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The Linux Identity Crisis

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the wants-to-be-called-linuxette-now dept.

Linux 364

Jayze Calrtini writes "From an article from ZDNet:"If you've been following the current rift in the Linux community between Linus Torvalds and his minions squaring off against Con Kolivas and the mainstream Linux fanatics, you probably know that it's getting quite heated. You also probably know that these two entirely different ideas could create three possible paths Linux can take for the future: stay geeky and appeal to the advanced tech guru in all of us; go mainstream and leave the advanced functionality and reliable kernel behind to compete with Microsoft and Apple; or face a "civil war" that could lead to total Linux annihilation."

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My Vote (5, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727283)

I vote for total annihilation.
I mean, with Vista, who cares about Linux anymore?

Re:My Vote (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727337)

For sergeant Arminass!

Re:My Vote (2, Funny)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727633)

Heh. Right, Vista is just *sooo* much better, with it's restrictive interface, DRM nonsense, and overall bloat.

No thanks, I'll pass on that pile of doo doo.

Re:My Vote (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727659)

Joke found [Accept or Cancel].

Re:My Vote (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727827)

The party has registered your unwavering support, comrade. You are a shining example to us all.

Re:My UBUNTU Vote (2)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727707)

Yep ... it's looking that way -- for VISTA. Right now my DAPPERx64 install performs better. And I'm certainly no byteboyz. Unless *NIX commits suicide, the release of LTS_8.x in April '08 will nail the M$ coffin shut.

Re:My Vote (0, Flamebait)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727967)

Lol, Vista is a load of crap. I'm glad M$ have screwed up so badly with their new operating system. Hopefully it'll give some competitiors a better chance :-)

Good (5, Insightful)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727287)

Two outcomes... Linux gets better or Linux dies. Either outcome is acceptible and should be to any other OSS "believer" as well. Survival of the fittest and all... even if the fittest isn't Linux.

Why only 1 fittest ? (4, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727671)

I don't see the point. Every problems needs a specific solution and there's enough room for both solutions.
The article confuses Linus Torvalds' Linux (just a kernel) with distribution.
No matter what Linus thinks, there are still out there very geeks oriented distro like Gentoo and Slackware with "let the user configure himself everything" in one end of the specturm and Ubuntu, complete with its "means 'I can't install Debian' in african dialects" types of joke.

The TFA is just a meaningless rant.

For me the two outcomes are without linux dying, because each variant is fittest for some specific usage pattern (geek vs. joe 6pack). And thus both outcome may happen simultaneously.

Re:Good (1)

fymidos (512362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20728015)

> Linux gets better or Linux dies. Either outcome is acceptible and should be to any other OSS "believer" as well.

The history of the last 16 years only shows that linux gets better and better. And i don't mean "change the theme and add a talking dog"-better. I mean that each new version of linux runs better and faster and more stable on the latest and greatest 4-way and the same dusty 10-year old hardware. Linux is still a teenager. It has a long way to go and rumors of "death" really should not be taken seriously. It will not die of natural causes that's for sure.
(Civil war? the author is joking obviously-there is nothing to fight for: Linux is free, and anyone can do as he pleases with it. )

How about option 4:
Linux will stay geeky, it will go mainstream, and it will have even more "advanced functionality" and "reliable kernel"?

Bah... (5, Insightful)

KDan (90353) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727291)

Sounds like another storm in a tea cup. The linux world has had more flame wars than not, and will continue to do so as long as it exists. It's one of the characteristics of a democratic system that people have arguments. The "total annihilation of the linux world" is a load of incendiary exaggeration. Typical slashdot "editorialism", I guess...

Daniel

Total Annihilation (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727309)

No, Linux will not be "Annihilated" although I do think that this could cause some forking to happen in the kernel...

Re:Total Annihilation (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727495)

Maybe. Maybe not. It depends.

Either way, it doesn't matter and we win. If the kernel doesn't fork, then probably some kind of compromise has been reached that brings the best of both worlds. If the kernel does fork, we get two independent projects, perhaps each geared at different requirements.

This has happened before. Firefox started as a fork of Mozilla Seamonkey. The needs of embedded developers have spawned small Linux kernels like ELKS [sourceforge.net] . Ximian started as a GNOME fork that eventually was merged back in. Then there's egcs vs. gcc, and so forth...the list goes on and on.

In the end, the community wins. We get better code, and in some cases, we get new projects that meet specialized needs.

Re:Bah... (2, Insightful)

Eponymous Bastard (1143615) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727329)

Truly, this story should be tagged storminateacup.

Re:Bah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727371)

I prefer asshatinablog

Re:Bah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727367)

Sounds like another storm in a tea cup. The linux world has had more flame wars than not, and will continue to do so as long as it exists.
Yes, but that was in the old days. Now that Linus Torvalds has acquired nuclear weaponry, this really could lead "to total Linux annihilation". OH NOES!!!!!!!!11111

Or perhaps not.

total annihilation of the linux world (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727377)

total annihilation of the linux world

I can't wait!

Dude, I'm building a Krogoth.

Re:Bah...' (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727415)

Actually, I don't think that editorialism can be blamed on /., but rather ZDnet...

three possible paths Linux can take for the future: stay geeky and appeal to the advanced tech guru in all of us; go mainstream and leave the advanced functionality and reliable kernel behind to compete with Microsoft and Apple; or face a "civil war" that could lead to total Linux annihilation.


(1) and (2) can conceptualy be alligned. That's part of the purpose of distros. Many distros help abstract users from all the stuff in the kernel they don't care about, and make it "just work", without lessening the functionality/reliability.

(3) Usually results in a fork at most, a path reworking on average, and nothing at the least - and not the end of the world... It could happen, and if it does, so what?

Re:Bah... (5, Insightful)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727689)

I won't hesitate to point out what PJ has already pointed out, [groklaw.net] that most of these stories about all the trouble with Linux infighting is meant as the next undermining tactic by a company with deep pockets [microsoft.com] in an attempt to further bolster its market dominant position.

I, for one, do not welcome our FUD-spewing, bad-software-making overlords.

Re:Bah... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727909)

Sounds like another storm in a tea cup.

No, it sounds like either 1) a troll or (more likely IMO) 2) A shill. No, make that BOTH a trol and a shill.

I haven't RTFA and I don't intend to. ZD is a Windows-only publication, and has been for the last several years. The only thing they want from Linux users is someone to troll. Christ, thay gave that damned "reader talkback" troll John Carroll a fucking JOB trolling!

Make no mistake about it, ZD net is not about tech, it's not about news, it's not about anything nerdy, it's about PROFIT. And it makes its profits not from sales of magazines but advertising. And Microsoft is one of its biggest, if not THE biggest, advertisers.

ZDNET works for Microsoft. I will not read it; it has nothing of interest for me. I used to be the world's biggest troll biter, but I reformed myself [kuro5hin.org] Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:38:29 AM EST. Well, ok, sometimes like any addict I relapse (like I'm doing now) but I'm damned not going to bite ZD's trolls. At least, I'm not going to be trolled any farther than the /. blurb; I will NOT RTFA.

stay geeky and appeal to the advanced tech guru in all of us; go mainstream and leave the advanced functionality and reliable kernel behind to compete with Microsoft and Apple; or face a "civil war" that could lead to total Linux annihilation.

Bullshit. Stay geeky? Hell yes, I don't see the command prompt going away any time soon. Having advanced functionality isn't "anti-geek", and no true nerd could ever write such bullshit. And even if a "civil war" happened, there would not be "total Linux annihilation" but a simple and unneccessary fork.

TFA is a fucking troll, fellow Linux nerds. "Linus and his minions?" I never saw "Bill Gates and his minions". Troll!

God damn it, I bit. I'm such a fucking loser! [kuro5hin.org]

-mcgrew [kuro5hin.org]

another option (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727297)

Come on over to *BSD. We're the 'big tent' OS. Room for everyone.

Don't like the direction the kernel is going? Branch the kernel and call it MyBSD. Whatever, no one is going
to get pissed.

Linux folks take themselves WAY too seriously, and besides, *BSD has a 'cool' factor with the chicks that
Linux will never have. You should see the honeys flock to me when I sport my FreeBSD tshirt.

Come on in to BSD, boys, the water is fine.

Re:another option (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727385)

Yeah, beacuse *BSD with its useless SMP support will make the arguments moot anyway. It's slow for everyone.

Re:another option (1, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727483)

Ahh, yes, my slow little FreeBSD install on my Dual Core system.

The only OSes slower that I've install on that machine are Windows, Fedora, and Ubuntu.

Could you tell me what a fast OS for a dual core optron or a Core Solo is? I'd really like to know... I can't get BeOS on them, or MacOS, so I can't test those. MINIX maybe?

Re:another option (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727653)

Could you tell me what a fast OS for a dual core optron or a Core Solo is? I'd really like to know... I can't get BeOS on them, or MacOS, so I can't test those. MINIX maybe?

I only run FreeDOS and openwrt on my deprecated hardware.

^(this is a joke, my children)

Re:another option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727831)

Could you tell me what a fast OS for a dual core optron or a Core Solo is? I'd really like to know...

Have you tried Syllable [syllable.org] ?

Re:another option (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727419)

You *have* seen what happened to NetBSD, right? And you have tried working with Theo on anything?

Re:another option (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727431)

Linus repeatedly and vocally encourages people to fork. (That's why he wrote git the way he did, to enable easy forking and merging of trees.) These sorts of arguments happen because some individual or small group wants the rest of the group to do what they say. The last thing they want is a fork, unless they think most people will jump on their bandwagon.

Re:another option (5, Funny)

upside (574799) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727455)

True. My wife made me install Linux over BSD when I got married. She couldn't cope with the attention I was getting. I miss the chilled attitude of the BSD people like Theo.

Re:another option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727575)

Linux has RMS and Linus, we have Theo.

OK, our asshat is bigger, but at least we have just one of note.

In the end Theo only speaks for one branch of BSD, the rest of us ignore him for good reason. He does some good work (OpenSSH, a few drivers, etc.) but he doesn't run our lives

Re:another option (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727471)

"Branch the kernel and call it MyBSD"

I've got a better idea - branch the kernel and call it PostgreBSD. That is of course unless you want it to have all the speed and functionality of Windows 3.1.

Re:another option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727475)

and besides, *BSD has a 'cool' factor with the chicks that
Linux will never have.

That's because when you say "BSD", they think you mean "Big Swinging Dick". It's an intentional misleading acronym - Berkeley .....my ass!

Re:another option (4, Funny)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727669)

> Whatever, no one is going to get pissed.

The thing I like about Linux is the GPL, but I guess I can just add the GPL to MyBSD.

Re:another option (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727735)

Come on in to BSD, boys, the water is fine.
You clearly haven't been paying enough attention to Netcraft ...

Re:another option (1)

lysse (516445) | more than 7 years ago | (#20728017)

Don't like the direction the kernel is going? Branch the kernel and call it MyBSD. Whatever, no one is going
to get pissed.

Yes, the NetBSD / OpenBSD split was a textbook example of how to fork a project without animosity, wasn't it?

sensationalist (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727301)

desktop improvements do not need a revamped kernel. I really don't know where this idea came from.

Both gnome and kde have their irritating features and this - IMHO - is where the problem is.

Re:sensationalist (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727393)

I never ever had sound breaking/stuttering in WinAMP for example. I do occasionally with Amarok. You know what - I don't care a tiniest bit. But people do.

Re:sensationalist (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727581)

There's a cure for that. It's administered by combining CONFIG_PREEMPT and Ingo Molnar's realtime kernel [kerneltrap.org] patch. With a proper config, your PC will never drop audio again.

Re:sensationalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727699)

if one app works fine and one stutters - all things being equal - it implies an issue with the app.

devs blame way too much on the kernel....

Re:sensationalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727785)

but what you call irritating features are what some people call invaluable.

Ex: I am quite happy with KDE, it has worked find for me, and I can customize it to get the look and feel that I want with only one annoyance (the pop-up-annoying-box-over-task-list-and-desktop-list-whenever-you-put-a-url-in-the-clipboard-so-you-want-to-cause-great-harm-to-the-kde-devs thing...)

Re:sensationalist (1)

Blood_God (895841) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727851)

Ex: I am quite happy with KDE, it has worked find for me, and I can customize it to get the look and feel that I want with only one annoyance (the pop-up-annoying-box-over-task-list-and-desktop-list-whenever-you-put-a-url-in-the-clipboard-so-you-want-to-cause-great-harm-to-the-kde-devs thing...)
If you're talking about Klipper, it has a option on that popup menu to disable the actions. Hardly difficult to get rid of the "annoyance" then.

Don't bother reading it (5, Insightful)

massysett (910130) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727305)

The article--no, make that rant--has nothing to do with the debate between Linus and Con. The author somehow thinks that this technical debate about the kernel's workings has something to do with "Linux" desktop usability. The author clearly does not understand that there is a difference between the Linux kernel, the thousands of programs that comprise a Linux distribution, and the distributors who glue all this stuff together. He says Linux shouldn't "go mainstream" (here I guess he means distributions) and ignores the fact that Ubuntu can go mainstream while Gentoo can stay geeky.

Total waste of time; prevalence of this crap on Digg is why I stopped reading it, and now Slashdot isn't too far behind it seems.

Re:Don't bother reading it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727361)

The scheduler debate is entirely relevant to the "Desktop / Server" debate: It is a question of priorities. A server should never miss writing a log file to disk in order to avoid skipping a millisecond of music playback; a desktop needs to be working to the opposite goal.

Scheduler plug ins is going to have to happen, regardless of the overhead and effort.

Agreed (3, Informative)

upside (574799) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727407)

I don't know what he is basing this crap on, like that Linus thinks Linux shouldn't go mainstream. Linus works for the Linux foundation that "promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms. [linux-foundation.org] "

Next article, please.

Re:Don't bother reading it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727573)

Total waste of time; prevalence of this crap on Digg is why I stopped reading it, and now Slashdot isn't too far behind it seems.
Digg has a "Bury" button.

Slashdot needs a "Chop up and feed to the pigs out back" button.

Re:Don't bother reading it (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727679)

Slashdot needs a "Chop up and feed to the pigs out back" button.

They do, that's what happened to timothy and michael.

Re:Don't bother reading it (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727767)

and jonkatz ... i think they all got fed to kdawson :P

YAWN (0, Offtopic)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727315)

Slow news day.
 

Yawn (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727317)

The Linux kernel isn't the cause of Linux's lack of pep on the desktop. Sure it isn't a particularly good desktop OS kernel as it's mostly made with the server in mind, but it isn't bad. The real reason why Linux hasn't been adopted be Joe Average everywhere is because of the high-level parts of the system: the KDE, the Gnome, the package mess, the difficulty installing software, the hard to use programs, and so on.

If you're not happy with Linux, there are other [reactos.org] places [syllable.org] to find what you're looking for. The world doesn't need to be Linux.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727579)

KDE and Gnome (well, KDE for sure) are fine to average user.
What's not fine are the backends, still reeling on a million textfiles in /etc/ instead than
a unified register, are the GNU utilities, still requiring Average Joe to mess with lots
of docs and to stay often within the console.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727889)

Extra Yawn to your lame post.
It IS a good desktop OS. How do I know? 10 years of using it there.

And no, the world doesn't have to be Linux, but you're offering up ReactOS and Syllable!!!??? You obviously are just trying to stir the pot, since those two offerings and nascent turds at this point.

Pure flamebait (4, Interesting)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727323)

TFA has no real substance and makes a number of major statements as if they were written in stone. From TFA

The Linux community is an interesting group. Much like Republicans and Democrats, Linux is dominated by two factions with entirely different ideas. The conservatives want Linux to stay Linux and the liberals want to make money. Call me a conservative, or call me what you will, but the liberals are off-base.
i.e. if you disagree with me then you're 'off base' - well that's a good start for a reasoned arguement!

Re:Pure flamebait (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727753)

Not to mention the needless and infuriating comparison to political conservatives and liberals, which suggests conservatives are purists and liberals are shills.

What so wrong with continuing along the path of development that Linux has trod these past fifteen years or so? Looks like it's been pretty successful to me.

Oh, and so now one article by Walt Mossberg has stopped Ubuntu dead in its tracks? Right. Perhaps the kind of people who give credence to trash like this article might be deterred, but if so, who cares? Let them eat Vista.

Or... (1)

BigTom (38321) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727331)

Keep the advanced functionality and reliable kernel while incorporating other features and continuuing to go mainstream.

Re:Or... (2, Insightful)

iiii (541004) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727443)

Exactly. It is tricky but nearly always possible, through good design, to create a system that works for different skill levels of users. It can be easy to use, easy to start learning, easy to install, with functionality that is easy to discover, and still be highly reliable, customizable, and efficient for people who use it all day every day.

why leave behind reliability? (1)

PHPNerd (1039992) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727333)

and reliable kernel behind to compete with Microsoft and Apple;
Why would they have to leave behind a reliable kernel?

Re:why leave behind reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727697)

How do you expect to sell an OS where you cannot claim your lack of productivity is because the latest system crash has eaten all your good stuff? :-)

Oh the duality of man... (5, Interesting)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727335)

One part of me likes the first two ideas. I mean, there could eventually be a Windows killer distro out there. And at the rate things are going, Ubuntu seems to be the likely candidate. On the other hand, Linux does have a place with hardcore geeks out there who like to tinker and tune the kernel.

A second part of me is wondering why we all can't get along. Linux isn't going to be annihilated. Even if Torvalds were to walk out in front of a bus tomorrow, development of the Linux kernel will not cease entirely. Businesses have too much riding on Linux for it to fail. I could be wrong; but I highly doubt the doom sayer's claims.

Re:Oh the duality of man... (3, Insightful)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727597)

Businesses have too much riding on Linux for it to fail.

Exactly. Which is why I found the following part of the article so puzzling: "Historically speaking, Linux has never "been about the money," so why should it start now?"

Linux development has pretty much always been directed to some extent by money. IBM and others pour cash and time into Linux because they want it to run well on servers, so to claim that the "conservative"/server faction is less about money than the "liberal"/desktop side rings untrue.

Anyway, the desktop experience is mostly about the GUIs. As far as the kernel goes, there isn't that much that needs tweaking for desktops - mainly the IO and process schedulers. And it isn't that unusual for distros to maintain their own set of patches, so if the worst comes to pass (e.g. kernel has scheduler that won't play mp3s without skipping) the desktop distros will just have to do that job.

Rift? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727351)

What rift? It rather seems to me that some publications are trying to write up a rift out of thin air. There have always been disagreements between developers, but suddenly there's supposed to be a large enough group that wants a kernel fork?

I don't buy it.

Desktop Linux is not just 3D games (5, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727355)

What really pisses me off as far as Colivas camp is concerned is that they equate 3D games smoothness to desktop performance and keep on quacking about "desktop linux performance". Their stuff has nothing to do with it.

It is just one tiny facet of desktop linux. Further to this, in order to demonstrate any of the performance you have to throw in two big unknowns - a binary only driver and a card without a fully disclosed and known specification.

Self-serving benchmarks for 3D game on local machines should not be used to claim superiority in all desktop linux tasks period. In fact they should not be considered at all at least until something comes out of the recent ATI and Intel spec disclosures. When non-binary 3D accelerated drivers become widely available there will be a point to start benchmarking towards 3D performance and smoothness. Until then this is a complete waste of everyone's time.

Linux is for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727357)

Linux is for people that like to fiddle with their OS.

Windows is for people that like to fiddle with their apps. Like AVG Free, Norton AV, and the like.

False Dichotomy (Trichotomy?) (4, Insightful)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727363)

Why can't it keep the nerdy, hackable kernel and go mainstream at the same time? I though that was the reason why we have different distributions; obviously not everyone's going to be happy with Gentoo, luckily the casual user has Ubuntu and Linspire, and us network admins have our server distros. Do these people really have this George Lucas kind of power over the things they have released to the public, or is the community in the driver's seat enough to keep it working for everyone? I feel like it certainly leans more to the latter, although I guess I'm pretty far removed from the development process.

What an utter load of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727369)

I've been a fan of Con Kolivas -ck patchset and used it exclusively on my desktop computers but seriously, in the end, the influence of the KERNEL with regard to usability of a desktop system is rather low. In addition, I haven't seen anything that may give reason to assume that the kernel developers somehow snub the desktop. Sure, things got messy and there with fighting and Con left kernel development, which is sad, but Ingo's CFS is far from being a bad scheduler for the desktop, quite the contrary.


Maybe RMS is right after all with his "GNU/Linux" considering how journalists like to conflate kernel development with the development of the general system. There's a dispute about the CPU scheduler and some people think that "desktop improvements" are somehow low priority. Seriously, things that the KDE and GNOME developers do have an order of magnitude more influence on someone's desktop than the CPU scheduler or even the kernel as a whole (though drivers are also very important).


more FUD from someone surprised by lkml (3, Insightful)

dominux (731134) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727373)

lkml has always had robust arguments bounced about. This is not new, but new people are reading it all the time and sometimes it hits the mainstream. TFA is mainly not about lkml flamewars, but about a review by Walt Mossberg which might be important to a certain readership in the USA. He isn't very important to readers in the rest of the world. I read the review. It was fairly balanced, he found good points and areas for improvement. The fact that he reviewed it at all is more significant than any findings or conclusions he made. I am amazed at the number of meta-articles about this one review that I have seen. Journalists - do your own flipping review. Don't write articles reflecting on someone else's reflections.

Re:more FUD from someone surprised by lkml (2, Interesting)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727545)

TFA is mainly not about lkml flamewars, but about a review by Walt Mossberg which might be important to a certain readership in the USA. He isn't very important to readers in the rest of the world. I read the review. It was fairly balanced, he found good points and areas for improvement. The fact that he reviewed it at all is more significant than any findings or conclusions he made.
Quite so. I didn't agree with all that was said in the original review (by Mossberg) but I found the fact that it appeared in the WSJ much more interesting than the review in itself.

I have to confess that I've had pretty much the same kind of problems with Vista (although mostly on the network side and when trying to access the flash card reader) when I poked at it for a couple hours on a new laptop as Mossberg has had with Ubuntu but then I never use Windows while I'm quite familiar with Linux...

In all I concur that it would be more relevant if the comments on that review in the press were on the significance of the review. OTOH if other journalists want to review Ubuntu, it's not as if it's that hard to get hold of a disk. They don't have to rehash stuff they don't seem to fully understand. It's not as if it was high end reporting.

Which "current rift"? (1)

fgaliegue (1137441) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727375)

Is it me, or is this guy just trying to generalize from another misguided artcile [slashdot.org] dated no later than a week ago?

the 90 yard linux playing field (2, Insightful)

kcokane (253536) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727389)

Maybe the real question is, how to get Linux
developers to play the game professionally.
Do we really need more incomplete, undocumented,
fail-disable, unverified software? The issue
of Linux success is more a question of when will
Linux software become polished, real end user
value? Why do I spend so much time hacking
around fixing scripts that should have been done
right before they were posted? Why am I re-writing
resolv.conf after re-boot to replace the incorrect
(gateway address, not nameserver address) mismanagement
in some layered, undocumented fork from network?

Com'on guys, the field's 100 yards. No touchdown until
the job's finished. We don't need another 'final coding
left to end user' version of anything.

say it with me children (2, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727395)

LINUX IS THE KERNEL.

Ubuntu is a distro comprising of a linux kernel and userland tools/libraries. Why would going the "ubuntu" route would involve any changes in the kernel is beyond me. Ubuntu is nothing more than a well engineered collection of userspace tools that makes the PC useful, it relies on the Linux kernel to manage the system.

In short, you can appeal to the "mainstream" [also known as the dumbification of society] and yet keep a technically impressive kernel behind the scenes.

Re:say it with me children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727493)

Yup, tech journalist with this kind of fundamental blunder should be spanked in public.

GNU/linux. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727885)

May RMS was right after all and the thing that you run on a computer should be called something else than the kernel of that OS.

The kernel will always be to complicated for grandma, and there will be lots of distributions. Always. Maybe someone can make a linux for grandma, and maybe it takes as long as your girlfriend being a grandma. It will be the distribution that will be simple or complicated. Not the kernel.

In a comment linus said: I don't care.

Re:say it with me children (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727983)

In short, you can appeal to the "mainstream" [also known as the dumbification of society] and yet keep a technically impressive kernel behind the scenes.

I just want to point out that the dumbification of society applies to geeks who buy cars with good warranties rather than cars that are easy to work on, and geeks that buy non-stick pans and who cook on electric stoves, and myriad other geeks who do mainstreamy sort of things.

Geeks will call a particle physicist an idiot if he can't find his way around his desktop.

Sounds like things are just fine.. (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727397)

People still do not understand open source, in that there is always a little friendly "nudging"... Because everything is out in the open, a few people upset means to some people that "Linux is in peril"... The reality of the situation is that business drives Linux development. I for one feel that if IBM did not contribute what it did, that Linux would only be a fraction of what it is today. Meaning, IBM, from my perspective, helped businesses see Linux as a viable business tool... I do not think that their contribution can be understated from that perspective...

So where does it go from here? Mostly what it is doing today... I would be shocked if it ever gets much traction on the desktop front simply due to no company putting the huge investment to continue advancing it and marketing it... The real success of Linux, I feel, will always be a background player... As far as the future in development... One market that I do not think people have realized enough it what I call "smart appliances" industry, in that using Linux on standard x86 hardware with OS/Database/Web support that you just plug in and run. Linux has allot of room to grow in this marketspace...

'Civil War'? heh, that's funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727425)

The worst war has already been fought to an uneasy truce:

Emacs vs. Vi.

Next to that, this 'kernel' thing is polite disagreement.

Con Kolivas (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727427)

isn't Con Kolivas the guy that quit working on the kernel because a patch he submitted was rejected by Linus? if that patch he made was that significant then he should have just offered it to some distributors of desktop orientated Linux' and if it was that significant of an improvement i am sure it would eventually make it upstream to the kernel...

as far as Linux making it mainstream? i don't care one way or the other, i been using Linux since 1998 & learned Linux the old school way...

Re:Con Kolivas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727765)

In fact the recent rewrite of the scheduler was largely based on inspiration from Con, aimed at improving responsiveness, which is important for desktop systems, while still maintaining stability and reliability...

I'd like to give credit to Con Kolivas for the general approach here: he has proven via RSDL/SD that 'fair scheduling' is possible and that it results in better desktop scheduling. Kudos Con!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Completely_Fair_Scheduler [wikipedia.org] http://people.redhat.com/mingo/cfs-scheduler/sched-design-CFS.txt [redhat.com] http://kerneltrap.org/node/8059 [kerneltrap.org]

Advanced functionality != Reliable kernel (2, Interesting)

sqldr (838964) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727429)

go mainstream and leave the advanced functionality and reliable kernel behind to compete with Microsoft and Apple

Would help if the author knew what the trade-off was. Servers are simple. They maximise throughput fairly. Then there's desktops, which are supposed to remain responsive to mouse and keyboard and audio events even under high load. The latter is more complex. It is the one with the "advanced functionality", and it loses reliability in the process.

There are geeky people in both camps. Geeks who want a server, and geeks who want a desktop.

The geeks who want a desktop want advanced functionality at the expense of reliability, and since the entire hypothesis of the article falls over in the first paragraph, I'm not sure why I bothered to continue reading

Then it continues with crap like If we want unstable systems, we can buy a Windows box.

NOBODY, not even windows users WANT an unstable system! I want a good opensource system that will run reliably and efficiently on my desktop. By the same logic I could say "if we wanted a reliable server, we could just use BSD".

Con Kolivas wrote some nice patches. I'm still yet to see if the CFS is as good.

Re:Advanced functionality != Reliable kernel (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727611)

Con Kolivas wrote some nice patches.

No he didn't. He did huge uncommented patchsets, and refused to break them down as is required by the kernel maintainers when introducing something large and invasive. He then prattled on about mathematical proof of why his code should be accepted as is - a proof that no one could actually follow; he refuses to discuss code - the language the kernel developers understand, and has a tendency to avoid specific questions when asked something direct. All he's been doing is throwing his rattle out the pram, and stomping up and down about getting some credit, which he's been given multiple times.

If he has something worthwhile, he's lost all credibility with those that matter. If you can't work with people, you won't get far with linux developers.

Fork (1)

MasterOfCeremonies (853832) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727451)

If people are that bothered, could they not just fork the kernel and have one for the home user and one for the server?

Sensationalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727457)

Well, there you have it...another sensationalist article.

This isn't news. This is normal in linux. There are many passionate people with opposing viewpoints on tech.

It will all come out in the wash

Vaporous Hype? (4, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727465)

between Linus Torvalds and his minions squaring off against Con Kolivas and the mainstream Linux fanatics

This looks like vaporous hype designed to try and make linux look unstable. Didn't Con Kolivas say last july [apcmag.com] he's leaving linux kernal development?

How did this make the /. front page?

Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727481)

The only thing the author proves is that he has absolutely no clue. There's no reason why Linux shouldn't get mainstream and keep advanced functionality and a secure kernel. Remember, the mainstream part is about the user interface, which is totally unrelated to the kernel. If the advanced functionality cannot be put into a nice, easy UI, well, then keep that for the command line users and config file editors. After all, some things on Windows need tweaking undocumented registry settings, and has that hindered Windows' success? Clearly not! So why should it hinder Linux' success if some advanced functionalities are only accessible through well documented CLI tools/config files? For Linux getting mainstream you don't need to make everything available to even the dumbest person (indeed, some things you should better not make available to those not willing or able to learn using text interfaces, because those are likely unwilling to learn the consequences of changing those things as well).

In short, the way Linux should go is: Make simple things easily available through GUI, without removing access to advanced features for those willing to use a shell and text editor, and of course without compromising security. I see no reason why this shouldn't be possible.

there there (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727507)

Dont fear the penguins!

OMGWTFBBQ (2, Insightful)

Borealis (84417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727513)

We're all doomed! Doomed I say!

Am I just jaded or does this seem a wee overdramatic? Total destruction of Linux? Civil war? Yeah.

What crisis? (1)

wowww (1161139) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727531)

I install Xubuntu on all my friends laptops. They love it. They used to have like 20 tray-icons and all kinds of spyware. Now the run basically the same programs. Azureus, FireFox, GAIM, VLC, Evince etc.. They know it is much safer because, there is no more popups when they open IE!!! And by typing the password to install software, they know that some other program can't do stuff like that on their machine!!! I don't see a crisis. I see a marketing issue, but that's all. Usability? As if Vista is that usable...

Three outcomes? (2, Funny)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727533)

I think I go for the fourth outcome:

Really good make-up sex between the parties.

Re:Three outcomes? (2, Funny)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727873)

Considering the probable male to female ratio of said parties, I think I'll pass on that one...

Sensationalist article with no evidence (3, Insightful)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727541)

You also probably know that these two entirely different ideas could create three possible paths Linux can take for the future: stay geeky and appeal to the advanced tech guru in all of us; go mainstream and leave the advanced functionality and reliable kernel behind to compete with Microsoft and Apple; or face a "civil war" that could lead to total Linux annihilation.

That's quite a leap to make without giving any evidence at all. The article first mentions Con Kolivas' spat with Linus as if that is some kind of indicator of Linux's future when it means very little. It makes the assumption that CK's scheduler was more techinically advanced than Ingo Molnar's scheduler. That isn't the case. I don't think the author understands the reasons behind Linux choosing CFS over SD. It was more about maintainability than anything else. It was a decision that took into account long term issues instead of just short term emotions people had for CK and his scheduler.

The Linux community is an interesting group. Much like Republicans and Democrats, Linux is dominated by two factions with entirely different ideas. The conservatives want Linux to stay Linux and the liberals want to make money. Call me a conservative, or call me what you will, but the liberals are off-base.

When did this become a Republican/Democrat issue? Maybe I'm showing my bias here but how in the hell is the "liberal" wing in Linux all about making money? Isn't that the domain of Republicans? If you think that Linux really is split into a liberal wing and conservative wing the comparison would make more sense if the roles were reversed. Conservatives want this to be based about money and the free market. Conservatives would rather have corporations like HP choosing the direction of Linux based on their needs. Liberals are more worried about their rights with the software and abuses taking place by the corporations.

Even without taking the phoney political comparisons into consideration this article is an anti-Linux fluff piece with no meat at all. There is no critical thinking involved at all. It's purely an opinion without any facts to back it up. I wish garbage like this would stop showing up on Slashdot.

Why do we care what Torvalds says? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727543)

when it comes to discussion abou the kernel, then his views are important. But all he's responsible for is the kernel. All it is is a component of a complete system for using a computer. What do the people responsible for the GNU tools have to say on the matter? Or those who write X or Gnome or KDE? They're all as important to most Linux distributions as Torvalds is. I imagine most of them are all for a mainstream Linux.

Divide and conquer. (1)

Pegasus (13291) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727549)

How much more easy can it get?

I don't see what the big deal is about this. (4, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727559)

I actually agree with Con's assessment that Linus' refusal to accept these performance enhancements shows that the desktop is not a priority in the core Linux kernel, just as embedded devices are not. What I don't understand is why there's so much controversy over creating a kernel variant to address this. It's been done before, and these variants seem to coexist more or less peacefully with the core. You have uClinux handling embedded devices, while SELinux has a following among the security community, RTLinux does realtime stuff, and so on. Why should a "DeskLinux" with Con's performance enhancements be any different?

Fud Article (4, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727563)

Just another article spreading FUD by making it appear that some internal rift will cause the downfall of Linux.

This whole thing scheduler issue and Con thing regarding focus on the desktop is rather funny.

This is linux we are talking about here, don't like the direction feel free to change it. If no
one will listen patch your own kernel and call it my ultimate desktop edition. It certainly would
not be the first time a focused distro has been developed.

Bottom line, there is no rift in the community somebody cried because there scheduler got beat out. I assume this is because it did not make the cut for some reason, however if I wanted to run Con's scheduler I would just patch my kernel and run it.

Fork to TWO paths (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727587)

One for the advanced geek in all of us (which is going to probably also mean the server market)

and, one for the mainstream user.

its surprising you already didnt do it. you should not need fight for it. you need to create 2 subprojects.

Move along people... (2, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727613)

There is nothing to see here. These sorts of infights are not only common, they're necessary, due to the very nature of the project. Competition means survival of the fittest, and these fights are the best method for weeding out the strongest code solutions from the ho-hums. Best we fight amongst ourselves, for the world itself wants to crush us in it's fight for mediocrity! But the moment an external force tries to pick on onef us, we unite into one gigantic geeky mass. We can pick on each other, because we're family, even the BSD guys. But nobody else has that right!

TA? Oh FFS already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727637)

Please stop the 13 year old fearmongering summaries.
Slashdot is now teh suck.

Total Annihilation (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727709)

Do civil wars ever lead to "total annihilation"? Don't the survivors end up rebuilding?

mod 0p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20727779)

From a technical took pr3cEdence

It's Taco Time (1)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727833)

Boy, Good thing we are not getting tired of these Taco Linux troll and Linux bashing pieces!

You would think it would be so transparent that he would be embarrased, but no - that does not seem to worry him.

So, Keep the anti Linux Fud coming Taco, no one seems to notice!

Option Four (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727947)

Go more mainstream to improve adoption among the general populace while maintaining a stable kernel.

There is no reason to give up advanced functionality or stability.

Maintaining a stable kernel is not hard considering it is change that creates instability. Advanced functionality can be available through the command line or even GUIs.

The kernel functionality is good. What is needed is better usability, especially for configuration and management of non-kernel OS components.

I would love to put a better face on Linux and make it more usable to the average user, but there is no margin in it. It would take too much time and would not provide any income, so why bother?

Utter crap (3, Insightful)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727949)

The article is utter crap.

It confuses Linux (the kernel) and the CK/CFS spat with the various distributions of GNU/Linux, Gnome and KDE and their usability issues for non-techie types.

There is no risk of a "civil war" and one, certainly, would not bring total annihilation. At most, there would be the threat of a fork and some distros offering a CK patched version of the mainline kernel. I would like to be able to start up my machine with a choice of schedulers or, better yet, as someone pointed out, starting my servers assigning different schedulers to different processors according to their workload.

But all of this has nothing to do with how grannies use their Linux boxes.

Whatever you are going to do Linux, (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727965)

Just do it! Don't talk about it for 10 years.
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