Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by jimmyx
That sword cuts both ways. But the whole subject is something of a red herring
as we're not discussing whether not Linux is more stable than Windows. We are discussing the fact that the folks in charge of the I.S.S
believe it is.
you are assuming. it may well be that they have some use for low-latency operating system, and linux kernel has some features when it comes to that.
that, and the fact that keeping software base developed for two platforms in the same time is more time consuming, could make the difference. the cost
of windows licenses is hardly a factor in case of space-related projects, there are other things that matter. it's fairly easy to use all those
laptops as a computational cluster when the need arises for example - and if they don't have internet access up there, that may very well be the
case. usage of linux in places like CERN means that perhaps they may be able to use some scientific software developed at CERN up there. the
possibilities are endless, and none of them has to mean that windows is in any way worse.
claims that windows has to be rebooted every 3 days to avoid crashes, are not only childish, but pathetic. the difference between windows and linux is
that windows does its best to recover from the damage caused by user being an idiot. linux doesn't care. well, some new user environments do, and
they start to look more and more like OSX, but that's not what we're talking about here. when the user is stupid enough and determined enough,
he'll be able to crash linux far easier than windows, and sometimes a single misspelling in a script running with root privileges may cause huge data
loss. also, linux as a kernel may be rather error-free, but linux as an operating system consists not only of linux kernel, but also whole lot of
userspace software (command line and very well tested and rather error-free as well), and user environment - graphical desktop. and when it comes to
that, unless they're using something old/oldschool, well tested and stable, you can bet they may encounter more bugs in first weeks of using kde or
gnome, than they saw under windows in their lives.
i was using endless linux and bsd variants for quite a few years, i've worked as a server admin and i'm a programmer and i've worked as such as
well. right now i'm using windows on my desktop pc and it can run as long as needed (weeks or more) without restart, and without exhibiting any signs
of slowdown or software problems, not even speaking about crashes. software development, web browsing, multimedia playback, it's constantly used for
all of that and much more, and nothing bad happens. does it prove that windows is better than linux? of course not. what it does prove though, is that
if end user is an idiot, system will crash sooner than later, but if he's not, well. operating systems that are marked as production ready, don't
slow down with time or crash themselves on their own. neither does windows, neither linux. really. it's a myth spread by fanboys - sadly, mostly by
linux fanboys, because they desperately need yet another 'reason' to 'prove themselves' to be 'better' than others - because they're using
'better' operating system.
what does sometimes crash though, and what may cause serious problems, is a buggy software running on no-matter-how-good operating system.
unfortunately - apart from the linux kernel itself, which is a true marvel - most opensource software has much higher bugs-per-linecount ratio than
their commercial counterparts, because even if they use some real planning and mark certain releases as production ready, the whole opensource
development model brings new bugs to the code by design, and only careful balancing between bringing new features and keeping code quality high - like
in the case of the linux kernel and other things that just cannot fail because they'll crash the whole system, like device drivers - may protect the
project's quality from going downhill. and while most opensource projects are doing fairly well in that regard, they're usually not doing as good as
their commercial counterparts. that, together will the fact that a linux distribution like debian linux consists mostly of third party software
developed by random people from all over the world, compared to the fact that windows consists of software developed almost entirely at microsoft, may
really mean it'll be a sword that cuts both ways.
at least they've chosen debian, which has a reputation of being really stable, not like some of its derivatives, oriented at 'less smart' people. i
guess they know that 'stable' means just 'crash free', not 'everything works without a hassle', and they probably figured they can handle it. it
all depends on the software they've chosen.