supported" (um... work) at least as well as Windows; given the the price was comparable.

From another perspective, that's wrong. If it doesn't work, get your money back -- that's what he paid for. But, Linux is a hobby system. If (or when) it works for Mr. Langa, he will know it, and use it.

What ticks me off is that Mr. Langa is being critical of Linux! You know, that hobby project. Get pissed at Suse, Redhat, Mandrake, (___ fill in the blank). Leave the hobbyist alone! Linux, Debian, et al. I am sure that Mr. Langa (as most of us) hs two standards -- one for professional atheletes, and another for amateur (Olympians, etc.). Yes, the professional bar is higher, as it should be.

If the F/OSS stuff is good enough, it will be used. Sure, criticize, but also give that community positive feedback. We aren't in it for money -- so some positive feedback would be useful.

The vilest thing that has happened to me in the Free Software world was a program I wrote (EMUL87). Distributed on SIMTEL; thousands of users. Not a word of positive feedback. Until one day (actually, 5 years later), when one consultant mailed me, and DEMAANDED I fix the software (because his client needed it). And if I didn't fix it IMMEDIATELY, I would be SUED. I told him to 'f off.

That nearly ended my relationship with F/OSS. But, I changed my mind. I like sharing, you see, and I get stuff from the community.

So, I feel that the F/OSS community is maligned and demotivated by the constant comparision with commercial software. The journalistic tack should be to take the commercial vendors to task if their offerings are so weak that F/OSS is actually competitive.

I understand why some people got defensive. Mr. Langa should CLEARLY state that the comparision is *not* with Linux or F/OSS, but with particular distributions or support organizations.

Enough of a rant.

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