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The Anoraks' New Clothes

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

Linux 110

An anonymous reader sent us linkage to a ZDNet UK Article written by Martin Butler of the The Butler Group. The article doesn't say much new, it really just says linux is just the "New Thing" (Just like windows was so many years ago) and that it will factionalize when money becomes involved. And its already started to happen. My take? Bring it on! As long as a base system of kernel, libs, and utilities is compatible accross distributions, divide all you want. Debian for Hackers. Red Hat for Suits. Slackware for loons. And the 28 other assorted distributions for whoever wants them. Its about options, and as long as we adhere to a minimal set of requirements, everyone will be happy. Am I crazy?

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The beauty is that nobody owns Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969512)

The pressures of capitalism may be as they are,
but the beauty of Linux is that corporations can't hijack it because they don't own it. I would hope that if they try to fork the kernel, the backlash from the community would be powerful enough for then to abandon this effort very quickly. We (the free software community) will be here and we'll keep writing code ... the corporations can decide to throw money at us or ignore us; technically it won't make much of a difference.

Ignore Martin Butler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969513)

The Bulter Group, and Martin Butler in particular have been writing crap like this in the UK press for years. The best thing to do is just ignore it.

I'm not quite sure how you've worked out that Debian is better for hackers, though, Rob...

Anoraks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969514)

Where did the term "anorak" come from??

Martin Butler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969515)

The "Butler Group" are a long standing Windows
lackey bunch. They've been doing the MS anti-Linux
fud trail for a couple of years

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969516)

Um, in defense of my trade, Butler is a business writer, not a technical writer.

Technical writers explain how to install that brand-new MX4070 Behemotron Mangler. Business writers explain Microsoft PR to clueless execs . . .

Anoraks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969517)

So how did it come to mean what the author of the article used it as?

Slackware, Debian and Redhat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969518)

I have used them all and they all suck, what you
need is a good ole copy of Remption/Linux. Made by yours truely and downloadable for imaginary ftp sites world wide.

Off now to battle the Pixies in my source

Redhat suits ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969519)

Redhat probably paid him to say it. Make them look *professional*

Pah! Why can't the Linux community accept itself for what it is. We aren't all the same, we are individuals. We want to run our OS the way we want it because we like it and shouldn't have to explain WHY we do it.

I tell you, it wont be a code fork or any other outside influence that contributes to Linux's downfall, it'll be due to our own stupidity of flaming some poor sod that has an idea that is different from our own. As well the usual bs that goes on in the linux community.

Anoraks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969520)

An anorak is a parka and, as such, is the garment
of choice of those who are nerdy enough to stand
out in all kinds of weather trainspotting. When
applied to people, therefore, anorak has come to
mean nerd or geek. It is, as suggested, a UKism.

Hee Hee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969521)

Am now solidly not clicking through on any ZDnet articles. I think ZDnet is proof that a large but finite number of monkeys is simply no replacement for a truly infinite number of monkeys. In either case you're going to get a lot more monkey shit than you are going to get good literature (or technically literate articles in ZDnet's case.)

Disguised FUD and no clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969522)

Bullshit. 8 years ago Windows was no novelty.
It was crap. No self-respecting `anorak' (PLEEAZE!) would go for that. They would go
with Mac or Unix (NeXT included), period.

Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969523)

Lets see what I find right on on the first page of [] .
Installation docs, links for ftp sites, links to Linux vendors who sell Debian, Links to Support websites, Links to mailing list artchives, The list of updated packages (mostly security related) links to ports related webpages, Linucs to Debian Documentation project, etc. EVERYTHING that youwould want to know abou Debian is accessible from their FIRST page. Try that with redhat. RedHat website just sucks. It took me a while to find the excat erratas page I need and the PowerTools bundle website.

Why bother with dinosaurs like Butler? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969524)

Linux has NOTHING to lose by infighting amongst the various commercial interests. Nothing they do can affect how you use Linux. Barring any far-reaching legal challenges or IP infringements, the code is guaranteed to be free and available to all forever. In the long run this generally means that anyone with even a fleeting interest in using it will be able to. Realistically I think Linux (and other OSS) will continue to be adopted at a rapid pace, especially in lower income sectors where there isn't the money to pay for the so called "safe" options (lower income countries, education, government, etc).

The possibility exists that Linux/OSS could become a fringe platform if and when something better comes along, but there is no way it can "die" in the Amiga, OS/2 or MacOS sense. This fact alone is enough of an advantage over all the closed systems out there that many companies are jumping onto Linux full force. They spend SO much money on information technology, and now they are realizing that this money could go into improving the system they use rather than lining the pockets of greedy people like Bill Gates and Scott McNealy. In this way, even if Linux disappears tomorrow, it has irreversably changed the industry for the better.

One thing ultra-conservative "stick with the status quo because it is safe" commentators like Butler simply don't understand is that CHANGE IS GOOD. For anything to remain useful, it must evolve. Open Source software has no problem staying relevant.

"anoraks"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969525)

The connotation is that it is a 'casual' my job an Anorak would be dressing up :-D

Alfred Kojima (Window Maker) is a loon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969526)

From the INSTALL file for Window Maker:


(i.e.: I've heard someone has compiled it on...)

- Intel GNU/Linux Slackware 3.5(primary platform)


I do not think I need to mention which window
manager won the last poll here.

Slackware is for people with good taste.

Anoraks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969527)

Trainspotting is the sport of watching trains to
record either the types or registration numbers
(not going for this sport, I'm not sure which) of
the locomotives. I think it's like ham radio
operators collecting call signs. The movie of the
same name actually has nothing to do with the

ASK SLASHDOT:Upgrading Red Hat 5.2 to Linux 2.2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969528)

Now, why did I not see this for any other

If you read it [] , you will see the baby who
posted it was having trouble with libraries.

Both you and CmdrTaco can bite me.

Linux kernel 2.2.0 compiled and installed on
my Slackware box the first time. No complaints or
tweaking or anything outside of the normal make
config, etc.

Slackware==those who appreciate getting it
right the first time.

Enlightenment and GNOME, both Red Hat sponsered
and trumpeted projects, are indicative of the Red
Hat distribution itself: bloated, ugly, and held
together with spit and chewing gum.

The Next Big Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969529)

I nominate an open-sourced Plan9!

Now I just gotta find someone who'll write an open-sourced Plan9.....

completely off-base (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969530)

From the article:

> These people live by the motto: 'If it works it has no value'.

I use Linux because it works, and doesn't give me trouble.

Library library? ehh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969531)

Yeah, Im tired of tracking down all those libs myself. There should have been some kind of centralized web site which could ftp mirror and/or provide you with an option to search for the lib you wanted.

Then the authors of the lib could upload it there (yeah right)

And life would be easier for everybody :-)

Anonymous Coward

Now there's a semi-informed article at least: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969532)

All this crap about KDE vs. GNOME is a bunch of stupidity reminiscent of Windoze vs MacOS. Mindless drivel carried on by brainless fools. Screw KDE. Screw GNOME. Screw X, and Netscape, and all that ease-of-use BS. Give me a command line, a couple of well-written scripts, and Lynx. Linux isn't supposed to be a "better Windows than Windows" (that was OS/2). Linux is just supposed to be better.

Bite me.

Enlightenment works fine with Slackware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969533)

You just have to install the right libraries, haven't tried installing GNOME though. Btw. I don't think Enlightenment is all that great, I prefer Windowmaker myself.

Reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969534)

Er,,, I'm very green (newer than newbie) but doesn't FreeBSD run Linux binaries? That's after what, a two-decade code fork?
Linux is for 1) hackers, 2) depending on what works, any and everything else. How far can you push it? I think this has applied to all the unixes (disregarding TM of AT&T now SCO?). Despite the bad press, no other term for hacker seems to work. A hack is maybe a bit crude, but effective. It is NOT a thing of beauty, and the hacker is intelligent and perceptive enough to know the difference.
Watching this happening on Slashdot (from IE5 beta on NT4) I feel like a kid with his nose pressed against the glass of a candy store.

amen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969535)

He seems to be trying to say that Linux is just another (new) fad. Seems more like third generation UNIX, counting BSD as second generation. This is not new. This is not a fad. He seems to get all the directional forces wrong. WRONG. All of it.

distribution? what distribution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969536)

you mean the thing i downloaded 5 years ago? if i ever got around to changing my rc.* setup in the inittab, i doubt someone could TELL what distribution i originally installed. and that is how it ought to be!

Alright, loons! Sound off! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969537)

"looooooon looooooon looooooooon" --- sound that a loon makes

Redhat suits ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969538)

I run RH 5.2 because it came pre-installed on my PC. hehe. I wish i had installed it myself tho, it would've been more fun, but I wanted to make sure it was setup right. I've never wrote a computer program in my entire life (unless you count the crappy text-based games I used to write on MS Quick-BASIC) and Redhat seems to cater to my "crowd". Redhat invented RPMs, which make my life easier, but you can't tell me that an RPM isn't just a way to help out Linux Newbies.

BTW, I don't like Debian, because the last time I checked, they were giving in to the FSF, and calling their Distribution Debian GNU/Linux. When they actually produce a working OS they can call it whatever they want, but they shouldn't go around renaming other people's work. I used to run NTEmacs on my Windows PC, does that mean i had GNU/Windows?

UK Article - they'd go for Amigas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969539)

The Amiga was absolutely huge in the UK and most of Europe - chances are, an anorak would have one of these. I attribute the disproportionately productive free software community in Europe mainly to programmers who grew up on the Amiga (which has always had a huge freeware ( n.b. freeware used in the Amiga-jargon sense - includes both open and closed source freely distributable files - the GPL was widely used for amiga software)) base, then moved to Linux when the amiga started its descent into hell. Remember, at the time, the amiga was very powerful compared to neeny PeeCees.

The Amiga 3000 was the closest computer to perfect for its time - and it could dual-boot AmigaOS and CBM UNIX (and incidentally,linux m68k was the first non-intel linux port)

Othe OSes can still stand to learn a lot from certain parts of the amiga os - BeOS comes closest, it's just a shame BeOS is naff closed source, just like AmigaOS ( although, Gateway might be tempted to release the source to AmigaOS
"classic" back to the "classic amiga" community some time in the future)

There are still people in the Amiga computing doing Really Cool Things (tm), just less than there used to be - ARTAS, a development of the AHI retargetable audio system is a general API for streaming digital signals, and amiga RTG support is matched only by QNX's photon system ( good job QNX is AmigaNG, then...)
Taglists were a cool way of passing options to functions, too.

Wow, I'm home dude.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969540)

So many slackware users! I'm home...

Slackware for "loons"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1969541)

Oi! RedHat for suits I agree with. Debian, hm, for hackers, possibly (only cos I got it on my Sparc) but Slackware for loons .... come on!

Cap'n B [mailto]

Linux Fragmentation (1)

Gleef (86) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969545)

I think Linux fragmentation isn't safe yet (not that that will stop people). Once the LSB [] gets finished and accepted, then fragmentation will be fine, since it won't cause as many problems for new developers.

No, I think that about covers it (1)

Gleef (86) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969546)

A little bit of FUD in the article, but not as bad as many ZDNet articles. There's certainly more content in my compressed air duster than in that article, though.

Re: Anoraks? (1)

Gleef (86) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969547)

Um, I fail to see how the jump is made between trainspotters and computer geeks. My understanding is the stereotypical trainspotter doesn't know enough to come in out of the rain. The stereotypical computer geek doesn't know enough to go out in the sun. The're kinda mutually exclusive hobbies.

"anoraks"??? (0)

synaptik (125) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969548)

Ok, my dictionary defines "anoraks" as a hooded cloak. Is there perhaps a regional (i.e., UK-specific) connotation to this word?

"anoraks"??? (1)

synaptik (125) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969549)

Not off topic at-all; the article uses the word "anorak" to describe "hackers". I didn't understand the analogy.

Now there's a semi-informed article at least: (1)

Matrix (290) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969550)

You say it's sad when a flamewar erupts that you PURPOSELY incite? That's basically like taking a swing at someone then saying if they do the same to you, something's wrong with them. But your comment does prove that no matter what the topic, someone will bring up KDE or gnome and think that everyone else cares about it.

Anoraks? (1)

Riktov (632) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969551)

OK, another question then. Just what is trainspotting? (I obviously have neither read the book nor seen the movie.)

Anoraks? (1)

echo (735) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969552)

In french Anorak means "jacket"

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

echo (735) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969553)

Just for your own amusement, keep in mind that the RPM fairy comes complete with source code, a man page, and --help.

And for those compiling from source, there's a special SRPM fairy, that will "magically" create RPMs that the RPM Fairy can install.

The sad bit of this is that there's nothing magical or proprietary about RPM... The source is out there, it's GPL'd and even documented very well.

The only reason it seems "magical" to Slackware users is they are too lazy to learn about it. I know.. I used to be one.

Echo "Recovering Slackware addict"

Mindless... (1)

Ami Ganguli (921) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969554)

He probably gets paid a lot of money for saying pretty much nothing.

His contention that standards inevitably fall apart when money is involved doesn't make any sense. Unix split apart because of poor licensing before there was much money involved - it's been slowly coming back together BECAUSE there's now a lot of cash at stake. AT&T could have prevented the SysV/BSD split by 1/keeping the source totally closed through more restrictive licensing, 2/keeping the source totally open (ie. free). They did the worst possible thing by having licensing terms that encouraged a fork. Academics had enough access to the source to make significant modifications, but they couldn't merge their changes back to the original.

Are there other examples of standards splintering that I'm missing?

Mr. Butler doesn't get it (1)

tjones (1282) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969555)

What he failed to point out is that despite there already being so many distro's around, all with their competing features, is that they are still far more compatable than each other and the various un*x flavors than Windows is between different versions of itself.

Of course, Windows2000 is simply another division in that, and then there's 64-bit Windows, and then...

about the article... (1)

joss (1346) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969556)

If I could just butt in between responses to Cmdr's gentle troll in the editorial

Who the hell is this clueless old fart Butler anyway ? It's like coming across a zdnet article from 6 months ago.. Linux lacks support, windows works today, etc etc.

Doesn't the smug old git (checkout the photo) understand that the reason technical people (dismissed as "anoraks") are interested in Linux is that it works better than Windows. It never was the "anoraks" who were interested in Windows 10 years ago. It caught on as part of the "nobody ever fired for buying IBM" mentality.

AARGH, I just hit myself. I should know better than to bother looking at zdnet. Is there any other profession in the world which is so badly represented by it's press. It's not as though you find medical journals written by people with no qualifications at all saying things like

"Anti-biotics or Leeches - in depth article on what's wrong with these untested new fads"

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

mikpos (2397) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969557)

Even worse than no package manager is a package manager that isn't. If you've installed Slackware 3.6 (and probably 3.5 and before), you'll know you have to rm -rf a whole bunch of /var/packages, /var/setup, etc. shit. I think Slackware expects you to use setup to install everything or something (is there any use to that program?

Now there's a semi-informed article at least: (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969558)

1) Windows may have been new, but it was never innovative.
2) Linux really isn't innovative, other than the economic model on which it is based. But in a way, this is good. What it is, is a rock-solid implementation of almost every computing standard out there, standards which the "innovative" guys tend to forget.
3) I'm sad to say that he was right about the factions, however. And it is starting now. Not the distro's (that's a common misconception). I'm talking the emacs vs. vi people; the Gnome vs. KDE people, and probably, once it's released, the Berlin vs. X people. Just watch; I'm going to say "Gnome Rules" (which I do honestly believe) and I'll bet you a flamewar starts as the reply to this post. It's sad, really, but do you see what I'm getting at?

"anoraks"??? (1)

Ralph Bearpark (2819) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969559)

Ain't it obvious guv'nor? UK hackers always wear unfashionable anoraks if and when they venture outdoors into the incessant drizzle. At least in the "popular imagination".

Regards, Ralph.

Slackware==no life (0)

planet_hoth (3049) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969560)

That's right, slackware is for people with no life who have time to upgrade all their libraries everytime they set up a new system. You don't have to be a loon, I know plenty of sane slackwarers!
SuSE is for hip alterna-teens, for whom Red Hat is not alternative enough, but who don't know much aboot UNIX, which rules out *BSD.
Red Hat is for the guys who get all the chicks. (It's true, do a poll Rob!)
Debian is for the guys who bash Red Hat users because they want some action too.

Guess which I use.

RedHat is damaging for the Linux community (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969563)

RedHat are getting enough money to produce a professional site. This current site doesn't do anything for their image. At the time I'm writing this the slashdot article: Is RedHat the next Microsoft is sitting on their front page.

Standardizing libraries would be nice (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969564)

As long as a base system of kernel, libs, and utilities is compatible accross distributions, divide all you want.

Having spent a good chunk of my weekend migrating from MkLinux to LinuxPPC, the issue of constantly changing libraries has been on my mind. I find that one of the biggest hassles of Linux is the amount of time I spend tracking down and building the new version of the library required for some new app. And I only have one GTK app installed!

I think that that situation is manageable, or even desireable, as long as it's an OS for hackers and tinkerers. I'm sure that as Linux moves into a larger market, the pace is going to have to be slowed down. (See the Red Hat post above - I bet that's how it's going to happen.)

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

jammer (4062) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969565)

Proud loon checking in.

I'd rather be able to customize my system, instead of having some magical RPM fairy decide where stuff needs to go.

Oh yeah... and I can install Slackware onto an 80 meg partition. Try that with your Red Hat, monkey boy. :)

[For those too dense to notice the emoticon, this post expresses the way I feel, but wasn't meant to be inflamatory.]

Slackware forever.

This Monkey's Gone to Heaven... (1)

Skip666Kent (4128) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969566)

Yeah! They rock!

"anoraks"??? (1)

Bishop (4500) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969567)

This is rather off topic...

An anorak is the hooded coat worn by the inuit (native people from the far north of North America). It is basically a jacket that dosen't have a zipper all the way down its front. It might be known as a pullover jacket. Look in a camping goods catelog and you might find one.

I'm a loon! (1)

Archeopteryx (4648) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969568)

Our main server here runs Slackware. Has for three years now. It has exactly the software it needs to have. No more. No less.

nope, not crazy (2)

kevin lyda (4803) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969569)

defining the minimal sets of compatability will be hard, but diversity isn't bad in and of itself.

some people have commented on it (bob young is one), but linux is, and has been for over a year, attracting people from new backgrounds. windows in particular. soon, a lot of mac developers are going to pop up since they'll be learning unix skills anyway for macos x.

i'm a unix bigot, i can't see much of value coming from the windows world. i can see some good ui stuff coming from mac people, but i dunno much about macos gui access - methinks they're skipping x and doing their own stuff. that's a loss.

i really don't see anything wrong with a giant redhat, nor do i see anything wrong with more competition in the distribution arena. as long as it's gpl'd and open, we'll be safe. now if some company uses a linux kernel and proprietary code from init on up in a completely nonstandard config... well, then the linux community is in trouble. it'd be a lot of work though.

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

wilhelm (5091) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969570)

There have, for a long time, been the commands installpkg and removepkg (or is it pkginstall and pkgremove? I can never remember) which do exactly what you might think they do.

I still think it's funny that when doing an install of a Redhat system, the installer uses --force --nodeps to install everything. Even Redhat doesn't trust their own system.

Another idiot spouting off (0)

cthonious (5222) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969571)

This is just yet another moronic article, don't waste your time.

Any journalist who begins his articles with "As I predicted ... " should be skinned, burned alive, and fed to leprous wild animals.

This guy is a jackass. His argument about "suits and anoraks" is both wrongheaded and laughable. What a serious thinker he is. What a dufus.

Gore himself should be "Linux Czar"! (1)

cthonious (5222) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969572)

After all, Gore invented Linux.

The flame wars mean linux is ALIVE (1)

cthonious (5222) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969573)

Only movements which are living and vital have such controversy surrounding them. Windows has no such "problems". There is plenty of room for even more contention and flames.

Linux Fragmentation (1)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969574)

> Once the LSB gets finished and accepted, then fragmentation will be fine

I'd agree here. There has to be a minimal set of standards - such as libraries and directory setup and services. After that, it's a matter of competition. The best applications win.

That being said, fragmentation does tend to scare off applications developers. Things get dicy when you're trying to test, and I'd hate to see a good application fail just because the developer(s) picked the wrong distribution.

What If... (1)

pica (8795) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969575)

Sounds similiar to how the BSDs are dying.

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

Griim (8798) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969576)

Slackware was the first distribution I ever attempted to install, and it wasn't easy, but I did it. After using it for a year, and listening to various people rattle their 'my distribution is the best' sabre, I thought I'd expand my horizons.

So far, I've tried SuSE, Debian, and Red Hat. I tried each version for about 2 weeks (that's roughly 3-4 hours per day of use) and I found that *none* of them are as configurable as slackware. Sure slackware takes a bit of upgrading when you get it. In the long run though, it does *exactly* what I want it to do.

Slackware forever.

Hey, hey, hey! (1)

Infoninja (10241) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969577)

Penguin mints are great, but I've developed a stronger fondness for Black-Black (Happily manufactured by the Lotte company of Japan). It's chock full of caffeine, and I think other wonderful additives, but I can't be sure, because the only words that appear in English on the packaging are "Hi-Technical Excellent Taste And Flavour"...

Anoraks' need for tinkering? He hasn't a clue. (1)

Dast (10275) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969578)

To understand how Linux could become a credible alternative to Windows it is necessary to understand the dynamics behind IT itself. The anoraks are driven by technical novelty and innovation, quickly tiring of technology once its challenges -- making it work -- have been overcome. These people live by the motto: 'If it works it has no value'.

Um, I don't know about the rest of you, but I use Linux because it works. Because it doesn't crash that often, because it is fast, etc.

Who exactly is leaving 95/98/NT because they are tired of it working all of the time. sarcasm { Damn, NT has just been up and running for too long. I wish it would crash so I could spend hours on the phone with some stupid tech guy because I can't look at the source myself. }

Linux just happens to be in the right place at the right time, providing anoraks with the life-sustaining technical novelty they need.

That is funny, I could have sworn Linux was in the right place at the right time, providing us with the life-sustaining stability, efficiency, and control we need.

But then again, I could be wrong.

Ignore Martin Butler (1)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969579)

Agreed. Butler is just part of Microsoft's FUD machinery - He's always being quoted in Computer Weekly and on Silicon.Com.

By the way, above you seem to indicate that 'The Butler Group' and Martin Butler are not the one and the same entity - I personally suspect that they are.

Founder, President, CEO, Teaboy & General Dogsbody
The Dodger Group

Slackware, Debian and Redhat (1)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969580)

It can't be anywhere near as good as the Dodger Unix operating system, more commonly referred to as Dynix. ;)


It's in the stars. (1)

Simes (11695) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969581)

Seems to me that IT industry pundits are a lot like astrologers - make the vaguest possible predictions, and then a year down the line bend what's happened to fit what you predicted and claim to have been right all along. Either that or just state the bleeding obvious.

"I predict that in a group with a great deal of dedication to the platform, factionalism will arise." Well, duh. Show me any group like that where it doesn't. I think it'd be an improvement for a lot of factions to produce more code and vent less heat, but the old rule applies - competition promotes innovation and improvement.

If Linus ever did get tired of being in charge of the kernel, I think in the first instance he'd hand it over to someone he trusted. That's what I'd do. And if the worst does happen and the code forks, people will use what suits them best, and changes will probably migrate back and forth.

Re: Not mutually exclusive! (1)

markhb (11721) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969582)

Haven't you heard of QuickCam?

(Ducking for cover....)

Right on! (1)

Zonker Harris (12889) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969584)

Y'know, you hear all this crap about "code forking" and so forth...These people obviously don't understand the dynamics of the way the Linux kernel work. As long as oversight is centralised (like Linus and AC), then the kernel won't fork. Anyway, Linus owns the copyright to the name, so anything not endorsed by him becomes something else.

As for incompatibility between versions, the closest we've come is libc5/glibc2 crap. Which is really easy to remedy.

Different package types? Compile from source! I use RedHat, but I only use rpms for libraries (and, of course, the base install).

As long as it's still Linux, it'll still be compatible.

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

jabber (13196) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969585)

Yah know...
The first time I tried to install Linux, I had a choice of Slackware (Unleashed book '96 version) and RedHat 5.0..

RH would just NOT install right.
Slackware went in on try 1. Sure, it took a bit more thinking to get it there, but DAMN!

And besides, there's a certain satisfaction to bucking the trend that's bucking the trend..

-- Proud member of the intra-Linux counter-culture.

You mean compatability with standards??? WOW WHAT (2)

dclydew (14163) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969588)

What is this? Some kind of weird tree-hugger Utopia? People actually writing to standards? Everyone is supposed to do it their own way, right? So they can grab the market share, right? I mean anything else would be un-american, right? Oh, wait there's more to the world than the American Way? What?

(--regains senses--)

Oh, sorry, I slept near that new Gates book, it must have tried to poison me....

The fact is, people want standards, and until people deviated from standards, the WWW was a cool place to play. As long as Linus, Alan, and the Merry Men, keep a standard kernel and lib. the Linux World will just get better and better.

Silly "technical" writers are so used to the status quo of Big Business today, they can't see the shift that's happening, there's more profit to be made in an Open Source Standards world. IBM, HP and the others will catch on soon.

What If... (1)

abcess (14260) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969589)

What happens if Linus and AC get fed up the with infighting and petty bickering that has been popping up with increasing regularity? I see two things happening. One, some groups keep a standardized kernel and co-develop it together, but they do this for commercial interests. While they continue to provide their distros for free, and are willing to work with all comers, certain segments denounce them because of their commercial interests. Which brings me to number two. These segments continue with their own distros, some groups work well together, others don't, eventually they end up with kernels that are incompatible, the stronger alliances maintain compatiblity, but no one is compatible with the commercial vendors.

Now, what have we ended up with? We're right back where commercial unix is today, although for mostly different reasons. I'm probably going to get flamed a bit, but think on this. We wanted Linux to be widely accepted for many reasons, now that this is starting to happen, we are bitching at eachother over (mostly) trivial things. If Linux is going to be everything we want it to be, we need to stop fighting, we need to allow for the commercial interests of companies like RedHat, while maintaining the diversity provided by user based groups such as Debian. If the commercial and non-commercial sides can manage to get over their differences and work together as, Linux will go places we never imagined. If we can't let that happen, Linux is likely to become the next OS/2.

Hey, hey, hey! (1)

Frey (14600) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969590)

aren't penguins great. they are the only way I made it through an exchange deployment.

Red Hat (1)

Old Ben (14626) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969591)

I chose Red Hat because I wanted something somewhat painless to install and I wanted to... but since I can't get all the chicks, I guess I'll have to move to Debian. Can't really comment on the SuSE thing, though. I'm more of a metal/industrial guy myself.

Come on, people, it's a ZD publication... don't expect too much from it.

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

Mullen (14656) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969592)

You forgot to say that RPM's are for sissies! Slackware users tend to be the people who know something about Linux in the smallest amount of time.
I really can't stand people who "install" Linux and the GNU tools, and have no clue of how it works. New installs of Linux should be hard, and when the new user starts to show they know something, they can use RPM's then. I think this should especially true for X. The harder, the better!

RedHat is damaging for the Linux community (1)

strider5 (15284) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969593)

ummm, yea....WHATEVER.

get a clue man. why don't you wander over to and see how GREAT and PROFESSIONAL their site looks....blah

if you dont like the redhat site, i suggest you
donate your time and redesign the fucking thing into something more suitable in your mind.

damn...some people just dont get it at all.

Here's what we need: (1)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969594)

President Gore

Please. Those two words together is enough to make me want to vomit. I don't want to see the chief administration poster boy for Clipper/Skipjack/key escrow president, nor Tipper Gore, the founder of PMRC the first lady.

I like freedom, and those that are for government spying on citizens and for censorship of music lyrics are no friends of freedom.

The democrats had better be able to come up with a better candidate than Al Gore. How about Bill Bradley? What is his record on the important issues?

This guy really doesn't get it does he? (1)

DynoMutt (16110) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969595)

We don't use Linux because NT works so well, we use Linux because NT is such shite!

Trainspotting (1)

Industrial Disease (16177) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969597)

As it was explained to me several months ago, "Anorak" and "Trainspotter" are Brit synonyms for "nerd" or "geek". Trainspotting is an activity roughly akin to bird-watcing; sitting atound in dreary English weather for hours on end with a book of train engines, watching trains go by and hoping to see a rare engine. Apparently, the activity is common enough to have become a stereotype of a lonely, pathetic person with no social skills and, therefore, nothing better to do. An anorak is a hooded, waterproof cloak, often in bright colors, which might be called a "rain slicker" in parts of the US. Supposedly it's the outerwear of choice for sitting around in cold, drippy weather, and therefore, at least by the stereotype, the most common identifying mark of a trainspotter.

Redhat suits ? (1)

Eli (16462) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969598)

So you're a suit Rob? Aren't you running RH 5.2?

Hey, hey, hey! (1)

jwriney (16598) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969599)

,Slackware for loons,

Hey now, no Slackware bashing! I like Slackware and I'm perfectly normal. Except for those damn pixies flying around the room.

John Riney

Here's what we need: (1)

jwriney (16598) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969600)

Why should he appoint anybody? Since he probably invented Linux anyway(that Torvalds dude just stole his idea), Al himself should take on this responsibility. That'd be great.

John Riney

Another idiot spouting off (1)

MikeTurk (18201) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969601)

Not to mention that "when standards first emerge" bit. Linux is as old as Windows 3.0. In what way is this a new emergent standard?


Slackware==no life (0)

Praxxus (19048) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969602)


Did I miss something in that? (1)

Praxxus (19048) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969603)

Was there a point to that article, really? Maybe I've just not had enough coffee yet this morning, but it seemed like all he said was, "BlahblahblahLinuxblahblahLinux! Look! I'm writing about Linux! Read me, everyone! Blah blahLinux."

Yeesh. :P

Now there's a semi-informed article at least: (1)

Oirad (19452) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969604)

I agree with the factions point. I'm a new linux user, grabbed RH 5.2 from work. I'm trying to get GNOME installed too. I don't understand all these little spats about distributions, GNOME vs. KDE, etc. None of it makes sense, and the depth to which some of these go tend to turn people off and make linux users look like a bunch of little kids sitting in mommy and daddy's basement. Just my $0.02.

The flame wars mean linux is ALIVE (1)

Ancipital (19821) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969605)

Hmm, I have to disagree...

The Amiga for instance, doesn't just smell funny, it's dead- an ex-parrot; joined the choir invisibule etc etc..

However, hop on over to comp.sys.amiga.misc to see how valid your metric is- lots of drongos flaming each other over vaporware :-)

Yes, I do own several Amigas, but they mostly run linux.. and when we get cross-compilation running on the x86 box, the PPC Amiga will run APUS linux too...

Here's what we need: (0)

Beef (19842) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969606)

President Gore should appoint a Linux Czar, who will then dictate to the industry what the proper distribution, libraries, GUI, etc. should be.

Hey, hey, hey! (1)

Beef (19842) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969607)

Isn't Slackware the official distribution of the Chruch of the Subgenius? [alt.slack]

Hey, hey, hey! (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969608)

Do your pixies talk to you? Mine say things like, build glibc 2.1, egcs 1.1.2, and various other packages from the source.

Of course it could be the tin of Penguin Mints a day that I eat.

-g0 -O99 -fomit-frame-pointer -march=i486

Of course you are! (2)

Kaa (21510) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969609)

But not necessarily for these particular reasons...

In any case, the crucial test for compatability is: can you run 99.9% of the binaries on different platforms without recompilation/major option tweaking? If you can, then the differences between, say, Red Hat and Debian do not matter. If you need to recompile or do deep options voodoo, then the whole thing will crash around our ears. To succeed prepackaged binaries have to run on *Linux*, not Red Hat Linux version 5.0 or greater with kernel patch v2.........

Don't Slam Debian (was Redhat suits ?) (1)

Fizzer (22409) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969610)

> When they actually produce a working OS they can call it whatever they want, but they shouldn't go around renaming other people's work.

Hey Now! Debian is one of the better distributions, IMHO, and is one of the only distributions that mantains the same spirit that helped build Linux in the first place. Don't troll what you don't understand.

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

Nonanonymous_User (24745) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969611)

Hmmm....nice and all. Too bad RPM doesn't work. That whole dependency checking loop screws everyone up.

But rpm doesn't suck nearly as much as Debian's packaging system.

I like rpm because I can convert it to a tarball with Slackware's rpm2targz utility. Then I can work with it. I don't trust rpm to safely install anything.


Another has-been trying to share its experience. (1)

ninoles (24951) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969612)

This kind of article are really bad. Easy express opinion, no proof, no arguments. A single "metaphore" and he thinks he caught the whole subject.

Comparing Linux History to Unix history is incorrect. Linux really not follow the same development line and the way Linux evolved is really not the same as the way Unix as evolved.

To be brief, in answer to this article, I should say that achieving compatibility between Linux versions is always possible, as long that the components involved are "open". That's a major differences with Unix where people are bashing each other in law suits (Are there law anoraks? Just kidding.) for stolen ideas. That's the same reason why Linux can't die totally exceipt from holocaust or a MS totalitary mondial government.
If this happen, you can be sure I will be in the rebellion.

Just my 2 pennies.


blach (25515) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969613)

Hellllllll yes!

Hotty Toddy Gawsh Almighty
Who the hell are we?

Flim flam bim bam
(with apologies to Colonel Reb.)

Oh yes and about the magical RPM fairy .. i tried redhat ..what was it .. 4.0 .. well that magical fairy pissed me off just once to many times. RH reminded me of Windows .. scary stuff.

I'm a loon

Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

DGhost (29156) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969614)

Heheheh, screw 80mb!
I have gotten Slackware + X + networking in 40mb of space (and *still* have free space). With 20MB of swap it ran fairly slow on a 386SX-25 laptop w/ 3.5mb of ram and a 60mb hdd... heheheheh
Smallest install of RedHat was about 50MB in 5.1, without X or networking...


Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

DGhost (29156) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969615)

I personally think that Slackwares Menu based install is almost as beautiful as my gf. Its easy to use, straight forward, not to mention simple. It doesn't assume jack about you or your system, and doesn't fight you when you try to do things that are off the beaten path like *cough*redhat*cough.


RedHat is damaging for the Linux community (0)

PaulJS (29481) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969617)

I actually think RedHat is the worst distribution around for 'suits'. Firstly it's what nearly all the corporate types think of when they see the word 'Linux' then they'll pop over to to find out more about Linux. They're faced with that awful site and are put off as Linux doesn't look professional enough.
It they continue with RedHat they'll then get a distro that doesn't do what it's supposed to and includes too much cutting edge software that should still be left to the developers as it's not stable enough yet.
RedHat have a major part in GNOME and look, it became version 1.0 before it was even stable.
I like GNOME, KDE is good too but I think GNOME has more potential, but I'll keep using KDE until GNOME is a bit more stable.

RedHat can cause the Linux community more harm than good if they're not careful, at least within corporate circles.

SuSE's a lot more polished and easy to use distribution and I hope becomes more popular.

Of course the choice of distros is good (I still use slackware) but as suits think RedHat == Linux then is can do damage if they don't improve their image on the website and ship more stable products.


Alright, loons! Sound off! (1)

PaulJS (29481) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969618)

Personally I think slackware's menu based installation is no harder than any other Linux distributions.
Whether you consider the lack of a package manager to be a good or bad thing is a matter only you can decide.
All I know is RPM is still not perfect although it is still a useful utility if you prefer that sort of thing.


Redhat suits ? (1)

PaulJS (29481) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969619)

No Rob is someone who should be careful what he says!!


RedHat is damaging for the Linux community (1)

ctp (29513) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969620)

In my world, the 'suits' don't get to decide what we run...they tell me what they want to do, and I tell them how we can do it...and if Linux is the way to do it, then that's how us geeks do it.

Am I just in some lucky little pocket of non-reality out here??


Right on! (1)

LordSuggs (204218) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969621)

Preach on brother!
As long as the basics are compatible with each
distro I dont care how many there are. Ill just use what works best for me.
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