Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 14th Jan 2007 22:47 UTC, submitted by Anonymous
IBM "When open-source developers and IBM took gambles on each other, free software showed it can flourish in the heartland of corporate computing." This is chapter 7 (free sample, so to speak) of a book on Linux and free software's rise to fame and use in the corporate world.
Order by: Score:
best friends?!
by poundsmack on Mon 15th Jan 2007 00:30 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

i'm sorry but IBM has done for linux what michael jordan did for baseball. sure it hit a few balls and made a few plays but thre wre are lot bigger power players that i could see taking the "best friend" title home. Sun microsystems comes to mind....just my opinion

Reply Score: 3

RE: best friends?!
by kev009 on Mon 15th Jan 2007 01:37 UTC in reply to "best friends?!"
kev009 Member since:
2006-11-30

Sun, Linux, friends?! At worst arch enemies, at best times acquaintances. Usually a pendulum between the two. Right now we are on the acquaintance swing.

Edited 2007-01-15 01:37

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: best friends?!
by somebody on Mon 15th Jan 2007 13:23 UTC in reply to "RE: best friends?!"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Sun, Linux, friends?! At worst arch enemies, at best times acquaintances. Usually a pendulum between the two. Right now we are on the acquaintance swing.

Just have to say my own on this.

Parent post is misguided by thinking that linux == OSS, which is not true. Sun really is best friend of OSS actually. Not one single company gave out so much code as Sun did. (p.s. I'm not a Sun fan)

But the relationship between Sun and linux? You've described it better and simpler than I ever could. That relationship is like watching bell, to produce any sound it has to swing both sides. And in case of linux only one side is good.

Reply Score: 3

RE: best friends?!
by kwanbis on Mon 15th Jan 2007 13:30 UTC in reply to "best friends?!"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

just remember that IBM is the company defending linux in court. Just for that, they deserve a lot of respect. Just think what "could" had happened if they just settle with SCO.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: best friends?!
by Francis Kuntz on Mon 15th Jan 2007 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE: best friends?!"
Francis Kuntz Member since:
2006-09-23

They didn't choose to defend linux in court, they was sued by sco.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._IBM_Linux_lawsuit

On March 6, 2003, the SCO Group (formerly known as Caldera Systems) filed a $1 billion lawsuit in the US against IBM for allegedly “devaluing” its version of the UNIX operating system.
SCO claimed that IBM had, without authorization, contributed SCO's intellectual property to the codebase of the open source, Unix-like Linux operating system.


Edited 2007-01-15 18:17

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: best friends?!
by kwanbis on Mon 15th Jan 2007 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: best friends?!"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

yes, but they desided not to settle, they instead are fighting in court. You know, settling is probably cheaper.

Reply Score: 1

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

Settling with Caldera-masquerading-as-SCO was never an option.

If IBM wasn't allowed to distribute their own code, some of it patented, such as RCU which they got when they bought Sequent, they would be effectively under the control of another company in regard to what they could do with their own work product. Do you think IBM would settle with a company that wants to have its decisions about what IBM does override IBM's own plans?

That, however, is as irrelevant as your reply since IBM only recently found out that this was why SCO was suing them. They have been trying to get a specific claim from new-SCO, son of NEWCO, for 4 years. Last August the Magistrate judge ruled that they had willfully not produced the evidence to support most of their claims.

This prompts my question: Is it a good idea to settle with a company that cannot or will not state what it claims you have done to harm it? If so, how would you go about settling a non-specific claim? How would you evaluate it and how would you determine what the degree of harm might be and what remedy is appropriate to that claim?

IBM literally couldn't have settled without giving away potentially billions in payments as well as self-determination as a business entity.

By the way, Linux is pretty much not even part of the suit any more. No evidence was submitted that there is any SysV code in Linux. The revised claim is that IBM is not allowed to share its own code without getting approval, even if it has already been published for patenting, and that open standards and "methods and concepts" are a [heretofore unrecognized] form of Intellectual Property regulated by [heretofore unrecognized] legislation and case law.

Try to do some settling with that claim on the table.

Don't forget that buying SCOX means that you not only acquire their assets, you also acquire their liabilities. Now how much would you pay?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: best friends?!
by walterbyrd on Tue 16th Jan 2007 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: best friends?!"
walterbyrd Member since:
2005-12-31

>>
yes, but they desided not to settle, they instead are fighting in court. You know, settling is probably cheaper.
<<

Except that: if ibm were to settle, then every other failing micro-cap would also be filing a bogus lawsuit against ibm.

Also, if ibm were to settle, then ibm would be essentially admitting that there is some legal problem with linux. And linux is a huge source of revenue for ibm.

Also, there is a chance that ibm with sue msft for msft's major role in the scam. Msft financed the scam, and msft is likely the puppet-master. Msft always settles because has too many skeletons in the closet. Sunw got $2B in msft settlement, ibm could get more.

In the long run, it's much cheaper for ibm to stomp scox.

Reply Score: 1

yawn
by Cloudy on Mon 15th Jan 2007 01:05 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

Someone needs an editor.

That's bad prose even for Salon.

How breathless. How shallow. How utternly unfamiliar with the material.

Even Forbes knew IBM was getting behind Linux in '99. If it came as a big surprise to Alan Cox in 2000, he's a whole lote dumber than I have any reason to believe he is.

Reply Score: 2

RE: yawn
by tux68 on Mon 15th Jan 2007 06:34 UTC in reply to "yawn"
tux68 Member since:
2006-10-24

Even Forbes knew IBM was getting behind Linux in '99. If it came as a big surprise to Alan Cox in 2000, he's a whole lote dumber than I have any reason to believe he is.

RTFA.. Nobody said Alan was surprised, just that he had actually received some CODE on the date in question. If you think you can write a better article please do. However, i'd be very surprised if you could produce an article that was as interesting or informative. Kudos to the author, and to OS/News for linking it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: yawn
by Cloudy on Mon 15th Jan 2007 06:45 UTC in reply to "RE: yawn"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

I read the article.

I misparsed "Vepstas stared at the message from Cox in shock." as suggesting that Cox was in shock.

My comment holds equally as well for Vepstas.

The "article" (it's a section from a book) is badly written, mistaken, and misleading.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: yawn
by tux68 on Mon 15th Jan 2007 06:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: yawn"
tux68 Member since:
2006-10-24

My comment holds equally as well for Vepstas.

Since your comment was obviously wrong in regards to Alan Cox, i'd say yes.. it does hold equally well for Vepstas. He wasn't shocked that IBM was becoming more involved in Linux, rather he was shocked that in one swoop they had rendered his own personal Linux project moot.

Rather than just proclaiming that you know the article to be mistaken, and misleading, you should offer some actual facts rather than just making unsubstantiated slurs against it.

The only item you've referenced so far about Alan Cox showed _you_ to be the one in error rather than the article.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: yawn
by Cloudy on Mon 15th Jan 2007 07:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: yawn"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Nice use of selective quoting. I said I was wrong about Cox and that it was Vepstas who the article claimed was "shocked."

I did offer factual evidence. If Forbes knew about it in '99 (you can look up the Forbes references yourself) then it shouldn't have come as a surprise or shock to Vepstas.

The IBM project was no "skunkworks." Both Vepstas and Cox knew about it. Vepstas merely refused to accept that IBM would really release the code until he saw it for himself.

If you want a specific example of an error in the article, here's one:

Vepstas wasn't particularly interested in the resurgence of the mainframe market; he wanted to hone his technical chops. To get Linux to run on a killer machine like the 390 would be a nice hack indeed -- he would have to write his own compiler and assembler and master the tricky job of porting an entire kernel to a new hardware architecture.

emphasis, mine.

Vepstas did not need to write a compiler or assembler for the 390. He had to adapt an existing compiler, which is a far easier job.

This sort of exageration can be found throughout the article, which is why I described its style as "breathless."

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: yawn
by tux68 on Mon 15th Jan 2007 07:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: yawn"
tux68 Member since:
2006-10-24

I did offer factual evidence. If Forbes knew about it in '99 (you can look up the Forbes references yourself) then it shouldn't have come as a surprise or shock to Vepstas.

The IBM project was no "skunkworks." Both Vepstas and Cox knew about it. Vepstas merely refused to accept that IBM would really release the code until he saw it for himself.


You're tearing down your own strawmen. It was you who claimed that Vepstas should not have felt any shock because he should have _known_ IBM was coming, now you claim he did know.

So if we accept the facts as you present them, the article is still accurate; he did indeed feel shock (because something he didn't think would happen, did). So again your entire line of reasoning is based on your own feelings about the situation and doesn't represent a problem in the article itself.

Vepstas did not need to write a compiler or assembler for the 390. He had to adapt an existing compiler, which is a far easier job.

It sounds to me like you're word-lawyering rather than really highlighting any gross factual error.

And quoting from your original submission:

If it came as a big surprise to Alan Cox in 2000, he's a whole lote dumber than I have any reason to believe he is.

Which sounds to me much more "breathless" than anything in the original article.

Edited 2007-01-15 07:18

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: yawn
by Cloudy on Mon 15th Jan 2007 07:21 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: yawn"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

And quoting from your original submission:

If it came as a big surprise to Alan Cox in 2000, he's a whole lote dumber than I have any reason to believe he is.


Let me guess. The whole reason for your diatribe is that you thought the above was an attempt to insult Alan Cox?

If so, you read it wrong. I thought the article had insulted Alan Cox and was saying that he was smarter than they were giving him credit for.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: yawn
by tux68 on Mon 15th Jan 2007 07:30 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: yawn"
tux68 Member since:
2006-10-24

Let me guess. The whole reason for your diatribe is that you thought the above was an attempt to insult Alan Cox?

So now anyone who calls you out for factual mistakes is making a "diatribe"; talk about breathless. The reason for my post is that you insinuated that the entire article could be dismissed as factually incorrect and misleading. Yet your only point was in fact incorrect itself and proved nothing of the sort.

Did the meetings he describe with IBM not take place? Did he mischaracterize them in some way? What about the internal struggles at IBM, did those happen as he described? It was too long an article, with many interesting tidbits, to let someone dismiss it on the flimsiest of evidence as you attempted to do.

Reply Score: 2

Nice Article
by llanitedave on Mon 15th Jan 2007 03:38 UTC
llanitedave
Member since:
2005-07-24

Don't know how accurate the descriptions are of the snack choices in the break room, but it definitely evoked an atmosphere!

If accurate, I think it also gives a little insight into how IBM works, and kudos to Lou G. of IBM, for displaying what seems to be an above-average level of common sense for a PHB.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting Read
by TheIdiotThatIsMe on Mon 15th Jan 2007 06:09 UTC
TheIdiotThatIsMe
Member since:
2006-06-17

I will be the first to admit I dont know much about the history of these kind of things, but it was definitely an interesting read. Something different for the site.

Reply Score: 1

IBM, the linux's best friend ?
by Francis Kuntz on Mon 15th Jan 2007 08:45 UTC
Francis Kuntz
Member since:
2006-09-23

Linux is an open source system, IBM is the company that owns the most of patent and they are proud of it:
http://www.ibm.com/news/us/en/2007/01/2007_01_11B.html?sa_campaign=...

How can a company owning the most patents on the earth be a friend of open source softwares ...

Edited 2007-01-15 09:03

Reply Score: 2

RE: IBM, the linux's best friend ?
by tux68 on Mon 15th Jan 2007 09:12 UTC in reply to "IBM, the linux's best friend ?"
tux68 Member since:
2006-10-24

How can a company owning the most patents on the earth can be a friends of open source softwares ...

Healthy patent law can be a good thing and spur innovation. Of course there are many arguments that suggest current patent law isn't all that healthy...

Although it left many people unimpressed, IBM did donate 500 patents to open source projects a few years back[1].

As an aside, I found a link by accident that shows this chapter with a different name[2] "How Big Blue fell for Linux". Perhaps it was changed in a reprint...

[1] http://lwn.net/Articles/119039/
[2] http://tinyurl.com/yxtoty

Reply Score: 4

Francis Kuntz Member since:
2006-09-23

Although it left many people unimpressed, IBM did donate 500 patents to open source projects a few years back[1].

Well, I think that people were unimpressed because for open source users software patents should not exist.

Reply Score: 3

walterbyrd Member since:
2005-12-31

>>
How can a company owning the most patents on the earth be a friend of open source softwares ...
<<

Simply owning patents is not harmful to Linux. Msft is filing bogus patents left and right, specifically to aid msft in msft's underhanded war against foss - that is different than IBM's ownership of patents.

IBM is a 75 year old HW/SW company, of course they have patents.

Reply Score: 3