Linux and its identity crisis

Sekcia: Komunita 25.09.2007 | 08:58
Lotor   Návštevník
Linux and its identity crisis
September 21, 2007 7:33 AM PDT
Posted by Don Reisinger

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.

Those that have followed the path of Linus Torvalds are trumpeting his stance in saying that Linux is "the best" because it sticks to its core values and doesn't sacrifice usability to appeal to grandma. On the other hand, the mainstream group thinks Linux is in a unique position with Ubuntu to capitalize on the consumer market and make it a more viable alternative to Mac OS X and Windows for the average user.

And while I agree that some Linux distributions are ready for the "big time," they're typically not the best and they lose sight of what makes Linux great: security, advanced functionality and outstanding usability.

Linux shouldn't go mainstream -- it should embrace its roots and stay Linux.

When Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal reviewed Ubuntu on Dell machines, he explained that Linux is too troublesome for the average consumer and should be ignored if you're one of his readers: "mainstream, nontechie users of digital technology."

And with an unending supply of readers who live and die on Mossberg's every word, this was the kiss of death for Ubuntu on a Dell. But Mossberg was right -- Linux is typically not for the mainstream. And why should it be? If we want unstable systems, we can buy a Windows box and if we want a pretty design with far less functionality than a Linux machine, we can buy a Mac.

Why does the Linux community have an identity crisis? For years, Linux distributions have been giving the techie in all of us the ability to do exactly what we want. Try to do half of what you can do with a Linux box on a Windows or Mac machine and I guarantee you'll be begging for mercy.

From its inception, Linux was an alternative; another choice. When Linus Torvalds started what would become Linux, he never wanted it to go mainstream and be just another Windows or Mac box, he wanted Linux to be a bastion of expression for those in the tech community who couldn't get enough out of the current OSs on the market. In fact, it was this tact that put Linux on the map and made it grow to a point that we're having this discussion.

Sure, there are some people that try to discount Linux for not being user-friendly enough or incapable of offering the "ease of use" the Apple fanatics have come to love in their Mac OS X machines, but why is that an insult? You're right -- Mac OS X is easier to use and it "just works," but if I'm looking for an advanced experience or a more controllable environment, I'd boot up my Linux box any day.

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.

It's interesting to me that the liberal arm of the Linux community is trying to play it off like it's not trying to turn Linux mainstream to make money. Sure, some of them say it's to take Linux away from the enterprise and towards the consumer market, but let's be honest with ourselves -- it's about the money.

Historically speaking, Linux has never "been about the money," so why should it start now? Linux is Linux is Linux. Stop trying to make it go mainstream and let it maintain its stance as the best advanced operating system in the industry. If you want to go mainstream, run down to Best Buy -- you'll find everything you need.

    • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 10:08
      Avatar Samuel BWPOW Kupka CentOS, Mandriva  Používateľ
      I couldn't agree more. I myself see that "capitalist" movement inside the GNU/Linux group and I am really disappointed with it. When you look at community portals all around the globe, you see those voices saying GNU/Linux is too complicated and that's why my grandma/dog/retarded friend won't use it. Well, I say, let them use windows or mac. It's their (bad) choice. I even disagree with all those localization fascist that want to translate every piece of software out there. I really hate localized software because it just takes out the basic principle of open source and it's unity. Well, it seems I am really a conservative :)
      Strach dát najevo své pocity a zjednat si u druhých respekt je jedním z problémů civilizovaného člověka, který se naučil zpochybňovat svou vlastní pravdu pro zdání objektivity
    • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 10:14
      Avatar Igor Hlina Mac OS ML  Používateľ
      Mne teda vobec nevadi ak bude Linux v mainstream-e, ci ho budu vyuzivat BFU, ci sa zacnu nan pisat virusy a pod. Aspon sa jeho kod este skvalitni. A to, ze Mac OS X just works, mno uz aj take distra predsa existuju, napr. Linux Mint (a kopec dalsich).
      while (2*2 == 5) { echo "If you're reading this, something is definitely wrong"; }
    • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 10:22
      Avatar georw Ubuntu 12.04  Používateľ
      dalsia "flame war" chujovina (tentokrat asi od nejakeho komunistu), linux je strasne flexibilny system, je milion (no, mozno menej) distribucii a moze sa uplatnit kdekolvek, byt akykolvek; podmienka je len jedna, aby bol free (open source) v ramci GPL licencie; takze chodte uz s tymito blbinami do ...
    • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 10:31
      Avatar chatpall   Používateľ
      Co? Republikani, liberali, mainstream, peniaze? :) Linux bude dovtedy Linuxom,kym bude na svete posledny pouzivatel Linuxu, ktory si vie sam spompilovat jadro, programi a pouzit pri praci so systemom mozog a nejake technicke vedomosti.
      POPROSIM ZRUSIT TENTO UCET!!!
    • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 10:31
      Avatar Misko Kripel slackware  Používateľ
      - "Ubuntu to capitalize" - cital vobec tento chlapik prvu veto ktora je na kazdom cd ubuntu?

      - a co my, v biznis sfere, MACa nema z nasich zakaznikov nikto, no a ked chceme stabilne, vykonne, deterministicke, virus-free riesenie tak co, nesmieme pouzit linux len aby nebol mainstream a mame pouzit windows?. Imho to nema v hlave v poriadku. Linux moze byt pouzity v lubovolnej aplikacii, aj v komercnej.
      asdf
      • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 10:44
        Avatar Misko Kripel slackware  Používateľ
        Nehovoriac o tom ze tiez potrebujem makat a nie riesit nejake problemy. Proste chcem 2x kliknut a nainstalovat soft ktory potrebujem.
        asdf
    • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 16:43
      Avatar Samuel BWPOW Kupka CentOS, Mandriva  Používateľ
      Na cely problem sa treba pozerat pragmaticky. Cize preco pouzivam linux? Tu su zoradene hlavne dovody podla dolezitosti:
      1. Je stabilny a clovek sa musi snazit, aby ho zhodil
      2. Je bezpecny a prakticky na aktualizovany system neexistuju automatizovane utoky
      3. Je velmi dobre prisposobitelny skoro vo vsetkych smeroch - su pristupne zdrojove kody
      4. Je velmi efektivny pri vyuzivani hardverovych zdrojov
      5. Ma dobru dokumentaciu a uzivatelsku zakladnu
      6. Je zdarma
      7. Softver sa v nom velmi jednoducho instaluje a udrzuje aktualny
      8. Obsahuje graficke prostredie
      Pre mna su teda dolezite tieto kriteria. Ak nie je splnene akekolvek vrchne kriterium, tie spodne stracaju uplne vyznam. A teraz sa treba opytat, ci dnesne snahy istej casti komunity nemozu nejako ohrozit dolezitejsie kriteria kvoli splneniu niektorych menej dolezitych. Odstrasujucim prikladom su binarne ovladace, ktore mozu vazne narusit 1. a 2. bod. Ale taktiez ine snahy, ktore maju za ciel prisposobit jadro tak, aby bezalo lepsie graficke prostredie su podla mna viac skodlive ako prospesne. Ved GNU/Linux si clovek nevybera kvoli grafickemu prostredu a gycovym efektom v compize, a ak ano, tak s nim nie je nieco v poriadku. Treba zachovat na GNU/Linuxe to, cim je vynimocny a co komercni konkurenti nikdy nedosiahnu - skoro dokonalu stabilitu.

      A co si o GNU/Linuxe myslia ostatni? To je mi sumafuk. A ci ho pouzivaju alebo sa mi smeju? MF. Ako som uz pisal, kazdy nech si pouziva co chce a mna to totalne netankuje. Ja si vdaka GNU/Linuxu zarobim viac ako dobre a to je pre mna to hlavne. A prave preto budem bojovat proti tym, ktori by mohli moje "podnikanie" ohrozit a podporovat tych, ktori mi ho umoznuju.

      Autor prispevku prevadzkuje viac ako tucet serverov s uptimom cez jeden rok a loadom permanentne nad 2.
      Strach dát najevo své pocity a zjednat si u druhých respekt je jedním z problémů civilizovaného člověka, který se naučil zpochybňovat svou vlastní pravdu pro zdání objektivity
      • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 16:56
        Avatar uid0 Debian  Používateľ
        to su dvojjadrove/dvojprocesorove systemy? lebo ak nie, tak je to silne poddimenzovane
        Debian. apt-get into it…
        • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 17:01
          Avatar Samuel BWPOW Kupka CentOS, Mandriva  Používateľ
          Vacsina, ale nie vsetky. Mam jeden s loadom okolo 7, zbieram na nom logy a tie potom 7zipujem. Zislo by sa ho vymenit, ale vies ako to je so zasahovanim do fungujucich systemov :)
          Strach dát najevo své pocity a zjednat si u druhých respekt je jedním z problémů civilizovaného člověka, který se naučil zpochybňovat svou vlastní pravdu pro zdání objektivity
      • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 18:07
        Avatar georw Ubuntu 12.04  Používateľ
        binarne ovladace si instalovat nemusis; ako som uz hore pisal jedine podstatna vec je, ze linux ostane slobodny (open source);
        .
        Ale taktiez ine snahy, ktore maju za ciel prisposobit jadro tak, aby bezalo lepsie graficke prostredie su podla mna viac skodlive ako prospesne.
        mozes toto nejako rozviest, ako by to mohlo skodit? jadro si mozes v konecnom dosledku skompilovat sam a vyhodit nepotrebne veci;
        .
        Je velmi efektivny pri vyuzivani hardverovych zdrojov
        s tymto nesuhlasim, ale nevadi ;)
        • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 18:18
          Avatar Samuel BWPOW Kupka CentOS, Mandriva  Používateľ
          Ja viem, ze si ich instalovat nemusim. Ale ide o to, ako hlboko do jadra bude musiet byt podpora binarnych ovladacov zavedena a ci to nebude negativne ovplyvnovat cinnost ich podsystemov. Okrem toho potom mozu mnohi vyrobcovia zacat uvolnovat iba binarne ovladace a situacia sa moze oproti dnesku este zhorsit. Cielom by otvorenie vsetkych ovladacov. Pritom na server, ktory ma byt nasadeny na dolezite ulohy nemozu binarne ovladace samozrejme ist. To priamo suvisi aj s podporou grafickeho vykonu. Ak to bude len modul, tak s tym problem nie je. Ale cely system bude zasahovat do mnohych podsystemov a jeho vypnutie bude natolko narocne, ze bude jednoduchsie prejst na iny system (niektory z BSD). To by samozrejme nebola pre GNU/Linux ziadna strata, ale bola by to strata (casu) pre mna, takze ako pragmatik som proti tomu.

          A ta efektivita? Skus rozbehat windows na routri Linksys WRT54GL za 1700Sk.
          Strach dát najevo své pocity a zjednat si u druhých respekt je jedním z problémů civilizovaného člověka, který se naučil zpochybňovat svou vlastní pravdu pro zdání objektivity
          • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 18:28
            Avatar uid0 Debian  Používateľ
            fiha, polacnel. kde si tak dobre kupil?
            Debian. apt-get into it…
            • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 18:31
              Avatar Samuel BWPOW Kupka CentOS, Mandriva  Používateľ
              BGS Levi - 1 752,00 Sk bez DPH
              Strach dát najevo své pocity a zjednat si u druhých respekt je jedním z problémů civilizovaného člověka, který se naučil zpochybňovat svou vlastní pravdu pro zdání objektivity
              • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 19:05
                jaaa   Návštevník
                kokot,mohol to aspon po slovensky napisat ked chce nieco flamovat
                • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 19:30
                  Avatar Samuel BWPOW Kupka CentOS, Mandriva  Používateľ
                  Cakal som, ze flame bude v jazyku povodneho prispevku :)
                  Strach dát najevo své pocity a zjednat si u druhých respekt je jedním z problémů civilizovaného člověka, který se naučil zpochybňovat svou vlastní pravdu pro zdání objektivity
                • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 26.09.2007 | 09:14
                  Lotor   Návštevník
                  Uc sa jazyky, v zivote sa ti to len zide :-). Myslel som ze dnes uz vie po anglicky kazdy blbec takze som to neprekladal, ale zjavne som sa mylil.

                  Myslim ze je to zaujimavy nazor a ti co vedia po anglicky vedia ze jeho uverejnenim som asi nechcel rozputat dalsi FW. Nic stvave ten clanok neobsahuje.
              • Re: Linux and its identity crisis 25.09.2007 | 20:08
                Avatar uid0 Debian  Používateľ
                tak zase nic
                Debian. apt-get into it…