Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
June 13th, 2005


Misplaced zeal

I’m not a religious fanatic when it comes to opposing Microsoft and their products – really, I’m not. I use Windows and Office and the PowerToy Calculator every day, after all. But I used to be an anti-Micro$oft zealot, and it still shows.

A few days ago, Peter Rother posted a comment to inform me that the St. Xavier Forums (henceforth to simply be known as the Forums in these parts) had gone down, and was showing the trademark ASP error page, generously archived by Peter Rother. When Peter Franklin, the Forums’ administrator, acknowledged the problem, I couldn’t help but use the opportunity to plug some forum software that I happened to find more attractive than ASP.NET Forums.

Guess I forgot the all-important initialism IMHO.

Peter quickly turned defensive, seeing through my shotty anti-Microsoft evangelism, and caught me by surprise. I was initially arguing against Microsoft’s .Net languages, yet my last dealing with those languages was Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition – I was obviously in trouble from the start. That, combined with my eventual defense for JavaScript of all things, doomed my side of the argument, and I’m sure Peter had a great laugh about it each night, as he responded to me point by point.

I later took his advice, trying my best to change the subject to topics I knew about like Lisp, Python, and – would you believe it – more of JavaScript, but it always came back to the same thing: Peter knows enough about the language he’s defending that I can’t beat him with my sparse knowledge of a language I’m just learning.

For some reason, I always felt compelled to respond to Peter, fully knowing that I would only make more of a fool of my stubborn self in the process. If the thread weren’t to end, I would’ve probably resorted to telling outright lies about JavaScript to get my point across. Fortunately Peter closed the conversation for me. I walked away in shame, but I was getting tired, and I know everyone else was, too.

It would behoove of me to retreat to my cave and continue learning the languages that I prematurely set out to defend. There are certainly better things to do during the summer than to exchange heated words like this.


  1. There’s a reason I use Thunderbird’s weblog-reading component: there’s just too much good content on the Web these days.