[Ilugc] Re: Another storm (XXX and Sex Education)

Prabhu Ramachandran prabhu_r at users.sourceforge.net
Fri Nov 26 15:15:48 IST 2004


>>>>> "SK" == Sriram Krishnan <ksriram at gmx.net> writes:

    SK> While we're in the habit of linking to Joel Spolsky stories, a
    SK> must-read is this article on the differences between Windows
    SK> and Unix programmers. Very un-biased but captures the source
    SK> of a lot of the flamewars that happen in this regard

    SK> http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Biculturalism.html

I'm not sure this is a fair assessment.  There is one sweeping
generalization made in this article, based on the assumption that we
are still programming in the 1990's.  

Eric Raymond's opinions sometimes receive mixed feelings from the OSS
community.  In some ways just like RMS is both worshipped and disliked
by different folks.  However, everyone respects both of these for what
they have done.  

Surely Joel is aware that there are hundreds of folks out there who
are striving to make a difference via KDE/GNOME.  If anyone today
looks at a recent desktop linux box and claims that the GUI is a silly
strap on that does not work, he surely needs to have his head
examined.  Sure there are cultural differences but it seems to me that
these are slowly disappearing.  It appears that all OS's are tending
towards precisely the same thing.  If the unix world is moving towards
the generation of sophisticated GUIs, integrated management of a
zillion little files etc., the windows world is waking up to CLI
interfaces, and security, true multiple user setups etc.

Each environment seems to be covering its ugly sides.  It just so
happens that the majority of the world consists of non-programmers
that people claim the superiority of one approach over another.

As to why unix users are perceived to be more self-righteous, I'll
simply say that its unclear how Joel gets enough numbers to make a
truly meaningfull assessment of this.  It seems to me a rather biased
judgement.  It is also true that many people who choose to remain
idealistic, believe in their ideals very strongly.  That is their core
being.  Its like arguing religion.  So unlike Windows programmers who
are using windows because they have to make some money, the unix guys
(whom Joel seems to refer to) code for very idealistic reasons.  It
stands to reason that the idealist is likely to be more vociferous and
self-righteous.

cheers,
prabhu


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