Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Linux Don't Blink

Author:Paul Reiber
Posted:7/7/1999; 5:09:29 PM
Topic:Re: Linux Don't Blink
Msg #:8309 (In response to 8298)
Prev/Next:8308 / 8310

A web-tool-developer needs foresight into what server-OS joe public is and/or soon will be using to host their new home web services [if they want a piece of that market].

The home web server market has a PC/Mac class machine connected (probably via a second phone line, maybe via DSL or ISDN or cable) 24x7 to the net, serving up a small website. That machine IS used for the user's own browsing and emailing, but hopefully NOT for "office automation" tasks (word processing, spread sheets) - it's dedicated to the net. [if it is used for personal finances, the owner needs some tutoring in basic information security]

I read "Linux Don't Blink" to be speaking about that market; maybe I was wrong, but my reply is made within the context of that assumption. [Ah... Here's the quote from Dave that gave me that idea: "Come out with a low-priced version of NT Server that installs in 15 minutes, and comes up ready to blow dynamic pages out port 80"]

Dave's original sentence in "Linux Don't Blink" that I'm responding to said:

    "If Microsoft won't give us the server platform we need, 
    it's sitting right here on Linux, ready to go, for a very
    reasonable price, without any lock-in. (None of the analysts 
    include that in their reasoning, how many dollars is the lack 
    of lock-in worth?)" 

If a home user can knock together a relatively bulletproof Linux & apache based web server for well under $1000, and rest assured that there will be ongoing support available because it's all open source, why would they use MS's NT/IIS, or a derivative tuned to the home market, that was NOT open source?

My guess is that the valuation for RedHat's IPO will be based somewhat on the knowledge that people will flock to an open-source alternative so long as it's stable and has the same basic features of its non-open-source competition.

Hosting a home-based web server on an NT/IIS platform's not stupid, but it's just not cost effective, in the short run OR in the long run.

I applaud that Userland's tools work across various platforms; that's keeping you in business. But which OS and web server a user hosts their home web pages from really is an "either/or" proposition; they're going to choose one and stay with it for quite a while.

Dave scratches at the surface of what I'm trying to get across right in the parenthesis in the above quote; There's a TREMENDOUS value to the end-user in "lack of lock in"; If I could, I'd reword his paragraph to read:

   "We have, sitting here in front of us, Linux.  It's ready to go,
   for a very reasonable price, and without any lock-in.  MS is going
   to have to do an insanely great job to succeed in competing with
   it; if their competition remains closed source, it will have to
   out-perform, out-feature, and out-class Linux just to outweigh the
   burden that closed source technology places on its customers." 

I choose Linux; it only reboots when I want it to. I've had trouble finding something to build as a contribution back to the Linux community, since every app I've thought of building for it (so far) has already been built!

Regards, -Paul

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