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Globe and Mail: Is Linux Manageable?

Apr 26, 2003, 01:00 (22 Talkback[s])

"Jack Kapica's column was interesting and quite neutral, but I do think a few issues would benefit from further discussion.

"First, what is an operating system? In essence, it is an annoying, complex blob of code that stands between operation of a useful and beneficial program and the computer hardware it runs on. The operating system brings no immediate and intrinsic application-level benefit--it doesn't check spelling, correctly add columns of figures or correct the colour of digital pictures of grandchildren.

"Frankly, the 'cachet' of operating systems and the hype about them is a media and marketing-created illusion. The most practical thing I can say about operating systems is, 'Who cares, and why should they?' Basically, they are program loaders. The long-standing (and tired) operating systems 'wars' metaphor has long been saddled with the more painful and inappropriate religious connotation.

"Software is not religion--it is science. Why? Science is based on hypothesis, experimentation, accumulation of statistical and measurable results and proof or failure of a hypothesis. Quantitative measurement against a known framework is used to evaluate results and advance a factual base of understanding. All of man's accumulated scientific knowledge is based on the incremental progress of this methodology..."

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