Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / trolls

  • Mar 05 / 2014
  • 5
technology

Wikipedia: Decline Or Maturity?

My recent migration to Debian Jessie, which required fixing my local tweaks for web-applications ended with some examination of Wikipedia, of which I have a snapshot from 2004 or so. I have edited it a lot and customized it for use in the schools where I worked but lately I have not maintained it well. Through various upgrades some links broke and I must have restored a backup that messed up the archive of images. Even damaged it is a huge asset.“The first few edits of these newcomers indicate that they are trying to contribute productively (i.e. acting in good faith) and, therefore, likely will become valuable contributors if they remain in the community. We show empirically that, while the proportion of desirable newcomers who arrive at Wikipedia has been holding steady in recent years, a decreasing fraction of these newcomers survive past their initial contributions. We demonstrate that the decline has been caused, at least in part, by the Wikipedia community’s reactions to the enormous influx of contributors between 2004 and 2007. In order to maintain quality and efficiency during this period, the community’s views toward the goals of the project changed. These new views were instantiated in a set of policies, and a suite of algorithmic tools were developed for enforcement. Over time, these changes resulted in a new Wikipedia, in which newcomers are rudely greeted by automated quality control systems and are overwhelmed by the complexity of the rule system. Since these changes occurred, newcomers – including the crucial, desirable newcomers – have been leaving Wikipedia in droves.” Currently, Wikipedia is one of the world’s great websites, full of information and very accessible. It is somewhat mature in that just about everything has some coverage but more work remains to be done. The question of decline or maturity is about whether or not Wikipedia is less vigorous because the job has been largely done or because changes made years ago have become a millstone, weighing it down.

I will describe some of my contributions over the years. Where I have particular knowledge and I see a gap in some article that I was reading for my own purposes, I have offered edits from time to time. At first, that was that and I went on with life. Then came a time when whatever edits I made were almost certainly rejected by some nameless creatures in the system, rejecting my work sentence by sentence because I did not provide proof of every assertion, almost every sentence or phrase. I kid you not. A paragraph could not be contributed. It had to be a list of sentences with one or more references to the web for each one. Asserting that the sky was blue was unacceptable. One had to prove it. Stating the obvious and how it related to well-known facts and principles, reasoning, was never enough. To me it was as if binary bits were OK if they were copies of stuff elsewhere, but expressing any idea however modest was unacceptable.

Apparently I was not alone in this depressing phase of Wikipedia. According to TFA linked below, thousands of editors have dropped in, contributed, and fled. Wikipedia just isn’t a great place to live any longer.

Don’t believe me. Look at some examples.

GNU/Linux Adoption – when I added this edit,
“There is another reason that web counters are unreliable. Some are clearly connected with use of operating systems in business. For example, when 10000 users at Google’s headquarters moved at once to GNU/Linux in the summer of 2010, [[Net Applications]]’ web stats showed a swing from a few percent to 88% for the city of [[Mountain View, California]]{{cite web|url=http://mrpogson.com/2012/02/28/mountain-view-california-penguin-heaven/|title = Mountain View, California, Penguin Heaven|accessdate = 14 March 2012|last = Pogson|first = Robert|year = 2012|month=March}}, a city of 74000 people, and a swing from 1.87% to 18.69% for [[California]]{{cite web|url=http://mrpogson.com/2012/03/01/penguins-seen-over-california//|title = Penguins Seen Over California|accessdate = 14 March 2012|last = Pogson|first = Robert|year = 2012|month=March}}, a state of 37 million people. Clearly, 10000 people is a small change in usage but was over-counted because it was used in business. The fact that Windows is heavily used in business results in low numbers for GNU/Linux. Web-counters can readily select for business usage by counting during hours of business in a location or counting only clients from business Internet domains.” I ran afoul of the “no original research” rule, and my contribution was tagged with a “conflict of interest” because I provided a link to my website. In the discussion of my contribution, you can see the problem:
“NetApplications does not publish the charts, only values month by month and location by location. My blog collects their data. I am not the source. Do I need to cite the URI for each of dozens of datapoints? The paragraph I added is about the change and how and why it happened clearly showing bias in Net Applications numbers. I have a M.Sc. in Nuclear Physics and know how to analyze data. The wide publication of “1%” is clearly wrong information coming form Net Applications and my collection shows that quantitatively. Assume a world using 90% GNU/Linux and Windows adoption at Google. 10K people showing huge adoption that is not valid. Pogson (talk) 13:29, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Your own blog is not an acceptable reference as per WP:SPS, regardless of what qualifications in stats you have. You can’t cite data points with your own graphs and interpretations about them either as this would be WP:OR and WP:SYNTHESIS and is specifically not allowed on Wikipedia. You need to find proper reliable independent third party refs to retain this text in the article. – Ahunt (talk) 13:45, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
The refs you added do not support the claims you have made in the text, so I restored the “citation needed” tags. Since you removed those again the only choice remaining is to remove the challenged text as per WP:V, which I have done. Please don’t add it back in without proper, reliable refs that actually support the text this time. – Ahunt (talk) 16:30, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good, maybe we should archive these older threads as well to stop people adding to discussions from some time ago (hard to follow). IRWolfie- (talk) 09:48, 15 March 2012 (UTC)”
So, how does a contribution to human knowledge make it into Wikipedia? Politics. Popularity. Stuff like that. It’s not enough to be correct or useful, information has to be acceptable to some elite in the organization. Wikipedia has lost its way.

The words that greet me on Wikipedia, “Hello, Pogson! Welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions to this free encyclopedia.” are hollow and a sham. If Wikipedia were really free, the powers that be would be all over my contributions improving them rather than deleting them. What does their page say about the reliability of web stats these days? Well, that’s water under the bridge. The Linux Adoption page is quite different now. Just a line or two on the matter but they still cite other’s original research on the topic.

Really, how vital is an organization of house-builders that insist on bull-dozing each other’s work?

See halfaker13rise-preprint.pdf.

  • Feb 09 / 2014
  • 10
Linux in Education, Teaching, technology

A Bunch Of Reasons Why I Use The GNU/Linux Operating System

I just read a trollish/clickbaitish article, you know, one of those “umpteen reasons to use that other OS…” things. It was sickening. All the usual arguments evanglists of M$ use wrapped in a “user-friendliness” package with a ribbon were there. I won’t even link to it. It was just too far gone. I will write my own such article based on real experiences in the real world.

I used to put up with that other OS when it crashed a dozen times a day. I saved files early and often… When almost every PC on Earth shipped with that, what was the choice? I knew about UNIX but the last time I checked folks wanted $1000 for permission to use it. I had never heard of Minix and I though GNU/Linux was just for computergeeks or huge companies. I had seen a guy attempt to install GNU/Linux just once. It was a disaster and lead to a CLI (commandline interface) that was foreign. I had used DOS a lot but this was different. Nevertheless, I was in the Arctic with five PCs running that other OS, Lose ’95 flavour, and one or another crashed almost hourly. What I had tolerated as an individual user for years was intolerable to me when I was a paid professional teacher in charge of the futures of two dozen real human beings entrusted to me by their parents.

I read that GNU/Linux didn’t crash and I had to have it. It took 10 days of nights and weekends at dial-up speed to get one CD of Caldera e-Desktop. I had never installed an OS before except copying DOS to a hard drive, but I figured it out and the installation was flawless, except I couldn’t get the GUI to run. I needed to look up data for our five different monitors and put the sweep frequencies into a file. So, a day or two later I had five PCs that didn’t crash. They ran six months without a single crash. I was sold.

M$ had been able to sell that crap because they had exclusive deals with OEMs, retailers, ISV’s (not so Independent Software Vendors) and had extended the monopoly granted by IBM to the ends of the Earth. IBM had adopted GNU/Linux a year or so before I discovered it so M$ had to change but GNU/Linux was far ahead in the stability department. I was amazed that a dying application could not lock up the OS. I learned about “Xkill” and carried on. We had an office suite, StarOffice, and a browser, Netscape, that did everything I knew how to do on a PC about education. I and my students were free of M$.

No student complained that GNU/Linux was not that other OS or that some list of applications would not run on it or that other OS was prettier. No one cared. The PCs loved it. The students loved it except for a couple whose parents thought more than 15 minutes per day was excessive use of a PC. My students were getting more than 60 minutes per day. It was like having another teacher in the room. I worked out lessons for students and distributed documents or papers to those PCs and the students took care of the rest. Vocabularies improved. Writing skills improved. I was able to give more attention to the rest of the class. What’s not to love about GNU/Linux?

Since then, the things I was able to get GNU/Linux to do for me multiplied greatly. I learned about file-sharing and printing and X and openSSH so I could control one or a hundred computers as if they were one bringing more computing power to each user as needed. The use of the hardware was only limited by my imagination and the imaginations of students and teachers, not some stupid EULA…

Let me tell you about M$’s EULA (End User Licence Agreement). First off, it’s not an agreement. You are forced to say you agree to it if you want to use your PC. That’s not an agreement. That’s extortion. Pay us if you want to stay in business… Further, the “agreement” is unconscionable. You have to agree not to connect more than X PCs together. Yep. A school with 100 XP machines on a LAN would be in violation if they shared files or ran thin clients. M$ wants you to cripple your PCs so they can sell you a “server” licence with a per-seat charge. Then there’s the thing about not studying the OS. You are not legally able to study M$’s OS and figure out what it’s doing to you. M$ also wants you to agree that M$ should be able to install whatever malware it wants on your computer. M$ wants to use the hardware you own to work for M$. For agreeing to this enslavement, they also charge a fee. That’s insane.

GNU/Linux on the other hand runs on FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) licences. The common theme is that you can run the software any way you want on as many computers as you want making as many copies as you want and you may study the software including source code and/or modify it… Oh… Vive la difference…

That’s Software Freedom, actually freedom for developers and users to make the best use of IT. If you are a developer you will like the fact that you can start a huge project from scratch and reuse and modify all the software you can get legally and without a fee in most cases. That enables anyone to start a huge project that could go far for very little cost. That’s perfect for students, young folk and start-ups as well as individuals and organizations. It doesn’t get any better than that. If you’re a user, you can use your hardware to full advantage with few restrictions, very little cost and no organization can tell you what to do with your hardware. It doesn’t get any better than that.

GNU/Linux largely uses open standards so whatever applications and computers you have can all talk to each other and speak the same languages. That allows you to turn a lab or a school into a super-computer as needed. That allows you to set up as many databases, search engines, web-servers, clients thick (resourceful) and thin (using resources of a server), as you need, want or can afford. Basically, you don’t need a brand new PC to get great performance if you can connect to another powerful computer running the software you need. GNU/Linux lets you do that transparently.

Let me give you an example. I like the application, GNUmeric, for doing spreadsheets. It makes the lovely graphs I display on my blog. They are SVG so they scale nicely no matter what size your screen. They take just a few seconds for me to set up from templates and they are infinitely customisable. The latest version of GNUmeric does not run directly on the version of GNU/Linux I have on my main PC, Beast. It wants the latest version of GNU/Linux. So, I set up another PC, a virtual one, that runs on Beast, installed the latest version of GNU/Linux from the Debian organization, and interact with it as if it were installed on Beast in the usual way by creating an icon that runs this simple command, ssh -Y jessie “gnumeric”. The “ssh” part runs a remote secure shell on the other computer, jessie. The “gnumeric” part runs GNUmeric for me on the other PC and the -Y part connect the application to my PC in a transparent fashion, a window automatically appears in front of me and I’m off. I also share the directories where I download and keep my documents so the apparent file-structure on Jessie is identical to my normal one. It’s all transparent to me, the user. I basically get to use two PCs as if they were one. If necessary, I could make Jessie some powerful super-computer and get better performance, or I could run more applications simultaneously by having more RAM on two systems than I could on one or… See? It’s only limited by my imagination, not some crazy EULA designed to sell more licences to remove crippling. The city of Largo in Florida does this for all their major applications. There are a bunch of powerful servers running their pet application for hundreds of users who access the application from small cheap computers on their desks. This is the lowest cost and the highest performing system you can have. Essentially, you don’t need a noisy, bulky heat-source in your working environment. It can be cool and quiet and serene thanks to GNU/Linux. M$? They charge extra for that and you still have all the other problems of that other OS: malware, re-re-reboots and the damned EULA.

So, we’ve covered reliability and flexibility and freedom. What about the actual design of the software? GNU/Linux has many parts. The GNU part is an ancient imitation of the UNIX OS from the olden days. The Linux part is a kernel that knows just about every bit of hardware you can connect to a PC and a benevolent dictator, Linus Torvalds, herds the Linux developers/cats in good directions, keeping things from breaking as much as possible and always trying to improve performance and security. On the other hand, M$ is anxious to sell as many licences as possible by every trick in the book including breaking things so a new licence will fix things until M$ needs more money, inviting malware in so computers slow down or “fail” and they are not above installing stuff that slows down your computer so you constantly feel the need to buy a new one, hoping faster hardware would save you from M$. M$ is run by salesmen. GNU/Linux is a product of the world which can and does make its own software to work for us not against us.

Have I missed anything? Probably. I will finish with some of the fabulous software I use in my home doing the computing that I do. There’s no lack of valuable software available from the Debian GNU/Linux repositories and I can install any of it in a few minutes by typing simple commands or clicking a mouse a few times.

  • Gnumeric, which I have described above,
  • LibreOffice, a general office suite which does almost everything perfectly for me except huge documents and the graphs in spreadsheets,
  • Lyx is what I like to create huge documents like books. It allows the writer to concentrate on content rather than formatting,
  • Inkscape is a programme designed to create and modify SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) images,
  • FireFox web browser,
  • ImageMagick, a toolbox for handling image files,
  • Gimp, a complex image editor, capable of almost anything for images used on the web or computer screen,
  • VLC, a video viewer/streamer/convertor,
  • Mplayer, a video player,
  • OpenShot video editor,
  • SoX, audio toolbox,
  • Audacity, audio editor,
  • Apache web server,
  • MySQL/MariaDB database,
  • PostgreSQL database,
  • Swish-e search engine,
  • Recoll search engine,
  • AutoKey, which inserts various strings in my texts by typing simple “hot keys”,
  • APT software packaging system,
  • and thousand of others

Notice that several of these are usually found on servers, not PCs, like Apache or MySQL. That’s OK. GNU/Linux doesn’t limit your freedom to run whatever you want wherever you want. Remember? Some trolls might mention that most of these can run on that other OS but if I don’t have to sell my soul to use my PC, why should I run that other OS? I don’t owe M$ a living. I don’t own M$ anything. If anything, I should send M$ a bill for the thousands of re-re-reboots they inflicted on me over the years.

There, I’m done. There are no good reasons for me to run that other OS and plenty for me to run Debian GNU/Linux. You should too unless you’re a slave and want to remain a slave.

  • Dec 09 / 2013
  • 2
technology

Budapest District Loves FLOSS

In spite of the trolls who proclaim that other OS and its “partners” are essential to IT, another city announces that it has been using a lot of FLOSS for everything for years.
“Karay was one of the presenters at the conference organised by the country’s open source resource centre, which took place in Budapest last week.
The city district administration uses the Linux operating system, to run 9 out of its 12 servers. Of the 200 workstations in use in the district’s offices, 40 are running Linux. LibreOffice is used on all 200 workstations.”

“Implementing LibreOffice was not too difficult, nor did it require a lot of training. For the IT department, one of the added benefits is that the office suite and its menus are easily managed centrally, including across proprietary and open source operating systems. “Having used the office suite for five years now, we now know nearly all tricks, and that helps overcome issues with document in incompatible electronic formats.””

The necessity to use that other OS for anything is a myth, unsupported by facts. Open standards are what people need to function in the real world, not monopoly. If you are not already using FLOSS, I recommend Debian GNU/Linux as an operating system, LibreOffice as an office suite, FireFox as a browser and VLC as a media player. Whatever else you do has a FLOSS solution as well. Check out packages available for Debian GNU/Linux.

See Budapest district debunks misgivings over open source.

  • Nov 01 / 2013
  • 4
technology

Software Patent Thermogeddon

M$ and “friends” are unleashing the Nortel patents against Google several ways. A recent barrage in court seeks to undermine Google’s whole business. Expect it to annoy the world for a decade. On of “The patents describe "an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network."”

See Patent war goes nuclear: Microsoft, Apple-owned “Rockstar” sues Google.

Where’s GROKLAW when you need it? I hope Pamela comes out of retirement proclaiming the cause justifies the risks. Let’s hope the Obama-regime and USPTO and US Congress and the Supremes get their act together and chuck these attempts to patent common sense. I would bet Google is not going to allow M$ to tax their business out of existence.

  • Aug 20 / 2013
  • 25
technology

BigBrother Stops Groklaw


“My personal decision is to get off of the Internet to the degree it’s possible. I’m just an ordinary person. But I really know, after all my research and some serious thinking things through, that I can’t stay online personally without losing my humanness, now that I know that ensuring privacy online is impossible. I find myself unable to write. I’ve always been a private person. That’s why I never wanted to be a celebrity and why I fought hard to maintain both my privacy and yours.

Oddly, if everyone did that, leap off the Internet, the world’s economy would collapse, I suppose. I can’t really hope for that. But for me, the Internet is over.

So this is the last Groklaw article. I won’t turn on comments. Thank you for all you’ve done. I will never forget you and our work together. I hope you’ll remember me too. I’m sorry I can’t overcome these feelings, but I yam what I yam, and I tried, but I can’t.”

see Groklaw – Forced Exposure ~pj.

What the trolls, and M$ and lots of other bad boys couldn’t do has been accomplished by the US government through its high-handed trampling of the basic human right to privacy. Governments should be serving people, not enslaving them. She responded to the shutdown of Lavabit and the whole Snowden affair the best way she could, by reducing exposure on the Internet. Is this what the USA wants? To shut down the Internet which has been a brilliant contribution to technology? Or was this the scheme from the beginning, to connect everyone so they could be manipulated more efficiently?


  • Sep 22 / 2012
  • 3
technology

The Generations of Spam

More than a decade ago when I used Hotmail, I was getting more spam than normal e-mail. I can’t remember the details. It was the shear weight…

Now I get only rare spam via GMail but I have a blog and the spam keeps evolving. At first is was a lot of links to whatnot and “buy Viagra”. Now it’s a lot more subtle. I actually have to read what’s in the Spam bin to decide whether or not it’s spam or not. Akismet does a good job but many of my commenters dance and sway enough to get in there fairly regularly.

Remember the Nigerian scams with a scheme like “so and so has died leaving money locked in an account…”? Now I get all kinds of advice about how to boost ratings for the blog in general terms, or they suggest my spelling is terrible. There’s always some little story like “I found this via Google but it was hard…” or “Thank you so much for this information…” but you can tell they have not even read the blog because there’s no information connected with the subject matter.

Now the spam is linking to stories and giving relevant comments but just barely so, like a keyword or two will make sense or they will quote something and give a nonsensical comment. That’s really hard to tell from regular commentators who like to twist facts to fit their pet theories/beliefs/religions.

I suppose the ultimate answer is to hire a moderator with ruthless decisiveness but the volume is nowhere near needing that yet. I may just cut off comments after a few hours and leave it at that. Another alternative is to create accounts and limit comments to account holders. That could become a burden too.

It seems spam has evolved from just selling products to leveraging the web to visit certain sites where stuff is sold/promoted. It’s just getting so noisy. No matter. I can still have fun with IT on my own LAN and the web. That is changing too but at least there something is always improving.

  • Sep 28 / 2008
  • 0
Uncategorized

Status of Wireless N (802.11n draft)

Some trolls claim wireless N does not work with GNU/Linux. That may seem plausible in that few drivers were available but ath9k is in Linux 2.6.27 at rc7 and working and some are using it in Ubuntu Intrepid which is alpha.

Status of Project IEEE 802.11n

Standard for Enhancements for Higher Throughput


July 2008, Denver, Colorado, US

TGn Draft 5.0 passed recirculation ballot #129 by an 90% majority (75% required) with 261 votes to approve, 29 not approve, 23 abstain.

All 1112 comments from this recirculation ballot were resolved during this meeting, and the working group approved a recirculation ballot on a TGn Draft 6.0, incorporating these comment resolutions.

The timeline was modified, and now anticipates publication in November 2009 instead of July 2009. The group is targeting September 3-5 for an ad hoc meeting to resolve comments from the recirculation ballot on Draft 6.0.

N, itself, is not necessarily stable so it may not be a good idea to go spend a bunch of money on it until next year, but it is interesting technology. I have booted thin clients on g but n would be much more fun. Lots of products use Atheros chips for n so I think the trolls are wrong. Of course the trolls would reply that one has to build, etc. but they are still wrong. Folks are testing Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex now and other distros have the driver.

Again, the anti-GNU/Linux trolls make a mountain out of mole-hill to stop GNU/Linux but we just tunnel right through. One thing is sure. When 802.11n is ready GNU/Linux will be.

I had a real driver issue yesterday. An old PC refused to boot PXE. It turned out the new batch of Ethernet cards uses a different chip even though it is the same model number… Not a GNU/Linux issue at all. I just made up a copy of my default PXE file for the particular MAC hardware address and added NIC=via-rhine to the boot parameters and we are good to go. The old crate boots much faster than newer machines with XP. Drivers are not a mountain for GNU/Linux, just little bumps.

  • Jun 03 / 2008
  • 0
Uncategorized

Myths Never Die.

Some twit wrote an article recounting five myths about why one should not migrate to Ubuntu (read GNU/Linux). 73 comments and counting, he is blown away. The article is full of innuendo and half-truth and irrelevant information. Skip it and go to the comments directly. That part is more informative. The volume, intensity and clarity of the comments is illuminating. The trolls are out-numbered by the sincere users of GNU/Linux. It’s all good.

Drew: 2. the Command Line
Helooooo welcome to the 21rst century! I’ve got my LAPTOP working fine and I have not *had* to go to the command line even once!

leftystrat:I tried Vista This is one of the reasons my company will not use it. They did such a great job making a pretty interface useful that we can’t FIND anything. Those must have been some expensive consultants.

Otoh, linux occasionally goes on our production floor as a loaner unit and there hasn’t been a single usability issue. That says something.

Omar:I operate Photoshop 9 under Wine and it works very well

revdjenk:After three weeks, I reinstalled Kubuntu to be the solo OS.
built in cam-works,
media buttons-work
audio- works
wifi-works
command line-works, I guess, I’m too lazy to learn to use!

JEDEDIAH:2001 called. It wants it’s Linux review back.

Anyone that attempts to review Ubuntu and brings up “configure” clearly hasn’t touched the thing. I don’t care if others think you have. You’re clearly someone parroting other people’s talking points.

…………..
And on it goes… In the real world, real people are finding GNU/Linux works for them. That other OS can work, too, for M$’s bottom line and for you, too, if you do not rely on some feature or application M$ decides to kill. I switched long ago because their OS just did not want to live on our PCs.

  • May 28 / 2008
  • 11
Uncategorized

Ban www.desktoplinux.com !

In a thread entitled “What are the benefits of open source?”, started by amicus_curious, one of the trolls of the Internet, I wrote:

“Fortunately Ziff-Davis has decided that OUR side of this debate is worth hearing.”

That is the problem. ZD does not love GNU/Linux. There is nothing wrong with being balanced but putting up a debate page and tolerating abuse is wrong. There appears to be no active moderation here.

There isn’t really a debate. Supporters of GNU/Linux bring out examples of good things happening with GNU/Linux and the trolls heap insults and ignore the data. The supporters of M$ bring out more trolls. The trolls look at data from M$ and USA when that is highly unrepresentative of global usage. The trolls put impossibly narrow conditions on GNU/Linux that are clearly biased.

GNU/Linux on the desktop has made great progress in 2007/2008 in spite of all the beliefs, knowledge and expertise of the trolls to deny that GNU/Linux is advancing quite well. I expect a good annual increase in share for several years. All the signs point to it:OEM units with GNU/Linux, new products like the eee PC, web stats even from USA, survey stats from all over, and Vista flopping and XP being killed. There is nothing the trolls can write that will stop this progress.

Which, I think is fair criticism of the moderation there when I can be called an “idiot”, “zealot” (in the derogatory sense of a mindless person), “teacher” (in the sense of those, who can’t, teach), and “from Canaduh, eh?” and “stupid” with no comment from the moderator whatsoever.

The moderator’s reply was:

“Pogson –

Oh, can it, would you?

Thanks!

-ed.”

So, it appears that enthusiasm by fans of GNU/Linux cannot be tolerated there but ad hominem attacks, wild disparaging remarks about GNU/Linux and users of GNU/Linux are just fine. The trolls there in recent weeks, on www.desktoplinux.com have spouted ideas like:

  • GNU/Linux on the desktop is not ready because businesses do not deploy it on 5000-desktop quantities. I replied with many examples of business doing that and my citations were criticized as irrelevant by the trolls, and the moderator did nothing. The trolls rarely document their criticism. It’s usually a one-liner or a very biased source.
  • GNU/Linux has progressed to only a 1% share in 15 years so it will never make it. I dug up numbers from SEC filings and web stats to prove GNU/Linux has more than a 6% share globally.
  • GNU/Linux is too hard and complicated. I recount the use of GNU/Linux successfully and with only occasional help needed by six-year old humans. I recount the difficulties just starting a brand new Vista machine (now, there’s complicated). Where was the moderator when it was stated in the forums that I was only a teacher and new nothing about IT, was incompetent, and was deceiving my students and employers about the usefulness of GNU/Linux? Nowhere.
  • Where was the moderator when the trolls threw out gems like GNU/Linux would never make it on the desktop until QuickBooks, PhotoShop and AutoCad were ported to GNU/Linux. When it was pointed out that only a few seats in most businesses would use those applications, we were shouted down as stupid ignorant nitwits by a chorus of trolls.

  • Coders of FLOSS were compared to monkeys by oldman who rarely does more than a one-liner. This is not debate. It is abuse.

    “The FLOSS community has far more coders than M$, for instance, and because the code is open whoever has a better idea and implementation of that idea wins.”

    10000 monkeys banging away at typewriters will not re-create hamlet.

    This reply could be seen as humorous but it completely ignores the fact that there are more than 100000 coders working on GNU/Linux around the world and many are top in their field or are working towards that. That is classic web trolling:

    • say nothing about the subject at hand,
    • change the subject,
    • hurl abuse/derision, and
    • begging the question.

One can see the magnitude of the problem by sorting out the players. These are the frequent posters:

Trolls Rational Humans
Truth (oxymoron) FThompson
RhoXS GWeeper
RhoXS2 Trio
Gadfly Tropical Monkey
Bitnaga pogson
Irronrabbit CrazyPenguin
Amicus_curious WalterByrd

What does it say about the site that trolls are as plentiful as legitimate posters, trolls hurl insults at rational human beings who cite reputable sources supporting their arguments, and the site is supposed to be about GNU/Linux on the desktop? There appear to be many thousands of visitors to the site but so few post because they are not masochists.

So, I conclude trolls and M$’s sycophants are welcome on www.desktoplinux.com and I am not. So I am done with that site. I will contribute more here where Google can find my comments. I have contributed a lot to the site in the last year and all I get is abuse from the trolls with no help from the moderator.

In case any of the trolls drop by and are confused by the word, “sycophant”, I supply alternatives from Moby Thesaurus:

Moby Thesaurus words for “sycophant”:
adherent, adulator, apple-polisher, ass-licker, backscratcher,
backslapper, blarneyer, bootlick, bootlicker, bootlicking,
brown-nose, brownie, cajoler, clawback, courtier, cowering,
creature, cringer, cringing, disciple, dummy, dupe, fawner,
figurehead, flatterer, flunky, follower, footlicker, gillie, goon,
gopher, groveler, groveling, handshaker, hanger-on, helot,
henchman, instrument, jackal, kowtower, kowtowing, lackey,
led captain, lickspit, lickspittle, man, mealymouth, minion,
myrmidon, parasitic, peon, puppet, reptile, satellite, self-seeker,
serf, slave, snob, spaniel, stooge, suck, thug, timeserver, toad,
toadeater, toady, toadying, toadyish, tool, truckler, truckling,
tufthunter, votary, wheedler, yes-man

Pick whichever word you like.