[aclug-L] Re: The Future
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> I went to my first ACLUG meeting last night. Glad I went. I'd eventually like
> get some opinions on the future of Linux, open source, and the "peasant
> in general. I work for a big tax software firm, and we're exclusively
> I get a lot of pressure to "make Bill my personal savior". Our present work is
> in VB, even though we're supposed to be heading for the Web--whatever that
> means. Any talk about Linux, etc. produces long, concerned faces, sort of like
> adults when they're dealing with an errant, immature child. . . .
Some interesting links:
As usual, the Linux Documentation Project has the best starting places,
The best single advocacy piece that I've seen is called "Linuxmanship":
Eric S. Raymond's Open Source business arguments, case stories, and long semi-
philosophical articles, in various places under:
Linas Vepstas' Linux Enterprise Computing page:
Christopher B. Browne's web pages are encyclopedic in their coverage of
forms of applications software. E.g., for financial software on Linux, see:
And my own two cent contribution:
These will, of course, lead to many more links/much more information.
> Q1: Since VB on the exclusive Microsoft LAN is so dominant today, what does
> Linux/open source counter with?
TCL/TK is good for writing visual-type applications. I've written some
large (e.g., 60-75 pages of source code) data base front end applications with
Brent Welch's "Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk" is a good book. There are a
lot of libraries, applications, add-ons available -- possibly including visual-
style layout tools (which I haven't used).
Perl and Python also have TK interfaces. Again, I haven't used them, but they
should be able to support larger-scale applications. Both have good doc, lots
of libraries/packages/applications, etc. Python strikes me as a better designed
language. (Perl looks to me like a mutant sed, with bad ideas hacked in from
Basic -- but I'll admit to being a little jaundiced on the subject.)
All of these languages allow you to add your own C code, although it usually
takes a little more packaging effort than with VB.
Java is another choice. Don't know what to say about it, other than that I've
never found a real need for it.
Basic is, BTW, a horrible programming language. Despite all its enhancements,
at its root VB preserves this initial brain rot.
> Q2: Wichita, much more than most places, is in the grip of MS. Is there a
> for non-MS technology? Is anybody out there trying to do data management
> (biggest use of computers) in ways other than VB/Access/SQL Server?
As I recall, Oracle has over 50% of the database market. Oracle is as large
a company as Microsoft, and Informix, Sybase, and DB2 probably do as much or
more business as SQL Server. SQL Server is just a hacked up version of an old
Sybase release; Access isn't even that. I haven't been doing that kind of
work lately, but my understanding is that very few large companies depend
on Microsoft for anything other than PCs, WP, and spreadsheets. Your sources
seem to be blowing a lot of smoke.
> I guess I'd like Linux to be more than just a hobby. Maybe some strategizing
> would make me feel better.
The links above should help.
> Larry Bottorff
* Tom Hull -- mailto:thull@xxxxxxxxxxx or thull@xxxxxxxxxx