When Fedora Defections Meet Online Jerks

by Joey deVilla on February 21, 2007

It’s a rare thing to have two completely unrelated blog articles that appear on the same day suddenly intersect on the same day, but that’s just what happened.

The first blog article is Eric S. Raymond Ditches Red Hat for Ubuntu, Might Keep Red Shirt, which covers ESR’s dumping Red Hat/Fedora as his Linux distro of choice for Ubuntu.

The other blog article is the one immediately after it: The GIFT Theory Explains Why People Are Such Jerks Online. In that article, I pointed to a TechDirt article on online jerks and a Penny Arcade comic on the same topic.

The hairs on the back of your neck must already be rising — you’re probably beginning to form an idea of how these two stories intersect. I’ll show you, by way of this response by Alan Cox on the Fedora developers’ mailing list to Eric S. Raymond’s open letter:

On Wed, Feb 21, 2007 at 03:03:50AM -0500, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> * Failure to address the problem of proprietary multimedia formats
> with any attitude other than blank denial.

That would be because we believe in Free Software and doing
the right thing (a practice you appear to have given up on).
Maybe it is time the term “open source” also did the
decent thing and died out with you.

> I’m not expecting Ubuntu to be perfect, but I am now certain it will
> be enough better to compensate me for the fact that I need to learn
> a new set of administration tools.

I’m sure they will be delighted to have you
Alan

This isn’t the behaviour of the Alan Cox I know from a brief meeting at a LinuxWorld or from his typically friendly and helpful mailing list postings; it’s the lashing out of a petulant adolescent showing the kind of behaviour that drove me away from Slashdot and Digg. I hope he rejoins the rest of the grown-ups and posts an apology soon.

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