ZDNet disgusts me more and more everyday

Every time I get one of their "Tech updates" it has at least one story that fans the flame of the eternal (and in my opinion, STUPID) holy war. My opinion is that software (OS's included) are tools to get a job done. Look, it is a hammer, not a freaking religion. For 99% of the population computers are, much like a truck, a means to an end and not the end themselves. But of course there are always those people who become emotionally involved with their tools and have those stickers of Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes, peeing on the rival truck's logo. Ford drivers have Calvin peeing the Chevy Logo and vice versa. Most people would probably agree that the whole Chevy vs. Ford debate is a big adolescent prick wagging contest and, at its core, is pretty damn stupid. If you look at it from this vantage point, the whole Windows vs. Linux argument here is basically on the same level. It is a bunch of "grown ups" carrying on like kids on a playground except the mantra of "my dad can beat up your dad" has been replaced with "my Operating System can beat up your Operating System"

I am an IT professional. In being so I keep up on the latest trends by reading blogs and subscribing to trade journals and newsletters like InfoWorld, IDG, DevShed.com, internet.com, devx.com and so on. In comparison to these journals, ZDNet reads like a gossip column. Some of these "Tech Update" have more in common with Joan Rivers's coverage of Hollywood red carpet events than IT professional's covering industry events and trends (you know who you are). Do any of the aforementioned trade journals partake in ZDNet's brand of IT yellow journalism? In a word, no. They offer sound, competent coverage of pertinent industry news, developments and tools. Often times they do have their own slant or agenda but they don't use sensationalism to drive traffic to their website's comment section. I would wager that the majority of the traffic on the ZDNet news and blog site is generated by their "discussion" section.

I use Linux freakin every day. I develop on the LAMP stack, among others. It is a fantastic platform. We also develop using the Microsoft, Adobe, Sun and New Atlanta stacks. Why? There are several reasons, but mostly because it is more cost effective. Visual Studio is a fantastic product. Java is, well Java. Flash and Flex don't have viable alternatives, and we can get ColdFusion apps out the door in half the time it takes to develop them using "free" platforms like LAMP or .NET.

I use Open/closed Source tools every day. For instance my primary IDE is Eclipse. Eclipse is absolutely astounding. But I also use DreamWeaver, mostly because it is the best tool for building web based GUI's. My Databases of choice are MySQL, Derby and MS SQL Server, in that order. I love MySQL. It is by far my favorite, but SQL Server's Data Transfer services make MySQL look like a child's play thing. Mind you, all of them are outstanding at what they do. They just do different things better than the other. Do I care if they are Open Source or not? Not really. Just as long as they do what I want them to do and gets me from Point A to point B in the most efficient, practical and cost effective manner.

I use Windows as my OS of choice. Why? One reason is that a good portion of my day in, day out tools run on Windows with out having to kludge together a work around or have some apps be crippled or semi functional, like I would with Linux. Another is that Macs, while very nice, are still too expensive. The other reason is that *I don't like* the Linux desktop environment. I have tried to like it. I really have. I tried to switch in earnest. I used it almost exclusively for three months, so I know. But after 12 weeks of kludging together a work-arounds and a few rounds of dependency hell, I finally said screw it. I need to get some work done.

What really bothers me is that I have been played for a fool by the editors of ZDNet. Once again they have sucked me into this time wasting and ultimately futile debate, AGAIN. I stopped get the ZDNet news letters a year or two back for the same reason. But I started to do so again, despite the flame bait that they use to drive traffic to their site, because they do have items of professional and personal interest. It is rather insidious how they drag you into the fray. But now I am going to back off and port the energy that I have wasted in this mindless debate into developing my skills on BOTH Windows and *nix platforms.

And remember, you are being played as a fool in order to pad another mans bank account. Y'all have fun pounding sand. One day it might turn into glass.

Jeremy French's Gravatar As much as I try to take the high road as you have, I am frequently guilty of doing exactly this. At the heart of my motivation though, is not really any need to stand up for one thing or another. It's fear of obsolescence. If the technology I use becomes obsolete, then all my skills become obsolete, and maybe I won't have a job, and I won't be able to get a job, and I'll go homeless, and my family will stop loving me, and I'll die a lonely heart-broken man.

It's all ridiculously irrational, of course, but then, most fear is. And it happens at so low a level in the human brain stack - if you will - that most people aren't even aware that this is what's causing them to be so vehement about a tool.

So says me, anyway.
# Posted By Jeremy French | 8/3/07 4:47 PM
That's right bitches!! A Free, KICK ASS, Open Source CFML Engine!!

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