Systemd and ConsoleKit
Posted May 6, 2011 13:45 UTC (Fri) by anselm
In reply to: Systemd and ConsoleKit
Parent article: Systemd and ConsoleKit
They are trusting the distribution maintainers do act in their interests, but once again those maintainers have no sort of obligation to do so (yes, there is a reputation thing, but that is a very limited sort of obligation). So the maintainers will act as they see fit.
But the same applies to any operating system. For example, Microsoft's sole obligation is to keep the company profitable on behalf of its shareholders, which probably includes putting out versions of Windows etc. that are not so atrociously horrid that nobody will buy them (again, a »reputation thing«), but which most certainly does not include an obligation to keep every existing Windows machine in the world running forever. Within these constraints, Microsoft will act as they see fit.
People don't reasonably expect to buy a computer and then hang on to it for the rest of their own lives. So they only need to trust their vendors to keep the computer going during its useful life, which for most people these days is probably three to five years. In fact, many if not most people will not install a new major release of their machine's operating system vendors tend to find it difficult enough to make people install important security updates.
There are certainly Linux distributions around that will last for three to five years (on the same machine), and if »maintainer distrust« is indeed a major factor that keeps people from running Linux desktops, then we have a PR problem, not a technical or developer-social problem. After all, the nice thing about free software is that important stuff tends to stay around basically forever, and that one does not need to depend on a single vendor, whereas, in the world of proprietary software, if your vendor calls curtains on something you use that's it then.
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