"Open" vs. "Closed" (was Re: Netscape: FREE!)

"Open" vs. "Closed" (was Re: Netscape: FREE!)

Post by David F. Sko » Sat, 28 Feb 1998 04:00:00

> NT closed?  In what way?  Just because you don't have the source code?
> NT is actually quite open,

Nonsense.  NT is a closed, proprietary system.

Commercial UNIXes are "open" in the sense that they adhere to
vendor-independent standards like POSIX, SVID and X/Open specs.

NT adheres to no vendor-independent standard; it is entirely
controlled by Microsoft.

Linux is even more open than commercial UNIXes in that you get
the source.

On the continuum of "closed" to "open", the most closed systems
are Windows and MacOS.  Next come the commercial UNIXes, and finally
the free source-available UNIXes.

Quote:> In addition, there are a *ton* of registry files for tuning NT
> performance.

Which are documented where?

Quote:> Proprietary?  NT supports many standards.  Think about it.  TCP/IP,
> OpenGL, Posix 1.0, etc.

Come on, NT's POSIX support is useless.  It's just a marketing checkoff.
Otherwise, OpenNT would have no market.

NT supports TCP/IP and OpenGL because it has to.  And even its TCP/IP
API is non-standard -- a kind of bastardized Berkeley sockets.

Quote:> Yes, NT does have *some* proprietary standards, but you need to create
> new 'standards' if you want to improve your product.

Not if there are *already* superior open standards out there.

Quote:> For example, MS's cryptography API.

Read BUGTRAQ to find out why it's seriously broken.  The fact that
many apps call it only leads to more security problems.

Quote:> Outrageously priced?  Well, many OSes cost even more than NT.  Yes,
> Linux is free, but I don't believe it offers as much functionality as
> does NT.

My experience with Linux and NT (both of which I use at work) is that
Linux offers much more functionality than NT.  Admittedly, I work
in a scientific computing environment, but even the odd office-type
tasks can be done as smoothly on Linux as on NT.

Quote:> Linux is a good OS, make no mistake about it.  But most software
> developers feel that they will not make any money off of the people
> that use it (they feel that software should be free).

RedHat, Caldera, StarOffice, ApplixWare, NeXS all make good money
from Linux.

Quote:> On the other hand, if you write for Win32, they customer is more
> likely to 'pay' for the software (the way it will be in a capitalistic
> economy).

True.  The customer is also likely to 'pay' in terms of pain and

Quote:> Look at what happened after UNIX developers complained about
> scalability issues?  MS is now focusing on scalability for NT.  Yes,
> NT doesn't scale as well as UNIX.  In the future, who knows.


Quote:> MS usually hits their targets that they set, after a few version of
> course :-)

Just part of the 'payment' it extracts from guinea pigs^H^Hclients.

David F. Skoll