Reinventing the wheel, redux
Jim's complaint about wanting to write a program only to discover there's already a better one out there is quite valid. However...
I won't be saying anything anyone doesn't already know when I say that software usually starts because a programmer has a problem he or she wants to solve. "How can I keep track of my collection of left-handed crescent wrenches?"
So my suggestion is a simple one: don't sit down with the intention of writing a fancy do-everything-in-one-package program. Rather, sit down and write a program to solve a problem our fill a niche that you personally need solved/filled. If you have the problem, I'll bet somebody else does, too, and will be more than happy to use your solution, no matter how many bells and whistles you've left out.
A specific example: My old copy of WordStar (CP/M version 3.0, ca. 1979) didn't do endnotes, bibliographies, indices or any other tasks required by academic writing. A weekend of sitting in front of my Kaypro 2X (4Mhz, 64K) and banging away in Turbo Pascal resulted in 3 programs that enabled WordStar to handle the missing functions I needed. An hour later, the programs, source and documentation were posted on Bitnet, Ednet and Arpanet, with a note stating I was specifically releasing the whole shootin' match into the public domain.
I don't know if anyone actually used it, but hey! it solved my problem, and that's what I wanted.
Jason Straight is right: "Linux isn't about winning the war against microsoft, Just like I don't build my hotrod truck to beat top fuel racers, we don't build linux for the purpose of beating anyone, we build it to get the job done that we need to."
It's not linux or apache who will be threatened by this-- it's the vendors. But even that is doubtful: how do you hurt the business of a competitor who sells a product that's free in the first place?
I guess it's the linux dichotomy that's in question here-- are you using linux because it is technically and morally superior to Micro$oft, or are you just another snake oil salesman trying to get rich quick?
Sure I'll look at Win2000--I have to support it for my clients. But it's not going to displace linux on my personal systems.