[PLUG] Linux Journal Readers' choice awards 2013

Amarendra Godbole amarendra.godbole at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 12:01:12 PST 2014

On Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 3:50 AM, Mandar Vaze / मंदार वझे
<mandarvaze at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Can you elaborate what "moving with times means"? Tools of the newer times
>> make me no more productive than those of yesteryear, so I don't see much a
>> point.
> It was a generic remark - may or may not apply in the context of "mutt" -
> hence the "Disclaimer" at the end of my original email
> Anyway, let me try to elaborate further. Since we are talking "generic" the
> situation may or may not apply in your case.
> When choosing a tool, I typically check when was the last "active"
> development.
> If my requirement is low enough - something that isn't updated in few years
> might also work for me "now"
> but when I need a security update, and no one is maintaining it, I am out
> of luck (I know, open source, fix it yourself, but honestly just because
> one has access to source, doesn't mean one has skills to fix)
> In this scenario - I might be better off with something that is "actively"
> being developed (Doesn't mean bleeding edge, cause it has different
> problems)
> That is what I meant by "moving with times"

There may not be security updates, but there may not be security
issues in the first place. The only way to ensure this is to lookup
the quality of developers' on that tool - actively maintained, but too
many cooks may not be optimum from a security point of view. Consider
the case of Linux kernel - clearly security isn't a priority,
especially because they accept binary blobs left, right and center.
World domination is. Contrast this with OpenBSD, which operates on a
very conservative model of development, with accurate documentation to
match (they pride themselves in having up-to-date and accurate
documentation) - their manpages have code that can be copy-pasted "as
is", rather than having toy code with all sorts of fluffy disclaimers.
OpenBSD still uses cvs, because it is mature, stable, and works for
them. Oh yes, one can argue OpenBSD does not control the firmware on
the network cards, which can be rogue. Definitely, but their bar of
security is way high than what Linux accepts.

If security is your priority, then maybe Linux is not the correct
answer. If using a generic, out-of-the-box usable, and open source OS
is, then probably stick with Linux. OpenBSD is just another example
here, you can substitute it with your choice of known secure OS.

I personally feel it is very important to decide where your priorities
lie, and put enough effort into understanding, and then make a choice
of tools/OS/whatever.

> On a lighter note - Original comment was in the context of "feeling like
> part of museum".
> If "you" feel productive with your current set of tools, then "you"
> shouldn't feel ancient/part of museum/endangered specie.
> What am I missing ?

You are missing the fad, which essentially means you are missing
nothing. Twitter, Facebook are all blown out of proportion for their
actual usefulness, and end up being huge time-wasters. Think of it -
how much time you spend on facebook/twitter/<<insert latest fad here>>
as compared to a few years ago when these were not available? Now
justify that time spent with the productivity quotient for yourself,
and you'll have the answer. Twitter/Facebook are good to keep in touch
with friends, but then when you overdo (as 95% of the populate, FB and
Twitter ain't going high on the stocks just like that) you are
actually decreasing the overall productivity of the populace in the
name of social networking. Really, the sad situation is this - most
new technology is fad these days, with moron Silicon Valley investors
who cannot differentiate sh**, and the overall economy overspending on
technology that brings you little benefit as compared to the amount
being invested.

Personally for me, I stick with the right tool for the job, haven't
changed most of my tools in a decade, and haven't seen a decrease in
productivity at all. Right tools are all that are required, not new
ones (think of a hammer, now would you want a hammer that mails you a
reminder that you need to hammer a nail?). ;-)


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