Linux

Linux

Post by mlw » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



I don't know about all you guys, but here is my reasons for Linux
advocacy:

I have been in the industry for almost two decades, I have seen the
software industry grow into a real mess. It is no longer creative, it is
all about business, and no longer about fun or innovation.

Just think about VisiCalc, if they had Marketing people, I can hear the
conversation now: "A what? A "spreadsheet" what is that?" (engineer
explains) "That sounds like a complicated project, if it were such a
good idea, why isn't everyone else doing it? Can you write up a proposal
with an estimate of expected market?" The project would never have been
built. Bill S^%$T! Marketing and business has destroyed software
development.

Linux is an attempt to bring that back. I honestly think the loss of
true individual involvement and risk is the reason why software quality
and innovation sucks.

I have been on so many projects where they wanted the product out the
door, they did not bother to test it correctly. In the words of one
Brian Faustin of then Sytron corp, and later Novell, "Who are we
kidding, we can't ship software without bugs, no body else does."  It is
a slipery slope.

I have been on so many projects were you say "we have to do xxx, because
in a couple years we will have the edge on the market, do it now because
it is cheaper, otherwise it will be a major undertaking." Marketing
idiots says, no. Two years later, the company goes out of business
because they did not support xxx.

Linux, if successful, could stem the tide, so to speak. We may be nerds,
but it was us that made the industry and we have abdicated the
responsibility of driving it. Instead, we let idiots like BillG gain too
much control as the only voice.

--
Mohawk Software
Windows 95, Windows NT, UNIX, Linux. Applications, drivers, support.
Visit http://www.mohawksoft.com

 
 
 

Linux

Post by Mark Robinso » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


Quite right!

Also stupid software patents don't exactly help either.  Patents for
downright dumb things like patents on downloadable digital music and online
magazines really hinder the industry.  Patents can be a good thing some
times for new compression formats that deliver 16:1 compression in new and
* ways.

Also huge legal departements don't help much.  Some companies
*cough*microsoft*cough* have more lawyers than engineers.  Then there is
"me too"ism to just copy ideas with little innovation.

Mark

 
 
 

Linux

Post by Mike Palme » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



Quote:> I don't know about all you guys, but here is my reasons for Linux
> advocacy:

> I have been in the industry for almost two decades, I have seen the
> software industry grow into a real mess. It is no longer creative, it is
> all about business, and no longer about fun or innovation.

Mark,

I think this is just the maturing of the industry. The PC industry started
off with hobbyists and experimenters, but as more and more uses - in
businesses and homes - were found for the things, it was almost inevitable
that the industry would shift away from the hobbyist and move toward large
companies (and their money). There's nothing inherently wrong with this, and
it has resulted in some really nice things, like really cheap, really fast
hardware, and tons of software to solve almost any problem (or perceived
problem) under the sun. On the other hand, as markets consolidate,
innovation is left more and more to the market leaders, and less and less to
the mass of hobbyists and experimenters who started the whole thing in the
first place.

I would argue, though that there is still plenty of innovation around. The
number of programming languages to gain some level of acceptance in the past
few years is remarkable (Perl, Tcl, Tk, Python, Rebol, Java, and C++ all
come to mind here, and I'm sure I'm leaving a bunch out). And there are lots
of cool innovations in applications, all the way from full blown business
apps to the Gnu freeware utilities that are constantly getting tweaked when
someone figures out a better way to do something. Mozilla was innovative,
both in what it could do and in the user interface that let it all be done
so easily (I will never use FTP without swearing again). I've got my
RealPlayer, MP3, and Shockwave - all innovative, I think, to keep me
entertained, and some really cool editors, compilers, and de*s to make
my working life easier. Some of those things have had some really simple but
innovative changes - like syntax highlighting in my editor.

When it comes to fun, though, I have only this to say: Twenty years ago, I
was programming in Fortran on an HP computer system (using a line editor
really similar to edlin, no less) - and having fun. Fif* years ago, I was
programming in Fortran on DOS PCs and VMS minis - and having fun. Ten years
ago, I was programming in Pascal and C on a DOS PC - and having fun. Today,
I work in front of Unix Workstations and Windows PCs all day, and I go
outside and ride a mountain bike for fun.

-- Mike --

 
 
 

Linux

Post by Stuart Fo » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



Quote:> I don't know about all you guys, but here is my reasons for Linux
> advocacy:

> I have been in the industry for almost two decades, I have seen the
> software industry grow into a real mess. It is no longer creative, it is
> all about business, and no longer about fun or innovation.

I think the same could be said about society in general - it's all about
business and no longer about fun.
 
 
 

Linux

Post by mlw » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



> When it comes to fun, though, I have only this to say: Twenty years ago, I
> was programming in Fortran on an HP computer system (using a line editor
> really similar to edlin, no less) - and having fun. Fif* years ago, I was
> programming in Fortran on DOS PCs and VMS minis - and having fun. Ten years
> ago, I was programming in Pascal and C on a DOS PC - and having fun. Today,
> I work in front of Unix Workstations and Windows PCs all day, and I go
> outside and ride a mountain bike for fun.

> -- Mike --

I hear you. I just got back from a 2 1/2 week camping trip to the south
west. It is great to be able to breath, at sea level, again.

I miss the idea that one can have an idea and "go for it." These days,
truly great ideas can not be developed. Look at Linux, for instance. It
is left to people with no funding. In the last 5 years, I have
personally missed millions of dollars because of stupid marketing people
unwilling to take any risk because they did not have any understanding
of the marketplace in which they were operating.

In the early 80's I worked at a robotics company. Living on pizza, beer,
and pot we made an autonomous mobile robot platform that had ultrasonic
range finders and used it to create maps, object avoidance, and path
planning. I see stuff on PBS that indicates that the state of the are
has not progressed very far. Only a few selective people get to work on
that stuff. And that stuff is FUN.

Today, you can't work on anything unless there is already something like
it out there. Just plain stupid. Where are the venture capitalists with
balls? Where are the marketing people that have a real and solid grasp
of the industry? It all went to hell when a guy used to selling soda got
a crack at the industry. His momentary success based on short term gain,
almost killed the long term Apple.

And what about Manzi (sp?) of Lotus. Again short term stock-holder gain.
Eventually he killed the company because he had no grasp and no balls.

The only one left is Bill Gates and he owns *ing everything.

Just plain stupid. Maybe the industry deserves what it gets. The
visionaries abdicated their positions.
--
Mohawk Software
Windows 95, Windows NT, UNIX, Linux. Applications, drivers, support.
Visit http://www.veryComputer.com/

 
 
 

Linux

Post by Mike Palme » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



Quote:> Today, you can't work on anything unless there is already something like
> it out there. Just plain stupid. Where are the venture capitalists with
> balls? Where are the marketing people that have a real and solid grasp
> of the industry? It all went to hell when a guy used to selling soda got
> a crack at the industry. His momentary success based on short term gain,
> almost killed the long term Apple.

> And what about Manzi (sp?) of Lotus. Again short term stock-holder gain.
> Eventually he killed the company because he had no grasp and no balls.

Mark,

Very good points.

You know, the response I was originally going to send mentioned both Manzi
and Apple. I think you're right, and I also think that Lotus and Apple both
got hung up thinking that they could litigate their competitors away,
instead of innovating to stay ahead. In the end, it didn't work for either
of them.

I think there's a lesson in all this: whatever the outcome of the justice
department action against Microsoft, nobody should be relying on that to
save the day. If Linux is going to succeed, it will have to do so because of
innovation, not by litigating the competition away.

-- Mike --

 
 
 

Linux

Post by Matthias Wark » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


It was the Fri, 3 Sep 1999 09:09:30 +1200...



> > I don't know about all you guys, but here is my reasons for Linux
> > advocacy:

> > I have been in the industry for almost two decades, I have seen the
> > software industry grow into a real mess. It is no longer creative, it is
> > all about business, and no longer about fun or innovation.

> I think the same could be said about society in general - it's all about
> business and no longer about fun.

Society never was about fun.

mawa
--
There's nobody here to see our show?  I thought they all just came
dressed as empty seats!
                            -- Sedge Thompson, West Coast Weekend, NPR

 
 
 

Linux

Post by Stuart Fo » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



> It was the Fri, 3 Sep 1999 09:09:30 +1200...



> > > I don't know about all you guys, but here is my reasons for Linux
> > > advocacy:

> > > I have been in the industry for almost two decades, I have seen the
> > > software industry grow into a real mess. It is no longer creative, it
is
> > > all about business, and no longer about fun or innovation.

> > I think the same could be said about society in general - it's all about
> > business and no longer about fun.

> Society never was about fun.

True enough, but now it's even less about fun...
 
 
 

Linux

Post by ca314.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




Quote:> Also stupid software patents don't exactly help either.  Patents for
> downright dumb things like patents on downloadable digital music
> and online magazines really hinder the industry.  Patents can be
> a good thing some times for new compression formats that deliver
> 16:1 compression in new and * ways.

Someone a while back patented "taking 500mg of vitamin C twice a day"
because it was 'optimal'; so no one can sell their vitamin C
with those instructions on the bottle.

Is it possible to draw strict lines on patents ? If Intel decided
to patent the machine code for its processors that might seem
'logical' in some sense, but not at all in an economical sense.
This kind of relative logic seems to be the cause of many token
patents which only serve to distinguish priority than economic
protection.

It may be that a certain look and feel interface is 'optimal'
like taking 500mg of C a day, or using Intel assembler on an
Intel processor, or "using light to see" but where is the
distinction between an irrational and a rational patent ?

The FCC used to be largely concerned with the air waves to allocate
that limited bandwidth 'fairly'. Now with internet radio stations its
job seems to have come under very similar problems as the PTO has
with soft patents.

If there is such a thing as a limited economic bandwidth
(this seems implied by zero-sum markets) then is it the PTO's
responsibility to regulate fair access to it ? On the other hand
if the market is seen as having infinite bandwidth then what is
the PTO's responsibility (other than establishing priority) ?
Is it to promote dynamic rather than static fairness ?

Dynamic regulation always seems more difficult than static
regulation because like adaptive control you really don't
know what you're going to be dealing with from one moment to
the next or what your coordinates should be in a new playing field.

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