Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Dec 2006 17:40 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linux "I've been saying for years that Linux was well along on its way from being the tech fanboy operating system of choice, to becoming one of big business' favorite operating systems. Well, I was right all along, but in 2006, that progress smacked many Linux fans in the face. This is my list of the five most significant changes in Linux this year. They are not changes, however, that many who have embraced Linux in the past will appreciate. Like it or lump it, these are the changes that I also think clearly predict Linux's future in the mainstream."
Order by: Score:
v Nope
by morglum666 on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:32 UTC
RE: Nope
by FooBarWidget on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:41 UTC in reply to "Nope"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Nope what? If you're denying that Linux has changed during 2006 then you're just blatantly lying.

Seriously, I know there are many anti-Linux people on OSNews, but now it's turning into irrational hate.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Nope
by Kroc on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Nope"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

More like irrational boredom
(note: playing d.a.)

Edited 2006-12-19 19:54

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Nope
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 02:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Nope"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I know there are many anti-Linux people on OSNews, but now it's turning into irrational hate.

"Now"?!?! ;-P

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nope
by miscz on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:50 UTC in reply to "Nope"
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

The article doesn't even mention 2007 being the year of Linux.

I think that prediction about minor split in Linux community is correct. Major distros make big steps in making it easy to install non-free apps/drivers and FSF/GPL3 folks won't like it. The reality is that Linux users like the OS and may like the idea behind GPL but will want to use binary drivers if it's the only way to properly support their hardware.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Nope
by Maners on Tue 19th Dec 2006 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Nope"
Maners Member since:
2005-07-26

IMHO this split is a very good thing for Linux in general. There will be both free and non-free (as in speech) distributions and then end user will have a choice which one to use. The end result is that the non-free distros will draw more attention from hardware verndors as well as comercial software companies that always claimed that Linux market is too small to even bother to support it. On the other hand, the free distros will continue to exist and continue to develop as the have always been, but with a larger potentiall user base.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Nope
by merkoth on Tue 19th Dec 2006 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nope"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

On the other hand, the free distros will continue to exist and continue to develop as the have always been, but with a larger potentiall user base.

Why's that? IMHO, there's more people who wants to be able to play Flash movies than those who won't do it until Gnash is mature enough to do it. I mean, I'm all for free (libre, not gratis) software but I won't "enjoy" a crippled down version of the web just to avoid using a propietary Flash player (this is just an example, I couldn't care less about Flash, actually).


@rayiner:

You may have as many technical and ideological issues as you want, but if the average user can't do X thing because you don't want to deal with non-free software you're not going anywhere. You can't expect every user to agree with your software policies, damn, you can't even expect them to get Automatix. That's the problem, we're dealing with people who couldn't care less about computers, software and so on BUT they want to be able to use them for everything without learning anything, without caring about anything. I agree with your points though :-P

Back to topic, a nice article. To be honest, I expected something more like "Shoot! We were this close of The Year of The Linux Desktop! We'll get you, 2007!" :-D

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Nope
by rayiner on Tue 19th Dec 2006 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nope"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

You may have as many technical and ideological issues as you want, but if the average user can't do X thing because you don't want to deal with non-free software you're not going anywhere.

On the other hand, if a few years from now when everybody is used to Vista's fancy effects, and Linux's 3D desktop stack still sucks because developers don't have the source-access they need to make it better, then you're not going anywhere either.

The key thing to understand is that its all a trade-off. If you accept closed-source components, your mortgaging short-term benefits against long-term growth. That may very well be the right decision at any given point in time, but painting one side of the argument as "pragmatic" and the other side as "idealistic" does jack shit to help you decide which decision is the correct one.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Nope
by Gooberslot on Thu 21st Dec 2006 04:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nope"
Gooberslot Member since:
2006-08-02

Why do you think Linux's 3D desktop sucks? I was actually pretty impressed with it when I tried Korora(sp?). I was especially impressed that it ran so well on my outdated system that Vista probably wouldn't even boot on and forget about me running Aero.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Nope
by archiesteel on Thu 21st Dec 2006 05:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Nope"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

By the way, this is off-topic, but I'm going totally crazy with XglSnow. I guess it's because I miss the snow (it's almost Christmas here in Montreal and there's no snow!)

So now it's snowing in my PC with full XGL goodness. I even have it snow over the windows because it's so cool! What can I say, I'm a sucker for useless eye candy! :-)

Actually, back on topic, since this is about the "year that changed Linux"...I wonder what impact Beryl/Compiz will have on Linux adoption (even if it's only partial or temporary). At least three people have said to me they wanted to try dual-booting Linux to play around with it and check out the effects (actually, one is planning on buying a Mac, so that'll be triple-booting...).

One should never underestimate the power of eye-candy and other seemingly trivial things...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Nope
by kadymae on Wed 20th Dec 2006 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nope"
kadymae Member since:
2005-08-02

I mean, I'm all for free (libre, not gratis) software but I won't "enjoy" a crippled down version of the web just to avoid using a propietary Flash player (this is just an example, I couldn't care less about Flash, actually).

Thank you.

And in my case, it's not just a lesser websurfing experience, I happen to need things like a working flash player for my job.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Nope
by raver31 on Wed 20th Dec 2006 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nope"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

What job do you have then ? A games tester or a pop-up spamming advert assessor ?

Flash should be banned...

I challenge anyone to show me a useful thing created in Flash. Anything....

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Nope
by flav2000 on Wed 20th Dec 2006 01:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Nope"
flav2000 Member since:
2006-02-08

Some web sites uses Flash to add spaz to their site - menus, buttons, etc. They don't "need" Flash - but the developers made the choice to do so.

I guess Javascripts would work in that instance too - except that one would spend a lot of time figuring out what works in Firefox and what works in IE (or what doesn't work in IE).

With flash it's guaranteed to work as long as a user has the Flash player plugin installed - regardless if it's IE or Firefox or Opera. Some web developers finds this arrangement much easier to deal with.

(Btw, I am not a web developer myself - some of my web dev friends swears by Flash however. I could do without any nice effects - even plain HTML is fine with me.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Nope
by Priest on Wed 20th Dec 2006 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Nope"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

Youtube is flash based, most auto manufactures tend to have flash based sites also.

Alot of other things are flash based, but the ones that use flash correctly are usually the ones you don't notice as much. If you strip out the useless crap people imbed like music/animations, you can make some decent low bandwidth websites with flash. (by this I mean lower bandwidth than HTML and .jpg's)

The problem is that most people using flash try to do too much with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Nope
by raver31 on Wed 20th Dec 2006 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Nope"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

youtube is a phenomenon.....

ok, I give you that one.

but you hit the nail on the head, the users think they know what I would judge as KOOOOOOl, so they include that too....

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Nope
by John Nilsson on Thu 21st Dec 2006 07:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nope"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

"That's the problem, we're dealing with people who couldn't care less about computers, software and so on BUT they want to be able to use them for everything without learning anything, without caring about anything"

If they can't care enough to fight for their freedom the don't deserve it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Nope
by Sphinx on Tue 19th Dec 2006 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Nope"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

The article doesn't even mention 2007 being the year of Linux.

It's been said so many times for so many years it's lost any and all meaning.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Nope
by FooBarWidget on Tue 19th Dec 2006 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nope"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Then why are you complaining about the fact that this is *not* an article about "the year of Linux"?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Nope
by Sphinx on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nope"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Was I?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nope
by melkor on Wed 20th Dec 2006 00:36 UTC in reply to "Nope"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

That could have been said a bit better.

I guess it depends on how you define 'the year of Linux'. My definition is that Linux becomes mainstream, is shipping onto OEM PCs and laptops as a regular replacement to Microsoft Windows, is easy to use and more importantly, maintain, is well supported and is used by at least 25-30% of the populace.

Given the above requirements (as far as I'm concerned), Linux isn't mainstream this year, nowhere near it. Nor will it be there next year, or the year after. Several important things MUST happen before Linux will become mainstream, and the community is showing no signs that this will happen, nor are 3rd party software developers I might add.

I don't want to sound negative, I'm not bagging Linux, I'm simply stating a fact as far as I see it. 2 or 3 percent of the market is NOT mainstream.

Yes, you could argue that Apple's OS X is not mainstream etc given its sales figures, and you'd be technically correct. However, OS X is well supported, easy to use and maintain and has a lot of 3rd party software applications available for it. And, Apple's userbase is growing. In my support role, I'm seeing more and more Mac users, those that have migrated away from Microsoft Windows to OS X for a variety of reasons (reliability, look and feel, security, stability etc).

Ask yourselves, why didn't these people consider Linux? Why have most people heard of Apple, but not Linux? Interestingly, from my experience, most people have heard the term Unix. Odd?

Linux has the capability of becoming mainstream, but it won't until (what I feel) are certain things done. Many will disagree with me on this, and that's fine. Time will tell, and probably prove me right I might add.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

uh
by deanlinkous on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:38 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

in a nutshell

bunch of proprietary garbage vs staying true to free software

Reply Score: 5

RE: uh
by Fennec_Fox on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:48 UTC in reply to "uh"
Fennec_Fox Member since:
2006-10-30

Right... So everything which is propriatory is garbage, free as in beer rulez, etc. etc... Well, here is some food for thought - not everybody in the world is willing to sit on a cardboard box just because it's free - some actually might prefer a padded chair. Which, BTW, is also free (as in gratis), but comes with a clause asking you not to break it's legs off. I, for one, prefer to sit on a chair - enjoy your cardboard box.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: uh
by slight on Tue 19th Dec 2006 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE: uh"
slight Member since:
2006-09-10

Congratulations on completely missing the point!

The OP was referring to free as in freedom.

Personally I'm for including nVidia drivers with Ubuntu for example, but I completely understand the argument that accepting binary-only code into distributions reduces pressure on vendors to release open source code (which more and more are starting to do).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: uh
by melkor on Wed 20th Dec 2006 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE: uh"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

You are correct, but proprietary software does have several areas of failing imho, that Free Software betters it in. For most users, they care not for 'freedom', they just want to use it, and they'll pay money to do so.

Dave

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: uh
by CowMan on Wed 20th Dec 2006 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE: uh"
CowMan Member since:
2006-09-26

Yea, but there are many operating systems out there for you if you care to.

What differentiates linux is that the operating system and it's programs are products of - not commodities for - the community. What part of the userbase does not understand that this was entirely developed by their fellow man? Using propriatory software endangers the philosophy on which linux is based.

Propriatory software may run better, right now, on some computers; but without access to the source what are you going to do if say.. you switch to a different architecture? If it doesn't compile right away? Or if you'd like to do something the original authors didn't invision? It may be a short-term benefit, but it's a lock-in. You're at the whim of whomever wrote the binary; if they decide to drop support or charge $, well it's not free then or it probably won't work. Using propriatory software endangers the future stability, flexibility and cross-platform compatibility for which linux currently excels.

If you want the advantages of Linux with propriatory software, there is the ever so pretty MacOS. Video card drivers and (are there any closed-source-and-free-software-programs out there?) their ilk do not do any of us any favours by shipping semi-crippled drivers instead of the source/spec's.

Reply Score: 2

RE: uh
by trenchsol on Wed 20th Dec 2006 10:19 UTC in reply to "uh"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

On the contrary, I believe that Linux is too exclusive and too much about ideology, politics, GPL nd FSF. I have started with Red Hat Linux 5.2 in 1999, but this year I have abandoned Linux completely, probably forever.

Until this year there was some kind of balance, but now FSF has taken a lead and they are driving Linux into isolation.

Linux is, and will stay, suitable as a server and for users that are FSF believers. I believe that it is what Linux community realy wanted, so thay can be satisfied now.

DG

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: uh
by Ookaze on Wed 20th Dec 2006 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE: uh"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

I believe that Linux is too exclusive and too much about ideology, politics, GPL nd FSF

It always was. You don't realise that the very existence of Linux is due to ideology, politics, FSF and the GPL ?
Saying it's too much into the very thing that made it born is ridiculous.

I have started with Red Hat Linux 5.2 in 1999, but this year I have abandoned Linux completely, probably forever

Started at the same time, and even more into it now. You probably never understood FOSS.

Until this year there was some kind of balance, but now FSF has taken a lead and they are driving Linux into isolation

Huh ? There was NEVER any balance, FSF and the GPL were ALWAYS on the lead.
People were saying the exact same thing as you before Open Source was created.
What you're saying about FSF driving anything is nonsense anyway, as FSF has no power to force people to use their license.
People actually prefer GPL, and you can't do anything about it, so you're quick to find a scapegoat to soothe your rage.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: uh
by trenchsol on Wed 20th Dec 2006 11:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: uh"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

You probably never understood FOSS

What is there to understand ? Please explain.

FSF has no power to force people to use their license

'Driving' does not imply 'forcing', I didn't say that. But, FSF certainly has means to put pressure vendors. There are many developrs that would follow FSF advice.

DG

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: uh
by archiesteel on Wed 20th Dec 2006 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: uh"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

What is there to understand ? Please explain.

For starters, there is no single philososphy, but rather a bunch of more-or-less compatible ones. If you think FOSS people are all the same, then you have never seen Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens and Richard Stallman in the same discussion! :-)

'Driving' does not imply 'forcing', I didn't say that. But, FSF certainly has means to put pressure vendors.

It can only compel vendors who contravene with the GPL to honor copyright law. That's about it.

There are many developrs that would follow FSF advice.

And there are just as many that won't, or will only follow part of the FSF philosophy. But even then, that still doesn't cause a problem. The GPL (v2 or v3) doesn't explicitly regulate what users can do with the software once they have it (except as it pertains to *redistribution*).

You should learn a bit more about copyright law before spreading gloom and doom scenarios about the FSF and Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: uh
by Soulbender on Wed 20th Dec 2006 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE: uh"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Until this year there was some kind of balance, but now FSF has taken a lead and they are driving Linux into isolation."

Except that Linux isn't an FSF project and they have nothing to do with it's direction?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: uh
by trenchsol on Wed 20th Dec 2006 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: uh"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Except that Linux isn't an FSF project and they have nothing to do with it's direction?

That's what I thought, but, I am afraid, it is not true any more. The community seems to be behind them.

I invested some time learning about Linux, and that time is now wasted, and I don't like it any more than you.

In fact, I was reinvesting it from time to time, because every release was considerably different
(configuration files, command line switches, etc.).

DG

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: uh
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: uh"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

That's what I thought, but, I am afraid, it is not true any more. The community seems to be behind them.

I invested some time learning about Linux, and that time is now wasted, and I don't like it any more than you.


It wasn't wasted. Even if Linux disappeared off the face of the Earth tomorrow, you can still use what you learnt in MacOS X and BSD.

To me it seems like you're the equivalent of the stereotypical ex-smoker or evangelical Christian. "I used to smoke, but now I hate it, so you should too." "I found Jesus, so you should too!".

No, thankyou.

Edited 2006-12-20 16:37

Reply Score: 3

v RE[6]: uh
by trenchsol on Wed 20th Dec 2006 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: uh"
RE[7]: uh
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: uh"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I didn't mean to talk abot it but you have asked for it.

Umm, we have? OK...

It is about honesty. You Linux, GNU and other similar people should be honest to yourselves in the first place.

Hah.

You are not able to handle DRM,
"Not able to handle" DRM? WTF does that mean?

and then declare they are not good for anybody else.

DRM is not good because[/i] it restricts freedom.

You are not able to keep up with hardware (3D and other) and declare that IP is not good for anybody else.

"IP" does not exist other than as a confused mishmash of concepts aimed at convincing people that the people who are pushing it have an inviolable right to locking people out of the software they write.

You have problems with patents and claim that patents are not good for anybody. You are blaming other people for your own problems.

Erm, no. We are pointing out that software patents are doing more harm than good because, whilst in principle they could be handled properly, in practice they are doing the software equivalent of putting a price on placing one foot in front of the other.

Like Jihad extremists that blame West because they are not able to organize their lives.

How odd. Not only are you saying that fundamentalists "cannot organise their lives" (which is patently untrue, since they have just as much right to live according to fundamentalist principles of Islam as anyone else has a right not to), you are also implying that FOSS software developers and proponents bomb people.

You just Godwinned this thread. Nice astroturfing.

Nobody owes you NOTHING. Nobody is obliged to give anything to you, not their patents, specifications, code. Not a single thing, NOTHING. And you are not supposed to say a word about it.

Says who? You're starting to sound a little hysterical (not to mention dictatorial) here.

You are the advocates suggesting people to use Linux instead of other systems, and when people ask about music, multimedia, movies, games, compatibilty you claim that it does not matter because they now have "freedom". I call that hypocritical.

I didn't mention music or multimedia.


Be honest and admitt that you are developing and running a system that is tailored to your own needs and your own ideas. There was much more honesty couple of years back, when Linux users openly claimed that Linux is not for everybody.


We ARE honest about this. And we still ARE doing it.

There is 1000000 times more honesty in Steve Balmer, Larry Ellison and the others. At least they not claim to be what they are not.

I don't think you will find Larry Ellison and Steve Ballmer can be lumped together like that. Steve Ballmer, honest? Hah.

If that's all you can come up with the next time someone "asks" for it - seriously, don't bother.

Edited 2006-12-20 19:05

Reply Score: 4

RE[8]: uh
by archiesteel on Wed 20th Dec 2006 19:29 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: uh"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

"IP" does not exist other than as a confused mishmash of concepts aimed at convincing people that the people who are pushing it have an inviolable right to locking people out of the software they write.

I have to disagree here. Without copyright law, which is part of what is broadly defined as "Intellectual Property" laws (i.e. IP), the GPL wouldn't exist. The GPL is an *extension* of copyright IP laws, it cannot exist without them.

Also, just to make things clear: it is not illegal to ship proprietary drivers on the same media as the Linux kernel, and it is not illegal to install and load said drivers into the kernel once the latter has been installed. What *is* illegal is to distribute proprietary drivers pre-compiled into the kernel. Neither version 2 or version 3 of the GPL will (or even can) prevent this. You only need to abide by the terms of the GPL (or any other copyright license) when you actually redistribute the software.

Otherwise, I agree with all the points you make...I think Trenchsol is very much mistaken about the spirit (and the reality) of FOSS.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: uh
by Soulbender on Thu 21st Dec 2006 02:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: uh"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"The community seems to be behind them. "
I guess you just somehow missed the whole Linus and many kernel developers vs. FSF and GPLv3?

"I invested some time learning about Linux, and that time is now wasted, and I don't like it any more than you. "

It wasn't wasted for me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: uh
by trenchsol on Thu 21st Dec 2006 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: uh"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I guess you just somehow missed the whole Linus and many kernel developers vs. FSF and GPLv3?

I hope that you are right and that I am wrong.

DG

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: uh
by archiesteel on Wed 20th Dec 2006 15:04 UTC in reply to "RE: uh"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

On the contrary, I believe that Linux is too exclusive and too much about ideology, politics, GPL nd FSF. I have started with Red Hat Linux 5.2 in 1999, but this year I have abandoned Linux completely, probably forever.

If you abandoned Linux because of ideology (as opposed to how useful Linux was to you), isn't that an ideological decision as well? What was the dealbreaker and how did it personally affect your usage of Linux? I'm curious, because I don't understand why someone would stop using an OS just because of the political/philosophical opinions of a group that is not directly related to Linux development.

Until this year there was some kind of balance, but now FSF has taken a lead and they are driving Linux into isolation.

How as the FSF taken a lead? You make a lot of grandiose statements, but are rather stingy on details.

Linux is, and will stay, suitable as a server and for users that are FSF believers. I believe that it is what Linux community realy wanted, so thay can be satisfied now.

I am not what the FSF would consider a "true believer", and yet I see no reason to stop using Linux (with proprietary graphics drivers, to boot). I agree that it's important to convince companies such as NVidia and ATI to release open-source drivers (for pragmatic and economic reasons), but until that happens we'll all just keep using proprietary drivers.

I also don't think that the Linux community "wants" something as a whole, except for Linux to continue to exist. There are so many opinions within the community that one cannot claim they all want the same thing. Even you were (allegedly) part of the Linux community, and clearly you had a different opinion. That enough is proof that the community is far from being monolithic in its beliefs.

Reply Score: 4

well done
by pjjmartin on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:41 UTC
pjjmartin
Member since:
2005-07-08

The OSNews title is a little misleading...this was a pretty good article summing up the year for Linux, not the "Linux is about to take over the world" article we're used to seeing.

Reply Score: 5

RE: well done
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:53 UTC in reply to "well done"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The OSNews title is a little misleading...this was a pretty good article summing up the year for Linux, not the "Linux is about to take over the world" article we're used to seeing.

Euh, it's the article's title. It's not OSNews' headline.

Reply Score: 1

RE: well done
by lopisaur on Wed 20th Dec 2006 08:09 UTC in reply to "well done"
lopisaur Member since:
2006-02-27

Yeah, I guess we were all expecting the same. 'Tis the season, folks. When the year comes to closing, everyone starts proclaiming the next one to be the year when Linux takes over the desktop.

Reply Score: 1

Kind of end of term report
by moleskine on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:44 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

His basic point is that in 2006 a split that had always existed in the Linux world started to become a deep fissure: between "commercial" Linux, where pragmatism rules and proprietory/closed code is generally OK, and free/open Linux where proprietory code and closed stuff is not OK and the commitment to freedom must not be watered down. Things like the Novell-Microsoft deal and the GPLv3 discussions acted as catalysts.

Seems a very fair point and I'd guess he is probably right. I've no idea whether this means the whole Linux community will start to fork into two along these lines rather than rub along uneasily together as they have done so far. Guess we'll see what 2007 brings.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Kind of end of term report
by trenchsol on Wed 20th Dec 2006 10:22 UTC in reply to "Kind of end of term report"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

We will see nothing. GPL is constraining Linux vendors too much. The only possible path is down, the FSF way.

DG

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

We will see nothing. GPL is constraining Linux vendors too much. The only possible path is down, the FSF way.

I'm sorry, but I disagree. I don't think you really understand how the GPL works.

Can you give me an example of how the GPL is contraining a Linux vendor in a concrete way?

Reply Score: 2

trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Isn't it obvious ? Take a look at Oracle-Redhat case. RedHatinvested their time and money to put a distribution together, out of hundreths of independent sources. Yes, they have not written the software (well, most of it), but it is not a work that should be underestimated.

Now, they are not able to protect their investment in any way, because the software is under GPL.

Oracle is much bigger name in business circles, some will choose Oracle Linux (and support) over RedHat. Oracle is simply tanking their efforts away.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not anti-Oracle, it is business, and they are doing it in their best interest, just like anybody else. Those are the rules of the game. In fact, it was a clever move.

DG

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

sn't it obvious ?

No, it's not, and after reading your response it's clear that it's not obvious to you either.

Take a look at Oracle-Redhat case. RedHatinvested their time and money to put a distribution together, out of hundreths of independent sources. Yes, they have not written the software (well, most of it), but it is not a work that should be underestimated.

Now, they are not able to protect their investment in any way, because the software is under GPL.


First, that has nothing to do with the GPL in itself, but with free software in General. It would be the same situation (or worse) if they had released their distribution under the BSD license or any other free software license.

So what you're objecting to here isn't the GPL at all, but the idea of Free/Open Source Software in general.

Second, RedHat doesn't consider the distribution as their "investment". They never had, because they've always understood that it was built on Free Software. Their business model is not based on software sales, but on support.

Oracle is much bigger name in business circles, some will choose Oracle Linux (and support) over RedHat. Oracle is simply tanking their efforts away.

Actually, no. I believe that Oracle has a partnership with RedHat. See, the FOSS world is as much about collaborating for mutual benefit than competition.

Remember that changes and updates made by Oracle to GPL software will also be re-released under the GPL (this is where things would have been different if Linux was distributed under the BSD license, for example).

Don't misunderstand me, I am not anti-Oracle, it is business, and they are doing it in their best interest, just like anybody else. Those are the rules of the game. In fact, it was a clever move.

Do you realize this statement completely invalidates your previous claim about how the GPL was not business-friendly?

Reply Score: 5

trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

First, that has nothing to do with the GPL in itself, but with free software in General. It would be the same situation (or worse) if they had released their distribution under the BSD license or any other free software license

I don't agree. Under BSD or similar license they could have kept a part of the distribution proprietary. For example their redhat-config-something applications.
RedHat doesn't consider the distribution as their "investment".

They never had, because they've always understood that it was built on Free Software. Their business model is not based on software sales, but on support.

Maybe they had not, but they should. Because they spent time and money on it.

I believe that Oracle has a partnership with RedHat. See, the FOSS world is as much about collaborating for mutual benefit than competition.

Oracle is not a part of a "FOSS world" whatever that phrase means. Business is not part of a "FOSS world",
and it is about competition. It is business that provides revenue, and the revenue is a key to a survival. "FOSS world" is not making rules there.

Remember that changes and updates made by Oracle to GPL software will also be re-released under the GPL

I am not aware of any changes and updates by Oracle. They said they will just copy RedHat distribution, and offer as their own. If there is a need for a patch, they can wait for RedHat to do it.

Do you realize this statement completely invalidates your previous claim about how the GPL was not business-friendly

I did not say that, but I believe it is not business friendly. At least not Red Hat friendly. See the beggining of my post.

DG

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I don't agree. Under BSD or similar license they could have kept a part of the distribution proprietary. For example their redhat-config-something applications.

Not if *RedHat* had released it under the BSD. If thant had been the case, then *Oracle* could have made their change proprietary.

What you mean to say is that if RedHat had taken BSD instead of Linux as its base, it could have modified it and then released its changes as proprietary...but then, chances are Oracle wouldn't have been interested and RedHat's distro's use would therefore had been limited.

Maybe they had not, but they should. Because they spent time and money on it.

Again, you fail to understand the business model of FOSS. They don't sell *software*, they sell *services*. Of course, the software needs to be good for people to use it and therefore pay RedHat for service contracts. Fortunately, the software is *not* developed by RedHat, but rather inherited from the FOSS community.

Oracle is not a part of a "FOSS world" whatever that phrase means. Business is not part of a "FOSS world",
and it is about competition. It is business that provides revenue, and the revenue is a key to a survival. "FOSS world" is not making rules there.


Business is not only about competition. Haven't you ever heard of "joint ventures"? Oracle profits from FOSS, it promotes its use by offering support for it, and therefore can be said to be part of the FOSS world, whether you like it or not (if only because they offer their own Linux distro).

It's not that FOSS is making the rules of business, but rather that the business world has adapted to the peculiar attributes of FOSS in order to profit from it.

I did not say that, but I believe it is not business friendly.

Tell that to IBM. Or Sun. Or Novell.

At least not Red Hat friendly.

I don't see RedHat complaining. Do you?

I suggest that you open your mind a bit more, because you're clearly missing the point of FOSS by only seeing software as a product to be sold.

Reply Score: 4

trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

chances are Oracle wouldn't have been interested and RedHat's distro's use would therefore had been limited

Why ? They just need an OS to offer a full software stack. They don't seem very eager to take part in OS development.

Fortunately, the software is *not* developed by RedHat, but rather inherited from the FOSS community

Creation of the distribution is complicated. Once I have creted a CD with couple of Linux programs for academic community (mail, browser, ftp, office, e-learning etc.). I wanted to make it distribution independent, so I supplied dynamic libraries compiled by myself, in a way that they would not interfere with other libraries. Then there were instalation scripts that were called by web (flash) interface provided by somebody else. It took more than a week to make everything work and test it on different machines.

A whole distribution is incredibly more complicated. I don't know if you are a technical person... It is not just "configure, make, make install" repeated X times.

So, yes, they did not write those programs, but they did create the distribution. They don't sell it, but it costs them. They have to pay their employees, full and part time. They have other costs, as well, that are not diectly related to business process. I am not native English speaker, but we call them "fixed" as oposite of "dependent".

Oracle, on the other hand, can provide same or similar functionality with much lower costs, and that is the great advantage. It is no wonder that Oracle offered support for lower price. Red Hat has to calculate the distribution costs and support costs in the support fee. Oracle does not have to, because, they have only support costs (call center, etc.).

I don't see RedHat complaining. Do you?

A far as I remember, they were not very happy about it. Depends on what you mean by complaining. I remember what they said, and I can repeat it....they did not applaud it, that's for sure.

I suggest that you open your mind a bit more, because you're clearly missing the point of FOSS by only seeing software as a product to be sold.

I understand a bit about costs, profit, etc. I am running a small business myself. The software is kind of "loss leader" here. The term "loss leader" was known
much before FOSS.

DG

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Kind of end of term report
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Kind of end of term report"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I believe that Oracle has a partnership with RedHat. See, the FOSS world is as much about collaborating for mutual benefit than competition.

Oracle is not a part of a "FOSS world" whatever that phrase means. Business is not part of a "FOSS world",
and it is about competition.


That's the biggest lie in the proprietary software world, isn't it? That all these proprietary silos promote "competition".

Except they don't. They encourage the adoption of ONE company's technology, and ONE company's products, over that of any other, because people don't want to have to deal with a myriad of software standards (not least when NetBIOS is incompatible with DECNET is incompatible with Remote Filesystem is incompatible with Econet is incompatible with AppleTalk...). When 95% of the computing market is held by ONE COMPANY (no matter whether that company is Microsoft or CuddlyToysRUS), there is no competition.

And if Oracle wants to start distributing Linux, then they ARE in the FOSS world, whether they like it or not.

Edited 2006-12-20 20:18

Reply Score: 3

Interesting perspective
by Priest on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:51 UTC
Priest
Member since:
2006-05-12

I have to agree that there seems to be a separation starting between the "best tool for the job" people and the "freedom like GPLv3" people within the Linux community.

Assuming he is right and the gap between camps grow, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

I wonder if the community will allow for distributions to fork into separate camps, or if the "GPLv3 people" will eventually get their way and lock out companies like NVIDIA with their binary drivers right at the kernel or violate Novell over the MS deal.

If this does happen, I wonder if some of the "best tool for the job" people move over to the BSD camp despite some of the strongest "best tool for the job" supporters like Ubuntu and Linus, remaining firmly within the Linux community.

The end result might just be that Linux is just going to face another roadblock and continue to move on as a nich player on the desktop.

Edited 2006-12-19 20:04

Reply Score: 4

RE: Interesting perspective
by archiesteel on Tue 19th Dec 2006 22:28 UTC in reply to "Interesting perspective"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

The end result might just be that Linux is just going to face another roadblock and continue to move on as a nich player on the desktop.

I don't see how that would hamper Linux development at all. It's going to be very hard, not to say impossible, to move the kernel over to GPLv3. Relicensing such a massive project as the Linux kernel would be hell, especially since Linus himself has pulled towards staying with the GPLv2.

I think you'll find out that most Linus devs and users are pragmatists...in any case, even version 3 of the GPL could not prevent users from loading proprietary modules into the kernel if they wanted...

The gap in philosophy (between the FSF and the OSS people) has always been there, and even though it's now being showcased again doesn't mean that this is going to affect Linux negatively.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Interesting perspective
by alucinor on Tue 19th Dec 2006 22:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting perspective"
alucinor Member since:
2006-01-06

in any case, even version 3 of the GPL could not prevent users from loading proprietary modules into the kernel if they wanted...

Exactly ... you'd see open source modules that were little more than shims for executing binary code in userland.

Reply Score: 1

"Software Idealism" my ass
by rayiner on Tue 19th Dec 2006 20:06 UTC
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yet another article that that paints open-source ideology as being on the opposite side of the fence from pragmatism and commercial interest.

The FSF has always been one of the more pragmatic elements of the open source world. While the BSD world had a very idealistic interpretation of open source, and the BSD license offered a very simple version of freedom, the GPL world has always been pragmatic and legalistic. The FSF got lawyers involved into the process from the very beginning (a corporate tactic if there ever was one!) and the GPL's efficacy depends fundamentally on the copyright mechanism that true idealists decry.

The simple fact is that supporting open source isn't always an anti-pragmatic move. External entities exert influence through closed-source software. The FSF realized that from the very beginning, and saw the need to replace the entire system with open source software, because any closed-source components would create a point of restriction.

If you look at the Linux desktop today, the same things that help the adoption of Linux also stifle its growth. Binary NVIDIA drivers may enable fancy desktop effects, but it also means that the Linux desktop is entirely beholden to NVIDIA anytime the developers want to change the 3D architecture. While Apple and Microsoft can build their graphics stack the way they want, because they have the source to these drivers, Linux developers must work around these large pieces of code that they cannot modify. Consider the whole XGL/AIGLX thing. The key advantage of AIGLX isn't a technical one --- its the fact that its easy to make work with minimal modifications to the existing binary drivers. If there had been an open-source NVIDIA driver three years ago, its very likely that AIGLX would never have even been developed. Consider also FreeBSD's TLS mechanism. The FreeBSD folks basically had to get rid of some optimizations they had made, and adopt Linux's TLS system, because otherwise they couldn't properly support NVIDIA's binary driver.

Its easy to confuse this issue, but its not an issue that should be confused. Like any decision, there is cost to using proprietary software in an open system. And its not just a cost in an idealistic sense, but a cost in a very real, pragmatic, and concrete sense. There are reasons that have only to do with naked self interest for the preference of open software.

Reply Score: 5

RE: "Software Idealism" my ass
by segedunum on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:13 UTC in reply to ""Software Idealism" my ass"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The FSF realized that from the very beginning, and saw the need to replace the entire system with open source software, because any closed-source components would create a point of restriction.

Creating closed software on top isn't really the problem, but relying on any closed software in an open source system is obviously going to force those open source components into things they wouldn't otherwise have to do. Either that or you get a stalemate where nothing can happen.

Binary NVIDIA drivers may enable fancy desktop effects, but it also means that the Linux desktop is entirely beholden to NVIDIA anytime the developers want to change the 3D architecture. While Apple and Microsoft can build their graphics stack the way they want, because they have the source to these drivers, Linux developers must work around these large pieces of code that they cannot modify.

Well pointed out.

You might want to e-mail Jono Bacon with that one, because he seems to think that people who are more adamant on open source drivers are simply idealists. There are sound reasons for being adamant for open source drivers, and simply hoping that some will produced in the future just isn't going to work. Is a manufacturer really going to be motivated when they have some lock-in?

Its easy to confuse this issue, but its not an issue that should be confused. Like any decision, there is cost to using proprietary software in an open system.

Indeed. The integrity of the system is everything, and without it, bits start to fall off as friction ensues. It's one of the reasons why Linux took off as well as it did, at the expense of BSD which apparently allowed closed driver development which some people are arguing for now. Go figure.

Edited 2006-12-19 23:20

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: "Software Idealism" my ass
by arielb on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:25 UTC in reply to "RE: "Software Idealism" my ass"
arielb Member since:
2006-11-15

MacOSX, which is based on bsd is doing a lot better than linux

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: "Software Idealism" my ass
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Software Idealism" my ass"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I don't think you'll find MacOSX has twenty percent or more of the server market...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: "Software Idealism" my ass
by rayiner on Wed 20th Dec 2006 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Software Idealism" my ass"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

And how much good is that doing BSD? Is BSD better off in any way with the success of OS X?

And actually, OS X is not doing better than Linux. Linux's desktop market share is roughly comparable to OS X's desktop market share, while its server market share is probably a couple of orders of magnitude larger.

Reply Score: 5

openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

Linux's desktop market share is roughly comparable to OS X's desktop market share

I see this repeated over and over, with no statistics cited. I don't believe it's true.

I used to (as of four months ago) admin approx 100 mid to high traffic "mainstream" (eg: large charities) websites, and the web stats for each and every one of those sites indicated that there were approx. 10 times as many Mac users as Linux users (2% vs 0.2%). Even when discarding "business hours" traffic (which tends to be windows centric due to surfing from corporate networks) this was true.

The *only* linux users I have personally encountered are either:
a) in the tech industry
b) have a relative or close friend in the tech industry

Also, I find that many of those who do use Linux, don't use it exclusively. They usually also have Windows installed, and in rare instances also have a Mac.

I'm not some sort of Mac head either, I'm posting this from Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I used to (as of four months ago) admin approx 100 mid to high traffic "mainstream" (eg: large charities) websites, and the web stats for each and every one of those sites indicated that there were approx. 10 times as many Mac users as Linux users (2% vs 0.2%).

Well, you can't use web statistics to determine market share. There are just too many unknowns to have a faithful picture.

For starters, the fact that these were mainstream sites already introduces a degree of bias. It would only take a single correlating variable to completely skew the results. For example, it could very well be that Mac users are more likely to give to charity, which could easily be the case if you consider that Macs are usually seen as more "upscale" computers, and that richer people give more to charity than poorer ones.

Unless you have some sort of truly random sample (and not a self-selected one, as is the case with web traffic), you can't get market share numbers. (That's not even taking into account other factors, such as User Agent Masquerading and the like.)

Another example that someone gave recently is that he received a lot more call for Mac tech support than from Linux users...again, if you look at the demographics of Linux users, they are mostly comprised to tech-savvy, do-it-yourself tinkerers. These people are less likely to call tech support than to hit the web and look for an answer themeselves...

It's true that people who have Linux installed often have another computer running Windows or Mac somewere, but that shouldn't affect market share numbers (save for the fact that the combined total for all OSes could be higher than 100%).

Reply Score: 2

openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

Well, you can't use web statistics to determine market share. There are just too many unknowns to have a faithful picture

Ok, point taken, but the sample of sites is large enough to make a few assumptions. Desktop usage does imply web usage so web stats are probably the best indicator of ballpark desktop OS usage. Also, not all of the sites were charities (most were not). That was just an example of what I meant by "mainstream". There were sites whose audiences would include seniors, youth, corporate and home users , and every site consistently showed Mac users outnumbering Linux users 10 to 1.

Unless you have some sort of truly random sample (and not a self-selected one, as is the case with web traffic), you can't get market share numbers.

Ok, so to reiterate my original challenge: do such numbers exist?

That's not even taking into account other factors, such as User Agent Masquerading and the like

Do you truely believe that there is a huge pool of users who are masquerading their user agent? Enough to make difference? I think not. The days where sites blocked users based on User Agents has been over for quite some time now.

if you look at the demographics of Linux users, they are mostly comprised to tech-savvy, do-it-yourself tinkerers

Yes, and that helps prove my point. And there are far more non-tech savvy desktop users than there are savvy ones. And Mac has users in both camps, unlike Linux.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Desktop usage does imply web usage so web stats are probably the best indicator of ballpark desktop OS usage.

The problem is that there are too many variables to give an accurate picture, even a proportional one. Because most Linux users are not "mainstream" by any measure, measuring mainstream sites would put them at a disadvantage. You'd have to make a list of all the sites surveyed, and then study their content to see how the readership may be biased one way or another.

Consider these webstats, from a reputable (and international) source, which give 3% for OS X and 2% for Linux:

http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats/

There's no reason to consider that these stats are more or less accurate than yours, because the fact is that you can't even get an accurate number of indidivual visitors from web stats (only actual visits). This is why one should resist the (strong) temptation to use web stats as an indicator of market share.

Ok, so to reiterate my original challenge: do such numbers exist?

Yes. IDC estimated the Linux desktop marketshare at 3% in january 2005.

Do you truely believe that there is a huge pool of users who are masquerading their user agent? Enough to make difference? I think not. The days where sites blocked users based on User Agents has been over for quite some time now.

I disagree. There are plenty of web sites who'll complain if I use Konqueror without having it masquerade as IE or Firefox on Windows, including my Bank site and my web mail site, which are two of the sites I most often go to.

If I recall correcly, the default Konqueror user agent on Ubuntu doesn't even mention Linux...if the web log filter isn't up-to-date (or if it's very primitive), many Linux users simply go under the radar when surfing.

Of course, it's mostly tech-savvy users who masquerade their browser's identity...but since most Linux users are, this can actually be quite significant.

Yes, and that helps prove my point. And there are far more non-tech savvy desktop users than there are savvy ones. And Mac has users in both camps, unlike Linux.

There are in fact few tech-savvy users that have Macs out there, compared to the non-techie users who have chosen it for its simplicity and/or style. All the Mac users I know fall in the second category (they are mostly musicians, editors, and other people working in the media).

Also, don't underestimate the number of tech-savvy people out there. It may only be a few percents, but IT *is* one of the leading sector of economic growth, and universities are churning IT people by the thousands every year.

All in all, considering the available data, I think it's safe to say that the market share figures for OS X and Linux worldwide are comparable. Arguing they aren't based on inaccurate web states is a mistake, IMO.

Reply Score: 3

DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

But even then, I donīt see those numbers making justice to one single fact: Macs are damn expensives! Only people in the USA and perhaps in Europe (for those interested) can afford them.

I, being a brazilian, never seen anybody using a Mac at their homes at all because they often cost 04 or 05 times more than a brand name PC with more or less the same specs. We do see them here on its traditional niches (media, graphics, etc.) but thatīs because advertisement agencies do tend to keep Macs around and keep its cost into account.

And I honestly doubt that the reality on other third world countries is that much different than what I said above.

On the other hand, websites like http://www.vivaolinux.com.br (for portuguese speakers only - sorry!) do indicate that the number of Linux users is high and keeps increasing gradually.

Not only that, but Brazil made a commitment to use FOSS whenever it is possible (or feasible) on its public services as a measure to save money on software licenses and to incentivate local expertise on software. The subway on Brazilīs largest city, São Paulo, deployed OO.org instead of MS Office successfully on several hundreds desktops YEARS ago and saved lots of money on that deployment alone.

That was possible because FOSS usually enables one to employ commodity hardware (or even thin clients) while Macs not only require that new hardware must be bought but the said hardware is DAMN EXPENSIVE!

Reply Score: 4

openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

Macs are damn expensives! Only people in the USA and perhaps in Europe (for those interested) can afford them.

Excellent point.

Linux can make the biggest gain in lower income countries. Especially with Microsoft's new tactic of crippling PCs that don't pass the WGA test.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Yeah, I think this point needs to be stressed as well: I was talking about *global* market share, not strictly North American or European.

The number of RedFlag workstations inside the Chinese government alone must be quite impressive...

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

MacOSX, which is based on bsd is doing a lot better than linux

It depends on what you look at, in terms of how much better it's doing than Linux.

The problem is, it hasn't done BSD one iota of good. Had BSD used the GPL or a license which stated "OK, you can use this but you can't just surround it with proprietary software. You need to give back" then OS X would have benefitted from the code, but also BSD would have benefitted with code coming back from OS X. OS X would then have benefitted by BSD people working on their code, and it would have snowballed from there.

Reply Score: 2

openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

The problem is, it hasn't done BSD one iota of good. Had BSD used the GPL or a license which stated "OK, you can use this but you can't just surround it with proprietary software. You need to give back" then OS X would have benefitted from the code, but also BSD would have benefitted with code coming back from OS X. OS X would then have benefitted by BSD people working on their code, and it would have snowballed from there.

You are assuming that Apple would have based their core OS on a GPL licenced system.

That's a big leap of faith.

As far as I can tell, Apple hasn't done a whole lot to improve BSD, they just modified it to work with their hardware, and within their system. The only thing that the BSD devs would want is the hardware drivers, and I'm pretty sure that some of Apple's suppliers like Broadcom wouldn't like that.

All of the 'good stuff' (carbon, etc) is theirs alone. Heck, they even replaced the BSD userland tools with GNU ones, so OSX is really a weird BSD/GNU/NEXT hybrid.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: "Software Idealism" my ass
by arielb on Thu 21st Dec 2006 05:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "Software Idealism" my ass"
arielb Member since:
2006-11-15

MacOSX, which is based on bsd is doing a lot better than linux

"It depends on what you look at, in terms of how much better it's doing than Linux.

The problem is, it hasn't done BSD one iota of good. "

Yes it does. it means that a popular OS that people enjoy is benefited by using their quality BSD code. You have to understand the BSD approach is to think of open source as a means to an end, which is better computing experience for more people and BSD has succeeded here.

In the linux/gpl model, open source is the end and a better user experience isn't so important or at best a means to the end of getting everything open source.

Edited 2006-12-21 05:29

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

MacOSX, which is based on bsd is doing a lot better than linux

It is based on the Mach microkernel and on Darwin...it's starting to get quite further from a stock BSD base.

How do you figure out that it's doing "a lot better than Linux"? Just because it has more visibility? As far as market share goes the numbers are similar (Apple is at 4-5%, Linux at 2-3%).

Remember that Apple has been there much longer, and it's one of the most recognizable brands out there. Many people learned computing on a Mac way before it was based on Unix, so I doubt that the platform's popularity is linked to its BSD underpinnings to any significant degree...

Reply Score: 2

DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

MacOSX, which is based on bsd is doing a lot better than linux

OH, REALLY? Then could you please show me just one Mac on the site where I am right now? I work for a Fortune 500 company (and a big one while we are at it!) with over 5000 employees just on this site alone and I canīt see a single Mac anywhere. Not even one!

How is that a lot better than Linux?

Reply Score: 2

RE: "Software Idealism" my ass
by Morin on Wed 20th Dec 2006 13:56 UTC in reply to ""Software Idealism" my ass"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Binary NVIDIA drivers may enable fancy desktop effects, but it also
> means that the Linux desktop is entirely beholden to NVIDIA anytime
> the developers want to change the 3D architecture.

The binary drivers are independent of Linux's 3d architecture. That's exactly the loophole Nvidia found to incorporate a binary module into the kernel without violating the GPL: The driver is the same as is used for Windows, so it is not specific to the current 3d architecture. Only the glue layer is. If Linux is to get a new 3d architecture, only the glue layer is changed.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: "Software Idealism" my ass
by Terracotta on Wed 20th Dec 2006 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE: "Software Idealism" my ass"
Terracotta Member since:
2005-08-15

One cannot change the glue layer without having the source of both the driver and the kernel, hence Linux is completely depending on nVidia when it comes to nVidia cards.

@Morin:
Isn't XGL the one that didn't have nVidia problems because the old drivers could be used, and isn't AIGLX the one that needed driver changes to work?

Reply Score: 1

Pffft
by Sphinx on Tue 19th Dec 2006 20:14 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

I want the 30 seconds I wasted scanning it back.

Reply Score: 1

What about Java/GPL...?
by Ringheims Auto on Tue 19th Dec 2006 20:43 UTC
Ringheims Auto
Member since:
2005-07-23

What about Java going GPL? That's for sure a big change for GNU/Linux, with a lot more impact than the Novell/MS deal.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What about Java/GPL...?
by unoengborg on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:17 UTC in reply to "What about Java/GPL...?"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

True, but that impact will not happen until sometimes round 2008. First of all, all of java is not open sourced yet. Sun tells us it will be in the beginning of next year.

Another thing, what is open sourced is the code for the next version of java. It will take some time before it is ready for production. Once it gets ready, it will take some more time yet before various Linux distros decide how to integrate it with their existing software.

Reply Score: 2

FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?
by linux-it on Tue 19th Dec 2006 21:06 UTC
linux-it
Member since:
2006-07-13

I think the subjected ones are actually the ones who prohibit the final break-through in big numbers.

As said here: people don't want crippled stuff because it "feels better". It's not how the real world wants this. People want to see their stuff working. So, if that requires acroread, flashplayer, an ATI driver, so be it.

Of course it's good to think about stopping DRM, but it's like stopping a train, ok if you want to do this but don't do this by throwing yourself in front of it ..

The FSF, coming GPLv3, the fact that some parts of the community helps spreading the FUD that MS so much loves, the iceweasle idiotic stuff, it's a bug throw-back in time if that continues.

Novell/MS -- interoperablity; a great moment to be able to have a big heterogenous network of systems. Something that currently is hard to roll-out.

Reply Score: 2

RE: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 00:19 UTC in reply to "FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21


As said here: people don't want crippled stuff because it "feels better". It's not how the real world wants this. People want to see their stuff working. So, if that requires acroread, flashplayer, an ATI driver, so be it.


FYI, I've never had trouble reading PDF's in something other than Acrobat Reader in Linux, even in the early days. Of course it's possible that these days I read more complicated ones than I used to.

When was the last time you saw a Flash movie that made you think, "gee, I'm glad i saw that"?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?
by Cass on Wed 20th Dec 2006 03:01 UTC in reply to "RE: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?"
Cass Member since:
2006-03-17

When was the last time you saw a Flash movie that made you think, "gee, I'm glad i saw that"?

Lol, check out www.joecartoon.com

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?
by linux-it on Wed 20th Dec 2006 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?"
linux-it Member since:
2006-07-13

aren't the PDF specs open so that it can be done? maybe acroread looks like a bad example but if I look at the tax stuff here, wher a form needs to be filled in, I was glad acroread was there.

it's not what *I* feel is required, it's the woman besides me, my wife who states she needs to have flash 9 to do her work. and it's my 7 YO girl who needs it in order to play that game.

I can do most of it without, but I'm happy that, eventhough not an ideal situation, I can do it.

as long as such stuff is denied, people cannot make that move to linux. if that is what we want, then we should stick with that. if we feel that more users is a good thing, we should care a ittle it less and start convincing FSF, the debian people etc that the things they do, or going to do, may explode in linux' face. I don't like that at all. debian can be ccircumvented, just don't use it. FSF/GPLv3 may do quite some harm if they continue the track they are wanting to take..

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

aren't the PDF specs open so that it can be done? maybe acroread looks like a bad example but if I look at the tax stuff here, wher a form needs to be filled in, I was glad acroread was there.

I'm not aware either way of the legal status of the PDF specification. Mind you, the Windows trolls keep insisting it's not open. Which kind of suggests that it probably is.

it's not what *I* feel is required, it's the woman besides me, my wife who states she needs to have flash 9 to do her work. and it's my 7 YO girl who needs it in order to play that game.

Well, I'm sorry, but Flash works fine on my Linux boxen. And since Adobe are porting Flash 9 to Linux, if it isn't out on Linux yet, that's Adobe's fault, not Linux's.

as long as such stuff is denied, people cannot make that move to linux. if that is what we want, then we should stick with that. if we feel that more users is a good thing, we should care a ittle it less and start convincing FSF, the debian people etc that the things they do, or going to do, may explode in linux' face. I don't like that at all. debian can be ccircumvented, just don't use it. FSF/GPLv3 may do quite some harm if they continue the track they are wanting to take..

Sorry, but if Stallman had worried about whether it was going to be an uphill struggle to get free software out there, he wouldn't have started. People have been wittering on about "free software exploding in Linux's face" for as long as Linux has existed. They have also been ritually predicting the death of UNIX since the 70's. Neither has happened.

Edited 2006-12-20 14:24

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?
by archiesteel on Wed 20th Dec 2006 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Well, I'm sorry, but Flash works fine on my Linux boxen. And since Adobe are porting Flash 9 to Linux, if it isn't out on Linux yet, that's Adobe's fault, not Linux's.

BTW, the Flash 9 Beta is available for Linux, and I find that it's remarkably stable.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?
by Gooberslot on Thu 21st Dec 2006 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE: FSF, GPLv3, Debian ?"
Gooberslot Member since:
2006-08-02

When was the last time you saw a Flash movie that made you think, "gee, I'm glad i saw that"?

All the time actually.

Reply Score: 1

Freedom and democracy
by irbis on Tue 19th Dec 2006 21:15 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't quite understand why the article says that the Linux communtity would be forking. Why should things be seen so black and white? Hasn't the the open source bazaar development model always been about various different opinions and development goals interacting freely?

So what if some people in the communtity are very pro business, some others very pro FSF, some against and some for GPL3 etc. Let them be, it's a free world... There's room for all of them. That sort of freedom may sometimes (often..) mean heated discussions, sure, but so what... The democracy and pluralism of the Linux / open source community is one of its main strangths. There is room for all sorts of "parties". Everyone is free to use and develop software as they see best and no one person is dictating it from above to all the rest of the communtity.

Edited 2006-12-19 21:21

Reply Score: 4

Proprietary Drivers
by Kelly Rush on Tue 19th Dec 2006 21:16 UTC
Kelly Rush
Member since:
2005-06-30

I can't, for the life of me, understand what the problem is with distros including proprietary drivers. The argument is that proprietary, closed-source is bad, and that allowing closed-source drivers allows companies like ATI (or AMD, whatever) and NVIDIA to continue keeping the source code for their drivers closed, correct?

Ok, well...it's been over 10 years since Linux has been available publicly. Obviously, ATI and NVIDIA have no interest in opening the source code to their hardware. And what should they? What, if they don't open their source, then the 1.5% of users that use Linux -AND- their hardware (assuming a 3% or so base of computer users using Linux, divided in half between the two companies), then the Linux community won't use their hardware anymore? Ok, problems with that logic path:

1. There are no real options available aside from NVIDIA and ATI. If you leave NVIDIA, it is for ATI; if you leave ATI, it is for NVIDIA.

2. 1.5% Are you kidding? This is nothing to their bottom-line. They would much rather lose that market share, than open their source code.

3. NVIDIA knows ATI won't open their code; ATI knows NVIDIA won't open their code. This is not a point they even have to compete on. It's not like ATI lowered their prices and now NVIDIA has to catch up, or vice-versa. There are many areas in which these companies compete, but opening the source code to their drivers is not one of them.

Bottom line: There is no incentive for either company to open the source code to their hardware.

At the end of the day, I would say the Linux community should be much more interested in raising their market share from the minuscule 2-4%, than arguing over the ideological reasons for forcing companies to open-source their code. What if Ubuntu bundling proprietary drivers nets them (obviously making numbers up here) 100,000 additional users, and increases the Linux marketshare by 1-2%? What if in doing this, 4-5 smaller software companies decide to go ahead and port their software to Linux? What if this in turn causes a few hardware vendors to port native drivers to Linux (open or closed-source)? And then this in turn leads tp another 4-5% of the market for Linux, say up to 10-12%?

As the Linux desktop marketshare increases, companies like NVIDIA and ATI are then forced to start giving it some extra consideration. Once Linux actually has some meaningful backing, then you can start jerking companies around and trying to force them into your ideological belief system, but up until that point, they really could not care less about what you or the GPL try to dictate at them. When all is said and done, they'll just continue to ignore the Linux community.

You'd think you'd have learned a lesson from your buddies at Microsoft: Embrace and extend.

P.S. This is from someone who uses Windows XP at work, Ubuntu 6.10 at home, and SkyOS as much as humanly possible at the moment. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Proprietary Drivers
by rayiner on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:00 UTC in reply to "Proprietary Drivers"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

If you think "closed source is bad" is the reason against including proprietary drivers, then no wonder you can't understand why distros have a problem with it!

Fact: Closed-source drivers limit the development flexibility of a distribution. Want to target PPC or Itanium? Well, that proprietary driver will keep you from doing so.

Fact: Closed-source drivers are a support liability. If you include it in the box, your users will expect you to support it. Trying to support programs to which you don't have the source code is painful, and to be avoided if possible.

Fact: Closed-source drivers impair development. Its interesting to note that the X server, which does have a stable ABI for closed-source drivers has stagnated compared to the Linux kernel, which doesn't. The linux developers can improve core APIs because they're able to propagate necessary changes to the drivers. The X developers can't, because they are afraid of breaking closed drivers. It should also be noted that neither Apple nor Microsoft are stupid enough to play with this handicap. THEY have the source to the NVIDIA and ATI drivers. When Microsoft built Avalon, they didn't wait for NVIDIA to approve and implement every change they wanted --- they went in and did it themselves.

There are also a couple of key dynamics you're missing. Intel, which is the largest vendor of GPUs, has open-source drivers. Gamers might scoff at integrated GPUs, but gamers aren't a target market for Linux distributions anyway. For the business/server world that Linux is targetted to, integrated GPUs are just fine. Also, there is speculation that AMD will open up ATI's Linux drivers, or at least the specs on their GPUs (which makes sense in the context of AMD's HT coprocessor strategy). These factors together might very well lead to a situation favoring open drivers for GPUs.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Proprietary Drivers
by Priest on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Proprietary Drivers"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

Fact: Closed-source drivers impair development.


Closed-source drivers impair development, yet the best graphics drivers coincidently happen to be closed?

"When Microsoft built Avalon, they didn't wait for NVIDIA to approve and implement every change they wanted --- they went in and did it themselves."

But Avalon and the NVIDIA drivers for windows are also closed. Microsoft makes a change, NVIDIA brings their driver up to snuff, progress is made. Why does Linux need to be any different?

X.org is no more dependent on closed drivers than OSX or Windows, yet x.org which is open and designed by comitee hasn't really changed much in ~10 years.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Proprietary Drivers
by rayiner on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Proprietary Drivers"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Closed-source drivers impair development, yet the best graphics drivers coincidently happen to be closed?

They impair the development of the rest of the stack.

But Avalon and the NVIDIA drivers for windows are also closed. Microsoft makes a change, NVIDIA brings their driver up to snuff, progress is made. Why does Linux need to be any different?

Microsoft does *not* iterate with NVIDIA over every change to Avalon. They have NVIDIA's driver sources, and can make necessary changes themselves, long before they have to get NVIDIA to integrate the changes. Apple follows an even extreme approach. Nobody touches Apple's GL stack but Apple. They have the sources for both NVIDIA's and ATI's drivers, and they integrate pieces as necessary into their own stack.

X.org is no more dependent on closed drivers than OSX or Windows, yet x.org which is open and designed by comitee hasn't really changed much in ~10 years.

That's the thing you don't understand. OS X and Windows *aren't* dependant on closed drivers. The source of most Windows and OS X drivers are open to Microsoft and Apple developers. They can test things, modify APIs, etc, all with the advantage of source code and specifications. The OSS world plays with a handicap --- they have to keep up with Microsoft and Apple, without access to the same driver source and specs that they have.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Proprietary Drivers
by Kelly Rush on Wed 20th Dec 2006 02:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Proprietary Drivers"
Kelly Rush Member since:
2005-06-30

The OSS world plays with a handicap --- they have to keep up with Microsoft and Apple, without access to the same driver source and specs that they have.

So the proposed solution is to try to throw the collective market weight of the Linux community (remember, only 3-4% at best) at these hardware vendors, in the hope that by dictating your ideology to them day after day, after day, after day, that they will be forced to listen and change?

Good luck with that. You let me know how that works out.

Just be glad that they even bother to develop binary-only drivers. With SkyOS, we don't even have that luxury, and are forced to stick with 2D acceleration (and believe me, we could do some pretty cool stuff with true support for their hardware). However, rather than trying to force their hand (which we of course could never do, for the same reason it doesn't work for Linux), we are just dealing with the reality of the situation and moving on. Hopefully, if we just continue to make really good, and innovative software, our market will eventually be large enough that the hardware companies might actually have to care about us.

But until then, we're just dealing with reality. That is my biggest suggestion for the Linux community. You have binary drivers; use them.

Edited 2006-12-20 02:56

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Proprietary Drivers
by Ookaze on Wed 20th Dec 2006 11:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Proprietary Drivers"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

So the proposed solution is to try to throw the collective market weight of the Linux community (remember, only 3-4% at best) at these hardware vendors, in the hope that by dictating your ideology to them day after day, after day, after day, that they will be forced to listen and change?

Yes, that's what has been done before, and that's why ATI open-sourced their drivers. Then, the incentive from the community slowed down because of NVidia, and ATI decided to go back to closed-source with this current gen (well, that's simplification).
If we could do it before when we had less marketshare, we still can now.

Good luck with that. You let me know how that works out

By trying. You could never succeed though, as you surender before fighting. You sure are not part of the driving force behind FOSS.

Just be glad that they even bother to develop binary-only drivers

Fortunately we don't listen to you.

With SkyOS, we don't even have that luxury, and are forced to stick with 2D acceleration. However, rather than trying to force their hand, we are just dealing with the reality of the situation and moving on. Hopefully, if we just continue to make really good, and innovative software, our market will eventually be large enough that the hardware companies might actually have to care about us

To sum up, you're sitting on your a** hoping it will get better. Wow, a true recipe for failure.
While the Linux community does sth, and even try to produce a FOSS 3D driver for Nvidia cards.
That's the big difference, which is significant.

But until then, we're just dealing with reality. That is my biggest suggestion for the Linux community. You have binary drivers; use them

We use them, but don't stay with poor solutions. So we sure don't need your advice.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Proprietary Drivers
by Kelly Rush on Wed 20th Dec 2006 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Proprietary Drivers"
Kelly Rush Member since:
2005-06-30

To sum up, you're sitting on your a** hoping it will get better.

I'm pretty sure I said we're doing just the opposite. We've directly contacted both ATI and NVIDIA in the past, to attempt to work with them, and while both companies were interested, they chose not to work with us at the time. So what do we do? Continue working on things that we have an influence over.

Again, I think the point of my post was missed. You can complain that these drivers are not open-sourced, and you can continue to champion that effort, but in the meantime, you have working binary drivers. Why not simply include them and make it easier for the average user to get into Linux?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Proprietary Drivers
by DeadFishMan on Wed 20th Dec 2006 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Proprietary Drivers"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

Again, I think the point of my post was missed. You can complain that these drivers are not open-sourced, and you can continue to champion that effort, but in the meantime, you have working binary drivers. Why not simply include them and make it easier for the average user to get into Linux?

I guess that one of the main reasons why these drivers arenīt included on Linux distros by default it is because of licensing incompatibilities. Linux distros cannot ship binary drivers linked by default with the Linux kernel as they are redistributing the resulting product that would be violating the GPL license. Nothing prevents the end user of installing them whenever he/she wants, of course.

So, in my eyes, all this discussion if those drivers should or should not be shipped with Linux distros is useless. As per the current licensing terms, they simply CANNOT do that.

And I like it that way. Rayiner, twenex and a few others have already stated the reasons much better than I can anyway, so thereīs no point rehashing that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Proprietary Drivers
by arielb on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Proprietary Drivers"
arielb Member since:
2006-11-15

Fact: closed source drivers are here to stay, they are better and Linux will just have to deal with it even though I agree it's not an ideal situation.

Maybe ATI and Nvidia would improve the X server if linux gains more marketshare.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Proprietary Drivers
by Kelly Rush on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Proprietary Drivers"
Kelly Rush Member since:
2005-06-30

While you bring up some interesting thoughts, I think you missed the entire point of my post.

You said:

These factors together might very well lead to a situation favoring open drivers for GPUs.

That is all well and good, but in the meantime, it makes little to no sense to not simply include the binary-only drivers. EVERYONE installs them; that is the first thing they do after installing Linux. Why not include them? To me, it is a simple case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Additionally, you mentioned the fact that AMD may open-source the video drivers for ATI's technology, in a strategic, competitive move against Intel. That would be great (I certainly know it would be for SkyOS!), but look at why it happened, because they were forced to, in order to remain competitive. At this point in time, neither ATI, nor NVIDIA have open-sourced their code. There is NO INCENTIVE for them to do so, at present. That being the case, why not simply include the binary drivers at the time of installation, to make things easier for people trying to wade into the waters of Linux? If at some point in time either or both of the companies open-source their code, then wonderful! But that isn't the case right now, so deal with it.

Forcing your ideology upon these companies is not going to result in what you hope to achieve. Right now, Linux means next to nothing to most of the hardware industry. Someday, maybe it will; until then, the best thing that the Linux community can do is try to work around that problem as best as possible, and if that means including a few binary drivers, then so be it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Proprietary Drivers
by Cass on Wed 20th Dec 2006 03:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Proprietary Drivers"
Cass Member since:
2006-03-17

That is all well and good, but in the meantime, it makes little to no sense to not simply include the binary-only drivers. EVERYONE installs them; that is the first thing they do after installing Linux. Why not include them? To me, it is a simple case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Cant say that they do.. Nothing that i use under Linux requires me to use 3d drivers... of course i have installed them at some point to see what all the fuss is with the accelerated crud thats going on just now but in general i work with the Xorg defaults for my ATI card when using Linux.. I say dont include them as default in any distro, create a button that assists installation if required ...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Proprietary Drivers
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Proprietary Drivers"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

That is all well and good, but in the meantime, it makes little to no sense to not simply include the binary-only drivers.

It makes perfect sense, since doing so is against the terms of the General Public Licence. We have enough to deal with with bogus copyright and unspecified patent claims, without knowingly and deliberately making another rod for our backs.

The problem comes when proprietary companies, who would and do go ape when FOSS software writers violate their copyrights (or more accurately, when they see they can make money out of claiming they do), ship FOSS software in violation of copyright and licences. OR refuse to give back in return for what they've taken. That is what the BSD licence allows, and they're perfectly within their rights to let that continue if they so wish, but to advocates of the GPL it is a problem that the GPL was created to avoid.

When Proprietary Software Companies violate our licences, we should be as mad as hell, and we should decide that we're not going to take it anymore.

EVERYONE installs them; that is the first thing they do after installing Linux. Why not include them? To me, it is a simple case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I don't install them, and I daresay I'm not the only one. Rotating windows and dropshadows may be nice, but they aren't necessary.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Proprietary Drivers
by sbergman27 on Wed 20th Dec 2006 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Proprietary Drivers"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
It makes perfect sense, since doing so is against the terms of the General Public Licence. We have enough to deal with with bogus copyright and unspecified patent claims, without knowingly and deliberately making another rod for our backs.
"""

You've been listening to Greg Kroah-Hartman's propaganda.

The day licensors of GPL software start attacking their own users in the courtroom is the day I start promoting BSD.

That tactic is just a *little* too SCO-like for my tastes.

Edited 2006-12-20 18:12

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Proprietary Drivers
by twenex on Wed 20th Dec 2006 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Proprietary Drivers"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

It makes perfect sense, since doing so is against the terms of the General Public Licence. We have enough to deal with with bogus copyright and unspecified patent claims, without knowingly and deliberately making another rod for our backs.
"""

You've been listening to Greg Kroah-Hartman's propaganda.


How so? I barely know who he is.

The day licensors of GPL software start attacking their own users in the courtroom is the day I start promoting BSD.

That tactic is just a *little* too SCO-like for my tastes.


I don't think I've ever advocating SCOing customers. But the FSF has in the past successfully prevented the illegal redistribution of GPL'ed code without source, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Proprietary Drivers
by arielb on Thu 21st Dec 2006 05:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Proprietary Drivers"
arielb Member since:
2006-11-15

I think we should be mad as hell at the GPL for putting politics and lawyers ahead of technology and making computing more useful and enjoyable.

Isn't that what we really want in the end?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Proprietary Drivers
by twenex on Thu 21st Dec 2006 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Proprietary Drivers"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Technology that restricts freedom is very dangerous.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Proprietary Drivers
by da_Chicken on Wed 20th Dec 2006 00:13 UTC in reply to "Proprietary Drivers"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

As the Linux desktop marketshare increases, companies like NVIDIA and ATI are then forced to start giving it some extra consideration. Once Linux actually has some meaningful backing, then you can start jerking companies around and trying to force them into your ideological belief system, but up until that point, they really could not care less about what you or the GPL try to dictate at them.

The commercial GNU/Linux distros like to tell their users that installing and enabling those proprietary graphics drivers by default helps them to make things easier for new users by improving hardware support. That, of course, is quite true. But there's also another argument that goes along with this first argument, although you don't hear this second argument too often.

The other argument for using proprietary drivers is that it gives those commercial distros a competitive edge over distros that provide only Free Software. And once the commercial distros have chosen to take advantage of this competitive edge, they're not going to give it away. They're not going to tell NVIDIA and ATI to open the source code of their drivers because that would be giving away the competitive edge that these distros now have.

And it's a slippery slope. The commercial GNU/Linux distros also compete with each other. Once they've all added the proprietary graphics drivers, they start thinking what other closed-source components they could add to their distribution in order to gain some additional competitive edge. And, of course, they'll tell their users that they add all this proprietary stuff just to make their distro easier for new users. The more closed-source components they add, the more popular they become -- and opening the source code of these closed-source components would clearly be against their best interest.

It's quite true that following this slippery slope GNU/Linux can attract more users and increase its "market share." But it's not likely, IMO, that this increased "market share" would help opening the source code of those proprietary components that can give the commercial GNU/Linux distros some additional edge over their competitors. Giving up competitive advantage is just something that these people who think in terms of "market share" will never do. If the GNU/Linux desktop "market share" increases by adding new proprietary elements one after another, it won't take long before GNU/Linux starts to resemble MS Windows. This slippery slope may help GNU/Linux to replace MS Windows on the desktop, but the kind of GNU/Linux we'll have after this process won't be any real alternative to MS Windows.

Personally, I don't care for "market share" at all. I would much prefer that GNU/Linux retained its Free Software nature and that it remained a true alternative to MS Windows -- even if that means that GNU/Linux will never become very popular.

Reply Score: 5

The FOSS Engine
by alucinor on Tue 19th Dec 2006 22:44 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

Free software is the spark that starts it, but Open Source is the oil that keeps it running.

FSF is good at breaking ground, the OSDL is good at planting soybeans there.

I don't see any friction other than what should be healthy and expected from the only software movement that grows in proportion to the growth of the Web.

Reply Score: 2

All about trends is corect
by nedvis on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:03 UTC
nedvis
Member since:
2006-01-02

Mr. Steve J.V-N is a real Linux world expert and, as always before, he was right : Year '06 is a Year of big changes. That's a cold fact, simple true about trends in the Linux world.
Linux is advancing, everyday in every aspect of its own live and I think we'll see even more centrifugal forces (not alway bad) as opposed to centripetal force.
That's how thing works in heterogeneous or better yet decentralized world as Linux world is.

Reply Score: 2

walterbyrd
Member since:
2005-12-31

articles, but that was not one them. Frankly, it sucked.

Practically every thing he cited is either indifferent, or bad, for linux.

The msft/novl deal, especially, is really bad. Novl has betrayed the linux community, and helped msft to threaten all linux users with lawsuits. This is supposed to help linux adoption? The msft/novl increased interoperability claim is a joke. Msft doesn't need any special deal to increase interoperability.

Oracle has their own distro, who cares? It might matter to Oracle, or Redhat, but not to linux adoption in general. And frankly, I don't even think it matters to Redhat or Oracle.

Ubuntu's popularity may be good. But, often, one distro is popular for a while, then it's another distro.

Anyway, not much of an article, IMO.

Reply Score: 1

drfelip
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's clear to me that their products aren't so good as ATI and Nvidia ones, but I can't see in what way releasing open source drivers would be bad for them, and it seems that such a move would bring them an insteresting piece of the market (taking into account that the piece they own nowadays is not very big). I'm thinking about S3 Graphics and so.

Reply Score: 1

korpenkraxar Member since:
2005-09-10

There will probably pop many new players in both the hardware and software business the next few years. Just think about that curious Chinese market for instance.

Moreover, I would like to make a prediction about big distros traditionally using the linux kernel will begin experiment more with other kernels as well. Just imagine what would happen inside the Debian project if the solaris kernel is released GPL3...

Reply Score: 1