An Ugly Face on the Linux Community

By on February 4, 2004

Militant geeks are hurting the widespread adoption of Free software. CMP has an article on the subject, and Bruce Perens has written a message to the community condemning actions like cheering on the recent denial of service attacks on SCO.

“Do not cheer on attacks on the SCO site. By doing so, you falsely implicate our community in the attacks, in the eyes of outsiders who read your words. Our community believes in freedom of speech, not silencing our opponent’s speech through net attacks. We will defeat SCO using the truth, not by gagging them.”

This is the same old story of a few jerks ruining it for everyone. Since I’ve started participating in the Linux community, I’ve found that the vast majority of people out there will bend over backwards to help you understand and utilize Free software. The support for Linux is ten times better than you’ll likely receive for most proprietary software.

The minority, however, the folks who consider Free software a religious war and think that Microsoft Is The Devil, regardless of the facts or the situation, actually hurt the acceptance of Free software. It makes it harder for me to go to my boss and tell him we should use Linux when he perceives the Linux community to be a bunch of closed-minded elitists that act like the Internet’s equivalnt of a rowdy biker gang.

Articles via OSNews, grouchy ranting at no extra charge.



  1. Unfortunately, this minority of miscreants is so vocal that it’s the same face that I attribute to the whole Open Source movement. I can’t say that I’ve met anyone with a more than passing interest in Linux that wasn’t also a raging Microsoft hater.

  2. Owen, is the inverse true? Can you both love Microsoft and Linux at the same time?

    I have much more than a “passing interest” in Linux, and I don’t hate Microsoft. I don’t love it either, but I use it and think they do far more good than harm. I just find I can do a lot of things faster with a Linux development platform.

    I’m still fuming over your eloquence in the Firebird post. :-)

  3. I think that I am part of a rare, elusive, and typically non-vocal minority that uses a Microsoft desktop and at the same time has a large stake in Linux as a back end to my work. And I don’t complain about either part.

    It’s core to my OS philosophy that no OS is the end-all. Each serves its purpose and works well. As much as I wouldn’t recommend Linux as a desktop option to my friends who only want to play Doom 8 and send email (which is similar in requirement to the typical business user), I wouldn’t recommend Windows servers to my boss who wants cheap and reliable web serving.

    What gets me upset, as you’ve seen from my Firebird rantings, is when an overzealous tech community embraces a technology (Firebird, Linux) that isn’t quite mature, and touts it as the Microsoft Killer. It’s symptomatic of this type of user to get excited about the attack on SCO (who in my estimation are probably more deserving of such a distributed attack than MS), which seems ethically wrong. While I feel that Open Source is worthwhile and cool, I don’t think that I’ll be brandishing arms against tried and true Closed Source at the expense of rational thought.

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