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merlyn (47)

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Journal of merlyn (47)

Monday February 17, 2003
08:31 PM

Open Source, and microsoftians drinking the Koolaid

[ #10639 ]
I'm on Geek Cruise #15, dominated by dot-net people, and one lone speaker from Sun, Simon Phipps (their Java evangelist).

Simon just wrapped up a shoot-the-bull session, which degenerated into a discussion of Sun v. Microsoft and lawsuits. But earlier, I nearly choked when one of the M$ apologists argued that "open source may work for some things, but it will never work for something like, an Operating System -- Nobody will want to do the unsexy parts llike printer drivers".

Koolaid. They must make them drink koolaid.

Although he hadn't mentioned Linux by name, I then said "So, you believe Linux to be a sheer failure then?"

More unfounded rhetoric and FUD like "the print drivers obviously are being done by $HACKS and $KIDS so they can't possibly be commercial grade".

I felt embarassed for him. But this is what the Open Source community is up against.

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  • Must be working by a complete fluke for my friend that has a Laser Jet 4 (one of the monster size printers used by companies) and it worked perfectly using all of the default settings.

    Maybe the Jonestown escapees are now in Redmond?
    • Re:Cups, et al. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chromatic (983) on 2003.02.17 22:50 (#17198) Homepage Journal

      Of course it works, it's using PostScript! Though it's controlled by Adobe, it's a reasonably popular standard, especially on the high end.

      Now if our friends in Redmond want to discuss why companies refuse to release specifications for people who want to write drivers but are thwarted, we'll have a more interesting conversation.

  • I remember back in the days of Windows 3.1 (yes, pre-WFW, pre-Win95, pre-Winn't) one of the students in my school's CS department was a Microsoft co-op. Because we were a Macintosh university, he as generally regarded as a "turncoat" by a lot of the technophiles. He did gain a very northwestern sensibility on economics in the software industry.

    Back then, he said that the printer system under Windows was a piece of utter crap. It was a holdover from the Win2.x days(!) and hadn't been touched in years.

  • Microsofties beeing unfamiliar with the relative completness and "Commercial Grade" of Linux is one thing; but bringing up Printer Drivers as an example of what the Free Software model is unsuited for...? Printer Drivers...?!? The Irony...

    I guess "Know Thy Enemy" -- and the oft repeated story of how Richard Stallman got started writing Free Software in the first place -- never made it into the Basic Training programme at Microsoft Boot Camp. :-)