Subject RE: [IB-Architect] Open Question to IB Developers
Author Phil Shrimpton
> From: dcalford [mailto:dcalford@...]


I have a feeling this post is going to be along one :-).

Apologies in advance if I step on anyone's toes, nothing personnel is meant,
just letting off some steam!

> I have been looking at Linux for quite a while.
> There are some good distributions out there. BUT, every distribution I
> have seen is filled with bloat.
> The basic distribution assumes that you either want every package they
> think is appropriate, or, you have no life and fully understand the
> implications of choosing one arcane package name over another.
> What I am proposing is a distribution of Linux that has nothing in it :)

I must admit to being in the same situation as you a year or so ago. I,
like many others, fell for the Linux hype and decided to install a
distribution of Linux in a spare rainy lunch hour. Well I had a bit of a
shock to the system come solely from a Windows back (not even touched DOS).
I don't know what I was expecting, I guess I wanted 'Windows' that did not
crash quite so much, or an OS that would run notepad on something less
powerful than a CRAY.

It took me the best part of a month to get my graphics card working so I
could get a 'Windows Explorer' program to look at the folders and files,
which turned out to be nodes and symlinks etc. My hard drive was full of
200 different versions, makes and models of every application. I had to
re-compile applications from source to work with hardware/libraries. I was
about to dump it and go back to that OS we all love to hate.

But I thought there must be some thing more to it, so I bought some books,
joined a few mailing lists, chatted to guys in sandals and Grateful Dead
t-shirts in the basement of where I work, and a year later I finally got

Yes, if you use the new 'whizz bang' installer that comes with the latest
distribution it will fill you hard drive with crap; Yes, if you except the
'default' installation there are more daemons than 'the other side', and
more security holes than NT with service pack 2,456. But if you just do a
'proper' install you can get a working system on a 40MB hard drive, in less
than 15 minutes. I have a server with only Interbase (+ necessarys) on it, I
even have got a working system on a 5.25in floppy for a laugh (does do much
apart from boot though). But, and it is a big BUT, it has taken me the best
part of 18 months to get here.

Linux is not Windows, both OS's are for two completely different
'solutions'. In a lot of cases Windows is a lot better solution than Linux,
in just as many Linux is a lot better than Windows.

Bringing it back on subject a little :-), Interbase runs and performs great
on Windows, and for a lot of applications/developers Windows is the ideal
platform. If on the other hand you want to squeeze every last bit of
performance out of IB in your mission critical, 24x7, highly secure RDBMS
application, you will need to go for Linux, if not Solaris or other *NIX
based OS.

> The concept is, a version of Linux that is simple to install and set-up,
> and does not have a million and one daemons and packages all opening up
> security holes for the administrator.

As I said above, this already exists (at least it does in SuSE) as long as
you know exactly what you are doing, and it has taking me 18 months (of
mainly spare time) to become an 'average' Linux user.

> What I am proposing is a INTERBASE LINUX. A simple download (my current
> calculations would be about 40 MB before packages)

I reckon, if you don't include the IB documentation, you could get that down
to about 5MB.

> that would allow
> someone who wants a simple network server with interbase on linux to set
> it up without worrying about removing unwanted apps or properly
> configuring a /etc directory with 900 files in it.

Simple answer, don't install packages you don't want.

> If you stripped Windows of all the add on crap
> that MS marketing wants to have on the system, it would be preatty
> stable. Now the linux community is doing the same.

I think this is more the Windows community wanting Linux to do the same. We
have got far to used to installing Windows and getting gigabytes worth of
Office suites, routeplanners, wizards etc. and we try another OS we expect
the same. Most 'full time' Linux users I know have there machines set-up
exactly how they want them for a specific job, the fact that most distros
include all the software needed to set up anything from a web server to a
word processor, or a DB server to a video editing suite, does not mean you
have to install all of it.

> I know that when I am setting up a server, (on windows or linux), I am
> setting it up for a specific purpose and only want specific programs on
> it. This is difficult for someone who knows Linux (and the millions of
> variations of different apps) let alone somebody who just wants to get
> IB running and does not care about the OS.

If somebody just "wants to get IB running and does not care about the OS",
they should use Windows. IMHO Linux is not an alternative to Windows it is
a different solution, both OS have there good and bad points.

This is what 'worries' me about all the postings in the Borland newsgroups
about Kylix, people think that they will be able to just go out an buy
Kylix, hit F9 and they will have a Linux port of their flashy GUI desktop
app. Sure it can be done, but what's the point?, if you want to develop a
new GUI Windows application use Windows, if you want to develop a Linux
application, use Linux. I am excited about Kylix and can see a lot of uses
for it, but my 'GUI client' applications will be on Windows,
middleware/servers will be on Linux.

Anyway, thanks for staying with me, the 'right tool for the right job'
issues always get my fingers into overdrive!


Phil Shrimpton
Project JEDI DCOM Team Captain
Project JEDI Library Team
Registered Linux User #155621