Interview with Mark Komarinski, author of "PTG Interactive's Training Course for Red Hat Linux: A Digital Seminar on CD-ROM 2/e"
by Mirko Zorz - Friday, 16 May 2003.
An unpatched Linux box is a security risk. Not to mention a Linux box with a blank root password. The real solution to security is having vendors who acknowledge and fix security holes along with administrators who can patch their systems quickly. Fortunately, Linux distributors are very quick to patch, and most Linux users are knowledgeable enough to patch their systems regularly.

In your opinion, where does Linux need the most software development at the moment?

IEEE 1394 (Firewire) support is pretty lacking right now. It works, but has the possiblity to hang your machine, the performance is still pretty slow, and there's little to no hotplugging support.

Linux also needs software geared more towards the non-expert (the Moms of the world, if you will). I have friends who run software like Photoshop under Wine because gimp is just too hard to comprehend. There are times that having everything including the kitchen sink is too much.

What is your vision for Linux in the future?

My vision is also my fear: Linux gets too easy to use. There comes a point where there is so much configurability that it just confuses non-computer users (the Moms if you will). They get confused, so the vendor has to make a choice: ignore this vast populace (and its sales), educate them on all the options, or just cut the configurability.

In the interests of gaining market share, the vendor would have to choose cutting the configurability. But this cuts into the ability of those who know Linux in all its fine detail to have tight control over the system. We're seeing this already with the features being removed from GNOME in the interests of ease-of-use.

What are your future plans? Any exciting new projects?

I was hoping to start another project covering Red Hat 9, hoping that there would be 8.1 and 8.2 releases. Their jumping from 8 to 9 took me (and probably many others) by suprise.

I keep in contact with PTG so I'm sure you'll see me on the bookstand soon.


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