re: scott's disagreement with David Harr disagreeing with Re: [scott] disagreein
From a previous post:
"So, for a net gain in compatibility, you have a net loss of quality." There is no "net" loss here, only a net gain. There would be a net loss if in doing this effort we had to water down the kernel or C libes and make them act buggy like Windows -- do you really think that's going to happen? Think Linus or Alan are going to accept patches to the kernel to make it buggy so Linux will support Windows apps?
The fact is, there is pressure to compromise even the kernel for the sake of user friendliness.
I was in on some of the early discussion of the integration
of USB into the kernel and saw from Linus an admirable
concern about some user friendliness issues in the way multiple USB devices of the same type are named.
Linus pointed out an important need to have a centeral
keyboard USB devices that is the sum of all the individual
keyboard devices because there is no good way to determine which individual keyboard device to use at boot time.
But to do this, he seemed willing to ignore the importance of being able to have consistant naming conventions for some devices (such as printers, so that each print queue will be tied to the same printer each time the system boots).
I agree with the original author's premise that we must have compatability and user friendliness to succeed in the desktop business.
At the same time, those people who are arguing with the author have an important point to raise, even when that point is not always put in clear terms.
There is a danger that, in our zeal to try to make Linux more appropriate for non-technical users, we may sacrifice some important things that make Linux better for us than MS's so called operating systems.
This is not a matter of incompatability between the goals that David Harr advocates and the more traditional goals of the linux community.
Rather it is a matter of target fixation.
Both sides of this debate tend to become consumed with the specific issues that they feel are under-appreciated.
To me, Linux's most important feature is the fact that it is technically sound.
I never want to see this technical soundness sacrificed
for user friendliness or MS compatibility.
But those of us who are my side of the debate need to stop being snobs about this issue.
And the reason we need to stop being snobs isn't even so much because of the importance of the other side's issues to Linux's success.
Rather it is because we can't afford to let the work of making Linux more user friendly and MS compatible be dominated by people who don't understand the importance of technical soundness.
Everytime I install RedHat Linux on yet another machine,
I find myself cursing at some of the stupid defaults and limittations that are built into GNOME and RedHat Linux.
Those problems are there because there has not been enough participation by those of us who have
written enough code and shot ourselves in the foot often enough to understand the meaning and importance of technical soundness.
The GNU Public Virus
I have to agree with Mathias on this one.
GPL's insistance on changing every licence over to
itself is what first got it called the GNU Public Virus
in the first place.
I think what we are seeing here are the consequences
of Richard Stallman's fanaticism.
Don't get me wrong;
The FSF has accomplished a great deal.
But the real problem between QPL and GPL is that
Stallman has never been able to accept even
the slightest dissent from his own point of view.
If I understand correctly,
the goals of QPL and GPL are very similar.
The critical difference is Richard Stallman
see's no room whatsoever for other points
Think of it this way.
We all have to ask ourselves if our way of live would
make it hard for us to get along with other people that
live the way we do.
Then we should ask ourselves if there is a truely
compelling justification for giving up on coexisting
peacefully in the face of each viewpoint difference
or lifestyle difference that we cannot accept.
In other words, is it really healthy to demand that
others see things exactly as we do, or should we attempt
to coexist peacefully with other viewpoints and lifestyles
whenever we can.
All this is as important in the programming business
as it is in life in general.
If Richard Stallman can't tollerate this slightly different
way of encouraging free software,
is it really QPL that has to change?
What about the next slightly different point of view
that comes along?
Must we all tote exactly the same party line
before Stallman will work with us?
Again, I don't want to belittle what Richard Stallman
and FSF have done for us;
But, is it really necessary to squash all differences in
point of view, no matter how small, to advance the
cause of Free Software?
This message is in the Public Domain, and is
NOT covered by the GPL.