Adam Lang
Systems Engineer
Rutgers Casualty Insurance Company
----- Original Message -----
From: "jt" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 11:39 PM
Subject: RE: Linus/ESR hype (was RE: Changed to: Interactive Tax)

> James,
> 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.
> afraid I discount some of your views, because of this.

Does that mean we can't discuss because you are an AS/400 person?

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

Granted, but we do have to respond because if yuor attacks were left
unanswered, other people will assume what you say is true if it goes

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

So is Eric Clapton.

> 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
> on the labor of others.  Makes no difference to me that they *volunteered*
> their efforts for the cause, and for Linus and ESR...

How did he cash in?  With or without the Linux kernel, he is a brilliant
programmer apparently.  Instead of him doing Linux and starting a company
and trying to sell, he gave it for free and everyone can benefit.  You make
it sound like he did this and then made his own private company to take
advantage.  What did he do?  He got a job working for someone else.

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

And this is a reason to not like the guy?  Because a lot of the press
doesn't like him?  Oh my, that IS scary.

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

I have to agree with ya here.  Linux was way on its way when Linus got a job
at Transmeta, but so?  Like I said above, if you have talent, you have
talent.  He would have found a job no matter what.  To the same elvel he has
now? Eho knows.  Maybe he would have started a private business and be a
billionaire.  Can't say.

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

Who said he is runninga business?  The goal is simple.  Make a great kernel
that is scalable, fast and efficient.  If it solves other people's problems
also, great.

> 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...?

For the reason you gave above.  IF you don't like something that was added
(which usually is not a big deal because you can eliminate the code if you
want) or if you want to use something that is not supported.  You are not
obligated to do what Linus does.

And Linux kernel is very modular.  You should be able to write your code
additions to easily merge with the newer main tree version.

> 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...

Yes, they all use the main tree of Linus's.  He may be a "dictator" but he
is a benevolent dictator.  He is also a dictator with no power.  He can do
NOTHING to stop you from going around him and doing what you want.

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

What is your best choice for low to mid end servers?  For shops that have
10 -100 employees and want to run Domino for an email server?  For a shop
that has 10 -100 employees and want a file server?

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

Or maybe some companies are actually seeing a return on this strategy?  And
IBM writes a lot of their software for ALL platforms.  It just seems they
are tired of kissing Gates' ass.  OR maybe they are tired of OS problems
causing application problems and giving their apps a bad name.  Or, as I
believe, it is IBM's way of locking in customers long term.  You can go to
them for Linux at entry level, AIX for mid.  As/400 after that and OS/390
above that.  They have an excellent migration path now that they can

> 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.

IBM doesn't care if you go away from the AS/400, as long as you go to a
product that they can sell you, which they can now.  Now when sales
associates have help keeping clients.
> 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
> to work together...  I admire them for that...

I will agree with you on this in regards to ESR, but not Linus.

> I'm NOT completely against this philosophy, BTW...  But I notice that 2
> 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
> doing considerably better than Hans, and I'll also wager Hans works a lot
> harder...  (Not that I'm a bettin man...;-)

This is where you are interpreting it wrong.  OSS and FSF is not a get rich
scheme.  Itis a way for people to not be dependent on specific people or

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

Why is it false?  If it is false, why is Apache the best webserver out
there?  Even IBM didn't make their own webserver.  They used Apache's code.
There are many examples of how the OSS has made superior software in decent
time spans.  Not to mention all the other aspects mentioned involving
security audits and interoptability.

> 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.

Linux and OS/400 are 2 different levels.  what is geared towards $1000 -
$20,000 hardware.  The other is $100,000 plus oriented.  Some of the stuff
is making news because it gives better functionality to the people that
aren't about to spend a quarter of a million dollars.

So this is your problem?  OS/400 doesn't get enough news articles?

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

And the beatuy is, you can look at the source code and see exactly how they
do something, IF you want to know.

> 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.

Why does their have to be a Linux vs. OS/400 war?  They are geared to two
different niches.  Like a different thread preached, the right tool for the
right job.  Linux can do everything NT servers can.  Linux can not do
evrything the OS/400 can as well as it can.  No one says it could.

> Whoever wants to hear them, can listen...  If Linus and ESR could hear
> 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.)

Linus cares less about MS it seems.  ESR doesn't hate MS in particular.  He
seems to hate everyone that is not GNU.  In case I didn't say it enough, ESR
seems to be a prick.

Amd to elaborate, that is the beauty of open source.  If they aren't doing a
good enough job on fixing probs, you can do it yourself.

> 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
> deal of trouble with it.

I do not know why you are bringing ego isues into a discussion that was
originally about the viability of Linux and the philosophy of open source.

Why should computer science be so different from mathematics, physics,
chemistry, engineering, etc? Is it not ideal to have knowledge shared
amongst everyone?

> 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
> 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...

Yes, ESR seems to be VERY wrapped up in himself.  He does a good job of
driving wedges in people in the open source community.

> JMHO...  And AFAIK, you can't combine extreme opposites, as ESR has tried
> 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...

Others will think what they want to think, whether they tell people to or
not.  Hell, I am an Oakland Raider fan and every year it is always talks
about John Gruden leaving to coach somewhere else, even though he always
says he is staying where he is at.

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

But this really had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

> 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
> 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.)

And I am not intending anything to be personal, either.  Just good, strong

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