Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2012 22:52 UTC
Linux Miguel de Icaza: "To sum up: (a) First dimension: things change too quickly, breaking both open source and proprietary software alike; (b) incompatibility across Linux distributions. This killed the ecosystem for third party developers trying to target Linux on the desktop. You would try once, do your best effort to support the 'top' distro or if you were feeling generous 'the top three' distros. Only to find out that your software no longer worked six months later. Supporting Linux on the desktop became a burden for independent developers." Mac OS X came along to scoop up the Linux defectors.
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RE[2]: Comment by Vordreller
by toast88 on Thu 30th Aug 2012 20:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Vordreller"
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The problem is not the diversity, the problem is the incompatibility betwen them.

They're not incompatible, they all use the same POSIX API. Also, the kernel's userland API hasn't changed for years. Software like "xv" (latest stable release camt out in 1994) still runs on the latest Debian or Ubuntu.

What you are seeing as incompatibility is a result from most binaries linked to specific versions of a dynamic library and this is a problem which exists on *EVERY* operating system.

The only difference between Linux and Windows/MacOSX here is that in the latter case, almost every application ships with all libraries it depends on.

Just have a look at Inkscape, the Windows or MacOS versions are quite large:

On Debian, the latest inkscape is smaller by 1/3 of the Windows installer:

If we started shipping every application on Linux with every dependencies, we wouldn't run into these compatibility problems either.

An example for this is "VueScan", which is a single binary which runs on a large variety of Linux distributions.


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