Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 19:39 UTC, submitted by gonzo
.NET (dotGNU too) "One of the things my team has been working to enable has been the ability for .NET developers to download and browse the source code of the .NET Framework libraries, and to easily enable debugging support in them. Today I'm excited to announce that we'll be providing this with the .NET 3.5 and VS 2008 release later this year. We'll begin by offering the source code (with source file comments included) for the .NET Base Class Libraries, ASP.NET, Windows Forms, ADO.NET, XML, and WPF. We'll then be adding more libraries in the months ahead (including WCF, Workflow, and LINQ). The source code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License."
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I have no words
by _Ramirez_ on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 19:50 UTC
_Ramirez_
Member since:
2007-04-11

WOW

Reply Score: 1

8-|
by dmrio on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 19:52 UTC
dmrio
Member since:
2005-08-26

Microsoft release WHAT???

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft Reference License
by anomie on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:02 UTC
anomie
Member since:
2007-02-26

Make sure you read the fine print on the license.

This is not OSS. It's a "read-only" license.

One of the more prominent theories circulating around goes something like this:
* MS gives read-only access to .NET source code.
* Developers review it. (Maybe mono developers?)
* Lawsuit time. Evidence shows that you looked at our code. MS kills mono or [insert_app_here].

Reply Score: 33

v RE: Microsoft Reference License
by Almafeta on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 21:23 UTC in reply to "Microsoft Reference License"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

They will have no technical advantage over vanilla .NET, but they will get broadly advertised, and will be widely adopted by the 50% of the Internet composed of the MySpace generation.

I'm trying to think of a concrete example of what you're describing that has already happened in the *real world* today...

Considering the amount of open-source code already out there, I would expect this is to be a common problem (where 50% of the internet uses rip-off versions and thinks it is the real thing)...

Edited 2007-10-03 21:32

Reply Score: 4

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

...damaging their reputation, and they'll only have themselves to blame for releasing the code in the first place.

Which side of their reputation are you talking about?

The side that is known for keeping interoperability information under lock and key so they can continue to monopolies their position as the world's no1 desktop?

The side that is known to invite partners to develop for their platform only to release a competing product and bundle it for free with their OS?

The side that bullies OEMs into offering systems with only their OS preinstalled?

The side that is known for trying to take over the internet with an inferior product, then providing operating systems without the security mechanisms needed to securely connect to said internet there by leaving the door open for scrip kiddies to run riot causing millions of dollars in downtime and damages?

How about the side that bankrolls other companies to threatens the only thing it can't buy, steal from or muscle out of the IT industry, i.e. Linux, and when that fails, starts threatening with bogus IP violation charges it is unwilling (read unable) to provide any evidence for?

If MS is damaging it's reputation, surely that's a good thing?

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Microsoft Reference License
by tomcat on Thu 4th Oct 2007 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft Reference License"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

These flawed copies will make MS scramble to explain why their cross-platform .NET programs don't work on Imperfect .NET Implementation XYZ, damaging their reputation, and they'll only have themselves to blame for releasing the code in the first place.


How does this differ from any OSS project? Forks happen all the time. That's the risk of releasing source code.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Microsoft Reference License
by wirespot on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:00 UTC in reply to "Microsoft Reference License"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Lawsuit time. Evidence shows that you looked at our code. MS kills mono or [insert_app_here].


So what if you look at the code? In most parts of the world the only problem is copyright, and it's not an issue unless you copy and paste the code. Or, to make absolutely sure, you use "clean room" development, where one developer looks at the original code, tells another what it does and the second developer writes new code from scratch, with the same functionality.

Software patents or reverse engineering are an issue only in some countries.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft Reference License
by Kroc on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft Reference License"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Yes, but all Microsoft have to do is make the allegations. They don't have to back them up, or prove them conclusively. Microsoft can claim that such and such app is breaking the licence, and it's up to the app writers to prove otherwise, not Microsoft. MS fires off some cease and desists to the ISP, and before you know it, Microsoft have spun an allegation into an anti-open source, anti non MS-vendor bit of PR.

There's only so many ways you can make a simple function return an answer. Making other programmers have to tip toe around Microsoft's specific implementation will slow down development and increase administration. Just look at the audit that had to be done on ReactOS because of Microsoft allegations.

Reply Score: 7

navaraf Member since:
2005-07-08

Just look at the audit that had to be done on ReactOS because of Microsoft allegations.


At least spread correct information please. The audit wasn't done because of MS allegations, but because of allegations of people from inside the project and from related projects. MS never ever approached ReactOS about it.

Reply Score: 2

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Yes, but all Microsoft have to do is make the allegations. They don't have to back them up, or prove them conclusively.


Yes they do. If you bring charges of copyright infringement you have to back them up. Of course you do.

I don't see what ISP's have to do with this. If you meant hosting companies, they usually check around. They don't boot their paying customers for allegations alone.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Microsoft Reference License
by hobgoblin on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:37 UTC in reply to "Microsoft Reference License"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

ah, its "shared-source" ;)

Reply Score: 2

Nice
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 4th Oct 2007 01:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft Reference License"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

This "source release" isn't anything like "open source" but perhaps it will help the Mono developers. That would be a good thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice
by hobgoblin on Thu 4th Oct 2007 01:40 UTC in reply to "Nice"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

well microsoft coined the term "shared source", and iirc this kind of look but dont touch was the basic idea for it...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Microsoft Reference License
by Hiev on Thu 4th Oct 2007 01:24 UTC in reply to "Microsoft Reference License"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

wow, purist trolls have become masters in the art of speculation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft Reference License
by Touvan on Thu 4th Oct 2007 15:43 UTC in reply to "Microsoft Reference License"
Touvan Member since:
2006-09-01

Microsoft's track record means they are going to have to prove they don't have those kinds of nefarious goals.

However, I think some good could actually come out of this. If there are any perceptible people in charge over there, they may start to notice better bug reports, maybe even receive a few high quality patches, and some of the other benefits that come from open source, and begin to really understand the advantages.

Again, they are going to have to demonstrate that they are not evil though. There's just too much history.

Reply Score: 2

Licensing.
by bnolsen on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:02 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

I was immediately skeptical about this being some sort of submarine type license, but looks okay..

Looks like your standard "AS-IS" license with a clause of:
if you try to sue us over stuff found in this source code you lose rights to use it.

Nice short license.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Licensing.
by chemical_scum on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 23:15 UTC in reply to "Licensing."
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

was immediately skeptical about this being some sort of submarine type license, but looks okay..

From the FL

2. Grant of Rights

(A) Copyright Grant- Subject to the terms of this license, the Licensor grants you a non-transferable, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce the software for reference use.


"Reference use" means use of the software within your company as a reference, in read only form, for the sole purposes of debugging your products, maintaining your products, or enhancing the interoperability of your products with the software, and specifically excludes the right to distribute the software outside of your company.


Looks like a "submarine type of license" to me.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Licensing.
by Marcellus on Thu 4th Oct 2007 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Licensing."
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

Looks like a "submarine type of license" to me.


In what way is it a submarine type of license according to you?
It says what you're allowed to do and what you're not allowed to do in quite clear language.

Reply Score: 4

What a bunch of CROCK
by WarpKat on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:02 UTC
WarpKat
Member since:
2006-02-06

The day Microsoft releases source code to anything of value is the day pigs fl...

*FLAP* *OINK* *FLAP* *OINK*

...well...whatta ya know?!?!

Reply Score: 6

Don't get too excited
by shiny on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:02 UTC
shiny
Member since:
2005-08-09

I support the idea behind the viewable source, but I strongly suspect it will be released under some kind of "read only" license, i.e. no compiling possible, etc.
Don't forget that Microsoft already released parts of the Windows NT and CE to some business partners before.

But IF they would release .NET under some kind of open source license, it could make quite a boom in the Java vs .NET case. But Microsoft is not that smart ;)

Reply Score: 4

holly...
by poundsmack on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:08 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

java watch out!

this is amazing though. thanks MS! (10$ says they lost a bet and this was the part of the bargin they had to held up) haha

Reply Score: 1

RE: holly...
by TemporalBeing on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:30 UTC in reply to "holly..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Why? Java will actually be open source.

.Net - it'll just be there without anyone touching it.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: holly...
by psychicist on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:51 UTC in reply to "RE: holly..."
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

I think you are a bit behind the times, because Java is already free software under the GPL v2 ;) . The source code has been released in the OpenJDK (http://openjdk.java.net) project with some minor binary stubs for those things that cannot be opened up.

The IcedTea project (http://icedtea.classpath.org) attempts to create replacements for these binary stubs with unencumbered free replacements and stubs. It will take some time before it's complete.

.Net is just a fad that will eventually die out on free software platforms, as there is no reason to come anywhere near it unless you really only strive for Windows compatibility.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: holly...
by PlatformAgnostic on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: holly..."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Or you could use .NET/Mono because it is likely to be a better runtime since it has the benefits of lessons learned from the Java experience. And having competition allows both platforms to evolve faster.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: holly...
by TemporalBeing on Mon 8th Oct 2007 19:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: holly..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

.Net is not any better than Java except in that it is tied to a single platform (Windows) and can therefore make certain optimizations that are otherwise not available.

It is a lot easier to design something for a single platform/API/processor than it is to try to do what Java does.

.Net has a bit better performance as a result, but it lacks the ability to move stuff between systems - yes, even with Mono which will never be as complete as Microsoft's .Net implementation is. So your comment is quite a bit off the ball.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: holly...
by PlatformAgnostic on Tue 9th Oct 2007 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: holly..."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I'm not seeing how you get this idea. The .NET class library is tied to Windows, but there is more effort involved in porting the VM runtime between x86, x64, and IA-64 than to other OSes. The VM also runs on ARM.

The singular area in which I could imagine .NET having a performance advantage over Java from being tied to Windows is in exception handling. Java has to be able to deal with Signals from UNIX and SEH in Windows. But SEH isn't exactly a performance winner and exceptions are... well, exceptional. The underlying OS is not very important to the performance of compiled code except insofar as it calls down to the OS for I/O and gets interrupted by the OS for scheduling and page faults.

Sure, Java has the explicit goal of being portable between OSes. This fact doesn't prevent Java vendors from writing highly-optimized libraries and runtimes for specific OSes. And they do so. Even Microsoft wrote a JVM that was well-regarded for its performance. .NET is simply an incremental improvement with the lessons of Java in mind.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: holly...
by TemporalBeing on Tue 9th Oct 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: holly..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

I'm not seeing how you get this idea. The .NET class library is tied to Windows, but there is more effort involved in porting the VM runtime between x86, x64, and IA-64 than to other OSes. The VM also runs on ARM.

However - all of those are still being written to Windows and the Windows APIs. Where as Java is being written to multiple APIs (POSIX, Windows API, etc.). This can make a big difference in how it performs and the optimizations in the code structure. For example - Signaling (SEH vs. Posix Signals), Error Handling, Threading, Multi-process, Memory models, etc. All of these things change between OS's, even if in only minor details.

Cross Platform is more than just processor architecture - it is also the Operating System.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: holly...
by PlatformAgnostic on Tue 9th Oct 2007 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: holly..."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Memory models do not change between OSes, AFAIK (I could stand to be corrected if I'm wrong). They're a facet of the underlying hardware platform. The underlying API might affect the performance of the class library, but the classes that are performance critical are rewritten for each platform anyway, so Java probably uses the exact same mechanisms as .NET on Windows.

As I understand it, Java was designed to be interpreted as well as compiled, while .NET was optimized purely for compilation before execution (and the CLR today doesn't ever interpret code, AFAIK). The underlying OS shouldn't make that much of a difference here... and the VMs can be optimized for the target platform anyway. There's nothing particularly tied into Windows in .NET. In fact, the CLR can be hosted in SQL server which redefines many of the OS primitives to work better for database transactions. In the SQL scenario, .NET does not call directly down into the OS for most important tasks. Instead it calls SQLOS: http://blogs.msdn.com/slavao/articles/441058.aspx.

I have to be honest, though... I do not know if .NET is faster than Java or how much. It may or may not be, but I haven't done any benchmarking myself, so I'd be hard-pressed to say anything. I'm just trying to argue against your premise that the underlying platform has much of an effect on the speed of executing the Managed Code. I also don't think a little bit of incremental speed each way makes much of a difference. One would be expected to pick .NET or Java for other reasons than a 10% performance advantage either way. .NET would be chosen for its language independence and Windows support, while Java would be chosen for its maturity and comparative ease of moving applications from one OS to the other (though anyone seriously doing this would need to do significant testing to make sure things really are the same).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: holly...
by TemporalBeing on Mon 8th Oct 2007 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: holly..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

I believe that was my point - though I said it that way as Java is not, as you admit, fully there yet. It's a good start, but still has some way to go.

Fully agree on .Net being just a fad.

Reply Score: 1

RE: holly...
by google_ninja on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:17 UTC in reply to "holly..."
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

#1) Java class library source has been around for at LEAST 10 years, if not since it was first released

#2) The .NET VM is not going to be open, only the API. SUN is just making the move now to open their JVM.

#3) Java needs to watch out more on technical issues, like how .net is language agnostic, C# is java with a bunch of things fixed, and .NET GUI apps don't suck. MS doesnt need to open their JVM, all they need to do is port it to other platforms (or just get Novell to do it), and that is the final nail in the Java coffin.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: holly...
by sanctus on Thu 4th Oct 2007 00:57 UTC in reply to "RE: holly..."
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

The reason .net gui dont suck,
1. unlike Sun, Microsoft have a complete system with nice librairies. Microsoft need to keep its gui "modern" against competition (aqua, gtk, qt)

2. Sun is too political. SWT offer a far better alternative (wx in mono/.net/aqua/python), but because it is IBM's solution, Sun decide not to support it. Yet they fraud their developpers and supporter telling them that people really like swing and that it's fast.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: holly...
by StaubSaugerNZ on Thu 4th Oct 2007 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: holly..."
StaubSaugerNZ Member since:
2007-07-13

> Yet they fraud their developpers and supporter telling them that people really like swing and that it's fast.

Actually sanctus, Swing is quite fast when done correctly. The greatest problem are Swing developers that don't correctly deal with the event dispatch thread that blocks repainting. With Sun JDK 1.6 update 5 (currently in early release testing) the *entirety* of Swing is rendered in hardware with DirectX on Windows. Pretty hard to get faster than that (unless you continue to block the Event Dispatch Thread).

If we forget the consumer desktop for a moment and consider the corporate/enterprise/government world, Java applications are very widely deployed. I have seen some .NET projects in the enterprises I deal with, and this restricted opening of the .NET libraries is definitely a help for them, but Java is still the "800 lb" gorilla in this space and will probably be for some time.

Edited 2007-10-04 20:30

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: holly...
by sanctus on Fri 5th Oct 2007 14:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: holly..."
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

When SWT came out, swing was slow (even if done correctly) and looked not only foreign, but unappealing. People were complaining about swing for years and Sun just didn't care a bit. Then IBM creates an amazing alternative that was faster than swing and the interface look native on every platform out of the box. IBM had listened.

It was too late, like Sun often do, before they start improving their product, they wait until customers were frustrated enough and create an alternative. Swing isn't alone, the whole jvm get nearly stagnant until .net was unveil.

They invest just more money where competition and development effort weren't needed.
Sun could have work with IBM to make the whole jvm more appealing for developers, business apps as well as end user in one shot. But they didn't want IBM to receive any credit. They politically played, against java and their customers.

Still today, swing feel foreign even with the nice themes, especially on Linux where it still look crap. Plus, it keeps burden the developer with extra work.

If we forget the consumer desktop for a moment and consider the corporate/enterprise/government world, Java applications are very widely deployed.


That is true, but as a consultant, I work for different clients, big enterprise and government. Java is still being use to develop server application, but when it comes to user interface, .net is becoming the standard. I worked for a government entity with more than 20000 employees that switch officially to .net. The look and feel wasn’t the only issue, but it played big time. What people see is the GUI, if the GUI suck, they entire application/framework get tagged. Sadly, a very large amount of people dislike swing. That’s good for consumer desktop and corporate.

I just hope the open source of the jvm will be more “open” and stop this over political attitude.

Edited 2007-10-05 14:39

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: holly...
by TemporalBeing on Mon 8th Oct 2007 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: holly..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

It was too late, like Sun often do, before they start improving their product, they wait until customers were frustrated enough and create an alternative. Swing isn't alone, the whole jvm get nearly stagnant until .net was unveil.

This was because for the longest time Sun tried to have their JVM, which had become the de facto, be nothing more than a reference for others to verify against. Unfortunately for them, it became the de facto standard that everyone used, and they were eventually forced to fix stuff so that it actually worked.

Reply Score: 1

daddio
Member since:
2007-07-14

[blockquote]
"Reference use" means use of the software within your company as a reference, in read only form, for the sole purposes of debugging your products, maintaining your products, or enhancing the interoperability of your products with the software, and specifically excludes the right to distribute the software outside of your company.
[/blockquote]

So this is nice debugging tool for .net software houses(one of which I work for), but short of some innovative reverse engineering tactics using a third party to review code, useless for mono or dot.GNU

OTOH, since this is "reference" code, some sort of parser could probably be written to extract useful information while shucking any "creative expression".

Meh, I wil continue to stay away from C# for anything nonWindows

Edited 2007-10-03 20:24

Reply Score: 10

Pretty useful
by google_ninja on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:23 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

The thing is, with tools like Reflector, you don't really need the source most of the time.

Where this will be incredibly useful is for debugging, now we will actually be able to step through framework classes, which is quite useful, and one of the few things I miss about my Java development days.

Reply Score: 7

Huh?
by tuaris on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:24 UTC
tuaris
Member since:
2007-08-05

Isn't it a little early (or late) for April fools.

Reply Score: 2

NOT open source
by elanthis on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:24 UTC
elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

This is not open source. At all. It just gives you the right download and distribute copies of the source provided you do not modify it or incorporate it into a product.

Basically, it's useful so that you can look at how the libraries work to make your own interoperable software (eg Mono).

It is not a submarine patent threat, as the license gives patent rights to anyone using the source, so long as the don't copy/modify the source. That is, Mono could use it to test compatibility or check how a function works, but they can't copy the code into Mono. So long as it's clear that they write the code cleanly, it's in theory safe.

Granted, IANAL...

Reply Score: 3

RE: NOT open source
by sappyvcv on Thu 4th Oct 2007 12:13 UTC in reply to "NOT open source"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

No one ever claimed it is open source?

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:27 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Miguel de Icaza coments about it:

http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Oct-03.html

Reply Score: 6

RE: ...
by MollyC on Thu 4th Oct 2007 05:46 UTC in reply to "..."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Miguel de Icaza coments about it:

http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Oct-03.html


Hmmm...
Something interesting I noticed in Miguel's blog is that Microsoft is changing the name of MS-PL (which is not the license being used for the .NET Framework sources) from "Microsoft Permissive License" to "Microsoft Open License" (I assume to appease the claim by OSI that "Microsoft Permissive License" is a misleading name).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by Beta on Thu 4th Oct 2007 13:28 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Should we be taking bets for them needing to rename the licence again? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by SReilly on Thu 4th Oct 2007 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

My dear fellow IT buff, I think we can both agree on one word when dealing with such a name change; marketing! ;-)

Reply Score: 2

The Rat.
by systyrant on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:29 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

I have to agree with the conspiracy theories. While I think this will benefit .Net developers I can't help but think that Microsoft will eventually use this to say open source "stole" from Microsoft. However, the reality is nothing can be done about this. Microsoft has every right to open it's source code and unfortunately ever right to claim somebody stole from it.

I just hope that if that day comes most people are smart enough to at least smell a rat.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The Rat.
by umccullough on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 20:54 UTC in reply to "The Rat."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Microsoft has every right to open it's source code and unfortunately ever right to claim somebody stole from it.

Actually, they don't really have "ever [sic] right to claim somebody stole from it" unless they have some amount of legitimate proof... Otherwise it's known as libel/slander/defamation.

They may, however, exercise their legal rights if they happen to find that someone has violated their copyrights and license agreements.

I do think this is going to be a positive outcome for .NET developers everywhere - but hopefully it won't turn into some slander-fest...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The Rat.
by Beta on Thu 4th Oct 2007 13:33 UTC in reply to "RE: The Rat."
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

“Actually, they don't really have "ever [sic] right to claim somebody stole from it" unless they have some amount of legitimate proof... Otherwise it's known as libel/slander/defamation.”

You did hear Microsoft claiming Linux violates 235 of their patents, right? It’s quite clear they have no problem with libellous statements.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The Rat.
by BluenoseJake on Thu 4th Oct 2007 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The Rat."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"You did hear Microsoft claiming Linux violates 235 of their patents, right? It’s quite clear they have no problem with libellous statements."

Considering that absolutely no one believes it, it is a statement without any power whatsoever, and even MS knows it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: The Rat.
by chemical_scum on Thu 4th Oct 2007 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The Rat."
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Considering that absolutely no one believes it, it is a statement without any power whatsoever, and even MS knows it.

If it scares a few PHB's off from deploying Linux then it will have shown that it has power. PHB's are absolutely no one and can therefore believe it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: The Rat.
by PlatformAgnostic on Thu 4th Oct 2007 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The Rat."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

It's probably true... Microsoft does have a lot of patents, and Linux implements a large amount of functionality. It's just that Microsoft doesn't have to show anyone information about this except those from whom it is accepting licensing fees. They don't want to sue customers and they don't want to sue end-users, so you won't see much of this except when they do a deal. The rest will be done quietly in confidential letters to big enterprise customers (the kind who might have a chance of getting Linux "for free" due to their ability to have a large in-house IT staff instead of paying RHAT for support). It is these people for whom the cost of linux must be made non-zero for Microsoft to compete there.

Think of it from Steve Ballmer's perspective (hard as that may be)... His company gets sued all the time for IP violations. Some are legitimate (the DEC case and the Apple case come to mind), but others are complete junk (cf. Eolas, Alcatel-Lucent). The industry (players like Sun, Novell, RedHat, and IBM) can't have it both ways: either IP laws apply to everyone or they apply to no one. Open Source does not magically exempt industry players from their obligation under patent law. This was never about individual developers or the independent OSS market... this has always been about big name vendors selling linux to big name customers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: The Rat.
by lemur2 on Fri 5th Oct 2007 10:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The Rat."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The rest will be done quietly in confidential letters to big enterprise customers (the kind who might have a chance of getting Linux "for free" due to their ability to have a large in-house IT staff instead of paying RHAT for support).


You mean like Google? That strategy doesn't seem to be going all that well, does it?

It is these people for whom the cost of linux must be made non-zero for Microsoft to compete there.


Microsoft has nothing to do with Linux. Microsoft wrote none of the code. GNU/Linux itself is based on ancient Unix, BSD, POSIX standards and ideas and concepts that can easily be found in old "Unix internals" textbooks. All of this technology pre-dates Microsoft itself.

Linux doesn't violate Microsoft's patents. The technology in Linux has nothing to do with Microsoft's IP.

If anything, Microsoft's software is more likely to be in patent trouble:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Invention_Network
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_Commons
http://www.patentcommons.org/

The technology in the Patent Commons in particular tends to pre-date Microsoft.

It is a shame for Microsoft, but the fact remains (despite how much Microsoft try to keep it from being generally known) that for any company that can afford a mildly-competent IT staff, the actual cost of Linux is indeed zero.

BTW, wouldn't a strategy involving lying to big enterprise customers via confidential letters constitute mail fraud? That is a felony, I believe.

Edited 2007-10-05 10:39

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: The Rat.
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 5th Oct 2007 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The Rat."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

We're talking about patents, not copyright, so it doesn't matter if Microsoft contributed no code. Are you saying that Linux has not picked up any features since its ancient UNIX roots? Nothing such as an O(1) scheduler that bears a striking similarity to NT's design from many years before? Or perhaps zero-copy socket APIs that could be a little similar to NT's versions?

I'm not saying that these are necessarily patent violations (I haven't even looked up a single patent). What I am saying though is that there could be some core ideas in OS design that NT did first and Linux later adopted. These could be grounds for claiming patent violations... not to mention some features in Linux used to interoperate with NT.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: The Rat.
by SReilly on Thu 4th Oct 2007 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The Rat."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You are right, but then again you, I and MS knows that they don't have to be believed by the majority. All they need is to plant the seeds of doubt in the mind of one pointy heired manager for them to gain a customer.

Seeming as how they are trying their best to scare of customers as it is (you know, all that WGA and DRM crap), they gotta do something! Right? ;-)

Reply Score: 2

battlehorse
Member since:
2005-07-06

I never worked with .Net, so please be patient if I say something inappropriate, but ... isn't this announcement about something you have been used to do for years in Java ?

"offering the source code (with source file comments included) for [...] System.Collections" : how many times did you look into java.util.Collection ? maybe a thousand times? How do you manage to understand how your library works if you can't look into it?

Reply Score: 7

HangLoose Member since:
2007-09-03

One could buy Microsoft books or pay for phone call service ;)

Reply Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

How do you manage to understand how your library works if you can't look into it?

There's this concept that apparently has gone out of style where interfaces and implementations used to be properly documented so that people understood how they worked.

For many years, programmers used to somehow write software this way, without seeing the source code of the OS/APIs they used...

Reply Score: 9

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I agree with you. Generally I like to think of libraries as a "black box". And most Windows and .NET programmers do program that way.

But sometimes you'll run into a problem that isn't explained by the documentation. "Why the hell am I getting this exception??" Documentation never covers everything. ;) (Nor would you want it to, as it would unnecessarily bloat the documentation as well as tie it to the particular implementation details of the API, details that may change in future versions of the library.)

And even with the source available, one should not write code that depends on the exact source code since the underlying source can change. But programmers can use their own judgement regarding such matters. ;)

Reply Score: 8

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Not sure how much active development you do on .net Molly (you have mentioned your retirement before), but there is a very popular tool called Reflector, which is basically just a wrapper around the reflection apis, that disassembles any dll into very readable code. So, even though we havn't had access to the libraries, we have had the next best thing for a very long time now.

You covered two very common scenarios, now that we have the source the debugger can actually step through the API. Another one is if you want to extend a control that ships with the framework, you need to know how it works and what to override (extremely common, check out codeproject, codeplex, or any other .net open source site and youll see what I mean.).
(After reading Miguel deIcazas blog, he brings up another scenario I hadn't thought of, if you use the compact framework, and need some functionality that is in the standard edition, you can just copy the source)

As a side note, I would really like to see MS participate more in cross platform .net. As long as you still need a recompile, they would maintain the application advantage that windows has, while adding significant value to ISVs that are going to be porting anyways.

Reply Score: 1

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Actually, stuff like System.Collections, System.IO, etc has had the source available for awhile now through Rotor.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=8C09FD61-3...

But this new offering provides the code to a lot of the stuff on top of that lower-level stuff, as well as easily stepping through the .NET code in VS2008. I'm particularly interested in WinForms, WPF, and LINQ. ;)

(I *was* hoping that this would include System.Drawing (it doesn't appear to), but now that I think of it the System.Drawing code is likely just a bunch of wrapper functions that do little more than call the corresponding GDI+ function, so the source would be of little value there.)

As side note, Microsoft has released code for the purposes of helping developers code and debug before, such as ATL and MFC (and of course, their CRT code).

Edited 2007-10-03 21:26

Reply Score: 5

gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

How do you manage to understand how your library works if you can't look into it?

The same way people created thousands of applications for Windows (Win32, DirectX, etc) without having the source code for those.. The same way you can use Adobe Photoshop, without having the source code for it - you understand the interface, you don't really need to see/know the implementation details.

What you need is good API documentation and that's it.

Reply Score: 5

bobjohnsonmilw
Member since:
2006-04-06

Overcomplicated, Overbloated, Overhyped, Overrated.

I'm sure there are many that love it, but given there's little to no portability (wasn't that half the point) I see no use for this framework.

(I used to dig it at one point, then found qt). Not saying qt is perfect, but at least it works on other platforms. (Yes I'm aware of mono).

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

if you are aware of mono, how can you say there is zero portability? usually all it takes is a few small changes and a recompile for even moderately complex apps...

Reply Score: 3

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

“zero portability?”
“few small changes and a recompile”

Maybe he meant: tedious portability.

Reply Score: 3

bobjohnsonmilw Member since:
2006-04-06

Ok, you're right that's portability; but not provided by microsoft is what i meant to say I guess.

Portability in my opinion is of officially supported and released msil interpreters that would support the "write once - run anywhere" paradigm.

So technically, you're right ;) But you're wrong in assuming that small changes are required for true portability, imho.

Reply Score: 0

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

If you are aware of Mono, then you must know your comments are rather incorrect. Mono allows portability. Just like with Java, if a system has a runtime, the code is portable.

Reply Score: 2

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

...if a system has a runtime, the code is portable.

Yes and no. You are very correct as in, if the system has a runtime then the code will run. The only problem with that setup is that only one company, more or less like Java up until recently, has the code and experience to develop and release this runtime (I know that IBM licensed the right to release their own Java runtime, but please bare with me;-). If MS refuses to develop a runtime for competing systems, so that those systems need to provide a reversed engineered implementation of that systems, then it ain't really a 'compile once, run anywhere' solution.

Sun develops give very serious support to as many platforms as they can. Furthermore, these platforms are being given a further bonus by Sun considering opening the source under the GPLV3, thereby attempting to negate any patent infringement issues. Non of these steps have been taken by MS, at least at this time.

The fact remains that, no matter how much verbal help MS gives to Mono developers; If they don't pitch in with the code, Mono will never be on par.

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"The fact remains that, no matter how much verbal help MS gives to Mono developers; If they don't pitch in with the code, Mono will never be on par."

I think you will see more actual code coming from MS, especially since Novell and MS are working together on Moonlight. To get maximum value from that partnership, I think MS would be smart to help with Mono

Reply Score: 2

I'm a bit shocked.
by PlatformAgnostic on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 21:11 UTC
PlatformAgnostic
Member since:
2006-01-02

This came out of the blue and I had no inkling of this. I guess it makes sense though because of Reflector. With Reflector (by Lutz Roeder of Microsoft), you can take any function in a .NET assembly and see a pseudo-C# representation of that function (it reconstructs the C# from disassembling the IL). This decompilation ends up being uncannily like the original thing, so it's about as good as viewing the source without comments. Microsoft isn't really giving anything away that people couldn't take before, but they're bringing the benefits of seeing good .NET code to the average dev who may not use Reflector.

I've long thought that Microsoft should release the KMDF and NT Kernel sources under a non-buildable license like the MS-RL. The only reason I say non-buildable is that we don't want multiple slightly different versions of Windows to get out there (not to mention that Microsoft doesn't want to lose control of their OS). Maybe if this release doesn't lead to problems, they will be able to do this.

Reply Score: 2

Pressure from Java
by siki_miki on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 21:27 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

As Code of Java is already available, MS had to do the same thing to compete. Unfortunately they tend to be "open" only on things where they aren't holding a de facto monpoly. For that reason we won't soon see source of directx/3d, win32, network/auth/mail protocols, office formats nor many other API libraries, as those are mantaining their Windows lock-in.

But well, this will be helpful to Mono. Coders won't have to reverse engineer those libs, they will have help from someone looking at code and feeding them with information on API implementation details and quirks (a clean-room procedure).

But source isn't everything. It can help, but still much effort is required to reimplement such a huge framework.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pressure from Java
by Almafeta on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 21:33 UTC in reply to "Pressure from Java"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

For that reason we won't soon see source of ... office formats


*cough*

OOXML? You know, the specification they released that pretty much guaranteed their imminent failure in the office suite market?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Pressure from Java
by google_ninja on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Pressure from Java"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Miguel, talking as lead developer and founder of Gnumeric, really disagrees with you

http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Jan-30.html

Reply Score: 2

An important first step
by sbergman27 on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 21:47 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

This is an important first step in attacking Mono. Making the source available, for all to see, will make it much easier to attack Mono on copyright grounds, either in a court of law, or more likely in the court of legal Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. If the code is readily available, it's easier to convince people that Mono might be full of copyright violations.

Edit: I should clarify that it is likely not the *only* reason for making the source visible. But I imagine it is on their list.

Edited 2007-10-03 21:50

Reply Score: 4

RE: An important first step
by google_ninja on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:39 UTC in reply to "An important first step"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Currently, mono is not even a small threat to them. Being able to tell ISVs that with a recompile, they can port their code to mac or linux is actually quite a plus. Not only that, but we are beginning to see a pattern of genuine cooperation between MS and Novell.

Where mono gets dangerous is when it doesn't take a recompile to port apps, and anything written for windows also works on Linux. (this is also when WINE would starting getting legal letters too)

Reply Score: 2

RE: An important first step
by MollyC on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:47 UTC in reply to "An important first step"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Have you forgotten that Microsoft and Novell are collaborating on the Mono team's Moonlight effort (the Mono version of Silverlight)?
http://www.osnews.com/story.php/18572/Microsoft-Delivers-Silverligh...

Why would Microsoft attack Mono when they are working with them on a Mono project?

Reply Score: 2

RE: An important first step
by PlatformAgnostic on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 22:55 UTC in reply to "An important first step"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Why would you suspect that? Most of the Mono developers work at Novell, with whom MSFT has a interoperability agreement. Mono's creator, Miguel, frequently meets with Microsoft people and has even been an invited speaker at their conferences.

Furthermore, Microsoft has not sued anyone to date over copyright or patent violations with the exception of Belkin (probably triggered on the complaints of Belkin's competitors who were paying license fees for the technology in question). I could be mistaken, but I haven't found any other non-trademark suits with Microsoft as the plaintiff.

I would never presume to play lawyer, and I'd encourage OSS advocates to spend less time worrying about legalisms, so take the following with a grain of salt: if Microsoft is openly allowing Mono implementation to proceed and are even offering technical assistance to its creators, a court of law should IMO consider this as estoppel for any patent claims under these parts.

Miguel stated clearly on his blog that Mono people should not even look at the MS-RL .NET code, so as long as those people are careful, what's the worry? I think Mono is a fine project and that the outcry against it is a strange allergic reaction within the open source movement.

Open Source advocates need to realize that they have to stop trying so hard to defeat and belittle Microsoft if they really want to gain traction. They should take what they can from Microsoft's releases of information (carefully verifying that they are not breaking any laws or falling into any traps... which Microsoft is not likely to do these days since they don't have a very good record of success in the courts). OSS advocates shouldn't expect or try to force change overnight... instead they should take time to mature their solutions and creep in from their strongholds. Evangelism should be directed at software vendors and hardware manufacturers to increase the strength of the linux developer ecosystem. Evangelizing directly to consumer-level end users does not seem to help in this because they just increase the support burden. Slow and steady is the name of the game in the quest of OSS world domination. (Oh, and ignore ESR and RMS... they are false prophets). Remember, Microsoft doesn't have to lose for you to win... raging against them is just a distraction.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: An important first step
by sbergman27 on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 23:25 UTC in reply to "RE: An important first step"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

To google_ninja, MollyC, and PlatformAgnostic,

I can see that I should have made a further edit for clarification. I didn't say that the lawsuits and FUD campaigns start tomorrow. MS wants to see .net widely adopted. They are willing to see it run on other platforms for now. But in the long term, they want .net to run on Windows and Windows only. (That's just Business 101, isn't it?)

That means that they need a kill switch so that they can take over when the time is right.

No. I don't expect the attacks to begin for some time yet.

Like you say, MollyC, they are buddy-buddy with Novel right now.

Platformagnostic: A campaign based on innuendo about how Mono might not be legally safe would be far more likely than an actual legal attack.

I stand firm against incorporating Mono into our OSS infrastructure. Use Java. Use Python. Use C. Mono is not something that we want to become dependent upon. Too risky. As an incentive for Windows programmers, sure. As a compatibility layer, sure.

One does not have to think MS is the devil to be distrustful of them on this matter.

Besides... I'm not impressed with Mono. I've been watching while Tracker, written by a relatively small team of developers in C, has come from far behind, and is currently eclipsing Beagle (one of a small handful of current Mono apps), written in C#/Mono, backed by Novell, and having been handed their core engine on a silver platter in the form of Apache Lucene. (They only had to port it from Java.)

So the "huge" benefits of Mono as a development platform for OSS seem pretty unimpressive, IMO.

I'd just as soon that handful of apps *stay* a handful of apps.

Edited 2007-10-03 23:26

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: An important first step
by umccullough on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: An important first step"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

But in the long term, they want .net to run on Windows and Windows only. (That's just Business 101, isn't it?)

And yet, they *still* haven't stopped shipping a version of Office for OS X...

Maybe Business 101 teaches you certain things, but I'm certain that Business 102 and 103 probably teach you even more.

In the grand scheme of things, I don't think Microsoft is betting on Windows for the long term.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: An important first step
by sbergman27 on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: An important first step"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
And yet, they *still* haven't stopped shipping a version of Office for OS X...
"""

I think that's in "Avoiding Antitrust 101". ;-)

Reply Score: 3

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

That's at least graduate-level business. You first have to have the trust before you get into the joyous world of frequently changing rules and power-hungry eurocrats. But this is OT ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: An important first step
by sbergman27 on Thu 4th Oct 2007 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: An important first step"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

That's at least graduate-level business.

"""

It's really more a matter of "We, The People 101". Europe has had the balls to *try* to do what we in the US failed to do. I respect them for it. And I wish them luck. They'll need it. Facing down a whole continent is not beyond the resources of Microsoft. Though it may be cheaper for them to just buy it.

Edited 2007-10-04 02:29

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: An important first step
by MollyC on Thu 4th Oct 2007 05:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: An important first step"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"You first have to have the trust before you get into the joyous world of frequently changing rules and power-hungry eurocrats."

lol @ "power-hungry eurocrats"
I like that. ;) I hope you don't mind if I use it in the future. :p

Reply Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Don't worry... I stole the phrase from someone else ;) .

Reply Score: 1

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"I can see that I should have made a further edit for clarification. I didn't say that the lawsuits and FUD campaigns start tomorrow. MS wants to see .net widely adopted. They are willing to see it run on other platforms for now. But in the long term, they want .net to run on Windows and Windows only. (That's just Business 101, isn't it?) "

I gotta disagree with you, as I think the motivation behind this is to keep developers on Windows. They don't care where the final product actually runs, but if they can sell lots of copies of Visual Studio, then they still win,as every copy of VS needs a copy of Windows.

Being able to say that the code you write will be cross platform, well that's gravy. One of MSs strengths have always been a strong developer community (MSDN is a great resource), and the recent free versions of VS will only increase the amount of developers on Windows, who hopefully will upgrade to a paid copy when they outlive VS Express's functionality.

This I believe is one time that MS should, and will encourage the OSS version of their technology, as it is just another conduit to sell VS and Windows.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: An important first step
by Almafeta on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 23:58 UTC in reply to "An important first step"
RE[2]: An important first step
by sbergman27 on Thu 4th Oct 2007 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE: An important first step"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Please see my later clarification to MollyC, google_ninja, and PlatformAgnostic. But no, I don't think that is what they would do first in this scenario.

.Net is very much in the "adoption" phase right now.

Reply Score: 1

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

".Net is very much in the "adoption" phase right now."

You cannot be serious about that statement. If that's the case, I have no idea how I have been getting a paycheck doing .Net development for the past 5 years. That's NO VB6, NO classic ASP, NO MFC. Nothing but .Net.

BTW .Net turns 7 next year.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: An important first step
by tomcat on Thu 4th Oct 2007 20:12 UTC in reply to "An important first step"
This is great... but remember
by steverez1 on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 21:47 UTC
steverez1
Member since:
2006-12-06

I think this provides developers on other operating systems a great insight and the information to make their products interact better in a mixed enviroment while keeping their core beliefs about software.

The read only aspect of this is just as valuable for developers who wish to create cross platform applications to make them interoperable and understand how things are working on the Microsoft side of the software.

This does not mean that Microsoft will go open source or ever for that matter.Here are some things to remember;

1) Microsoft's stance is Linux and open source are still and always will be direct competition no matter how many agreements they sign.

2) They are trying to follow their antitrust settlement & or satisfy their customers also stay away from any further problems by making consessions.

3) They will always try to create innovative products that will outsell or out preform other venders solutions.

4) They want to progress the computing industry in general while protecting their IP rights to new technology they develop. Why do you ask so the company will be alive & viable in the future no matter which way the industry turns.


Is Microsoft evil because of this? No they are doing anything any other company would do to survive.

Edited 2007-10-03 21:50

Reply Score: 2

RE: This is great... but remember
by Almindor on Thu 4th Oct 2007 07:31 UTC in reply to "This is great... but remember"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

Is Microsoft evil because of this? No they are doing anything any other company would do to survive.

I say they are evil, along with every other company working to survive. Yes, I call the whole system broken.

Reply Score: 1

False hope?
by adkilla on Thu 4th Oct 2007 00:29 UTC
adkilla
Member since:
2005-07-07

From Miguel's (http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Oct-03.html):

"...But like Rotor, the license under which this code is released is not open-source. People that are interested in continuing to contribute to Mono, or that are considering contributing to Mono's open source implementation of those class libraries should not look at this upcoming source code release..."

"...Sun and Java: it is possible that some customers were getting cozy with the ease of access to Java source code to the class libraries and this had some mounting pressure on Microsoft..."

"...Am still hope that one day Microsoft will open pieces of this under more liberal licenses that would allow those pieces to be used for any purposes, including Mono..."


Well, that day may never come.

Edited 2007-10-04 00:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: False hope?
by lemur2 on Thu 4th Oct 2007 01:18 UTC in reply to "False hope?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Well, that day may never come.


When trying to assess what Microsoft may intend, I never listen to what they say, instead I look at what they actually do.

The .Net framework includes a new programming language form Microsoft, the C# language. This language is similar to many others in that programs written in the language are not easy to translate into other languages.

When C# and .Net first appeared, the framework and the language could both only be used on Windows platforms, to write programs for Windows platforms. C# is the second language from Microsoft that was designed to be a Windows-only language, the first such language was Visual Basic.

If a compiler and/or runtime environment for a language is available only for Windows, and programs are difficult to translate from one language to another, then both Visual Basic and C# represent a fantastic lock-in opportunity for Microsoft. Programs written in these languages can effectively be constrained from ever becoming cross-platform ... there is potential here to have a whole class of programs that are forever tied to being released only for Windows.

Then along comes the Mono project and utterly spoils this wonderful Microsoft vision of source code for applications written in a language that can never be cross-platform ...

So, even though it does sound like paranoid ramblings, I am left with a distinct impression that there probably is some substance to what the following article is saying:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2191754,00.asp

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: False hope?
by MollyC on Thu 4th Oct 2007 05:54 UTC in reply to "RE: False hope?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

So, even though it does sound like paranoid ramblings, I am left with a distinct impression that there probably is some substance to what the following article is saying:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2191754,00.asp


-----------------

I clicked your link and stopped reading here:
"By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols"

May as well have linked to the alt.destroy.microsoft newsgroup.

Edited 2007-10-04 05:57

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: False hope?
by lemur2 on Thu 4th Oct 2007 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: False hope?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I clicked your link and stopped reading here:
"By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols"

May as well have linked to the alt.destroy.microsoft newsgroup.


Interesting. No denial that C# and .Net was strictly a Windows-only development platform, running only on Windows and capable only of producing applications that were constrained to run on Windows platforms, until such time as Mono was developed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Framework

No comment on any criticism of the Microsoft .Net framework:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Framework#Criticism
http://www.research.att.com/~bs/bs_faq.html#Csharp

No comment on the fact that the Microsoft reference License is the most restrictive of the so-called "shared source" licenses, and that in fact the Ms-RL actually allows no sharing of the source code at all (in the typical Microsoft-spin fashion of naming something for the opposite of what it really is):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Reference_License#Microsoft_...

At least the Ms-RL text itself has good advice:
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/licensingbasics/ref...
"If you do not accept the license, do not use the software."


"Do not use the software" is the very best advice anyone can give when it comes to Microsoft software. It surprised me to see such good advice coming from Microsoft themselves.

No actual response on what was actually said in the eweek article, just an attack on the person saying it.

Hmmm. Typical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

It appears that MS PR would take any low tactic at all rather than actually debate (or even converse) on the topic of MS lock-in practices.

Edited 2007-10-04 10:54

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: False hope?
by sappyvcv on Thu 4th Oct 2007 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE: False hope?"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

You make it sound like the Mono project was a surprise and Microsoft never saw it coming. They designed .Net open enough* so it could be implemented on other platforms. Don't think they didn't know someone would implement it on another platform. They did.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: False hope?
by lemur2 on Thu 4th Oct 2007 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: False hope?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You make it sound like the Mono project was a surprise and Microsoft never saw it coming. They designed .Net open enough* so it could be implemented on other platforms. Don't think they didn't know someone would implement it on another platform. They did.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Framework#Standardization_and_lic...
"While Microsoft and their partners hold patents for CLI and C#, ECMA and ISO require that all patents essential to implementation be made available under "reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms." In addition to meeting these terms, the companies have agreed to make the patents available royalty-free.

However, this does not apply for the part of the .NET Framework which is not covered by the ECMA/ISO standard, which includes Windows Forms, ADO.NET, and ASP.NET. Patents that Microsoft holds in these areas may deter non-Microsoft implementations of the full framework."


Windows forms ... "Windows Forms is the name given to the graphical user interface application programming interface (API) included as a part of Microsoft's .NET Framework, providing access to the native Microsoft Windows interface elements by wrapping the existing Windows API in managed code. "

ADO.NET ... "ADO.NET is a set of computer software components that can be used by programmers to access data and data services. It is a part of the base class library that is included with the Microsoft .NET Framework. It is commonly used by programmers to access and modify data stored in relational database systems"

ASP.NET ... "ASP.NET is a web application framework marketed by Microsoft that programmers can use to build dynamic web sites, web applications and XML web services. It is part of Microsoft's .NET platform and is the successor to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) technology."

OK, so that means you can write .Net programs for other platforms and be safe from being sued by Microsoft so long as your program has no GUI, it makes no database access and it is not a web server-side application.

If your application has any of those elements, then you must write your .Net application for Windows only, according to Microsoft licensing.

Hmmmmmm ...

<sarcasm>I suppose that is "open enough" ... for vanishingly small values of "enough".</sarcasm>

Edited 2007-10-04 13:44

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: False hope?
by zlynx on Thu 4th Oct 2007 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: False hope?"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Or you write your application using open source .NET libraries like GTK#.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: False hope?
by lemur2 on Thu 4th Oct 2007 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: False hope?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Or you write your application using open source .NET libraries like GTK#.


This allows you, via the generosity of open source developers efforts, to write cross-platform .Net applications, if you take great trouble to design them that way from the start.

It does nothing to reduce the culpability of Microsoft in trying to establish a complete Windows-only development community, purely for the purpose of increasing Microsoft's Windows lock-in.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: False hope?
by sappyvcv on Thu 4th Oct 2007 16:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: False hope?"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

All that just to not disagree with me? Brilliant.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: False hope?
by lemur2 on Fri 5th Oct 2007 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: False hope?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

All that just to not disagree with me? Brilliant.


So you are saying that you cannot understand what "sarcasm" might mean in this context?

Are you sure that you want to show the readers of this forum how limited your reading comprehension might be?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: False hope?
by sappyvcv on Fri 5th Oct 2007 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: False hope?"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Apparently it's you who can't even read what I actually said and instead read what you wanted me to say.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: False hope?
by lemur2 on Fri 5th Oct 2007 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: False hope?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Apparently it's you who can't even read what I actually said and instead read what you wanted me to say.


You actually said: "They designed .Net open enough* so it could be implemented on other platforms."

I showed you how that was false ==> "OK, so that means you can write .Net programs for other platforms and be safe from being sued by Microsoft so long as your program has no GUI, it makes no database access and it is not a web server-side application."

In simpler words, you cannot write any actually useful .Net program targeted for a non-Windows platform without employing some part of .Net which Microsoft has NOT agreed to license even under RAND terms, let alone royalty-free terms.

In simpler terms still, .Net is NOT cross-platform capable, even though people other than Microsoft have written development environments for other platforms that are intended to be compatible with .Net.

Edited 2007-10-05 12:21

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: False hope?
by sappyvcv on Fri 5th Oct 2007 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: False hope?"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Apparently it's you who can't even read what I actually said and instead read what you wanted me to say.

Reply Score: 2

Trojan horse
by sargek on Thu 4th Oct 2007 13:24 UTC
sargek
Member since:
2007-07-12

Microsoft cannot be trusted, ever. This has trojan horse written all over it and the Mono devs on the OSS side better steer clear of this at all costs. Excellent article by Steven Vaughn-Nichols on this subject over at eWeek.

Reply Score: 2

jayson.knight
Member since:
2005-07-06

Complete and unfettered access to .Net symbols and source code files equals a much better debugging experience from within Visual Studio. No more just watching your call stack disappear into the bowels of .Net only to have it reappear with values that don't seem correct to you. Now it'll be simple to trace your application execution from beginning to end without just having to guess what the framework is doing with your data structures.

That's the big win for developers here IMO.

Reply Score: 4

Another viewpoint (other than eweek)
by lemur2 on Thu 4th Oct 2007 14:10 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://blogs.cnet.com/8301-13505_1-9790795-16.html

Cnet this time.

"Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of eWeek is not nearly so polite, claiming that Microsoft's pseudo-open source is a real, legal danger to any open-source developer foolhardy enough to look at it ...

Far-fetched? Well, not if you look at Microsoft's history. Microsoft is playing to win, and it seems to believe the only way to win is if open source loses.

...

But if there is even the slightest intention of going down the path that Steven lays out, the road to Microsoft patent Hell will indeed be paved with good intentions."


Different writer, same conclusion.

Oh well, in the coming Microsoft-initiated patent war, at least everyone using or writing software for Microsoft platforms will be unable to deliver web services ...

http://xml.coverpages.org/ni2005-11-11-a.html
" Novell picked up the 39 important business-to-business electronic commerce and Web services patents from bankrupt Commerce One, and the company has declared its intention to use them to protect its open-source offerings."


Mutually assured patent destruction (at least in the US), it looks like. At least, that is what Microsoft seems to be wanting to initiate. The end of the IT industry in the US, no less ...

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Your "Another viewpoint" is yet another article with no credibility. The reason I say that is that it starts right off the bat with the insinuation that Microsoft is pretending that this code released under MS-RL is being released under an "open source" license in order trick devs into believing that, when Microsoft has NEVER claimed that this was "open source" code, and has NEVER claimed that MS-RL is an "open source" license.

Second, the article cites Microsoft Hater Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols' article, so it's hardly "another viewpoint", more like one half of "another viewpoint". ;)

Microsoft is not laying any "trap". They make no claims that this is "open source". They make no pretense that this is "open source". Those that accuse them of such, either explictly or implicitly, have ZERO proof.

Anyone that is working on an alternative implementation of .NET or a .NET-like thing should be leary of looking at this MS-RL code, just as one should be leary of looking at ANY code that is not licensed under terms that allow said code to be used in another (particularly competing) project, but that doesn't mean that the party that released the code is laying a "trap". Those that would fall into such a "trap" by using code in an unauthorized manner have only themselves to blame, not those that released the code in the first place.

Note that Mono is not allowing any of its contributors to look at this code, because Microsoft makes it clear that the code is NOT open-source.

Edited 2007-10-04 23:59

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Microsoft is not laying any "trap". They make no claims that this is "open source". They make no pretence that this is "open source". Those that accuse them of such, either explicitly or implicitly, have ZERO proof.


Microsoft call the Ms-RL reference license one of its "shared source" licenses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_source
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_source#Microsoft_Reference_Lice...

Funnily enough, the Ms-RL does not actually allow the source to be shared at all.

To be fair, Microsoft describe the Ms-RL as a "non-open source shared source license". This is a classic case, once again, of Microsoft naming something for the opposite of what it really is.

It is very enlightening to compare the terms of this Ms-RL license with the terms of Java.

Clearly, anyone wishing to do anything cross-platform should avoid the .Net framework like the proverbial plague.

Edited 2007-10-05 10:18

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

To be fair, Microsoft describe the Ms-RL as a "non-open source shared source license". This is a classic case, once again, of Microsoft naming something for the opposite of what it really is.


Shared Source means MS sharing the source with you, not the source being sharable in a more general sense.

It is very enlightening to compare the terms of this Ms-RL license with the terms of Java.


I assume you aren't talking about before the very recent reliscencing of the JDK, because before november of last year, the source code for the java class library was available under more or less the same terms for more or less the same reasons, and those reasons were not to trap open source implementations into viewing it.

Clearly, anyone wishing to do anything cross-platform should avoid the .Net framework like the proverbial plague.


because the class libraries for the windows implementation are not open source? I am a bit confused by how this announcement relates negatively to the Novell implementation of ECMA-335....

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Funnily enough, the Ms-RL does not actually allow the source to be shared at all. "

Oh please.
They are sharing the code under terms that you can use it as a reference (which includes browsing through the code and stepping through it with a debugger). It's still sharing the code.

If I wrote a short story for my own enjoyment and then decided to give you a copy to read, then I'm *sharing* the story with you, even if I retain the copyright on that story (and use the copyright powers to prevent you from altering it and/or redisitributing it without my authorization).

BTW, Miguel has responded to both of the articles you cite, and ridicules both for claiming that Microsoft is laying "traps".
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Oct-05-2.html

Edited 2007-10-07 20:45

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Oh please.
They are sharing the code under terms that you can use it as a reference (which includes browsing through the code and stepping through it with a debugger). It's still sharing the code.


Oh please yourself.

Most programs written using .Net are written to utilise Windows Forms as the API for the GUI interface.

Mono has a partially-complete and independent implementation of Windows Forms that allows people to make versions of many of their applications from the same source code such that the application can now run on platforms other than Windows.

As the Mono version of Windows Forms improves, more and more applications written using the .Net framework will be able to be compiled and work properly on other platforms.

Microsoft has not licensed the Windows Forms technonlogy to anybody, and has deliberately excluded Windows Forms from being part of .Net-related standards submitted to ECMA and ISO.

So, as Mono nears completion, with only the curly bits of Windows forms left to go, Microsoft suddenly releases source under the "look but don't even think about using" Ms-RL. There can be no doubt at all that the hope here from Microsoft is that some Mono developers will actually look at the .Net code to get ideas on how to finish Mono.

Even if the Mono developers don't even look at .Net, Microsoft will still have a viable "attack vector" for Mono (claiming that the developers copied ideas if not literal code from .Net) for any piece of Mono that is submitted from this time onwards.

Microsoft will be able to tie Mono up in FUD (if not in the courts) for years, even if Mono does nothing at all wrong. Alternatively, Microsoft will be able to insist that SuSe Linux is licensed to run Mono and applications made using Mono, but no other Linux version is. This is a sound tactical move from Microsoft. Microsoft are getting quite good at these underhand sorts of tactics by now, having practised them diligently for over a decade.

Personally, I'm wondering if Microsoft will release their networking code under the Ms-RL soon as well. This would perhaps have (in Microsoft's thinking anyway) the dual purpose of perhaps appeasing the EU, while at the same time providing a similar "attack vector" against Samba. It would have no real downside, because under the Ms-RL no competitor can use the source, even though Microsoft call it a "shared source" license just to confuse the issue.

Didn't Microsoft already offer up source code to the EU in place of specifications, but the EU wisely rejected it?

Edited 2007-10-07 23:45

Reply Score: 2

v A fuck FU to EU
by J.R. on Thu 4th Oct 2007 15:46 UTC
Calling the patent bluff
by lemur2 on Fri 5th Oct 2007 13:14 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2200498/oin-calls-microsoft-bluff

Interesting stuff from the OIN.

OIN holds some broad-scope patents that Microsoft is sure to violate. The question is, as always, the validity of the patents in question.

Take the discussion above about Windows forms ... Windows Forms is essentially Microsoft's GUI API in a managed code wrapper. Nether GUI APIs nor managed code is Microsoft's invention ...

I'm fairly certain that most of Microsoft's patent allegations would turn out to be so much bluff and bluster if the actual allegations ever came to light. This is the real reason why Microsoft does not reveal what patents it is talking about, and it is also the reason why Microsoft will not sue over these alleged patent violations in Linux.

Since Microsoft will not sue, and since also there is a patent portfolio at the ready for any required counter suit, I believe that sooner rather than later this particular patent rumblings tactic by Microsoft will fade away into nothingness.

Reply Score: 3

Limits to software patents in the US
by lemur2 on Sat 6th Oct 2007 00:30 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

On this thread, the point has been raised that vital parts of Microsoft's .Net framework are not licensed by Microsoft to anyone else, raising the spectre of Microsoft being able to make a patent claim against any program using say Windows forms (part of .Net) but running on a different platform (ie. compiled with Mono).

Here is something relevant to this:

http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/07/10/05/1549203.shtml
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119128570402845890.html?mod=rss_wha...

There is plenty of prior art in GUIs per se. It is very arguable that any patent Microsoft may claim to its sppecific Windows API (and therefore Windows Forms) may fail under the "obviousness" test.

Because of prior art, the Windows GUI is in effect "obvious". The specifics then of the Windows GUI API, versus the API for any other similar GUI is probably not patentable.

Therefore, Microsoft's dreams of a patent attack on Mono via Windows Forms may end up being just pipe dreams.

Reply Score: 2