Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1726 mails)
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RE: [SuSE Linux] LSB project: succes or failure?
- From: Ted.Harding@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ((Ted Harding))
- Date: Sat, 06 Feb 1999 16:44:56 -0000 (GMT)
- Message-id: <XFMail.990206164456.Ted.Harding@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 06-Feb-99 Chris Martin wrote:
> The average Joe hears "cheap/free" and "powerful" in conjuncton with
> Linux. From this, they don't want to make any choices of flavor, they
> just want Linux installed as easily and running as transparently (up
> to some point) as possible.
> The average Joe (and big $$) drives the market (hence, microslop). So,
> this brings us back to the fact that like it or not, RedHat and their
> buddies are on a track wholly different than the others; one in which
> they have paid some attention to detail, at least as regards image and
> the like and being involved with the "right" people. I know this does
> not a good product make ... but good products aren't what people spend
> millions on every year (again, witness microslop).
> Just wait until RH spends a little time and well funded effort on
> German distbns. . . .I think SuSE's claim to German fame will
> quickly fall by the wayside too. . . .$$$ knows no borders. . . ..boo
Chris's brutal realism rings plausible. I'm not convinced that the future
will be quite so deterministic, but that's where it points.
If it goes that way before LSB or the like is ratified between the major
distributors, then of course RH will be the standard where LSB-type
issues are concerned.
And, if that happens, then the choice between distributions (assumed to
conform to the RH base standard) will turn on the suitability for you
of what comes on top of the standard base system.
There are many many possible ways a distribution can try to stand
out as different (and more suitable for whatever) from others.
A generic dimension is soundness, consistency and reliability. Regardless
of basic structure, RH in the past has skidded on the ice while trying to
turn corners too fast. SuSE, so far, seems to have avoided this trap
(though I'm not sure about 5.3 and my jury is still hearing evidence on
6.0). Also, SuSE has made a name for including an exceptional variety of
applications, all compiled consistently with the distribution.
Another way SuSE would be very well placed to stand out is in
international support. Here in Europe we *know* about having xenophone
neighbours; our exiled friends across the Atlantic seem to have a notion
about non-English languages rather like our notion of the far side of the
moon: we know it's there, but we don't really know what it's like
(witness the WordPerfect-8/7/6 fiasco with non-English characters).
Again, a distribution may pay special attention to specific application
areas. SuSE, for instance, was a pioneer in getting office and database
suites onto the distribution CD. A Europe-based distribution can exploit
local fraternities: there are a lot of good European software houses
devloping important applications; a "special relationship" with these
would again be an advantage. Other areas to watch out for as Linux
catches the world's attention are *real* DTP, graphics (including
scanning), and CAD.
And, above all, don't forget good documentation. SuSE has not done so well
at this as it not only should, but could have done. Internationalisation
applies to this area too.
All the above would remain true if RH failed to become the "de facto"
standard and LSB was ratified -- with even more force, in fact, because
then *by*definition* there would be no basic difference between standard
Linus distributions, and things like the above would be the *only* ways
one distribution could expect to stand out.
And I personally think that would be a better day for the world in
general. A cessation of competition on "my basic Linux is better than
yours: filesystem/install/sysadmin/upgrade/libs etc" and proper attention
to providing useful functionality on top of a base system which
*simply*works*, and is straightforward to use, is the way to go.
Best wishes to all,
E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <Ted.Harding@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 06-Feb-99 Time: 16:44:56
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