Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment The GPL. (Score 1) 113

I would say the GPL itself. It is the only thing that has allowed the software part of the computer industry to at least partially transcend the iron fist of capitalism, (or whatever the iconic hand thing is supposed to be for capitalism.) Without the GPL, we probably wouldn't have internet access at home. We wouldn't have smartphones. Google wouldn't exist. GPS would probably still be military only. It will probably always be at or near the top of any sane, "biggest tech/freedom promoting work," list.

Comment Re:It's the cloud (Score 1) 146

Chrome OS isn't a complete unknown from the user's point of view. Imagine a laptop that runs Chrome, (the browser) in full screen mode and has as it's home page a selection of commonly used office-type web apps and and an app store that works pretty much like the Android web store. You log on to the machine with your Google/Gmail account credentials. That is not particularly unknown even to non-technical users. I don't really like Chrome OS because the hood is welded shut, but for every day usage, (browsing, email, Pandora, video conferencing, etc.), it works fine.

Comment Re:It's the cloud (Score 4, Informative) 146

I was actually going to point out that probably 98% of the Office 365 (Word) users out there would be entirely fine using whatever the most recent version of Word was in 2005. I wrote plenty of stuff in Word in the early-late 90s when I was in school. Lab reports including Excel graphs, etc.. Nearly everything that annoyed me about Word and Excel in 1995 still annoys me about Word and Excel in 2015.

Comment Re:It's the cloud (Score 1) 146

"And I know there's a lot of MS hate from IT people, and sure, I hear you, they could do a lot more to make it better for all you tech wizards that know networking like the back of your hand. It's probably that which is clouding your judgment of their system. To a non-programmer, non-tech guy who thinks CLI is some small government agency and not common language infrastructure or command line interface, MS's stuff is gosh darn fantastic."

Your post implies that non-tech guys' opinions are the only ones that matter. When you need a tech guy, and they can't/won't help you because you have chosen the option that nobody can easily fix, you better have honed your vendor arse-kissing skills in advance because most vendors aren't that helpful unless you give them lots of money first and 90% of the market share isn't going to pay a vendor (much, if at all) for tech support. Knowing networking well does not cloud one's judgement of the system; being technically knowledgable allows one to see features and flaws that the less knowledgable cannot; being knowledgable only "clouds" judgement if your goal is to be wrong.

Comment Re:off topic (Score 1) 223

I have been very concerned about this as of late. (Not slashdot, I mostly gave up on it a long time ago, there are other sites that have sort of picked up where slashdot left off, however.) The only thing that makes me feel a little better about systemd is that it is actually GPLd, and the distros I have looked at that are switching/have switched to systemd still have full-fledged init.d packages. The "roll another distro" is probably the right answer. That being said, I think the real reason to be concerned is that there has been a stunning lack of transparency on the part of the distros that are switching. Reasons that have been given are clearly BS. It appears that docker and similar things benefit from systemd, but it isn't obvious how. I wish I knew. Gentoo FTW.

Comment Re:Patents? (Score 1) 223

Actually, I believe Ballmer was the one who first publicly referred to open source as "open sores". I think that qualifies as at least some amount of disgust at open source, if not visceral hatred. And yes, the GPL's intentionally viral nature is the one thing that pisses MS off the most about it. I'm guessing it is because MS was started by the offspring of lawyers and they didn't think of it first. :) Don't forget Bill Gates' "Open Letter to Hobbyists", wherein he mentions that he is opposed to sharing software because it deprives developers of royalties. This is at least, against the "free" in "Free Open Source Software", though not against open source explicitly.

Comment Re:Beware Rust, Go, and D. (Score 1) 223

The GPL does not prohibit anyone from producing software and then not distributing the source code. The GPL prohibits someone from distributing a binary derived from GPL code without also making the source that compiled into that binary licensed under the GPL and available. An entity can take GPL code, modify it, write stuff that uses it, whatever, and as long as they don't distribute binaries of the derivative work, they are not obligated to release any code at all.

Comment Re:Beware Rust, Go, and D. (Score 1) 223

I would love to believe that MS really is a different company. Realistically, if MS isn't a different company, then it is circling the drain, (albeit, from a great distance still.)

But nobody should believe that a company that has for decades made tons of money by selling units of something that has no incremental cost of production, (copies of software or licenses to use them,) and which is publicly traded and whose investors expect it to do more of the same, will suddenly embrace a project that promises no direct revenues and which will compete with their existing product.

One of the ways you can tell that MS doesn't understand open source is that they are pushing Mono. There is a reason that Mono has been around for more than 10 years without gaining any real traction. It is a clone of .NET. Why on earth would the open source community care about cloning .NET? Particularly back when Mono started, and still now to a large degree, this is what the open source community mostly seems to say about Mono: if you want a .NET runtime, run Windows. What is the point of running .NET stuff on, say, Linux?

Comment Re:Beware Rust, Go, and D. (Score 1) 223

"Pulling JVM into the equation not really helps either, cause the consequent question would be: Do you trust Oracle? Or Google, for that matter if you count Dalvik in."

There is an open JVM. There is not a fully open CLR or a fully open clone of the CLR. So no, I don't trust Oracle, or Google, or IBM, (you forgot IBM's JVM,) but that doesn't really matter. Nobody who cares about their software stack being maximally open should be super-enthused about Mono.

Comment Re:Beware Rust, Go, and D. (Score 1) 223

One theory about why the big distributions are pushing systemd is that they want to make all the Windows admins currently migrating over to the Linux world more comfortable. They may see Mono, and the resultant large pile of Steam games that now run on Linux as the biggest opportunity open source has ever had to pound nails in MS's coffin. Another theory is that various people in the open source world have been bought in one way or another. Still another theory is that there is now a generation of otherwise great programmers that are basically clueless about the virtues of the UNIX way and think that they have made a significant improvement on those flat config files in specifically named directories and flat log files and cron by making a big monolithic brick that does all the same stuff only less conveniently.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue." -- Peter Neumann, about usenet