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Linux stabilization

Read this at slashdot yesterday
"Telstra goes open-source" http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/02/0136236&mode=thread&tid=106&tid=126&tid=163&tid=185&tid=187

Also some earlier articles

"Linux invasion begins in corporate India" http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20030825/newsanalysis01.shtml

There are lots more on net.


Now that some organisations have started to pump money in Linux, wont it be good in their interests that the make a move to stabilze Linux.

Wont it be good for them to have an out of box product. Where they dont have a issue like, to install application A i need to install library B of version C, since the current version of A is not compatible with the current version and stuff like that.

Why not start a project like *LINUX 2005*, whereby they will create a linux os, which be throughly tested and released in a market as *PRODUCT*, free offcourse.

More like http://www.linuxbase.org/ or http://www.unitedlinux.com/ but here it will driven by a single company or a group of companies with a deadline.

It  will/should remain focused on a target and should have a **cut-off date** with "a given feature list that needs and will be supported only". Followed by a bug fixing phase.

There is a practical limit to which the current distributors of Linux, RedHat, SUSE, Mandrake and gang can go independently. Wont it be in general interest that these companies hold these distributors by there neck and make them unify linux. Make them realize this dream of LINUX 2005.

Most of us do not want the latest of the developments that are going on but a standard equipment that will satisfy our needs.

We do not want distributions we want products.

Any takers...

Simply_Linux_Fan
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Please be aware that Linux, like all open-source and free-as-in-beer software, contributes to lowering software developer wages.

So, as professional developers (that is, not a hobby developers who earn their money from other sources), we have a duty to strongly oppose or at least not promote Linux.

If Linux, which is free, is more successful than it is now, more business people will get used to the idea that software is not worth paying for, thus directly hurting programming as a profession.

John K.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Simply Linux Fan, see http://www.linuxbase.org

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

lol John K.

who do you think most of us open source programmers are?  programmers without day jobs writing closed source code?  pleeease...

i like i
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Is it exciting that corporate managements are cutting your pay scale? That's what it's about.

http://www.zdnet.com.au/newstech/communications/story/0,2000048620,20278113,00.htm

"Telstra chief information officer Jeff Smith is leading a charge to slash information technology costs by 50 percent over three years, with the use of open source software key to his program."

z
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

>Is it exciting that corporate managements are cutting your pay scale? That's what it's about.

Bingo.  But it's happening everywhere and in every occupation outside of things like taking orders at your local McD's.  How can you fight the big corporate conglomerates?  Well, the only way I see it is to become independent software developers.  Essentially if you have a low overhead, you can definitely compete against India and the likes.  You don't need to sell 1 million copies to live off of.  If you have 150k in sales in 1 year, you're golden.  So lets say your enterprise app sells for $500 (yes, supercheap), but don't forget install, customization, etc.  Will it be cheaper than going with IBM Global Services? Hell Yes.  Will clients be happier? Yup - 'cause you're in person, not 4000 miles away and you're still competative.

GiorgioG
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Nice daydream, GiorgioG. But how do you show up in person at two locations at the same time? I can not really imagine anybody buying 'enterprise applications' from a guy that works from his basement all by himself....

Jeroen
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

>Nice daydream, GiorgioG. But how do you show up in person at two locations at the same time? I can not really imagine anybody buying 'enterprise applications' from a guy that works from his basement all by himself....


It's all about perception buddy.  My employer has 6 developers locally and we all work from our own little basements.  Do our fortune 500 clients know this? Yup.  Do they care? Nope.  Why?  Cause we show up and we do the work they ask us to.  That's what's important...

GiorgioG
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Jeroen, Giorgio is right. Guys in basements do develop things that big companies need and will pay well for. I've done it.

That's why open source looks so dumb to people like me. If we were into open source, we would generously give our work to the "community" so the big company could just use it for free. I suppose most open source isn't really in that category, but that's the principle.

z
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

> who do you think most of us open
> source programmers are?  programmers
> without day jobs writing closed source
> code?  pleeease...

Well, according to a recent study done by the open source community itself, most of the open source software is written by students in West Europe.

Why West Europe? Because:

- in West Europe, university is free

- the parents have enough money to support them

It's that simple. :-(

John K.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

all my contracts have been writing bespoke software, or customising software.  And in both cases, how does open-source hurt?

i like i
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The only ones ever making money off Open-Source is the businesses that employ it (IBM, Redhat, etc.) and re-sell it with consulting and support.

Mickey Petersen
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Hurt? Hell, it helps me get my job done. The amount of time I have saved myself by using tools like bison, perl, and so on, just doesn't want to be thought about. Over the years it must be literally hundreds of hours. I guess people like John K don't use such things.


Wednesday, September 03, 2003

"The only ones ever making money off Open-Source is the businesses that employ it (IBM, Redhat, etc.) and re-sell it with consulting and support. "

I should say: Open Source Software Business does not exist. Open Source Software Support (Consulting, Deployment etc.) Business does exist.

Some Sam
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

After saying that, how can we apply the Monopoly rules on that (to defeat the big monopoly support comoanies)? we must find something...

Some Sam
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Since one of the most recent articles in this site I'm wondering if there is any future in boxed software unless you're Microsoft. The margins are small and the niches are becoming more difficult to find.
Some years ago you could have written some winamps, but lately mediaplayer is enough. Same with Nero or probably  a small video editor.

What I'm hoping now is that most part of software gets commoditized and all value added can be sold by a small team. Otherwise my best bet is to be bought by a big company, and that's not what I want.

Consulting is not scalable but at the end I'd rather have some good workers and a profit margin of about  a 20% than to give up as an enterpreneur.

Ros
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I've fought for years against the absurd idealism that many open sourcers spout, but I _definitely_ disagree that open soure hurts the average professional software developer's wages whatsoever. In fact, I would argue for the exact opposite: If your firm is under financial pressure, and perhaps is contemplating things like offshoring (yeah in real terms that almost never saves money, or delivers solutions, but let's accept that people do these things in desperation), imagine the pressure release if hundreds of thousands, or millions, (or tens of millions for some very large firms) in licensing fees going largely to Microsoft disappeared? Do you not think this would be very _advantageous_ for the developers who work at that firm? Presuming that the TCO would actually be less with open source (I'm most certainly not saying this), it would elminate the pressure that most IT groups are feeling.

Let's face it: IT, as a cost sink, is HUGELY expensive in many organizations.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

First, there seem to be a lot of people spouting off about the evils of Open Source who at the same time demonstrate a lack of knowledge about the subject.

First, you can get excellent shrinkwrapped Linux distributions.  RedHat is the best known, but there are several others as well.

Second, there are a lot of developers employed to maintain and expand open source software. A very large number of ISPs and large organizations use open source e-mail programs, for instance. MySQL, a very successful open source database, will be used in future versions of Sterling Commerce's Gentran software. This is one of the largest commercial EDI packages available. EDI keeps a lot of programmers and technical people employed.

If open source software took your job, maybe it had less to do with the software than the job you were doing.  For myself, open source software has helped me make more money in the last two years than it has cost me.

Clay Dowling
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

"First, you can get excellent shrinkwrapped Linux distributions.  RedHat is the best known, but there are several others as well."

Bad example. RedHat is basically getting away from the shrinkwrapped consumer distro market, and focusing on their enterprise products.

"If open source software took your job, maybe it had less to do with the software than the job you were doing. "

Indeed. If your market has been destroyed by a bunch of students working in their parent's basements, as the avarage OS developer is frequently portraied here, maybe it's not the evil OS ideology you should fight against. Maybe it was just that you tried to sell trivial stuff for an unjustified amount of money.

motta
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I'd view the benefits of Linux and most of the other "popular" projects as solving the easy problems once and for all so that we can do the hard problems.

The problem is that in order to compete with MS, you have no choice but to give stuff away, because that's exactly what MS is going to do to you to compete.

If you look at which opensource apps are truly popular and widely developed, most of them are trying to compete with MS -- things like OpenOffice, Samba, Linux, etc.

Even in a perfect open source future, there's still going to be a lot of proprietary development.  When people *need* some sort of functionality and want it to be stable, they'll still pay for it.  Games generally haven't ended up becoming open sourced.  Stuff like that. 

Furthering the move towards Linux will be beneficial for the computer market because it removes half of Microsoft's ability to bundle.

Flamebait sr.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Flamebait is absolutely correct. Linux, JBoss and the like are the staples of computer software. You don't make much money selling canned green beans, because it's just not that hard. The real money comes in gourmet, stuff that people will pay top dollar for. So, write gourmet software! If a student in Europe can beat you in his spare time, you aren't trying hard enough.

jason

JasonB
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I agree with JasonB. I think that paid developers (as opposed to open-source developers) will work mainly on custom applications that are really good for a specific purpose. It seems that this is the case now - the proportion of programmers who work on 'shrink-wrap' software is very small isn't it?

If good business is all about 'commoditizing your complements' then paid developers should be happy that openn-source is making software cheaper - because then more people will use computers and there will be more demand for custom software and the like.

Daniel Searson
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

How IT money is currently spent ...

let's assume a 50 % license  cost
                        50 % support cost

Most of the money goes directly into uSofts HUGE cash horde.  How does that help me?  It doesn't.  It is possible that a company could cut its license cost to 0 by going open source, then increase support costs 25%, still save money, and likely end up with a more customized product. 

While that is bad for Bill Gates that is good for IT professionals and businesses. 

Unless you work for microsoft I don't think OpenSource is all that bad. 

For small time developers it is awesome, because you can leverage and resell other people work for free.  Don't like it?  Not in the spirit of OpenSouce?  Tough don't release code under BSD style licenses.  I don't write OS code but use it daily in commercial work.  It makes good business sense.

One other point.  Having multiple platforms to support is generally a good thing for IT people.  If Linux took 1/2 the desktops I again suspect slightly higher support costs and lower license costs for businesses.

christopher baus
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I agree with Jasonb comments. I work for oil company, and I've seen many engineering software - they are relatively simple from technical point of view to develop, but they are very focused on specific subjects (for example: flare simulation, drilling calculation, etc). And usually for these kinds of software the price is premium.
Doesn't matter whether the OS will be dominant or not, for these kind of software I believe it will remain very very profitable business.

panpan
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I just had lots of problems with USB keyboard and mouse.
Problems during and after installation.
I enabled and disabled legacy USB support on the BIOS.
I passed "nousb".
I tried RedHat 9 and Mandrake 9.2RC1.
NO LUCK! Just frustations.
I just can't believe that after 10 years and lots of distros, linux isn't robust enough.
For the record, my motherboard is Asus A7V8X-X.

Dewd
Thursday, September 04, 2003

As root, run dmesg.  What does it say after pluggin in a USB device?

Fiddling with Nero
Thursday, September 04, 2003

How am I supposed to type things without the keyboard ?

Dewd
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Got networking? ssh in...  Got a serial port?  You can set the kernel to dump data to the serial port by adding the following to lilo.conf:

APPEND    = "console=ttyS1,57600n8, ..."

(you'll have to run lilo afterward)

Still trouble?  No keyboard?  You can take out the hard drive and stick it in a computer that will boot (we use this for reverse engineering things occaisionally, and not limited to Linux).

Most likely, the kernel was not compiled with USB HID support correctly...

Fiddling with Nero
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Thanks for trying to help me out. Your warm messages were enough to at least change my mood for the better.
Anyone knows a distro that has GREAT USB support ? :-)

Dewd
Thursday, September 04, 2003

out of interest ...

can you use the keyboard to get into the BIOS?
(ie. regardless of operating system is the keyboard talking to the machine?)

blargle
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Yes, the keyboard does work on the BIOS and everywhere else when I am not using Linux.
When I load a Linux CD or installed version, the problems occur. The mouse and the keyboard work sometimes. The mouse might work alone or the keyboard alone. Rarely they both work, but they do sometimes.  This is just crazy support one might say. But thanks to another day I am downloading Knoppix to give another shot.

Dewd
Thursday, September 04, 2003

Simply_Linux_Fan:

I don't know if you are trolling or have been living under a rock. To the extent stamping or putting on freeze on things will have any meaning to their clients, RedHat and other major vendors have done their best in this regard. Most customers of linux distributions who uses these distribution more often than pick pick and choose and modify their own client sites so much that these freezes you are talking about becomes a most insignificant thing, except as a convenience. If you just want a file share server, a fire wall, or printer server, or some other simple application server that NEED NO PATCHING OR CUSTOMIZATION WHAT SO EVER AND COMES WITH AUTO SCHEDULED UPDATES.. then... I guess you need a mac.

Anonymous
Thursday, September 04, 2003

I am typing this from the Knoppix Linux distro.
It recognized my USB keyboard and mouse very well.
I was able to configure ADSL very easily. I had never done
that on Linux before.
What a change.
Thanks for those that tried to help me :-)

Dewd
Thursday, September 04, 2003

"How IT money is currently spent ...
let's assume a 50 % license  cost
                        50 % support cost"

Christopher, i'm sorry to put it bluntly but you have no idea. Licencing is for most a truly tiny fraction of the cost, with develper/administrator wages running far far north of 80%.
Besides, where is that mythical free OSS licence? Seems RedHat is by far the most popular and their stuff certainly is not free http://www.redhat.com/software/rhel/purchase/

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 05, 2003

Dear Justme,
                    You are being somewhat obdurate. When you pay for RedHat you pay for manuals, support and a box. You are quite free simply to borrow a friend's Red Hat distro and make a copy of all the free software; or you can download it from the Red Hat site.

                      I suspect that the license fee is taking an ever-increasing slice of the TOC. Bear in mind that a few years ago you would have a sysadmin for every sixty or seventy machines. Now, with cloning software for installs, greater OS reliability, and remote administration, many companies are trying to work with one sysadmin for 200 machines or more. Ask Robert Moir how many machines he is responsible for at his college!

                      Also, for small to medium businesses, the sysadmin is a fixed cost. They need one so whether he is active ten hours a week or thirty hours a week makes no difference to the finances.

Stephen Jones
Friday, September 05, 2003

Dear oh dear,

this is so easy to verify. Please just for once go to the redhat site and read up
The 179$ basic sku of RedHat Enterprise Linux WS does not include install media, nor does it include printed docs. It also does not include support beyond the first 90 days, and in the first days it is termed "Installation and Configuration" support, without any SLA.
If you want more you have to pay more (there is a Standard sku at 299$ that includes 1 year "standard coverage)
You can not go round and install that on any machine in sight. From the "Subscription Agreement for Red Hat Enterprise Linux" ( http://www.redhat.com/licenses/rhel_us_2-1.html )

" If Customer wishes to increase the number of Installed System, then Customer will purchase from Red Hat additional Services for each additional Installed System. ... Customer expressly grants to Red Hat the right to audit Customer's facilities and records from time to time in order to verify Customer's compliance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. ... If Customer is found to have underreported the number of Installed Systems or amount of Services by more than five percent (5%), Customer shall, in addition to the annual fee for such item, pay a penalty equal to twenty percent (20%) of the underreported fees. "

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 05, 2003

Look, Red Hat is Open Source software, and in nearly every case you have the right to make as many copies as you want without paying a dime.

It is possible that the Enterprise Edition contains some proprietory software, but you don't have to buy that. Nearly everything included in the Red Hat distribution is available for free. Son although you can't install free copies of their Enterprise Software you can install free copies of nearly everything that is included in that package.

I can think of no real reason why you need to pay to have a Linux distro on the desktop. Just use a free version. There are reasons for having a server version in paid for form (Certification for Oracle for a start), but in every case you are paying Red Hat for the convenience, not for the software.

Stephen Jones
Friday, September 05, 2003

- Because real business can't deal with six month release cycles and just one year of continued support for previous versions. They need the slower cycle as well as the 5 year maitainance support of this type of product.
- Because Oracle, VERITAS, BEA, CA, and IBM only certify their apps on these types of distributions, and without it ... no support.
- Because Dell, HP, and IBM test and sertify their systems against this type of distribution, so business know that the machines they buy are certified for the software.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 05, 2003

I'm stilll puzzled as to what you mean by "support". I've run hundreds of Windows systems, and the only support I have ever had has come from newsgroups and the Knowledge Base. How is Linux different?

Stephen Jones
Friday, September 05, 2003

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