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Scott Hacker Responds 254

Elwood writes " Scott Hacker answers some of the questions and concerns that /.ers raised in response to his last column Of Tanks and Batmobiles."
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Scott Hacker Responds

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  • All I can say is that someone who so stupid that they manage to break their system by RPM installing the GTK/GLib bits and bobs shouldn't be given credit for anymore insight than Jesse Berst.

    It must have been in a sorry-ass state before he started.

    I'm sure I could break BeOS (or worse yet, MacOS) so that when you installed an update, it'd fall over. This is borderline FUD.

    His is the song of the disgruntled enduser, who claims that "I didn't touch it, *it* did it!", when their computer screws up. His is the song of the lamer. This shows very poor standards of journalistic integrity.

    A lot of the "technology journalists" who are jumping on the bandwagon these days are doing so for reasons of facile progress. They neither have journalistic standards worth a damn, nor any decent grasp about their subjects.

    End of rant! :)

  • Hear hear!

    I agree with your comments, and what's more was quite interested in BeOS. However, the borderline FUD rubbishing in order to make a tenuous point was a really cheap and dishonest shot. Classic advocate behaivior..

    "W-w-w-w-w-why can't we all get along?"


  • Okay Be is easier to use than linux. Thats right now, give linux time and it will get easier.
    And my kitchen will only take two weeks to remodel (so claimed my land lord and the builder doing the work BEFORE they ripped out the floor and the ceiling and everything inbetween... it's been 3 weeks now...). I'm sorry, but this is a really weak argument. This argument has a name (though this term usually isn't associated with open-source software)... it's called "Vaporware" when MS, or any of the comercial vendors make this claim. And they get bitched at for selling "Vaporware".

    I'm not saying it's not going to happen, Linux distributions are worlds apart today (just finished a RH6 install) from what they were when I did my first Slackware install (during the 0.9x kernel days... I remember using a stack of 45 AOL flopies to do this install)... thing are improving, but I've never seen an OS as ealy toinstall+config than the BeOS is today. Though I'd still claim that a properly set up Mac is still easier to use (after the install and setup) for you're average person than BeOS, WindowsXX, any Linux Dist, or any other OS I've ever tried (though there aren't many properly set up Mac's in the world)...
    Once you have your linux box set up to do what you need it to do you really don't need to ever upgrade it.
    This is true for ANY OS... It's equally aplicable to any Linux Dist and BeOS and NT and MacOS and Win 3.1 and Win 3.0 (my HS had a single Win 3.0 box because we had an old IBM scanner that wouldn't work with anything else) and Xenix and BSD 4.0 and OpenBLT and ANY other OS you can name. Sorry to be repetative, but I've seen so many people make this point, and only apply it to their favorite Linux Dist "because it's open source". Nobody is forcing you to upgrade your OS. Hell, my father's office had a Microsoft Xenix (yes Microsoft Xenix, a Unix flavor) box up for 10 years w/ almost daily use, and they still use it for old data... over the 10 years, the only things they 'upgraded' were some new dumb terminals and a new printer. The OS has never been upgraded.
    On the other hand, if you're concerned about security... or if the task the computer is doing changes, you may have to upgrade your system. Again, this applies to ANY OS...
  • I've been trying to think of a way to distribute processes from a BeOS workstation onto a cluster of Linux machines.
    The cluster has 24 motherboards, each with dual P2s and 64mb of ram. (Setting it up for the math and science departments, naturally). Creating the cluster itself is not a problem, however I think BeOS would make a great frontend.

    Simple. Create the jobs and send them to the Linux cluster using BeOS, and display the results back using whatever catches your fancy. (Linux, BeOS, Macs, yadda yadda).

    BeOS and Linux can make a great symbiotic relationship if used appropriately.

    Yes, no?

  • BE == IBM. No matter how they start out, the current people will quit/be fired/die and it will turn into a corporation. A corporation who's goals are to make money no matter what. Frankly, I find Apple to be as potentially scary as Microsoft, it's merely that Apple wasn't as successful. If Be is successful, sooner or later it will join those ranks, like any suffiecently large corporation.
  • Exactly, the more tasks that we want to be able to efficiently address with computers the more tools we need. Scott was right too, the open source movement is a kind of chaos, but it is not chaotic enough to produce all the variations that even our current needs demand. I would love to have more access to more hardware platforms, operating systems, developent paradigms (neither 'cathedral' nor 'bazaar' could address all needs better than the other in every case), API's, development tools, etc. To me the ideal future isn't world domination by any OS (regardless of how open or flexible it may be), hardware platform, etc. but a chaos of options each evolving in their own directions by their own means but made more or less interchangeable by the adherence to a well thought out series of open standards.

    Remember, evolution isn't about the dominance of one species but the increase in complexity and bio-diversity of the ecosystem as a whole. It is this increase which enables further evolution and bifurcation of the member species and thus the emergence of new possibilities.

  • But, realize this: "Free" isn't everything. This isn't a holy war. Open source should be considered an additial 'feature' of a given piece of software, not the end all and be all of how evil a company is. Despite popular opinion, there are ethical companies that deal in closed source software.

    Sure, their economic model may be screwed, but that's their problem, not yours. It doesn't make them evil, it just makes them a bad business prospect (even this I doubt, as I'm not exactly seeing the closing of tons of closed source businesses happening).

    In my opinion, a piece of software being open sourced is a GREAT feature - many eyes catch many bugs, and you can hack out your own fixes as needed. But, it is NOT a prerequisite for good (or 'ethical') software development. In some cases, it can even hamper things.

    Anyhow, people really need to see the BeOS on good hardware (say, a high end PowerPC) to appreciate its merits. This blind fanaticism really is unbecoming for the Linux community.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis,
  • - Sample code is ALWAYS under this kind of
    - license. What's your point?

    That the "samples" include full drivers that
    ship with the system and such, not just
    example snippets. I expect future releases
    to have more driver sources (where not restricted
    by NDA or license issues).



  • Hey, cool. When is he going to port his screensaver to Linux?
    (It's funny. Laugh.)

    QDMerge -- generate documents automatically.
  • Yea, an rpm can give you problems, but how in the world did he manage to screw up his old system by upgrading gtk.

    He must have thought for a second he was a baddass, and ignored dependencies, and just used rpm --nodeps --force gtk*. That makes it his fault. Even then, how did he mess up his whole system.
  • What's next? Start the Church of Linux? Worship large statues of Linus and everyone is required to have a ring with a little golden Tux on it.

    Hm, now I want a ring with a little golden Tux on it.

    That would be even cooler than a Java ring.

    (Oh, and I fail to see the point in getting worked up over the "My OS is better than your OS" wars. There are better ways to amuse the elite fourteen year old boys who care about that sort of thing.)

    QDMerge -- generate documents automatically.
  • Gee, "World Domination" under Linux is begining to sound soooo enticing. I've been using Linux for sometime but I 've gotten tired of recommeding it to friends who then have to read through the insults and bullshit that the coomunity throws at anyone not toeing the party line or asking uncomfortable questions.
    Guess what people, there are people out there who are more mature than you, better educated, more intelligent, know more about computers than you and (gasp) DON'T use Linux. How do you think you appear to them?
    Unfortunately, too many people in the Linux community are turning into kind of a Serbian Special Police unit out to do a little OS cleansing. Everything sux except Linux, right?
    Personally, I (and many others) want to be able to use Linux, Be, Solaris,NeXT, BSD, Warp, QNX and NOT get into a silly fight with a bunch of fifteen year-olds everytime something is said they don't agree with.
    The Linux community should take a LONG and SERIOUS look at the effect Team OS/2 had on the public and media's perception of OS/2. Many users and former users now feel Team OS/2's fanatical efforts at advocacy did as much if not more damage to Warp as did Microsoft. Acting like a buch of assholes neither helps the community nor wins us respect. It sounds trite, but it works both ways, if we treat others with respect, they'll treat us respect and pay more attention to what we have to say.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think that's reason enough to go BeOS and give up Linux. How much sex does the average Linux user get? I just did a poll of Be developers I know. They get a lot. I don't think it has anything to do with sex appeal though. It has to do with time. Linux users sit and play with themselves while recompiling their kernel. Be users leave that job to Brian "no-dual-Celerons-TYVM" Swetland at Be and spend the quality time with their wives and girlfriends.

    Linux may be hot now, but without adequate procreation of its vocal supporters, it will be a footnote in a generation.
  • Gassee wears leather, rides a bike and sports a diamond earring. I bring chicks over to look at R4.5 running 8 skin-flicks and then boot up KDE...Ha! They know cool....
  • All I can say is that someone who so stupid that they manage to break their system by RPM nstalling the GTK/GLib bits and bobs shouldn't be given credit for anymore insight than Jesse Berst.

    It must have been in a sorry-ass state before he started.

    Sorry, but this is just bashing. Sure, it may not have been in the cleanest state out there, but the point is that it had got into that state in the hands of someone who has enough of a clue about computers to have at least two OSs installed. That doesn't make him a God, but it gives us an indication that he's no moron.

    The point is that, for whatever reason, a simple upgrade killed his machine. That shouldn't happen, whatever the reasons.

    The fact remains, GNU/Linux is not the most user friendly system out there, and that isn't likely to change (though I'm giving that as opinion not fact before I get flamed). BeOS proved easier for this guy to work with, so instead of bashing him you should be looking at why it proved easier and what lessons can be, erm, 'borrowed' from BeOS to make GNU/Linux a better system. Otherwise, it's going to stay as a relatively obscure system used on the odd server and by GPL zealots, but no-one else.

  • by Straker Skunk ( 16970 ) on Saturday June 26, 1999 @01:07AM (#1831824)
    We all know what grief it tends to cause when you have a closed-source operating system with marketshare in the 90th percentile. I think many of us have seen this same potential, given the similar closed-source approach, in this newcomer to the OS show.

    It's easy to imagine the "BeOS doomsday scenario"-- Be starts getting popular, then hits it really big, and then things start going wrong. Feature bloat comes in. The excellent API documentation starts slipping. New releases come out in model years. You know the path to the Dark Side.

    If BeOS were open-source, we'd know what to do. Fork the code. Let the community keep them honest. But this, as things stand, is not to be an option for us.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Anyone remember the old days, otherwise known as the '80's? I sure don't, but I've heard a lot about how Microsoft was the underdog back then. They were cheered on by many an end user against the behemothy likes of IBM, Lotus, and the other great Titans of old. Well, we know what happened to young Anakin. Is BeOS to become the next Dark Lord?

    I don't intend to slight JLG, or any of the other intelligent and zany BeOS developers, whose efforts have proved nothing short of astounding. However, there is at least a basis for some, shall we say, healthy skepticism on the part of our more faithful open-source advocates.

    We know Open Source isn't pixie dust, but it is a very good way of keeping a company from doing Microsoft-like things. BeOS has decided to keep their source secret. So far, they're doing this for pretty harmless reasons-- to run a tight ship, not tell the whole world exactly how the BeOS kicks a$$, generally reasonable things like that.

    The problem is, at some point, it becomes very easy to do things with closed source that one really shouldn't do. Things like AARD, funky file formats, and talking paperclips come to mind.

    I think the biggest fear around here is that, if Be does break critical mass and gets to the point where they can do that-- quite possible, in a post-Microsoft world-- there isn't going to be much we can do about it. Except kick ourselves for cheering Be on in their early days, call it BeO$, and have a Torvalds-wannabe write a new operating system that totally blows it out of the water. (After several years of careful development, of course).

    Anyway, if Open Source isn't in place to keep them honest, I'm not sure what else could. Perhaps a cross-platform superset-of-POSIX API, such that the important apps can easily jump ship to Linux. (But then, given the differences between the systems, you either get an API that doesn't take full advantage of the BeOS, or that can't be acceptably implemented on Linux).

    I'll definitely check out BeOS someday, but I do sometimes wish there were some tacitly acknowledged mechanism in place to keep Be in check, should such circumstances ever arise. RedHat has the GPL watching over its shoulder; TrollTech has the doomsday clause in the QPL. Be...?

    My five cents. (keep the change)
  • Without touching the questions of whether the Linux development model is chaotic, or whether chaotic development models are good, bad, or indifferent, I think it is worth pointing out that there is nothing inherently chaotic about Open Source. If you want a coherent system where everything works together, then get a distribution and don't mess with it. Better yet (heh, heh...), get *BSD, where there is a centralized control over the entire source tree, rather than just the kernel. The fact that one can make a mess of ones operating system (or environment) has nothing to do with whether or not one has source, or even with Unix vs. DOS vs. Multics vs BeOS... Of course there are issues about priveledge levels or lack thereof, but hey, there is always some way to screw things up.
  • Hey, when you don't know something why make silly guesses to fit your prejudices. Be has a different way of handling device drivers (as do many other OS's that aren't Linux) which *don't* require you to read the kernel code. In Be's case, a well documented driver API.

    Want to read about it? ibrary/drivers.html

    Sample code (lots), Newsletter articles and references to the online docs on the Be CD and online.

  • Intel owns a 10% stake in Be and uses Be to demo it's newest CPUs because it's sooooo fast. Why don't they demo Linux running Enlightenment? Any ideas? After seeing how IBM has treated it's own child (OS/2) do you REALLY want IBM involved with Linux? You trust them sooo much more than MS? Really?
  • Installing redhat was pretty easy, but StarOffice is hard to install for no good reason. This goes for WordPerfect too. Why must they use their own install procedures, instead of just standard package management. They have about everything staticly linked, so rpm -Uvh StarOffice*.rpm should work without a problem.

    The instructions for your mom could probably fit on a postit note if you used something like Abiword (or maybe that other commercial office suite for linux whose name I can not remember actually uses rpms and debs.)
  • Well, if a Linux hegemony were possible, it wouldn't be so bad. Linux domination would be nothing like Microsoft domination-- it is one operating system, but there are many many vendors who can provide it, and add value. And the GPL would work effectively to keep a measure of technical parity and compatibility between them all.

    Kind of like having a form of government take over the world, rather than a single government.

    (An interesting thing to note, Linus has mentioned that if such a thing were ever to happen, he will consider Linux a failure. For him, it's always been about choice. With the GPL, and the open development model, everything is in place to ensure it stays that way).
  • I assume you mean IBM is an evil corporation,
    because their goals are to make money? You can't
    have your cake and eat it, too. Money makes the
    world go round, it makes the USA powerful and a
    nice place to live. In some cases, it can go to far (Microsoft, IMHO).

    But I don't think for one minute that this world
    would be any better without corporations. I love
    ice-cold Coca-Cola, my new Volkswagen bug, my Kodak digital camera. Those things are all made
    by greedy corporations, and I can live with that.

    And yes, I even like my Microsoft USB digital speakers, even though I hate Microsoft!

    Do you think IBM is a "bad" company, like Microsoft? Or do you just not like them because
    they are large and successful?

    IBM makes some good products, they have been very
    good to the Java language, and they seem to under-
    stand that not every OS must dominate (although
    I'm sure they wish OS/2 had).

    I guess I'm a realist. I just want to be sure I'm not arguing points with someone who doesn't like
    REM because they're not still an alternative band. ("Sell outs!")

    This Open Source movement could be a real wakeup
    call for many people that don't realize which
    side their bread is buttered on.

    For example, how many big, bad, evil corporations
    have invested in improving the internet
    infrastructure that you and I prosper from every
    day? How many do you think it will take to build
    Internet2? Would you rather the government subsidized things like that?

    Some things to think about before dismissing the
    big, bad wolves of the corporate world.


    FYI... I work for a 4-person startup that could be
    crushed at any moment by a corporation... but that
    doesn't effect the realities of this corporate
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • _view.html its in the source fellas ;-) not too hard to find either

  • > On Redhat you start up GnoRPM

    Couldn't name it "install new software" or anything, eh? Let's play a guessing game. I have a tool called VnaBRG. What does it do?
  • This makes me wonder, why not make linux software work like CPAN? One client, one command to download, build, and install, dependencies included. Make it work with rpm, apt, cvsup, you name it. C'mon, it's a complex scripting problem but it sure isn't impossible.

    FreeBSD is 90% of the way to doing that too, it just isn't renown for end-user friendliness either.
  • Assuming his last name really is 'Hacker' and that it's a real person (no offense if you read this!)..

    With a name like that you can really only be one thing. I mean a name like that doesn't exactly fit on a shoe salesman does it? ;)

    If I had that name.. I'd have a blast. Everyone would think it was a handle, but in truth it'd be my real name. Would be an absolute blast. :)
  • BeOS was started in 1990, but it's really been
    made in the past 5 years. Compare that to 20+
    for the other OS's mentioned (except NextStep).

    I have nothing bad to say about NeXT... cool
    company, cool OS, cool Cube. :-)

    On the other hand, BeOS *IS* a significant leap.
    It's more than just a OOP API. It's the fact that
    it was built from the ground up with pervasive mult-threading, multiple CPU support, a 64-bit journaling filesystem with very cool features,
    POSIX compliant with an awesome GUI. A "server"
    layer between the OS and the apps to ensure stability. It's like a unix/mac hybrid, without
    all the baggage of those legacy OS's, and
    benefiting from everything learned in the past 30

    You can choose to play it down as "a microkernel
    based OS with an OOP API," but you're leaving out
    90% of the stuff that makes it cool.

    Of course, if you like another OS better, that's
    OK, too. I'm not one of those freaks that I've
    seen all too often in the unix world that likes
    to put people down for something trivial like an
    OS choice.


    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • So, you've used the regular command-line rpm tool to install GTK recently? And it went smoothly the first time? Sure.

    Well, the gnome page specifies exactly what order to install your rpms in.

    Besides, did you try rpm -U *?

  • No, I'm saying IBM was a evil company because "no one ever got fired for buying IBM" (and I understand that IBM literally got people fired for buy non-IBM stuff at corporations they worked with.) What I'm saying is that corporations are by nature untrustworthy. As jwz said in his "I'm leaving AOL" writings, they do things not because they're right (or wrong), but because they're profitable.

    I'm not saying that corporations are always evil, merely that you can't trust them to be good. Fortunetly, it doesn't look like Be can be another Apple (total lock-in), but another Microsoft doesn't seem that inprobable, and if the current people won't try there will be new people sooner or later who will.
  • He could be a golfer.

    Or maybe a woodsman? ;)

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • The average computer users (Windows/Macintosh) where I'm from (a University in North America) call me for information on how to drag icons to the trash/recycle bin, in fact, I had a 45 minute call with someone who simply wanted to ftp to our local webserver! (These are professional staff/faculty, not students)

    This leads me to believe that knowledge of unix/C is a little special and therefore I've the right to flame once and a while. I am not claiming to know everything, but I feel I am more familiar with technology than many people writing online articles criticizing my beloved linux.

    BTW- BEos rocks and if Scott Hacker cared to convice the linux community of this he could send us each a free copy for tinkering :) (Like that will ever happen)

  • Who really cares, all OS's suck in their own little way. Linux sucks because it is still hard to use (same all unixes). Windows sucks because it crashes my computer. OS/2 sucks because there is nothing to run on it and getting software for it is hard. Same with BeOS. DOS sucks becuse it combines the difficulty of linux with the stupidity of windows.

    I defend my right to flame OS's and I don't care what others think of my flame! Thank you. Feel free to moderate me down :)
  • Try to think of we BeOS users as the Jesuits.
  • Be truthful with yourselves, for MOST of you, having access to the source code is nothing more than a banner to wave over your head. Most have never even looked at any source code...never mind knowing what to do with it.
    The open source arguement is moot for the majority of people out there.
    Get over it!
  • I went to a church headed by a Peverend Bible. No joke. Real name.

    What else could he have been?
  • Umm, that isn't a priveledge they bestow upon their users; they are required to include the source of the 250+ GNU command-line utilities that they bundle with Be
    However, there's no requirement to release sample drivers, app bits, etc, under an "open" license. The kernel sources may not be available, but you can develop a lot of stuff without them -- considering that ALL drivers are loaded dynamically. A lot of effort is taken to insure that the information needed is available. For interested parties, a series of articles about kernel programming on BeOS is underway: You can find fully functional source to the shipping Symbios and Buslogic SCSI drivers, the scsi_raw device, PCI NE2K, Sonic Vibes, lots of neat little programs, etc at []. Sure Linux has a lot of that stuff already, but if you want to know how drivers work on BeOS, there you go. And if you read the LICENSE file you'll find that it's a familiar sort of document:

    Be Sample Code License

    Copyright 1991-1999, Be Incorporated. All rights reserved.

    Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

    1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions, and the following disclaimer.

    2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions, and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

    3. The name of the author may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

  • "No one ever EXPECTS the Spanish Inquisition...." - Monty Python
  • X116.3 server for BeOS []. Wasn't very hard to find ( Party Apps-All-X)

  • I think I have been a little bit misunderstood. I don't like it ( but it's no so bad) I say that is yet another non GPL OS and MS could kill it. I would say also that alternatives OS, like *BSD, have to thanks Linux for their good trend.
  • I'm not one of those freaks that I've
    seen all too often in the unix world that likes
    to put people down for something trivial like an
    OS choice.

    Enough said.
  • The biggest problem I have with BeOS right now is that it doesn't run on bloody G3's, and that includes my top-of-the-line, fast-as-hell iMac. Which means that whenever I want to use it, I have to switch either to the PMac 7600 or to the Pentium. It really pisses me off, because the two would be a killer combo.

    I've been thinking about the notion of creating a Free (as in speech) BeOS clone, like GNU is to Unix. Maybe we could call it FreeBe or something. Personally, I'd do it just to be able to add G3 support (reverse-engineering from LinuxPPC or something). If anyone likes the idea, drop me a note [mailto].

    P.S.: Anyone else see the irony in this guy being called Scot Hacker?
  • ... or a psychiatrist.
    (pronounced `pee-sy-ky-ah-trist')
    I half-recall the name of a psychiatrist named "Hacker".
  • ... Workstation OS source! It just isn't that important, and so NON mission critical...

    More often than not I find,, having reliable workstations is `mission critical'--if my workstation is down, I can't do anything with it. Of course, I might be able to use a server to get my work done, but only if the server is also functioning as a workstation.

    The last thing people need is alternate window managers that no one knows how to install, etc, etc...

    Yes, but, note that, if you don't know how to install it, then you don't have it, and it won't affect you. This only untrue if something becomes `the standard', in which case it's not `alternate';)
  • I think perhaps you misread what I had written. Let's try substituting "customer" for "user."

    What I am simply trying to say is that it is up to the customers ultimately. What they buy/download/etc., is what will be used. Whether proprietary software vendors like that is irrelevant; it will still be the deciding factor for licensing.

    I'm just trying to point out that we're not in a command economy where the vendor can decide what they are going to sell, for how much, etc., in a vacuum. They have to take into account what the customers want. And if the customers decided they want open source, that is what the vendors will have to provide, if they want to survive.

    And I disagree with your statement that if you want the source, you are a developer. Please read up on the various open source stuff; there are many, many reasons someone may want source code, other than for direct hacking value.


  • I think your comments are way too harsh and with the wrong verbiage in response to his original point. What if I didn't install Gnome? Does that make me a stupid f***? It sounds like Mr. Hacker is a very intelligent person that is exploring many Operating Systems and has found one that suited his needs for a number of reasons. Not everyone cares about source code, and that does not make them stupid.
  • Please elaborate. I don't quite understand what
    you mean by Be trying to be "another Microsoft"?

    If you mean a successful OS and software company
    that does everything in its power to make more
    money, then I have no doubt you're correct.

    If you mean stop at nothing to make more money,
    dirty deals, contract clauses with OEM's to force
    BeOS on the computer, etc., then I would have to

    Microsoft is a unique company in its leader and
    bloodthirst. Just look at how they started out!
    They sold an OS they didn't have to IBM, with a
    hell of a license agreement.

    BeOS started out as sort of a hippy-dippy ex-Mac
    company, similar to NeXT.

    Every company has the potential to become like
    Microsoft, in the good and bad sense, but not
    every one of those companies has someone like
    Gates running them...


    P.S. I love how my original article got knocked
    down to a zero rating. That's a first. Nothing
    like a little censorship by someone who can't
    handle the truth.

    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • How about this?
  • ... but good call :)
  • As someone who develops BeOS device drivers
    (and bus managers and other kernel modules)
    on a day to day basis, I'd have to say I find
    the driver environment pretty slick. Being
    able to install custom kernel debugger commands,
    reload a driver by copying a new binary to the
    right place, go through many iterations without
    rebooting, etc makes me very happy.

  • Nuff Said. Unless you're a busy surgeon, hamburger flipper, etc. if you ask a question that has already been answered in a way that generally applies to all questions of the same kind, read damn it.

    We're not your babysitters. Be an adult.

    Second, stop being a crybaby no monster is going to touch you Workstation source. Nothing gets changed in the kernel until it's submitted to Linus. And seriously source won't start editing itself and compiling itself, so I don't know what you're screaming about. Take a chill pill.

    Lastly, do you know what a fucking kernel is? It has nothing to do with the WINDOW MANAGERS.

    It amazes me how opportunity scares you freaks. You love being stuck in a stiff frame of mind.

    Thank god I read when ever I can at least I'm not living in your self-created House of Usher.

    I wonder WHY the fuck every source I have download comes with a file called INSTALL that tells you precisely what to do if NOBODY ever reads. (and we wonder why this country's going commie in a few years)... Hint hint: usually the same instructions apply across the board.
  • Hmm, I thought it was:

    "W-w-w-w-why can't we all just get along?"

  • I forgot that I, as a Linux user/advocate, am not allowed to believe in something. I'm supposed to just be a good boy, and buy the closed-ware from the nice man at the counter.

    I forgot that only anti-Linux people are allowed to bash others' choices/beliefs.

    I forgot that for a Linux user to even argue a point with a closed-ware advocate is a sin of the highest sort. We're just supposed to shut up and take our lumps.

    I will do that now. Excuse me for having an opinion. Sorry.


  • I like to think of Be as a decent compromise between Windows and Unix. Sure, it's got all the icons, windows, bells and whistles, but it's more than just "Mac on a PC".

    What I like about Be is that it is geared towards productivity. You shouldn't have to think about your OS while you're doing work, but if you want to, the option is there. While Be may not be "here's the source code"-open sourced, it is written and engineered by people who are a part of today's computer society. For the most part, they represent the bleeding edge in OS advancements and stability that I'm looking for.

    Now if I could only get my damn sound card to work with it, that would be another story.
  • I have managed to brake my system several times by upgrading libraries. Why? because if i have libjpeg 6.0 and i try to install something that uses 6.0b i upgrade to 6.0b and the rest of the programs screw up.

    Then, there's the problem of one package wanting gtk 1.2.13 and another pckage wanting 1.2.14. Of course they are compatible but one program always says that it can't find or something.

    Another problem is when you try to upgrade libraries like libstdc++ and you just screw up all your c++ apps just because the package you wanted to install needed a newer version.

    Because of all this, I still hav not upgraded to glibc2.1 or qt2.0
  • Who, pray tell, attacked Who in this mess? Has Be EVER attacked Linux? Did Hacker attack Linux? The answer to both questions is "NO!". Slashdot is supposed to be "News for Nerds". I'm not aware that it's now "News for Linux Nazis and all the rest of you can fuckoff". Has that changed? It looks like everytime Be has been mentioned in Slashdot recently the same BS starts up "I don;t know anyting about it but it's closed source so it sux". Opinions like that are (as the Chinese say) "Dog farts". Actually, they sound like the ranting of a bunch of very insecure 15 year olds.
    I use half a dozen OSes (OSs?) I supposed to hold my INFORMED opinion when some ignorant twit starts sounding off about something he knows NOTHING about?

    Yes, let's just keep on bashing each other....what a great idea! Meanwhile Bill Gates gets richer and we look stupider.
  • You added bold font to "the unix world," but
    really I'd like to stress the words before that:
    "...that I've seen all too often...." I'm
    clearly not implying that unix users are freaks.
    (I like using unix sometimes.) My point was that
    most of the time, when I see someone making fun
    of someone for the OS they use, it's from a unix

    I can see why this happens, since a lot of Linux
    users are former Windows users who hate Microsoft.
    But it's just a waste of time (and annoys the pig).


    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • Please don't blame Be for this problem, it isn't their fault. Apple has flat out refused to release to them their specs on the chip and the motherboards and how they interact. The reason the intel version is doing so well is that intel went so far as to send a team of intel engineers to Be to assist them.

    1) Be has to much on their agenda right now than to reverse engineer the G3 specs.

    2) There may be some possible legal issues to Be rev. eng. the specs if they decide to do it. Linux can do it because it is not a corporation, but Be is. How the G3 works is IP for apple and if someone who has deep pockets uses it without their permission.... LAWSUIT. (I am not a lawyer so I'm not positive on all this)

    3) Even without 1 and 2 Be has stated that it will not rev. eng. the specs because they cannot be 100% sure it will work and won't risk their customers stability on it.

  • Nope - the scandal is press scandal : when it was published by a magazine that former president Mitterrand had an illegitimate daughter most people found scandalous that press invaded privacy in such a way. Mind you - his former mistress and illegitimate daughter was at his funeral too, and nobody had any problem here.

    Also nobody care if the environement minister smoked some pot, inhaled or not. That's not a problem for most people, they care more about ideas and facts than what leaders do in their home.
  • This assumes:

    1) No forking

    2) The people maintaining the (unforked) kernel source tree are trustworthy.

    So far these two things have held up. However, I consider it very improbable that they will hold up indefinitely. Eventually, either a significant group of developers will become annoyed enough to fork the tree, or one of the main kernel maintainers will not prove to be entirely trustworthy (aka taking money from a company to implement the features that company wants).
  • "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."


    (note that when you see a cup in the shape of Jar Jar head, you REALLY see what decadence is all about :-)
  • Actually some of their source code is open. I believe header files and a few other pieces, not demo or examples, are included to help development.
  • Linux, to me, is just another OS. I would like to get all excited about it like everyone else, but I just can't. Linux users still hasn't swayed me.
  • The basic problem with publicly held corporations is that they act in a manner no person would act.

    They have no loyalty to customers, employees, or their country.

    Layoff 500 people, and make the rest work harder to fill their place? no problem.

    Make all decisions from a marketing perspective, to the detriment of customer service and quality? no problem.

    Put brands and 3rd party advertising on everything? naturally.

    Move jobs that have been in a town for 50 years to a place that's slightly cheaper overall? of course.

    Pollute freely, because being cleaner would cost more than the potential fine or lawsuit later? sure.

    In general, make all decisions to please some otherwise disinterested shareholders, only to improve their value, without caring about anything else at all? That's their job.
  • Sorry, but this is just bashing. Sure, it may not have been in the cleanest state out there, but the point is that it had got into that state in the hands of
    someone who has enough of a clue about computers to have at least two OSs installed. That doesn't make him a God, but it gives us an indication that
    he's no moron.

    The point is that, for whatever reason, a simple upgrade killed his machine. That shouldn't happen, whatever the reasons.

    Sorry, but I don't think many people realize that you have to be a little above the "no moron" level to be messing around with Linux programs that are beta or similar level. He didn't say what particular program needed the new libraries, but I would hazard a guess that it wasn't even at the 1.0 level yet.

    No, Linux is not ready for the masses to be messing with pre 1.0 versions of software. But that's the beauty of the system. It gives more "advanced" users - ones who actually can program and understand how libraries work - the ability to do so. That's something I don't believe the "journalist" and computer "experts" that people look for reviews of products understand. Probably because the "journalist" and "experts" don't understand it themselves.

    Simply because you can do something with Linux does not mean you should. One has to learn self restraint with a Linux system. Now, if you want to learn something and go in knowing that you may screw up your system then you are welcome to. But don't complain that it's too hard to install pre-1.0 software that requires special, just released, versions of libraries when they are not ready for end-users yet.

    The only defense to the point I'm trying to make that I can think of at the moment would be if the program he was trying to install was at the 1.0 level. If that's the case, it should not have been.
  • Did Hacker attack Linux?


    Did you read the article?

    Last couple of months Slashdot has been mostly a bash-Linux fest, with lots of vitriolic anti-Linux/GPL posts like yours.

    Even well-argued pro-Linux posts are dismissed as ignorant lock-step rantings; anti-Linux rants are seen as "different," and therefore valuable.

    Quite frankly, I don't know what this place is coming to.

    I don't think Linux/GPL is the only answer; but I certainly think it deserves the attention it has finally gotten recently.


  • Exactly! Linux is NOT a desktop OS right now, no matter how hard everyone tries to make it look like one! BeOS IS a desktop OS, and since it is POSIX compliant, can run a whole bunch of the command-line tools that people like about Linux! When (if ever) Linux gets it's act together as a desktop OS, I might consider switching. If and when I ever want to set up a webserver, I'll go back to Linux. Until then, BeOS is the OS that gets my programming support.
  • About that religion thing... Interesting.

    I think that would be an hard thing to do. I mean, as much as we all look like we have simular beliefs, we really don't.

    The only thing we really all have in common is that we are conserned about the future of computers and software because we care.

    Don't try and look too deep into /. culture.
    There's really is not much there.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    We know Open Source isn't pixie dust, but it is a very good way of keeping a company from doing Microsoft-like things. BeOS has decided to keep their source secret. So far, they're doing this for pretty harmless reasons-- to run a tight ship, not tell the whole world exactly how the BeOS kicks a$$, generally reasonable things like that.

    No, the real reason they're not "Open Source" (TM) is because they make their money selling software. That's what this company does! The "freely redistributable" clause of "Open Source" prevents anyone from making money directly off writing code.

    For any software company to ever go "Open Source", the community must accept sources that are open (i.e. given to purchasers along with the binaries) but aren't freely redistributable. Until this happens, don't expect Be, Adobe, Oracle, Inprise, Microsoft, or any of the thousands of other ISVs to go open. I'm amazed that so many slashdotters don't understand that companies have to pay their bills and most employees don't work for free.

  • X116.3 server for BeOS. Wasn't very hard to find ( Party Apps-All-X)

    I got excited about this for a moment, until I noticed that the only binaries available are for the now-obsolete PPC version of BeOS.

    That's a shame. An X server would make Be a very good client platform for my household.
  • What if the entire world
    was democratic like the United States?

    Well, I hope that the reason that you didn't say "a Democracy like the United States" was because you realize it's not. We are a representative republic. There are democratic like parts to our system, such as the ability to vote for your representative, but we are in no shape or form a true democracy.

    In a representative republic the people vote for a representative who is supposed to know more about the topics that are getting voted on and make a more informed decision on what should be law and not. The people have a mechanism of taking a representative out of office if they do not accurately represent the values and beliefs of their consituents.

    This is possibly what the Linux community needs. Just like in the good ol U.S. of A. there are idiots and members of the community that don't share the values of the majority. However, even if they are in the minority, their views and the ability to express them must be protected. We should, however, have members of our community that we "vote" on to represent us. I don't honestly believe that anyone who "volunteered" for such a role would be one to go around and say idiotic things or put users of other OS's down just because they are not using Linux. If so, we could always vote them out of "office" and let others know that they no longer represent the Linux community.

    If this were to work, there would have to be a way of tracking votes, and every Linux centric site would have to have a link to a central site that would be where votes are tallied. Or, if that can not be arranged, we could at least have an official Slashdot representative that we vote on here. If other community groups, such as Freshmeat or even portal sites such as Netcenter, Yahoo, etc, want to participate they can "vote" for their own representative. Together all the representatives can "vote" for the one representative to the industry, or they can all talk directly to the industry themselves.

    Of course, in the true American spirit, this in no way restricts free speach. Anyone on Slashdot or any other forum can say whatever they want. If they don't like what our representative is saying and they are convincing enough, they could get him/her ousted and replaced by a more appropriate person. I don't think any representative should have an official "term of office." The community should be able to take a vote at any time and kick anyone out for any reason. This would more accurately represent the fast moving pace of our community. Similarly, I don't think there should be "term limits" as there is no "term" to start off with. If any one person thought that it was about time to get another rep, simply put up a web page, rally the people, and convince CmdrTaco to put up another vote.

    Am I crazy, or what?

  • Well, actually, there is one difference between Be and Windows: Be is a really nice piece of software.


  • I long for the day when a person can use whatever OS that he or she feels like without being bashed over the head by the OS fanatics.

    I long for a world in which users spent as much time on software design and development as they do flaming people for not using their pet OS.

    Yes, I know it is a crazy dream. . .

    Freedom is about choice and I'll damn well use the OS that works best for me! Feel free to use what works best for you, I won't hate you for it!
  • Yeah, I don't look at maybe 90% of what I get in source code form. The other 10% I could not live without. I've picked up a lot of programming tricks looking at open source programs. I've figured out and fixed things in the kernel. I've wondered if some bug I've seen was in my code or someone else's and I've been able to check their code because my code looked right.

    Maybe I'm not your average user, but I find open source to be an invaluable tool and I will refuse to depend on closed source products because they don't offer me the flexibility that open source does.

    Do not presume to know what works best for me. Do not presume to tell me you KNOW something will work better for me when I've already looked at it and decided otherwise.
  • Tell me, oh fascist keeper of the flame, how well do these moronic users of Macs and Wintel machines respond when you call them idiots and tell them they suck?

    You're missing the point. Calling them all idiots does nothing to help us or you. If you want to improve the OS, do some kernel hacking. Write a new app. Grow a thicker skin. Grow up period. The only one that looks like an idiot when you flame a misinformed writer is you. Where do you think they get the idea that all Linux users are rabid, stupid, illiterate flamers? Find a mirror and you'll see why.

    Sorry if this seems harsh, but as a flamer, I'm sure you'll see that I had every right.
  • All I can say is that someone who so stupid that they manage to break their system by RPM installing the GTK/GLib bits and bobs shouldn't be given credit for anymore insight than Jesse Berst.

    So, you've used the regular command-line rpm tool to install GTK recently? And it went smoothly the first time? Sure.

    Our experience at the office was more along the lines of:

    1. Download the latest rpm's from
    2. Pick a module.
    3. Use rpm to try to install it.
    4. When it fails, try to install its dependencies.
    5. Recurse to #3. Bottom-out conditions: Module installs or there are no dependencies left to try.
    6. Repeat from #2 above until finished, or 30 minutes have passed (in which case a 10-minute coffee break is inserted).

    We're not Linus, but we're not a pack of fools, either. GTK just isn't the easiest set of packages to install.

  • Firstly, I agree that it's entirely possible that his upgrade was pre-release code. He doesn't state it so we'll never know, but that would be one possibility.

    However, while I don't expect beta software to be reliable, I do expect it not to kill my system on installation if it's been on the servers for more than a few days. And, as a side issue, the OS really ought to trap programs doing anything that will kill it...

    I know exactly what you mean about a nice thing about GNU/Linux being that it's possible for the techies to fiddle - I'm a Comp. Sci. undergraduate myself. You're being a little dismissive of journalists though, many actually know what they're talking about as a pretty high perecntage have moved across from development.

    Equally, I know what you mean about possibilities against responsibilities. But the fact is that there are enough things that an average user might do which can kill your GNU/Linux install that it really can't be considered user friendly, whiel the same isn't true with BeOS.

    Ultimately, we'll never know as we won't find what he was installing. But the point stands: he tried something he thought was reasonable as a likely experienced user, and it killed his system. Not good.

  • Multi-user support is almost completely ready to run. They have had the architecture built in from day 1. Currently the filesystem has support for unix-like permissions, but they are all the default and owned by "baron" (an inside joke). As soon as Be feels it is worth doing they will flesh it out and "activate" multi-user support. Right now though they have bigger fish to fry, like more graphics card support.

  • Most paid coders spend their time working on projects which could be nearly as profitable if they were open sourced. The coders who work for OS and application software vendors would still get paid, as long as the company could switch to a service and support based model instead of IP-value model. That's what these companies are doing anyhow, but they charge for the service and support by incrementing the version number and making you purchase some secret bits on a CD.

    The majority of programmers make money on custom/inhouse projects, database interfaces and the like. The only disadvantage of open sourcing and releasing this type of project is that you lose a possible technological advantage over a competitor. But you may also gain efficiency and free bug fixes from the community they will have created. Let's say you run a dry cleaning chain... doesn't it make more sense to compete on the basis of cleaning quality and turnaround time instead of secret computer technology?
  • That's very cool! Thanks!

    Pardon me while I go reboot my workstation into BeOS.
  • Microsoft is a unique company in its leader and
    bloodthirst. Just look at how they started out!

    Look how IBM started out ... hmm, I guess their start as a small producer of "buisness machines" had little to do with their eventual position as computer monopolist.

    If you mean stop at nothing to make more money,
    dirty deals, contract clauses with OEM's to force
    BeOS on the computer, etc., then I would have to

    Then I would have to disagree with you. I don't agree with your belief that current situation dictates future actions, and in fact believe that history denies such a view. Too many companies get bought out and/or took over and undergo a massive personality change.
  • Not to be a bitch, but header files are required for development. Look at Visual Studio and you'll see > 400 header files "given" away. Plus there's all of Microsoft's Foundation Classes given away (not opensource tho). Be's gesture is nothing out of the ordinary.


  • Give Linux time to get easier? How much time? I've used Linux off and on since kernel 0.99, that's about nine years or so. Even today Linux is a pain in the ass.

    When you can configer _EVERYTHING_ without _HAVING_ to drop to the command line and hunt down some damned config file in some wierd directory is the day Linux will get close to being user friendly.

  • by BadlandZ ( 1725 ) on Saturday June 26, 1999 @07:20AM (#1831954) Journal
    "Hey, I think Silicon Graphics Irix is the best Unix flavour around"

    My knee jerk reaction here is "My Gosh, IRIX just plain sucks." Now... I guess maybe I am getting a bit more careful about what I want to say.

    Uhm, How can I put this. IRIX was my first UNIX, and I have used it regularly for the last six years. At first, I was impressed. Years of seeing the price tags SGI has put on IRIX, it's service contracts (which can be more than the value of the hardware), it's gaping security holes, it's instability compared to something like Solaris, .... countless things that make my stomach turn, has left me sort of pissed off every time I hear "IRIX."

    But, yea, truth is, it's an interesting OS, with it's merits, just not something I totally like. My father use to like Hemi-Head Dodge engines, and was a Dodge fan, a definate Underdog, espically after the 70's were in full swing. Countless people are Ford or Chevy fans, and have little "Piss on Dodge" or Ford, or Chevy logos on thier cars and trucks. Yet, a great number of them will gather together to bash foreign cars. And there are groups of younger people now who will bash domestic cars.... Ah, Hmm, this sort of thing goes back much longer than the existance of UNIX, or Windows, or even the Personal Computer, and there are soo many paralles.

    If I were a Chevy man, would I refuse to ride in my friends Ford? Would I base my opinon on them because of there car alone? Would I "really" take it all that seriously? No. Come on people, it's the same thing here. Sure, you can bitch about how one OS is better than another, but how many of you REALLY want to cross that line of having an opinion to go over to "being a nut about it."

    A computers a tool, and most people just want to get from point A to point B. (Hmm, that "if microsoft made a car" joke is luming in my head now) But, the opinions are like _____, everyone has one, and thier convinced thiers don't stink and everyone elses does.

    Personally, I have probably used at least a dozen diffrent OS's more frequently than any Microsoft products. I have opinions on many. I use to like IRIX, but now lost respect for it. I use to like Linux, but am rapidly loosing that too (although, I still think the LSB is going to be it's saving grace, and it's open source nature may be all that saves it in the long run). My OS of choice now days is FreeBSD, because it brings me back to a BSD like OS like IRIX, and it's more secure, and I can actually afford to run it at home. If I had all the money and time in the world, I think I would probably be a "collector" or something, and try lots of diffrent OS's just to try...

    What's the end result? Well, it's all a wash. I hate IRIX, yet I still use it because for some things, there is no real choice (some applications are only avaliable for IRIX). I use MS Windows now too... I hadn't even started doing that untill last year, and it's not "as bad" as it's portrayed, just bad, not evil. Microsoft the company, I have no respect for, but, there isn't much I can think of that Microsoft does that SGI hasn't in the past (oh, yea, and now days SGI requires Netscape, _thier version_, for system help! you don't have a choice, and even upgrading it is bearly possable... At least IE was just an icon on the desktop, you still had a choice.).

    The perfect OS doesn't exist. Linux is NOT superior in every way, it's hugely lacking in countless ways. Doesn't mean it's worse than Microsoft, or BeOS, or anything. But at times, watching slashdot posts is like watching a dog chase his tail, it's funny, it's pointless, you can get bored of it pretty easily, but for some reason the next time it happens, your still amused for a few minutes. Where has it gotten the community? Heh, better yet, what is the SlashDot community? I personally think it's funny to watch Linux vs. The World at times, but I also think that everyone should be intellegent enought to realize that other OS's exist, and are worth looking at, I just wish there would be some more info about less popular things (Woo, Go FreeBSD, Ra Ra Ra, try it today, install it, it Rocks! I think I'm one of those guys now... :-( ). But, a cool story on something QNX is doing or someones application of it would be nice, a story on Berlin would be nice, a story on the guts of OS X and who is actually planning on using it would be nice, a story on Solaris, the fate of DEC-UNIX, AIX, something other than Microsoft, Linux, BeOS, and the iMac would be nice!

    So, yea, I agree, you SHOULD cheer for IRIX, more power to you, I use it myself! But, we all should try to take a step back, keep our eyes and minds open, and see what's out there. If we can, maybe we can find, or build, a better OS, that has more of the good and less of the bad. Take notes on what you do like about each OS, and what you don't... Hmm... Building the "perfect OS" wishlist...

  • Warning: [OS/2 soapbox]
    If you're not hell bent on a free kernel then OS/2 is still the OS to beat Microsoft and to get sh*t done. If you want usability, configurability, ability to run DOS, Windows 3.x and Win32s, Java, X11(local/clients and remote), and OS/2 (did I forget anything?) there is only one OS that can do that. It has the latest XFree86 system, GNUbin, GNUutils, and the egcs compiler to write free software and to use existing free software.
    I still have to say that if the press were to put the effort into writting about OS/2 that they are putting into Linux, the DOJ would easily lose its case because the software works and works well just nobody seems to care about these things anymore unless they are free. Linux is a cool OS but it still has a year or so before it has a chance of having a easy configuration utility.
    Todays OS/2 is like tomorrows Linux except the kernel isn't from Linus and it isn't OSS. Think about it, 3 years ago it beat NT server in PCWeek tests when OS/2 was running on ONE CPU and NT was running on FOUR CPU's. Today they compare Linux to NT without mention of OS/2, go figure. It even has the fastest Java on Intel so what is up? Maybe once IBM licenses OS/2 to Stardock, for resale, we will see another piece taken out of Microsofts pie and people can get sh*t done while Linux grows up. Anyway, OS/2 can do for you what you are likely to want BeOS for.
    [end soapbox]
  • The only thing it needs is multiuser support. And you wanna know what? When it does get multiuser support, it will probably be faster, easier and sleeker than Linux's.

    Right now I think all Linux effort should go into ease of use issues.
  • Some are saying that be does not like open source and linux, and so on. There is overwhelming evidence to the contrary (be has denied this many times and said that they like linux (see their FAQ). However, in the June 16 1999 issue of their newslette r []they have an article that seems to me to show be's ideas on linux, and also their great sense of humor (hilarious bits are scattered throughout their newsletters -- look up "The Cow Piano"). Also, this issue of the newsletter contains stuff about BeOS kernel programming, for those intersted.
  • Er, this sounds like a versioning problem with the library creators. If there is that many differences between libjpeg 6.0 and 6.0b that could possibly break a program then they should have different version numbers.

    You can also specify exactly what version of the library you want dynamically linked into your program. You don't have to rely on the symbolic links and only link to "" you can instead link directly to or or whatever floats your boat.

    Of course, this assumes one knows what one is doing. There's not a whole lot you can do if you are working with binary rpm's, but if you are working with the original source code for the packages, you can massage the source to link with the correct library version it needs and not screw with the "standard" version of the library that everything else on your system needs. If you are using a distribution instead of making your own system, I would not recommend upgrading any system libraries until the vendor of said distributions makes them "officially" available. You can still install a new library version, but do it in a different location and change your LD_LIBRARY_PATH or put in the appropriate linker search path so you don't overwrite the system libraries.

  • OS/2 has driver problems. IBM should really put some money into it if they think it has a chance. Otherwise, it is just that half-dead OS.
  • I'm actually really not sure what kind of response you are expecting. I'll hence have to assume that your post is a troll.
  • If Linux dominates with 90+ % of the market, does that mean everything will be peachy keen? Will everybody be truly happy as you say or will there an technological oligarchy where only a few select companies know how to support and provide value to end users?

    Will Linux zealots still be the pricks that they are, or will they change and become helpful and down to earth? Will the minority that knows how to hack the kernel rule the majority that have little or no idea?

    Riddle me that. We know what the effects of closed source software domination are. What will open source be like? Could Linux be Microsoft's phantom menance? Could a truly kickass OS/end-user solution be in the works a precious few know about? Hmmm... pun intended -- it may very well be BeOs.

    What do you think?
  • I think you're correct in that the open source nature of Linux has opened the industry to the concept of something other then Windows. I also think that Microsoft has alot to do with this. They have most likely been feeding the press to do stories about other OS's since the trial began. I feel this way because for almost 10 years the press had bashed OS/2 as I tried to make a living at developing for it. There was a nice silence in the press for almost 2 years prior to the DOJ vs MSFT trial and then boom, articles about OS/2 show up. Articles about Linux Mac, and BeOS showed up too though today Linux gets most of the press. I do believe it is the press that makes this all happen. If you don't believe me just look around and all the managers require NT because everyone else is supposed to be using it. Our companies products are being ported to NT even though it is an embedded-type system (preconfigured and shipped with the PC). Not because of features but because the customer never hears about OS/2 and hears about NT all the time. The guy (customer) even was upbeat about Linux. This has 100% to do with press coverage if you ask me and not capabilities.
    So in a way you are correct in that BeOS exists because of Linux but Linux exists (popularity wise) today because of the press. This isn't flame bait, I know it wouldn't die without press but it sure in heck wouldn't have EVER been tested against NT without the press popularizing it beyond the hackers systems. Remember that OS/2 had 15 million users in 1994 and the press bashed it for having too few users to survive. NT had under 500,000 licenses sold in 1995 and 700,000 in 1996 while OS/2 was selling 1,000,000 per month. NT got the press and OS/2 got sh*t, so I doubt that even if Linux ran 50% of the web servers and 70% of the universities, it would not have todays popularity without the press.
    To bad IBM has non-expiring licenses for code in OS/2 because it prevents them from open sourcing it or dropping its price. I think by the end of July we will know if IBM licenses it to Stardock and what Stardock will sell it for. I do know that it will be packaged for developers in the beginning.
  • Touche. I'd forgotten about that one :-)

    That might be interesting.... You get the source code to the BeOS when you buy it, and you can hack it/fix it all you want, post patches, etc... just not put the whole thing up for free download.

    If it weren't for the IP reasons, who knows? They might just have gone that route . . . .
  • Is it really necessary to be so paranoid? We, the users, still remember the atrocities inflicted on us by Microsoft. Most of us are still suffering those atrocities.

    Microsoft won its unique position because we didn't realize that putting one operating system in such a dominant position would give the company making that OS such control over how we use our computers. We know better now. I'd be more than willing to wager that once Microsoft finally falls, we won't see another operating system, API, or document format with that kind of dominance again in our lifetimes.

    Should we abhor GOOD software and the companies that make it because "they might become another Microsoft"? Isn't that akin to punishing someone for something they MIGHT do, rather than what they actually have done? Talk about your chilling effect.

    The BeOS is the closest thing to the perfect desktop OS going right now. The company is small, and has done everything in their power to make the OS easy to develop and program for - shy of releasing the OS source. Are you seriously saying that because they haven't done this one thing, their agenda is similar to Microsoft's?
  • Did I read Hacker's post? Yes. How many of his articles have you read? I'd say he's been one of the more rational commentators around. He an advocate of FREEDOM, not OS Fascism.
    How was my post anti-linux? Because I don't think insulting people about an OPERATING SYSTEM is the best way to go about things? Christ, I've been using Linux on a day to day basis for quite a while. I'm in the process of getting a local ISP to switch over to Linux (I've even GIVEN them several books and copies of Linux).....what am I supposed to do? Cut my wrists on the High Altar of Linux?!?!?
    When I go talk to someone about Linux, I DO NOT treat them like they're ignorant. I try to point out the advantages of Linux and how it can best serve their needs. Telling them that they're stupid, making them feel I think they're EVIL (if they use Microsoft) is counterproductive.
    Sorry, if the some in the Linux community want to emulate Steve Jobs' "My way or the highway" philosophy, that's only going to hurt us. It sure isn't going to win any friends.
    If you think this is anti-linux, so be it....I prefer to think of it as "anti-bonehead". Anyway, that's MY opinion.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My my.. Such a professional response.

    Scot Hacker (that IS, in fact, his real name) did a service to the Linux community by not slamming it. Believe it or not, he's actually a pretty big name writer these days. I mean it's not like he has a book.. Oops.. He DOES have a book. (The BeOS Bible) And I do believe he's helping write O'Reily's MP3 book as well. (Could be wrong about that)

    Also, why did you feel this urge to mention that Linux is the "superior" OS? I didn't notice Scot getting all down and just out right attacking Linux.. In fact I don't think he even mentioned it with that sort of tone.

    I hate it when people turn STUPID things into religous battles. Earth would be a much happier place if outrageous people like you would just give it a rest. EVERYONE can have whatever opinion they want. Because you have one doesn't mean EVERYONE has got to agree with it. This damned ego-trip half the Linux world seems to be on does NOTHING to help the "cause" and only insults the very foundation of Open Source--the freedom of choice and ideas. By elimiating all other choice, you effectivly kill your reason to live. Can't you see that? Are you that blinded? What if the entire world was democratic like the United States? What then? Well, we wouldn't have anything major to fight over, so we would have to pick something. Next best thing to argue about would be religion. Really, it's just another form of government. And like all government, it's basically a set of rules enforced by people of like mind and big egos. Therefore the perfect thing to fight about.

    And it's just so darned logical.

    This mindless OS arguing is just plain stupid. A complete waste of time and engery. Especially since it matters even less than government or religion.

    What's next? Start the Church of Linux? Worship large statues of Linus and everyone is required to have a ring with a little golden Tux on it. Plus you would go to services every monday afternoon (because kernel hacking is required on weekends) at the local computer lab and donate money to help those poor soles who are out of a job because they "want to believe" so much that they code all day and all night while ignoring the rest of society. After all, they have kids to feed. And they are furthering the "cause".

    And then declare war on all other relgions.

    Over several hundred years of worship the Linux religion starts to gain political power and eventually begins to buy campaigns in the intrest of "freedom" and more "rights" when in reality they are just futhering their ultimate goals of reaching the golden memory address in the sky. And hoping they will have root privledges when they get there.

    Get real. Sounds a lot like most "major" religions these days. Got big. Got powerful. Forgot roots.

    At least with BeOS everyone is super user..

  • I think nearly all Slashdotters would agree that what we really want, more than anything else, is a computing environment everyone can use, that we can cheerfully recommend to our non-computing friends and use ourselves without wincing.

    With this in mind, it really seems like a shame that we're so bigoted about our own preferences. Hey, I think Silicon Graphics Irix is the best Unix flavour around, more fun to use and sleeker then any other; but you won't catch me saying that you should avoid other Unix systems, or not use them because you really should be in Irix. No; I encourage you to try Irix if it suits you needs, but I'm not going to tell you you're less than human if you don't pick up a used SGI from somewhere.

    And that brings us to Be, which some people have called "The Poor Man's SGI". It seems a pity that, just because some of us want to advance Linux, they feel they should beat on Be to do it. A Linux lover could sit down on a Be console and immediately be productive. Be uses many of the same tools Linux does, after all. The main difference is that the user interface is faster, smoother and more elegant.

    Really, isn't it a little silly to hate Be, just because it's not open source? Isn't the real goal quality design and reliability, both of which Be has in spades? If you can recommend to your friends a quality system that won't fail on them like Windows does, shouldn't you?

    I think if you have a knee-jerk reaction to Be, you should give the OS a try before being mean-spirited. After all, mean-spirited comments aren't going to make you many friends. And Linux as well as Be need all the friends they can get.


  • That was just what I was planning on doing pretty soon! I want to build a network with Be workstations and a linux server.

    One question for those out there who can help: Is it easy to run X applications on a linux server using a Be box as an X server? Can I have my Be workstation double as an X terminal for any *nix GUI app I happen to want to run? I sure hope so.

  • BeOS, to me, is just another commercial OS. I would like to get all excited about it like everyone else, but I just can't. Mr. Hacker still hasn't swayed me.

    I said it before, and I'll say it again... UNIX style OS at the core is something I have a great deal of respect for, and a wealth of GNU applications are supported BOTH in open source UNIX and commercial UNIX. When you add to that the huge number of GNU applications that can be easily compiled on a UNIX system using a standard X11R6 structure, there is just SOO MUCH code already out there that I think it's hard for me to say "oh, let's ditch it all, and go to something totally new, and, oh, BTW, it's commercial, and oh, BTW, did we mention that we want all those people who have contributed to GNU to drop everything and port to our OS and windowing system?"

    Don't get me wrong, I am not just BeOS bashing. I see what they are trying to do, and I respect that. I just am not excited about it. If you want to know what WOULD excite me, it's replacing standard X with something like Berlin [], and replacing the standard macrokernels with something like Hurd [], because that keeps it all GPL, will make it possable for software to be more "portable" to Both commercial and free UNIX's, and will allow people to build "optimized" OS's for multimedia, gaming, office apps, servers, cad, etc... AND, the specialized OS's will still be able to probably grab a GNU app that was intended to run on a system optimized for something else, and still run it. Microkernel, making it easier to ditch un-needed overhead, and new windowing system based in GPL code. That's exciting.

    I think BeOS is neat, but I think QNX is neat too, and so is MacOS X, and ... but, I am not doing cart-wheels over them, because 1) I can't afford the time to mess with them, 2) I can't afford to buy them all to find out I might not like them, 3) It's taking me away from my "roots." I like the fact that thier are more choices, because competition breeds ideas and motive. But I really think it's about time that SlashDot give some press to something other than just Linux vs. every commercial OS in the world. There are TONS of really cool GNU projects out there. The commercial UNIX's are occasionaly mentioned (and I bet there is a higher ratio of IRIX or Solaris users out there reading that BeOS users, but more BeOS stories), the *BSD's are bearly mentioned, and I can't remember the last time I saw a Hurd or Berlin story on SlashDot at all!

    K, flame away ;-)

  • I haven't found anything in the XFree86 literature that suggests that it runs on Be, and doesn't say anything about Be either (but then they were supposedly going to have their site overhauled a month ago but haven't updated their page since.)

    And anyway, I don't really want a whole X server package for Be that controls the video hardware itself. Be has great hardware support already, for hardware that it supports anyway :-).

    Ideally, I would want some kind of X server "emulator" that allows the user to run a GTK, Qt, or X app on the Linux server and have it display on the Be desktop with all the other windows.

    I guess if there isn't such a thing, maybe I should try to write one, but I am not experienced enough and to me that seems like a big undertaking. Anyone know if there is something like that?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Given the comments I'm reading here, I find myself disagreeing with Scot too. I think he should stop trying to provide a middle-ground, and stop wasting his time. Linux and BeOS are powerful operating systems with their own uses, but if he feels he can tame the beast that is the GPL-fascist, he's dead wrong.

    I'm sorry folks, but this fanatical hatred toward an OS and its creator is just downright stupid. Plus, railing against one of its proponents is extremely immature and reflects badly on everyone associated with Linux. Scot Hacker (yes, that is his real name) has been an advocate for BeOS and Linux users working together and peacefully coexisting, and this is the response he gets? Would you rather he were a clueless Microsoft lackey or something?

    It's amazing. I see Windows zealots pushing their OS due to its non-technical merits (you can't get fired for recommending MS), and GPL zealots pushing their OS due to its non-technical merits (it's open-source, the way god intended it to be). Both kinds of zealots demonize anything that doesn't fit their own preconceived, limited view of how the industry can and should be. One and the same, despite their appearances.

    Come on people! It's one thing to not use an OS due to its closed-source nature for a few real reasons (ie. what if the company goes belly-up, etc), but that's it. It's NOT a moral decision, only one of logic. It is NOT immoral to write code that does not get put into the public domain. Sure, it may not make sense to you. That's fine. It may not make you comfortable with the purchase. That's fine. It may not give you a warm fuzzy feeling at night. That's fine too. But do NOT flame anyone and everyone who disagrees with you. Something being of your opinion does not necessarily make it 100% true.

    *sigh* Sorry, just finished a night-long install of LinuxPPC. I think I'll spend another 15 or so minutes to do a quick install of BeOS r4.5 to cool off. :|

May all your PUSHes be POPped.