Brian Good bkgood at PACBELL.NET
Thu May 20 01:10:17 UTC 1999

Y2K is very commonly used as a standalone in the computer industry.  No
doubt across the land there are numerous whiteboards with "Y2K" scrawled
upon them as a meeting agenda item.

"FUD", or "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt", is a term that is coming into
more frequent use in the computer industry.  I wouldn't be surprised to
see this term in the mainstream soon.  It appears to have originated in
the Open Source community, although there may be a prior origin that I'm
not aware of.  Briefly, there is a movement of engineers and interested
parties who believe strongly in the benefits of "open source" software,
in which the code is contributed freely by programmers who volunteer
their time.  Linux is a popular operating system based on open source.
Those who promote Linux warn that large corporations will try to use
"FUD" arguments to discredit its viability to customers.  For example,
"Will you have anyone to go to for support when your Linux system
crashes?" is a FUD argument.  I've seen this adjective adopted at my
company to refer to issues that have nothing to do with Open Source per

The famous article "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," by Eric Raymond,
available at
is often cited as the source of this term.


Grant Barrett wrote:
> We've hit the term "Y2K" a lot, but I just heard a nuance on NPR that > interests me. Ordinarily, Y2K is attached as an adjective: Y2K bug, > Y2K problem, Y2K programmer, etc.
> But the report on NPR seems to indicate that now "Y2K" by itself > indicates the millenium bug. It's a stand-alone.
> My first reaction was that it was used by someone with minimal > technical knowledge (and that may be the case), but the two sources > speaking seemed intelligent enough, although I have never cared for > the reporter.

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