Home > Unix > UNIX: Far From Legacy, but Far More Challenged UNIX: Far From Legacy, but Far More Challenged Submitted by Anonymous 2003-07-07 Unix 30 Comments With Windows and Linux becoming increasingly attractive options in the data center, IT managers have good reason to reassess their Unix strategies. Read the analysis at ComputerWorld and here’s ours. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 30 Comments 2003-07-07 6:59 pm And after a while when they realise that there are free alternatives that suit needs better they switch to BSD =) 2003-07-07 7:25 pm What sorta problems have you had with Linux, cause yeah one of the most rampant anti-linux of the *BSDer’s who post here. I’m mean i’ve nothing against BSD as a Linux user it’s a fellow *nix, but having to read yours and others shite every day is really proving a turn-off to me actually going and downloading FreeBSD and using it. It may be technically better in a number of ways to Linux but going by the posts on this site from vocal *BSDers it’s being diminished in my eyes. For feck sake grow up, i’ve never seen you post a technical explanation for your perceived “elitism”. 2003-07-07 8:33 pm Real unix running on a real machine is still the way to go for critical data. This is foolish talk to even think that Unix should be replaced with an x86. We don’t need to see a story on the History channel about engineering disasters how some boob put mission critical data where a matter of life was at stake. There is no substitute for the best when your life is concerned. 2003-07-07 8:53 pm The company I work for uses nothing but HP-UX and Solaris for all of the solutions we build. The type of systems we build (mission ciritcal 24×7) would likely kill an x86 box. We are also not allowed to use any tools that are licensed under the GPL. BSD and Apache licenses only. 2003-07-07 8:59 pm Of course you’re right. But it’s probably only a question of time until the best software is OSS. Then, I don’t argue about the hardware platform. x86 is document processing hardware of an office level, not failsafe serverroom equipment. It’s much like a personal car is not made for heavy duty towing. You’ve got tractors for this. Now the trick question: how to get OSS programmers on serious hardware? 2003-07-07 9:00 pm Why is the GPL prohibited? 2003-07-07 10:08 pm I’m mean i’ve nothing against BSD as a Linux user it’s a fellow *nix, but having to read yours and others shite every day is really proving a turn-off to me actually going and downloading FreeBSD and using it. It may be technically better in a number of ways to Linux but going by the posts on this site from vocal *BSDers it’s being diminished in my eyes. For feck sake grow up, i’ve never seen you post a technical explanation for your perceived “elitism”. Since you almost asked kindly I’ll tell you what I find is the problem. I am indeed a computer enthusiast, especially software wise. I find it exciting to see what the future has to offer and how development goes in the computer world. What I wanna see from the future is computers becoming a powerful tool for mankind to accomplish things with. Anything from making cures to diseases to space travelling to writing essays on. From a technical point of view today, I only see the bloat issue as a problem with Linux, but futurewise I see a much greater problem. The problem of software evolution. At some point in time if Linux/GPL grows to some more power, the innovation will stop. As those who use Linux today are very used to cloning proprietary software and making it unfreely free and limiting commercial possibilites futurewise I see that at some point it’s not worth making new good software. Already today, someone who would try to make an office package and be innovative with it has to spend billions to make this attractive since OOo has most stuff covered and can’t be reused. This means that small software companies won’t be able to compete AT ALL. Assuming that things would be developed using a free license (BSD/MIT) the opportunity of being innovative without reinventing the wheel exist meaning software evolution could more rapidly happen and doesn’t have to restart all the time. This would be good for ALL of us. From my point of view, GNU/Linux GPL stuff is the biggest threat to high quality INNOVATIVE software there is. We can already see how SGI is suffering dramatically from this, and this will be a big threat to what effects we would to be able to see in movies in 10 years from now as an example. If you would counter by saying something like “Hey, there exists lots of companies like REdhat/suse/Oeone” etc… I’d just reply to you, they’re basically just cloning, and if there’s nothing left to clone innovation will more or less stop. Because it cost money to be innovative you have to cover those expenses somehow, and giving it away freely is just not the answer! Furthermore what I see from today is that computer usage is almost going backwards. Linux is hardly userfriendly, nor does it seem it’s intended to be. I don’t really care if people say “hey it’s making progress to become user friendly” because fact is, it’s getting more and more complex. People are loosing controls of their boxes resulting in that they develop computer fear. Geeez, people so scared of Linux and Free Software they don’t even dare to try Mozilla… because it’s Linux crap they think. Linux marches along the lines of “geek control, complex is your new toy Mr stupid normal user”. This is not what it should be about, the whole philosophy is just completely wrong! It should rather be, how can we make this stuff more usefull (for everyone?), how can we try to let innovation go faster and faster and increase possibilities for everyone… I’d recommend almost any proprietary software or freely licensed software (BSD/MIT) to anything GPL based since that at least can be innovative and become something greater with time…. e.g. Mac OS X is a result of the possibilities for one which could never happen with a base such as Linux. That is my view and that is why I continue to rant about it. The Buzz about Linux is political, it’s about crushing commercialism. IT’s not about building good software or speeding up evolution. What’s wrong with being commercial? I thought the point was bringing good software to the public???? In 10 years from now IF Linux will have it’s space, we’ll have some serious problems with innovation, that I tell you! 2003-07-08 12:10 am You are aware that it is possible to run non-GPL’d apps on Linux, aren’t you? And a lot of GPL’d programs are in use on BSD, for example gcc, bash, etc. So what’s the problem? Commercial vendors can’t come along, add some trivial changes to a GPL’d program and sell it? I personally couldn’t care about commercial software. I write open source and its plenty innovative… 2003-07-08 3:14 am I was thinking of trying FreeBSD next untill I started reading his posts. Aw shucks ! maybe I’ll try Slack instead 2003-07-08 3:21 am You can sell GPL-d software, you don’t have to give it away for free. The only difference between BSD/GPL is that the GPL makes you give the source. So you can’t hide “evil” things in the code. After seeing what MS is doing, why would you want to use a computer where you don’t know whats on it? @chemicalscum: Dont let that stop you from trying BSD. MOST people aren’t as screwed up as XBe. Unfortunatly, there are many BSD “advocates” as there are GPL “advocates”, so you deal with this kind of crap in both worlds. 2003-07-08 3:23 am Judging from both your comment you probably didn’t read through what I wrote… and regarding chemicalsum, I’ll let his answer speak for itself.. 2003-07-08 3:32 am After seeing what MS is doing, why would you want to use a computer where you don’t know whats on it? MS is a very good example. What if they’d use BSD’s netstack for instance? Maybe we would have seen less securityproblems in the past… The option of being able to do it is what counts. And if commercial is allways bad, I think it’s pretty odd I hear Solaris, HP-UX etc. owning the mission cricital stuff… 2003-07-08 3:40 am Its about privacy. I want to know what is on my computer. the BSD lisence does not guarantee someone is not putting spyware on my computer. The GPL guarantees you can see the source. This is GOOD for innovation, because it makes it obvious when code is stolen. If both parties have to reveal their source, then you can simply compare them, and prove any stolen code. But instead, we have crap like SCO, because everyone is trying to hide what they’re doing, instead of being open about it. 2003-07-08 4:09 am “Why is the GPL prohibited?” Because the company does not want to be put in a position where it has to “give away” code that it is charging it’s clients hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop. 2003-07-08 4:11 am “MS is a very good example. What if they’d use BSD’s netstack for instance? Maybe we would have seen less securityproblems in the past…” Ummm, MSs early net stack was ripped from BSD. 2003-07-08 6:57 am After seeing what MS is doing, why would you want to use a computer where you don’t know whats on it? The problem is, you have very little idea about what happens in Linux, either. This has little to do with GPL as a licence and everything to do with the current constitution of the open-source development model. 2003-07-08 8:34 am Something good after a long time. I fully agree with you. Being in the industry for a long time, the real threat to the Software industry as a whole is GPLed code. couple of years down the line, none of the small companies will be able to survive, as most of the solution they are offering is available freely (ironically most of them written by there own employees in their free time 🙂 driving them out of business). There comes a time where there won’t be sufficient reason or stake to Innovate.. cause the moment you invest the $s to innovate there will be a free product cloning it… Now once there is not stake there is no innovation.. People who write software for free should realize that they are killing their own livelyhood.. There will be a day when 2003-07-08 9:11 am Well finally someone who reads through and gives a comment which makes sense. =) Unfortunately your comment seems cut in half… 2003-07-08 1:19 pm You have some good points, but some of them are horseshit (like the ones you did in other threads). So you think that GPL software could kill commercial software? Sorry, but that won’t happen soon. OSS development is not focused enough. Their documentation & tech support is far from being commercial-grade. Yes, it may kill many small businesses, but monopolies like Microsoft are already doing this job happily. It that really better? OSS applications (not only GPL stuff) are trying to catch up with commercial applications, but that’s normal. They are much more advanced. You know, I don’t want to be harsh, but I have yet to see a real innovation that was BSD’d recently, so it’s not only applicable to GPL stuff. As for user friendliness, do you really think that BSD stuff is getting better and better? If you say that GPL doesn’t, BSD doesn’t either. If you’re scared of using GPL stuff, then you’re a retard, no more, no less. There’s nothing wrong with commercial applications. Commercial companies will always find a way to innovate because they have the funds, like you said. If they aren’t able, or if they can’t find another way to survive, well, it’s just too bad for them. Somebody will replace them. If they can’t adapt, then they can die. It’s called “evolution”. 2003-07-08 2:16 pm …that it’s my opinion (of course). 2003-07-08 2:20 pm Interesting that you say that considering that Real Networks for example uses GCC to compile their whole UNIX server and client line up. For some reason I don’t think your can say you’re the fountain of all knowledge and that Real is wrong. 2003-07-08 2:30 pm First of all, why the HELL did this thread turn into Y.A.L.H.W. (Yet Another License Holy War), it’s about commercial UNIX for god sakes Second, contrary to common belief, License choice tends to have very little correlation to quality of software. There are steaming pieces of commercial software crap out there, and there are pieces of GPL code that absolutely destroy their competition. There are also situations where GPLed software is damn near worthless, and noticeably inferior to the competition. As for GPL vs. BSD, there is virtually no difference overall between the quality of GPL code, vs. the quality of BSD code. The choice of License should be based upon what is appropriate for your project, and what your personal beliefs dictate. If you want to make a political statement, go ahead, GPL your code. If you want to make sure those “evil empire corporations” don’t “steal” your code, once again, go GPL. If you just plain want your software to get used and don’t care who uses it or how they use it, go ahead and use on of the more open licenses, such as BSD, MIT, or if you’re really feeling brave, put it into the public domain (there’s no legal protection for software put in the public domain). Personally, I use the BSD license for all my open source software, because I want it to get used by people, in any way that they see fit. However, I use software released under a variety of licenses on a daily basis. GPL, BSD, MIT, MPL, even *GASP* proprietary. 2003-07-08 2:44 pm The GPL is only truely a good solution for community driven projects as it allows the community to add whatever they want to the code and send in their updates so that it may be used in an official version. Less coding work for the ‘official’ coders. The GPL is simply not for the commercial realm. The products are, and should only be, mantained by the PAID programmers of the company. Now if said company thinks they have built something great and want to donate it to everybody, the BSD license is great. It allows for code-reuse in both commercial and noncommercial products, and as such, saves developers time. Which brings me to my comment to Brad. Microsoft can not “rip” what is freely available to them because it is released under the BSD license, with the intent of companies and community projects to be able to reuse that code. 2003-07-08 2:47 pm “Interesting that you say that considering that Real Networks for example uses GCC to compile their whole UNIX server and client line up. For some reason I don’t think your can say you’re the fountain of all knowledge and that Real is wrong.” WTF are you talking about? I didn’t proclaim to be a fountain of knowledge. All I said was that the senior management of the company has prohibited the use of GPL products. As for compilers, we use the vendor provided compilers. 2003-07-08 4:18 pm “If you want to make a political statement, go ahead, GPL your code. If you want to make sure those “evil empire corporations” don’t “steal” your code, once again, go GPL.” Oh yeah, we’re all just leftist anti-corporate zealots using the GPL. How about if I want to give my users freedom to do as they wish with my software, while maintaining some control over the product I have spent long hours producing? 2003-07-08 4:22 pm “Why is the GPL prohibited?” Because the company does not want to be put in a position where it has to “give away” code that it is charging it’s clients hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop.” Please suggest a circumstance under which this would happen if you were simply USING GPL software and not making derivative works of them. 2003-07-08 5:08 pm There’s nothing wrong with commercial applications. Commercial companies will always find a way to innovate because they have the funds, like you said. If they aren’t able, or if they can’t find another way to survive, well, it’s just too bad for them. Somebody will replace them. If they can’t adapt, then they can die. It’s called “evolution”. Sure IBM does, but whatabout companies who have just 15 employees? Note the Office example I gave. So you think that GPL software could kill commercial software? Sorry, but that won’t happen soon. OSS development is not focused enough. Their documentation & tech support is far from being commercial-grade. Yes, it may kill many small businesses, but monopolies like Microsoft are already doing this job happily. It that really better? ONce again, look at the Office example. If OOo would have been BSD licensed, I’m quite sure a company could pick the codebase up and do something good… without code monopoly of sun. So what if Microsoft uses a working code base and develop something out of it? If they do something good, give them credit, if not, then don’t buy. As long as what we see tomorrow is better than yesterday, and sorry mate but GPL just won’t let that happen on a commercial base looking 10 years from now. 2003-07-08 11:06 pm I guess I just don’t see why using GPL software will prevent companies from making a profit. After all under the GPL you can download the source for linux, gnome, open office, mozilla, etc. Modify the software to have a particular uniform look and feel, and then sell it in a box. You don’t have to offer up the source code for free on the net, you only have to provide the source to people you distribute binaries to. Besides, companies can, and do pay good money for free software just so they have someone to turn to when all hell breaks loose. How would having Open Office BSD liscenced save companies by keeping people from downloading the free version? Oh yeah, embrace and extend… now thats Innovation ™ 2003-07-09 6:15 am How would having Open Office BSD liscenced save companies by keeping people from downloading the free version? Oh yeah, embrace and extend… now thats Innovation ™ Please read entire post that I did earlier and try to understand what it means before commenting. The question is not about releasing binaries with source on CD. The question is about reinventing the wheel if someone would want to keep something proprietary. Because proprietary brings innovation. Besides, you sell one CD then someone uploads everything and voila… company is busted… 2003-07-09 2:06 pm I don’t see how proprietary brings innovation. Gnome Meeting was out ahead of Apple’s new video chat stuff, Nautilus has had features for years that are only now showing up in Windows. I also don’t see how having the source uploaded to the net would effect your business since like I said before, companies pay for someone to call when things break down. Ximian seems to be doing quite well for themselves. Also how does the BSD liscense prevent people from using the freely available alternatives? Presumably theres nothing keeping people from downloading open source bsd liscenced software instead of buying software that was closed from the free project. Unless the company delibrately breaks the software so that it can’t interoperate.