Whilst it can be argued that being a DPE has a positive role for the company, it really doesn't do anything for the advancement of society, computational science, or any of the spin-off areas.
The way you've described it, DPE is doing exactly what it's supposed to. DPE has nothing to do with "the advancement of society," nor should it.
If there's a perception here (and I'm making an assumption about your stance) that DPE should be picking up more litter or teaching the children to sing - or that it shouldn't exist at all because it doesn't contribute back to civilization - then any negative fallout of that perception is due to an expectation set against irrelevant criteria.
But anything can be judged against the criteria "considering the overall grand scheme of things, what's the point?", being a SE or Researcher grades higher than a (perceived) glorified marketing position.
I'm not arguing about whether something can be judged against any old set of criteria.
I was arguing that you were judging DPE based on "irrelevant criteria." There's nothing wrong with DPE not advancing society and blah blah blah - DPE is doing exactly what it should be.
That's the point. All you're doing here removing DPE from its context, setting it out in the wild, and then judging its worth.
That's just silly. As an exercise, anything can be removed from its context and torn apart.
What I see here is you placing far more responsibility on DPE than it warrants. If I were to play the same game, I could pull Firefox out of its comfort zone and argue that it isn't curing AIDS or building libraries. What does that prove? Nothing. It isn't a reasonable argument because it implies that the reason Firefox exists is to cure AIDS and build libraries.
DPE does exactly what it's supposed to. It's not here to cure AIDS or build libraries. The expectation that it should be doing something grand for society is irrelevant because it's so ridiculous.
Might as well put a dog to sleep because it won't play Wii with you.
A better analogy would be putting a dog to sleep because all it could do was play Wii (what? No XBox? ) and provide very little other value to its master or its environment.
My point was that it's ridiculous to expect a dog to play Wii, so you shouldn't punish it for not doing it. This was a lightweight support to the idea that it's ridiculous to expect DPE to better society, so you shouldn't expect it to. That's not what it does.
Dogs don't play Wii; DPE doesn't advance society.
W3bbo wrote: Microsoft is a convicted monopolist; being a publically traded company means its priorities are to its shareholders rather than its consumers. It's not because Microsoft is Microsoft, but because of the way Microsoft operates.
I don't understand how you can separate "the way Microsoft operates" from "what" Microsoft is. Microsoft is Microsoft, and an overwhelming part of that is how it operates.
And as far as it prioritizing shareholders - yes! But whether that's what Microsoft should be doing or not has nothing to do with how it makes you feel. Microsoft is around to make money. Microsoft makes money. Microsoft does this. Microsoft's purpose is fulfilled.
Dogs do dogly thing; Microsoft makes money.
W3bbo wrote: The same can be said for all the major corporations: Oracle, IBM, even Google all have some number of undesirable aspects (just some have more than others; I've noticed it's a function of how long they've been around for the youthful ideology of the founders to wither away and die).
BS! The "youthful ideology of the founders" took off running with a big fat check. Why do you think these fancy youthful founders start their companies? To become huge non-profits?
They do it for money. Some hide it better than others, but it's for money.
W3bbo wrote: Imagine the year is mid-2006. Firefox and Opera currently top IE6 in every comparison matrix out there. For this exercise, the important bits are compliance with W3C Recommendations, general usability, and higher independent security rankings.
Hypothetically speaking, imagine Microsoft has a team of "IE Evangelists" which scour web development forums (for devs) and business forums (for PHBs). They manage to convince a significant number of PHBs and less experienced devs to use IE-only technologies because of some esoteric feature that really doesn't matter: i.e. through pure marketing gimmick. For argument, let's say "Easier to develop with Visual Studio" (as many of us know, IE-only sites are a common side-effect of relying too heavily on the default behaviour of VS, especially VS2003).
In this case, the superior product being touted by the smaller company (or fragmented, independent organisations) has lost out because the bigger company could afford to hire people to hype their technologically inferior product out to easily impressionable people. QED.
I was going to reply, but then I got nailed by the QED. It adds so much gravitas to a debate... but... I shall go on...
Your entire argument here is the perfect example of why I responded to you in the first place.
You first set up your own arbitary criteria by which to judge the worth of one web browser over another. Then you went on, with those criteria, to use them to argue that a DPE-like group was turning people away from the Greater Good.
A conclusion based on a set of assumptions ultimately judged against another set of assumptions.
You're getting further and further away from the facts.
Garbage in, garbage out.
And even though it makes no sense here, I'm going to hit you with my own QED.
QED. BAM! Can't lose now...
W3bbo wrote:It's happening right now. Head over to Slashdot (or even a fairly balanced FOSS/IT News site) sometime with AdBlock disabled and you'll be bombarded with misleading (or FUD) advertisements about Windows Server System. I'm not saying it's a bad system (not at all, personally I love it), but Microsoft is clearly advertising to PHBs who don't know any better. And who is the PHB going to listen to? The "open-source nutjob in IT" or the "smartly dressed, well presented Microsoft salesman"?
When was the last time you saw an ad without any spin? This isn't a rhetorical question - I expect you can answer it, but what's the frequency of what you think are truthful ads vs. the spin?
Not that it matters. It's still irrelevant. So much of what you're saying is founded on the premise that Microsoft is supposed to be saving the world, but that it isn't.
Again, that's not what Microsoft does.
W3bbo wrote: Netscape was a small company that did something great. It challenged the bigger player. The bigger player abused their monopoly and forced them out of business.
Again, BS. The biggest problem with Netscape was what came after v4. They dropped the ball, creating the buggiest, slowest, most bloated browser I've ever seen. That's when I - and so many other people - switched to IE.
I understand that your argument is probably based much more on legal dealings, but, seriously, the product was awful.
W3bbo wrote: Painful lessons to learn: "you can't beat goliath".
Not if you suck, no.
W3bbo wrote: But it's capitalism, not technocracy. You outsmart with business sense, not technical sense, which is the problem I'm addressing here.
That isn't the "problem [you're] addressing" at all.
This all started because you were irked by the way DPE doesn't advance society, and so on.
If you want to argue that Microsoft has probably beaten out competitors because of marketing rather than technical superiority, then I'm right there with you.
But that's not what you've been talking about.
W3bbo wrote: Oh yeah, my vomits are so powerful they're sentient.
Ah... Have they been doing all the typing for you? Because that would explain a lot.