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Author Topic: Linux is Not Windows  (Read 11796 times)
app103
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« on: August 09, 2008, 12:05:39 AM »

I came across this today and wondered why is this page not linked to, anywhere on this forum, that I could find.

It's a bit old (2005), but still a great essay about why Windows users have such a hard time making the switch to Linux, why things don't work how Windows users expect, why so many say that "Linux isn't ready for the desktop", etc.

I think if all Windows & Linux users read it, the "war" will be over, and both sides will have won.

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Gothi[c]
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 12:21:45 AM »

I could have sworn i posted this before. Maybe I forgot. But I think I do remembers showing mouser smiley Great post.
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2008, 02:35:07 AM »

Interesting Article.
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zridling
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 04:32:36 AM »

Skipping to the end of the article, Humphries writes:
Quote
Don't get Linux: It will fail miserably at being what you want it to be.... If you really want the security and performance of a Unix-based OS but with a customer-focussed attitude and an world-renowned interface: Buy an Apple Mac. OS X is great. But don't get Linux: It will not do what you want it to do.
Three years is a long time in Linux land. I should know because I've been monitoring and testing distros every month this decade, and it's come a long way in the past two years; even doing what I need it to do and want it to do. Trust me, if it didn't, I DO NOT have the time or patience to futz with it. I dare say that KDE 4.1 has eliminated most all of Humphries' complaints about using the keyboard and vi (text editor); e.g., the Kate text editor is incredible in many, many ways.

Not sure about a 'war,' but for me, I had used Microsoft OSes for over 20 years and figured I had earned the right to try something new. Could neither afford nor did I like Apple, so I kept trying Linux. Microsoft's increasing attempts to put barriers between me and my data pushed me to open source solutions like ODF. Vista wasn't the breaking point, but it was damn strange to have an 8Gb RAM Quad-core and it was not much faster than my old PIII.

The money I save on having a Microsoft-free computer allows me to upgrade my hardware more often and have more of it at any given time, running faster than I ever did with Windows. Moreover, it takes me less time to tweak a new Linux machine than it does a Windows machine, and like many of you, I'm an expert at installing Vista and XP and removing their minor annoyances.
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app103
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2008, 06:40:02 AM »

I wasn't talking about you switching to Linux, Zaine. You did that of your own free will, you had your good reasons, it was right for you, and you are happy with it. That's great, wonderful, fantastic...I am happy for you. I would hate to think you were using an OS you didn't like, be that Windows, Linux, Mac, or anything else.

What I am about to say may or may not apply to you, all or in part. You will know if it does, or not. I can think of many Linux users that this doesn't apply to, but even more that it does...

The 'war' I was referring to is the harassment that Windows users get for not switching, where Linux users go out of their way to attack those that choose to use Windows and not switch their OS, as if somehow that would make someone stop liking Windows and switch to Linux. The abuse is even worse for Windows users that have tried Linux and gone back to Windows when it disappointed them and wasn't what they expected or wanted.

It's the battle of the desktop that gets a bit too personal, with Linux users thinking they have to crush Microsoft and convert all Windows users to their OS, no matter what it takes. They act like they are making a $1000 commission for each Windows user they convert. They have a "convert or kill" attitude when it comes to every Windows user they come across.

I like Windows, at least the last 2 versions I have tried, and I plan on sticking with them till I can't any more. And since I have a PC still running WinME, I am likely to be running XP longer than Microsoft would like, too. (and don't start with the security crap, my WinME is more secure than the average user's XP or Vista)

I hated 2003 Server when I couldn't figure out how to shut off desktop icons...and I hated the IE7 look of the Explorer windows in 2008 Server. (but I love RDP with both of them) Just because I like the versions I do, doesn't mean I love all versions, or that I love every single little thing about the versions that I do like.

Don't call me an ignorant Vista lover, because I haven't even tried Vista. Don't throw it's flaws in my face. Don't use its issues to insult me, as a person. They don't affect me in the least bit, at this point in time. They are irrelevant.

Issues with Office and proprietary document formats don't affect me either and Office is not and has never been part of Windows (Wordpad is, but not Office), nor is it installed on any of my PC's at this current point in time. Almost everything I do is either in plain text or HTML. The only additional format that makes a difference to me is PDF, and for that I read them, not make them, and I use Foxit Reader, not Adobe.

It would just be nice if those that are loving Linux so much would stop trying to shove it down the throats of those that they know that are loving Windows.

Linux is not for everyone. Know that, understand that, and leave us that don't want it, alone. Don't insult us just because we use what we like. You wouldn't like it if the abuse was returned in the same manner as you have dished it out.

What some Linux users do is as offensive as the Mac or PC ads, and it's been going on a lot longer than Apple's campaign. Windows users are not all stupid by nature and shouldn't be treated as if we all are, just because our tastes are different than yours. Some of us actually don't have issues with spyware, malware, viruses & trojans, and have systems that work well and are quite stable and do just what we want, almost all of the time.

I am tired of the whole thing that has devolved into a childish playground brawl with 'kids' (adults) insulting each other with "my OS is better than your OS" crap that looks a lot like "my dad drives a better car than your dad".

It's right up there with the harassment my daughter got in school when she was 5 years old, for bringing in a liverwurst sandwich for lunch. Because the other kids didn't like liverwurst, it didn't matter to them that my daughter happened to love it. They couldn't just let her enjoy it in peace. It was them that made her miserable, not the sandwich, and she didn't stop loving liverwurst just because of their abuse.

I would like to enjoy my Windows, in peace. Launching a personal attack on me because I like my OS, doesn't allow me to do that, and just makes me hate you, not Windows. What it can also do is make me think twice about ever trying Linux, because I don't want to ever be a part of some culture that abuses people in the way that you do. This is one of many reasons why I will never own a Mac.

If you have made the switch and are loving your Linux, it's ok to tell others, but be careful not to do it to an extent or in a way that it becomes childishly abusive. And don't fall into rating the value of a human life by the OS one runs (or the ISP they use)...one has NOTHING to do with the other.

Bottom line: Don't act like a jerk.

And for the Windows and Mac users: that message is for you, too.


Edit: converted Typonese to English  embarassed
« Last Edit: August 10, 2008, 06:48:05 AM by app103 » Logged

mouser
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2008, 07:26:54 AM »

I think app makes some good points.  If the windows user community was as derogatory to the linux community as they are to the windows community, there would be an uproar.  In fairness though, i think much of this asymmetry arises as a pushback from the huge marketing dollars and monopolistic practices of a big company like microsoft.  Whenever you have a giant big company on one side trying to squash all competitors, and then a small independent alternative, you are probably going to see different kinds of attitudes between users of the two products.

In a sense this is related to why this line in the article is wrong "Linux is not interested in market share."  While there is no big company boss who is spending money and influence to gain marketshare for Linux the way there is with Windows, I don't think it's right to say that Linux isn't actively trying to gain market share for a variety of reasons, almost all very healthy for our society and future options.  The Linux community wants better hardware driver support, better game support from game companies, etc., and these things are dependent on market share.  And linux has to compete in this effort against companies like Apple and Microsoft who can simply pour massive dollars into advertising in an attempt to convince people that their way is the only way.  So i think some of the "holier than thou" attitude you get from linux users is a pushback from and defense against the threat they detect from the Microsoft/Apple machine.  Although I wonder to what extent in the linux userbase there are users who feel like Linux is moving a little too much in the direction of trying to appeal and market itself to a public audience in a quest for more market share..
« Last Edit: August 10, 2008, 07:28:59 AM by mouser » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2008, 10:54:07 AM »

Coming back to the "Linux is not Windows" article. 
For me it reads a little bit like a big Linux "supporter" listing all the reasons for Linux never ever being able to achieve the usability which would be necessary for acceptance by a non-geek audience. The article might as well be written by Bill G.
I hope that the author of the article will be wrong. In this case, perhaps the companies with commercial interests in Linux, will one day gain a positive influence on the usability aspects?

A half year ago, I did try all the popular Linux distros and all of them required me to edit text files somewhere deep in the convoluted Unix directory structure to get some simple things up an running; Mandriva, while being the ugliest distro, needed the least amount of such work. Nevertheless, it reminded me again, that, among other features, a user friendly OS needs to do all every-day adjustments per GUI (and obviously should require less of them in the first place) and also needs a simple, intuitive file structure.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2008, 11:09:12 AM »

Has anyone ever thought of writing a graphical tweaking tool for Linux that could update all the etxt file settings etc with a clck of the mouse. Strikes me if such a tool were written in a non-geeky and accessible way it would spoil the geeks fun but actually make Linux a lot more approachable to the average user.
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2008, 11:12:05 AM »

Question: Why should anybody care what somebody else has to say about their choice of an OS? If you're insulting someone about that - or you're feeling insulted in return - then you're talking about religious convictions, not technology. And that will always be a "no win" exchange of opinions.

In the larger scheme of things, what OS we use really has no more significance than what brand of toothpaste we buy. We use what we like because we like it.

I always try to follow an old forum guideline that I believe was originally articulated by the moderators up on The WELL:

Try not to offend. Try not to be so easily offended.

Just a thought. smiley

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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2008, 12:35:36 PM »

Here's an interesting little article from LinuxWorld.com contradicting one of the core beliefs of the Linux zealots (emphasis added):

Quote
Is Linux still a disruptive innovation?
Submitted by dmarti on 21 July 2008 - 2:19pm


The embarassing little secret is that it never was. It would be nice to have a story of the innovative, disruptive master Linux plan breaking down the ossified IT industry, but that would be rewriting history. Linux itself started as an educational coding project, but Linux as a product was just the Unix scene's not-quite-unthinking reaction against the actual disruptive product, Microsoft Windows NT.

In the mid-1990s, Microsoft's product was a cheap, hot alternative to overpriced, incompatible "open systems" from greedy, shortsighted Unix vendors. It didn't work especially well, but it offered something to customers who were denied Unix, by price or learning curve. That's the whole point of a disruptive product; it doesn't have to be good.

http://www.linuxworld.com/community/?q=node/20940

Not all of Linux's advocates are Penguin Jehadists.  Cool

And once again "What comes around goes around." I think it's called karma. Grin
« Last Edit: August 10, 2008, 12:38:56 PM by 40hz » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2008, 01:22:41 AM »

Quote
[app103]: The 'war' I was referring to is the harassment that Windows users get for not switching, where Linux users go out of their way to attack those that choose to use Windows and not switch their OS, as if somehow that would make someone stop liking Windows and switch to Linux. The abuse is even worse for Windows users that have tried Linux and gone back to Windows when it disappointed them and wasn't what they expected or wanted.... It would just be nice if those that are loving Linux so much would stop trying to shove it down the throats of those that they know that are loving Windows.... Linux is not for everyone. Know that, understand that, and leave us that don't want it, alone. Don't insult us just because we use what we like. You wouldn't like it if the abuse was returned in the same manner as you have dished it out.... If you have made the switch and are loving your Linux, it's ok to tell others, but be careful not to do it to an extent or in a way that it becomes childishly abusive. And don't fall into rating the value of a human life by the OS one runs (or the ISP they use)...one has NOTHING to do with the other.

Bottom line: Don't act like a jerk.

App, what are you talking about? "Harrassing" people for not switching to Linux? Insults? Abuse? Where the heck did you get all that 'personal stuff' from? Not my post. I did quote the author, whom I suggested should take a second look in light of Linux in 2008, not the pre-Ubuntu phenomenon Linux from 2005. Humphries spends a lot of time talking culture, not about the OS — e.g., vi is not part of the Linux OS, nor are desktop environments like KDE, Gnome, or xfce. There's so much cross-platform software available now that my transition was far easier than I expected it to be. In other words, I have not suffered in the ways that Humphries describes.

I think 40hz has it right, and I've long moved on. Use what you choose and enjoy it. But App, take a step back and relax. I was recounting my experience in response to the author's quote. I am more productive now. Is that a slam against Windows, or more accurately, a testament that I — ME and MYSELF — was finally fed up and did something to change my personal computing situation. Go back and read my post and I cannot find any "abuse" and "insults" you claim.

You guys know me and you know I'm not a Linux fanatic, in large part because I know so little at this point, but I damn sure am having a lot of fun, something I haven't had in a long, long time. Again: my experience need not be shared by you. Moreover, everything good about Linux need not be interpreted as an insult to Windows. But having used MS-DOS followed by Windows from 1985 to last year (and two Vista machines in the house) does give me direct experience with Windows. And if me talking about it insults you, then tough. You had your say; I get mine. (Unless you decree what can and can't be talked about and in what ways here on DC.)
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2008, 01:25:20 AM »

zaine, i think app was just talking about some people who do these things -- i don't think she was suggesting that you have ever done anything of the sort.
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2008, 07:41:26 AM »

I tried out Ubuntu for a few weeks recently after much broo haha here in the Australian computer press about the latest release (Hardy Heron) being a "Windows Killer". To say that I tried it out is probably an untruth - I should have said that I spent a few weeks trying to get it to work. Thank heavens I set up a dual boot system as I had to constantly fall back to my Windows set up to access the net & search for solutions to my problems. I couldn't initially access the net through Ubuntu as it couldn't identify my external dial-up modem & subsequently I spent many hours entering command line commands to get Ubuntu & the modem to talk to each other. Then I spent a few hours unsuccessfully trying to get Ubuntu to recognise my video card - no success there. Now I don't like to give up easily, but when I couldn't get Ubuntu & my scanner to talk nicely to each other I finally threw in the towel & reverted to Windows.
I make these comments as a "person in the street 'puter user" & acknowledge that probably all of the problems I faced were do to third party vendors & not Ubuntu, but my experiences will be common for many people & highlight, I think, why many of us stay with Windows.
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2008, 08:31:37 AM »

I have to agree about the attacks that take place on windows users. It happens at almost every linux oriented site around the web, and several windows sites as well. Its not just linux, its the FOSS community in general. They attack users who have anything negative to say about their software or platform, Example of our very own Zaine attacking ME for posting an honest review which attacked no one (I am Metshrine). Granted, my second review has a part that is uncalled for (so please don't bring that part up), but the attacks against my original review and against myself in this thread are just examples of attacks that take place all over the internet from people who are either FOSS enthusiasts or believers in that all software should be paid for ONE TIME ONLY, which has been spawned by the FOSS initiative.

One other thing I notice is that linux users, the fanatics, also take the time to insult Microsoft itself at any opportunity. Plenty of examples can be found where users find an article dealing with Microsoft and then bring up something as vain as OOXML or any other fault of Microsoft. Again, I have witnessed people bring stuff up like that for no reason other than because the original article had to do with Microsoft. I am sorry, but this is the one thing that detracts me from the FOSS world. That and given that there is no definitive source of support for many programs. A lot of them are supported only lightly by the developers because they use the mentality "I provided this for free, support it yourself".

These to me, are the biggest detractors from linux. I have had several people ask me if they should switch to linux and my response to them is "only if you have the time to find the answers on your own". The support for the average user is just not there and if it is it will resort in attacks for "not knowing the answer" or claiming that a but exists in the software.
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mouser
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2008, 08:32:48 AM »

i'm an equally opportunity hater, i hate microsoft and linux and apple.
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2008, 08:48:42 AM »

I am with you mouser, each has their flaws and I am not afraid to admit a flaw to a program. This is not the case as found in a lot of sites.
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2008, 09:25:32 AM »

something as vain as OOXML

Perhaps in the context that it was used. But the OOXML issue as relates to ISO's behavior was anything but. Wink

Quote
A lot of them are supported only lightly by the developers because they use the mentality "I provided this for free, support it yourself".

You say "toma-to", I say "tomah-to."

I think a lot has to do in how things get said and how they are interpreted. And also how things come across in text versus by voice. I know several FOSS developer that are amazed at the attitude of many of the people who download their software. And invariably, these "high-maintenance users" are the ones who contribute nothing (donations, debugging, code rewrites, etc) to the developer other than a list of demands for the coder to "do something because I'm using your app and I want it right now!!!"


Eventually, some developers just give up because of the cruft they get from their user base. A lot of FOSS projects have died for exactly that reason. Just goes to show that the old saying "No good deed goes unpunished." was never truer than when talking about free software.

I see nothing wrong with the attitude that, if you're giving something away, you are well within your rights to also say "You're on your own using it." This is not unique to FOSS. Because no matter what you may think, no commercial software developer has put themselves under any obligation to provide support for free.

Read the EULA of any software product you own and you will see that every published piece of software has a disclaimer and limitation of warranty. That limitation says that anything bad that happens (even if the publisher knew it would happen) is at your own risk and expense.

There is also usually a section that says the publisher is under no obligation to fix the program if it doesn't do what it is supposed to do. And furthermore, it has no implied warranty. That means that if you bought a wordprocessing application, and it doesn't do word processing, that's your tough luck. Because even though they said it was a wordprocessor - that does not imply that it can actually be used for that purpose.

It also disclaims "fitness for use." That's like saying the TV you were sold does not mean that it will actually be able to receive TV signals or that it is even designed to be used for that purpose.

So if I were to fault most FOSS developers that don't provide individual tech support for anything, I would have to fault them for not being smart enough to bury their "policy" in a bunch of legal boilerplate nobody usually bothers to read.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 09:55:43 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2008, 12:39:40 PM »

*grumble* Oh fer pete's sake, another linux<>windows post nono2

OK, I'll bite.
Let me begin by saying if I have personally attacked anyone regarding their choice of OS, please send me a personal message and I will reply with an honest heartfelt apology. Really. Even publicly in a forum post. I have already done so on more than one occasion.

Even though the article is a bit dated, I think the principles hold true. You could have re-titled it "Mac is not Windows" re-wrote a few key parts and it would have still made sense. Heck, you could have titled it "OS/2 is not NeXT"...
Umm, maybe...

These two quotes are beginning to give me cause for concern:
Quote
from 40Hz:
Question: Why should anybody care what somebody else has to say about their choice of an OS? If you're insulting someone about that - or you're feeling insulted in return - then you're talking about religious convictions, not technology. And that will always be a "no win" exchange of opinions.
Quote
from Zaine
You had your say; I get mine. (Unless you decree what can and can't be talked about and in what ways here on DC.)
OK, time to walk a little softer here...
WAY too many times I have seen the Windows/Linux discussion in many other locations ends up taking on the characteristics of a religious holy war but lacking many of the ethical constraints that most religions demand, and we all should be very familiar with DonationCoder's policy on discussions of that nature...

I also agree with App that the Linux community is famous for being snotty at the most inopportune moments, and for that, I wish I could personally apologize for. In any argument, being right is wonderful, being wrong kinda hurts, but a bad attitude in either situation loses everytime.

I also agree with Zaine that Humphries last statement misses the mark a bit. Personally, I think it should be re-written.
I would say "If you've got the itch to try something new and unfamilar, go ahead and try Linux. Burn yourself a Live CD and have a go. You'll be a newb, that's OK, we all were at some point. Give it a good two weeks or so, a month if you're the tenacious type. Identify problems and seek solutions. Seek them as diligently as you are capable. If you can honestly say you can live with Linux more or less comfortably, then welcome to the family. We're a bit weird and obnoxious sometimes, but I'll guarantee the Sunday picnics will never be boring again. and I personally apologize for anyone who chides you for going to visit cousin Bill next door. He's got money, and I hear he's trying to marry into the family..."

If not, then toss the CD out and return blissfully to the old comforts of Windows. There are days when I don't blame you one bit.
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2008, 02:19:18 PM »

I've been on the receiving end of OS fanaticism, though never from the Linux crowd (Hint: think non-citrus fruit and cats...). It IS annoying. However, I tend to think about how my own comments likely come across. I don't go out of my way to offend, but then, I can't stand being condescended to, so when one of the "Beautiful people" makes an egregious remark about the superiority of their choice in OS (er, lifestyle?) I probably come off as far more partisan than I feel am...
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2008, 06:22:30 PM »

These two quotes are beginning to give me cause for concern:
Quote
from 40Hz:
Question: Why should anybody care what somebody else has to say about their choice of an OS? If you're insulting someone about that - or you're feeling insulted in return - then you're talking about religious convictions, not technology. And that will always be a "no win" exchange of opinions.

I think either I'm not coming across the way I intended; or you might be missing the point I was trying to make.

I'm a bit surprised that Zaine's comment was lumped together with mine. That gives me cause for concern. Because to my mind, his/her comment is the polar opposite of what I was saying. So I'll try communicate better this time.

To clarify: All I am trying to say is that it is (to my mind) pointless to get into a slagging match about which operating system you like or don't like. Regardless of whether you use Windows, Linux, or Macintosh. I mean seriously - it's just plain silly. smiley

And BTW Edvard: I thought I was walking softly! Pop me a private message if I've somehow offended. Maybe you can help me figure out where the meaning of my message fell apart. Still friends?  smiley



« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 06:53:36 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2008, 06:55:57 PM »

I am also surprised at that 40hz, your post seemed very rational and was well constructed. I am of the mindset, let people use what they use, don't insult or flame users for it or their opinion. To each their own.
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« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2008, 07:14:15 AM »

Is it me or are we having more and more posts about linux lately?
If this is any indicative of the interest level, I'd say linux is growing.
At least in the DC audience. Which is good.
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« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2008, 11:52:29 AM »

Yeah, but somehow it is often about who is dissing who.     undecided   Yawn

Is it me or are we having more and more posts about linux lately?
If this is any indicative of the interest level, I'd say linux is growing.
At least in the DC audience. Which is good.
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2008, 12:15:05 PM »

I always try to follow an old forum guideline that I believe was originally articulated by the moderators up on The WELL:

Try not to offend. Try not to be so easily offended.

The well mods seem to churn out the best forum rules of thumb...
You own your words
Do you still participate there?

As for this thread--I found the article worth reading, interesting enough to warrant the time.  Windows versus mac versus linux?  I'm not the first here to state that such conversations are always volatile, always inconclusive and will one day be spoken in the same breath as religion and politics as subjects to avoid in conversation at all costs.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 12:35:27 PM by allen » Logged
Darwin
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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2008, 12:24:27 PM »

I'm not the first here to state that such conversations are always volatile, always inconclusive and will one day spoken in the same breath as religion and politics as subjects to avoid in conversation at all costs

I think we're already there... Your overall point is spot on, as well: this is a futile and pointless argument.
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