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In my column last week -- Pros, Priests and Zealots: The Three Faces of Linux -- I divided the folks who have been writing to me about Linux into three groups. The most controversial statement I made in that column was a comment about the last type: I wrote that I was having trouble differentiating between terrorists and the glowing example of humanity I call the Linux Zealot. So rather than writing back to all of the Zealots who responded individually, I thought I would use this column to respond en masse.
oh dear. You've done it again. Not made any real point and have managed to massively over-generalise.
Anyone with any dignity would consider other peoples opinions and use them to broaden their own. I'm pro open source but I don't slam microsoft at every turn. Maybe you should try the same thing: be pro microsoft but dont slam open source at every turn. You might learn something. You might even start writing balanced articles.
Oh, and most of open sources problems are fairly well known and aired since that's the nature of the community. If people dissagree they often do it in public and not behind closed doors. Don't fall into the trap of alienating a whole community based on a handful of induviduals. That'd be ignorant and unprofessional of you.
Whilst I can appreciate the passion by which you slap words down on the screen, I can not help but consider the possibility that such dedication is misplaced.
Let me elucidate.
First, Alex is correct in that as a journalist whose opinion is sought after, there is a responsibility to raise the level of discussion to an intellectual level worthy of people's time, rather than just expectorate on the audience. Any 2 year old can do that and revel in the moment, much as yourself.
Second, if you are going to express strong opinions, then why not do so in a way that respects the reader.
I for one could care less that you have been the (self induced) target of Linux groupee enathma. What I was looking for in both your articles, and failed to find indications of, were salient reasons why Linux, in your opinion is not worth the time and effort. I also expected you to back up your conjecture with solid observation.
You've had two opportunites in the last couple of weeks to convince me and other readers who think for themselves why we should take your opinions (and by extension, yourself) seriously. You have failed, IMO, to convince me you are worth my time. I have advised the people I do business with that you are not worth paying attention to, as you have not so far provided good sound business reasoning why we should not use Linux - period.
Operating Systems come and go. 10 years from now, there will something different and most everyone will have forgotten all about today and these interesting religous postulations concerning Linux, Microsoft, ecetera. In the meantime, I would suggest you start to make your column inches count.
I would suggest for your edification that you read Steven Vaugh Nichols work, or for that matter, David Coursey. They can, at the very least, take a position and defend it adequately.
While I think the zealots are the more vocal minority, I don't think they represent the majority of open source advocates. Just the embarassments.
I wonder why the true unix community has such a hard time accepting that these flamboyant characters do more harm then good to the open community?
This is a response to yet another Rob Enderle "Linux Zealot" FUD article.
It is interesting that you, Rob Enderle mention "Religious Zealotry and even Terrorists" when referring to proponents of Open Source software, in most, if not all of your recent articles. Focusing on the demeanor and personalities of these proponents.
I believe you used a DOS attack on SCO as your proof of terrorism from the OSS community. There simply is no proof of that allegation. If you are referring to the Eric Raymond' admission to Darl McBride that the DOS attack was caused by someone in the OSS community, then you failed to do proper research.
DOUBLE BLIND HEAR SAY EVIDENCE
I will encourage everyone to listen to the Sept 9, 2003 (archive) edition of the Linux show (http://www.thelinuxshow.com) I believe beginning from minute 14 on, will enlighten you. Eric, as their guest for that week, explains that he received an anonymous phone call. The caller told him that it was a member of the OSS community, who he also refused to identify, who caused the DOS attack. This was the sole basis of Eric' admission. This was a double blind admission. Eric had no real knowledge of who was responsible for the DOS attacks. He screwed up making that admission. I've seen this reported over and over in the press, it is simply wrong, and needs to be corrected.
DOS OR MAINTENANCE
Furthermore, there were a flurry of reports within the OSS community about the fact that the (so called) DOS attacks didn't have the classic signatures of DOS attacks, instead, coming like clockwork. Suggesting the possibility that SCO had actually taken down their own site for maintenance etc... or (speculation) FUD effect.
CLOSED SOURCE SECURITY IS FAITH BASED SECURITY
My move to Open Source software was based on these realities. First and foremost, Microsoft products are the wrong choice (anywhere) today because they can never be private or secure. Not because they are more virus prone or more easily hacked than any other system. That argument can never be won by proponents of any system or software and is just subterfuge and fluff covering the core issues of privacy and security. The simple act of installing Microsoft products, registering them with product activation, and accepting the end user license agreement, introduces any (unknowable) number of closed source back doors plus the viri/worm/spyware that is Microsoft itself. Any time you put closed source code on your computer or grant the maker of that code access to your system, you are acting in "faith" that the maker of that code is trustworthy and will act in your best interest. Microsoft's history of spyware (Alexa installed by default etc...) and dirty tricks that always further their own self interest at the expense of the end users choice, privacy, and security are legendary in their vileness and cannot be credibly challenged by you or anyone else. Microsoft's reprehensible business practices should be considered the official "New Testament Bible" of untrustworthy.
Those who would defend Microsoft products as private or securable are little more than "faith" based Microsoft "evangelists". Prostituting themselves in defense of a known "Beelzebub" for filthy lucre (money) and or job security. Or they are just plain stupid. Effectively putting the religious zealot label squarely on you, Rob Enderle. Why don't you let that religious Zealot nonsense die a well deserved death, and move on to some provable facts.
Until recently, a viable alternative, open source operating system like GNU/Linux wasn't available and we pretty much had no choice. Now we do. So figure this into all of your long term "Bottom lines" folks, If you have any regard for real choice, privacy, security, and/or freedom, there is no contest. Microsoft and Microsoft's closed source products, and "faith" based privacy and security have got to go. Open Source GNU/Linux is now the Porsche of privacy and security and there truly is no substitute!
All the fancy fudsters and clueless pundents in the world cannot change these simple facts!
This is really sad Rob.
You don't have to like Linux - that's your right. But you're pushing the dialog on Linux down to the level of a usenet flame war. In my opinion you can't blame the Linux zealots for this. After all, you're the important guy who's being published on a major website, and you're perfectly capable of raising the level of dialog if you want to.
Meanwhile, the fact that you are disliked by "Linux zealots" (doubtless Osama bin Laden in a penguin suit) is of no interest to me whatsoever.
Your job as a columnist is to rise above stuff like this and give us information we can use or opinions that make us think. If you want to have a flame war, step down off the TechNewsWorld soap-box and surf on over to alt.flame so I can ignore you.
On the other hand, if you don't want to be ignored, there are a lot of important things happening in the Linux world these days. You can give us reports/opinion on the SCO vs. IBM matter and the SCO vs. RedHat matters (links to all the relevant court filings are available at www.groklaw.com,) the pending release of the 2.6 kernel, the US Army's decision to use Linux instead of Windows on the next generation battle dress, (available here - this is big news - http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/33611.html) and of course the interesting work that's currently being done on the Linux desktop (intelligent comments pro or con are welcome.) All these issues can be intelligently discussed upon, and all these issues are worth some serious research and careful thought.
History suggests that I'll probably disagree with your opinions, but at least (right or wrong) you'll be expressing some substantive thoughts. Giving the whackos column space just wastes your time and mine.