Rabu, 31 Oktober 2012

Linux FUD in College Education

My fiance started a new class this week - an MIS (Management Information Systems) class. While we were having dinner tonight she brought up the fact there are some - lets say - colorful definitions of Linux in her wonderful "Experiencing MIS" text book.

Under a section titled "What Does a Manager Need to Know About Software?" there are a number of things presented to the reader as "facts" that I just have to disagree with. It starts with a nice table describing that describes typical users for Windows, OSX, Unix and Linux desktop users. What is the description of a typical Linux user you ask?

"rare - used where budget is very limited"

That is right - the only reason to use Linux on the desktop is when you are strapped for cash. I guess Google never got that memo. The extra kick in the pants? Apparently the only commonly used application Linux has is:

"Open Office (Microsoft Office look-alike)"

Never mind that Open Office contains a sane menu interface instead of "ribbons".

In case the avid reader is curious about who created Linux - that information is here as well. Linux is developed by the "open-source community" which is described as:

"a loosely coupled group of programmers who mostly volunteer their time"

I guess they never got the memo that nearly 75% of kernel work is done by paid developers.

This is what is holding Linux back on the desktop folks. Not a lack of hardware support. Not a lack of user friendliness. Just good old fashion Linux FUD. The best thing you can do to fight things like this is to speak up and let the people spreading the FUD know it is not OK to spread misinformation. Although I must say it really irks me seeing information like this appearing in a higher education setting.

What is this wonderful text book you ask? As mentioned above it is titled "Experiencing MIS", written by a man named "David Kroenke", and published by none other than Pearson Education.

~Jeff Hoogland

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