[kwlug-disc] the limits of linux

Robert P. J. Day rpjday at crashcourse.ca
Tue Jan 19 01:11:25 EST 2010

On Mon, 18 Jan 2010, Lori Paniak wrote:

> Out to lunch.
> A two examples of proprietary software vendors that have supported Linux
> for years (15+):
> 1) Mathematica: http://www.wolfram.com/products/mathematica/platforms/
> 2) Maple: http://www.maplesoft.com/products/system_requirements.aspx
> They don't seem to have trouble getting their code (GUI included) to
> work with various flavours of Linux.
> Surely "source-is-best" people make money too?
> On Mon, 2010-01-18 at 13:14 -0500, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
> > 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

  the biggest frustration with that article, as i read it, is that the
author kept bouncing between talking about user-space software, then
talking about device drivers.  of course there's going to be a
difference in issues related to being open source or not, depending on
which of the two you're duscussing, but the author seemed too clueless
to realize that.

  then he whinged on:

"Last year I talked to a company (I wont name them here) whose main
business was on Windows. They have been putting out a binary-only
Linux version of one of their main product for some time now. They
admitted that the Linux versions lagged behind their Windows brethren
because of the sheer effort involved in getting a binary-only app to
behave properly across the major distributions they had targeted.

Worse, they had to think about each kernel revision within those
distributions, going back about three or four iterations. This
effectively makes them custodians of a dozen or more different
editions of the same app for one platform. (The Windows version runs
generically on all versions of Windows from 2000/XP forward.)"

  is it possible he's talking about nvidia and graphics drivers?  if
that's the case, who cares?  nvidia made the decision to go with their
binary blobs, why should that be an argument against open source?

  in any event, i left my own pithy comment there, and it's nice to
see that others gave him a healthy public spanking as well.  you'd
think tech columnists would have grown up a bit by now, and actually
learned something about OSS.  sadly, no.


Robert P. J. Day                               Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA

            Linux Consulting, Training and Kernel Pedantry.

Web page:                                          http://crashcourse.ca
Twitter:                                       http://twitter.com/rpjday

More information about the kwlug-disc mailing list