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
So, am I a bootlicking shill? Decide for yourself: Come
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...)