23 Aug 2000 claudio   » (Master)

Following a holy war thread in a local linux mailing list, I realized that the religious issues about operating systems are quite complex:

Orthodox unixers follow the tradition, sync three times before rebooting, and use green or amber xterms running Korn or C shell. Ultra-orthodox believe that any software written in the last ten years is worthless, the mouse is an abomination and run Bourne shell in serial consoles. All good software comes in tar.Z packages. To Reformist unixers, any design more than a couple of years old is obsolete. They run bash2 in the latest fancy terminal emulator with the latest fancy window manager. All good software come in RPM packages.

The Libertarians won't allow any piece of non-free software in their disks, including Netscape, pine and mpg123. The radical faction won't allow anything that isn't GPLd. Earn money with software is a deadly sin. Mercantilists see free software as low-quality, bug-infested ugly crocks with no value at all, including Netscape, pine and mpg123.

The Obscurantists want the OS to be as cryptic and hard to use as possible. Anything that is easy to use is, of course, worthless. They don't trust anything they can actually understand. Documentation is evil, anyone who needs documentation is an idiot. And the Pragmatists want everything to be done at a click of the mouse, and end users who don't remember their own names should be able to get everything the system can offer. Documentation is evil, anything that actually needs documentation is non-intuitive and ill-designed.

The "real programmer" stereotype is an Ultra-Orthodox Obscurantist, while the clueless luser is a Reformist Pragmatist. Plotting these three scales in a 3D graph and normalizing them to a cubic space, any point near the faces are dangerous. Edges are even more dangerous, and is advisable to stay away from the vertexes.

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