Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jul 2007 22:42 UTC, submitted by WillM
Linux "Remember the 1980s worries about how the 'forking' of Unix could hurt that operating system's chances for adoption? That was nothing compared to the mess we've got today with Linux, where upwards of 300 distributions vie for the attention of computer users seeking an alternative to Windows."
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Is Linux like opera?
by orfanum on Fri 20th Jul 2007 01:35 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

And by opera here I mean the musical type of dramatic production, not the web browser.

The answer to this isn't to be found in the art, if you like, it's to be found in the audience. Imagine if opera lovers everywhere started asking, "why is there German opera, and Italian opera, and French, Russian, and (God forbid) English opera? We demand one opera!" Much of opera would die. So, you hae many languages and conventions, but the rules of opera remain the same, otherwise it would not be recognizable as a form of art across nations.

Is opera easy? For some (who already have linguistic skills), maybe. Is opera necessary? Well, what sort of question is that?! Is 'The Magic Flute' necessary? I dunno, go and look see! Is opera accessible - well, there's always The Mikado...

The point being that opera does make demands of its audience, more demands in a way than does popular music. There's nothing wrong with either: you may immediately 'get' Little Richard and Wagner: but the audiences by and large are going to be very different.

If Linux wants to be popular, it may have to swallow the idea of making itself more Gilbert and Sullivan than Das Rheingold (OS X is maybe like Philip Glass), but it will still be opera by any other name. But I suppose Linux doesn't need to be 'popular'.

This is being written by a terminal Linux noob, who would love to be able to go to a performance and completely understand all its nuances and sophistication. But I think now I would no more demand things of Linux, that it be this or that, than I would expect to see anyone at all interested in opera 'demand' that Der Ring des Nibelungen be in English and cut to 3.5 minutes.

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