Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2012 22:52 UTC
Linux Miguel de Icaza: "To sum up: (a) First dimension: things change too quickly, breaking both open source and proprietary software alike; (b) incompatibility across Linux distributions. This killed the ecosystem for third party developers trying to target Linux on the desktop. You would try once, do your best effort to support the 'top' distro or if you were feeling generous 'the top three' distros. Only to find out that your software no longer worked six months later. Supporting Linux on the desktop became a burden for independent developers." Mac OS X came along to scoop up the Linux defectors.
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The problem is not that 900 distributions compete with each other. As Miguel pointed out the problem is incompatibility even in versions of only one (or the 3 top) distributions. He goes on to name (indirect) Red Hat, PulseAudio and Systemd as examples.

Those backwards-compatibility breaks are indeed serious and omnipresent. It seems like every 6 months a shiny new thing replaces working stuff in the stack and breaks compatibility all along. The gain is minimal compared to the lose.

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