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SmartTags, a trigger for hypocrisy

Since Smart­Tags was un­veiled, there has been a lot of re­ac­tions to it.

You can find fun­ny jour­nal­ists , the usu­al am­a­teur lawyer­ing , and of course, the MS is eeeeevil! an­gle.

But you know what? This was all to be ex­pect­ed. Af­ter al­l, this fea­ture comes from Mi­crosoft, and we all know noth­ing good ev­er came from there, right?

Well, I am tired of watch­ing al­leged lin­ux ad­vo­cates be­have this way. When Ballmer calls Lin­ux a can­cer, I can at least know that a) he is be­ing metaphoric, b) he is do­ing it for mon­ey.

But what is the ra­tio­nale for all this bash­ing of Smart­Tags? You know, I had thought of some­thing sim­i­lar a few weeks ago, and it re­al­ly seems like a nice fea­ture! And even if it is not a nice fea­ture, who cares? No soft­ware is per­fec­t, and if it re­al­ly sucks, it will go away

Af­ter al­l, is it not the whole point of the web to link to in­for­ma­tion? What is bad in let­ting soft­ware fix the lame lev­el of (not) hy­per­link­ing done by web­page au­thors?

Ok, so this tool can be abused? Big deal. It hap­pens all the time! Reim­ple­ment it. And do it bet­ter. If you think MSIE with Smart­Tags gives use­less links, or even dam­ag­ing links, write soft­ware that GIVES BET­TER LINKS.

Make Ga­le­on, Mozil­la, Kon­queror, Opera, what­ev­er, give cool­er ex­tra link­ing. If the users want it to be easy to dis­able, make it easy to dis­able. If the us­er wants the "ex­tra" links to be eas­i­ly rec­og­niz­able as not part of the orig­i­nal page, make it so.

And why am I so sure that the whole back­lash is sim­ply be­cause it comes from Mi­cro­soft? I am sure be­cause lin­ux users have been, for years, us­ing soft­ware that mod­i­fies the web­pages and RE­MOVES in­for­ma­tion from web­pages with­out the copy­right hold­ers agree­men­t.

Where is the out­rage of the am­a­teur lawyer­s? Where is the anger of the web de­sign­er­s? The Slash­dot cov­er­age? Nowhere, that is where.

So, stop hypocrisy. If a fea­ture seems use­ful, dont con­demn it be­cause of the one pro­vid­ing it. If it does­nt seem use­ful, just dont use it, or build a bet­ter one.

It is not through whin­ing that free soft­ware is built.


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