The demise of Linux, part 2
Because I agree that things should be done the right way, I must agree with Naiciagam, and say that Linux has died a very bloody and painful death. At the heart of this argument is the fact that the GUIs have won, secondly, the fact that money has corrupted the heart of the Linux movement, and finally that there's nothing to do to save the movement.
Before I say anything else, I must make this known. I've used Linux since it was a &quot;baby&quot;, and have been with it until the recent day, getting more and more disgusted lately with the turn that we have been making. I've installed many a Linux computer on many a computer. I've used all of the major distributions and have rolled my own.
The first flaw in the Linux world is that the GUIs have won. If you sit and watch several newsgroups related to Linux, you will see many, many, many problems with GUIs such as Gnome and KDE. The underlying problem here is NOT that GUIs are bad, far from it, but they are the wrong solution to an old problem, a problem of how to get new users to learn to use the computer. As many of you know, the movement in the past five or so years has been to teach new users to the computer using an GUI as a way to &quot;ease&quot; them into &quot;serious&quot; computer usage (many times, using Microsoft Windows). However, in doing this, we have wrongly led these people to believe that the GUI is the silver bullet for the computer. Pretty soon, they wonder why DOS even existed, or even what DOS is. Our problem is that we expect new computer users to do too little, learn even less, and think even less than that. Back to the original point though, GUIs have destroyed the Linux environment. When I learned Linux, and computers in general, I learned at the command line. I learned what goes on behind the scenes, and I learned that there's more to the computer than the pretty programs that do everything for you. I learned what a pipe was, and what it was good for. I learned how to use one command to &quot;feed&quot; another, to &quot;feed&quot; another, and then send the result to a file, or to the printer, or to the screen, or to the network, etc. That's what Linux was meant to be. A UNIX clone. Something that a user could sit down at a simple command prompt and get some work done, without the interruption of a GUI or anything else. I am NOT a GUI basher. If you want, use a GUI, but understand the underlying philosophy of the operating system and where it comes from.
Money has warped our desires as well. Case in point, Red Hat. Red Hat started as just another distribution of Linux, but then it grew, and grew, and grew, and grew, and now it's &quot;The Microsoft Of The Linux World&quot;. It's the dummy distribution. It's also the worst distribution IMHO. If anybody here is looking for the people to port VB over, I guarantee that Red Hat will either fund it or take credit for it, or do it themselves. The prime motivator for Red Hat is money. Pure and simple. They have sold out. I'm sure I'm not the first person to make this argument. The underlying philosophy for Red Hat used to be quality, but now it's &quot;converting&quot; new users from Windows, making a profit, and making their stock rise. One can now run Linux, and have it use the look and feel of Windows programs, thanks to Red Hat and crew. I applaud you for being a nail in the coffin for Linux. Linus himself cautioned against Linux being an emulation platform, a comment which Red Hat must have ignored.
The movement is over. Every revolution has a counter-revolution, every movement has a counter-movement, in this case, the belief that closed-source software will run everywhere it says it will and easily. One could argue that Linux was crushed by their counter-movement. Linux tried to become more like Windows; the only problem with this is that each vendor tried DIFFERENT ways of doing it. This in and of itself was a burden, but EVEN worse, when we got a vendor-independent way of doing it (Gnome or KDE, pick your poison) it became bloated. I can install Windows 95 in 50 Megs on my hard drive. I can't install Linux + Gnome in that space because Gnome alone eats up about twice that amount. When the average Joe sees that, he's going to think, &quot;Microsoft has done it cheaper and quicker, therefore it must be 'right'&quot;. Unfortunatly, Linux is trying to overcome that mentality, but they're fighting the wrong battle. They should worry more about how to compete based on merits than look, however, we've given up that battle.