Posted Jan 23, 2012 19:31 UTC (Mon) by khim
In reply to: What success???
Parent article: Poettering: systemd for Administrators, Part XII
What was the last time you heard somebody that some random program stopped working in Linux because unstable ABI?
Wrong question. Right question: when was the last time you heard somebody that some random program is no longer available in their distribution repository. And the answer will be: yesterday (gnochm). And it's quite hard to find out how many developers just gave up, but there are some estimates. At this point Windows Phone 7 has less users then Linux - yet there are some 50'000 apps for it. Debian has less then half of that. Sure, applications in Debian are usually more serious then some random screensavers in Android/iOS/WP7 markets - but this exactly the problem: it's not that hard to develop Linux program (Android or iOS APIs certainly look more alien then Linux APIs for Windows developer), but try to make it available for the user... and you'll hit the wall.
Why? because all the Linux users I know of use software that comes from their distro repositories.
Yup. That means that for 99% of users Linux is absolutely useless. People complain that iOS is "golden cage" because the only way to publish iOS program is to ask Apple, but in comparison to Linux it's paradise: Apple will kick you out only if it decides to compete with you, while Linux distributions can kick you out for bazillion different reasons - the most popular being "this obsolete application uses XYZ library which we want to remove and authors are not responsive. Come one: just why the authors should be "responsive"? They have create program, it works, users are happy, what right do you have to demand anything else? As drag said:
100% specific purpose of a operating system is to:
1. Make it easy to write applications.
2. Make it easy to run applications.
As I've said years ago: Friedliness to ISV is almost directly proportional to market share: Linux is 1% (because of the aforementioned problems), Mac OS is 5-10% (it's better then Windows, but it still likes to do things like drop support for Carbon when 100% incompatible replacement was only available for eight years), and the rest is Windows (which is horrible in many ways but has excellent backward compatibility).
As long as question about "how to install program on Linux?" question will remain "use the distribution's repo, stupid" Linux will be 1% niche.
P.S. Note: I use Linux myself and I'm quite happy with it. I still hate the fact that I need to compile some programs from sources and I understand that as long as that's the case I can not in good conscience recommend it to my non-IT friends.
to post comments)