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Correction to "More on Alas and Alack'

Sorry about sending the wrong URL in my previous 'More on Alas and Alack'. Rather than sending a new URL, I am sending a copy of Mr. Langa's response to what he says was a Firestorm of responses from Linux devotees.---------alex
(Quote)  1) Firestorm!

OK, maybe I really am the spawn of Satan. Maybe I've been numbed by years of exposure to Microsoft products, so that I'm now incapable of seeing the truth. Maybe I'm just an idiot who can't count. 8-)

Or maybe---just maybe--- some Linux users are just a teensy bit oversensitive about anything that remotely resembles criticism of their favored operating system.

My "crime," in the eyes of some Linuxen, is in the article at http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20030124S0013 . You see, I counted the number of patches, bug fixes and updates released for Red Hat Linux 7.2, and compared that to the number of patches, bug fixes and updates released for Windows XP. Even though both OSes have been out almost exactly the same amount of time, and even though I explicitly stated the caveats and conditions necessary for the stats to make sense, some Linux fans simply couldn't accept the numbers, which show that Linux has its own full share of bugs--- some 151 patches to date.

But--- this is important--- there's lots more to this than the raw numbers. For example, patches may be "ganged" to fix more than one bug at a time, so (say) one Microsoft patch may actually reflect several different bugs. Plus, there's no exact, one-for-one correlation between even the base, low-level services in the different OSes. And both systems usually ship with many additional bundled high-level components that carry their own, separate load of bugs, and that may required their own patches.

So, the point wasn't the exact numbers per se. The point was to get a rough comparison between operating systems to show that--- despite the extravagant claims of some Linuxen--- no OS is immune to bugs and security issues: As Linux grows in popularity, it will have its own full share of problems. Indeed, it has that full share even now.

But some (actually many) among the Linux user base can't admit this: Anything that suggests that Linux has some serious warts, or that not all Microsoft products are Absolute Evil Encoded, gets denied or rejected out of hand: One poster actually tried to argue that my analysis was flawed because "Red Hat Linux isn't Linux." (What?) Another took the tack of arguing that I'm simply a "bootlicking shill." (Yes, ad hominem arguments and debate-by-name-calling are staples of discourse in the Linux community.)

So, am I a bootlicking shill? Decide for yourself: Come check out http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20030124S0013 . You can follow the links in that article back to the actual bug-report pages and judge the number and seriousness of various bugs for yourself, so you can make your own informed assessment as to what's real and what's not in this ongoing debate about the quality of Open Source software. The firestorm of comment appears in the associated discussion area.

(And please excuse the sulfurous smell. I had an itch behind one horn, and ended up stabbing myself in the cloven foot with my pointed tail. It ain't easy being Satan's spawn...)

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