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Last post Author Topic: A rant on religiousness about OSes  (Read 21126 times)

iphigenie

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A rant on religiousness about OSes
« on: December 09, 2008, 05:31:00 AM »
(this was triggered by a near-religious linux post in a thread about windows XP. I figured I wouldn't pollute that with my rant and will just rant where people can ignore it easier)

Please don't come and tell me that your particular OS is the bestest of them all, super stable, easy to manage, easy to learn, no security issues. It isn't. None of them are. If you think so you have forgotten all the times you scratched your head or tore your hair trying to figure out how to do...

It always bothers me when I see people get religious about an OS (or programming language) - this started as an open minded conversation and at some point it starts being an advocacy discussion - with people using the usual myths about each other's OS (linux is not that user unfriendly and mishmashy, neither is windows that insecure or unstable). The worst is that most of the people get all religious not about the reality of their OS (or language) but the idea of the OS, and the image it projects about them.

Once someone gets religious, then others feel they have to defend their choice (even if they weren't religious about it, their image has been attacked, implying that they are morons/heretics for using something else. Hard to shut up after that)

I have used: several flavors of DOS, Vax/VMS, SunOS, Solaris, Opensolaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, desktop distributions of BSD, Windows 3.11, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows Server (NT, 2003, 2008), AIX, OS/2, HPUX, SGI, MacOS, about 20+ flavors of linux over 15 years.

I have administrered/managed, in a commercial setting: DOS, SunOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, Windows (the whole list above except for server 2008 which i only played with), AIX, OS/2, MacOS, Linux: Slackware, Redhat, fedora, debian, DLD, Suse, Centos, and a few specialised one (router/firewall) i can't remember right now. Some as servers, some as desktops.

So when people talk to me about how wonderful X is, or how innovative, I tend to see red.

First, If you cannot list at least 3 ways in which the other person's OS is better than yours (things you wish your OS had) then you don't know enough to debate in the first place. This is called Nebbe's rule when applied to programming languages, i'll call it iphi's rule for OSes.

1. All OSes suck - they fall way short of what an OS should be and might be one day - but most of them don't suck enough that we cannot get used to them and like them

2. All OSes are unstable - at least any one I have ever used with a GUI has had mysterious crashes, problems, freezes. The worst was probably redhat/fedora, and that even without a GUI.

3. Updates and software install are a problem on all OSes. There will be numerous cases and people who have had things mess up just by trying to install or uninstall on any OS - whether windows, macos, solaris, bsd, aix, linux distributions. If you think you haven't had any you either have been extremely lucky, or you have forgotten the teething problems in your enjoyment of the idea of your OS.

4. All OSes are insecure in the hands of an uninformed user. Granted, some are safer because an uninformed use cannot even begin to use them.

5. All OSes are frustrating - With any OS, there's a time right out of the box where they are fun. Then as you start to really do work with them, especially with deadlines, the cracks will appear and you will tear your hair out. Then if you stick with them you will get to the point where they are stable, work to your satisfaction, and you will be comfortable like and old couple. It can take a month or 18 to get there, depending on luck, the match between the chosen OS and the task you are trying etc.

6. All OSes are fun if you use them to dabble. If you use an OS mostly to have fun and dabble, without pressure, you will like it better. So if you used windows at work but linux at home, linux will feel infinitely more easy, fun, stable - because you can just put up or ignore things that are less than ideal, and what projects you conceive will be projects that fit within the limitations of your chosen platform. If you have linux at work but windows at home (for games and chatting), you might feel otherwise. I have at some point or another absolutely hated every single OS I have had to use, except for the ones I have only ever dabbled with.








« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 10:56:20 AM by iphigenie »

iphigenie

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 05:55:00 AM »
Please get me right, this is not a rant against linux. I have used linux a lot, I was using slackware in 1995, that's how far back linux and I go.

I am a big fan of opensource, i think it is the future and have been saying it for over 15 years. I have forced it down the throat of numerous people, convinced some companies to go with it, failed to convince others (one notorious failure meant the company spent hundreds of thousand on Autonomy, and yet the final product didnt deliver the solution. Perhaps open source woudlnt have either, but it would have been faster and cheaper the the same failure.). But it is not perfect, it does not have the monopoly on innovation, good ideas, efficency.

You make the case for open source realistically and aware of the warts (often the warts are documentation, partial support for hardware, lack of detail polish etc.)

But as someone who has used many OSes, I get tired of the arrogance of some linux users, an arrogance that often makes claims that are totally untrue.

The one that really irks me is that many of the claims are linked to things used by linux distributions which arent at all linux. They are used by linux, but they come from other projects, other people, and they existed independently of linux. Open souce is not Linux! Most innovations do not come out of linux, they are just compiled on it or ported to it.

Innovation happens in open source projects, and also in closed source projects, and in universities and companies. Most of it does NOT happen in linux distributions, very few innovate in anything (very few write anything apart an installer and package manager, very few create anything except a wallpaper and icons), all the rest comes from other projects.

Innovation finds its way onto major linux distributions after it appears elsewhere. Now some people involved in some distributions volunteer on some of the innovative open source projects, but that is usually after these projects have left the forefront of innovation. Neither is there that much innovation in the linux kernel, it is all about stabilisation and steady performance on multi cores these days (as it should be!!! don't mess with it!!!).

And while we are at it, gnome is not linux, kde is not linux, gimp is not linux, firefox is not linux, apache is not linux, perl is not linux, openoffice is not linux, reiserfs is not linux, iptables is not linux, mysql is not linux neither are the hundreds of librairies everything rests on, or the applications everyone uses, or the windows managers, or the games... oh sorry, i ranted about this already.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 07:23:56 AM by iphigenie »

Josh

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 06:10:39 AM »
AMEN AMEN AMEN!

Did I say AMEN? If not, AMEN!

I grow very tired of either an OS religious zealot or the ever popular amongst DC "Converted" or "Born again" OS Zealot. The last one really annoys me to no end because they act as thou this magical OS they have discovered is the best thing since sliced bread and often times will not admit to it's shortcomings.

The fact of the matter is, this NEW os that you have discovered is not that fantastic, it's just different. It's like getting rid of that toyota corolla you've owned for 10 years and buying a ford mustang. It's not some new technology (It is, but it's not like it just appeared recently), it's just a change from what you are used to which most people welcome.

iphigenie, I commend you on an outstanding post. Thank you for the outstanding read!

iphigenie

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 07:47:09 AM »
I am rather agnostic when it comes to OSes...

my own desktop machine is windows xp. I own 4 licenses. I have tried multiple times to go full open source, and have at times at work for development machines. It has always had a multi boot option to another OS, OS/2, DLD ( a german linux distribution which was very nice, bought by suse around 97?), Suse, Slackware, BSD variants, opensolaris, but since the death of OS/2 (which was my main OS for about 4 years) it is almost always on windows. The main reason is a)games b)a few programs, (changed over time, was dreamweaver and freehand back then, now it is mostly email and information management - i am too young to have learned pine and as a result i need a good email client)

If i had to bring a novice to computers I would probably choose a linux based option right now. If it was a young child whom I also want to get hooked on messing about, I would pick a slackware or debian based desktop distribution, for example Vector, because it is nice to have a mature, non commercially minded, and meant-to-be-fiddled-with distribution underneath the GUI. For an adult who is wary (say, elderly parents) I would pick Ubuntu-based Mint (this week, it could be something else next week), or I would make them shell out for a mac or windows. After all this is what they are most likely to encounter elsewhere.

If i had to use an open source desktop to work, I suspect I would go for suse right now. I have known it a long time. Or I might go for a BSD or solaris based desktop, because that is what I would most likely be using on the servers, and it might make it easier. Vector was my desktop of choice in the early 2000s and it is getting new versions, so I might also revisit that.

Linux distribution when i just want to mess with things: Arch linux, for the compile-from-source power, and Slackware, for pure speed, clean efficiency, and unix like shape. If I want to mess not with the OS but with a new framework, say, or service, I go FreeBSD. 4 minutes to install the core, then about 5 minutes to get everything ready through ports, start the right portsinstall and let it download, install and compile all you need, pottering about and answering a question every few minutes (can be avoided with a script if you do it often)

For a server, say a mail or web server, I think I would still go for a BSD distribution as a default. Although Solaris is awfully sexy, I have been playing with it and that file system... that file system... If it had to be linux it would probably be debian.
For a file/corporate server, i might go opensolaris or even windows server (budget allowing).
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 08:03:58 AM by iphigenie »

cranioscopical

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 08:17:37 AM »
Quote
Please don't come and tell me that your particular OS is the bestest of them all

Interesting posts  :)

I suspect that many of us feel the same way.
Personally, I no longer much care which O/S I use as long as it gets the job done. 
As you imply, any that I've used left a scent of "I wish this could do what X can do" hanging in the air.

Bless you, my child  ;)

40hz

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 08:50:21 AM »
(this was triggered by a near-religious linux post in a thread about windows XP. I figured I wouldn't pollute that with my rant and will just rant where people can ignore it easier)

Umm...ok.

Could you provide a link to the specific post you mentioned, so I can better understand what you're responding to?

(Nice post BTW :))

Edvard

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 10:30:07 AM »
Quote
All OSes are insecure in the hands of an uninformed user. Granted, some are safer because an uninformed user cannot even begin to use them.
Hehe- which is where Linux Elitism begins...

Iphi, this is one hell of a post and one I will be linking to next time I spot a Holy OS War.
At the very least, I will post Iphi's Law in bold and all caps... :Thmbsup:

As much as I love Linux, I have to admit. 7 years in, I still sometimes tear my hair out and say (softly to myself under my breath...) "If this was Windows, I'd just do this".
But now that I've gotten used to it and have taken advantage of the benefits I have with Linux, I shudder at the thought of having to deal with Windows' shortcomings in the same area.

All in all, kudos for a great post. Now, about this problem I have with 'pon'... ;)

iphigenie

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 10:39:09 AM »
Quote
Could you provide a link to the specific post you mentioned, so I can better understand what you're responding to?

Well that was the reason I posted it elsewhere, because i am not really responding to it. The thread today was the "is windows xp really that good" post - but nothing in that thread ends up deserving the kind of rant, it's just that I have seen it so many times much louder and worse (thankfully not here, we're all too clued up for it most of the time), so I started responding in there, thought "that's silly, nobody in there deserves that" and posted in a new thread.

Still, I guess this morning someone had p****ed on my cornflakes since I have gone on my soapbox 3 times today, twice here and once on friendfeed.

 :D
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 10:42:26 AM by iphigenie »

iphigenie

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 11:17:27 AM »
Quote
All OSes are insecure in the hands of an uninformed user. Granted, some are safer because an uninformed user cannot even begin to use them.
Hehe- which is where Linux Elitism begins...

hehehe, i had BSD in mind with this one - but many linux distributions might also qualify. Never saw it as a virtue myself.

Although as someone who learned a lot of things in unix, I am very much someone who is almost more at ease with a console than a windowed environment, when trying to get work done, from there i can figure out things from the ground up. Kind of always have to do it, as I have used too many things, how the heck can i remember where slackware puts its network config or where debian puts its package files. There's man, locate, grep for these.

Currently trying to set up an open solaris server for fun, but not sure at all how to make sure stuff i installed via the pkg install is started automatically etc. Thankfully I dont have a deadline (currently between jobs, taking contracts if anyone knows someone, either as super experienced sassy tech leader, dev team manager, web project manager, or single-person build team. Also bored enough I might help with your project for fun/trade) so without a deadline it is fun to poke (but I am wasting a lot of time, letting it sit for days. how do people stay motivated when dabbling?)

Iphi, this is one hell of a post and one I will be linking to next time I spot a Holy OS War.
At the very least, I will post Iphi's Law in bold and all caps... :Thmbsup:


Yay! go ahead, make me famous! I'll tell the author of Nebbe's rule I plagiarized him. He won't mind (it comes from the ada world and slighly forgotten)

As much as I love Linux, I have to admit. 7 years in, I still sometimes tear my hair out and say (softly to myself under my breath...) "If this was Windows, I'd just do this".
But now that I've gotten used to it and have taken advantage of the benefits I have with Linux, I shudder at the thought of having to deal with Windows' shortcomings in the same area.

Yes, there is a lot each could take from the other. I have that a lot, comes right after the "how the heck do you do this on this OS again?" moment, the "why can't they do it like windows/linux/bsd?" moment.
And why the heck can't it be called ipconfig on *EVERYTHING* since they are all using the same layer?

And so many things NONE of them does right yet. Memory management, file systems (although sun's latest gem is extremely promising, and open source!), navigation & launch (cascade menus suck and docks are not much better!), dealing with I/O, dealing with multiple sound/media paths, removable devices - there's just plenty we haven't figured out how to do right, and we could do with having a good look at old interfaces like next, os/2 and more to see whether there were better ways we forgot (probably nostalgia rose tinted idea but...).

And why have we lost the truly excellent xpipeman somewhere along the way? No OS should be complete without a pipe and a marble game (sorry, personal wish, and one i am probably the only person in the universe to have)

All in all, kudos for a great post. Now, about this problem I have with 'pon'... ;)

Oh poor thing. We have routers for that kind of stuff...

Last time i had to deal with ppp it was ISDN dial up and it was DEFINITIVELY NOT FUN. I ran a gateway built myself for a while, mostly for mail (postfix, teapop, if anyone is curious) then decided it was "too much like work" (was still doing a significant bit of sysadmin at the time), put a connection sharing shareware on one of the windows boxes (was actually super excellent stuff!) used that for a while.

When i switched to cable I went back to a linux box as the gateway/server, which was my mail server (postfix, teapop and dovecot by then) and also a backup DNS for the web agency I was a director in. I later decided it was a ridiculous use of energy and bought a cheap wireless router, moved my mail to fastmail and my backup DNS to xname. The cheap router was first netgear, but that didnt work with World of Warcraft all that well, then an ASUS router. Had 2 of those for 3 years now (one on the top floor bridging to one on the ground floor), won't bother.

But we are doing work on our old house, and wiring everything with cat6 cable, have a rack in the basement with a nortel box (off ebay) and patch panel - all nicely gathering dust next to the ebayed sun sparc machine etc etc. When the top floor is finally painted and carpeted (might presuppose me taking a job or contract again) we will connect all this up and get a basement server...

perhaps...

Whenever i get tempted to set up a DNS or mail or file server in house again, i go get some fresh air and wait till it passes.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 11:24:40 AM by iphigenie »

f0dder

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 11:43:22 AM »
iphigenie: I ran Arch for a while on my server, but found that the pacman package manager gets ridiculously slow pretty fast (solution is to copy all it's files elsewhere, nuke the source files, and move the copied files back... no FS fragmentation on linux? ;)), some packages don't get updated often enough (and I can't be bothered maintaining packages or doing unmanaged build-from-source), plus parts of the system get changed around pretty radically every now and then. Doesn't feel "stable" enough for my likings, so I switched to gentoo :)

I used to run slackware for years, but it feels a bit "dusty" imho - very slow progress. And after the whole drama when Patrick Volkerding was seriously ill, I got the feeling that slackware might die when he does, or at least be left in somewhat of a limbo - that isn't too reassuring either. I also never found a good package manager, and the system as a whole felt a bit arcane. It's not a distro I'd recommend anybody today, but it did sit on the server at my mum's place doing it's job for... what, 5 years?

Personally, I don't have time (nor desire) to muck around just to much around (and get a bit annoyed when I have to much around to get seemingly simple stuff working), and for the stuff I use linux for I don't want to risk ending up with an unsupported distro... so no fringe distros for me.

I'm considering setting up and hosting my own mail, btw, since I'm already running a 24/7 fileserver. I'm tired of having mail outages a few times per year, and I feel it would rock having IMAP running on the LAN - might be fast enough to even use it for archiving all my mails, and having the stuff backed up via rsnapshot.
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 12:05:37 PM »
Whenever i get tempted to set up a DNS or mail or file server in house again, i go get some fresh air and wait till it passes.

Sure. If you're going to do it with raw packages. (Although that's still the best way to really learn how something works, as I'm sure you know.)

But why reinvent the wheel (other than for the experience) when there are so many people who will be happy to give you a kit with all the parts and plans for free?

Take a peek at http://bitnami.org

They have preconfigured stacks that run just about anything you could want. Most of them are available for Windows, OSX, and Linux so you can be as "agnostic" as you'd like. Bitnami caters to all trade. ;D

I'll agree with you about setting up your own DNS for anything less than several hundred users. It's easier to just contract with something like UltraDNS and be done with it.

I'll also agree with you (for the most part) about hosting your own e-mail since maintaining good security and spam protection on a mail server can quickly become a full-time job.

But for everything else, why not install your own? File servers are a piece of cake if you have an even moderate amount of technical acumen. Same goes for most web servers, web apps, gateways, and routers. Even configuring a security appliance becomes pretty straight forward when you use something like Untangle Gateway.

Perhaps you're just feeling a little tired?  :)




Rover

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2008, 01:27:06 PM »
I think you will find this little song appropriate...  :P

Every OS Sucks  -- Three Dead Trolls
Insert Brilliant Sig line here

app103

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2008, 03:09:22 PM »
Once someone gets religious, then others feel they have to defend their choice (even if they weren't religious about it, their image has been attacked, intiming that they are morons/heretics for using something else. Hard to shut up after that)

As someone that has a WinME machine and has put up with a lot of insults and assumptions over the years, I want to thank you for saying this.

I have been ranting for a long time about how people are not their OS and how an OS does not determine the value of a human life.

But too many don't hear me and continue to make assumptions about other people based on the OS they run (or their hardware). And the resulting behavior can be quite abusive.

I have put up with people that thought my mind was as slow as the 233mhz CPU in my old machine, that thought I deserved to be treated as less than human because of the OS I run on it, that thought there was something wrong with me because I wouldn't install something newer, such as 2k, XP, or some sort of Linux, as if by magic, a change of mind by me would suddenly make drivers available so I could run something else. (it doesn't work like that)

I have even put up with people who fling insults based on Microsoft's end of life policies, that think since Microsoft isn't supporting the old OS's any more, nobody should (meaning me, as a software developer, as if they had some right to dictate that) acting as if suddenly there was a PC fairy that was going around replacing old machines in the middle of the night (for free) so that people could run something still supported, or as if everyone had big wads of cash to waste on new hardware and didn't have to make due with what they had. They never understand that for some, it comes down to a choice between the necessities of life (food, shelter, etc) and a newer computer. Some are lucky to even have the luxury of old "junk". (remember that OLPC exists for a reason)

I have put up with nasty attitudes of software developers that refuse to fix bugs (or even acknowledge them) because they were reported by a 9x user, and I even was blamed for those bugs on occasion, as if using 9x made me too stupid to know how to run their software. And statements like "I don't support 9x and if it crashes, you deserve it. Upgrade your OS, you idiot!". And no apologies when XP/Vista users start reporting the same issues a week later.

And it didn't stop when I got a new machine and took advantage of Dell's free XP downgrade offer. I started catching crap from Vista lovers for not using Vista, and from Linux lovers for not wiping it and installing Linux, and Mac lovers for buying a PC instead of a Mac.


I'm a Mac? I'm a PC?

Despite what Apple and Microsoft would want you to believe, the answer is no!

We are human beings, and when the OS subject comes up, I would appreciate it if everyone would remember that.

zridling

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 03:50:03 PM »
In the end, an operating system is just another tool based on your needs at any given time. Somewhat like App103, I no longer had the money to keep sending to Microsoft, nor could I afford to continue annually upgrading my favorite apps. Nor could I afford to keep buying ever newer, more powerful, and expensive hardware to run the next version of Windows. (I shouldn't have to!) So I switched to Linux. I've really had a lot of fun in the process. A few frustrations, of course, but nothing a google search didn't solve.

But while OS fundamentalism is tiresome and predictable, both Apple and Mac have spent billions on OS advocacy and comparisons:

zridling

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2008, 04:53:39 PM »
Please get me right, this is not a rant against linux.
And then you go on to rant about... Linux.

I am a big fan of opensource, i think it is the future and have been saying it for over 15 years. I have forced it down the throat of numerous people... But it is not perfect, it does not have the monopoly on innovation, good ideas, efficency.
Who's making this "monopoly" claim?

But as someone who has used many OSes, I get tired of the arrogance of some linux users, an arrogance that often makes claims that are totally untrue.
Again, who exactly is confusing distro flaws with the kernel? Neither is perfect, and no one is claiming them to be. In fact, I've never even read anyone claim such a thing. What follows is a matter of defining terms such as "Linux," "free software," "open source," and the difference between a "distribution" and the Linux kernel.

The one that really irks me is that many of the claims are linked to things used by linux distributions which arent at all linux. They are used by linux, but they come from other projects, other people, and they existed independently of linux. Open souce is not Linux! Most innovations do not come out of linux, they are just compiled on it or ported to it.
But Linux is open source software. I sense a straw man argument here, unless you mean that Windows will not run those programs. I'm not sure. Most of the major apps on Linux are cross-platform to Windows.

Innovation happens in open source projects, and also in closed source projects, and in universities and companies. Most of it does NOT happen in linux distributions, very few innovate in anything (very few write anything apart an installer and package manager, very few create anything except a wallpaper and icons), all the rest comes from other projects.
Of course. What's the problem, then? A project like the Fedora distro serves as a testbed for the Red Hat Linux server software. Every other major version is a disaster because it's bleeding edge, not leading edge. (Fedora 10 is fantastic, whereas 9 was user hell.)

Innovation finds its way onto major linux distributions after it appears elsewhere. Now some people involved in some distributions volunteer on some of the innovative open source projects, but that is usually after these projects have left the forefront of innovation. Neither is there that much innovation in the linux kernel, it is all about stabilisation and steady performance on multi cores these days (as it should be!!! don't mess with it!!!).
Yes indeed, and the problem again is? The real "innovative" advantage to Linux occurred as it was being built: scalability to any device. I don't know anyone claiming innovation for distros, except lots of newbie praise for Ubuntu since 2006.

And while we are at it, gnome is not linux, kde is not linux, gimp is not linux, firefox is not linux, apache is not linux, perl is not linux, openoffice is not linux, reiserfs is not linux, iptables is not linux, mysql is not linux neither are the hundreds of librairies everything rests on, or the applications everyone uses, or the windows managers, or the games... oh sorry, i ranted about this already.
Glad you cleared that up, or did you? Let's clarify our terms.

Linux = the kernel.

GNU/Linux = the larger OS and free software surrounding it, and used to build the kernel.

Distribution = distributions change the appearance and function of Linux completely. They range from large, fully supported complete systems (endorsed by companies like Novell, HP, Red Hat, Sun, IBM) to lightweight ones that fit on a USB memory stick or run on old computers (often developed by volunteers). The Ubuntu family is currently the most popular "distribution."

Open source = Open source is a development methodology.

Free software = Free software is social movement; more specifically, it is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.

f0dder

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2008, 05:06:50 PM »
GNU/Linux = the larger OS and free software surrounding it, and used to build the kernel.
I hate this term with a passion - there's a shitload of non-GNU software in any distribution, so calling distributions "GNU/Linux" is simply giving GNU too much credit. It would be easier to take the GNU software out of the picture than finding replacemens for the rest of the pieces that make up a distro. Just because something is licensed under the GPL doesn't make it GNU, btw.
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iphigenie

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2008, 06:10:30 PM »
Zaine, I'm glad you are clarifiying some of those points, I did move this post to a separate thread because although something you posted triggered it, it was not due to something you said. I know you are more clever and open minded and your post's intentions did nothing to deserve the rant, but it somehow pressed buttons that were sensitive based on so many things in the past. So I ranted elsewhere :D

I have made a lot of companies adopt open source, including linux - and the reason I rant about it is that I read so much about it that is rose tinted. The case can be made without being fake about it, and I think the linux community often is stealing the thunder of the other open source projects, and that cannot help.

Linux is not that stable when your business depends on it and you have to build/run/deploy things on it. No OS or platform ever feels stable in that context, there's always mysterious issues.

On linux and BSD typical nightmares include: things bound to the wrong library version (i lost a lot of time and got a lot of client aggro over an openssl issue of that kind), permission issues (arrrrrggggghhh for permission issues! - especially the fact that sometimes it is sensitive to the permissions 2 folders higher than the file in question), symbolic link issues (aaarrrggh for symbolic link issues too!), network driver issues (we had to switch from rackspace/redhat to another managed hosting/distribution due to one of them that they just could never trace, at the networking level), update issues (redhat broke perl modules when updating! and rackspace would not turn it off... Glad they fixed up2date since. I have also had several package managers break php5 and apache when removing php4), paths issues (theres always several ways to do it and frankly you never know for sure where your configuration information will end up. Firefox for example...)

On some of your other points I think I was simply pointing out some possible and common misunderstandings - it is common for linux advocates to claim all the "stack" as being justification for linux being better, when the stack is available across the open source OS board, and half of it on windows and others too. I know you know, but as I said I have had to read and interact with people far less clued up, and naively spouting this stuff. Commercial distributions also like to keep this concept on the incorrect side of fuzzy, as it is good for business.

Please get me right, this is not a rant against linux.
And then you go on to rant about... Linux.

I can rant about anything, pretty much. I have ranted about windows, linux, bsd, all sorts of apps - I have had ugly stuff happen with so many different tools and platforms. I have horror stories and stupid mistakes across the board. Don't get me started on *&^%$ zope, or rails, or sendmail (especially that one!)... I can also rave about certain aspect of the same (except perhaps sendmail, never went back)

« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 06:13:29 PM by iphigenie »

iphigenie

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2008, 06:45:56 PM »
They have preconfigured stacks that run just about anything you could want. Most of them are available for Windows, OSX, and Linux so you can be as "agnostic" as you'd like. Bitnami caters to all trade. ;D

For my home stuff I would certainly be happy to use something like this - especially to test something, that is cool. (Used to be real hard to get decent quick try stacks on windows, that is very cool). I didnt know of that resource, will certainly bookmark and share it!

When it comes to work/production I am afraid I am old school - what you don't know is what will hurt you later. I tweak my OS (or make people tweak, nowadays) with a pickness about security, automation, monitoring and performance.

But for everything else, why not install your own? File servers are a piece of cake if you have an even moderate amount of technical acumen. Same goes for most web servers, web apps, gateways, and routers. Even configuring a security appliance becomes pretty straight forward when you use something like Untangle Gateway.

Perhaps you're just feeling a little tired?  :)

Probably very true. I'm currently looking for a job, and I get these amazing proposals for system administration or senior architect with salaries that are almost silly for the job - but I have moved on. I don't want to do that again. Oh, I dont mind jumping in now and then to see if I can help my guys, coach/guide/help with the mysterious horrible problem (been there this year doing just that) but doing more than that I am not so sure... - been at it 15 years, from "webmistress" to "CTO" and all sorts in between - and frankly if I never install another server except to dabble for fun it will be fine with me.

I probably miss it though - how else could i explain the third box currently in the kitchen with dual boot freeBSD and opensolaris, one with a netbeans/java/lucene/liferay set up, the other with perl and python frameworks all at various level of playing with... Theoretically I am done with messing with OSes and ready for them to become commodities (did i mention that file system on opensolaris? that is nearly ready to become universal commodity, if it can fulfill what it promises). Practically I just love the fun feeling you get messing with a new flavor, figuring it out, when you don't have a project with a deadline depending on it.

app103

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2008, 06:55:54 PM »
Windows XP just let me know what it thought about the direction this thread is headed:

unspecified error.png

 ;D


f0dder

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2008, 07:00:48 PM »
app103: which Visual Basic applications are you currently running? :)
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app103

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2008, 07:29:06 PM »
app103: which Visual Basic applications are you currently running? :)

Weather Watcher (I had to go digging in Process Explorer to figure it out)

The developer sure went out of his way to make sure the GUI didn't look like a typical VB6 app.  :D

SNAG-00010.pngA rant on religiousness about OSes

f0dder

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2008, 07:55:05 PM »
app: I assume that's the application responsible for the error message, then :) - the app looks like something that connects to the intarweb for information, so a bit of googling indicates that the error is probably related to some MSXML XMLHTTP request :)
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40hz

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2008, 09:09:41 PM »
I'm currently looking for a job, and I get these amazing proposals for system administration or senior architect with salaries that are almost silly for the job - but I have moved on.

Must be nice.


iphigenie

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2008, 06:20:47 AM »
I'm currently looking for a job, and I get these amazing proposals for system administration or senior architect with salaries that are almost silly for the job - but I have moved on.
Must be nice.

Hmm, no it's not - i probably phrased it wrong. The precise things I should have said is "I keep being sent these adverts for sysadm or architect positions with surprising salaries" - they are not outright offers, they are not real proposals, just  a "hey we're looking for someone and your keywords matched". I probably wouldnt get them if I applied, being so over-experienced (although i think i would do way better as an infrastructure/architecture person than I would at a pure developer role, another thing I keep getting), and I am still hoping for something closer to one of my recent jobs. Will take a job like this as a short contract while waiting for the right option to come along, but it is starting to nag at me because I feel I am wasting my days.

Still, it is a good time to be an infrastructure person with 4-5 years of experience, there seems to be jobs around (here in the uk)

Edvard

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Re: A rant on religiousness about OSes
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2008, 07:33:24 PM »
Although Solaris is awfully sexy, I have been playing with it and that file system... that file system...
OK, I'll bite.
At least 3 times in this thread you've fawned over the file system, and that makes me quite curious...

Are you talking about zfs?
Hoo boy, it sure looks promising but from the faq:

It's not bootable? (or has this been fixed?)
Fragmentation still warrants a vague answer?

Looks like the benefits outweigh the detriments, so just out of curiosity I downloaded the OpenSolaris 2008.11 and am going to give it a fly-by and see if it ends up on a spare disk to play with.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 07:34:56 PM by Edvard »