Monday, November 3, 2008

Rants and Laughs 5

Okay, the Unix Hater's Handbook Review is coming along at about the speed of the X11 DRI fix, so I will take some time and see what is on Linux Reddit.

  • Linux Just Works with one fucking printer. Wow! Linux has finally beaten OSX! Mac Bigots of the world, you better switch right away! There is a new Just Working OS in town! Remember kids, Apple is a systems company, and this means OS X it has a smaller range of working hardware than Windows or Linux. This also means that the supported items often work much better than they do in other systems. Why don't you try one of these printers and get back to me on Just Working.
  1. Aigo Mobile Internet Device: Wow, a PDA! Who uses those anymore?
  2. Nokia N810 Internet Tablet: Again, who cares about PDAs anymore? Ever heard of a smartphone?
  3. Asus Eee Box: It also runs Windows XP. Linux power!
  4. Asus Eee PC:It also runs XP and has Linux problems.
  5. OpenMoko FreeRunner: *snort* with Englightenment technology!
  6. Motorola Ming A1600: Okay, this looks kind of cool. Is it one of those Android phones, though?
  7. Archos 605 Wifi: an excellent choice for an Apple averse media horder. How good of a choice is it for people who do not care?
  8. Mvix MX-760HD Media Center: a crappy Apple TV ripoff
  9. Sonos Digital Music System: Now, you can stream your music wirelessly all around your home for only $1000 DOLLARS! Wow!
  10. Garmin Nuvi880: Okay, I have heard it is a good GPS.
So, out of this list, I see only TWO items that look kind of cool and do not also run Windows better! This is the best you freetards can do? I hang my head.
  • I saved the best for last. Here is an article calling on the community to restrain itself from criticizing developers when they screw up. It looks like I am going to have to focus on this one.
Well, it starts off in the expected way.
You can see this growing viciousness in the hostile reaction to KDE last spring, or in sites like the just-defunct Linux Hater's Blog, as well as the articles of professional and semi-professional journalists who demonize anyone who fails to agree with them completely.
What, you mean like you just did?

Aaron Seigo of KDE described the problem the other month in his blog:

Every so often someone with a real crank on will start following me around the intrawebs posting their hallowed viewpoint on me. It seems to happen to everyone with an even moderately public profile. Usually they get stuck on one message and then post it consistently everywhere they can as some sort of therapeutic outpouring of their inner angst. Most people don't last more than a couple weeks at this, though I've had a couple of people with real commitment dog me for a year or more.
Seigo admits that, being visible, vocal, and outspoken, he makes an easy target. It's not that he objects to views he doesn't agree with, he says, but that "I don't have time for pointlessness."
So Seigo is mad because a bunch of KDE users complained about his broken release and his complete disregard for the needs of his users, and he thinks that such criticism is pointless. Wow, that is rich! I wish I was that rich!

Such attacks are abusing the freewheeling freedom of expression that is the norm in FOSS. By refusing to temper this freedom with responsibility, those who make them are seriously handicapping the community that they claim to represent.

How about developers first start to take responsibility for their actions and not regularly screw over their users! Then we will talk about civility!
But why such attacks are becoming so prevalent in FOSS is harder to explain. Perhaps their origins are part of the worldwide fallout from the unusually heated and prolonged American presidential campaign, in which attack ads and ad hominem attacks have become the norm.
What . . . . the . . . . fuck!!!!
Or perhaps relative newcomers to FOSS are taking out their frustrations with unresponsive proprietary companies on prominent members of the community. Unlike company executives, FOSS developers and maintainers are accessible, so they get the suppressed anger that should be aimed at the executives.
Even more likely, as one of the earliest and most Web-integrated communities in existence, FOSS has become a center of such attacks because of the strange combination of intimacy and distance that is peculiar to the Internet
Okay, that does sound remotely plausible (in comparison). The anonymity of the Internet has been known to increase vitriol but so has releasing shitty software!
At times, too, the uneasy alliance between free software and open source advocates erupts into verbal battles.
Maybe, the problem is that the 'community' is composed of autistic fosstards? In that case, any civility is more than can be expected.
Perhaps newcomers are simply adopting the rhetoric they believe will make them fit in.
Yeah, or maybe they are reacting to getting screwed over by egomaniacal developers after having invested days of their time learning Linux?
Since then other projects, such as KDE, have borrowed heavily from the codes to produce their own versions. A community-based code would need few modifications to be just as effective.
How about a code that says "DO NOT FUCK OVER YOUR USERS!!!!"?


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