I stopped reading slashdot a few years ago. It became really popular and it was overwhelming to read. Besides, there were all these corporation-oriented topics and tight control over news stories. I jumped ship and went to Digg (which lasted about 6 months before I grew bored with that as well).
I wrote several book reviews for Slashdot and was delighted to find they were being run. Then, two of my stories were rejected without good reason, and Slashdot’s luster seemed to fade for me. Also, their interface for viewing threads was insufferable. They switched to an ajax interface, and I could never figure out the best way to view things.
But now that Slashdot has lost web traffic to other geek sites, many of the loyalists remain and the last few times I’ve visited Slashdot, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Today, I read on slashdot that the SCO vs. IBM and Novell lawsuit (this crazy and baseless lawsuit which became a subject of hilarious ridicule) is now reinstated after a judge rejected a previous summary judgment. I just read a discussion about transgender and was amazed to find that at least 5 of the commenters were transgendered. From a discussion about why linux battery life sucks, I see this great comment:
My first Linux install was Slackware (if I remember correctly)…back in 1998. That’s 10 years. And for all 10 of those years, my experience with Linux has been like this…
Linux Community: ‘This new version of Linux is totally great. Easy to use, great hardware support, best Linux ever. Totally better than Windows!’
Me: "Ummm, that’s cool and all – but I have a problem with X"
Linux Community: "*I* don’t have a problem with X! I don’t even believe you have a problem. Where is your proof? It’s totally not a problem with Linux, if it’s even a real problem at all."
Me: "Umm…okay. Well…all I want to do is be able to X (where X was get on the internet, hear sound, use a wireless network card, have decent battery life – all of which were or are problems). Here’s more information….
Linux Community: "You are using Y? Y is worthless. Everyone knows Y isn’t supported in Linux because of XYZ. You either need to write your own driver or get a real Y."
Me: "Can you tell me, specifically, what Y I should buy?"
Linux Community: "*I* have ABC and it works great. But it’s more than just what is on the box, it’s the chipset and stuff. It’s kind of hit or miss.’
Me: ‘Wtf? This sucks….I’m going to run Windows’
Linux Community: ‘N0ob.’
*six months later*
Linux Community: "Great news! We’ve totally made it so you can do X"
Me: ‘Wait, last time you told me you could do X, and that it was easy, and free, and better than Windows. When I said I had problem doing X, you all told me I was crazy and to RTFM!’
Linux Community: ‘Oh well….yeah…in the past, we’ve had some problems with X. Some users couldn’t do X at all, but now we’ve totally fixed it! Now Linux is is totally great. Easy to use, great hardware support, best Linux ever. Totally better than Windows!”
You get the idea. Months after getting flamed for complaining about how my wireless network adapter doesn’t work in Linux, the Linux community raves about how they’ve improved wireless support.
I’ve had plenty of problems with Windows….but when I have a problem with Windows, at the very least, people *believe me*.
After lots of people rise up to defend the Linux community, some snarky guy comments:
This post is exactly what is wrong with Linux advocates. Instead of answering the question – why does Linux die when watching DVDs where other OSes don’t – the GP blames the user and suggests another, harder way to do the same thing.