Editor's Note: FUD! Huh! What Is It Good For?
Feb 06, 2004, 23:30 (34 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
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By Brian Proffitt
About every other day or so, I see a talkback or get and e-mail
asking me why I deign to run "FUD/garbage/crap" on Linux Today.
Good questions, those. There are times when I sit there and
wince when I click on the Submit button to put a story in the
queue, because I know it's going to cause a ruckus. There are also
just as many times when I click the same button in fervent hopes
that a ruckus will be started, because something stupid is going on
and I think readers should know about it.
I have been told many times that a news site dedicated to the
advancement of Linux and Open Source should not contribute space to
the opinions of Rob Enderle and John Dvorak. Nor should it print
the statements of SCO, or news about Microsoft's latest FUD
Much as I'd love to oblige all the wishes of LT's readers, that
isn't going to happen.
First off, this is a news site. Regardless of its focus on open
source technology, I have an objective to present as many sides to
an issue as I can find on the Internet. If someone within or
without the Linux community says something that disparages all or
part of Linux's legion of projects, then I have an obligation to
run it. How can I do anything else?
After all, do you really want to not know what opponents of
Linux are saying about the software? If it's false, then you need
to be ready to correct the falsehood. If it's true, you need to be
ready to correct the problem.
Second, even if you or I do not agree with what is being said,
it is important to remember that many do agree with what FUDsters
are writing and saying. The message, unfortunately, is validated by
endless repetition and lack of public understanding. But I believe
it still needs to be heard, at least once, so everyone's clear
about what's said.
I do draw a limit on how many times the same message is repeated
on this site, good news or bad. When GNOME or KDE makes a new
release, you're only going to see a link to one announcement here,
not an endless procession of articles on the same topic from every
other tech Web site on the 'Net.
The same holds true for opinion pieces. If someone like Enderle
calls the community a bunch of hoodlums, I'll run the
article--once. When (not if, he's a bit predictable that way) he
does it again, however, I'll skip the link, because I know he's
just looking for more hits from LT and other aggregate sites.
Agreeing or disagreeing with media articles is something that we
will all continue to do. If you don't like the article, post a
talkback, or send a note to the author. Try to educate them, not
berate them. You'd be surprised how many of them listen.
Some won't, of course, their minds are made up, and no amount of
convincing is going to change their ways. That's too bad, really,
since a close-minded pundit is eventually going to lose most of
their readers as people gravitate towards the next new thing. Keep
that in mind, too.
Recent events and manipulations by certain companies have
demonstrated that Linux may be fighting more than a technological
war--it seems to be in a struggle for the hearts and minds of the
IT community, thanks to vague insinuations from SCO and other
Linux Today is proud to be a participant in the Linux community,
and I will continue to show as many aspects of issues as I can,
even if it does mean showing off a few warts and wrinkles from time