Goblin – Happy user or Hypocrite? (my words)

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Is Goblin blinkered exclusively to Linux? JD asks the question, you decide.

Firstly the title of this post is not some outragous allegation that has been thrown at me specifically, its actually as a result of a poster challenging my site and in particular my opinion.  Now normally you would expect Goblin to start posting researched links, a plethora of counter allegations and maybe even a little humor.  This time you wont.  A user called JD (who I dont believe agrees with my stance on anything) has come here and posted a sensible, polite and coherent challenge towards me, which is something I have been waiting for, for a considerable time.

Does any user think I enjoy starting was effectively becomes a flame war?  No.  I am desperate to engage in coherent debate (even heated on ocassion) and my only criteria is that it stays vulgar free and (relatively) sensible. JD has done that so here is their post

From: https://openbytes.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/ubuntu-910-karmic-koala/

I think it’s a bit unfair that you’re seeking to champion Ubuntu here while failing to mention the alternatives available.

Some mention of Windows in a fair and balanced manner would have been appropriate according to the views you like to spread about people who write about Windows.

And don’t even get me started on your lack of coverage of BeOS. Hypocrisy I say!

– jd

As you can see, its polite and worthy of a proper response.  The only part of the comment that I would challenge would be “according to the views you like to spread about people who write about Windows.” I would like the poster to return and clarify what they mean by that since, I to my knowledge do not throw personal insults towards anyone.  (Something that cannot be said in regards to the comments thrown at me which are well documented as show people are quite prepared to use vulgar and completely inappropriate comments to try and cheapen my view)  Sure I have reservations about anyone who champions a product without experience or comment on alternatives, but on the flip side of the coin (as I repeatedly say) I have no problem with any user choosing Windows on the basis of informed decision, infact I welcome it.  If you want further proof to this, check over on MS Watch where I challenged a poster who was going to boycott Microsoft products simply because they were stopping production of MS Flight Sim.  I discouraged that.

Anyway, the allegation at me is that I champion Ubuntu, what many readers will have noticed is that when this blog recently changed style, the “about” information disappeared from the right hand side of the screen.  This is to do with the template being used now, but on that old template I had a message that said whilst we were proud to support Ubuntu there were other distros available, and it went on to encourage the user to do their own research over on distro-watch or similar.

I am aware this is missing now, so really I have no excuse for new readers who havent seen it, however Id ask to check my posts in general and Im sure regular readers will notice I more champion Linux as a platform not one particular distro.

So why do I mention Ubuntu? in my opinion (which I make quite clear) Ubuntu is a distro I believe to be very good for the new Linux user, in addition to it being more “out of the box” than any other Ive tried, the fact that its one of the more popular (and hence help is easier to find)  I can also say that from the experiences of my own family using it, it is simple to use.   If I was to champion a Linux distro, it would personally be Gentoo, since thats my distro of choice, although Im aware that for the new Linux user it can be daunting, and when you are learning something for the first time the last thing a new user (IMO) wants to do is “jump in at the deep end”  In addition Ive covered NimbleX, AROS and a plethora of other OS’s (as time allows)

I think JD’s comments have come about as a result of a converstation I had with a reporter from NeoWin, a site where one reporter in particular champions Windows without a thought or a mention of any alterntative.  That (IMO) is fine if you are a blogger, but an article writer on a popular website?  IMO thats not on.  The example I gave was that if you had a user who had only experience of a Z80 CPU, of course they would think it excellent, but if they had never used a quad core, there comments would hardly be informed would they?

I dont expect people to read all my posts just to find out my opinions, what I do expect is people to ask me for my views.  Im happy to clarify them.  Ive said recently I would have XP on a laptop over a MAC anyday.

So I should mention Windows in a fair and balanced way?  Please would you mind quoting me with anything Ive said that was not fair.  Was it unfair for me to report the numerous articles on the net alleging EU armed forces had been victims of exploits for instance?

If I honestly believe that Linux can offer everything for me Windows can, with the benefit of being free and without lockin, what do you want me to say about Windows.  If I was on some anti-MS crusade, I would not be in disagreement with the EU’s approach to Microsoft and anti-trust (an opinion Ive shared on many sites including MSwatch) and I certainly wouldnt choose Ubuntu as a distro either, since Mark Shuttleworth has, I believe not only said he thought Windows 7 was good, but has also admitted his parents use a Windows platform aswell.

In regards to BeOS, I presume you are just using this an example since that proprietary platform is now defunct (unless Im mistaken) and I dont believe its been updated since 2001.  If you are refering to Haiku, then I believe that OS is still in its early stages, and just like why I havent looked at Win 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 is that they are still in development and not a fair representation of the final product.  I made the exception with AROS since that is based around a completely new concept and was more to do with reliving the 68000 days for me rather than a comprehensive report. (and if you look at my article you will see the limitations and issues are clearly stated)

If people recommend a distro to me, I will try my best to look at it, and I say again as I say numerous times in my posts, perform your own research.  The best opinion on the net for you is your own.

I appreciate any polite challenges to me, and if anyone wants to do the same as JD, if you remain polite, you will be welcome here and I will respond in kind.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

2 Comments Add yours

  1. jd says:

    Just to clarify, I was responding in relation to this tweet (as part of your discussion on twitter):

    I was more trying to highlight that you were being a bit unfair in stating you must always discuss alternatives. I would quickly not want to talk about OS’s if I always had to discuss all the alternatives available.

    I think not discussing the alternatives is fine given context. Somebody talking about a feature of Windows/Linux/BeOS/Comos/DOS/Whatever doesn’t require comparison unless they’re talking about a feature in a comparative manner – “Feature X of Windows is better than what everyone else is doing”.

    It was just a friendly chuckle at the inconsistencies in what some people are like when they have strong views about their patch (open source, closed source, religion, anything really). Not meant to cause offense.

    – jd

  2. openbytes says:

    Firstly thanks again for being polite. It a rare thing in my experience since there are many with proprietary intentions on the net who are quite willing to promote proprietary wares in any way they can. We expose them and back it up with external sources.

    That being said, I dont believe the NeoWin site has an underhanded agenda to anything (thats why I used the word unwittingly)

    The point with sites like NeoWin it that they are “mainstream” unlike bloggers who it is expected will champion the product they use, I would expect NeoWin to be attacking the whole IT issue with alternatives in mind.

    On the whole I think NeoWin does, but my point still stands that whilst of course you cant be expected to list all alternatives to everything you review everytime, I think it would be good practice for those views to have at least come from someone who has experienced alternatives. This was the reason for me making the Z80 – Quad core analogy, the Z80 user would certainly love their processor and if they were oblivious of the Quad core, they would not appreciate the fact that their processor was infact limited. A very crude example, but with limited wordage on the response in twitter, it was the best I could come up with.

    I think the majority of readers would love a ““Feature X of Windows is better than what everyone else is doing” (and vice versa) I personally am quite happy to list the advantages of a Windows platform over Linux (and vice versa) and certainly in respect of Windows products, Ive even championed the ones IMO were good.

    Quote “It was just a friendly chuckle at the inconsistencies in what some people are like when they have strong views about their patch”

    Firstly, I do not take offense. If I did, the numerous vulgar attacks on me in forums would have sent me packing a long time ago. In your case you have been polite and intelligent so Im more than happy to spend my time giving you a detailed response.

    In regards to inconsistencies, I have to ask, what do you mean. In my articles I take a package, highlight its good points (and bad) and then compare it to other products. Look at my cutting remarks towards FOSS Firefox alternatives. In regards to other articles, if its reporting on say the Zune failure over new year, how can I mention alternatives to that? Should I say “and over the newyear Apples Ipod didnt fail”?

    When I print reports such as France switching to open source, what else can I say?

    If we are talking about patches, then really Vista/XP should be mine since thats what I earn my living on. Infact I believe I have more “expertise” in Windows platforms than in Linux ones and since Ive been with Windows at both work and/or home since 3.1 I believe Im more of an experienced Windows user than I am Linux and certainly from a coding point of view, Im happier under Windows than Linux.

    JD, regardless of our agreement/disagreement in terms of technology, you are always welcome here. You have to remember though, that whilst you may see my actions as extreme, this tactic of mine has already exposed people who get reward or enticement for posting favorably about certain proprietary products.
    Im sure you would agree that the type of user who only posts because of reward is the type of one that is harmful to the people who I believe we both hold in high regard – the end user.

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