Friday, October 19, 2007

What's wrong with Dvorak

John C. Dvorak had an interesting column about what's wrong with Open Source . I would link to the column but people who are familiar with his writing already know where to find it and introducing his writing to those of you who are not familiar with him would result in bad karma. My personal thoughts is that he is desperate for hits and was hoping that a controversial column would get slash dotted. I haven't seen the article linked to from slashdot, though that is easy enough to miss. Still this is interesting to see a master devil's advocate at work. First, he insults and stereotypes his targets. Then he makes the blatantly stupid assumption that the fanatics who post to his various blogs actually represent the whole community. Then he makes some semi-valid comments to give his article the air of legitimacy. In this column's case he is saying that open source is worse than commercial software because just like commercial software it is getting bloated. Then he makes a mis-conception which I am assuming he is planning on writing a follow-up article about. This misconception is that open source is about forking when anybody who knows anything at all about open source knows that forking is considered to be a last resort as forking just results in duplication of work. Finally he concludes with a final jab at the target group he is trying to annoy.

Clearly he is trying to get a rise out of the open source community, and I am sure that he will but I hope that the majority of open source advocates are smart enough to notice all the gaping logic holes in his column and if they feel they have to read it will not fuel the flame by responding directly to the column and instead just comment about it on their own blogs if they feel they have to. Sadly, I think fans of open source are going to be suckered in just like the Mac fans are time and time again. Still, you have to admire Dvorak for his ability to state blatantly stupid and wrong things yet get people to react to him instead of ignore him. On the bright side, the open source community must have reached pretty good numbers for him to focus on them.

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