Zealotry [was Re: how to install lxml in window xp?]

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Fri Jan 13 00:02:09 EST 2012

On Thu, 12 Jan 2012 18:50:13 -0800, alex23 wrote:

> Tamer Higazi <th9... at googlemail.com> wrote:
>> So, instead of making yourself continuously headache for an outdated OS
>> I advise [...]
> Please don't recommend people use another OS when they ask an explicit
> question about a particular OS. It just makes you come across as a
> zealot.

Why is it that only Linux and Mac users are accused of being "zealots"? 
If I ask how to install (say) MYOB or Photoshop on Linux, and people tell 
me that I will have to use Windows if I want to easily run that software, 
I don't accuse them of being a zealot.

I've had Quicken tell me that Quickbooks can only store its data files on 
a Windows file server. The fact that I've been successfully running it in 
a VM with the data files stored on a Samba file share without any 
problems proves them wrong, but if I accused Quicken technical support of 
being "zealots" I'd be considered a loon. Yet Windows users get away with 
calling others zealots all the time.

> Not everyone is working within an environment that they control. I'm
> aware of quite a few local government agencies that will be stuck on XP
> for quite some time, expecting any employee of such organisations to
> install whatever they want on their computers is laughable.

That may be true, but the advice remains reasonable advice. If somebody 
asks you how to get from Iceland to Norway by car, it is perfectly 
reasonable to tell them that they will find it much easier to use a plane 
or boat. The existence of people who, for whatever reason, can't or won't 
use a plane or boat doesn't change the fact that using a car will be 
extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Some Windows users are so used to being the centre of the computing 
universe that any time they hit a problem that is easier to solve on 
another OS, and people dare remind them of that fact, they get their nose 
out of joint.

If your OS does everything you need it to do, great. I personally am 
happy running Windows Server 2000 for my needs, and don't need any 
Windows software that doesn't run on it. But my sympathies go out to 
those who are stuck (for whatever reason) on an OS (of any flavour) that 
doesn't do what they want. Just don't blame the messenger.


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