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662 comments

Irony (-1, Offtopic)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288736)

Nothing for you to see here, please move along.

Re:Irony (3, Insightful)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288836)

So this is what people do when they get a degree in Information Systems or Information Technology. They spew BS about operating systems and make up crap to make people think they have an expert opinion.

Re:Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289046)

"So this is what people do when they get a degree in Information Systems or Information Technology. They spew BS about operating systems and make up crap to make people think they have an expert opinion."

He's not called" Rob Pretenderle" for nothing. After his uninformed trolling/shilling /self-promoting^Wwhoring in re. SCO vs IBM, people who have any brains get out the salt shaker.

BSCS Grads (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289050)

Nah - I've learned that most of 'em arrive in real world IT/developer shops and discover that they don't know jack (mostly because they were to busy learning concepts and using outdated stuff to do that).

This leads 'em to do one of three things:

1) (half) realize they can't hack it and go do something else for a living after a couple of years.

2) (just under half) realize that they just have to step it up a notch and manage to do so with varying degrees of success.

3) (jackasses like Enderle) realize they really can't hack it --but are too scared to try at an honest living-- so they either get a teaching certificate w/ the intention of making Education a career, or they become tech writers.

(Caveat: as a guy w/ no CS degree, but is a Sr. Sysadmin at a Fortune 50 company, and has taught CompSci full-time at the collegiate level - these are only conclusions drawn from my experiences. Naturally, YMMV)

/P

Re:Irony (0, Redundant)

rizzle (848961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288842)

Site's already down?

Re:Irony (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288914)

Site's already down?

You're not allowed to discuss this, boy; I'll let you get away with it this time, but next time it will mean some time in the cell with my deputy Sissy-John, mkay, son?

Re:Irony (4, Funny)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288976)

That is probably not a bad thing. The article is not worth reading anyway. Basically he uses logic like, "If Friday is happy and Saturday is Sad, July 25th is Antagonistic" to prove that Linux doesn't exist or something. At that point, after the quote, "I already said there is no Linux..." I had to stop reading.

-R

ARTICLE TEXT (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288984)

I started writing about Linux not because I thought it interesting, fascinating, or even because I liked to code (I don't).

I started writing about Linux because I was told I couldn't and the more people told me I couldn't, and particularly when they said "or else," the more the Linux dirty laundry became attractive to me. In short, if anyone bothers to look at the sequence of events, they will see that the Linux community pushed me down this path. Granted I didn't fight much, but I have this thing about cover-ups. I believe they can lead to disasters both within a company and across a nation; here in the U.S. this last point, whether it be Global Warming or Iraq, would seem self evident.

So this time I'd like to talk about the five things you can't talk about without being attacked by OSS supporters. I'll take the heat, and as always, I'm not suggesting you stop deployment of Linux, I'm just suggesting you intelligently cover your backside.

One: Is Linux a Myth?

This strikes me as both the most obvious and the least talked about. We talk about Linux like an operating system when we compare it against Windows, we talk about it as a company when we compare it against Microsoft, and when we describe its attributes it almost seems super-human or god like.

Linux isn't a thing, and it sure isn't a god. When we compare an operating system to another we should be comparing the specific distribution, which is a thing. When we compare it to Microsoft we need a company to do that; Red Hat, Novell and now Oracle provide us with a framework so that we can intelligently compare one to another and assess the differences.

The reason Linux has been abstracted into a concept is so it doesn't have to compete on merit. It can be anything, in concept, it needs to be to win a deal. But we live in the real world where there needs to be a real product and a real support structure behind it. If we are actually doing an evaluation we have to evaluate what we are actually going to end up using and it isn't generic "Linux."

This isn't to say Linux can't or doesn't win in real comparisons, only that the majority I've seen weren't real comparisons. As a ex-auditor I care less about who wins than I care about the process that determines the winner. I've seen too many instances where decisions were made on products, including proprietary products, based on what appears to be graft. One CIO even won a Mercedes Benz for making the "right choice" - we'll talk about that in a future post.

Presenting the products and companies in abstract was actually rather brilliant, however, I can't find a Steve Jobs-like person I can congratulated for this excellent work. It just seems to have happened that way naturally, but, if you are going to be successful, your justification needs to be solid and for that you'll need the specifics.

Linux is a grown up product; it isn't for everything or everyone though. Do your assessment with a real product against real metrics. SuSe and Red Hat are both capable enough to compete without cheating.

Two: Is Linux Secure?

I already said there is no "Linux," so how can I now treat it like a thing? The easy path here would be to present the different security models for the different distributions but, for this purpose, I'm going to leave Linux in abstract and talk about the unique security problem it represents. I'm not saying Windows is more secure either; I'm saying the products are so different from each other that comparisons may not actually make much sense, which is why there are reports supporting both sides of this. So, let's start by saying nothing is secure enough if people are involved.

Long before IT stopped being just "it," security had three aspects: Physical Safety, Possession Protection, and Intelligence. The way security was breached in all cases was physical; people came in and did harm, stole, or deployed "spies." They didn't need viruses or hacks, they just pitted their intelligence against yours and, if they won, you lost and, in the case of harm, that loss could be terminal.

We know that crooks generally are crooks because they didn't do well in school, not because they graduated from the top of their class at MIT (though clearly this "rule" has been broken from time to time). We also know that the most successful kind of attack to get "intelligence" is a phishing attack, and what brought this into the news recently was HP's pretexting problem.

Linux is surrounded by people who generally don't even use real names and often "exaggerate" what they do for a living. Wonder over on Groklaw and you'll see a lot of legal experts, a few months back I corresponded with one. His legal "expertise" came for a class on contracts, and I'm not kidding, he took in high school. PJ, the woman who allegedly heads up this legal resource, is currently ducking service from SCO and lord knows what she is covering up (and I don't think it is that she works for IBM; they aren't that stupid).

We also know that when someone gets access to information it generally isn't reported anyplace, primarily because, at least until we figure the Quantum thing out, the activity itself doesn't prevent subsequent use by anyone else. For instance, after the Cold War ended, we were amazed at how much of what we had the Russians had copied. What drove our suspicions was the similarity in what resulted, and the fact we also had spies looking at their stuff.

Linux exists in an environment where there is broad collaboration, but no effort to validate the collaborators so the opportunity for traditional, old style, data breach is immeasurable.

We know that pretexting is wide-spread, how much easier (and harder to catch and convict) if the person doing the pretexting doesn't even have to come up with a real fake identity?

If you are using Linux and haven't done a physical security audit in a while and specifically looked at who is collaborating with whom, I would say it is likely well past time.

By the way, this is true whether you are using Linux or not; we generally are not focusing enough on physical security right now, particularly in home and branch offices. But that is for another time; a good resource is "Security Dreamer," which focuses on the topic of physical security in general; the author, Steve Hunt, is one of the best in the business.

If you are using UNIX, Linux, Windows or Apple, you need to ensure they are secure. OSs aren't security products; none of them are secure enough.

Three: Do Communes Work?

If you step back and look at Linux from a distance it actually looks like this idea of community works, there is progress, and UNIX has been taking it in the shorts. But, when you get close, you see a political nightmare that can make the bureaucracy at IBM and Microsoft seem simple and almost streamlined by comparison.

Let's take the GPL; this is like watching a government working. This is the license that defines how you will use the product and what you will "pay" for it. Right now they can't even agree if they need a new one, and the two sides have, as they seem more than willing to do, degraded into name-calling. This has gotten to the point where Linus Torvalds, one of the nicest guys, has been called some rather nasty things, not by Microsoft, but by other Linux users.

The reason Communes do not work is a few do the work of many and aren't compensated for it. In general, the few are increasingly upset that others are benefiting from their efforts and the many get upset when they see things done they didn't want done.

The GPL 3.0 is a good example; a few are doing the work of many, and the end result is clearly, on my reading, anti-business. In fact, a committee had been put together with some of the largest and most powerful supporters of Linux, and because the framers disagreed with what the committee recommended, it was disbanded and the recommendations, apparently, will be disregarded.

Sounds like a government doesn't it? Everyone, and I mean everyone, who uses Linux will be impacted by the license. You'd better read it, and you'd darned well better make sure it is what you want it to be. There is one word for people that let any group or company unilaterally write a contract they have to live under, yet I've seen that word applied to the people who don't participate in communal efforts (and yes, voting is a communal effort, given how few participate in that, there should be no surprise we are in the mess we are in).

Now, if you wanted to participate but were blocked from participating, don't you think that speaks directly to whether an effort is, in fact, communal? Could I now argue that Linux is simply another name for OSF? Really, look at the language in GPL 3. If you have intellectual property to protect, your attorneys should have a major cow with regard to what is in that puppy. But they should read it regardless. Now there is a question of whether Linux will adopt it, but if you use a Linux based product, this is a question you should help answer.

If you are going to use Linux, you should get involved, even though the Free Software Foundation may not listen.

Four: Is Linux Pro-Developer, or Pro-You?

Maybe if you live in a Third World country and like to work for peanuts. Linux throws off very little cash; much of the revenue that comes from it is tied to services and hardware, and these services are generally, though not always, discounted below what they would be for a "proprietary" product. The applications that go on top of the platform are also discounted, many of them being "free" as well. Now Google is proving every day that the advertising model works and it can be very lucrative, but it may not work for you if you are an inside IT resource (though selling ads for you HR internal website would be a creative way to get more income for your department).

Employees often are valued based on the cost of what they work with. The higher the cost, the easier it is to justify an employee's salary. More important, if a product is expensive, the focus is often on the cost of the product, but if the product is free, the focus is on the cost of the employees.

Let's move out of industry where the example is clearer. If you are a Ferrari mechanic you make substantially more (I worked as a Jaguar mechanic while in college) than if you are a Chevy Mechanic. You may not be able to find work (not a lot of Ferrari dealerships), but you'll make a lot more money. Companies typically don't reduce salaries; they either get rid of the expensive people or outsource or both.

When I first started writing about Linux, I heard from over a thousand people that they disagreed, some rather violently, with what they thought I had written. For many, once they realized I'd actually not said what the excerpts they had read had implied, they actually entered into very real discussions.

Over the last two years the vast majority of them have lost their jobs due to outsourcing after their companies moved to Linux from UNIX. While I don't have enough to do more than suggest there is a cause and effect here, I can say that the use of Linux neither protected their job nor made them more valuable to their employer; in fact it seemed to have done the opposite.

Recently, outsourcing has slowed; I think this is because companies finally realized that sending a critical part of the firm to the Third World made execution all but impossible. However, have you noticed that Sun has started to come back?

While we were all distracted by the whole Microsoft vs. Linux BS, the real fight wasn't between Windows and a Linux distribution; it was between Linux and HP-UX, Solaris, and AIX instead. IBM and HP did both, and are complex companies which conceal the impact of the move, but Sun is simple and arguably the strongest UNIX firm. As companies bring IT back from the Third World, UNIX appears to be coming back as well, and I think that is partially because developers understand that it is a vastly more financially beneficial platform. I also think CIOs are starting to remember that being in the software development business carries with it too much risk, and that depending on vendors like Sun, EMC, HP, and IBM provides a more sure result.

In any case, if we accept (and OSF in particular would not agree to this) that financial success is the primary measure of a successful platform, Linux has done very poorly historically against the alternatives, and both UNIX and mainframes seem to be coming back as a result.

By the way, Google is a really good example of how to use Linux and make tons of money doing so, so I'm not saying it is anti-business, as I mentioned above; it is FSF that appears doing that. I'm not sure Linux is pro-anything, though it is clearly positioned most often against Microsoft.

Products have implications that go beyond code; they have implications for organizational structure, for salaries, and for best use. Before you advocate anything new, you may want to think a bit on the secondary impacts; the grass may be greener, but it may be wise to also watch where you step. (I have three dogs, and they suggested I mention this).

Is Linux is "Open"?

How can anything be "Open" if honest discussion isn't allowed?

If you think a Microsoft product sucks you can say that to great detail without having to be afraid of your job, apparently even if you work for Microsoft (which I kind of find surprising). But if you suggest that Linux isn't ready for the desktop -- which I do often because it isn't - you'll have folks coming after your job and, sometimes, suggesting you won't be long for this world. Some of the mail has been rather nasty (though I do admit it has moderated of late).

No product is perfect for everything. What made Windows good for the desktop is largely what makes Linux a better product for some servers, and the opposite is true. I think that Microsoft made a huge strategic mistake when it merged the workstation/server code base with the desktop code base. They optimized for them and forgot about the customer. I could say that then, and I can say that now without any concern for my safety.

As an analyst I actually had to quit my job to have the same freedom of speech with Linux. According to The Register, there is actually some kind of a strike team that comes after me every time I say something positive on Microsoft or negative on Linux. And I'm not alone: Laura DiDio at Yankee gets sexual harassed, and Dan Lyons over at Forbes is attacked regularly, although he does have supporters as well.

Let's take indemnification; this should be a topic every company should suddenly be looking very closely at. Microsoft just got nailed with a whopping $1.53 Billion, that's with a "B", judgment for the use of a common music standard. They did this because they indemnified Dell and Gateway, the companies initially targeted. If they had used Linux instead of Windows, it would be Dell and Gateway hit with some fraction of this judgment (and even a fraction of $1.52B is a big number). So where is the coverage? Don't you think it should be a hot topic right now, so where is the chatter?

There are at least two sides to everything. What I've observed with OSS in general and Linux in particular (and this applies to Apple as well) is there is a distinct effort to make sure only the popular side can speak.

I think the thing that bothers me the most about Linux is IT advocacy. IT shouldn't be an advocate of any product, because it needs to make determinations between them. Whether it is Microsoft, Apple, or Linux, once IT takes a side it is no longer capable of properly assessing a solution based on the needs of the business. And that is the job.

IT needs to ensure, not prevent, discussion so that the best product, company, or service is chosen, and when they can't do that, they should find other jobs.

When only one side is heard, you don't have "Open," and you sure as heck don't have "Free" as in Freedom, which, to me is more important than "Free" as in "Free Beer." If, to get "Free" Software, we give up "Free" Speech the cost, at least to me, is way the heck too high.

Wrapping Up:

I stopped at 5 things but there are clearly more we could chat about.

Like why don't we talk about Apple vs. Linux? In the last trial I participated on for the desktop, Windows won, Linux missed by a mile but Apple only by a hair (and Apple will be pulling that hair next month).

Does the Free Software Foundation own Linux? They appear to be trying to rename it.

Who's side is Steve Ballmer or Richard Stallman on? (I would argue it is Stallman and the GPL 3.0 do more to kill Linux than anthing Microsoft could conceive of, and that Ballmer's statements generally benefit, though unintentionally, Linux).

When I was growing up a popular T-Shirt Slogan was "Question Authority." Take a look around, what are people afraid to ask questions about, what isn't being discussed that should be? I believe in preventing mistakes, not constantly finding creative ways to blame someone else. Ask questions, get answers.

Re:Irony (5, Interesting)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288848)

I would argue it is Stallman and the GPL 3.0 do more to kill Linux than anthing Microsoft could conceive of
This is a feeling I have had for quite a while now, though it's not usually a very popular view so I'm forced to keep it quiet. In the 15 years of Linux, it has almost universally called Linux. Rebranding it to GNU/Linux has never taken off and is an exercise in stubborness at this stage. It is when I see effort to rebrand or move to relicence Linux the I sometimes think the FSF forget that the code was GPL'd for all to use under those terms for better or for worse, even if that means it being used in a system that isn't prefixed with GNU. (I know, I know. I'm expecting my karma to go through the floor...)

Re:Irony (4, Insightful)

tgv (254536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288906)

Just for comfort: I hope your karma will be fine. I find the GNU prefix a load of gnu sh*t as well. It's just ego talking. And you're right about the GPL, at least before someone invented a clause that said you had to accept the clauses of future GPL licenses.

You know what the worst thing is that can happen? That someone mods you up a few points and then down and then up again, etc. Then you'll be banned from posting for some time. It's quite ridiculous, but with so many zealots around, it just might happen. I've been there for saying something innocent but apparently really upsetting to some...

Re:Irony (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289026)

Given GPL3 cannot be applied to the Linux kernel, I can't see GPL3 killing Linux in any way except possibly in being so much better that an alternative to Linux that is licensed under GPL3 gains massive popularity, in part due to licensing.

Which is not impossible, BTW.

Personally, I don't care about the long term survival of "Linux". Linux is a kernel, and not even a particularly interesting one. What I care about is the long term survival of useful Free software. If Linux takes a bullet because, for example, Solaris has a better Free software license, then so long Linux. Nice knowing you.

Why link this idiot on Slashdot? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288756)

He's a paid astroturfer/troll, why give him visibility?

Re:Why link this idiot on Slashdot? (2, Insightful)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288824)

Agreed. 'Insightful' is about the last word one can associate with anything Enderle's ever had to say.

Appropriate (-1, Offtopic)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288764)

On my first pass, i got "Nothing to see here, please move along". That seems the most appropriate response for slashdot. The page is already slashdotted, although i read a bit of it on the firehose and found the arguments to be silly.

Site is slow - here's the text (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288798)

Posted as AC to avoid the obvious karma whoring:

The Five Things You Arent Allowed to Discuss About Linux
Posted by Rob Enderle on Monday 26 February 2007 at 7:44 pm

I started writing about Linux not because I thought it interesting, fascinating, or even because I liked to code (I dont).

I started writing about Linux because I was told I couldnt and the more people told me I couldnt, and particularly when they said or else, the more the Linux dirty laundry became attractive to me. In short, if anyone bothers to look at the sequence of events, they will see that the Linux community pushed me down this path. Granted I didnt fight much, but I have this thing about cover-ups. I believe they can lead to disasters both within a company and across a nation; here in the U.S. this last point, whether it be Global Warming or Iraq, would seem self evident.

So this time Id like to talk about the five things you cant talk about without being attacked by OSS supporters. Ill take the heat, and as always, Im not suggesting you stop deployment of Linux, Im just suggesting you intelligently cover your backside.

One: Is Linux a Myth?

This strikes me as both the most obvious and the least talked about. We talk about Linux like an operating system when we compare it against Windows, we talk about it as a company when we compare it against Microsoft, and when we describe its attributes it almost seems super-human or god like.

Linux isnt a thing, and it sure isnt a god. When we compare an operating system to another we should be comparing the specific distribution, which is a thing. When we compare it to Microsoft we need a company to do that; Red Hat, Novell and now Oracle provide us with a framework so that we can intelligently compare one to another and assess the differences.

The reason Linux has been abstracted into a concept is so it doesnt have to compete on merit. It can be anything, in concept, it needs to be to win a deal. But we live in the real world where there needs to be a real product and a real support structure behind it. If we are actually doing an evaluation we have to evaluate what we are actually going to end up using and it isnt generic Linux.

This isnt to say Linux cant or doesnt win in real comparisons, only that the majority Ive seen werent real comparisons. As a ex-auditor I care less about who wins than I care about the process that determines the winner. Ive seen too many instances where decisions were made on products, including proprietary products, based on what appears to be graft. One CIO even won a Mercedes Benz for making the right choice well talk about that in a future post.

Presenting the products and companies in abstract was actually rather brilliant, however, I cant find a Steve Jobs-like person I can congratulated for this excellent work. It just seems to have happened that way naturally, but, if you are going to be successful, your justification needs to be solid and for that youll need the specifics.

Linux is a grown up product; it isnt for everything or everyone though. Do your assessment with a real product against real metrics. SuSe and Red Hat are both capable enough to compete without cheating.

Two: Is Linux Secure?

I already said there is no Linux, so how can I now treat it like a thing? The easy path here would be to present the different security models for the different distributions but, for this purpose, Im going to leave Linux in abstract and talk about the unique security problem it represents. Im not saying Windows is more secure either; Im saying the products are so different from each other that comparisons may not actually make much sense, which is why there are reports supporting both sides of this. So, lets start by saying nothing is secure enough if people are involved.

Long before IT stopped being just it, security had three aspects: Physical Safety, Possession Protection, and Intelligence. The way security was breached in all cases was physical; people came in and did harm, stole, or deployed spies. They didnt need viruses or hacks, they just pitted their intelligence against yours and, if they won, you lost and, in the case of harm, that loss could be terminal.

We know that crooks generally are crooks because they didnt do well in school, not because they graduated from the top of their class at MIT (though clearly this rule has been broken from time to time). We also know that the most successful kind of attack to get intelligence is a phishing attack, and what brought this into the news recently was HPs pretexting problem.

Linux is surrounded by people who generally dont even use real names and often exaggerate what they do for a living. Wonder over on Groklaw and youll see a lot of legal experts, a few months back I corresponded with one. His legal expertise came for a class on contracts, and Im not kidding, he took in high school. PJ, the woman who allegedly heads up this legal resource, is currently ducking service from SCO and lord knows what she is covering up (and I dont think it is that she works for IBM; they arent that stupid).

We also know that when someone gets access to information it generally isnt reported anyplace, primarily because, at least until we figure the Quantum thing out, the activity itself doesnt prevent subsequent use by anyone else. For instance, after the Cold War ended, we were amazed at how much of what we had the Russians had copied. What drove our suspicions was the similarity in what resulted, and the fact we also had spies looking at their stuff.

Linux exists in an environment where there is broad collaboration, but no effort to validate the collaborators so the opportunity for traditional, old style, data breach is immeasurable.

We know that pretexting is wide-spread, how much easier (and harder to catch and convict) if the person doing the pretexting doesnt even have to come up with a real fake identity?

If you are using Linux and havent done a physical security audit in a while and specifically looked at who is collaborating with whom, I would say it is likely well past time.

By the way, this is true whether you are using Linux or not; we generally are not focusing enough on physical security right now, particularly in home and branch offices. But that is for another time; a good resource is Security Dreamer, which focuses on the topic of physical security in general; the author, Steve Hunt, is one of the best in the business.

If you are using UNIX, Linux, Windows or Apple, you need to ensure they are secure. OSs arent security products; none of them are secure enough.

Three: Do Communes Work?

If you step back and look at Linux from a distance it actually looks like this idea of community works, there is progress, and UNIX has been taking it in the shorts. But, when you get close, you see a political nightmare that can make the bureaucracy at IBM and Microsoft seem simple and almost streamlined by comparison.

Lets take the GPL; this is like watching a government working. This is the license that defines how you will use the product and what you will pay for it. Right now they cant even agree if they need a new one, and the two sides have, as they seem more than willing to do, degraded into name-calling. This has gotten to the point where Linus Torvalds, one of the nicest guys, has been called some rather nasty things, not by Microsoft, but by other Linux users.

The reason Communes do not work is a few do the work of many and arent compensated for it. In general, the few are increasingly upset that others are benefiting from their efforts and the many get upset when they see things done they didnt want done.

The GPL 3.0 is a good example; a few are doing the work of many, and the end result is clearly, on my reading, anti-business. In fact, a committee had been put together with some of the largest and most powerful supporters of Linux, and because the framers disagreed with what the committee recommended, it was disbanded and the recommendations, apparently, will be disregarded.

Sounds like a government doesnt it? Everyone, and I mean everyone, who uses Linux will be impacted by the license. Youd better read it, and youd darned well better make sure it is what you want it to be. There is one word for people that let any group or company unilaterally write a contract they have to live under, yet Ive seen that word applied to the people who dont participate in communal efforts (and yes, voting is a communal effort, given how few participate in that, there should be no surprise we are in the mess we are in).

Now, if you wanted to participate but were blocked from participating, dont you think that speaks directly to whether an effort is, in fact, communal? Could I now argue that Linux is simply another name for OSF? Really, look at the language in GPL 3. If you have intellectual property to protect, your attorneys should have a major cow with regard to what is in that puppy. But they should read it regardless. Now there is a question of whether Linux will adopt it, but if you use a Linux based product, this is a question you should help answer.

If you are going to use Linux, you should get involved, even though the Free Software Foundation may not listen.

Four: Is Linux Pro-Developer, or Pro-You?

Maybe if you live in a Third World country and like to work for peanuts. Linux throws off very little cash; much of the revenue that comes from it is tied to services and hardware, and these services are generally, though not always, discounted below what they would be for a proprietary product. The applications that go on top of the platform are also discounted, many of them being free as well. Now Google is proving every day that the advertising model works and it can be very lucrative, but it may not work for you if you are an inside IT resource (though selling ads for you HR internal website would be a creative way to get more income for your department).

Employees often are valued based on the cost of what they work with. The higher the cost, the easier it is to justify an employees salary. More important, if a product is expensive, the focus is often on the cost of the product, but if the product is free, the focus is on the cost of the employees.

Lets move out of industry where the example is clearer. If you are a Ferrari mechanic you make substantially more (I worked as a Jaguar mechanic while in college) than if you are a Chevy Mechanic. You may not be able to find work (not a lot of Ferrari dealerships), but youll make a lot more money. Companies typically dont reduce salaries; they either get rid of the expensive people or outsource or both.

When I first started writing about Linux, I heard from over a thousand people that they disagreed, some rather violently, with what they thought I had written. For many, once they realized Id actually not said what the excerpts they had read had implied, they actually entered into very real discussions.

Over the last two years the vast majority of them have lost their jobs due to outsourcing after their companies moved to Linux from UNIX. While I dont have enough to do more than suggest there is a cause and effect here, I can say that the use of Linux neither protected their job nor made them more valuable to their employer; in fact it seemed to have done the opposite.

Recently, outsourcing has slowed; I think this is because companies finally realized that sending a critical part of the firm to the Third World made execution all but impossible. However, have you noticed that Sun has started to come back?

While we were all distracted by the whole Microsoft vs. Linux BS, the real fight wasnt between Windows and a Linux distribution; it was between Linux and HP-UX, Solaris, and AIX instead. IBM and HP did both, and are complex companies which conceal the impact of the move, but Sun is simple and arguably the strongest UNIX firm. As companies bring IT back from the Third World, UNIX appears to be coming back as well, and I think that is partially because developers understand that it is a vastly more financially beneficial platform. I also think CIOs are starting to remember that being in the software development business carries with it too much risk, and that depending on vendors like Sun, EMC, HP, and IBM provides a more sure result.

In any case, if we accept (and OSF in particular would not agree to this) that financial success is the primary measure of a successful platform, Linux has done very poorly historically against the alternatives, and both UNIX and mainframes seem to be coming back as a result.

By the way, Google is a really good example of how to use Linux and make tons of money doing so, so Im not saying it is anti-business, as I mentioned above; it is FSF that appears doing that. Im not sure Linux is pro-anything, though it is clearly positioned most often against Microsoft.

Products have implications that go beyond code; they have implications for organizational structure, for salaries, and for best use. Before you advocate anything new, you may want to think a bit on the secondary impacts; the grass may be greener, but it may be wise to also watch where you step. (I have three dogs, and they suggested I mention this).

Is Linux is Open?

How can anything be Open if honest discussion isnt allowed?

If you think a Microsoft product sucks you can say that to great detail without having to be afraid of your job, apparently even if you work for Microsoft (which I kind of find surprising). But if you suggest that Linux isnt ready for the desktop which I do often because it isnt youll have folks coming after your job and, sometimes, suggesting you wont be long for this world. Some of the mail has been rather nasty (though I do admit it has moderated of late).

No product is perfect for everything. What made Windows good for the desktop is largely what makes Linux a better product for some servers, and the opposite is true. I think that Microsoft made a huge strategic mistake when it merged the workstation/server code base with the desktop code base. They optimized for them and forgot about the customer. I could say that then, and I can say that now without any concern for my safety.

As an analyst I actually had to quit my job to have the same freedom of speech with Linux. According to The Register, there is actually some kind of a strike team that comes after me every time I say something positive on Microsoft or negative on Linux. And Im not alone: Laura DiDio at Yankee gets sexual harassed, and Dan Lyons over at Forbes is attacked regularly, although he does have supporters as well.

Lets take indemnification; this should be a topic every company should suddenly be looking very closely at. Microsoft just got nailed with a whopping $1.53 Billion, thats with a B, judgment for the use of a common music standard. They did this because they indemnified Dell and Gateway, the companies initially targeted. If they had used Linux instead of Windows, it would be Dell and Gateway hit with some fraction of this judgment (and even a fraction of $1.52B is a big number). So where is the coverage? Dont you think it should be a hot topic right now, so where is the chatter?

There are at least two sides to everything. What Ive observed with OSS in general and Linux in particular (and this applies to Apple as well) is there is a distinct effort to make sure only the popular side can speak.

I think the thing that bothers me the most about Linux is IT advocacy. IT shouldnt be an advocate of any product, because it needs to make determinations between them. Whether it is Microsoft, Apple, or Linux, once IT takes a side it is no longer capable of properly assessing a solution based on the needs of the business. And that is the job.

IT needs to ensure, not prevent, discussion so that the best product, company, or service is chosen, and when they cant do that, they should find other jobs.

When only one side is heard, you dont have Open, and you sure as heck dont have Free as in Freedom, which, to me is more important than Free as in Free Beer. If, to get Free Software, we give up Free Speech the cost, at least to me, is way the heck too high.

Wrapping Up:

I stopped at 5 things but there are clearly more we could chat about.

Like why dont we talk about Apple vs. Linux? In the last trial I participated on for the desktop, Windows won, Linux missed by a mile but Apple only by a hair (and Apple will be pulling that hair next month).

Does the Free Software Foundation own Linux? They appear to be trying to rename it.

Whos side is Steve Ballmer or Richard Stallman on? (I would argue it is Stallman and the GPL 3.0 do more to kill Linux than anthing Microsoft could conceive of, and that Ballmers statements generally benefit, though unintentionally, Linux).

When I was growing up a popular T-Shirt Slogan was Question Authority. Take a look around, what are people afraid to ask questions about, what isnt being discussed that should be? I believe in preventing mistakes, not constantly finding creative ways to blame someone else. Ask questions, get answers.

Re:Site is slow - here's the text (3, Funny)

Lars Clausen (1208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289078)

I started writing about Linux because I was told I couldnt


Judging from the writing quality of this article, he can't write, period.

-Lars

Re:Site is slow - here's the text (1)

jefu (53450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289086)

Now that we can actually read the text, it is pretty clear that this is just someone talking because he likes to hear himself, and wants to see his name in lights (or the web equivalent thereof).

Perhaps he's never actually read anything on /. as I've certainly seen many of these things discussed (and a few more besides). If he did have to quit his job for being critical of Linux, perhaps it was because he was writing in the same way he did in this article - innuendo, invalid comparisons, and lots and lots of just plain weird statements. There are a few reasonable things said - but nothing I've not seen here (and elsewhere) before.

I don't even need to know (2, Insightful)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289120)

hmpf, i dont even need to like (or hate) linux to see that this is a biased article, probably sponsored.

The guy just spend the whole article deconstructing linux without any kind of factual support.

I was reading his five points and it seems to me that either he got paid for that or he really has no clue about what drives the OSS community. Why is that that everyone that doesn't understand has to bring it down to the money concerns or abstract concepts.

I was gonna spend some mod points in the thread but the guy is so clueless that i have to put my grain of salt, hoping that he reads it his somewhat alternate version of reality.

why the hell would he attack the security side of linux, if anything, linux is the leader in terms of secure OS. Is it because its less targeted by hackers (that happens to be using linux) or is it because it really is secure ? Time will tell, but the current fact remains that in raw numbers, linux is a lot less breached than well.... the windows OS.

the other thing that made me laugh beyond possible for such an article is whether linux is a myth or not, god, where does he come from. Why does he think SuSE and RedHat aren't cheating but ubuntu and the others are, because there's no box ? because its free ?
How do you use *real* metrics, what is a real metrics when you evaluate a concept like linux, why even call it a concept, is it any less real than the NTFS file system or the registry architecture used by windows ? what is that that you can touch with windows/apple that you cannot touch with linux ?

The "journalist" just plugs a bunch of buzzwords but when you get down to it, the article is really empty. Unfortunately, this kind of article will likely be read by people who, having never touched linux, will further be confused and distracted from it.

Rob who? (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288768)

Funny, I can't seem to find his name in any kernel commmits. Does he contribute under a pseudonym?

MOD PARENT DOWN TROLL (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288886)

Simply because he does not contribute directly does not void him from offering criticisms, and to suggest otherwise is blatant flamebait / trolling behaviour.

MOD PARENT DOWN TROLL (-1, Troll)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289030)

Having a subject like "MOD PARENT DOWN TROLL" is a blatant troll itself.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN TROLL (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289122)

The fact that the man is on SCO's payroll and a raving lunatic who tends to compare Linux fans with terrorists also doesn't void him from offering criticism. On the other hand, posting comments from the man here is blatant flamebait/trolling behaviour.

Only trolls can't recognize humour (2, Funny)

ansak (80421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289248)

A non-cow produces no milk
or anything good of that ilk.
With no cud to chew
what else can it do
but spew fud for the Redmond-based bilk.

If you're going to ask for an article to be called trollish, at least have the decency to stand behind your name. Oh, whoops. You must be Mr. Enderle. So pleased to meet you at last...

(incidentally for the humour-challenged, the first words of that limerick was a contraction of "Anonymous Coward")

cheers...ank

Some of this is just wacky (5, Insightful)

Jhon (241832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288770)

I think the thing that bothers me the most about Linux is IT advocacy. IT shouldn't be an advocate of any product, because it needs to make determinations between them.
I think my eyes are messing with me. IT shouldn't be an advocate of any product? Am I missing something?

He's right, it's our job to determine the best product for a given task given budget constraints, resources available, etc. But once we determine the best product, how can we NOT advocate it?

This following quote is very telling about the author's motives :

The reason Linux has been abstracted into a concept is so it doesn't have to compete on merit. It can be anything, in concept, it needs to be to win a deal.


Enderle clearly implies there was some sort of deliberate conspiracy to deceive by the people advocating linux. WTF? Does he really believe that?

I hate Linux Nazis and I don't think Linux or OSS is the best solution in all -- or even most cases. However, there are a lot of things in this article that are just wacky.

That said, Enderle does make some very good observations on community based works (that apply outside of IT as well) and some interesting comments on security. Just read him with an extra critical eye.

Re:Some of this is just wacky (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288968)

I advocate linux for the same reason that I advocate a lot of tools that work...having such things nearby makes my life easier. Every time some piece of microsoft infrastructure breaks, I replace it with linux.

I'm not sure how linux security is a myth either...All the DMZ machines at work are linux machines, and I've never had any problems with them...I get more problems from the windows machines that sit on the plague-ridden windows-centric supposedly secure corporate WAN. My home network is secured by a linux router and I've never had problems there either, despite the massive sort of bot scanning that infests consumer ISPs in this country (I get faaaaaar more security hits at home).

As for being developer friendly...When I can install windows and have it come with compilers and libraries for half a dozen different programming languages, then we'll talk about "developer friendliness". Fedora recently started bundling Tomcat with their distros as an installable option...Anyone who has ever installed Tomcat knows how valuable that is.

Linux has it's issues, and it's not perfect, but it is a good tool, and it has a great place in IT infrastructure.

Re:Some of this is just wacky (5, Interesting)

computational super (740265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289206)

I advocate linux for the same reason that I advocate a lot of tools that work...having such things nearby makes my life easier.

Exactly. When Linux started to become mainstream, I took some time to step back and evaluate why I liked it so much, to make sure that I wasn't just jumping on a bandwagon. The truth is, I prefer Linux because I preferred Solaris when I was in college. Why did I like Solaris so much, though? It wasn't my first OS - the Commodore 64 "OS" was my first (and it was very gentle with me). I did DOS for years after that before a kindly soul who lived in the university computer lab opened my eyes to that tiny room of Sun terminals hidden behind the huge lab of PCs. Solaris - that is, Unix - just "clicked" with me. Everything was designed to work with everything else in a holistic, hard to characterize way. No longer was I working around deficiencies in the design of the system - the system was working for me. Going back to DOS (and later Windows) was just painful. When I graduated and discovered that the only jobs available to a non-top-ten university CS graduate were programming DOS or Windows, I wept. When I discovered that if I wanted a computer at home, I could choose between DOS or Mac, I gnashed my teeth in frustration. (I graduated college just about the same time Linus started coding kernel 1.0). When I first started hearing of Linux (Debian was my first distribution... and it was not gentle) - by all that is holy and good, it works like Solaris did! I have a C compiler! (The same C compiler I used in college, in fact) It's right there! It's bundled with the distribution! And look - there's vi! Ah - I was home again, at long last.

Re:Some of this is just wacky (4, Insightful)

Surye (580125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288980)

While I don't necessarily agree with him, he is clearly confusing the words "advocacy" with "zealotry".

Re:Some of this is just wacky (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289018)

I agree. I would be less critical of this article had the author chosen to use "zealotry" rather than "advocacy".

Re:Some of this is just wacky (5, Funny)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289032)

IT shouldn't be an advocate of any product

Of course not.

We should leave that job to hired shills like Rob "Ferrari Laptop" Enderle:

"One impressive piece of execution is that when you fire the machine up it plays a WAV file of a Ferrari race car revving its engine. That alone is worth the relatively low $1,899 price of admission. Even when I'm in a meeting, I don't turn the sound off because of the unbridled envy that seems to show up in the eyes of my, granted mostly male, co-attendees. So far no one has complained."

Click here for more shameless whoring... [eweek.com]

wacky, stupid, hypocritical .... (5, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289104)

Yes, this is wacky:

The reason Linux has been abstracted into a concept is so it doesn't have to compete on merit. It can be anything, in concept, it needs to be to win a deal.

He then goes on to treat Linux as a concept for the rest of the article, which is so stupid it's not worth reading.

Linux is a kernel. Free Software is a concept. Both can be talked about intelligently. Linux can be compared to other kernels. Free software can be compared to other development models. The rest of his "arguments" are just as big a waste of time.

As someone else pointed out, this is the guy the NYT quit quoting. Now I know why.

Server Dead (-1, Offtopic)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288774)

Once more the Evil Slashdot has cast its raft on some poor man's server

---
Geek Terms
---
It's been slashdotted already....

blog == article? (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288784)

Since when do blog postings automatically mean they're news?

Given that I can't read the article (must be running on a windows server hehehehe) I'll just chime in that most of the time when someone is talking smack about OSS (not just Linux) it irks me because it's ignorant shite that gets repeated enough until it's true. Like "Linux is hard to install" or "GCC doesn't optimize well" or "Word is more professional" or ...

Mostly I'd be happy if people who don't embrace OSS [even enough to learn about it] would just shut their gobs so others could make up their minds for themselves.

Tom

Re:blog == article? (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288844)

Many people like to hear about the experiences, both good and bad, that others have had when making a decision to make changes.

Re:blog == article? (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288882)

Welcome to slashdot, news for nerds. If you want a blog aggregator step over to digg.

Tom

Re:blog == article? (2, Informative)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288900)

That may be true.

What it has to do with an article written by Rob Enderle though, escapes me... He's a shill, a paid propagandist, and not a particularly good one at that. Even the NY Times won't allow his spouting within its once-proud pages. In short, this article wasn't worth the electrons needed to convey it from the screen to your eyes.

Re:blog == article? (2, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289040)

For those who don't know, Enderle is one of SCO's pet shills. He's been pimping their case and talking down Linux from day 1; he's not qualified to talk about anything except mouth-whoring.

Re:blog == article? (0, Troll)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288876)

Since when do blog postings automatically mean they're news?

You must be a wikipedia editor. Your right unless your article is published by a massive multinational corporation your opinions arent valid.

Re:blog == article? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288966)

This isn't about being "valid" it's about being noteworthy or newsworthy. There are 6 billion people on earth. If we were to report every single thought "of the day" it would form a list we'd never finish reading.

Frankly, I'm just tired of having things like blogs being cited as authorative. So this guy thinks there are taboo subjects (I'd guess since I can't read the blog). Great. So what?

maybe I'm just jealous because there isn't a slashdot article about my log (note I said log) posting about me playing Robert Starer music on the piano (see libtom.org for the post :-)) Why isn't slashdot covering my every random thought?

Tom

Re:blog == article? (0, Flamebait)

Zephiria (941257) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288908)

And mostly I'd be happy if linux nuts would shut their gobs and not preach about its benefits all the damn time.

Re:blog == article? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289002)

Nerds are annoying no matter their camp. Sometimes you just want to have a pint at the pub, not discover new algorithms for sorting processes by priority in O(1) time or whatever...

Re:blog == article? (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289224)

Since when do blog postings automatically mean they're news?
It seems to me that SlashDot not only includes articles about news, but they try to provide articles/posting that will generate discussion among people in the SlashDot community. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so.

Rob Enderle boycott by NYTimes (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288788)

I find it interesting that a commentator so thoroughly discredited as Rob Enderle would get a hit on Slashdot.

The NY Times has a policy of not using his quotes in stories.

Maybe someone should take away the admin privileges of the "editor" who put up this article

Re:Rob Enderle boycott by NYTimes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288822)

Maybe someone should take away the admin privileges of the "editor" who put up this article

Absolutely! Who is the bozo who posted this, anyways? This CmdrTaco guy should leave Slashdot to the guys who actually run the show - Zonk and kdawson.

Re:Rob Enderle boycott by NYTimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288934)

It would have been forgivable if CmdrTaco simply posted the story, but he posted it and gave it +1 insightful?

Re:Rob Enderle boycott by NYTimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288902)

hell, if the new york times doesn't like him, that brings him up a few notches in my mind.

of course, this article or blog or whatever it is by him brings that back down, since it's shit. not anything to do with linux, i don't even use linux, but it's just poorly reasoned and poorly written. apparently any jackass writing a blog post about linux can get posted to the front page of slashdot now.

Re:Rob Enderle boycott by NYTimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289038)

this is exactly why the author mention OSS community and Linux has some taboo to talk about.

guy, you need to defend your opinion with facts and reasonings, not questioning on author's credit or shut up the one who picked the author's opinion :)

btw> I started using Linux 10+ years ago, please don't question my understanding about linux and OSS as you did to the author. :)

Rob Enderle is a troll (1)

ansak (80421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289096)

Parent is correct. Take karma points away from whoever approved this article.

When I saw this article on slashdot, I had to check my calendar. Nope. April 1 is still 23 days away.

back to work...ank

5 comments (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288810)

and the slashdot effected has kicked in.

Five more things... (3, Funny)

Elranzer (851411) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288838)

I'm not sure if these are the five things, since the site is Slashdotted, but here's five more I've noticed you cannot discuss about Linux: 1. The negative effects of having multiple distros 2. The GIMP's interface 3. 3rd-Party games (though these days, there ARE a fair amount of good FOSS games) 4. BSD good, Gentoo for ricers 5. Fight Club

Re:Five more things... (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288892)

"The negative effects of having multiple distros"

How many versions of Windows are there now? I have no freaking clue which of the six or so versions of Vista I'm supposed to buy even if I wanted to, then there's XP32, XP64, Pro versions, Home versions, cut-down foreign versions, Windows 2003 or whatever it is.

Re:Five more things... (4, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289130)

All versions of Vista install the same way. Some just have more extra features than others. The same company supports all of them, in the same manner. As for previous versions of Windows, well, that's all moot since they're kinda *the previous versions!* This is like saying "omg there are multiple types of Xterras to buy I have no freaking clue whether I'm supposed to get the off-road or SE or a used 2004 one or whatever. And then there's all the exterior colors to choose from which one is the right one for me!?" :-P

Re:Five more things... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289200)

"All versions of Vista install the same way. Some just have more extra features than others."

And? Which version am I supposed to buy? How is my mother supposed to know which version of Windows she should be buying?

Re:Five more things... (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288940)

The "negative effects of having multiple distros" thing is pointless to discuss. MS is one company under one management, while Linux is decentralized. To have just one distro you'd need to organize some sort of global management, and there's absolutely no way you're going to convince every distribution to drop what they're doing and working for on the one true distro, whatever that might be.

It's like saying that if everybody on the planet spoke English then things would be a lot easier. Yes, they would be, but that's an "if" of gigantic proportions. Discussing that is a pointless endeavor, unless you have an army and plans for world domination.

Re:Five more things... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289212)

How about the negative affects of having 7000 distros? I'm not against having having more than 1 distro, but it seems to me like a lot of people put out distros just for the sake of it. How about instead of Kubuntu, we just stuck with Unbuntu, and got someone to maintain some sort of system for installing KDE. Why do we need a new distro. How about instead of KnoppyMyth, MythDora, and probably a few others i'm missing, somebody works on an easier way to install (and setup properly) MythTV on other distros. I would love to run MythTV, but it sucks that the only way to get it working is to use a distro that doesn't let you do anything else.

Re:Five more things... (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289014)

I'm not sure if these are the five things, since the site is Slashdotted, but here's five more I've noticed you cannot discuss about Linux: 1. The negative effects of having multiple distros 2. The GIMP's interface 3. 3rd-Party games (though these days, there ARE a fair amount of good FOSS games) 4. BSD good, Gentoo for ricers 5. Fight Club
1. This is because the vast majority of the community believes having many distros (and the freedom to brew your own por yourself of between you and a couple of friends) is what makes linux strong.

2. That is because the vast majority of GIMP interface complaints have the words "not like in Photoshop" in them somewhere, which totally ignores the basic fact that GIMP is not intended to be a Photoshop replacement/clone.

3. Lots of people talk about that. Lots of people advocate Wine, Cedega and CXOffice for just that reason.

4. I am afraid I don't understand this one.

5. This is your last warning. Stop talking about Figh... dammit.

Re:Five more things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289100)

All of the above posts confirm the parent post. Nothing pokes the tiger with a short stick harder than mentioning anything that may be less than ideal in Linux for the average user around here.

There's no Linux? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288868)

Then how am I.. *pop*

fud (5, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288870)

The term fud gets thrown around a lot. It seems if anyone says something critical about something else, the supporters of the attacked thing, cry fud. So this piece should be saved so that it can be pointed to as a great example of just what fud is. Fear Uncertainty Doubt. I mean he wastes no time, talking about a linux 'cover up' and how such cover ups can lead to disaster, bringing in global warming and the war in Iraq. That's some serious Fear.
 
Then his first 'point', "Is Linux a Myth?". This pretty much nails uncertainty and he is just getting started. The best part is he will lay down why he thinks it is wrong to 'abstract' linux, while his entire article rests purely on doing that, because it would be too hard to be more specific.
 
The doubt is spread throughout - "Is Linux Secure?", "Is Linux is(sic) 'Open'?" And supports this by saying he gets email that isn't nice and that means one can't honestly discuss Linux. (This is shortly after he criticized the open source community for in-fighting - these kind of contradicitions are so common in this piece, the mind boggles.)
 
I love the bugaboo about how a lot of linux contributors don't use their real names and could actually be spies. He compares it to Soviet Russia which dovetails nicely with his 'commune' question. Oh noes! Linux is the red menace!! (He's smart enough not to be too direct with this but it is rather plain to see).
 
Reading the comments that follow the article is just as much fun. Someone says when they can plug in a usb stick and it is autodetected, or intall a program by double clicking on it, they will consider linux. Apparently it's been a few years since he actually has seen a gnome or kde desktop. I do those things regularly and I'm running a couple versions behind on my favorite desktop distro.
 
This is fud, pure and simple.

Re:fud (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289156)

The hard to use bit is a hard one to fight really. Desktops and laptops are two entirely different worlds for one, but if you have fairly normal behaving hardware (no bizarro nonstandard architecture crap like winmodems or strange motherboards) linux is terribly good these days about getting everything up and running. Some distros are better than others and it seems fairly random at times. Ubuntu on my laptop got one set of hardware right out of the gate working, but missed some critical ones, Gentoo got different ones right out of the gate and also missed ones that Ubuntu nailed.

In the end it is irritating as hell to hear people still talk about how hardware XYZ is hard to make work. I remember when making printing work was pulling teeth, I remember getting "the printer is on fire" error messages, but these days its terribly simple. Granted you sometimes run into strange crap, but all in all its not bad. I don't know that I want double click to install, I am quite fond of using apt or portage or their GUI frontends to basically browse an entire library of software, select all the packages I want, and have them install with all dependancies. It may take more work, but I think it results in an infinetly more stable system and no questions about what .dll got overwritten by what program and now multiple programs using it stop working because of wrong versions. I ran into some stupid windows tricks when the wireless encryption stuff for the onboard wireless and smart card reader stuff used the same .dll but due to versioning you could only use one or the other but not both, which is a problem because you need your smart card to authenticate to use the wireless.

Re:fud (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289164)

He also demonstrates a total lack of reading comprehension: he thinks the GPL tells you how much you will pay for something and how you are allowed to use it, when it does nothing of the sort.

3 steps (5, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288896)

1: Question authors background
2: ???
3: Karma!

Re:3 steps (2, Insightful)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288926)

Question author's background? Not at all. There's no question whatsoever regarding this author's background, nor his agenda.

The funniest line in the whole article . . . (2, Funny)

mmell (832646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288918)

Over the last two years the vast majority of them have lost their jobs due to outsourcing after their companies moved to Linux from UNIX.

<insert your own joke here>

why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288938)

The Main link is Flame bait look at the tag.
Its at most a little funny.
IMHO the fire hose should have washed this one away.

My anecdote (5, Interesting)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288974)

I'm not a coder, I'm a scientist. Sometimes I have to code. Getting the tools to do so is many times easier (faster, cheaper, less confusion, etc.) for me on Linux than on Windows. A colleague recently suggested I try quantlib [sourceforge.net] . He also mentioned that they require Boost [boost.org] which can be a real pain in the ass to get compiled and installed on an XP machine. I went home and installed both of these libraries in 10s of seconds with Synaptic.

So for me, Linux is very "pro-developer".

Only Five? (3, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288992)

C'mon, Linux is like the Scientology [scientology.org] of tech. The list of things that you aren't allowed to discuss is nearly endless.

Re:Only Five? (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289098)

God, I love you. That is perfect. You are my new hero. I am soooo stealing that line.

Wait, are you male or female?

Nevermind, I still love you.

Mod me down (3, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288996)

Since we can't yet mod down stories, and I know a lot of you are aching to direct your mod points at someone, I thought as a courtesy, I'd post here so you could use me as a close enough proxy to modding down the story. Given as I've often criticized Linux.

You're welcome.

Please do as he asks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289170)

This guy is a well known troll. He bounces between the Ubuntuforums and slashdot and acting like a total asshole to people who are trying their best to help him at the Ubuntuforums and then posting here about his "negative linux experience", yet he still has enough karma to post at +1. Please, mod him down, then add him to your enemies list, and continue to mod him down when see him in the future. Skip step one if you don't have mod points right now.

Thank you.

Just Try (3, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289008)

Just try to discuss Linux from and ease of use, UI, user perspective and you will get a lot of Linux geeks telling you to tough it out, or, my fave "My grandmother uses linux and doesn't complain." (Your grandmother probably isn't installing apps and trying to make it more than a web browsing/email appliance.)

Unexpected, wild assed UI's are a problem in Linux and OSS in general.

Convoluted instructions, HowTo, etc. telling the user to dig into the guts of a conf and set oddly named, poorly documented settings.

Did I mention geek developed UI's?

Odd assed error messages that don't tell you why something failed to run or install, but it dumps everything a geek would want to know about it, onto the screen.

UI's that were developed by some pseudo-genius who THINKS he has a better grasp of the user experience.

No, you are not allowed to talk about these things, because you will be tagged as a heretic in the religiOS wars.

Did I mention UI's?

Re:Just Try (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289150)

Hear, hear. I love those HowTo's. "Do this, then do this, then do that, but do this other thing before step 2." All without mentioning the step you have to take before you do step 1.

I'd love to do it better, but with a day job, a side business, a family and three other hobbies, it's just not feasible.

Other than that, I love Linux.

Re:Just Try (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289246)

Unexpected, wild assed UI's are a problem in Linux

Unlike the latest version of Microsoft Office?

Some other things not to discuss (0, Troll)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289010)

Q: Can "The Linux" compete with Microsoft, Apple or Sun?
A: Depends. On the desktop, no. On the server, rarely. Embedded in a microwave oven or something, yes.

Q: Do "The Linux" so-called experts have an attitude problem?
A: Watch how this is modded.

Q: Will large "The Linux" users eventually get sued by some corporation for patent violations?
A: Oh hell yes.

Re:Some other things not to discuss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289102)

Cute. More FUD. Now move along and let real men and women do important things...

Bounties? (1)

haeger (85819) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289024)

The server is slashdotted so I haven't read the article. But I can assume that someone sais that "Linux isn't perfect".
Fair enough. There are some things that needs work. One way to get things done is to pay for it, and bounties seems like an excellent idea to get "your" idea implemented.
Just out of curiosity, is there somewhere I can do this? Sort of a "slashdot for bounties"? Somewhere where I can put some money into fixing a bug that annoys me or pay some money to implement a specific feature, even if I don't have the money to pay for a developer do do something for me. If I can contribute a few bucks to get something fixed, perhaps some others could too? It would add up eventually.

The closest thing I've found is BountyCountry [bountycounty.org] but that doesn't appear to be very much alive. Or is it? And if it's alive, there seems to be an awful lot of projects missing. I have a hard time believing that no one would be willing to pay for some bugfixes or features in KDE or OpenOffice.org.

Anyway, this is just an incoherent rant. I should probably investigate this further and send it in as an article, with proper wording and some kind of structure. .haeger

Too late.... way way too late (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289028)

Was that article really written in the late 90ies or what? Very moot article in any event.

I agree with two of these... (2, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289056)

Linux is secure


In the old days, when you had to manually compile and launch every service you wanted under Linux, this was partially true. However, people forget the first worms were based on sendmail and other *nix services full of security problems.

These days, with GUI-installed Linux distributions, Linux suffers from the same problem Windows used to be derided for: services are on by default.

Linux is "pro-developer."


I've been developing for about twenty years and Windows is still the most developer-friendly platform to develop for. The main reason for this doesn't have to do with availability of source code or documentation, but rather the ease with a single version of a product with a single installer can quickly get prospects up and running with the software. A lot of this advantage is eroding with web-based applications (that generally require no installation), but if you're writing "server" or "desktop" applications, it's generally less work to target "Windows" than "Linux" (or even Java).

Re:I agree with two of these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289190)

"However, people forget the first worms were based on sendmail and other *nix services full of security problems."

But those applications were written for a closed, trusted network. Much like MS's applications.

When they were connected to untrusted networks, they were exploited. Much like MS's applications.

They were then fixed whether this made it easier to admin or not. Unlike MS's applications.

UNIX learned from its problems.

And the Penguins March (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289064)

It's hilarious to see you guys defending Linux to the death. Any psychologist will tell you that a defensive usually is desperately trying to hide some kind of secret shame, guilt, or other internal shortcoming. It's not like this guy is going to kill Linux himself, with this one post, so why are you freaking the hell out?

Most of you haven't even *read* it yet, and you hate it.

You guys are worse than the Microsoft fanboys, with your blind devotion to your bits and bytes of communized "open" code. It's not even user friendly.

Come back when you have an open mind and the ability to give grandma something she can run without calling you every five minutes.

"an insightful Rob Enderle"??? DOES NOT COMPUTE! (5, Informative)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289082)

I'm sorry, my logic checker immediately flagged this as a hopeless oxymoron, much like Enderele, sans the oxy.

Remember, Enderle is the guy who's predicted the demise of the Macintosh more than anyone else. [macobserver.com] If there's a topic involving the Mac, Windows, or Linux, there's no question he'll be on the wrong side of it. It's amazing to see a pundit come in at a full 1750 MiliDvorak's on the Idiot Tech Pundit Scale.

But don't take my word for, as Google confirms the objective truth:
Rob Enderle insightful: 9,270 hits, Rob Enderle idiot: 32.200 hits [googlefight.com]

Anytime I read the phrase "Rob Enderle says," I know I can stop reading right there.

And he's 100% right (0, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289090)

You can't discuss linux on slashdot any more honestly than you could discuss the latest Zelda game on a Nintendo forum.

You aren't allowed to suggest that linux may not be secure, or that the desktop environments for it are kludgy and half-assed, or anything else. It cannot be sanely and calmly discussed in the "linux community".

The "linux community" is not wholy populated with, but has an overwhelming amount of straight-up zealots. People who use linux for philosophical reasons, hate proprietary software because it's proprietary, and are full of naive college-age perceptions of "good" and "evil". These people are more often than not, really not all that technical. They are willing to accept, on faith, that linux is secure and perfect in every way.

They're sort of like the Creationist who doesn't really know enough about biology or evolution to prove or disprove the matter in any way - but accepts based on faith alone that God created everything, and there is simply no room for discussion. Everyone else is wrong, and every fact they put forth just further proves how base of a bunch of liars they are.

Nobody has ever found a "dinosaur", just like nobody has ever exploited a machine running linux. They're just filthy liars spreading fud and their opinions are therefore worthless.

Linux remains on the fringe despite all its technical achievements. The community keeps it their with the sheer force of their assholetry.

The First Rule of Linux is (funny +1) (1)

spazmolytic666 (549909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289094)

The First Rule of Linux is You do not talk about Linux.
The Second Rule of Linux is You do _NOT_ talk about Linux.

Hahahahaha! "pro-developer." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289108)

Why does the "pro-developer." platform have the shittiest developer tools? Yea, the source is open, but I just prefer doing stuff that I get paid for.

Re:Hahahahaha! "pro-developer." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289208)

bend over, bitch.

perfect quote to describe the reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289128)

When I first started writing about Linux, I heard from over a thousand people that they disagreed, some rather violently, with what they thought I had written. For many, once they realized Id actually not said what the excerpts they had read had implied, they actually entered into very real discussions.
After I read the article and the reactions that are modded up, this quote is quite fitting.

I'm not a linux user basically because I use my PC for gaming. But I did not get an anti-linux vibe from reading the article. In fact, from seeing the reactions that it garnered (nothing intelligent, just a bunch of eye rolling)... it shows me the linux community needs to mature some.

Please pay me to write flamebait (5, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289134)

An "insightful Rob Enderle" -- a contradiction in 3 words.

What next, a "brilliant John Dvorak"... oh, wait, that was last week.

Wait a second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289152)

Isn't this a George Carlin skit?

Please don't give that idiot any traffic (3, Informative)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289186)

Enderle doesn't deserve the attention he gets. He's a failed consultant who took SCO's side and is bitter about his self-inflicted hardship at IBM.

Anyone who listens to his IT advice deserves what they get.

Oh, get it. Insightful was sarcasm. (1)

meridien (718383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289196)

This nimrod lost what little credibility he had by trumpeting the virtues of SCOX's multiple lawsuits to anyone that wouuld listen. Well, time has demonstrated that he has a grasp only on his XXXXX, and certainly not anything else even remotely related to the Linux development community. This should be filed under - has-been-tech-writer-that-lost-all-credibility-by- quoting-false-press-releases-as-truth-briefly-craw ls-out-from-under-the-rock dept.

Actually, the article may be crap... (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289256)

But there is a truth, which is that whenever I have seen anyone point out a flaw in a distro, there is always a small core that just tries to shut the person down. While many appreciate the the flaw being pointed out like the ubuntu people responding the recent 30 days with ubuntu article, others treat whoever posts flaws like they eat children. That is not good, it does keeps some from reporting issues or talking about it because they feel it is just opening a can of worms. Most people genuinely trying to be helpful walk away when it is not appreciated.

Meh, Enderle again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289260)

Contains "Global Warming" and "Iraq" ?
Check.

Uses Forbes and The Register as sources ?
Check.

Uses a car analogy ?
Check.

Writer does not know his stuff ?
Mmm... let's see:
"Let's take the GPL; this is like watching a government working. This is the license that defines how you will use the product and what you will "pay" for it."
Yup, check that one too.

Well, I'll stop here. In short: Just another of those Enderle articles. Don't bother reading it. It is slightly below a slashdot "+1" post.

The comments below that article/blog are a lot more "interesting":
"When any form of Linux can automatically detect my USB Memory stick and I can "double click" a program file and have it install the program [...] When Linux does that I'll consider changing."
I guess it is time then :)

And:
"Well, this is about one of the best articles I've read in a long time."

Oh, boy...

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