|| ||bryanh-AT-giraffe-data.com (Bryan Henderson)|
|| ||Stop making products for Linux|
|| ||Sat, 25 Oct 2003 20:19:45 +0000|
I've just been through the exercise of buying hardware, trying to be
sure I will be able to use whatever I select with my Linux system.
And I have a message for the computer industry.
I'm tired of companies making products for Linux. I don't want to see
hardware that comes with a Linux device driver. I don't want to see a
Linux version of a software package. I don't want technical support
for Linux users. All this makes sense for Windows, but is contrary to
the concept of Linux.
What we Linux users want is products with robust and published
interfaces, preferably conforming to some public standard. We want
technical support at the level of those interfaces (so I can call and
say, "I issued a F2 command and got back D1 status, and the spec says
it should be D3"). We appreciate sample driver code, but that's just
If we had that, we'd write our own drivers, test our own
configurations, and package our own software. We'd even provide
technical support among ourselves for the higher-level Linux users.
I bought a UPS that advertised "works with Linux." Turns out that
means you can download a binary RPM for Red Hat Linux 6.0 and control
the product with a Windows-style GUI interface. I don't have Red Hat
6.0 or anything like it, and if I wanted to control the UPS
windows-style, I'd hook it up to my Windows system.
Sometimes, "works with Linux" means that the product was tested and
found to work on some Linux system. But unlike Windows systems, Linux
systems are, by design, not all alike. I believe the only way to
truthfully claim "works with Linux" is to provide and support an
I understand the kind of product I'm talking about is not
cost-effective. That's why Windows is what it is. I'm just saying
that when a product "supports" Linux in the same way it "supports"
Windows, the company is just wasting its time and insulting the Linux
Bryan Henderson Phone 408-621-2000
San Jose, California
Comments (7 posted)
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