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Nick Petrely responds to Metcalfe 384

Aleatoric writes "In his response to Bob Metcalfe's article, Nick Petrely says he'll eat his column if Bob doesn't change his mind about Linux within two years. " Good column- describes the usual MS FUD tactics and why it wont' work this time.
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Nick Petrely responds to Metcalfe

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Metcalf is still right. The question is not whether Linux or WinXXXX wins; the question is, what will replace both of them?

    Unix is old stuff; generally works well, fairly easily repaired, very configurable, not too easy to use. WinXXXX is easy to use, generally works OK (but not great), poorly configurable, unrepairable. At the server, the various Unices can make substantial inroads on market share, because maintainability, configurability, and availability are priorities. On the desktop, its usability and breadth of applications. WinXXXX is going to win that battle for awhile.

    The next real surge in computer utility will come with the next generation OS. There are a lot of interesting OS research projects out there, but little of it is making its way into "production" OSes, open-source or otherwise. The Linux community has a certain conservatism which seems to inhibit absorption of new things, which is why I expect the next big OS to evolve outside of both MS and the Linux community.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    >Anyone who complains loudly makes a fool out of himself, IMNSHO.

    And of course no one ever complains loudly here on Slashdot.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Foolish, foolish mortal. Microsoft is EVIL. Therefore all of their products are INFERIOR. How dare you bring LOGIC into the Sacred Halls of /.?

    It's so sad to see someone who focuses on how stable his OS is, what he can get done with it, and how it feels. As we all know, performance, ease of installation, ease of use, and server benchmarks should be ignored when they do not demonstrate the Evils of Microsoft.

    To be a true /.'er, you have to be in lock-step with everyone else, to wit:


    "Finally, sir, have you no shame?"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think we're all in agreement here that it would take a climactic event to totally halt the development of Linux.

    Indeed it would. A few things that would cut way back on Linux development:

    1. A bit tax on the Internet. Why should tax money it's competitors pay be used against them.

    2. Corporations tightening up on wasted time by their programming staffs. Why should companies pay their programmers to diddle around in projects that aren't on the agenda as revenue producing projects.

    3. An end to the classic "Internet." Linux development is heavily subsidized by the mere existence of Usenet, IRC, and various other Internet technologies, which are based on the old notion that the Internet is "free" and available to the government and it's contractors.

    4. Trojans, hackers, and other goons. Companies that let employees install Linux on machines all over the place in an anarchic fashion are asking for serious trouble. Unsecured Linux boxes are nests for criminals to lodge their code into for further attacks on other parts of the corporate infrastructure. This in particular is going to get Linux banned in companies all over the place.
    A Linux machine on the company network is in itself somewhat of a trojan horse. People joke about it all the time in the Linux community. IS managers don't laugh at that kind of humor.

    5. Intellectual Property Issues. The GPL has never seen it's day in court. When some legal precedents are set, we will see how strong it is. In particular, many people who have contributed to the Linux effort work for companies at a day job. Many of them are subject to agreements with their employer that prohibits them from contributing code to non-company efforts. As the litigation picks up (it will, when Linux becomes more than a 1-2% phenomenon) the Linux kernel will start looking like swiss cheese, with sections that are pulled because the code belongs to the company a hacker worked for when producing it. Lots of fun will then emerge as people have to fill those holes with new cleanroom code.

    These points need to be considered by any commercial entity seriously considering putting a significant part of it's infrastructure on Linux. They'll be thinking about stuff like this. Don't forget that with Microsoft all they have to do is budget it in.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Extra bonus points for Mr. Petreley for the Ethernet slam. Classic.

    What Metcalfe misses of course is that Linux is powerful, reliable, efficient, getting easy to use, and *evolvable*.

    Linux evolves just like science evolves -- just like, ahem, computer science. Despite all the micro vs macro kernel arguments I don't think that microkernels ever "won". They never "won" the way quicksort won vs. bubblesort.

    In any case, the Linux POSIX API is UNIX, but the architecture is a significantly evolved version. The wonder of UNIX is that the original idea was elegant enough that a limited number of thoughtful embellishments allowed it to grow into a beautifully crafted, organic thing.

    Maybe its not QNX, but maybe its more than good enough.

    Jim Burnes

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27, 1999 @09:22AM (#1829994)
    Quite frankly, I don't want Linux to smash Windows, or the MacOS. I want the various parties to concentrate on themselves, and interoperability. Linux isn't for everyone, neither is Windows, or the MacOS. Making progress on interoperability should be the real goal.

    After not using Windows for a long time, I decided to install Windows 2k Pro on one of my (linux) laptop partitions. I must say its rather refreshing to use Windows 2k, it's been very fast, abd stable for me. Nice UI, there aren't wizards everywhere (yet they still exist, damnit), and it seems responsive, I have had apps crash a few times, and none have taken down the OS itself. Internet Explorer doesn't constantly crash and disappear when I'm loading a page I didn't get to bookmark. No one can deny the Linux versions of Netscape are very shoddy pieces of work (this has nothing to do with Linux, it has to do with Netscape). When I just need to get stuff done with no BS, I find it refreshing to boot into Windows 2k and just get it done.

    What do I think is lacking in Win2k? UNIX! Or rather everything great about it, the powerful scripting, the open programming interfaces, the level of control you have over your computer. To be honest, since Win2k is closed source, I do not know if my computer is sending Microsoft information I don't want it to, I don't know what's REALLY going on, when Microsoft tells my browser to download this nifty new component.

    The built-in Encrypted File System in Win2k is 40-bit (upgradable to 128-bit) and shoddy. I don't trust that it's secure, because of the way the EFS works...automatically de/encrypting whenever someone with the right privileges clicks on it. And I could go on and on about this :)

    Using Windows 2k, I am bluntly reminded of how much more work KDE and GNOME have to do, before they can even begin to truly compete with the Windows interface. The downside to such a great interface is bloat...Windows 2k is undoubtedly bloated outrageously, but on my 192mb PII 366 system its not reall noticed, it does (almost, its not UNIX after all ;) everything I want it to, and does it responsively.

    So instead of starting religious wars...{I mean Linux and Windows are JUST OSes after all, there are many more serious things to war about)...let's concentrate on interoperability, and getting our favourite OSes up to snuff. It would be a great world if all OSes could share data and services seamlessly with each other, without much tinkering. Instead of trying to drill the pipedream that KDE is as polished as the Windows UI, start helping the KDE project, give them coherent and useful suggestions.

    It must be greatly disheartening for a KDE or GNOME developer to look out into the masses, and seeing users (people who arent even involved in the coding of the respective projects) bickering, and evangelizing their work...

    Calm down, concentrate your efforts into improving free software, or on the Windows side, auditing security, etc. To quote a great meth addict/police beat toy: "Can't we all just get along?"

    send flames to /dev/null, I don't war about OSes
  • EROS (http://www.eros-os.org/) has some very interesting ideas built into it (it's the work of a Jonathan Shapiro at U Penn for his phd, utilizing many concepts of the KeyKOS). Things such as it's pure capability architecture, orthogonal global persistence, "stateless" supervisor, deadlock-free supervisor, and a few others are very interesting. The OS itself has been released under a modified MPL (runs on x86 for now) btw. There has some brief talking of taking advantage of some of its features long-term on linux-kernel too.
  • I can't rember who said this and I'm too lazy to go grep the linux fortune cookie file but any ways. The quote goes somthing like "Linux is user friendly, it is just not IDOT friendly"

    I think this applys very well here, just because you are too stupid to set somthing up right, you blame the product. Linux runs great on my system, it boots up faster the Windows and we won't even talk about which one is more stable. It not linux's fault that you can't setup X or netscape worth crap let me tell you that buy editing your prefrences in Netscape you can turn up that font size. But by reading the rest of this message the only think that I can't suggest you did that would rectify your situation is to shoot yourself.
  • KDE isn't a distrubution. I'm going to assume that you know that. But then again, if your telling him to switch to KDE your probably a idot and don't know that. KDE? KDE has got the be the ugliest, most unstable peice of trash I have seen in my life besides windows. Windows, even looks better. KDE looks like somthing that was in my toliet the other damn. I'm not saying it dosen't have its upsides such as being very user friendly but please for a man who is complaing about how his X desktop looks, KDE is going to make him hate linux. I think it would be best for him to use Enlightnement and if he really want to use a office/desktop enviroment which is actaully what KDE is he sould use gnome. Its a hell of alot more stable and infinitly better looking. If you don't think its better looking you haven't tried out all the themes.
  • Oh never mind, I guess that was a joke and that line is suppose to be part of your sig file. KDE is the ugliest think I have every seen in my life, and god knows I have seen some ugly things since I goto public school. KDE is also very unstable, why don't your get a real desktop enviroment like gnome. Its so much better looking, more stable and much more configuable then KDE. And gnome is a much cooler name too.

    This is my sig line
  • BOY! When I was your age I had been using linux for two years. I can't program, I just know how to read, and I decided to get of my lazy ass and learn linux because I figured it couldn't be any worse then Windows. People like linux because it does look better the windows, you just can't use the preinstalled setup with the window manager. Just like everytime I install windows on my machine to use my scanner, I always change the coloring scheme to Rainy day, delete the recycle bin, move all the folders such as games, system tools etc out of applications and move them to the main programs menu. I would do more but I can't.
    Your problem is your just plain lazy, and your a windows whore.

    Oh and I am now 17 and I look back and say damn, back in the day I didn't know shit about linux, but I'm glad I'm stuck with it because now I don't have to reboot at least once and day. I also like not wasting 100 megs for my Operating System. I can only imagine how many megs Windows2k takes up.
  • And I don't really think another win9X release really counts. In the time it will take for NT to have a desktop/home model(what w2k was planned to be), linux will have had a long time to grow. For MS's alledged "betting the farm" on NT the stakes have been fairly low.
  • I found the Ethernet comment at the end quite amusing. Mocking your opponent while making a worthwhile observation earns you style points.
  • Yeah? Well screw you pal. I, for one, would use OS/2 on PPC, if such a thing existed. Ah well at least PPC owners got OSX now...
  • how about 'ill eat a cup full of my own steaming hot semen' that would be alot more interesting

    What you do in your spare time is your own business Sparky
  • Or:

    "Dependable Technology"
    "Productive Technology"

    Why bother adding a history-element to it? Since time is insufferable, making time part of the buzz is a losing battle.

    Because of time, New Technology isn't.

  • Unix was not based on MULTICS. It was based on some of the *ideas* in MULTICS --- but MULTICS itself was tightly bound to the hardware it ran on, a very nonstandard machine whose like no longer exists.
  • I always love it when MS includes something in their GUI to slow the user down.

    Yea, I really needed my Start menu to fade in when I click on it when it appears.

    Sure, stuff like that looks cool, but I wouldnt exactly call the GUI enhancements in Win2kb3 (which I actually kind of like) "revolutionary".
    As a relatively new Linux user (but a somewhat experienced shell user), I love some of the stuff you can do with Linux GUIs. Its not MacOS (GUI wise), but its still cool.
  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Sunday June 27, 1999 @06:49AM (#1830007) Homepage
    We need to find a way to re-term "old technology". That term brings to mind all those old 486-33's that every corporation on earth has sitting in a basement storeroom someplace, waiting to get thrown out. Old technology is Windows 3.11, or a MacSE...

    Maybe "Polymorphic Software" is the way to go -- just as all science today is built on the shoulders of the giants who came before, so shall all software be built upon a sturdy foundation. We use basic tools to build better tools, which in turn we use to develop better tools. Where else is this concept better illustrated than in the history of Linux (remember what Linux looked like in 1994? I still have nightmares... =) ).

    UNIX has a solid, expandible base. Windows does not, unless you think that the autoexec.bat file is a really keen way to get things done.


  • Marquis of Queensbury rules... personally my money's on the Petrely kid.
  • Actually, the Ethernet vs. Token Ring analogy is very useful in the Linux vs. Windows 2000 debate. Ethernet was an open protocol that anybody could license and tweak, while Token Ring was a proprietary standard that only IBM and a chosen few were allowed to sell and tweak. Similarly, Linux is an open OS that anybody can sell or tweak, while WIndows 2000 is a closed proprietary standard that only Microsoft is allowed to sell or tweak. Just as in the VHS vs. Beta war, where the open standard won, the open standard has an inherent advantage here. Unless Microsoft licenses the Windows source code to other companies for them to tweak and sell under their own brand name (Compaq Windows, anybody?), they will inevitably go the same way as Beta no matter how technically superior (or not).

    To conclude: Whether or not Linux is technically superior (in some ways it is, in some ways it isn't) is irrelevant, as Petreley was trying to say. What it will come down to, in the end, is a matter of two questions:
    a) does it do the job?
    b) does it save us money?

    Ethernet did the job, and saved money as vs. Token Ring, so it won. Petreley is saying that Linux meets those same criteria.

  • "Anonymous Coward"'s credentials are obvious. His credentials are that he has an office in Redmond on the campus of a large OS vendor and thus is automatically smarter than the rest of us (sarcasm intended).

  • I don't think so. According to benchmarks of MkLinux (the microkernel-based version),it was as much as 30% slower than 'monolithic' Linux. 'Real' BSD-based MACH showed the same kind of performance decrease as compared with 'real' BSD Unix.

    What microkernels were supposed to do was not make kernel internals faster (a little thought will tell you that message-passing is more expensive than function calls), but, rather, make them easier to write, more reliable, and easier to write drivers for. Unfortunately their promise there does not seem to have worked. RMS, for example, blames HURD's stability problems on, quote, "a microkernel is harder to debug".

    I personally still like a microkernel approach, and believe that if done properly it can get us the promised benefits (said after fighting a buggy device driver in Linux that managed to trash the TCP/IP stack even though it was a serial card driver... ARGH!). On the other hand, speed isn't one of those promised benefits, never has been, and to say so is silly.

  • As a former Multician (University of Southwestern Lousiana, '81-'82), I probably have more insight than the original poster about the origins of Unix as a reaction to Multics. Multics was all about segments. There was no such thing as file i/o in Multics, everything was a segment, though you could query the filesystem database for the address of a segment (give it a name, out pops a segment ID). File I/O was emulated by reading and writing to segmented memory. Incidentally, all of this made process creation overhead so intense that Multics did not have the concept of pipes or of sending the output of one command into the input of another command. The output of Multics commands were meant to be human-readable anyhow, and would not have been useful for doing that. I could sometimes do something useful by outputing to a file and then running the result through TED to get rid of the human-readable stuff before feeding it into another program, but that was hardly a useful normal thing to do, not like "ls -l | more".

    Unix, by contrast, was built around two concepts:
    1) Everything is a file. Self explanatory.
    2) Many small tools, chained together to make bigger tools. This was a direct reaction to the Multics philosophy of "put everything into one big tool".
    These principles have been violated many times since the origins of Unix, but the fact remains that Unix had a design philosophy in the beginning, a design philosophy which can be read in the original Unix papers (go to your local library and I think it was what, CACM back in 1974?). Having a coherent design philosophy at the beginning is probably why it is still useful today, so many years later, whereas so many operating systems whose sole design principle was "put in whatever features we think will sell" have come and gone in the meantime.

  • I've read the research paper on L4 (have they put the actual code back up for download?). It states that there is a performance penalty of 2% to 5% running the Linux service as vs. running a monolithic Linux. If the rest of the promised benefits of microkernels pan out, I agree that this is a quite acceptable penalty and not one that I would get uptight about.

    On the other hand, to say that microkernels are faster than monolithic kernels is sheer stupidity. Microkernels add another layer, and no matter how efficient (and L4 is pretty darned efficient), they still require code in execution paths within the kernel that monolithic kernels don't require.

    As for Mach, you are correct that it was a research project, but it was cancelled not because it was slow, but, rather, because its grant ran out. That is the typical fate of research projects -- they get cancelled because they're old hat and no longer producing research papers, not because they're lousy (and Mach IS lousy -- Linus commented once that Mach was the Emacs of microkernels, with everything but the kitchen sink in there! Linus likes L4, BTW, though not enough to dump the notion of a monolithic kernel).

  • by Eric Green ( 627 ) on Sunday June 27, 1999 @02:06PM (#1830014) Homepage
    glibc is very very close to POSIX compliance.

    True, Linux has never been submitted to a standards committee to certify it, but that means about as much as getting a college degree after you've done the coursework (I was just as smart ten minutes before I was granted my degree, as I was ten minutes afterwards). Linux has done the coursework, just hasn't bothered applying for the certificate.

  • TummyX, here's two features that Windows 2000 will _never_ have.

    1. Free (as in beer. downloaded RedHat 6.0 the day it was release - for free)

    2. Free (as in speech - open source, if you don't think this is the most issue in computer software don't call yourself a programmer, because you aren't)

    If you want to go out and spend $300 for that Windows 2000 closed source CD at your local Walmart, please go ahead. Windows seems perfect for you. Linux will have in short order all those features you just listed, if it doesn't already. Others it already does much much better (terminal server != multiuser OS, for instance)

    I would please ask however that you now stop trolling on slashdot trying to make yourself look like an complete asshole, because its working.
  • Posted by My_Favorite_Anonymous_Coward:

    I always thought LOL is Lord oh lord until someone went out their way to write it down... what, what?

  • Posted by Synsthe:

    > IE 5.0 has been rock solid.

    Not to justify your trolling, but this statement cannot be backed up with fact, therefore your whole argument loses credibility.

    I used IE 5.0 on my windows system for a short period of time; yup, it's faster, and yup, it supports more of the w3c specs than before, and yup, it had some new features. It also had all it's old features, such as crashing on occasion (for no apparent reason a few times, I wasn't even at the computer), and randomly bitching that I wasn't online, and had to connect to view any pages, while I would be surfing just fine in netscape, would be on IRC with no lag, downloading newsgroups articles..

    I've also heard from a few of my friends running the product that they've had the same problems.

    Let's use a recent and, although rather harmless exploit, still an exploit. One of IE5's new features, the favicon.ico - c'mon, can't they think far enough ahead to foresee such problems? How many people work on each product? 2? 3? I'd hope it wasn't honestly that little of a group. =)

    Windows products that are in Beta are notoriously buggy, and problematic. Wasn't 95 supposed to be named 94? I think we all know of that. =) Some of their products that have been released as stable have had just as soon after, so many bug patches and fixes released, one would think they were still in beta. Windows 2000 might be different, but when you've made yourself a bad track record to begin with, you've got a lot of work to do to prove you're changing.

    From recent events, I don't see any changes happening over there.

    Linux advocates spreading FUD? Heheh.. yeah, it happens all the time. Slashdot is a great place to find people doing that; behind the scenes, due to their anon posting (which I personally think was the least brightest idea on the planet), I'm sure you'll find a lot of those Linux FUD spreaders are anti-Linux campaigners in desguise.

    Yup, we've got problems though; distro wars, infighting, etc. It happens all the time. It's a big problem we seem to have, but atleast we're fighting over a decent product.

    Mark Waterous
    http://linux.revision3.com/ (Official opening, July 15th)

    Mark Waterous (mark@projectlinux.org)
  • Posted by Synsthe:

    >You are essentially saying no AC posts are valid.

    Good for him! I completely agree. AC posts aren't valid; they're space filler. Anybody who can't be troubled to post their name, or even a nick and email for that matter, doesn't have an opinion obviously. They're just that, cowards. =)

    And you will notice most of the flaming, pro/anti what not does come from AC's.. most of the people with names seem to actually put some thought into their posts, though I can't say that applies to everybody.

    >How mature. You're just as guilty of labeling as >those jerks in MS marketing. those jerks in MS

    Yup. Human nature, kiddo, everybody does it. Get used to it.

    Mark Waterous
    Mark Waterous (mark@projectlinux.org)
  • Posted by Synsthe:

    >Windows will die.
    >Like a bug.

    Here we have a case study in "Hello, I am either extremely uninformed, or talking out of my..".

    Don't mean to be crude in my wording there, but frankly, you are talking out of your backside. Windows won't die; not unless Bill Gates up and dissolves the company (Do you really think that's going to happen?).

    As far as I'm concerned, Linux isn't going anywhere either, except for further evolution. You're missing the point entirely if you think Linux was made, or is worked on now, only to demolish MS. That was not, nor is, the intention at all.

    Both will survive, and I hope they both thrive. The market for anything, software, and the likes, stagnates without competition. Enter the competition, you have people going head to head, trying to outdo the other, continually advancing, continually improving on their old product. MS may get it right one day, but as they continue to try to squash and destroy Linux, instead of simply learning from it, as Linux is learning from MS, they're going to lag behind.

    This by no means, means they're going to dissapear, and if you think they will, you're living in dreamland, along with Bob, and the rest of them. =)

    Mark Waterous (mark@projectlinux.org)
  • Posted by Synsthe:

    >Man what's the deal with this Linux? I can't even
    >view half the websites I usually go to with this
    >crappy Communicator web browser. And my desktop
    >looks shitty ( hence turd )

    So, because you haven't a clue what you're doing, suddenly it all sucks?

    It's sad to see, but Windows is making idiots out of people if the above is any example. "Let's go breed some more laziness guys.."

    Mark Waterous (mark@projectlinux.org)
  • Posted by Synsthe:

    >>so I have the choice of totally uninstalling IE
    >>or trying to get version 5 to do work.

    >Seems like a nobrainer to me.

    Actually not quite. Ever tried to uninstall IE5? It's not an easy task. Go under add/remove programs and select IE 5. Notice there's absolute no option to uninstall it? There's just options to "fix it" and another I forget.

    Go to the directory it's installed in, and you notice there is _no_ uninstall information - closer look reveals that the uninstall information is in a hidden directory that any average user will never know exists.

    Great job guys, next thing you know Office, and other such applications won't be able to be removed once you have them on a windows system.

    Mark Waterous (mark@projectlinux.org)
  • Actually I like the desktop in Linux and that's my main motivation for using it (That and the tight integration with all the typical GNU tools.)

    My experience does not match yours. Netscape works fine for me, and that includes even using the G2 realvideo player to watch the new Weird Al video. Yes, it is certainly true that many plugins don't exist for Linux/Netscape, but I can't stand the sites that use them even in Windows where the plugins are there. They are generally not worth it and I find myself disabling the plugins to stop the annoyances.

    And when it comes to looks, small fonts are seen as more desirable by some, myself included. I really don't like the default settings in windows/netscape or windows/ie because they use these garishly huge fonts that end up making one browser window eat up your whole screen. I like being able to have two windows up side-by-side and that means small fonts. But whichever way your preference goes, disliking defaults is a silly reason to bag a system when the defaults are user-configurable options.

    And I see about 19 variable-width fonts and 8 fixed-width fonts in my Netscape font dialog.

    Mostly what I like about the Unix model in general (from which Linux inherits a lot of its 'feel'), is that there are lots of things that are configurable. Although they might not be easy to configure, the list of things you can change is bigger than in Windows. For example, by altering the 'X resource Database' file that comes with netscape (netscape.ad) I have picked different fonts for the main menus and button labels, and changed the colors so that the toolbar panel is green, the main menu is black, and so on. Yes, this is hardly simple, but it is very powerful. It's like being able to change registry settings in a system where there are actual english comments in there to explain everything.

    So yes, I *do* use it because of the look and feel.

    • And Windows has been VERY GOOD at being EASY.

    I stopped reading right there. This is a false statement, and since your article seems to be based on this premise, it is pointless to go any further.

  • What exactly does Metcalfe have to believe in order for Peterley to avoid chewing paper on that fateful New Year's Day? He doesn't quite make the terms clear.

    Mind you, I'm pretty sure that Metcalfe will concede that he's changed his mind, but I like to see these things made concrete...
    Employ me! Unix,Linux,crypto/security,Perl,C/C++,distance work. Edinburgh UK.
  • Well, if you're going to compare Windows 2000 to KDE, you should compare it to KDE 2.0, to be entirely fair.

    KDE 2.0 is a vast improvement over KDE 1.x, and will have an integrated office suite.


  • Get xfstt from Metalab [unc.edu].
    Copy whatever TrueType fonts you want into /usr/ttfonts.
    Run /usr/X11R6/bin/xfstt --sync
    Run /usr/X11R6/bin/xfstt &
    Problem solved.
    And try KDE.
  • Very unstable?!? Please, stop trolling. KDE's simply had more time to mature, so it is bound to be a little more stable.

    Besides, I'm not slagging GNOME; I'm suggesting that if he tried GNOME, and didn't like it, he try KDE, to see if it suits his taste better.

    Incidentally, KDE 1.1.2 will be released soon (1-2 months, I think), and among various fixes/improvements, it will have a new high-color icon set that is quite slick looking.


  • KDE 2.0 is going to add *lots* of functionality to the Unix desktop, including an integrated office suite. Should be ready early next year.

  • you're missing the point that the free software community can focus on something as well

    I have noticed the attention this benchmark is getting and all the improvements that are being made to kick-butt the next time, but...

    Microsoft can stick a few dozen top-notch kernel hackers in the same building with a few dozen top-notch web-server developers and give them as much equipment as they need, including hardware debuggers and protocol analyzers. Pay them reasonably well and promise a 100% bonus for beating Linux and they WILL squeeze every bit of performance out of IIS and NT.

    Even MS can't take this approach to everything at once. Even if they had the money, the different groups would be stepping all over each other. But if Bill identifies a narrow goal and throws a few million dollars at it, it will be done.

    If our goal is to beat MS then we have to play to OUR strengths. The invisible Open Source hand will put a few people on the Mindcraft case and I'm sure the results will be impressive. But our advocates need to emphasize that, even while our web server performance improves, Gnome/KDE continue to make strides. The documentation gets better. And so on.... Linux isn't about serving static web pages or any specific benchmarks.

  • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Sunday June 27, 1999 @07:08AM (#1830030) Homepage

    Petreley's comment that Microsoft will try to refocus the argument to something it can win is right on the money. IMHO that's what this Mindcraft thing is about.

    We'd do well to avoid raising a specific metric (like serving static web pages) to being somehow more important than all the other aspects of Linux. The advantage that MS (and any Cathedral) has is the ability to throw a lot of coordinated resources at a specific problem. If we buy into the idea that a certain contest defines which platform is better, Microsoft can make sure it wins that particular contest. Imagine: "Linux community devastated as Windows wins web server benchmark five years in a row."

    The strength of Linux is thousands of people making incremental improvements in all sorts of areas. The distributions are making things easier to use. Researchers are working on distributed processing. The kernel hackers are working on SMP. Systems administrators everywhere are working on admin tools. It adds up to an operating system that evolves in a million different ways to meet the needs of real users.

    That's not to say that we can't beat MS at serving static pages. As long as MS keeps trying to win all the battles they probably won't win any. But if they can succeed in narrowing the debate to "if Windows is better at X then Linux must suck" they WILL do whatever is needed to make Windows better at X.

  • The "final" beta of Windows 2000 was released two or three times.
  • There is no direct TT font support in XFree86, which is what RH6 ships with. XFree86 4.0 will include TTF support.

    Until it comes out, you can use the free font server xfstt to use your TTFs. You don't have to move them at all, just mount your Windows partition and tell xfstt to look in your windows/fonts directory.

    How do I know it works? Because I read your message in Arial.

  • The question is not whether Linux or WinXXXX wins; the question is, what will replace both of them?

    What will replace Linux? Why, Linux, of course.

    People don't seem to realise, or intentionally try and ignore, the fact that UNIX has changed significantly in the past ~30 years. Early UNIX didn't have sockets or streams, didn't have mmap or virtual memory, no support for asynchronous IO or select or poll, and certainly nothing fancy like VFS or network support. Even the sticky bit on directories is a relatively recent invention!

    UNIX evolves, just like Linux evolves, when a user gets an itch and needs it scratched. We use a UNIX today that bears only a token resemblance to the UNIX that Thompson wrote. And even then, that token resemblance is often only in the abstract concepts of how UNIX should create processes and communicate between them. These things don't need to change, because they are fundamental concepts which are used by UNIX and competitors alike.

    So I don't know what the future will hold, or what exactly will replace the Linux we use today, but I'm 100% certain it will be "UNIX", and I'm almost equally certain that the variant of UNIX we'll be using will be Linux.

  • It's not a simple matter of comparing high load Ethernet versus high load Token Ring and concluding that Token Ring is the superior technology. Both solutions have their pros and cons. Token Ring for example has multiple points of failure - each link in the ring must be up for the entire network to work - something which isn't true for switched Ethernet.

    Ethernet is a suitable solution for low to medium bandwidth networks. Token Ring is better for slightly higher bandwidth networks. For extremely low bandwidth and extremely high bandwidth networks you look towards completely different solutions. Ethernet is by no means a "cheap and nasty" solution to the problem. In fact it's a fairly clever design, with the occasional warts that all technology has, based on well known and analysed theoretical networking principles.
  • Instead of "20 year-old technology," how about mature software technology implementation?
    Phil Fraering "Humans. Go Fig." - Rita
  • I make extensive use of linux and sun boxes running apache as webservers. If the benchmarks get people to streamline code and make the stuff that I'm trying to do run faster, then I'm *all* for it.

    I'd personally have no problem seeing a head-to-head race between IIS and linux/apache(roxen,zeus,whatever), and I'd expect IIS users wouldn't either. If nothing else, it's forcing the parties involved to shoot for excellence in thier code areas, rather than merely mill about over mediocrity. Well, linux tends to keep moving in the excellence area, but a nudge from outside doesn't hurt. ;)

    More benchmarks! Lets see NFS performance tests, deeper SMB tests, every other kind of test that can be performed to show us where the weeknesses lie, and what strengths we already enjoy. Given the fact that linuxers will take a temporary loss as motivation to win and will quickly turn a negative publicity tidbit into a positive force for change, I say it's ALL good.

    rickf@transpect.SPAM-B-GONE.net (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • ... at least nowadays in the computer arena. The younger and quick-to-adapt usually have thier fingers more firmly on the pulse of today's technology and grok it far more fully.

    My eldest boy is 8, and I'm consistantly amazed at the things he does with his junky ol' P5-120 for someone his age. His younger brother is coming along nicely too, at the age of 5. I simultaneously shudder and fondly dream of what marvels thier brains will contain in the upcoming decade.

    Metcalfe is owed props for the ethernet technology, but he's basically turned into a grumpy old man who shakes his shillelagh at the world whenever something comes along he can't understand fully or simply doesn't like.

    To steal a line from the Who: hope I die before I get (that) old.

    rickf@transpect.SPAM-B-GONE.net (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • I consider Windows 2000 to be an absolutely amazing products cause of it's choke full of features, as well as remaning stable and fast.

    Remaning stable and fast? Window hasn't been fast since 3.11 and has never been stable. I have never even heard of a Windows98 machine being up for more than a month.

    Speed is something Linux still needs to improve on (I'm talking about scalability here, not on a 386 w/2mb ram).

    Speed is something all OSes need to work on, but besides multi-processor machines Linux is faster than Windows across the board. As for multi-processor multi-Intel is a waste. If you're going to foot that sort of cash you should go with a single proc DEC or a multi processor Sparc and if you get the Sparc you should run Solaris, not Windows or Linux on it. Linux is a great OS, but it niether has nor claims to have high availability or high end scalability. Windows doesn't have these either. Face it, you can't even pull a single processor from an Intel machine with out it failing.

    Stability, maybe Linux is stable for the moment, X leaves much to be desired tho. Maybe we'll see that in ver4.

    I admit that XFree is terrible instable. I rarely keep it up longer than two or three months of reasonable usage, but this is still better than Win98. Maybe 2000 is better, I don't know. I'll believe it when I see it.

    -ACPI Power management
    -Hibernation mode (dump mem to harddisk)
    -On Now (with hibernation mode) (20second boot)

    Though I can't vouch for it I think Linux has ACPI managment. It definately does not have hibernation (which both of the second two are, niether would benefit you much with out the other), but I've never found them that useful. I always used either standby or shutdown when I had a laptop that supported hibernation. Maybe it will be a big advantage, if so we'll probably see it in Linux in the future.

    -IE5.1 integration. Stable, fast, and NEVER crashes (for me anyway) - some people - interestingly enough, linux users, seem to somehow make it crash.

    There are two parts to this: the first (integration) is a mistake, not a feature. I don't want my web browser integrated with my OS, I'd rather have a choice. As to the second part (stability) it is a bugfix, not a feature, and it sounds incomplete. The reason Linux users are the ones who crash IE may be because Linux users aren't used to the way you use IE so they try something it doesn't expect and so it crashes. Regardless, you should not be able to crash an application, period. I admit that I can crash Netscape for Linux, but I think Netscape is a really shoddy product. I hope Mozilla does better.

    -IE5 (explorer) lets you view ftp and web sites just like any other folder on your local system of NFS/SMB share.

    You mean Win2000 causes you to view your local system and shared drives as web sites. I don't want to. My directory structure is quite different from the WWW and I don't want them supported as the same.

    -You can start every explorer (file and web) in a new process now if you wish. Shouldn't have a reason to taken down your task bar with explorer if you decide to terminate it. I've never had that problem with Windows 2000 though.

    This also is a bugfix, not a feature.

    -Windows Common control open/save dialog enhanced and supports loading & saving from/to URLs (like above). Since almost all apps use Common Controls, including Java ones, it'll work with almost all your apps.

    This is a nice feature. Emacs has had it for years hopefully Gnome and KDE will have it soon.

    -Offline internet and lan folders. (Network shares remain valid even when you're disconnected).

    This means that you are caching content, which you could do with Squid or a similar caching system on Linux. I sure hope you can turn this off, because it's wasting an awful lot of hard drive.

    -USB, IEE1394, DVD, Video Capture.

    USB is rudimentarily supported by Linux, I'll care more about this when usefull USB devices appear. Firewire is not supported, there are practically no devices on FireWire, and it's slower than SCSI any way. DVD is not supported because HSVs don't release thier stats to Linux, this is a problem that I hope goes away when Linux becomes more popular. Video Capture is supported by Linux.

    -Auto personalising menus.

    I don't know what this is

    -New Management console - control your computer and/or entire network from one console that's 'Pluggable' with COM objects.

    You mean like linuxconf?

    -Telnet server (for legacy guys).
    -Terminal server (for legacy guys).

    I bet these are as flexible as their Linux equivelents right? They allow you to modify any system item? They allow exporting of graphical programs to remote servers?

    -COM+ and Transaction server integration.

    This doesn't affect Linux since it doesn't use COM+, so I'm not sure why you included it.

    -Computer manager allows you to tweak every little bit of Windows.

    Every bit? I want to turn off IE and the GUI because I don't use them.

    -IIS5, ASP support with VB, Java, Perl scripting

    Wow it finally comes with a web server. It still isn't as flexible as Apache though.

    -Windows Scripting Host for automating windows with scripting languages.

    You mean like the shells, Perl, and Python? Windows has a real long way to go before catching up to Linux with regard to scripting

    -Extremely refined UI. Right click on anything and you'll get a context menu. Drag and drop anything on everything. (Gnome and KDE still need a lot of work on this).

    This is true. Linux does have a lot of catching up to do before it catches Windows GUI in terms of usability and consistency. I give it another year. It has caught up a lot in the last one.

    -Semi-Transparent windows support inbuilt into Win32.

    Um, Linux had this first.

    -SMP suppoirt for up to 32 processors (and they are actually efficiently utilized, unlike linux).

    See my comments on SMP at the top. This is not relavent to most users and in fact most likely slows the system down on single processor implementation.

    -New Windows 2000 install API - Auto repairing.
    ...basically you can't destroy your system by deleting or overwriting vital DLLs/vxds etc, they are automatically recovered on deletion.

    This is a poor fix to the problem that it's too easy to destroy files in Windows. If they had a decent protection system this would be unneeded.

    -New NTFS5 file system supports cluster compression and encryption (and ofcourse security etc).

    NT5 is not secure. Linux is not secure. Don't claim they are. If you have specialty FS concerns (encryption or compression) then you should use a specialty FS (GFS, ext2 with compression, Encrypted FS), except that you have no choice in filesystems when it comes to Windows...

    -New Kerberos security model (developed early last decade at MIT).

    This isn't new and has been in Linux for a while.

    -DirectX 7 and OpenGL.

    Linux has OpenGL and DirectX is not standard.

    -Win32 SoundAPI goes thru DirectX, legacy applications and new applications will all work be able to use the sound card at once - without being aware of DirectX or modification.

    This is a change to the soundAPI, not a feature.

    -New generation Plug'n'Play support. Literally, just plug and play. Drivers install automatically - no reboots ;).

    Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, Comdex, right before I saw a big blue screen. Even if it does work it still requires a reboot to change hardware information, this shouldn't be needed. I hate the fact that to change my gateway on a Windows machine I have to reboot. There is no excuse for that sort of behavior.

    -New indexing with a cut down version of sql sever for fast file searches (which is done from the same IE band as web searches now).

    This encumbers the filesystem and isn't really all that useful. I could implement a program that does this on relavent sections of my harddrive if I chose to, but I wouldn't use it enough to justify the expense.

    -Shadowed mouse (ok, ok, but it just looks cool :)).

    Wow.... Does it look as cool as gtk+ themes?

    And basically, every part of windows is pluginable more than ever because of the nature of Explorer now. Desktop is an ActiveX container, explorer file listings is an ActiveX container etc etc. Ofcourse you have to be a programmer and know what you're doing.

    There are a whole lot of things one can do with Linux if one is a programmer and knows what they are doing...

    Basically Windows 2000 is your all round OS.

    There is no such thing. Windows is not realtime. Windows cannot run in 128k of RAM. Windows doesn't have high-availability. Windows doesn't have a capabilities security model. Windows cannot be used on high end hardward (UE10k anyone), and even if it could you wouldn't want to.

    And fit ready for consumer as well as commercial use.
    Beta3 IS the final beta - I don't know what all that crap other people were going on about haven't there already been heaps of 'final betas'. MS have always had a 3 beta cycle. And there has only been one beta3 - it took a while, but it's here non the less.

    I'll believe that when I see it on shelves. I can't count the times that I've heard "X is the last beta" from Microsoft.

    I've prolly missed out heaps of other features but all of this is from the top of my head, and in the order they came out ;).

    I count 4 items in that list that are features and aren't in Linux and all of them could be in Linux soon. So Microsoft better hope you missed some...

    Windows 2000 has many little bits and pieces which makes it much more productive for the average person than Linux. And even for the advid programmer like me. I like the little bits which make my life easier. Ofcourse I still like command lines, but not for everything. Little time savers in Windows are much appreciated, and I can see where Microsoft put it's millions into GUI research. And I'll look forward to when MS Research's natural language engine gets integrated into Windows. (BTW text to speech is part of Windows 2000, and it reads dialog boxes etc).
    Ofcourse, when natural language gets integrated into Windows, people will say "bah", I'd rather type a couple of lines than just "say" "computer, search on the internet for traces of that operating system called linux".

    Have you ever used text to speech or natural language? Except in specific cases of blind persons it is useless. They both take forever as you can read and type faster than you can speak. Plus they are completely useless in a buisness environment. As for the GUI, yeah, it does have some nice features, but not enough to make up for it's utter lack of a commandline. And those features will probably be in Linux soon.

  • The primary speed problems with microkernels have had to do primarily with implementation. Don't forget that macrokernels have have decades to develop, while microkernels have primarily been in the experimental stage for the last ten years.

    MkLinux (and NeXtStep) were based on Mach2.5, which uses several tricks to decrease the performance impact of microkernels. For the most part, it made Mach resemble a macrokernel more than a microkernel, but it was fast enough to allow NeXtStep to run on a 68040 25Mhz with an advanced GUI (with very good performance, I might add).

    Mach 2.0 was an awful dog, probably because it was the first complete microkernel design for Mach. Mach 3.0 introduced several new concepts, but wasn't optimized for performance. Mach 4, although still slower than macrokernels, brought the performance difference to within a few percentage ponts.

    The Mach design, however, was primarily experimental (despite its usage in many products), and the project was cancelled in the mid-90's (forget exactly when, though) Mach 4 continued to be developed by team at the UofUtah??, but dropped that in favor of developing a new microkernel based on the lessons learned from Mach.

    The L4 microkernel has been designed with performance in mind (as well as easier programming), and is faster than Linux right now. However, it still doesn't handle multiple servers now (AFAIK), but does have a Linux server so it can emulate a Linux machine. Hurd will probably adapt it in place of Mach once the kernel becomes more stable and they feel comfortable mucking around with the internals.
  • The ancestor organization to the KGB (I forget the name) was set up under Lenin - and the Gulag started then too. "Enemies of the People" (i.e. anybody the Party didn't like) were tried, and sent to the Gulag or shot right from the beginning of the Soviet state - and this patteren has been seen for all other examples of Communist rule.
    Stalin, who was far more paranoid, just did a lot more in this area; looking for and removing potential rivals to his power - in the Party, the Army, etc., in addition to terrorizing the general populace.
    But it started right from the beginning - don't be a "useful idiot" and sugarcoat what Lenin did.
  • There is one thing that really disturbs me about Windows 2000, and that is that it requires a 300MHz or higher processor. What kind of baggage is it carrying that it requires a processor that fast? Didn't Microsoft tune the operating system? How will this affect future benchmark comparisons?
  • It might be worthy of note that most of us geeks
    probably don't scorn those 486/33s or MacSEs too
    much -- given a nice machine for them to connect
    to, and networking cards, they can be made useful
    with NetBSD or Linux (Not sure if the SEs can run
    Linux, but if not they could telnet into another
    system that was and thus be just about as useful)
  • I was wondering the exact same thing. It also seems there are many more posts that are pro-M$. Kinda makes one wonder.


    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • Webster's dictionary defines Socialism and Capitalism as:

    Socialism: 1: Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. 2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property. b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state. 3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between captialism and communism and distinguished by unequal distributions of goods and pay according to work done.

    Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate of capital goods, by investments determined by private decisions rather than by state control, and by prices, production, and distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.

    Both Socialism and Capitalism are economic systems. The difference between them is that in a capitalist system capital is owned privately, whereas capital is owned by the state in a socialist economy. If a country owns a factory, that doesn't make them capitalist, it means they're industrialized.
    I hope this clears any confusion on the matter.
  • I think the relation between software and economic systems that so often pops up here on Slashdot is comparing ownership of software to ownership of capital. Capital is privately owned in a capitalist system. However, the economic system to which Open-Source Software is most commonly compared to is communism, not socialism. All property is collectively owned in a communist state, but owned by the government in a socialist state.

    "Evolution and natural selection" aren't always present in a capitalist system. Take Windows for example (keeping with anti-MS attitude so prevalent on Slashdot). Natural selection involves survival of the fittest, and if that were the case the Amiga or OS/2 would have stomped out Windows long ago. And as for evolution, you would expect Windows to have proper preemptive multitasking and protected memory management by now, wouldn't you? Every other OS seems to have evolved to that stage.
  • You can change the resolutions on the fly with X. Use Ctrl+Alt+Plus and Ctrl+Alt+Minus (Plus and Minus on the keypad, that is). You just can't change resolution on the fly. Windows 95 couldn't either. You had to reboot. At least with X you only had to shutdown the X server, not do a complete reboot. I don't know if that's changed since Win98, since I don't use it.
  • You can change the resolutions on the fly with X. Use Ctrl+Alt+Plus and Ctrl+Alt+Minus (Plus and Minus on the keypad, that is). You just can't change resolution on the fly. Windows 95 couldn't either. You had to reboot. At least with X you only had to shutdown the X server, not do a complete reboot. I don't know if that's changed since Win98, since I don't use it.

    Oops... I meant you can't change color depth on the fly. Sorry.
  • heh, well, you certainly gave up too easily... desktop sucks? take a look at this screenshot [grantstomb.com] and tell me that's crap. btw, if u want to use TTF fonts in Linux, you need to compile and install freetype. Any idiot knows to go to http://metalab.unc.edu/LDP/ [unc.edu] for HOWTO's and whatnot.. that's how you get Linux help.. anyone that reads slashdot knows that, and if they don't, then they are an arrogant bafoon. well gee, there ya go.. i just gave 2 urls that prove that you're just not a hard core computer user.
  • Hmm, Netscape ran faster than IE on my P75, and also currently on my PIII450 (or so it seems).
  • OK, X didn't come with the most flashy fonts, but that doesn't mean you can't install them. You don't *have* to use MS fonts, there are plenty others out there, so Verdana is not a requirement. You could get xfstt and read the installation instructions which'll just require a symlink to your Windows fonts directory if you desire all of them.
  • If I understand things correctly they will just (re)release WinYY and NT. So we will have Windows 00 and Windows NT 5 but they will both be renamed Windows 2000.
  • Remove government control from the output of Microsoft and they will die overnight.

  • Speaking of which, I'm about to use a nicely refined 26-year-old technology to file this column. You may have heard of it. It's called Ethernet.

    You might find Metcalfe's original paper [acm.org] describing Ethernet interesting if you haven't read it. The thing that strikes me after reading it again are its similarities to Linux and its design. It was based on known technology, Aloha radio networks. It was designed to run on inexpensive hardware. And it achieved its reliability from its simplicity. In other words, the same recipe used by nearly every succesfull open source project today, which makes Metcalfe's last column all the more confusing.

  • Well, didn't Bob get booted from his own company? That probably made him more bitter.
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
  • In other words, if you look through, the first format to hit critical mass with the product people buy it to use seems to win, unless a very compelling reason comes along to change.

    This is the "network effect," and is probably more responsible than anything else both for Windows' de facto OS monopoly on the PC architecture and for why PC architecture greatly outsells other microcomputer designs. (I say "de facto" monopology because there have always been alternatives to DOS and Windows, yet asserting that Compaq had the choice in 1995 to install OS-9000, QNX or Concurrent CP/M-86 is akin to asserting General Motors has the choice to stop making cars and trucks that can run on interstate highways.)

    While I don't think we're going to see the end of the network effect for Windows any time soon, I think we are seeing it start for Linux, and possibly for BeOS. None of these are likely to get bigger than MacOS, but that's had enough of a network effect to carry it through years of corporate mismanagement.

    Windows' multi-hundred-million user base tends to skew people's ideas of what a sustainable market size is, I think; a market of only one million could sustain small companies, and it only takes a market of a few hundred thousand to sustain "cottage software" houses--something I think we'll start seeing more of in the future again. (What's old is new....)

  • Yes, Token Ring has it's problems too, but the fundamental design is better. The Ethernet prinsciple of 'Shout until you can't be heard, then back off for a little while before shouiting again' is messy.

    Ethernet is a pretty hacky design, and won because it was cheeper to build then TR. I'm not exactly in love with it as a way to talk over cables (or fiber), but it actually is a really spiffy way to do wireless (shout until you can't be heard...)

    Passing tokens, OTOH, results in a network that is entirely capable of functioning well at 100% usage. Ethernet tends to hit trouble around 30%.

    30%? You seem to be way off. 60% in general use seems to be a much better rule of thumb. If you have a switch (and they are so damm cheep these days) you can get far closer to 100%, well over 100% with some valid mesurements. As far as I know Ethernet plus a switch per port is cheeper then Token Ring by a fair margin.

    While I think FDDI/CDDI (essensally Token Ring at 100Mbit/sec) is very nice, and doesn't take any effort to get it to run in the high 90% range, it costs more then 100Mbit ethernet plus a switch! It's so hard to argue for it that I have more or less given up on it except when I can make a case for the duel ring CDDI (that way even the network hub can be a redundant item). I'm totally unaware of any Token Ring like offering in the 1Gbit range either, so for the moment it appears to have no future. A pity because I have allways liked it.

    If we're honest, ethernet won becase of market forces rather than technical superiority, making it a very odd analogy for a GNU/Linux advocate to use.

    Many GNU/Linux/Open Source advocates do take a market tactic. They claim their way gets better product at a lower cost. Ethernet isn't better then TR at any given speed, but it's price/performance is definitly better.

    Point made?

    Only that you seem inexperianced with Ethernet. Or maybe that I'm in a contrary mood today.

  • > So instead of starting religious wars...{I mean Linux and Windows are JUST OSes after all, there are many more serious things to war about)...let's concentrate on interoperability, and getting our favourite OSes up to snuff. It would be a great world if all OSes could share data and services seamlessly with each other, without much tinkering. Instead of trying to drill the pipedream that KDE is as polished as the Windows UI, start helping the KDE project, give them coherent and useful suggestions.

    Well, I agree with you that we need people to work on a many of the open source projects and get them as polished and user-friendly as possible. But the other half of your idea, making the OSes inter-operate, is impossible as long as the current Microsoft is in their picture. Microsoft is not interested in the slightest in interoperating with other systems. They want to tie people into MS-only solutions, by making interoperating a headache. This applies at the minimum to any system that competes directly with MS products. They don't mind working with Mainframes or some other huge systems, but desktops, servers and similar systems they want MS-only. They are not interested in publishing their own protocols, and the open standards they use the have a bad habit of implementing in non-standard ways. they even re-implement existing open protocols with MS replacments, just to tie organizations in.(WINS vs DNS for example). My only hope to deal with this is to have the anti-trust case resolution force MS to open its APIs, file formats and other implementations to the whole world.

  • Didn't Xerox release Ethernet under some Utopian balderdash public-domian license? Dang, that might have cheated Bob Metcalfe out of some Bill Gates-like money. No wonder he's sounding bitter.

  • Guys, 'old technology' as a descriptive term is fine. Just don't use it to describe obsolete technology and everything will be fine.
  • By the time you "download" a full cup I don't think it'll be steamin' hot anymore.

  • I don't really think that this holds completley true. Many say the future is what we make of it. So why not make it a Linux-based future? I think you are loosing sight of the fact that the very open nature of the Linux development project means that Linux can become whatever we think we need for the future, be it based on completley new hardware or completley new ways of thinking about an OS/computer combo. Linux *CAN* be the future, if we embrace it and help it work.


  • What do I think is lacking in Win2k? UNIX!

    Have a look at Cygwin [cygnus.com] , it provides a fairly full Unix environment where many programs will compile out of the box.

  • Please, Please, children, lets think of something constructive to say. Half these FUD statements said on slashdot from time to time, just really gets me pissed off. If you have ever even configured a server (which I doubt), you would know that Linux and other similair OS's are the ultimate in protection these days for servers. If you were a somewhat decent security minded person, you would realize the pain of setting up a compilicated program such as a server and you can't see the code. Most of the time, with 10's of thousands of code, there WILL be a bug in the source, and when you find it or get attacked, I want to see you fix it on a proprietary Windows server. Tell me how long these fixes come out. With the aid of marketing fools, and people in control of the company just thinking of the bottom dollar, instead of the customer, you might not see a decent patch for months. With the servers that are popular on Unix variant OS's being OpenSource, and the most widely used on the planet, you can see why not too many people like to use Windows. I know you have probably heard these arguments before, and have a witty or snide (mostly snide) remark for my comment, it doesn't really matter. I have seen that most people on this earth are stupid, and will never see the truths to be evident based on the personal biases, you all fucking suck!
  • And he had to eat his columumn in front of 1000 people Pics of this event [idg.net]. For some odd reason, the pics have been restricted :) I wonder why. Lets make a suggestion.. Lets get bob to eat a Linux Manual.
  • Ethernet won because it was cheap and easy to maintain, and in a pinch can be assembled with no special tools. That makes it an excellent analogy. 'Market forces' do not exist in themselves, but always drive towards some objective.

  • The Eros Operating System [eros-os.org] may not be the actual system of the "next wave" but a lot of the ideas contained therein may be represented in the operating systems we use 10-20 years from now.

    Cool stuff like complete object persistance integrated with capabilities, total virtualization of memory (no "file system" per se) and a sorta microkernel architecture.

    Like I said, Eros itself may not be the OS of the future, but a lot of the ideas contained therein will be widely used.

  • To My knowledge, Office 95 was never released on the Mac, and Office 98 wasn't released on PC. was it 97 you were talking about? If not, Office 98 was slow because it was running on a different OS, and running on an OS that the API happened to be Totally incompatible.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • First of all, Communicator is not crappy. It does what it's supposed to.
    Second, plugins are a microscopic part of the web. Also note that the most popular plugin (flash) is available for linux.
    Third, if you take the time to check how fonts work in unix/X, you'll realize that you can install whatever fonts you like in whatever format you like. And by the way, it's called "verdana", not "verdona".
    Linux is (for the moment) aimed at people with a clue, or people wishing to learn something. So, either read some HOWTOs and set up your fonts, or shut up and use a microsoft OS.
  • If you don't want to upgrade to RH6.0 which has truetype support out of the box, check the "related projects" page on http://www.freetype.org [freetype.org] - there are a couple of pointers to font servers supporting truetype.
  • >Were is my Verdana.ttf?
    This sounds much like asking "Where is my grep?" after installing windows.
    1. copy some ttf fonts into /some/font/dir
    2. cd /some/font/dir
    3. /usr/sbin/ttmkfdir > fonts.dir
    4. ln -s fonts.dir fonts.scale
    5. add the dir to /etc/X11/fs/config
    6. restart X
  • Now who's thinking insde the box?

    If Windows is made a no-charge product, it will (probably) survive.

    Your car analogy is way off base. Neither GM, Ford, nor any other car manufacturer gives their cars away for free. (Don't think about business models here). If someone came along and gave away cars for free, they would take off in a heartbeat. The cars might not be so flashy at first, but these free cars rapidly gett better over time until they meet almost everyone's needs.

    Maybe one or two of the car companies would stick around with much smaller markets by catering to the luxury crowd that wants something substantially different. But most of their market share would evaporate quickly.

    Barring free Windows, a patent war, or some other act of God, pay-per-license Windows is (eventually) toast. Unfortunately, by that time MS will have used its monopoly profits to buy a prime position in the new computer industry based on services, not hardware/software.
  • Way to go man, I love reading well-reasoned stuff like this. I run a dual boot, and I can really relate with occasionally just wanting to boot into windows and get it done.

    All in all, I can do nothing but agree. Operating system variety is much more desirable than operating system hegemony.
  • Yes, and on top of this Softway is suposed to be releasing a new version of Interix this summer which is suposed to have many improvements to make it even more of a true "unix" feel. Those that take advantage of both Windows 2000 and this new Interix are going to be sitting very nicely.
  • And, please go away. You are not wanated here.
    1. Is this because slashdot.org is "News for Linux Zealots, stuff only about Linux"?
  • ... And I thought that Slashdot was News for Nerds, stuff that matters.
    1. I guess they need to change it, eh?
  • remember, ALL software improves with time, no matter what you think about windows products =)
    You obviously haven't, ahem, "upgraded" to MSIE 5.0, which is not only a resource puerco grande, but also interferes with some of Microsoft's own software (rips ODBC connectivity, for one thing). Shoot, half the time it can't tell when you've got a blinkin' Net connection...

    Anyhow, Petreley is right on the mark: "Tried-and-true" ne "antiquated";


  • I was under the impression that all MS software was essentially a beta version. They just happen to have an extremely large test group that is willing to pay money for the privilege of testing it.
  • The x86 is so ubiquitous for the same reason that Linux will win. It's the price.

    Let's see an Alpha running at the equivalent of a Celeron 300a for under $50.

  • "People like linux because it does look better the windows"?

    I dont think so, most people like linux simply because you get the job done, it's not great as in "wow", it's just very ok at a very low price.
    Compare this to windows (also NT) which is totally obscure, propritaire, limited, and expencive.

    Now, desktops.. X11.. linux..GUI.. pfff...hah

    • Linux' desktop isnt a tad better than any other unix desktop, it's just X11 again.
    • A real desktop is alot more integrated to the OS than X11 with whatever window manager/desktop environment.
    • GUI, a graphical user interface, consisteny is a major point. X11? consistency? "your favourite toolkit of the month"?
    • X11 is bloat. X11 with gnome/enlightenment or KDE is bloat-gaga, even worse than windows.
    • I heard they gnome and KDE agreed on drag'n drop last year. Yahiee, progress.
    • Can you change resolutions on the fly in X11 yet? What, no? Not even after 15 years?

    So, stop whine about how great the linux desktop is, it isnt that great, really. And it's just the same desktop you find on any other unixen or any of the BSDs. There are other systems out there you can compare with other than windows.

    If you want to be the best you must stop comparing with the worst.

    Oh, and I've used linux since 1.1.x days in '94. First booted a m68k 0.87 kernel or something on my amiga 1200 back in early '95, when linux/i386 was 1.1.x and has since continued to use linux on m68k, ix86 and ppc. Booting once a day? Last year I my a12oo was up 363 days nonstop with linux/m68k, untill it finally was killed by a teardrop attack (a security hole that was unknown upon bootup :) .)

  • I look at your desktop shot, and I can tell you it suck.

    Why? Becasue it doesnt show a real functional desktop, it's just another one of those X11 dumps with a bunch of terminals, as if it was grabbed out of the "unix haters handbook" itself. And then there is the consistency and userfriendlyness. Or rather, the lack thereof, from the screenshots I cannot even determine if I should close windows from the upper tight or upper left corner, or perhaps I'd have to use the mmb to choose close. The only familiar gadgets are those on the x11amp (or xmms) as thei're "stolen" from winamp.

    Please give us something that shows the brilliance of X11 and linux tied together in an integrated graphical operating environment.

    Oh, no can do? How strange, and how sad. Duh.

    Just for kicks, just to have something your oh so superiour desktop got some competition, take a look at this [nvg.org]. It's my amiga's primary desktop, spiffd up with some system configuration tools just for you, oh an unlike X I can have several screens in various resolutions and depths. And I can use them more flexible, I often run X on one to connect to my linux machines, and I use a small 640x480 one for my VNC client to connect to my NT server at work, and I run MacOS on a macemulator every now and then on one too. And ofcourse a game every now and then, like napalm or quake, on their seperate screen, and they all multitask well and I an jump between them as I like. And it's not some windowmanager that makes this possible, it's the OS itself.

    Oh.. and did I mention that I use truetype fonts as well?

  • Every version of NT (including Win2000) has had both NB-over-TCP/IP and NetBEUI as options.

    The advantage of ActiveDirectory and Dyanamic DNS is that you *should* be able to get rid of the NetBIOS broadcast traffic from your network. Of course, that's what they said about WINS, so we will see.

  • Actually, given enough memory (~128 MB), Windows2000 will run fine on Pentium machines. (As a workstation, it feels faster than NT4, anyhow.)

    I wouldn't be took shocked if it came out that the 300Mhz figure is some sort of kickback to Intel.

  • Companies can afford the memory. Linux makes good use of 128MB too. If you'd rather buy something else, don't worry and run Linux or whatever suits you.
  • by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Sunday June 27, 1999 @06:40AM (#1830110)
    Speaking of which, I'm about to use a nicely refined 26-year-old technology to file this column. You may have heard of it. It's called Ethernet.

    Great closing line!

  • I can't believe the fact that people think that just because something was invented a while ago, that it is bad.

    Software evolves. If we were saying that the UNIXes of 30 years ago were superior to modern day OSs, then somebody should go see a shrink, but UNIX has evolved like every other piece of software. Kernel version 2.2.10 is not 30 year technology, it is a little under two week old technology (having been released on June 14th).

    - This post was made by a peice of technology that according to Bob Metcalfe is 4 Billion years old. Seems to me, we're doing just fine.

  • How about a nice civilized round of "stone, paper, scissors"?

  • One problem here - ethernet's a cheap and nasty technology. Try running ethernet with high load and it slows down horrifically. Try Token Ring under those circumstances and it works fine.

    I know why he made the comment, but seeing that he
    asserts that Linux is so wonderful that it'll automatically whip Windows (which isn't what he's saying here, I know - I'm talking about his work in general) it's unfortunate he should use a Windows-style example of a poor product that won due to market forces as his closing remark.


I've got a bad feeling about this.