First off, I would strongly suggest that everyone
think a little more about the words they use and the
tone they set.
Second, if we are in fact wanting to force people to
use free open software, the most effective way to do
it would be to remove all the tweaks in the code/css
to accommodate IE. When people complain, insist that
they install a completely free and open browser. Of
course, we'd end up pissing-off more than half of our
user base, and Wikipedia would return to being "just
another web page." The point is that even though we
are in favor of free and open software, there are
other goals that we hold more important.
Personally, I did not join Wikipedia in order to
advance open source software. I'm much more interested
in making an encyclopedia that is accessible by all.
As I see it, that should be our first and most
WARNING! LONG RANT TO FOLLOW
I'd also like to say a few words on behalf of the
"Windoze Lemmings" of the world. I use Windows,
currently Windows XP. My family has three computers,
all of them running XP. I also use IE on all the
systems. I am well aware that there are other browsers
out there, but I also have a life to live. I want to
keep those three computers as similar as possible, and
to keep them relatively close to "normal".
I don't do this because I am technology idiot. At the
company where I formerly for over 10 years, I
maintained over 20 computers, while also coding
software -- mostly for custom-built
microcontroller-based systems with no operating system
or with bare-bones real-time cores. I cut my teeth on
CPM, worked for years in DOS and RT-11, and made the
painful transitions from DOS to Win3.1 to Win95 to
Win98 to Win2000 to WinXP. I also spent some time
fiddling with AmigaDOS, and even have some (tiny)
exposure to whatever-it-is-they-call-the-OS on
IBM370's (can you say punched cards?).
I've never been a regular Mac user (in the early days
it was just to damn expensive), and I don't find any
compelling reason to switch to the Apple hardware and
OSX (or whatever).
I also understand that Linix is finally beginning to
be available in truly user-friendly forms. When I
looked into Redhat some 5 years ago (when people were
telling me it was really user friendly), I met with
nothing but frustration.
Sure, I'd love to stop shelling out too much cash to
Microsoft for its OS and everything else. I also cheer
whenever MS loses a lawsuit. But, when I use a
computer at the university, its WinXP. When my wife
goes to work, its WinXP. When my kids go to school,
its WinXP. It's going to take a hefty amount of
convincing for me to give up all my hard-won
experience and start using a defacto non-standard
So, watch the name calling, OK? Lemmings (as you use
the word in "Windoze Lemmings") are creatures who
follow the leader without thinking. Every step on my
journey was taken knowing there were advantages and
disadvantages involved. You can question whether I
made the correct decisions, but don't suggest that I,
and all the rest of the Windows world, are following
without thought and without knowledge.
END OF RANT
Thanks, I just wanted to get all that off my chest.
Rich Holton (en:wikipedia:Rholton)
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