This morning I had an afterthought regarding my post last night Anyone else out there sick of “Us versus Them”?
I recognize that there are cases where the debate is necessary, or at least may be perceived as necessary. So, in that case I would add one more item to my “guidelines”:
6. If you absolutely must try to convert people to your point of view (in violation of item 5), try describing what is positive about the solution you support, rather than ranting and raving about why the alternative is evil and will bring about the downfall of civilization as we know it. (“Microsoft is evil” is not a valid argument).
(Note this is one of the biggest problems of our time, not just in software, but everywhere. Look at our leadership – no one presents viable, intelligent alternatives to anything, they just bash the opposition.)