Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jul 2005 11:55 UTC, submitted by Swank1
Linux Are there too many Linux distributions currently available? Can there be too many? This article explores the effect of the large number of distros out right now and suggests that progress could possibly be made through a consolidation.
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What is really needed
by John Nilsson on Fri 15th Jul 2005 21:38 UTC
John Nilsson
Member since:
2005-07-06

Linux is about community. The easy-to-use-apliance is not the single goal. Linux has many meanings, kernel, community, platform, os, distribution, religion... you name it, and it is confusing for the newly initiated.

As mind share is starting to grow the Linux trade mark is getting more and more attractive to use on products adding even more to the confusion. What is really needed is a stronger trade mark. For joe user the term Linux should mean roughly the same thing as ".NET" or "HT-technology" means: "Some thingamajig that makes stuff better."

For developers however Linux should mean our community, our culture, the vast pool or resources availible for OS development... you know that kind of stuff.

What all this means for distributions is that we don't really need to make distributions easier for joe user to install. We need distributions to make development and innovation easier.

There are clusters of "packages" that is roughly the same in all distributions and really doesn't need to be diffrent, these could be consolidated.

We should be very careful with regards to lock-in's though. I see allready how Linux is getting less and less of an inovation fest and more about optimizing whats there for stability and ease of use. Just take a look at the Reiser4 fiasco, it has been around for years and I have yet to see anyone dare to really use it.

What is even more embarassing is how Apple such cool things as Uniform Type Identifiers in the mean time.

It's not Microsoft we have to beat, it's apple. We can't afford to be locked in ad-hoc, defacto or any other standards. Still we are in despearate need of standards to coordinate our efforts more effectivley so not everyone has to re-invent the wheel when they feel the urge to innovate.

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