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osOpinion: The Importance of Interface

Jul 17, 2000, 07:42 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Monty Manley)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"Many people who adopt Linux (or one of the *BSD's) usually do so not out of need, but rather from hackish curiosity or philosophical inclination. For many, using Linux is a spit in the eye of the big commercial OS houses like Apple, Microsoft, or Sun. Open Source is not so much an engineering principle as it is a rallying cry for the faithful."

"This same partisanship extends itself to things like X, window managers, and GUIs like GNOME and KDE. Old-timers in the Unix community remember the origins of the vi/Emacs wars; lovers of the bash shell look askance at those who profess a preference for the c-shell. Perl gurus snarl at Python wizards. People who love Motif keep their amour secret lest they be embarrassed in public places."

"This kind of passion is rare in the Windows world (although it can be seen in the Macintosh community). This is what happens when a technology becomes a lifestyle as much as a tool. A Linux person is *different* than a Windows person -- or so we think -- and we tend to make some snap judgements about our fellow techies based on which OS they happen to use."

"In short, *interface* is probably more important than plumbing regarding technology. The interface we choose says a lot about who and what we are."

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