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Interview With Linus 305

Posted by Hemos
from the talking-with-the-man dept.
Hairy1 writes " Cisco has an interview with Linus which discusses among other things his thoughts - or rather lack of thoughts - about Windows. When asked about Microsoft he said - "Well, I don't know. I'm actually not a big Microsoft basher... They're very good at marketing. They're very good at trying to see What do we have to do to sell this? The bad part about it is that it does have a huge market share. And that means that it can be lazy, sort of. They don't have much competition on the desktop, which means that they have very little incentive to really fix some of the problems it does have.""
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Interview With Linus

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  • Ironic isn't it? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by WildBeast (189336)
    Linus Torvalds, the same guy who makes the Linux kernel, works at Transmeta and his salary is paid thanks to MS's fortune.
  • Props to Linus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GraZZ (9716) <jack AT jackmaninov DOT ca> on Sunday November 04, 2001 @05:51PM (#2519988) Homepage Journal
    Good call by Linus. In the post XP world today, it really is a good thing to be able to sit down at the end of the day and not really care about Microsoft as a corporate entity.

    As long as there are people that can still do this (and who also possess L33T HAX0R SK1LZ) there will never be a true monopoly in the operating systems market.

    -ERTW (EngScis Rule The World)
  • No doubt! (Score:5, Funny)

    by PopeAlien (164869) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @05:52PM (#2519999) Homepage Journal

    ... They're very good at marketing.


    I just realized how true this is - My girlfriends mother was visiting this weekend, she has no computer, and indeed has never actually used a computer. She was wondering if Mandrake was Windows XP since she HAD heard of that..

  • Here's a mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by Krazy_Yak (315625)
    http://www.krazyyak.com/mirrors/tree.taf.html

    Have at it.
  • Great!
    Yet another interview with the Geek that
    doesn't care to give his opinion on important issues.

    People look up to you Torvalds! You should take a stand - NOW!
    • Relevant quote from the article:

      I was the technology guy who had no clue about business.

      He admits that he does not know enough to have a good opinion, so he keeps it to himself. *Sniff* ... smells like "maturity" to me ...

      I would also like to know Linus's true opinion on the matter, but his voice carries a lot more force than an unknown's voice (like mine!), would. That means that he has a responsibility to be more careful in what he says than I have to be.

      • Try this google search: Torvalds + I don't care [google.com]
      • Or it could be the way of Aikido.

        In Aikido, you don't try to destroy your opponent by bashing hell out of him.

        You destroy him by aligning with him, turning so that you face the same direction, allowing him throw himself using his own momentum. All you do is facilitate his action. He does all the work.

        it's rather like bullfighting, I suppose. Only a fool would take the bull head-on. Rather, what's done is to let the bull pass by.

        Of course, the matador then goes and sticks the bull full of spears. Linus, I think, is more subtle: he's slowly moving toward the wall. One of these times, the bull is going to run into that wall.

        Which makes for an oddly appropriate metaphor, given that I'm really refering to Windows. Can't have a Window without a wall...

        (And I suppose I could, if I worked at it, get in some bull-in-china-shop and stones-glass-houses stuff...)
    • Actually, it really depends how you look at it.

      His indifference to Microsoft and Windows is inspiring to me. If only all Linux supporters were so confident in Linux that they didn't bother to attack Windows. . .
    • He has opinions. He just prefaces them all with "I don't care about that, BUT..." then goes on to give them.
    • Yeah. Right on brother. None of this focussing on programming junk, it distracts from being publically grumpy

      Of course , that he refrains from MS-Bashing *could* mean that he couldn't give a flying fuck. It could also mean that he doesn't believe it.

      And anyway, *WHO CARES*! What should be important to you is *YOUR* opinion.

      Of course even more important is my opinion! ;P
  • Microsoft are lazy? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by szcx (81006)
    Then I hate to imagine what Linus thinks of those folks whose idea of innovation is cloning Microsoft products for the Linux.
    • by mz001b (122709)
      Then I hate to imagine what Linus thinks of those folks whose idea of innovation is cloning Microsoft products for the Linux.

      cloning the windows interface for linux still involves a lot of work, and I would not call the people who are trying to do this lazy. Microsoft is already at that point, and all they need to do it make a few tweaks and add drivers every year or so, so they can release a new version and continue generating income.

      Not that I am in favor of the Windowsization of Linux interfaces, but I don't think that it is lazy. All of that coding is hard work, but also rewarding to those who do it.

      • Nobody is accusing those people of laziness. Stupidity is another matter entirely. ;)

        But seriously... he's only talking about innovation. Sure, it may take lots of hard work to clone the Windows Explorer file manager again... but that doesn't make it innovative.
        • by mz001b (122709)
          Nobody is accusing those people of laziness. Stupidity is another matter entirely. ;)

          The lazy part came from the original message head. I agree with you about the difference between hard work and innovation.

    • People expect Linux to work like Microsoft. They expect the same windows/mouse/pointer user interface. There's plenty of innovation, but people don't want it. For example, we in the open source world have Pie Menus [piemenus.com]. They are measureably better (faster and more reliable) than Microsoft's linear menus. If you give people a choice between pie menus and linear menus, which do you think they'll choose?

      They'll choose the one that requires the least retraining on their part. THAT is why Microsoft products get cloned.
      -russ
      • Pie menus are not undeniably better than linear ones. They 1) are less dense and 2) are slower to scan. Once you know where you are going they are faster, but lists are quite easy for people to poke through. The retraining you cite isn't nearly as critical as these.

        I'm not saying they aren't better, just that they aren't undeniably so, as you seem to imply.

        -Erik
  • by moniker_21 (414164) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:01PM (#2520042)
    I'm really glad to see that Linus didn't have too many ill words for MS. I think we could probably all stand to learn from his restraint. I think the whole Linux community would benefit very much if we gave up this Linux vs. the world attitude, no matter how romantic it may be, and just focus on our own community and what we can do to make Linux better. Reading throughout that interview I really got a feeling that Linus truly does appreciate the true hacker spirit in that he does his work "Just for Fun", like it used to be back in the 60's when the MIT boys would hack up the PDP-10 late at night.

    • yeah, I think Linus has the right attitude. I think there is a point where you can become so anti microsoft that all you do is criticize what they do, and lose focus on the things in front of you. REAL innovations come from concentrating on the task at hand, not watching what the other guy is doing. Although MS has gained an empire by building on other people's stuff, I don't think that could work well with Linux just because of the difference in philosophies.
    • ... yeah _this_ time (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kraft (253059) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:16PM (#2520112) Homepage
      In this case you are right, but earlier he has been slightly more bitchy. Like this one [siliconvalley.com], where Linus respons to Mundie [slashdot.org] which cracked me up:

      "I'd rather listen to Newton than to Mundie. He may have been dead for almost three hundred years, but despite that he stinks up the room less."

      Although it was a funny quote, IMO Linus went too far with it. I'm sure all the Linux geeks giggled, but it's just not very professional, and if we want Linux to have a clean image (I do), than we gotta have a clean fight - not a cat fight.
        • if we want Linux to have a clean image (I do), than we gotta have a clean fight - not a cat fight.

        You're absolutely right. However, we have picked the wrong opponent for a clean fight.
      • ...but it's just not very professional, and if we want Linux to have a clean image (I do), than we gotta have a clean fight - not a cat fight.

        That's where you're wrong. Most people -- real people -- can't stand the sneaky, sterile, euphemized corporate-speak; it comes off like a press release devoid of all emotion.

        IMO, Linus has struck the right balance between zealot and Spock. :)

        (Oh, and a quick aside on the subject of euphemisms: DON'T let them "renice" the word "recession" into "economic downturn"! -- Sick'em Carlin!)

    • that's a very very good point. it shows how the Linux community is able to take MS head on while MS has to resort to bashing open source by calling us cancerous viral speading insecure thingys.
    • Hint: part os the world *are* against linux, from microsoft who wants to squash it by using their monopolistic strangelhold to the MPAA/RIAA (whichever or both, I don't remember) with their SSSCA which would make linux illegal. There are people who very much want to get rid of linux, and it would be in the best interests thereof if they were not allowed to succeed.

      Kind of like Bin Laden and the US.

      Wake up. Linux has (prettymuch declared) enemies. What you're advocating is the stance that the US took before world war II, and before the september 11th attacks.

      Life doesn't work that way. You can't just retreat into your shell and ignore the world - if you do, someone in the world will come along and eat you (metaphorically speaking, of course). Those who don't adapt, die.

      Essentially, closing your eyes doesn't mean other people can't see you, no matter how much you wish that it did.
  • But Charlie Rose is a NPR / PBS journalist (among other things). Even though it is on the cisco site, has anyone seen the interview in audio format (or even video?)
    • Re:I could be wrong (Score:3, Informative)

      by perlwhiz (451770)

      According to this [800-all-news.com], this interview appears to be from last May 18th.

      I suppose it could be a different one, but it's a Charlie Rose interview that discusses the same topics.

  • by powerlinekid (442532) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:05PM (#2520064)
    I thought this was going to be a different interview... :-(. Something where they don't ask Linus a bunch of questions that he A)doesn't really care about and B)doesn't really know. In fact after I was done reading it, I could of swore I saw the same interview on pbs over the summer, roughly june or so. Typical linus interview:

    :You own linux?

    :No

    :Could you if you want to?

    :No

    :What about microsoft, how much do you really really hate them?

    :Huh...??? I couldn't care less

    :Are you sure you don't want bill gates head on a stick?

    :Ok, this is stupid... don't you want to ask me about the decision about andre vs rick's VM system... or potential changes for 2.5?

    :No. So about Microsoft and money...

    So when are people going to get it through their minds that he doesn't care... i've never met the man, never spoken to him... but from all the interviews i've heard and read thats the conclusion that i've come to. Linux cares about tinkering... creating... and programming. Basically the technology. He doesn't care about business... *sigh*. I would love to hear an interview on technology with him... that would be incredible. I remember in that pbs show, the interviewer actually asked him how he got started programming... and you could see him get excited and start talking about an old video game he wrote way back in the day. Aww... I wouldn't have him any other way.

    ps - I think the interviewers need to read up on some of linus's quotes, my personal fav being

    "I'm a bastard and proud of it"... closely followed by:

    "If you didn't read my last post, go back and do it and make sure to read the line about me being a bastard twice".
  • Damn reporters... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by marijnm (454978)
    Why do they ALWAYS want to know what Linus thinks about MS? If I were him, I'd get really fed up with
    reporters.

    Just let them monitor the kernel list for a while, then you get a much better idea of Linu[sx]. I really liked the decision to just swap VM systems in the middle of 2.4 ;)

    Marijn
  • by Nailer (69468) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:10PM (#2520078)
    Whenever I've met someone of major technical merit in the Linux comunity (AC, Raph Levine, George and Marceij from Eazel, Taj from KDE) they've always been clear headed and non religious about their choice of OS. They don't really like Windows, but they're not `against it' per se and they don't have a problem with Windows users - they just prefer Linux for their own use. Gearing reaports that Linus and Ted Tso have similar attitutes doesn't surprise me.

    Unfortunately its the few who do turn a technical argument into a religious one that give the rest of us a bad name and get the attention from the media. I still believe the majority of Linux users choose it because its the best tool for the job, not because Windows is evil and wrong and completely technically inferior (becuase it isn't).

    However, that doesn't make much of a story for the media, and doesn't give the trolls something to talk about. Hence the nasty reputation of the ranting Linux zealot. This sucks.
    • Whenever I've met someone of major technical merit in the Linux comunity (AC, Raph Levine, George and Marceij from Eazel, Taj from KDE) they've always been clear headed and non religious about their choice of OS. They don't really like Windows, but they're not `against it' per se and they don't have a problem with Windows users - they just prefer Linux for their own use.

      One word: politics. Do you really believe that the major players in the Linux / free software community don't have complete overthrow of the proprietary software "regime" in the back of their minds when they say such things? It's only a matter of time. Cut the crap with that 'best tool for the job' business. And yes, greed is evil and wrong.
      • Do you really believe that the major players in the Linux / free software community don't have complete overthrow of the proprietary software "regime" in the back of their minds when they say such things?

        To some extent - the technical ones would like for Linux to replace Windows in every situation, but they don't hate Windows or Windows users on some personal level or see that Linux can replace Windows in every way (hating Microsoft, OTOH ,seems fair enough given their busines practices). Ted Tso does brilliant work on making the Linux kernel better but has stated before that his wife will continue to use Quicken for her accounting because its, well, better than the alternatives. Linux, from this interview, doesn't hate MS, the GNOME and KDE people can recognize good ideas from other OSs an integrate them into their respective desktops (and hopefully reject the bad ones).

        A follow up poster put it simply: the difference between the silent technical types working away making Linux am even more viable alternative and the ranting `Windows is inferior in every way and must die now' folk is maturity. I'm inclined to agree.
      • by truesaer (135079) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @09:19PM (#2520759) Homepage
        You sound like the only point of Linux is to get rid of Microsoft. I think you've just proved his point. There are two schools of thought on Linux. Either its "I want to develop Linux into a really cool and useful operating system," or "I want to use Linux to destroy Microsoft."


        Personally, I really hope that Linus and the others really are just in category A. Because I think that when people are focused on improving linux and not destroying microsoft the development of the OS will be much better.

    • How is the job at McDonald's going? :)

      The lead programmers probably don't care.

      But the personality leaders(ESR, RMS, etc) certainly care and push the trolling to the edge of reason.
    • by wytcld (179112) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @07:08PM (#2520303) Homepage
      "Unfortunately its the few who do turn a technical argument into a religious one that give the rest of us a bad name...."

      Curious parallel, at a time when we're entering a major war that's essentially a religious argument. There is no OS but Windows and Gates is its prophet. There is no freedom but American and Bush is its prophet. There is no god but Allah and bin Laden is his prophet.

      Maybe, on a certain level, these all are religious wars. We are somehow in cultures that want one answer to be a total answer: one god, one OS, one brand of freedom, one superpower. Okay, we don't all want that. Some of us are happier in a world with many gods, many OSes, many freedoms, diverse powers. But that's why bin Laden, Gates, Falwell see us as decadent and evil.

      So if there's a deeper psycho-social vortex that sucks so many members of our cultures in mono-moniacle delusions, whether of the defeated fascist kind, the waning communist kind, or the ascendant worship at the temples of Microsoft and Disney ... well, don't we have to somehow ease the effects of that deeper vortex if we're to get on with our personal choices of OSs and goddesses and musics and causes to die for, and not be sucked into the looming battles of the competing vortexes, each of which believes not just in its immortality, but that, "There can be only one!"

      • Re:ligious argument (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Josuah (26407)
        You forgot one: There is no OS but Mac OS and Steve Jobs is its prophet.

        Oh, wait. Mac OS zealots are constantly being 1) made fun of by everyone else, 2) told they are complete idiots, 3) reminded of that 95% operating system.

        The truth is, passion for something one believes in is a good thing, regardless of what that something is. But fanatical devotion is when things can get bad.

        I think Mac OS fanatics are a good example of how a fanatic should act. You tell others of why you think something is better, and argue to prove it. You don't kill people who you disagree with (as anti-abortionist fanatics do), punish teammates who "sympathize" with the "enemy" (as those RedHat fanatics did, and as government, and therefore society, does), or force your beliefs upon others (as every nation in power has done throughout history).

        If only people were content to tell other people why they think something is great or better, and leave it at that.

        "I think Mac OS is the best OS, and using it is its prophet," said the Mac OS, Windows, DOS, Solaris, Linux, and FreeBSD user.
      • Wow, that really is insighful. We Americans seem to be mono-moniaclically delusional about everything:

        - There is no car but Ford, and Henry is its prophet.

        - There is no kitchen tool but the food processor and Quisonart is its prophet.

        - There is no underwear but tightey-whiteys and Hanes is its prophet.

        Gee, hold on why I sell my car, throw out my kitchen utensils and buy all new underwear. I never knew these were religious issues.

        -Erik
    • by dhogaza (64507) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @07:13PM (#2520329) Homepage
      What's the point in hating (in a personal, emotional, sense) a computer program?

      Antipathy towards MicroSoft-the-company's a different thing, though, as individuals run it and individuals are responsible for the fact that it seems to have no respect for the laws of the United States. Which happens to be my country. As a citizen of this country, it is perfectly reasonable for me to loath the company and its leadership for its business practices.

      But hate Windows, per se? Like most folks, I need to use it from time to time, and other Microsoft products. Some of them work well enough, none of them are worth hating.

      In a world where MicroSoft acted as a responsible corporate citizen I would have no problem with them. My feelings about their software would be unchanged - hey, Win2K's a lot more stable than NT, cool! - but my feelings about their company would be a *lot* different.

      We in the Linux community - and in the world at large - have every reason in the world to dislike MicroSoft-the-company.

      What is there to like about a corporation that falsified evidence in court? That ignores consent decrees? Whose very success is due to their having violated a contract with two programmers in Seattle (who'd written what became the basis for DOS)?
      • by pjrc (134994) <paul@pjrc.com> on Monday November 05, 2001 @06:57AM (#2521760) Homepage Journal
        ... perfectly reasonable for me to loath the company and its leadership for its business practices.

        But hate Windows, per se? Like most folks, I need to use it from time to time, and other Microsoft products. Some of them work well enough, none of them are worth hating.

        Karl Fogel, author of The CVS Book [red-bean.com], points out that open-source software is designed differently than closed source software. He makes many rather insightful observations in the odd numbered chapters (in the printed book) about how open-source software is different. I spent a few minutes searching for a couple great quotes... but saddly his text is heavily designed towards a tutorial and not a reference.

        One of the really important differences is that open-source software is designed to expose to the user a good conceptual model of how it works and what it's really doing internally. Perhaps this is because the author of the code also designs the user interface, but it's often times done this way so that users can understand the inner workings of the program, at least in a conceptual way, and perhaps become involved in the coding. (Karl's CVS book is well worth the money for the chapters that aren't downloadable if you're interested in the reasons for these sort of design issues)

        Now some might argue that users are better off on a "need to know" basis, and the point of software is to bundle up all algorithms so the user doesn't need to worry about them. People who feel this way probably like closed source software quite a bit and it seems likely they would be uncomfortable using many open source programs.

        Personally, I quite like having a deeper understanding of what software is really doing. Sometimes I don't bother to read the finer details, but it's nice to know that they are there and available should I want to know. It's empowering to have that sort of information readily available (as well as the source code itself) should I have questions or run into complex problems. It is more work than calling some tech support number, but investing the time to read about and learn what is really going on almost always leads to better solutions that some lame tech support help desk could provide, and (at least for me) I end up with a better long-term knowledge base.

        After many years, particularly in the modern age of thriving open/free software, it's easy to get very used to this sort of openness, where the source is provided, and the design of the program and its documentation is such that you can really learn and understand what it's really doing. It's easy to get used to having command line switches or config files where you can really control things, and documentation that explains not just the "what", but also the "how" and "why" behind the configurable parameters.

        It really does become easy to hate closed software, where the innards are some proprietary secret. It becomes easy to truely hate the overall design of "no servicable parts inside", where you get only a few simple dialog boxes to choose only a couple basic parameters, and even the "advanced" dialogs don't really provide access to really control much. It's easy to hate documentation which is a giant inventory of the radio buttions and check boxes, with simple brain-dead descriptions of each that would have been obvious, without any information about how the software really works.

        That is the reason I hate Microsoft Windows "per se". Actually, Windows itself isn't so bad... you can actually learn quite a bit about how it works internally (I have a couple good books on the topic), and there are lots of good 3rd party tools that can give access to much of the internal workings. Still, it is the overall closed design that I personally hate about much of the world's closed source software.

  • You can always tell a Charlie Rose interview. He does all of the talking. Another great job, Charlie. Next time, ask some questions.
    • I did a word count after separating their two threads of dialog into different files and removing the leading names from their lines.

      Final counts:

      Torvalds - 1669
      Rose - 456

      Never let facts get in the way of looking stupid though...

      LEXX
  • by Jonathan (5011) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:14PM (#2520100) Homepage
    In the interview there is a comparison between Gates and Torvalds where Torvalds is compared to Edison and Gates to Rockefeller. I'm not sure that either is very much like Torvalds. Edison was quite into marketing his ideas and wasn't beneath slandering his competitors (such as Tesla). Torvalds isn't at all like that. I'd say Torvalds is more like Bill Thompson (a.k.a Lord Kelvin after the Brits honored him). Thompson contributed a lot to the public knowledge of physics but at the same time supported himself through engineering contracts, much like Torvalds works on Linux for the public but supports himself by working at Transmeta.
    • by sheldon (2322) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:53PM (#2520260)
      http://www.theelectricchair.com/history.htm

      "Edison's strategy was to convince everyone that Westinghouse's AC current was unsafe. He hired scientists to travel around and give public demonstrations of this by electrocuting cats, dogs, and horses with AC current. His ultimate victory came with New York State's switch from hanging to the electric chair, which was, of course, powered by a Westinghouse AC generator."

      Edison wasn't really that great of a scientist, he was just exceptionally good at marketing his ideas and himself.

      Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan, Edison... all great men, but ruthless as hell. Gates certainly follows in all of their footsteps.
    • Torvalds is compared to Edison and Gates to Rockefeller. I'm not sure that either is very much like Torvalds. Edison was quite into marketing his ideas and wasn't beneath slandering his competitors (such as Tesla).

      I'm sure that if Linux slandered Telsa, then Alan would have something to say about it <grin>.

      HH
  • Sad, yet true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spreerpg (530354) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:22PM (#2520138)
    This is something that we seem to forget. Windows and MS are not all that evil. Just a monopoly. And this leads to a lack of effort in attempting to improve their product, no competition you see.

    If we want to see MS lose their massive market share there needs to be a product capable of competing with Windows. As much as I love Linux, this is not the OS. Linux is a server OS, whereas Windows is a desktop OS. So to compete with Windows, there must be an open source desktop OS. Sadly there is only one other desktop OS right now, and thats macOS. Unfortunatly I have yet to see such project even discussed, let alone acted on.
    • That's not really correct.. OS wise theres actually not that much diffrent between a Server and desktop.

      Most of the diffrences are in the packaging and UI.

      Why reinvent the wheel?

      It would however be interesting to see somone make a desktop out of something other than X.

      X is not linux.
      • Re:Sad, yet true (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Andrewkov (140579) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @07:30PM (#2520393)
        X isn't the problem in bringing Linux to the main stream. I'm using KDE, it's very close to being as good as Windows 2000 GUI, and better in some respects. The problem with Linux is the administration required.. A non-techie will never figure out the mess that is /etc. Until there are applets and/or wizards for every single file in /etc, Linux will not be ready for prime time.

        What we need to do is start a project which will create these applets, with a consistant look and feel, which will appear in a control panel when an app is installed.

        • Re:Sad, yet true (Score:4, Interesting)

          by martinflack (107386) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @08:26PM (#2520561)
          A non-techie will never figure out the mess that is /etc. Until there are applets and/or wizards for every single file in /etc, Linux will not be ready for prime time.

          I, on the other hand, dread the day that there is a wizard for every /etc file.

          There are a couple trends I hate about GUI config, and certainly not all config programs are guilty of this, but I have noticed all of these "in the wild" at certain times:

          • When the GUI config tool is intended as the primary configurator, and the actual config file is in XML or binary, or documentation on the commands is sparse.
          • When the GUI config tool completely overwrites the existing configuration to achieve it's functions instead of reading in the existing file and delicately changing just the lines needed. (linuxconf is guilty of this, especially to the sendmail setup where it practically takes over.)

          Although nobody has made one that I've seen, I'd love to see a configurator that has the original text config file in a window pane below or beside the main options panel, and update it as options are changed, so you can see the actual commands and what is being changed. Maybe even color highilight the changed lines. That would rock.

          What we need to do is start a project which will create these applets, with a consistant look and feel, which will appear in a control panel when an app is installed.

          We don't need to _start_ anything, just join one of the existing projects if you want to help: linxuconf [solucorp.qc.ca], gnomecc [gnome.org], webmin [webmin.com], etc.

        • I've thought that, and imho the best way would be for a GNU XML config module that can be plugged into any given app and with a little massaging let them do there configs in a standard XML format.

          The format would then perhaps allow for "presentation" data to be inserted such that an app could 'index' them, and put up standardised wizards and config screens, as well as letting someone search for a 'config topic' and go straight to the crunch.

          Then Red hat, Mandrake , debian etc could config the app to reflect the look and feel of the particular distro to suit marketing droids, plus being XML and all, any old fool could still VI the config files for great justice.
        • Ever take a look at that mess that is the windoze registry? /etc is great. You know where every program's config is, it's text, it's commented, you can reconfigure things through something as simple as a telnet session or as complex as a web interface. You actually prefer the windoze crap to that? Some people really are masochists, I guess.
        • X isn't the problem in bringing Linux to the main stream. I'm using KDE, it's very close to being as good as Windows 2000 GUI, and better in some respects.The problem with Linux is the administration required.. A non-techie will never figure out the mess that is /etc.

          Except that Windows already has something far more complicated, the registry. How does the "non techie" cope with that

          Until there are applets and/or wizards for every single file in /etc, Linux will not be ready for prime time"Wizards" are only any good for things where the wizard writer has though of them. Need to do something else then at best they are utterly useless (at worst they get in the way).
          One critisism of KDE is that it follows too closely the end user admin paradigm of Windows. Without making it easy for a proper admin to set things up. Something which many command line applications manage far better.
          Why should end users be expected to know what a browser proxy is or mess around setting "email servers".
          • Re:Sad, yet true (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Andrewkov (140579)
            Except that Windows already has something far more complicated, the registry. How does the "non techie" cope with that

            Windows users do not deal with the registry, they use control panel.

    • Not much more to add, except I've been thinking many of the same thoughts the past several weeks. Plus....

      ...I remember Red Hat 4.? and what it looked like a few years ago. Though I've "converted" to Debian, I must also admit that all the contemporary Linux distros have moved much closer to being desktop OS's over the past few years.

      This movement has been much slower than what we are used to seeing, when compared to a software giant such as Microsoft. But Linux IS moving forward. We are getting better and better kernels, and the various desktop enviroments are progressing rather nicely, too. And remember, we have more choices than Microsoft ever considered. That, if anything is my major beef with Microsoft. They make too many decisions for us and we have no say in the matter. It leaves me feeling as if I'm stuck with less than I wanted. But I have NEVER felt this with Linux.

      Patience and getting involved are two keys to seeing Linux succeed on the desktop. Linux does not have to bring Microsoft to it's knees or wipe it out to be successful. It just needs to meet our needs better.
    • Windows and MS are not all that evil. Just a monopoly. And this leads to a lack of effort in attempting to improve their product, no competition you see.

      I disagree. Microsoft already has a major competitor that we often overlook: Microsoft. Windows XP is forced to compete with Win98,ME,NT,and 2000... products that many users have bought just in the last few years and are still fairly satisfied with.

      So MS is forced to add fancier features, launch a major marketing blitz, and -gasp- even do a little innovating. Doesn't sound like a monopoly to me. (though I will concede that they've got an OEM monopoly)
  • by alewando (854) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:24PM (#2520153)
    Videos episodes of the Charlie Rose show can be ordered from http://www.800-all-news.com/transcripts.shtml [800-all-news.com]. Their online search engine doesn't return values up to the present, so you'll either have to do it over the phone (1-800-255-6397) or via email ( web-orders@800-ALL-NEWS.com [mailto]. Since you get something of a discount when ordering multiple transcripts, you might also want to order last May's episode [800-all-news.com] where Charlie Rose interviewed Linus about his book.
  • by CtrlPhreak (226872) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:29PM (#2520173) Homepage
    It's Cisco, the load balanceing king. Nobody had better see any slashdot effect on this story or we're all doomed.
  • I saw this interview on public television a few months ago. My brother was flipping through the channels and I'm like "hey, that kinda looks like Linus Torvalds". He flipped back and we're like "holy !#* that is Linus; cool!".

    It was exciting to see him being interviewed on TV. Is Jay Leno next ;-) ?

  • by Angry Black Man (533969) <vverysmartman&hotmail,com> on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:33PM (#2520187) Homepage
    You'll be lucky to find an interview with Linus Torvalds in which the interviewer does not ask him his stance on Windows or Bill Gates or Microsoft. He always has the same humble and modest response.

    Linus has stated that he does not try to be a threat to Microsoft and he does not view MS as competition. It would indeed be an steep uphill battle for Linux to be a competitor in the home computing world (whether you like it or not).

    Some people are so blind in their love for a certain OS, whether it be Windows or BSD or Linux or Mac OS or Unix, that they won't admit the truth. Windows and Linux have a different goal.

    Torvalds has stated that he was interested at Windows NT at one point. He says lately it looks more and more like traditional Windows with a stabler kernel. That is what does not interest him. In an interview he said "In my opinion MS is a lot better at making money than it is at making good operating systems." And maybe he is right.

    BTW: Somebody might want to format that post a little better, it has awkward page breaks all over.
  • by Null_Packet (15946) <{nullpacket} {at} {doscher.net}> on Sunday November 04, 2001 @06:34PM (#2520194)

    Very nice article.

    Rose: What's the best and worst thing you can say about Windows?

    Rose: I didn't ask you to bash 'em.

    Torvalds: Well, you did ask me to say something bad about them.

    That is great. It shows someone who not only understands himself, but he understands the world around him. He's not drawn into petty bickering, and he is obviously not so filled with hate or angst. It's quite obvious he wants to make a good product, but also doesn't seem to be swept up in material gain above what he may or may not have. I remember when I first started using Linux and was introduced to ipfw in Redhat 5.something. I was truly shown something technically refreshing. While I encourage desktop GUI pursuits, many a Linux contributor seems to be caught up in widgets and not solving real problems or addressing new ideas. I don't mean that GUI's is every contributor's focus, but it seems to be the main thrust.

    Linux will be truly successful if it can go places *before* Microsoft can, and do them better than Microsoft can. It wouldn't help to have a couple Rockefellers to help out the cause.

  • Hey, sure, I like money, but on the other hand I'm a programmer, I will get paid.

    In Scandanavia, everyone gets paid. :-)

    But his clever dance around the Edison/Rockefeller insinuation (same topic), along with his other responses, infers his steady practice of english and a good grasp on current politics. Even with the interviewer trying repeatedly to put words in his mouth, he held his own nicely.

    Here's hoping this fellow continues to extend his US visa.

  • There is more to life than bashing Microsoft. One should follow the example that Linus set in the interview. Instead of keeping continued malice toward Microsoft, live a little. Do what you think is interesting as opposed to what you are told should be interesting, and then hope that whatever it is will end up punching Microsoft, or some other evil entity in the ribs by accident :-)
  • Better questions? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LinuxGeek8 (184023) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @07:05PM (#2520298) Homepage
    Well, we could all hope that the next interviewer will read slashdot, before asking the questions.
    Therefore we could collect a few questions for Linus.
    Like:

    What about Andrea vs Rick's VM system?
    What important changes are already planned for 2.5?
    Could you think of a situation/decision where other issues (like ego) went to be more important than the technical issues?
    What do you do with your time besides working at Transmeta and hacking on Linux?

    Then again, it would even be nicer if Slashdot could collect 10 questions for the next Slashdot interview :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 04, 2001 @08:23PM (#2520554)
    1. Are you sick of giving interviews?
    2. Are you sick of being asked the same questions?
    3. Would you rather code, or drink a beer?
    4. ...or do both at the same time?
    5. Do you code better while half-drunk?
    6. Do you code better when fully drunk?
    7. Would you drive a stake through my heart if
    I asked you about microsoft?
    8. ...about Bill Gates?
    9. ...about commercializing Linux?
    10. Do you regret linux's popularity in regards to
    the fact that you've been forced into the
    position of "geek god"
    11. Does RMS get on your nerves as much as he does mine?
    12. If you're ever in tennessee, would you consider hanging out with me? :)
    13. What are the odds of the windows API's ever getting kernal support for running windows apps natively?

    e-mail: mccann@telalink.net
    Linus - if you're out there, answer these questions: Inquiring minds want to know!
  • Believe it or not, the site is slashdotted....

    This box must have some kind of bandwidth control because I can't believe a CISCO website would get slashdotted.

    This has to look bad for CISCO.

    Now would be a good time to mod up those mirrors instead of modding them down for karma whoring...
  • Follow the Example (Score:3, Insightful)

    by man_ls (248470) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @08:55PM (#2520676)
    I'm honestly impressed with Linus' reaction towards MS. I don't really like/use Linux, but respect its creator, I'm more of a Windows guy because I don't have the time to devote to learning a new OS at the moment. However, the rampant OS-bashing from both sides going on is relatively petty, and Linus seems to realize it isn't worth anything.
  • Hrm (Score:2, Redundant)

    by digsean (19076)
    Well. Its kinda good that linus really doesn't have too much to say about this whole deal. I hope he really just ignores Windows and does what linux does best: be linux.

    Just as a secondary comment: why don't people give up this whole M$ bashing thing? I really thing that people need to just let it go. Bashing M$ just makes our community look childish.

    Rants and Free Speech synclog.net [synclog.net]
    • Re:Hrm (Score:2, Funny)

      ...why don't people give up this whole M$ bashing thing?

      Blasphemer! Satan dwells amongst us!
      He's a witch! BURN HIM!!! BURN HIM!!!

      ;)
  • by Pinball Wizard (161942) on Monday November 05, 2001 @01:00AM (#2521266) Homepage Journal
    I don't think I've heard more criticism of Linux than that of its desktop - its fragmented between different projects, its goal is to clone Windows, its way behind Windows, there are no applications, yada, yada, yada.


    But the reason it will eventually succeed is that Microsoft can't compete against it, can't put it out of business. It will eventually succeed because it cannot be stopped.


    By the way, I just got Mandrake 8.1 and the desktop looks phenomenal. Once the office products start to mature and we see some more games I think the desktop will start seeing market share numbers like Linux on the server. You have to understand, the server has 30 years of development behind it. The desktop will eventually get there. Its not a question of if, but when.

  • by duffbeer703 (177751) on Monday November 05, 2001 @09:33AM (#2521984)
    The man has no opinion about anything. What a wimp!

    How does he decide what's for dinner???

Imitation is the sincerest form of plagarism.

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