I’ve been meaning to post about this one for quite a while. My spam filters do a pretty good job, but a couple a day usually slip into my inbox. Here’s one from a sender named “Hubby Watch” that I just had to share:
It’s funny how the smallest things can cause such problems. I woke up on Sunday morning, expecting another uneventful day. Maybe I would finally get around to tearing out that sheet rock around the shower head and figuring out what’s wrong there. Unfortunately, the furnace had other ideas.
I was very pleasantly surprised to see such abundant cluefulness in a rant by Eric Raymond (known as “ESR”) on the state of graphical user interfaces in open source software projects. He takes the CUPS project as a specific example, but he rightly says that it is only an example of the numerous projects that sin against the proverbial Aunt Tillie. Be sure to also read the followup article. The CUPS maintainers were actually very receptive to Raymond’s comments.
I must admit that I was floored. Raymond is one of the open source/free software advocates that frequently strikes me as being a bit too much of a zealot to be taken at face value. I appreciate that Raymond and people like him (such as Richard Stallman, known as “RMS”) must exist in order to help balance the scales toward the center, but I am frequently put off by his rhetoric. For once, however, I find myself in complete agreement with him. Now that open source has proved its technical merit, those that wish to make a significant step into the average user’s desktop must learn lessons such as the ones Raymond teaches here.
The short of it: before GNU/Linux can become anything close to dominant on the desktop, those who develop it must figure out how to satisfy people like this guy[link defunct]. I identify with him. I saw this page on Slashdot today, and I must say that it comes pretty danged close to most of the reasons why I don’t run Linux on the desktop.