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  • Regurgitated Memes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ziggy (25) on 2003.12.02 11:44 (#26247) Journal
    Perhaps the biggest flaw in this article is the presumption that there is a single, coherent "open source community". Yet working within the context these two authors present, that criticism is just another incident of "with us or against us". You could look at the «there's a logical flaw in your argument» as yet another instance of the «your question is stupid, and doesn't deserve to be answered» that the authors complain about.

    Be that as it may, this article is seriously flawed. Perhaps the biggest flaw is that it not only says anything new, but it regurgitates a lot of memes that have been circulating through open source for years, and regurgitates them poorly.

    For example, there's the issue that «we all love a good feud». Well, yes, that's true. If we could decide the one true way to do something (like write a desktop environment, or build a text editor), then we could all pull our resources and do so much more. Maybe even displace Microsoft as the primary software provider for Joe Average User. Unfortunately, there's no one true way to write software, which is why there are long-standing arguments: System V vs. BSD, BSD vs Linux, vi vs. emacs, Gnome vs. KDE, MySQL vs. PostgreSQL, Perl vs. Python, Perl/Ruby/Python vs. Java, and so on.

    Funny, but this mimics the real world. Imagine how much more productive the US Federal Gov't would be if we just dropped all of this party nonsense and just agree on what was the best way forward and do it already. Reality isn't like that. Sometimes, having a strong opponent is the best way to better yourself (or your project, or your codebase, or your political party). And what was the counterpoint to this argument? An unsatisfying, «with diversity you get feuds but you get choice and the consumer wins». Sigh.

    There are lots of other regurgitated flaws in this piece. This is possibly the worst missed opportunity to really address the fundemental issues.