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Linux.com: Why Does Windows Have a Leaky Roof?

Apr 20, 2000, 06:10 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Michie)

"Linux is ugly. There is no consistency in the command line, configuration files, or the graphical interfaces. Sure, GNU is not UNIX, but Linux looks and feels like its misbegotten child. The kernel is monolithic and outdated in Computer Science. The Windows NT and GNU Hurd micro-kernels are designed with the benefits of more modern theory. So why has Linux taken off?"

"The immediate answer is the open source development model, and that it can be distributed at no cost. In a capitalist society, products with lower prices tend to proliferate and it is difficult to beat free. There is something deeper going on however. A better questions to ask is, "why does Linux engender such user loyalty despite being based on 1970s technology?..."

"The simplicity of the design and the availability of the source code makes it easy to knock a couple walls out when needed. Instead of throwing away all the lessons learned from the previous generation, Linux makes incremental improvements. Why throw out 30 years of hard-gained wisdom each time you build a new piece of software? Successful programming is largely based on putting together typical templates that have proven to work. We don't redesign nails every time we build a structure, why should we do it with software?"

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