Everytime I read about a new supposed unifying solution for any given problem I have that feeling that something will go wrong. And I end up being unmistakenly right. But re-reading Joel On Software about How Microsoft Lost the API War has given me the right quote to put that feeling in words:
“But the idea of unifying the mess of Visual Basic and Windows API programming by creating a completely new, ground-up programming environment with not one, not two, but three languages (or are there four?) is sort of like the idea of getting two quarreling kids to stop arguing by shouting “shut up!” louder than either of them. It only works on TV. In real life when you shout “shut up!” to two people arguing loudly you just create a louder three-way argument.”
“(By the way, for those of you who follow the arcane but politically-charged world of blog syndication feed formats, you can see the same thing happening over there. RSS became fragmented with several different versions, inaccurate specs and lots of political fighting, and the attempt to clean everything up by creating yet another format called Atom has resulted in several different versions of RSS plus one version of Atom, inaccurate specs and lots of political fighting. When you try to unify two opposing forces by creating a third alternative, you just end up with three opposing forces. You haven’t unified anything and you haven’t really fixed anything.)”
Just think a little bit and I bet you’ll realize how many things happens this way. We have A and B competing. Any attempt to kill A or B by creating C will end up having A, B and C competing…. Yes, I am talking about distro wars, emacs and vi clones, browser wars…
For those that have forgotten the past, CompTIA’s Software Choice and Perens’ Sincere Choice are the background for the present issue.
I’ve just read that CompTIA is complaining to the World Trade Organization about the “discriminatory policies” that some countries are adopting. Needless to say that the policies the countries enlisted (Brazil is among them) are adopting are all pro-FLOSS.
This made me dig up the excellent The Register article (written by Bruce Perens, of course) about the issue, and his conclusion is something I have to quote:
“Imagine a truly open market for computer software: one in which there were many interoperating products, truly competing on their merits rather than upon their vendor’s ability to lock other products out of the market. Prices would be lower, quality higher, and we’d have a transition to a customer-centric view of the software business, away from the vendor-centric view that many of us, perhaps unconsciously, hold today. Or we could continue today’s anti-competitive policies. Which one is your choice?”
…. I think I may be getting bored with all this….
In time, Poland is my new hero. I may actually cheer for them in the next World Soccer Cup…. Nah…. 😉
I am sick and tired of all this nonsense we can see every day in the world. Yes! I am talking about Ukraine, Iraq, Israel, Congo, US, Ireland, Al Qaeda and all this.
I could write a long blog about it… instead I prefer to quote Carl Sagan in “The Pale Blue Dot”:
“The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.”
My best regards to all those that share the same feeling…