How holy-wars start

Mark Hammond mhammond at
Thu Feb 17 01:08:48 CET 2000

As seen on slashdot:
The two monks stand side by side, facing the altar, behind which a
graven image of the Great and Benevolent Tux stands with wings half
spread as he contemplates the GNU/Path to True Enlightenment Through
Open Source. One monk wears a single pearl upon his forehead,
glimmering in the flickering light of the altar candles. The other
sports a torc in the form of a serpent entwined around his upper arm.
The gaze upon the image of Tux placidly, each at inner peace.

The monk with the pearl breaks the silence: "Good brother, I see your
movement grow by leaps and bounds. How is this so?"

The monk with the serpent replies: "It is our more disciplined coding,
brother, which more quickly leads down the One True Path of
Enlightenment. Discipline of code leads to discipline of mind and

Pearl: "But what of tailoring the Quest to the individual? Be flexible
like water, and in time, even stone will fall before it."

Serpent: "Be structured like iron, and the stone will fall faster."

Pearl: "But each mind is different, and should be allowed to find
their own path."

Serpent: "There is but one Path, brother, just many ways to find it.
Ours is the quickest and most sure."

The candles on the altar continue to flicker as the two monks fall
into a few moments silent contemplation.

Pearl: "I am afraid I must disagree."

Serpent: "So you say, but you know the truth in your heart. Did not
your order adopt the doctrine of OOP despite the conflicts with your
order's earlier, strictly procedural ways?"

Pearl: "OOP is just one path of many."

Serpent: "It is the soul of the Way."

Pearl: "And so you seek to challenge the longstanding authority of the
Order of the Pearl? We have existed longer, and are closer to the

Serpent: "You wander blind in the mists, poor deluded souls, while the
True Way beckons! You can yet change your $PATH."

Pearl: "You speak heresy! Leave the Holy Temple before the Great and
Benevolent Tux smites you!"

Serpent: "I speak Truth, and you are but too mad to see it! I curse
you and your Order! The Way of the Serpent will triumph!"

And the monk with the serpent turns and stalks out of the Temple,
growling, "We will be back, and in numbers! The Temple will be ours!"

The monk with the pearl watches his counterpart leave, turning back to
the altar and shaking his head. "We will be waiting, and the Great and
Benevolent Tux is on our side!"

-- WhiskeyJack, on serious caffeine withdrawal

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