No fragmentation, just an interweaving...
Posted Mar 7, 2006 0:18 UTC (Tue) by filker0
Parent article: Linux fragmenting at last?
There was a time when a corporate ethernet might have Novell, IP, Decnet, appleTalk, or IBM LanMan running, but in many cases, they had to run over separate wires because even if the protocol supported typed packets, a lot of systems where not using them.
In the old days of Unix when the two dominantflavors were BSD and SysV, there were systems that had multiple "universes". Some programs ran under the SysV universe, others under the BSD universe. A user could select their universe in the shell, but if they ran an application that used the other universe, it would still run, as it was tagged to use a specific set of semantics on the system calls.
The hooks used by SELinux and AppArmor are the same. I can see a future where, either through virtualization (Xen or some other system) or simply having an overall policy or profile, both sets of semantics might coexist on the same system at the same time. This will happen if the community sees a need for it. My guess is that one of the security systems would control the layer used by the other, but I have not studied either extensively.
In the same way, even though Xgl and AIGLX use different approaches, eventually they'll support the same hardware. I don't see how having applications that depend on either one excludes the use of the other on the same system. If they conflict at a hardware level, some motivated group of developers will figure out a way to make them coexist, or to build a veineer for one that looks, to an application, like the other.
Once again, there will be peace in the bazzar, and the veterans of the old code wars will sit at the bar talking about how it was in the old days, and how much better one was than the other before they went and bloated it to appease those other miscreants who didn't know a deferred reference from an atomic operation.
It is not fragmentation. New approaches arise, compete, blend, and then return.
The fragementation in the Unix world happened because the code was proprietary, and vendors were not willing to give away the code to those unique kernel features they saw as competitive advantages that, for the most part, helped them sell their proprietary hardware. Each hardware platform was its own little world, and for a time, the vendors got away with it.
That is not the model of the Linux corporate world. Uniqueness comes from packaging and support.
So I don't think that Novell and Red Hat's current spat over SELinux/AppArmor and Xgl and AIGLX is a sign of a fragmentation any more than Gnome/KDE is.
Now, then, emacs vs. vi is another matter entirely, and is destined to destroy the world as we know it. :-)
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