Fragmentation is Good and Bad for Linux
May 11, 2010, 18:32 (0 Talkback[s])
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"Lately I have been hearing criticism about embedded Linux and
how fragmentation, as represented by the many flourishing Linux
projects such as Meego, Android and webOS, is bad and dangerous for
Linux; these critics suggest that fragmentation will hinder Linux'
ability to compete with companies like Microsoft and Apple. I
disagree, which is not surprising. But the market and marketing
strategists also disagree. Citing the familiar ogre of
fragmentation shows a limited view of the Linux economy.
"The Linux platform is both fragmented and unified.
"Linux already has a unified base: it's called upstream
components. An Embedded Linux OS, just like an enterprise Linux OS,
is comprised of core upstream components like the Linux kernel.
First, at the kernel level — where most hardware support
happens including all driver support — the Linux ecosystem is
extremely unified. Device makers or silicon suppliers that wish to
support their hardware with Linux - whatever the variety - simply
contribute code to the mainline Linux kernel project hosted at
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