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Linus on Linux, 20 Years In 197

Posted by timothy
from the stop-being-so-ethical-please dept.
Radium_ writes "Along with the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Linux kernel, Linuxfr — a French-language Linux website — published an interview with Linus Torvalds. [Interview in English.] The creator of Linux answers questions about Linux kernel licensing, his contributions to the kernel development model and Linux in 2031."
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Linus on Linux, 20 Years In

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  • A lot of other people think that the BSD license with its even more freedoms is a better license for them.

    The creator of Linux thinks the BSD license is more free. Now we can stop the fighting. BSD license doesn't try to tell other people how they can use the code, GPL does. Who is more correct man to say it?

    • by ivucica (1001089) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @04:28PM (#36040558) Homepage

      BSD license is more free, but does not preserve the freedoms.

      Choice of license should depend on your goals. If one of them is philosophy, so be it. If one of them is business, so be it. I always pick the license that I feel best for a project.

      • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @04:51PM (#36040894)

        BSD license is more free, but does not preserve the freedoms.

        Choice of license should depend on your goals. If one of them is philosophy, so be it. If one of them is business, so be it. I always pick the license that I feel best for a project.

        It is more free but it does not preserve the freedoms? Who's freedoms? Stop it with the doublespeak/orwellian newspeak. Neither the BSD or GPL have anything to do with the end user. The end user does not give a rats arse about the source code, it's availability or what license it is under. The only people interested are third parties looking for an opportunity to contribute to the codebase and both licenses offer that freedom to those "developers". The BSD also offers the freedom to take that source, use it and incorporate it into a larger closed source product which implements the same standard as the original project.

        if you want to push a particular ideology represented by the GNU foundation then you would choose the GPL but if you are interested in pushing forward an open standard that can be implemented and integrated by anyone then you would choose the BSD. Part of the reason why TCP/IP became the standard for the internet is because the stack was release under the BSD license which meant that closed source software vendors could implement the same stack on their platform quickly without fear of viral licenses or contamination.

        • by migla (1099771)

          >It is more free but it does not preserve the freedoms? Who's freedoms? Stop it with the doublespeak/orwellian newspeak.

          With bsd you can make the code proprietary and if you are mighty enough, maybe your closed version of things will be the thing everyone will be using in the end. With gpl you can't.

          Which licence, would you say, intuitively, would lead to a world with more lines of code freely in the open in the end?

          Some people seem to believe that not allowing software to be made un-free will preserve t

        • Neither the BSD or GPL have anything to do with the end user.

          Really? Have you actually read the licences at all? They are clearly addressed to any user whatsoever, including the end user.

          • Really? Have you actually read the licences at all? They are clearly addressed to any user whatsoever, including the end user.

            They are only addressed to someone who would want to do something that is otherwise restricted by copyright (such as redistributing, or making a derived work). Mere use is not restricted by copyright, which is why neither GPL nor BSDL are of any relevance whatsoever to the end user.

        • if you want to push a particular ideology represented by the GNU foundation then you would choose the GPL but if you are interested in pushing forward an open standard that can be implemented and integrated by anyone then you would choose the BSD. Part of the reason why TCP/IP became the standard for the internet is because the stack was release under the BSD license which meant that closed source software vendors could implement the same stack on their platform quickly without fear of viral licenses or contamination.

          Sure, and even RMS agrees with that. But those cases are few in the whole set of OSS software.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          The BSD also offers the freedom to take that source, use it and incorporate it into a larger closed source product which implements the same standard as the original project.

          Or arbitrarily change or extend it so there's no or flawed interoperability between the closed and open version. Or withhold bug fixes as a competitive advantage over the open version. The BSD license is great if everyone plays nice, but if someone wants to fuck you over you are all lubed up. If you really, really mean that you want nothing from them then choosing the BSD is fine, good for you. But if you start throwing hissy fits over asshattery when you specifically chose a license that allows it over one

          • The BSD also offers the freedom to take that source, use it and incorporate it into a larger closed source product which implements the same standard as the original project.

            Or arbitrarily change or extend it so there's no or flawed interoperability between the closed and open version.

            Wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of a "standard"? What possible reasons would someone have to take working code and break it?

            Or withhold bug fixes as a competitive advantage over the open version. The BSD license is great if everyone plays nice, but if someone wants to fuck you over you are all lubed up. If you really, really mean that you want nothing from them then choosing the BSD is fine, good for you. But if you start throwing hissy fits over asshattery when you specifically chose a license that allows it over one that doesn't, well you don't get much sympathy from me.

            BSD is like a commune where everyone contributes to the codebase to improve the product for everyone and nobody is forced to contribute everything they make whereas GPL is like communism where you are forced to contribute to the project all changes that you make if you publish a binary. BSD relies on trust and the belief in the good will of other people whereas GPL is built on a

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          but if you are interested in pushing forward an open standard that can be implemented and integrated by anyone then you would choose the BSD. Part of the reason why TCP/IP became the standard for the internet is because the stack was release under the BSD license

          Exactly. This is the same reason that FreeBSD is now the most popular and predominant free operating system, powering a majority of internet servers, as well as devices ranging from mainframes to cellphones, and is increasingly popular in embedded

          • This is the same reason that FreeBSD is now the most popular and predominant free operating system, powering [...] devices ranging from mainframes to cellphones

            The iPhone and iPad run a cousin of FreeBSD, and the iPad is still beating tablets that run Linux-based Android.

      • by DeadCatX2 (950953)

        I hear this "does not preserve the freedoms" thing all the time from pro-GPL folks. It seems like they honestly believe that a commercial company can take existing GPL code, incorporate it into a product, and then magically the GPL code can no longer be used by open-source folks anymore.

        Sure, any contribution that the commercial entity made to the GPL'd code base won't be shared back. But they wrote the code, not you, and it should be the developers' prerogative on whether they wish to share any code with

        • by osu-neko (2604)

          I hear this "does not preserve the freedoms" thing all the time from pro-GPL folks. It seems like they honestly believe that a commercial company can take existing GPL code, incorporate it into a product, and then magically the GPL code can no longer be used by open-source folks anymore.

          If this is what it seems like to you, it's clear that although you hear these people, you don't understand what they're saying.

          Sure, any contribution that the commercial entity made to the GPL'd code base won't be shared back. But they wrote the code, not you, and it should be the developers' prerogative on whether they wish to share any code with anyone. You still have the original source code anyway.

          That's precisely the point. It should be developers' prerogative. It's my prerogative to only share my code with people willing to share in return. The GPL enables that, and if you claim freedom is at all important, you should be glad that I'm free to make this choice, whereas other people may prefer a different choice (and use a BSD license as a consequence). Arguing that I sho

          • by DeadCatX2 (950953)

            I agree that it's your choice to share the code with whoever you want. Just like it's a company's choice to share their source code or keep it closed.

            My point is the idea that "the GPL protects freedom" is a load of BS. It's just another way to lock down code, it just "looks" free because they make the source available. GPL folks should at least admit that it has nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with controlling the source code.

            Personally, I think you should be proud if any of your code is

            • by Microlith (54737)

              My point is the idea that "the GPL protects freedom" is a load of BS. It's just another way to lock down code, it just "looks" free because they make the source available.

              Except that's a completely ignorant argument. The GPL protects the freedom of the source code and users who receive the code via a 3rd party. It's only BS to people who approach it with a fundamentally flawed understanding of what it's trying to achieve (or are resentful they can't jack the code.)

              Personally, I think you should be proud if

              • by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @07:38PM (#36042748) Journal

                You keep saying that word - freedom - but it does not mean what you think it means.

                The GPL is about asserting control over derivative works. It provides the illusion of freedom, but the source code is not actually free. If it was free, there wouldn't be any restrictions at all.

                To say "the GPL protects the freedom of the source code" also implies that if a commercial entity made a derivative work, somehow the original source code is no longer free. That is complete bullshit. The only purpose the GPL has is to control derivative works.

                If you want to use the GPL because it works for you, that's fine, go right ahead. But don't fool yourself into thinking that it has anything to do with freedom.

                • by Microlith (54737)

                  You keep saying that word - freedom - but it does not mean what you think it means.

                  So freedom only means what YOU think it means?

                  The GPL is about asserting control over derivative works.

                  YES, that's what copyright is all about. And you must ACTIVELY AGREE TO IT.

                  It provides the illusion of freedom, but the source code is not actually free. If it was free, there wouldn't be any restrictions at all.

                  The source code is free. It cannot legally be reduced to a closed source binary, or serve as the essential underpi

                • The only purpose the GPL has is to control derivative works.

                  No, the purpose of the GPL is to control the distribution of derivative works.

                • by Murdoc (210079)
                  This is the same debate as the old question of whether or not I am more free if there is no law saying that I can't kill you or not. Sure, if there is no such restriction of that freedom, it is more "free" for me, the first iteration, but I am taking away the freedom of others. This makes it less "free" in the bigger picture. Same thing with GPL/BSD: one gives more freedom initially by allowing you to take away the freedom of others. So I think that debating whether which is more "free" is philosophical at
        • by exomondo (1725132)

          I hear this "does not preserve the freedoms" thing all the time from pro-GPL folks. It seems like they honestly believe that a commercial company can take existing GPL code, incorporate it into a product, and then magically the GPL code can no longer be used by open-source folks anymore.

          I think I understand the sort of thing you're referring to, that argument that BSD allows the 'freedom to take away freedom', which of course it doesn't, the original code does not become non-free. Yes it allows for non-free derived works, which means you provide 'freedom of choice' to the people who use your code.
          GPL controls the code in such a way that it ensures that everyone who uses your code and anything derived for it gets the same rights and the same freedoms. So it's all just dependent on your wor

      • by ToasterMonkey (467067) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @06:19PM (#36041992) Homepage

        I don't understand this.

        BSD license is more free, but does not preserve the freedoms.

        If somebody builds on your work and doesn't release it back to you, you don't lose anything. Effectively, there's no difference between that and if they had never even touched your stuff... which they wont do if they didn't want to have to share their changes with a GPL project anyway.

        So you're only retaining contributors that are OK with sharing anyway and you're excluding people who do not want to give their modifications away openly and for $free. My idea of freedom is not "here is a free widget, but you can't improve and sell it, you can only give it away" - WTF?

        This is strong-arming people into open source, just like the unnecessary association of $free with open. This isn't preservation, protection, nothing like that, it is attempting to SPREAD an ideal that has lately been starting to freak me out, and is counter intuitive to a healthy economy. There simply is no market demand for these ideals. GNU and FSF resort to this asshattery to attack a (once healthy) software market, forcing reimbursement for software development into areas that are unfeasible for small software businesses all for the sake of ideals that have zeeeeeeero demand in the marketplace. "Look at me, you can get a quick start on your project, for FREEE, there's just this uh, one string attached... you must support my agenda, mwahahahah! (evil Bowser laugh)"

        Look, nobody uses Ubuntu because it has source code available. They use it because it's $free. I know everyone here knows this... "well duh, it has to be $free or nobody would use it and open source wouldn't advance"
        Why doesn't creep out more people?

        • If somebody builds on your work and doesn't release it back to you, you don't lose anything.

          That's not the purpose of the GPL: somebody may distribute derivatives following the license and even so never contributing back. The GPL is a legal version of the Pay It Forward concept.

          So you're only retaining contributors that are OK with sharing anyway and you're excluding people who do not want to give their modifications away openly and for $free. My idea of freedom is not "here is a free widget, but you can't improve and sell it, you can only give it away" - WTF?

          Nowhere in the GPL says you have to give your modifications for free; you just can't charge more than you already did for the binaries.

          This is strong-arming people into open source, just like the unnecessary association of $free with open. This isn't preservation, protection, nothing like that, it is attempting to SPREAD an ideal that has lately been starting to freak me out, and is counter intuitive to a healthy economy. There simply is no market demand for these ideals. GNU and FSF resort to this asshattery to attack a (once healthy) software market, forcing reimbursement for software development into areas that are unfeasible for small software businesses all for the sake of ideals that have zeeeeeeero demand in the marketplace. "Look at me, you can get a quick start on your project, for FREEE, there's just this uh, one string attached... you must support my agenda, mwahahahah! (evil Bowser laugh)"

          First, GPL licensed software is simply given with a price, like most others. Just because the price isn't monetary doesn't mean it's an 'attack' on the software market.

          Secondly, the software

          • Isn't that his point, though? GPL is not about freedom (as is often claimed); it's about sharing.

            This is perfectly fine, since both are needed in real world in varying proportions, which is why different people use different licenses for different things. It was not an anti-GPL rant. It's a rant about the misuse of the word "freedom" for something which is quite different, even if also important.

            • by migla (1099771)

              Isn't that his point, though? GPL is not about freedom (as is often claimed); it's about sharing.

              Yes, the GPL is more restrictive than BSD. BSD gives you more freedom out of the box. Yet, the gpl should lead to more lines of code being out in the open, freely available for everyone, in the long run. I believe that is the plan and why it is claimed that it is about freedom.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          My idea of freedom is not "here is a free widget, but you can't improve and sell it, you can only give it away" - WTF?

          Let me try making a car analogy. Pretend that in your town there's a car pool (open source collaboration) going. People give each other free rides (source code), some drive more, some drive less, some don't even have a car (they don't code) but people are happy with it and there's enough free seats it works out well. You too have gotten many free rides (source code) from this pool, but now you've finally bought yourself a car (started coding). However, unlike the rest you install a taxi meter and charge peo

        • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @09:03PM (#36043498)

          Look, nobody uses Ubuntu because it has source code available. They use it because it's $free.

          Yes, but many, many more people use FreeBSD and its siblings, partially because of the extra freedom of the BSD license, but mainly because so many contributors prefer the BSD license and its freedoms, and this has allowed the BSDs to progress and improve far, far more rapidly than Ubuntu or the other Linux distros. Because of this, Linux is on the verge of dying out completely.

        • by savuporo (658486)
          Look, nobody uses Ubuntu because it has source code available. They use it because it's $free.

          Actually, i use it because it has source available. I dont disagree with most of your post, i publish my code under MIT or BSD. But i do use Ubuntu because it
          a) mostly works
          b) has debian package management, with sources included

          which makes it a breeze to rebuild every package from the pristine sources in three simple shell commands. So i can ALWAYS, and i mean ALWAYS troubleshoot and get to the bottom of ea
        • by bye (87770)

          Here's where your logic fails:

          If somebody builds on your work and doesn't release it back to you, you don't lose anything.

          Of course you (the project) loses something: you lose an opportunity for the project to go forward.

          It's not a contradiction: you can increase freedom by removing the 'freedom to steal other people's work'.

          A "quid pro quo" license like the GPL is a bit like a voluntary insurance fee: if you find the project useful enough to extend it, and if you find that extension so useful that you redistribute it, you need to contribute it back to the original project which you found so usefu

        • by migla (1099771)

          one string attached... you must support my agenda, mwahahahah! (evil Bowser laugh)"

          Yes there is an agenda. That agenda is Freedom(tm). Not the kind of capitalistic freedom of "you get to buy up as much of the world as you can afford and then fuck it up in order to enrich you even more, or the BSD kind of freedom (which does indeed give you quantitatively more freedom out of the box), where you have the freedom to make the source code un-free, but freedom as in "this code should be free now and distributed c

        • by vegiVamp (518171)

          "Strong-arming people into open source" ? You're exaggerating quite a bit, aren't you. Nobody is "strong-arming" anyone into open source.

          I write some code. That code can be useful to you for basing one of your projects off of. It seems reasonable that I'm recompensed for my work if you use it, doesn't it? The classic recompense is monetary, of course. If I don't want anything at all for my work, I can license it under BSD. If I CHOOSE (no, I'm not being strong-armed) to license my code under GPL, that's say

          • Well said... wish I had mod points.
            There an unpleasant sense of entitlement from people who complain about the GPL restricting their freedoms... if you're going to use my code then you're going to abide by the licence that I choose, or find someone else's.

        • by Waccoon (1186667)

          If somebody builds on your work and doesn't release it back to you, you don't lose anything.

          You're talking to open-source fanatics, sir. Everyone knows reasonable examples like this only apply to piracy and jailbreaking.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Look, nobody uses Ubuntu because it has source code available. They use it because it's $free

          I like how you feel you're qualified to comment on things about which you are wrong. If source code to Ubuntu were not available, I would use something else. I have in fact taken advantage of the fact that the sources are available by updating and patching packages, and without this functionality, I would have been stuck on various issues.

          Further, people ask me to answer their computer questions, and I do not hesitate to suggest Ubuntu, because I know it contains nothing which cannot be forked.

          You are wrong

          • people ask me to answer their computer questions, and I do not hesitate to suggest Ubuntu, because I know it contains nothing which cannot be forked.

            Other than the restricted drivers for things like video and network cards. Would you hesitate to suggest something like gNewSense?

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              I would, because I would want to check their hardware for compatibility.

              Then again, I am unlikely to recommend that someone buy a computer with Windows, if only they ask me in a timely fashion. Which they won't. I can give them my advice on the next one, though. Since most people seem to go through whole computers for software problems this seems likely to be useful.

              The drivers aren't produced by the distributors anyway.

      • And public domain code is most free.

    • They both have restrictions. BSD is especially more restrictive than MIT. So much so that many people consider BSD to be weak copyleft.

      Also, Linus is well known for not being a FSF nut. Sane people in both camps have always been nice about the other camp.
      • by migla (1099771) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @04:51PM (#36040890)

        Sane people in both camps have always been nice about the other camp.

        Yes. The description "bunch of masturbating monkeys" was meant in the nicest possible way. :)

        • by JonJ (907502)

          Yes. The description "bunch of masturbating monkeys" was meant in the nicest possible way. :)

          Well, Linus didn't say that because he thinks the *BSDs are bad operating systems, or that he thinks the BSD license is a bad license. He said it because he believes every bug to be as important as security holes, whereas the OpenBSD guys don't agree. They could've just as easily been the QNX guys or something like that.(Obviously, Linus prefers Linux to the various BSDs, but the competition is good)

    • by jonescb (1888008)

      "Trying to push any particular license as "the ethical choice" just makes me mad. Really."

      You dun made Linus mad.

    • Besides I remember about a year ago (I think) Eric Raymond asking, do we need the GPL?. The debate around this was quite sane with many people looking rationally at all the licences, giving reasons for choosing one over another. Even the GNU people made fair points, in regards to protecting the labour of those who contributed to the code base. I think the community has moved on from irate arguments on freedom, this maybe because Stallman's (as important and influential as he is) view is balanced by others s
    • The creator of Linux thinks the BSD license is more free

      So what? Linus did not write the GPL, and he did not even plan to release the original Linux kernel under a libre license.

      Who is more correct man to say it?

      Maybe RMS, or someone who actually works for the Free Software Foundation?

    • by kwerle (39371)

      The creator of Linux thinks the BSD license is more free. Now we can stop the fighting. BSD license doesn't try to tell other people how they can use the code, GPL does. Who is more correct man to say it?

      I think you just defined flamebait.

      Nice.

    • "So I think the GPLv2 is a great license, and I use it for my own personal reasons. I do think that's true of a lot of other people too, but I really want to point out that it's not that the license is somehow ethical per se. A lot of other people think that the BSD license with its even more freedoms is a better license for them . And others will prefer to use a license that leaves all the rights with the original copyright holder, and gives no rights to the sources at all to others. And for them, that is

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      A lot of other people think that the BSD license with its even more freedoms is a better license for them.

      The creator of Linux thinks the BSD license is more free. Now we can stop the fighting.

      That was two dumb things to say. First, he said the BSD license has more freedoms; he didn't say it leads to more freedom. The two are different and while he may not think so the quote doesn't show that. Second, since Linux invented neither BSD nor GPL his opinion is no more than interesting.

    • by MarkGriz (520778)

      I prefer this quote:

      "Because ethics are to me something private. Whenever you use it as an argument for why somebody_else should do something, you're no longer being ethical, you're just being a sanctimonious dick-head."

      • by clintp (5169)

        I liked this thought tremendously. Slashdot needs a moderation category for this. "Troll", "Overatted", "Underrated", "Being a sanctimonious dick-head"

  • by bl8n8r (649187) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @04:36PM (#36040702)
    To all the people who contributed Open Source projects over the last 20 years, a big THANKS. Can you imagine this landscape without open source software and alternatives to run it on like Linux and the *BSD variants?

    Most of the internet would would need downtime for reboot every night, and the cost incurred by your ISP for all the proprietary licensing would probably put the net out of reach for most common folks.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Most of the internet would would need downtime for reboot every night, and the cost incurred by your ISP for all the proprietary licensing would probably put the net out of reach for most common folks.

      Oh please. It's not like there wouldn't be competition or demand-driven innovation without open source. Either Microsoft would have fixed their shit anyway, proprietary Unix would have gotten cheaper, IBM's OS/2 would have succeeded or maybe even Apple would have stepped in. One way or the other the BSOD hell we had in the 90s was a children's disease that we'd outgrow.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        One way or the other the BSOD hell we had in the 90s was a children's disease that we'd outgrow.

        Yes, we grew up and now we have reboot hell because the system doesn't pause by default when it receives an error that causes ABEND. Unexplained reboots sure are a sign of maturity!

  • by Hatta (162192)

    I don't understand his position on ethics. Ethics are a social construct. Things are unethical because they are likely to cause harm to other people. It makes no sense to have a code of ethics in a social vacuum, if you were the only person on earth nothing could possibly be unethical.

    If unethical actions are harmful, then shouldn't we be making sure the people around us are behaving ethically? Wouldn't that decrease the net harm we suffer? If unethical actions aren't harmful, then what makes them unet

    • Linus' specialty is in managing the kernel development process, not the finer points of English. Besides, I think everyday everyone gets confused with the finer lines between ethics, morals and character. if we didn't, we wouldn't be human.

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        That. And I know that in French "ethical" has a slightly different meaning. It doesn't really mean "judgemental" but "good". It may be the same in Finnish. It would surely explain the reaction.
      • by lennier (44736)

        Linus' specialty is in managing the kernel development process, not the finer points of English. Besides, I think everyday everyone gets confused with the finer lines between ethics, morals and character. if we didn't, we wouldn't be human.

        I don't know, "ethics" is a pretty unambiguous idea to me. It's not being evil, and being evil is most definitely not any kind of private thing.

        It's about as far from "private" as it's possible to get. I really don't get where he's coming from at all.

        • Well. I thought he was talking about character, which is what you are when no one's looking.

          He may have applied the same standard to ethics. Which makes sense. Ethical systems are only valid to yourself.

    • by lennier (44736)

      if you were the only person on earth nothing could possibly be unethical.

      The whales might beg to differ.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      Things are unethical because they are likely to cause harm to other people.

      Things are unethical because they are 'wrong' in terms of 'right and wrong' which are subjective and determined by an individual's point of view.

    • No, you're confusing ethics with moral. Morals are for the most part black and white, these are principles and values that remain consistent and universal across race, nationality, and religion. Something like "do no harm to others" is a moral principle.

      Ethics, on the other hand, is an entirely different branch of moral philosophy. In a sense, you could say ethics are moral principles practically applied to situational circumstances, particular world views, or as you put it a particular social context.

  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @04:54PM (#36040946)
    So I guess the eternal

    Are Linux users lemmings collectively jumping off of the cliff of reliable, well-engineered commercial software? -- Matt Welsh

    goes with this thread, then.

    • So I guess the eternal

      Are Linux users lemmings collectively jumping off of the cliff of reliable, well-engineered commercial software? -- Matt Welsh

      Considering that "lemmings jumping off a cliff" is a myth, your comment is insightful.

    • Eternal is the word. I think it's time they fix the damn slashdot fortune generator, it's been stuck on that quote for way too long.
    • by Spyder (15137)

      I resist the implication that commercial software is, in general, well engineered. I'm not going to claim that the "many eyes" concept always, or even usually, lives up to it's billing; but in several high profile projects the FOSS system has resulted in some of the highest quality and most widely deployed applications and services in world. The market challenge that many projects have represented have motivated vendors to improve in way they claimed were impossible.

      A very short list off the top of my head

  • by EXTomar (78739) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @05:10PM (#36041198)

    I first started using Linux in 1994 in college. Like most college students with a ComSci class that involves coding homework, you are nominally provided university resources to create and compile code but like so many universities, those resources were very overloaded especially during peak and crunch times. I had a 368 which I used for playing games and writing papers but someone mentioned that they knew this thing called Linux that behaved a lot like the system we used except it wasn't so slow.

    So thanks to those authors and contributors back then for making my homework go smoother and who knows how Linux will help years and decades into the future.

    • by Hooya (518216)

      I started in 1995 for exactly the same reason! I had a 486DX at the time - was all kinds of fun trying to get the modlines for X working..

  • by adenied (120700) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @05:11PM (#36041216)
    I don't really care what Linux is doing in 2031. I'm more concerned about 2038. Or rather, what it's not doing toward the end of January. On a serious note, how is Year 2038 being dealt with?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by klapaucjusz (1167407)

      IOn a serious note, how is Year 2038 being dealt with?

      64-bit arches are already not vulnerable, since time_t is 64 bits there.

      If there are any 32-bit arches left in 2038, we'll deal with them in the same way we dealt with the 2GB limitation for file size: by defining new 64-bit datatypes (time64_t, struct timespec64, etc.) and a set of new system calls (time64, gettimeofday64, etc.), and allowing the C headers to transparently map the old names to the new system calls (as with -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64).

      --jch

      • 64-bit arches are already not vulnerable, since time_t is 64 bits there.

        In memory, yes. What about all the filesystem data structures? Network protocols?

    • For the vast majority of applications, it's being dealt with by the move to 64 bit. There may be some specialty devices that remain 32 bit, and therefore require a workaround, but we won't have a good idea of what those are until, oh, about 2031.

    • I don't really care what Linux is doing in 2031. I'm more concerned about 2038. Or rather, what it's not doing toward the end of January. On a serious note, how is Year 2038 being dealt with?

      Every time I look into this problem the answer always appears to be absolutely nothing. Just fixing the problem for 64-bit linux is not going to cut it.

      Some are already starting to run into problems with needing to store future dates today.

  • I've been using this that long? (or close) Congrats Linus, and to all the others that have made this a great OS.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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