Microsoft (Was: Virus Alert !!!)

From: Jeffrey S. Sharp <>
Date: Wed Mar 7 18:05:44 2001

> > > Why fault Microsoft for making products that are popular and
> > > common?
> >
> > Their products' popularity and commonness is largely *not* a
> > result of the product's quality.
> Well... I happen to be a quality engineer and I strongly disagree
> with your assertion that MS does not produce quality software. So
> in order to get this discussion on an intellectual tract, I'd be
> curious as to your definition of software quality, and the specific
> attributes that define it?

Right. When we ask "what is quality?" we run inevitably into a unsolvable
semantic debate. My personal definition of 'quality' is kind of fuzzy; I
believe Microsoft's products lack it for many reasons, including the following:

(0) They are too big.
(1) They are too slow.
(2) They are too buggy.
(3) They are too ustable.
(4) They don't use open standards.
(5) They claim to use open standards, but instead use 'embraced and extended'
(read: raped) ones that are 'strategically documented'.
(7) They assume you are an idiot.
(8) They have inadequate documentation.
(9) WTF is up with their versioning? JEEZ!

> > (2) Their products are designed for idiots.
> So... I'm an idiot because I use MS products?

No. A man can wear diapers, but that does not make him a baby.

> > Computers are tools for smart people. Should we let evolution
> > gradually filter out stupid people from the species, or should
> > we allow them to be our least common denominator, thereby
> > limiting the power of the species as a whole?
> I also take exception to your assertion that computers are for "smart"
> people. Let's see... Not so many years ago, the consensus was that
> freedom was only for white people, that voting was only for men, and
> [fill in the blank with your favorite excluded activity / group].

True, until the oppressors learned that there was nothing that made the
oppressed any less fit for survival. An non-white person can do anything a
white person can do, and a woman can do anything that a man can do. Stupid
people, on the other hand, *cannot* do everything that a smart person can do.
Certainly, there should not be laws to explicitly limit the rights of stupid
people, but there most definitely should be a limit on what is done to make
their life easier.

> There was also a time where you had to be a mechanic in order to
> drive because the cars were unrelyable and difficult to maintain.
> Should we exclude every one from driving that can't rebuild an
> engine or tear down a transmission.

No, but they *are* effectively excluded from rebuilding their engine or tearing
down their transmission.

> Let's see... Like the rest of us, you probably watch TV on
> occassion. Is there anyone on this list (Tony excluded) that could
> build one from scratch? Does that mean no-one else should be allowed
> to watch TV? Let's see... If you can't cook, you shouldn't be
> allowed to eat... If you can't sew, you shouldn't be allowed to wear
> clothes... If you can't swim, you shuldn't be allowed to bathe...

It's not really about what should be _allowed_, but about what can be _done_.
If you can't build a TV from scratch, then you probably can't, well, build a TV
from scratch. If you can't cook, you probably can't cook. If you can't swim,
you probably can't swim. If any of these seriously interfered with your
fitness to survive (as intelligence does), then you would be on the losing end
of the evolutionary spectrum.

> > (3) Their software engineers have given far too much design
> > control to their marketing droids.
> Bull Shit... Without marketing, WINDOWS would have a f***ing command
> line interface and only the eliteist "smart" people (like yourself)
> would be entitled to use it.

Microsoft would have then striven to make more *powerful* products instead of
things like Bob or MSN, and we would be doing much more with computers than we
are now.

> Marketing is just as important to software engineering as developers
> are.

No they aren't. I can 'engineer' equally good programs with or without the
presence of marketroids -- if they stay out of my way. If they try to
interfere, inevitably the quality of the result is decreased.

Jeffrey S. Sharp
"One World, One Web,   One Program" - Microsoft advertisement
"Ein Volk,  Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer"  - Adolf Hitler
Received on Wed Mar 07 2001 - 18:05:44 GMT

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