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holy wars
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[Usenet, but may predate it] flame wars over religiousissues. The paper by Danny Cohen that popularised the terms
big-endian and little-endian was entitled "On Holy Wars
and a Plea for Peace". Other perennial Holy Wars have
included Emacs vs. vi, my personal computer vs. everyone
else's personal computer, ITS vs. Unix, Unix vs. VMS,
BSD Unix vs. USG Unix, C vs. Pascal, C vs. Fortran,
etc., ad nauseam. The characteristic that distinguishes holy
wars from normal technical disputes is that in a holy wars
most of the participants spend their time trying to pass off
personal value choices and cultural attachments as objective
technical evaluations. See also theology.