(FreeBSD) for Linux Users

Matthew D. Fuller fullermd at over-yonder.net
Wed Jan 14 20:27:03 PST 2004

[ Combined a few responses since they overlap mostly ]

Peter / David,

> 1) Adjust the color scheme. It makes it somewhat
> difficult to read though the site.

In the time my page has been up with that color scheme, most people have
really liked it.  However, there's always been a sizable minority who
really dislike it, and a number who just can't deal with it at all.  So,
I've always had it on my "someday" list to go ahead and put together a
few alternate stylesheets.  And this is as good an excuse as any.

So, if you'll look at the bottom of the navbar, there's a selector for a
few alternate color schemes.  Hopefully, one of them should be a little
less painful for you.

> 3) The connection is very, very slow.

While the connection isn't exactly a speed demon, the pages are pretty
light.  Once in a while, though, it does just drop out for a few minutes;
you may have hit it over that.

> 4) Deeper coverage on packages vs. ports with emphasis
> to portupgrade.

These are the sort of things I was intentionally avoiding.  There's lots
of resources on the Hows; my feeling is that when you don't understand
the Whys, you'll have a hard time finding the Hows, and a harder time
understanding them when you DO find them.  I want to try and delineate
the Whys, with just enough How to demonstrate them.

If I tried to do both, it would be even LONGER.  Nobody wants that   :)

> 5) Remove "Chaos vs. Order". Your slamming a
> development model. Both models have merit (compare and
> contrast). 

I wasn't slamming it.  The Linux model practically requires, just by its
very construction, an abundance of chaos.  That's not necessarily _BAD_,
and I didn't intend for it to be taken as pejorative.  I've added a
comment making it a bit more explicit.

Y'see, this is why I hate this kind of writing.  Sooner or later, someone
[not directed at you, but just in general] is going to come up with
"That's not always true" or "That doesn't mean we're wrong" or so on.
How many times do I have to write "These are all generalizations riddled
with exceptions, and when I say 'X is Y' that doesn't imply a value
judgement" in one essay?!

> 6) Remove the ego. IE:  "BSD users are a bunch of
> elitist self-centered rude snobs." Yup. And proud of
> it. "

That's supposed to be irony, not ego.  Smiley added to clarify.

I've always been a bit uncomfortable with that section anyway.  How do
you prove or disprove a charge of "elitism"?  It's either going to be
both sides handwaving and saying "It seems to me", or you're going to
pull out some kind of bizarre statistic.  Pretty icky either way.

I've gone through and done some reworking and clarification in it, and
added a bit more.

> One other thought, how about bumping up the Philosophy
> and myths up towards the top and dispel some of the
> preconceived notions about BSD.

I messed a lot with the ordering of the pieces (the "Design" and
"Technical" sections, particularly, flip-flopped at least a half dozen
times).  I think making those moves (to me) makes it not flow quite as
well, since you're trying to understand the really abstract before the

However, it is intentional in my rants that they be at least somewhat
random-access.  I've written it to be read all the way through, but with
an eye toward keeping it usable by picking out pieces.  That's one reason
I have the indexes everywhere (that, and I *HATE* sites with multi-page
articles, that don't provide indexes, or only in special places).  It's
not perfect, but it gives a little flexibility.

> PS: don't forget to mention that their is ~10,000
> prog's in the ports collection. A huge bonus. 

Well, shoot; I thought I put that in there!  I sprinkled a few mentions
in the Program Availability myth section; it seems the best place for it
to have an impact.

> 2) It is very critical of Linux users.
> 3) Remove personal bias
> 2) It is way too condescending towards Linux and Linux users.
> 7) Most important; be objective.

This is the hardest one, because so much of its interpretation is
subjective.  Some parts of the essay WERE, in fact, written after I'd
just spent 12 hours wrestling with something that should have taken about
10 minutes, but didn't because of the way the [Linux] system was put
together.  I hate RPMs (and all binary packages for that matter) with a
passion that knows no bounds.

I think it's impossible to write anything like this, and avoid making any
value judgements anywhere.  I try to make it obvious and severable where
I AM doing so, and to never do it unwittingly.  I went over the whole
thing, both piecemeal and as a whole, many times before I stuck it up on
the web.  However, when you read anything (particularly your own writing)
that many times, you get so used to it and so sick of it that you WILL
miss those sort of things.

With some more distance, I've gone through it again and fiddled with a
lot of wording and added some clarifications.  I'd appreciate any
pointers to specific sections that you still find particularly egregious
in those ways.

> I applaud your work in the advocacy of *BSD. Please do
> not the above statements in a negative way.  You do
> have great foundation to the site. I like the lay out
> and the index.

I take it as constructive criticism (which I _hope_ is in the spirit it's
intended :).  I know a lot about me; particularly, I know that I hate
criticism and get very defensive and stubborn about it.  I s'pose it's
probably some sort of character flaw or something.  Still, I try.

I hope some of the changes I've made help cover your concerns.  Please,
if you can, go through it again and see if it works better for you, and
if (as above in the 'bias' section) there's anything you could
specifically point me at.

Thanks loads, guys.

Matthew Fuller     (MF4839)   |  fullermd at over-yonder.net
Systems/Network Administrator |  http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/

"The only reason I'm burning my candle at both ends, is because I
      haven't figured out how to light the middle yet"

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