Musings of an anonymous geek

September 19, 2005

Tired… So Tired…

Filed under: Technology — m0j0 @ 10:27 pm

I’m tired of Linux reviews. I’m tired of Linux zealots who say disingenuous things like “if the choice is between Open or Closed Source solutions, the answer is easy” in the context of a discussion about things they have no clue about. I’m tired of hearing about what Linux has to do to “hit the mainstream”. Everyone just needs to shut up.

First of all, “Linux”, the kernel, needs relatively few things compared to the distributions that bundle the Linux kernel with all kinds of other stuff in various ways, mostly broken. The kernel has no trouble with sound. It’s the distro vendor that decides that different apps should use different devices which require different mixers every time you open an mp3 and want to change the volume. Sure, the kernel would benefit greatly from vendor support or a little more openness/collaboration from hardware makers. That’s not news. But this habit of confusing the distro with the kernel seems to have popped up with the relatively recent (and unbelievably large) influx of new Linux users, and it needs to stop. Indeed, what Linux needs is for everyone to just lay low while it quietly takes over the world without attracting too much attention from the likes of the old-school “big boys” like Sun and Microsoft.

Second, if your IT budget runs into 6 figures or more, there’s very little that the “mainstream” Linux user is going to be able to tell you that’s of any value, because the vast majority of them don’t work in those environments, and haven’t worked in those environments, and do not, in my experience, have a clue as to the complexities of corporate, enterprise concepts like change management, data ownership (and the politics of it), corporate standard solutions, multi-tier applications with Java in the database connected through to global end users using things like Tibco and MQ Series, project management, and the justification of commercial vs. open/free software in a corporate environment. I’m not saying I like any of this, but the plain and simple fact is that you can’t answer questions asked by these people by saying “apt-get”. It just doesn’t work.

Third, quit trying to “convert” people. We’re not a religion, you know. People aren’t going to burn in hell for using Microsoft products. I’ve learned that if they can get what they need from it, just let ’em have it. Have you ever been converted by a roving band of Jehova’s Witnesses? No. You take their “reading material” and promptly throw it away. Windows users are doing largely the same thing when you send them links to a HOWTO or a Linux review, published on a Linux website, by another Linux zealot, with terms in it that the average Windows user can’t even understand.

Well, that oughta be plenty to get me some flame mail. More to come! ;-P


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