You should switch to …

I find myself rather frustrated with the geek tendency to use “you should switch to …” as a proposed solution to problems.

“How do I get postfix to run header checks?” “Switch to Exim”

“How do I delete a line in vi?” “Switch to emacs”

“How do I install foo with Yast?” “If you were running Debian, you’d just have to use apt-get”

“I have this problem with svn” “You should switch to source safe”

“How do I get php installed on Apache on Windows” “Install Linux”

This is pretty much never the right solution. Yes, occasionally, it’s the right solution. But this is very infrequent. Folks have made decisions about what software they are using. Or, as frequently, that decision has been made for them, and they are not at liberty to change it. And it’s not really useful at that particular time for them to explain to you the rationale for that decision.

And, yes, I know, you’re trying to be helpful. But it’s not. Really.

Yeah, I’m being grumpy this evening. Sorry. I should go to bed …