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Old 04-26-2006, 10:45 AM   #31
Michael_S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigearsbilly
you don't work for M$ do you
No, but unfortunately I do find myself working on MS software.

Quote:
well, another 2G is a big deal in the real world when you are sticking
your app on an 8Gig managed shared server and they complain you are hogging the CPU!

Please mr sysadmin can you put some RAM on coz we are using a rubbish language?
What exactly is your application doing that it needs so much memory?

You can optimize Java code. You can't optimize it to perform like C or assembler, but you can improve performance. There are performance profiling options for Java, too, so you can see where your application is spending most of its time.
 
Old 04-26-2006, 01:27 PM   #32
Padma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_S
So unless I am absolutely guaranteed that the application I am using will only ever be modified by me, I have to write it in a scripting or programming language we all know and every subsequent programming hire will be expected to know.
As a senior software engineer involved with "enterprise programs", I have to say this is a very important point. I have known some sh1t-hot C++ programmers who could make the system sing. But then they retire/quit/die/whatever, and some poor shmuck has to take over program maintenance. And almost invariably, we get questions like "what the heck does *this* function do?", "Why is he passing this variable? It doesn't seem to do anything." The skill set that our customer has asked of us is Java/j2ee, so now I can feel reasonably confident that when a programmer leaves, another can step into his place without *too* much trouble.

Almost everything we write has to run on Windows 2000/XP, and on Sun Solaris. Java fits that bill, nicely.
 
Old 04-26-2006, 02:43 PM   #33
slantoflight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padma
As a senior software engineer involved with "enterprise programs", I have to say this is a very important point. I have known some sh1t-hot C++ programmers who could make the system sing. But then they retire/quit/die/whatever, and some poor shmuck has to take over program maintenance. And almost invariably, we get questions like "what the heck does *this* function do?", "Why is he passing this variable? It doesn't seem to do anything." The skill set that our customer has asked of us is Java/j2ee, so now I can feel reasonably confident that when a programmer leaves, another can step into his place without *too* much trouble.
Does this mean every new generation of programmers become more and more lazy?
 
Old 04-26-2006, 03:39 PM   #34
Mega Man X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slantoflight
Does this mean every new generation of programmers become more and more lazy?
Depends how you look at it. Developing software today is way more complex that what it was a decade or two ago. Having more tools to work with (as the great Java libraries) by no means makes one more or less lazy. I see them as a more productive programmer, who can create more robust applications in less time...
 
Old 04-26-2006, 04:08 PM   #35
jonaskoelker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_S
I'm pretty thick skinned on internet forums. Just don't call me fat, and I'm good to go. So no worries.
Good to know.

Quote:
You can categorize people in any type of discussion in two groups. There are the type that aren't really discussing anything and just spout their own beliefs, and the type that are there to learn. I'm willing to learn.
You give that impression. In fact, I'm very positively suprised at how civil you're being, and... well, let me just thank you for your input.

Quote:
I was optimizing in man-hours against C. I was not trying to argue that Java is a superior language, just that it's not a complete abomination.
Okay, I'll accept that.

Quote:
I think me and my colleagues were shit C programmers at the job where we used C. The management attitude was "build it as fast as possible, fix all the non-critical bugs, ship it, and then release patches periodically".
I'm glad as in positively suprised that you admit to that. I should give the disclaimer that I'm in still in school (second year of CS major math minor @ Aarhus university, Denmark), and have never done any "managed" work (as in run by a corporate twat who doesn't understand why the company needs programmers to produce software). But it is my impression from what I've heard that a massively huge amount of managers haven't but should read Frederick Brook's The Mythical Man-Month.

Quote:
Maybe my picture should be next to the term 'codemonkey' in the dictionary.
I did not say that. On the flip side, I'm very inclined to concur

Quote:
I suppose in an intelligently managed business or an open source project where the top suits aren't squeezing blood from stones to maximize profit, the available memory analysis tools, review processes, and proper training can make C just as viable as Java.
... If not more so! I'm betting that the number of C, C++, and python programs individually outnumbers the number of java programs installed on my machine. Also, I'm willing to bet that most web applications in the free software community (bug tracking systems, LQ, cpan , etc.) are written in non-java languages. Sure, quantity != quality, but they're not completely independent either.

Quote:
I'm not following the example. First, isn't the "frobnicate(r)" at the end disallowed because the code is unreachable? Second, isn't the cache nuked as soon as all references to Result are removed?
(a) yes. I had written one hunk of code, then I fucked up when rewriting it.
(b) no, the reference in cache is strong. Sure, you shouldn't do that, but shit programmers are going to.

Quote:
It would be nice if every kid with an interest in computers can start hacking (I mean that in a positive way) at code before they finish high school. It doesn't always work that way.
It's not as if the community is holding them out on other grounds that their code is bollocks. It's good that it's the only (or at least primary with a distant unknown second) reason, but it's a bit bad that it's hard to get started--I'll agree with you on that.

Quote:
(on "enterprise" software)
For something very big and intricate, you need a very clear system architecture. Object Orientation is one of the things that can help facilitate that. It does not require it, but it can help.
Okay, I'll agree that it can help. It can also hinder, and it's not the only thing which can help. I guess it comes down to "use the right tool for the right job".

Quote:
I don't know python. I do know bash and sed. The problem is, my coworkers don't. So unless I am absolutely guaranteed that the application I am using will only ever be modified by me, I have to write it in a scripting or programming language we all know and every subsequent programming hire will be expected to know.
That's because they're windows monkeys! Give them a real OS.

Okay, I'm a bit harsh here, but I really think that windows sucks a huge donkey's balls for development, and I suggest you read The Art of Unix Programming. Written by ESR, completely biased and to some extent preaches to the choir, but when you are the choir, that's just great

Quote:
I was addressing your complaint that Java has too much built in to the common libraries. Yes Java has a lot builtin, but it's very easy to figure out the piece you need with Javadoc. You're making a lot of very good criticisms of Java, but I see this one as more of a whining complaint thrown in to the mix than a valid point.
You may have a point there. I can't remember what I've said, but I'll summarize my main argument why java is never the right tool for the job:

You either optimize for machine efficiency (speed, memory, disk usage), in which case java loses to C. Or you optimize for programmer efficiency (design, implementation and debugging time), in which case java loses to python. Java IMO just gets the worst of both worlds.

And I think my initial comment should be read in that light.

Quote:
And I'm saying that another 2 GB of RAM is, what, $200? Big deal.
Which is fine, until you use 4 GB, in which case double the amount of RAM isn't going to cost you two hundred dollars, but two million dollars, because you have to replace all your machines with 64-bit ones to bump the address space as well as the memory.

Quote:
Actually, I'm enjoying the discussion and learning a bit too. So thank you.
Me too--and I think you to some extent have a very good point which I haven't thought about the programs you write having to be understandable by the really shitty code monkeys in a big corporate setting, and hence have to be written about java (which is why I want a career in academia, or teaching math at a high school). I also forgot about the existence of windows.
 
Old 04-26-2006, 04:11 PM   #36
jonaskoelker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mega Man X
Having more tools to work with (such) as the great Java libraries (...)
I assum you're only making a comment on the size...

Nah, just kidding.
 
Old 04-26-2006, 04:18 PM   #37
Mega Man X
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ghehehe. Hi jonaskoelker. Nice to see you around . Well, I've to agree partially with you(I'm sure you're surprised). I've been learning Java a bit deeper and indeed there's a few things that I (and many others I suppose) won't ever need from the Java API...ever.

Other things with Java are a bit more complicated than they should be and programming Java without an IDE like Eclipse, Netbeans or BEA can become a nightmare pretty quickly. Gone were the days where I believed that I could do anything with vim or BlueJ. Still, it does simplify a lot of work in most cases, especially when it comes down to Webprogramming and Networking. I think

Last edited by Mega Man X; 04-26-2006 at 04:19 PM.
 
Old 04-26-2006, 07:23 PM   #38
tuxdev
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X: I'm suprised you are turning from the dark side as well. On IDEs, I personally think that my editor(vim) should edit, my compiler(gcc) should compile, my builder(make) should build, and NOTHING ELSE. An example of the Unix philosophy "Do one thing and do it well". A language that actually needs an IDE has some serious design flaws.

Quote:
It would be nice if every kid with an interest in computers can start hacking (I mean that in a positive way) at code before they finish high school. It doesn't always work that way.
It is way easier now than when the only access to a real OS was corporate. I might not have become a hacker's apprentice if GNU/Linux did not exist.
 
Old 04-26-2006, 07:47 PM   #39
Mega Man X
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Thanks for the reply tuxdev!. Yeah, I got a bit disappointed with Java in a few areas. It is, however, the language that I know the best today, so I will keep coding with it. In fact, this summer I will try to start a simple game/chat game with Java. I mean, a chat/game because at it's heart it will be a chat program, but you can go around and do little things in a small town. I've seem a few chats like these before but they've apparently vanished from the net.

You were spot on when you said about the need of an IDE to Java is a flaw. I mean, you make calls to so many objects that call another object and another and another that without Eclipse's miraculous features of auto-completition it would be simply impossible to remember the whole hierarchy.

At first, I started to organize my code. Everything inside separated packages. Had a few interfaces here and there and other abstract classes. They are handy with game programming, like creating an interface called "collidable" and then you just implement that interface with the objects that will collide with each other, for example.

Either it was my lack of knowledge back then or Java code itself got over-confused that I had troubles understanding my own Pong-clone game today :\.

Again, I'm still relatively new and most likely I'm not using Java fully. I still like Java a lot and a lot of things, like Networking is something that I would never dare to touch with another language. Leave it alone creating a game with networking capabilities .

Either way, if someday I move to another language as C++ (which I was quite fine back in the days) or python (which I used a lot with pygame programming), I've no doubt that it will help me a lot with the OOP concept I've learned from Java.

Now now... I'm not saying I will not use Java anymore or that I hate it. On the contrary. It is still my favorite language and it's the one I know best today. And it indeed is handy for a single programmer because of the well documented API and the plenty of the (necessary) IDE's freely available around. I'm just not as blinded by it as I used to be. So far I loved Java on the Web with Servlets, JSP, custom tags and a lot of fancy (and useful) stuff.

Personally, I'm very interested in the Micro Edition and game programming for cell phones. It looks like Java has a lot of handy stuff for that. Anyway, ask me again what I think about Java in an year or so

Regards!

Last edited by Mega Man X; 04-26-2006 at 07:51 PM.
 
Old 04-26-2006, 10:15 PM   #40
zytsef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mega Man X
[A] chat/game because at it's heart it will be a chat program, but you can go around and do little things in a small town. I've seem a few chats like these before but they've apparently vanished from the net.
Sorry, off topic. If you mean a mud, there are scads of them scattered about still. If you're interested, try looking here.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 04:18 AM   #41
Mega Man X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zytsef
Sorry, off topic. If you mean a mud, there are scads of them scattered about still. If you're interested, try looking here.
Awesome . I not even knew there was a name for it. This surely will give me a lot of ideas ^_^.

Thanks a lot!
 
Old 04-27-2006, 08:51 AM   #42
Michael_S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonaskoelker
You give that impression. In fact, I'm very positively suprised at how civil you're being, and... well, let me just thank you for your input.
Thank you for yours.

Quote:
I'm glad as in positively suprised that you admit to that. I should give the disclaimer that I'm in still in school (second year of CS major math minor @ Aarhus university, Denmark), and have never done any "managed" work (as in run by a corporate twat who doesn't understand why the company needs programmers to produce software). But it is my impression from what I've heard that a massively huge amount of managers haven't but should read Frederick Brook's The Mythical Man-Month.
You're right. The funny thing is, in my own experience I've come to see that having software development experience in no way prepares you to be a good software development manager. The VP of Engineering at my last job modified the Linux kernel for some products, wrote display drivers for two different operating systems, and generally was the best man for any programming task that needed to be done in a hurry. He was an atrocious manager. My current boss can't program a thing, but he has a much better approach.

Quote:
I did not say that. On the flip side, I'm very inclined to concur
I was a codemonkey. There's no way around it. It's not an insult if it was true. I'm just hoping to graduate past it.


Quote:
(b) no, the reference in cache is strong. Sure, you shouldn't do that, but shit programmers are going to.
I'm not sure I follow. I'll have to check the example again. Anyway, I take issue with "shit programmers are going to." I'm soft-hearted, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are just plain sloppy. I'm sure there are also some that got into the field but just flat out do not have the brains for the job. But I would bet that in most cases, people make mistakes like that simply because their education (academic or self-taught) missed it. With hundreds of tricky concepts to master in the course of learning to program, it's easy to miss big ideas.

Quote:
It's not as if the community is holding them out on other grounds that their code is bollocks. It's good that it's the only (or at least primary with a distant unknown second) reason, but it's a bit bad that it's hard to get started--I'll agree with you on that.
One person's experience does not consitute an industry trend. I just know that I personally really enjoy software development, but I know very few people that have the slightest interest in it. I hope the education system around the world moves to introduce the topic to kids in an approachable way, instead of leaving it for only the most curious and motivated people to cultivate an interest on their own.

Quote:
That's because they're windows monkeys! Give them a real OS.

Okay, I'm a bit harsh here, but I really think that windows sucks a huge donkey's balls for development, and I suggest you read The Art of Unix Programming. Written by ESR, completely biased and to some extent preaches to the choir, but when you are the choir, that's just great
The first thing I do when I have my own development machine is install cygwin. I use it a lot. But a lot of companies are stuck in Windows. For all the advantages that Linux offers, it is often not trivial to port all existing software to another platform. The place I work at uses Java and open source software exclusively to build its product, save for one component: Crystal Reports. Replacing Crystal Reports' automatic report generation with something like Eclipse's Business Intelligence Reporting Tool (BIRT) would be great, but it would easily take half a year to port everything over. Half a year's salary for a Crystal Reports user can buy an awful lot of (mediocre) Microsoft software.

Quote:
You may have a point there. I can't remember what I've said, but I'll summarize my main argument why java is never the right tool for the job:

You either optimize for machine efficiency (speed, memory, disk usage), in which case java loses to C. Or you optimize for programmer efficiency (design, implementation and debugging time), in which case java loses to python. Java IMO just gets the worst of both worlds.

And I think my initial comment should be read in that light.
Good point. I really do need to evaluate Python at some point. Problem is, I get home from work and have no mental energy for learning new things. I can barely think straight, and instead waste my time with really easy PC games or posting inane comments on internet forums.

Quote:
Which is fine, until you use 4 GB, in which case double the amount of RAM isn't going to cost you two hundred dollars, but two million dollars, because you have to replace all your machines with 64-bit ones to bump the address space as well as the memory.
As I stated in a seperate post, there are performance tweaks for Java. You've got to be running some sort of monstrous app to use 2 GB of memory, even in Java.

Quote:
Me too--and I think you to some extent have a very good point which I haven't thought about the programs you write having to be understandable by the really shitty code monkeys in a big corporate setting,
They don't have to be shitty. It's just a question of hiring criteria. If the company primarily uses C and Bash scripting, even if Python is perfect for a given task you should still use C and Bash so that the next employee can understand what you've done.

Quote:
and hence have to be written about java (which is why I want a career in academia, or teaching math at a high school). I also forgot about the existence of windows.
Well, I think part of my problem coming out of college was that most of my professors didn't have much industry experience. They had the academia credentials, the PhD and all that, but some had never worked in a professional environment and others had only used Cobol or Ada.
Ideally, I would like to work at two or three additional places after this one, and then go into academia. Then every time I presented a programming concept I could introduce a real world example or two to go with it.

As for Windows vs Linux... I think this is a topic for another thread, but here is where I really think user friendly Linux desktops ultimately benefit the Linux programmer. If Linux is easy to use in an office environment, non-technical people will adapt to it. If non technical people will adapt to it, the Linux developer will have an easier time convincing upper management to migrate the whole company, including the development environment, to Linux. Then we (or at least I) can get what we (I) really want, which is to be paid to develop software on Linux instead of Windows. As long as Linux is not a powerful desktop alternative to Windows for your non-technical user, people like me will be stuck running Linux at home and Windows at work.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 11:12 AM   #43
tuxdev
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There is one job that Java is actually the right tool for, web applets. No other language that I know of can be used to create web-based versions of normal applications.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 02:15 PM   #44
jonaskoelker
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Quote:
The funny thing is, in my own experience I've come to see that having software development experience in no way prepares you to be a good software development manager.
Very true, and the reason is: as a programmer, you're job is to design, write, organize, debug and document code, and other technical tasks. As a manager, your job is to estimate how much time it will take to develop an application, to make sure that the people you're managing are productive and well enough trained for what they do, make sure you meet the budget, and other organizational tasks. The two have very little in common, and you rarely find people who are brilliant at both. However, in big organizations you probably need some layer of people who understand a little of both worlds to act as a "communication adapter" between the long-haired techies in sandals and the pointy-haired bosses in suits.

Quote:
I'm not sure I follow. I'll have to check the example again.
Your comment was "won't the cache get nuked when all references to <object I put into the cache> die?" My answer is "that won't happen, because the cache itself has a reference to <object I put into the cache>". I assumed you implied that the reference was weak (grep through your prized javadoc for WeakKeyDictionary and WeakReference or something like that).

Quote:
(you being a soft-hearted sissy)
Oh shut up! :P

Quote:
I hope the education system around the world moves to introduce the topic to kids in an approachable way, instead of leaving it for only the most curious and motivated people to cultivate an interest on their own.
That would be really great. Of course, everyone with a narrow enough skill set would argue that "everyone should know about it". I won't delve deep into psychology, but basically since all experiences we have are our own, we assume to some extent that everyone sees the world in the same way, and act by it.

Of course, I'm a coder like you, so I'm with you: I think computer literacy is a far more useful skill than literary analysis (and I'm right), but until about five years ago my mom would disagree, and she would be right too. Horses for courses, I think they say in England.

Quote:
Good point. I really do need to evaluate Python at some point. Problem is, I get home from work and have no mental energy for learning new things. I can barely think straight, and instead waste my time with really easy PC games or posting inane comments on internet forums.
I know just how you feel.

Quote:
They don't have to be shitty. It's just a question of hiring criteria. If the company primarily uses C and Bash scripting, even if Python is perfect for a given task you should still use C and Bash so that the next employee can understand what you've done.
You're having a good point here, and I retract the point about complete shittyness. However, it's not an insignificant consideration that not-so-great programmers should be able to work on the code. Have a look at Paul Graham's essays at paulgraham.com; he might come off as arrogant, though. I especially recommend "the python paradox".

Quote:
As for Windows vs Linux... I think this is a topic for another thread, but here is where I really think user friendly Linux desktops ultimately benefit the Linux programmer. If Linux is easy to use in an office environment, non-technical people will adapt to it. If non technical people will adapt to it, the Linux developer will have an easier time convincing upper management to migrate the whole company, including the development environment, to Linux. Then we (or at least I) can get what we (I) really want, which is to be paid to develop software on Linux instead of Windows. As long as Linux is not a powerful desktop alternative to Windows for your non-technical user, people like me will be stuck running Linux at home and Windows at work.
It's funny you should say that, because I most Plans For World Domination (tm) I read go something like this:
  • Pimp the ideology of Free Software to the hackers, and get them involved.
  • Write a high-quality body of software.
  • Pimp it on the server market, gaining some visibility and showing that it Really Works, and that Free Software brings benefits of cost, reliability, reduced risk, better return of investment, and so forth.
  • Pimp it on the corporate desktop; argue based on empirical results that it's really better for the reasons mentioned above--that's what the corporate decision maker cares about.
  • As it makes inroads on the corporate desktop, the users gain experience with it in their jobs and see that "Oh my god it really works and never ever crashes", and decide to give it a go on their home machine.
  • Your bullet would then be the last one: the development of software for the free platform as a business. Now, it has a market of respectable size, so it's actually profitable to do so.

Already we're seeing some uptake on the corporate desktop, and fairly non-technical people are using it on their home machine. In other words, we're winning.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 08:56 PM   #45
Michael_S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonaskoelker
Very true, and the reason is: as a programmer, you're job is to design, write, organize, debug and document code, and other technical tasks. As a manager, your job is to estimate how much time it will take to develop an application, to make sure that the people you're managing are productive and well enough trained for what they do, make sure you meet the budget, and other organizational tasks. The two have very little in common, and you rarely find people who are brilliant at both. However, in big organizations you probably need some layer of people who understand a little of both worlds to act as a "communication adapter" between the long-haired techies in sandals and the pointy-haired bosses in suits.
You're right that the two jobs don't overlap. But I assumed (foolishly) that an experienced software engineer would have an edge. Even if he had no formal training in management and very little natural aptitude, he could at least learn from management good examples and bad counterexamples in his own past jobs. It turns out not to be true.

Quote:
Your comment was "won't the cache get nuked when all references to <object I put into the cache> die?" My answer is "that won't happen, because the cache itself has a reference to <object I put into the cache>". I assumed you implied that the reference was weak (grep through your prized javadoc for WeakKeyDictionary and WeakReference or something like that).
Hah! Learn something new every day. And that's a pretty stupid problem. I should write Java classes to test this out:

{
Class A { B b; }
Class B { A a; }
A testA = new A();
B testB = new B();
testA.b = testB;
testB.a = testA;
}
... so if I understand it correctly, those two Objects would never be garbage collected because they refer to each other, even if all external references were lost?

Quote:
That would be really great. Of course, everyone with a narrow enough skill set would argue that "everyone should know about it". I won't delve deep into psychology, but basically since all experiences we have are our own, we assume to some extent that everyone sees the world in the same way, and act by it.

Of course, I'm a coder like you, so I'm with you: I think computer literacy is a far more useful skill than literary analysis (and I'm right), but until about five years ago my mom would disagree, and she would be right too. Horses for courses, I think they say in England.
Again, you raise an excellent point. I have friends that are just as animated about political science as I am about computer science. I think political science is hugely important, but nowhere near as interesting as software engineering. Naturally, they think the converse of that.

Quote:
You're having a good point here, and I retract the point about complete shittyness. However, it's not an insignificant consideration that not-so-great programmers should be able to work on the code. Have a look at Paul Graham's essays at paulgraham.com; he might come off as arrogant, though. I especially recommend "the python paradox".
I've read "The Python Paradox" before, thanks to a discussion about it on Slashdot. As a long time Slashdot member, usually I try very hard to avoid reading the article before commenting on the story. (If you use Slashdot, you know what I mean.) I think he's conceptually right, but it still misses a case. If we both work in Smalltalk and your pet language is Ocaml and mine is Forth, then we both took the time to learn unusual languages in addition to the project language. That speaks well for both of us. But it still makes sense for us to use Smalltalk on all of our work projects. (I picked those programming languages because they're unusual. I don't know anything specific about any of them.)

And of course, "The Python Paradox" emphasizes yet again that I just can't bring myself to do any coding outside my day job. By the end of the day, I can barely concentrate.

Quote:
It's funny you should say that, because I most Plans For World Domination (tm) I read go something like this:
  • Pimp the ideology of Free Software to the hackers, and get them involved.
  • Write a high-quality body of software.
  • Pimp it on the server market, gaining some visibility and showing that it Really Works, and that Free Software brings benefits of cost, reliability, reduced risk, better return of investment, and so forth.
  • Pimp it on the corporate desktop; argue based on empirical results that it's really better for the reasons mentioned above--that's what the corporate decision maker cares about.
  • As it makes inroads on the corporate desktop, the users gain experience with it in their jobs and see that "Oh my god it really works and never ever crashes", and decide to give it a go on their home machine.
  • Your bullet would then be the last one: the development of software for the free platform as a business. Now, it has a market of respectable size, so it's actually profitable to do so.

Already we're seeing some uptake on the corporate desktop, and fairly non-technical people are using it on their home machine. In other words, we're winning.
Is there some place I can sign on as a henchman? I'm in agreement with you. There is, however, a strong faction in the Linux community that has no interest in making Linux friendly for non-technical users. They want it to remain the stomping grounds of a sort of geek elite, I suppose. That attitude baffles me. As long as Windows has 90% of the desktop and an ( ) expanding server market share, the majority of software development jobs will be for Windows software. Plus, the problem perpetuates itself because 'killer apps' will continue to be Windows only. For every few percentage points of market share that shift to Linux (or FreeBSD, or whatever), a major commercial application gets ported over or a really viable open source alternative gets created.
 
  


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