Response to a Vista comment

This post is a response to the following comment, posted on my blog. Since the poster failed to leave any contact details, I feel I should post a comment here, since I’ve been meaning to follow up the Vista is a Linux Clone post for some time. I will be quoting from the comment in this post (so you can read the post here as I respond to it).

The Linux world is full of hearsay and conjecture, first off XP has been on the market longer than Suse.

SUSE Linux was first officially released in 1994 (and became a unique distro in 1996), Windows XP was released October 2001. That puts SUSE on the market 7 (or 5 if you take it from 1996) years before Windows XP.

Second all operating systems, tend to look the same regardless what company makes them. If beggars become choosers and looks is all the eye candy we can sue each other over, it’s like having two cold wars that literally cancel each other out.

I agree strongly that most Consumer Operating Systems do tend to look similar (with the notable exception of Mac OS). This is due to some basic user interface principals, mostly pioneered at Xerox Park. The fact is that Linux is ahead of any other Operating System when it comes to adoption of functionality. Many of the new features people are seeing in Vista or adaption of functionality that has existed in the Linux world for ages.

Also Vista is not all about just Directx 10, it has core features that make it more robust than most server distros. The fact you distro geeks have nothing better in mind, shows that you lack proper reasoning.

No, Vista is not about Direct X 10. But the fact that Direct X 10 sits underneath Vista’s entire graphics system, raises some serious security concerns with me. Direct X 10 almost replaces the traditional driver layer of the Operating System. To me it’s a bit like Microsoft executing games in unprotected mode on the XBox, in order to give a small performance boost, ie: just plain stupid. These layers have been put in place for a good reason, and have been built-up over decades. Why throw them away, or subvert them now?

Microsoft business solutions are actually worth the price, the reason I say this is because an operating system alone means nothing if its core features are not there. It comes packed with software that actually works, sure there are bugs in MS environment.

Hrm… Are you trying to sell me something here? Having looked at Vista in the stores, I wouldn’t pay any money for any version. There is no way on this earth that any software (other than maybe a few very large database or application server systems) could possibly be worth the amount you pay for Vista. Further more, Vista does not come “packed with software”, it comes with a few half-hearted attempts to take on the Linux distro market. If they were serious about providing a good package, Vista would include at least:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft ISS
  • .NET Studio
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader

Over and above what it already has.

However in the distro world you have to rewrite lines of code to fix broken or at times missing links within open source components, I’m sure you could argue that this caveat makes Linux overpowering. However if you enjoy debugging software that should run at start, it sort of makes you rethink your place in the cosmos.

In 10+ years of running Linux software, I have yet to edit a line of code in the software I run. That excludes code I’ve written myself of course. On the other hand, if you’ve ever tried getting Oracle Application Server; MySQL; Apache; or WebSphere running under a Windows machine, you too will know the meaning of true frustration. I spent 2 weeks of my life trying to get WebSphere to work, and over a month resolving file-locking issues with a web system that worked flawlessly under Linux.

Lets talk about security, we no longer compare Vista and Linux because in the department they are at equal terms.

If you truly believe that: you are delusional. Sorry for getting a bit ranty, but this is complete rubbish. Linux takes a Unix approach to security, a system that was created decades ago, and has only evolved and improved over time. Vista throws out everything we’ve learned about security and puts the onus (in a technical, and legal sense) on the user. Linux secures everything on the file-system and network layers. Because all your inter-application communication goes through one of those two layers, it means you only have two points to gaurd (in a code sense). Vista expects an uninformed user to make impossible security decisions, or switch the security off.

Just like Linux, Windows also went through evolution. We can’t compare say windows 3.11 to VIsta, nor could we compare one distro to another.

I will agree that you can’t point out flaws in an older version of Windows and claim the same holds for Vista, but it doesn’t mean you can’t compare the two. Whats more, we can absolutely compare different Linux distributions, but then it comes down to what people want, and where their preferences lie.

However, what comes down to is stability, the fact you don’t here people complaining about issues on Linux does not mean there aren’t any that would implying its a perfect OS. But theres a problem with that analogy you see, nothing is perfect, Linux in all its glory suffers just as many flaws and holes in security when compared to something like xp.

I’m not by any measure implying that Linux is a perfect Operating System, nor even that such a system exists. I do feel strongly that it is the right choice for me, and for many of the people I live and work with. I feel limited by the lack of choice in a Windows system, and somehow I always feel that Windows systems think they know better than me. They provide convoluted, and annoying paths through config that often lead you to a dead end. Sometimes the options you change are thrown away on the next boot because some little “auto-detection” wizard or tool decides to run.

For lack of a better word it is called organization, something open source lacks otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing millions of distros.

The writer of this comment has obviously never worked for a large software company. The Open Source world may seem chaotic from the outside, but the hallmark of the really good projects (KDE, OpenOffice, Wine, etc.) is their excellent organization and structuring of the work and project itself. A software company on the other hand look organized on the outside, but is chaos on the inside.

I’ve seen deadlines and political pressure turn good ideas into steaming piles of software dung! Software that cost millions of dollars to develop. It winds up being re-written after a few years, because nobody can bare to maintain it anymore, and you know something: the process starts all over again.

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3 Responses to “Response to a Vista comment”

  1. Chewbaaca Says:

    This post is a response to the following comment, posted on my blog. Since the poster failed to leave any contact details, I feel I should post a comment here, since I’ve been meaning to follow up the Vista is a Linux Clone post for some time. I will be quoting from the comment in this post (so you can read the post here as I respond to it).

    Yes I did that on purpose, forgive my ignorance, I guess I like to remain anonymous at times I have enclosed my email with this post!!

    SUSE Linux was first officially released in 1994 (and became a unique distro in 1996), Windows XP was released October 2001. That puts SUSE on the market 7 (or 5 if you take it from 1996) years before Windows XP.

    My bad, I didn’t realize this thanks for correcting me.

    I agree strongly that most Consumer Operating Systems do tend to look similar (with the notable exception of Mac OS). This is due to some basic user interface principals, mostly pioneered at Xerox Park. The fact is that Linux is ahead of any other Operating System when it comes to adoption of functionality. Many of the new features people are seeing in Vista or adaption of functionality that has existed in the Linux world for ages.

    Perhaps you’re right but then your also being double minded about it by saying Vista is nothing but a clone, if it indeed is a clone of Linux. It would mean it has had the same functionality as Linux to begin with, but here you’re stating Vista and its adaptation/functionality something Linux has had all this time.

    No, Vista is not about Direct X 10. But the fact that Direct X 10 sits underneath Vista’s entire graphics system, raises some serious security concerns with me. Direct X 10 almost replaces the traditional driver layer of the Operating System. To me it’s a bit like Microsoft executing games in unprotected mode on the XBox, in order to give a small performance boost, ie: just plain stupid. These layers have been put in place for a good reason, and have been built-up over decades. Why throw them away, or subvert them now?

    And here I was thinking you’re a Linux user my bad, your sort of right and sort of wrong about DX 10 although I can understand where your coming from. DX is and always has been a graphics pipeline not a graphics layer for Microsoft’s media and games, it has nothing to do with security unless I’m mistaken.

    Hrm… Are you trying to sell me something here? Having looked at Vista in the stores, I wouldn’t pay any money for any version. There is no way on this earth that any software (other than maybe a few very large database or application server systems) could possibly be worth the amount you pay for Vista. Further more, Vista does not come “packed with software”, it comes with a few half-hearted attempts to take on the Linux distro market. If they were serious about providing a good package, Vista would include at least:

    • Microsoft Office
    • Microsoft ISS
    • .NET Studio
    • Microsoft SQL Server
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader

    I agree Vista costs money; I agree the range of software it comes with is not nearly enough compared to a Linux distro. I also agree there is no way that either powerhouses can really compete with each other considering their work flow, however looking down on Windows simply because it costs money seems like a narrow way to view things. Let us look at the facts, both business licenses for the both operating systems costs money I’m not talking about the general public stuff. Linux certainly has the upper hand in how many copies you can install on multiple machine. However it’s just as expensive as a Microsoft license for a business solution. I was not trying to mislead you by buying a Microsoft product simply meant that its business solutions are actually well worth it compared to their non-business line, as for your list of Microsoft solutions. Office has always been a separate package sad but so is Open Office on some distros anyways, I believe you can get Open Office for windows as well, as for ISS not sure what that is if you meant IIS that’s actually built into every NT system. As for .net it has recently been freely available for some time now their express line anyways, same goes with their SQL server there is a free version available albeit doesn’t allow unlimited use age but what it does allow is still useable. Acrobat Reader is owned by Adobe the folks who created Photoshop, if you were Microsoft I doubt you would pay Adobe for their product to be in a Microsoft environment. I would think the same applies to open source rights, except Microsoft does not have to worry about braking Open Source rights. Majority of open source software that comes with Linux is just bloat ware, stuff either you never install or just takes up space. Sometimes there is software in there that is probably violating another software’s right to be there, it’s “Open Source” but even free has its limits right?

    In 10+ years of running Linux software, I have yet to edit a line of code in the software I run. That excludes code I’ve written myself of course. On the other hand, if you’ve ever tried getting Oracle Application Server; MySQL; Apache; or WebSphere running under a Windows machine, you too will know the meaning of true frustration. I spent 2 weeks of my life trying to get WebSphere to work, and over a month resolving file-locking issues with a web system that worked flawlessly under Linux.
    Forgive me I didn’t realize how great a wiz you were or perhaps your work flow is different, egad man it took you all that to get a web server running on windows? I just installed Apache, Mysql and PHP on an x64 Amd machine running Windows in less than two hours following online examples. Don’t know about Web Sphere much, but you should try the Sun Web Server, pretty easy to install on Windows and Linux box.

    If you truly believe that: you are delusional. Sorry for getting a bit ranty, but this is complete rubbish. Linux takes a Unix approach to security, a system that was created decades ago, and has only evolved and improved over time. Vista throws out everything we’ve learned about security and puts the onus (in a technical, and legal sense) on the user. Linux secures everything on the file-system and network layers. Because all your inter-application communication goes through one of those two layers, it means you only have two points to gaurd (in a code sense). Vista expects an uninformed user to make impossible security decisions, or switch the security off.
    Takes a Unix approach; However its a Unix clone, Linux is far from what an actual Unix or Risk machine really is. I don’t understand caveman, I don’t want to know, what I do know is Windows does what it says. I have yet to have those millions of problems people tend to complain about, but I do understand where you’re coming from with this.

    I will agree that you can’t point out flaws in an older version of Windows and claim the same holds for Vista, but it doesn’t mean you can’t compare the two. Whats more, we can absolutely compare different Linux distributions, but then it comes down to what people want, and where their preferences lie.

    True I suppose that is one thing that Linux excels at if not updates then a shit load of distros, all the colors of the rainbow. I will say one thing I don’t hate Linux because of competition, I hate it because it screws with my mind when it comes to simplicity. Thing Microsoft makes so easy to do, my work flow includes the occasional gaming. I know for a fact that Linux box supports some games, but it does that at high risk. It’s called braking intellectual property rights, something Microsoft has walked away on since their new Linux/Windows hybrid thing. That is a whole other topic that makes me shiver in the weirdest way.

    I’m not by any measure implying that Linux is a perfect Operating System, nor even that such a system exists. I do feel strongly that it is the right choice for me, and for many of the people I live and work with. I feel limited by the lack of choice in a Windows system, and somehow I always feel that Windows systems think they know better than me. They provide convoluted, and annoying paths through config that often lead you to a dead end. Sometimes the options you change are thrown away on the next boot because some little “auto-detection” wizard or tool decides to run.

    Computers 101 a computer is only as smart as the user, don’t get me wrong I’m not insulting you simply stating a fact. I can understand why you would go with Linux over Windows, as weird as that may seem it’s not like I have not dealt with Linux.

    The writer of this comment has obviously never worked for a large software company. The Open Source world may seem chaotic from the outside, but the hallmark of the really good projects (KDE, OpenOffice, Wine, etc.) is their excellent organization and structuring of the work and project itself. A software company on the other hand look organized on the outside, but is chaos on the inside.

    Can’t say I have but I do hold an IT diploma and we did touch upon Linux and Windows!!

    I’ve seen deadlines and political pressure turn good ideas into steaming piles of software dung! Software that cost millions of dollars to develop. It winds up being re-written after a few years, because nobody can bare to maintain it anymore, and you know something: the process starts all over again.

    LOL at that first line it was the best, I can’t argue with that what I can argue is this. Windows was the first operating system actually used by the military, now a day’s Linux has just put its foot in the door. But its attention is gaining more publicity, perhaps it’s the times we live in where the regular cup of joe just doesn’t cut it anymore.

  2. Andy Says:

    Do I have to change motherboard to install Vista? In many stores, foe some motherboards it is said “supports Vista”. Should I pay attention to that? Or is it just a marketing issue? Thanks!

  3. RaiulBaztepo Says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo


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