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Re: Is Linux Unix?

"Steven Jones" <Steven.Jones@vuw.ac.nz> wrote in message news:<2keyS-1CX-9@gated-at.bofh.it>...
> Working in a MS, Solaris, Linux, Tru64 shop, I find that for the vast 
> majority of our servers the usability of Linux is as good as Unix if not 
> better. While Unix might have high end bits Linux lacks for 95% of the 
> world's servers that small missing % I suspect is not an issue.

This is not a Linux-vs-Unix issue, but I've recently been experiencing
a downside of Linux.  I think one of the biggest problems for developers
of commercial software for Linux is that there's no such thing as "the"
Linux OS.  There are simply too many combinations of the kernel version,
libc version, pthreads version, etc. to support all.  The consequence is
usually the vendor supports only the RedHat Linux.

I'm using the Intel Fortran Compiler (IFC).  Its version 7 runs on Debian
without any problem whatsoever, although Intel doesn't support Debian.  But,
last year Intel released a total rewrite of the compiler, version 8, with
which my Fortran programs don't work at all (*).  Since Debian isn't supported,
even if I paid (which I don't), Intel wouldn't fix my problem.  (If paying
would fix it, I would pay.)  This is a big headache.  Uniformity is sometimes

I also heard from a programmer that her company develops software only for
Windows because it's so uniform and ubiguitous.  Her company, being small,
wouldn't be able to support Linux.  If a costomer doesn't have a Windows
machine, the company makes the costomer buy one.  (The sofwares so expensive
that the cost of a lowly Windows machine is nothing.)

Unfortunately, uniformity and community efforts don't come together.

(*)In case anybody is interested, executables created by the IFC 8 compiler
use a pthread library, even when the program isn't parallized (so I don't
understand why the thread library is linked).  I heard the standard pthread
library of Linux has a stacksize limit of 2MB hard-coded in it, so the
executable segfaults when the stack limit is reached.  The user can do nothing
about it.  The fix seems to be to update the thread library to nptl, which isn't
available for Debian Woody.

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