Linux vs. Bullshit

Filed under
Linux

Linux doesn't lie, any more than gravity lies, or geology lies, or atmosphere lies. Like those other natural things, Linux has no guile, no agenda beyond supporting the entirety of use-space. In rough words, there's no bullshit about it, and that's one reason it gets used. Let me explain.

Prior to discovering Linux (or having it discover me) I was peripherally involved in high-level UNIX debates, while helping Sun Microsystems promote its SPARC microprocessor architecture. At that time (late '80s, early '90s), UNIX was a horse race, and Sun's steed was Sun OS, which was then at V4, as I recall. I attended many meetings at Sun, where representatives of various commercial factions worked toward reconciling Sun OS with AT&T's System V R4 (called SVR4 then). Somehow this led to Solaris, but that was after I had moved on.

What stuck with me from those meetings was that every company involved had a self-interested stake in how UNIX evolved. I suppose that's one reason Linux fascinated me from the moment I first learned about it. As Andrew Morton explained to me in 2005 "On the kernel team we are concerned about the long-term viability and integrity of the code base. We're reluctant to put stuff in for specific reasons where a commercial company might do that."

In other words, no bullshit.