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JD wrote:
> I understand Mike Chalmers frustration with the release
> frequency. No one is actually forced to re-install a new
> release. The support cycle for each release extends to
> about 18 months.
> I am however in agreement with Mike's basic proposal: 
> that given ANY fedora installation, there should be
> an easy and seemless way to continually update all the
> packages, and the kernel without having to re-install.
> I think this is the general weakness of all linux distros.
> While many will issue numerous reasons why this is not
> possible, due to the domino effect of dependencies,
> I think that the manner of how the dependencies are set up
> needs to be altered so that none of the packages (including
> the kernel) have any OS release version in the dependency
> (such as foo-1.2.3.fc8....etc). The dependencies and the
> packages should dump the 'fc??' (and here I am referring
> not only to fedora but to all distros as well) and depend
> solely on the package version and architecture.
> Some may argue that this will wreak havoc with people
> installing such packages on  non-fedora distros when
> installed by inexpert users.
> To that we need to say that even this dependency ought
> to be erased. Let the system updater (such as yum) take
> care and resolve the dependency issue. What I am driving
> at is that there really OUGHT to be just one LINUX and all
> packages out to be built for just ONE LINUX. Let the distros
> distinguish themselves by their logos, initial installation
> UI bells and whistles and the desktop backgrounds, even by
> unique user tools. But the rest of the open source packages
> from the topmost application to the kernel ought to be
> for just ONE LINUX! 
> Many people using linux today have absolutely no recollection
> of why Microsoft eclipsed Unix. All unix vendors had their
> proprietary Unixes, and they were not compatible. Major customers,
> especially the government (where the big bucks come from) decided
> to dump all these non-compatible unix systems in favor of windows
> on every desktop and most server installations. Incompatibilty
> and interoperability issues went out the window (pun not intended).
> So, who are the big commercial Unix vendors today?
> Arguably Sun Microsystems' Solaris, and IBM's AIX. But we all know
> what has happenned to the installed base of Solaris and AIX.
> It has shrunk drastically and continues to do so. Ever wondered
> why IBM jumped on the Linux bandwagon?
> I think Linux is repeating the mistakes of unix, and I can see
> the writing on the wall. Linux will eventually kill itself and become
> a mere novelty for a very minority number of worlwide users.
> Microsoft need not complain nor worry about Linux contiuing to steal
> customers. Microsoft COULD encourage divergent distros of Linux just
> to speed up the process of creating all these incompatible distros
> and it will win the battle. The Borg will indeed reign supreme.
> Hello Linus - I  hope you wake up and smell the Borg :)
Are you a troll for Microsoft, or are you missing the hole point of
Linux? There should NOT be just one distribution of Linux. One of
the strong points of Linux is that it is not "One size fits all" -
you pick the distribution that comes closest to your needs, and then
fine tune it to your needs. This is one reason Linux is gaining
market share - you don't have to adapt to the OS - the OS adapts to you.

As far as distributions being incompatible with each other, for the
most part, this just isn't true. With the exception of some version
conflicts, they can all run the same software. There are packaging
differences between distributions, but even that is not that wide
spread. There are options to take care of that as well. There are
converters between packaging types. And if all else fails, you can
build your own package from the source. Where you can run into
problems is when you are back porting a package to a distribution
that is using older libraries. In that case, it usually works better
to start from the source instead of trying to shoehorn in binary

As far as UNIX losing its market share, it is mainly do to 2
factors. The first is that the market grew, and most of the growth
was in PCs that could not run the existing versions of UNIX. The
different UNIX distributions were designed to run on mainframes and
mini-computers. Until the 386 machines, the memory management was
not there in Intel CPUs. Now the different Linux distributions are
filling the need for UNIX on PCs. Linux fist made inroads in the
server market. It is expanding into other markets all the time. It
is interesting to see how many supercomputers are clusters of Linux
machines. It is also expanding into the small end of the spectrum
with embedded systems.

The most interesting part of all this is that Linux distributions do
not really have a marketing department. There are companies offering
services for people that want to deploy Linux. REdHat is probably
one of the best known of these. But there a lot of small shops that
will customize open source software to better meet the needs of your
company. It is a different model of making money off of software.


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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