[kwlug-disc] the limits of linux

john at netdirect.ca john at netdirect.ca
Mon Jan 18 16:14:52 EST 2010

kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org wrote on 01/18/2010 01:14:57 PM:
> From: "Robert P. J. Day" <rpjday at crashcourse.ca>
>   is it just me, or is this guy wildly out to lunch?
> http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/3859146/The-
> Limits-of-Linux.htm
> just curious.

I think he's out to lunch.

Windows programmers tell me that programming for Windows is quite 
difficult. Every version of IE is like an O/S upgrade. So to them it's not 
XP, Vista, and 7, it's XP, Vista and 7 with combinations of IE5, 5.5 6, 7, 
8. Not to mention the significant number of shifting layers of APIs which 
all tell me are frequently badly documented and buggy.

Even his example: the software vendor that needs to know about changes in 
the Linux kernel but who's software runs without change on XP, Vista and 
7. I'm not an expert, but I think that's unlikely. A simple enough app is 
likely to be simple on either platform.

Supporting Linux means supporting several distros and multiple kernels? Of 
the binary software I use on desktops it supports two: Red Hat and Suse. 
No kernel changes and two distros. Now it's a bigger deal to support 
non-enterprise distros I agree, but it's not that hard. We have automake 
as well as other multi-platform tools and libraries. And if it really 
requires a specific set of dependencies then chroot the application, 
statically link it or link it against libraries you distribute.

There has been one business force keeping software companies away from 
Linux desktops. It's market size. There are lots of proprietary software 
for Linux servers because there is market share there.

There are other hurdles in developing software for Linux, but if business 
sees a market, they will overcome them just like they overcame Window's 

John Van Ostrand
Net Direct Inc.
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12
Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6
john at netdirect.ca
Ph: 866-883-1172
Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware
Fx: 519-883-8533

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