Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 17:27 UTC
Linux Steve Cheney:

There's more to the platform wars than mobile - Android is starting to take off in non-mobile markets in a massive way - Internet of Things, Television (Chromecast), etc. To date Linux has been the dominant OS but Android is now taking some embedded designs which would have run Linux. The effective decoupling of Android from carriers for non-mobile markets + the richness of tools and the existing developer ecosystem will likely cement Android as the definitive open source OS of the next decade. This will have pluses for Google but also unintended consequences.

A common misconception among people who don't really understand what Linux is - one that I'm seeing pop up more and more now that people are trying to paint Android in a negative light - i.e., as competition to not just iOS, but also the noble and open source Linux.

Repeat after me: Android is just as much 'Linux' as Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, or anything else that uses the Linux kernel. Technically, a better term would be 'Linux distribution', since Linux in and of itself is just a kernel. Wikipedia defines 'Linux distribution' quite well:

A Linux distribution (often called distro for short) is a member of the family of Unix-like operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel. Such distributions are operating systems including a large collection of software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, media players, and database applications. These operating systems consist of the Linux kernel and, usually, a set of libraries and utilities from the GNU Project, with graphics support from the X Window System. Distributions optimized for size may not contain X and tend to use more compact alternatives to the GNU utilities, such as BusyBox, uClibc, or dietlibc.

Android is a Linux distribution, and is an addition to the Linux ecosystem - not a challenger. Painting it as such is just a sign of ignorance.

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Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:

I think the truth of the matter is: end users don't care about kernels as long as they work.

That makes a lot of sense. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that nothing else will in this conversation, other than what Thom said. There is very little room for logical argument here as its about definition. And Thom is being very textbook. Countering that with an attempt to redefine things based on one's feelings or experiences isn't fertile ground for productive discussions.

Reply Parent Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:

I agree somewhat.

I think it is okay for it to be subjective, and I think it is a fertile ground for discussion. People's perception of what something is, is something that is important IMO.

But tbh this is turning into a different discussion.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: don't over generalize
by WereCatf on Mon 19th Aug 2013 20:20 in reply to "RE[4]: don't over generalize"
WereCatf Member since:

I think it is okay for it to be subjective, and I think it is a fertile ground for discussion.

I disagree. There is nothing fertile about a "discussion" that devolves into my-opinion-is-superior-to-yours, when one of the camps sticks to pedantic text-book definition and the other camp sticks to the subjective definition of what they're used to calling what. It just makes no sense. Both of the camps are right; Linux IS just the kernel and nothing more, and yet Linux IS generally associated with a GNU/X11/Linux - distro and comes with a certain way of behaviour and operational requirements.

Reply Parent Score: 10