Re: what's the killer app for GNU/Linux systems?
Ron Johnson wrote:
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On 12/01/06 12:30, Nate Duehr wrote:
Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
On Thu, Nov 30, 2006 at 02:30:54PM -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:
The *real* killer "app" was Linus' decision to develop Linux openly.
I took a software engineering class where the professor maintained that
the only notable contribution that Linus Torvalds has made to the
programming/compsci/compeng world was figuring out how to make it
possible for hundreds of people to work on the same code base without
stepping all over each other.
He was wrong. People step all over each other in the kernel and just
about every application that requires more than a few developers all the
time in the open-source world. [Hint, see recent ABI screw-ups in
mysql-server and mysql-client... not caused by Debian, happened
upstream. Retarded bugs really, too.]
Just because Linus solved a *social* problem, doesn't mean that that
ability was instantly transmitted to every other project.
What social problem did he "solve"? You appear to have him on a
pedestal he probably doesn't deserve nor want.
Back then source was generally free for a whole lot of OS's. He just
wrote a interesting new monolithic kernel for x86 hardware and invited
the world to help him work on it. He's no genius of social sciences or
The rest was just dumb luck and timing. The time was right for
something new, maybe. BSD was going strong by the time Linux popped up.
You give him too much credit. Where he might be a genius is in keeping
it together all these years... not in doing Linux in the first place.
The first Linux kernels weren't exactly earth-shatteringly great or
anything. There were lots of OS's that did a better job on x86
hardware, and a few were already open-source.
Just as an example, Microware's OS/9 is still around, and it was up and
working on multiple hardware platforms years before the early Linux
kernels came out. It never was open-source, but it's still a better
RTOS than Linux.