Since I check my linkbacks religiously, I noticed one of the comments over at linsux.org (An anti-Linux rant site) on my recent post, "5 Things You Can Do to Put Linux in the Driver Seat" and thought I would share one of the entries with you. He wants us Linux types to stop work on so many disparate distributions and focus on a single one. Is this a good idea or the best idea I've ever heard?
He lists a few items, beginning strangely at #6, that he wants Linux fans to cease and desist on but the one that caught my attention is #10:
OEF (His site nickname)
Stop making web press releases every time someone tosses a bunch of open-source crap and artwork onto a CD. "Chuckie's Linux" will not change the world. In fact, it further muddies the landscape. Pick a distro. Just ONE damned distro and work on improving it.
Wow, OEF, whoever you are; you have my vote for the Grand High Exalted Poobah of all that you survey in Open Source and Linux. I like the idea of a single distribution. It really simplifies everything.
I love the idea of having a single distribution upon which to bestow our time and energies.
The only problem I see with it is, which one are you gonna choose for THE distribution? Will it be SUSE, Debian, Red Hat, Gentoo, or Slackware? Since it has to be a top-level distribution and not a derivative, it will have to be one of those--unless I've missed one.
Let's examine those choices.
Novell's SUSE Linux is a decent choice. It's well-supported, not that expensive, developed by some of the best programmers in the business but is a bit conservative for those leading-edge nerds.
Debian is a wise choice since it is the GNU Linux distribution and not particularly partial to any platform or company.
Red Hat is a great choice. One of the first commercial distributions, one of the best supported and most widely used distros in the IT world and is home to the most profitable of all Linux-based companies.
Gentoo--I don't know--since you can have a Gentoo operating system based on either Linux or FreeBSD, this one leaves me a bit cold. Sure it's secure and cool with its Portage but let's face it, if we wanted a hybrid operating system, we could opt for Mac OS X.
And, finally, we have Slackware. Poor, poor Slackware, I used to love you so but now your luster has faded in favor of the shinier, sexier Debian and Red Hat distros. Sorry Slackware, you just don't make the cut.
So, really we have to choose from Red Hat, Debian and SUSE for a single distribution. We need to be able to point a finger at someone when things go wrong for businesses to feel comfortable enough to use Linux, and Debian doesn't have that, so that leaves us with just Red Hat and SUSE to choose from.
Since I've had fewer bad experiences with Red Hat than with Novell, I'm going with Red Hat. Congratulations, Red Hat, you're now the one and only Linux distribution for the entire world! No one can make illegal copies of your software, in fact; no one can make any copies of your software, no one can take your software and create anything new from it because it's now basically proprietary and it no longer needs to be open source.
You are the sole creator and maintainer of this, our only Linux distribution. Manufacturers will flock to you to create drivers to work with our, I mean, your distribution so that we may all enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Of course, we can all still create third-party applications that work with your distribution but since you make the bulk of your own apps too, we might need to worry with that at all. Your office suite, programming suite, browser (oh you will create your own won't you?), gaming software, mapping software, web server and database server are the bomb and we love them all. We will only buy your products because no one else's have the same cool feature sets or 100% compatibility that we all need.
You are our one stop shop for all our operating system and application software needs. Thanks Red Hat, for being THE one for everyone.
I think I've heard this story somewhere before.