O’Reilly Network: What Lessons do Linux Distributors have for .NET?

“All the components that make up a .NET application can be
loosely coupled and may communicate using XML. … This creates
opportunities for alternative service providers. … Who is going
to help you choose the components that will make up your office
application? How will you know which components suck and which ones
rule? Or more importantly, which option pricing plugins have
portfolio-threatening bugs?”

“This is the same challenge that faces Linux users… which
shell, which C compiler, which editor, and which desktop? These are
all questions that the makers of Linux distributions help you
answer. Sure, a given Linux distribution may come with dozens of
desktops you can choose from, but only one of those is enabled by
default. Novice users are going to stick with the default – they
will let the distributor decide for them.”

“A .NET component aggregator would be a lot like a Linux
distributor – they would provide an installation program that pulls
these components together in a unified, integrated, and well-tested
Maybe lots of users will like the service that these
aggregators provide, and we’ll start seeing hundreds of Microsoft
Office distributions on CD-ROM, all slightly different!”


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