[Dclug] Dependencies (technical and artificial)
larry.howe at comjet.com
Sun Dec 3 22:35:39 EST 2006
> > Package dependencies abound on Linux too! For the non-techie, try loading
> > packages on Linux. Is it easy? NO! Many packages depend on other
> > libraries, and most of the documentation doesn't say where to get them.
> > Ok,
> Technical dependencies, yes, but a good package manager solves that issue,
> assuming you're not trying to go out on the bleeding edge. What I mean is
> deliberate, market-driven dependencies that are designed to force people
> who use one product to also use another product, when there is no earthly
> reason other than money. Like when MS claimed that Windows can't work
> unless it has IE bundled in it.
For those of you who may be joining us late:
In the Windows 3.1 days, Digital Research came out with a competitor to DOS.
MS responded by inserting fake error messages into Windows that would show up
when it detected DR-DOS. This was the original FUD campaign. DR sued, and MS
settled the case for an estimated $100+ million in the mid-90s with Caldera,
who had inherited DR-DOS. DR was long out of business by then. That was
wildly successful so:
Netscape was the leading web browser, so MS responded by claiming that their
browser was part of the OS and could not be removed, coincidentally making
their browser appear free to the customer (the associated price increase
wasn't applied until the following OS release). They then built proprietary
technology (activeX) into the browser that worked only with their web server.
Again they were sued, they lost, they appealed, the judgement was vacated,
etc. That was wildly successful so:
When they wanted the media player market to themselves, they claimed the media
player was part of the OS and couldn't be removed. As far as I know, the US
regulators had given up by then, but the Europeans sued them, fined them $613
million, they appealed, etc....I think they're still appealing.
I recently looked at MS sharepoint as a portal solution. I counted up the
number of other MS products that you need to get all the features of this
product. Answer: 12.
In the mid-90s, in the Windows world, there was this thing called "DLL Hell".
Basically, MS lost control of all the different versions of system DLLs, and
just by installing any application you could screw up your system so that
many apps didn't work. So, if the richest software company in the world can
lose control of their libraries, it doesn't bother me that I get an
occasional library issue. And I ONLY get it when I go outside of my distro's
package manager. In other words, my distro's track record with libraries is
better than Microsoft's.
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