The rapid pace of development of free/open source software has
always stunned me. In just a few years, Linux and the free BSDs
have become serious players in every major computing market, from
embedded systems up to enterprise-class servers. Most impressive,
however, is the strides they have made on the desktop. KDE and
GNOME rival, and sometimes exceed, commercially available desktop
environments who have been around for decades. (With apologies to
the BSD developers, I am going to shorten 'Linux and the free BSDs'
to 'Linux' for the rest of this essay.)
"And there's nothing that gets FS/OSS moving like criticism.
Three years ago journalists and industry pundits complained loudly
that Linux has 'no journaling filesystem!' Today it has a dozen.
Everyone complained, 'No good web browsers!' Today there are half a
dozen. Everyone complained, 'No good office suites!' Today there
are three or four. I sense a trend here...
"So, in that spirit, I am now going to complain loudly about
every major nitpick I can think of. Understand this: I love free
and Open Source software. The powerful tools it offers allows me to
work at speeds I never could have dreamed of five years ago. And
more importantly, it made computers fun again. If there were no
FS/OSS and my choices were Windows, MacOS (not counting OS X, which
wouldn't exist without FreeBSD anyway), or a proprietary UNIX...I
probably would have lost interest in computers long ago. So please
realize, the 'complaining' I'm doing here is purely an act of
Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.