Author Topic: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux  (Read 29358 times)

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Offline janoc

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #75 on: April 03, 2016, 08:17:29 pm »
It's a bit like those Windows based high-end oscilloscopes

umm, I think those products are good because of the software the can run, e.g. matlab, lab view, ...
things that cannot run on linux

Both Matlab and Labview run on Linux quite happily.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #76 on: April 03, 2016, 08:33:25 pm »
So in short, as I understand it, developing OSS is about:

O tinkering with new stuff only because the old stuff has no value or interest to you;
O changing stuff with little or no consideration for the implications;
O no peer review;
O not documenting changes appropriately for your end users;
O breaking what worked before;
O holding your end users and consumers in contempt.

Thankfully, I think we're all pretty much in agreement then  :)

Howard, that only shows that you have no clue whatsoever about the subject, only offensive prejudiced assumptions.

"tinkering with new stuff only because the old stuff has no value or interest to you;"

I am contributing to the VRPN project, which keeps a lot of old virtual reality hardware usable and running, beyond the support of their commercial vendors. That thing is a 15 years old project. I am also occasionally contributing to OpenSceneGraph - this is a project that goes to huge pains to keep working even on ancient systems like SGI Irix, because there are still users who need that.

"changing stuff with little or no consideration for the implications;"
This is has been discussed ad nauseam above.

"no peer review;"

You are kidding, right? Many open source projects are infamous for their strict peer review and getting code accepted requires jumping some pretty high bars. Linux kernel is pretty well known for this - along with the development culture that makes newcomers often cry because people don't hesitate to point out to you that you are a moron if you do something dumb.

"not documenting changes appropriately for your end users;"

That's just not true, even though in some cases the documentation could certainly be improved. Have you seen the changelogs for example on Mozilla Firefox or, again, each release of Linux kernel? Look here: http://kernelnewbies.org/LinuxChanges
You can even click through to the individual patches that have introduced those changes and see the corresponding code.

Show me something even close in a commercial world - e.g. with Microsoft's patches we have to be happy with "KBXXXXX - Important security fix" or "Safety-critical update". Good luck figuring out what it will do when you install it.

"breaking what worked before;"
That's just restating of what you wrote before.

"holding your end users and consumers in contempt."
So by a few immature yahoos in a forum that are often not even associated with the project in question in any way (they are users at best) you smear the entire ecosystem. Lovely, isn't it?

With all due respect to your experience and age, I think you are massively out of your field here.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #77 on: April 03, 2016, 08:36:12 pm »
I mean I have a deadline, and I have to
blahblahblah...
all of these steps MUST be completed for the end of the next week,

Not the fault of Linux. Blame yourself for accepting a job with such deadlines.


You are displacing the problem.  If the customer were billed for doing all of the work and taking the time to do this it would be the customer complaining about the expense, and if the customer had an itemized bill they would be complaining about Linux.


Karel is a known troll, just look at the FTDI thread ...
 

Offline janoc

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #78 on: April 03, 2016, 08:39:40 pm »
so the solution is not to upgrade? thats understandable.

I "might" upgrade to kernel 3.* or kernel 4.*, but it will require more time than the budget that my customer has allocated.
time and effort is the problem I have

I mean I have a deadline, and I have to
  • fix the hardware, I have to complete a PCI-FPGA board, there is mistake in the PSU section
  • fix the VHDL code, because my customer wants a customization
  • fix the firmware, because DINK32 (made by Freescale) has a bug, which limits the amount of (soldered) ram to the half
  • fix the rootfs, because my customer wants uclibc instead of glibc
  • fix the kernel module, it creates a bridge between the userspace (/dev/fpga) and the hardware
  • add a few examples to show my customer how he should use the fpga
  • provide a working toolchain, able to cross compile everything for the target (including the linux-kernel)

all of these steps MUST be completed for the end of the next week, thus I have no time to care about "linux" and "gcc"

upgrading and supporting kernel > 2.6.19 requires TOO MUCH effort
I can allocate such an activity ONLY if my customer will allocate a budget for that

I would say that in such situation don't bother upgrading. Keep the version you have working and fix the other issues first. Upgrading to a newer kernel is a "nice-have" feature in this case, IMO. If the client wants newer kernel, they should pay for that work - or do it themselves.

Porting drivers between major kernel releases is a huge effort if the driver wasn't maintained for a long time.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #79 on: April 03, 2016, 08:41:59 pm »
These days you pretty much have to have your toes in all waters. To blindly close your mind to technologies is not going to help you, you must be open minded. What this has shown me has confirmed in black and white what I was stating, I'm sorry you don't like the conclusion, but software where I come from is not design by tail-wagging-the-dog, it is business driven.
You're stating the obvious.

I thought so too, but I am not quite how that fits with the apparently accepted mantra demonstrated here of OSS developers where design is by lots of tail wagging and little if any concern for the business (ie, end users).  :-//

Thing is I know not all developers of OSS are like that, and it would be unfair to tar all with that brush. I've just been more than a little surprised today that there seems to be a badge of honour to discount end users and deprecate so readily, I was expecting a robust defence but instead received a confirmation of what I already suspected!
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #80 on: April 03, 2016, 08:53:03 pm »
So in short, as I understand it, developing OSS is about:

O tinkering with new stuff only because the old stuff has no value or interest to you;
O changing stuff with little or no consideration for the implications;
O no peer review;
O not documenting changes appropriately for your end users;
O breaking what worked before;
O holding your end users and consumers in contempt.

Thankfully, I think we're all pretty much in agreement then  :)

Howard, that only shows that you have no clue whatsoever about the subject, only offensive prejudiced assumptions.

"tinkering with new stuff only because the old stuff has no value or interest to you;"

I am contributing to the VRPN project, which keeps a lot of old virtual reality hardware usable and running, beyond the support of their commercial vendors. That thing is a 15 years old project. I am also occasionally contributing to OpenSceneGraph - this is a project that goes to huge pains to keep working even on ancient systems like SGI Irix, because there are still users who need that.

"changing stuff with little or no consideration for the implications;"
This is has been discussed ad nauseam above.

"no peer review;"

You are kidding, right? Many open source projects are infamous for their strict peer review and getting code accepted requires jumping some pretty high bars. Linux kernel is pretty well known for this - along with the development culture that makes newcomers often cry because people don't hesitate to point out to you that you are a moron if you do something dumb.

"not documenting changes appropriately for your end users;"

That's just not true, even though in some cases the documentation could certainly be improved. Have you seen the changelogs for example on Mozilla Firefox or, again, each release of Linux kernel? Look here: http://kernelnewbies.org/LinuxChanges
You can even click through to the individual patches that have introduced those changes and see the corresponding code.

Show me something even close in a commercial world - e.g. with Microsoft's patches we have to be happy with "KBXXXXX - Important security fix" or "Safety-critical update". Good luck figuring out what it will do when you install it.

"breaking what worked before;"
That's just restating of what you wrote before.

"holding your end users and consumers in contempt."
So by a few immature yahoos in a forum that are often not even associated with the project in question in any way (they are users at best) you smear the entire ecosystem. Lovely, isn't it?

With all due respect to your experience and age, I think you are massively out of your field here.

Actually, you are right, I think I have been unfair to the greater population, I have just been a bit mindblown by the admittedly limited sample response on this thread. So I apologise to the greater OSS developer population forthwith because I know this is not true across the board. You are right, I have been prejudiced by the responses of a couple of users on this thread, and that should not be, and isn't representative.

My original premises remain that the half life of your average bit of Linux documentation is of the order of a few weeks, and that there is a problem of balance in backwards compatibility that is more acute in Linux compared to other mainstream OSes.

But I repeat that I was unnecessarily unfair to the general OSS developer community here, it's just that the responses I saw here, such as a balanced approach towards backwards compatibilty being deemed "utopian" rather shocked me. I hope you understand.

Edit: typos due to rubbish tablet keyboard
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 09:00:56 pm by Howardlong »
 

Offline Koen

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #81 on: April 03, 2016, 08:57:35 pm »
If you don't like the way it's done, if you have better solutions, if you wish to maintain old software, get involved and contribute. Nobody's stopping you from stamping your print in the projects you use.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #82 on: April 03, 2016, 09:01:35 pm »
If you don't like the way it's done, if you have better solutions, if you wish to maintain old software, get involved and contribute. Nobody's stopping you from stamping your print in the projects you use.

Actually, you may not be aware, but I do.
 

Offline Koen

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #83 on: April 03, 2016, 09:03:45 pm »
It wasn't directed to you, more of a general conclusion after reading the whole thread.
 

Offline hendorog

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #84 on: April 03, 2016, 09:11:07 pm »
These days you pretty much have to have your toes in all waters. To blindly close your mind to technologies is not going to help you, you must be open minded. What this has shown me has confirmed in black and white what I was stating, I'm sorry you don't like the conclusion, but software where I come from is not design by tail-wagging-the-dog, it is business driven.
You're stating the obvious.

I thought so too, but I am not quite how that fits with the apparently accepted mantra demonstrated here of OSS developers where design is by lots of tail wagging and little if any concern for the business (ie, end users).  :-//

Thing is I know not all developers of OSS are like that, and it would be unfair to tar all with that brush. I've just been more than a little surprised today that there seems to be a badge of honour to discount end users and deprecate so readily, I was expecting a robust defence but instead received a confirmation of what I already suspected!

It seems to me that the discussion has discounted the role of the distribution vs the role of the developer.
My understanding was that the distributions shoulder some of the responsibility for choosing and integrating the tools and maintaining compatibility.

The other consideration is that where backwards compatibility is needed badly enough in OSS, it _is_ maintained. For example I recall there was a 2.2 kernel maintained for a long time. You of course also have the option of maintaining it yourself, or paying someone else to do it.

I think legacy's criticisms are around the code quality sound quite valid - I wonder if the ppc code gets much love these days?
The backward compatibility arguments for an esoteric platform over nearly 10 years, not so much.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 09:15:31 pm by hendorog »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #85 on: April 03, 2016, 09:23:33 pm »
I have to agree with Howardlong that using Linux or developing & maintaining a software product for Linux is very hard due to ever changing APIs and broken backward compatibility. I have over 15 years of experience with developing with/for Linux. Actually the Linux kernel itself is one of the worse offenders. It is no wonder very few hardware manufacturers bother to offer driver support for Linux because it is just too much work to keep up with the changes in the kernel and Xorg.

Lack of documentation is a severe problem too. Most parts of the Linux kernel have no comments at all and it is totally unclear how and why things are the way they are. A nice example: at some point the kernel developers removed the reset hook from the kernel shutdown code. However this reset hook is important to set the power management back to default so it can support the default CPU frequency after a reset. This caused problems on several platforms and it is a prime example of why it is so important to document (comment) WHY things are implemented in software. Many seem to think a changelog or some doxygen created crap serves fine as documentation but it is not. Not by a long shot. The most important information for a piece of code is WHY it is there.
You also see it when manufacturers of SoCs try and create kernel support for their chips. They never get it quite right because the underlying API is not documented properly. When doing a project based on a SoC I have not used before I usually reserve around 150 hours for ironing out Linux kernel bugs.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Earendil

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #86 on: April 03, 2016, 09:49:57 pm »
I have to agree with Howardlong that using Linux or developing & maintaining a software product for Linux is very hard due to ever changing APIs and broken backward compatibility. I have over 15 years of experience with developing with/for Linux. Actually the Linux kernel itself is one of the worse offenders.

And have you considered that there's a reason to this? Like developing a tons of features? Or multiplying the number of users by orders of magnitude?
 

Offline legacy

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #87 on: April 03, 2016, 10:19:44 pm »
I wonder if the ppc code gets much love these days?

umm, as far as i see, it seems that the x86 & arm code get much more love these days  :-//
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 10:55:38 pm by legacy »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #88 on: April 03, 2016, 10:21:17 pm »
I have to agree with Howardlong that using Linux or developing & maintaining a software product for Linux is very hard due to ever changing APIs and broken backward compatibility. I have over 15 years of experience with developing with/for Linux. Actually the Linux kernel itself is one of the worse offenders.
And have you considered that there's a reason to this? Like developing a tons of features? Or multiplying the number of users by orders of magnitude?
I call it lack of looking forward & planning ahead. One of the things I encountered a long time ago was the enumeration of the PCI slots or cards (I forgot) changing from an integer to a string between a minor release in a stable kernel. Ofcourse that broke something else! IOW: everything will be an afterthought without planning and defining APIs first.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #89 on: April 03, 2016, 10:30:13 pm »

My original premises remain that the half life of your average bit of Linux documentation is of the order of a few weeks, and that there is a problem of balance in backwards compatibility that is more acute in Linux compared to other mainstream OSes.

But I repeat that I was unnecessarily unfair to the general OSS developer community here, it's just that the responses I saw here, such as a balanced approach towards backwards compatibilty being deemed "utopian" rather shocked me. I hope you understand.

The problem is that you are comparing things that just aren't comparable and projecting your erroneous assumptions there. Windows XP was on the market for almost 10 years. That is a single Windows version being around for more than the total time of existence of many projects! It took Microsoft almost 10 years to actually produce a sensible next version which got adopted by the users - Windows 7. So this isn't so much about the mainstream OSes intentionally staying compatible but the inability of Microsoft to move faster (and not for lack of trying!). In contrast to that, Linux kernel has a major release about once a year, most Linux distributions have a new version once or twice a year (I assume you know that there isn't a single "Linux" but many which differ in certain things). Windows XP was pretty much an anomaly in this regard.

Actually Microsoft has now moved to a rolling release system with Windows 10 which is even less stable than the 2 major releases/year that many Linux distributions use. So you have several versions of Windows 10 around which differ quite significantly depending on which patches have been or have not been installed, even though they all share the same version number. Talk about chaos!

If you take Mac OS X, you will discover that there is a major release about once a year and every release breaks some things for developers (and to lesser degree users). The same for Android or iOS, which are major players among the mobile systems. So this supposed longevity in mainstream software that is supposedly lacking in open source projects just isn't really there.

You are quoting one single anecdotal piece of evidence because you got unlucky and managed to find that single piece that has apparently changed between versions. Try to find how to fix e.g. screensaver not starting correctly in Windows 10 - a problem I was trying to solve recently after upgrading from Windows 7 at work, because Win10 is completely happy to keep the screen unlocked for anyone to do anything with the machine if you forget to hit WIN+L to lock it manually.  When you filter out the "helpful" responses that on modern systems you are not supposed to use a screensaver because the screen burn-in is not a problem and you should rather suspend the screen to save energy (i.e. totally missing the point), you will find that the 3/4 of the info is for Windows 7-8 (i.e. not relevant) and the rest that actually concerns Windows 10 talks about using group policy editor and similar tools - which are not available in all Windows 10 versions. And that is a commercial software that one pays quite a bit of money for. I could give you many other such examples.

Basically, if you are relying on finding info from 3rdparty sources - websites, forums, mailing lists, you can't assume it is accurate - and that is the same story regardless of which system you are using.




 

Offline janoc

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #90 on: April 03, 2016, 10:39:54 pm »
I call it lack of looking forward & planning ahead. One of the things I encountered a long time ago was the enumeration of the PCI slots or cards (I forgot) changing from an integer to a string between a minor release in a stable kernel. Ofcourse that broke something else! IOW: everything will be an afterthought without planning and defining APIs first.

That's a bit unfair, though. Yes, it is great to say this when you have 20/20 hindsight, but Linux kernel isn't developed by a closed team of engineers working around a single platform where you have the luxury that everything can be planned ahead because you know exactly what you will have to support in the future.

That said, I certainly agree that they could manage some things better and breakages like what you described are not fun. Especially the more obscure/less used platforms are in danger of bit rot and breakage, simply by the virtue of too few people maintaining the support for them.

On the other hand, if you have workable ideas how to plan for and manage a team of a 1000+ developers working on a single release, from different companies and with different commercial interests, I am sure Linus would want to hear from you. It is a super hard problem and I am surprised that he has got as far with it as he did.
 

Offline legacy

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #91 on: April 03, 2016, 10:52:58 pm »
I would say that in such situation don't bother upgrading. Keep the version you have working and fix the other issues first. Upgrading to a newer kernel is a "nice-have" feature in this case, IMO. If the client wants newer kernel, they should pay for that work - or do it themselves.

precisely what I am going to do  :D

Porting drivers between major kernel releases is a huge effort if the driver wasn't maintained for a long time.

that is the case: after the kernel version 2.6.24, Motorola removed the support
since they declared "obsolete" the Sandpoint-x3 74xx line
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #92 on: April 03, 2016, 11:18:54 pm »
Janoc: with respect, pretty much every single time I go to something with Linux with a view to figuring out how to integrate something, which is pretty much on a weekly basis, it's the same story I'm afraid. It's just not an isolated case. I gave that one about the RPi as an example people could relate to easily. I could just as easily have told you about the ten days elapsed I spent trying to get a Red Pitaya development environment up and running, or even a blinky on it, but that is such an extreme case it's hardly representative of the normal trials and tribulations I encounter. Most examples are rather more esoteric, I could go into the one about the USB driver in the MIPS version of the kernel that fails to enumerate in certain cases where it incorrectly calculates aggregate bandwidth that I fixed, or the HID API library that broke between distributions that I also fixed. The list is pretty long.

While you are right, and I most certainly agree, that Windows (and OSX) are hardly without fault, my point remains that installation and deployment instructions and recipes tend to break more rapidly and become deprecated due to loss of backwards compatibility more in Linux than they do in Windows or OSX. Every deployment seems to be "special" in one form or another, the goal posts are moving about all the time. Not only does every set of instructions you carefully make and test have to specify precise versions of every component that you have, I've learned the hard way over the years that you also need to include a sandboxed way of building those components as before you know it they're lost, nowhere to be seen in the repositories or anywhere else.

That is all, it's just an observation I've made again and again, please take it as a piece of constructive criticism that it's meant to be, it's not a personal affront, there is no need for anyone to get defensive about it. I am not saying it's easy, just that this is an observation that is a key reason why Linux has difficulty in gaining traction on the desktop.

If it's any consolation, I spent many hours fixing a broken Windows 10 profile a week or so ago on my main development desktop where none of the Tile apps (that I almost never use) worked. Microsoft's recommendation after following half a dozen other useless tips is to reinstall Windows. You can imagine what my response was. In the end I figured it out myself without the reinstall but it took a long time to get there.
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #93 on: April 04, 2016, 12:52:55 am »
The problem is that you are comparing things that just aren't comparable and projecting your erroneous assumptions there. Windows XP was on the market for almost 10 years.

You're saying that like it was a bad thing.  I'm no great fan of Microsoft or Apple but neither of them would be in the position they are now if they brought out new releases that broke stuff at the same rate that Linux does.  Sure, stuff gets broken occasionally, but fixes are generally easy to find and continue to work years later.

As I said before, it's disappointing but hardly surprising that Linux has completely failed to become a mainstream desktop operating system.  Sadly it will never be a realistic possibility unless this kind of stupidity is resolved.
 

Offline hendorog

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #94 on: April 04, 2016, 04:19:30 am »
Here is an example of OSX changing like the wind:
https://support.apple.com/en-nz/HT202516


Interestingly they purchased some emulation software which allowed PPC apps to run on Intel for a while - then they removed that feature, sold the product to IBM who killed it quickly IIRC.

 

Offline f1rmb

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #95 on: April 04, 2016, 06:06:16 am »
I was referring to "end user" in the general sense. If I write a library for example, then the end user might be another programmer.
Well, and if you break the API of your library, for any reason (security, cleanup, nonsense, name it), it's up to the dev to update his code to comply with yours changes. If he don't want to, it's his problem, not yours.

Backward compatibility is just utopia. You can maintain it for a while, but one day you can't anymore, because things evolves or new features should be added, or devs find a nicer and cleaner API. You cannot leave 2 or 3 (or more) pretty similar functions because of backward compatibility, at a given time it become totally unmaintainable, and will confuse the new devs who want to use your library.
You can always apply bugs-causing-crashes and security fixes to older versions. This is easy if you use a version control system where you can push changes between versions. WxWidgets for example can be compiled for supporting various versions (and buggyness levels) of the API so old code which relies on certain workarounds keeps working. As Legacy already wrote changing to a newer version of a library is likely to trigger upgrades in several other parts of the system which turns a small change into a huge project. You really can't sell it to a client that adding a simple extra feature needs a complete overhaul + re-testing of the software which costs them tens of thousands of dollars.

No enterly true, wxWidgets (aka wxWindows) has already introduced few API breakages by the past.
Adding a "simple" needed feature won't necessary introduce an API breakage, where did I wrote that ?

"You really can't sell it to a client that adding a simple extra feature needs a complete overhaul + re-testing of the software which costs them tens of thousands of dollars."
Really ? Well, let me tell you a secret, Microsoft is doing this for more than 30 years.

Well, I think this is my last comment in this thread, many persons are open-minded (and know what they are talking about), but few others are irrecoverable.

Cheers.
---
Daniel
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #96 on: April 04, 2016, 06:21:11 am »
If ms did it.why were clients buying? Why they didnt other oses?
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Karel

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #97 on: April 04, 2016, 06:34:39 am »
If ms did it.why were clients buying? Why they didnt other oses?

Abuse of monopoly (they are convicted for that) and vendor-lockin.
The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline legacy

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #98 on: April 04, 2016, 06:45:14 am »
Quote
You really can't sell it to a client that adding a simple extra feature needs a complete overhaul + re-testing of the software which costs them tens of thousands of dollars

in my job experience, it sounds like avionics, software product there, make the difference between using loooooonixxxxx or .... rejecting because ... supporting its "wind of change" costs too much

e.g. linux costs a lot of human power in order to pass the DO178B level D (I did, and it was the most frustrating experience ever), thus you can't stay in tree  :-//
 

Offline legacy

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Re: [solved] I really HATE gnu and linux
« Reply #99 on: April 04, 2016, 06:47:54 am »
p.s.
I like products made by WindRiver, e.g. VxWorks sources and Workbench (even if … it's Eclipse based  :palm: )
 


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