It's a stength, not a problem

Story: A splintering Linux communityTotal Replies: 1
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Jun 12, 2004
7:52 AM EDT
The FOSS community has always been diverse. I don't think "fragmented" is a very good term to use. As more and more people use FOSS platforms, that diversity will only increase. I have recently been reminded of the importance of that diversity.

I have a customer whom I migrated from SCO Openserver 5 to Linux about 1.5 years ago. I could not have migrated them without the work of Mike Jagdis and the other iBCS2 guys. They have one app which is SCO only and will never have a Linux binary. Due to the extreme (and quite understandable) negative feelings about SCO within the community, there seemed little interest in continuing linux-abi (which is what iBCS2 became) since it is tainted by association with SCO. The project is unpopular, and if you ask questions about the existence of a linux-abi patch you get answers like "There's really no reason to run SCO binaries anyway". Hey, tell that to my customer who only knows that now Linux can't run his required applications. The absence of linux-abi only hurts linux and only helps SCO. But most people don't seem to see that. Fortunately, "most people" is not the same as "all people". Because, as it turns out, there *are* some free thinkers who understand the value of linux-abi even though it is not popular these days.

Search the site *VERRRRY* carefully and you will find (hidden in the bottom drawer of a locked filing cabinet sitting in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door reading "Beware the leopard") there is indeed an updated patch for kernel 2.6.6, released Jun 7.

If it were not for that bit of diversity in the community, I would have been dead in the water.

My point is that although there will no doubt be growing pains, and negative effects as well as positive ones, the positve effects of increased diversity will likely outweigh the negatives. Just like they did on the internet. Yes, its a very different internet than it was in the early days when it was less "fragmented", I challenge anyone to argue that it is not a "better" internet today, due to the increase in diversity.

IDIC - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations It's not just for Vulcans anymore.

Sorry, just couldn't resist that last. ;-)

Jun 13, 2004
11:33 AM EDT
Interesting comment, Thanks

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