Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Completely correct except backwards
by Mac OS X and Linux Admin on Wed 30th Apr 2003 02:15 UTC

This article could be correct if only you turned it around and applied it to why Mac OSX is not a serious Unix as it stands and how what it really needs to take some pages from what the Linux community does right.

Modular, flexible, powerful systems that run on the fastest hardware available.

Your symlink idea gives you away, you have obviously never managed more than your desktop.

One of the single biggest problems with MacOSX is its over use of /Library and inconsistent FS with every published unix standard. The LSB is there for a reason.

Need I even mention that Mac OS X uses spaces in its file and directory names all over the place? Try scripting that correctly. The people that designed that system have obviously never written a shell script and no, apple script does not count.

MacOSX is a unix file system created by someone who never leaves the finder. That may work for a single at home desktop but it scales terribly for those of us that have to managed hundreds of systems.

Speaking of scaling, bsd over gpl? The biggest problem with BSD license is that it does not scale. Any time a project gets big enough to be useful some company proprietizes it and the inevitable fork occurs. Now you have two projects that become increasingly more incompatible until you might as well choose a completely different application. The GPL is scalable fork protection. Don't comment on licenses until you get yourself some education on the long term benefits of the GPL on Open Source project health.

As far as package management, score another thing that makes Mac OS X scale terribly, not to mention causing no end of headaches and running around for support personnel.

RPM is not perfect, but tools like yum and apt-get rpm make it very effective for managing large numbers of systems and keepin them up to date. No going to the finder and clicking update either, no user intervention required as the systems update themselves, no reboot required.

Perhaps you should take some time to understand the power that a proper package management system gives you. Your comparison to Windows installers is a good one, but only because it maps to Mac OSX and its 1980's era installers. Want to know how to make a unmanageable mess of a computer? Install software by dragging it and causing hidden scripts and programs to make alterations to your system. Please, that might seem like high tech to a desktop user, but to someone who manages clusters of linux boxes it is almost enough to make you cry.

Libraries? Do you even know what you are talking about? Have you ever tried to compile and install OS packages on Mac OS X? No elf file, no LD_LIBRARY_PATH, no use some crackpot scheme for shared libaries that could only been created by a marqui de-sade type. They know it to, and they are changing it.

Look I do not mean to bash Mac OS X. It runs my G4 powerbook wonderfully and its integration of wireless is very well done. However it has a long way to go before I will consider it a serious Unix worthy of something more than a quicktime server or an ssh console.