Linked by Christian Paratschek on Thu 23rd Sep 2004 05:59 UTC
Editorial After reading Adam Scheinberg's original article "The Paradox of Choice" and Kevin Russo's response, I want to add my personal comments to this discussion. I will quote Adam and Russo several times and pick up their arguments.
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by drsmithy on Thu 23rd Sep 2004 10:02 UTC

Let my explain with the popular "car analogy": cars adhere to certain standards, like having four wheels. While this is a removal of choice in itself, it is not bad at all. Four wheels are a standard, and every car maker who wants to produce a normal car has to follow this standard.

Your point is reasonable, but your analogy is atrocious. Cars don't have four wheels because it's a 'standard', they have four wheels because it's the best design tradeoff for their purpose. A better example would have been the wheel lug nut patterns (although there are several different 'standards' of them) that give third-party wheels 'compatibility' with different cars.

Internet Explorer is the black sheep because it does not render modern HTML well enough and has introduced proprietary extensions and other crap, using its monopolistic position to force contenders out of business.

IE renders every page I've ever seen fine. Also, you should blame Netscape for starting that whole 'proprietry extensions' thing as well - it was the cornerstone of their entire business model.

An example: I can switch between Evolution and Mozilla Mail/Thunderbird whenever I want. As they both use the mbox-format to store their mails, I can choose between them freely (O.K., it takes about 15 minutes to move the mails, as there are some differences in the naming scheme, but that's not the story of this article...).

You should not confuse standards for things like file formats with UI standards. The only reason you can switch "freely" between Evolution and Mozilla is because a) you have invested time learning both UIs and b) you don't use any features that are unique to either product. In other words, the "choice" only extends so far as the level of functionality and the user's knowledge.

What has the Windows-monopoly and the Internet Explorer-monopoly done to the web? Right, it made the net a contaminated area.

It would be quicker if you just said "IE sucks" - it's clear that's all you mean.

Nowadays, it is downright impossible to keep a Windows XP-machine running online without a firewall and antivirus software.


After an average of 17 minutes, it is infected.

Chuck a Linux machine running binaries dating from 2001 on the net and see how long it lasts.

Yes, we had this debate already, and I know that Linux has a better security model and all this.

Then you "know" wrong. Linux does not have a better security model than Windows.

Ideally, it should make no difference for the user. Both mail-clients should use the same format to store their mails.

It's a long way from "using the same format to store their mails" to making "no difference for the user".

85% Linux-users worldwide and a heap of Linux-viruses will not be a problem for a KDE user. He will use BSD as the core and KDE as the desktop and happily go on computing.

Except that a large chunk of those "Linux-viruses" will probably affect both platforms equally. After all, Windows 9x and NT are completely different OSes under the hood, and it's not uncommon at all for a trojan, worm or virus to affect both of them due to their similarities.

And when KDE gets too big in in the process, Gnome (or any other desktop) will help out, take KDE market share, thus making KDE less interesting for malware writers.

The DE is not likely to be a big issue. Indeed, it's not likely to be relevant at all.