Will the community ever grow up?

Slashdot carried a story today linking to a blog post about Dell deleting a negative Linux-related post from their IdeaStorm site. There was angst, cries of censorship, and so forth. Too bad the /. editors didn't actually read the deleted post first.

For the record, I think Dell did absolutely nothing wrong here. If you don't believe me, go to the blog post linked above and read their screenshot of the removed post. It's a single-paragraph, semi-coherent diatribe with no useful or constructive content whatsoever. It's just one step above, "Hey Dell, you suck!"

Frankly, I'm glad Dell deleted this, because it makes the Linux community look like it's populated entirely by petulant teenagers with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. "What do you mean I can't have the moon on a stick?!? Screw you!"

As far as I can tell, Dell hasn't said they won't ship systems with Linux pre-installed. They've just said they're not going to do it right away. And this is a problem? I mean, what did people expect? Dell is a huge corporate bureaucracy with established business practices. It's not like they're the local computer store and they can just hire a couple of college kids to start installing Linux tomorrow. There's analysis to do, tests to perform, procedures to revise, employees to train. Organizations like Dell don't just change overnight and expecting them to is foolish and unreasonable.

The bottom line is that Dell is no longer going to pretend that Linux doesn't exist. This is unquestionably a good thing. Dell has given us an inch. The appropriate response is to push for more, not spit in their face because they didn't give us a mile.

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