A top Red Hat exec has attacked the open-source credentials of its sometime business partner Sun.
Red Hat exec takes Sun to task on open source
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“So you are saying you have no ideals. A world without ideals is anarchy.”
No. What I am saying is that trying to persue unachievable goals is pointless. And as long as one continues to do so, they are blind to reality, and thus often fail to achieve any goals at all because they can’t see the difference between what is ideal, and what is realstically attainable. I have a lot of ideals I would like to see. But I also know tha realtistically they are not attainable given the world we live in. So I modify them into something tha although not ideal, is better than nothing and is attainable.
“Just because something has been tried in the past and failed does not give you any reason to conclude that it will fail in the future.”
Sure. But here we are talking about something that history says will fail. Psychology says will fail. And selfish gene theory (the prominant theory driving behavioral ecology studies) also says will fail. In otherwords, the ideal is unrealistic, and so one needs to modify it and compromize to get something that is realistic and attainable.
“Besides, who says the otherwise universal problem of greed only applies to this situation? It is an unreasonable conclusion to make and it does not justify your attack of Stallman.”
I never claimed it applies only to this situation. It applies to all situation. Why do you think I raised the comparision to Marxism? Because Marxism is basically what Stallman is trying to apply to the field of software development. Marxism have never worked in the past for anything. And as I said, psychology and selfish gene theory both say it cannot work. So my attack is justified. Stallman is trying to persue and idealistic goal that is not attainable. And it would be far better to “downsize” his vision into something that actually be achieved in the world we live in.
“And yes I grok Stallman as well. In a nutshell, he is the reincarnation of Karl Marx”
Stallman has never been against anyone making a buck developing or distributing software. You really should go to his website, or GNU.org, or FSF.org, and actually read what “free” software is all about.
I don’t want to get into the usual “free as in beer or free as in freedom” flame war. But I’m just interested in the truth about Stallman (and I’m not a Stallman fanatic or part of his “camp”) and free software, and how it relates to successful open source companies like Red Hat.
The free software stance has absolutely zero, zilch, nada, nothing to do with marxism. It has to do with freedom of what the user of the software can do with their legally obtained software.
Would you tolerate buying a car that did not allow you to open the hood and fix the engine? Would you tolerate buying a book and being restricted from sharing /loaning it to a friend? Would you tolerate buying a TV and only being able to use it in one room, and not be able to have your buddies over to watch the big game? Well, proprietary software licensing, particularily like those from MS and Sun, is often like these things.
And Red Hat has built a great business (ya know, a capatalistic, free enterprise, publicly traded on the stock market, completely non-marxist kind of thing) on the priciple of open source/free software. Red Hat, the fully capitalistic, publicly traded, free enterprise, highly successful company, has built their business on 100% GPL software. And the GPL came from the mind of Richard Stallman (ya know, the guy that knee jerk idiots constantly accuse of being a communist).
Get the facts. Realize that open source software is here to stay, both as a “community” and as a great business model. Red Hat realizes this, and Sun does not. And look at the directions (in terms of success) that these two companies are going in.
If the free software folks want things “for free” as you say, why then do they complain about Java? Isn’t java already available “for free”.
Do you want somebody to cut your skull open and pour the portion into your brain that says “it’s not about ‘for free’ it is about ‘freedom’ damnit!!!” 100 times!
Java is a development platform. It is being taught in schools, people are basing their businesses, lives on it without understanding that just because it is available “for free” does not mean it always will be.
If SUN goes under, or a sillier CEO than the current one comes up, it could ruin a lot of people.
Sun alone decides the future of Java, or if it should have a future at all. This is not good for a develpment platform. That is why it makes sense to standardize it. What the community wants is not necessarily the code, but an open-standard.
In our University, we are debating to stop teaching Java. And we are not alone.
There are open source java choices, if you are overly paranoid, try one..
“Sun alone decides the future of Java, or if it should have a future at all. This is not good for a develpment platform. That is why it makes sense to standardize it. What the community wants is not necessarily the code, but an open-standard.”
So then don’t use Java. Really simple isn’t it? End of story. You don’t like the license? Don’t use it. Spend the next ten years of your life writing something better.
This is what erks me so much about all the open source whining about Java “Oh we don’t like the license… Damn you anyway fo daring to develop a really cool product and then not catering to the way we want it licensed.”
So fine. Develop your own product that is better and licensed the way you want it to be. “Oh no… That would be too much work. We’d rather leach off Sun and try to pressure them into giving it to us under our prescious GPL”.
It’s simple. You didn’t develop it. It isn’t yours. You don’t decide how it is licensed. And that is how things have to be.
“Why do you think I raised the comparision to Marxism? Because Marxism is basically what Stallman is trying to apply to the field of software development.
Again, Stallman, and the GPL and open source software, has absolutely nothing to do with marxism. HP’s $2.5 Billion in Linux related profit and IBM’s $2 Billion in Linux related profit is irrefutable proof of this. The GPL, open source software, and the ravings of Stallman represent the best in free enterprise.
“Marxism have never worked in the past for anything. And as I said, psychology and selfish gene theory both say it cannot work. So my attack is justified.”
Yes, Marxism sucks as an econimic and govermental system. It is a complete failure. But again, GPL, Stallman, and OSS have nothing to do with Marxism. The selfish gene theory is hogwash. Why do you think people have children (the most unselfish thing to do is be a parent)? Why do you think people send food to starving children in Africa? Why do you think people send supplies to hurricane devastated Florida? Perhaps you’ve read too much Ayn Rand (the guru of selfishness). No, your attack is not justified, on multiple levels.
“Stallman is trying to persue and idealistic goal that is not attainable.”
Yet his idealistic goal has been achieved, in a big way. Linux, and all open source software, is living proof of this.
“And it would be far better to “downsize” his vision into something that actually be achieved in the world we live in.”
Well, I’m glad that America’s founding fathers didn’t “downsize” their vision. I’m glad that MLK didn’t “downsize” his vision. I’m glad that Gandhi didn’t “downsize” his vision. I’m glad that Neil Armstrong (and president Kennedy) didn’t “downsize” his vision.
It’s okay to swing for the fences. It’s more likely that you will strike out, but you just might hit a home run. Right now, we’re all enjoying Richard Stallman’s home run.
“Sun alone decides the future of Java, or if it should have a future at all.”
And by the way, this is NOT true. The future of Java is decided by the Java Consortium, of which IBM, and many other players are members. And the consortium has even over-ruled Sun on issues at times. Did Sun take their ball and go home? No. They played nice and bowed the wishes of the consortium over their own wishes. So stop worrying about it. Sun has proven with Java that they are willing to play nice, even going so far as not implementing some of their own ideas because they were overruled by the Consortium.
“The selfish gene theory is hogwash. Why do you think people have children (the most unselfish thing to do is be a parent)?”
Nice of you to critisize a theory and then prove in the same statement that you don’t know a single thing about it.
Suggest you read Richard Dawkins book, “The Selfish Gene”.
Why have kids? Simple. Because you want to pass on your genes. That’s the whole point of the selfish gene. (And if you had even a basic understanding of selfish gene theory, you would have known this already since it is central to the theory). You are only going to be around 80 years or so. But your genes can last for thousands of years. Selfish gene theory is basically natural selection taken to a genetic level. And no, it is NOT hogwash. It is very well supported in science.
“And why do you get so defensive when I compare Stallman to Marx? I’m not saying that to demonize him or anything. I actually admire Karl Marx and his ideas. But at the same time, I realize that in reality, the ideas can’t work because selfish people will take advantage of the system and cause rampant corruption, thus Marxism tends to eventually flow one of two ways. Either it flows towards communism, or it flows towards capitalism. Both cases are caused by the same inherant tendancy of human nature, which is selfishness.”
Well, I certainly don’t mean to be defensive, because a faulty claim about Richard Stallman is certainly not any kind of a reflection on me, as I am not him and I am not in his “camp”. I do, however, admire what he has done and given us. He started the GNU project and wrote a large portion of that great software. He gave us the GPL, the benefits of which are obvious. And I still vehemetly disagree with the Stallman = Marx stance. You have merely drawn your own conclusions about what the FSF is all about, making faulty comparisons to Marx. Once again, Richard Stallman, and FSF, are completely fine with making money selling software, and are completely fine with free enterprise, and are completely fine with capitalism. Karl Marx was dead set against those things.
Oh yeah, and Red Hat kicks Sun’s ass! 😉
“Well, I’m glad that America’s founding fathers didn’t “downsize” their vision.”
Actually, they did downsize their vision. There was a LOT of arguments when the constitution was written. All of them had their ideals and naturally, sometimes those ideals were in conflict with each other. So there were compromizes in order to come up with something that was universally acceptable. Had that not happened, and had everyone not been willing to let go for their ideals, then we probably still wouldn’t have a constitution and it would still be being argued about. Nobody got everything they wanted in the constitution. But because they were willing to to compromize, everyone got something that was pretty good.
“Why have kids? Simple. Because you want to pass on your genes. That’s the whole point of the selfish gene. (And if you had even a basic understanding of selfish gene theory, you would have known this already since it is central to the theory). You are only going to be around 80 years or so. But your genes can last for thousands of years. Selfish gene theory is basically natural selection taken to a genetic level. And no, it is NOT hogwash. It is very well supported in science.”
Do you have kids? I have a two year old. Yeah, it might be selfish to want to pass on my genes, but let me assure you, living with a two year old makes it impossible to be selfish.
“He started the GNU project and wrote a large portion of that great software. He gave us the GPL, the benefits of which are obvious.”
And at the same time, he still doesn’t fully embrace Linux because he doesn’t want to let go of his baby (HURD). This is an example of what I mean. HURD is dead. It’s not going to go anywhere. He should let go of it and move on.
“Do you have kids? I have a two year old. Yeah, it might be selfish to want to pass on my genes, but let me assure you, living with a two year old makes it impossible to be selfish.”
Of course. Because your kids are what will ensure your genes survive. So you are genetically programmed to do your utmost to ensure that your kids survive.
Selfish gene theory has an overwhelming amount of scientific support. Yes, it is controversial. But it is contoversial not because it lacks support, but because people don’t like what it implies. It makes them very uncomfortable. But this is yet another one of those things we just have to accept and learn how to deal with it’s implications.
Sun and RH are not the same type of organization!
Sun’s assets are different.
…. You mean Sun ass’es are different?
And what’s the reason that Communist implementations of Marxism failed? Because everyone wanted the ideal within their own lifetimes. They wanted the end results for themselves. If they had taken a step back they would have seen that it’s impossible to accomplish such drastic changes within a single life time, much less with five year plans. They’d have seen that you have to be selfless, and act knowing that your actions WILL result in the ideal eventually, but not tomorrow.
Sure, it’s debatable if Stallman is inspired by Marxism, personally I think he is. What I DON’T think is debatable is the fact that he’s an idealist, just like Marx was. This alone draws an important parallel. Neither concluding that the ideal is impossible and compromising, nor trying to force the world to think like you overnight is going to bring a positive end result. The ideal IS possible, but only if we detach ourselves from the urgency, yet individually refuse to settle for anything less.
This is just one of theyre clever tactics to remove Linux from the Market or de stabilize it. But Nonetheless Linuz will always have a Space on my PC.
All advancement in the human condition has come from someone being idealistic. The person looked at the current state of affairs and figured there was a better way. Sure, a lot of ideals have fallen flat to current realities. But a a lot of ideals have been a smashing success. If this weren’t the case, we’d still be in the dark ages.
Call him commie all you want, but Richard Stallman’s ideals have made huge changes in the software field, very much for the better. Yeah, Richard Stallman is an iconclast and an idealist, and seemingly unrealistic on surface level. But the world needs people like him. People like him push us forward.
And you know what? I don’t agree with everything Stallman says. I think he has a lot of good ideas, but I don’t consider everything he espouses to be the absolute right way to go. My own stance towards open source and proprietary software is more in line with Torvalds or Raymond – that the two can co-exist.
Because of Stallman and others, we have companies like Red Hat pushing the limits of companies like Sun, increasing competition, and improving products and services for everyone, all the while pushing down price and increasing accessability of software for everyone. For that, we should all be thankful to Stallman, regardless of whether or not one agrees with his ideals.
“All advancement in the human condition has come from someone being idealistic. The person looked at the current state of affairs and figured there was a better way.”
Most great ideas start out idealistic, but I would submit that most of the idealists who have actually succeeded in creating change have realized that their ideal was not entirely realistic, and thus have compromized to a certain extent. (If your ideal is obtainable, you must have very ambitious ideals).
“Call him commie all you want, but Richard Stallman’s ideals have made huge changes in the software field, very much for the better.”
No one called him a commie. Please do not confuse Marxism with comunism. They are not the same thing. Just as socialism and communism are not the same thing.
Like a person going thru hard times, Sun is all over the place. We will just have to wait and see where they end up.
“Um… Well, I hate to be the one to inform you. But the vast majority of Linux’s domain is still servers.” ”
Not all of us are just hobbiests toying around with a Unix operating system. Some of us are using it for real work.”
Oh my lord, I know it is I’m a freebsd, solaris, and linux server admin!
Linux is among the top 3 operating systems being used for the desktop… It’s been growing if you haven’t noticed.
Sigh.. maybe linux isn’t ready for the desktop?!
“Linux is among the top 3 operating systems being used for the desktop… It’s been growing if you haven’t noticed.”
Yeah, except that #1 spot is taken by Microsoft Windows and leaves only about 4% left for the other two in that “top three”. Suddenly that top three doesn’t seem very significant anymore does it… Oh, and it is easy to be in the top three when there are only three really viable players…
Oh, and by the way, if what you really want is a “nice console word processor”, and you are a system administrator, then you should probably already know the answer to your question. It’s called “emacs”.
It is called a pi$$ing contest and yes you’re both engaged… go play now
Oh, and it is easy to be in the top three when there are only three really viable players…
I’ve disagreed with you basically the whole thread, but that was funny!
“This has nothing at all to do with whether MS contributed anything to Sun or not. It has to do with Sun not wanting to get sued. Like I said, I am sure there were some threats made by Microsoft’s lawyers that led to this. ”
Ahh! The first common sense thing you’ve said. Sun are sitting on the fence and playing both sides, they’re not sure if OSS will win, and they’re not sure if Microsoft will win. So, be friends with both, and *uck over the one that looks like it’s losing. There’s one thing that most people detest socially, and that’s someone or something that’s two faced.
If Sun has knowingly infringed upon someone elses IP in code, then given that code to someone else to play with, they still have a responsibility. If the OpenOffice code that is supposedly infringing (if any) comes from core donated Sun code, then if OpenOffice developers get sued by Microsoft they should sue the shit out of Sun. It’s a goddamned trojan horse scenario. I said this approximately 18 months ago about OpenOffice, that it was a deliberate trojan by Sun. Call me a conspirationalist theorist but time will tell if i’m right. I suspect that time is on my side 🙂
Microsoft wants to own the sandpit and control who enters the sandpit as well, as well as charge extortionate fees for entrance and cut-throat conditions of entry. Sorry, but software is bigger than Microsoft. These types of reasons are why software patents are bad. Period. Let’s hope that Europe sees some commonsense and gets rid of the threat of software patents. Combine that with South Amercia, Asia and Africa where OSS rules the roost and this will be finally able to put economic and social pressure on the US to get rid of such silly patent systems. Give it time, it will happen.
Dave W Pastern
IMHO without linux java will dead. On the windows platform the java can’t fight with .NET. The strongest side of the java the platform independecy, but without linux this feature is not too important.
“This is what erks me so much about all the open source whining about Java “Oh we don’t like the license… Damn you anyway fo daring to develop a really cool product and then not catering to the way we want it licensed.”
So fine. Develop your own product that is better and licensed the way you want it to be. “Oh no… That would be too much work. We’d rather leach off Sun and try to pressure them into giving it to us under our prescious GPL”. ”
Ahh I love it! Smell the napalm! Sure. Develop a better product, license it under the GPL etc. It starts to gather momentum and kicks the butt of Suns proprietary Java crap. What will Sun do? Of course! They’ll do a SCO. Complain and falsely accuse that their precious IP has been stolen. Yeah!!! Man. Talk about gullible. The only real way is the complete abolishment of software patents. Period. The system does not work, it benefits the rich and powerful corporations. Always has, always will. It’s a system put in place by the rich and powerful, to suit the rich and powerful, and to ensure that they stay rich and powerful.
Yes, man is greedy, this is partly social, psychological and genetical as you’ve correctly pointed out. And yes, it does make non commercial/corporate ideals difficult to implement. Communism is a fantastic ideal, provided that EVERYONE can adhere to it. Unfortunately, mankind being greedy etc we can’t. This is out biggest failing as a species.
I still (and others agree) feel that software patents stifle innovation and development. They do not encourage it. Certainly not.
Dave W Pastern
Sun derided Tiemann’s posting. “It’s gratifying to know that Tiemann is a regular reader, but he’s just using his Web postings as a marketing vehicle to take theater to the next level,” spokesman Noel Hartzell said. “Sun is more than happy to address specific concerns, but we’re not going play them out through the media. If people want to address them directly, let’s talk about them like civilized business folks.”
Reminds me about the ‘open source java’ flamewar a year ago. Sun attacks IBM for not being an open source citizen, IBM says: “open source Java”. Sun says no, then yes, then no, etc.
And now Sun is whining about ‘civilized’? Haha. I’m getting quite sick of the anti-Sun fanboys on Groklaw, Slashdot et al but with this i’d agree. Who’s been attacking RedHat the past months? I read Jonathan’s blog and well what i read there ain’t what i read from RedHat. Talking about civilized, huh? … -rest my case- …
“What will Sun do? Of course! They’ll do a SCO. Complain and falsely accuse that their precious IP has been stolen.”
In that case, Sun should be suing Microsoft. After all, C# is practically a Java clone.
And as far as open source developing something better, they already have a pretty good start in Python, which is often touted as an open source alternative to Java. Get rid of the horrible TK toolkit and replace it with something else (wxPython perhaps) and Python is really on its way.
“Communism is a fantastic ideal, provided that EVERYONE can adhere to it”
No… Socialism is a fantastic ideal, not communism. Communism is what happens when selfish people rise to power in a socialism system.
“Unfortunately, mankind being greedy etc we can’t. This is out biggest failing as a species.”
Well, join the crowd. Because selfish gene theory is universal. We inherited it from the same ancestor that the wolves, and the lions, and the deer, and the mice inherited it from.
Good too see some intelligent responses and debates being discussed here. Sun is being a fence sitter here and I hope that if MS does call patents against Open Office and the USS Government/Legal System rolls over for them that the Open Office Developers then take Sun to the cleaners in a counter suite.
Software patents, Image the world to day if we had a patent system in place like now but during the Renaisance? We would still be heralding the great inventions of the Dark Ages like the Styrup and Wheelbarrow. Vive creativity and invention and the ability to build on the knowledge of others for the benfit of all.
“No… Socialism is a fantastic ideal, not communism. Communism is what happens when selfish people rise to power in a socialism system. ”
My apologies, you are correct. It’s so easy to get the two mixed up, since from the social eye they are heavily intertwined.
Not all species are selfish, well not to the extent that humans are. As to mice, they’re rather co-operative creatures. I should know, I currently have five girl mice as pets (as well as six girl rats).
“Not all species are selfish, well not to the extent that humans are. As to mice, they’re rather co-operative creatures.”
Lots of species cooperate. But if you delve deeply into the reasons, you will find out that ultimately they are selfish reasons.
Group selection theory has been pretty much rejected by modern ecologists and biologists. The problem is that a group selection system is not evolutionarily stable because a single individual who is selfish will prosper in it at the expense of others, thus being more successful and ultimately passing on more copies of his or her selfish genes. So if you look at cooperation in animals, you can almost always find a selfish reason for it.
I don’t see why Sun should protect users of openoffice for free. You didn’t pay for it, so it’s not their problem.
Well, considering Star Office is based on OO.o, they are being pretty shady. They basically sold the developers of Open Office down the river while covering their own butts. Sun should choose to either support open source or fight it. Not try to do both at the same time.
Mike T. is kickin’ ass and takin’ names. Way to go Mike!
…”We wanted him to make as much impact as possible,” spokeswoman Leigh Day said.”
That’s a great name. Not as good as “expensivelesbian”, but still cool.
Seriously though, every time I read about redhat speaking out on an issue, I get more more impressed with them. I’m gonna have to take another look at Fedora Core…
Sun and RH are not the same type of organization!
Sun’s assets are different.
Sun’s organization is more similar to IBM than to RH.
There are only two major Linux distributors, RH and Novell. Sun is NOT a Linux distributor, IBM is not a Linux distributor.
The reason why Sun is not a distributor in spite of the Java Desktop System is due to Sun’s organizational design (OD).
I’m not sure if Sun even knows where it fits in, but since it doesn’t have the muscle to be an IBM, and it doesn’t have the muscle to be a Microsoft, it’s in a real jam. Unfortunately it’s going down the road of SCO, depending on lawsuits and personal attacks.
Sun should try to merger with IBM.
“Sun derided Tiemann’s posting. “It’s gratifying to know that Tiemann is a regular reader, but he’s just using his Web postings as a marketing vehicle to take theater to the next level,” spokesman Noel Hartzell said.”
Like Sun’s never used such dastardly tactics . . .
….damn, substitute distributor for vendor.
This is not a rant against open source. It is just a legitimate concern that disturbs me about some of the open source community. They alienate the very folks that help them out by complaining that they didn’t get an arm when they were given a hand. Mr. Tiemann’s statements unfortunately reflect this. Give them a hand, and they want an arm. And if you don’t give them the arm, they attack you for giving them the hand in the first place. That doesn’t seem like a wise strategy to me. Open source StarOffice, and some in the open source community complain because they think Sun isn’t doing enough to support it. They should be glad they got it at all rather than sit there and look the gift horse in the mouth.
sun is linux distributer. what is then Sun’s Java Desktop ?
is it not linux ?
The same can be said for SCO. Many a cry were heard, “but they’re a Linux distributor, why are they attacking us!?”
The same thing can be said for Java. Give the world a free programming language that is really quite liberal in its licensing agreements, and some in the open source community complain that it is not free enough, and they wan’t more and attack Sun for it. This just doesn’t make sense to me.
Redhat can complain all they want to anyone concerning open source since everything they do goes to the public, IBM also has this crediblity. Sun on the other hand came out and declaired war against red hat in the last week, surely you can’t expect Red Hat to clap for Sun?
“Sun on the other hand came out and declaired war against red hat in the last week, surely you can’t expect Red Hat to clap for Sun?”
No. But I can expect Sun to respond by saying “Fine. If that’s the way you want to be about it, no more open source code from us since you would rather complain that we aren’t giving you enough rather then be greatful for what you have.”
The problem is that Sun and Microsoft specifically exempted OO developers and users in a no lawsuit agreement. Now a few days later it gets out that Sun’s newest strategy is to attack Redhat, and perhaps team up with Microsoft on IBM.
Even if they have helped us in the past, should we continue to support them if they attack one of our own? I’m all for supporting companies that are on the right side, but they have to consistently be good citizens.
Sun and RH have totally different organizational design (OD).
Linux vendors are joined to the community by IBM or Sun, however Sun doesn’t have the muscle to be an arbiter.
What JDS is, is what you would see if IBM became a Linux vendor. It would be devoid of community.
The assets that the companies own make them what they are.
A Linux vendor is three things, a vendor + community + arbiter.
Microsoft is all of those things combined in a centralized model. The Microsoft distributor is Dell.
What I’m saying here is that there’s a bigger picture that you have to consider. RH and Sun have a vastly different OD.
It is imposible for Sun to enter the Linux market as a vendor.
We might see a flimsy attempt (JDS) but it is devoid of community…..due to their OD.
What about Novell? I don’t think IBM would have to follow the Sun route.
Just because they have different OD doesn’t mean they can’t play nice.
“Even if they have helped us in the past, should we continue to support them if they attack one of our own?”
Sun has always been a sore spot for the open source community though, Java being the major sticking point. Sun decided to give Java to the world for free, and give it a very liberal license agreement. But the open source community has constantly complained that it isn’t GPL and attacked Sun for it. Considering the amount of money that Sun spent developing Java, the open source community should be glad they can have it for free at all. Not sit there and complain that it’s not free enough, isn’t GPLd, etc.
And as far as IBM, considering IBM is one of the largest holders of software patents in the world, I find it somewhat odd that open source is constantly singing the praises of IBM and then saying how much they detest software patents.
Sun must be a neutral arbitor due to their OD…Linux IBM. Sun doesn’t have the muscle.
Yeah, IBM would have to follow the Sun route, due to their OD.
IBM wants to commoditze software and be decentralized.
IBM + Community + Linux vendors, is the open source model. The details of the definition of Linux vendor is still being worked out however.
IBM can not be a Linux vendor.
“Fine. If that’s the way you want to be about it, no more open source code from us since ….
Since…. we made our deal with Microsoft
Sun + IBM would work.
Sun, with the moronic, mindless blathering of it’s top executives Scott McNealy and Jonathan Schwartz, keeps making itself into a big laughing stock. And it’s a laughing stock that keeps losing money by the boat-load, while desperately trying to hang on to past Solaris/sparc glories, all the while pathetically making FUD attacks on Linux (specifically Red Hat).
Then Tiemann comes along and crushes Schwartz on the intelligence, common-sense, knowledge and reality fronts. It’s a beautiful thing.
Matthew Szulik also impresses me – he’s smart and quite personable. And Red Hat’s profits keep growing, while remaining completely open source, and offering the totally free (but unsupported) Fedora Core for the hobbyists and home desktop users out there.
Red Hat really has it’s act together. And I’m not worried about Red Hat becoming “the MS of Linux” – that’s impossible because no company controls the code. Plus, SuSE/Novell has their act together, as does Mandrake, as does the totally free and volunteerally developed Debain, as does many of the fine Debian derivatives (like Mepis, Knoppix and Libranet!).
Like another poster, I’d like to give Fedora Core a try (I’m a current Mandrake and Mepis user, and a former Red Hat 9 user), I’m sure I can make some hard drive space for FC2 (or 3), while maintaining my Mandrake and Mepis. I feel Red Hat deserves my attention for it’s Fedora Core.
Meanwhile, Sun has a past of top notch technology. Solaris has always been a great Unix, Sparc was once one of the best price/performance chips out there, and Sun gave the world the Java language. But as a business, Sun has been blindsided by Linux and the rest of the IT world, and is left thrashing around like a fish taken out of it’s water tank. And Sun keeps putting it’s foot in it’s mouth, looking dumb and dumber by the day. McNealy and Schwartz simply do not inspire much confidence in IT buyers or in developers.
Sun is trying to turn things around with innovative pricing schemes, lowering the price of Solaris, having Solaris run on x86, still spending $$$ on R&D (for which they deserve kudos) and having Linux offerings (JDS, AMD servers). But it might be too little, too late. And they are still leaning on Solaris too much. The market, except for the very biggest of big iron, is more interested in the commodity OS (Linux) on cheap x86 hardware, that is open (open source and no vendor lock-in). Then their diahhrea-of-the-mouth Beavis and Butthead exeucitves just keep going on making Sun look like a joke.
Red Hat is thriving while Sun is on life support (M$’s $2 Billion).
Are you saying that they can’t contain a Linux vendor, or just that they can’t be one as their primary business strategy?
“Since…. we made our deal with Microsoft”
Welcome to the real world. Sun is a commercial company. It has commercial assets and interests to protect. I’m sure the exlcusion of Open Office exists because Microsoft’s lawyers demanded it. And Sun decided to take the deal they could get rather then risk a lawsuit they might not win.
Sorry, but this is business. This is the way things work in corporate America. You want to lookg a gift horse in the mouth. You are angry with a company who already freely gave you millions of dollars with of software development effort because now they won’t spend even more money to support you? Why should they? They already freely gave you millions of dollars worth of their efforts. Seems rather inappropriate to get upset with them cause they won’t give you more when they really had no obligation to give you anything in the first place.
Yes, it’s amazing what happens when you actually support the Linux community instead of just leaching off of it and playing both sides.
Or maybe that’s just what IBM has us convinced of, but either way, it’s working for them.
“Yes, it’s amazing what happens when you actually support the Linux community instead of just leaching off of it and playing both sides.”
Once again, I don’t see how you can say they are leaching off the Linux community considering the millions of dollars worth of free software that they have given to developers. Furthermore, Sun is a supporter of GNOME. But like I said, it seems to be a case of “We are mad because you aren’t giving us enough. Nevermind the fact that you had no obligation to give us anything in the first place. We want more!”
But you’re not seeing the whole picture. They’re attacking a good distributor for corporate gain. Yes that is how business’ work, but it sucks, and there’s no reason for us to stand for it. If Redhat executives sat back in their leather chairs and took it on the chin they’d be damned fools, and they aren’t.
It’s been years of Sun walking a tight rope, playing every side without giving real support to anyone but themselves. They have given the Linux community no real reason NOT to defend itself against them.
To be fair, as I said, I don’t have a rant against open source. And I suspect that the vast majority of open source users are not as militant as the “Boycott Java because it is not GPL” types. There just seems to be a small and vocal majority who want to have their cake and eat it too. They aren’t happy unless everything is GPL. They even want to recieve gifts on their terms, and get upset if they aren’t given on the terms they want.
I was expecting something a bit more agressive ever since that “Red Hat is proprietary” comment.
Good luck to HP, Dell, IBM as they tear into SUN. So much for SPARC, eh?
“If Redhat executives sat back in their leather chairs and took it on the chin they’d be damned fools, and they aren’t.”
Then Red Hat should handle it in a professional manner by talking to Sun in a business like way and trying to work out their concerns, rather then simply complaining to the community that they aren’t getting what they want and raising a big stink about it. That’s just childish.
Yes, I know it is a business, but don’t tell me Sun is acting this way all of a suddon cause we (OSS community) are complaining about java, we’ve been complaining as a group about anything not GPL from anyone, forever. This is not new. What is new is MS’s significant contribution to Sun. So that is what I’m pointing out. I do not Blame Sun for not GPLing Java unless they plan to reinvent their company.
Well you can’t get around it, the Linux community is ideological, as much as some try to deny it. Yes, Sun has given support, but then they keep coming back with statements and actions which outright oppose us, and in a hurtful manner. It’s like in Watership Down, you can hang around for a free meal knowing you’ll be trapped, or you can find a way to protect yourself when the farmer invariably shows is second face.
“Yes, I know it is a business, but don’t tell me Sun is acting this way all of a suddon cause we (OSS community) are complaining about java, we’ve been complaining as a group about anything not GPL from anyone, forever. This is not new. What is new is MS’s significant contribution to Sun. So that is what I’m pointing out.”
This has nothing at all to do with whether MS contributed anything to Sun or not. It has to do with Sun not wanting to get sued. Like I said, I am sure there were some threats made by Microsoft’s lawyers that led to this.
And of course, Sun is not doing it because of some vendetta against the open source community. They aren’t doing it because of OSS complaining about Java. They are simply doing it to avoid a lawsuit by Microsoft.
“Well you can’t get around it, the Linux community is ideological”
Well, I don’t think most of the Linux community is quite this ideological. There is just a small militantly “anti-anything commercial software” faction led by Stallman that is very vocal.
But if we want to talk about leaching… Gee… Red Hat is rather guilty of that themselves. They only survive because of the software development efforts of an army of unpaid volunteers. Red Hat has thousands of programmers “working for them”. Most aren’t actually on the pay roll though and never get a dime.
The real mission should be against Microsoft and not against the little guy. It’s like when small linux distros start criticizing other linux distros or BSD, the real ennemy is clearly Microsoft. Division = weakness
Sun has created more open source applications than Red Hat and has benified it.
Sun may have not have provided the business support for open source apps like red hat , but the majority of red hat’s work have been from other people’s work (the selling products that they care about) Sure they have rpm and other things. But Sun deffinately has done more. I dislike the idea of not being able to install multiple copies of redhat enterprise on all my servers if i didn’t want it supported or not, but that’s business.
This is nothing more than a business war, like IBM trying to turn people against sun because they had a better position. Oddly enough Schwartz’s reply to things like this are: “they are lunatics”
IT’s just another day of compitetion.
So in their world it’s fine for Sun management to make vitriolic, antagonistic and often just plain stupid posts on public weblogs, but when replied to in a similar forum they ‘won’t be drawn’.
I heard exactly the same thing from a Microsoft manager over here in New Zealand in a public discussion – first they assert that Linux is deficient in some regard, but when an audience member points out that not only is that deficiency completely invalid from a factual standpoint, but their own product suffers from the same, and worse deficiency – they immediately claim ‘this isn’t the proper forum to discuss it’ – despite having raised it themselves.
Thats just asinine rubbish, and shows just how childish and petty Sun has become.
Its funny to watch, in the same way SCO mouthing off half-cocked and then getting crushed to death is funny.
OpenOffice is a product that most Linux users probably don’t use anyway. If it goes away, then it goes away. Maybe it would even be a good thing if it goes away. Might breath new life into the relatively stalled GNOME office project, which kind of went into limbo land after OpenOffice became available for Linux.
I’m speaking of the ideology of the community as a whole, on average. Though you’re right, most aren’t as firm as, say, myself. I do, however, try to keep it out of it as much as possible.
Anyway, Red Hat is creating plenty. I personally can’t stand the big bloated distributions, but it shouldn’t be understated just how difficult it is to blend all these programs and libraries together in a generally stable, secure, and usable manner that works for everyone. Plus commercial distributions provide a service to developers, by providing them with opportunities for gainful employment despite giving away the bulk of their work for free.
I have to disagree with you there, I don’t think we should rally against anyone. I believe we should just focus on creating the best possible operating systems and supporting software, and let things sort themselves out. The more ideological we keep things, the better off the world will be if we overgrow ourselves somewhere down the line ala big business.
“I’m speaking of the ideology of the community as a whole, on average.”
My ideology is pretty simple on the whole thing. I have no problem with commercial software. Neither do I have any problem with open source software, and I use a lot of open source software, and also write open source software. However, I’m not realy fond of someone taking my volunteer efforts, packaging it up, and becomining a millionaire partially as a result of my volunteer efforts. Hence, I am not a fan of Red Hat at all. If someone wants to package up my software and make money off of it, fine. But then they should be paying me. If I am not getting paid, and just doing it as a volunteer effort, then no commercial interest should be making money off of it.
What Linux distro do I use? Debian of course. :p
“OpenOffice is a product that most Linux users probably don’t use anyway.”
Oh my God, this comes with like every decent linux distro!
sun never had to open source OpenOffice, they never had to do anything, they could have had microsoft’s atitude. But no, that’s not good enough is it?!
Open Source used to be community supported, not company supported until recently.
Also, there are actual OpenOffice distributions that provides support, etc. I guess if you need the support you should buy StarOffice–which is about the same damn thing. You get what you pay for, even with Red Hat’s products, you must pay for their support.
“Oh my God, this comes with like every decent linux distro!”
Um… Well, I hate to be the one to inform you. But the vast majority of Linux’s domain is still servers. Its desktop marketshare is still very small. So I stand by my statement. The vast majority of Linux users do not use OpenOffice since the vast majority of Linux installations are on servers.
Not all of us are just hobbiests toying around with a Unix operating system. Some of us are using it for real work.
I’m torn between your stance and the argument I was waging at the end there. I’ve traditionally had a problem with the likes of Redhat for just the same reason you do (even though I don’t develop). But I also see a need for responsible companies in our current economic state, and while Redhat has become somewhat corrupt, it’s much better than the alternatives. Where would you stand if the company were more a cooperative, and everyone made pretty much the same money?
I too have no problem with commercial software. In my Windows using days, for example, I paid to use Trillian as an instant messager when there were plenty of free alternatives. On the other hand, I try to avoid supporting a company if I don’t mesh with their philosophies. Sure I COULD install Java, but I don’t have much use besides playing chess, and that’s by no means worth the moral cost, in my opinion.
When it comes right down to it, I don’t have a problem with software, I have a problem with the companies behind it.
everything they do goes to the public, IBM also has this crediblity
DB2 is open source now? What about AIX? Or even OS2?
Aside from kernel patches to make Linux work on their own hardware, what has IBM ever open sourced?
I don’t use it either. Sure it’s available in the Arch repository, but I much prefer Abiword.
In fact, even when testing Ubuntu recently, where it’s installed automatically, I decided to install Abiword after trying OO shortly.
What I really want, though, is a nice simple console word processor.
You don’t yet Grok the free-software community. It’s not about open-source, it’s about free-software. And it’s not about free as in free beer but it’s about the freedom. RedHat is not just an open-source company, RedHat is a free-software company. For example “glut” is open-source and free (as in beer), but non-free in the sense that nobody is allowed to modify it. Redhat does not ship glut for this very reason. There are many other examples.
Niether do you Grok, Stallman. The Free Software movement is NOT anti-commercial software. Read the GPL. The Free Software is anti-“restricted/non-free/restrained” software.
The difference between Sun and Redhat, which is the substance of Tiemann’s blog post is similar to the difference between religion and spirituality. They religious (SUN) try with a lot of effort to appear spiritual by doing things like going to church, dressing in a particular way, talking in a particular way (SUN pretending to support the community). But in the long run, their intentions show through the facade. The truly spiritual (RedHat) just find that they are doing the right things without too much effort . Everything is in the motive. Sun may have donated gazillions of code to the “open-source” but under what conditions, what were the motives.
Again remember, the community is not about free stuff as in free beer. There is a separate name for that called Freeware. So all your blathering about the Freeware that Java is, does not even enter the scene. It’s about freedom. OpenOffice is free as in beer and freedom. However, SUN has given microsoft the go-ahead to make it non-free through patent hijack. If SUN had “donated” the code to the community, how come SUN is still calling the shots? How come it even gets mentioned in the microsoft agreement?
A principle of the GPL is “Live Free or Die”. It means if one person can not use it due to a patent suit, nobody can. However, SUN has made it such that they can use it, but nobody else can, and they have agreed with microsoft that microsoft has this option — they benefit, MS benefits. The community loses. What does that tell you about their motives for opening up StarOffice in the first place?
They have refused to open Java with all the flimsy excuses. QT is free-software. How many forks exist? Is Trolltech not making a profit on QT? How many computer programming languages do you know about that are proprietary? What if Darl McBride became the CEO of Sun and decided that Java would cost money from now on and you need a license to develop apps in Java? Nothing prevents that from hapenning. Because Java is NOT free (as in freedom).
SUN is too shitzophrenic to their detriment. Their attack against RedHat soon after going to bed with MS is just lame and childish. Time will tell who is right. But I can’t recommend any SUN products to anybody. They are not trustworthy.
Well you can’t get around it, the Linux community is ideological, as much as some try to deny it. Yes, Sun has given support, but then they keep coming back with statements and actions which outright oppose us, and in a hurtful manner.
Like developing a superior server OS. Yeah, that really hurts, probably Sun should stop their work on Solaris, like I hear from every Linux zealote.
If someone wants to package up my software and make money off of it, fine. But then they should be paying me. If I am not getting paid, and just doing it as a volunteer effort, then no commercial interest should be making money off of it.
That’s open source, deal with it. If it wasn’t for red hat and other linux company turning a profit your precious debian would still be using ncurses as a GUI or something. Money benifits us all Greatly, for instance RH pledges to turn over 1/5th of their total income into R&D of GPL software, how many tens of millions has Debian contributed in full time employment this year?
Then I guess your favorite distro (Debian) should pay Red Hat for the tons of things they wrote into the kernel that Debian can use free of charge. Red Hats business model is not much differen’t than Debians, Debian asks for you to donoate money to a free project, Red Hat asks for money for a free project you can download for free be it with a different name (white box) or as source code from a mirror.
Aside from kernel patches to make Linux work on their own hardware, what has IBM ever open sourced?
Have you been asleep, just check the tech news for the last week.
Just check here: http://www-136.ibm.com/developerworks/opensource/index.html
There is a drop-down list with dozens of projects. Check the facts next time before you post.
“You want to look a gift horse in the mouth. You are angry with a company who already freely gave you millions of dollars with of software development effort because now they won’t spend even more money to support you?”.
When software companies release code into the community this is most probably based on the assumption that this will be beneficial to the company in one way or another. It may be a strategy to extract some monetary value from the community in the form of code contributions for example. So it’s a win-win situation. It is not just some kind of charity. It is about cooperation.
No, actually I’m strongly considering giving Solaris 10 a spin now that I’m understanding Linux a lot more. Nice try on putting words into my mouth, though.
“Where would you stand if the company were more a cooperative, and everyone made pretty much the same money?”
A cooperative would be really nice. Although I am pretty much happy with the way Debian works. Everyone contributes, everyone benefits.
Basically, for me to feel good about donating my valuable time to something, I need to really care about it. I do a lot of volunteer programming for various non-profits because I care about the cause they are for. But lining Red Hat’s CEO’s pocket is not really a cause I care to donate my time to. There are other causes I would much rather donate my programming time too.
I do like to give open source software back to the community because I benefit so much from the software provided by the community (save thousands of dollars on development tools and libraries). But I would like for the programmers who provided those tools to benefit from my code–not some CEO at Red Hat.
Aside from kernel patches to make Linux work on their own hardware, what has IBM ever open sourced?
– Eclipse is one huge, mosterous example.
– JFS, which subsequently was not used.
– Also, they just open-sourced a Java-based database product (name escapes me at the moment).
Oh yeah, IBM is also the one “fighting the good fight” against SCO, on the front lines, with their highly paid lawyers.
Plus IBM has 300+ developers on their payroll that hack on nothing but Linux.
Also, the person who has a problem with Red Hat because they are selling the open source software that he developed:
Red Hat, and the other distros, does not sell open source software. They sell packaging, add on software, thorough testing and hardware/software certification, services, and support.
If they built their business on only selling open source software, they would not be in business. Open source software companies use a completely different business model than proprietary software companies – rather then selling the right (a license) to use the software (since open source software is freely available), they sell the support, packaging, services, testing, etc.
It’s a “value added” based business, and Red Hat is doing quite well with it, as is Novell, Mandrake, MySQL, QT, JBoss, and others.
So don’t be resentful towards Red Hat or anyone else because they have built a profitable business on open source software, including software you might have written. And heck, you could even go and ask them for a job. If the software you wrote was good, they would certainly want to consider you for employment.
That’s part of the commerce of open source software development. You can’t expect to get paid by someone when you voluntarily develop something. But what you can expect is personal satisfation for writing good software as a hobby, and for the positive karma to come back to you in unexpected ways (like more job opportunities). Just a thought. 🙂
“However, SUN has made it such that they can use it, but nobody else can, and they have agreed with microsoft that microsoft has this option — they benefit, MS benefits. The community loses.”
Good point. So SUN is, in reality, screwing the community over. That is exactly how to NOT treat your friends.
Unfortunately it’s near impossible to shed our system of manipulatory capitalization over night. I prefer free projects like Debian and Ubuntu too, but people have to eat, and I don’t wish holding degrading 9 to 5’s on anyone, especially not the people I respect.
“If it wasn’t for red hat and other linux company turning a profit your precious debian would still be using ncurses as a GUI or something.”
XFree86 and some decent window managers existed long before Red Hat was even a remotely prominant distribution.
“Red Hats business model is not much differen’t than Debians, Debian asks for you to donoate money to a free project, Red Hat asks for money for a free project you can download for free be it with a different name (white box) or as source code from a mirror.”
They are VERY different. Debian is a non-profit organization. Red Hat is a publically traded commercial company. You can’t even compare the two “business models”.
There is a drop-down list with dozens of projects. Check the facts next time before you post.
None of which are as big a contribution as the sun’s to openoffice. Eclipse is the closest thing perhaps, but even still pales in comparison.
The fact of the matter is the free software folks want everything for free. Just the software? Fuck you give us free legal suport too. It’s not as if sun gave any rights that MS didn’t have before. They could always sue OO.org any time they liked.
Spray paing some penguins on the sidewalk and toss a few breadcrumbs!? Oh you’re so much better than sun.
“Red Hat, and the other distros, does not sell open source software. They sell packaging, add on software, thorough testing and hardware/software certification, services, and support.”
Yeah yeah… I’ve heard this one before. But it really doesn’t hold water. Cause when you pull these layers away, the reality is Red Hat is out of business without the efforts of thousands of volunteer programmers because they have no product to layer all this stuff on top of and sell.
I was wondering how much contribution other developers do to open office. The whole point behind opensource then becomes a mystery. Look at any product in linux and you will find a bulk of sun employees involved. So if by keeping a product that earn bucks for the company proprietary sun is trying to earn money whats wrong with it. I dont see a point why people complain. Every vendor is there to make a profit in the name of opensource, Redhat is being bitchy by swithching to RHEL AS BS stuff and SUN is doing it through Star office.
I “grok” both the free software and Stallman, and lets not drag up the tired worn out “free software not free beer” debate again. I’ve participated in it multiple times.
And yes I grok Stallman as well. In a nutshell, he is the reincarnation of Karl Marx. Unfortunatly, history has shown us that as great as Marxism is in theory, it never works in reality because most people are too selfish to make it work. That’s sad, but true. So basically, Stallman is an idealist. But his ideals can never be achieved in the real world. It’s been tried many times throughout history and has always failed. You can rally a community around your ideals. But you cannot attempt to forcefully legislate those ideas onto people since the vast majority of people are simply too selfish to support them.
“Yeah yeah… I’ve heard this one before. But it really doesn’t hold water. Cause when you pull these layers away, the reality is Red Hat is out of business without the efforts of thousands of volunteer programmers because they have no product to layer all this stuff on top of and sell.”
You say it doesn’t hold water, yet Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, MySQL, QT, and JBoss have clearly shown, with their profitable businesses, that it does hold water.
And yes, of course these businesses are built on top of open source software, and the efforts of both volunteer and paid programmers (many businesses, including IBM, HP, Sun, Intel, Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE, Sony, etc etc have programmers on their payroll contributing to open source code).
It’s the “share and share alike”, “a rising tide lifts all boats”, “pooling of resources” principle. And it seems that your hyper-capitalistic, dog-eat-dog, commerce-only mindset is not capable of comprehending this principle.
“You say it doesn’t hold water, yet Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, MySQL, QT, and JBoss have clearly shown, with their profitable businesses, that it does hold water.”
You didn’t understand what I said. What I said was that realistically, Red Hat makes money because they can layer all this stuff ON TOP of Linux. Take Linux away, and Red Hat goes out of business. So ultimately, Red hat is making money thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteer programmers.
“It’s the “share and share alike”, “a rising tide lifts all boats”, “pooling of resources” principle. And it seems that your hyper-capitalistic, dog-eat-dog, commerce-only mindset is not capable of comprehending this principle.”
Wrong again. It’s just called setting priorities. And I can think of a lot of causes I would rather donate my time to then giving free programming services to a commercial company. If they are in it to make money, fine. But I do not have the time to help them do that for free. I’d rather support non-profits who aren’t in it for the money.
And don’t try to say that Red Hat is not in it for the money. They are a publically traded commercial company. They are a business just like any other. They have share holders to keep happy, etc. And the only way they can do that is by making money.
So you are saying you have no ideals. A world without ideals is anarchy. Or you are proclaiming that it can not be done and insulting anyone who suggests we work towards an ideal. Do you Stallman’s this ideal or do you have another one (irrespective of whether it can be reached or not).
Maybe you share the same ideal with SUN: “Be nice to the party while searching for the treasure. As soon as it is found, put a bullet in everyone else’s skull and keep the spoil all to yourself.”
Unfortunatly, history has shown us that as great as Marxism is in theory, it never works in reality
Now you do realize the fallacy you commit in this asertion don’t you. Just because something has been tried in the past and failed does not give you any reason to conclude that it will fail in the future. Besides, who says the otherwise universal problem of greed only applies to this situation? It is an unreasonable conclusion to make and it does not justify your attack of Stallman.