Re: Back to Windows??
At 09:55 PM 2/20/2001 +0000, Alexander Clouter wrote:
On Tue, 20 Feb 2001, Christopher Wolf wrote:
> You're talking about single releases, which Debian does very well. But I'm
> talking generally about the lifetime of a free product, not necessarily
> [snipped linux being bloated]
> of the product itself are getting harder to install and configure, not
> easier, because of the variety of minor differences.
erm....I looked at the kernel today and found it in excess of about 100Mb.
Hmmmm bloated.....maybe not considering theres support for god knows how
many architectures, countless device driver support, lots of filing
systems and also the hundreds of different ways you can get the darn thing
to boot. Unless I do something wrong when compiling kernels I make sure I
*don't* select *everything* and only the stuff I want. This helps me to
have a small kernel that doesn contain lots of useless stuff (eg. Novell
support which I don't use....SMP....etc..etc).
I think what you are forgetting is that the source code to linux is large.
Last time I checked you only need that one hundred odd megs to compile the
thing then you remove it. I have about 1Mb of actual kernel running code,
plus a scattering of modules.
As for the applications....grab the source, compile what you need then
delete the source and keep the binaries. This keeps the "bloat" factor
Sorry, but I've misstated. I'm not speaking about the size of the compiled
code. I mean the code itself, and not the space it takes up on the drive.
I'm talking about the 100 highly detailed and often undocumented config
questions you have to answer to compile a kernel. I'm talking about a
hypothetical 5+ required options necessary to load your favorite module so
it can tell apart the 100 odd devices that it supports. I'm talking about
the source code that often has dozens of special cases for supporting the
full variety of devices. I'm talking about the 5 year old code in there to
still support that old Quantum 286 special purpose backplane (example, I
made this up).
That's the kind of bloat I meant. :)
Winmodems are not the only problem linux suffers from, lots of other
hardware manufactures refuse to release information on their hardware
a) you pay lots of money
b) sign a seceracy act document (this means no GPL code also), binaries
c) a lot of hardware manufacturers don't consider linux seriously
(probably because it doesn't use the mouse or caps lock key)
The whole fiascio with DVD decoding is another problem, no "enthusast" is
going to cough up £50k to get legal information of the DVD standard only
to then not be able to release any of the source code.
I hope you are getting the picture now.
I've been familiar with all these issues for years. But the other side of
the coin is that those developers have seen no need to support Linux, and
many are doing just fine without it. Why is this? Why is it still working
for them? Like I "ranted": many/most people won't use Linux because of how
hard it is to use and so there is very little additional gain for these
companies to spend any additional money to also support Linux. This also
works in the favor of the VARs and well as the companies who do support Linux.
If we really want Linux to become an option for many users or an alternate
to Windows or a "serious force", something desperately needs to be done
about it's user friendliness and installation. Of course, it's pretty
obvious this is just my opinion.
Here's a serious question or three:
How long has MS Windows been around, and how many people have worked on
it? How long has Linux been around, and how many people have worked on
it? OK, now how many person-hours have been spend on each? From the
thousands of people that I keep being told are working on Linux, why
haven't we solved not only the stability issues but also the user
interface, installation and other issues?
Customer satisfaction has nothing to do with it....why the hell would a
office worker want linux on their desktop? Do they need to have
apache/squid/sendmail running on their *client* machine?
Why? With PCs as cheap or cheaper than SUNs, Linux could be used as an
alternative to a SUN solution. But try to get management to agree to pay
extra (VARs) for the free solution they've been hearing about when they can
just buy another license for an already working product.