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Time's Up

Posted by editor on February 13, 2009 at 11:53 AM PST

Waiting for Linux or EE to get usable? Stop.

Bad impressions are hard to shake. Every Java developer knows this, as the slightest mention of Java in public forums brings ignorant taunts about how slow Java was when some troll ran a Swing app on his 200 HMz Pentium back in the mid 90's.

Similarly, it's common wisdom that installing Linux is rife with danger, well beyond the skills of a typical human being, and only with at least kernel recompile do you have any chance of getting a bootable partition. Right?

Um, maybe not. In a development Cay Horstmann says is Long in coming..., his Linux installs have actually gotten boring:

I got a shiny new Thinkpad T500 for under $1,000, blew away Vista Homeless Edition, and installed Ubuntu Jaunty Alpha 4. I expected the usual fussing with wireless networks, display adapters, and futile fights to activate exotic peripherals. I was totally disappointed. Everything, and I mean everything, down to the webcam, worked after a 30 minute install with one reboot and no fussing. With an alpha release.

If this is the new reality, at least from Cay's point of view, then what other prejudices deserve a reconsideration? Well, maybe the idea that EE is a hopelessly baroque exercise in architecture astronomy:

My point is that some technologies undergo a relentless process of continuous improvement that ultimately pays off, and it is easy to be deceived by all the naysayers who were disappointed by a prior version. As we say in German: