[KLUG Advocacy] IBM and Linux: Trouble in Paradise?

Adam Tauno Williams adam at morrison-ind.com
Fri Feb 11 09:30:32 EST 2005

> It sounds like IBM's quest to move to the Linux desktop may have hit a
> snag, according to this article:
> http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php/id;139630597;fp;2;fpid;1

Yep, my response however would be that IBM's Linux-on-the-desktop
initiative was always half-hearted and really an inside grass-roots
movement by zealots.  Or at least that's what I've heard over the past
~2 years.  But these zealots have accomplished some nice things, such as
getting the Domino client to run under WINE, and other things such as
frequently appear on IBM's Developerworks site (possibly one of the best
Open Source related information sources on the web).

"There are people using Linux and nobody is telling them to stop,"

I think that has been the sentiment all the way along.

"Most of those applications are written for the Internet Explorer
browser, which has not been ported to Linux. Internet Explorer is the
only browser supported by IBM's internal support desk, according to
another IBMer. 'If you don't use Internet Explorer, you might not get
very far with them helping you with the problem,' he said."

Sadly this is true of most businesses, including ours.  The grunt in the
cubicle can't do their job without IE.  That is easily the single
biggest blocker to Linux on the desktop.  If you can't order parts from
your vendor....  This situation is improving, but very very slowly; and
big (and thus deeply stupid) corporations who pay hundreds of thousands
of dollars for the simplest web apps just really don't get the whole
interoperability-of-the-web concept.

"Wine is mentioned only in passing, in a section entitled `What to do if
all else fails,` and it is called a `temporary workaround` to get an
application running on the Linux client. `This is not a solution for the
long run,` the guide states."

YES!  As a person who runs apps in WINE all day long every day - WINE
SUCKS!  Oh, did I mention that "WINE SUCKS!"  There is only one long
term solution:  apps that run on Linux, either native, Java, or .NET.


That after all these many years people are still bothering to hack on
that piece of crap is simply astounding.  Take those man-hours and how
many Windows apps could simply have been recreated as native apps?

> I ran across it through a link at this site:
> http://www.webstandards.org/
> The link's in the Jan 28 "Once Bitten..." entry. I don't know that it
> marks a significant sea change, but it looked like it might be worth
> paying attention to.

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