LinuxQuestions.org
View the Most Wanted LQ Wiki articles.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Slackware
User Name
Password
Slackware This Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.

Notices



Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 06-13-2008, 08:28 AM   #61
Hangdog42
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,791
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 414Reputation: 414Reputation: 414Reputation: 414Reputation: 414

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowsnipes
When analyzing any piece of literature you have to keep in mind the main intended audience. I don't think current Slackware users are the intended main audience. The four areas that Ms. Martin specifically finds lacking in Slackware (see her comments), namely, "dependency checking, user friendly GUI tools, properly managed software repositories, and decent hardware detection" (auto-configured X)- are all things that are excluded by choice as per the Slackware design philosophies (KISS, vanilla-ism). The thing to keep in mind is that Slackware is the minority when it comes to these design choices. Most people want dependency resolution, GUI tools, and other features that help them manage their system and make decisions for it.
You've actually hit at the heart of what really bugged me about her review. Yeah, I agree, Slackware is very different from most distros in these areas, but she made absolutely no effort to find out why it remains different in these areas. She simply dismissed Slackware out of hand as being too out of touch with modern reality (i.e. her personal expectations). If she had done a little exploration into why Slackware users tend to find these idiosyncrasies to be useful as opposed to just labeling them as inexcusable, then I wouldn't have had a beef with her review. However, instead of presenting an objective review, she substituted her own opinion for fact (a VERY common feature of bloggers) and dismissed Slackware as an old dinosaur waiting for oblivion.

Furthermore, her responses to the posters were just plain inexcusable. Several people (T3Slider in particular) tried to point out why Slackware users value what she doesn't, and instead of replying in a thoughtful manner, she was rude, dismissive and labeled anyone disagreeing with her as a zealot. To me, it looked like she was trying to pick fights instead of engage in a reasonable discussion. She had a real opportunity to explore why Slackware is different and learn from Slackware users, and instead she let her personal feeling dictate her responses. To be honest, I've lost a lot of respect for O'Reilly for not setting higher journalistic standards for their bloggers. There certainly should be a place for opinion, but they should be holding their writers to basic standards of journalism.
 
Old 06-13-2008, 08:58 AM   #62
Takla
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2006
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 188

Rep: Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
You've actually hit at the heart of what really bugged me about her review. Yeah, I agree, Slackware is very different from most distros in these areas, but she made absolutely no effort to find out why it remains different in these areas. She simply dismissed Slackware out of hand as being too out of touch with modern reality (i.e. her personal expectations). If she had done a little exploration into why Slackware users tend to find these idiosyncrasies to be useful as opposed to just labeling them as inexcusable, then I wouldn't have had a beef with her review. However, instead of presenting an objective review, she substituted her own opinion for fact (a VERY common feature of bloggers) and dismissed Slackware as an old dinosaur waiting for oblivion.

Furthermore, her responses to the posters were just plain inexcusable. Several people (T3Slider in particular) tried to point out why Slackware users value what she doesn't, and instead of replying in a thoughtful manner, she was rude, dismissive and labeled anyone disagreeing with her as a zealot. To me, it looked like she was trying to pick fights instead of engage in a reasonable discussion. She had a real opportunity to explore why Slackware is different and learn from Slackware users, and instead she let her personal feeling dictate her responses. To be honest, I've lost a lot of respect for O'Reilly for not setting higher journalistic standards for their bloggers. There certainly should be a place for opinion, but they should be holding their writers to basic standards of journalism.

I'm not sure we are all reading the same review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
she made absolutely no effort to find out why it remains different in these areas.
Perhaps because she assumes the interested readers are already aware of this? She states "My first impression: Slackware is still Slackware". That statement says plenty to anyone familiar with the evolution of free software. She obviously is familiar with Slackware over several years and versions and credits her audience with already knowing something about the Slackware way, or at least its unique position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
and dismissed Slackware as an old dinosaur waiting for oblivion.
Actually she says
Quote:
Could I live with Slackware as my main distro? Yes, easily. Would I recommend it? Only to those who know what they are getting into.
It's a little hard to reconcile what she actually wrote in plain English with the Alice in Wonderland interpretations and howls of anguish offered in response.

A reviewer's or blogger's job is not to simply offer unadulterated praise, deference or love-sick enthusiasm. To criticise reviewers for expressing opinions that differ from one's own, or any opinion at all is ridiculous.
 
Old 06-13-2008, 11:03 AM   #63
Hangdog42
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,791
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 414Reputation: 414Reputation: 414Reputation: 414Reputation: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takla
I'm not sure we are all reading the same review!
I'm pretty sure we are, but some of us are getting vastly different impressions than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takla
Perhaps because she assumes the interested readers are already aware of this? She states "My first impression: Slackware is still Slackware". That statement says plenty to anyone familiar with the evolution of free software. She obviously is familiar with Slackware over several years and versions and credits her audience with already knowing something about the Slackware way, or at least its unique position.
Someone writing for a general site like O'Reilly shouldn't be assuming anything of the sort. Yes, she is obviously familiar with Slackware, which makes it all the more inexcusable for not discussing why it is different instead of dismissing those differences out of hand. She is a linux professional, she should be able to understand why some of us don't want automatic dependency resolution. Instead we get that it is "inexcusable". Similarly she should be able to understand why not having an official repository of compiled software isn't a bad thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takla
A reviewer's or blogger's job is not to simply offer unadulterated praise, deference or love-sick enthusiasm. To criticise reviewers for expressing opinions that differ from one's own, or any opinion at all is ridiculous.
Maybe you need to re-read this thread. Nobody is asking her to change her opinion or to fawn over Slackware, what we are asking is that she give Slackware a fair shake. I would be perfectly fine with the review as it is, if she had added a few sentences about why the differences exist in the first place. This is where she stumbled badly by offering her preconceived notions about what a distro should and should not do as fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takla
It's a little hard to reconcile what she actually wrote in plain English with the Alice in Wonderland interpretations and howls of anguish offered in response.
Again, you need to go re-read those responses. Most of what got posted was pretty reasonable. She is the one who started the "How dare you question me I'm a linux professional" attitude when people pointed out that maybe her opinion wasn't all that objective. Again, by presenting the same conclusions from a more balance point of view would have helped the article immensely and probably would have earned her some kudos. Slackware users are probably the first to admit that it isn't for everyone, but a lot of the reasons behind why Slackware does thing differently are actually worth discussing and would have made for an excellent article had she actually bothered to do it.
 
Old 06-13-2008, 06:52 PM   #64
onebuck
Moderator
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
Posts: 11,451
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505Reputation: 1505
Hi,

Not when the reviewer states they are being objective.

edit: this was directed to post http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...31#post3183531

Last edited by onebuck; 06-13-2008 at 07:08 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Review of Slackware 12.1 symatic Slackware 58 05-11-2008 02:01 PM
LXer: Mini Review: Open Source inHarvard Business Review LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 05-02-2008 06:10 AM
My slackware 12 review bird603568 Slackware 12 07-27-2007 12:19 PM
Bad review for Slackware Zmyrgel Slackware 49 06-17-2007 06:14 PM
LXer: Review: Slackware goes to 11 LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 10-19-2006 05:54 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:10 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration