Salon: Open-source bloatware

“The free-software world’s version of Microsoft’s paper clip
describes itself the best: “An inspiring example of form following
function — to Hell.”

“Could somebody please slap Joel Holveck, hard? No single
Microsoft software “innovation” (with the possible exception of
Microsoft Bob) has ever been reviled as much as the leering
animated paper clip “help assistant” that first debuted three years
ago in Office 97. But now, thanks to the deranged creativity of
free-software developer Holveck, the world has been blessed, or
cursed, with a tool no one ever asked for — Vigor, a Unix text
editor complete with its very own paper clip help assistant.”

“Sound like a joke? Well, yes, it is, or at least it was. Vigor
got its start as a weeklong run of jokes in the geek-obsessed
cartoon strip “User Friendly.” But what was once idle fun is now
horrible reality. Vigor lives. Or, more accurately, it
interrupts. Vigor’s sole purpose is to annoy users with snide
comments that must be acknowledged with a click on the OK button
before work can continue.


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