[oclug] Some Pertinent Observations
linuxdoctor at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 20 09:22:38 EST 2001
--- Chris Herrnberger <chris123 at netcom.ca> wrote:
> On Saturday 17 February 2001 07:25, you (who?) wrote:
>I also find it funny how egocentric and
> American are wrt anything. Last time I checked the stats at
> linux.org (last
> year) the total number of developers actively working on linux were
> slanted towards Europe. Canada interestingly enough had some of the
> stats per capita.....Everyone however want access to that US
> market. Guess
> the Chinese will settle that score real soon now....:) What the
> population of
Perhaps, but I doubt it. Not in the short term in anycase. They have
their own distro (Red Flag) so it may be difficult to influtrate that
particular market via the OS route. However, there is hope since that
particular distro has also been under fire for a while.
But, as another list member pointed out, spring is in the air, so
expect some more heat to surface from all quarters, not only from
certain self important nobodies on OCLUG. ;-)
Redmond is about to enter a whole new flurry of FUD. Rumours abound
that a coup may be in the off-ing to take control of Linux away from
Linus. Seems that some people think that his monopolistic control
over the system isn't good for the movement. I wonder why? I get wind
of this only in out the way places, but it seems there is growing
resentment of Linus' control. The big names always fight with him of
course, but strong personalities always do that (the rest just fume
and resent the stron personalities) but Linus has still retained
control. Personally, I think that a coup would be a bad move. For
now. It will eventually have to be done, just not now.
As for the future of Linux, I personally think that Linux development
should focus on Europe and the high end development efforts in the
US. I'm not talking about distros here, but on real development such
as what happens in the pharmaceutical, heavy and nuclear industries.
Linux has firmly established itself as "the" server solution. Let's
now turn our attention to some of the high end stuff.
Software validation and certification are big issues for regulatory
agencies such as the US FDA, US NRC, the European nuclear agency,
health and safety regulatory agencies and so on. If anything will
kill off Microsoft would be something in this area. For a long time,
in the US at least, the FDA and USNRC has been avoiding software
validation issues with MS products relying on what is known as
"reliability through wide distribution and use." The theory behind
this being simply "if everybody uses it, the risk of failure is
reduced." Specious argumentation, in my (expert) opinion, and negates
the meaning of validation. It is also contray to experience.
Because Linux is open source, and if a "retrospective validation" is
performed on the OS, along with a certain subset of tools, and have
it certified, then (in theory) Linux would be quickly become in
widespread use in the multi-billion dollar apps frequently done by
these high end companies. In fact, being open source helps this sort
of effort immensely. Certainly, ISO certification is almost a
necessity in Europe and certainly a legal requirement in the nuclear
and pharmaceutical industry (in which I spent almost 10 years).
Now when I say certified, I don't mean what M$ means by it , ie.
certify the people to use the product, but to certify that the
product is reliable and does what it is supposed to do. In other
words, overthrow the "unwarranted for any purpose clause" in the
Of course, returning to the Far East, there is little interest in
that sort of thing. As usual, they don't understand the need. In
China in particular, I've seen high building construction workers
running around in skyscrapers (Hong Kong and Schenzhen) working
without footwear and some-times without hand and head protection. So,
my opinion is let the US and the Far East outdo each other in cost
reduction while the rest of the world focuses on increased
reliability, safety, "fit for it's intended purpose." There's still a
lot of money there.
Personally, I've never thought that US industry was ever interested
in reliable anything and have always resented regulatory intrusions
to enforce this on them.
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