Novell will (continue to) support KDE after all

Peter plp-ysDPMY98cNQDDBjDh4tngg at
Wed Nov 16 10:23:06 UTC 2005

Nicely said, ...

> I don't think your analogy broke down at all though - at least not if
> you take into account Microsoft's use of psychology (advertising,
> marketing, fud, etc) and law (software patents, business acquisitions,
> gov't lobbying, etc).
> There are very obviously technical (and other) issues with Windows,
> but it still dominates for the simple reason that M$ does not allow
> the software to speak for itself:  When people and technology are
> mixed, the raw forces of psychology and law become valid* weapons for
> the survival of a product or business.

I think that people need to realize the difference between quantified 
value and their gut feelings about stuff. Most people cannot do that, 
and never will be able to. But for the remainder (of us ?) who know 
this, often first hand, from interaction with lusers (not necessarily 
limited to IT), it is essential to keep in mind *two* things: 1) we know 
that they will never understand or care 2) we know that *we* understand 
*and* care.

Therefore the most popular products will most often be those with the 
nicer chrome and the most liked b****it 'features'. And those products 
which will last, and cause and sustain real progress, will mostly be the 
opposite of that, if for no other reason, then because of this: Given 
financial and time constraints when developing a new product, an 
'optimal' product will not be possible. It follows that it will have 
flaws. The flaws will be then subdividable into flaws that affect 
functionality and reliability, and functions that affect aspect and 
'like-ability'. So for the crowd pleaser, take the chrome, and for the 
workhorse take the steel part. And one cannot be the other, nor do they 
mix easily, nor will they replace each other, nor will they ever 
cooperate easily (optimization precludes inter-operation), given the 
constraints above. At best, they can be coaxed to coexist more or less 
peacefully (often with duct tape - or lots of scripts and funny boxes in 

Now the next step would be to somehow make the powers that be realize 
this and act accordingly (esp. in IT). The jokes about 'if Windows would 
be a car/airplane etc' are abundant but most people do not realize that 
they may depend *more* on a stuck Windows server or desktop, or lost 
data, somewhere in health insurance, government, air travel, police, or 
their employer's HR department than on their car!!!

> Windows itself may not be the "product of Intelligent Design," but I'm
> fairly certain it's continued survival and proliferation is.  The
> long-standing dominance of Window's in the business world could thus,
> perhaps, be described a little better as being "a by-product of
> Intelligent Design."

Or of genetic selection that leads to the optimization of income by 
territorial expansion at the expense of everything else. A valid 
strategy for first-order logic governed organisms and processes. Like 
fermentation, wildfires, amoebas, bacteria, and dinosaurs.

Combined with what I wrote above, an 'organism' genetically selected to 
please as many buyers as possible is implicitly one selected *against* 
best solving individual problems, and almost designed such that it 
*cannot* solve problems governed by a higher order logic (by logic here 
I mean the logic of organization, clustering, networking etc, not logic
used in the mathematical or algorythmic sense).


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