Exactly. Linux is good because it is an excellent implementation of an
already proven set of ideas. There isn't a lot in it, from a programming
point of view, that is innovative. If you want innovative, run Hurd, or
some research OS. If you want something *useful*, run Linux.
My guess is that when they are writing the textbooks 50 years from now,
Linux will be mentioned much more in the business textbooks than in the
computer science textbooks, and Linus will be more remembered as a genius
of management and organization than as a programmer. Sure, he's a great
programmer, but there are plenty of equally good programmers around.
There are very few people who can manage a successful project the size of
Linux, even without the handicap of the people working on it being
distributed all over the planet and communicating via a flakey network.
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