Alan Hargreaves' Blog

The ramblings of a former Australian SaND TSC* Principal Field Technologist

Out of Context Sound Bites

Christopher Blizzard did a quick blog entry about one of Scott’s comments in this interview.

The following is the text of an email that I’ve just sent off, then thought that the comments really need to be a bit more public.

I know that I have an obvious bias here, but it might have been nice if you placed the McNealy quote in context. You didn’t even mention that he went on to explain and justify it.

The following paragraph was

Let me justify that because I don’t think (Gore) justified his
(comments about inventing the Internet). I think I can justify ours.
(Former Sun Chief Technologist) Bill Joy, as far as I can tell, kind
of pioneered the whole concept of open-source kernels at (Berkeley
Software Distribution) and created the licensing mechanism. We
brought him into Sun, and we were kind of the Red Hat of Berkeley
software before (Linux kernel inventor) Linus (Torvalds) was out of
diapers. So we’ve been doing this forever.

Out of context sound bites are nice for the press, but as technical people I had hoped that we were above that kind of thing.

I actually think that this is one of the most candid interviews that Scott’s done in an awful long time.

I know that there are a lot of Linux folk out there who like to beat up on Sun, Scott and Jonathan. Fair enough, they are public figures. That’s part of the job description. However, ridiculing someone by quoting them out of context is gutter press stuff.

Keeping discussion in context, and better yet, sticking to the technical bits which we are all much better at, raises the level of the discussion and lends credibility to all participants.

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Written by Alan

June 29, 2005 at 2:26 am

Posted in General

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