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millimeter: The Lure of Linux

Mar 04, 2001, 17:09 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jean-Luc Bouchard)

[ Thanks to Martin for this link. ]

"Jean-Luc Bouchard is marketing director of Venice-based Nothing Real, which makes high-end compositing tools including the popular Shake. In this piece Bouchard discusses the appeal of Linux and some of the challenges in porting an established product to Linux. Nothing Real's new product Tremor, a front-room client based compositing system currently in beta and slated for an NAB 2001 debut, will also run on Linux."

"At the beginning of 2000, Nothing Real started talking seriously about the state of operating systems and the possibility of porting our flagship compositor, Shake, to alternative platforms. We started assessing the pros and cons of what was available. On one hand, there was the battle-proven Irix, which had been the industry's platform of choice, but which was coming under heavy fire because of the price and evolution of its associated hardware. On the other hand, there was NT, the "beast" that no one ever really took seriously, but sure wished that they could buy its related hardware. Then, on the fringe there was Apple, touting its long-awaited and elusive OSX, which seemed to promise a lot. In addition, there were the usual dinosaurs and newbies with tons of promises and failures like BeOS, True 64, and a multitude of Unix flavors."

"What came out of our early conversations was that none of these alternative operating systems really brought anything new to the table. Each of them had flaws and strengths but mostly they either appealed to a very small group of technology geeks or the manufacturers were still short on the delivery side. Given that the nature of Nothing Real has always been based on openness, there was little to make us excited."

"But there was one remaining alternative that was already right under our noses, the OS that was driving our file server and mail server, an OS we had always admired and used-Linux. Some of our engineers were fans and over the years had done unofficial ports to test the rendering speeds and the state of Open GL."

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