My truth about Linux
I started this post out as a tongue in cheek overview of the Linux platform for the benefit of friends amusement, deliberately taking facts but displaying them in a provocative way for humorous effect. However after reading through it I felt that it was actually quite an eye opener to look at Linux from this angle so I thought I would post it on here.
Nothing said here is knowingly incorrect, its all the truth as I personally see it (to the best of my knowledge) but maybe taken ever so slightly out of its normal context to provide a different viewpoint and hopefully some humour.
I'm not aiming to start a flame war so please read this for your enjoyment rather than as a piece of documentation about Linux, and my apologies to any parties which might have innocently been trampled on during the process, such as Canonical who in reality have really done a great job of preparing the Linux desktop for the masses.
The Linux Kernel:
The term Linux, whilst being expanded over the years to cover many associated things, technically refers to a kernel used mainly in embedded systems (due to its zero cost and stability), which is made up of open source code commercially developed and paid for mainly by a company called Redhat. Whilst some of the code is developed by unpaid community members, the view that Linux is a project where people donate their efforts for love is mainly a misconception, in reality over 75% of the code is written by paid developers.
The Linux Distribution:
Often the Linux kernel is taken and packaged by random members of the public with components from other projects such as the GNU Project (which is an attempt to replicate the 1970's Unix operating system's command line) and BSD (which licenses many of the Linux core server applications such as the Apache HTTP server) into something called "Distributions".
Distributions are mainly curios and technology demonstrators to illustrate an individual or group of individuals opinion of how the Linux platform should work. Unfortunately the majority of these have a beta quality feel and are unsuitable for real world application but do serve as an excellent environment to self teach debugging of the Linux Kernel and its associated applications.
Occasionally, if enough financial investment is supplied and actual paid for workers employed, a distribution can become commercial to the point where it performs a practical purpose. Distributions which fall into this category include the server OS Redhat, the enterprise client OS SUSE and the home desktop OS Ubuntu which is developed by Canonical.
Adoption of Linux as a server platform has thrived over the years due to low costs, excellent work by RedHat and other commercial companies on the Linux kernel and the contributions from BSD licensed groups of key applications such as the Apache http server. However up until the private company Canonical stepped in the desktop never really progressed due to fragmented efforts of the community and the requirement to catch up with the key technologies necessary to produce a stable GUI.
Canonical to the rescue!?:
Seeing that the Linux community was almost there but needed financial incentives to help guide its developers towards a common goal, Canonical stepped in, packaged their own distribution and set themselves up as a central control body to collect and distribute bug reports throughout the Linux community.
Unfortunately after success in almost reaching a point of having an OS suitable for end user consumption, Canonical became all consumed with the urge to somehow prove it was better than other established OS's, including the Linux distributions from which it was based. It began to develop more and more of its own bleeding edge functionality which it incorporated into its distributions often making the community feel they had been left out of the picture.
As a result of this shift from being a coordinator of bug fixes for a solid distribution, to a development platform for new ideas, Ubuntu unfortunately migrated from the stable commercially developed group of distributions into the technology demonstrators group, which as stated before merely illustrates an individual or group of individuals opinion of how the Linux platform should work. Whilst this has brought many new ideas to the Linux platform (which may or may not prove beneficial in the future) it has also brought to Ubuntu all the instability (especially in terms of the GUI) which a bleeding edge platform entails rendering it unsuitable for many people.
The current status of Linux:
The end result of all this is that the Linux kernel, whilst being a highly important part of many embedded systems and many server installations has never managed to find a home in the everyday desktop, sitting at the same low adoption level its always been waiting for the next commercial company to step in and guide the open community towards a common goal....
Will you be that company?!?!
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