[nSLUG] Why you are not seeing software ported to Linux

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Wed Jun 22 11:04:38 ADT 2011


On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 7:35 AM, Ben Armstrong
<synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca>wrote:

> On 06/22/2011 07:20 AM, D G Teed wrote:
> > I thought this blog entry was interesting...
> >
> > http://tirania.org/blog//texts/linux-developers.html
> >
> > Quote:
> >
> > To make Linux a viable platform for mainstream desktop use our community
> > needs
> > to realize the importance of these third-party vendors and not alienate
> > them.
> > Having a stable API, and a stable ABI is very important for this reason.
>
> libc5 to libc6? You've *got* to be kidding ...
>
>
He did say "and not alienate them".

Care to elaborate?  I'm not defending the blog, and
parts of it are historical but I think there is
something real about this perception from ISVs.

Why can a Windows software product released in 1998 still work today?
Why do Sun sparc binaries from ages ago still run today?
Why do companies like Dell and EMC create packages supported
only in Suse and Redhat (can be made to work in Debian),
while Debian has a bigger install base than Suse?
Why does Blizzard have developer versions of some of
their popular games which run within Linux, but they are
afraid of the idea of releasing it, while they do have
Mac OS support?

As long as there is only compatibility
by moving everything forward, much of open source
works like a very large home brew project, where the
minimal goal is "I got it to work".  Of course projects
very often exceed that, stating and achieving goals beyond
the minimum, but in terms of a minimum standard common
to all open source, this seems to be it.
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