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Dvorak On Linux And "The Big Time"

Hemos posted more than 15 years ago | from the welcome-the-three-ring-big-time dept.

Linux 410

Cyberllama writes "John C. Dvorak's latest commentary is up at ZDnet. " I've been seeing this story came across quite a bit today. Dvorak offers an insightful commentary on Linux and "The Big Time" (He uses IRC servers as an example), although one that I don't necessarily agree with. In a switch from the normal take, he sees strong growth on the desktop, while predicting Linux won't grow in the workhorse server area much. Can anyone confirm or deny the allegation the IRC servers and Linux mentioned in the piece? Update: 09/21 06:29 by H :Click below - proof is below that Linux does at least some of the machines.

[root@brain:~]# queso -p 4400 dallas-r.tx.us.undernet.org
204.178.73.175:4400 * Linux 2.1.xx
[root@brain:~]# queso -p 6667 Haarlem.NL.EU.UnderNet.Org
194.178.232.52:6667 * Linux 2.1.xx

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is he wrong? (5)

Suydam (881) | more than 15 years ago | (#1668919)

He's not entirely wrong. Linux isn't always the best task for the job.

It's just that, his tone angers me. He takes the approach that Linux is A Bad Thing because it has weaknesses. That's absurd. Everything has weaknesses. Linux just overcomes its weaknesses quickly and efficiently.

There's no need for taking an inflamatory tone when stating facts....he could have written the same article, state some of the same facts, and said merely "due to these shortcomings, there are times when Linux isn't the best solution." If he'd done that, I wouldn't be so angry.

....of cousre most of his articles have read like this one. Too bad.

Maybe a point? (0)

revision1_1 (69575) | more than 15 years ago | (#1668922)

I mean, doesn't Walnut Creek use a BSD for the biggest honkin' ftp server on earth?

John C. Dvorak: Any relation to Dvorak keyboard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1668925)

Sorry, just curious for years.

No IRC servers run Linux. (5)

z4ce (67861) | more than 15 years ago | (#1668928)

Well, I know _many_ small IRC servers do. Most IRC servers are running FreeBSD. But most developement for IRCd is done for FreeBSD. Posibly because awhile back in linux you had to apply patches to get many file descriptors. However, if you look through dalnet's old server descriptions you will find voyager.dal.net and ohare.dal.net ran linux. Both of those servers actually have quit dalnet since then. Albeit, I forget the name of the network they moved though. I'll see if I can find the URL for the server descriptions a little bit later.

IRC on Linux.. (1)

-stax (34630) | more than 15 years ago | (#1668931)

I can't say that i've ever heard of any of the big three running linux, but i'm sure that they aren't running NT either.

I don't think that NT could handle the load very well. And - he sites the fact that the IRC servers are constantly under attack, it *seems* that the NT TCP based buglists are a bit larger than that of most unixen. They are most likely running one of the major unix os's, HP/SUN/etc. In a few kernel versions, linux may be ready for that, but as far as samba/web/dekstop machines go, linux is OK for me.

Linux IRC servers. (5)

Shane (3950) | more than 15 years ago | (#1668933)

Efnet and dalnet have few linux servers because the HUB servers refuse to link a Linux server. This has been the case for over 5 years. You have a couple choices. Use *bsd, use solaris or find a network that will link you.

This has little to do with linux's current ability to perform as an IRC server and alot to do with the fact that HUB admins are "old school" and of the opinion that linux isn't UNIX and its a toy.

Java is missing for enterprise computing boom (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1668936)

I am not sure I agree, while it is pretty obvious that Linux will shine long and hard on our desktops, I see the biggest challenge and NT war on the small department layer.

And there the answer is very simple, sure you have the databases vendor now taking first step but you don't really have the large choice of commercial software you can find on Solaris and NT. I am now contracting in a company where we are replacing NT by Linux with Jserv apache, in other words we developed under NT and now switch to Linux because it is in java.

Servlets are pretty easy but large corporate app servers are missing a strong support of JVMs on Linux

-- now pray and wait for IBM--

Re:John C. Dvorak: Any relation to Dvorak keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1668938)

Probably... He's just as weird looking :)

office desktops (1)

ywwg (20925) | more than 15 years ago | (#1668940)

He seems to toss aside the possibility of Linux taking on office desktops. Why? The graphical environments are much farther along than he gives credit, and products like Applixware, Star Office, and soon Corel Office Suite will give users real choice for office software.

Yes, linux will be present in embedded or low cost machines (empeg car) and your local mom 'n' pop ISP, but there's no good reason it can't take over at the office.

But that's not Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669035)

So he's right (as far as he goes).

Re:Maybe a point? (1)

rayners (33803) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669040)

That is the first thing that both a coworker and I thought when we read this article. Between that and the general tone of the article, both of us were ready to shoot off emails politely informing him of such alternatives. :)

I think this is a great trend. (5)

MuyJuan (9379) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669045)

Every few months, you see an article discussing how Linux is not good enough for ____, which purpose is rapidly increasing. A year ago, Linux wasn't good enough for the desktop. Now, it's not good enough to power EBay (is that really true? He implies that it is). What won't it be good enough for tomorrow?

As an aside, I notice that Dvorak likes to accuse Linux advocates of being groudlessly optimistic. I in turn find him to be groundlessly pessimistic. Linux might not be the answer to every possible need, but it's more likely to achieve that end than any piece of bloatware that microsoft is likely to put out.

Something I've Observed. (5)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669049)

Something I've observed is that some of the "big time networking guru's" that Dvorak alludes to have been around too long! That is, they've been around so long that the first time they tried Linux is WAS a buggy system that couldn't stand up under high loads.

Many of them promptly went to *BSD for the market segment that Linux is targeted at. Also, I've got to say that BSD does seem to be preferred for MUD's, which are from a programming perspective very similar to IRC.

However, this doesn't really validate Dvorak's conclusion that Linux will not be able to compete in the server market. (I've been reading his stuff for ten years and still haven't seen him be right). IRC is a very specialized application that you don't see much of in the "real world".

I do think that Dvorak is right about Linux's big area of growth being the client -- there are just more of them out there. However, I think he's missing the boat calling for the low end client: until something is done about netscape and staroffice being pigs Linux doesn't run as well on low power machines as does windows '95.

The real need I see for Linux is more tightly focused distributions. I don't think every distro should try to be both a client and a server. This would result in much cleaner installs for both servers and much faster, more robust clients.


Re:IRC on Linux.. (5)

paul.dunne (5922) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669054)

I saw this "they aren't running NT either" comment a few times on ZDNet, too. Why do people insist on doing this? You're only proving one of Dvorak's points for him -- that is, when you criticise Linux, don't expect a reasoned response. Too many people do this. "Linux can't do X". "Ah, neither can NT, yah, booh, sucks to you!". It would be both more interesting and better for Linux to hear some explanation of Dvorak's assertion about Linux not being able to run an IRC server: whether it's true, are there any examples of heavily-loaded Linux IRC servers, etc. We do ourselves a disfavour by assuming that anyone criticising Linux has ulterior motives -- promoting NT, for instance, as many people seem to think.

Dvorak is losing it.. (0)

iamsure (66666) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669058)

Can I rebutt it? Heck yeah I can! I have been via email for the last couple of days. Here in town, FDT sponsors THREE IRC servers using nothing but linux. irc.gymnet.com, irc.aohell.org, and irc.seminole.net.

I truly resent his implications. IRC runs best on linux. PERIOD. :)

Plus, his assertion about linux on low-end AMD's is insane. AMD K6's are notorious for being poor choices for linux, as for SOME reason they die after two years or so under the strain.

Linux is a real man's OS, and needs to be treated as such.

I use to have TONS of respect for Dvorak. I waited monthly for the "Word of John". Never again.

DALNet. (3)

richnut (15117) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669060)

IIRC, some of the old DALNet servers were Linux when it was just a feldgling offshoot that was considered a joke by the Undernet/EFNet crowd. It's been a real long time since I gave a care about IRC archetecture though, so I could be wrong.

The fact that IRC is such a ridiculous hog is becasue the IRC protocol was really never intended for tens of thousands of users and thousands of channels. AFAIK they still require every server to know about what every user is doing. That in itself is sort of ridiculous for a system that is supposed to provide global chat, but you'll find no crowd, ANYWHERE, more unruly than the IRC folks when it comes to change.

-Rich

Does eBay stay up? (3)

CaptSwifty (61835) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669065)

"The fact is, Linux has yet to prove itself at the top of the food chain, and until it can run eBay, for example, it will remain the "in-between" OS."

Umm, the last time I checked, eBay didn't stay up all that much. Maybe they should try linux.

Interesting (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669069)

I think that Mr. Dvorak has an excellent point. In many cases, Linux cannot handle the huge workloads, but does that mean that it won't ever be able to? No, absolutely not. Linux development will continue to grow and emerge, so as far as the non-server argument, I think he may be wrong. Where he is right is in the idea that companies think they can't directly attack Linux because of all of the nuts out there that would freak out if someone said something bad about the holy OS. Hopefully, Linux users and Windows users, along with the more powerful UNIX variants will form a nice cohabitation that they all benefit from. But then again, that's just a dream, right? Where windows children and linux children play together....

From the DalNet Server Application... (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669071)


The DalNet Server application has this to say about Linux:
Linux has been found not to be workable with DALnet's traffic load. All DALnet servers running Linux have been switched to FreeBSD. Therefore, if you are currently running Linux on the server for which you are applying, we suggest you switch to FreeBSD as soon as possible, preferably before sending in your application. Servers running pre-2.0.31 Linux kernels cannot be linked to DALnet at this time.
The question is... how long has this statement been in there... and is it still true?

Re:John C. Dvorak: Any relation to Dvorak keyboard (1)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669087)

As much as I love and worship John Dvorak (my VERY first pc book was "Dvorak's Guide to Telecommunications" [side note: in 1986, this books said ISDN was about to become the wonderful digital phone standard...]), he has no connection to the Dvorak keyboard. That was designed by Dr. (something) Dvorak, who came up with the layout long before our Dvorak was ever born (as in pre-1900). :)

-Chris

He tells the truth (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669091)

the inadequate-support explanation creeps in for no other reason than to keep the lunatic fringe of the Linux movement from clogging the e-mail system with complaints.

Very very true. I've been flamed countless times for saying I like Windows more than Linux. You say anything bad about Linux, no matter the basis of it (be it flame or actually a good point), people will flame you. Maybe not every Linux user, but the fringe radicals spoil it for everyone. As Dvorak says, "Just hating Microsoft is not a good enough reason to promote Linux above everything else."

Re:is he wrong? (3)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669095)

Truthfully, I think he was taunting the slashdot crowd to come on over and post your flames. The more feedbacks they get the higher their ratings. Just like the Neilsen ratings. Show alot of swimsuits, flame Linux -- same thing.

Just an opinion.

Could he back up a single claim, please? (2)

TheKodiak (79167) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669097)

I wish just one claim in that entire article had been backed up with more than an assertion.

"Linux can't cut it--period. Why is this never mentioned by the Linux proponents who flood
the critics with e-mail anytime anyone says
anything to disparage the OS?" - Maybe because they'd feel compelled to back up such a claim?

"The modem-equipped machine was good for
remote access; then the Web was invented, and
now there is nothing left to conquer. For at least
a decade, the only thing that's been going on is
the debugging of old code. Without the Net, the
computer business would have been in the toilet
years ago." - Mmm. Nothing like the taste of speculative fiction. I mean, this might be a good point - but why should I even listen to it?

"On a $199 machine, the OS can't cost more
than a few bucks." - I found something resembling a fact! Do I win a prize?

He claims that Linux can't handle the strain of running a truly intensive application, and offers not an example of Linux having _failed_, but of two applications, each with a handful of options, and the fact that none of those options is Unix. Obviously, PSOS is the only viable embedded OS because _every_ intelligent battery plant manager in the Telecommunications industry relies on PSOS! (Not that there's more than three intelligent battery plant managers available...)

Why bother with Dvorak? (3)

stevew (4845) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669103)

Dvorak is in the business of generating hits for their website. He's infamous for creating flame bait. See the stuff from a few weeks ago relating to his comments about the Ibook (calling it girlie...)

I could choose to dispute his claims concerning
IRC, others have done that already. Just look at the style of the article -it's completely incoherent. First - Linux can't be good because it doesn't run IRC, then he babbles about no standard choice for X environments (how that relates to IRC I haven't a clue), etc. It's just a strung-together bunch of inuendo and half-truths with no significant research behind it.

Just ignore him - we've all got more productive things to be doing - like writting useful free code!

Not on IRC servers? (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669105)

The reason Linux used to not be widely used is that you used to have to hack and patch the daemon in. This really isn't the case anymore, though inertia, more than anything else has kept the big guys away from it.

I know at least a dozen smaller servers (my own included) that use Linux and run an IRC Daemon, along with services. The only service interruptions we've had has been power problems at the provider.

Far more stable than NT and that Conference Room garbage (I know for a fact, because I used CR as an IRC server before switching to Linux....haven't looked back yet).


Chas - The one, the only.
THANK GOD!!!

Linux on Servers (2)

OctaneZ (73357) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669109)

If linux is no good on high-end servers as Dvorak states, then why has SGI elected to use a modified version of Redhat 6.0 as the new OS for it's servers? (http://www.sgi.com/software/linux/index.html)
While I am somewhat regretful that they are not carrying IRIX on to their new Intel based systems, I am glad that they have chosen to embrace linux over a Microsoft product.

Linux can't hack it? (1)

CyberPup (87109) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669110)

The story would have more bite if it wasn't such an uninformed opinion. As we all know, there are several high volume sites running Linux -- sites handling millions of hits a day.

Sure, other OSs (such as Solaris and FreeBSD) seem to be a bit more prevelant -- but I wouldn't say the reason is "Linux can't handle it".

Interestingly, while checking out the article on PC Mag's website, I came across a "Redhat vs. NT" test that shows NT leveling off well before Red Hat (both OS's were not tuned in this test). Guess someone forgot to pass those results along to John.

The article smells a bit fishy to me, but everyone's entitled to an opinion I suppose.

Re:Something I've Observed. (2)

vyesue (76216) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669113)

IRC is a very specialized application that you dont see much of in the real world?

tons of data being transmitted to thousands of participants whose lightweight clients connect to large, high traffic servers which provide a network on top of the Internet.

how is this not a real-world system? isnt this a pretty common paradigm on the Internet?

Flame Bait (2)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669114)

If I saw this article written as a comment, it would have been moderated down as flame bait.
Enough said.

Run Ebay? (1)

Nexus7 (2919) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669120)

Ebay doesn't run. It crashes 7.5 times per summer. So the NT/Solaris combo doesn't work. (Yeah, I know the config is probably badly designed, but who's going to explain that to Dvorak?). So when he asks "when Linux can run Ebay...," it's like saying "when Linux can do fusion at room temperature." It hasn't been done.
That is if Microsoft already doesn't have a patent on a process to "convert matter into energy under ambient conditions."

hmmmm. (1)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669123)

Well, I don't know about IRC servers, but Mr. D's column seems a bit thrown together. I mean he states:

"Where Linux shines today is in medium-strain server systems. It's a near-perfect solution for the Web site on a budget. It's close to free, and when combined with the famed Apache server software, Linux can handle almost any medium-size page service chore. This is probably adequate for most uses today, but ask the true networking superstars about Linux on big systems under big loads and they all shake their heads."

and then concludes that maybe Linux will be good in the sub-whatever bargain PC market, but ,well not really 'cause it uses command line and, as we all know, cli is just....blah blah.

Uh, so he sees Linux development going from medium strain server to $200.00 el cheapo desktops, maybe?

One would think that logical OS development would advance in the server arena, where Linux is a good viable solution for more than just a shoe-string web server - what about nntp and email servers along the same line - medium strain, rather than reteat to the bargain basement, no? I find the whole article just a bit short of well-thought-out. But, then again, IANAP (I am not a pundit).

Linux on high traffic sites? (4)

tgd (2822) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669126)

I can't talk on the IRC issue, its been years since I've used IRC, but I seem to recall there being some sort of an issue with the networks themselves, not with the robustness of the platform. In the early days of Linux, I saw that a lot for Usenet, IRC, and other network tasks that "old school" administrators saw as being the realm of the "real" Unixes. Sometimes it'd be tough to get the feed in the first place, not to deal with it once you got it.

The eBay comment, though, I thought was an interesting one. I could say with virtually 100% certainly that you could EASILY get a Linux-based system to perform more reliably than the current system, but that's not the fault of Solaris and itsn't a Solaris vs Linux issue, its simply a network application architecture issue.

Dejanews has the right idea, boatloads of Linux systems with a good application architecture, and you'll never have any downtime.

Admitted eBay has an interesting situation in that the nature of auctions where users can have bids automagically updated means running a lot of business logic on the database server, which can really move the bottleneck to the actual server software and the stored procedures, not the OS itself. My understanding is eBay runs Oracle, and Oracle has always struck me as being a real bitch to get good redundancy on and replicated servers that can cleanly fail-over.

A site like e-bay could easily be reliably run on Linux systems using a well designed architecture though, with database servers (running Oracle on Linux) that are handling only portions of the site, and a lot of inexpensive front-end servers. Adding a tier in front of that, made up of http-accellerators, would make the system even more robust.

Salon and dejanews both show that properly done, you can do high-profile with Linux. Certainly more so than you can with NT, particularly if you don't have millions to throw at hardware.

Where's his head? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669129)

The only people who think Linux is best for everything are the kiddies. That being said, Mr. D needs to compare products in similar marketspaces. While Linux may not be able to run the heaviest irc servers or ebay, I doubt NT will either. He also says that Linux is just fine for the most frequently occurring server situations, then says that it belongs on super-cheap hardware. Given this scalability, I can't figure out why he says it doesn't belong on the corporate desktop pentiums. The poor guy misses the point that he makes himself. While Linux might not be able to handle the biggest of the big, its scalability and value proposition still make it a superior solution for the vast majority of applications. I guess that's *almost* Total World Domination.

I halfway agree with Dvorak... (2)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669134)

,but for different reasons. Where does most of the development occur on Linux? Where there is an itch. How many people have an itch to run one of the Big3 IRC servers on Linux? Now compare that to the number of people and companies that use the multitudes of smaller systems that have been scratching for years to get rid of the fiberglass necktie that is Microsoft.

Most of the coders for Linux do it in their free time on their own equipment. Most of those coders don't run superhuge servers of any type, can't afford such systems, and if they did they would most likely be happier to pay someone big bucks for a solution rather than hack it themselves. But a $199 system...aahh, now that is what I call hackable. Everyone can afford one, and go hacking on the kernel. Before long, it works better on the cheap system than anywhere else.

Is anyone suprised by this? Development on Linux will take the path of least resistance. Lack of access is a big impediment; therefore, Linux will shine more and more on cheap systems. That doesn't imply that it will shine less on large ones, though. People there still itch, they'd just rather pay someone else to scratch for them.

ZDNET Wants attention. (1)

They_Call_Me_Spanky (83478) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669137)

This is the third time /. posted an article from zdnet.com that pisses us Linux users off, that I can remember. I remember one of them being so obsurd, I thought, these people are either bored or looking for some readers. Very desperate. I refuse to look at that site anymore. They have none of my respect. Ignore them. They publish lame magazines and they use Microsoft to run their webserver.

Bah!

Dvorak (1)

eGabriel (5707) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669139)

He's one of those guys that understood his 8-bit machine, maybe inside and out, then one day stopped learning, and now insists ridiculously "I REALLY DO GROK THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY!"

At this point he is resorting to arrogance in order to cause a stir. He knows he is missing the point, but as long as he has comments and readers, he has a column.

All of this ruckus about where to position Linux in the enterprise is foolish. A commercial OS might need to identify its niche, and justify it, but a free OS can crash the party anywhere it pleases, and screw em if they can't take a joke, if it doesn't work out, the worst that happens is the admin doesn't download it again. If only 10 people still thought Linux was keen a year from now, I'll bet at least one would still be actively developing it.

What's wrong with the "middle-end"? (1)

Bimble (28588) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669142)

Dvorak once again reminds me of why I've never liked his articles much. He has a real "either/or" perspective on...well, everything. He mentions that Linux serves well for midrange solutions, but rather concede that that could be a good thing, he argues that Linux is flawed because it isn't always the best choice for the high-end - and therefore needs to cater to the low-end. Setting aside my own opinions on where Linux is and where it should go, I really wouldn't look at the middle-range as a bad place to be. If Linux does work well in the middle range, it's not a mark against it, as Dvorak seems to imply. Certainly, if Linux were to start targeting only the low end, giving up on the high end and dismissing the middle-end as unimportant, it would have to sacrifice a lot of its greatest strengths. And an OS that's grown _because_ it is a good midrange sollution wouldn't be improving its chances by looking for greener pastures somewhere downhill.

Desktops? I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669144)

I disagree with his idea that Linux will gain power in the low end desktop market, while lose in the server. I don't know much about servers, but as a desktop user, I do not feel Linux is ready for the average Joe. Especially since the only people who really buy those super cheap $200 PC's are the people who are just getting started in computers. I know some people will disagree, but I find a lot of things that shouldn't be that hard in Linux, to be hard compared to doing it in Windows. And the bash prompt will totally lose most people used to GUI's, or at least they won't like it. I just don't see Linux dominating the client market for a while.

Disclaimer: I do not hate Linux. I think it's a very good OS depending on what you to do with it. But I do not feel it is ready for mass use by Joe Average.

What's wrong with the "middle-end"? (0)

Bimble (28588) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669150)

Dvorak once again reminds me of why I've never liked his articles much. He has a real "either/or" perspective on...well, everything. He mentions that Linux serves well for midrange solutions, but rather than concede that that could be a good thing, he argues that Linux is flawed because it isn't always the best choice for the high-end - and therefore needs to cater to the low-end. Setting aside my own opinions on where Linux is and where it should go, I really wouldn't look at the middle-range as a bad place to be. If Linux does work well in the middle range, it's not a mark against it, as Dvorak seems to imply. Certainly, if Linux were to start targeting only the low end, giving up on the high end and dismissing the middle-end as unimportant, it would have to sacrifice a lot of its greatest strengths. And an OS that's grown _because_ it is a good midrange sollution wouldn't be improving its chances by looking for greener pastures somewhere downhill.

Re:John C. Dvorak: Any relation to Dvorak keyboard (2)

dattaway (3088) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669152)

Hey, the dvorak layout [ccsi.com] is not too bad. If your hands feel like pounding rocks after ten minutes at the keyboard, its something worth pursuing.

Now Dvorak, the com^Hlumnist [zdnet.com] , is another nut off the zdnet tree.

Re:Something I've Observed. (3)

Shane (3950) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669156)

One thing you might find interesting is.. a good number of the people who develop freebsd also develop IRC. You might find it also interesting to know that the majority of these people spend most of their lives on IRC, and they all have global O:'s and most of them run HUB servers :)

Nuts. (1)

Bimble (28588) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669159)

Sorry about the double-post.

Re:IRC on Linux.. (1)

-stax (34630) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669163)

Perhaps I mis-worded, or you missed my point.

My point is - It's not the lightweight OS's that are doing the IRC serving. (I tend to consider both NT and Linux currently as lightweight OSs) As it's been mentioned, solaris is doing the most of it. A well estableshed, and old kernel. It's had it's share of TCP based bugs, but many have been worked out. It is also an older kernel, which has been proven stable and fast.

I don't know if there ever will be a major IRC server running linux, but where Linux really makes it's prowess known is with a server doing basically one thing, ie: static web pages. Currently, linux makes a GREAT single function OS. (that's why so many people want it in embedded systems)

And - considering that the only comparison he made in his article, was to NT/Microsoft, I didnt feel it was appropriate to bring *ANOTHER* os into the mix.

Does Dvorak even write his own columns? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669165)

I'm just wondering if Dvorak even writes his own columns? From what I understand, Jesse Berst doesn't even write his columns anymore -- he has a staff of columnists spewing out columns and he is just sort the editor and the column simply bears his name which explains his flip-flopping on various topics.

Some hits and misses (3)

Hollins (83264) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669168)

  • Dvorak seems to dismiss Linux/Apache as a server contender because he fees it cannot currently handle super high-load jobs, and is thus only well-suited for medium instensity servers. These 'in-between' servers, as he calls them, are the workhorse of the internet and represent most of the servers out there. I don't see how he can contend that filling this niche is not a victory for Linux. He doesn't attempt to address the dizzyingly fast evolution of this OS, or admit that it very well may be handling these high-end applications in the future. I am very happy to see Linux used for all but the most demanding server tasks, which are still relegated to Unix. This is a validation of free software, not an arguement against it.
  • He thinks Linux will own the desktop because MS will sooner abandon its market share than price Windows competitively for $200 machines. There is no way MS will give up this market. They will either price Windows down, or come out with a cheap version in between what are now Win98 and WinCE to be used in iToaster-type machines. Expect it to be Win98 with a few key dlls removed (much as NT workstation is NT server sans a few dlls). I expect they'd price it at $10-$20 OEM. It is absurd to argue that MS is going to roll over and give up Windows on the home desktop without more justification than Dvorak gives.
  • UnderNet may not run Linux, but my web hosting service (Hurricane Electric) does. They host a lot of relatively high-traffic stuff. I haven't noticed any down time in the two years I've been using them. They let me telnet in, run custom scripts on the server, have PhP and MySQL, and charge less than $10 a month. They're also really fast. I haven't seen anyone able to provide this price/service combination on an NT or Unix system.
Dvoraks columns seem to be hit or miss, sometimes he's dead-on insightful, but others I think he goes too far to deliver a viewpoint outside the mainstream. I fear this is more a case of the latter.

Re:is he wrong? Probably (1)

DrNO (61310) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669169)

Seems like Big D. is killing Linux with kindness. NOT A GOOD THING (tm?).

The low end is where Linux should gravitate. By this I don't mean Pentiums running in offices. I mean on AMD chips in sub-$200 computers with small amounts of memory and $50 hard disks. Under a normal load Linux is quite remarkable.

Kinda condescending no? I agree that Linux can run nicely on very underresourced machines - but it seems to run fine and be stable on some powerhouses (e.g. 2 x 500 mhz P-III w/ 1 Gb. RAM 60+ Gb disks and so on). I'm no kernel hacker, but Linux has been great fo me in clusters and on major workstations for crunchinng numbers.

Forget the low end.

Welp, everything's already been invented (2)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669173)

ha, we've heard THAT sentiment before. Personally, I feel that the typical Wintel box of today, the latest and greatest, is a horribly backwards machine compared with what could be and will be. Ford may have mass produced and made an affordable car, but they have evolved tremendously since then - and the typical wintel box is still at a very primitive stage, w/ much room for improvement. It may take a revolutionary discontinuity instead of a smooth progression, but it will happen.

Chuck

He IS wrong but he is doing his job... (1)

IQ (14453) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669179)

The purpose of a commercial magazing (PCMag) is to bring a market to advertisers. Those advertisors pay Dvorak's salary and keep him in print. I wonder what the circulation of PCMagazine has done in the last say 18 months? Is there a trend that Mr. Dvorak is trying to reverse?

Has Mr. Dvorak ever tried to run a business using Windows (NT, 31, 311, WG, 95, 98 or any version in between)? Or for that matter using Sun/Solaris? + any commercial Db product? The behavior of the machines he is payed to promote is simply unacceptable in today's hectic world. And the license fees of the software running on them is just as bad especially considering the performance and quality issue.

The article was just flamebait. He needs the attention to keep his editors happy.

Re:Something I've Observed. (1)

Ice Station Zebra (18124) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669181)

Guess you've never run Windows 95 on a low-end machine. AT LEAST LINUX DOESN'T CRASH UNDER THE LOAD. Netscape and StarOffice work fine for me on a P166/64MB memory and I'm even using GNOME. I don't know how many times Windows crashed when using MS-Office 97 and IE5. I'm glad I switched.

Hmmm... (1)

Phignuton (22456) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669183)

I think Dvorak is still missing the boat on what Linux and the free unixes are supposed to stand for. An alternative option versus having your choices dictated to you. I'll agree that Linux has some difficulty standing up to huge amounts of simultaneous connections, but you can't even compare the stability of a default install Linux box with a "tweaked/nudged/doctored" NT box. Look at Walnut Creek for pete's sake... Over a GB a day goes out of that place and FreeBSD has been chugging along on it for years.

As for the $199 box, don't most of those include the wonderful WinModem? Last time I checked those things weren't worth the copper on the board...

The man made few good points (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669185)

I am not very knowledgeable on IRC servers, but I believe mr. Dvorak (otherwise a very boring writer) raised a few good points. For example, the lack of standard window manager. I think both KDE and Gnome (just to name the most popular ones)look really good, but I also feel that it's a pity that all this talent isn't bundled to make 1 outstanding standard. Considering Linux as the ideal OS for ultra low cost desktop computers but less for higher-end machines: well, computer training for all employees in a company is rather expensive, so that would offset the free OS. And I notice most people are fairly happy with their standard business computer (typically NT4 + MSOffice). For most desktop users NT is also stable enough. I can imagine that many not-too-computer-savvy users don't want to change. (but there's hope, KDE and Gnome are making Linux much more accessible). I believe the real test for Linux desktop acceptance will be when (if?) Windows 2000 comes out. all the best, Tom

Internal combustion only good for scooters!!! (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669186)

I can remain silent no longer. It is time that the manufacturers of internal combustion engines accept the fact that no IC engine can drive the major steamships of today. These engines are fine for emergency power on your weekend sailboat, but it takes coal, lots of coal, to turn water into steam to move the Big Ships across the Big Seas!

It's time that IC supporters recognize the fact that there are exactly two modes of transportation in the world today, million tonne displacement steam ships and single passenger motorscooters (notwithstanding the fact I just mentioned a third, pleasure watercraft), and that since they can't drive steam ships (today or any day, so say I), then they should focus on the only other market niche in existence!

(Silly? No sillier than Dvorak ranting and raving about Linux's perceived (or simply alleged) failure to perform well in certain extreme causes while ignoring the 800-pound elephant turd in his eye that is NT servers pressed into duty to replace "doesn't require a 20-MB GUI front end, so it must be bad" Unix server.)

Re:IRC on Linux.. (3)

bombtrack- (64192) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669187)

I have coded and worked with IRCD. wIRCD, windows varients are rather unstable. And no, not all ircd is devloped for BSD. Most of the people that are responsible for Hybrid, the efnet ircd, run boxes (with linux) that run ircd fine. Elite IRCD runs better from linux than bsd. I guess it really depends on what version of irc you want to run. I'd be happy to answer any IRC related questions you have.

Dvorak had a few good points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669190)

Since SMP is not quite perfect in linux, I would have to agree with his assessment on linux for high-end servers. But let's be honest, Would you run NT for an IRC server? HELL NO. You'd use some flavor of UNIX. Unix has had several years on linux with which to get support for these sort of things, plus Unix was made for high-end servers, linux was made to be free. Give linux a few years and you'll see it pass UNIX up in scaling support. -Cyberllama (Help I've forgotton my password AND what email address I gave /.)

Re:John C. Dvorak: Any relation to Dvorak keyboard (1)

LHOOQtius_ov_Borg (73817) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669192)

The Dvorak keyboard was invented by August Dvorak of University of Washington, in 1936. This particular Dvorak was a cousin of the composer Antonin Dvorak.

Scalability (1)

hipworld (91156) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669193)

Dvorak, Microsoft shill that he tends to be at times, does have some points. The point he misses is that Linux is still an evolving system and, I do believe, scalability is an important issue for future kernel releases - unlike Windoze whose whole evolution seems to be to add more bells and whistles and sell more Microsoft applications. I know that Linux in a Beowulf configuration has racked up some impressive stats as far as heavy duty number crunching goes, but that configuration doesn't work as well when applied to more straighforward server type applications.

Dvorak Filter (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669195)

Can I get a Dvorak Filter that works like a Jon Katz filter?

I mean, the guy reminds of the "way-out" college professor I used to have. You know -- the one who never combed his hair and wore the same sweater every day. The guy who used to stand in front of the class and say, "Now I would like to explain my theory which violates all known laws of science and common sense, but I tell you that IT IS TRUE. You will be tested on this."

Has the guy ever been right about ANYTHING? Actually, has he ever "predicted" anything that wasn't so far in the future that no one remembered it when the time came?

Geez, I need to get a job as a technology pundit. It looks a helluva lot easier than what I do now.

The article has wuite a bit of truth in it... (2)

stienman (51024) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669199)

While it does have a slightly bad tone to it, the article makes a few good points:

1) People gravitate to linux because it's the underdog
2) Linux is not a top notch server
3) Linux is ideal for embedded and semi-embedded computers

Linux outperforms many other systems in serving in many situations, but it's not 'quite there yet'. (I know, it will be. Real Soon Now (TM))

I think a main reason for him to write such an article is to counter all the hype surrounding Linux. It is absolutely true that there are many people and businesses out there that are applying Linux to their problems because of the hype surrounding it. Many of them are failing, perhaps because Linux isn't a good solution to their problem, partially because they aren't putting forth the effort to make it work, etc. But mostly because they are being told from every angle that Linux is the new kid on the block that fits every hole possible. It's not there yet.

-Adam

"You stay here, while we go get help..."

K6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669201)

Where did you hear the K6 information?

I have one of the very first K6s (1 week after release) and it's been running Linux just fine since then. Am I just lucky?

Long way to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669203)

Well, while i wouldn't go as far as saying the
only place for Linux is a low level workstation
i can definitely agree with parts of what that article is all about.
As a kernel developer with some experience, i can
say that Linux (as a system) is a bloody mess -
it works and does it well, but too many things
are an ugly hack. It will with some investment
of time (and may be money) get better and probably
eventually become a fullstrength system that
a major bank would trust with financial data.
However right now this day seems a long way
in the future.
--Ugen

Re:IRC on Linux.. (1)

paul.dunne (5922) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669204)

Fair enough. Yes, your point is clearer to me now. I guess I had seen so much "Yeah, but NT sucks!" in the comments on ZDNet that I was bursting to say something about it! So, is it true that Linux can't handle being an IRC server? If not, why not? I take the point about Solaris being more mature -- but then so's Xenix...

OT: Rift between Freebsd and Linux. (4)

Shane (3950) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669205)

Has anyone else noticed that it is becoming more common to hear a *bsd slanted article where the author talks about Linux in the same way we talk about Windows?.

Something is wrong with this.. its not how its supposed to be. We are supposed to get along with our *bsd brothers and sisters. We are not against them.. we are with them.. for the good of software everywhere :).

Every Free OS installed is a wonderful thing for us all. every installation of Linux at the expense of Freebsd is a BAD THING.. every Freebsd install at the expense of Linux is a BAD THING.

Picking the best OS for the job is one thing. Spreading FUD with no facts to back it up is another. If linux really can't cut it as a Efnet IRC server, where are the facts? HUB admins have not allowed someone to link a major linux server so how do they know if it can not perform?

Appropriateness for Architectures (1)

bgarrett (6193) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669207)

Apparently Mr. Dvorak's article was written well before the Google announcement -- at last check, Google runs Linux and has been doing very, very well, not only in serving up search results but in indexing the Web.

It's not IRC, but frankly I consider Google to be more valuable than IRC, and I'm assuming it's more profitable to its owners. :)

The NT myth (1)

banky (9941) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669210)

The most interesting thing is the fact that for every "failure" of Linux, these guys can't point to a solid fact of NT success. OK, they can point to benchmarks, which no one in their right mind believes anyway. They point to the marketing success of NT, but they never really trot anyone out who can say anything truly positive.

I also agree with him that talking negatively about Linux draws the ire of the community, and rightly so. People who trounce it never seem to bother to back up what they say with facts, or never seem to try to want to listen to the communtiy about what the problem is. There was a talkback where some jag-off claims that his Linux box is more unstable than NT, with 30-minute uptimes. Yet he offers nothing more than "Red Hat 6 with GNOME". He doesn't list attempted fixes, hardware (other than "basic hardware") and so on. OK, your machine is crashing: what have you done to it? Why don't any of mine crash, ever? Why don't any of my friends crash, ever? Why does our largest client want to pay us loads of money to port some things to Linux, because their biggest concern is stability? Yet you say it crashes every 15 minutes. Sounds like astroturfing to me.

We have Linuxcare now, and smaller companies doing support. What we need now is to have someone start LinuxFacts.com (or some other such name) and do things like benchmarking, stability testing, and basically serve as an "one stop open-source marketing shop". Put out a positive message thats rooted in fact, not slick ads and copy designed to get people to click on banner ads. Show these fools that only facts matter, and that its time for these old old dogs to learn new tricks.

Re:No IRC servers run Linux. (1)

z4ce (67861) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669212)

Ok.. It would seem dalnet just redid their site and took the previous server applications off of it. But when I got this article via the mail 4days ago it was still there. Here is the closest I can come to proof. Unelse someone happens to have mirrors of the dalnet applications. http://www.dal.net/whois/data.html Favorite operating system... *shrugs* not nearly as good as the server apps, but.. it's better than nothing. Also for a bit of the prejudice against it try http://www.dal.net/vote/voting/cfo23.html and look at defiants comment. And a few of the it would be ok if they ran freebsd. And if dalnet ever restores their old vote pages try http://www.dal.net/vote/ and the oldschool votes

Not all wrong, not quite right. (2)

Capt Dan (70955) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669213)

Keep in mind that, to the best of my knowledge, Dvorak has made his living commenting on the PC world, and probably is not a Linux User. As such he is biased. Even before I started using Linux, i would read his article in my dad's PC Mag and wonder what he was smoking on occasion.

It seems to me that he thinks Linux is a finished product, a permanent freeze on the source tree. But in reality Linux is constantly evolving.

He is correct that Linux is not ready for the "big time", where Big Time is high end high SMP servers. But we know this. There was an article on /. last month comparing NT and Linux to the high end servers. One example I remember is about Linux not being able to hot swap drives. (am I wrong on this?), and the SMP support is still in development. I believe that the high end servers Dvorak refers to have 16+ processors, the area where Solaris and its kin rule. And then there's that whoel SGI filesystem deal we've all been raving about... Evolution happens a little bit at a time.

Big systems on big loads? Excuse me. There is this MIT (I forget the name) company that has a patent for a web load balancing algorithm. There was a /. about it last month or so. They have hundreds of servers spread accross the world. Amoung thier clients are ESPN and I believe CNN. That is a major load. What to they run? Linux. Hacked to their specs, but still Linux. And old kernel rev too.

What about Beowulf and other clustering software? What about all the research centers running Beowulf clusters? Like NASA?

Linux often fails, simply because it isn't robust enough isn't this in contradiction to all the other beneficial press about Linux? It may not be the Honda of OS's. Buy if you tune your '69 mustang it'll purr like a kitten.

There are numerous GUI shells for the thing, and there's no reason the Linux community can't standardize one and stick with it

So? It isn't about standardization. There are so many shells because people compete against each other for the best solution. Which gives the best code. It's also about choice.

He is right about the VIC's though. Linux could be perfect for them, and as a thin client. But it could still be a powerful server. A server running the VIC's and thin clients.

This article, although incorrect on many points is good. Why? It pisses people off, who then go start developing on their own.

Why doesn't he try any of these things himself? (1)

Supergrass (71775) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669215)

I agree with other posters who have pointed out that Dvorak's article is long on claims and short on proof. (I love how he often defers to "them" -- his network-uber-buddies who obviously know everything.)

What would make his argument more compelling (and his article much more interesting to read) would be if he tried, for example, to set up Linux as an IRC server (or any other high-traffic service), and if he documented his experience. I can accept informed criticism, but the article comes off as Dvorak parroting someone else's digs at Linux.

It's also interesting that Dvorak doesn't seem to grok the Darwinian nature of open source projects (there seems to be a rule against even imagining such a concept as agreement [in the open source community]). Of course there isn't agreement, John...just survival/widespread adoption of the best open source software (proven over time).

And no, this isn't knee-jerk Linux "flamadvocacy", but simply a request for a more thorough investigation of the story by Mr. Dvorak...

Re:From the DalNet Server Application... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669218)

Every day I feel more and more justified in my FreeBSD snobbery. How long until linux users just bite the bullet and admit its better? It runs every linux binary without recompiling, so FreeBSD software is necessarily a superset of linux.

What Is Unstable In These Cases? (2)

LHOOQtius_ov_Borg (73817) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669220)

With Linux gaining acceptance for very large scale applications (Weather supercomputer and other applications of Linux clusters to computationally intensive problems, mostly for cost reasons (commodity hardware vs. custom)), it seems that some people think that Linux is up to or can be tuned to be up to the job of handling some of the largest applications around...

Things like IRC and Oracle stability are an issue of applications interacting with the OS, and perhaps these apps need patching and tuning as much as the Linux Kernel does. Many of these issues are issues of people comparing entire systems (including applications, and system admins) without taking into account the system variables (is the application ported? was it tuned for that OS? are the system admins of the two systems being compared of comparable skill?)

Clearly Linux has its weaknesses, but when analyzing it is much more useful to do a straight comparison than the touchy-feely anecdotal kinds of comparisons that people tend to make... and to know what you're comparing. To say "Linux works poorly with IRC server software" is not to say "Linux is bad for all large scale server apps"...

Some Random Thoughts (2)

.pentai. (37595) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669222)

Ok, I read the article and the first thing I thought was "wow, this guy is full of whatever that stuff is that they make hotdogs out of"...

But then I read it a second time, and realized he's half right.

First, the instant retaliation of pointing out NT's faults when someone mentions a fault of linux must be stopped. Linux isn't always the best, as he said...but it's often better than most.

I personally don't think Linux makes a great desktop, because it wasn't made to be one (though it could be with work). For a desktop I prefer BeOS, but for a server, I've yet to have linux go down on me. But then neither have any of the FreeBSD servers I've worked on, nor any BSDi servers. The NT machines I work with at work, well, lets not mention those.

I do however agree that where linux shines is medium-strain servers...'why?' you ask, well, it's simple, because there are more medium-strain servers out there than huge servers, so there are more medium-strained-system-admins to use linux, and fix what needs to be.

Linux will be able to handle a highly-strained server when it needs to be, because when it needs to be someone will make it work.

Hopefully I didn't just TOTALLY repeat what everyone else commented on...I haven't read them all yet...

Re:Something I've Observed. (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669224)

Doh, P166/64MB is FINE to run Windows95 on. I never had problems with it on such setup, plus Netscape on Windows is more stable and on Linux and MS Office kicks StarOffice's butt in all cathegories (excpet the price)

The Linux Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669226)

The joke among ZDNet columnists is that anytime you think your column web hits are going downhill, all you have to do is publish an article with a little bit of fact and a lot of FUD about Linux, and your web hits go back up again.

I think it is clear that ZDNet columnists use Slashdot and other Linux information points to gain noteriety and gain readership. They don't care if there is a negative response, they just want the attention and the ad banner hits ... in fact I'm sure they know that an article laden with FUD is more likely to get attention than one without.

Don't encourage them.

Re:ZDNET Wants attention. (1)

golliher (4239) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669228)

ZDTV is diverse. So maybe some things are negative towards Linux. Some things are also very,
very positive. Leo Laporte (best talent on ZDTV if you ask me) raves about Linux. Linus
has been on his show. So has Robert Young and John "Maddog" Hall. Watch the show sometime.
The set of the Screensavers abounds with penguins, linux license plates and bumper stickers.

Re:K6 (1)

iamsure (66666) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669230)

From the admin for foonet.net, he has run quite a few servers on them, and they *ALL* died. Now, his systems get attacked alot, but still...

Re:Interesting (1)

dufke (82386) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669231)

Well, to put it simply:
at www.samba.org [samba.org] they do.

There is hope.

Cheap heat (1)

tweek (18111) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669232)

I happen to like reading dvorak's articles. I watch silicon spin. Having said that.

Dvorak did this, for what they call in the wrestling world, cheap heat. It's just like when a heel comes out to the ring and says "(insert town of current showing) SUCKS!". Cheap heat. Remember his big bruhaha about the iBook? He called it something along the lines of the barbie laptop. While I agree with that, it was all for attention. He writes articles like this all the time. Now Jesse Berst, he's just a moron.

Re:is he wrong? (1)

infojack (25600) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669233)

I don't know if you guys notice, But effnet crashes how many times a day? splits left and right. Are ther serers that are trying to do the job now work correctly? Mabey they should give linux a try, can't make effnet any worse.

IRC and system loads? (1)

Ciannait (82722) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669235)

IRC servers aren't the system hogs Dvorak makes them out to be. Unless you're running a massive hub server, generally they're not much of a drain at all. Granted, this doesn't cover the being-hacked aspect, however, any poorly administered system is a risk.
Out of all of the load-heavy duties a server can pull, IRC serving isn't one of them. A site running an e-commerce solution probably takes more resources than would an IRC server.
In addition, it's clear he knows nothing about IRC, having not been on in "years" and getting all his information hearsay. But those kinds of reporting tactics are normal for the "publication" he writes for. I've sent several letters correcting half-truths and misnomers, and never once have I received a reply.
Perhaps /. should stop posting this sort of tripe. It only lends credence to the person who writes it.


"During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I was riding the pogostick."

Re:Why bother with Dvorak? (1)

sgml4kids (56151) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669237)

Hear! Hear!

Despite the fact that he's been writing columns for years, he always sounds like a computer novice.

This has to be the lamest anti-Linux tirade I've seen outside of comp.os.*.advocacy. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel....

I didn't see NT anywhere in the commentary... (1)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669238)

Why is your reply not a list of URLs to machines that can and DO do what he says linux can't? Why is it, NT can't either?
NT can do ultra high availability sites, it's just expensive as hell and you need to monitor it. A lot.

BTW: I second your complaint about people bitching they can't get their systems to stay up when we all know it can be done if your not an idot. Unfortunately i see it when linux guys are whinning that their NT server won't stay up.

Re:Does eBay stay up? (1)

Exanter (2171) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669239)

Hehehehe...

Yeah, maybe they should. Because we all know how well Linux scales past 4 processors...

When you can get Linux running as well as solaris on a Starfire (Sun E-10000, 16 procs minimum), then go knocking on E-Bay's door. Until then, quit dreaming and start coding.

Besides which, all of E-bay's problems stem from the fact that they have idiot admins who don't install the patches sun gives them , then decide to not keep backups...

Mr. Qwerty (3)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669246)

For something like 20 years now, I've been reading articles about how silly Mr. Qwerty is. Other authors wonder, in print, how magazines keep paying him and why anyone still reads him. And yet, Mr. Qwerty writes on. Perhaps just because he's the author everybody loves to hate.

Linux technically inadequate for IRC? Rubbish. No doubt 50 people will go out and prove that this week just to make Mr. Qwerty look bad.

Much of the success of Linux, by the way, might be attributed to the fact that Linux folks are busy writing software instead of hanging out on IRC. I doubt the fact that we're not the main host of IRC servers has much to do with Linux' current technical limitations.

Bruce Perens

Re:Something I've Observed. (1)

Drey (1420) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669247)

"Also, I've got to say that BSD does seem to be preferred for MUD's, which are from a programming perspective very similar to IRC."

My experience has been mostly the opposite. I run an iDirt [stormclouds.com] which started on a Linux server at a college [purdue.edu] , moved to a BSD server at an ISP (now defunct), and is now hosted on a Linux server at mudsrus.com [mudsrus.com] . Most MUD servers I've seen or looked at are Linux servers and some code bases, including iDirt, don't enjoy the trip to BSD.

This guy is a Gimp living off /. (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669248)

All he does is flame, then live off the hits his articles get by inflamed Linux users. He does not know more than us. He does not provide any intuitive FACT-binding articles. Why does he get posted to Slashdot? You're only feeding the pesky fly that irritates you!!

Side Point: Central Planning? (1)

handorf (29768) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669249)

(except that there seems to be a rule against even imagining such a concept as agreement).

Gee, you put a bunch of smart people on a project they care about and you get disagreement? Whodathunkit? Of course, it's not possible that there MIGHT be more than one right way to do it. We wouldn't want differing solutions to fight it out in the "market". Nope, the Central Committie should decide what is best for us.

Why is it that some of the biggest proponents of capitalisim don't want it in their OSes? If all the Linux people agreed and did it one way all the time, we'd have a MUCH less enjoyable OS experience! How many linux filesystems have gone by the wayside? 3? There was a time during each of those when they were the underdog. But instead of trying to kill it, the opponents have improved the product by adding to the developent instead of just attacking it. Innovation comes from conflict.

Just because Linux isn't what you want, don't throw it out. Correct it. Steer it. Linux can be anything you are willing to help it become. If you don't participate you have no right to complain that it isn't what you wanted!

Personally, I'd rather choose among >15 window managers than have Microsoft pick the "right" one for me anyday!

Re:Dvorak is losing it.. (1)

timster (32400) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669250)

do you have a reference for your AMD claim, or is this only FUD? As if running Linux were some sort of "strain" on a CPU... do you think Linux uses some sort of bizarre motherboard feature to increase the CPU voltage?
it is of course true that the early K6 had some bugs (coma?), but so did the Pentiums (fdiv, f00fc7c8) and Intel's handling of both those bugs ought to make the "trust Intel" theory seem odd.
Of course, Intel's attempt at "We're quality and everyone else is cheap crap" has worked extremely well in the market so...

Just another stunt. (4)

davidw1 (29211) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669251)

I think Dvorak was just wanting to get more fame by putting this crap on zdnet.

204.178.73.175:4400 * Linux 2.1.xx
dallas-r.tx.us.undernet.org.
194.178.232.52:6667 * Linux 2.1.xx
Haarlem.NL.EU.UnderNet.Org

I'm sure there are more.

Dvorak: how about checking stuff before you spew it out?

Re:Linux IRC servers. (1)

chipper (21422) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669252)

In 95/96 I received C/Ns to link up my Linux/Alpha IRC server to EFnet. There are not many people that can claim this accomplishment. We handled out share of the clients, and got along well enough with enough admins to maintain our server. Shortly after I left the ISP, the server was shut down due to lack of administration.

Long Live the Memory of OPUS!
Chipper

What, are we supposed install 2 of everything? (2)

jabbo (860) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669255)

At least FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD can compete on their merits, instead of by buying/crushing/smearing the competition.

I love Linux, and I'm setting up my firewall/NAT box at home on FreeBSD. Why? Because less hackers are familiar with it, I have loads of good tuning information on it, and it works great for most of our production servers at work. Not that we don't have about 100 of each FreeBSD and Linux. And not that I don't run Linux on my laptop. I just feel better about having a firewall at home that is built on an "old-school" type of distro.

Competition is the inevitable result of scarce resources. Dvorak is being an idiot; the BSDers aren't. They have a good NOS and it shows.

Re:Linux on high traffic sites? (1)

Amoeba Protozoa (15911) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669257)

Speaking of Linux and high availability: how does one go about implementing a layer 4 switch with a farm of Linux web-servers to load balence connections?

Sorry if this is slightly offtopic.

-AP

Re:I think this is a great trend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669258)

Win 2000 is about to be released! Anyone notice the increase in FUD from ZD et all? Notice the connection? While the DOJ trial was going on, it was in Microsoft's interest to have all the MSerfs expound the virtue of other operating systems, now that Win 2000 is upon us, it isn't. ZD is just looking out for number 1.

use a banner-killing proxy for this article (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669266)

since it's clearly for drawing the /. effect and driving up impressions. I kinda like junkbuster myself.. like 8-10 regexes kill 80-90% of all ads I see now (including adfu and focalink! ;)

Re:From the DalNet Server Application... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669267)

How long until linux users just bite the bullet and admit its better? As soon as the BSD people actually tell us WHY it's better - with hard facts instead of hiding behind anecdotal (and OLD anecdotal) "facts" FreeBSD won't run on my home machine, as drivers don't exist for my NIC and SCSI adaptor. Linux runs just fine. Therefore (for me, in this narrow application) Linux is better. When will you just bite the bullet and admit that?

An Empirical Test (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669268)

Well, we all know that EFNet and DALNet are dominated by (Free|Open|Net)BSD. More power to them. Funny how Dvorak doesn't mention that... but enough flame-mongering. I thought I would try some *other* IRC nets (ones I actually use and can stand).

plish[decklin]# dnsquery irc.newnet.net | awk '/IN A/{print $5}' | xargs queso
206.185.8.215:80 *- Not Listen, try another port
162.42.150.51:80 *- Not Listen, try another port
207.0.141.57:80 *- Not Listen Unknown (may be loss of pkts) ?
199.103.186.10:80 *- Not Listen, try another port
216.73.223.100:80 *- Not Listen, try another port
192.108.102.221:80 * Dead Host, Firewalled Port or Unassigned IP
161.184.244.38:80 * Dead Host, Firewalled Port or Unassigned IP
207.34.179.6:80 *- Not Listen, try another port
204.122.16.98:80 *- Firewalled host/port or network congestion
207.227.236.5:80 *- Firewall drops SYN pakets.
204.137.237.3:80 *- Not Listen, try another port
209.211.58.25:80 *- Not Listen, try another port
209.140.33.20:80 *- Firewalled host/port or network congestion
207.176.172.16:80 * Linux 2.0.35 to 2.0.9999 :)
206.154.138.9:80 * Linux 2.1.xx
209.212.128.40:80 * Linux 1.2.xx
205.216.80.23:80 *- Not Listen Unknown (may be loss of pkts) ?
208.150.172.100:80 *- Firewalled host/port or network congestion
204.122.16.13:80 * Dead Host, Firewalled Port or Unassigned IP
204.122.16.4:80 * Dead Host, Firewalled Port or Unassigned IP
204.122.16.31:80 * Dead Host, Firewalled Port or Unassigned IP

plish[decklin]# dnsquery irc.openprojects.net | awk '/IN A/{print $5}' | xargs queso
216.22.214.118:80 * Linux 2.1.xx
199.173.176.228:80 * Linux 2.1.xx
209.81.8.249:80 * Standard: Solaris 2.x, Linux 2.1.???, MacOS
209.207.224.214:80 *- Not Listen, try another port
208.136.203.10:80 * Linux 2.0.35 to 2.0.9999 :)
209.41.108.220:80 * Standard: Solaris 2.x, Linux 2.1.???, MacOS
209.197.224.62:80 * Linux 2.1.xx
209.140.211.17:80 * Solaris 2.x
207.16.36.11:80 * Linux 2.0.35 to 2.0.9999 :)
205.230.163.100:80 *- Firewalled host/port or network congestion
199.178.102.12:80 * Novell Netware TCP/IP
208.24.49.11:80 * Dead Host, Firewalled Port or Unassigned IP

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. *sigh*...

Stuff. (1)

Restil (31903) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669269)

Talk about a man with no vision. The simple notion that the computer industry will topple over in a few years because everything will completed has to be the most absurd commentary, and the one that has been disproven so many times in the past.

Why doesn't linux run on all these high end massive servers right now? I have a theory. Because 3-4 years ago when all these systems were put in place, linux wasn't a viable option. It was still in its infancy and wasn't yet ready for it. So these servers were designed and built with other operating systems and as they were updated, they maintained their current OS because frankly it would be easier to upgrade to another compatible operating system than porting to another. Far from impossible, but it would require a significant amount of work. So these servers tend to stay with their current system until they have a substantial reason to change.

In the last couple of years with added support for
SMP and with linux gaining ground on a wide variety of different architectures, linux is quickly becoming the OS of choice for new servers today. These little servers today will be the big servers tomorrow. It might just take a couple years before linux has a prominent place amongst the other big boys, but it won't be all that long.

As for IRC, I found it rather interesting that he first states that NO IRC servers are run on linux, then he later revises his statement to imply only the big networks. In many cases, the same reasons apply. The big networks have enough problems as it is right now. The major operators probably figure, right or wrong, that keeping a standard platform set will help to minimize these problems. And since the other servers are running BSD/Solaris or whatnot, thats what they continue to support.

-Restil

What is actually more insinuating is... (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669270)

That the computer industry is so uninovative that it cannot think up anything else except office apps and games! How can anyone expect that computers are that useless? Personally I think that if PC's get more powerful that AI might just be the next killer app. I sure would like to explore the concept of having an AI companion, even if the OS that AI runs on isn't linux.

Because they are desperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669272)

It's a desperate move to cut R&D expenses. Linux will ONLY be used on the Intel systems.

Re:John C. Dvorak: Any relation to Dvorak keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669273)

Hey, the dvorak layout is not too bad. If your hands feel like pounding rocks after ten minutes at the keyboard, its something worth pursuing.

As a programmer, I really don't need to type all that intensively. I never learned "proper" typing anyway. I started as a hunt'n'peck and an now at top speed a 40WPM hunt'n'peck typist. :) I still must look at the keyboard to type, and it's freaky for others to watch me type really fast. But like I say, I don't need to type fast enough to justify learning a "method".

Dvorak might be more practical for secretaries and writers; not for programmers. We just spend most of time staring at the screen, growing cateracts than developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Now if only there was a Dvorak style answer to the CRT. (LCD displays aren't any easier on the eyes than conventional CRTs.)

If I may..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1669275)

The reason is that, the majority of the time, the author is comparing Linux to NT and detailing how Linux has shortcomings.

Journalistically, if the same shortcoming applies to both platforms then there is no reason to elaborate on it.

I don't see how this supports Dvorak's comments about Linux users. Imagine the opposite situation. Where a journalist is comparing NT to Linux and (correctly) points out that NT does not run any of the major IRC servers.

The implication is that Linux does. We are merely correcting that implication.

Re:Some Random Thoughts (1)

sgml4kids (56151) | more than 15 years ago | (#1669277)

The distinction between server and desktop is transient: God help us if we are still sitting in front of keyboards 15 years from now.

Here's why Linux is ready for the "Big Time":

1) It runs on everything
2) It runs fast on everything
3) It runs everything
4) It costs nothing
5) ...and it's only getting better.

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