Re: Linux support denial in commercial products?

Mark Hamstra (
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 20:33:22 -0400

Jeff Gustafson wrote:
> Thomas Griffing ( wrote:
> >By the way ... Did I really hear that Microsoft is going
> >to port Explorer to Linux?
> I asked a Microsoft guy about this and he said the because Linux
> can't do the graphics that other Unicies and (as he pointed to the large
> screen) Windows can do, they cannot port it to Linux. ???????! I always
> thought that X was X, but MS must make it more complex. When I said,
> "But I thought X was just plain X." He said that no, Linux just doesn't
> have the capability. Whatever. I think MS is afraid of Linux.

If your quote is accurate, that's just a plain stupid comment by MS. If
anything Linux is *more* capable than other Unices. Much of the
commercial X code is still written for and on X11R4 or R5, often without
some of the extensions that are standard in R6. Add on MesaGL (as I
have done for the MicroStation port), and you have a baseline graphics
system that is nothing to be ashamed of. Shoot, I even ran into some
bad assumptions in our code that couldn't handle the TrueColor
capabilities of my Linux machine (all nicely repaired now, thank you.)

If you want to start looking at widget sets and other high-level
graphics components, then you can make a somewhat better case that Linux
is lacking. But in actuality, these bespeak more a lack in the
applications programmers' abilities and resources than the operating
system: for a company like Bentley that has it's own cross-platform gui
toolkit, the port to Linux is not at all difficult.

Mark Hamstra
Bentley Systems, Inc.