This is actually an excellent case of something that would benefit from being open sourced (I am just thinking about the terminal emulator). It is only usable for talking to IBM hardware and apparently IBM does not allocate the necessary resources to fully support it on the major Linux platforms, so there is not much incentive to keep it inhouse.
I still contend that Linux is ready for the masses. It is IBM that is falling on it's face regarding it's distribution of iSeries Access for Linux. If IBM was paying attention, they would have a Debian package in Ubuntu's repository to install iSeries Access for Linux. Same for Fedora and openSuse, which are much harder to install than Ubuntu. Plus with Fedora and openSuse when they tell you some libraries have upgrades, like openmotif or odbc, you cannot install them because IBM hasn't maintained the package for the newer libraries. To get iSeries Access for Linux to install on newer versions of Fedora and openSuse, you have to find older libraries of required packages.