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Linus Torvalds Explodes at Red Hat Developer 786

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along? dept.
sfcrazy writes "Quite a lot of people raised their eyebrows the way ex-Red Hat developer Matthew Garrett made Microsoft the 'universal' control of any desktops PCs running with UEFI secure boot. Though the intentions of Garrett were clear — to enable GNU/Linux to be able to run Linux on Windows 8 certified PCs with secure boot; it was clearly putting Microsoft in a very powerful position. Linus, while a supporter of secure boot, exploded at Garrett and Howells when they proposed its inclusion in the kernel. Linus responded: 'Guys, this is not a d*#@-sucking contest. If you want to parse PE binaries, go right ahead. If Red Hat wants to deep-throat Microsoft, that's *your* issue. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with the kernel I maintain. It's trivial for you guys to have a signing machine that parses the PE binary, verifies the signatures, and signs the resulting keys with your own key. You already wrote the code, for chissake, it's in that f*cking pull request.'" Update: 02/25 17:24 GMT by U L : The headline/article are misleading, since mjg seems to agree that the patch is a bit complicated : "(I mean, *I'm* fine with the idea that they're *@#$ing idiots and deserve to be miserable, but apparently there's people who think this is a vital part of a business model)". The issue at hand is a set of patches to load and store keys inside of a UEFI PE binary which is then passed to the kernel, which then extracts the keys from the binary. It's absurd, it's messy, and it's only needed because Microsoft will only sign PE binaries so not supporting it makes restricted boot even more difficult to support.
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Linus Torvalds Explodes at Red Hat Developer

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  • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:52AM (#43002595)
    Well, as soon as they can get over this ideological bullshit and act like professionals, then, maybe, the year of linux on the desktop might magically materialize.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:53AM (#43002609)

    The "fix" seems to have included parsing PE binaries inside the linux kernel. That deserves getting shouted at. What you don't understand is that Linus doesn't care if more people adopt linux if it requires making the architecture smell bad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:53AM (#43002619)

    If Linus wasn't the person he was with the ideals he have Linux would have been as relevant as Minix or Haiku today.

    Yes, he acts like an ass sometimes, usually when someone makes a choice that isn't viable in the long term.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:54AM (#43002641)
    I'd be interested to know how you can separate words like "free" and "open" (as in "free" and "open source" software) from ideology.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:55AM (#43002643)

    Someone needs to tell him that it's hard enough to get people to adopt your OS with 3 million competing distros, much less with the leadership of an egotistical ass who takes every opportunity to scream like bipolar child at anyone who tries to actually help.

    Linux is a kernel. Not an OS.

    The only thing Garrett was doing in this case was recognizing a problem going forward, and fixing it.

    Attempting to make the Linux kernel dependent on Microsoft is exacerbating a problem.

  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:56AM (#43002669)

    This is also not the first time Linus has had a publicized explosion at someone, and it probably won't be the last, either. This really is the sort of behavior that ultimately detracts from the open source community. Consider:

    * Linus' track record of explosive, public comments against people whom he has some disagreement with
    * Stallman's general Communist ramblings and presentation of himself as a disheveled bum
    * type "Eric S Raymond" into Google, and the first suggestion is "Racist", not CatB, not How to be a Hacker, not any of his code.

    Is Torvalds right? In this case, probably. There isn't a reason to include this functionality in the base kernel. If it is useful to RedHat, then RedHat can include it in their distribution. But publicly attacking someone, especially someone working for a company which is largely responsible for making Linux "respectable" isn't doing himself, the project, or the community at large any good, any more than Ballmer throwing chairs and screaming "Developers" or the "Howard Dean Scream" helped Microsoft or Howard Dean.

  • by Severus Snape (2376318) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:57AM (#43002675)

    He claims to love Linux, but what he really loves is himself. And every time it looks like Linux might achieve even a modicum of success, his overinflated ego is always there to ruin it.

    Someone needs to tell him that it's hard enough to get people to adopt your OS with 3 million competing distros, much less with the leadership of an egotistical ass who takes every opportunity to scream like bipolar child at anyone who tries to actually help. The only thing Garrett was doing in this case was recognizing a problem going forward, and fixing it. And Torvalds tears his head off for it. He thinks everything has to be a big heroic stand--with him as hero, of course.

    Well, if you read the mail conversation you'll know the majority of developers came out in agreeance with Linus and his views.on the matter. He has said he's tried being nicer, it just isn't him though. He is usual right though and when wrong accepts it. He is an extremely good maintainer regardless of peoples opinions on him.

  • whew! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:57AM (#43002679)
    glad Linus knows better than to let microsoft skullfuck him,

    "attaboy" Linus! Kudos :)
  • Oh brother (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:58AM (#43002693)

    When Linus makes a comment on something, why does he always sound like an eight year old throwing a tantrum? Looks like it would get embarrassing after a while. Yeesh!

  • Insightful? WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:58AM (#43002699)

    He claims to love Linux, but what he really loves is himself...

    This is an absurd troll. Linux IS Linux and he's free to do whatever he wishes in that regard. But, anyone with any understanding of the issue at all would clearly see that Linus is right. Microsoft has successfully leveraged it's monopoly status in the PC industry by implementing secure boot where they and they alone hold the keys to even BOOT a PC.

    Implementing wedges or incorporating Microsoft's binaries into your code to boot your distribution is your option. But, expecting Linus to accept it into the kernel, when he has repeatedly made it clear that he will not incorporate non-free binaries, let alone this Microsoft root kit is asinine and ludicrous.

  • Well, as soon as they can get over this ideological bullshit and act like professionals, then, maybe, the year of linux on the desktop might magically materialize.

    I use Linux because I feel it is the best Free and Open environment. Note those ideological words? OK, sibling comment says that, but it doesn't say this: I feel it has become that because of the ideology, not in spite of it. I give a fuck if everyone else runs the same operating system I am. And in any case, Android is continuing to gain market share. I figure it's got the best chance right now to become Linux on the desktop, I'll just back it.

  • by Pecisk (688001) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:01AM (#43002743)

    While Linus outbursts could make few pople nervous, I really start to hate such comments which are really aimed to get some mod points without saying anything true. But of course, everyone loves look for blame, so it works.

    "He claims to love Linux, but what he really loves is himself. And every time it looks like Linux might achieve even a modicum of success, his overinflated ego is always there to ruin it."

    I really hope that he loves himself, because that would mean he is healthy thinking person. That's actually requirement to survive this harsh world. If you loath yourself, then I really pitty you.

    About rest of this paragraph - his outburst ruins any success, really? Either you are not fully informed or ignorant. You know what GPL means? That means that Ubuntu and Fedora can do as they want, as they release patches in public. They are not obliged to have it in mainline kernel - and neither Linus is obliged to support them. He maybe splits hair at first, but then he justifies his POV quite clearly. It's technical decision.

    "Someone needs to tell him that it's hard enough to get people to adopt your OS with 3 million competing distros, much less with the leadership of an egotistical ass who takes every opportunity to scream like bipolar child at anyone who tries to actually help."

    Wow, do you read lkml every day? I have done in recent past and Linus uses harsh language only in rarest cases. Also he has always been openly honest about what he thinks. It helps, because it cuts confusion down to minimum. If he doesn't like something, he says it openly. Trust me, it works. It's one of reasons why he still call the shots.

    Also please cut it those cries about "3 million competing distros". First, there are maximum 4 major distros, supported by majority of open source and commercial software. There are fully standartised two packaging formats. Last I checked Windows has hundreds of different installers and packaging formats.

    People don't use Linux not because of these things. They don't use it because it's not available in OEM form and they are afraid to use something different than their friends do.

  • by smash (1351) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:01AM (#43002759) Homepage Journal
    BSD license. Essentially "here's some cool shit, go nuts. Just mention us in the credits!" No political BS trying to enforce your world view on others.
  • This really is the sort of behavior that ultimately detracts from the open source community.

    Not calling things what they are is the kind of behavior that leads to oppression and fascism.

    But publicly attacking someone, especially someone working for a company which is largely responsible for making Linux "respectable"

    If their vision of making Linux respectable is to fellate Microsoft, they deserve public flaming and shaming. Fuck that fucking fuck.

  • by iapetus (24050) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:02AM (#43002775) Homepage

    In particular it isn't news to Linus. Which is how git got its name.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:04AM (#43002805)

    Argument or fight?

    Argument, Torvalds, hands down. Ballmer just screams loudly, he can't actually form a logical, coherent argument or come up with any witty comebacks. Torvalds is no Cicero, but he can definitely tell someone how to fuck off.

    However, Ballmer seems to be more prone to physical violence. Torvalds better learn how to duck. Or parry. Otherwise it might be a short fight.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:04AM (#43002807)

    Too bad in real life what that gets you is a dying OS.

    What happens is changes do not make it back, no one is forced to cooperate and the OS stagnates and dies. This is why BSD is still so far behind with modern features.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:05AM (#43002819)

    I use Linux because I feel it is the best Free and Open environment.

    Ideologies always have a few extremist supporters. And in this case most of them congregate around slashdot. Most people wouldn't choose an OS for an ideology though.

  • by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:06AM (#43002835) Homepage

    You need to be the first post in this topic.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:06AM (#43002839)

    I see SuSe and debian used daily in professional environments.

    RedHat is only big with a small group of Enterprises more interested in red tape and bureaucracy than getting work done. RedHat would have no product without Linus.

  • by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:07AM (#43002847)
    I have some friends that talk like that when they're completely calm. You can't gauge how emotional this response is based on the words alone.
  • by Goaway (82658) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:08AM (#43002851) Homepage

    Linus does not explode at "people whom he has some disagreement with". He does so at kernel developers, specifically, who are doing things that he sees as harmful to the Linux kernel.

  • by smash (1351) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:09AM (#43002867) Homepage Journal
    Must be why its the core of juniper JunOS, every Netapp filer, every iDevice, every Mac, every Cisco IronPort, etc.
  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:10AM (#43002885)

    Because Linus knows what we all do, that this will end badly for RedHat. MS will come up with a reason to break booting RedHat later. No one plays with MS and comes out ahead.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:13AM (#43002935)

    The Linux kernel is not beholden to any business interest. Given the various user-space shenanigans (systemd, udev) over the past year, I'm not surprised by his response.

    Trying to move user space items into the kernel that are not universally beneficial, or conversely trying to manipulate kernel space in ways that break long standing POSIX functionality - without a clear consensus from the community - is asking for it.

    For all his faults, Linus has managed to keep the kernel relevant for a very large array of hardware in the face of these pressures.

  • Re:Oh brother (Score:4, Insightful)

    by camperdave (969942) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:14AM (#43002945) Journal

    When Linus makes a comment on something, why does he always sound like an eight year old throwing a tantrum? Looks like it would get embarrassing after a while. Yeesh!

    Probably because, by the time we hear about an issue, the preliminary niceties and the initial mud-slinging are over and they're into the hot-tempered, name-calling phase of the debate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:15AM (#43002951)
    Difference is, he's effective via persistence, Linus is effective via implementation.
  • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:18AM (#43002987)

    you forgot hundreds of thousands of printers, thousands of elevator controls, pbx and phone switches.

  • Re:Oh brother (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:20AM (#43003025)

    Because when people do something retarded like give Microsoft control over booting Linux on PCs, that's the kind of response they deserve.

  • Thick Skin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bucc5062 (856482) <bucc5062NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:20AM (#43003029)

    If you do not have a thick skin in this business you will get eaten up from the inside. I learned that the hard way. This is a business of egos, because this is first a business of Art and Art is ego. Yes, we wrap logic and algorithms around it, but the foundation is a creative process and that is tied to ego.

    The question I have is what happens to Linux after Linus? If he is the Monarch, is there an heir or will Linux slowly begin to splinter without that strong Ego to guide its vision. Seems like the King does not want something added to "his" kernel, but had he disappeared just before his tirade, what would have happened?

    maybe this goes into the deeper question of who (or what) defines the core of a Kernel. For Windows, iOS it seems to be decisions by committee and business need. For Linux? We say it is open source, but with His Holiness issuing colorful decrees, how open is it besides the obvious insurrection approach.

    From what little I've garnered about the man, that was a fairly tame tirade, it does no impact on the progress of Linux and once I finally understood the issue I tended to agree with Linus's view, though with less passion.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:20AM (#43003037) Homepage
    I imagine that Torvalds would lose specifically because of the reason you state. He would probably just leave and therefore lose by default. Arguing with people who can't form a logical coherent argument is both frustrating and a huge waste of your time. You can't win an argument if the person you are arguing with refuses to change their opinion and doesn't even use logic and truths to back up their own opinions.
  • by yacc143 (975862) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:26AM (#43003131) Homepage

    Yep, it's simple, for these closed-source commercial offerings, the option of being able to close the source is valued more than features, especially hardware compatibility is not overly relevant, considering the fact that it has to run on a highly limited set of hardware.

    Put bluntly, considering that the alternative is either Windows, which has bad license requirements for manufacturers, and is not exactly a high performance OS (just to illustrate, the Win7 here manages to slow down even a nice new SSD by over a magnitude in the filesystem code just copying small files on NTFS), and on the other hand you've got Linux that has license conditions that are not acceptable (or perceived so by the legal dept), and say some performance enhancements and quite a bit of hardware support that you don't need anyway, ...

    Hard choice, isn't it?

    For a generic OS, I'll stick with Linux, because that's where all the advanced stuff is relevant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:27AM (#43003157)

    Why is it when Linus speaks, the geek community bends over and takes it up the ass to cover for him? "slight fist shaking"? Seriously?

    'Guys, this is not a d*#@-sucking contest. If you want to parse PE binaries, go right ahead. If Red Hat wants to deep-throat Microsoft, that's *your* issue. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with the kernel I maintain. It's trivial for you guys to have a signing machine that parses the PE binary, verifies the signatures, and signs the resulting keys with your own key. You already wrote the code, for chissake, it's in that f*cking pull request.'"

    This is as much fanboi-ism as any Apple or MS fan. This was over the top, and unprofessional. If you spoke to anyone like this in a corporate environment, HR would be handing you your hat. Why does the FOSS community keep giving him a free pass to act like an asshat?

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:28AM (#43003167)

    Fortune 500 would be the small group of enterprises that value red tape over getting shit done.

    Working for one you should know that.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:30AM (#43003193)

    Linus does not care because what Tivo does cannot stop him from using his computers the way he wants. This would let MS say what code linux runs, see how that is different?

  • by MrMickS (568778) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:32AM (#43003225) Homepage Journal

    Is Torvalds right? In this case, probably. There isn't a reason to include this functionality in the base kernel. If it is useful to RedHat, then RedHat can include it in their distribution. But publicly attacking someone, especially someone working for a company which is largely responsible for making Linux "respectable" isn't doing himself, the project, or the community at large any good, any more than Ballmer throwing chairs and screaming "Developers" or the "Howard Dean Scream" helped Microsoft or Howard Dean.

    So because Redhat have made Linux respectable for business use that this should add weight to their proposals and get them special treatment if they make a brain dead suggestion? Linus is very brunt and forthright in his dealings, it saves time, there's no doubting his position. Sadly I wish I worked with more people like this rather than ones that talk around ideas and suggestions instead of being decisive.

    Self censorship is a huge problem throughout organisations with people not being sure enough of themselves to say what they mean or think instead they couch replies in vague terms so as not to offend and hope for some sort of consensus. This invariably leads to sub-optimal solutions but allows people to escape any resultant blame due to the shared nature of the final decision process. I'd rather stick my neck out and say things as I see them. If I'm wrong on something tell me why and I'll take it onboard, however we should get a good solution rather than a half-assed one.

    The explosion serves two purposes; firstly it puts an immediate block on this particular action, secondly its memorable and noticeable enough so as to dissuade future proposals of a similar nature thus saving time.

  • by T.E.D. (34228) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:45AM (#43003403)

    My theory is that we all have a Stallman Point, a spot on the spectrum of the slide away from personal computing freedom where we just can't calmly stand around and watch folks push things further the wrong way. It looks to me like Linus just hit his with this "SecureBoot" crapola.

    Sadly, everyone has a slightly different Stallman Point, and folks who haven't yet reached theirs look at someone getting upset and think "what an unreasonable person", while those who are long past theirs look at the same person and say "what a buffoon. If he'd only had this fit back at *my* Stallman Point we could have nipped this in the bud, but now its far too late".

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:47AM (#43003423)

    I'd expect them to choose it based on the benefits of the ideology.

    Where there are benefits, they do. Chiefly the benefit of being free as in beer. That's why it's been used for embedded devices such as routers and phones. But that's manufacturers making the choice.

    On the desktop there's consumer choice. And for most consumers free as in beer is less useful to them than ease of use and compatibility.

    On servers, free as in beer has turned out to be more important than ease of use, because computer operators can be expected to learn the accidental complexity.

  • Re:so uh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:47AM (#43003431) Journal

    burned out maybe?

    Well, you know, just because a burned-out employee calls a colleague or boss a minipulative douchebag corporate psychopath, doesn't mean that that colleague or boss isn't a manipulative douchebag corporate psychopath.

    Likewise, just because Torvalds is burned out and said that RedHat is deepthroating Microsoft, doesn't mean that RedHat isn't deepthroating Microsoft.

    In fact, RedHat has been deepthroating Microsoft for several years already. RedHat decided they want to be Microsoft's bitch completely, with UEFI.

  • by kh31d4r (2591021) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:52AM (#43003489)
    most people don't choose OS, they just use whatever comes preinstalled.
  • On the desktop there's consumer choice. And for most consumers free as in beer is less useful to them than ease of use and compatibility.

    No one has ever proven or even credibly suggested that Windows or OSX is easier to use than Linux, especially Android. And there's compatibility and then there's compatibility. You can be compatible with Windows applications and this year's hardware, or you can be compatible with literally everything else. Linux supports vastly more hardware than does any Windows version. My house is peppered with hardware I bought used because Windows no longer offered drivers, nor the manufacturer. Scanners, printers, all manner of peripheral. People sell stuff because it doesn't work with their new Windows PC, and then I buy it and plug it into Linux and it works great.

    On servers, free as in beer has turned out to be more important than ease of use, because computer operators can be expected to learn the accidental complexity.

    If you can seriously sit there and tell me that Windows makes servers easier to use in the way that admins use servers, you know fuck-all about anything.

  • by Kagetsuki (1620613) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:58AM (#43003581)

    Because in this case he's fighting for their interests. If he allowed the patch it would give Microsoft very real control over what you can and can not run Linux on - and worse than that it would give them the power to revoke that permission from every kernel having that patch.

  • by cheesybagel (670288) on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:06AM (#43003679)

    Alternatively let the Linux Foundation, or better yet, some vendor agnostic association, like the PCI SIG should handle the keys. Having Microsoft handle the keychain is bonkers.

  • Re:whew! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:07AM (#43003685)

    And a very good point, but not just Microsoft.

    Torvalds is in a tough key position in that one of his jobs is to keep the kernel "clean" and efficient.

    There are almost certainly many more "vested interests" besides Microsoft that would like to see some special little chunk of code that directly addresses their "proprietary" needs inserted in the kernel. And if this is allowed, in the end we have the mess that is the Windows kernel.

    Seriously, insert [any big corp] into the discussion instead of MS. Oracle comes to mind, and Red Hat was involved here as well...

    Maybe Torvalds sounds like a "douche", but maybe people should know better than to foist dung disguised as kernel patches / additions at him?

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:08AM (#43003693)

    Here's a thought. If having Microsoft being in charge of providing the key as to who gets to boot or not is such a good idea, then it would make just as much sense to have Apple be in charge of the key or even Redhat. Would Microsoft be willing to put Redhat in control of key signing into their kernel? Probably not. Then why should the linux kernel be subjected to Microsoft's control?

    Torvalds is correct on this. It is unfortunate in the way he articulated it, because instead of reasoned argument, it comes across as a flaming rant.

  • woooooosh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sweatyboatman (457800) <sweatyboatman AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:20AM (#43003849) Homepage Journal

    you wish you worked with people who suggested you like to suck dick when they disagreed with you?

  • by sweatyboatman (457800) <sweatyboatman AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:33AM (#43004017) Homepage Journal

    No one plays with MS and comes out ahead.

    No one? Not one of the millions of software development houses, game studios, hardware manufacturers, etc. that have built successful businesses on and around the Windows platform have come out ahead?

  • Re:woooooosh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:52AM (#43004259)

    you wish you worked with people who suggested you like to suck dick when they disagreed with you?

    Yes. I've had quite enough experience of working with people using weasel-words, causing wasted time and energy, instead of being very blunt in the few situations where it's really called for. Like this one.

    Linus is Finnish, and very blunt. Always has been. It's nothing new, it's not unexpected, and it has been a very good thing for the Linux kernel since its inception.

    The woooooosh is entirely on you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:52AM (#43004261)

    As a former Microsoft employee I kind of agree with Linus. I know some of the goons responsible for the Win8 code signing and I know the way they think. Simply: they are morons, they are in way over their head, and they definitely should not be allowed to let taint the minds of kernel developers on other platforms. Linus is absolutely right to say that there should not be a PE image parser in the kernel just because Microsoft wants to mandate it.

    Now, while you criticize Linus for this perfectly rational point, and say that he hasn't had mainstream success, I say that Linux is actually a smashing success. Maybe the workstation and PC thing didn't take off but you can't really talk about servers or smartphones or anything embedded without considering it.

  • by Pecisk (688001) on Monday February 25, 2013 @12:01PM (#43004365)

    No one of them directly competes with Microsoft in it's primary and only profitable market.

  • by dynamo (6127) on Monday February 25, 2013 @12:19PM (#43004577) Journal

    Anti-Trust is a joke in this country, and a sad one at that.
    Actually, I should say Anti-Trust was a joke back when we had it.
    Now we have Too Big To Fail.

    With the incentives in place now, we are well on our way to having One Big Company, invulnerable to laws it doesn't bother to follow even though it wrote them all, and paid for all the votes.

  • Sorry, you're falling flat on your face for this one. Here's why:

    When I ask the question, "How do change the screen resolution?"
    Windows: Control Panel
    Mac: System Preferences
    Linux: It depends

    Statistically nobody asks "how do I change the screen resolution on Linux". They ask "How do I change the screen resolution on Ubuntu", or "...redhat". (Most users of other Linuxes can figure this shit out for themselves.) You are reframing the question in a disingenuous manner. You may try again, but don't apologize to me unless you're going to apologize for your nonsense.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Monday February 25, 2013 @12:50PM (#43005021) Homepage Journal

    Who should be holding the keys to their computer -- the user of the computer of course! But Microsoft doesn't think that way, they think that they should "own" the PC, and the user just uses it. Might as well be a corporate mainframe with millions of dumb terminals in that case, and that's what we are moving towards.

    Look at the XBOX -- the new one -- It will have to be connected all the time to the internet, to "verify" every game you try to play. So, how long until your PC has to be connected to internet to "verify" your BIOS before it will even boot into an OS?

    And Microsoft holding the keys? What happens if, 6 weeks after we've had this forced on us, MS goes out of business? Or is "bought" in some hostile takeover and then the one server verifying all those keys is removed from service (anyone remember MLB or Danger/Sidekick?)

    We will all have to throw away our machines. And we can't even back them up to recover the data (forget about moving the HD to a new machine with no key'ed BIOS, MS has already seen to that with new DRMs in Win8).

    If we hand MS the keys, MS could destroy the entire PC industry with one mistake. Which would destroy the economy. All those machines all over the world that hold so much data that runs our planet, pfft. And those servers won't be running Linux after all, because MS prevented that from loading years before this tragedy took place.

    And the mistake wouldn't even have to be MS's fault. I mean, how hard would it be for the Chinese to hack their way into the keys and disable the whole thing?

  • by scubamage (727538) on Monday February 25, 2013 @12:59PM (#43005135)
    Honestly, when dealing with someone who is managing a large project, it is way better to have someone appear rude but be very frank and transparent on where they stand. It's way, WAY more difficult dealing with folks from either families or heritages which keep them silent about things they don't like until you suddenly have to redo half of a project because they didn't speak out, or chastize someone in a way that was necessary to keep the problem from festering.
  • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Monday February 25, 2013 @01:04PM (#43005205)

    This is insightful? You are comparing apples to oranges. The organizations you mention are not competing with MS, they they build their products to run on Windows. They are not building an alternative to Windows. Microsoft benefits from those companies when they release a software product that runs on their OS platform.

    MS is an OS vendor (with a few products thrown in for good measure, Office etc.), Linux is an OS and therefor is a competitor to Windows. Redhat is a Linux vendor and therefor an MS competitor. How did this fact escape both you and the moderators?

  • by deanklear (2529024) on Monday February 25, 2013 @01:38PM (#43005661)

    You are reframing the question in a disingenuous manner. You may try again, but don't apologize to me unless you're going to apologize for your nonsense.

    In the world of mature adults, documentation and backwards compatibility are the most essential parts to platform success. As a software vendor, if I have the choice of including Linux and having to write documentation and deal with bugs for dozens of distros or ignore the platform entirely, which business case do you think wins out? Keep in mind that end-user desktop Linux usage is the equivalent of a statistical error. Also keep in mind that I'm not talking about end user training alone. I'm talking about training the support staff that deals with end user support, automating testing suites for usability and bug tracking, unit testing, how to pass software updates, how to maintain backwards compatibility between distro upgrades... the Linux desktop ecosystem is a sea of poorly documented unknowns. That's just the reality.

    At this point there isn't even a sane way to come up with use cases for desktops that will work between Ubuntu 12.04 and 11.04, or between Xubuntu and Kubuntu and Lubuntu. What happens when you make the move from Debian to Centos to Slackware to Arch to Mint to SuSE?

    The excuses ideological die hards make are pathetic, and they have been for the fifteen years I have been a Linux user and hearing about the age of the Linux Desktop. Despite all the noise, the situation remains exactly the same: come up with a standardized interface for the Linux Desktop -- including all the software tools to test, update, and maintain software across the vast majority of Linux platforms -- or continue to lose. Those are the two choices.

    If you want that success for the Linux desktop, you need to push for standards and quit making excuses.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:36PM (#43007445)

    Morally bankrupt? It's a fucking OS. Get a grip. There's ideology, then there's zealotry. When you start talking about morals in the choice of as mundane a product as an OS, you've crossed the line into zealotry.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.

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