[UFO Chicago] what draws you here?

Larry Garfield lgarfiel@students.depaul.edu
Mon, 28 Jan 2002 23:12:31 -0600

Ian Bicking wrote:

> apt-get!  No, really, I've never reinstalled Debian, or had the
> slightest desire to do so, except when I replaced the main HD.  I have
> 1253 packages installed, and it still works fine -- admittedly there's
> probably a lot of junk I don't need, but that's not really the point.  I
> don't have to practice self-control when installing software.  I can't
> do that in Windows.  Those source tarballs are what make repackaging
> possible.  Sure, maybe 75% of Windows programs can be installed without
> effecting system stability.  Just like maybe 75% of the programs I want
> on Linux are packaged in Debian (more, actually).  But they don't tell
> you which Windows programs are going to slowly eat your system alive.

True, but by the same token you can find an awful lot of crap for Linux
systems, too.  It generally won't kill your system, quickly or slowly,
because the fundamental architecture is unquestionably more resilient
and more stable.  The problem is that the cost of that increased
reliability is you have to know a lot more about what you're doing than
you do with Windows.  I'm not convinced that is inherent in the
software.  I DO, however, believe that it is the "fault" of the FS/OS
attitude.  There is a very strong "by geeks, for geeks" streak in the
Unix-oid community at large (including the GNU folks, the Open Source
people, the hard-core old=school Unix people, etc.), which I think hurts
Linux and Free Software in the world at large far more than any
Microsoft ad campaign could hope to accomplish.

Larry Garfield

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-- "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you." :-)