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What's better for Linux

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:30 pm
by FinixFighter
Hi folks! I was wondering if it would be better if there was only one linux distribution. I agree with the fact of the free and open source software, but I think that se tutti gli sviluppatori lavorassero sullo stesso prodotto si accelererebbe ancora di più il miglioramento di un sistema operativo. Instead, if there are many operating systems, some may have problems that others do not have and there is an uneven development. I know that different distros are designed for different uses and users (and that's cool), but I think that all unite they can make a very bigger difference. Look at Windows, they only have one distribution and it is used for everything, from school to work, gaming etc... I think that Linux needs something like that. Like during a revolution, it is all done together. If they divide, they fall... What do you think?? Let me know your thoughts!! :)
PS: For example, different distros could be different themes that users can install in order to simply modify their desktop environment.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:02 pm
by JoeFootball
For the uneducated (such as myself), "... se tutti gli sviluppatori lavorassero sullo stesso prodotto si accelererebbe ancora di più il miglioramento di un sistema operativo.", translates to English as something like, "... if all the developers worked on the same product, the improvement of an operating system would accelerate even more."

Joe

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:16 pm
by Moem
FinixFighter wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:30 pm
I know that different distros are designed for different uses and users (and that's cool)
... but you think it would be better if that weren't the case? But it's still cool?
Now I'm confused... :roll:

One of the reasons I stopped using Windows was the lack of choice and of different options.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:26 pm
by ajgringo619
While I agree that there are an extreme amount of Linux distros, I think reducing that to one would be just as extreme. If you remove competition, you stagnate development. Look at what's happened to Windows - Redmond knows it could put out just about anything and the masses will still buy it, because they've become slaves to their platform. Personally, I love the fact that I have the choice to switch distros if I want. I chose Mint because it gives me exactly what want - stability. If I decided to go with a more bleeding-edge distro, I could easily switch to something else. If there was only one Linux distro, who would decide what direction it would take?

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:36 pm
by JerryF
JoeFootball wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:02 pm
For the uneducated (such as myself), "... se tutti gli sviluppatori lavorassero sullo stesso prodotto si accelererebbe ancora di più il miglioramento di un sistema operativo.", translates to English as something like, "... if all the developers worked on the same product, the improvement of an operating system would accelerate even more."

Joe
I disagree. There's a saying "Too many cooks spoil the broth".

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:33 pm
by FinixFighter
JoeFootball wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:02 pm
For the uneducated (such as myself), "... se tutti gli sviluppatori lavorassero sullo stesso prodotto si accelererebbe ancora di più il miglioramento di un sistema operativo.", translates to English as something like, "... if all the developers worked on the same product, the improvement of an operating system would accelerate even more."

Joe
Yes, thanks for that! I didn't know how to explain that in english and I used google translator but I copied the wrong text :oops: Sorry!

Anyway thanks to everyone for your answers! :D
Linux for ever! 8)

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:21 am
by Hoser Rob
It took me years to learn the main reason WIndows dominates. It's not because it's monolithic. It's because it's not written for end users. It's written for developers. If developers prefer to write their software for WIndows almost everyone will end up using Windows. Linux has a ridiculous set of APIs/ABIs by comparison.

So yes, I do think having fewer distros ... or at least fewer packaging systems etc and actually stable APIs. ... would be a big help.

I don't have a clue how you'd go about a grand Linux unification scheme. As the sig of one long term Debian deveoper says, managing open source projects is like herding kittens. They're always taking off to do their real jobs.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:21 pm
by ajgringo619
Hoser Rob wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:21 am
It took me years to learn the main reason WIndows dominates. It's not because it's monolithic. It's because it's not written for end users. It's written for developers. If developers prefer to write their software for WIndows almost everyone will end up using Windows. Linux has a ridiculous set of APIs/ABIs by comparison.

So yes, I do think having fewer distros ... or at least fewer packaging systems etc and actually stable APIs. ... would be a big help.

I don't have a clue how you'd go about a grand Linux unification scheme. As the sig of one long term Debian deveoper says, managing open source projects is like herding kittens. They're always taking off to do their real jobs.
I could support fewer distros, just not one. Windows 10 would never have become the monstrosity it has if there was a different version, or even an option for a streamlined version, available to the masses. Once XP came out and unified their DE, the bloat (and complaints about it) has become worse and worse. The sad part it that nothing has really changed, at least not on the desktop side. End-users have become desensitized to long updates (just updated my Win7 VM yesterday - one 9 MB update turn 11 minutes!) just like commuters in LA have to the horrible traffic.

The biggest drawback, to me, about all the different flavors of Linux is marketing. How do you advertise a product like that with so many options?

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:15 pm
by mediclaser
If software developers would only have to make one binary file to work on all linux machines, and all hardware (video cards, wifi cards, all printer brands/models, etc) would work without any issues, that would be a better thing for linux.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:38 pm
by MintBean
What if that one distro they all got behind was one you didn't like the style of?

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:53 pm
by ajgringo619
mediclaser wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:15 pm
If software developers would only have to make one binary file to work on all linux machines, and all hardware (video cards, wifi cards, all printer brands/models, etc) would work without any issues, that would be a better thing for linux.
The developers don't generally make the binaries; they rely on the distros to make them from their source files. When I first worked for IBM back in '98, I found a program called OpenPKG, which solved that problem by building binary packages from source on all sorts of different platforms - Linux, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, just to name a few. Unfortunately, it wasn't well-funded and really only worked well with the GNU tools. Flatpak and Snap do that now, but are Linux-centric.

If you mean the kernel, then that's a different story. I personally wish that kernel distribution was more unified between the distros, but that's never going to happen.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:36 pm
by lsemmens
How would you cope if all we had was one type of motor car just a different body on it to suit the job? Oh, and any colour you like, as long as it's black. (thanks Henry Ford). We all have our preferences for cars why would it be any different for computers?

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:47 am
by BenTrabetere
MintBean wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:38 pm
What if that one distro they all got behind was one you didn't like the style of?
And that is the real* problem. The result will be the same no matter which one became The One - a torches and pitchforks parade will be formed, and there will be much carnage. And if you compromise and limit it to the major families (Slackware, Debian/Ubuntu, RedHat, SUSE, Arch, and Gentoo), you are back to the plethora of boutique distros.

*IMO, it a superficial problem. The real problem with a One Linux world is there is a huge world outside the desktop, it is a world where Linux dominates, and it is a world where one size does not fit all.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:22 pm
by carum carvi
Monopolies like Windows are solely created for the profit of shareholders.
Opensource projects are created for the better of the users.

However tempting the idea might be that many people working on 1 product might produce better quality it invariably holds a risk that any monopoly faces: if the one product fails for whatever reason, there is NO product left at all.

In nature any organism feeds on many others. The bigger the diversity, the stronger the system. Hence the more creativity from different Linux programmers is geared toward different projects, the more stable the base for Linux as a system will become.

Coming from Windows, as a newbie I was really puzzled by the many Linux systems I could choose from. Didnt know what OS to choose. Now, a year later, I regard the many different Linux systems as a great source from which I can choose many different systems that fit my need. Diversity therefore, is key to the succes of opensource IMO.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:15 pm
by catweazel
MintBean wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:38 pm
What if that one distro they all got behind was one you didn't like the style of?
Or if it didn't like you or your hardware?

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:45 pm
by Pjotr
The diversity is partly an illusion. There's just one kernel, one Firefox, one LibreOffice, etc....

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:42 pm
by ajgringo619
Pjotr wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:45 pm
The diversity is partly an illusion. There's just one kernel, one Firefox, one LibreOffice, etc....
Agreed, but is there really only one kernel? I've hopped over 15+ distros in the past year before choosing Mint and none of them were running the same version of the kernel. As new hardware specs are added and older ones dropped, how is the average supposed to keep track?

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:17 pm
by catweazel
ajgringo619 wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:42 pm
Agreed, but is there really only one kernel? I've hopped over 15+ distros in the past year before choosing Mint and none of them were running the same version of the kernel.
Just because there are versions, it doesn't follow that there are different kernels per se. There is only one kernel but it has many versions and various forks.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:25 pm
by Pjotr
The thing is: there's upstream and downstream. The distro's are downstream. They just make their selection from the available upstream software, "glue" their selection together and lo and behold, there's your distro.

There's just one upstream. That's why the diversity of Linux is partly an illusion.

You should compare distro's on the quality of their selections, the quantity of what they've put into their repo's, the quality of their "glue" and the quality of their tweaks. While realizing that they usually have more in common than that they differ.

Re: What's better for Linux

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:23 pm
by gomerpile
Format, delete,