I recently read through a post on "The Blog of Helios". The article was about the troubles of porting Osmos to Linux. There were apparently many struggles with audio and video support, due to the variety of platforms. This isn't surprising when we consider that variety is Linux's main selling point. Don't like [insert feature] in Ubuntu? Try Arch. Don't like [insert feature] in Arch? Try Slackware, ad infinitum. Yet, this hurts developers who are not part of the community and are writing software for a profit. Which distributions should they support? Which audio systems? Which DEs? Which WMs? Which graphics drivers? Which GUI toolkits? And these problems can be more serious than they at first appear. If you make the wrong choices with Linux, you may not just fail to sell the software, you could anger the Linux community and lose sales with other products as well (**cough** KDE4 **cough**).
What was amazing, is that as well written as the article was, the first responder, Gavin, reminded me of one problem within the community itself. Dogma. Instead of just admitting a failure in Linux, the responder unleashed a torrent of freediot-style emotional responses such as "Well, heck, it is not like Windows has a great history lately with its audio stack, either! M$ rewrote nearly the entire stack for Vista..." and proceeded to talk about Microsoft products for a good paragraph or two, which wasn't the subject matter of the article. To Gavin's credit, the rest of his comment was nice in lacking freetard-like responses.
Why do we see this though? Gavin isn't the only person out there to respond this way. As a matter of fact there is a website dedicated to showing this kind of non-sense. Many Linux fans out there have crossed the line from fanboy to zealot, and I am beginning to fear for the community because of it.
The type I am talking about spread their views all over forums everywhere, and try to convert everyone to their line of thinking. This much akin to the Steve Jobs reality distortion field. Linux/Macintosh is king and everything else just sucks. There is nothing either party can point to so as to tell you technically why either system is better than other systems, but they sure do tell you it's better anyway. The facts are that each OS has its time and place in the world, and there is nothing that will change that. Could we live without Microsoft? Sure, we could, but another OS would likely take its place, and the freediots would only have a new enemy.
My fear is that this kind of zealotry will hurt Linux rather than help. If you go out there and offend people, you are not going to sell a product or service to anyone. You will only succeed in putting a fowl taste in people's mouths. This is not dissimilar to the door-to-door religion sales people.
"Have you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior?" says the salesman.
"No. I'm Jewish," says the home owner.
"Aren't you afraid that you're going to burn in Hell? Only our religion is correct, and you should convert before you're damned forever," says the salesman, and I slam the door on the guy's face for offending me.
The same is happening here. Freediots are going out there and telling people that they were idiots and made the wrong purchase. This is not a cool thing to do, and it's only making Linux look like a joke. If you go out in the world, and tell people you use Linux they will now assume you are some sort of cult-like Helsinki loving wacko. Good job freetards.