How to read Linux reviews

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Linux

Once upon a time, reviews related to GNU/Linux and free software in open source community publications and Web sites were candy-coated. We were amazed that things actually worked, even if making it work required hacking makefiles and configuration files, compiling from source, and getting your hands dirty in other ways, and gave everything glowing reviews. Today, we expect that everything should work properly the first time, every time, but still, things don't always work out as planned. Yet some readers seem to expect journalists to hide the dirty laundry of poorly designed software and badly supported hardware.

When I choose a product to review, be it hardware or software, it's because I think it's cool. If I'm disappointed, it's my responsibility to say so. My intention is not to destroy it with a negative review. It's because readers deserve to know the product is not all it's cracked up to be.

When a product Web site, public relations person, press release, or product announcement pumps up my expectations of a product, I expect it to perform as claimed. If it doesn't, I tell the readers.

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