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Solaris vs Linux Continues 361

Posted by Hemos
from the the-real-server-battle dept.
raffe writes "Solaris Kernel Developer Eric Schrock is bloging more about the Solaris vs. Linux issue and linux kernel moneky Greg is answering on his blog. Eric's first part is is also still up and Greg's answer " Another reader also submitted reviews of the Linux desktop vs. Solaris 9. User reviews are welcome; please note that ITMJ is part of OSTG like Slashdot.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Solaris vs Linux Continues

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  • Solaris 9? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Power Everywhere (778645) on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:04AM (#10362576) Homepage
    Why are we not seeing Linux vs. Solaris X?
  • Kernel Recompile (Score:1, Insightful)

    by superpulpsicle (533373) on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:04AM (#10362579)
    If linux can figure out a way to be built with NO Kernel Recompiling EVER, and have the kernel update as easy as swapping out 1 file, then linux will dominate the market for good.

  • by emptybody (12341) on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:05AM (#10362590) Homepage Journal
    Why do people feel compelled to do these things?

    Two excellent tools - hammer, screwdriver.
    Both can be used to install fasteners. (nail/screw)
    Each tool has its place. And sometimes you can use one tool and its parts in place of the other with no adverse results.

    It doesnt make them better than each other.
    Just different.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:07AM (#10362611)
    since last week, because I doubt much has changed since the last Solaris story.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:07AM (#10362622)

    Solaris on x86 is a joke and nobody would use it unless they have a very special need. So, on x86 (and opteron) Linux and BSD are the way to go. Now, we all know that Solaris scales very well and you'd be crazy if you replaced Solaris with Linux on your shiny new E15k. And, really, that's it, run Solaris on your Sun-branded big iron. If you buy from SGI and IBM you might be running Linux on high end hardware. I don't see why people waste time discussing this. The $25,000 RISC workstation is dead, even more so since the AMD64 was announced, get over it.

    Turbo Smorgreff [www.des.no]

  • Agreed.

    To summarize this article:

    So Solaris is designed around high availability, easy problem diagnosis, and fault recovery. In exchange it sacrifices speed and kernel size.

    Linux is built to be lean and fast, and sacrifices some high availability and problem diagnosis features to reach that goal. There are five gazillion patches if you want to make Linux something like Solaris, albeit not as integrated.

    Soooo.... what is the problem here? The two systems attempt two different goals. That doesn't make them better or worse, it only makes them different. Let the consumers decide what it is they want from a system.
  • by ceeam (39911) on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:20AM (#10362745)
    You know, when I first encountered Linux back in 1997 (IIRC) I managed to successfully build/install my own kernel within an hour of first booting the CD. And I had no UNIX background back then. It's the _easier_ (and well documented) part of finding your way through the system. Setting up Samba, for example, IMHO is more complicated.
  • by cthrall (19889) on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:20AM (#10362749) Homepage
    * "Reliability is more than just "we're more stable than Windows." - anybody else remember the eCache problems? At a former employer, we applied every patch and none of them fixed the issue. The machines were still spontaneously rebooting when I left six months ago. Sun's response was "upgrade to new hardware at full price."

    * "we need to be able to solve the problem in as little time as possible with the lowest cost to the customer and Sun." - a co-worker spent a month corresponding with Sun to get them to admit there's a bug in SunOne AppServer (it compiles JSP pages even if they existed on the server in jar files).

    Again, it took him a month to enter a bug into the system. They're not going to fix it, but they've admitted it's a bug.
  • Good Eric (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hkb (777908) on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:30AM (#10362846)
    I like Eric's blog. It's probably the first Sun person's blog I've read that isn't filled with debate-class drivel. He actually lays down the facts in a technical, but concise manner which significantly eases getting his point across. Many of the other Sun-sters should take note.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:33AM (#10362877)
    Sun is not anti-Linux. Sun sells Linux too. They claim that Solaris is better and cheper than Red Hat. You can custom make a Linux distro that is better than Red Hat and approaches Solaris. Sun does not address that. I'd say it's good competition. Linux has a lot going for it. Red Hat though has to learn to live with competition and behave more maturely. They were eating the Sun accounts quietly but when Sun turned around ready to compete, Red Hat started behaving like a teenage winer.
  • by liquidpele (663430) on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:46AM (#10363015) Journal
    The problem is that people don't like Sun acting like it's playing nice when they think It'll try to stab linux in the back later.

    Granted both are good systems, but it's the "Sun's going to turn into SCO" fear that this is about I think.
  • Re:Solaris 9? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gadzinka (256729) <rrw@hell.pl> on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:46AM (#10363023) Journal
    Why are we not seeing Linux vs. Solaris X?

    For the same reason we don't see much Linux vs Longhorn articles?

    Robert
  • section (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NoInfo (247461) * on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:50AM (#10363063) Homepage Journal
    Why is this sectioned on Slashdot in 'Linux' and not 'Sun'?
  • by leereyno (32197) on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:53AM (#10363095) Homepage Journal
    "They're already dead, they're just not broke yet..."

    Sun is already dead, or at least their current product line is.

    They'll still be able to sell extreme high end servers and mainframes to a relative handful of corporate and government clients, but everything below this level is already all but lost to them.

    They're caught in quite a predicament. Their architecture is getting its clock cleaned by competitors and their OS is spartan and obtuse compared to Linux. They don't have an advantage anywhere that triple 9 availability isn't crucial, assuming of course that their stuff really is stable, robust and ages well. I can't say that it does. It may be stable, but lets see you get Veritas 3.4 running on Solaris 8 with ALL of the latest recommended patches. You can't because two of the patches BREAK Veritas and there is no fix other than backing out the patches, which leaves the system vulnerable. Sun's solution? Spend $15 to $25 thousand dollars to upgrade to the latest version of Veritas. That is just for software mind you. My solution? Replace the damned thing with a Linux server running BRU-Pro for $4 thousand that includes new hardware and software.

    I work for the college of engineering at Arizona State University where I support Unix systems for the computer science department. The sun systems here are withering on the vine. Every time one is in need of replacement a Linux system is bought to take its place. I expect that within 5 or 6 years sun systems will be all but gone at ASU. Our central IT organization is going through a similar migration.

    This isn't because of some edict from on high either. This is happening because every single time, Linux on commodity hardware makes more sense from multiple angles than Solaris on proprietary and extremely expensive hardware. This will not change, if anything it is going to become more and more true as time goes by.

    This is why Sun is doomed if they don't find a new product to sell. Stick a fork in them, they're done.

  • by hackstraw (262471) * on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:55AM (#10363138)
    One of the reasons Solaris is slower than Linux is because it checks everything. It is one extremely anal system, and it never ever goes down.

    No contest indeed; Solaris kicks the shit out of Linux.

    I disagree. I would say that Linux and Solaris in terms of stability are about equal and both _very_ stable. Using the "latest and greatest" of both OSes is not recommended. There have been some issues with Solaris on Sun's lower end servers with IDE drives where the IDE driver was buggy and it would cause the system to freeze. I havn't had a production Linux system crash unexpectedly in over 6 years or so. And Linux does a pretty damn good job of "checking everything" as well. I've had Linux systems stay running with 1 of 2 processors frozen, and I've seen Linux carry on with about every hardware failure possible, and when Linux has found one of these hardware failures, it reports it, and keeps running as much as it can.

    I tell you, if they open source Solaris (yeah right) we're going to be looking at some pretty amazing code. Some of the best hackers ever have hacked that thing.

    Hmm, I guess you havn't heard [com.com] about solaris going open source.

    I would say that all of the big kernel hackers are pretty damn good, beit AIX, *BSD, Solaris, or Linux. Although Linux is the baby of the bunch, they are all proven systems. I've worked with all of them. They all have plusses and minuses, and they are all pretty slick.
  • Actually, he was arguing the software in his blog. i.e. Kernel debugging tools, software fault recovery features, maintenance logging, etc.

    Not that Sun hardware isn't part of why the machines are usually stable. I can only wish that PC hardware was designed so well. The ability for the hardware and software to specifically complement each other is something that the consumer market has never known in anything other than game consoles and (to a limited degree) Macs. Most consumer hardware consists of off-the-shelf components which make very few special allowances for the software. Thus systems that are part of the Sun hardware design must be emulated in software.

    With computer components being as cheap as they are, this could change. All that's needed is a decent replacement to the PC BIOS infrastructure. Something like OpenFirmware would significantly improve the ability for the software to interface with the hardware.
  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:00AM (#10363195) Journal
    I've not had to recompile a kernel for my desktop Linux systems in a long time - the one that comes with the distro is fine, and gets updated by the distro's tools just fine too.

    The only kernel I have to recompile is the rather specialist one for one of my servers which runs a heap of virtual machines. That is expected on an experimental system. If you couldn't recompile the kernel it wouldn't be much good as an experimental system.

    I've not had to compile a kernel for a 'production' system in years.
  • Re:Solaris 9? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smc13 (762065) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:02AM (#10363212)
    Why is this insightful? Solaris 10 isn't out yet so there is no comparison between it and Linux.
  • by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:06AM (#10363242) Homepage Journal
    Today is Monday. Does that mean Sun loves Linux or hates Linux? I forget.

    More then anything, Sun's demise has to do with the fact that Sun can't figure out what they are doing, and won't stick to their decision for more then a year.

    - Is Solaris supported on Intel86 architecture or not?
    - Does Sun sell Cobalt appliances or not?
    - Does Sun resell Linux or not? Today, is it RedHat or Suse?
    - Is Java a programming language or is it a more General Product? What does "Sun Java Desktop" have to do with Java?
    - Can I redistrute the JDK with my own applications or not? Wait, just javac?
    - Is Java called 'Java', 'Java Two', 'Java one-point-two-and-above' or 'Java Five-point-oh'?
    - Where is Java installed today? /usr/j2se ? /usr/jre1.4.1_05b1? /usr/java? /usr/java1.3? C:\jdk1.4.1_03? C:\Program Files\jdk1.4.1_03??? C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_04 ? (The last three all exist on my Windows box).
  • It's typical (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:16AM (#10363356) Homepage
    It's really typical how this Greg guy doesn't actually address the points that the Solaris guy makes. Let's paraphrase:

    Eric: "The core Linux developers don't see the value of features X, Y and Z, so the Linux kernel won't get those features integrated to the main tree."
    Greg: "Hey, Linux has X, Y and Z! You just need to get a third-party patch to the kernel!"

    'Nuff said.

  • by 1qa2ws3ed (662567) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:17AM (#10363363)
    "Sun is not anti-Linux."

    on odd days. but on even days they are...
  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:20AM (#10363400) Journal
    My problem is that people always assume that's what Sun is going to do when they have ZERO history of pulling that sort of crap.

    I think some people would argue that Sun's recent relicensing of Unix from SCO *COULD* be viewed as supporting this type of crap. I would grant that the jury is still out, but their actions during the SCO affair *DO* justify looking at them with a skeptical, but open, mind.

    Mix that with Sun's "on again, off again" love/hate relationship with Linux, and its easy to question their motives. Not enough to draw a definitive opinion perhaps, but enough to ask questions. Their previous actions with OSS in general also raises more questions than answers.

    They have done some very cool things, like Open Office, but before I start praising or cursing them, I need more information. I don't fully trust them, and I think many people feel the exact same way, sleeping with one ear to the ground, just in case.
  • by tfb (49770) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:32AM (#10363521)
    I think many of these cases happen because people are very bad at driving support contracts. I remember the ecache issues too, and in fact we had machines break because of this. I rang them up and told tem that they were going to replace the relevant bits, because it was clearly a HW issue, and no, we weren't about to install some workaround thank you. The main problem was working out whether we wanted the engineer overnight or next morning. OK, this was on a gold contract, but the only difference is response time: if the machine has a HW issue *tell them to replace it* don't piss around with workarounds. If they argue (they won't, nowadays, but they used to 10-15 years ago) point out how much your paying them and that you might just stop and/or mail someone senior (they do read their mail, even very senior people).

    I suppose it may be that you didn't *have* a support contract. Well, sorry, I have about the same sympathy for you as I would if your house burnt down and you hadn't bothered insuring it.
  • Why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Second_Derivative (257815) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:43AM (#10363667)
    Because the Sun guy actually makes coherent and valid points whereas this guy says a load of what is essentially meaningless cheer-leading? I think you'll find a lot of businesses like to have a reasonable degree of reliability in their servers. Telling people to get stuffed when ReiserFS decides to randomly shit the bed and completely annihilate your business data won't impress many people (it's done this several times for me on MAINLINE KERNELS, there is absolutely NO excuse for that. Don't tell me to send in dumps and patches, mainline means "this does not NEED debugging and is safe to use", period). I'm not talking running a major financial institution or a nuclear power plant here, I'm talking about being reasonably sure that today's data will still be here tomorrow.

    That's just filesystems. Once upon a time Linux was really great because it was amazingly robust, small, fast and elegant. Today we have frequent kernel panics and X server flakiness, gigantic frameworks for desktop environments and gigabyte sized base installs. I suppose I can forgive flaky and sometimes limited support for exotic hardware because PCs are really complicated beasts these days, and a lot of hardware manufacturers are incredibly pig headed about these things but it would really be nice to have my two year old laptop actually wake up from ACPI sleep. No it's not a DSDT error. No I do not want to use Software Suspend because it is a hack. Nevermind the fact that it takes 5 minutes (as in around 300 seconds) to suspend on a 1GB swap with 256MB of RAM and several minutes to wake up again.

    Linux sucks, get over it. Yes I use it, that's because everything else sucks more.
  • by tiger99 (725715) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:44AM (#10363678)
    What a stupid debate. Two decent, useable operating systems, but each optimised for different situations. You could bring in al least three BSD variants, AIX, HP/UX and I don't know how many more, and it would still be a pointless argument.

    But one big factor is that the Solaris OS is based on hardware that is largely controlled by Sun, which gives them a big lead, potentially, on reliability and stability. It certainly helps to avoid over-complexity in the handling of hardware issues. Linux has to run on hardware that is often badly documented, if at all. Many of the reliability features of any OS need specific hardware provisions, which are simply not there in a PC.

    So it is like comparing apples and oranges, or pears and bananas, or Saddam and Dubya. Actually on that last point I may be wrong, because neither was properly elected.....

  • by The Pim (140414) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:53AM (#10363776)
    I honestly thing Greg missed his point. Eric is talking about the motivating development philosophies of the two systems. The Solaris philosophy is reliability, serviceability, observability, etc. The Linux philosophy is scratch your itch, and keep it simple. Of course nobody in Linux is against reliability (duh!), but it wasn't designed with reliability as foundational principle. Eric captures the difference in this zinger:
    Perhaps you're thinking that because some customer really wants something, we just integrate whatever junk we can come up with in a months time. If this were true, don't you think you'd see Kprobes in Solaris instead of DTrace?
    The Solaris guys made tracing a core priority and built a complete system for it. Linux waited until someone came along and contributed a system that is light enough to get past some very conservative objections, and lacks many of the features of DTrace. If observability were a core value of the Linux team, the core developers would have been working on this themselves years ago. (This is not to say that Kprobes won't mature into an excellent system, especially with Solaris's lead to follow.)

    The only question is whether "scratch your itch" results, in the long term, in a more reliable (observable, etc) system than "design for reliability (observability, etc)". This is sort of a reprise of the "worse is better" argument, and I think it is by no means resolved.

  • Hardware Support (Score:2, Insightful)

    by APDent (81994) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:53AM (#10363786)

    Out of the box, Linux supports more hardware devices than any other operating system. [from the linux kernel monkey log piece]

    Perhaps my varying experiences with Linux over the last decade or so have been unusual, but this just doesn't ring true to me. Does Linux really support more hardware, today, than any other OS? Is there any sort of independently verified comparison list? I guess I could compare the various hardware compatibility lists myself, but if this is unvarnished truth, I'd expect there to be something concrete to show it.

    My experience has been that when I shop for hardware for my Linux boxes, I have to be somewhat careful about what I pick. On the other hand, when my dad shops for his Windows boxes, pretty much everything is guaranteed to work (provided it is physically compatible, of course -- not something that only fits in, say, a Macintosh Powerbook).

    Perhaps it depends on what "out of the box" means, or what "more hardware" means.

  • Re:Solaris 9? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jrexilius (520067) on Monday September 27, 2004 @11:54AM (#10363787) Homepage
    Actually, after reading the various posts, I would say that a version comparrison isn't worthwhile at all and as the Sun developer mentioned, Linux and Solaris have different philosophies and approaches. Where I dont agree with him is that they have different markets entirely.

    As an example, he talks about swapping hardrives and CPU boards in failure events. From Suns perspective of selling an E10K for $1mil to a customer to solve a database problem (as an example), this is a very neccessary feature. From a customers perspective, however, I can solve this problem with either an E10K or a Linux cluster. In the linux cluster I wouldn't care about swapping out a CPU while the machine was running as I would swap out the machine and the _system_ would still be running. Google is solving a traditional big-iron problem very differently then the way Sun would solve it for them.

    I disagree with the statement that since Sun solves problem X with solution Y and Linux uses solution Z that they are competing in different markets. Truly there are things that Sun can do that Linux isn't well suited for and vice versa, however, the majority of corporations out there do not fall in either of those two areas. Where Sun has an advantage is not in its technology to solve standard corporate problem X but in its unified marketing, training, support, and existing market base. Those are assets but they are not technical reasons why Solaris is better then Linux at solving the technical problems of a business.
  • by JonAnderson (786732) on Monday September 27, 2004 @12:16PM (#10364011)
    System managers want to observe what's going on inside their kernel about as much as they want to see what's going on inside their bowels. That stuff just has to work, and it has to work automatically and without being noticed. If people ever have to muck around with dtrace or tuning kernel parameters, there is something seriously wrong with Solaris.
    You ARE kidding right? If not that is one of the most shortsighted and ignorant things on slashdot (some sort of record in itself). I guess you still believe that there is only a need for 5 computers in the world?. Live in ignorance if you want but don't post about it.`
    Linux is the hands-down overall winner
    Why? because you say so?
  • by io-waiter (745875) on Monday September 27, 2004 @12:27PM (#10364119)
    Its even more stupid than that, proper comparison would be solaris x versus redhat advanced server x or suse.A comparison between two _products_ in the same market space with the same usage, but ok atleast one is specified (solaris).
    The debate is stupid, I cant buy "Linux" and if I dont roll my own Im stuck with what the market offers. Its like comparing this specific powersaw to a (any) powertool, what powertool a dremel, a chainsaw a dentist drill ?
  • by southpolesammy (150094) on Monday September 27, 2004 @01:00PM (#10364485) Journal
    OpenFirmware may help in some ways, but it will not automatically allow you to hotswap memory, hard drives and even CPUs the way Sun servers can. These features will probably NEVER be included on any x86 type box because if you need those features, then x86 is the wrong architecture for the job. Instead, multiple PPC or Sparc would be the right tool.

    Which then begs the question, "Is Sun's recent adoption of the AMD Opteron platform for servers beneficial for enterprise customers who require 7x24 uptime?"

    I'm a longtime Solaris proponent on SPARC hardware, and I can vouch for the serviceability features of Solaris on Sun's own hardware, but I don't know if that capability extends to the "borrowed" framework (not saying I disbelieve it, saying I don't have the knowledge of Solaris x86 to comment, but my experience with x86 hardware gives me cause for concern).
  • by hackstraw (262471) * on Monday September 27, 2004 @01:28PM (#10364827)
    Grandparent Can anyone cite a real life example where Solaris was used in place of linux on a new project for a valid reason?

    parent The reasons? Linux couldn't handle emergencies, and wasn't always available.

    After reading http://sartryck.idg.se/Art/Skistar_cs62003eng.html [sartryck.idg.se]

    Personally, I believe that installing Linux and Oracle in May of 2001 for mission critical business operations is, well, pretty stupid. Oracle only certified installation on Linux with Suse 7.1 in June of 2001. Oracle is not cheap. I doubt they saved any significant amount of cash by running Oracle on Linux vs Solaris. Back then, anyone reputable would run Oracle on Solaris, period. If it were up to me, I would probably still run Oracle on Solaris.

    Also, from the link, there is a significant difference in the whole design of the new Solaris/Oracle setup with clustering and whatnot. I would attribute this change as a learning experience with the sysadmins.

    Oh, and the grandparent asked for a _new_ project that chose Solaris over Linux, the linked article is for a switch from Linux to Solaris and a switch in Oracle versions/configurations as well.

    Although I don't know of any projects off the top of my head, I would say that there are a number of Solaris/Oracle new installs where Linux was either not considered at all, or not considered for very long. If I were to use Linux and a database I'd use MySQL or postgress. If my reputation was on the line and the people had money and cared about integrity, I would still to this day go with Solaris/Oracle over Linux/Oracle.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday September 27, 2004 @01:36PM (#10364899) Journal
    I'm not a developer, but I deal with different types of systems, and appreciate both Linux and Solaris for their respective strengths. In the telecom space, for instance, Solaris is well respected for building embedded applications.

    Actually, many of the telecom switchs had historically used SCO rather than Solaris. That is all changing over to Linux these days.

    Linux is winning over not just due to costs, but do to ease of use. Getting full source and being able to switch over to YOUR choice of hardware rather than to whatever the OS builder decided is a huge advantage.

  • by DeputySpade (458056) on Monday September 27, 2004 @02:14PM (#10365343) Homepage Journal
    i've never been rooted

    That you know of. ;)
  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Monday September 27, 2004 @02:30PM (#10365527) Homepage Journal
    The $25,000 RISC workstation is dead

    But the RISC enterprise server is not. As long as you have those, it makes sense to have $3000 RISC workstations for the economies of single-vendor support. Especially when those workstations have twice the quality of a half priced Dell or HP workstation.
  • by macsuibhne (307779) on Monday September 27, 2004 @02:32PM (#10365565)
    Sun, after years of vacillation, finally decided to commit to Solaris on x86. In order to bolster their woeful driver support, they had a choice: implement a bunch of x86 drivers (hardly a core competency) from scratch; or: buy hundreds of current, SVR4 compatible drivers [computerweekly.com] from an x86 UNIX vendor, with said vendor waiving _all_ IP rights on the drivers. As business decisions go, it's as close to a no-brainer as you'll get. That it also indemnifies them from SCO's antics is just the gilt on the gingerbread.

    Tony.
  • by pete29 (640127) on Monday September 27, 2004 @02:56PM (#10365837)

    Every Anti-Linux argument I have ever had (and some of them I have also started ;-)) has -- at the some point of the discussion -- always directed onto two items by the Pro-Linux part:

    - Linux ist faster
    - Linux is the only operating system that
    will prevail

    The first one is an argument, that many great people in computer science have found fundamentally broken for other types of software. The same guys, that state, that Microsoft has made a big design mistake by moving the graphics drivers from user space back into kernel space promote the exactly same design mistakes in the Linux kernel.

    This is about the same argument, that people have made, that mono executes faster than .NET. The interesting thing here is, that mono does not implement the slightes security check throughout the complete runtime environment. Solaris may be slow (on = 4 CPUs), but that comes from a huge amount of checking code and locking.

    L4Hurd is predicted to about 10% slower than Linux for a typical workload. I do not think, that this is an unacceptable price to pay for subsystems that do not compromise the whole kernel if they contain a buffer overflow.

    The other argument is more subtle. It says two things: Linux is the best (which is surely not true _right now_) and that everything else will at some time be obsolete, when Linux has finally caught up in features and gotten better that the competition.

    That's a nice one. It means "We want freedom, but we want it our way", very similar the ubiquitous call of standards. When developing the new driver interface for the 2.6 kernel series, the linux kernel developers had the choice between using two very good, already existing oo-driver interfaces (freebsd kclasses and darwin IOKit). They rather choose to implement their own version, incompatible to everything else and to improve it over time on their own. And they believe, implementing an interface badly first and improving it over time is good.

    In my opinion, this way of thinking is fundamentally broken. An interface is a defintion of the way modules interact with one another. If it needs to be changed, that is always a big problem. Everybody depending on that interface will need to change his code. The argument from the Linux developers than is "We do not care to change our code and we do not care about everybody else's". In other words: "If you took trust in our interfaces you are a fool, give us your source and we will (probably, if we are in the right mood) fix it for you".

    This is not distributed development and it surely it not freedom for anybody else than the "core" developers.
  • Re:Why (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:57PM (#10367993) Journal
    Today we have frequent kernel panics
    Who's this "we," white man? I can count on the fingers of zero hands the number of times any Linux box I've used has had a kernel panic. Maybe some kernel versions are more susceptible than others, and surely not everyone is as lucky as I am, but you paint this as some kind of common, widespread problem.
    gigantic frameworks for desktop environments and gigabyte sized base installs.
    Yes, please conflate the kernel with the userland programs that run on top of it, as if that has anything to do with the speed, robustness, size, or elegance of the kernel.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer

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