Linux is... The Bachelor!

by Kevin Bedell


Sun stood with one hand on her hip and the other twirling her long, pretty
blonde hair. "I really like Linux. I think he's really got it together. I mean
he has so much energy. I can definitely see myself as Mrs. Linux."


Novell, an equally attractive brunette, stood next to her. "Linux has gotten to
a point in his life where he's ready to settle down. He's maturing. I think he
sees how much I can add to his life right now. I hope he doesn't break my heart
- I'm really falling for him!"


These two girls - beautiful and smart like all the others - were here to compete
for the hand of Linux. They all felt that if only Linux got to know them better,
he would see that *they* were the right choice for him.


IBM, a tall, lithe salesperson from the Northeast, was sure that she and Linux
would be the perfect couple. "I can help him grow so much - I have so much to
offer. I know if he really got to know me he could see that I'm perfect for him!
I'm smart and service-oriented and would make Linux a great wife - I know it!
And I'd be happy to let him port his kernel to my mainframe."


And HP chimed in, "That California girl, Sun, had her old boyfriend Solaris drop
her off at the airport on the way here. She's definitely on the rebound." HP was
stunning in an evening gown and heels, but was still carrying a football. "Hey
Linux, let's you and I go play some catch! You can be my 'Mr. Touchdown' any day!".


For his part, Linux wasn't sure that any of the girls were really right for him.
"I know I'm not a kid anymore and that I need to be more mature to continue to
grow as a person.", he said, "I'm just not sure that I'm ready to settle down."


Linux knew that all these girls had been involved with his older brother Unix
years earlier. "That was a complete mess! They all fought over him and could
never agree on anything. It was like they all wanted to 'own' him. Unix never
recovered - he has a split personality to this day!"


As they all gathered for the rose ceremony that would decide who Linux picked,
Linux was restless. He didn't feel right committing himself to any one person.
Finally, he spoke.


"I can't commit to just one person", he began, "so I choose ALL of you. But
here's how it has to go."


"Number one: We have to have an 'open' relationship. I need to be able to be
with any of you - or even with someone new if they come along. But *you* can be
with anyone you want as well. I only want you to be with me if I add value to
your lives - if I stop adding value, you're free to move on."


"Number two: Our relationship will be a 'meritocracy'. That is, I'll spend the
most time with the ones who are most dedicated to me and who add the most value
to my life. Don't expect me to come when you call - expect me to show up when
you've got something to contribute."


"Number three: Even though you can all add things to different parts of my life,
you have to all agree to accept my basic personality. I can't be more than one
person and still be me. And I don't want to end up with split personalities like
Unix did!"


Around him stood a bevy of beautiful, intelligent woman with sad looks. He could
see he'd disappointed more than a few. But hopefully they would see that this
arrangement was best for *all* of them. Hopefully they would come to realize
that together they could build a life that was better than any one of them could
build on their own.


Someone then walked up and handed him a note - another plane load of girls had
just arrived from Japan. "Wow!", he thought to himself as he turned to welcome
them all in, "I don't know how I'm going to manage this!"


15 Comments

sanglin
2003-04-17 16:48:38
Sun should marry Linux

Sun should marry Linux. In fact, Sun has already taken the first steps in doing this. Linux is essential to Sun's survival as a server vendor, in order to compete with Dell, HP, and IBM.


Sun should look at Java as a lesson. Linux OS has been significant in terms of growing Java market and developer share, especially J2EE.

GerardM
2003-04-18 07:45:19
Arabian nights
All these beautifull ladies have their charms, and all need to be seen to be meritous. But contrary to the beautifull vista, it is less a one man's harem, it is more a love fest.


Lady IBM :) for instance is not only charming the Linux guy, it more than flirts with Mr Samba.
http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-ivat/?ca=dgr-lnxw01AndrewTridgell


The ladies are not only corporations but also persons. The corporate ladies are at the moment mainly IT organisations but I am sure that with the concept of open source better understood, more "end user" organisations will join the fray and make it a wild party.
http://www.idg.net/ic_1295733_9698_1-5060.html


Consider the amount of bespoke software; some of it can get itself a community and surpass its initial functionality and quality.
http://www.koha.org/ may qualify as an example..


Thanks, love is in the air :)
Gerard

anonymous2
2003-04-18 14:06:52
Is Sun ready for a long-term relationship?
If it doesn't work out, Sun may go running back to Solaris. I'm not sure Linux should trust Sun just yet.
GerardM
2003-04-18 22:29:05
Sun does not come to party empty handed
When Sun comes to party, it has never come empty handed. It brought us Open Office for instance. With the party based on merits, merits of the goods, the coding, it is not that important how much trust there is between Sun the company (an abstraction) and Linux (an abstraction), there is trust between Sun (the people) and Linux (the people). Bottom line of a party is to understand each other and have a good time. This implies using open/common standards.


As Tim OReilly said about Microsoft, when people start to know the techies/people, there is room for understanding/trust. People may work for a company but it is the people that party, companies may fund a party, people will celebrate their cooperation anyway.
Thanks,
Gerard

anonymous2
2003-04-19 14:12:23
the bachelor
fun.right to the point.
anonymous2
2003-04-19 19:30:23
Could have been better.
Sorry, the attempted cuteness was just plain annoying. I could see where he was going with it, but I could have done without all the BS. Just get to the point already.


Jeffrey Johnson

anonymous2
2003-04-19 22:46:03
O plzzzzzzzzz, what a load of crap
nt
anonymous2
2003-04-20 08:19:27
Don't be so serious - this was funny!
kbedell
2003-04-20 08:36:46
Tim says, "Ths skill of writing...
"...is to create a context in which other people can think."


That's what I was trying to do.


Plus I just thought it was funny - and fun to write!


While some have found it pretty annoying, I know others liked it. One editor I know read the piece and called it 'lively, entertaining and insightful'. Of course, she probably watches the show - which makes a big difference here.


If you've not watched the show, then I can see how you might just think this was kinda stupid. I still thought it was fun.



anonymous2
2003-04-20 13:58:44
"The bachelor..."
A cute story -- I have a feeling we'll see it re-posted in slightly different form for some time to come...
anonymous2
2003-04-20 14:54:14
Linux is cute, successful...and gay.
The ladies are wasting their time. Linux came out in 1999.
anonymous2
2003-04-21 08:09:55
Could have been better.
I agree completely. If we want comedy we turn on HBO. This level of stupidity has no place in a decent industry article.
anonymous2
2003-04-21 18:16:57
What???
This article, and I use the word "article" loosely, has probably done more to set Linux back, then anything in the history of the world. What a load of sexist, immature looker room humor. Do we, as a comunity, really have to sink this low? I can see the idea of a "marriage" of Linux to different hardware vendors. This "article" not only makes sweeping generalizations about soft/hardware vendors not being able to make up their minds, it also sets women back to the "tee-hee-hee" stage and men to the "you do what I say or else" stage.


You should be ashamed of yourself.


Jimmie James.

kbedell
2003-04-21 19:01:56
My apologies...
The last poster said of this weblog: "This article, and I use the word "article" loosely, has probably done more to set Linux back, then anything in the history of the world."


Wow. Harsh words. Very harsh.


And honestly, I thought it was a good piece of writing. To quote Lou Reed, "Just goes to show how wrong you can be."


One thing that I have to take a bit of offense to is the implication that I was trying to be disrespectful to women. Nothing could be further from the truth. Have you actually *seen* The Bachelor? The dialogue I wrote is almost exactly word for word how they talk.


That's the thing - I really thought I captured the spirit of the show. I thought I nailed it.


I watched the show one Sunday with my wife - this is exactly like the show. I was then watching all the news on how all these companies are now announcing Linux initiatives. There was a big Slashdot discussion on how Novell said they were going to help Linux out and make it more enterprise-friendly.


I felt like all these companies were just like the girls on that show. So I tried to capture that feeling in what I thought was an innovative parody.


And now I've caused more harm to Linux than anything else in the history of the world.


My sincere apologies to anyone who feels offended.


Kevin


mentata
2003-04-22 08:39:59
...none required
This was great and poignant parody. The negative comments you've gotten must have partisan interests, because I don't see the beef. And people say *I'm* caustic...


Your underlying message is dead on. Take my old friend Ms. Sun. I can attest there is a lot to be gained from the cross pollination of Java with Linux, but it's been a long, stumbling road to get to today. The static wasn't coming from the Linux camp, I assure you. And it's not like Sun didn't drop their own Linux distribution like a hot potato this month when they realized they couldn't *own* it but would still have to actually support it. Glad I didn't buy in.


Metaphors are always imperfect, but they are also powerful when effectively employed, as here. I've taken plenty of shots for my own expository adventures to be sure, but I say shake it off and keep following your own vision. This post was a classic, and it doesn't jeopardize Linux' future, it clarifies it.


As for the disturbing re-emergence of sexism in mainstream American culture, perhaps we *should* be more ashamed, but when have we ever made progress on an issue by pretending it didn't exist? If it's on TV and it gets ratings, it's fair game.


Keep keepin' it real, Kevin.