TheManWhoWas wrote:Had a Linux equivalent been around in the 1980s, I wonder how many of the home computers we had then would have used it?
There were equilivents. Xerox Star, SGI workstations, etc. And if you drop the
Desktop Enviroment you still have Xenix, Unix, and many more. They were
wanted by most and almost no one had them.
Now we have Linux and Darwin as the popular.
We Have FreeBSD/NetBSD/DragonFlyBSD, MiNIX, and more as the open source.
We have SUN OS/SCO Unix as the commercial.
We have POSIX as an attempt at standardization.
For a graphics interface we have Xorg, XF86, Wayland, Y Windowing System,
NanoX, W Windowing System, etc.
For the UI elements we have many WMs.
For the Desktop enviroment we have KDE, GNOME, ROX, E11, etc, etc.
For a good unifide unix like system we have NOTHING, zero, not there.
And unfortunately we have bloat in most cases. As well as the attempt to
do every thing, so the programmer has to do little.
This was part of the driving force behind Unix, get rid of the bloat of
the big systems that try to do everything, and thus get rid of many of the
problems of those systems (Multix being the well know example of bloat+).
And now we are adding this bloat and unmaintainability back into the systems
that are modeled after the OS that meant to get rid of this bloat.
I realy hope that one day MiNIX will truely rise as our kernel, and core
servers. Do not get me wrong Linux was a good OS, it was well done for
its time, and for a long while it was not
bloated. Linus lost control
of this issue due to all of the modules that have been added into the kernel
space (this includes those that are loaded at run time), and thus as I understand
even Linus describes todays Linux as bloated.
In personal computer OSes:
MS-BASIC had its day of glory (late 70s to early 80s).
CP/M had its time (very short unfortunately).
xx-DOS had its day.
Mac OS had its turn.
MS-Windows had its day.
Linux rules the world today.
Linux has had its very very long day in the sun, who is next.
And of course during all of those there were many smaller systems that
did a lot of good and had a lot of influence on the direction of things
that came after them.
Some times it is the good OS that rules, sometimes it is the best marketed
poorest OS, some times it is a battle, with no clear domination.
It is durring the times of battle that true inovation has its chance to show.
It is at the times that no single OS has absolute dominance in the Personal
computing world that there is a chance to do a lot of good.
We are in one of these transitional phases in that there is no clear only
OS, there are many, each with its following. Linux currently has the lions
share, though it is not alone. MiNIX is catching on. More people are
giving the BSD deritives there fair shake, Haiku OS is gaining significant
tracktion, Sky OS is known, AROS probably has more users than Amiga did in
the early 1990s, and there are many more that are getting real attention.
This will shape the future of Operating Systems for Personal Computers.
That is if Personal Computers survive this battle. Unfortunately it seams
that the embeded styled devices are slowly replacing the Personal Computer.
The RPi is a great step in helping to preserve the Personal Computer, as it
is a Personal Computer, though at the same time it gives a bridge to the
world of Cell Phones, Tablets, Game systems, etc, giving the opertunity to
pull people back to the personal computer and see what it is all about.
I know some younger people that have seen desktop computers, and know that
older people use them, though have never used one themself, having grown
up with a tablet in there back pack, a cell phone glued to there ear, and
believing that the internet is something that is inate and part of the
Cellular communication world.
Sorry about the long ramble, just something that touched my heart a bit.