Those guys in the woodwork

Judging from the kind of commentary I got, it seems that my webpad piece struck a chord with some folk.

Regrettably, as is increasingly the case, a lot of the reactions came from the sort of idiots who actually didn’t read the whole thing of who, having read it, failed to reason it into their peculiar worldview (which is either the fault of their reasoning or their worldview, at least from where I’m standing).

Not to mention people who read the word Mac on this site’s name and didn’t even bother to do a few searches or click around to figure out what sort of background the author would have.

But let’s take the three most common replies and, in the traditional spirit of the Internet (oh USENET, how I miss thee), bash them to bits – if you’ll pardon the pun, of course.

“This is a Mac site, what would you expect?”

Ah, the ignorant ones – The people with ADHD who don’t really care about the article itself.

They only got as far as the fourth word on the site title, and hit the comments link directly.

Where would Digg be without you, I wonder? Or Twitter? After all, how else can we ensure that future generations retain the gene for knee-jerk, inconsequential (and pointless) commentary?

Thank you for visiting. I love your tiny little attention spans, please Google for Britney Spears now.

“How can you ignore Flash?”

Simple. Like I wrote, I’ve been using mobile browsers for years. I don’t care about Flash on the move – it doesn’t work on my E90 either.

Nor on 99% of the phones and handheld devices I use.

And I’ve probably used (and compared) more mobile devices than most people out there (except the lucky few who do it for a living and post the results on gadget sites).

But (and this is the whole point of the original piece, which most people missed) I don’t just compare things feature-wise: I try to assess if they are good enough for my standards of use.

And slow, stuttering, stilted (and outdated) Flash that bogs down a browser is, in my eyes, much worse for surfing than no Flash at all.

So thank you for reading my opinion, and for disagreeing. The world is a much better place for my knowing that you don’t share my viewpoint.

“Can the iPod Touch run KDE and KOffice?”

These are the people who I had a gut feeling would come crawling out of the woodwork and write long, passionate Slashdot-caliber essays on freedom of choice in the comments field.

I’m going to spend a little while on this, for it is the most extreme case – that of people who assume being able to have a subpar experience (but with all possible features, even ones most sane people will never use) is better than having a decent experience (but with less flexibility).

I get them every time – they are pretty much my best customers, but I think the real pearls were when I wrote about UNIX variants a year or so ago (or when some nutcases were advocating that Apple should go Open Source, or even when Mark Pilgrim switched to Ubuntu).

There were some completely outrageous comments there that I archived for posterity, which I occasionally Spotlight for in my archives (yes, I keep archives of the really good comments, positive or negative) for the odd chuckle.

The sentence above is the typical Linux nutcase approach, straight out of left field, commonly seen from people who expect pocket computers to behave just like desktop ones – with all the utter wrongness it entails.

Well then, try to wrap your heads around this sentence: Things should just work without my spending hours fiddling with them.

I will now attempt to gloss over the fact that installing KDE on the N810 is a major endeavor that requires you to (at least temporarily) forego all social skills and waste a significant amount of time for very little (if none) actual benefits in terms of real-life use.

Got that? Good. Now try this one: Not everyone has the kind of free time you have.

I don’t expect my microwave to make ice cubes. I also don’t get excited by the idea of hacking it until it does so.

And this kind of attitude is why Linux doesn’t get anywhere in terms of mainstream computing. You, the people who write things like this, are the problem.

You are the people who, instead of fixing things, are constantly debating Open Source licensing, obsessively reading Slashdot waiting for the next Apple or Microsoft article (just so that you can input acres of inflamed rhetoric), and yet are unable to do more for your cause than porting and re-porting IRC and BitTorrent clients to new platforms.

Because you can’t really do more than complain.

Until that changes, I see no future for Linux (or KDE, for that matter) on handheld devices.

Oh, and lest I forget: This was drafted on the N810.

Because, you know, everyone conveniently missed the fact that it is what I am still carrying around in my suit pocket, even though that is alluded to in at least three different points in the original piece.

It was very funny to keep track of comments on this site on it during lunchtime and commutes for the past couple of days or so – so thank you for contributing to my continued amusement regarding the Linux community at large.

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