Linked by Stefan Michalowski, M. Sc. on Thu 19th Aug 2004 08:27 UTC
Editorial Lately posted on Slashdot, an article written by Joel Spolsky mentioned the trouble through which Microsoft went to make each version of Windows backwards compatible. In one case, for the game Simcity, they even changed the way memory handling was done when running that application. You can find additional stories of software tricks that recent versions of Windows have to perform in order to run these bug-dependant applications on the web. After reading the story, I discussed with a couple of friends how weird this was and how Free Software completely avoids this problem.
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You can get binary compatibility on UNIX
by Dev Mazumdar on Thu 19th Aug 2004 21:35 UTC

Just not on Linux. Try Solaris instead. We developed OSS drivers and the same binary works on Solaris 7, 8, 9 and 10. Even FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD/DragonFly are better than Linux when it comes to binary compatibility. Nothing really breaks in BSD (otoh FreeBSD 5.x-CURRENT series has been just arbitrarily breaking the device tables).

If there were ONE distribution of Linux (kernel+libc+gcc) - like FreeBSD and everybody added stuff on top of the kernel, that would be much better. Redhat fscks the kernel, Fedora uses incompatible glibc, SuSE ships kernel sources in a wierd way. You can't get Linux 2.6 to work on Redhat 9 (rpm stuff breaks unless you enable BSD accounting in the kernel config). You can't get RealPlayer8 installed unless you do LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.2 and other stupid hacks.

Unless people really are taken to task for breaking LSB, Linux is a train wreck in the making. No wonder Oracle will not certify Oracle 10 for anything other than Redhat EL.

best regards
Dev Mazumdar