Microsoft is so insidious... they're worming their way into every major language community and are doing their absolute best to ingratiate themselves with the FOSS community while they continue to destroy computing for consumers

Microsoft and Apple are the main reasons we still have a "priestly class" of software engineers and I don't care how many streams they do with cool developers and engineers, they still suck and you still shouldn't work with them.

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And like, yes, it's all fine and good that they're better than other tech companies with diversity, and that they do a lot of developer outreach, and whatever. But they are still responsible, in large part, for the absolutely sorry state of computing.

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That's forgivable! All they have to do is make an effort! Make the desktop less hostile, open up their APIs and middlewares, stop making exclusivity deals with hardware and software vendors. But they never will.

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So forgive me if I don't give a shit if they're giving away cool vaporwave swag with Clippy on. They actively make the world a worse place. Fuck Microsoft.

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And you know what? I'm not saying this lightly. This is really difficult. I know so many amazing developers building amazing things at Microsoft. I just spent an hour watching one of them stream.

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But it doesn't MATTER. It does not matter how many cool FOSS projects you fund with your left hand when you use your right to put up walls between those tools and all but a tiny fraction of your users.

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It doesn't matter how great your OS is if it's designed in such a way as to be unusable for many. It doesn't matter how much cool software exists on your platform if the platform itself is a steaming pile of hostile ad-riddled garbage.

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And, of course, anyone saying this won't be listened to, because we're just a bunch of FOSS crazies. We're just a bunch of techie wackos who don't know what REAL uses need. Even though we've been over here building free desktops for twenty-five years with basically zero funding.

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Of course free desktops aren't as polished as commercial desktops in some ways. Of course you can't immediately replace your Windows laptop with a System76 unit and have everything work flawlessly for you. They've been making sure of that for a decade and a half! But it's so much closer than even just a year ago.

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And Apple too, of course. They are not in any way exempt from this. It makes me so disheartened that I have to get a Mac for my job, not because Linux won't run the software - it's all running in Docker - but because all the _other_ devs have Macs so that's what they've standardized the build environment and compliance on.

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I'm sorry I'm so salty about this, but it's one of those things like good public transit or UBI that I can't help but look at and say, some small group people could simply get out of bed and say "Today I will make the world a better place." and just FIX it. And everyone's life would be slightly better forever.

And they don't. Every day.

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@tindall i wonder if this will change with the processor thing

@chr That's a really good question! On the other hand, we have to run VMs now to test our code in Docker; I would be surprised if, by the time the new chips are in flagship laptops, Google doesn't follow AWSs lead and have Linux on ARM instances that we can target.

@tindall yeah i was gonna say, apple has so much clout in tech that this might tip the industry over to using arm on more stuff

@tindall doing so would be giving up control and influence, and it's a hell of a drug

@tindall Ultimately the problem is the wealth disparity. If wealth were distributed more equally, we might even manage to have rule of law again. But in Microsoft’s case, the specific problem is how they treat ideas like commodities. That’s why good people don’t succeed in the closed source software and the entertainment industry, because it all depends on what’s essentially a scam. So you might not be able to fix everything, but denying legitimacy to the scam called IP is the best thing I can think to do about companies like Microsoft.

I so very very agree with you. And as soon as i got my lead dev hat, i started doing things for this awful state of things go away.

What i did, for the developer env, is to standardise it on Linux, because “Thatʼs what the CI system uses”, then helped other devs running Windows and OS/X to set up their systems to be able to work on it.

@tindall As IT guy (after my useless dev diploma), the only limitation I had was "it's better to do nothing than to do harm".

Makes 99% of jobs out there unsuitable, and because I could afford to not work most of the time, I just went with it (for the 1% remaining, I tried a few thing, but I somehow realized they were mostly "rare/very wanted" jobs, and it'd be just wrong to steal it from people who need it.

I finally created my own small 1 guy company. But it's luxury. It's not fair. :(

@tindall It's really not fair that we'd live in a world where it's acceptable to work for stuff we don't believe in. It's like... Autoritarian ? What we do everyday is the most political thing of all. People work everyday.

But being picky on the job is a luxury of a few. It's like... Unbearable. Why is this still a thing ? With internet, people talking and sharing... And still. We are here. This is puzzling.

@tindall I understand your problem and see only acceptance as a solution! In addition, for your own well-being, to represent your own opinion as far as you don't want to stand in line against an entire society where you would only be harmed!
So stand for yourself and simply show your preferences and state what you represent if possible, whenever the situation arises! So you will win! LG

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@alickw @tindall Hi, been a FLOSS aesthetic for a while now. About the only thing that telling people your preferences gets you is a "that's nice".

At least we're not getting laughed out of the room, but that's been a long haul to get here.

@tindall Drew DeVault put it well in this blog post - Windows, MacOS and co are all best described as "Vendor-purpose OS"

@tindall here's my own personal subjective experience:

Whenever I have a problem with Linux, it's either something I can solve myself or something that makes someone immediately go "I had that exact problem and here's how I fixed it".

Whenever I have a problem with Windows, it's either something that I can solve myself or something that makes someone immediately go "I had that exact problem... and I still have that exact problem".

I've had problems in core parts of Microsoft's Windows OS that people who worked on those subsystems had no idea how to solve. Basic problems like "file history says it's backing up but nothing ever happens".

@ben @tindall And trying to search the web for information on a Windows problem results in seven pages of scam websites trying to get you to install their "cleaner" exe.

@freedcreative @ben @tindall This is in part of a community mindset problem. Linux users are encouraged to accrue technical knowledge, solve their own problems, and share their knowledge and solutions with others who don't have it on forums. Even the "technical" side of the windows userbase just doesn't have this kind of a culture. Nobody even knows where to get logfiles. I mean honestly...

This is why Linux users deliver better bug reports, people.

@tindall honestly speaking "everything works flawless" is the biggest myth about commercial software in existence. In particular with Windows and Apple. I think it's just that on free software we tend to do two things: first of all we have a community and people invest time to fix something that not always works out and we are not a single big company so people might actually search for help.

The best example for stuff not just working are the latest Windows Updates….

@sheogorath @tindall So much this...

Every time something doesn't work on a Microsoft product, because Microsoft made it difficult to make it work, then it's a problem with the thing you're trying to do.

Every time something doesn't work on other products you look at the product and go "well, this is shit"... But not Microsoft products. They're different somehow.

@tindall I agree pretty much 100%. But I'm a little bit more (albeit guardedly) optimistic. FLOSS is slowly eating up the software world. The commercial stuff has been pushed out of many once entrenched domains: supercomputers, servers, embedded OS, web browsers and services, databases, file storage, etc. Bigger companies understand the advantages (and yeah it's problemantic but still)¹. But individual "consumers" tend to be more motivated by conformity, fear and hype (aka marketing). Perhaps advocacy like yours is helping.


@hope Basically the stratification of the world into "users" and "developers". It's a false binary that's really harmful, but it's made real in, for instance, the fact that you have to install XCode to "become a developer" in the eyes of Mac OS before you can use half of the operating system.

@tindall @hope This is even true if you're not technically a developer, but for some reason, you need to compile a package that happens to be written in plain old C.

Every job I have been on-boarded at required me to download XCode just to be able to compile some module, but you can't *get* XCode unless you give Apple your first-born and a kidney biopsy to get that all-important Apple ID.

The Mac ecosystem is a fucking magnesium dumpster fire, but for some reason, the tech-bros love it.

@tindall @hope This, 100%! Today's computers don't make it easy to gradually learn how to program them, and every barrier that gets put up like this makes it more and more likely that people will just give up and accept their lack of control.

Free software isn't perfect at this, but it's certainly better than anything MS or Apple are putting out there. I don't think I'd be where I am today if I hadn't started using Linux in high school; it gave me an on-ramp to learning more about computers.

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@tindall Apple is worse. But yeah, Microsoft have been the epitome of twofaced backstabbing scum ever since WordPerfect in 1982.

@_sizeofcat @tindall one additional thing one could do to make the world a better place - ranting already counted - would be to post suggestions or experience with implementing them, for what to do to improve things while living in America.

How would/do you reduce your energy use?
Gas use?
Do you largely source food grown in nearby farms?
Do your food sources avoid petroleum-derived fertilizers and pesticides?

I think it would improve things.

@wyatwerp @_sizeofcat Maybe! But, on the other hand, a small number of large companies are the largest polluters, and in fact are majority polluters, outstripping even the entirety of private citizens.


Is it all, or primarily, transacted B2B? As long as consumers are a link, the corporate "value" chain can be weakened/broken by reduction/abstinence of consumers. Buying organic local food can make a dent (going vegan, a bigger dent).

This whole focus on corporates is because of thinking only/primarily as consumers. Thinking as whole humans more of the time could throw up better ideas, especially for targeting the B2G "value" chain.


@tindall Oh yeah, I remember there was even a term for it back in the day: E3, "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish." Funny how things change... Or not.

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