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Linuxcon: Our world would collapse without Linux

Linuxcon Europe Everything runs on the free software operating system
Wed Oct 26 2011, 14:54

LINUXCON EUROPE began today with some interesting thoughts from Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation and Linux founder Linus Torvalds.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation kicked off the first Linuxcon to take place in Europe. The event is being held in Prague over three days and Zemlin gave us an insight into "a world without Linux"

Whilst posing the question, an 'accidental' Windows XP reboot and blue screen of death appeared on the main screens.

Zemlin thinks, "If we didn't have Linux then everything would be in black and white", suggesting that the world around us would collapse if it weren't for Linux.

He said, "The world without Linux would be an absolutely terrible place." Some key consequences would be that stocks would stop trading, trains would stop running and special effects would be terrible.

Popular services such as Google, Amazon and Facebook would not work because they run on Linux.

Linuxcon Europe 2011

Zemlin went on to read some quotes of people's predictions and thoughts about Linux. The most interesting one was from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. He said, "It's a cancer that attaches itself, in an intellectual sense, to everything it touches."

Able to turn a joke onto himself, he looked at a prediction of his own stating in 2007 that "this is the year of the Linux desktop", shortly followed by the same quote in 2008, 2009, 2010 and, to a round of applause, adding this year's entry.

Keen to promote Linux, Zemlin was happy to say that it has been so successful over the last 20 years mostly because of its freedom.

Following Zemlin's keynote was a panel on the development of the Linux kernel that included Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. Here are some of the most interesting things he said during the panel.

"Breaking the user experience is an absolute no no," emphasising that the end user is the most important element.

He admitted that mistakes have been made in the past, referring to security and the user interface, and added that sometimes parts of the kernel have to be broken deliberately.

Speaking about ARM, Torvalds said, "I like the ARM instruction set," and, "I'm much happier with ARM today than I was six months ago." Shortly afterwards he announced that he was carrying a phone running Linux.

The biggest concern with taking Linux forward for Torvalds is complexity, and he said, "I don't trust companies, I just trust few people."

He rounded off the panel by saying, "I work to make other people happy." µ

 

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