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Where Does Linux Go From Here? 360

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the many-different-flavors-of-kool-aid-to-drink dept.
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."
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Where Does Linux Go From Here?

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  • by Laebshade (643478) <laebshade@gmail.com> on Monday October 22, 2007 @12:47PM (#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.
  • Take over? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday October 22, 2007 @12:48PM (#21073609) Homepage

    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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Orange Crush (934731) on Monday October 22, 2007 @12:54PM (#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.

    • 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 c

      • 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 everyo

    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      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
    • Re:Take over? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:38PM (#21074235) Homepage Journal
      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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Almahtar (991773)
      I don't remember if I signed a nondisclosure or not, but I recently interviewed at a company that makes a big ticket product (a few hundred K/unit) that used to be BSD based that's now Linux based. Their competition was thrilled that they'd have to hand out the mods they made to the kernel, and were pretty disappointed when those mods were pretty much *cut out huge chunk of kernel, make a call to userspace (insert big poofy cloud here), return to kernel*.

      Companies must redistribute the mods they make to
  • by ZeroFactorial (1025676) on Monday October 22, 2007 @12:51PM (#21073661)
    Or is the title of this post an insidious allusion to things to come? "Linusoft: Where do you want to go from here?"
  • 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 all
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Sadsfae (242195)

      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.
      • by jimicus (737525)
        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      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...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PPH (736903)
      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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

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

      Google for lm-sensors. I'm fairly sure that's at least a standard API, even if the backends aren't standard.

      There's also SNMP and Nagios, which can be used to remotely monitor a system. I'm fairly sure you can tie these in to lm-sensors.

      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 syst

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alexborges (313924)
      Sigh...

      Wrong on ALL accounts.

      There IS a standard way for ALL Linuxes to monitor EVERYTHING. Smartd+snmp will do the trick and it works just about the same for them all.

      As for the rest, vendors create their measly, unoperable, stupid shitty stuff to supposedly "monitor" things. They are all really pretty badly made, but its "their" way.

      That being said, "Linux" as an abstract entity has no room in corpoland, you need to start thinking RHEL or SLES, and there you will see: all RHEL is monitored the same way, a
  • by CyberLord Seven (525173) on Monday October 22, 2007 @12:54PM (#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.

    • 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?
    • by Akaihiryuu (786040) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:03PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BrainInAJar (584756)
      Solaris is like a semitruck. Without it the commercial world would collapse.
    • by Luyseyal (3154)

      And here I was thinking that Linux is a tank (full text) [spack.org].

      Original link to Neal Stephenson's website [cryptonomicon.com] which no longer has the full text inline.

      -l

    • 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 re
      • by p0tat03 (985078)

        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-g

      • 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.

    • 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 t

      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        I like the others you've presented, but the quoted line above ain't quite correct. "Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal" + "sudo su -"

        You should use "sudo -i"

        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.

        Honestly, I have issues with OS X's X11 server having very limited clipboard buffers which in some case prevents me from copy/pasting to only partial copy pastes. It can't even do drag and drop (which people keep declaring is o

    • by PortHaven (242123)
      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
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Cro Magnon (467622)

      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.


      What do you mean, no real power? Did you see the size of that fireball?

  • i know (Score:5, Funny)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday October 22, 2007 @12:54PM (#21073703)
    Where next? Linux must crush its enemies. To see them driven before it. And to hear the lamentations of their women...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Bluesman (104513)
      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!

  • Hot air rises (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spleen_blender (949762) on Monday October 22, 2007 @12:58PM (#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.
    • 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, wh
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)
        This idea keeps coming up, and it's still a bad idea.

        They don't do it because:
        * The LiveCD can't possibly have drivers for all future video cards
        * The LiveCD can't even guarantee the ability to read the host computer's HD to save the game. The HD could be encrypted or in a format it doesn't understand.
        * The LiveCD can't possible guarantee it will have every game accessory the player may use during the game (like a voice chat program, or maybe a web browser), and if it did, it would have to be re-configured
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          "DirectX already exists. Why reinvent the wheel?"

          Exactly! OpenGL already exists, why in hell would anyone invent DirectX?
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      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

  • 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!.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:00PM (#21073795) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • 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.
  • It is already happening with Ubuntu, and it will help linux get drivers for all of the hardware that is out there.
    • 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
    • Eh... not so sure. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IANAAC (692242)

      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.

  • 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.

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:05PM (#21073841) Journal
    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.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ratboy666 (104074)
        So where do I get Windows for $0?

        Inquiring minds want to know...

        Or are you suggesting running the free Windows tools under Linux?
  • by nomadic (141991)

    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 i
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Endo13 (1000782)
      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 um
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FooBarWidget (556006)
        I thought you might have a point until you said "Heck even Ubuntu (currently the distro that most nearly meets these requirements) has at least three variations.".

        Just what is wrong with having 3 variations of Ubuntu? They're all Ubuntu, i.e. they're binary compatible with each other. If you make an Ubuntu package, that package will work on Kubuntu and Xubuntu as well. The package manager will install any dependencies you might need. The differences between the Ubuntu editions are smaller than differences b
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ash-Fox (726320)

      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.
  • 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 supporti
  • To working.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PortHaven (242123) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:19PM (#21074005) Homepage
    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
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      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 ed
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jugalator (259273)
        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 Windo
    • 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
      • by nuzak (959558)
        > 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PortHaven (242123)
        "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
    • by JoshJ (1009085)
      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".
      • by jimicus (737525)
        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
      • by PortHaven (242123)
        "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."

        See, then it's not free. This was a laptop that I picked up for my wife for $350. To do that I'd be spending several hundred dollars or more. Secondly, it's near impossible to get details of the specific hardware before purchase. In fact, many of my model had a different wifi card that was highly recommended by Linux users.

        "Ubuntu's i
    • Re:To working.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:10PM (#21074697) Homepage

      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.
      1. Buy supported hardware.
      2. Use the latest desktop-oriented distro.
      3. Did I remember to say buy supported hardware?

      There are always people trying to make non-supported hardware work on Linux, who are trying out various arcane command line incantations, alpha-quality reverse engineered drivers and hacks like ndiswrapper to make it work with Linux. If you do not want to be part of them, you must accept that said card will not work under Linux. No, you can't expect every piece of hardware, working as it might be in Windows, to also work in Linux.

      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.
      "britney_spears_naked.jpg.exe [Open] [Save] [Cancel]" is the biggest source of viruses, trojans and malware on Windows. I go to "Add/Remove programs", type in the name and install and it's as easy as can be. Almost all the good software is in distro repositories, can you tell me what it is you'd like to install, that isn't there? Particularly when you include the multiverse repository (Ubuntu, but others have similar) which tend to have all the free closed-source software as well. And if you desperately wnat payware, click-n-run is better than downloading random executables any day.

      Would duplicating Windows' method be any problem? Hell no, I see it every time I run "wine setup.exe". Linux has it's variation of that too, but I prefer the distro way. It's not like a distro is anything like a monopoly, consider it more like a megamart with a searchable index. Why you'd try to chase down random snippets of code to run *and* and the same time claim you want mainstream userfriendliness, well it just doesn't compute.
  • 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 brie
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:31PM (#21074143) Homepage
    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.

    • by holviala (124278)
      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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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 m
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Daishiman (698845)
      Your expectations are too high. Using a compiled application in a Linux distro is like grabbing the sources for a Windows application and compiling them with Visual Studio yourself. Te equivalent of donwloading a nice .exe installed on Windows is when the package is available for your distro of choice. If you can't wait until then you'll have to live with compiling, just like any other platform.
      Your only "problem" is that since the development process if much more transparent you want to get the product be
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dylan_- (1661)
      From the rapidsvn wiki:

      SuSE

      The guys from Novell/SuSE dont include RapidSVN with their distributions. One of the unofficial sources is:

      * http://packman.links2linux.de/package/rapidsvn [links2linux.de]

      I could only find a thread for this from google with one response, which the guy never replied to so I'm not sure what makes you think the given solution didn't work? Is there another thread? Feel free to let him know about the above repository.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Colin Smith (2679)
      You aren't a typical computer user. Neither is anyone else who uses Subversion.

       
    • by TheNarrator (200498) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:32PM (#21075035)
      On ubuntu you run

      sudo apt-get install rapidsvn

      Output of this command:

      Reading package lists... Done
      Building dependency tree
      Reading state information... Done
      The following extra packages will be installed:
          libsvncpp0c2a libwxbase2.6-0 libwxgtk2.6-0
      Suggested packages:
          libgnomeprintui2.2-0
      The following NEW packages will be installed:
          libsvncpp0c2a libwxbase2.6-0 libwxgtk2.6-0 rapidsvn
      0 upgraded, 4 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
      Need to get 3817kB of archives.
      After unpacking 10.8MB of additional disk space will be used.
      Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
      Get:1 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] feisty/universe libsvncpp0c2a 0.9.4-1ubuntu3 [73.1kB]
      Get:2 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] feisty/universe libwxbase2.6-0 2.6.3.2.1.5ubuntu6 [567kB]
      Get:3 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] feisty/universe libwxgtk2.6-0 2.6.3.2.1.5ubuntu6 [2875kB]
      Get:4 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] feisty/universe rapidsvn 0.9.4-1ubuntu3 [303kB]
      Fetched 3817kB in 16s (237kB/s)
      Selecting previously deselected package libsvncpp0c2a.
      (Reading database ... 157987 files and directories currently installed.)
      Unpacking libsvncpp0c2a (from .../libsvncpp0c2a_0.9.4-1ubuntu3_i386.deb) ...
      Selecting previously deselected package libwxbase2.6-0.
      Unpacking libwxbase2.6-0 (from .../libwxbase2.6-0_2.6.3.2.1.5ubuntu6_i386.deb) ...
      Selecting previously deselected package libwxgtk2.6-0.
      Unpacking libwxgtk2.6-0 (from .../libwxgtk2.6-0_2.6.3.2.1.5ubuntu6_i386.deb) ...
      Selecting previously deselected package rapidsvn.
      Unpacking rapidsvn (from .../rapidsvn_0.9.4-1ubuntu3_i386.deb) ...
      Setting up libsvncpp0c2a (0.9.4-1ubuntu3) ...
      Setting up libwxbase2.6-0 (2.6.3.2.1.5ubuntu6) ...
      Setting up libwxgtk2.6-0 (2.6.3.2.1.5ubuntu6) ...
      Setting up rapidsvn (0.9.4-1ubuntu3) ...

      Wow! That was so easy! Took me 30 seconds to install including downloading. Would have taken longer to install on windows just to find the rapidsvn website, download the files, click the install button and hit the next button on the wizard. Geez people start using Ubuntu or at least a Debian based distro. It's not 1997 anymore.
  • THE MOOOOOON!!!!!!111!!1!ONE!
  • 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
  • by Cannelloni (969195) on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:59PM (#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.

  • Bigger, faster, shinier. There, I did not even have to read the article :-)

    Seriously, we have not even begun to scratch the surface of what is possible with a (well design) object embedding, event driven model. On the kernel side, besides the usual tide of incoming devices, there is a whole lot more room for optimization of pretty much every major subsystem. Believe it or not. The dominant trend will be more kernel functionality running in user space, like FUSE, power management, and features we haven't
  • by 12357bd (686909)

    The 'windows killer' linux feature is the KDE desktop programming.

    The power of the combined Kernel + Qt + KDE api's, are the most important threat to the MS programming model. If the desktop programming has to be the next battlefield (server side has already been taken), the KDE programming environment is the most powerfull asset in the linux camp.

    I am not trying to feed the old Gnome/KDE flame war, just pointing at the fact that the toolset that KDE provides, is the best tool for graphical desktop progra

  • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:32PM (#21075037) Journal
    There's something missing from the article "Where does Linux go from here?"

    The users. There's virtually no mention of them. There's talk about companies who are connected with Linux, about the technology, about the freedom of open software. But of the actual users there's only one passing reference.

    If you want to advance Linux, start thinking about the users - their needs, their desires, their problems, and so on. To begin anywhere else is to neglect the most important part of the equation, and Linux will remain a "system for nerds" forever.

    And so far as "Where does Linux go from here", send it to rewrite.
  • Open Source Support (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PortHaven (242123) on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:59PM (#21075449) Homepage
    One of the big arguments that is given for paid versus open-source software is support. There are a lot of companies that offer enterprise support for Linux. And there is a lot of information scattered about on forums. But often this can be a bit cryptic for the newbie to Linux. Furthermore, such posts often assume additional knowledge. One can easily find oneself looking up a chain of topics just to get something simple working.

    Perhaps what is needed is "Open Source Support". A website who's focus is to help the newbie to Linux on the consumer end. The site would have volunteers helping via IM chat, email, and perhaps VoIP. Said site would only support the most basic of activities (ie: setting up basic configurations such as mouse, video, printer, basic networking, etc. Basic software installation. Etc).

    The support agents would be volunteers. The website would provide email alias & accounts. And even an option to "tip" your support representative via "Paypal" or perhaps other means. The site would avoid any more complex issues (ie: setting up your own web server, etc). Not saying a support contact might not help someone. But any such request could be politely declined.

    It'd be an interesting idea. Not sure if it could be pulled off, but if it could I think such a site would do wonders for helping people migrate to Linux. (Which would then entail much more support on the corporate end for drivers, development and enterprise activities.)

    - The Saj
  • by chris_7d0h (216090) on Monday October 22, 2007 @08:00PM (#21079323) Journal
    CPUs, memory and storage are today getting to a price/performance point where it starts making sense for manufacturers to contemplate building consumer devices on top of a scaled down but familiar platform with few or no license fees associated. Chinese manufacturers are I think leading the way in this area atm. and we'll soon see the fruit of that interest.

    This is a good thing. Consumers are many and varied and most of them are non-techies. To sell to non-techies you have to really nail the (user interface) experience and lessons learned during the next 5 years will eventually trickle back the desktop domain.

    So "Linux on the desktop" will i.m.o. not be something that will happen until Linux is in most of our tiny devices (iphone/ipod clones, nokia phones, portable media centers, wearable GPS devices / personal network hubs and whatever other gadgets of today and tomorrow.. ). So my guess, 5-6 years before we start seeing Linux widening noticeably on the desktop, but at that point the current obstacle holding Linux on the desktop back will have vanished and then it will be the final time we see an article on ./ titled "Is this the year Linux will conquer the desktop?".

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

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