Linux - If it's so good, why won't people take it even when it's free
Hardly a day goes by without me hearing about 'open source' in one way or another and open source is often used Synonomously with Linux. People constantly want to start citing technological reason why the Penguins are going to march the whole way to the desktop or why Open Source isn't going to make it in the long run. I'm not disparaging those arguments, but I'd like to point out what I think the biggest problem with Open Source's success is/will be. In short, it's the Linux Advocates. No, I'm not talking about Linus or any of the big names out there, I'm talking about your every day run of the mill open source user/developer. And here's what I mean:
1) They take themselves way to seriously. To show one example, head over to Comp.Os.Linux.Advocacy and post any question you want, but post it with Outlook Express and watch their response. Try positing a level headed argument like “Regardless of which OS is going to eventually win out, assuming one is going to win out the other, it won't be for a while so professionally it's advisable to be familiar with both OS's”
2) They are f****ing obnoxious. I think there's something inherent in them that in order to make a comment, it has to be riddled with Sarcasm. That's so 1980's. Sure, there was a time when computer people were viewed as nerdy and it was cool to be angry and rebellious, but these guys are martyrs running around trying to find a cause as opposed to the other way around. Flip through COLA one day, or even Slashdot and you'll undoubtedly notice that the majority of the user comments are either sarcastic, snide, petty or all three. Ok, I can be a smart ass at times too but if everything you say is sarcastic you really start looking like a one trick pony, and an untalented one at that. I swear it's like they only know five god damned jokes and they recycle the stuff over and over. I don't know if they sniff each others balls all day and that causes them all think and talk alike, but something sure is causing it.
3) They are dorks. Ok, maybe the first time someone called Windows 'Windos' or the first time they spelled Microsoft “Micro$oft” it might have been funny. But 9 years afterward it's getting pretty old. And I have yet to sit around and hear 'Windows' developers sit around and trash Linus Torvalds or even Larry Ellison. At worst I've heard a few nasty comments about Ellison and McNeally but I could count those times on my left hand. Type in “Bill Gate$” or “$teve Ballmer” in Google and you'll see how different it is on the other side.
4) They're clueless - To call someone stupid just b/c they use Windows is, well, stupid. A lot of this country and even more of this world isn't all that tech savvy. And most people want software to be easy to use and intuitive more than anything else. So for a whole lot of those folks, setting up Samba so you can share a file isn't all that attractive. Being able to right click and share a folder is. This, according to many of the wankers, makes people stupid.
So really, who cares if you can recompile your stupid kernel, unless of course you can also add value in doing so. Every freshman CS student that wants to sound cool runs around bragging about rebuilding their Linux kernel.. Ok, cool, your a big shot. But I don't care if you can recompile my a55, if you can't implement a simple linked list or pop something off a stack, you're going to look stupid. Nothing makes someone look dumber than when they 'try' to sound smart.
And as long as OS has spokespeople with that many boogers in their collective noses their isn't going to be large scale adoption. It all reminds me of the Port O Potties at my first Lallapalooza concert. If you could have sold $20.00 tickets to a clean restroom you'd be rich. And if there were only $20.00 restrooms available, there still wouldn't be too many takers on the Free Port O Potties. I think the analogy holds here as well.