...some great stuff about open source...
That's some of the real power of open source.
(Note: the author of this post has no idea what really happened in regards to the kernel bug fix story and is merely using your example to show his point. Please don't bash me into the ground with mighty semantic issues.)
You're absolutely right. With the power of open source, a major bug was found and fixed!
The story doesn't end there.
So the kernel team fixed the bug. What happens now? How does the bug really
get fixed? How does it propagate to every server and desktop out there? Is there an update system in place? What about for this distro over here? What about the guy who hasn't
patched since 3 minor versions ago since the new kernel 'broke his box that one time'? Are you just going to rely on the maintainers of all those distros to update and then get the updates to their users? Are you also going to rely on sysadmins to go out and
read the news and see that there's a new patch they need to apply and spend the next week figuring out why their 15 year old app now barfs on the new kernel? Seems like a mighty big buck you're passing around there.
The way I see it, that's the big difference between closed source and open source. Open source is pretty much all do-it-yourself. Some people have made kits, but you still gotta get your hands dirty and mangle the kit into your workspace and remember what manglings
you did to get it there (which can be pretty fun if you're not in a hurry or in a bad mood). But with closed source there's a company to take care of all that for you. If something isn't working,
have to fix it for you
since you gave them money for their software (despite how it often happens in the real world, that's the general idea). But then again, you have
to wait for them
to do it. You don't have the code
so you can't do it yourself. Then there's companies that bridge this gap and maintain open source things and make money only on support, but it's late and I don't quite feel like typing much more.
Yes, the fact that 'millions of eyes are looking over the code' does mean that more bugs get caught and fixed. But I think the open source community still has a long way to go in terms of doing all the other work needed after you hit compile, run your tests,
and check in for the night.
I'm not saying that Microsoft is the ultimate example of exemplary coding and bugfix deployment technology (though Windows Update is very nice) either.
And waaaaay back a bunch of posts, you said something about how X had network support and Windows Messaging didn't and you seemed to imply that it was sort of a handicap of Windows Messaging. Well, correct me if I'm horribly wrong, but doesn't X transfer screen
bits across the wire? Isn't that a little slow? And doesn't having this feature built-in tempt users to just use it instead of doing it the harder way and getting better performance? Just a thought - both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.