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.
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open standards not standard platforms
by unclefester on Mon 22nd Jan 2007 13:44 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

We need to emphasise the use of open standards rather than standardising platforms.

Thousands of different models of cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses from numerous manufacturers coexist on our roads. That is because transport is an 'open standard' with well defined protocols.

However many people think that we should all drive identical white Honda Civics because it would be simpler for mechanics and motor repairers to stock parts and repair them.

The ruthless Darwinian world of Open Source means that only the best survives. Go to sourceforge and see the thousands of stagnant projects that have been sidestepped or forked.

I wouldn't be suprised if the Linux kernel goes the same way as Hurd in a few years and it would be no tragedy if something better replaced it.

I have recently entered the post-Linux world of FREEBSD without any real dramas after 2 years full time on Linux. Prior to that I was an XP, 2K, Win 98, 0S7.1 - OS8.6, DOS, Commodore 64 and PDP11 user.

The world constantly changes and we need to change with it.

Edited 2007-01-22 13:46

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

+5!

" The world constantly changes and we need to change with it. "

Amiga. Er, I mean "Amen"!

Reply Parent Score: 3

FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

"We need to emphasise the use of open standards rather than standardising platforms."

Aren't they the same thing?

Reply Parent Score: 2

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Not really. A standardized platform is a standardized implementation. Windows or OS X are standardized platforms, for example. An open standard is a standard interface, presumably supported by a number of different implementations.

That said, at some point you do have to standardize the platform. If you encode everything that an application might depend on into a standardized interface, you just end up with a big, ugly, complex standard. In practice, there is a de-facto standardization of implementations. While X11 is an open standard, basically every major desktop distribution uses X.org's implementation. Anybody could come along and implement GTK+'s API, but in practice everyone uses GTK+. Sitting down and saying "you shall use X.org, GTK+, Cairo, blah, and you should put them in these locations" doesn't really reduce the flexibility of distributions in any practical way. Who really cares what the GTK+ shared library is called, after all?

Of course, there is no way to enforce standardization between distributions. What might be a more doable approach, and one that would be almost as useful for developers, would be to synchronize the schedules of the major APIs. You should be able to point to a "Linux Platform 1.x, which is guaranteed to have GTK+ 2.8+, Cairo 1.2+, etc". Even if the package formats and library configurations aren't standardized, having a stable target for all your major APIs would be tremendously useful.

Reply Parent Score: 3

llanitedave Member since:
2005-07-24

"The ruthless Darwinian world of Open Source means that only the best survives. Go to sourceforge and see the thousands of stagnant projects that have been sidestepped or forked.

I wouldn't be suprised if the Linux kernel goes the same way as Hurd in a few years and it would be no tragedy if something better replaced it.

I have recently entered the post-Linux world of FREEBSD without any real dramas after 2 years full time on Linux. Prior to that I was an XP, 2K, Win 98, 0S7.1 - OS8.6, DOS, Commodore 64 and PDP11 user."


I think you're right about the Darwinian enviornment, and it would certainly be interesting to see Linux replaced by something better.

(as opposed to Linux BECOMING something better?)

But FreeBSD? Not that it's not a great OS in its own right, but what has it got that promises to send it beyond Linux?

Reply Parent Score: 1