My Sentiments About Sucky Linux – Exactly

I think I’ve found a fellow traveler.

From Linux Fest NW, a glorious rant about what’s sucky in Linux these days. On every single point, I agree. I’ve even pondered running back to BSD for those reasons, and lately cast a covetous eye at Haiku as an alternative. The small, light, secure, efficient, and well crafted nature calling to me; while Linux has become less good, boated, and both slower and less secure in the last 1/2 decade (or maybe a decade). I’ve saved old copies in an archive just in case a ‘reset’ to prior and better becomes necessary.

There’s also an interesting point part way in where he talks about the Microsoft strategy to break Linux: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. I found it oddly parallel to what happens when Islam “embraces” a free country (like, Oh, Christian Lebanon of my youth), then “extends” their laws to include Sharia (like, Oh, the Multicultural Lebanon of my college years) and then “extinguishes” the rump Christianity (as happened in Lebanon, is happening in Syria, and is the late stages of “almost” in Egypt. The EU TBD…)

There’s what seems to be a consistent pattern that happens when a culture based on freedom, sharing and cooperation gets mixed in with one based on dominance, obedience, and competition. Even the involvement of the Tech Companies in the process.

So what can be done about it? What will make it “all better”?

I don’t exactly know.

I do think Linux will survive. At worst we’ll just make a reliable retro-style fork and “press on”. Let the rubbishers rubbish the occupied lands, while we retreat to the edges of The Empire. Rather like has happened with Devuan when SystemD was too bitter a pill.

There must be a better way.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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4 Responses to My Sentiments About Sucky Linux – Exactly

  1. Lynn Clark says:

    I haven’t yet watched the video (I will), but I shut down my last Linux box about 10 years ago after I quit my last job. I’d built it solely to use as a VPN client to connect to my company’s network when I worked at home a couple days a week. After I quit, the Linux box sat idle for several months before I realized there was no good reason for it to continue contributing to my electric bill, so down in the basement it went. It did get used a couple times in the next couple of years when I needed to set up a special program-guide server for my old ReplayTV DVR boxes when the program-guide service that was serving them went offline for a few months, and another time in 2017 as I was preparing to move to Thailand and wanted to get any old files off of them before they went to the recycler. I haven’t missed Linux. I’m a Unix diehard who hasn’t run Windows since I bought my first Mac (a Mini) in 2005, partly because it was a relatively cheap entry into the world of Macintosh, but more importantly because it offered me a way to continue to use TurboTax because I knew (in 2005!) that at some point Intuit would move on and TurboTax would stop running on my Windows 98 box. It didn’t hurt that OS X is based on BSD Unix under the hood. I’ve grown into a bit of a Mac fanboy, but mostly because OS X (now macOS) runs so well, for the most part, and because of the Unix command prompt that is just a Terminal window away (I can’t count now many times I’ve resorted to doing Unix-y things in a bash shell: cron jobs, Perl scripts, shell scripts, etc., something that would be incredibly painful to do on Windows). Yes, I could have done all those things on LInux, but I’ve gotten too old to want to deal with all the half-finished software that seemed (seems?) to plague Linux, and the seemingly constant need to download and build stuff from source, with seemingly never-ending dependency problems. Now, having said all of that, the Linux-based WebOS on my LG TV seems to work very well, much better than Android seemed to run on two Samsung TVs I’ve used, so there’s that.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    Um, watch the video… (The Title is a bit sarcastic)

    Android IS a Linux…

    The basic point of this video is that, unlike earlier ones he’s done year by year, where he complained about the points you complained about: Lately Linux reach a very usable and stable state…fixing most of those issues, and now has become too “corporate”…

    I run mostly on Mac and Linux (about equal parts) with a tiny bit of Android on my Tablet and with a very small bit of Chrome OS (also a Linux…). The Mac shell is nice, but a lot of the administration is just weird. Learning Yet Another Way to do the very same thing is a pain…

    I generally prefer Linux, but I’m willing to use other OSs as needed for a given task. If it were easier to get a nice graphical environment running on BSD, I’d likely run FreeBSD everywhere ;-)

    It’s all a question of choices…

  3. Andre says:

    Plonk ! All my computer environment (desktop, smartphone, server) is running under Linux, is free of the GAFA plague and works extremely well. The server uptime is 255 days today, without a glitch (personal cloud, email server, voip, xmpp, media, agenda and contacts, web running in separate LXC containers). My PC runs Mint and the phone runs Lineage OS with F-Droid and Aptoid stores. The other day I had a piece of laugh de-googlelizing the new Sony TV and installing Aptoid on it.
    There is no debate. There are only people prisoners of the matrix and people who have freed themselves out ;-)))

  4. Chris in Calgary says:

    > I do think Linux will survive. At worst we’ll just make a reliable retro-style fork and “press on”.

    Survive? Linux has won, permanently. The reason? The economics of free software: both free (money) and free (freedom).

    Who can afford to redevelop software that already exists? Nobody. So you take the existing publicly available package, mod it to suit your needs, and release the altered copy.

    Most corporations (and I’ve worked in several of them) are now irrevocably dependent on a number of free software packages. Linux is a major installation in most large corporations, and is the basis for Android. Startups are made possible because they can quickly assemble the software infrastructure to bootstrap themselves. Free software will be the norm, not the exception, for the forseeable future. Of course it will co-exist with proprietary software — but more and more, proprietary software is built on top of open-source software.

    Everybody is stuck with the open source model. Linux will thrive, despite the collective tendency to make everything sucky.

    Hopefully, the internet will interpret suckiness as damage and route around it. :)

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