20.Lock AbstractDigital Circular

The OS family isn't broken – so why are so many companies trying to fix it?

Some Linux veterans are irritated by some of the new tech: Snap, Flatpak, Btrfs, ZFS, and so forth. Doesn't the old stuff work? Well, yes, it does – but not well enough.


Why is Canonical pushing Snap so hard? Does Red Hat really need all these different versions of Fedora? Why are some distros experimenting with ZFS if its licence is incompatible with the GPL? Is the already bewildering array of packaging tools and file systems not enough?

No, they aren't. There are good justifications for all these efforts, and the reasons are simple and fairly clear. The snag is that the motivations behind some of them are connected with certain companies' histories, attitudes, and ways of doing business. If you don't know their histories, the reasoning that led to major technological decisions is often obscure or even invisible.