April 7, 2004

Fork in Linux Road?

In his inimitable way of imparting wisdom, baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra once said, "When you get to the fork in the road, take it." There are
many reasons why this quotation is funny, not the least of which is that it doesn't make sense. But many in the tech community seem to be displaying a
similar lack of understanding when it comes to forking.

Many pundits and industry leaders are predicting that Linux will fork or even saying that it has forked already. The main contention is that Red Hat
Linux is moving away from other Linux distributions so that applications written for Red Hat Linux may not easily run on those other distributions.

What's unsaid but implied in these discussions is that Linux will fork in the same disastrous way that Unix did. The forking of Unix led to many
separate and incompatible versions of the operating system and, to many people's minds, reduced Unix's competitiveness. Those who see Linux going down
the same road believe Linux applications will eventually work on one Linux variant or another but not on all the distributions.

Link: eweek.com


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