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Dr. Dobb's Journal: The Failure of the Free Software Movement

Sep 19, 2000, 20:07 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jim Mischel)

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"Before that can happen, the GNU/Linux community has to agree on some standards. The most obvious case in point here is a desktop environment standard, where the free GNOME and almost free KDE are currently slugging it out amid many technical and philosophical arguments. As much as these desktop environments are an improvement over the traditional Unix command line, they have a long way to go to approach the features and usability of even Windows 3.1. GNU/Linux systems must eliminate their dependence on the command line, and they must do it with a single desktop standard."

"Commercial developers must embrace the platform. This is almost a chicken-and-egg problem: users are reluctant to move to GNU/Linux until applications exist, and commercial developers are reluctant to create applications until there are users. But the commercial developers appear to be slowly moving to Linux. The imminent release of Borland's Delphi rapid application development tool for Linux (code named "Kylix") will undoubtedly accelerate this process...."

"More importantly, the GNU/Linux community must embrace the commercial developers and work with them to create standards and encourage standards compliance. If they try to ignore or lock out the commercial developers, hackers will ultimately alienate themselves and end up having no voice in the future direction of the GNU/Linux system."

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