Re: debate over Linux and Solaris

  • To: Gilbert Sebenste
  • Subject: Re: debate over Linux and Solaris
  • From: Don Murray [mailto:dmurray@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
  • Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 09:43:56 -0500

You are right about that Java being faster under Windows, that's
for sure.  I wonder maybe if some third-party will eventually
port Java3D to Solaris x86..maybe Xi Graphics or someone like that.
On that subject, if MetApps is the wave of the future, does that
mean Solaris x86 is a dead-end street?  I have found Xi Graphics
X-server (about $99) to work very well for the newer video cards
that come out which Sun doesn't support right away (if ever).
It should be said in all of this that when I was at NSBF I started moving 
us away from Intel and towards SPARC (I know that's the complete
opposite of everyone else) as:

1) I did not feel that comfortable with the future of x86..
that has since changed.  Sun seems to be somewhat committed to it.

2) In overall system performance and in floating point operations
like IMGREMAP, the SPARCs were superior.  That last point is no longer
true with the Pentium 4, but Solaris won't run on the P4 yet.  The
SPARCs still perform better under a heavy load, in my experience at
NSBF.  We have some Ultra 30's here at Universal that are amazing
at how much you can load them up with, and they just keep slugging along.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001 9:10 AM
Cc: Dan Vietor; ldm-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; pc_os@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Just a couple of sidenotes:

1) Unidata's Java applications (MetApps) require Java3D. Sun has no
plans to support Java3D under Solaris X86.  It may be possible for
Unidata to support this (we've gotten it working before), but we have no
plans to do so.   As for Java platforms, Windows smokes any *nix
platform for installation and performance.  I'm not advocating Windows,
just stating the facts, ma'am.

2) The big problem I see with X86 is the lack of (or lagging) support
for new hardware.  Sun's attitude towards X86 is like IBM's with OS/2 -
it's only supposed to be a server machine, so you don't need extensions
like Java3D or support for wiz-bang graphics cards.  Hey, who needs a
nice video display on a server locked in a closet?  Of course, Unidata
sites using X86 have found that it's useful for more than that.

3) Unidata maintains a list (pc_os@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) for discussing PC
operating systems.  Perhaps discussions like this (once they digress
from LDM specific issues to religious wars) should be moved to that


Gilbert Sebenste wrote:
> WOW. Dan, can you send that to Wired or PC Magazine or something as an
> editorial? My goodness, I'm reading this saying, 'yes, yes, YES!'.
> I couldn't agree with any of this more. When I used Solaris several years
> ago, we didn't have the 8GB partition problem. But, OTOH, yes, Linux
> bugfixes can be frustrating; but on the other hand, I have never had a
> problem with my website. I do agree Linux is slower than Solaris---hands
> down by 10%+. But then again, it can still do so much more than a Solaris
> box...and much more cheaply. And as Dan said, trying to find help? Unless
> you're a Solaris guru, good luck. I saw that first hand with our old
> Geography dept. admin. Things haven't improved, and that's not good for
> the future of Solaris and related products. I can still say while Linux
> may not be the greatest OS in the world (dunno what is, don't care)...the
> most important thing is that it is very good, and still improving, in
> general. I do wish they would stop piling on add-ons that you don't
> need...but I think that options will also come to pass in future
> versions. 3rd party software? Give me Redhat for everything weather and a
> Windows box to type up my forecast on an Excel spreadsheet.
> I think we can we all agree, though, that Solaris and Linux toast Windows
> 95-98-2000 out of the water! Let's see THAT OS handle a 4 channel
> NOAAport feed! :-)
> Anyway, we'll find out tonight how stable Anne's patches are to the LDM,
> but from what I can gather, the thing that was making my machine crash is
> no longer interfering with my machine. But, until a good patch can be
> released, don't upgrade to RedHat 7.1 yet. BTW, McIDAS under 7.1 works
> fine, except my ADDE server suddenly stopped working from those people
> trying to get data from me. I think it's back up again...will check.
> Gilbert Sebenste
> Internet: gilbert@xxxxxxx    (My opinions only!)
> Staff Meteorologist, Northern Illinois University
> E-mail: sebenste@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx                                 ***
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