Moronix: Why AMD won’t take Michael Larabel seriously, and you shouldn’t either

This was written as a response to a post I made on the Phoronix forum relating to an article which consists entirely of Michael complaining about a lack of a review sample. I post there only because I keep hoping if I say it enough Michael will eventually get his act together. Its a stupid thought sure but I figure its worth a shot. I plan to update this at a future date to add links to examples but I can’t be bothered currently. This is all my opinion so if you don’t like it so be it.

If Michael wants a review sample he should start acting like a responsible journalist and news site. Did he ever think the reason AMD doesn’t send him review samples could be related to his reputation and how he manages his site? Perhaps they realize associating with his site actually makes them look worse due to how little he bothers with his reviews and articles.

Sure AMD gets publicity from his reviews posts, but they would get a lot more if he actually bothered to even scratch the surface of why or how things preform the way they do in comparison to other cards. Instead he only posts graphs and single sentence blurbs because its quick and easy. If four out of five articles posted here weren’t just link bate or link spam to past articles Michael may actually gain him some credibility. Articles that do nothing but link to other articles or sites controlled by Michael, which of course are filled to the brim with ads, do nothing to make him look good.

What’s even more sad is he takes the time to write these articles complaining rather than one articles with actual content that is useful to Linux users. Saying AMD doesn’t care about you because they didn’t send me free stuff, isn’t how you gain readers and people who will pay for your content, writing well thought out and researched posts and articles will. We all know how much he loves automation, how about he adds a feature to PTS to fill out bug reports for him. If every article about a regression or bug included a link to the bug report for it, where possible, he’d actually be doing something good for the community rather than just leaching off of them for ad revenue. There is only so many people who do the whole Linux news thing so if AMD or Nvidia were to send out review units there isn’t large selection of site, but when it comes to enthusiast computing Linux users are in the single digits percentage wise, there is no surprise then don’t bother there.

The Linux market AMD and Nvidia Care about is enterprise, people who buy Quadro, Tesla, and FireGL/FirePro cards. Consumer desktop Linux support is just a nice side effect of supporting Compute workloads and software like Siemens NX, Real3d, Maya and others. Gaming and fancy Compiz effects are nice side effects but they aren’t where the money is to be made on linux. That said, SteamOS may change that but until then I don’t expect AMD to spend a cent to support Linux desktop users, I’m glad they do and will continue to buy their hardware because they do, but I know its a drop in the bucket when it comes to their revenue.

Now I’m glad there is at least somewhere that takes the time to post these benchmarks and test the hardware but I would be an idiot to not demand more. Michael does nothing but half ass his articles and then complain when he isn’t taken seriously. If he wants to be taken seriously by the Linux community and companies like AMD and Nvidia he needs actually put some effort into his articles and take pride in them, not just post 5 links to past articles and his anzwix crap. The ratio of links to sentences approaches one in far to many of the articles here and it makes it damn clear all Michael cares about is page rank and ad revenue, not the content of the post itself. Compare his posts to articles posted on LWN or TomsHardware and see how many you can find that have more 7 out of 8 sentences linking to other articles on the site.

NOTE: This was written mostly as a rant and may be updated, deleted or modified if I feel like it.

Supybot WikiSearch plugin

TL;DR New Supybot WikiSearch plugin found here.

So a while back I wanted to add a simple Wiki Search to my Supybot IRC bot(well actually gribble based) so that users could easily search for project documentation on our wiki. I knew there were multiple options here. The first would be to just use an aliased search using Google but that couldn’t take advantage of the sites own search function and depends on Google’s indexing of the site. As the wiki is constantly being updated and has many technical subject that are not always easily googled I wasn’t sure I liked that idea.

The other option I had thought of was to find an existing Wikipedia search plugin and modify that for use with our wiki. This lead me to quantumlemur‘s github and his Wikipedia plugin. At first glance I could see where to modify the Wikiurl and that it would work for the task fairly well. I set to work modifying it and got it into a working state. I modified the search parts to point to our wiki’s url and removed the part where it pastes a snippit from the page so that it just returned the page title and url. This was to prevent the bot from being too spammy and prevent searches from hiding real channel conversation.

And it didn’t work. It turns out that his plugin actually parses the HTML of the search page and doesn’t use the nice MediaWiki API. At the time I was lazy and modified it to work with the theme of our wiki and the mediawiki version used and all was good… ish.

Then recently we wanted to add a search for another projects wiki so I had to go in and modify things again, or I could just rewrite it from scratch. And that is what I did.

The end result was 50 lines of code known as the Supybot WikiSearch plugin. If I get unlazy and ambitious I’ll add some way to have one plugin manage searches for multiple wiki’s and have it auto-detect the api.php path from just the wiki’s home page. I also plan on allowing it to display the snippits as quantumlemur‘s version does though it will stay disabled by default.

Edit: Further work on this has lead me to take back my comment about the MediaWiki being “nice” Oh god is it a pain in the arse and totally in consistent on what it returns wiki to wiki installation. Whoever designed that needs a good slap in the face. Perhaps one day I’ll do a full rant on that…