So I might be a bit of a rabble-rouser, but since I brought up the example of Linux/open source discrimination in my last post, "You can't get there from here: Linux platform hurdles" and asked for your feedback, I keep seeing all sorts of complaints of the similarly disgruntled from all over the Internets/series of tubes.
From the discussion to my post, many of you brought up other instances of Linux discrimination. (Note to purists: I say Linux, but I am often using it as a term of convenience and including all things open source. Admittedly, I'm being squishy.) Here are just a few of the miscreants mentioned, who either clearly stated they don't support Linux or any browser other than Internet Explorer; whose services can be used, but not necessarily initiated by any other than a Windows system; or who are just generally difficult to get along with:
- Illinois government sites
- Verizon DSL
- EarthLink DSL
- Juniper Networks
- UPS CampusShip
- Department of Defense systems (U.S.)
Now, the more important aspects of this discussion touched on the general laziness/dumbness of sites and their developers that are designed to work with ONLY one platform, whatever it may be. It's just that in the real world, the monopolizing platform does tend to be Microsoft/IE. Even if you can find a plugin or discover a work-around to make something work with Linux — should you have to? Especially if it's supposed to be a public service? Of course, this brings up the ever-longed-for dream of Web standards — an idea almost as popular as personal jet packs and flying-cars, and perhaps just as far off in the future.
Now my point, and I do have one (with apologies to Ellen DeGeneres), is that maybe it's time for us to compile a more robust list of corporations, sites, services, etc., that you feel need to get with the program and expand their accessibility/support to other platforms/browsers. And what better time to do it than just before the holidays when they can be put on Santa's Naughty List? That'll teach 'em. No Xbox for you!
Mull over those who you think need to be brought to account for their misdeeds (and share why exactly) and I'll publish a full list. Then we can vote on the top baddies. Maybe the new year will bring better behavior.
And just to confound you further, I'll leave you with this corker of a story from the Blog of Helios, who claims to know of someone fired from a project as a Linux consultant to work on Linux servers for using Linux/Firefox! (That requires an OMG, yes?) Sound weird? I thought so too, but you read and decide. The comments are pretty interesting too.
Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and IT Security blogs.