Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Feb 2009 10:27 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Even though some believe that Microsoft's recent patent lawsuit against TomTom is a prelude to an all-out legal assault on Linux, that doesn't stop Bob Muglia, the company's president of Server and Tools Business, to look into the future and state that Microsoft's products will look more and more to open source software. In fact, he predicts most Microsoft products will have open source in them at some point.
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Viva la GPL
by mnem0 on Fri 27th Feb 2009 10:44 UTC
mnem0
Member since:
2006-03-23

Of course they like gratis code but they still hate the GPL. They are against freedom not freebies.

Their long term strategy is to drive a wedge between the copyleft licenses like GPL, MPL etc and instead convert the open source world into a smorgasbord of freebies for proprietary software vendors. Of course Microsoft would absolutely love this, just like they used BSD socket code to bootstrap their "winsock" project previously.

This is exactly why it's crucial to use the GPL/AGPL, this is also why, even though they feel nice in the short term, the BSD/MIT/Apache licenses will not protect freedom in the long run.

They will take the work produced by the community and extend it to build proprietary closed DRM-riddled non-sharable "solutions" in order to make a profit.

In conclusion: It's a trap. Now, get off my lawn.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Viva la GPL
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 27th Feb 2009 10:49 UTC in reply to "Viva la GPL"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

, this is also why, even though they feel nice in the short term, the BSD/MIT/Apache licenses will not protect freedom in the long run.



Correction: protect YOUR definition of freedom.

My definition of freedom includes the freedom to choose for proprietary software, as well as the freedom of developers to use BSD code in closed-source products.

Preferably, all code would be public domain, however, recognition is a fine thing, hence the BSD license is a decent middle ground.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Viva la GPL
by mnem0 on Fri 27th Feb 2009 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Viva la GPL"
mnem0 Member since:
2006-03-23

Fair enough. Of course people have different definitions of freedom and there is also the "freedom for whom" discussion. The GPL gives the _user_ more freedom at the cost of the developer.

Anyway, I certainly hope Microsoft does adopt permissive licenses more broadly; they are a lot better than the EULA and they can help with interoperability as well (if for a network protocol you can get the exact same client/server bits running on Windows/Mac/Linux).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Viva la GPL
by segedunum on Fri 27th Feb 2009 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Viva la GPL"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Correction: protect YOUR definition of freedom.....My definition of freedom includes the freedom to choose for proprietary software, as well as the freedom of developers to use BSD code in closed-source products....Preferably, all code would be public domain....

You misunderstand totally how open source development works.

The freedom is for the code, not your own personal freedom to do what you like with it. Without feedom for that code, and for others to use the changes that you have made, there can be no real 'open source' development and the project isn't as good as it could be at best, or totally stagnates at worst.

In the case of Microsoft, they will expect their 'shared source' developers to do their research and development and market research for them, and if it's successful you will see something similar but different rolled into the next product version that gazumps the open source project. At least, that's the way it's worked in the past with things like TestDriven.Net and NUnit versus Visual Studio.

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Viva la GPL
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 27th Feb 2009 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Viva la GPL"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

how open source development works.


Correction: how open source development works by YOUR definition.

As much as the FSF and the GPL want to have a monopoly on the definition and workings of open source - they do not. The way the BSD license works is just as much open source as the way the GPL works - it's just that the BSD variant provides more freedom for developers.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Viva la GPL
by mnem0 on Fri 27th Feb 2009 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Viva la GPL"
mnem0 Member since:
2006-03-23

Correction: how open source development works by YOUR definition.


Let's just say that; there is a reason why the GPL is the most common open source license out there. Most of the people actually writing open source code prefer to use the GPL.

It doesn't have to be "religious" at all, just look at Linus etc. It's about common sense; if you appreciate and value the openness, then you will protect it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Viva la GPL
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 27th Feb 2009 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Viva la GPL"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Let's just say that; there is a reason why the GPL is the most common open source license out there. Most of the people actually writing open source code prefer to use the GPL.


An argument based on ubiquity rarely has any merit, and in this case, it's no different. I figured that by now we in the operating system world realised that. Just because something's used more often doesn't mean it's better.

Look, a BSD license provides more freedom because it offers more choice. That's a cold and hard fact. The GPL tries to protect freedom, and it does that well - but it only archives that by limiting freedom.

Which isn't a bad thing at all - it's just that stating that the GPL provides more freedom because it limits freedom is, well, a bit retarded.

Edited 2009-02-27 15:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Viva la GPL
by segedunum on Fri 27th Feb 2009 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Viva la GPL"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

That's a cold and hard fact. The GPL tries to protect freedom, and it does that well - but it only archives that by limiting freedom.

The only freedom that matters here is the freedom of the code, because without it there is no open source development going on. It's locked away in proprietary extensions or off-shoots that could have been put into the main project itself. The code written there is certainly not free to break away from that for the benefit of other developers who ensured that that code could be written in the first place. What about their freedom?

....it's just that stating that the GPL provides more freedom because it limits freedom is, well, a bit retarded.

That's because you have a narrow definition and understanding of what freedom actually matters here.

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: Viva la GPL
by dagw on Sat 28th Feb 2009 12:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Viva la GPL"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Look, a BSD license provides more freedom because it offers more choice. That's a cold and hard fact. The GPL tries to protect freedom, and it does that well - but it only archives that by limiting freedom.

You're mixing together the freedom of the developer and the freedom of the code. Each license choses to prioritizes one by limiting the other. It's pointless to discuss relatove 'freedom' without first stating who's or what's freedom your talking about.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Viva la GPL
by missionmom on Sat 28th Feb 2009 22:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Viva la GPL"
missionmom Member since:
2008-07-08

Thom, no matter how you feel about something I just don't get using the word retarded. It's just wrong.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Viva la GPL
by bert64 on Sun 1st Mar 2009 10:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Viva la GPL"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23


An argument based on ubiquity rarely has any merit, and in this case, it's no different. I figured that by now we in the operating system world realised that. Just because something's used more often doesn't mean it's better.

Look, a BSD license provides more freedom because it offers more choice. That's a cold and hard fact. The GPL tries to protect freedom, and it does that well - but it only archives that by limiting freedom.

Which isn't a bad thing at all - it's just that stating that the GPL provides more freedom because it limits freedom is, well, a bit retarded.


Yes, the GPL limits freedoms in order to ensure that everyone receives a subset of the most important freedoms. We live in a society that does exactly the same thing as the GPL, while "completely free" software would be closer to anarchy.

Society has laws which take away your freedom to kill, to steal and to do a whole load of other things. Would you prefer to have these freedoms back, at the risk of someone else killing or imprisoning you arbitrarily?

When you give people too much freedom, a few of the strongest will rise up and use that freedom they have to strip any level of freedom from the masses. In the case of anarchy you will end up with a dictator or a bunch of warlords.. In the case of software you will end up with a few large companies like microsoft embracing and extending the open code to produce new proprietary incompatible versions that are widely enough used that the original open version becomes useless.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Viva la GPL
by segedunum on Fri 27th Feb 2009 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Viva la GPL"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Correction: how open source development works by YOUR definition.

Hmmmmmm, no. That is how it works and I don't think you got the full force of the cluestick. Without source code going into a project there is no open source development - or very little of it. Without source code in a repository so you have the freedom to use it for nothing there is......nothing.

There are certain inalienable facts there. No source code and contributions, no open source development.

As much as the FSF and the GPL want to have a monopoly on the definition and workings of open source - they do not.

Nobody is claiming anything of the kind, but the perennial problem of trying to get source code back into a project for its own well-being, rather than code going elsewhere, is a one that won't go away and one in which only the GPL has been reasonably successful. Any other rubbish the FSF happens to come out with is neither here nor there. This is one thing they got right.

The way the BSD license works is just as much open source as the way the GPL works - it's just that the BSD variant provides more freedom for developers.

They are certainly free to do that, but the bottom line is that they get less code flowing into their repositories, and thus, less 'open source' development by nature. There's a correlation between this and general quality.

Many BSD or other proponents like to sweep all this under the carpet until the problem hits them. One of the funniest and most ironic things I've seen in the open source world is when some developers in one of the many BSD projects write some drivers and the code gets adopted by something like Linux. The BSD developers then whine like buggery that they're not getting the code improvements back...........the very thing that they're happy for the BSD license to allow and the very thing that the GPL protects Linux from!

Classic.

Reply Score: 8

RE[5]: Viva la GPL
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 27th Feb 2009 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Viva la GPL"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Hmmmmmm, no. That is how it works and I don't think you got the full force of the cluestick. Without source code going into a project there is no open source development - or very little of it. Without source code in a repository so you have the freedom to use it for nothing there is......nothing.


Well, despite being BSD/MIT licensed, several projects have been able to achieve great success and prosperity - most even without the massive commercial backing Linux has enjoyed. The BSDs, X.org, and even something like Haiku.

You make it seem as if BSD-licensed projects neve rget any soure code contributions, and that they are being exploited on a massive scale. Not only is this nonsense, it's also irrelevant: the developers CHOSE said license, and know what it entails. They chose the BSD license because they believe - like me - that it is not their place to decide how people use their code, or what they do with it.

You can twist this whatever way you want, but the fact of the matter remains that I can do more with BSD-licensed code than I can do with GPL-licensed code. The GPL is very restrictive compared to a BSD-style license.

Now, that does NOT mean that either of the two options is intrinsically better than the other. They just grow from different philosophies. Personally, I value choice and freedom, even for people who want prefer closed-source. I have no moral objections to closed-source products or development, and as such, I see no problem in people taking my work, and using it in a way they deem fit. I do care about vanity, and a BSD license covers that.

Now, other people find it more important that only people who think exactly like them may use their code. That's fine by me, who am I to disagree.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Viva la GPL
by segedunum on Fri 27th Feb 2009 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Viva la GPL"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The BSDs, X.org, and even something like Haiku.

Actually, those are poor examples that just strengthen what I've said.

Any of the BSDs could easily have taken up the mantle of what Linux has become. None did. Why? No 'commercial backer' is comfortable contributing to a project where their competitors can just wander off and use their work to create closed extensions they don't give back to steal a competitive edge. X.org has a long history of developer stagnation, difficulty in getting contributions and difficulty getting releases out. Haiku? Don't make me laugh.

You make it seem as if BSD-licensed projects neve rget any soure code contributions, and that they are being exploited on a massive scale.

No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that there is less 'open source' development going on because there is less source code going in. It's that simple.

They chose the BSD license because they believe - like me - that it is not their place to decide how people use their code, or what they do with it.

That's not how they behave on a lot of occasions, particularly where GPL code is concerned ;-). It's their loss, and the loss is code.

You can twist this whatever way you want, but the fact of the matter remains that I can do more with BSD-licensed code than I can do with GPL-licensed code.

I'm not twisting anything. It's fine if they don't care about the well-being of their project and their code, but unfortunately there's going to be less of that BSD licensed code. Can you really do more with BSD licensed code if there is less of it, and a lack of contributions means that it will probably never achieve the quality you need because too many people are downloading it and using it for free rather than contributing?

The GPL is very restrictive compared to a BSD-style license.

Restrictive for whom? I just don't think the penny is dropping here.

Now, that does NOT mean that either of the two options is intrinsically better than the other.

Take a look at the number of projects and their relative quality in either camp.

Now, other people find it more important that only people who think exactly like them may use their code.

Hmmmm, no that's not why they do it. They care about the well-being of their project, and that means code.

Painting this as a philosophical difference does no good. The license that creates more open source development is one that ensures code flows back in return. Call it religion or whatever you want, but that's the way it is.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Viva la GPL
by Valhalla on Fri 27th Feb 2009 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Viva la GPL"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Thom Holwerda wrote:
-"I see no problem in people taking my work, and using it in a way they deem fit. I do care about vanity, and a BSD license covers that."
Grand but empty gesture? What is this work that you offer for people to use any way they see fit? Is it your articles? In short, do you practice what you preach? I'm just asking here.

It's funny how you prefer BSD over GPL because you feel GPL dictates use and thus limits 'freedom' and yet you advocate Windows which has an EULA that is the exact opposite of this 'choice' and 'freedom' you claim to value so much.

Now if you say that it's the 'freedom' of 'choosing' something like Windows that you value, then you have the exact same freedom in choosing between BSD or GPL so that doesn't hold water either. What is it you value exactly?

Nah, I don't think you give a shit about open source or their licences at all and that your stated preference of BSD over GPL has to do with your dislike for Linux. But that's just my opinion.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Viva la GPL
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 27th Feb 2009 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Viva la GPL"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's funny how you prefer BSD over GPL because you feel GPL dictates use and thus limits 'freedom' and yet you advocate Windows which has an EULA that is the exact opposite of this 'choice' and 'freedom' you claim to value so much.


I don't advocate the BSD license or Windows or whatever. I only stated that I personally prefer the BSD license over the GPL when it comes to open source software. What's so bad about that? Why does that rile everybody up so much? Like I said a few times already - these two licenses originate from different philosophies, and nowhere have I stated that either of the two is wrong.

I don't understand your ire. Where does it come from? Which one of your toes have I stepped on by saying that I prefer the BSD license instead of the GPL? Please, do tell. At least segedunum tries to have a decent conversation about this, and even though I disagree with him, at least his arguments are actually arguments, instead of you just, well, getting all angry for no apparent reason.

Now if you say that it's the 'freedom' of 'choosing' something like Windows that you value, then you have the exact same freedom in choosing between BSD or GPL so that doesn't hold water either. What is it you value exactly?


I really don't get this. Don't you understand the difference between advocating and preference? I never said that people SHOULD use the BSD license, or that people should not be entitled to such a choice. All I said was that on a personal level, I prefer the BSD license because the philosophy behind it is closer to my personal values than that of the GPL.

Again, why does that anger you so much? I'm serious here - I don't get it...?

Nah, I don't think you give a shit about open source or their licences at all and that your stated preference of BSD over GPL has to do with your dislike for Linux.


Well, feel free to think whatever you want. I am looking at a fully functional Ubuntu desktop right now, but I guess I use that because I dislike it so much.

Edited 2009-02-27 22:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Viva la GPL
by Beta on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Viva la GPL"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

As much as the FSF and the GPL want to have a monopoly on the definition and workings of open source - they do not.


FSF hates the term open source, you’re getting confused.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Viva la GPL
by Almafeta on Fri 27th Feb 2009 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Viva la GPL"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

The freedom is for the code, not your own personal freedom to do what you like with it.


The logical fallacy here is that when someone uses a copy of free code (such as MIT/BSD) in a project, the actual code itself doesn't suddenly become non-free. Everyone else's rights to use the free code aren't suddenly taken away, and the person creating the project still has the right for their own code to be licensed in any way they choose, whether it's under the same license or any other licensing system.

That entire "freedom for the code, not for the people" thing is also disturbing. If you make the code more important than the people, you've lost touch with the entire point of free software.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Viva la GPL
by Valhalla on Fri 27th Feb 2009 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Viva la GPL"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Generistically GPL protects the 'rights' of end users, while BSD-like licences provide 'freedom' to developers. So if BSD offer alot more freedom for the developer, why are more developers releasing their code as GPL rather than BSD?

I believe it's for pragmatic reasons. If you release your code under GPL, you can enjoy any enhancements made to the code later on under the role of an end-user. If you release your code under a BSD-like licence, chances are enhancements will be made propriety and thus you will never recieve any benefit from them (atleast not in the form of code).

So for a developer who releases code in the hope of attracting developers to collaborate with, GPL is a great fit. And since collaboration is often the main reason for releasing code as open source in the first place, GPL's dominance isn't that surprising.

Thom says all code should be public domain or BSD licenced (btw does that include propriety code?), I don't get that way of thinking at all. To me it's all up to the developers to decide exactly how they want to licence their code or not, and I've never seen any reason for me to second-guess their choices even though they might not correspond with my personal preference.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Viva la GPL
by Moulinneuf on Fri 27th Feb 2009 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Viva la GPL"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

My definition


SAMUEL ADAMS:
If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Viva la GPL
by cb_osn on Sat 28th Feb 2009 02:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Viva la GPL"
cb_osn Member since:
2006-02-26

SAMUEL ADAMS:
If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

I can appreciate Stallman's motivations and goals and I think that the GPL is an extremely valuable contribution to the computing world, but please don't disrespect the founding fathers of my country by using their words to bolster his software development ideology. Freedom of source code is not, by any stretch of the imagination, comparable to freedom of human beings from a tyrannical ruler.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Viva la GPL
by Moulinneuf on Sat 28th Feb 2009 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Viva la GPL"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

cb_osn is you real name ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Viva la GPL
by Milo_Hoffman on Sun 1st Mar 2009 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Viva la GPL"
Milo_Hoffman Member since:
2005-07-06

>Correction: protect YOUR definition of freedom.

DOUBLE CORRECTION: protect the software DEVELOPERS definition of freedom.


You don't like it, write your own f--king code.


Until then, if you want to use my shit, then you will follow the GPL, because I AS DEVELOPER along with pretty much a huge majority of open source developers believe in it.


There is a reason that Linux is MUCH MUCH MUCH more popular with developers and has a huge base of support in comparison to BSD.


As the saying goes...its the license, stupid.

Edited 2009-03-01 01:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Viva la GPL
by jessta on Fri 27th Feb 2009 13:31 UTC in reply to "Viva la GPL"
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17


They will take the work produced by the community and extend it to build proprietary closed DRM-riddled non-sharable "solutions" in order to make a profit.

In conclusion: It's a trap. Now, get off my lawn.


But why would anyone use non free software that was DRM-riddled, and non-sharable, if there was a version that was free?
Free software's advantage is more than just the software, it's the freedom that comes with it, and nobody can steal that.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Viva la GPL
by bert64 on Sun 1st Mar 2009 10:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Viva la GPL"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23


But why would anyone use non free software that was DRM-riddled, and non-sharable, if there was a version that was free?
Free software's advantage is more than just the software, it's the freedom that comes with it, and nobody can steal that.


Because most people simply don't realise, and even otherwise very conservative businesses are willing to take stupid risks with it (single sourcing etc) which they wouldn't even consider in any other field.

People will buy what is most loudly shoved in their face, if the non free version is all over tv whereas the free version has no budget for mass advertising, users won't even know the free version exists.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Viva la GPL
by dagw on Sun 1st Mar 2009 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Viva la GPL"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

But why would anyone use non free software that was DRM-riddled, and non-sharable, if there was a version that was free?

If the non-free version has the features they need and the free version doesn't.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Viva la GPL
by Soulbender on Fri 27th Feb 2009 16:53 UTC in reply to "Viva la GPL"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

the BSD/MIT/Apache licenses will not protect freedom in the long run.


And it's time for another dumbass opinion to start another dumbass flamewar...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Viva la GPL
by WorknMan on Sat 28th Feb 2009 02:06 UTC in reply to "Viva la GPL"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Of course they like gratis code but they still hate the GPL. They are against freedom not freebies.


They're not against freedom, they're just pro-making money. I'm not saying that the two aren't mutually exclusive, but when the latter trumps the former, they'll choose the latter every time.

In other words, they'll embrace open source software to the point where they think it will earn them more money than a proprietary counterpart. No more, no less.

Reply Score: 3

In the future most products will have ..
by kragil on Fri 27th Feb 2009 11:21 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

.. no Microsoft code in them.

My predictions > Muglias predictions

Reply Score: 4

Hmm
by shotsman on Fri 27th Feb 2009 11:22 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

In fact, he predicts most Microsoft products will have open source in them at some point.

Not any of mine if I can help it. I think it is time for a new code license to specifically forbid companies from using your software. If we can do it for countries like N. Korea etc then why can we do it for organizations?

Oh look, there is a squadron of pigs flying over Redmond.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmm
by rjamorim on Fri 27th Feb 2009 12:27 UTC in reply to "Hmm"
rjamorim Member since:
2005-12-05

"In fact, he predicts most Microsoft products will have open source in them at some point.


Not any of mine if I can help it. I think it is time for a new code license to specifically forbid companies from using your software.
"

Brilliant. You do realize that would forbid people like Red Hat, Canonical and Novell from using your code, right? After all, they are all companies. Talk about abundant freedom...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hmm
by shotsman on Fri 27th Feb 2009 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Opps.
A typo
I should have said 'A Specified list of Companies' not just 'Companies'

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hmm
by DrillSgt on Fri 27th Feb 2009 17:40 UTC in reply to "Hmm"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

Not any of mine if I can help it. I think it is time for a new code license to specifically forbid companies from using your software.



The license already exists. It is called the GPL. So, license your code under the GPL and you will have no worries. It all really comes down to if you want your code totally free, or if you want to lock it down and restrict freedoms. If you want to restrict freedom, use GPL, if not, use BSD. Both are good licenses and serve the respective communities nicely.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Fri 27th Feb 2009 12:01 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Open source is only half the story.

A program can be almost entirely open source but if it outputs to proprietary formats that third-party software cannot use then you are still locked in.

The same can be applied to hardware designed to lock out any software whose makers haven't coughed up licensing fees. Doesn't matter if the software is open source, it still won't work.

Without free and open standards, which are adhered to rather than subverted, we are only halfway there.

It's the same old faces at Microsoft. They didn't object when Ballmer described Linux as a "cancer", and to underline that Ballmer recently said that, after piracy, Linux was Microsoft's most formidable competitor. Microsoft are going to have to do - do, not say - an awful lot to convince people that this new attitude to open source isn't just another tactic in a war.

Reply Score: 8

Usual thing...
by robinh on Fri 27th Feb 2009 12:39 UTC
robinh
Member since:
2006-12-19

EEE (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish)
EED (Embrace, Extend, Destroy).

6 of one, half a dozen of the other - take your pick.

Reply Score: 2

OSS at Microsoft
by google_ninja on Fri 27th Feb 2009 13:26 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

Probably the worst thing that can be said about the developers at Microsoft is that they are more insular then any other company on the planet. There is an absolutely insane amount of code that comes out of the company, and people that are inside only really keep up with what is going on inside the company, and to a lesser extent in the greater community.

Now, the java community tends to be about 5 years ahead of the .net commmunity when it comes to tools and practices, because they have been around longer. One of the things the java world has embraced for years is open source (in the apache practicality sense more then the FSF religious sense). Now, the .net community (or least the community leaders) have been looking to the java world for a long time for leadership and ideas on how to fix problems. Agile and extreme practices and methodologies like DI, CI, and TDD in the .net world can very clearly and obviously be traced to sources in the java world.

Because of this, open source hit the microsoft developer community with .net with a much greater impact then it ever had before, because it makes so much more sense to collaborate on things like testing, OR/M, and DI frameworks then it does for everyone to roll their own.

Now Microsoft was culturally still in the waterfall, database-first, big team with long release cycles mentality, even though the rest of the world has made alot of progress in the last few years into a lean based way of thinking. However, the .net world was moving forward without them, and they were getting alot of pushback for their products from the community leaders (google the microsoft mvp program if you want to know more about them). These are the people MS tends to look to for direction in their products, and because of the pushback that has been getting bigger and bigger as time goes on, product teams have been hiring more and more from the community in order to address the things the community has been demanding.

It is still going on nowadays. Pretty much all the young blood at MS is pro open source (again, in the practical sense, not the religious sense), and while the old guard still doesn't get it, there is enough of a demand from inside and outside the company that more and more is being done to address it. The community itself has schismed, you have the classic developers who still only look to redmond for practices and technology guidence, and then you have the ALT.net world that says basically that Microsoft puts out great technology, and they also put out flops, so lets not just follow them blindly. It is at the point that we have our own conferences, and at general purpose conferences like ORDEV, we are actually seeing a .net track, and an alt.net track.

Now, while this is incredibly relevent to most of microsoft, and the entire microsoft developer community (which makes up most devs in the world), it is probably not relevant at all to you guys. Microsoft is not going to start open sourcing windows or even bits of windows, because their paying customers (big businesses, governaments) dont care about that. When they say things like this, they are talking about frameworks. .net 4.0 will ship around 2010, have a dependency on the DLR, which is an open source product. Now if microsoft says "All versions of windows will ship open source code" that is true, but only the developer bits.

That being said, it is an example of microsoft fundamentally shifting their attitude in a big part of their business because of community demand. If windows users actually cared enough to demand it, I am sure it would start happening there too.

Reply Score: 12

Microsoft+OpenSource
by mnem0 on Sun 1st Mar 2009 08:42 UTC
mnem0
Member since:
2006-03-23

This article sums of Microsoft+OpenSource actually means:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=3593

Reply Score: 1

Will this hurt tom-tom
by iptables on Sun 1st Mar 2009 22:57 UTC
iptables
Member since:
2009-02-26

My biggest concern is the destruction of the Linux distro community and hurting devices that utilize the Linux kernel and open-source technologies.


I wonder if MS has changed its efforts to destroy individual companies, disrupting the Linux community.

:(

Reply Score: 2

RE: Will this hurt tom-tom
by gustl on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 09:16 UTC in reply to "Will this hurt tom-tom"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

My biggest concern is the destruction of the Linux distro community and hurting devices that utilize the Linux kernel and open-source technologies.


I wonder if MS has changed its efforts to destroy individual companies, disrupting the Linux community.

:(

Don't worry

Free software development cannot be disrupted by Microsoft. In reality it's the other way around. Linux on netbooks for example forced Microsoft to virtually give XP away for nothing.
Nothing Microsoft can do can really hurt the distributions.
Patent threats? Fortget it, free distros will evade them by going from the USA to free countries if they need to, commercial distros will fight back, bringing down software patents in the USA restoring freedom.
Microsoft is in the situation that it has to hit an ocean with a club. It will make some splashes, but the ocean as a whole is not affected.

And the development of the software will go on, and the development speed will be increasing, no matter what Microsoft throws at them.
Microsoft wants to achieve one thing: Preventing Linux from gaining dominance in the last bastion, the desktop.
No matter how long Microsoft can delay that dominance, the dominance is inevitable. Why? Because the "business model" of free software does not seek this dominance, it does not need dominance to develop and grow, dominance is simply a side-effect of something with a "zero price" tag.

Reply Score: 4