“In the last couple of years I’ve become very fond of Linux. Do you think you guys will port your software to Linux?”
We’ve done it – it’s on a LAMP stack. This is what version 5 is all about.
There has been some adjustment. The biggest thing is that there has been no resistance to the idea. The people who don’t want to know anything about computers, have no objections. The people who really do know something, like it.
We do have one customer running version 5 on Windows. However, he is a professional Windows system administrator with 30 years of experience.
The rest of our customers are simply happy. Things simply work.
If you would like to learn more about Linux, let us know.
If you are you interested in this kind of thing without having to get your hands dirty with setting up a server, ask us about a shared virtual server.
The price starts at $30 a month. It includes an SSL certificate, 10 G storage, and unlimited bandwidth.
Here is a brief history of the “Porting to Linux” saga . . .
Intix conference January 2005
We ported the character-based program to Windows. The same code allowed us to recompile it using the GCC compiler. We could probably recompile the same code and run it on a Mac because we now have all the pieces for a Linux version except one: the users.
At the 2005 Intix conference, there was a workshop on security. One of the comments was that all the products on the convention floor were Windows-based. Our head tech raised his hand and told our story. He said we had a picture of Tux for the last five conferences. Three people had asked us about it. Essentially, there was not enough interest to justify development.
Later, five people from that workshop got together with us. They were all Prologue users who did not want to abandon Unix. Only one person from that group showed up at our booth. However, she was smart and knew what she was looking for. She was impressed and said she would be in touch.
Things are quiet on the Linux front. We came back from the Intix conference. One of the parts was the special session breakouts. We attended the IT breakout. In fact, our chief programmer was one of the moderators. Some perceptions became clear:
Conclusion: Linux is making slow but steady progress. There’s not enough potential for us to invest in the development of a native Linux program – yet.
We have been thinking about a native Linux package. This would run Samba and Apache with a MySQL as the back end. We could port our character-based program and compile it under Linux. The Windows machines would continue to use Wintix through ODBC. It would be able to handle an interesting volume of transactions. And, we could do remote support through something like VNC.
And, in the last month, we have had inquiries from two companies asking about Linux. Things might be changing. We’ll see if we get any more interest.
The original answer to the question (circa 1999) . . .
We have been interested in Linux for awhile. We have two servers in our office. One is Win2K and the other is Samba. You can probably guess which is the simplest, fastest, most reliable and cheapest.
A Linux ticketing system does make a lot of sense. It would be faster, simpler, and more stable. But, it also needs to be sold.
For the last four Intix conferences, we did some market research on Linux and learned about the general level of enthusiasm. This is not something you can ask about directly. At this point in time, Linux is more a religion than an operating system. Therefore, we printed a picture of Tux, the Penguin (a religious icon, if there ever was one), and put it in the back of our booth. It was prominent enough that if you were a Linux fan, it would jump out at you. We had about 2,000 ticket office managers and staff pass by our booth. Only one of them bothered to ask why we had the penguin. The next two years, we had no responses. At the 2003 conference in Denver, one person responded.
If you want to run Linux, we suggest you use the Linux/Samba combination. One of our customers did just that. The speed and stability was an embarrassment to the campus computer center (who used Windows NT and Netware). The performing arts department was forced to go back on the campus network. Now, they are allowed to use their Linux network only when the campus network goes down. Nobody is happy, but that’s life.
We are not enamored with Microsoft’s products or Microsoft’s behavior. Unfortunately, we are also a software company that needs to sell and support software to survive.