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Never underestimate the bank roll of an entire nation... much less three. The key difference is, Linux has been developed by volunteers in their own free time, whereas these governments will be paying developers to work on it. Unless they're truly dense, they will also allow input from volunteers since it is open source. In other words, they will have people from both "camps" working on it; those that are paid to write code for 8+ hours per day for 5+ days per week, and those that want to offer their expertise through volunteering.
This has the ability to catapult Linux forward much faster than it is currently progressing. If the operating systehm these countries develop is significantly different from Linux, I see a world with three competing operating systems: Windows, Linux, and this new Windows-replacement. When two out of three operating systems are open source, that's going to leave Microsoft in a very tight spot to say the least.
China's prediction of two years seems optimistic, but three years I think is reasonable. I'm very interested in seeing what they end up producing. This can only be good for everybody if they follow through.
well that report leans towards the nations buildiong on linux, not replacing it. There's no feasible reason not to run with linux, it's free and they can do what they want with it. It's more the case that the countries are after a definitive recommendable solution that they feel is suitable to replace windows at *every* user level, which linux can't right now, they need to add glue and some extra whistles...
Yeah, the embedded systems companies have picked a Linux-based strategy for their products, and that's why I would say 3 years is more reasonable: they have the foundation including the windowing environment. It's an excellent spring-board.
However, I'd say there's an overwhelming chance that they choose to branch the operating system and its utilities than contribute to the existing development process. I can't say that I'm knowledgeable of how the kernel is maintained, XFree86, Gnome, or any other major pieces. My current impression is, features, bug fixes, and changes are submitted by diffs, with one person getting the final say-so to include it or not. That won't work well when you have 500 to 1000 coders developing code everyday. The code produced won't all be for the same application, meaning progress will be slowed waiting for responses from multiple individuals to accept or reject the changes. That will choke productivity especially if these coders continue working on enhancements for their changes before the original changes are approved. There's the possibility of losing hours, days, weeks, and possibly months of work.
I think the only viable option would be to branch and develop your own scheme for project management. I see one of the full-time employees giving the final say regarding additions to a project; that would be his only job in order to optimize the efficiency of the process.
Given that scenario, the current project leads can either accept and follow what is being developed by China, Japan, and Korea, or continue as they are, and include what enhancements they can from this project on their own timetable. Unless they simply follow their lead, the possibility exists that the two projects will evolve to essentially distinct pieces of software, leading to separate/distinct operating systems.
That's what I was getting at. If I'm wrong, then two good things will come out of this:
1. Linux and the associated applications will be catapulted forward
2. Project management for big projects will probably undergo some standardization making it easier for corporations to interact and contribute to those projects. My impression now is that project management varies between projects just as much as the projects themselves.