Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 22:07 UTC
Linux With Linux on the desktop going from a slow crawl to verging on an explosion, many have toiled with the question: How do we make this happen faster? A well-known Austin-based Linux Advocate thinks he has the answer.
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Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Linux has the following advantages over Windows:
(1) Many eyes make bugs shallow

That's only true if the eyes looking at the code is actually any good. Not saying they arent but having many eyes doesn't automagicaly make things better.

(2) You cannot hide malware in open source

No, but you can run closed-source apps on OSS operating systems.

(3) No DRM or WGA

RHN.

(4) No single vendor lock-in, and so no monopoly prices

Closed source does not necessarily mean vendor lock-in. Closed and proprietary protocols and API's do.

(5) No forced upgrades (after all, you do have the source for whatever version you are using)

"You have the source" is not a good argument for the majority of computer users.

(6) 1.5 million developers worldwide (equivalent full-time)

I bet there are even more closed source programmers.

(7) guaranteed no call-home spyware

Really? Where do I sign up for this guarantee? And what do I get when it is violated, which it will be.

(8) you can remove anything you don't like, such as DRM

Just now you said there is no DRM so why would i need to remove something that isn't there?

(9) developed in a meritocracy ... so it does what the people want, not what big business wants

No, it means it does what the developers want and that is not necessarily the same as what the majority of the users want.

10) You have control over your own hardware

How do I not have control over my own hardware in closed source OS's and how does OSS magically give me control over it?

Reply Parent Score: 5

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

No, it means it does what the developers want and that is not necessarily the same as what the majority of the users want.


Not at all. Typically, as soon as a given application deviates from what users want, a group of users gets upset and starts their own fork. Ask XFree86 and then Xorg about this.

How do I not have control over my own hardware in closed source OS's and how does OSS magically give me control over it?


(1) Windows has a Microsoft-accessible backdoor.
(2) You do not own your copy of Windows. Microsoft reserves the right to alter the software running on your machine, or stop it working altogether.
(3) Microsoft reserves the right to walk in to your property/facility, examine your installed software, demand proof of purchase (acceptable to Microsoft), and (even though Microsoft and its agents are not the law) charge you a fortune if your records aren't 100% pristine.

See here for more details:
http://www.linuxworld.com/news/2008/012208-eben-moglen-on-open-sour...
"The primary desire that businesses have is for control over their own destinies, for avoidance of autonomy bottlenecks which put the fate of their business into the hands of someone else. The difficulty that they experience -- that they call vendor lock-in, or noninteroperability -- is a difficulty which is really a businessman's equivalent of [Free Software Foundation President Richard] Stallman's frustration at unfreedom. They are essentially the same recognition: In a world of complex, interdependent technology, if I don't control my technology, it will control me. Stallman's understanding of that proposition and Goldman Sachs' understanding [for example] needn't be as far apart as one might think. The desire to maintain autonomy -- the desire to avoid control of destiny by outside parties -- is as fierce in both cases as it can get. "


The whole article is worth a read, if you want some insight into the issue.

Edited 2008-01-25 00:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Not at all. Typically, as soon as a given application deviates from what users want, a group of users gets upset and starts their own fork. Ask XFree86 and then Xorg about this.


Then those users become the developers and the cycle starts again.

But yeah, projects that don't cater to a large enough group of users are likely to eventually get forked or abandoned.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

a group of users gets upset and starts their own fork.


Users who arent developers can't fork.

(1) Windows has a Microsoft-accessible backdoor.


Does it now. Even if i did it has nothing to do with my control of the hardware. I can still wipe Windows out if I want to.

You do not own your copy of Windows. Microsoft reserves the right to alter the software running on your machine, or stop it working altogether.


Again, nothing to do with the hardware. I can always install something that isn't Windows on my hardware.

Microsoft reserves the right to walk in to your property/facility, examine your installed software,


Wow, again something that has NOTHING to do with my control over the hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 2