Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Jun 2006 22:16 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source It's time for the Windows and Linux communities to drop the religious war and get together in a hurry to put the strengths of each operating system to best use, according to a nationally recognized authority on Windows Server. At the same time, Microsoft has been reaching out to the open-source community to try to find ways to overcome the incompatibilities between software distributed under the GNU General Public License and its own commercial software.
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Strange comment.
by rcsteiner on Tue 13th Jun 2006 22:36 UTC
rcsteiner
Member since:
2005-07-12

Most open source projects tend to depend heavily on compatibilty with proprietary software, whether it be through the support of proprietary file formats, support for proprietary filesystems, or support for proprietary communications protocols.

In fact, some major open source projects (e.g., Samba) exist almost solely for that purpose.

It's normally the reverse that isn't true. Microsoft does not have a stellar track record when it comes to opening their formats and protocols, while most open source projects provide all required information for the file and communications protocols they use (or else they use file and communications protocols which have already been completely and openly documented).

If Microsoft really wants to "overcome the incompatibilities between software distributed under the GNU General Public License and its own commercial software", they would release information to the public regarding those things which would aid both sides in interoperating.

At the moment, they seem to talk a lot about it while doing absoltuely nothing.

Edited 2006-06-13 22:38

Reply Score: 5

RE: Strange comment.
by chlordane on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:12 UTC in reply to "Strange comment."
chlordane Member since:
2006-05-11

>they would release information to the public regarding those things which would aid both sides in interoperating.<

I think the thing that would help both sides would be source-code..or Hell, just embracing the open-source community like Apple does....

I think Bill has made enough money...

Just a thought ^_^

"At the moment, they seem to talk a lot about it while doing absoltuely nothing."

Well said man, well said...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Strange comment.
by Varg Vikernes on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Strange comment."
Varg Vikernes Member since:
2005-07-06


I think the thing that would help both sides would be source-code..or Hell, just embracing the open-source community like Apple does....


Hahaha.

Just a thought ^_^

Please don't think anymore.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Strange comment.
by chlordane on Wed 14th Jun 2006 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Strange comment."
chlordane Member since:
2006-05-11

Hey man, you can buy and believe what you want, there is no need to laugh, I am not a stand-up comic...

Other than making sly remarks, could you point out what Microsoft and The Open-Source Community can do to improve relations, or are you okay with the way things are?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Strange comment.
by eggs on Wed 14th Jun 2006 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Strange comment."
eggs Member since:
2006-01-23

I think he was mocking your comment about how Apple embraces open source, not about your suggestion that Microsoft should do so.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Strange comment.
by chlordane on Wed 14th Jun 2006 20:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Strange comment."
chlordane Member since:
2006-05-11

Yeah, I may have been wrong about that...
^_^
but dont they have a microkernel based on BSD?

I dont know, I think they do a better job of writing software than Microsoft....

Reply Score: 1

RE: Strange comment.
by ma_d on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:59 UTC in reply to "Strange comment."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

The GPL "getting along" with proprietary software goes completely against the spirit of the license and the movement that has backed it, solely, for so long.

Microsoft is pretending to want to play nice so they can slander FOSS in the press about how it didn't want to work with them to "better mankind." When in reality it didn't want to be crushed to better Bill's stock options.

It's a common tactic to call anyone with serious intentions that don't waver religious: And it's bloody stupid too. Would you call a libertarian religious because he's obsessed with personal responsibility and free markets? No, that'd be foolish. Would you call a Marxist religious because of his zeal against organized religion?
Would you call a FOSS advocate religious because he believes he's found a much better system for creating software?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Strange comment.
by hal2k1 on Wed 14th Jun 2006 05:58 UTC in reply to "Strange comment."
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//If Microsoft really wants to "overcome the incompatibilities between software distributed under the GNU General Public License and its own commercial software", they would release information to the public regarding those things which would aid both sides in interoperating. //

I think Microsoft are not talking at all about interoperability here.

What Microsoft wants to do is use the code of open source projects in its own offerings, but be allowed to charge end users even though Microsoft didn't write the code. Microsoft already did this trick with the BSD TCP/IP stack.

IMO Microsoft wants to be able to use the open source code without having to provide the source back to anyone.

Here is someone else who has interpreted this in the same way:

http://trends.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/06/13/195257&from=rss

From that article:

Bob Muglia, who was quoted in the article as saying, "The GPL has an inherent incompatibility that is, to my knowledge, impossible to overcome."

" Having planted his falsehood, Muglia is then seen retreating back into his allegedly reasonable stand. You know the one. It seems he is open to open source licenses like the ones the BSDs or MIT use. And why not? Microsoft learned TCP from BSD and stole Kerberos from MIT. What really frustrates Microsoft about the GPL is not so much its terms, which protect the rights of developers and users, but rather that the GPL defends code from intellectual piracy."

Edited 2006-06-14 06:04

Reply Score: 5

Exactly
by Nelson on Tue 13th Jun 2006 22:54 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

When I see something actually released that would aide open source in interop with MS products then maybe I'll believe them.

Maybe it's Microsoft's outstanding friendship history that makes me skeptical or maybe it's just how they don't play nice sometimes.

I like Windows as much as the next guy but MS has done some shady stuff in the past and I don't think that open source projects should walk right into the lions den unarmed

Reply Score: 2

LOL.
by naelurec on Tue 13th Jun 2006 22:58 UTC
naelurec
Member since:
2006-02-15

This is great. I like the line: "Windows has more patches, but Microsoft releases them more frequently and fixes things more quickly" .. heh..

I really don't get where this guy is coming from. Linux is open. The source is available, almost all aspects of it is built to open standards. In areas that have been closed (by Microsoft), the Open Source community has built bridges such as Samba, Wine, NTFS/FAT support, etc to allow the systems to talk with each other.

Open Standards that have been adopted and not extended (corrupted) by Microsoft tend to work quite well across all platforms.

Many applications designed for open source systems have been ported to Windows. The reverse has not been the same. This trend will continue (IIRC, the KDE development teams seem intent on porting most of their KDE 4 apps over to Windows).

If single sign-on is truly important to Microsoft and its customers, then perhaps they should build Windows around an open standard that has been collaborated by industry leaders to make this a reality. Last time I checked, it seems that Solaris, BSD, Linux, etc could be configured in a single sign-on configuration (LDAP, NIS, etc..).

As far as application support -- I am confused as to where this fits into the entire article. Perhaps the author is acknowledging that Microsoft's lock-in on application developers making it difficult to write cross platform apps? Perhaps Microsoft should allows its compilers to target a platform and allow a single source tree to compile to a variety of platforms? There is nothing stopping commercial vendors from porting their apps to Linux.

I'd be really happy to see some niche apps ported, as well as apps like Photoshop and Photoshop Elements ported.. While I prefer open source apps and the flexibility it affords me, at the end of the day, the app that can get the job done is top priority -- let it be commercial or open source.

Reply Score: 5

SSO
by s_groening on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:55 UTC in reply to "LOL."
s_groening Member since:
2005-12-13

Single sign-on generally is not that tough to accomplish, as long as you let everything center around Active Directory (thanks to Kerberos and Samba spnego) but the problems seem to occur the other way around...

It is far worse to get Windows users to log into a 'non NT-style' domain infrastructure, that is LDAP, DNS, Kerberos and Samba, as compared to a plain Samba PDC solution. This is due to the fact that Active Directory is intended for use with Windows in these situations and that it is supposed to be used in this way.

Nothing bad about it as such, it is just a reason as to why Samba 4 aims to being able to emulate a complete Active Directory infrastructure mimicly.

Reply Score: 2

PR at its best
by Nathan on Tue 13th Jun 2006 23:06 UTC
Nathan
Member since:
2006-01-10

Its all just PR.

More companies and public organisations are asking "Is my software based on open standards? Can I interoperate with other software?". Its an ongoing trend in computing that Microsoft has finally acknowledged (in its PR).

This is Microsoft's way of saying, "We aren't an island. We want to build bridges." The reality of course, is entirely different - Microsoft love being an island and will do its best to sink any ships that come too close.

Edited 2006-06-13 23:08

Reply Score: 5

RE: PR at its best
by mipeligro on Wed 14th Jun 2006 02:29 UTC in reply to "PR at its best"
mipeligro Member since:
2006-06-03

Microsoft love being an island

I'd think continent would be a closer analogy.

Reply Score: 2

The Answer is:
by Milo_Hoffman on Tue 13th Jun 2006 23:11 UTC
Milo_Hoffman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft: Lets play nice....

Linux: Ok. YOU FIRST.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The Answer is:
by Nelson on Tue 13th Jun 2006 23:22 UTC in reply to "The Answer is:"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Exactly. I think the point here is that if you expect ANYONE to trust you after your history you're going to have to perform THEN talk.

Things like collaberations with IE7/FF to implement the Phishing things are examples of what MS needs to do. You don't have to opensource you're OS, just share some of the information and allow others to build their open alternatives. Even if it is only for Linux thus it wouldn't be stealing any of the market from your windows only product.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The Answer is:
by Rehdon on Wed 14th Jun 2006 09:22 UTC in reply to "RE: The Answer is:"
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

They wouldn't even have to do that to gain some credibility: have IE supporting CSS2/3 and other open standards would be a reasonable sign that, in the specific field of web browsing, they'd be willing to play within a set of common rules. So far they let IE development rot, and due to its intentionally broken support they slowed down acceptance of those standards by years.

rehdon

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

This is not exactly correct.

The *nix world is highly standardized. The problem is merely all the standards.

And not all in the *nix world think Microsoft sucks. It would perhaps be more correct if you had written they think Windows sucks.

Reply Score: 1

chlordane Member since:
2006-05-11

Yes, Its the Operating System...not the Company....
I use FreeBSD, Solaris, Mac OS X...and yes Windows...
There Office software is just fine...
The OS needs a lot of work....
I wonder what Microsft will do first:

1)Merge with Apple
-or-
2)Go Open Source

Reply Score: 1

Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

3) Build an OS on top of a third party kernel like BSD.
4) Continue competing with their existing product line.

Windows isn't hurting yet, I suspect actual figures would show it to be the number 1 OS sold as OEM or otherwise in most of the big markets outside of Asia. As for Asia itself, they seem to have a hadfull of Linux distributions there, and I have no real idea what the market is like there either so I won't go as far as to assume MS has a foothold within their borders.

Reply Score: 1

Can MS Learn to Play Nice?
by Don T. Bothers on Tue 13th Jun 2006 23:34 UTC
Don T. Bothers
Member since:
2006-03-15

That is the real question. Throughout its entire history, Microsoft has yet to play nice with any other piece of software. Whether the software is open source or close source has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Bill Gates is one paranoid person.

Reply Score: 3

GPL
by derekdb on Tue 13th Jun 2006 23:35 UTC
derekdb
Member since:
2006-06-13

Beyond the PR BS of the article, GPL really does make life difficult for a large company like MS. GPL is fundamentally about requiring derivative work to be FOSS. Derivative work includes suth things as copying algorithms. If GPL does prove to be upheld in the courts (it has not really be tested yet), there is a serious risk that all of Office (or Windows) could be forced to be open sourced simply because one intern recoded the same cool algorithm he saw in GCC. (This only applies if it cam be _proven_ that the inten did copy that algorithm.) From a management perspective that is serious business. GPL is a threat to _every_ non-FOSS software company in existance. It is just that no-one would bother to sue a smaller start-up, but Microsoft makes one meaty target.

GPL is great if you want to fight Stallman's religious wars about _everything_ being FOSS, but I'd rather see people focus on building cool software. If you want to play in todays capitalistic economy you need to accept proprietary software and move on. Like open source too? Use the BSD/Apache/etc license, and let the zealots waste their time arguing.

Reply Score: 3

RE: GPL
by AnonaMoose on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:05 UTC in reply to "GPL"
AnonaMoose Member since:
2005-08-11

Derivative work includes suth things as copying algorithms

Howdy

This isn`t exactly true, you can`t copy/paste the code but you can sure as hell use the same idea and implement it differently (which can be hard if you`ve seen the source code etc).
As for GPL being bad well that depends on how or why you use it, I`ve recently got a contract to a smallish website and I`ll be using GPL software for one part and my own proprietary code for another part.
This is all above board as nothing I make is "derived or linked" to the GPL stuff, I only "use" it for it`s original purpose and any modifications and source for the GPL stuff will be given to the client on the CD.
The only tricky part was explaining to my colleague what/how/why GPL works and changing his copyright statement (which may or maynot of been neccessary it`s easier if you make the wording VERY clear).
BSD vs GPL is an age old thing that doesn`t mean squat, BSD is like releasing your code as a town bike, GPL is like releasing your bike with a guard on the back so others can have a go.

EDIT: Note IP and Patents trump all this too but thats a whole other story and yes GPL3 is supposed to fix this loop hole and yes I think Stallman is a nutcase ;)

Edited 2006-06-14 00:12

Reply Score: 4

RE: GPL
by Wrawrat on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:15 UTC in reply to "GPL"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Don't mix up implementations with algorithms. Copying code is one thing, producing similar, but completely original code based on an inspiration is another.

As for your fictious example, I don't believe Microsoft would have to open their code, just stop the distribution of the offending snippet and what was based on it. The licence might be "viral" but not that "viral".

Spelling

Edited 2006-06-14 00:16

Reply Score: 3

RE: GPL
by butters on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:57 UTC in reply to "GPL"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I'd like to live in a world where you're right, but unfortunately, almost every time I think I'm being too cynical, I'm proven wrong. In our society, people live and die for money, not for each other or for the good of the whole. The GPL leverages copyright to create a world where people work for each other's mutual benefit, and everything that can be demonitized, is. Society is religion, and religion is society. Please excuse Stallman for being cynical, and please excuse yourselves for not being cynical enough.

Please also excuse Theo de Raadt for not being cynical enough, because he had to make emotional pleas for big business to support the broke OpenSSH project. And when these big businesses were asked by the media to comment, their PR morons said that they didn't use OpenSSH, while in fact they were in fact using rebranded versions of this very software. Please excuse me for not wanting my software to suffer the same fate, regardless of how incredibly useful and widely deployed it becomes.

You see, the "zealots" you refer to aren't wasting their time arguing (presumably you meant "amongst themselves"). They, myself included, are spending some time trying to explain to staunch BSD supporters why their licenses cause situations where big companies make lots of money off of their software and leave them scraping for donations to pay for bandwidth. Yes, they reach a broader audience (which is a very good justification for the license), but these additional users are precisely the ones that capitalise and never give back. If this situation is fine with you, then by all means, release your software under a BSD license. You are a far more generous person than I, and I commend you for your thankless philanthropy. I'm really not being sarcastic, I'm dead serious.

I, too, like to see people build cool software, but I also like to use it. I couldn't use more than a few proprietary software titles, even if I really wanted to, because they're just too expensive. If I would stand to generate income based on the features of the software, then it would be a sound investment. But the majority of computer users use software to improve their general quality of life, not to make money. If my personal choices are beginning to impact Microsoft's (and others') revenue streams, then I know I'm doing something right. We're showing the world that software doesn't have to be expensive if people work together (which is one of the major things that computers allow us to do anyway).

There will always be a profitable market for proprietary software, but most software doesn't have to be closed. The GPL is really a wildly successful experiment originally designed to figure out just how broadly the principles of free software can be applied in the real world. So successful that the pressures for proprietary software to interop with free software are threatening to force proprietary software vendors to open up parts of their code, too. These conflicts are not justifications for why free software has outgrown its need for the GPL or for why the GPL is becoming a barrier to the adoption of free software. On the contrary, these conflicts are the first real signs of the GPL beginning to work for the benefit of all software users, not just for the users of free software.

Finally, I'm getting tired of people bitching on the web about stuff not being as they want it to be and then standing idle while other people who are trying to do something about it are called zealots. Maybe we're dead wrong, but you can't fault us for . Thomas Jefferson was a zealot. Copernicus, Ghandi, and Jesus were, too. So was Hitler. So if you're going to call Stallman a zealot, you'd better qualify that as a good or bad thing. It's hard to be a modern-day prophet in a world where any fool can voice his/her opinions. Its easy for the greatest minds of our time to be lost amongst a sea of mindless drivel, and yet Stallman has managed to touch the lives of many millions of ordinary people. Regardless of how he and his free software movement may be judged in the history books, it is hard to argue against zealotry in general as an impetus for social progress.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: GPL
by djohnston on Wed 14th Jun 2006 02:39 UTC in reply to "RE: GPL"
djohnston Member since:
2006-04-11

Extremely well said!

Reply Score: 1

RE: GPL
by Mystilleef on Wed 14th Jun 2006 01:49 UTC in reply to "GPL"
Mystilleef Member since:
2005-06-29

Use the BSD/Apache/etc license, and let the zealots waste their time arguing.

Sure, so that you and corporations like Microsoft can bend me over while
I squeal like a lil' bitch. May as well just feed me to the dogs, thank you.

Reply Score: 2

RE: GPL
by hal2k1 on Wed 14th Jun 2006 05:42 UTC in reply to "GPL"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Derivative work includes suth things as copying algorithms.//

Err, no. That is incorrect.

The GPL relies on copyright law. Copyright law protects the expression of an idea from being copied.

Hence, if Charles Dickens' book "A Tale of Two Cities" is copyrighted, then it is perfectly OK for another author to write another book about two cities, or with a similar story line, for example, but that author may not use "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" as the opening sentence.

I think you are confusing patent law and copyright law. A patent could conceiveably apply to an algorithm, but the GPL is not about patent law. The GPL relies on copyright law.

Hence, if the GNU program 'grep' (as an example) uses a similar algorithm to the original copyrighted UNIX program of the same name, and even uses the same concept and syntax for the regular expressions it takes as arguements, then that is OK under copyright law as long as the actual lines of code used to implement the functionality are different. Similarly, Microsoft could write its own grep program, as long as Microsoft did not use the same source code lines as UNIX grep or GNU/Linux grep.

However, assuming all three programs stuck to the same rules of syntax and used equivalent algorithms, then all three programs could be used in the exact same way (either directly from a command line or from within scripts). This would NOT violate copyright.

Hence we can have interoperability, open standards, open formats etc without violating copyright.

PS: Copyright law applies to anyone ... therefore an author of a GPL program has as many rights under copyright law as does an author of a proprietary program. Don't let the fact that you can see the source fool you into thinking a GPL program is not a copyrighted work ... it very much is copyrighted. After all, one can easily see the "source" of Dicken's book "A Tale of Two Cities", can't one?

Edited 2006-06-14 05:47

Reply Score: 5

RE: GPL
by Rehdon on Wed 14th Jun 2006 09:35 UTC in reply to "GPL"
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

What you're really saying is that Microsoft should be able to rip, plunder, bastardize and make proprietary what was originally conceived as free software, and after that they also should have you pay an arm and a leg for their "improved and extended" version of the same software, at the same time trying hard to exclude the free software community from any sort of interoperability by using all sort of mean tricks (see how Samba is struggling to catch up if you don't believe me). In other words, they'd like to (ab)use GPLed software like they did with BSD.

So, do you really need to be a FLOSS zealot to see that as fundamentally wrong and unfair? I don't think so.

rehdon

Reply Score: 2

RE: GPL
by SEJeff on Wed 14th Jun 2006 12:57 UTC in reply to "GPL"
SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

The GPL *has* been upheld in US and German courts of law:
http://www.fsf.org/news/wallace-vs-fsf US
http://gpl-violations.org/ Based out of Germany

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: GPL
by abraxas on Wed 14th Jun 2006 15:10 UTC in reply to "GPL"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

If GPL does prove to be upheld in the courts (it has not really be tested yet), there is a serious risk that all of Office (or Windows) could be forced to be open sourced simply because one intern recoded the same cool algorithm he saw in GCC.

There is absolutely no risk of Microsoft being forced to open all of Office. That is not how the GPL works. That is not how copyright works. Microsoft would merely have to stop distributing the offending code, as it would then be copyright infringement. Microsoft could then implement its own code, instead of stealing from open source, and all would be well again.

Reply Score: 2

copyright does not protect algorithms
by JoeBuck on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:34 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

Only trade secrets or patents can restrict use of algorithms. Microsoft is free to ask engineer A to analyze a GPL program and produce a report describing the algorithm, and then have engineer B produce a compatible program from the report.

Furthermore it isn't true that a software engineer can work only on GPL code or only on proprietary code but not both. He or she can't copy code from one to the other, true, but this can be avoided without trouble. And there's nothing special about the GPL in that regard; copying code from a textbook without permission is another way that proprietary software houses can get in trouble.

Reply Score: 4

dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

A commercial company has to build intellectual property, while the GPL, by its very nature, does not allow intellectual property to be built, making the two approaches fundamentally incompatible, Muglia said.

Hmm... The GPL is compatible with intellectual property. It actually relies heavily on IP to work. The GPL is however not compatible with proprietary (closed) software, but that is irrelevant in regard to IP.

Just another example of MS-FUD.

Reply Score: 4

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I would put it a different way: The GPL relies heavily (totally, in fact) on copyright, which is one of the forms of intellectual property protected by most governments. When the MS shill spewed forth from its mouth-parts that the GPL is at odds with IP, it really meant to say that it doesn't assign an exclusive patent grant to any particular party. As you know, the patent is another form of protection under the umbrella of IP.

Microsoft's problem with the GPL first starts when they have to prove to the patent office that they indeed deserve the credit for the work they (hypothetically) contribute to GPL software and therefore the right of patent protection. Then they need to decide how they are going to enforce their IP in GPL software (they lose their protection if they don't take this initiative). Most often, this is done by making sure that nobody else attempts to use the IP in another product. Here's where the problems get serious: This would clearly be at odds with the provisions of the GPL, which clearly states the restrictions on redistribution and prohibits any further restrictions.

The only way I can see patented IP working in the context of GPL software is if the method of enforcement was to prohibit anyone from using the IP in non-GPL software, which is prohibited by the GPL anyway. So, given these considerations, Microsoft's problem with the GPL starts with the issue of the exclusive patent grant, but ends up as a problem with the redistribution provisions of the GPL itself.

There's some FUD in the way, but what Microsoft is saying to the open source community is that they want to use open source software in their products, but they don't want to release their derivative works as open source software. The GPL doesn't let them do this, and so they make this an issue of interoperability when it's really about control. There is no amount of interoperability work that will bridge this impasse.

I offer a solution to the thousands of GPL projects: offer a dual license. Put a page on your project site that offers exclusive rights to license the code as desired to any company that pays a one-time sum of... $250,000 USD, for example (use your own judgement). If Microsoft really wants to use your code in a proprietary project, then they will pay the price, and you will be happy to compromise your ideals just this once. Think about how your GPL project will flourish if you can afford to pay developers for their contributions!

Reply Score: 5

Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

I offer a solution to the thousands of GPL projects: offer a dual license. Put a page on your project site that offers exclusive rights to license the code as desired to any company that pays a one-time sum of... $250,000 USD, for example (use your own judgement)

It's not good enough. Good enough is to pay for 3-5 % of revenue for one year, to pay each quarter (yes, tha'ts a lot of money). Giving MS so much IP for $250 000 is a joke.

If Microsoft really wants to use your code in a proprietary project, then they will pay the price, and you will be happy to compromise your ideals just this once

No you won't, but the money will help your ideals happen. Especially from MS. Paying 3 % of their annual revenue for a project will make them think twice. And I'm not talking things like Linux kernel or Gnome or KDE there, as it would not be 3 %, but rather twice the revenues accumulated from the 7 years before.

Reply Score: 1

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

"Giving MS so much IP for $250 000 is a joke."

It depends how significant or useful your code is. I orginally typed $1M USD, but I thought I would get the opposite response (that no one would pay a million dollars for some sf.net project).

Reply Score: 1

*LOL*
by dylansmrjones on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:40 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

After hearing their response, he acknowledged that there is no consensus on this question and that from his perspective, "it appears to be equal. Windows has more patches, but Microsoft releases them more frequently and fixes things more quickly," said Moskowitz.

Considering the time it takes Microsoft to patch a security hole, Moskowitz' statement is clear BS.

PR-drums for all it's worth.

Reply Score: 3

Translation
by hal2k1 on Wed 14th Jun 2006 02:07 UTC
hal2k1
Member since:
2005-11-11

Microsoft wants to use GPL code in its proprietary systems - in the same way that it appropriated the BSD TCP/IP stack.

FOSS just wants interoperability. No closed formats/protocols. FOSS would be perfectly happy if Microsoft's "olive branch" was true support for open standards like ODF, Ogg Vorbis, OpenGL, PDF, Kerebros and the like. Perhaps even a "MS Word for Linux".

These two psotions are poles apart. Microsoft is never going to get to be able to appropriate GPL'd code and charge users for it, and Microsoft is never going to adopt interoperability of protocols/formats and abandon its attempts at lock-in.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Translation - others think this too.
by hal2k1 on Wed 14th Jun 2006 03:06 UTC in reply to "Translation"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS9006356588.html

"Microsoft doesn't innovate, no matter what their ads may say. They embrace technologies and then extend them by making them incompatible with other technologies. If they can't do that, they try to replace them with other technologies."

"Here's the heart of the matter: Open source developers and leaders should no more trust Microsoft than little Red Riding Hood should trust any wolves she might find in the woods. One way or another, someone's going to get eaten, and in the world of business, there are no friendly wood choppers around to save open-source from the wolf."

Reply Score: 2

iarann Member since:
2006-05-14


"Microsoft doesn't innovate, no matter what their ads may say.


I would have to strongly disagree with you here, though the rest of your quote you could support. Just take a look at the new UI for Word 2007. Or the whole .NET Framework and CLI technologies. You may not necessarily agree with these things as good or bad, but to say they are not trying to innovate would be inaccurate.


They embrace technologies and then extend them by making them incompatible with other technologies. If they can't do that, they try to replace them with other technologies."


You could make a strong case for this argument, but I would say they are getting better. I think the main thing is how much they can influence the market. Even with their commanding share of the Office Suite field, they still support WordPerfect format for example.


"Here's the heart of the matter: Open source developers and leaders should no more trust Microsoft than little Red Riding Hood should trust any wolves she might find in the woods. One way or another, someone's going to get eaten, and in the world of business, there are no friendly wood choppers around to save open-source from the wolf."


I would agree with this statement, but I think there are a lot more wolves in the woods than Microsoft, some of them FOSS advocates.

As a disclaimer, I use OS X, Solaris, and Arch Linux as my primary operating systems, with only occasionally logging into Windows XP for game purposes.

Reply Score: 4

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//I would have to strongly disagree with you here,//

Those were not my words. I gave a link to the article from which I quoted the words.

Reply Score: 1

iarann Member since:
2006-05-14


Those were not my words. I gave a link to the article from which I quoted the words.

Right, which is why the rest of that sentence was "though the rest of your quote you could support."

You are correct though, I should have been more clear with my grammar, and phrased it "I would strongly have to disagree with this quote."

Reply Score: 2

Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

Just take a look at the new UI for Word 2007

A new UI is not innovation, no more than a new skin for a media player. Sorry, I disagree with you.
Improving usability is not innovation either.

Or the whole .NET Framework and CLI technologies

.NET is no innovation, unless you forget about Java, and "CLI technologies" have nothing innovative about them either : all of this have been done before.

You may not necessarily agree with these things as good or bad, but to say they are not trying to innovate would be inaccurate

If that's what you find innovative, stay on Windows, or you will be overwhelmed by the innovation in FOSS world. In comparison, no, Windows does not innovate at all.

You could make a strong case for this argument, but I would say they are getting better. I think the main thing is how much they can influence the market. Even with their commanding share of the Office Suite field, they still support WordPerfect format for example

Denying reality now ? So they are getting better ? Like with their support of ODF ? Like with CSS2 ? Like with their format to replace PDF ? Like with leaving access to their doc for Samba to improve instead of paying a daily fine (FYI, they prefer to pay a fine) ? Like the "Linux Reference Center" ? Like ...
Hell, I'll stop there, I could go on and on with this. I fail to see what you find is getting better from them. They are more scared, but better ?

I would agree with this statement, but I think there are a lot more wolves in the woods than Microsoft, some of them FOSS advocates

What are you smoking ? FOSS advocates don't allocate $ 1B to prevent FOSS from gaining ground. FOSS advocates don't pay for headlines saying Linux is bad, or for "Linux Reference Center". FOSS advocates don't prevent themselves from playing WMV. You can put disclaimers all you want, your sophistry makes you more a wolf than any FOSS advocate.

Reply Score: 3

RE: GPL
by archiesteel on Wed 14th Jun 2006 03:20 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Derivative work includes suth things as copying algorithms.

No it doesn't. At most one could argue patenting an algorithm, but even then that would have nothing to do with the GPL, which concerns itself with copyright law only.

If GPL does prove to be upheld in the courts (it has not really be tested yet),

Actually, I believe it has, in Germany.

there is a serious risk that all of Office (or Windows) could be forced to be open sourced simply because one intern recoded the same cool algorithm he saw in GCC.

Hardly. As indicated above, you can't copyright an algorithm, only its implementation.

That said, copying copyrighted code is bad, whether the code is GPL or proprietary. If an intern was to copy code from a proprietary program, the problem would be as serious, if not more. Even then, removing the code and replacing it with original code would solve the issue.

(This only applies if it cam be _proven_ that the inten did copy that algorithm.)

Then issue here wouldn't be the GPL, it would be copyright law. Now, if you don't agree with copyright law then that's a different story...

Reply Score: 2

It's not a one-way street
by Archangel on Wed 14th Jun 2006 08:02 UTC
Archangel
Member since:
2005-07-23

Interesting how the title mentions both sides learning to play nice, whereas the text is simply Microsoft bitching and moaning that they can't rip off GPLed code. Nowhere is there a mention of Microsoft playing nice - one could suggest an eye for an eye, if the open source community gave them something under the BSD license rather than GPL, they could give something back. But no, the article talks entirely about how Microsoft want to learn and take from open source.

It's quite possible that this is because there is nothing in particular that open source can take from Microsoft; they don't need any specific bits of code under dodgy licenses. Microsoft on the other hand don't seem to be capable of writing much compelling on their own any more, so I'm sure they'd be rapt at being able to use code that's under a BSD license rather than the GPL.

It also occurs to me that this is *exactly* the kind of situation that the GPL is in place to prevent. It's no accident that Microsoft are finding it unpalatable.

Reply Score: 3

RE: It's not a one-way street
by siki_miki on Wed 14th Jun 2006 10:25 UTC in reply to "It's not a one-way street"
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

First of all, why do they need to copy the code? They have enough manpower to redo it by the spec.

And even if they intend to copy, GPL code maybe is an obstacle, but they can publish modified code of LGPL (which is what usually linux libraries tend to be), and still keep the source of application linking upon it closed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: It's not a one-way street
by hal2k1 on Wed 14th Jun 2006 10:46 UTC in reply to "RE: It's not a one-way street"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//First of all, why do they need to copy the code? They have enough manpower to redo it by the spec. //

Perhaps what they want is to then be able to patent their version. Perhaps they want FOSS to be invalid when considering prior art in a patent application. After all, they have already put forward "first to file" in this context.

I'm thinking that they feel they would need patents to back up a "pay-per-use" software revenue model - like royalties.

Edited 2006-06-14 10:48

Reply Score: 2

james_gnz
Member since:
2006-02-16

BOSTON--Microsoft has been reaching out to the open-maps community to try to find ways to overcome the incompatibilities between roads available for GNU General Public Access and its own commercial roads.

"Open maps is a way of building roads and, in its most basic sense, there is nothing incompatible [between] the concept of open maps and commercial roads.

"But GPA has an inherent incompatibility that is, to my knowledge, impossible to overcome," Bob Muglia, the senior vice president of Microsoft's truck and trailer business, told eWEEK in an interview here at Microsoft's annual MechEd research and development conference on June 12.

A commercial company has to build toll booths, while the GPA, by its very nature, does not allow toll booths to be built, making the two approaches fundamentally incompatible, Muglia said.

Schemes like the BSA (Berkeley Sabotagable Access) and commercial roads, on the other hand, are quite compatible with one another, he observed.

"We are open to ways of working with the open-maps community broadly, and even in the GPA space we are trying to find ways in which we can build toll booths, but the toll booth has to be carefully constructed, while no-one is watching," Muglia said.

Reply Score: 2

Unlikely
by siki_miki on Wed 14th Jun 2006 10:17 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

Microsoft holds >90% of the desktop market and they don't want to give linux a hand. It can only hurt them in a long term, because linux will be able to take bigger piece of cake if they are interoperable.

MS of course is going to go for compatibility only in areas where linux has edge, like various server setups.

Reply Score: 1

.Net on *Nix
by slashdev on Wed 14th Jun 2006 11:46 UTC
slashdev
Member since:
2006-05-14

If microsoft releases a full, non crippled implementation of the .net 2.0 (and later 3.0) runtime to the opensource community, including total interopability/communication with windows services via XML or .NET. I think the holy war would subside. Outside of that, its more Microsoft faning the flames, not the Open Source community. For all OpenSource communities redderick, they actually have a point, microsoft doesnt open their systems. FOSS is always a step behind in compadiblity with every Windows patch, let alone a major release of windows. Thats why they dream of Linux being a viable desktop alternative.

Reply Score: 1

v Did OSNews invite Slashdotters?
by Marcellus on Wed 14th Jun 2006 11:50 UTC
Short answer
by DevL on Wed 14th Jun 2006 11:56 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft can't be trusted as history has proven time and again. Anyone believing otherwise is clearly a fool.

Reply Score: 2

Incorrect
by tpaws on Wed 14th Jun 2006 13:41 UTC
tpaws
Member since:
2006-06-02

1) 'Windows' is not a "Community". In this sense it is more like a "Facist State".
2) It is not a "Religious War", rather a "Rebellion".
3) MS does not "Play Nice", even with their own customers.
4) MS creates incompatibilities, frequently by design, not infrequently by mistake, and often by tweaking accepted standards.

Microsofts business model is not flexible or adaptable. Liscensing and IP issues are not the core problems, except for the monolithic structure which is Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

Dropping the religious war
by canadianlinuxnerd on Wed 14th Jun 2006 21:14 UTC
canadianlinuxnerd
Member since:
2006-06-14

Funny how it's always the devil that wants to end the religious war, huh?

Reply Score: 1