[kwlug-disc] How Canonical makes money ...

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Sun May 16 01:27:55 EDT 2010


On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 12:25 AM, Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net> wrote:

> On Sat, May 15, 2010 at 11:05:01PM -0400, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:
> > The funny/sad part is that these proprietary applications already support
> > multiple platforms that are really different, e.g. Windows, Linux,
> FreeBSD,
> > NetBSD, IBM AIX, HP/UX, ...etc., let alone different processor
> > architectures, filesystems (or raw partitions), ...etc.
>
> The pace of change in Linux is high.  I believe it is higher than for
> any of the other examples you mention there.
>
> And the change is not often documented like it is in the others.
> Depending on the level you're working at, the documentation is the code,
> and the compiler errors are your advanced warning when your driver doesn't
> build with the latest kernel anymore.
>
> Even for a simple project like Barry, which hooks into the udev system
> to catch BlackBerries on startup, I've lost count of the number of times
> I've had to tweak things on new distros.  It's not a huge burden, but
> it's often enough that it itches, and infrequent enough that you forget
> the details of the solution you had before.
>
> Similarly, there are the new fads.  Hotplug is it!  udev is it!
> ConsoleKit is it!  No, wait, HAL is it!  Wait, it's back to udev!
> We're sure now!
>
> These kinds of things happen at the kernel driver level, at the device
> management level, and even the audio level.  (PulseAudio is it!)
>

Do you think that abandoning the kernel numbering "even is stable, odd is
development" contributes to that?

I never liked that new stuff will always be tacked on to the 2.6.whatever.


> Linux will not bend over backwards to help you avoid change.  In fact,
> it will actively throw it in your face, on purpose.  (Just see the
> numerous pleas on the kernel mailing list for stable driver APIs, and
> the responses.)  This is so far from the Windows mindset that it is a
> shock to vendors.
>

We have a fast pace of development in Drupal too, and tend to rip apart
and refactor things from release to release (but not for point releases
though).

That refactoring and breaking the API makes moving modules and themes
from one version to the next a pain, but by and large we think the lack of
compatibility layers and legacy cruft accumulating from earlier releases
is a worthy compromise.

We have an effort to do semi-automatic upgrades as well (deadwood,
coder, ...etc.). Not there yet, but promising.
-- 
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
http://2bits.com
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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