Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Jun 2006 14:15 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Linux "On June 15, Bill Gates announced that he would be retiring from Microsoft in July 2008, and everything changed. It may be two years away, but when a giant the size of Gates moves, the world moves with him. And, in that movement, in this period of change, Linux may have its best chance ever to seize the marketplace momentum from Microsoft."
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2fargone
Member since:
2006-02-20

The stable API mantra...

Computers have been around for awhile, but the technology is still way too new. That's the reason Linux doesn't have a stable API. The kernel developers don't want to get bogged down with having to be backward compatible as Linux improves. And I whole-heartedly agree.

Opposed to closed source philosophy, as the base of OSS software improves, they'll go back and make repairs to the old software to make it run on the new technology.

This philosophy sucks for end-users and companies that want to hide their code, but in the end, it's a better road to travel.

I don't know how long it will take, but sooner or later, Linux's API will become stable. Not because the developers will make it that way, but because the technology will mature to a point where changing the API isn't necessary anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Synced Member since:
2006-06-16

Stable API is important. People ignore it because its not fun. Most of linux's contributions are non-business based which means they work on what they enjoy, and that is usually future features.

Without hardware vendors support and actual business like focus and direction from the leadership of the larger projects, linux will continue its slow gradual progression but until it gets hardware vendors on their side, that is all it will achieve (desktop wise).

Server wise linux does well. It tackles these problems properly. Low major version numbers in large projects (apache etc) and more work on stability. Although less fun, but it is what servers are about.

Desktop wise though, linux needs more focus on what is important and not what is fun.

Reply Parent Score: 1

diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

Stable API is important. People ignore it because its not fun.

What useful is a stable API for a API that is not good enought? Unstable APIs are important for Linux. Linux is not perfect, hence it needs to improve. The faster it improves, the better it gets. Unstable APIs make evolving easier.

Stable APIs are good when you've a good product - Linux desktop isn't a really good dektop product compared with others. It needs to evolve - that means libraries will break APIs sometimes.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

computers have been around for awhile, but the technology is still way too new. That's the reason Linux doesn't have a stable API.

Um, no. Unix has had stable APIs in areas where Linux hasn't for thirty years. novelty isn't the reason why Linux doesn't have stable internal APIs.

The kernel developers don't want to get bogged down with having to be backward compatible as Linux improves.

If Linux, internally, was somehow superior to the systems it is intending to mimic, or if there was any sign of API innovation, that might be a valid argument.

But it's not and there isn't.

There are places where API experimentation makes sense: multimedia, power management, et cetera; but there's no reason why a 14 year old OS can't have stable APIs for driver interfaces, other than a lack of skill and discipline on the part of its developers.

Reply Parent Score: 1

2fargone Member since:
2006-02-20

This, btw, was not my opinion. I read this in a Linus Torvalds interview a few years ago.

Reply Parent Score: 1