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Re: [tlug] google ditching windows and going for open source software

Attila Kinali writes:
 > On Fri, 04 Jun 2010 01:18:00 +0900
 > "Stephen J. Turnbull" <> wrote:

 > > Well, aside from the legal liability, *if* you have moderately skilled
 > > people, it's much easier, cheaper, and more reliable to automate
 > > common tasks with *nix systems.
 > Yes it is, and no it isnt.
 > Yes, if you know Unix, then it's quite easy and fast to automate
 > things.


 > No, it isn't 


 >because hardly anyone knows Unix,


The point is, you don't need to know Unix to do a better job of
automation, on at least one of the dimensions of quality and quantity.
Any of shell, Python (preferred, of course), Ruby, or (in a pinch)
Perl is plenty.  (Sadly enough, Emacs Lisp no longer qualifies on
performance-when-working or robustness. *sigh*)

Much of this could be done by web services, but they have to be much
more robust than script-installed-on-workstation services.

 > they know Unix don't know it. And if that wouldnt be enough, you'll
 > still have the "We dont have that software available on Unix/Linux"
 > problem.

That's the biggest advantage, though.  Mostly *that software* is not
mission critical.  (Your case is different, obviously.  I feel sorry
for you, but you can't argue that a "small electronics engineering
company" is a typical victim of Windows addiction.)  A smart, ruthless
manager would just raise wages all around (by about 25% of the
productivity improvement expected ;-), and then enforce the unfamiliar
but more productive environment.  "Cold turkey" works. ;-)

The real advantage of open source in this context is that you can
kaizen it without selling your company to pay for the source license
to Office or whatever.

 > Not to talk about the issue, that the general office worker does
 > not know anything about Unix.

They don't need to.  You only need one toolsmith per 20 office workers
or so.  (You can probably stretch that quite a bit if their jobs are
pretty much identical, such as in a research university where about
half of the clerical work is related to grant applications and
reports, and about half of that is as standard as a U.S. tax form --
except lacking the required "paperwork burden" notice ;-).

 > But the funny thing is, that we are using Eclipse + gcc + OpenOCD for
 > our cross compiling toolchain and struggle with a lot of issues because
 > windows isnt a unix ^^;

See?  In the end you come back to my position.

Note that I'm not saying the strategy I allude to will always work.
Just that it can be implemented, but it takes a lot of care.

Aside from in-company adjustments, it's also possible in many cases to
do external adjustments.  Ie, target a market niche where tuning your
internal processes to open source/open standards is a non-issue or
even an advantage.

This is an interesting rather abstract point of view:

I took a devil's advocate position (very similar to yours, that not
everybody can do things Fremantle's way) in a discussion on the FSB
list, but the basic thrust of his essay is correct, I think.

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