Linux Ecosystem is Less About Technology More About Ideas
April 3, 2013 1 Comment
I was watching The Real Story Behind Wayland and X, a talk by Daniel Stone. The way he described the X server, we had been using a terrible piece of technology for years (still are). Linux had an inferior product doing critical things for the user. There were developers trying to fix its issues but were hindered by many other issues. A fresh start was needed and Wayland it was. It could even have been Mir.
My epiphany was that it’s not about a particular piece of technology. Its design or implementation could be highly undesirable but it keeps doing something useful-ish. The Linux ecosystem encourages you to fix the issues in existing technology or start from scratch. In the long run the Linux ecosystem is all about getting to a perfect OS from a technological standpoint. The users and developers should be prepared to throw everything out. That’s what innovation is all about. Of course, you’ll lose a few features here and there but that might not always be a bad thing. There’s more work to do when building something new and it takes longer to complete it. But at the end of the day, after all the pain and suffering, something beautiful and useful does emerge.
Letting go of X was a simple decision. These decisions may not always be as simple in other situations. But we should support those who want to improve things for everyone.