Quotes of the week
Posted Mar 23, 2012 17:48 UTC (Fri) by khim
In reply to: Quotes of the week
Parent article: Quotes of the week
Those developers could make distributions irrelevant in a blink by releasing software that didn't need massaging for mass deployment.
Wow. This is bold statement. I'll bite.
Can you explain how to do that - even in principle?
The requirements are obvious (nothing onerous - all platforms except Linux obey these rules without asking):
1. It must be one file for all (or at least few major) Linux distributions (I'm not interested in spending more time then needed for 1% of the market).
2. It must support both x86 and x86-64 distributions (again: I'm not interested in spending more time then needed for 1% of the market).
3. The same binary must be usable for at least few years (two, better five, preferably ten) on all future upgrades of the aforementioned distros (I need time to recoup my investments, you know… I concur with the potential need to issue minor fixes in the future, but they should cover all the distributions - both old and new).
Assume I'm doing a simple 3D game which need to play sound and some video (that's what most games do nowadays, after all).
I don't see any way to do that thus your assertion that developers can “release software that didn't need massaging for mass deployment” looks quite a lie.
Except that would mean tackling the issues distros solve today, would identify the same pain points distro point out now, and the whole point of the exercise is to postpone integration and avoid paying the technical debt of past mis-decisions.
Exactly. This is not my piece of cake. Sure, I can assign some people to the task of supporting “Linux desktop mess”… but why will I want to do that when I can spend the same resources on PS3 or Android port with much better ROI?
In fact those developers quite often deny there is a need for integration and associated rules, justify this denial by pointing the supposedly minuscule Linux market share, and always forget to mention the even more abysmal market-share of their own not-integrated direct developer-to-user binaries.
Bullshit. Widely cited and quite plausible market share of Linux is 1-2%. This is 15-30 millions of users. I've participated in many projects which had (some still have) more users then that. Most of them were never ported to Linux, because, as was pointed above, it's pointless.
No, they prefer to compare to the Windows/OSX/Android/whatever ecosystem, and conveniently forget that those ecosystem have rules too, and that their owners are at least as directive as Linux distributions.
And what rules are these, please tell me? That you must think before you write and not do a crazy things (like assuming that “Program Files” is always “Program Files”?), isn't it? Well, this is covered in easy-to-follow documentation and all the examples obey them thus it's not such a big deal.
The usual excuse is 'but $x does not ask for $y like Linux distributions', forgetting $x asks for $z when Linux distributions do not care about $z.
Not forgetting. Not caring. You see, if $x is “Windows” then I'm ready to €N to implement $y. If $x is “Mac OS” then I'm ready to spend ≈0.1✕€N (well, I can spend ≈0.2✕€N and compensate with higher price if I feel that Mac OS users will be more generous then Windows users). But when Linux users come to me and ask to implement feature $z which is not required neither by Windows nor by MacOS and that will cost me ≈0.05✕€N, then the obvious answer is “are you nuts?… bring me as many users brings at least and then may be, just may be I'll think about it”.
Beggars can't be choosers - and right now Linux desktop is as poor (by number of users) as they come. Later, when you'll have many-many Linux desktop user you may start adding new rules (like Google is doing with Google Play Store), but today… sorry, you have no such luxury. You do know know that a lot of programs (especially games) are ported to MacOS with a help of CrossOver for Redistribution because ≈0.1✕€N is not enough for native port, right? In comparison to that typical requirements of Linux distributions is not “onerous” or “crazy”. They are “beyond good and evil and well unto realms of terminally insane”.
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