[svlug] Linux an "upstart"?

James Leone linuxcpa at netscape.net
Fri Jul 18 14:51:38 PDT 2003

nbs at sonic.net wrote:

>Okay, we're preparing to celebrate Linux's 12-year birthday [1],
>and I realize it's only just RECENTLY (like, 1998) that Linux started
>becoming mainstream, but do people still have to keep calling it "upstart"!?
>  "Linux took on Microsoft, and won big in Munich Victory could be a huge
>  step in climb by up-and-comer"
>  http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20030714/5320229s.htm
>  ... [Munich] was leaning toward a switch to Linux, the upstart computer
>  operating system ...
>We're up!  We've started!  Can we come up with a more appropriate status
>'adjective' for the OS already!?

Well it depends upon how you look at it.  I would say that kernel 
maturity is far more advanced from upstart.  Thanks to Samba, its far 
from upstart in server space.

When it all comes down to it, I just want to use all of the good work 
people do to help the cause, but it has been increasingly more 
frustrating as time goes on. Most all of the server projects out there 
want to earn consulting fees, so they break their GPL application just a 
little bit so you have to pay them to get it to work.  But what these 
people forget is that they damage Linux' good name, and that people will 
still pay for obvious solutions too.  People make money as Windows 
consultants. Windows is easy to use. I want an alternative that is just 
as easy to use.  I picked Linux because it shows the best character in 
people, people that volunteer to work together.

Linux has made progress in server space because Samba's function is 
universally essential, while its setup and functionality can be relied upon.

However, Linux is a mess in other areas of server space.  The truth of 
the matter, from my point of view, can be expressed in a draft email I 
wrote about a month ago, but never sent out:

> I am getting tired of strugling to find server applications and 
> instructions and then attempting to install and test them, only to 
> find out that its unusable.
> I know enough about Linux, that at this point, it shouldn't be such a 
> royal pain in the arse to work with. Not once have I bought a Linux 
> distribution where everything worked properly, and I have probably 
> bought, for myself, the last 4 versions of Red Hat, SuSE and Mandrake, 
> mostly to be supportive of these businesses.
> To me, the lack of standardization and various sundry attempts at 
> modularity ruin Linux' functionality.  I have read alot of theory 
> about how modularization is optimal, but personally, I would rather 
> use a monolithic application if I knew that it was going to work for 
> me easily.  
> The lack of documentation and discord in Linux is its greatest flaw, 
> and a reason why many people stay away from it.   And although SuSE 
> and Mandrake are supposed to be LSB compliant, that doesn't seem to 
>  help solve the real issue here: the average computer user does not 
> stand a chance to make use of full featured native Linux applications.
> I recently switched my server from Mandrake to SuSE 8.2. If I had 
> sucess setting up any of the applications I am fixing to gripe about 
> below, I would see that my gripes are somewhat of my own creation. 
> However, since most of my sucess has actually been with SuSE Linux on 
> the desktop, and that Samba, Qmail and Spamassassin, etc al, are, to 
> me, the only understandible server applications I have been sucessful 
> setting up on Mandrake, switching to SuSE seemed like a very safe bet.
> Although I have been able to do some fun things with Linux,  I have 
> spent a heck of a lot of time trying to get applications to work, all 
> for not. For the most part I have instructions, however they are 
> mostly inadequate or bloated with so many options that finding the 
> answer I need is like finding a needle in a haystack. In the mean 
> time, my life is passing me by.   It is really unfortunate that Linux 
> is such a mess.

Here is a quote from someone today in another forum:

> That is sad for Linux. In Windows, there are many DVD burning 
> programs. Looks like I'll stick with Windows. Maybe it's too much work 
> to make such a program since one is NOT going to get paid, although 
> one could decide to sell it instead of giving it for free. I hear you 
> are able to do it with cdrecord, does anyone know? Any Linux guru here?
> There is nothing sad for linux, it is supported, developed and 
> maintained by many volunteers and unpaid programmers. What is sad is 
> that you blame your lack of willingness to put forth an effort to 
> learn and find answers for yourself, on linux.
> Life of 80% maintenance.

> Boo hoo I'm sad because I don't want to learn. Boo hoo....why don't 
> tell you that to the rest of the 99% computer users who have the same 
> problem with Linux. Boo hoo I'm a bad boy Boo hoo......... I'm a 
> consumer, I'm not a programmer I don't need to find answers. People in 
> the Linux community has that burden and resposibility if they want us 
> to drop Windows but too bad Microsoft is too smart and rich to even 
> make a dent. Boo hoo..............0_0;;

I have worked very hard in this area, for one small niche market. At 
times, you have to know what part of the balance beam to stand on to get 
something to work. At other times you have to reverse engineer a piece 
of functionality not supported by a vendor, at other times things just 
magically work.

So my point is that Linux is an upstart in many ways.  It just needs 

James Leone

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