Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 21:06 UTC
In the News "Kay says that some gadgets with superficial Dynabook-like qualities, such as the iPad, have not only failed to realize the Dynabook dream, but have in some senses betrayed it. That's one of the points he makes in this interview, conducted by computer historian David Greelish, proprietor of the Classic Computing Blog and organizer of this month's Vintage Computer Festival Southeast in Atlanta (the Festival will feature a pop-up Apple museum featuring Xerox's groundbreaking Alto workstation, which Kay worked on, as well as devices which deeply reflected his influence, including the Lisa, the original Macintosh and the Newton). Kay and Greelish also discuss Kay's experiences at some of the big outfits where he's worked, including Xerox's fabled PARC labs, Apple, Disney and HP. Today, Kay continues his research about children and technology at his own organization, the Viewpoints Research Institute." A great interview with this legendary man.
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RE[7]: History
by hhas on Thu 4th Apr 2013 13:28 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: History"
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"And what is the consumer-friendly security model that Linux provides out of the box to ensure even the least technical user is safe from malware, online fraudsters, etc?"

It offers users a software repo, which is the exact same software distribution model your talking about. Dispite your attempts to do so, you cannot criticize linux software repositories without criticizing the ipad store repositories since they are the same technical distribution model.

No they're not. There is one iPad software repo, and it can be trusted roughly to the extent that Apple can be trusted. There are a myriad Linux repos, both core and third-party, and it's entirely for the user to determine the trustworthiness of each. The only reason you can point apt or yum at a Linux repo with a reasonable assumption that you won't pick up any nasties is that the Linux world isn't a sufficiently tasty target for malware authors to currently bother with. (But, as I say, if it does take off in China then that will change.)

"'Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.' Or, results matter, opinions don't."

I'm going to restrain myself from responding in kind, but please be more mature, ok?

Oh please refrain with the delicate flower act. Once again, your opinions do not matter, only what you are actually doing to promote the freedoms you care about. (Hint: talking about it on the internet does not count.) e.g. Making Linux a genuinely palatable alternative for all those poor gullible iPad-loving sheeples that you claim to be concerned about might be a good start. And if you don't care about the iPad sheeples, then why are you posting in this thread? As I've pointed out elsewhere, if you don't like the closed Apple/Google/MS platforms yourself, don't buy into them. If you genuinely want unencumbered mobile/tablet hardware, stop sitting on your asses waiting for the big guys to produce something you can then glom onto for free, and build your own instead.

"So what are you doing to create a true consumer computing platform that both meets the needs of non-technical users and preserves their personal freedom?"

Stop overlooking the platforms that already do this. Users who don't want to side load don't have to turn it on, those who do can do so. It's win-win. It's all so obvious I have to question your motives for painting it as an impossibility today and in the future.

See: the Golden Rule, i.e. He who owns the Gold makes the Rules. IOW, Apple could not give a stinky crap for your sense of self-entitlement. They owe you nothing. OTOH, you owe them nothing either. If you dislike certain aspects of their business model, create your own competing model that provides all of the same benefits without those disadvantages. Stop telling them how to run their own business though: they do not take orders from you, so all you're really doing is puffing your ego to feel like you're doing something useful when all you're really doing is wasting your own (and others') time.

"And even when the Linux OS itself is ticking along smoothly, the state of its desktop applications (i.e. the only reason to run a desktop OS) is really very sorry when compared to Windows, Mac, iOS or Android."

This is a biproduct of the microsoft monopoly.

Utter crap, and as long as Linuxites like yourself continue to make such excuses it is never, ever going to get any better.

Unfortunately the problem is greater than Microsoft's own software, it's all of the niche proprietary commercial software that gets built for windows and is missing for linux.

Once again, your sense of entitlement is showing through. Application vendors have absolutely zero obligation to make their products run on your platform. It is a simple cost-vs-benefit decision for them: will the expense of porting be sufficiently offset by total increased sales?

And let's not forget the first greeting that commercial vendors receive when they do release closed source products on Linux: endless tantrums and whining from the FOSS True Religionites who aren't even the target audience for those products because closed-source is the work of the Great Satan wharrgarble and they should open it up and all essentially work for free. As if saying 'make it open source' will magically result in a viable business model for every possible type of product. (For stuff like development or hosting tools where long-term support contracts are a major part of income, sure; for shrink-wrapped consumer apps, much less likely.) The FOSS business model works well for products created by and for FOSSers themselves, because the people who make the investment are the ones who use the resulting products.

For example, the tax software for all tax services in my state are built for windows. Most games are only built for windows. Services like netflix are for windows and not linux. We really do need more commercial developers to produce applications on linux and stop making commercial software windows-centric.

Once again, what is in it for these vendors? What are you going to do to make it worth their time and expense? e.g. Pay a premium price; make Linux accessible to a far larger - i.e. non-geek - market; what? Or are you just going to keep blowing smoke at me?

"Linux/FOSS fans like yourself desperately need to step down from your self-congratulatory ivory tower and spend some quality time interacting with ordinary people and understanding how they live and work, and what their desires and motivations are."

You clearly don't know me very well, I'm taking a pro-linux stance here to counteract your bias.

Yeah, and you don't understand me at all. I have this bias: it's called "seeing harsh reality as it is (and trying to figure smart or sneaky-ass ways around it)".

For instance, I've ranted in the past about the fundamentally brain-damaged design model followed by so many desktop environment and application projects, slavishly recycling the clapped out metaphors of Xerox Star and vast inflexible monolithic architectures of MS Office. You sit on your asses waiting for someone else to figure out a solution that works for them, then you try to copy it. The result? Third-rate copies of the original, crippled by incredibly expensive development and maintenance processes.

It's like nobody in Linuxland has heard of Unix Philosophy, never mind understand what it is or find ways of putting it into effect. Apple/Google/MS can afford to play billion-dollar stakes games where they can burn a million just to light their cigars; FOSS/Linux cannot, so why do you keep trying to pretend you can?

Stop copying their designs, stop copying their construction processes. Develop relationships with creative and logical thinkers in other disciplines - artists, writers, HCI gurus, functional programmers, etc. - and brainstorm some really good original ideas. Stop building vast insanely manpower-expensive monolithic apps, and start building lots of small, simple, pluggable component systems. Stop forking endless me-too projects, steal or merge the best ideas to create fewer, stronger distros, and cull the rest to improve the health of the herd as a whole.

There's a lot FOSS/Linux could do, if only it has the brains and balls to break out of its arrogant, indolent, self-serving state.

However it's important to recognize that this problem is fundamentally caused by being a very small unsupported OS rather than technical shortcomings with the OS itself. It's why monopolies are so dangerous, they tend to self-perpetuate because they are monopolies.

Sure; and if it was Linux that was the Monopoly, you wouldn't be sitting here saying that. Once again, you are making excuses instead of asking yourself: "What can the Linux community do to make itself stronger?" and coming up with useful answers to that.

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