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LinuxPlanet: Sleeping with the Enemy

Jan 26, 2001, 16:07 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

"I was talking to a colleague recently who wanted to know what it's like to write about Linux. He'd read discussions on a few Linux sites and come across one where a writer had gotten himself fairly mauled for drawing the wrong conclusion and getting linked by the wrong site for his troubles."

"'I don't know,' my colleague said, 'but you guys are sorta out there. No one else cares about stuff like this and you guys are all like 'GPL this' and 'Microsoft sucks that' and you all just rip on anybody who doesn't see it that way. No one takes you guys seriously.'"

"My colleague caught me on a bad day. I'd just read the public fileting of another writer who hadn't taken the proper tone of advocacy while addressing an issue in the Linux world, and I was coming to the conclusion, on that day, that if writing involves taking a few knocks from the occasional churl over violent disagreements, writing about Linux involves taking a few knives in the back from people you agree with because you didn't agree hard enough."

"And let's face it, there are certain mixes of issues and personalities that guarantee an explosive reponse, and it's because of the occasional outburst over a hot topic (like whether Richard Stallman is in the pay of COMINTERN or the notion that Linux might actually not ever rule the desktop because the desktop as we know it is teetering on obsolescence) that there's a perception, right or wrong, of a 'Linux Orthodoxy,' and a cottage industry in the occasional kvetching article about how ill-tempered and hostile 'hard core Linux people' are and how we'll never get anywhere if we don't be more nice to each other."

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