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6/1/2007
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ARE LINUX SUPPORTERS ARROGANT? YOU JUDGE
My recent post on Dell's decision to offer PCs equipped with Ubuntu Linux stirred quite a debate. Many readers called me a Microsoft FUD-spreader who's in Bill Gates' pocket. But lots of folks have also had it with what they perceive to be the arrogance and insularity of Linux fanboys and girls. Here are some excerpts from your comments. --Alexander Wolfe

This anguish over Linux/Dell/Ubuntu being "too hard" is the classic liberal arts anguish over "Gosh, that's too hard" whenever it comes to doing anything other than reading poetry, munching on cucumber sandwiches, and drinking Bud Light. If you aren't willing to exert yourself just a little bit, then you don't deserve to run Linux. --Andy Lavarre

Oh, gosh, that was so hard. Who has time to learn something so complicated? I had to type actual words, and some had more than four letters. Why isn't there a big flashing button to push? It's unfair that I should have to know anything about a computer to use a computer. --Dave R.

The article is really negative. Bad Dell for not mentioning that Ubuntu doesn't run all of your Windows software? What about bad Dell for not telling their Windows customers about all of the great Ubuntu features that you don't get with Windows? Oh, I forgot, there are no good features beyond what Windows has. --Phil

Talk about fanboys, Linux has the worst because the reality is that going to a Linux operating system is like taking a step backward in technology. No thanks, I'd rather be able to use the latest cards with the latest drivers that can do more than just be a workaround. And I'd rather not have to learn geek-speak to converse on how to make things work on an OS. --Linux stinks

I'm typing this from Kubuntu Feisty on a dual-boot laptop, and I must say I'm ashamed of some of the comments made by Linux fanboys here. Linux is a big OS now, and it doesn't need a squad of angry people parachuting in. Even if the author isn't correct on the details, his point is still valid: Linux is a lot easier than what I've heard it once was, but it's still not as easy to use as Windows is. --Thomas

The only problem I have with Linux is how every user I encounter believes that if you don't know how to code or don't like the process of working on your operating system, you're inferior to them, which in a way is true. I hate coding with a passion. But on the other side, oh mighty Linux users, do you people have cars? Do you know how to fix and upgrade your vehicles and their in-depth workings, or do you occasionally need help? And not the help that starts off with, "God, what's wrong with you? You're so dumb. Go back to Windows if it's too hard for you."

I tried to get along with Ubuntu for a while, and I had a few helpful people work with me on it. I also had a lot of far-from-helpful people discourage me from joining the little community. --Darren

THE BROWSER WARS MAY BE HEATING UP AGAIN
It's been awhile since we've talked of browser wars, but a new round could be upon us. I spoke recently with Web traffic monitoring firm Gomez's CTO, Imad Mouline, who noted an increasing need among his customers for insights into how new apps and services will perform across browsers. --Tom Smith

The transition of Internet Explorer toward Web standards will cause problems en route (since IE7 is neither like IE6, nor fully standards compliant), but the other three major rendering engines (Gecko/Firefox, Presto/Opera, KHTML/Safari) are getting much closer to each other than they were years ago. The browser vendors have declared that they don't intend to compete with incompatible standards. With the discontinuation of IE/Mac and old Netscape, two nonstandard engines have disappeared. All in all, I'd say we're getting closer to the situation that we code for all when we code for one. Closer, but not yet close.

Phone browsers and other device browsers are a different story. Here, there are many browsers that are far from following standards. --John

If a browser cannot (or will not) conform to standards, to heck with it. It's easy to get--at no cost--a browser that does, for Windows, Macs, and Linux. If people insist on using a garbage browser, I can no more help them than I can help an addict who insists on continuing his habit. But I don't have to be an enabler.

Of course, as long as there is competition between browsers, some kind of browser war will exist. --T.R.

It's sad that 10 years after the Internet revolution began, there's no clear leader in the field. Firefox is the closest to it, which means years of incompatibility going forward. I thank God I'm no longer in the tech support profession, but I'll say a prayer for those of you who are. --Ronald Montesano

I hate commercial Web sites that have features specific to IE. Although I have IE, if they don't support Opera or Firefox, I'm disinclined to consider them professional sites. --B VanM

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