Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Jan 2007 10:26 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linux Linux, the free operating system, has gone from an intriguing experiment to a mainstream technology in corporate data centers, helped by the backing of major technology companies like IBM, Intel, and HP, which sponsored industry consortiums to promote its adoption. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, with the system's penguin symbol, will assist the Linux Foundation. Those same companies have decided that the time has come to consolidate their collaborative support into a new group, the Linux Foundation, which is being announced today. And the mission of the new organization is help Linux, the leading example of the open-source model of software development, to compete more effectively against Microsoft, the world's largest software company.
Thread beginning with comment 204327
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

I'm sick of hearing that 'Linux' should have standardised package management, click and install software or be kinder to newbies.

The whole point is there is no such thing as 'Linux OS'. Linux is just a kernel. You add what you need to make an OS. You can have a CLI or a variety of desktop environments. You can run the kernel on a PDA, laptop or cluster.

Linux isn't a desktop environment designed to compete with OSX or Vista though some distros have been built using a Linux kernel to do so.

I'm using PCBSD to write this. It looks and feels exactly like a KDE Linux distro except there ain't no Linux kernel. The other difference is that it is faster and more stable than any of the many other linux distros I've used.

There is no technical reason why SUSE or Ubuntu or any other distro can't be based on any POSIX compliant kernel.

Edited 2007-01-22 12:11

Reply Score: 5

FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

"The whole point is there is no such thing as 'Linux OS'. Linux is just a kernel. You add what you need to make an OS. You can have a CLI or a variety of desktop environments. You can run the kernel on a PDA, laptop or cluster."

And that attitude is exactly the problem.

Linux should be a standardized platform! The more you see Linux as "just a collection of stuff which allows you to create your own OS", the harder it will be to create software that "just works" on all (or at least most) Linux distros, and the more it will scare off third party software vendors.

As an open source developer, I'm sick of not being able to provide binaries that 'just work' for most users. I don't want to create a RedHat RPM, Mandrake RPM, SuSE RPM, Debian deb, Ubuntu deb, Slackware TGZ, etc etc just to make it easier for my users! I want to create one package which is easily installable by all my users! This, however, is an uphill battle because of people with mentality like yours.

Of course I'm not advocating that all distros must be merged. But similar distros must at least be compatible with each other.
Nobody expects that a package for desktop Ubuntu would work on a PlayStation distro. But look at Fedora, SuSE and Ubuntu - functionally they're pretty similar: they're desktop distros. Why shouldn't I be able to create one package that works on all three of them?

Edited 2007-01-22 12:27

Reply Parent Score: 5

jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

Bah, We don't even need GNULinux. We can get rid of MACOS too.What we need is a single standard platform.

As a web developer I'm sick of having to make my web applications work in all web browsers, So I think we need a single standard web browser.

I hate how web pages all have different navigation menus, we should have a single standard template for all websites.

Reply Parent Score: 2

h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Pardon my ignorance, but I have to disagree.

Firstly, how will you enforce the standardization? While it may be possible to bring some major linux distributions together to support a common standard (aka LSB, see the article recently), it is not possible to forbide distro developers to stray from the LSB standard and still call their product a linux distro. So yes, the situation is pretty much like what the OP tried to describe.

Secondly, I am myself an open source (co)developer (although I have at the moment not enough time to pursue most of my projects further at a non-glacial pace :-( ), and my practice to distribute my content is to

- depend on libraries/applications, that are common among major distributions and have "civil" licenses, so that they can be included even into strictly FSF/Free distributions

- provide binaries for the operating systems (aka. Linux and BSD distributions in my case) that I happen to run on my computers myself

- provide the source tarball, so that distribution managers / volunteers can roll their own version

While it would definitly make things more convenient (although not necessarily overall more simple) for developers if one true standard were established, this is simply not the way our developement system works. And - counterintuitivly, I have to admit - the more standardization efforts like the crowds at freedesktop.org or the portland group succeed, the more heterogenious the whole ecosystem grows. I can use KDE applications within my XFCE desktop, that use the system tray, no matter what UNIX based operating system powers the computer. I can copy&paste between apps, that use different toolkits, again because of standards like freedesktop.org. But not all libraries/frameworks have synchron release schedules across hard- and software architectures, so that a "vanilla" binary is imho not very realistic.

Linux is a family of OSes, a certain distribution is a OS. And sooner or later, the kernel should make less and less difference between different (UNIX based) OSes, because most people will run KDE/GNOME/XFCE/Fluxbox/... ontop of them.

And we will not have the ability to restrict them to certain choices. And, honestly, we shouldn't do it, even if we had the ability.

Just my opinion

EDIT: Fixed non-ending sentence

Edited 2007-01-22 13:36

Reply Parent Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

As an open source developer, I'm sick of not being able to provide binaries that 'just work' for most users. I don't want to create a RedHat RPM, Mandrake RPM, SuSE RPM, Debian deb, Ubuntu deb, Slackware TGZ, etc etc just to make it easier for my users! I want to create one package which is easily installable by all my users!

Then use a stand-alone installer! Sheesh...

By the way, the binary will work on all these distros (as long as it's on the same type of processor), it's the linking to libraries that will vary from one distro to another. So why don't you take your little app and provide a standalone, statically-linked installer version on your web site, and let the distro makers make the distro packages - which is something *they* are supposed to do anyway...

The fact that you seem to be unaware of this makes me wonder how real your claim to be an FOSS developer really is...what software have you produced, exactly?

Reply Parent Score: 3

jango Member since:
2006-11-22

why don't you release your binary as LSB packages- they weill work on KDE/ubuntu

Reply Parent Score: 2

ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

"And that attitude is exactly the problem.

Linux should be a standardized platform! The more you see Linux as "just a collection of stuff which allows you to create your own OS", the harder it will be to create software that "just works" on all (or at least most) Linux distros, and the more it will scare off third party software vendors.

As an open source developer, I'm sick of not being able to provide binaries that 'just work' for most users."

This is simply not going to happen on linux. Just like you're not going to get websites to follow consistent UI guidelines.

It's like the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Once you start with disorder in a system, it is much harder to bring it to a state of greater order and much easier to bring it to a state of further disorder. The objective would be to keep the system the same, stasis, or come up with a new system.

Edited 2007-01-23 00:15

Reply Parent Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The whole point is there is no such thing as 'Linux OS'. Linux is just a kernel.

You've lost this argument. For the sake of simplicity, any platform based on Linux is called Linux. If it looks like Linux and it isn't, then it had better act like Linux, because, well, that's just the way things are moving.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Linux is just a kernel. You add what you need to make
> an OS.

I think you are a bit confused here. You argue that Linux should not use a unified package management system, but yet you argue that Linux should use a unified file system model, or a unified processing model.

To support this claim, you essentially state that package management occurs in user-mode, while processing management and file system management happens in kernel-mode. By relying on such implementation issues, you make a random choice about what should be standardized and what shouldn't.

Wouldn't it be better to concentrate on those things that are important to third-party application developers? Standardized file formats (including configuration files) and APIs, High-level (semantic) APIs, ...

Reply Parent Score: 2