Operating System Sucks-Rules-O-Meter FAQ

OS selection and policies

Why are you using AltaVista instead of Google?
This site has been in operation since February 1998. We don't want to bias the data by switching search engines.

I think the old versions of my favorite operating system sucked, but the new versions don't. Can you break the meter up by versions?

We have been logging the data from this meter for several years and we want to keep the results consistent.

Since this site runs on Linux and the results are favorable to Linux, it must be bogus. Why should I believe it?
Do the search on AltaVista yourself. For example, look up: +"linux rules" and +"windows sucks". (The green bars are the sums of separate "rules" and "rocks" searches.)

My favorite version of Windows should have a separate bar from other versions, or, my favorite Linux distribution should have a separate bar from the other distributions.
If you want to start an intra-OS sucks-rules-o-meter, we'll link to it.

Why no Macintosh rules? Why no AS/400 rules? Why no Amiga rules?
An Apple Macintosh is an integrated hardware/software product, not an OS alone. So is an IBM AS/400. So is an Amiga.

Are you counting each occurence of "OS NAME rules" and "OS NAME sucks", or just the number of pages on which the words appear?
The number that gets plotted is the one in the "AltaVista found n Web pages." line at the top of the AltaVista results.

Do you search for any misspelled words, like "Windoze" and "Slowlaris?"
No. We search for all operating system names exactly as shown on the chart, with the exceptions of Mac OS and VMS. For Mac OS, we add the search results for the incorrect but common spelling "MacOS". For VMS, we add the results for "OpenVMS". We do not search for any derogatory slang misspellings of any operating system name.

I think it's kewl to say "sux" and "r00lz." Could you search for those words too?
No. And we won't search for "Windoze$uxz" with 4 Ms and a silent Q, so don't ask. We want to be responsible AltaVista users here. If you want to denounce sucky OSs with "3l33t" slang, stick the correct spellings in a meta tag or something.

Could you add my favorite OS?
Please do the search on AltaVista manually first. See how many pages you get. Search for quoted strings like this:

+"FooOS rules"

+"FooOS sucks"

Please don't suggest operating systems that don't have any "sucks" or "rules" pages. Please don't suggest names of integrated hardware/software products.

What's with the "Caution to Exuberant OS Advocates"?
A few users of OSs that suck made some pathetic attempts at Sucks-Rules-O-Meter spamming. None of them worked. The meter did not move. If you understand AltaVista well enough to move the meter, you're too smart to waste your time trying to move the meter. We don't know of anyone who has had his or her site kicked out of AltaVista for Sucks-Rules-O-Meter spamming; keep it that way.

Hey! The Linux source code has "linux/Rules.make" in it! No fair!
We know. This doesn't raise the count of "Linux rules" much, and besides, putting the source code for your OS on the web rules.

Favors people ask

How do I get you to link to my site from the Operating System Sucks-Rules-O-Meter?
Do a sucks-rules-o-meter or a similar web statistics page, and link to the Operating System Sucks-Rules-O-Meter. You don't have to search for "sucks" and "rules." You can modify this Perl script or use some other method. Mail us at the address below with the URL of your page.

Can I have permission to use the Sucks-Rules-O-Meter script for [something you want to do]? Can I modify the script?
Yes, the script is free software under the GNU General Public License. Share and enjoy. (The GPL doesn't require you to provide the code to web users if you use GPL software to provide a web service, but we think that linking to your script is the right thing to do. You want other webmasters make more good pages like yours, right?)

Sites that link to this one, or don't.

Why was the Operating System Sucks-Rules-O-Meter listed as Cruel Site of the Day for 15 June 1998?
We don't know. Ask them. The meter is here as a free service to help our readers select a quality operating system, not to be cruel to anyone. We make every effort possible to be kind to all living things.

Why hasn't Yahoo added the Operating System Sucks-Rules-O-Meter to Computers and Internet:Internet:Statistics and Demographics?
Because Yahoo sucks.

Software used on this site

How can I learn to write web client Perl scripts like this one?
Read the documentation for LWP by Gisle Aas. LWP rules. Gisle Aas rules.

Can I run the script without LWP?
You can install SimpleGet.pl instead. You can get it from http://www.mrob.com/SimpleGet.txt (which was 404 as of 2 Aug 2002) or use a copy on this site. To use the script with SimpleGet.pl instead of LWP, change

use LWP::Simple;
require "SimpleGet.pl";

Browser Issues

Some bars are the wrong size on the Opera or Fresco web browsers.
We are aware of these browser issues.

The bars are the wrong size on my non-Opera browser.
Please send a screen shot and your browser name and version to the address below.

Now that I've read the FAQ, how can I mail you?