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LinuxToday.com.au: Is Hacker Culture a Help or Hindrance?

Feb 27, 2001, 13:55 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by BillBennett)

"...There's little question that the hacker culture is positive in so many ways. But there are fringe areas where hackerdom may be doing real harm to Linux in particular and open source in general."

"Take, for example, the hacker-centric way some software is distributed. Installing packaged software is a breeze, when you can get it. Often you have no choice but to work with the source. Compiling source code can be straightforward, but often it isn't."

"Problems generally arise because developers make certain assumptions about the system and the person doing the compiling. In some cases the assumptions are simply wrong, but more to the point they are often hacker-centric. Some install instructions might be written in Serbo-Croat for all the sense they make to non-programmers. And how many times have you been flummoxed half way through a MAKE because an obscure header file is located in the wrong directory? Fixing the problem might be trivial to a programmer, but not for the rest of us."

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