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
"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
"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..."