Under normal conditions a healthy rivalry among developers and users of different software platforms can lead to the betterment of both platforms; a classic example of this is the Mac OS X / Windows debate. However, there is something happening in the mobile arena, something that is neither healthy nor constructive. What I am speaking of is the devotion to a particular software stack as though it were a religion. This post was prompted by a discussion with my fellow techies on Google+.
I saw a lot of what I considered irrational Apple hate, so I responded by asking that the iPhone 4S be judged on its merits as a piece of technology, separate from the company that built it. Most of the people I was speaking with were able to carry on a rational and civil debate.
One commentator, however, could not argue the points without resorting to irrationality. Instead, he insisted on posting inflammatory replies, littered with blind fandom and unfounded assertions. The worst part for me is that I agree with one or two of his assertions, but the way he framed them was not constructive and effectively ended the conversation.
But what is the end result of this? Did he prove his point? Or, did he offer evidence supporting the assertion that anyone who is not completely disappointed with iPhone4S is an “Apple sheep”? Effectively, he was able to win the debate for the anit-iOS debaters by allowing them to focus on what they wanted to: politics.
Call me naive, but I think that techies, especially software developers are very intelligent people. Thus, we should be able to have rational, civilized, and constructive debates about the platforms and stacks that we enjoy and work with. What do you say? Am I sadly mistaken? Comment below.