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Microsoft Lovers versus Open Source Lovers versus The Battle Itself

The battle has gone on for a very long time. The Microsoft developers hate the open source hippies. The code huggers hate the corporate dogs. When does either side realize the dagger they're digging in is piercing themselves, because we're all the same.

We code because we like it. Software is our craft and development tools, languages, and software ecosystems are the spice racks for us chefs of bytes. Some chefs enjoy working on the grill, and others can't get enough from the stove. But if backyard grillers love a good lasagna and bakers enjoy a barbecue, why can't our camps live and let live? Joe likes GNU tools and Mary builds Silverlight apps in C#, so obviously they need to glare at one another with malice, right? Wrong.

Can't we all just get along?


Paul Boddie said…
An interesting collection of metaphors in use here to frame anyone who disagrees with your message almost as some kind of extremist, but anyway...

Can Microsoft and the Free Software movement get along? Yes and no: there are certain areas where Microsoft actively seek to undermine Free (and open source) Software by, for example, promoting software patent legislation, and there clearly is a need to oppose this in the wider software development community - yes, even amongst proprietary software vendors, too. I imagine that Microsoft feel threatened by Free Software, too, but as long as Microsoft have the "consumer" market locked down with obligatory Windows on every machine, I don't much care for what they don't like.

Can Joe and Mary get along? Well, even though Mary's toolmaker wants to stifle competition from, amongst others, Joe's toolmaker, they'll still have mutual technical interests, yes. But the referenced article shows what happens when you put your head down and claim that cool tools and "the code" is all that matters.

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