Linux not so free anymore (not SCO related)

From the little I understood, if you develop some OS that comes from Linux (like Red Hat, or Debian), you have to pay a fee to LMI, Linux Mark Institute, owned by mr. Torvalds. The fee is annual, starting at 200 bucks but may reach up to 5 grand a year.

Alright, for distributors, it might not be so expensive, and the end user surely won’t feel the impact of this. But it’s a start.

Ever since people started making distributions like the ones I mentioned, Linux has had this disadvantage over Windows: that since there were so many different systems, even though they all had the same kernel, something you developed for one might not work on the others. The lack of some standards kept away many people and companies.

Now, there is a movement that is growing, and trying to create standards so that different distributions may get more integrated. The goal is to make it so that they’ll follow patterns and defaults even beyond the kernel. That would be a great development, making Linux more powerful.

It was known that Linus and those close to him would someday create some kind of organization which would try to organize the chaos. But to think they would charge fees for it, I was totally unprepared to read this when my colleagues emailed me these news.

This sounds like bullshit.

Well, that site is owned by Linus.

I find it hard to believe too, but let’s see what turns out from this.

It’s rubbish.

  1. There’s no outcry. There would’ve been.
  2. It’s about the name Linux not the OS Linux. You can’t trademark an OS. You patent it.
  3. Linux the OS is already lisenced under the GPL.

That’s comforting to know. Thanks.

Well, I do hope some standards are put into place, to ensure compatibility and steady development.

I dunno. Much as we may bitch about these things, remember that adversity builds character. Later on, provided we survive to lie to our grandkids in the Great Shining Future where every toaster runs Linux, and we read kernels more than the New York Times, we’ll be able to talk about the Bad Old Days, when we were an oppressed minority, and people thought we all went to Star Trek conventions when we weren’t compiling something or destroying the music and movie industries with our insidious downloading.

I don’t think thats really a problem. Its gotten through the past decade fine.

My greatest concern about Linux is compatibility, and even that is probably not much of a problem, since many programs now have versions made specifically for Linux. Quality isn’t much of an issue here either, since the people who develop Linux aren’t being paid to serve a crazy corporation by creating OSes with tons of badly concealed flaws. A few things that annoy me about Microsoft are the way their programs always seem to have bugs, glitches, security flaws and whatnot, which force you to wait for the next patch, which will probably add as many problems as it solves, and so on… On top of that, they always try to market their programs as infallible, major breakthroughs. I mean, if they’re going to take five to six years before they release a new OS, they could at least make it something actually new, instead of just a re-styled system that just hogs more system resources, and make sure they weed out all the bugs, glitches and whatnot, not to mention security vulnerabilities. I mean, I don’t find the thought of installing an OS and having to download 1289037192837 updates just to cover their blunders amusing in the least. It’s like IE, which is basically a wide open door for all sorts of spyware and other crap. Firefox is a hundred times better, and Microsoft probably would never have considered adding certain features such as multi-tab browsing to IE if it wasn’t for Firefox’s competition.
Overall, I think that having a company in such a dominating position can be a bad thing if it doesn’t have competition. When there’s no serious alternative that might cut their profits, companies seem to become careless and start slacking off. After all, what are people going to do if they’re not satisfied with the products and services, when there’s no alternative? Maybe now Microsoft will be a little more careful with the stuff it releases. Such flaws are unacceptable. As an example, they took ages to start developing an anti-spyware program of their own. Personally, I think they should have made security and stability prime concerns when they made XP.