Hackers Told To Hack Off Ponytails

    April 6, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Open source developers are the grunge rockers of the new millennium, the originals long dissolved in corporate formulaic art. Unlike their barefoot hippie predecessors (who woke up one day in Birkenstocks as Volvo-driving yuppies), they kept their ponytails as an affront to The Man, sharing their warez with the Kool-Aid drinking masses.

And former Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn doesn’t like it one bit.

The open source initiative is okay. He likes it so much he championed his state’s official adoption of the Open Document Format, a decisive blow to the Beast of Redmond (who abandoned his patchouli for Armani long ago).

But Quinn is also a big fan Linux and thinks it’s the “sandal and ponytail set,” and not the Microsofts of the world that’s holding back wide scale adoption of open source software. It’s their “disheveled students” appearance that earns them little respect in the corporate and political sectors:

“Open source has an unprofessional appearance, and the community needs to be more business-savvy in order to start to make inroads in areas traditionally dominated by commercial software vendors. (Having) a face on a project or agenda makes it attractive for politicians (to consider open source),” said Quinn at LinuxWorld Australia.

And many will shout as to the fairness of that statement – whether it is real world logic, a half-truth, shortsighted, or patently stuffy.

Dan Farber thinks Quinn is on a bad trip while down under:

“Don’t confuse programmers working behind the scenes in sandals and T-shirts with the suits selling hybrid open source/closed source software and services into every corner of the planet. A relentless lobbyist with a ponytail can be just as effective as a programmer with a buzz cut.”

But even our Net-neutral, open source, Lego-lovin’ Googtopian heroes Larry Page and Sergey Brin know the value of a grown-up in their ranks, or a carefully placed voice in Washington.

For every furry-faced open source prophet shouting peace, love, moonpies, and open software for everyone, there must be another who’s willing to dress up for the ball and push his cause to the kings.

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