Sun learns the truth hurts

The problem with surveys is they don't always give you the results you want. A few weeks ago I reported that a survey on Sun's own developer site showed that few developers use JSP (Java server pages) for web-based client applications, preferring instead to use Perl.

I’m beginning to wish I’d never mentioned my new Harley. The subject of which outfit is the best motorbike manufacturer seems to arouse a passion in people that makes the open-source versus closed-source debate look like a bit of friendly banter. So far, the Harley fanatics are in the majority, closely followed by the Honda zealots, with the BMW-ers trailing in the dust.

I wish there was a bit more of a consensus around Harleys. It would help validate my decision to buy one.

Unwelcome results

That’s the problem with surveys — they don’t always give you the results you want. A few weeks ago I reported that a survey on Sun’s own developer site showed that few developers use JSP (Java server pages) for web-based client applications, preferring instead to use Perl.

Well, the folks running the site didn’t learn their lessons from that. They went and asked: “Which C/C++ development tool are you using for Sun platforms?” Although the poll is ongoing, at the time of writing, nearly 70% had said they used the open-source GCC (GNU compiler collection), dwarfing the figures for Sun’s own development tools. As the tipster who alerted me says, “How long will it be before Sun realises that the truth is not their friend?”

Amazon silent

Amazon.com is a company that doesn’t appear too bothered by hearing the truth — or anything else for that matter — from its customers. “Try finding the 800 customer service telephone number on the Amazon website,” a reader wrote. “It’s not there anymore.” I checked, and he’s right. But you can still email them your tirades.

The same is not true of Motorola’s messaging solutions division, which has another way of dealing with those annoying customers. It’s the internet equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears to avoid hearing what you don’t want to. A reader reports that he spotted a typo on the company’s web page, and used the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page to tell them about it. No prizes for guessing what happened. He got in reply the standard “message undeliverable: user unknown”.

“And they want corporate America to trust messaging to a company that can’t even set up an inbox?” the reader wryly asks.

Broadbanding together

Rumour has it that Sprint may be interested in buying beleaguered broadband services company WinStar. Sprint has given the appearance of having lost its way since the failed WorldCom merger, and given WinStar’s financial problems, Sprint is clearly hoping to kick-start its new strategy by getting WinStar at a fire-sale price.

“It’s a compliment,” Amber said. “Whatever you write about provokes passion in people.” Time to see if I can provoke any passion in her.

Send your IT tips to cringe@infoworld.com.

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