Fake Dan Lyons loves Linux after all

Dan Lyons is revising his position on open source. Or is he?

Dan Lyons, the erstwhile Fake Steve Jobs, has told Robin Miller that he doesn't hate Linux, after all. As Robin reports:

He told me that people who say he dislikes Linux are not being fair to him; that out of 70 articles he's written about Linux, 67 have been positive, and he absolutely denies that he is paid by Microsoft to write what he does about Linux, Apple, or anything else.

I think it's all in how he means "positive." "Positive" for Dan is somewhat different from positive for, say, 99% of the human race. :-)

To be fair to Dan, sometimes his snarky negativity on Linux/open source had little to do with Linux/open source and everything to do with poor partner choices, weak arguments, weak-kneed execution, ironic capitulation, and sometimes overzealous enthusiasm for a fallible (though excellent) development methodology.

Let's be honest: sometimes Dan was right. As I've told him, I actually appreciate the criticism, even when I felt it was misplaced, because I think open source gets better by fixing its problems, not by overlooking them. Yes, Dan sometimes overstated his case, but I'd be a very dark pot to be calling the Dan Lyons kettle black on that one....

So, while it's fun to see Dan backtrack on the caricature the open-source community (myself included) has of him, I think it's fair to let him revise his position. Revise history? No. But re-position his future? Absolutely.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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