Sorry...  But you've already stated that you just enjoy *nix for the
"thrill" of it, and that you find *nix as easy to administer as a 400.  I'm
afraid I discount some of your views, because of this.

Plus, you're at a disadvantage in this "argument", because I have no desire
to convince you of anything.. and the harder you try to convince me, the
weaker your argument...

See inline, if you want...


| -----Original Message-----
| From: midrange-l-admin@midrange.com
| [mailto:midrange-l-admin@midrange.com]On Behalf Of James Rich
| Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 7:36 PM
| To: midrange-l@midrange.com
| Subject: Linus/ESR hype (was RE: Changed to: Interactive Tax)
| On Fri, 28 Dec 2001, jt wrote:
| > Linus DID have a good idea, which was a free *nix...  But he's leveraged
| > that idea WAY beyond all proportion of the value of the
| original idea.  He
| > got caught up in his own hype, IMHO...
| Linus does not get caught up in his own hype.

I've seen press reports that Linus is considered God...

| When was the last time you
| saw Linus put on a big show?  Ever hear Linus Torvalds say "Look at me!
| See how great I am!"?

He's a good marketer, and is far more subtle than that...  Drinks a beer,
and comes across as a good ole boy...  But from what I've seen, he cashed in
on the labor of others.  Makes no difference to me that they *volunteered*
their efforts for the cause, and for Linus and ESR...

| Linus gives speeches and grants interviews when
| asked.

Seen reports that a lot of the press hates him, because he comes across as
an arrogant snot, to them...

| Linus began working at Transmeta long before linux became all the
| rage.

ICBW...  My impression was that he started at Transmeta 2 or 3 years ago...
Either way, you figure he had any trouble finding a job...?

| > Last I heard, ALL changes to Linux go through him.  That's
| pretty poor, IMV,
| > but that's always the way it's been in the Linux world, so is the CW...
| > That's just one symptom of what I'm talking about.
| Of course all changes go through him.  It is still his project.  And he
| can do what he wants with it.

Is this any way to run a billion-dollar OS business?

| So can you.  Don't like his style?  Do your
| own thing then.

I do, but am neither as successful or grandiose as he is...  I'm happy to
keep it that way, too...

| His style doesn't work for everyone.  Some people keep
| their own trees because of it.  Is this a problem?  No, not at all.  The
| linux source code I obtain from SGI runs every bit as well as Linus'
| source tree.

Off-topic HUMOR:  Sounds like "a red-necks family tree...  It don't fork."
(Jeff Foxworthy)

Seriously, I wonder what the advantage of having different trees is?  One
reason I value OS/400 is the lack of multiple flavors of the OS...  I
thought that's what *nix has been trying to cure for about 20 years...?

| This doesn't mean that linux is "do it my way or the highway";  just the
| opposite.  Linux and other GPL software encourage you to do it your way.
| Linus' attitude can be summed up as "Here is how I do it, let's see how
| you do it".

That's where we share a common attitude...  Difference is, Linus is a
dictator, AFAIK...  Does Red Hat, SUSE, Turbo and the fourth major player
use his distribution?  I dunno...

| > Let me clear up one thing about my previous post...  If I was IBM, I'd
| > donate the $40M software, too.  Linux has the best "game" in
| town, as far as
| > going up against MicroHard...  But almost all the hype around Linux, and
| > Linus and ESR personally, is due to their ability to wage a
| "religious war"
| > against M$...  That has been my observation, anyway...
| Please think before you speak.

Let me disabuse of a mistaken impression you have...  I *always* think
before I speak...

| Who did IBM donate the software to?
| Linus?  Eric Raymond?  Red Hat?  No, IBM still owns all the software.  $40
| million did not change hands.  IBM needs a way to compete.  Linux is the
| best choice for them.

Second best, IMV...  Best choice to go against Micro$oft, no doubt...  But a
distant second, as far as providing a good OS for computers...

| They made their software run on linux.  Some of it
| they even published under the GPL.

Again IMV, they're cutting off their noses, to spite their face...  They see
the advantage proposed by Linus:  "world domination" by the Linux gang would
make IBM's job designing software easier...  Write all their eServer
software for the one platform...  Allow customers to gravitate to any of the
four...  Least common denominator solution, however.

Now I happen to believe this FAVORS the 400...   Makes it as easy to go TO
the 400, as to go AWAY from it...  I still don't care for the solution.

| Linus and Eric Raymond are both good at getting large groups of people to
| work together.  Both of them are also very good programmers.  Both of them
| point out problems in software and suggest (and code!) ways to fix them.
| How does that make them worse then any of us when we report problems in
| the software we use?

They certainly ARE GOOD...!  I make no mistake about that...

But they abuse their talents, to boost their egos...  Doesn't make them
worse than anybody, in a mathematical sense...  My complaint is that it
distorts the direction of the industry down non-productive paths (and
possibly with disastrous consequences, regarding intellectual property and
invention).  They certainly are SUCCESSFUL at getting large groups of people
to work together...  I admire them for that...

Just can't stand the direction they're leading (what I uncharitably refer to
as) the "lemmings"...  This was going to be a planned second approach to the
iNation list, in response to a comment by Chris and Alan Shore.  There is a
real danger in folks following "movements".  Works great if the movement is
heading in a direction that leads towards good things...  Don't when they
head in the opposite direction...  There is a lot of BOTH good and bad, in
the Linux movement...  It's strictly a judgment call, and hindsight a few
years from now will determine whether there's more good or bad
consequences...  (Obviously, more than any views I have...)

| As for either of them making money/fame off of the hard work of others,
| think about this:  where would OS/400 be without your input?  What if Hans
| never posted or read any of the -L lists?  Where would the iSeries be if
| we could not report problems with it?

I'm not catching your drift here...

| I pay IBM for support, and they
| make money off OS/400 which they improve by my bug reports.  I never
| receive any compensation when a bug I report is fixed.  IBM is taking
| advantage of the work and time of it's users to improve it's own product,
| just as every company does.

I see, you're confusing what IBM does and what Linus and ESR do...  The
difference is that the FSF=OSI/Linux movement is saying we can achieve all
these marvelous things by, essentially, giving everything away...  (And make
the money of secondary sources of income.)

I'm NOT completely against this philosophy, BTW...  But I notice that 2 out
of the hundreds of thousands of contributors are exceedingly wealthy, and
the rest are not...  I have no personal information, but I'll wager Linus is
doing considerably better than Hans, and I'll also wager Hans works a lot
harder...  (Not that I'm a bettin man...;-)

| It is the users that make the software
| better, and GPL software takes that to a higher level by allowing the
| users to directly contribute to a project's success.

This is crap...  This is the fundamental tennet of the supposed value of
OSS...  And it's patently false.

| > The OS itself, was just recently exhanced (in 2.4 IIRC) to have DB
| > journaling.  This was heralded as another GREAT LINUX
| Please understand what you are talking about.  DB (database) journaling
| was not added to the linux kernel, file system journaling was.  There is a
| significant difference.  And file system journaling is a great linux
| advancement, not because such journaling had never been done before, but
| because it had never been done with linux.  So for linux it is a great
| advancement.

Exactly my point.  Thanks for making it...  Stuff OS/400 does with ease is
just ignored, while Linus and ESR hog all the glory.  That was my point.

| SGI's XFS filesystem makes linux on par (filesystem
| speaking) with IRIX.  XFS is an amazing filesystem, which most other
| filesystems (including any on OS/400) can't even touch.

I would like to hear more about IRIX and XFS...  (I also hope the OS/400
developers would like to hear about this, too.)

| > is the kind of hype I have a hard time stomaching.  But there's no real
| > evaluation of OS vs. OS in this industry, much...  That's my gripe, more
| I guess you don't follow the linux-*BSD wars then...  (hi Scott! :)

Seen a little.  Still looking for the OS/400 vs Linux war...  FreeBSD may
stand up pretty tall.. but IMHO, I don't think Linux will fair very well.

| > than having anything against Linus and ESR...  They ARE masters
| at what they
| > do.. which is marketing...  (As opposed to writing an OS, or profound
| > thinking, as is the CW on these two...  Again, JMHO.)
| Marketing masters????  Have you *seen* Eric?  Have you read the linux
| source code?  Do you understand what they do?

Seen pictures...  What do you mean..?

| Please don't vilify people you don't know.  You are incredibly rude and
| offensive.  Your comments are not true and are unfair.  Please think
| before you type.

And you know me...?!?

Let me make one thing PERFECTLY CLEAR...  I'm not saying anything that I
wouldn't say to ESR or Linus...  You have no idea how long I've thought
through this, to make d*mn sure I wouldn't make a comment here that I
wouldn't make to them...

Not that I ever picture them listening to me...  But I generally make a
strong effort not to say something behind someone's back that I wouldn't say
to their face...  (May not always succeed...  But that's what I try.)  What
I'm doing here is the same thing as when I write to IBM.  I offer criticism
and suggestions.  Sparing with the compliments...  (Maybe too sparing, in
this case, but I'm not writing TO Linus and ESR.)

Whoever wants to hear them, can listen...  If Linus and ESR could hear what
I'm saying, and if I could say it properly...  They'll do a better job of
improving Linux...  and I wouldn't mind a bit...  (We definitely share one
thing in common: MicroShaft...  I'm just not as emotional over the issue.)


But you don't get it, James...  Sorry, to say this.. but you just DON'T.

Here's the thing:  Linus and ESR have it all over me, in some (maybe most)
respects.  But, mathematically speaking, we're still equals on some level.
I have no trouble with that concept...  Somehow I think they'd have a great
deal of trouble with it.

So, in other respects, I feel downright sorry for them...  I read a little
of ESR, and said "Yeah...!  This guy makes good SENSE...!"  Then I read
"Dancing with the Gods, Portrait of a Young Mystic"...  And I saw he hasn't
grown out of that, from what I see, even still...  Because he got suckered
in by the oldest trap in the book.. his own success...

JMHO...  And AFAIK, you can't combine extreme opposites, as ESR has tried to
do, and somehow arrive at humility...  I see similar attitudes in Linus...
That's why they allow others to think of them as God, when they ain't...

So I consider myself LUCKY I haven't had their success, rather than the
other way around.

BTW, it is difficult to impart things in writing...  If I've vilified YOU,
in any way, James...  Then I haven't written this well.  I don't agree with
most of your positions here, but I hope I haven't come across as vilifying
you, because I wouldn't do that, unless I thought you needed vilified.
(Can't imagine what circumstance that would be, either.)

| James Rich
| james@eaerich.com


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