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To Know Software Is to Love It?

January 6, 2011 No Comments

Familiarity can breed contempt, or so the saying goes. But is it also what makes one piece of software superior to another?

That, indeed, has been the question on many Linux bloggers’ minds in recent days.

“In many FOSS vs Closed Source project comparisons I have seen to date, ‘user familiarity’ is often referenced as a point of ‘software superiority,’” began Jeff Hoogland recently in the Thoughts on Technology blog. “Not only is this a flawed form of logic, but it is really borderline FUD.”

Familiarity is not something users are born with, Hoogland notes; rather, “it is something they learned over an (often extended) period of time.”

Hoogland’s question, then, was, “do you think a time will ever come when users will realize that just because you know how to use a piece of software doesn’t automatically make it the best software for completing the task at hand?”

That’s a key question, in Linux Girl’s view, cutting as it does straight to the heart of one of FOSS’s biggest challenges — how to get past the inevitable learning curve.

 Read more of Katherine Noyes’s blog post

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