Is Linux really superior?
In observation of a couple posts to this comp.database.pick thread I once again find it humorous that the promise of Linux falls short.I seem to recall people saying Linux was better than Windows and commercial Unix platforms, citing reasons like ubiquitous driver support to preserve long term investments in hardware, and armies of open-source (oops Open Source) developers to ensure software compatibility through open exchanges, etc. Of course the revisionists will insist it wasn’t about any of that at all…
The reality once again demonstrated in this thread, is that Linux is a great platform but just as subject to the failings of any other. We see hardware obsolete after some short period of time due to hard to find drivers, OS releases that can’t be upgraded but must be completely replaced over new hardware, and applications that are only compatible with specific hardware/OS combinations. We see people spending just as much money on support fees for patches and time in system reinstallations as any other.
Just to balance the books a little: While you wouldn’t want to, we can still load Windows 98 on any 3.2GHz P4, or load Windows XP on a P-1.
I’m sure someone will try to deflect these comments by shooting the messenger and calling me a Microsoft biggot. But this is about Linux, not about me and not about Microsoft. Someone can also say it’s the Red Hat distro or the RD application that are the problems – this is just more deflection from the real focus. I’m not saying Linux is bad, I run Linux here too and happily support clients running it. Once in a while many of us need to do complete systsem re-installs just like any other software. I’m just poking a little fun at the emperor (penguin) who isn’t wearing any clothes. After the dust has settled from the initial wars of Linux against the world, we can clearly see that this platform is about the same as any other, with similar failings and incompatibilities. Platform choice turns out to be just a matter of taste and perhaps one’s desire to be a part of a larger community – human beings after all are only slightly more evolved lemmings . Cite predatory business practices by Microsoft and proprietary and expensive Unix systems as valid reasons for using Linux, I won’t disagree. But I think about threads like this and laugh when I hear people claiming Linux or any other software is superior just because it’s Open Source.