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:gbg: Flame: User-hostile ethic of the Linux community

(These are notes which will be included in my forthcoming book,
 *Geeks Bearing Gifts*.)

I do not understand the curious user-hostile ethic of the Linux
 community in making stuff unreadable to users of commercial
 software, insisting on 
? PostScript files
? TeX-format documents
? Mozilla-compliant Web pages

I don't understand this ethic.  While it may be intended consciously
 to try to draw outsiders across the line into your world, its main
 consequence is to deny access to those outside the programming
 community.  Showing an attitude like that of the guys who refer
 to non-programmers as "(l)users".

There are millions of people who do not have time to become
 programmers, or to research and install the arcane software
 required to to view and use these contents on Windows or the Mac.
 And the effort and time required to learn Linux is far beyond
 most people who have to earn a living in some other area.

I have observed that the more coherent the social group, the more
 hostility to outsiders.  This seems to be an example.


Theodor Holm Nelson              
Project Professor, Keio University SFC Campus, Fujisawa, Japan
Visiting Professor, University of Southampton, England
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