"Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work." - Linux

This is a discussion on "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work." - Linux ; On 2008-04-19, The Ghost In The Machine wrote: > In comp.os.linux.advocacy, ray > > wrote > on 19 Apr 2008 01:00:05 GMT > : >> >> >> Linux is so complex, I know several retired old fogies and several junior ...

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Thread: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

  1. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    On 2008-04-19, The Ghost In The Machine wrote:
    > In comp.os.linux.advocacy, ray
    >
    > wrote
    > on 19 Apr 2008 01:00:05 GMT
    ><66sugkF2k4s0tU2@mid.individual.net>:
    >>
    >>
    >> Linux is so complex, I know several retired old fogies and several junior
    >> high school students who have no difficulty with it whatever.
    >>
    >> Possibly one person's "world class software engineer" is another's
    >> blithering incompetent.

    >
    > I've had issues with upgrades on Linux, though if I
    > bothered I probably could limit them to once a month
    > (except for qemu, which is being stupid, even with gcc 3).


    I emerge sync twice a week. It generally goes well, though there's
    always going to be issues. Last week it was a dangerous block between
    mktemp and coreutils. A few Gentooers got burnt when they removed the
    coreutils package instead of the mktemp package. Luckily the community
    helped them repair the damage.

    It doesn't worry me. I keep good backups and I can always sniff out
    problems before they arise. I feel I'm capable enough with my systems to
    repair any damage that might happen due to an upgrade gone wrong. I make
    sure any important messages that happen during a package upgrade are
    emailed to me. They are essential reading for healthy gentoo systems
    (PORTAGE_ELOG_* in /etc/make.conf).

    > The reason is quite simple: unless I do emerge --sync, I
    > don't upgrade. It's almost as simple as that, really.
    > Even if I were to sync daily I'd probably not have that
    > many problems.


    I see it come in waves. Sometimes there aren't any issues for months on
    end, then you might get 3 or 4 in the space of few weeks. I consider it
    a minor irritant. It's the downside to incremental system upgrade. You
    get your pain in small regular doses instead of a large one when you do
    a major upgrade with other "normal" distributions.

    > I can't say regarding other distros; RedHat in particular
    > used to sport a nice big red button when security patches
    > were available. (I don't know if Gentoo has this option
    > or not.)


    You can check the security advisories and only upgrade packages that
    require upgrades for security reasons.

    The group linux.gentoo.announce can keep you up to date with security
    matters.

    --
    Regards,

    Gregory.
    Gentoo Linux - Penguin Power

  2. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 04:31:55 -0500, Sinister Midget wrote:

    >> You seriously believe Jamie Zawinksi is not a bright software engineer?

    >
    > I seriously think he is either retarded or has a mental block if a dolt
    > like me can figure it out and he can't. He "lives and breathes linux"
    > and he doesn't know about his crontab?.


    What exactly are you talking about?

    Did you even read the article?

    >> You know, he was one of the original Netscape engineers, and is widely
    >> quoted and recognized for his contributions.

    >
    > So he should know better, is what you're saying. Instead, you want to
    > use his inability to figure a means to do what needs to be done without
    > being hassled by it as a way to make it look like patching linux is
    > tough.


    Umm.. no, did you read the article?

  3. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:52:55 +0100, William Poaster wrote:

    > It was the eve of April Fools day, March 31, & you'll note the *earliest*
    > reactions to the 'blog' are on April 1st....which should tell you
    > something. However the trio of fools went for it. ;-)


    The story was not an april fools day joke, for April 1 he changed the
    colors of his blog to hideous, barely readable colors. The story was real.

  4. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 08:28:27 -0400, Linonut wrote:

    > * Erik Funkenbusch peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    >> On Fri, 18 Apr 2008 15:54:49 -0500, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >>
    >>> "I find it highly disturbing that a software engineer of Jamie's caliber
    >>> would give up on upgrading software. Jamie lives and breathes Linux. It is
    >>> his platform of choice. If he throws in the towel on Linux upgrades, then
    >>> what possible hope do us mere mortals have?"
    >>>
    >>> http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001089.html

    >>
    >> By the way, I don't post the above to criticize Linux, because frankly all
    >> software can have issues, even lots of them.
    >>
    >> I say the above to criticize Linux *ADVOCATES* who like to claim that Linux
    >> just works, that if you can't make it work, you're an idiot, etc...

    >
    > Check out the date. The guy posted it a day early .
    >
    > Plus, the dude who floundered is apparently a Mac user.


    No, it was not an april fools day joke. The joke was the changing of the
    colors. And Jamie Zawinski, while he might favor Macs these days, has
    plenty of Unix and Linux experience, see as he wrote much of the Unix part
    of Netscape 1.0.

  5. Re: fuddie lies in subject header ..

    On 19 Apr, 16:37, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:

    > > You test it on a a second system and then swap them out.


    > He used a different hard drive.


    Where does it say that ?


  6. Re: fuddie lies in subject header ..

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 08:55:50 -0700 (PDT), Doug Mentohl wrote:

    > On 19 Apr, 16:37, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >
    >>> You test it on a a second system and then swap them out.

    >
    >> He used a different hard drive.

    >
    > Where does it say that ?


    Read the F'in article.

    "Well, since this is not my first rodeo, when I say "upgrade" what I really
    mean is "do a fresh install on a spare drive." "

    God, you're a moron.

  7. Re: fuddie lies in subject header ..

    On 19 Apr, 17:05, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:

    > On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 08:55:50 -0700 (PDT), Doug Mentohl wrote:


    >> On 19 Apr, 16:37, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:


    >>>> You test it on a a second system and then swap them out.


    >>> He used a different hard drive.


    >> Where does it say that ?


    > Read the F'in article.


    "after four days of this nonsense, I gave up, and just put the old
    drive back in"

    --

    You still have nothing better to do than troll the Web looking for
    something negative to post on COLA ...

  8. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    * Erik Funkenbusch peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > No, it was not an april fools day joke. The joke was the changing of the
    > colors. And Jamie Zawinski, while he might favor Macs these days, has
    > plenty of Unix and Linux experience, see as he wrote much of the Unix part
    > of Netscape 1.0.


    Nonetheless, when someone throws up their hands and gives up, it is
    almost always a lack in that person's knowledge/fortitude.

    That's not to say upgrade problems don't occur. I just installed the
    new 2.6.25 kernel, and the latest Nvidia driver won't build against it.
    For the first time, I'm trying a /beta/ Nvidia driver. I'm running it
    right now (on this laptop) for awhile to make sure it runs okay before
    trying it with the new kernel.

    --
    Does the e-mail say it's about 'enlargement' -- that might be spam.
    -- Bill Gates, BBC News (24 January 2004)

  9. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    * Tom Shelton peremptorily fired off this memo:

    >> Did you mean to highlight /this/ in the article, Tom?
    >>
    >> * *He resigned from Netscape Communications Corporation on April 1,
    >> * *1999.[4] His current occupation is now running the DNA Lounge
    >> * *nightclub in San Francisco.
    >>

    > Not really, no. You also left out that he still actively maintains
    > the XScreenSaver project...


    I didn't "leave anything out", I just picked one small part to quote.

    > Anyway, I don't necessarily agree with
    > his comments. But the guy isn't exactly and idiot either.


    Apparently he has his limitations, though.

    --
    Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day.
    Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be
    funny if it weren't so exciting.
    -- Bill Gates

  10. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    * Erik Funkenbusch peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:52:55 +0100, William Poaster wrote:
    >
    >> It was the eve of April Fools day, March 31, & you'll note the *earliest*
    >> reactions to the 'blog' are on April 1st....which should tell you
    >> something. However the trio of fools went for it. ;-)

    >
    > The story was not an april fools day joke, for April 1 he changed the
    > colors of his blog to hideous, barely readable colors. The story was real.


    Well, at least you didn't go trolling the whole of Usenet to offer up
    a ridiculous barrage of posts about alleged problems, the way DFS does
    .

    --
    Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people
    want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when
    every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary
    gods for mercy.
    -- Bill Gates

  11. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    Erik Funkenbusch wrote:

    > No, it was not an april fools day joke. *The joke was the changing of the
    > colors. *And Jamie Zawinski, while he might favor Macs these days, has
    > plenty of Unix and Linux experience, see as he wrote much of the Unix part
    > of Netscape 1.0.


    And, it appears, he quit when they decided to rewrite the whole code base.

    "Zawinski was a major proponent of opening the source code of the Mozilla
    browser, but became disillusioned with the project when it was decided that
    the code would have to be rewritten. He resigned from Netscape
    Communications Corporation on April 1, 1999.[4] His current occupation is
    now running the DNA Lounge nightclub in San Francisco."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Zawinski

    And, again, what he writes is his *opinion*, not fact. WinTrolls never seem
    to get that point.

    --
    RonB
    "There's a story there...somewhere"

  12. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    William Poaster wrote in
    newsan.2008.04.19.12.52.53.164803@leafnode.amd64.eu:

    > It was the eve of April Fools day, March 31, & you'll note the
    > *earliest* reactions to the 'blog' are on April 1st....which should
    > tell you something. However the trio of fools went for it. ;-)


    The article Erik posted was dated March 31st. If you had bothered to
    follow the link in the blog to the original article, however, you would
    have noticed that Jamie's original gripe was posted in the second half of
    April 2006.



    But hey, anything to discredit a criticism of Linux, right?

  13. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    Book of Job wrote in
    news:4MGdnR1O88bxxpfVnZ2dnUVZ_tGonZ2d@midco.net:

    > William Poaster wrote in
    > newsan.2008.04.19.12.52.53.164803@leafnode.amd64.eu:
    >
    >> It was the eve of April Fools day, March 31, & you'll note the
    >> *earliest* reactions to the 'blog' are on April 1st....which should
    >> tell you something. However the trio of fools went for it. ;-)

    >
    > The article Erik posted was dated March 31st. If you had bothered to
    > follow the link in the blog to the original article, however, you
    > would have noticed that Jamie's original gripe was posted in the
    > second half of April 2006.
    >
    >
    >
    > But hey, anything to discredit a criticism of Linux, right?


    Oh, and another posted March 9, 2008.




  14. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 15:37:46 -0400, Linonut wrote:

    > * Erik Funkenbusch peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    >> On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:52:55 +0100, William Poaster wrote:
    >>
    >>> It was the eve of April Fools day, March 31, & you'll note the
    >>> *earliest* reactions to the 'blog' are on April 1st....which should
    >>> tell you something. However the trio of fools went for it. ;-)

    >>
    >> The story was not an april fools day joke, for April 1 he changed the
    >> colors of his blog to hideous, barely readable colors. The story was
    >> real.

    >
    > Well, at least you didn't go trolling the whole of Usenet to offer up a
    > ridiculous barrage of posts about alleged problems, the way DFS does
    > .


    And still FUDdenbusch (he of many unsupported claims) falls for it.

    --
    This message was sent from a
    computer which is guaranteed
    100% free of the M$ Windoze virus.
    -- 64bit Mandriva 2008.1 --

  15. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineercan't always get it to work."

    Book of Job wrote:
    > Book of Job wrote:
    >> William Poaster wrote:
    >>
    >>> It was the eve of April Fools day, March 31, & you'll note
    >>> the *earliest* reactions to the 'blog' are on April
    >>> 1st....which should tell you something. However the trio
    >>> of fools went for it. ;-)

    >>
    >> The article Erik posted was dated March 31st. If you had
    >> bothered to follow the link in the blog to the original
    >> article, however, you would have noticed that Jamie's
    >> original gripe was posted in the second half of April 2006.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> But hey, anything to discredit a criticism of Linux, right?


    Interesting that Mr. "Security is a Binary Condition" brings up
    something that isn't even remotely related to a security issue.
    Is about the ability to play MP3's.

    We seem to have solved the "missing right channel" problem. It
    was, in fact, a software problem. We were running Fedora 4, and
    when we installed the latest patches on March 31, that's when the
    right channel vanished. We tried downgrading to the version of
    the kernel and ALSA as of three months ago, and that didn't fix
    it. But, Jonathan took all the sound cards home and tried them in
    his machine, and they all worked fine there. He was running
    Fedora 5. So we upgraded to that, and the problem went away.

    That's right: upgrading to the latest FC4: breaks the world.
    Giving up on FC4 and going to FC5: un-breaks it. Nicely done, guys.
    Issue was resolved.

    > Oh, and another posted March 9, 2008.
    >
    >


    So, [....] it. They'll be running a 2003 version of Linux
    forever, because I frankly have better things to do with my time
    (what, do you think this television is going to watch itself?)

    To paraphrase Homer Simpson, "Let that be a lesson to you, son:
    never upgrade."
    Of course, this is a fine point as to why one ought to run
    something like Debian Stable where ultra reliability is required.
    One does not need bleeding edge software to maintain reliability.

    --
    HPT

  16. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineer can't always get it to work."

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 16:37:13 -0600, High Plains Thumper wrote:

    > Book of Job wrote:
    >> Book of Job wrote:
    >>> William Poaster wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> It was the eve of April Fools day, March 31, & you'll note the
    >>>> *earliest* reactions to the 'blog' are on April 1st....which should
    >>>> tell you something. However the trio of fools went for it. ;-)
    >>>
    >>> The article Erik posted was dated March 31st. If you had bothered to
    >>> follow the link in the blog to the original article, however, you would
    >>> have noticed that Jamie's original gripe was posted in the second half
    >>> of April 2006.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> But hey, anything to discredit a criticism of Linux, right?

    >
    > Interesting that Mr. "Security is a Binary Condition" brings up something
    > that isn't even remotely related to a security issue. Is about the ability
    > to play MP3's.
    >
    >
    > We seem to have solved the "missing right channel" problem. It was, in
    > fact, a software problem. We were running Fedora 4, and when we installed
    > the latest patches on March 31, that's when the right channel vanished. We
    > tried downgrading to the version of the kernel and ALSA as of three months
    > ago, and that didn't fix it. But, Jonathan took all the sound cards home
    > and tried them in his machine, and they all worked fine there. He was
    > running Fedora 5. So we upgraded to that, and the problem went away.
    >
    > That's right: upgrading to the latest FC4: breaks the world. Giving up on
    > FC4 and going to FC5: un-breaks it. Nicely done, guys.
    >
    > Issue was resolved.
    >
    >> Oh, and another posted March 9, 2008.
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    > So, [....] it. They'll be running a 2003 version of Linux forever, because
    > I frankly have better things to do with my time (what, do you think this
    > television is going to watch itself?)
    >
    > To paraphrase Homer Simpson, "Let that be a lesson to you, son: never
    > upgrade."
    >
    >
    > Of course, this is a fine point as to why one ought to run something like
    > Debian Stable where ultra reliability is required.
    > One does not need bleeding edge software to maintain reliability.


    I believe it was also said the guy was a Mac user. For all he knew about
    Linux, he may as well have been a been a windoze user.

    --
    This message was sent from a
    computer which is guaranteed
    100% free of the M$ Windoze virus.
    -- 64bit Mandriva 2008.1 --

  17. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineercan't always get it to work."

    [snips]

    On Fri, 18 Apr 2008 17:10:45 -0400, Ezekiel wrote:

    > What I find extremely hypocritical from the "advocates" is how they
    > always talk about Microsoft and "patch Tuesday" and how Windows users
    > spend all their time installing fixes and service packs and other such
    > nonsense.


    > Does anyone ever look at what linux makes you download????


    Nothing whatsoever; it's your choice whether to download anything at all.

    > It seems
    > that 2-3 times a week you have to download 50-60 megs of patches,


    Apples and oranges. Let us know when your updater in Windows updates not
    just the OS, but every application installed as well - then tell us how
    large the updates are. Assuming, that is, you can get the vendors to
    roll out regular bug fixes, rather than just rolling them into their next
    version.

    50-60MB to update a several hundred packages covering the OS, the several
    servers and all the desktop apps I run really isn't a big deal. It *is*
    a big deal when I get that sort of size of update but it only encompasses
    maybe 2% of what's installed.


  18. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineercan't always get it to work."

    Kelsey Bjarnason wrote:
    > [snips]
    >
    > On Fri, 18 Apr 2008 17:10:45 -0400, Ezekiel wrote:
    >
    >> What I find extremely hypocritical from the "advocates" is how they
    >> always talk about Microsoft and "patch Tuesday" and how Windows users
    >> spend all their time installing fixes and service packs and other such
    >> nonsense.

    >
    >> Does anyone ever look at what linux makes you download????


    I don't run it very often (but posting from XUbuntu/Thunderbird right
    now), but the one OSS package I do use on Windows - Firefox - pops up
    update windows with frightening frequency. Every few weeks it seems.
    They're quick to download and install, but it's not confidence-inspiring
    to get updates so often.



    > Nothing whatsoever; it's your choice whether to download anything at all.
    >
    >> It seems
    >> that 2-3 times a week you have to download 50-60 megs of patches,

    >
    > Apples and oranges. Let us know when your updater in Windows updates not
    > just the OS, but every application installed as well - then tell us how
    > large the updates are. Assuming, that is, you can get the vendors to
    > roll out regular bug fixes, rather than just rolling them into their next
    > version.


    Why does your OSS software have to be updated so often? What was wrong
    with it the first 27 updates?

  19. Re: "Linux is so complex that even a world class software engineercan't always get it to work."

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 19:16:28 -0400, DFS wrote:

    > Kelsey Bjarnason wrote:
    >> [snips]
    >>
    >> On Fri, 18 Apr 2008 17:10:45 -0400, Ezekiel wrote:
    >>
    >>> What I find extremely hypocritical from the "advocates" is how they
    >>> always talk about Microsoft and "patch Tuesday" and how Windows users
    >>> spend all their time installing fixes and service packs and other such
    >>> nonsense.

    >>
    >>> Does anyone ever look at what linux makes you download????

    >
    > I don't run it very often (but posting from XUbuntu/Thunderbird right
    > now), but the one OSS package I do use on Windows - Firefox - pops up
    > update windows with frightening frequency. Every few weeks it seems.
    > They're quick to download and install, but it's not confidence-inspiring
    > to get updates so often.
    >
    >
    >
    >> Nothing whatsoever; it's your choice whether to download anything at
    >> all.
    >>
    >>> It seems
    >>> that 2-3 times a week you have to download 50-60 megs of patches,

    >>
    >> Apples and oranges. Let us know when your updater in Windows updates
    >> not just the OS, but every application installed as well - then tell us
    >> how large the updates are. Assuming, that is, you can get the vendors
    >> to roll out regular bug fixes, rather than just rolling them into their
    >> next version.

    >
    > Why does your OSS software have to be updated so often? What was wrong
    > with it the first 27 updates?


    What's wrong with your CSS software? Why does it get updated?

    --
    Rick

  20. Re: fuddie lies in subject header ..

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 10:29:50 -0700 (PDT), Doug Mentohl wrote:

    > On 19 Apr, 17:05, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >
    >> On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 08:55:50 -0700 (PDT), Doug Mentohl wrote:

    >
    >>> On 19 Apr, 16:37, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:

    >
    >>>>> You test it on a a second system and then swap them out.

    >
    >>>> He used a different hard drive.

    >
    >>> Where does it say that ?

    >
    >> Read the F'in article.

    >
    > "after four days of this nonsense, I gave up, and just put the old
    > drive back in"


    Duh! Duh!g. What else would someone do when they can't get the new install
    to work right?

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