Don't rely on vendor projections anyway
Posted Dec 9, 2004 20:03 UTC (Thu) by sepreece
In reply to: Don't rely on vendor projections anyway
Parent article: The Linux roadmap
Our experience has been that while we CAN do everything ourselves, it's usually better in the long run to have things outside our core competency done by people who specialize in them. We have built filesystems, for instance, but we haven't built a lot of them and evolved them long enough to be really good at it. And, it dilutes our ability to specialize in our own domain.
We have to plan products roughly two years out - it takes a good part of that to design and build the hardware and line up component supplies. We're used to relying on vendors to deliver on schedule, because we have to be. Generally speaking, they do.
We used to do our own chips, but decided we got better chips if we worked with experts, who could leverage their experience in working with lots of customers with similar needs. We used to do our own OS, but decided we were spending a lot of effort on it and not getting the value we could get from OSs that were some company's lifeblood, rather than just an enabling component they use.
I'm NOT saying Linux should have a roadmap or development plan; I understand that the way OSS works makes that impossible. We rely, instead, on a distributor and third-party developers who work out roadmaps and delivery schedules with us and, for the most part, deliver pretty close to those schedules.
The good thing about OSS is that it allows for different models - people who just need desktop Linux on x86 can happily take kernel.org kernels or one of the incredible number of distributions. Those of us with specialized needs can find what we need through distributors and developers. If the maintainers continue to not be interested in the needs of consumer-product builders, we can live with that, because we can get what we need as aftermarket enhancements, specifically because it is open-source software.
Having said that, however, it does seem like Linus and friends COULD make more of an effort to influence the direction that work is going. They may not be able to MAKE anyone work on it, but their influence is substantial. People do read Linus's pronouncements to try to figure out what is more or less likely to be accepted, and if Linux said "It would make me really happy if 18 months from now the kernel could do X", it's quite likely that people would break their backs making sure he was happy in 9 months...
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