What's wrong with Linux users?
Posted by Hornpipe2 12 years ago
People install and use Linux for a lot of different reasons. Some find their interest piqued by learning new things about computers and operating systems. Some are fed up with Windows annoyances and feel that Linux may provide a good alternative to their current situation. Some find it faster, more stable, or more secure than their current operating system. For servers, it's definitely a top choice.  
 
Then again, Linux certainly isn't for everyone. Ubuntu, Red Hat, and similar distributions enable new users to jump right in but still keep it user friendly enough to be usable, but even these suffer from bugs and still require some work from the dreaded command line.  
 
There's a certain mentality that a lot of Linux users have that makes them totally unresponsive to the words in the previous paragraph, however. And, unfortunately, that mentality breeds incorrect statements such as:  
 
* Windows users are "too stupid" to learn Linux  
* Windows users are "too lazy" to code solutions to their problems  
* Windows users are "too brainwashed by Microsoft" to consider Linux a viable alternative  
* Windows "sucks", mostly because it isn't free or open source  
* Microsoft "sucks", because it produces Windows and has a lot of money  
* The best way to encourage growth of Linux is to avoid criticizing it  
* Linux has no real problems  
 
Windows has become the most successful operating system for desktops in the world, and it's because Windows really IS a good operating system. Lessons can be learned from Microsoft's work and success, if people are willing to pay attention.  
 
This journal entry stems from the user comments made on this article, which makes a good point: people should really consider contributing to the top Linux apps to make them really stable. A lot of users dropped to personal attacks about how the author "isn't really a developer" and the usual "Microsoft sucks" ensued. One particularly stupid comment (in response to the author's call for a unified instant messaging application) reads:  
Jesus, who cares? What a waste of time. I bet you send text messages on your mobile phone too. Get a life.  
(my response)  
 
That kind of closed-mindedness is a bad thing for Linux. I'm glad that at least some developers seem to have good ideas about bringing Linux to new and inexperienced users. Growth of Linux can only be seen as a good thing for the operating system itself, since an increased user base leads to increased focus from companies willing to invest resources in the project. That in turn makes Linux more usable, appealing, widespread, supported and builds up the number of apps ported over. How is that bad?  
 
I suppose I'm just sick of the people who call Linux "a system by hackers, for hackers" and attempt to make it some sort of exclusive club. Linux has great potential backed by the fact that it's free and it has thousands of developers. There's no reason this sort of grade school mentality should persist when a great project is at stake. I hope that as the Linux userbase grows, these kind of comments get drowned out in the wake of useful suggestions from users who are actually interested in Linux as a desktop OS.  
 
Those who would rather use an OS because it's obscure can check out some other alternatives: Syllable, NewOS, or pretty much anything else on this page.
...
deathburger: * Windows users are "too stupid" to learn Linux  
* Windows users are "too lazy" to code solutions to their problems  
* Windows users are "too brainwashed by Microsoft" to consider Linux a viable alternative  
* Windows "sucks", mostly because it isn't free or open source  
* Microsoft "sucks", because it produces Windows and has a lot of money  
* The best way to encourage growth of Linux is to avoid criticizing it  
* Linux has no real problems
 
 
We call them "idiots". They're the trolls of the programming world. A joke is one thing, but some people say those things in seriousness. Those are the trolls. They usually do get shot down when there's a serious discussion going on, unless you're chatting to a crowd of Debian (not Ubuntu) developers... they seem to have collected a great many of those kind of trolls.  
 
To them I say this:  
"So write the program." - gee, don't help out there, whatever you do guys. Don't offer a pointer, or suggest anyone who might be willing to help out doing it. Bear in mind that you might be talking to someone who knows how to type "qbasic gorilla.bas" and that's about it. If you're going to help, then help. Otherwise shut your traps and let someone else who is capable of helping do it.  
 
And [insert OS here] sux! ;)
word.
Kassi42: I used to get the eletist vibe from all the linux users I knew. For the most part, that stopped about 2 years ago. Maybe it has become more widely used, so it doesn't feel like there's much of a "club" anymore or what. Since I know you IRL and all and we've had discussions about it, I do feel inclined to point out that several times you've been more than guilty of this mentality, too. :P.
Kassi42: Didn't mean to come off as hostile. For the record, DOS sucks.
deathburger: Not enough free memory to run "dossucks.exe".  
 
Did you remember to loadhigh your device drivers? Are you running emm386? ;)
blarp: aw shit, i messed up my config.sys file again.. buffers=10?
LinusMines: Somebody REMed out HIMEM.SYS again?
...
fabulon7: I used linux a lot, almost exclusively for the last few years.  
 
Lately, I'm almost always using Windows. Windows runs the two things I need to use most often, Linux doesn't.  
 
The thing that sucks most about Windows is trying to find good utility software for free. Windows is still bogged down by this weird shareware concept. Like I am going to pay for a basic ftp/ssh client, or a program to rip DVD audio.  
 
What the world needs is more open source Windows developers.
deathburger: Tried Wine lately?
fabulon7: Wine will not run my audio/midi recording software with vsts (I use three diffrent applications, none will work in Wine), Wine will not run Adobe Photoshop (and no, the GIMP isn't quite good enough), and Wine won't run video editing software so no, I'm not using Wine.  
 
I like linux a lot for everything except these things. And there are many, many things about Windows that piss me off, routinely. It's just that I need to put up with Windows to accomplish what I want to accomplish.  
 
And in terms of stability, Windows isn't so bad anymore. XP hardly ever blows up. (Individual apps do all the time, but the same happens in linux.)
deathburger: When was the last time you checked out Wine, though? They've been moving faster lately, and one can even install IE 6 and WMP usably now. Just sayin' if it's been awhile, it might be worth checking out again.
Hornpipe2: Do they do DirectX correctly now?