Desktop FreeBSD

Paul Robinson p.robinson at
Wed Mar 10 02:36:51 PST 2004

Willie Viljoen wrote:

> Now, I concede that Apache does run on Windows, but I can 
> guarantee that if 
> you e-mail every single sysadmin of every single Apache 
> listed there, they 
> won't say it's Windows.

That is a foolish statement. I know of plenty of Windows guys who run
Apache. Even I do on one of my laptops for various reasons. So if you
were to e-mail every single Apache site listed at netcraft, at least
some of them will say it's Windows.

> According to that survey anyway, your argument goes down the 
> drain. How can 
> Windows not be a fringe OS in the server market if two thirds 
> of all web 
> servers run UNIX?

I know you are probably aware of this, but in a language you might be
able to understand:

$ServerMarket[] != $ServerMarket["Web"]

Unix is of course the dominant server in the internet market, but it
actually depends on how you count it. The 2/3rds figure comes from
number of websites, which is not the same as number of servers. In
addition, there are still market sectors that Windows dominates in, and
for good reason. They are markets that for years people have been trying
to work out how to bring unix up to scratch. To state otherwise is just
living in denial.

I am not disputing the fact that Unix is top dog in the web server or
e-mail market, but the blind argument that Windows is nowhere is the
kind of advocacy that FreeBSD REALLY does not need. It just makes IS
Managers think we have our heads shoved up our backsides and we're no
better than a bunch of 16 year olds screaming at each other about Linux
on Slashdot.

In fact, having read the last 10-20 posts on this thread, I'm pretty
confident some of you are 16-year old Slashdotters looking for somewhere
else to scream.
> If you feel that Windows 2003 or what ever, doing MS Exchange 
> and some file 
> sharing, is a server, then you're welcome to continue living 
> under your very 
> comfortable rock, just don't complain about things you've 
> lost touch with 
> then, alright?

That is a server. It serves mail, it serves files, it's therefore a
fileserver and workgroup mail server.

If you don't think workgroup servers are servers, then please, go and
find another project to troll on. A large amount of work is being done
in both the Linux and BSD communities to help us deploy our preferred
OSes into an environment in which currently, Microsoft dominates and
excels in. Much of that work unfortunately involves emulating windows
workgroup servers (a la Samba, even WINE in some cases), but never the
less, it's what we're doing. If you think this work is "useless" or
"pointless", then please keep your opinions to yourself before I start
googling and checking CVS repos for every single solitary line of code
you've written and point out the futility of it all. :-)

There is a phrase about England you know, that states "it is a nation of
shopkeepers". What this elucidates is that 95% of businesses employ less
than 5 people. The low-end workgroup server market, in the UK at least,
is MASSIVE. If Unix does not dominate in this space within 10 years,
Unix is most likely to die out eventually. 

> It's sad that people are willing to pay large amounts of 
> money to Microsoft 
> for their inferior technology, just because it has a 
> reasonably nice looking 
> GUI, and at the same time, want the nicest, glitteriest, easiest, 
> "everything-est" GUI on UNIX, but always want it for free.

Oh please. Really, you're not doing the project any favours by spouting
this fascist party line.

Some facts to bring you back to reality:

- As of WinNT, large chunks of Microsoft's network stack is the FreeBSD
network stack
- All of the IPv6 you find in every version of windows is based on
- .NET was originally written to work on FreeBSD
- As of Windows 2000, with Active Directory they have a set of security,
deployment and user management tools that quite frankly, makes anything
we have right now look a bit... well... simplistic AND over-complicated
at the same time! How did we manage that?
- As of Windows 2003 Server, they have something that can actually
compete with Unix in both the high-end and the low-end server spaces.

I don't LIKE these facts, and I wish I had the time to work on BSD to
bring it up to compete in this particular market, but making statements
about "inferior technology" PUSHES PEOPLE AWAY from the project.

IS Management is not about the best technology, or the cheapest. It's
the one that produces the biggest and quickest ROI. For 99% of companies
out there, MS represents the best ROI right now. It does so, because you
don't need to be a computer expert to setup a server, just have some
common sense. The same can be said about Unix, but you have to go and
read a bit more. And you know what, if it means somebody has to read ONE
PAGE more of documentation, for 99% of the workgroup market, that's one
page too much.
> I wish these people would remember that people who develop 
> free software very 
> often don't get paid for their effort, and when they do, it's 
> only for the 
> man-hours, they contribute the valuable IP they generate to 
> the public 
> domain, free of charge.

Would you like me to build you a cross to hang yourself on, you tortured

Everybody knows that open source software is developed mostly by
volunteers. However, when you push out something that doesn't work for
them, they have the right not to use it. They do not expect to be told
they should use it anyway and take the pain of migration, and your
technology is better, and they'd better be grateful because, hey, I did
this in my spare time, RIGHT?

That argument really needs to die. You either work on something because
you're being paid for it, or you love it. But when somebody points out
it doesn't work well in a particular scenario, it might be best if you
don't start acting with indignation.
> The mentality among these people astonishes me, they're happy 

I was just thinking that myself, but I was thinking about a different
set of people. You might be a member...

> they give them something better, for free, and they will 
> complain about it as 
> if its presence alone is enough to start a world war.

You're the one on -advocacy. You're the one telling them that you are
providing is better and complaining when they say "sorry guys, but samba
just played with our heads till 4am, so we deployed 2003 server
Paul Robinson

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