Re: [fw-wiz] MJR on Linux/OSS

From: Marcus J. Ranum (
Date: 03/10/05

  • Next message: R. DuFresne: "Re: [fw-wiz] MJR on Linux/OSS"
    To: Devdas Bhagat <>,
    Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 22:25:25 -0500

    Devdas Bhagat wrote:
    >Summary: Diversity in interfaces is bad. Microsoft's consistent interface
    >is good.

    Devdas -
    your "summary" so profoundly mis-characterizes my rant
    that I'm not even sure it's a good idea to respond to it
    because it risks muddying the waters further. :( All I can
    do is urge people to read my article (if they care) and come
    to their own conclusions.

    A few comments, however. The article is not intended as
    a discussion of the merits or relative non-merits of a
    "monoculture". It's solely intended as a few rather
    nasty observations on the lack of discipline inherent
    in the Open Source movement and why I think that
    version fragmentation in open source O/S distributions
    is going to do profound damage to their ability to
    compete effectively for customers and midshare
    against the Windows juggernaut. In other words, the
    article is about business dynamics, not security

    >The trouble with a single dominant monoculture is that it does increase
    >the damage caused by a single hole. See blaster, and the long thread
    >which was spawned by *that* on this list.

    I think the whole concept of "monoculture" in software is,
    at this time, ridiculous. In offer my comments on that topic
    in another discussion here:
    so please don't expect me to offer a nod to the notion of
    "monoculture." Although, I will say that the Linux/Open
    Source community appear to be dead set on proving the
    notion that, as variability in systems increases, system
    administration costs go off the chart. How many distros
    do you run simultaneously? Are you a glutton for

    >Oh, and Marcus: DLL hell ;)

    To which I can only respond:
    99.9% market share

    You appear to have not even actually read my article. Or else
    your passion and preconceptions have caused you to extract
    something from it that simply isn't there. I am not saying
    Windows is good. I am not saying Open Source is bad. I am
    saying that "if your premise is that you're offering an alternative
    to Windows, this is NOT the way to go about doing it."
    May I suggest that you go back and re-read my article in
    that light?


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