28 Jul 2008

The Fallacy of Choice

Interesting piece from the Linux Hater's Blog, via DF:
[The vast majority of users] don't care about a particular choice, and actively do not want to have to make a choice. They just want things to work. They will take "working" over "choice" in an instant.
Spot on. The Linux community seems to look at choice as a mantra that will fix everything wrong with the OS, but choice is no good when all the options are broken. The basic problem with the Linux community is that they are incompetent at UI Design, and no amount of choice will fix that.
Furthermore, any developer will tell you that each time a new layer of "choice" is added, the possible number of configurations multiplies. This means more untested configurations, more bugs, and more brokenness.
Linux still has a long way to go.


  1. You have failed to show me how "choice" is a deception of Linux strength. I, however, have experienced the fallacy of proprietary standards and vendor lock-in first hand. That is why I choose to use Linux. You appear to be held fast to the false comfort of a single vendor world. The only reason you are not being abused to the point of defection from your proprietary patrons, is because there are choices. I don't expect you to thank Linux and Open Source for keeping your "user experience" bearable, but you should at least avoid knocking it down.

  2. Proprietary formats or a dozen programs for every task is a false dichotomy. If for instance, Linux had Amarok and VLC and got rid of Banshee, Helix, Noatun, kaffeine, xmms, juk, gxine and all the other players, users would still be able to play their music and movies. That's different from a world where RealPlayer were the only player for Linux and dictated terms to users. Have one open-source app for each task, not a dozen.