Yankee Group slams 'Linux extremists'

Yankee Group slams 'Linux extremists'

Summary: An analyst who has been savaged for her views on open source software has hit back, denying that her work is biased

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The Yankee Group has hit back at critics in the Linux community who have claimed that its surveys comparing Linux and Microsoft Windows are not impartial.

Its latest survey, published on Monday, reported that Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is at least as good if not better than Linux, in terms of quality, performance and reliability.

Laura DiDio, an analyst at the Yankee Group who has been at the receiving end of much of the criticism from Linux advocates, claimed the radical elements of the community could damage the reputation of open source software.

"There's an extremist fringe of Linux loonies who hang out on forums and are disrespectful and threatening because you disagree with them," DiDio told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. "That can hurt the Linux community."

DiDio feels she has been unfairly criticised on open source forums, including being nicknamed DiDiot, and has even had Linux advocates contacting her at home. "I've had these nut jobs calling me at 11 o'clock at night," said DiDio.

The reactionary nature of much of the open source community is something that DiDio claims is unique in the software industry.

"I've lived through the Unix wars — none of them reacted in this way," said DiDio. "It's just software. This has got way out of proportion."

Some of DiDio's critics have claimed that Yankee Group's surveys comparing the total cost of ownership of Linux and Windows have been funded by Microsoft. DiDio strongly denies this claim.

"I don't take any money from any vendor," said DiDio. "Yankee Group paid entirely for the survey. We use an independent survey house."

Yankee Group surveyed executives at over 500 companies, asking them questions on factors that influence TCO such as deployment costs, the cost of downtime, and the time and staff associated with security attacks.

As the study was carried out independently, DiDio said she had no influence on the results. "I think its hilarious that I'm [accused of] colluding with 500 or a 1,000 people," said DiDio.

The fanatical side of the Linux community has been highlighted by others in the past. Security analyst Mi2g, which released research last year claiming that Linux was hacked more frequently than Windows, experienced a 'hostile' response from some in the community, according to the company Web site.

"Any empirical evidence pointing to a high level of online Linux breaches is immediately shot down by religious zealots as if a church had been desecrated," Mi2g stated on its Web site. "The management of Mi2g has been threatened with damage to reputation and online property unless more is preached in favour of Linux."

Several senior executives at commercial open source vendors have also admitted privately that they are concerned that the radical side of the open source community could damage the reputation of open source software.

Although there are some negative aspects to the open source community, some point out that there are many positive aspects including the team work, the lack of hierarchy and the supportive element of the community.

Jon 'Maddog' Hall, the president of Linux International and a leading open source advocate, said at the LinuxWorld conference in London last year that one of the great aspects of the open source community is its willingness to help others.

"A friend of mine is a systems administrator at a large company and uses a lot of open source software to help him in his systems administration tasks," said Hall. "He said that if he asks a question [on a forum or mailing list] he gets lots of responses by the next morning. He told me: 'I give so little and I get so much.'"

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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87 comments
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  • Miss DiDio should grow a thicker skin.
    She has repeatedly expressed her views in the SCO case publicly. If you do that, you might expect some people expressing their view too, especially if her view is hers alone, and noone elses.
    To call her in the middle of the night is a bit harsh, but she should stop whining.
    If you can't stand the heat.....
    anonymous
  • Its the same old story: a research study is funded by a company with a vested interest and suprise, suprise, the research "proves" that company is the best.

    I'd like to see one single released research study sponsored by Microsoft (or any other big company for that matter) that hasn't found that the sponsoring company is the best/cheapest/best value for money.
    anonymous
  • Same old story.
    The Linux fanatics are easily the biggest local terrorist group in America.
    Imagine making threathening phone calls to this poor woman's house late at night.
    These cowardly patheticc Linix crazies are worse than Nazis.
    And the world's biggest cowards.
    Lets see how brave these vermin are, when they are made tyo meet real men, in man to man combat, , instead of making weasely, perverted anonymous phone calls to defenseless women.
    How pathaetic can you get?
    anonymous
  • Laura Didio has only become such an infamous character by the wrong headed statements she has made over the years. Is it any wonder people find any claims of impartially suspect when she has frequently behaved as a biased zealot herself. It's easy to take pot shots at extremists on the other side, while pretending to stand in a position of impartiality.

    Her nickname Didiot came from the PJ from Groklaw, who would rarely stoop to something like nicknames but became so exasperated with Ms Didio's biased reporting that the name kind of stuck.

    Yankee group really need a different figure head if they want their "impartial" studies to be taken seriously. Especially if they release press releases spinning the results a certain way, long before they back that spinning up with the actual report.
    anonymous
  • enogh already : "Laura Didio has only become such an infamous character by the wrong headed statements she has made over the years"

    This a free country.
    This is America, not communist China or the Soviet Union.
    People are free to say what they think.
    Laura Didio had every right to state her opinions.
    On the other hand, it is against the law, to make late night phone calls to defenceless women, threatening them with violence , like the Linux nutcases do on a regfular bases.
    Time for these brainless Linux nutjobs to be put in jail, so they can meet some real men there.
    Lets see how brave these Linux psychos are then, when they become some toughy guy's bitch in prsion, shall we?
    anonymous
  • So Yankee Doodle 'lost her pony'!!! Sob! Sob!
    anonymous
  • Well, Smithy. I'm a Linux supporter. I am trying to get Linux adopted in my company. If you want to meet me "man to man" then fine.

    I don't make annoying phone calls to women (my mother in law works with victims of domestic violence, so I hear all about the damage than men can do to women's lives) and I am certainly not a communist (I vote conservative or Lib-Dem, depending upon their policies).

    We care passionately about the Linux OS. Many people have put hundreds, even thousands of hours into making it what it is. LD's comments, apart from being "blanket statements" and funded, indirectly (look at the Yankee Group's funding) by Microsoft, have no basis in fact.

    If you want to make threatening statements on the internet (where you are protected by your moniker of "Smithy") then you are a bigger coward than the so called Linux cowards that you refer to.
    anonymous
  • "This a free country.
    This is America, not communist China or the Soviet Union.
    People are free to say what they think.
    Laura Didio had every right to state her opinions."

    Yet in that same free country, people aren't allowed to critize her opinions. Or point out falsehoods?

    "On the other hand, it is against the law, to make late night phone calls to defenceless women, threatening them with violence , like the Linux nutcases do on a regfular bases."

    Another spin, extending one nutter to represent a whole community. Isn't that just another American taking their free speech rights too far? Not typical of the linux community at all.

    "Time for these brainless Linux nutjobs to be put in jail, so they can meet some real men there.
    Lets see how brave these Linux psychos are then, when they become some toughy guy's bitch in prsion, shall we?"

    You sound like a zealot yourself. The windows using psychos vastly outnumber the linux ones, just through sheer numbers. Yes, people who make threatening calls should go to jail, but that solitary nut would be outnumbered by religious zealots, homophobes and racists who are far more common.
    anonymous
  • Enough already : "Yet in that same free country, people aren't allowed to critize her opinions. Or point out falsehoods? "


    What on earth has making late night threatening phone calls to defenseless women got to do with criticizing anyone?

    In this country, it happens to be against the law.

    Your Linux madmen should be put in jail, as they will if they continue with their Nazi style method of "expressing their opinions" as you put it.
    anonymous
  • Enough already : "Another spin, extending one nutter to represent a whole community. " Isn't that just another American taking their free speech rights too far? "

    FACT: Threatening, late night phone calls were made to a woman by Linux crazies.
    No matter how you spin it, you can't spin that FACT away.
    You want to talk about spin, take a look in the mirror, dude.
    You are the one doing the spinning.


    "Isn't that just another American taking their free speech rights too far?"

    The right to free speech in America does NOT include threats of violence to defenseless women .
    I suggest you go read the American constitution before you open your ignorant mouth!


    "Not typical of the linux community at all. "

    Au contraire.
    The Linux community is simply rife with lunatics, psychopaths, rabidly vicious vermin, and all kinds of cum of the earth.
    This behavior is if anything very typical of the Linux community.
    Every single analyst who has come up with a report critical of any aspect of Linux has had his/her life threatened by the Linux crazies.
    You guys are going down with that kind of behavior.!
    anonymous
  • "What on earth has making late night threatening phone calls to defenseless women got to do with criticizing anyone?"

    Are you being deliberately obtuse? I was talking about the criticism she received from groklaw and elsewhere not phone calls.

    "In this country, it happens to be against the law."

    And I assume she's reported them to the police? And there will be a follow-up as to how they've been arrested for breaking the law.

    " Your Linux madmen should be put in jail, as they will if they continue with their Nazi style method of "expressing their opinions" as you put it. "

    Again you're deliberately taking my quotes out of context. That's not expressing opinions, that's abuse.
    anonymous
  • smithy. I do not care for Linux and thing its stronges weekness is the many distributions and the war between linux users about wich GUI is the best. Fact is though that people who lives and breaths Linux can run circles around the vast majority of windows users. They love the power provided by Linux. The rest of us don
    anonymous
  • if you want to talk about communists... chinese government uses windows ^^b
    anonymous
  • Smithy wrote:
    "Time for these brainless Linux nutjobs to be put in jail, so they can meet some real men there.
    Lets see how brave these Linux psychos are then, when they become some toughy guy's bitch in prsion, shall we?"

    Ironic that the people that Smithy thinks are "real men" expend their "pent-up-energies" in illicit relationships with other men. So law-breaking, convicted, criminals are what he considers "real men?" Tells us a lot about where his ethics come from.

    Why don't you act like nut-job Zell Miller and challenge everybody to a duel? That would be typical of someone with your brains, ethics and, as evidenced by your spelling and grammar, obvious educational apptitude.
    anonymous
  • Ingrid, and ZD, you are redeemed. Keep it up.
    anonymous
  • I am surprised US is called free. Nothing in US is free. You have to pay for everything. You can buy everything.
    US is a money country. And if you try to speak real words of freedom the change to get killed or put in a military camp as a terrorist, without any rights is frightening.
    The only reference to me for US is the bully-one. Gulf1, Gulf2, Iraq, they didn`t find the weapons, they did find the oil over there...
    Comes to GNU/Linux vs Microsoft and the whole story of that yankee group.
    How on earth can anyone take this serious? It`s all clear where the money comes from and whose gone take the great bat in this story.
    anonymous
  • Well here's some topical background on the style of journalism that Didio participates in:

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050407113517663
    anonymous
  • To call people using Linux "Linux extremists" or "zealots" perhaps indicate the real position of these surveys. I was forced to Firefox and then Linux only few months ago, but even then I can't say linux is good in everything. I have to say that the so called zealots have at least used and tried something else. That I will think is different from one who has not tried something else and insists that what he has is the best.

    She does not collect money from her vendors, yes, neither do the zealots. As a matter of fact some pay to have and use Linux, but they still have some interest that make them defend it.

    She is implying "that radical elements of the community could damage the reputation of open source software". Is it possible, that the fact that one cannot remember any remotely positive comment from her about any thing, or any relevant company' that competes with windows, may have tarnished her comments in the so called community, and possibly the audience that these surveys are supposed to serve? If one goes back to the 20 years of experience, and during the Unix fight, could it be the same type of position and comments that she issued even then?

    It is just hard to take one seriously when they don't have anything good to say about a particular object or people. I will define that as biased because that object cannot be 100% bad and the compared object always 100% good.

    The adoption of Linux have not supported her position all along with Linux. It is hard for me to believe that all the individuals and companies that are using Linux can be all stupid and wrong. There must be a good reason for them to be using it.

    Regarding this particular survey, is it possible that she was given the type of answers that she expected? The surveyed most likely read her comments about Linux/Windows constantly and may have some opinion just like the "Linux extremists" do.
    anonymous
  • Two comments:
    First, there are good and bad things about Linux and the open-source movement. Good analysts/journalists can see this, and comment on the good and the bad. DiDio has never published anything positive about Linux.
    Second, it isn't only with regard to Linux that DiDio falls short of expectations. Her comments about the Val Kreidel tragedy were grossly unprofessional, and hurtful to the Noorda family.
    As long as there are editors who aim to increase profits by printing sensational muck instead of by informing their readers, there will be people like DiDio writing for them.
    anonymous
  • "FACT: Threatening, late night phone calls were made to a woman by Linux crazies. "

    She never claimed they were threatening. And how many calls did she actually get? One? Two? Three? Is that the linux community? Three calls.
    anonymous