Michael Dean wrote:
My main point was NOT Linux versus BSD versus osx versus Dos for that matter. My point is that educators, and nonprofits, and small businesses are forced to deal with a lot of garbage tacked on to the Great Promised God Linux, in the form of mindless, purposeless unplanned distributions that just throw everything in there. Ubantu happens to be politically correct at the moment. Ain't that grand! Do you think any educator wants to forego his sanity by being on the ubantu discussion lists? If you don't have anything else to do in the day maybe.
Also, I have found that you bring 10 open source consultants in and each one has a preferred ready made solution. The only business process management stuff is BSD licensed Java. In fact, almost all the hot Java based stuff is now BSD/MIT licensed, simply because big corporations are scrared of the GNU provisions. Large school organization should equally be cautious.!!
My perspective goes beyond the sharp snipes about the ports updating of freebsd (Gentoo certainly liked it enough to refine it). I merely offered up BSD because it is competent stuff, and you don't have the GNU police (translate unemployed consultants) staring down your throat, and which really covers the ass of the major distros standing in line with their hands out, waiting for someone else to refine something for them. That sure is pragmatic. As we all realize, a lot of BSD stuff was good enough to be pirated by Redhat. Another example of pragmatic. This is not innovation, this is not revolution, this is just business as usual. There is no real difference today between Microsoft and Redhat, except size. Suse is now Novell's savior? And we are all for the underdog, right?
I honestly feel sometimes that the GNU license is really fascist, because if you fall for the little red sucker, and then try to build on it, for your own little playground, you are forced to give these dumn guys behind these kitchen sink distros your stuff. IBM, CA, HP and all the so-called corporate contributors to open source know better, and get around the rules easily.
It's like going to Sears and having to buy this 2300 pound tool chest, complete with contents when you only wanted a wrench, because Sears thinks this is best for you. And then there are these guys who tell you that sure there are literally thousands of pieces of undocumented stuff in this kitchen sink distros and this is best for you? How!? Instead of the space wasted with Sears, we have our precious TIME wasted with kitchen sink distros. This is far worse. I can always buy space, buy buying time is harder. I believe these distros are obtuse and obfuscated solely to drive business in the direction of hacks who failed to complete their college education. And because no one is invested enough to put some common sense to work and look at purpose first, not their purpose, but the purpose of the customer. Unless of course you don't want customers, only consumers, like the phone companies.
And how is this different from Microsoft's paternalistic stuff? It is still this pre-conceived product, produced supposedly for the greater good of the many and then sold in computer stores? No wonder Suse, Mandrake and Redhat failed at retail, they weren't giving customers the value customers wanted, just what these guys thought the customer wanted, without doing any market research at all. Boy were they all wrong. Novell's offering is no improvement either. Linux on the desktop is still far away from what the common man wants or needs, and the zealots out there need to understand that, and provide an iterative solution, which they are just not doing. Proliferation of features, rather than refinement of usage are two separate dogs. Educators want one good work dog that provides growling competence, not a dozen toy dogs that yips at your heals.
In the public's eye, not rabid fanatical programmers with a mafioso set of axes to grind, "linux" is not Linus Torvalds 2.6.11 kernel, which they don't even see, linux is all the crap added onto it -- the more crap the merrier. I honestly feel sometimes that the GNU license is really fascist, because if you fall for the little red sucker, and then try to build on it, for your own little playground, you are forced to give these dumn guys behind these kitchen sink distros your stuff. IBM, CA, HP and all the so-called corporate contributors to open source know better, and get around the rules easily. But schools?
In my mind, it is wrong to have a closed perspective, where every idea is piecemealed out and subjected to a nasty ideologically based diatribe. My main point, which I probably didn't communicate well enough, is that the real battle is NOT at the device level, the operating system level, not even at the middleware level, but at the user application level. And here, the Linux/BSD GUI is still nothing more than a poor copy of other's. And it is here where the IBM's of the world are having a field day. And it is at this level where purpose-drive, objective driven well document software needs to be provided to educators.
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