Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Where Does Linux Go From Here?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the many-different-flavors-of-kool-aid-to-drink dept.

Linux Business 360

With the success that Linux is currently enjoying Linux.com (also owned by SourceForge, Inc) asks the question, where do we go from here? With such a high level of success and greater corporate participation (on both the consumer and provider fronts) will the spirit of freedom and idealism remain true or will the ever-present corporate bottom line eventually take over? "Linux is surrounded by proprietary IT firms. Some of them view Linux as a profit maker, others as a threat to their profits. Both sides represent a challenge for Linux in holding to its ideals of freedom and openess. The first large IT firm to really grok Linux was IBM. It has a long and mutually beneficial association with Linux, Apache, and other FOSS projects. The company has learned the language and the mores of the FOSS world, and has made significant code contributions as part of those projects along the way."

cancel ×

360 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

SourceForce? Come on... (4, Funny)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073591)

With the success that Linux is currently enjoying Linux.com (also owned by SourceForce, Inc) asks the question,

Come on editors. SourceForce? I was gonna let the missing comma between 'enjoying' and 'Linux.com' slide, but jeez, this is so blatantly wrong.

Re:SourceForce? Come on... (1)

Xentor (600436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073811)

Great, now they're going to start calling themselves SourceForce to cover up the typo.

I mean, it does sound pretty cool, but it's totally meaningless.

This is not the typo you are looking for.. (3, Funny)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073813)

*Handwave*

Re:SourceForce? Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073843)

Ewe muss bee knew hear.

Forget about it (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073871)

Come on editors. SourceForce?
It could have been worse: SourceForget. Wasn't there a big wipe of projects' MySQL databases on SourceForge.net a few years ago?

It is an existing company, you insensitive clod (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073927)

http://www.sourceforce.net/ [sourceforce.net]

Scuttlemonkey is their PR agent.

Re:SourceForce? Come on... (4, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074007)

Oh! Oh! I know! How about incorporating kernel-level spellchecking?

Re:SourceForce? Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074445)

L O L !

Can I be the first to say (2, Insightful)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073599)

Can I be the first to say that it is going on the deskytop! Oh well, may be next year...

Take over? (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073609)

will the spirit of freedom and idealism remain true or will the ever-present corporate bottom line eventually take over?

How much do we have to worry that something will "take Linux over"? No matter what corporations do, they'll always have to release the source code, which means people can always fork it. Wasn't that the point?

Re:Take over? (5, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073707)

will the spirit of freedom and idealism remain true or will the ever-present corporate bottom line eventually take over?

Yes and yes (it's already happened). The neat thing is both can happen without being mutually exclusive. Such is the beauty of FOSS. Is Linux suited for big-iron, misssion critical enterprise stuff backed and supported by heavyweights like IBM, Sun, etc? Yup. Can it be tinkered with on cheap commodity hardware for "backyard" projects and hobbyist programming? Yup. And everything else in between.

Same old, same old. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073729)

From TFA:

Microsoft might become an even larger influence on Linux than it is today. What if, for example, Microsoft decided to plop a new GUI atop the Linux kernel and enter the fray with its own version of Linux? The company has never been shy about copying success demonstrated elsewhere, and Apple has done very well doing exactly that with BSD.

This is another useless article about "what if" without any thought about the fundamentals of Linux.

As you pointed out, "they'll always have to release the source code". That is what makes Linux different. That is why companies like IBM can support Linux. They will NEVER be marginalized or excluded.

It's all about commodity. About making the OS a commodity. Owned by everyone.

Re:Same old, same old. (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074173)

You're right. No need to even read the article. Linux will be whatever someone, be it individual or corp., decides to make it.

Re:Same old, same old. (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074237)

Yeah, as you quoted, "What if, for example, Microsoft decided to plop a new GUI atop the Linux kernel and enter the fray with its own version of Linux?"

Ok, let's examine this "what if?" If Microsoft decides to release its own version of Linux, then they have to release the source code of any changes to the kernel. Then, other developers can pick and choose between the Microsoft changes, using what they want and getting rid of what they don't. If Microsoft makes any good changes, they will benefit everyone.

What's the big problem?

Re:Same old, same old. (0, Flamebait)

Oliver Defacszio (550941) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074369)

What's the big problem?

The problem is that's not a business. Who, in their right mind, would devote thousands of development hours cobbling something together, then cast it into the wind where basement developers use "what they want, and [get] rid of what they don't?" That's charity. I have no problem with the spirit of this OSS thing, but it's laughable to imagine that there's any kind of business potential in releasing things into the wild where they're instantly ripped apart as you've described.

I know, I know -- there are other ways to make money with Linux (something I feel isn't proven yet), but I keep seeing this expectation --and I don't put your post in that category, since you're just speculating-- that companies will be dying to do what you've suggested in your example. Unless they're either very stupid or very philanthropic, it will never happen. Idealism be damned -- a successful business cannot care what benefits everyone, unless it benefits them first.

Re:Same old, same old. (3, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074637)

Who, in their right mind, would devote thousands of development hours cobbling something together, then cast it into the wind where basement developers use "what they want, and [get] rid of what they don't?"

Red Hat, Canonical, Novell... hell, even Microsoft have a few open source projects kicking around.

Re:Take over? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073755)

With such a high level of success and greater corporate participation (on both the consumer and provider fronts) will the spirit of freedom and idealism remain true or will the ever-present corporate bottom line eventually take over?

Hehehe, that's very telling. For Linux to succeed those two need to work together. And corporations want to work together with the OSS community, but the community thinks they lead some sort of epic battle against them.

We need less hippies in OSS and more pragmatical approach at this point. The wild west time of Linux are over.

Re:Take over? (3, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074235)

I think there is an interesting misconception about true community-developed software such as Linux. It will remain open because that is the best way to compete. Look at PostgreSQL for example. They even use a BSD-style license and everyone that has tried to offer a closed version of it has failed unless it is a niche market that the PostgreSQL community doesn't really want to be in anyway.

Perhaps a more apt question.... (1)

jamieswith (682838) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073617)

With the various new fronts opening up... and the inevitable attempts to corrupt the ideals of linux (tivoization etc)

Perhaps a better question is... Where SHOULDN'T linux go from here?

Will attempts to modify the underlying licenses actually end up taking away much of the very freedom we're trying to protect?

Need some minor apps....Like Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073627)

How about starting with the barrier that keeps me from using Linux: MS Outlook with 100% synchronization to PDAs.

Re:Need some minor apps....Like Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073713)

Why would anyone use Outlook? Didn't you check with the magic 8-ball?

Re:Need some minor apps....Like Outlook (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074065)

There are replacements for outlook, and exchange as well. Some are free, or multi-tiered, and many will work with PDA's. What are missing are the corporate applications that people use on a day to day basis, either free or multi-tiered pricing. I guess that someone needs to list what businesses need, and the coders to actually code the apps.

I know that Accpac offers their accounting package for linux. SAP can run linux, but what about all the other software? Business needs and geek needs are quite different, and very seldom do the apps that work great on standalone computer convey nicely to a multi-user system. Some work has to be done to integrate database backends, program for multiple users, and for the good love of Christ, accept Kerberos authentication, or even authenticate against an LDAP backend, so if you can't get Single-sign on, you can at least have a common user name and password.

Right now, I could use warehousing software, logistics software, and automotive maintenance software. We're considering hiring a programmer to write it all, and even open sourcing the work. That's a step in the right direction for the community, but we have to wait until the budget is approved.

Re:Need some minor apps....Like Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074431)

There are replacements for outlook, and exchange as well. Some are free, or multi-tiered, and many will work with PDA's.
I'm not familiar whith those replacements that work with PDAs. Can you pls name them for me?

Re:Need some minor apps....Like Outlook (0, Troll)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074081)

A proper clipboard would also be nice. The fact that you can't copy and paste more than text between applications is laughable, and even simple text can be iffy from time to time.

Re:Need some minor apps....Like Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074117)

This feedback might be better on a GNOME or KDE forum.

What the hell? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073629)

This story reads like the pasty Linux geek who had some girl politely smile at him because he held a door open for her and suddenly thinks he's a hit with the ladies.

Insidious Allusion? (3, Funny)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073661)

Or is the title of this post an insidious allusion to things to come? "Linusoft: Where do you want to go from here?"

not an enterprise operating system (2, Informative)

Exter-C (310390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073669)

Linux is not really an enterprise operating system at this point in time. Yes its working in enterprise environments, yes its stable in most implementations and there are good patch management solutions etc but what is missing is some standardisation across hardware vendors. There is no standard way of monitoring RAID/Fans/Hardware failures etc. Each vendor has their own tools which makes having multi-vendor environments a pain, If we compare against windows with mom every vendor has a plugin which will allow you to monitor and manage the systems from a central point. If I look at some of the other "enterprise" operating systems like Solaris and AIX they have a standard set of tools for fibre channel controllers etc which work on all of the vendors. It may sound like a small issue but when your dealing with lots of systems having to know what controller is in a system to support it makes a big difference.

Re:not an enterprise operating system (3, Informative)

Sadsfae (242195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073767)

There is no standard way of monitoring RAID/Fans/Hardware failures


SNMP is pretty standardized :) Most enterprise organizations use Nagios http://www.nagios.org/ [nagios.org] or a similar solution for monitoring of HW, hosts and services.

Re:not an enterprise operating system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074203)

Who the heck monitors fans using SNMP with Nagios? Can you point us to the open MIB which defines fan speed?

RAID implementations are largely proprietary. Do LSI or Adaptec provide a MIB for their RAID adapters?

Re:not an enterprise operating system (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074391)

Right.... so where's the standardised interface for the SNMP userland tools to speak to the hardware to find out details like "is the RAID OK?" "are all power supplies present and functioning?" "are all the fans spinning?" ?

IPMI is a good start, but it's far from perfect. Not all implementations of IPMI even make that much detail available.

Re:not an enterprise operating system (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073925)

The exact same thing can be said about windows.

There is no standardization across hardware vendors for windows. RAID cards are always different, Hardware monitoring is always different... The old Compaq servers were the best but was 100% different from DELL and IBM. no standardization anywhere.

I would LOVEto see standardization like you speak of, but it does not exist. Not for Windows, not for Linux. the ONLY place I have ever seen it is OSX and SUN.

but then you are using their hardware and their OS... therefore they can make it happen.

and honestly, nothing is as beautiful as seeing 3 racks full of Mac rackmount servers and Storage vaults. it makes anything from dell,HP and IBM look like dog turds.

Its the hardware not the software! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073999)

Your comment is valid but misplaced. SGI uses Linux on its Altix line of hardware and their add on software makes it aware of the specialized hardware within Linux.

The main problem that your pointing out is a problem with x86 hardware. Windows and every other OS that runs on x86 have the same problems. The problem stems from there being no standardization and no evolution of the technology. Essentially all of these 50K x86 servers are just big beefy PC's with built in redundancy and some extra monitoring options and are essentially an evolution of the original IBM product. The vendors are moving in the right direction though and Linux is supporting this hardware as they need to. For example the IPMI interfaces and BMC interfaces have direct access with ipmitool where you can read chassis and sensor information. Window's cannot natively talk to the IPMI interface without add on drivers. Linux supports MANY of the raid controllers from within its kernel unlike windows that has to have drivers to even see the drives.

Im a big Solairs fan myself because it truly is an integrated hardware and software platform. The big issue is cost. Thats why a number of companies in the industry are willing to put up with the shortcomings of x86 hardware and related OS's. Its a big trend now for people to go with the cheap mantra when in actuality it costs them more in the long haul in downtime and data loss.

Even further into the cheap cheap cheap mantra is the concept of VM's which were abandoned in the 1970's because they never worked and because of the political battles between departments for resources of the mainframe. This is being looked at again for the concept of energy savings and hardware savings but virtual machines really equal virtual performance. Many companies have the concept that you can oversubcribe the resource of one machine and serve many users and "hopefully" not all of them will need resources at the same time. The Administrator of a VM box is under the pressure from that many more users when there is a hardware failure. It amazes me that companies put all their eggs in one basket on cheap commodity hardware that is known for failure. Loose a system planar or other low level non redundant piece of hardware and suddenly you have hundreds of servers down instead of just one. And of course because we are cheapskates we have to call up and scream at our vendor to get out ASAP because we were to cheap to have a spare kit and an Admin onsite and or capable of switching out hardware.

You get what you pay for one way or another and most people are obsessed with the price tag rather than the true costs. Buy the bottom of the line machine and spend your time down on the phone to India.

Re:not an enterprise operating system (2, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074177)

Linux isn't anything in particular. It's whatever one makes of it. 'Linux' isn't an enterprise operating system, but certain distros of Linux certainly are, tools and all. Other distros are embedded O/Ss, desktops, set top boxes, or whatever you make of them.

well .. (2)

Sadsfae (242195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073675)

The way I see it, it is just getting started

Linux goes where Ferrari went! (2, Interesting)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073697)

Given that this is Slashdot a car analogy is in order.

Linux is a Ferrari. It requires a real driver.

Mac is like a Toyota. A good, solid vehicle. Dependable and long lasting. Just don't expect to do any internal work on it like my dad used to do when I was a kid.

Windoze is like a Ford Pinto. It'll get you to work and back home again, just don't expect it to have any real power.

The Linux community must get away from trying to be Ford or GM (Genetically Modified?). Linux offers POWER! No apologies POWER! It ain't for your gran'ma.

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073771)

Your dad can do internal work on a Ferrari?

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (1)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073815)

I don't really see how this is a good area where linux can grow. People who *need* that kind of power and can't get it elsewhere usually already use linux (or some other unix based OS).

Maybe linux should be thought of as a way to turn your Ford Pinto into a Toyota for free?

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (4, Funny)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073825)

> Windoze is like a Ford Pinto. It'll get you to work and back home again, just don't expect it to have any real power.

Very accurate. It will get you to work and back home, without any real power...but you forgot to mention that it is perfectly normal for it to sometimes explode.

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (2, Interesting)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073861)

Solaris is like a semitruck. Without it the commercial world would collapse.

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073985)

"Solaris is like a semitruck. Without it the commercial world would collapse."

Solaris is like a Bugatti Veyron. One of a kind, high-performance engineering wonder.
(ala the quad-turbo 1000 HP engine in the Bugatti.)

It drives different than a Joe Average's car. The controls are different. The handling is different. It requires a race driver to drive it. But it's very high performance, high-quality, and extremely dependable, especially the latest "Nevada" edition. It's not for weenies.

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073911)

In some ways, I have to agree with this. I don't care if the script kiddies and grannies and game players ever take up Linux. They're not the people who are ever going to appreciate find or grep, or even sudo. By the same token, if even 20% of the businesses were to use Linux both in the server room AND on the desktop, we'd see several things:
1) More big-dollar apps (Photoshop, 3DS-Max, AutoCad) making the move to a Linux version.
2) Microsoft making some real efforts on security, so that admins and the rest of the net didn't have to deal with thier crap.
3) Even more developer and vendor buy-in than we have today.
4) WORLD HEGEMONY! MUA HA HA HA!

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073971)

we'd see several things:
1) More big-dollar apps (Photoshop, 3DS-Max, AutoCad) making the move to a Linux version.

You realize that all of the above apps you've listed appeal to artists, right? The people who AREN'T as technically inclined as us coders? The same people who don't want to futz with find, grep, or even sudo?

For a company to switch to Linux on its desktops, the OS needs to be easy to use for EVERYONE, not just hardcore techies. I know many a draftsmen who can work magic in AutoCAD, but continue to call their tower the hard drive. For Linux to succeed for the geeks, we must make it appealing to the non-geeks.

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074359)

What does find, grep or sudo have to do with Linux. Those are fairly common application on Unix systems too. (and they were First on unix systems....) as a Mac User OS X has all those features but unless I am working in the terminal or making a script, I rarely need to use them for common jobs because sudo equivalent will kick off if I try to run an app that needs more Security. For Find and Grep Spotlight does most of the work. Also google desktop and do the job too.

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073983)

Yesterday Ferrari won the Formula1 championship with a car whose value is maybe on the order of a billion dollars (project + cars + pilots + ...). Ever thought where does Ferrari take the money to participate? Yes, correct: selling thousands of much-less-expensive cars around the world.

It is easier to sell many cars if you have an expensive winning one, and it is easier to have an expensive winning one if you sell many cars...

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074001)

Mac is like a Toyota. A good, solid vehicle. Dependable and long lasting. Just don't expect to do any internal work on it like my dad used to do when I was a kid.

I like the others you've presented, but the quoted line above ain't quite correct. "Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal" + "sudo su -" gives me everything I need to be a happy BSD-style *nix sysadmin on a Mac, thanks much. Toss in X11, Fink, the free OSX SDK, and a whole host of other goodies, and you get all the *nix love you'll ever need.

Macs would be more like the Jeep - you can do whatever the hell you want to it and it refuses to break in most cases, and it still has a style that appeals to most folks. Just that the body design (down to the seven-slit grille) is as proprietary as hell, and vigorously guarded by the manufacturer.

/P

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074443)

Toss in X11, Fink...

Do you use either one regularly on Mac OS X?

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074041)

Linux offers POWER!

Sounds more like a ZPM, which is a better analogy anyway.

CC.

Re:Linux goes where Ferrari went! (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074057)

Inaccurate representation:

Mac OS X = Toyota/Lexus (fair enough, it's nice, reliable, full featured but sometimes you realize it's just not made for Americans by it's odd nuances. And is a bit pricey.)

Linux = Ford Mustang (classic), can be a really sweet ride with lots of performance when modified right. Rather uncomfortable in many regards. It requires a lot to get it into good shape. Really needs to move from Mustang (classic) to new Mustang.

Windows = Chevy Van, cumbersome and a bit clunky. Breaks down a fair amount. But provides a lot of functionality. Fully featured.

i know (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073703)

Where next? Linux must crush its enemies. To see them driven before it. And to hear the lamentations of their women...

Re:i know (1, Funny)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074253)

Stallman, I have never prayed to you before, I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad, why we fought or how we died. No, all that matters, is that two stood against many. That's what's important. Valour pleases you, Stallman, so grant me one request: grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!

Spirit of freedom and idealism AND bottom line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073719)

I think you can have freedom and idealism and make a buck.

I know hating on all enterprise seems all the rage these days, but eventually reality sets in, as people need dirty money to buy food and water and such.

Linux is a success BECAUSE of the bottom line, as much as all the hippie dippy sentementality that might appeal to some developers. It replaces --for free-- costly proprietary Unixes. It makes sense for the evil, dirty, capitalist bottom line.

One day, but not today (1, Redundant)

sdkramer (411640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073749)

"Ubuntu is going to have to get serious about its commercial operation one of these days."

Very true, but it's going to need A LOT more driver support to get there. Average Joe isn't going to want to have to fix his wireless every time just because he's got a Broadcom chip. Average Joe isn't going to want to have to mess with ALSA or OSS if he loses his sound, and starting off leaving a bad taste in someone's mouth is not the way to go. As much as I want to see Linux on the desktop we have to keep in mind that the first "Vista-like" experience users have is going to drive them to Apple or something.

I feel like Vista's failures have given us a tremendous opportunity to make some serious inroads to the desktop market, but we're hindered by usability and driver issues.

Re:One day, but not today (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074121)

Absolutely right...

You just described the current problem my wife and I are having. We bought a laptop, it came with Vista. I figured since it was new, she had nothing on it. Perhaps I'd get her started with Linux.

I really want to support Linux. I need Windows on my machine for work related tasks. So wasn't an option. Not enough hard drive space to dual-boot either.

But my wife didn't have any critical needs. So with both of us not liking Vista, we decided to get Ubuntu Linux a try.

I find driver support (ie: Broadcom Wireless which is an extremely common card), app installation (need to install RAIDar for NAS, just want to click to install). Sound issues. Etc.

Oh if these could only be resolved, I think Linux would be really making a go. The question is, will Linux fix this situation before Microsoft fixes Vista? (Considering driver issues were the same issues that plagued my prior attempts at installing Linux in late 90's early 2000's - I have my doubts. :|

- The Saj

Re:One day, but not today (1)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074579)

You just described the current problem my wife and I are having. We bought a laptop, it came with Vista.

So with both of us not liking Vista...

I think I see the problem. Here's the answer [lxer.com] .

Re:One day, but not today (4, Informative)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074273)

Broadcom:

Proprietary driver manager pops up, asks you if you want to install the driver and d/l the firmware, auto installs it and network manager pops up to connect. Easier than in windoze.

ALSA/OSS:

These days the only time you'd ever need to mess with these settings is to

a) record something using either USB or built in mic's. Record something in windows without messing with a control panel.

b) use it with an app installed through wine, and even then not so often.

Hot air rises (4, Insightful)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073761)

There are two fields where Linux is lacking compared to Apple and Microsoft: How easy it is to screw things up and games. Of course driver support is important, but that is driven by demand of the market, not demand of the developers, so I consider the previous two reasons of higher importance when discussing how best to expand Linux in the market.

Now I know ideally we should all be intelligent enough to be able to operate Linux without screwing something up, and if we do be able to fix it. But the layman is not and will not have our technical ability, however simple the task may be. Since Linux does not have technical support often in the same way Apple and Microsoft do, users are driven away for fear of an inoperable computer. They would rather have a computer that works 50% of the time than 25% of the time. As far as business use for Linux, obviously they have the resources to be able to have any problems fixed and prevented, but personal users can not do that.

As far as games, Tux Racer does not cut it. Email and web browsing of course are workhorse reasons for having a PC, but you can do that on your cell phone nowadays. Honestly, game development seems to be in a bit of a catch 22 in the same way that driver support is a problem. Investors need to see profitability in the market, so they want to see market demand. However market demand isn't rising because there isn't enough of a reason to switch to Linux when you can't play the hottest new games on it. Of course games do get ported, however initial release of games for Linux I think is vital to bring the average computer user into the fold of open source.

Just my two cents.

Re:Hot air rises (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074185)

On the game front, the one thing that I have never been able to figure out, is why game vendors don't use a linux base for their games? It seems like it would be a pain to develop, and more importantly, troubleshoot and support so many combinations of OS/Hardware, etc (xp, 7 versions of vista, etc). why not just release a game, with a pared down version of Knoppix or other "live CD" type of media, and just boot from the disk, have the hardware detected automatically, and just run? (ie, like a console, where the hardware is pretty standard and stable). If someone wants to run it while also running other apps, instead of booting from the CD, load a minimal VM that will then load up the CD in a seperate VM than windows. No license worries, and since you can pare down the kernel to only the necessary features, you could get a whole lot of performance out of it with no overhead.

Re:Hot air rises (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074483)

How easy it is to screw things up
I haven't noticed to tell you the truth.

But the layman is not and will not have our technical ability, however simple the task may be.
In my experience with average Joe users, they complain (doesn't matter what OS), but there hasn't been a occasion where I have seen one screw up their preinstalled linux install

Since Linux does not have technical support often in the same way Apple and Microsoft do, users are driven away for fear of an inoperable computer.
I have used Microsoft and Apple's support, normal consumer support and corporate support - Sorry, they utterly fail compared to the support I have gotten from Novell.

They would rather have a computer that works 50% of the time than 25% of the time.
I can easily say that a preinstalled linux setup tends to work the majority of the time like Windows (although it doesn't appear to get as bogged down over time).

As far as business use for Linux, obviously they have the resources to be able to have any problems fixed and prevented, but personal users can not do that.
Eh? Most companies do not like pouring resources at all into these things.

As far as games, Tux Racer does not cut it.
All my games under Steam run under Wine just fine (for some reason I get better FPS than natively under Windows with the same hardware).

Honestly, game development seems to be in a bit of a catch 22 in the same way that driver support is a problem.
I haven't noticed driver issues since restricted-manager came out for Ubuntu. They seem really well supported. Games like Unreal Tournament Original/2k3/2k4, Quake I/II/III, Doom I/II/II, Defcon etc. all run natively under Linux just fine too.

Although there is a lot less incentive to develop games natively for Linux these days when Wine can run the source engine games (Half life 2, Counter Strike Source, Portal, Team Fortress 2 - blah blah blah), World of Warcraft, Eve online and quite a lot of other games (and some how manage to give me at least better performance under Linux than I do running the games natively Windows with the same hardware - no 'hacks' or 'tricks' to get the games working either, just open the installer, install, play).

I am however, constantly seeing better development on Linux. More companies are interested and develop new products constantly for the operating system. Major OEMs are selling it like IBM, Lenovo, Dell, HP etc. The major graphic card companies are producing drivers for it ATi/AMD, nVidia, Intel. ATi/AMD are working on developing new opensource drivers with the community, Intel opensourced their drivers with the community.

Actually, the first large firm (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073787)

would have to be DEC. They started supporting right before they fell. But amongst CURRENT major one, they were the second. MS had already taking it serious and had a tiger team together. In fact, it is possible that the formation of a tiger team is part of what ultimately triggered IBM to chase it; The enemy of my enemy is my friend!.

Tagged psuedointellectualism (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073795)

How many articles are we going to have on the same topic? Just a bunch of nonsensical ramblings about "corporations" and "freedom" with about 0 substance. You don't like the direction Linux is taking in terms of "corporate influence", then fork it, end of story.

Re:Tagged psuedointellectualism (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073959)

They don't want to fork it. They want somebody else to fork it and give them the benefits with no effort on their part.

Next stop is the desktop (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073797)

It is already happening with Ubuntu, and it will help linux get drivers for all of the hardware that is out there.

the real next stop (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073963)

should be spacecraft OS development. Silly? Think again. How much money do you think is going to be in that field when commercial spacecraft take of? Enough for microsoft to buy up any startup with the slightest inkling of how to control an attitude jet, that's for sure.
Asteroid mining? Ok not yet, but think about all the minerals on earth we can actually get at, then forget the number because it barely counts as a fraction of what's floating around in the Solar system. Then there's all that near earth junk, old satellites, empty booster stages and lots more relativelly easy to reach stuff.

I'd feel a lot happier travelling in, or sending cargo on, a spacecraft that had an open OS at it core. That way we have a greater chance to avoid things like secretive burying of known problems that might effect a companies profits.

Eh... not so sure. (2, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074511)

It is already happening with Ubuntu, and it will help linux get drivers for all of the hardware that is out there.

I'm not so sure. I think the real next stop is actually handheld devices, be they cellphones or tablets. Not only that, but I'm willing to bet most people won't even know or care that these devices are running linux. The only people who have ever cared about what they run on their desktops is A) Geeks and/or B) Fanboys.

Linux and its apps can be better (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073819)

Where does Linux go from here? Well, distros can make Linux better. What about making total solutions possible. My gripe is with normal server tasks. When it comes to email serving for example, one has to deal with several pieces in order to have a "total solution." How about making total solutions a main-stream paradigm?

I am impressed by what folks at http://www.open-xchange.com/ [open-xchange.com] and http://www.tummy.com/ [tummy.com] have dome with group-ware products.

Re:Linux and its apps can be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074557)

Bingo.

Isn't it too early in the day (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073841)

For a flame war on Linux fanbois?
There are several 'hobbies' that I partake of, and inevitably, in all of them, as someone is introduced to the hobby, they have great enthusiasm for it, try to re-invent the wheel, or loudly proclaim how great something is, despite it's aging status technologically.

Linux is proving it's point. IBM and others ARE contributing (to Linux and many other projects... Thank you IBM) but I think that the real point is that F/OSS is becoming popular, not *just* Linux. Where proprietary systems have been the bedrock of business applications, F/OSS is making strong inroads. LAMP anyone?

The problem is that you can't talk about how good it is without comparing it to Windows or other such products. THAT is the problem... comparing it. When you go to the hardware store to buy a hammer, do you notice if the head is round or fluted? Do you compare the steel quality of new mower blades before deciding on which to buy? A tool is a tool. Seldom, IF EVER, will you find yourself thinking "Oh noooes, I can't dig a hole with this shovel, it was not made by Acme"

Interoperability is the key. The interface between hammer and nail is a pretty open standard. The interface between dirt and shovel is a pretty open (if dirty) interface. The PROBLEM is not whether F/OSS and Linux is good enough.. it IS. The problem is that interface to content. The one remaining major hurdle is MS document formats. Once that interfacing/interoperability problem is solved, Dell will be making money shipping Linux configured desktop systems. The problem is as much user perception as it is anything else.

For about ... ummm ZERO dollars I can setup up an application development station for Linux apps. Compare that to the MS equivelent? yikes. As soon as it makes no difference to users whether they use Linux or Windows... I bet the cost of the MSDN drops to something your mom can afford to buy you for christmas. Lets face it, Linux and F/OSS ARE the only thing creating competition to MS. Mac is nice, workable, and user friendly... but the price tag is a bit much for someone shopping for the Hyundai of home computers.

Re:Isn't it too early in the day (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074327)

For about ... ummm ZERO dollars I can setup up an application development station for Linux apps.

I don't know what goes into your "station", but for $0 you can make a .net application for Windows using any of the Express development tools.

OpenSolaris! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073869)

Where do we go from here?

To take things to the next logical level, OpenSolaris, of course!

(Did you expect "Linux"? Um, no.)

ugh (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073877)


With the success that Linux is currently enjoying Linux.com (also owned by SourceForce, Inc) asks the question, where do we go from here? With such a high level of success and greater corporate participation (on both the consumer and provider fronts) will the spirit of freedom and idealism remain true or will the ever-present corporate bottom line eventually take over?


Let's be honest here; the majority of people here (and I count myself among them) expected Linux to be a hell of a lot more successful than it has been. After 15 years of development it still commands a tiny market share, even in the server market.

Not that the questions raised by the article aren't valid at some level, but I wish we'd get rid of this whole unjustified "rah rah Linux is finally taking off!" attitude that's been around for about 12 of those years.

On a related note, neither 2007 nor 2008 will be the "year of the desktop" on Linux.

Re:ugh (2, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074047)

Linux is never really going to "take off". That's because the whole Linux/FOSS model is anathema to what it takes for a desktop OS to really take off. What Linux needs to "take off" is a single, easy-to-use viable distro for the public. Which is not going to happen, because Linux and FOSS are all about having lots of choices and having everyone customize it for themselves. Sorry, not going to work. Software developers don't want to worry about working around the differences (whether real or perceived) in umpteen dozen different distributions (and variations of those distributions), most of which have significantly less than .1% of total desktop market-share. Heck even Ubuntu (currently the distro that most nearly meets these requirements) has at least three variations.

Re:ugh (2, Insightful)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074155)

Let's be honest here; the majority of people here (and I count myself among them) expected Linux to be a hell of a lot more successful than it has been. After 15 years of development it still commands a tiny market share, even in the server market.
Here is the reason: Windows is free too.

Hopefully WGA will put a stop to this.

Fuck a nigg2a (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073909)

conglo8erate in the It has to be fun polite to bring

Blah blah, woof woof (1)

Whitemice (139408) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073937)

> Linux is surrounded by proprietary IT firms. Some of them view
> Linux as a profit maker, others as a threat to their profits.
> Both sides represent a challenge for Linux in holding to its
> ideals of freedom and openess.

Blah blah, woof woof. Maybe the best part of all this is that the fundamentalists will pull up camp and mover over to BSD leaving LINUX and related Open Source projects to do what software is meant to do - provide solutions. Because the solutions are what it is about, most of the "proprietary IT firms" get this. There isn't any loss in an Open Source solution because most users, certainly Enterprise users, don't give a *6*&^*@&$ about the source, why want a *solution*. IBM certainly gets it, I think most companies do.

So the fundamentalists can boot up their proprietary Macs, listen to music on their DRM encumbered iPods, and post about the terribly threats to the pure ideals of freedom and openness of BSD; and leave the useful people alone so they can write code.

From the article: "Linux and free software are here to stay."

Yep, because they provide solutions. They will remain free and open, in the useful sense, because it benefits everyone. There is no market for a MTA, there is a market for e-mail solutions, there is no market for file-servers, there is a market for corporate storage & data-retention solutions.

Q: Where Does Linux Go From Here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21073945)

Q: Where Does Linux Go From Here?
A: To the Oven ..lol

Sincerely yours,

ballsac

Who likes and who hates Linux? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073981)

That's as easy as following the money!

For those who get paid by making software as a product, they hate Linux. For those who get paid by installing or maintaining the software they probably like or even love Linux. You don't have to pay for Linux and you still get paid for doing the work for people.

So "product side" hates Linux. "Service side" likes Linux. I don't think it needs to be much more complicated than that... it is, though... all those "Microsoft Partners" out there making a living by supporting Microsoft stuff *ONLY* might have something to worry about since their skills and certs aren't all that applicable. But there was "IT" before Microsoft and there will be "IT" after Microsoft and there *WILL* be an "After Microsoft" period just as the unshakable "Novell" fell from its pedestal. (Unthinkable back when all business systems ran on Novell.)

To working.... (3, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074005)

I really, really, really want to support Linux. However, frankly, I just don't have the time to hassle with it. I have made 4 endeavors in the past. And currently have a 5th endeavor for my wife. If I were to give Linux a score grade it would "C-".

I know that's not what a lot of you want to hear. But it's the truth. I don't want to spend several days trying to get a 802.11g wifi card working. I don't want to have to use some install manager or try to figure out how to get some script to run from the terminal in order to install an application. I simply want to be able to click and launch it, and have it install. Sadly, driver & software installation hurdles plague Linux. (In fact, these were the same issues that plagued Linux when I tried it repeatedly in the late 90's early millenials.)

I will say, it's improved quite a bit. At least in video card support apparently. But the truth of the matter is, I'd take XP & OS X over Linux. And that's because I'm anti-Linux or don't support Linux. Far from it, I wouldn't have tried it for my wife's (non-critical use) machine. So please guys....focus on these issues. (And don't say "Linux isn't really for the masses." Because everyone else keeps trying to push it that way. And that is the slated goal of many.)

Best of luck all...

- The Saj

Re:To working.... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074097)

Agreed; Ubuntu 7.10 is working great for me, but I know another one who installed it on a laptop with a SATA DVD-ROM , and while the installer had absolutely no trouble reading from the disc and he have basically just toyed around with it a bit, now suddenly the device scd0 is in /etc/fstab, but can't be mounted anymore. I mean... As useless some may treat Windows, I haven't really heard of cases with DVD drives suddenly disappearing. Suggestions on the web were about disabling ACPI support, command-line editing, etc. But why do ACPI support need to be fiddled with in Linux (and no it didn't help anyway), but not in Windows? And so on... He said "what a typical weird Linux problem" when noticing what had happened, and I can't say I can blame him with a clear conscience.

Re:To working.... (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074257)

Btw, maybe I should also add on my conclusion part from these things happening every now and then... And having tried distros now and then from since about Red Hat 5.

When Linux works and e.g. OpenOfficer fulfill your needs, and you don't need any Windows-only software, it's awesome, like running a non-hardware dependent OS X that's free and with an incredible community. Using Linux don't even need to imply giving up on a great user interface anymore. I honestly think there's no match anymore either in Windows Vista or OS X. Vista is really too "heavy", and tries to do too much at once out of the box, and OS X has problems I can't really see any open source fan can enjoy. I think it's even worse than Windows in the proprietary sense. People would start foam if MS started tieing their own hardware with Windows copies and get retailers to sell that crap, but at Apple, that's routine. Obvious advantages with hardware compatibility, but obvious disadvantages from a personal philosophy in how you want to use your computer.

The problem with Linux is however than if things break, or don't run, it can be the most weird problems to someone used to Windows. Like it not working well on a 1 year old graphics card. Now I'm not talking about what people whine about with Vista and Geforce 8's, but that you don't even get a picture from the X server on the live CD, even in VGA mode, if you have such a card.

So Linux IS unfortunately still very much "hit & miss" to me, and that's the #1 thing I'd like to see improve. The examples I gave depends a lot on hardware manufacturer support, but I could just as well have given software examples. For example, in the very latest KDE version (of the 3.5 branch), Konqueror's column icon view didn't even work with keyboard navigation. It skipped icons and jumped around. It works well in Windows, and Nautilus. This is a very very basic feature to me.

Re:To working.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074569)

My DVD drive randomly disappears in Windows sometimes... :( It comes back after a while, but it's still a pain.

Re:To working.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074133)

You are consumer not Enterprise. Why dont you install Windows server 2003 enterprise on your wifes laptop? what that would be silly? then why are you using a server/workstation OS on your wifes laptop?

Enterprise is where linux shines and it shines well with competent IT behind it. Just like how solaris is incredibly stable and works great with competent IT behind it.

you are not a computer expert, therefore you need to use an OS that is not designed for Computer experts.

you are a user with limited skillsets and education. you need an OS that holds your hand.

Re:To working.... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074311)

"You are consumer not Enterprise. Why dont you install Windows server 2003 enterprise on your wifes laptop? what that would be silly?"

Actually, I know quite a few people who use Windows Server 2003 as their OS. Why don't I? Simply because I don't have the spare $$$ and no longer have corporate access to it.

Furthermore, if I did install Windows Server 2003 I'd not have many problems doing just the basic things. (ie: I am sure I could play sound, connect via wifi, etc)

"Enterprise is where linux shines and it shines well with competent IT behind it."
Second, I don't recall this article specifying "ONLY ENTERPRISE DISCUSSION". Fine, it shines in Enterprise. So is that any reason to not have desktop users? Oh, guess what, Novell shined in enterprise and failed to address these types of issues. And it pretty much killed Novell.

"you are not a computer expert, therefore you need to use an OS that is not designed for Computer experts"
Nope, just have a computer science degree. And have been working with computers since 1993. Thank you.

"you are a user with limited skillsets and education. you need an OS that holds your hand."
No, I am a person like many others who has a family and hobbies all while working 1-2 jobs. I don't want to spend all my free time having to fiddle with basic computer operations and add to my skill sets. In fact, I'd rather focus on those skill sets which I need to perform my tasks at work (ie: programming).

***

That said... you are "an anonymous coward" and a "blithering @$$hole" who can't even stand by your own words.

You are also the #1 thing holding Linux back. If Linux could just shut-up all the idiot jerks like you it would be a long way toward improving itself.

The one downside of open source is that one's "technology evangelists" can be your worse advertisements. Linux suffers from this greatly. Thankfully, I am mature and intelligent enough to know that stupid people like this guy only represent a small portion of Linux advocates.

So I still have hope...

Re:To working.... (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074153)

But the truth of the matter is, I'd take XP & OS X over Linux. And that's because I'm anti-Linux or don't support Linux.

I'd say this is a Freudian slip, but lets just chalk it up to typo.

Regardless, I'd like to see your proficiency on using Windows 95 or OSX 8. I'm sure everything was just so naturally intuitive when you walked into it, right? Unfortunately, most people have for so long worked with ONE type of interface, of COURSE it's intuitive. Sit a PC-only user in front of a mac and they say "Oh, this doesnt make sense to me!" or a Mac-only user in front of a PC and you get the same response. If instead of complaining about how utterly unintuitive an experience Linux was and took some effort to learn how that box in front of you worked, maybe it would start clicking.

Additionally, driver support in Linux is pretty much at an "It-Just-Works" state, its a lot better than the days of Win 95 and even 98 when i used to get driver problems ALL the time.

Linux is providing us with a FREE, OPEN, community-driven alternative to computing. If you want to support a small group of self-interested organizations ultimately only interested in power over usability, then go waste your money, I'm saving mine and having an AWESOME and FUN time doing it!

Go Gentoo (PS, a great way to get FORCED into learning about your Linux system!)

Re:To working.... (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074481)

> Go Gentoo (PS, a great way to get FORCED into learning about your Linux system!)

Watching compiler messages scroll by does not constitute learning how a system works.

Re:To working.... (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074559)

I completely agree

Re:To working.... (2, Interesting)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074553)

"I'd say this is a Freudian slip, but lets just chalk it up to typo."

ROTFLMAO, my bad...but dang that's funny. Yes, there should be a "not anti-linux..."

"Regardless, I'd like to see your proficiency on using Windows 95 or OSX 8. I'm sure everything was just so naturally intuitive when you walked into it, right?"
No, of course it wasn't. But it hasn't been since DOS/Windows 3x that I was constantly editing script files, and fussing to get just anything to work.

That said, I've only been using OS X for 5 months. And the time to transition to the new environment was quite short. That's not to say I don't have to haggle thru on some things. Or drop into terminal or run some scripts (ie: to view my hidden .svn files). But to just get up and running for the basics was very little problem.

"If instead of complaining about how utterly unintuitive an experience Linux was and took some effort to learn how that box in front of you worked, maybe it would start clicking."
Trust me, I spend several days trying to just get the wifi & sound working. Got sound 3/4 working and finally had to have a friend get wifi working. Fun fun fun...

If I had the time to waste I would. I simply don't...

"Additionally, driver support in Linux is pretty much at an "It-Just-Works" state, its a lot better than the days of Win 95 and even 98 when i used to get driver problems ALL the time."
I'd say it's in the "Windows 3x" days with regards on many driver aspects.

"Linux is providing us with a FREE, OPEN, community-driven alternative to computing. If you want to support a small group of self-interested organizations ultimately only interested in power over usability, then go waste your money, I'm saving mine and having an AWESOME and FUN time doing it!"

I guess part of the problem is I just don't have much time for FUN these days. I'd much rather go out shooting with my digital camera than sit for three nights working on a wifi driver installation.

Re:To working.... (1)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074169)

After the first time, you should have went out of your way to pick hardware that is known to work on Linux, rather than just buying whatever and getting Linux to work on it. That said, check out www.system76.com , www.dell.com/linux , and similar sites so it'll be pre-installed and already configured to work.

Ubuntu's installer is simple- you click a checkbox to pick what you want, then click "apply" and it'll install. You don't have to use "sudo apt-get install".

Re:To working.... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074573)

The whole thrust of the GPs argument stems from reading sites like /. and ZDNet announce "Finally! Linux is ready for the masses" and taking this comment at its face value.

Nobody double-checks that their hardware works with Windows. The very idea that it might not is completely alien. And when Windows users try Linux, having been told that "Finally! Linux is ready for the masses", they don't expect to have to check that their hardware will work.

Linux doesn't have this level of hardware support yet. Sure, basic things like networking, hard disks and that are fine - but times have changed in the last 10 years. For your average desktop user, "basic things" now includes WiFi, suspend/hibernate and that cheap nasty webcam they picked up in Walmart for $9.95.

If you love linux, set it free ... (1)

whichpaul (733708) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074049)

Linux means different things to different people. To some its an icon of a new age in computing, to others it's a free desktop OS and the rest its probably "that free thing that's supposed to be good". Linux distributions will probably never be THE desktop OS, neither will the server distributions take over the enterprise. But there is unquestionably a place for Linux wherever computing will go.

However, ever increasing abstraction is going to mean that Linux itself will be ever less visible as the layers of progress continue to be deposited above it. As this happens will Linux itself become the invaluable bedrock of new technology, or will it become silent and redundant? It will be crucial that Linux (and Open Source in general) set the trends and lead the way rather than merely playing catch-up with proprietary technologies.

My question: where do we want to go tomorrow?

IBM does not grok Linux (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074107)

The first large IT firm to really grok Linux was IBM.

IBM does not grok Linux. They do not share the ideals of the GPL faction of the FOSS movement. Linux is merely a low cost entry point into the IBM family. As a hardware and service vendor they don't mind not having to write all the software. Donations to Linux devs are like outsourcing, but even cheaper. IBM's commitment to Linux is like Apple's. It's useful for now, it'll be abandoned if and when it is convenient to do so. As Apple did when they briefly supported Linux while Mac OS X was being developed.

Re:IBM does not grok Linux (1)

whichpaul (733708) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074225)

All the more reason why Open Source developers need to be proactive and focused on creating new and useful technologies. Forget trying to copy Windows XP functionality, how about making a spam-proof e-mail system or a radical new way for people to interact over the Internet. Leadership in technology will cause Linux to boom, emulation will be a slow death.

Linux isn't done yet (4, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074143)

Okay, I'll get flamed and modded down to the depths of trolldom, but here goes....

I love Linux as a concept: An open-source, free as in beer, free as in speech, tweakable operating system offered and supported by multiple vendors. But Linux as a reality is an hodge-podge of incomplete applications spread across multiple subtly-incompatible distributions.

Moments ago, I read the following thread on the Rapidsvn mailing list. Rapidsvn is a very nice front-end for the Subversion version control system. I've compiled it, made changes to it - it's quite nice. I like it especially since it works on Linux, Mac, and PC -- all three are OSs I use to some degree. So the following is not a dig on this particular project. It is one example of something that happens a million times every day:

(P.S. I chopped the thread for brevity to make my point)

Hi, I have downloaded rapidsvn 0.94. I am trying to install on SLED 10sp1. I enter ./configure
at the command prompt. I get a lots of messages and finally:

checking for APR... not found
configure: error: APR is required. Try --with-apr-config.

I tried...[various things] but got the same error message. I installed all the available APR's for
listed listed as version 1.2.2-13.2

Any ideas how to install rapidsvn -- I really want a gui interface on
linux similar to tortoisesvn on windows.

[various responses about apr-config, apu-config, downloading pre-built binaries, etc. but no solution]
So we have a fairly simple GUI program, with no crazy dependencies. This application is not available in binary form for this distro, and since there are many major Linux distros and you never know what will happen if you install an RPM from another one. You can't compile it from source without a CS degree, and you need gigs of development libraries to do it.

This is the Linux I know, and it is why I have Linux on that other partition so I can boot it up now and then and see what the state of Linux is. But so far, it's always stuff like this. The challenge with Linux isn't learning the UI or thinking differently or anything. It's just getting stuff installed and getting it to work properly. I've never gotten a Linux distro up to the productivity of either my Mac or my Windows PC. I've maybe gotten 80% of the way, but with 500% of the effort. It's just not worth it.

Re:Linux isn't done yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074437)

Yeah, ur right. I also have many the same experiences before.

But maybe the solution is to *contribute* back to the project so others would not suffer the same problem?

It does not matter whether open source or not, real work still has to be done.

Re:Linux isn't done yet (1)

holviala (124278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074543)

How about "apt-get install rapidsvn"? The reason people fight getting Debian installed is that they only have to fight once, not every time they want something installed.

Re:Linux isn't done yet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21074625)

It sounds like you've made an honest effort to "get to know" Linux, and that it didn't work out for you. That's fair enough.

However, for every anecdote, there are is a counter-anecdote. For my part, my switch to Ubuntu was not painless. I had to spend time getting things working. But overall I find Linux to be more powerful and more productive. The amount of time I've saved over the last few years using Linux is far greater than the initial time required to learn the new system and to get it working on my hardware. (E.g. system admin is easier without anti-virus to worry about, software installation from repositories is faster, not having to "fight" the operating system is more efficient.) So, for me, it has been a net positive.

With regard to your mailing-list anecdote, it would be trivial to find a similar-sounding anecdote for a Windows program (or even a Windows core component). The fact is that when it comes to computers, there will always be things that need extra tweaking, or things that don't work properly. On Windows, the vast majority of binary downloads will "just work," but then again on Linux the vast majority of repository installs will also "just work."

I'm not really arguing against anything you've said. We can all agree that Linux has faults. An overly technical "culture" and sometimes cryptic software installation is certainly not a good thing. But more and more, Linux is becoming streamlined and accessible. For many of us, it is already more productive than alternative operating systems.

Where to Go? (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074201)

THE MOOOOOON!!!!!!111!!1!ONE!

Linux isn't surrounded; instead it surrounds (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074219)

Like other inflection point products, the concept of open source and a Unix-ish kernel caused quite a ruckus.

The attitude that Linux is surrounded by proprietary products is an inaccurate observation. Instead, consider that Linux development, along with other community application efforts, have changed the industry, probably for ever. If you believe in Stallman's version of free, and you look at the other free/freedom projects that have emerged, I'd say that freedom is surrounding other efforts, if not just quietly living beside them.

Standardization and unity (3, Interesting)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21074529)

Though I am a Mac user, I applaud the great work being done by the Linux guys. I want Linux to be a huge success and eventually replace Windows as the default platform in the world. Free and open software is a beautiful thing.

I haven't read TFA yet (I will), but what is missing in the Linux community is unity and standardization. It would be great if people could rally around a single distribution of a common software framework, so that there is consistency and compatibility between different distributions - or better yet - that a single major flavour of Linux that more or less replaces Windows.

I wonder, is that possible? A unified set of standards in the Linux world would give us reliable and secure computing, something that simply cannot be attained in the Windows world. Ease of use, stability, reliability, security and open source software, that's what needed to replace today's bloated and ridiculously insecure and unreliable Windows systems.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>