I've used debian/gentoo/ubuntu extensively. I've found I've never gotten into a mess I can't fix eventually with portage. Sometimes that fix takes a long time or requires using the lower level "ebuild" commands to manually patch source but that's why I use Gentoo on certain machines. As long as you remember to install gentoolkit and run your revdep-rebuilds regularly (and perl-updater/python-updater and etc-update....OK I guess that's a few things to remember) you should get a very very stable system. What I like about portage the best over apt is the ability to install any specific version of the software that's in the tree (or in an overlay).
Apt definitely has the advantage over portage in terms of the ppas. Especially nice gem is "apt-add-repository" where I can give my mother a single line of code to paste into a terminal and she can add any ppa I find to her machine. Yes, I know you can do this with "Software Sources" but explaining how to do something through a GUI is a lot harder than "copy and paste *this*".
If developers can't support their application, then maybe they shouldn't be making and releasing them.
Utter nonsense. An unsupported, buggy, piece of crap software (albeit open source) that serves the needs of maybe only the developer himself is still more valuable to the community at large than never having this software exist at all. Someone could fork the project. Bug fixes could come eventually. Just releasing software doesn't force everyone to use it.
In reality, your comment should be "If developers can't support their application, then maybe I shouldn't be using their application if I need their support."
I suspect they benefit in two ways.
Machine code and C are just two languages - they are a bunch of symbols arranged in some syntax that coveys a series of steps to be executed.
This is the reason software shouldn't be allowed to be patented in the first place. It doesn't matter whether you write a linear algebra system or an iPhone fart program, in the end it's all math.
Patents do not cover "an idea". They cover a specific solution, which for software is a specific algorithm.
Except we see increasingly generic software patents being approved all the time.
Find a different algorithm to produce the same (or similar enough) results, and the patent isn't an issue.
Except this isn't true in the real world. Patent lawsuits can be filed before any source code is subpoenaed. As long as the end product (read running binary) appears to infringe upon a patent, then the actual underlying algorithms don't mean anything.
Once in a great while, some brilliant algorithm will be discovered for doing something that isn't specialized, but in the vast majority of such cases, those algorithms come after years of research work and refinement. Why shouldn't the thinker have some control over their thoughts?
Because algorithms themselves are nothing more than math. Trade secrets and copyright on the original source code should be the only protection warranted on original algorithms.
Good companies like Ubuntu and Microsoft would never do shit like this.
You do know funny mods don't get you karma right? Ubuntu's not a company and Microsoft is hardly a "good" one...
Yahoo has been one of the most vocal Internet companies to express concern about industry estimates that 0.05% of Internet users will be unable to access Web sites that support both IPv6 and the current standard, IPv4.
So 0.05% of the internet won't be able to access Yahoo. What % of that actually WANT access to it? In this case, it really is "very little" of value was lost.
This is a good time to punt work.