Catching Up

By Shamus Posted Sunday Dec 31, 2006

Filed under: Links 3 comments

I’m missing out. Last week I didn’t touch this blog except to trade comments and clean the spam filter. Pretty much all of the posts were pre-written, which really saved me from leaving a week-long gap on this thing.

But while I was writing four or five miles of code, I was missing out on a ton of stuff:

The big thing I missed was Steven’s bit on Linux Standardization. This thing made my spider sense tingle about ten different times. There were so many things to say and so many ideas to tackle that I ended up having a paradox of choice and saying nothing.

Fledgling Otaku put up a great Holiday Greeting. Back at you, man. He also linked to this funny YouTube bit on the Wii vs PS3. (Warning: This thing is a little daring. If you come from a formal office you might want to give it a pass. Better safe than sexy.)

Back at the beginning of December Cineris posted this bit from the Unreal Tournament forums, imploring the designers to take the game back to its roots and recapture the incredible fun of the original Unreal Tournament. I have a bunch of thoughts on this, but I never took the time to cobble them together into something readable. I will say this: The original author is spot-on. I have all of the Unreal Tournamant games here, but whenever friends come over for a little LAN gaming, it’s no contest. We play UT99 every time. The game is almost eight years old, and even up against brand-new games with the fancy pixels, it’s still no contest. Like the PS3 vs the Wii, raw technology is no match for compelling gameplay.


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3 thoughts on “Catching Up

  1. Matt` says:

    That bit on Linux standardisation makes interesting reading, but there is also a plus side to having a wide variety of options – everyone can find something that works for them. Same goes if you carry it into the religious metaphor – if you dont want to be CoE, you can go find a Pentecostal church or join the mormons.

    What if the linux community decided on a distro thats good for getting beginners into Linux? Then they can get the “converts”, some of who will then look around some more and find something better suited to their needs.

    Actually.. thats kind of what Ubuntu seems to be doing – positioning itself as a good place to start using Linux from, and its popular too
    Lets make Mark Shuttleworth the new Pope of Linux ;)

  2. Luke says:

    Oh boy… The author of the linked article on Linux seems to have very little actual clue of how the Linux world actually works. This quote is downright misleading:

    Linux users themselves can’t even pick a single distribution to get behind. There are hundreds of distros out there, and probably 10 big ones. No single Linux distro has 50% of the installed base among developers, and every time any small group of developers out there gets disgruntled for any reason with how things are going, they fork the source and create another Linux sect.

    True that there are hundreds of different distros, but all of them are the same OS – just with different packaging. Each one of them has a kernel compiled from the same source, and a suite of same applications. All the parts of the OS are completely interchangeable from one distribution to another. And if your current distribution no longer suits your needs you switch to another one – but you get to keep all the applications you love, and you do not need to re-learn any administration skills except for few minor distro specific adjustments.

    It’s kinda like complaining that you have too many pizza places in your town. At the end of the day, all the shops sell you the same damn thing – a pizza. Which one do you choose? It depends on how many toppings do you want, if you want it delivered, who has the best customer service and etc..

    I find it funny how the author mistakes “standards” with vendor lock-in. Compared to Microsoft, Unix and Linux world is very standardized. A simple elf binary with few dependencies should work on all linux distributions, most BSD distros, most unixes and probably OS X.

    For example, lets take a simple text browser “links” (sligtly nicer than lynx) – the same source code will compile on nearly all non-microsoft OS out there that can run a gcc compiler. And this dude is talking about standards.

    Linux will never “standardize” into a single distribution not because the community has some religious objections against software monoculture (that it does, but it’s a whole different story). It’s because such standardization would just not make much sense – just like it does not make sense to standardize coffe, or milk, or cheeze into one single brand. Would it ever make sense to have only a single brand and model of printers, cellphones, digital cameras or vacuum cleaners? One washing detergent, one deodorant, and one cologne? Then why would it make any sense for software?

    Choice is a good thing, and despite what Microsoft marketing department would like you to believe, consumers love to have choice. It’s just that people who are indoctrinated by the Microsoft FUD find it really hard to see this with respect to software.

    All we really need is wide adoption of open standards, and open API’s to allow different applications to efficiently communicate with each other. Once we have that, the brand of your OS, or the application you use will be completely irrelevant – and this is what Microsoft wants to prevent.

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