SJVN, as usual, has a good piece on how FLOSS and */Linux fared in 2014. He touches on the bad things like the systemd wars and the good things like M$ loving */Linux and Android/Linux taking over the world.
I think the systemd wars will not be a brief affair. It’s taken a year or two of infighting amongst developers before it affected the much larger group of users. For some users of desktops, systemd is largely hidden and in most cases may actually make systems boot faster so it’s not an issue. In my case, I found the complexity of having to wait for every server on localhost to run before I could even log in appalling. The way Debian set it up there was just no telling systemd to give my servers the same priority as the rest of the Internet. Sigh… I can go back to Wheezy for a year or two to avoid more hassles but folks with tons of servers are in it up to their eyeballs. systemd is in their face every day. Hence the possibility of a fork of Debian. I doubt that is practical. I have faith that Debian will correct the problems sooner or later. I will wait until Jessie is released before putting in a wishlist request for more flexibility. Perhaps the issues of dependencies will be tightened up. It’s just silly to require lots of software to depend on software that lots of folks hate. I really mean hate. systemd is turning Debian GNU/Linux to look more like that other OS all the time.
As for */Linux taking over the world, I think it’s inevitable. Android/Linux seems to be working on it’s third billion users perhaps by the end of 2015. At some point there will be saturation but the diversity is amazing. I saw a young lady with a Christmas gift of a CyanogenMod Android/Linux smartphone. CyanogenMod is a customization of Android/Linux which gives users more features and some independence from Google. She’s leaving a feature-phone behind as soon as she can switch “sim” cards. Within hours she’s learned to use a bunch of features including speech-to-text (It was nearly perfect)… Strangely, at about the same time her regular notebook PC (GNU/Linux) melted down (hard drive suspected). It will be interesting to see whether she even needs to replace it. This smartphone is just so powerful. Maybe I will get one and leave Beast to serving/storing stuff.
I think, whatever happens, 2015 will be a great year for users of IT all over the world and FLOSS and */Linux will be a big part of that. For December 24, 2014, StatCounter reported some fine shares of page-views for GNU/Linux:
North Korea showed only 2.33% GNU/Linux page-views. You’d think that after what happened to SONY, they’d be more careful… 😉
Of course, Android/Linux, world-wide, scored 59% of page-views from small cheap computers. That other OS was down to 2.24%.
Merry Christmas and a happy 2015, everyone!