Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What I think of Linus Torvalds and the Linux community

One of my users pointed me to an article on Softpedia regarding the Systemd developer Lennart Poettering about his interactions with the Linux community and Linus Torvalds.  He then asked me what I think about Linus Torvalds and the Linux community.

So what do I think of Linus Torvalds?  Ummm, what about him?  I have not had significant interaction with the man to actually develop an opinion on him.  I have had two brief e-mail correspondence with him and I met him a couple of times with each lasting maybe 2 seconds.  Yeah he is abrasive on the kernel mailing list but Im also an abrasive person.  So I don't care.  He told someone "[specific folks] ...should be retroactively aborted. Who the [expletive] does idiotic things like that? How did they not die as babies, considering that they were likely too stupid to find a [breast] to suck on?"  Actually, I thought that was kind of funny.  But you know Im also the guy who told a Red Hat developer that he was "So stupid I was surprised he found the hole he was supposed to come out of when his mother was giving birth to him" which got me retroactively dis-invited from the Red Hat Christmas party for a couple of years but whatever.  If Linus Torvalds came to me and told me Black Lab Linux was the most horrid distribution he ever saw and I was wasting my time I wouldn't care.  I could really care less what Linus thinks.  He is not a user and he is not a customer.  Do I think Linus Torvalds is detrimental or harmful to the Linux community?  No, I dont.  Everybody has their management style and their way of doing things.  He shouldn't be criticized for it.  The kernel is his baby and he is allowed to express his opinions on someones efforts or lack thereof in anyway he sees fit.  How serious can you take a statement like that anyway?  Obviously, those developers did find the hole they were supposed to come out of and they did find a breast to feed from so chalk it up to hyperbole. Seriously though, Lennart if you read this.  Dude, we work in technology.  Grow some thick skin because no matter what community, no matter what company you go work in you will have people who don't like you.  You will find people you don't like.  Unlike the commercial world the open source world is great because you can work on projects that intrigue and inspire you plus you can work with people you do like.  Find those people, feed off the positive energy and do something that makes your heart go pitter patter.  Do something that you feel is positive and you are making a positive contribution to yourself and others.  Thats what open source is about.  In the open source community, we can make a positive influence and everyday we have the opportunity to do something great.  You Lennart, you did something great.  You gave us Systemd.  Be proud of that and don't worry about negativity.  If you are a religious person think of it like this.  Jesus Christ himself had to live with negativity.

Now, what do I think of the Linux community?  What don't I think of the Linux community?  Ok, first of all its like everything else in life.  You have the people who like what you do and you have the people who don't.  I catch a ton of crap on a daily basis over my offering a commercial product based on Linux.  I get hundreds of negative e-mails where I get criticized, I get critiqued, and I get blasted.  I have gotten e-mails where they wish death upon my first born child, I get e-mails where I die in a fiery car crash and I get e-mails where they wish I develop testicular cancer and my balls rot off.  If I had a dollar for every e-mail where I was told that Black Lab Linux is a waste of time and I should go off and do something else (like crawl back under the rock I came out from under) then I wouldnt need to do Black Lab Linux, I'd be a RICH man.  So why do i continue to contribute and interact with the Linux community?  Because I feel like I make a positive contribution and there are people who like what we do with Black Lab Linux.  I have users and customers who rely on my product to get their job done.  For every crappy e-mail I get I also get one thats positive.  So the Linux community is like everything else on this earth.  You have your positives, you have your negatives and everything in between.  You contribute to society and in society you have those that will be fans of yours and others; not so much.

Thats life and thats life anywhere you go.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Windows, UNIX and Amiga....

Someone in IRC asked me two different questions:

Which one was the best version of Windows? Well, I have never been a Windows guy, I know how to navigate them and I have used them all and to get my MCSE I had to use all of them. I would have to say the best Windows OS was Windows NT 3.51, even NT 4.0 was a decent upgrade but after that they all started to suck. My mom had an old Tandy computer that Windows 3.1 hated with a passion and I installed NT 3.51 on it for her and that made it suck less. Some would say that Windows 2000 was good, I disagree because the USB stack to me was always flakey. But Windows since NT 4.0 has taken a slow nose dive with each release being a nightmare in usability and prime examples of what not to do in design. Windows 8 finally threw the Windows ecosystem 6 feet into the dirt.

Now, which OS do I think is/was the best? For me it was NeXTStep, now my friend Dave Haynie would disagree and say it was AmigaOS, probably, my friend Cristobal Molina would say it was SGI Irix. And thats fine because those three had the same problem, aside from company misteps and business malpractice, the problem those three suffered is that they were too forward thinking. All three of them had features that really made no sense to anyone aside from a power user. Those concepts make sense today to the average user but back then they just didnt and not many people could grasp it. Ultimately they failed to garner the mass userbase that they needed for survival. The only one that has managed to stay alive was Mac OS X, which is a form of NeXTStep, although Apple has screwed that up too. Now what do I mean, Apple has put so much complexity into the product its not even funny. Now complexity sometimes is not a bad thing. If it adds value to your product. Apples didnt add value, it just made it an unholy mess to deal with.

SGI Irix, it failed because of major business missteps. The business side killed Irix. Irix should have been ported to x86 and SGI should have revamped its product line to include the x86 processor. SGI decided to stick with a dead end processor that no one else in the industry used and charged way to much for their product. When HP and Red Hat started to eat their lunch in the creative industry, it was too late by that point. As SGI's major contracts started moving to HP and Red Hat the gig was up. If SGI had ported Irix to the x86 processor, delivered products that were reasonably priced, Linux probably would not have the foothold it has today. By the time SGI released workstations based on the x86 processor they used NT and Red Hat Linux and those systems were a joke.