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LinuxMall.com: Survival of the Forkest?

Apr 06, 2000, 18:06 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michelle Head)

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"Linux's history as an Open Source operating system (OS) could make a chapter in a rewrite of Charles Darwin's century-old On the Origin of Species. The forking of the Linux OS into different versions differs significantly from the forking UNIX experienced in the 1980's--in ways that seem to be adaptive rather than detrimental. Forking for Linux may actually be a form of evolution of the software as a whole rather than the fragmenting of the system into units that compete with each other."

"Linux's adaptiblity in different versions may give it the edge in this survival-of-the-fittest model. "There is no incentive for Linux to fork," Young told InfoWorld. "Its primary value is its single kernel on which to build features for customers to use.""

"The variety of Linux distributions and applications may prove to be Linux's greatest asset--provided the kernel remains stable and universal for the various types. But Linux has one more advantage over static proprietary systems--the evolution of the kernel itself."

"The maintenance of a universal, stable kernel seems to be the key to Linux's ability to adapt to new conditions and continue to grow and succeed while avoiding incompatibility issues and self-competition. One movement toward preserving a standard kernel is the two-year-old effort by some of the major vendors to establish a Linux Standard Base (LSB). The LSB is moving toward establishing a universally agreed-upon set of kernel elements and supporting components and features."

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