Re: Working Within the System

From: Martin Ling (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 17:44:09 MDT

On Tue, May 02, 2000 at 12:07:05PM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> Martin Ling wrote:
> > On Tue, May 02, 2000 at 08:13:53AM +0100, Charlie wrote:
> >
> > > Note that this was a comparison of a generation #1 product with a
> > > generation #5 product. And the generation #1 product was in the same
> > > ease-of-installation bracket as MacOS.
> >
> > As a brief point (maybe I'm jumping ahead of Michael here), it's
> > probably not quite correct to say Corel's is generation #1, being built
> > on a good deal of Linux development in general, and specifically being
> > derived from Debian.
> Quite so. I expect any improvements Corel developed will quickly find their way
> into the gestalt of other distros and that Corels will improve much quicker than
> their other product lines as well. I'd say that compared to a gen1 product like
> the alpha release of Win95, there is some comparable ease of install and use
> issues, for sure, but with the current level of maturity (and considering that
> linux has many tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people
> working on improving it, MS has never had more than a few thousand people
> working on windows upgrades at any given time, so logically, Linux should be the
> more mature, stable, easy to use, easy to install OS by now. It isn't.

'Mature' is subjective, but Linux's basement on the long-standing Unix
principles contributes a lot to a possible argument that Linux *is*

I would argue that it already is the more stable. I have never had a
non-development kernel or system daemon fail on me, in what over all
my machines adds up to several years of uptime.

Ease of use is something that's only really been taken up into
development recently. A lot of Linux software is still very much
by-techies for-techies. Remember that despite an impression some
rather loud people may well have given you, Linux is not a project
to take over the world's computer systems. Except from the point of
view of the distribution companies, who - guess what - are now
paying programmers to work on ease-of-use aspects.

Similarly ease of installation, of course.

> Why is that?

A good quick answer is: because most of them aren't being paid!


(also - perhaps we've taken the 'generation' descriptions somewhat
differently. I would not have said Win95 was a first generation product,
since it builds a lot on DOS and earlier Windows versions. I suggest we
avoid the terminlogy, since it is ambiguous and depends on making
difficult and somewhat pointless comparisons).

| Martin J. Ling              Tel: +44 (0)20 8863 2948   |
|      Fax: +44 (0)20 8248 4025   |
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