A miserable effort

Story: Free Software in Reality Isn’t FreeTotal Replies: 1
Author Content

Jan 14, 2005
7:57 AM EDT

That was a downright miserable effort at misinformation you put forth there. While your premise - that "Free Software in Reality Isn’t Free $$$" (dollar signs mine) is nothing more or less than exactly what advocates of "free" software have been trying to get across for nearly 2 decades, your write-up is riddled with falsehoods, misperceptions, and misinterpretations. I definitely get the feeling that you are not exactly "in the loop" in regards to many of the topics you touch on, perhaps you are somewhat isolated in this regard due to your position at the Moscow University.

(1) "Linux when first appeared though did manage to make quite a good name for it, however failed to live-up to its reputation in the years to follow."

To put it kindly, Subhasish, what the **** are you talking about? I've got plenty of ammunition, but I'm not going to get into a market share argument with someone who displays such a massive ignorance of more fundamental realities. Open Source in general, and Linux in particular, has resulted in the most significant realignment of the computer business since Microsoft came on the scene. Proof is legion, but I will give one irrefutable example: the rise of Linux has produced what was once considered unthinkable, rapprochement between Sun and Microsoft. Your numbers, which are questionable in the first place, also don't tell nearly the whole story: Linux has snapped up market share as the various Unixes which populated the market throughout the 90's have gradually slid to irrelevance. On the other hand, and because of Linux, Sun has not made significant share gains in that market over the last 3-4 years. While you may not appreciate the significance of these facts, believe me, Wall Street does, as evidenced by Sun's horribly stagnant stock price. Do you even get the news over there? Have you read ANY of the analyses/breakdowns of Sun's latest quarterly reports? Let me give you one key passage from a piece at the Motley Fool (http://www.fool.com/news/mft/2005/mft05011402.htm?source=ept...): (snip) Operating income $16 million Interest income, net $33 million That's right. As hard as the company toiled away during the quarter -- the blood, the sweat, and the tears that fueled the server specialist -- it was shown up by being half as productive as the Sun's collection of idle cash and income-producing securities. (/snip) Or, how about this headline from CBS Marketwatch "Despite profit, Sun retreast as Q2 revenue disappoints" ([url=http://us.rd.yahoo.com/finance/external/cbsm/SIG=11g622ocl/*http://www.marketwatch.com/news/yhoo/story.asp?source=blq/yhoo&siteid=yhoo&dist=yhoo&guid={47E68D57-B0B4-4D1A-BD58-21B4B1227023}]http://us.rd.yahoo.com/finance/external/cbsm/SIG=11g622ocl/*...[/url]). Do these analyses mean anything to you? Or are your skills strictly limited to misinterpreting what misinformation you do have?

(2) Linux (also FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD) lags from commercial software like Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Sun Solaris, IBM-AIX and others when it comes to supporting the installed bases. Linux (and the community as a whole) provides no guarantee of support and maintenance to its users whatsoever. Once installed, who is in charge of proper configuration of these systems? Even once when properly configured, who is there to maintain and support these systems 24/7 around the year?

Pure FUD, Subhasish. Simple answer: whoever you have paid to do so. That issue has been thoroughly addressed, you are recycling a 1998 criticism.

(3) Nicely put, hardware systems running free software are not easily upgradeable, and even if they are, are not upgradeable to a great extent. Linux performs the worst in this case.

Again, WTF are you talking about? A completely unsupported assertion. My personal experience? How about this: when upgrading the hardware on an AIX server, believe me, you'd better either be a full-blown AIX guru, or have one sent from IBM directly on hand. I just don't know what you are talking about on the Linux side, since you don't even say.

(4) Linux distributions are numerous and so are the numbers of certifications available in the market.

Do you have a single clue about Linux? The vast majority of Linux distros are based on a fairly short list of other distros (RedHat, Debian, Slack, and in it's own category, SUSE). Even between those four, many skills are highly transferrable. All base knowledge is of course transferrable, and at this point, many key administrative utilities have been cross-ported.

I could go on, but why bother. The real question is, who are you and why did you feel qualified or motivated to pen this bundle of crap? You really need to get out and about a little more.

Peter Yellman

Jan 18, 2005
7:06 AM EDT
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