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Re: Zen and the Art of Choosing an OS and Webserving Software by Windows Developers

  • Subject: Re: Zen and the Art of Choosing an OS and Webserving Software by Windows Developers
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 06:30:31 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <x9OdnbgBptqyDFfenZ2dnUVZ_sSdnZ2d@adelphia.com> <1137359930.509846.128080@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [WarpKat] on Sunday 15 January 2006 18:19 \__

> I went with my boss to the corporate HQ of our company in Pomona, CA
> last week and thought I'd share this with the crowd:  I met, for the
> first time, the developers of the accounting and inventory management
> software that our companies collectively use.  These are Windows
> developers.  The software they develop is run on Windows (which crashes
> or becomes slow in some way) on a daily basis.

Our user management software suffers from similar issues. It slows down
considerably or freezes to death rather frequently. I believe it was
developed in VB initially, but it all seems to be drifting Web-based, which
is encouraging. It's only a front end to fairly simple schemas and it is
poor when it comes to handling with exceptions (e.g. server unavailable).
SQL/LDAP primarily and much of the back-end is *nix.

> One of my goals was to make order status reports available to our
> customers over the web and to try to devise a plan of implementation.
> Keeping them in the loop was a good ethical move, despite the fact that
> I might meet with opposition and since these were the guys I would need
> to talk to in order to get this project moving.

One of advantages of Web-based applications is the availability to many,
shall that ever be required. No software installation is needed and there is
no dependency on one's system. So, I think you are making the right move by
all means.

> When the subject of which OS and webserver to use was brought up, I
> said, "I want to use a Linux box with Apache on it."  The developers
> chimed in and said, "Oh yes, absolutely - we wouldn't want Windows to be
> the platform used for this - it would be too insecure, even with a
> firewall."

Top Web sites choose Linux/Solaris, Apache/Litespeed, PHP/CGI,
MySQL/PostgreSQL. Why would you want to go against that inclination? *smile*

> This sorta shocked me.  Here I am under the impression that I would meet
> with extreme opposition to the choice of OS and webserver I would like
> to use (since PHP is able to talk to MS SQL Server) and to my surprise
> the Windows developers agreed.  The only problem they had was lack of
> knowledge of Linux and Apache.  The lead developer asked me what my
> experience was with it, so I told him, and he then said, "Well, I'm glad
> you're on our team then...the last I played with Linux was 5 YEARS ago..."
> ...

There are a few Windows employees that still bother to see what Open Source
is up to. They are not disappointed. It is unfortunate when Visual Studio,
Office, IIS and Exchange become the world in its entirety, at least in some
people's mind. Narrow-mindedness leads to poor(er) choices.

__/ [rex.ballard@xxxxxxxxx] on Sunday 15 January 2006 21:18 \__

> Even Microsoft front-ends their services with Linux.  The Linux
> machines provide firewall, load distribution, and proxy services.
> Since there is nothing in the Apache License that says the user MUST
> state that he is using Apache, Microsoft seems to have no problem with
> putting "Windows" in their headers.

I was recently told that they had been using BSD for their Web sites until a
few years ago. I guess it was not a good way of encouraging sales of
IIS-related products. Could they ever live with the guilt?

> The one thing you probably WILL see however is that they want Apache to
> function as a PORTAL for all of their IIS/ISAPI/.NET applications,
> which will then try to shove ActiveX controls down the browser's throat
> - meaning you pretty much need IE or will be throwing the doors of
> FireFox wide open when you install the ActiveX plug-in.
> The Microsoft platform will do it's usual "dirty tricks" while your
> Apache passes the I-Frame directly through.
> Keep in mind however, that if they end up doing .NET, that you CAN
> insist that the application use only unsigned Java Applets (forces
> sandbox rules) or only HTML in all forms and responses.  They won't
> like it, because there is a bit more work involved, but it will at
> least keep you from telling your FireFox, Opera, and Linux customer to
> "Go away, we don't want to talk to you, you'd rather buy from our
> biggest competitor anyway - we don't want your money".
> Make sure that you test the CLIENT interfaces with IE, FireFox,
> Netscape 8, Opera, and Kommander.  Make sure that those requirements
> are in your statement of work.

Kommander? I never heard of such a thing. A Konqueror relative? Regardless, I
would have to add Safari to the list. There is no better way of driving away
customers than to tell them the service discriminates against their system.
Remember: "everybody's system is the best" (to them). Don't insult anyone.

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