Disclaimer: This is a rant about FOSS. It's not a popular opinion, and I know that already, or else it would be off gathering some quick karma on Slashdot or something. All I ask is that votes be cast on the merit of the writing style, since that's what I'm trying to improve. Thanks.

I am sick and tired of Open Source mania.

Anyone who dares contest the superiority of free (as in crap) software is immediately shouted down by people who don't do anything remotely resembling serious work, who can't even entertain the idea that their darling baby might not be all they wish it is.

There is no escape from petty squabbles on topics ranging from desktop environments to software patents. Everyone is content to argue while chasing taillights and letting some of their best ideas get absorbed by the dark side, as if they are nothing but Microsoft R&D.

With everyone so busy directing their hatred to the "Gates of Hell", they ignore the irony of the GNU tools using the same embrace and extend strategy on everything they touch, warping it all beyond recognition. Those same extensions are rarely marked as such to ensnare the poor fools who don't have a real Unix to test for compatibility on. Man pages pretending to have some content are offered forth, then point to the labyrinthine nightmare called the info system at their ends, with a barely suppressed giggle.

Certain software gives itself a stable version number just to get more people to test it. Legions of the faithful back it up with empty assurances of "stability", mindlessly repeating what the higher-ups said, the same higher-ups who set the numbering to trap the unwary.

Some software thinks that it's other software, making entirely too many of their keyboard shortcuts depend on context. Then there's more other software of the same brood with too many names, software which can't be bothered to focus the visible tab, software which eats the keyboard entirely too much, software whose supporters think that throwing about:config at someone is a great answer to a request for justification for the most broken design decision of all time.

Everyone is expected to look in man, info, /usr/share/doc, --help output, /var/log, Google, forums, SourceForge, the software's website, mailing list archives, IRC, the source code, /usr/src/linux/Documentation, USENET archives, and God knows what else for support. For every question, there are 1,000 sources of the same question, and 2 sources with the answer. On a good day.

Automated documentation tools are used as a pretense: providing "What?" while leaving "Why?" and "How is it used?" unanswered. But there's documentation, so STFU, silly user! It's the corporate game of pretending to fix the problem without really doing so being replicated for free.

The foul villians who dare criticise any project will be met with "They don't owe you anything!" and "So why don't you do it?" Or the death sentence, if they were also sarcastic. Any suggested improvement will be met with "You provide a patch, and we'll think about it! Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!" Anyone who isn't willing to dedicate their life to being mired in the code is unworthy of respect.

Open source is a house of cards running on faith that it works, faith that there really is some niche out there somewhere where a company can eke out a living being some careless coder's QA and documentation team. The smarter ones have already realized it's a losing game and reworked their plans to follow the money. But the Emperor is clothed, and all who think otherwise are treasonous bastards who will eat flaming death for their betrayal!

Open source is not magic pixie dust.