1. 6
  1.  

  2. 1

    This article is absurd.

    Exhibit A:

    <meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 6.0">
    

    Can we really take someones arguments about software quality seriously when they are using Microsoft FrontPage 6.0?

    Now here is an unpalatable truth, twenty years on: most open source code is poor or unusable.

    He starts with the premise that most open source software is garbage, but misses the point that most of everything is garbage. For example, most books ever written, photos ever taken, and paintings ever drawn are absolute garbage when compared to works of high quality in the same field.

    This is also true about all software, and all software companies. Most of all software is low quality and most companies will fail.

    Linux is of course, mostly a copy of Unix, it is deeply unoriginal, being based on ideas going back to the time of the Vietnam War. These ideas were in turn evolved within Bell Labs by its creators who were also well-paid professionals. Linus Torvalds copied an idea whose basis had been funded by university and corporation money and without that basis there would have been no Linux. Early Linuxes were dreadful. My Ubuntu version of 2005 was an absolute crock that wasted the plastic on which it was distributed. Ubuntu was itself a loss-making personal hobby of a entrepreneur who had so many millions that he could afford to run the parent company, Canonical, at a loss for years. The situation in 2019 is better than 2005, but the Linux desktop still lags behind Windows and the interface looks stuck in the 90s.

    I’d like to go into a deep discussion about the differences between a kernel and everything else but I think the point would be lost on Mark.

    P.S - the author’s website is served nginx (and is very likely running on a Linux server), which, is open source software.

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Server: nginx
    Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2019 02:13:08 GMT
    Content-Type: text/html
    Content-Length: 89626
    Connection: close
    Last-Modified: Sat, 26 Oct 2019 13:39:53 GMT
    ETag: "15e1a-595d066cc3e2a"
    Accept-Ranges: bytes
    
    1. 7

      Can we really take someones arguments about software quality seriously when they are using Microsoft FrontPage 6.0?

      Short answer: yes. Longer answer: what the essay was written/published with has nothing to do with the arguments put forth.

      This [most software is garbage] is also true about all software, and all software companies. Most of all software is low quality and most companies will fail.

      His point in saying this is to explicitly refute the notion put forth in Raymond’s essay that open source will produce higher quality software. Having worked in and with software for the past 25 years, I can safely say Mr. Tarver is not wrong.

      I’d like to go into a deep discussion about the differences between a kernel and everything else but I think the point would be lost on Mark.

      I seriously doubt that. I’ve met Mark. While he’s not the most pleasant person to be around all the time, I’m certain he can grasp the difference between “a kernel and everything else”.

      1. 5

        There are plenty of issues with the linked article, from minor ones like the incorrect possessive its, to the misapprehension that ESR wrote “The Cathedral…” in polemic against closed source (he was attacking the GNU/FSF style of development). Nitpicking on what editor might have been used to write the content, or ages-old point-scoring about kernel vs userland, isn’t actually engaging with the content of the piece.

        There’s a lot of stuff I don’t agree with in the article, but I do agree that “open source” has become more and more of a sharecropping field for developers, where they’re expected to put in unpaid work that makes corporations serious money. It’s a discussion worth having.

        1. 3

          Fair enough, I hear you and I agree that it is a discussion worth having.