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Open Source Is Bad [updated] 436

pjones writes: "This just in! Open Source is bad for companies and countries too. In a New York Times article (registration required), John Markoff reports that: "In a speech defending Microsoft's business model, to be given on Thursday at the Stern School of Business at New York University, Craig Mundie, a senior vice president at Microsoft and one of its software strategists, will argue that the company already follows the best attributes of the open-source model by sharing the original programmer's instructions, or source code, more widely than is generally realized." Singled out for particular rebuke and scorn are IBM and the famous GPL and its author Richard Stallman. Who will be there to cheer Craig on?" See also ESR's dispatch on same. (Read below for update with time and place.)

Update: 05/03 01:55 PM by T : cananian points to this announcement on time and place. The upshot: from noon to 1:30 p.m, in room 1-70 of NYU's Kaufman Management Center (KMEC), 44 West 4th Street.

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Open Source Is Bad

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    " It looks like the room will be tiny, so show up outside the building with signs in plenty of time to be seen! " Horseshit. The best thing you can do if you are at all interested in supporting open source is stay away from that meeting. Unless you are willing to RSVP, wear a suit and look and act like a business person. Then you MIGHT get into the room and you MIGHT get a chance to ask intelligent questions, or steer the audience to the real issues. Open source does not need demonstrators. Does not need crowd scenes and street actions. Does not need to look like a disruption of the good life as so many non-technical people think they know it. just my opinion...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's all over, search google or slashdot on Gates and bomebrew and letter. You can't miss it.

    Ok, I'll throw you a link: []

    A google search will pull up all kinds of analysis and commentary and historical perspective.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:35PM (#248967)
    "Open Source Is Bad", huh? Well, reading that I would guess that the author is implying that Microsoft doesn't like open source. No, that's not true. Microsoft likes open source, very very much - after all, huge portions of their networking system come from open source. Microsoft does not like the GPL. Please take note:

    open source != GPL

    Much the same that rectangle != square -- a square is indeed a type of rectangle, but by no means is it the only type.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:48PM (#248968)
    Dear "Shareholder,"

    How many shares do you have of MSFT? 100? 1000? Hah! I wipe my ass with that many shares every morning. Let's face it, your total holdings in MSFT amount to basically dick. But I'm going to answer you anyway, just because I'm in that kind of mood.

    Don't worry about that little adverse court ruling. We own the appeals court. And the Supreme Court. And fucking George W. Bush, for that matter. Judge Jackson's next judicial assignment will be in the Extreme Northern District of Alaska, rest assured.

    And I wouldn't worry about Java either. By the time we get done with Sun, Scott McNealy will be lucky to get a job selling used cars...

    Windows XP will succeed...thanks to our new program of "Mandatory Direct Marketing." Every computer user in the country will receive a copy of Windows XP, whether they ask for it or not. If they fail to pay for it, Guido, from our Collections Division, will be coming around to "persuade" them...

    And once public opinion turns against those Linux and Open Source hackers (and it will turn against them, no matter how many legislators we have to buy), we can start shipping them all off to our new network of death camps. Did I say "death camps"? I meant "happy camps," where they can be properly reeducated and turn into nice little Windows users who will buy their upgrades when we tell them to.

    In conclusion: We don't care. We don't have to. We're Microsoft. Give us your credit card numbers and shut the fuck up.

    Sincerely yours,
    William H. Gates III
    Chairman, Chief Software Architect, and Prince of Darkness

  • No, these are students that attach WORD documents to emails, because "Microsoft is the standard."

    Someone did that to a buddy of mine here at work a while back, and we had a few ideas on how to "deal" with it:

    • Send back your reply as a PDF/PS/TEX or some other format that "normal" mail readers won't read
    • Reply with an image, the larger the better. How about a 24bit BMP
    • Reply with a 24bit BMP of an xterm with your reply typed in it.
    • ... a BMP of a word document, displaying an image, displaying notepad, displaying your message...

  • by Erbo ( 384 ) <> on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:23PM (#248971) Homepage Journal
    Yeah. I'm wondering if they're bringing in the sheep from Animal Farm for this conference:

    "Microsoft good, open source bad! Microsoft good, open source bad! Microsoft good, open source bad!"


  • Can you name one open source implementation of C#?

    Sure. See Portable.NET []

  • "Perl and Python (both are GPLed, AIRC) are popular as hell, as is PHP"

    A commercial company with that many incompabilities between language versions would soon the out of business.

    I presume you're discussing Perl, not Python -- Python is quite compatible between versions; the only major incompatibility-inducing changes in the last three revisions have been the removal of a feature which was both undocumented and deprecated. The improved scoping in 2.1 (despite the unlikelyhood of it breaking preexisting code) is toggleable at runtime... in short, the development team is being pretty damn cautious.

    Now, Perl... well, perl just sucks. :)

  • Looks like RMS [] isn't too far away from this! :^)

  • Lyx--though it's quasi-GPL, not GPL. (Even though it calls itself GPL).

    Then again, if it could verify consent of every coder past and present, it *would* change licenses. The problem is figuring out patches more than a couple of years back . .


  • >, you got it right. Another reason dumping was made illegal is
    >because in some industries it would make the prices go up and down
    >like a yo-yo,

    whereas the price of gasoline doen'st do that . . .

    >making it harder for the local population to sell their
    >wares. Let's take fish for example. I don't think very many fishermen
    >would like the idea of countries like Norway selling them surplus fish
    >for almost nothing.

    Neither would the Norwegian fisherman. This would drive down
    the price on the rest of their fish, too . . . The U.S. has
    government programs for the destruction of small fruit, and
    industry requested regulations for size minimums for sale to
    keep supply down. Nonconforming fruit is typically plowed under.
    If these same actions were taken without the governmental order,
    they'd go to jail . . .

    >Just too sad the fish is merely discarded instead
    >of being fed to those who are dying of hunger in the world.

    If you can figure out a way to get it to them, go collect your
    Nobel Prizes for Peace and Economics (and possibly chemistry and
    physics). The countries currently suffering from starvation
    ar not doing so because there is not enough food, nor even because
    they haven't been given enough in relief efforts. The problem is
    in distribution. Typically, it is either corruption in government
    or rebel forces/freedom fighters/whatevers either taking it for
    themselves (often by force) or obstructing the distribution (not
    letting relief workers in). Quite frequently these countries
    are exporting food while their citizens starve.

    >Some cold
    >hearts even make the argument that giving the fish to poor people
    >would disrupt the world-market.

    world market? It would disrupt the local market, too. But the
    distribution problem is still there.

    Much better to let the world bank keep
    >heir stranglehold on the poor countries, and fake useless donations.

    Donations? World Bank? It make sloans, not donations.

    >(Question: Why are countries poor? Because of imperialism and its
    >extension in the 21th century: the world market)

    Huh? Countries our poor because of corrupt governments used by
    whatever the local elite is (whether landowners or communists) to
    transfer the existing wealth to themselves or their benefactors
    (army, corporation, relatives, whatever). Imperialism needs
    trade, not a poor country around. Trade benefits both parties
    (or the transaction wouldn't occur). A good profit-minded imperialist
    will cause the creation of wealth in the colonial lands (Although
    I'm not sure any place but Britain ever got this straight. I
    still haven't figured out what France, Belgium, Portugal, etc.
    thought they wer doing.).


  • >Actually a lot of poor countries are poor while they have a fair bit
    >of trade. It's not specifically because of government corruption, it's
    >because they allow unrestrained capitalism. Some guy whose family was
    >a little more ruthless, or who fenced off a huge piece of land, has
    >many more resources than the poor living around him. That allows him
    >to get cheap labour, producing cheap goods, and to keep the money to

    That's not an accurate description of capitalism, but a straw man. To begin with, the Golden Rule (He who haveth the gold, maketh the rules) is anithetical to capitalism.

    Captilism is not "the rich get to control things," but rather "the owner of a resource receives the proceeds" which is usually tied with a free market, the ability to buy/sell/refuse to deal at any price you can negotiate. Capitalism without a fee market is facism (Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, etc.--the owners still received proceds, but the state (which to varying extents *was* the government) makes the choices.

    The distribution at any point in time has nothign to do with capitalism. An unequitable distribution is an unequitable distribution no matter what the economic system. In your example, the family did not accumulate their wealt from capital, bt from force. You could redistribute it and still be well within capitalist behavior. On top of that, in countries where that kind of accumulation is/was possible, the landowners tend to control the government either de jure or de facto. Again, fascism or even feudalism--governmental corruption in either case.

    Note that they can't force the poor in the vicinity to work "cheaply" (by local, not international, standards) without some type of monopoly power: being the only employer, law binding them to that employer (serfdom), collusion with other employers, or a government keeping out foreign competitors. Captitalist thinking has despised all of these since day 1 (and now *I'm* mixing capitalism and free market together as "captilist thinking" :). Adam Smith railed against this in "Wealth of Nations", and we haven't gotten any friendlier to it.

    Also, you've shifted from "poor countries" to "countries with poor people". There's a difference (though countries that avoid large numbers of poor people tend to become wealthier.

    >Reagan's trickle-down theory didn't work in most areas.

    The question isn't *whether* there's a trickel-down, but *how much* trickles down--and answers very from "almost nothing" to "more than originally spent."

    > If there are
    >limited options for workers they basically have to take the jobs
    >given, at the wages offered, or starve. In the USA/Canada we've got
    >enough jobs to allow people a choice of low-level jobs which prevents
    >their being trapped and exploited. In poor countries that are often
    >few choices, or agreements between factory/plantation owners exist to
    >keep the wages down low enough to deny the workers a real choice.

    Again, this isn't capitalism, and can exist only with corrupt government.

    >Just because a lot of money is flowing, and trade does benefit both
    >parties, doesn't mean that anyone around the two traders is profiting.

    No, it doesn't--but they have to spend their money somewhere :)

    >And it doesn't mean that one of the parties isn't looting their
    >country to supply those trade goods, hurting everyone else.

    that's corruption.

    >Just like NAFTA. It "created" wealth, if you listen to the wealthy,
    >but that wealth didn't raise the standard of living for the poor and
    >middle classes. Wow, the rich got richer. I'm so glad I could
    >contribute to that.

    Please don't confuse NAFTA with free trade--it does *not* take 400 pages to describe free trade. 400 *words* would be overkill. NAFTA is a set of rules to protect certain groups under the name of free trade. I'm a hard core advocate of free trade--but NAFTA doesn't qualify.


  • by Matthew Kirkwood ( 1344 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @02:28AM (#248980)

    Sheep? Between foot-and-mouth and slashdot, there are none left for Microsoft.

  • Dear Mr. Gates.
    Please place my address on your "do not send junk mail to:" list. I run Linux on the computer I built myself, and I do not own any MSFT stock. Your constant letters are a waste of time and paper.

    I am also certain that Judge Jackson will not be sent to Extreme Northern District of Alaska, as that would likely interfere in George W.'s plan to hand off that district to the oil companies for exploitation. He needs a judge in his pocket up there.

    Sincerely *not* yours,
    a free thinker.
  • Correction:
    Strictly speaking, it is not what the oil *companies* are doing, it is what the Organisation of Oil Producing and Exporting *COUNTRIES* are doing (aka OPEC).

    And if you want to hear MY opinion, it is the #1 reason for the current economic slowdown. It started with OPEC agreeing to constrain supply, with comments from members like Venezuela saying things like "America's economy is booming, and ours is sagging, it's time for us to get a piece of the pie."
    And nobody in America, the World Bank, Federal Reserve, or Newsmedia, said or did one fucking thing about it.
    The internet "economy" and ecommerce rely on one crucial non-computer factor: transportation and shipping. Raise the costs of oil, and the costs of shipping go up, and profit margins slump.
    The California Energy Crisis (TM) (coming to a town near you) is largely due to OPEC's cutbacks as well. This also will have an impact on the success or failure of the "new economy".

    I've said this since Reagan was in office presiding over "the longest economic expansion in history" (TM), it had NOTHING to do with tax cuts, liberalization of trade laws, the environment, God, or anything else, other than CHEAP OIL. George Bush (#41) understood it, and beat Iraq over it. It's all about CHEAP OIL. Nothing else.
  • "Open source, as advocated by Sun, IBM, etc., says that you bought the hardware... here's the software that comes with it."

    I don't know about Sun, but that's not the way I see IBM's attitude to Open Source. IBM's attitude varies from product to product, but let's take three examples:

    1. Apache -- IBM noticed that their proprietary web server had a tiny market share, while Apache was wildly successful. Someone thought "hey, this is silly, if we become Apache developers, we can help mould it into something that we want, and we can sell it by adding proprietary sugar-coating and selling support" -- and that's what you get with the WebSphere range of products. IBM contribute greatly to the core, free, Apache -- but they also sell proprietary systems which hook into Apache to provide more functionality (e.g. their servlet engine, Commerce Suite etc).

    2. Linux -- Someone at IBM noticed "Hey, this thing is *portable*. If we port this to all our server platforms, then we can develop server software once, and be able to run it on anything from a NetFinity PC, to an X-Series mainframe. We can offer our customers a true, smooth, growth path". We have yet to see what this means for AIX...

    3. Jikes -- simple one this, a researcher develops something cool. It's not marketable as-is (although later it could become part of a "prettier" product) so it becomes great "Geek PR" to give it away.
  • This sort of technique works swimmingly against Microsoft's other commercial software competitors, but it isn't nearly as effective against Linux because Linux can be used without asking for permission from the accountants.

    In every business where I have seen Linux used it started off as the basis of a skunkworks project. Linux was chosen because the project had little or no funding. That's the beautty of Linux really, all you need is an idea, and a little bit of time, Linux supplies the rest. It comes complete with an amazing set of tools, and there are plenty of folks out on the Internet that are more than happy to point you in the right direction. The documentation might be spotty at times, but there is plenty of example code to use, and chances are good that someone else has already written the difficult bits for you.

    On several occassions I have seen Linux implementations finished before the "official" proprietary software based project that it was competing with was able to even get the necessary software licenses. And once Linux gains a foothold in the company it spreads like the plague. Accountants are not stupid. Part of the reason that Linux is doing so well in the server arena is that accountants know that you don't always get what you pay for. Microsoft's latest tactics will backfire fantastically. In fact, this particular speech will probably be ridiculed almost as much as Alchin's "Un-American" crack.

  • I hate to break up your utopian anti-capitalist dream, but the GPL fits into a captitalist society much better than you think. For example, Cygnus was profitable (and growing) for years before anyone had ever heard of RedHat. They used gcc as a battering ram to open the compiler market for them. Had they just been another compiler company they would have disappeared into the annals of time without a trace. Instead they gave away the compiler, and (in many areas) became the de-facto standard. This not only undermined the value of their competitors closed source compilers, but it gave them control (although very benevolent control) over a fairly large portion of the overall compiler support business.

    If you think about it, GPL programmers are very much like lawyers. Lawyers aren't paid for creating new laws (well most aren't), but instead they are paid for their knowledge in applying the law. With Free Software the value isn't in the 1's and 0's themselves, but instead it is in the talents of those folks who know how to create solutions with the software. This is bad news for Microsoft (because they sell software), but it is good news for nearly everyone else (especially the freelance hacker and the software consumer).

    All of a sudden I can offer my clients robust solutions without having to pay any Microsoft tax. I can even create custom proprietary solutions on top of already existing code (and charge money for this solution). However, if I am not careful one of my competitors will create a similar solution and release it under a Free License. His solution will then almost certainly become the de-facto standard, and his intimate knowledge of the new standard will become more valuable than my knowledge of a proprietary non-standard solution. In other words, at some point it becomes in my best interest to share.

    The days when standards could be forced from pure market pressure alone are coming to an end. Even Microsoft with 90% of the desktop market is finding that they have to give software away to have any chance of affecting de-facto standards. The only reason that .Net even has a chance is because they based it on a whole raft of open protocols (complete with open source implementations). The only reason that we aren't all still using Netscape is that Microsoft gave away IE. And now with Microsoft's draconian new licensing scheme for Office XP don't be surprised if small businesses and home users start using StarOffice.

  • There are valid reasons to use either licenses.

    The GPL FORCES external contribution. This IMHO is awesome for projects that want to progress ahead VERY quickly. With the GPL you release your code for FREE as in SPEECH, but not as in BEER. Because you ARE requesting a payment, anyone that modifies your code is required to give the modificatons back to you. There fore you "profit" from the GPL. ( I use the term "profit" lightly here )

    If you really want to release your source for "free" as in BEER and SPEECH you should use the BSD License. With this license the user of your source can do anything they want with it. Including making money of YOUR work, and not giving you anything back. That's the FREE BEER part.

    IMHO, if you are developing a product to compete with someone like MS your best bet is to use the GPL because it prevents MS from subverting your code. If they want to use YOUR code, they HAVE to give something back to you. The GPL FORCES cooperation. However it is not co-orced, MS can ALWAYS choose to write their own code.

    On the other hand if you are trying to establish an industry standard, your best bet is the BSD License.. because other companies use closed source projects, and they will not be willing to "infest" their closed source projects with GPL source.
  • Well I would label your post as FUD.

    What is it that the business flunkies don't see?

    What is it that the engineers know better?

    Have you stopped to consider that they have different perspectives?

    There are a lot of highly skilled, technical people, like myself that see great advantages in what Microsoft has created and proposes to create. We're certainly not alone, in fact we outnumber the Open Source world at least 10 to 1.

    However we aren't as vocal, either. There's no point. Our world is on top, we are having a lot of fun doing what we enjoy doing.

    The Open Source world on the other hand is a lot like the Christian Right, losing the battle and shouting at the rain.
  • Out of curiousity, can you provide any examples of this "best software"?

    I can't for the life of me think of any software licensed under the GPL which is anything more than adequate.

    I know of a number of open source projects which are pretty good, but the really popular good ones like Apache aren't licensed under the GPL.

    I keep asking this question, and nobody can provide a clear answer.
  • I actually did see a panel discussion two years ago which included Bob Young from RedHat and I think it was Ed Muth from Microsoft, and one other person I don't recall.

    Mr. Young certainly tried to dominate the discussion at the beginning, but by the end Mr. Muth had made several extremely good points and really had a lot of people going "Oh, yeah, I guess I hadn't thought of that."

    It was interesting.

  • Wow, you are really out of touch.

  • Like I said... out of touch.
  • but, as was also pointed out, ftp is not a tcp/ip stack.
    • ...some people assume that if you say something bad about Java, that it means you must be cheering on Microsoft.
    I'm not one of those people, but the topic of this thread is Microsoft.
    • The fact that there are Java work-alikes just highlights the fact that Sun refuses to release the Java source code for free(dom) use.
    No, it highlights the fact that some people don't like the rules they have to follow to get Sun's source code. That's fine; some people don't like the rules imposed by the GPL, either (particularly Microsoft). That's why there are other licenses and duplicate efforts. WebMacro and Velocity are both free software, and they do exactly the same thing, but Velocity was created because (at one point) WebMacro's license conflicted with the APL.

    Sun's Java license has never stopped me from doing what I need to do, so I don't mind it. It did bother some other people I know, so you know what they did? They wrote their own damn Java implementation. I suppose they should have just wasted their time whining about Sun on Slashdot, instead.

    • Why else would people have to produce re-implementations that end up forking the language in subtle ways?
    Who did that? Oh yeah, Microsoft. No one else, though. Japhar and Kaffe have struggled to keep full compliance with Sun's published specification. In other words: You don't know what you're talking about.

    Like I said,"Thinly-veiled Java bashing."

  • by the red pen ( 3138 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @06:28AM (#248999)
    This frothing-at-the-mouth rhetoric about standards bodies is just thinly-veiled Java bashing. Microsoft submitted VBScript to ECMA, which mixed it with JavaScript and created ECMAScript. Has this made JavaScript more compatible, less buggy or more secure? Not that I've noticed.

    Meanwhile, what standards body control the Linux Kernal? Perl? PHP? Is mod_perl part of any W3C standard? Sun's strict control of Java's definition is a feature not a hinderance. Sure Java has plenty of weak spots, but there are numerous of options for fixing them, none of which rely on a standards body deliberating.

    Microsoft submits their crap to standards bodies to distract feeble-minded tehcnopundits like yourself. The fact is, their stuff is more proprietary than anyone else's and they'll do what they want with it regardless of any standards.

    If Java is so "proprietary" how is it that there are several open-source implementations of it? Can you name one open source implementation of C#?

  • "I'm giving my code to the world, at no monetary cost. Do whatever you want with it. If you want to take it, modify it in a way that is incompatible with my version, and then charge me (or others) for the priviledge, go right ahead - fine by me."

    Personally, I find the second much more offensive.
    How does this sound:
    I'm giving my code to the world, at no monetary cost. You may use it as you please, and make any modifications necessary to improve it. All I ask is that you share your improvements with me and all others that use this code. Our collective efforts will thereby improve what we build upon this code.

    I release this code in the hopes that you, in the same spirit, will give your code to the world. However, I understand that, like any programmer, you may need to protect the interests of your customers. I don't want to prevent those interests from allowing us to reap the benefits our collabaration may provide. So you do not have to share your final code if you are unable to. But you must pass along the code we share, so that our customers may also enjoy the benefits of our collective work.
    Sound familiar? It's the LGPL. And, unless somebody can turn me on to something better, it's the best compromise I've found between Stallman's holy grail of "pure" Free software and the realities of business computing today.

    Maybe we can't share our finished products. But at least let us share the building blocks we use to build.
    I, however, will continue to interpret your choice to use the BSDL as a sign that either:

    1. You don't value what you work on.
    2. What you work on isn't valuable.
    Well said. I always felt that BSDL was a black hole, from which no code ever returns.

    We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead
  • I just don't get the BSD license. I have written both closed and GPL code, the former because I was paid, the latter because I could benefit from others improving my code. Writing code under the BSD license seems to be the worst of both worlds, as I would gain neither of the two benefits. When the BSD license works (and it does, in a number of cases), it is because the community is treating it like the GPL license and submitting changes to the source. So why not choose the license that makes that behaviour mandatory?
  • No -- its buy the first one for $10,000 ONCE, sell it to 12 people for $1,000, and boom : $2000 profit...but eventually the price will finally (and in good health) drop to any case, this is unlikely for any GPL software to have happen to it.
    You know, you gotta get up real early if you want to get outta bed... (Groucho Marx)
  • It is in M$'s interests to NOT sort out the differences (though internally they surely have, as the Halloween documents showed). They want the "average user" out there to think that they are the same; once they do, then furthur presentations like this can focus on what some of us call the GPL virus and how it can prevent developers from "protecting" their software from being used without permission and other stupid FUD like that.

    As for RedHat being the only Linux brand (at least in the public's eye)? Well, others have written that the chance for that has come and gone and it isn't going to happen.
    You know, you gotta get up real early if you want to get outta bed... (Groucho Marx)

  • Open Source, and OSI approved licenses, like GPL, really are a viable, long term, money making, market gaining, idea and force, or else MS would not bother.

    Its not "money making" directly -- its what you DO with OpenSource software that can be money making. M$ doesn't fear that somebody else is really going to make money by making OSS...what they feare is the other factors you mention -- long term and market gaining -- things tht won't make money for others, but WILL take money away from M$.
    You know, you gotta get up real early if you want to get outta bed... (Groucho Marx)

  • Exactly -- here with RedHat/Cygnus (usually), you're not so much paying for the software (you can get that for free), but paying for the work that went into ease of installation, and real honest-to-god, the engineers-who-messed-up-will-actually-fix-it-for-y ou-and-get-the-fix-to-you-in-a-reasonalbe-ammount- of-time support.

    But that isn't something that can be re-sold...
    You know, you gotta get up real early if you want to get outta bed... (Groucho Marx)

  • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:05PM (#249010) Homepage
    The GPL protects intellectual property.

    The GPL was designed to keep free software free. Basically it gives you all the freedom in the world, except for taking away that freedom from others. Okay, I think we all know that.

    Now apply the same logic to the intellectual property within the software. Just because everyone can benefit from it doesn't destroy the intellectual property, it is just being shared.

    The GPL protects intellectual property from being absorbed by one particular entity, whether it be a person or company or organisation. The GPL was designed to do this.

    Proprietary software protects the IP of the individual writing it. GPL is less egoistic. But of course, it's almost a crime anno 2001 not to be egoistic.

  • Ahh yes, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser... I must reread that series someday soon.

  • by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:52PM (#249012) Homepage

    The real threat to future innovation and development does not come from Free code.

    No, the real problem is when someone has come up with a brilliant idea, spent weeks/months writing it up in an application only to find out that he has "infringed" upon dozens of software patents in the process.

    Now that is something that threatens future innovation.

    echo '[q]sa[ln0=aln80~Psnlbx]16isb15CB32EF3AF9C0E5D7272 C3AF4F2snlbxq'|dc

  • Man, last time I post a straight faced joke on Slashdot. It is apparently taken seriously, marked "Insightful" and "Interesting". I respond to my own post, clarifying it as a joke. My clarifying post is marked down for being off topic!

    There are many cool people at Stern and I apologise if i offended any of them.

    Oh the other hand, I feel justified in taking pot shots at Microsoft and NYU. : )

    ...moderators, would you mind marking my post, the post i'm refering to, DOWN?
  • by mattkime ( 8466 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:47PM (#249014)

    As an NYU [] student studying to get my BFA in Photography and Imaging [] at Tisch School of the Arts [], I can verify nearly all people associated with that school down the block (Stern School of Business []) are, in fact, bloodsucking money grubbers. Of course they are teaming up with The Borg. [] NYU is taking over Manhattan (specifically, the village and union square), Microsoft is taking over your desktop.

    Or maybe i'm just jealous that I won't be making six figures after I graduate and paying back $40k in student loans. I'm an artist, I can starve.

    Do you expect a university to have Linus Torvalds give a speech on economics to students who are paying nearly $35,000 [] to learn how to shake hands? No, these are students that attach WORD documents to emails, because "Microsoft is the standard." As far as they are concerned, the exchange of money is what makes the world go 'round. Every machine running linux is another Microsoft employee out of work.

  • To Bill Gates and Steve Balmer.

    Stop this bullshit.


    You've just managed to get the stock price back over $70 a share for the first time since Jackson nailed your corporate balls to the wall. You just managed to put out a pretty damn good operating system in the form of Windows 2000. And you're just getting started with .NET, which, yeah, is a Java ripoff, but it's at least a fairly solid idea.

    And now, from all appearances, you're ready to shoot yourselves in the foot.

    Windows XP? The operating system that'll break every time you install a bit of hardware? This is reminiscent of Commodore when they cut out a piece of their motherboard rather than let users install a part themselves.

    FUD campaign against Linux and Open Source? Who are you kidding? Nobody's paying attention to your opinions on the matter anymore, and for good reason. Everyone knows you have a bias; everyone who's paying attention has seen the Halloween Documents; and too many big names (like IBM and Oracle) have embraced Linux, which is pretty much the OSS standard bearer.

    This is going to smell like desperation on your parts, and this is going to drive your share price down.

    Don't cost me money. Come to your senses. Soon.

    ObJectBridge [] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

  • Of commody, standard components, sure. Exactly. Thats the point.

    Microsoft it making this argument from the perspective of (duh) a software company. And yes, OSS, and GPL software does very much undermine some practical aspects of IP.

    But, the world is bigger then just software companies. Software is infastructure, and infastructure design must be open so that it can be inspected and independently verified. Putting 'freedom' and politics asside, software needs to be independently verified and approved for safety and reliability reasons.

    This independent review could be done by something like a government agency, UL/CSA/ASA etc with a pool of 'anti-virgins' (in the reverse engineering sense), but moving to OSS satisifies this, and is the logical extreem.

    Personaly, I realy dont care about having the source code, but knowing that my apps (well, the big, important ones) have had good independent peer review lets me sleep at nights. (well usualy, insomnia tonight...)

  • by HomerJ ( 11142 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @05:13AM (#249024)
    They released the source code to Notepad. I mean, if that isn't commitment to open source(tm) what is?!
  • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Thursday May 03, 2001 @05:40AM (#249027) Homepage Journal

    From the link in the parent, emphasis mine.

    Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software.

    You mean after 25 years Gates still hasn't found 10 programmers?

    hee hee
  • by WillWare ( 11935 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @03:53AM (#249029) Homepage Journal
    From ESR's commentary: expect Mr. Mundie to try to blur the distinctions between open-source development, use of the GPL, wholesale copyright-law violations like Napster, and outright software piracy.

    This strategy occurred to me as a potential M$ move about a year ago. Nightmare scenarios came to mind of legal prohibition of free software development. M$ can certainly buy plenty of judges and lawyers; this may yet not be an impossibility.

    Free software should remain legitimate (not just legal, but a public good) in the public perception. ESR's article is a good start, but appearing as it does in Linux Today, he's preaching to the choir. The involvement of IBM and other big companies with free software lends legitimacy, but is probably too far below the public radar to be perceived as a compelling free-speech issue.

    It would be good if somebody with the connections to do so could get these distinctions clarified in more mainstream media, before M$ has a chance to codify "free software == piracy" as U.S. law.

  • by Erik Hensema ( 12898 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @01:18AM (#249033) Homepage
    I cannot imagine Open Source to be bad for customers - be it end users, corporations, etc. It could be bad to Microsoft. So what? Don't whine about it, deal with it, Microsoft!

    We, the end users, just want our software. We want quality. And we want the possibility to hack into the source of our software, to get even more quality.

    We don't care about who makes our software. We want to be independent from suppliers as possible, so when a supplier gets down, we don't get down with them. Now that's a sound business model!
  • by dlb ( 17444 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:38PM (#249046)
    "The executive, Irving Wladawsky- Berger, an I.B.M. vice president, said, "If we thought this was a trap, we wouldn't be doing it, and as you know, we have a lot of lawyers."

    Are "a lot of lawyers" really going to get you anywhere when it comes to the GPL?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the GPL doesn't seem to allow for any legal recourse -- I'm surprised that IBM would make a statement like that.

  • by dlb ( 17444 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:17PM (#249047)
    "Do you see any company trusting M$ to hold all of their documents, and data?"

    You'd be surprised how many companies out there (big ones, at that) will do anything Microsoft recommends because, by god, Microsoft said so.

    If Microsoft says run your website on a crappy web server, companies will pay through the nose to do it.
    If Microsoft says use a directory service that's incompatible with the industry standard, companies will pay through the nose to "upgrade" their networks.
    If Microsoft says use a firewall that runs on the most insecure OS in history AND does innovate things like (gasp) web caching! - then by god lets dish out more cash for that because Microsoft says so.

    I'm sure when .NET shows up officially, Microsoft will use some hottie sales rep to whisper into some Senior VP's ear and say "Why are you storing all your documents and data on your crappy servers? Store it with us and it'll be secure and highly available!" .NET is nothing new anyway -- colocation has been around for years and years.

    I realize that sounds rediculous, but I've seen it happen in very large companies because upper management just wants a product from a big name, and Microsoft is the Schmooze King of the 2000's.

  • by Badgerman ( 19207 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @04:08AM (#249049)
    This appears to be another case of a Microsoft person, completely out of touch with reality, trying a new tactic: insulting people's intelligence. What a brilliant marketing tool . . .

    Let's dissect the article:
    • Claiming Open Source is a threat to intellectual property. This manages to insult open source people, suggesting they're to stupid to understand the implications of open source.
    • Claiming Open Source is a threat to intellectual property also assumes that people in our industry are hot for intellectual property laws - when many of us are seriously rethinking them. Mr. Mundie somehow assumes we're all stupid sheep who love the current intellectual property system.
    • The swipe at IBM merely insults one of their competitors' intelligence - a competitor that already is likely to not feel particuarly merciful.
    • Comparing Open Source to dot-com giveaways is utterly hilarious. Do they think we're so dumb to remember when MS gave away Internet Explorer as a marketing tactic? Is he aware of how bitter some tech-types are against the dot-coms and their lousy business practices? He hopes for ignorance on our parts while suggesting we all were glad to get behind
    • Microsoft practices the best of Open Source procedures. Right. Again, he assumes we're stupid.
    • Open source has a forking-software problem. Try the joy of dealing with several different versions of Windows in the same office, hardware and driver issues, ad nauseum. He assumes we forget some of the weird stuff Microsoft has pulled.
    • The GPL is not understood by many sophisticated people. Yeah, like it represents all of Open Source - and exactly how is he so sure those of us who use the GPL don't understand it? Again, he literally tells us we're idiots.

    In short, another MS foot-in-mouth artist who only serves to drive people away.

    At this rate I think MS's best marketing tactics would be to shut up for awhile and work on their software and products - software and products that I (be shocked) do not always think are that bad.

    But I guess it's easier to insult people and play marketing games then write good code.

  • He says "The goal of the G.P.L. is sweeping up all of the intellectual property that has been contributed" and "people aren't very sophisticated about the implications of what open source means" and "This viral aspect of the G.P.L. poses a threat to the intellectual property of any organization making use of it". Okay so he doesn't like the GPL - but MS used BSD's TCP stack [], so I guess the BSD license is groovy. Funny, he didn't mention that in his speech.

  • by E-prospero ( 30242 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:59PM (#249073) Homepage
    GPL isn't altruistic at all. The way I feel about it is like this:

    Thats one way of looking at it. Here's another:

    "I'm giving my code to the world, at no monetary cost. If you want to use my code for your project, then I ask that you play by the same rules. I'm not going to let you exploit my effort for your personal and exclusive gain."


    "I'm giving my code to the world, at no monetary cost. Do whatever you want with it. If you want to take it, modify it in a way that is incompatible with my version, and then charge me (or others) for the priviledge, go right ahead - fine by me."

    Personally, I find the second much more offensive.

    Don't think it would happen that way? I give you the MS TCP/IP stack, and the Darwin layer of OSX. Apple and Microsoft are making buckets of money out of someone elses work. This isn't to degrade the effort made by Apple and Microsoft on code that they did engineer; however, the fact remains that they didn't engineer the BSDL'd code they use, they didn't have to pay for it, and they are not required to give anything back to the community in return. Admittedly, Apple does, but this is just PR - not a legal requirement. MS certainly doesn't.

    If this code had been GPL'd, Apple and MS would have been forced to either contribute back to the community, or develop their own code, from scratch, on their own dime.

    The reason I use the GPL has nothing to do with some inherent desire to conquer the rest of the code writing community. It is simply a way of ensuring that you don't profit from my altruism in a manner that I cannot or will not exploit.

    If your code is BSDL'd, it may as well be in the public domain. The only advantage that the BSDL gives you is that whoever swipes your code has to credit you, in the source file: something that 99.999% of proprietary software users will never see. If this doesn't bother you, then fine. It's your choice. However, don't preach on how much more free you are. I, however, will continue to interpret your choice to use the BSDL as a sign that either:

    1. You don't value what you work on.
    2. What you work on isn't valuable.

    Russ %-)

  • by spectecjr ( 31235 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:10PM (#249081) Homepage
    From the article:

    "It's very clever of them," said Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative. "Instead of attacking the entire open-source movement they've singled out the one license that is in a sense politically controversial."

    Well, duh! The GPL license is the only one which forces people who use the software to release their software under the GPL license as well. Why don't Microsoft have anything against the BSD license? The same reason I don't -- because the BSD license doesn't have a hidden agenda. The BSD license is a way of releasing source in a manner that is free for anyone to use -- and then the people who use that software then have the choice of whether they release their software under that license or not.

    GPL isn't altruistic at all. The way I feel about it is like this:

    "I'm releasing my software for free! But if you want to use my source, I'm going to make you release your software for free too, so that I can use your modifications."


    "I'm releasing my software for free. I don't mind what you do with it -- it's free, it's out there, and what you do with it is your choice. Just give me a credit, and everything's kosher"

    Which is more altrustic to you? Which gives everyone more freedom?


  • by spectecjr ( 31235 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:36PM (#249082) Homepage
    NET a good idea? Man you must have ate to many paint chips or something. Do you see any company trusting M$ to hold all of their documents, and data? Now when the network goes down, you dont check email, but can still work, with .net when the network goes down you take a nap, as none of your *needed* M$ apps will work.

    Funny... most people I've talked to will be using .NET for back-end server stuff (eg. server scripting) and front-end client stuff. Not for Application Service Provider stuff.

  • by spectecjr ( 31235 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:50PM (#249083) Homepage
    This has already been mentioned in this context, but I haven't seen it yet in this discussion. Gandhi's four steps to victory are as follows:
    1. They ignore you.

    2. They laugh at you.

    3. They fight you.

    4. You win.

    Doesn't this also apply to Microsoft?

    MS has spent some time at step 1 (OSS community ignoring them).

    Then, the OSS community has spent a lot of time laughing at Microsoft for it not being 'stable'.

    Now, the OSS community is fighting Microsoft, trying to ensure it has replacements for EVERYTHING Microsoft does (GUI - KDE/Gnome, Office Suite - KOffice/Star Office... MS Money - Gnucash etc etc etc).

    When does step 4 happen again?

  • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @12:41AM (#249085)
    Eh... as opposed to if I include gobs of the Windows 2000 code into a product and sell it? Im sure that would go down real fine. So, its ok for them to disallow me to use their code in any product, free or otherwise, but not ok for me to disallow them to use my code for proprietary products?

    The BSD license is concerned with the freedom of proprietary software vendors, but the GPL is concerned with the freedom of every consumer of software.

    The reality is that very few of those who use BSD licensed code contribute significant portions back. Further, the ultimate consumers of the proprietary offspring of BSD or other similarly licensed software get the hard end of the deal.

    The X11 license is the reason I cannot fix the huge memory leaks in my HP-UX X server, but instead Im forced to restart it every two weeks (and no patch in sight) Oh, and all those proprietary X extensions really brought X forward as a standard, didnt they. The end result was a lot of programmers saying, well, nice idea but we cant USE it because we have to support 3 other platforms that dont HAVE your proprietary extension.

    The BSD license is the reason I couldnt fix the 10 minute timeout in a proprietary rsh derivate (oh, and tech support said it was supposed to work that way and they aint gonna fix it no sirree).

    The BSD license can be argued to be more altruistic until everyone arguing that goes blue in the face, but the result for the end user is more fragmentation, more broken proprietary software they cannot fix and more incompatiblities due to 'strategic proprietary diffrentiation'.
  • by Peter H.S. ( 38077 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:13PM (#249090) Homepage
    First of all, Linux is good for Microsoft; they probably enjoy having an easily identifiable enemy to bash, and rally up against, since so few real MS enemies is left.

    But it seems that MS have some trouble with crushing and destroying Linux; First, Linux really isn't a single company that can be killed or bought, or intimidated into submission.

    At same time, "everyone" agrees, that Open Source has its advantages, and actually makes pretty good software that works.

    The advantages with OSS (Open Source Software) seems so compelling, that even MS must stress, in the middlest of a full scale FUD attack against OSS, that MS software is kind of Open Source (see, a few hardware manufactures, and some Uni's are allowed to peek into some parts of our code). Really mixed signals.

    OTOH; This FUD speak, targetting especially the GPL license, really underscores one thing;
    Open Source, and OSI approved licenses, like GPL, really are a viable, long term, money making, market gaining, idea and force, or else MS would not bother.
    Remember, this is not a random MS employee venting his personal opinions, but part of a carefully corporate campaign (see article). MS PHP's must have met to strategy meetings, made plans, exchanged emails, sought approval from Balmer/Gates?, and put lesser minions into action.

    I guess it soon will be season for some serious MS "astro turfing".
  • by camelrider ( 46141 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:48PM (#249095)
    I think he just means that their layers don't see the GPL as a trap for IBM. It may be that if Microsoft code was published it would be found to contain stuff they have neither created or licensed.
  • Here's a whole bunch of stuff I made, I'll just put it in this box outside my house with a sign that says "take what you want, some of the stuff may not work". People take said stuff. mikethegeek drops by and accuses a number of people of stealing my stuff. Who here thinks that mike didn't read the sign?
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <> on Thursday May 03, 2001 @03:15AM (#249103) Homepage Journal
    Hey man, this is the open source revolution and you cant have a revolution without some bloodshed, or at least taking a few hostages. Proletariatians of the computing world, gather up your arms! The operating system will not be held by the bourgeois at Microsoft, no longer! We demand an operating system of the proletariat, owned only by the community!
  • You know absolutely nothing about communism. Go here [] read it and stop foaming at the mouth. BTW - at the last turn of the century it was precisely the communists who believed that "human labor is about to go the way of the dinosaurs".
  • Java was natural language evolution: it was created out of a technical need for a simple language with features from Smalltalk, Pascal, and C++. When Sun created Java, they certainly weren't in competition with Smalltalk, Pascal, or C++ vendors.


    Don't get me wrong, I think Java does a good job in certain fields, and a lousy job in others, and I'd say the same thing about every other programming language in existence.

    But don't even try and tell me that it wasn't a buisness decision to fight Microsoft. No previous programming language has been marketed to VPs and managers as well as programmers. No previous programming language got prime-time TV advertisements (anybody else remember the "Java has no limits" spot?) and huge billboards next to the downtown highways.

    Java has the distinction of being the first programming language with a marketing slogan.

    It's a nifty language and I like playing with it. It can do some things that, while certainly not new, are damn useful. But it wasn't a natural language evolution. It was designed to do one thing -- make money for Sun.

  • by Illserve ( 56215 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:01PM (#249108)
    This point was clearly made before as referenced by this article [].

  • by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @07:17AM (#249110)
    Right now they have two formidable weapons: IP laws and powerful police states to enforce them.

    Police state tactics, such as the suppression of speech in the DeCSS case, are most definitely not features of capitalism. They are bugs in the U.S. implementation of capitalism where corporations buy Congressmen and get them to pass unconstitutional laws, while uninformed voters keep electing them.

    And don't think for a minute this won't happen in your lifetime.

    It won't happen in my lifetime, or our grandchildren's lifetime. We've been promised true AI "real soon now" for decades, with very little progress. Even menial jobs require a degree of intelligence that computers do not have and will not for the forseeable future.

    We all depend on our labor because we are all slaves.

    This makes no sense. If you're a slave because you have to provide for yourself, how are you not a slave if you are forcibly compelled to provide for others?

  • by Wedman ( 58748 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:48PM (#249114)
    Only worthless, stupid-people, could take such crap at face value.

    Oh, you mean PHBs, right?

  • by radja ( 58949 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:32PM (#249115) Homepage
    M$ didn't buy GW Bush. They just rented him for 4 years like any other cheap whore.

  • by joq ( 63625 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:40PM (#249119) Homepage Journal
    I wish the poster would have read the article before making that accusation. Aside from that I wouldn't take Markoff serious anyways after he created an illusory case along with Shimomura on Kevin Mitnick for their half assed book []. But thats besides the point.

    Although the movement has not yet had a significant effect on sales of Microsoft's Office and Windows products in the personal computer market, the company wants to enter the corporate
    software market, where open source has gained ground.

    Isn't it stran9e how in one complete sentence they can say Open Source has no effect on MS, yet in that same sentence state it has gained ground? If I'm not mistaken MS stands to lose more than any other system since Solaris and SunOS can use open source code.

    Again articles like these do nothing more than strengthen open source standing in the market since it gets them exposure without having to spend on marketing, so kudos to MS for continously bashing open source.

    Yet at the same time the arguments get pretty boring and redundant at times wouldn't you say ;)

    removing the dot in dot comm []
  • by wass ( 72082 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @09:55AM (#249128)
    Okay so he doesn't like the GPL

    Don't forget MSFT includes PERL with the software distributed with each version of winNT Resource Kit. (Maybe even later versions of NT, but luckily i don't use windows anymore). PERL is joint-licensed under GPL and Artistic License. Funnier is that the GPL is printed in full in the printed book that comes witb the Resource Kit.
    __ __ ____ _ ______
    \ V .V / _` (_-&#60_-&#60

  • Full details on the time/place of the meeting are available at 000009.html []. The message is quoted below. It looks like the room will be tiny, so show up outside the building with signs in plenty of time to be seen!

    An invitation from NYU CAT Co-Director Mike Uretsky:

    Craig Mundie, Chief Strategist of Microsoft will visit the NYU Stern School of Business this coming Thursday, May 3, from 12:00 - 1:30.

    He is here as part of a trip to New York in which he will be talking about Microsoft's move towards open source. That discussion will take place in the Kaufman Management Center (KMEC), 44 West 4th Street, Room 1-70 from 12-1:30. It is really a discussion and the intent is to have a real and open dialogue.

    Additional details are found below. Feel free to invite colleagues. In light of the fact that the room has limited capacity and I am providing food, I would appreciate it if you would take the RSVP request seriously.


    Mike Uretsky Co-Director NYU Center for Advanced Technology

    A Unique Invitation

    May 3, 2001
    12:00 1:30
    (Lunch Provided)

    A Discussion with Craig Mundie: SVP and Chief of Advanced Strategies at Microsoft.

    The Rapidly Changing Commercial Software Model A New Approach.

    As the Internet evolves into the next phase, it becomes necessary to re-examine and modify the commercial software model. These changes take place within boundaries arising from the software development community, source code licensing philosophies and a framework of intellectual property rights. Microsoft Senior Vice President Craig Mundie will present The Commercial Software Model how Microsoft is positioning itself for success in this dynamically changing business world.

    Since there may be extensive press coverage, it is important that you RSVP.

  • by Chris Marlowe ( 79058 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:11PM (#249138)
    "Open Source Is Bad", huh? Well, reading that I would guess that the author is implying that Microsoft doesn't like open source. No, that's not true. Microsoft likes open source, very very much - after all, huge portions of their networking system come from open source. Microsoft does not like the GPL. Please take note:
    open source != GPL
    ... by no means is it the only type.

    That's true as far as it goes. You understand that; I understand that.

    The point the rest of us are making is that Microsoft seems to hope its audience at the NYU b-school (and PHBs overseeing IT decisions) won't understand that.

    The speech, closely parsed, will only say (GPL == bad). Microsoft became what it is today on the strength of its insight that most of its purchasers are not skilled at close parsing. They will hear (open source == GPL) && (GPL == bad). Vice-presidents and CIOs will read about this speech in InfoWorld, and will soon be telling their tech staff, as Gospel truth: Run Apache, sign your business over to Stallman the Communist.

    You imply that such an suggestion on Microsoft's part would be breathtakingly misleading and hypocritical.

    Yes. And your point would be... ?

  • by flatrock ( 79357 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @04:35AM (#249140)
    FTP is a protocol. FTP applications are applications. They are not part of the tcp/ip stack any more than KDE is part of the Linux kernel.
  • by Jotham ( 89116 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:59PM (#249147)
    I believe he's referring to the fact that they're using/supporting Linux and have looked over the GPL agreement VERY carefully (and as you know, they have a lot of lawyers) and havn't found any 'traps'.

    I do like how you've interpreted the statement though - that they've basically identified the traps and know that their lawyers can get them out of it.

  • by he-sk ( 103163 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @06:27AM (#249160)
    Microsoft would expand its sharing initiatives, he said. But he added that the company's proprietary business model was a more effective way to support industry standards than the open-source approach, which he said could lead to a "forking" of the software base resulting in the development of multiple incompatible versions of standard programs.

    Like Word 2, Word 6, Word 97, and what-not?

    (Emphasis mine.)

  • by Domini ( 103836 ) <> on Thursday May 03, 2001 @03:31AM (#249162) Journal

    Don't do it! M'Kay?


  • by RoninM ( 105723 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:06PM (#249166) Journal
    It seems that it's just about the right time for Microsoft to pull out the BS parade. One thing's certain when Microsoft opens its maw to bemoan the terrors of open source: it's going to be raining dung over New York by tomorrow evening. ESR is more than probably right about what to expect. Microsoft is going to imply open source means no intellectual property rights (hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the Microsoftie simply says, "Open Source not only denies you your copyrights and profits, it'll also take away your house, your car, and your children!"); it is going to misrepresent the GPL for the 1 billionth time in the history of the world; it is going to talk about how .NET is really "cross platform" and C# went off to become an "open" standard and whatever else they can throw in there. So I won't be surprised, ESR won't be surprised...

    Still, I have to wonder if ESR is being effective in getting out the message that these things are going to come and that they're so detached from reality, so manipulative in their core, that they should be completely ignored. The problem I see with ESR's write-up is that it's easily construed as an open attack on Microsoft. While he talks about Microsoft's deplorable tactics, it's easy to make a case that he's employing FUD. The image of Microsoft as wanting to steal your data appears at least twice, references to it wanting to keep its greedy hands on its monipoly that is slowly destroying the software industry come about a few times, too. These things all might be true. The fraud accusations may also prove true. Microsoft is a monopoly, and it has been hurting the software industry.

    The problem is that most users don't see it that way. Most users don't understand how things were prior to Microsoft's grip and they don't see why Microsoft's hold is such a bad thing (while we're pointing at the lack of good competing products within the commercial space to Microsoft's stuff as demonstrative of how thoroughly Microsoft has damaged the industry, they're pointing at the lack of good alternatives as a good reason for Microsoft to continue). Okay, that's not the problem -- it's more of a cause of the real problem: telling the users how we see it ("how it is") won't change their minds. They will openly and honestly reject your arguments simply because it doesn't mesh with the view from their perspective.

    The proper way, of course, is to show them what competition gives them. Show, rather than tell. Telling does nothing, even when your article is specifically about the evils of Microsoft. There's simply not a convicing enough case to be made when the users are wrapped in the cloud of FUD and complacency. Not with words, anyway. So if they're going to reject even the best made attack on Microsoft as it stands alone, what happens to this article? The point of the article was to clue people in on what was going to happen, not attack Microsoft. In the eyes of the commoner (journalists included) not open to the evils of Microsoft, this makes it just another baseless attack on MS.

    So while ESR does a good job playing prophet and countering the likely topics of tomorrow's speech, he lets so many people off-the-hook: they don't need to acknowledge these things because they have an easy out--he gives them a convenient way to dismiss the article without thinking about it.

  • by khym ( 117618 ) <matt&nightrealms,com> on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:51PM (#249177)

    Hmmm... It seems that Craig Mundie's speech has a couple of intents which are logical: justify their closed source model to Wallstreet, and discourage companies from opensourcing existing software products. But I wonder how much that is motivating this speech, as opposed to the hope that people will come to illogical conclusion that they shouldn't use software based on a bad business model...

    From the article:

    Microsoft is preparing a broad campaign countering the movement to give away and share software code, arguing that it potentially undermines the intellectual property of
    countries and companies. [my emphasis]
    Intellectual property of countries? As far as I'm aware, some public universities hold patents, and that's about as far as any country has intellectual property. And what university has any software patents? Are they trying to imply that, say, by using a GPL'd wordprocessor, any document written with it is "open source"?
    In his speech, Mr. Mundie will argue that one aspect of the open-source model, known as the General Public License, or G.P.L., ... mirrors some of the worst practices of dot-com businesses, in which goods were given away in an effort to attract visitors to Web sites.
    Yes, many advertising based web sites have bombed (mainly due, as others have pointed out, to the irrational obsession with click-through rates). But giving away software in the hopes of getting support contracts (which many open source companies use) is a different business model than giving away content to gain eyeballs, a model that some companies have managed to make profitable (like Cygnus).
    G.P.L. requires that any software using source code already covered by the licensing agreement must become available for free distribution.
    Yes, if there's some GPL'd code out there that you'd like to use for a non-GPL'd product, you simply don't use it; seems simple enough to me.
    "I would challenge you," he [Mundie] said, "to find a company who is a large established enterprise, who at the end of the day would throw all of its intellectual property into the open- source category."
    And no one is advocating doing anything of the sort as a business model; the only people arguing for whole sale opening of IP are people like RMS, who are morally opposed to IP. All the other opensource gurus point out that you should carefully consider what you should opensource, and how you should do it.
    "We have been going around the industry talking to people," Mr. Mundie said, "and have been startled to find that people aren't very sophisticated about the implications of what open source means." He acknowledged that the open-source movement was making inroads.
    Ohhhh boy. He's implying that there's lots of managers/executives who are seriously considering going opensource without knowing anything about the business model repercussions of it, without actually saying so (who did he talk to, about what implications?). Well done, Mr. Mundie, well done!
    But he added that the company's proprietary business model was a more effective way to support industry standards than the open-source approach, which he said could lead to a "forking" of the software base resulting in the development of multiple incompatible versions of standard programs.
    And how many times has this actually happened? Especially with GPL'd software?
    "It is innovation that really drives growth," Mr. Mundie said, arguing that without the sustained investment made possible by commercial software, real innovation would not be possible.
    If so, then Microsoft doesn't really have anything to worry about, do they?
    "This is not understood by many sophisticated people," Mr. Mundie said. "The goal of the G.P.L. is sweeping up all of the intellectual property that has been contributed. That creates many problems downstream, many of which haven't come home to roost yet."
    Eh? How could this happen? I guess that, say, branch A of a company could GPL it's software, which virally affects the base libraries the entire company uses, so software from branches B to Z of the company get virally affected. But this would assume that: 1) the company is using GPL without being aware of it's viral properties (unlikely), and 2) they can't release their base libraries under LGPL (which would contain the contagion).

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose that you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

  • It would carry more weight if Microsoft had not already:
    • Identified Linux (i.e. GPL'ed software) as it's major threat
    • taken such a beating in the one market it needs for legitimacy - servers (regardless how you look at it, Microsoft is losing server sales to a freely available OS and its tools created and maintained by "hobbiests" - that's got to hurt some egos)
    • Be dead-set against free software since a certain letter to the Homebrew Computer Club some 25 years ago
  • by kilrogg ( 119108 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:33PM (#249180) Homepage
    You have it backwards:

    4. First we Won (the right to be microsoft free)

    3. Then we fought (the hardware manufactures to release specs so that we could support more hardware)

    2. Now we are laughing at microsoft for running around waiving their hands and pissing their pants scared.

    1. Next we'll ignore them :-)

  • by Isldeur ( 125133 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:03PM (#249184)

    Stramge. My family used to be good friends with the Mundies a few years ago, especially back when he was the CEO of Alliant. He seemed to be full of praise for X and UNIX then... :)
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @05:41AM (#249192) Journal

    Microsoft doesn't like the GPL because it doesn't allow them to steal others work without contributing anything back, and allowing their customers the same freedom to do with the software what they please.

    <SARCASM>But "stealing" people's IP doesn't hurt them. They still have it. I know because the Napsterites told me so.</SARCASM>

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @05:50AM (#249193) Journal

    And that is called competition, which is a very very bad thing.

    Well, if you want to extend the analogy, it's also called a violation of the minimum wage laws. Where is the Department of Labor when we really need them?

  • by tylerh ( 137246 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @09:17AM (#249198)
    from the article:
    The executive, Irving Wladawsky- Berger, an I.B.M. vice president, said, "If we thought this was a trap, we wouldn't be doing it, and as you know, we have a lot of lawyers."
  • by Karrade ( 137360 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:15PM (#249199)
    I think MS has ever right to question to business model on which open source software is based. As the dot-com fallout out has shown, ideas that look great on paper don't always work so well in the real world. That's not to say that OSS won't be useful or successful, but I think the market will determine that. Apache being a grweat example for OSS.

    I'm surprised no one mentioned the comments on OSS in other countries. The quote sounded rather ominous to me:

    He said Microsoft was particularly concerned about the inroads that the open-source idea was making in other countries.
    "It's happening very, very broadly in a way that is troubling to us," he said. "I could highlight a dozen countries around the world who have open-source initiatives."

    This makes OSS sound like a health epidemic in a third world country. What does MS mean by they are "concerned" about OSS in other countries? It sounds ominous and egotistical (not a surprise really) It doesn't sound like they're just referring to companies in other countries, but governments. Government software is one area where in my mind there should be a mandate for open source.
  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:46PM (#249202) Homepage
    This guy actually has the audacity to exercise his right to free speech?!
  • by Darth Turbogeek ( 142348 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:00PM (#249210) Homepage
    Anyone else notice that they are promoting their "open-source" efforts to business flunkies? Not to the Engineers, who would know better, but the to the business majors who will be making the buying decisions. If you didn't already realize it, it's a little insight into their business model: FUD.

    Whoa there. I was with you until the last word. They USE FUD, correct, but they know quite well it aint the techos who hold control of the purse strings. They go for the accountants, the Execs, the people who sign off the cheques. Most are technical illiterate and easily FUD'ed. Microsoft sales and marketing know this. Why should they spruke to technical people when we dont or wont buy their product? Sell to the people who really matter, the people with the chequebook. If we are lucky, we can get to a postition to counter Microsoft marketing, but that takes things like political skill and gaining respect enough so that your word can matter

    If you dont, you will be ending up installing XP and .NET against your wishes. I personally make sure that I am seen to know about computers and what is best for the company and others should too.One good way is to set up a stable network that does exactly what the PHB wants. Thence, some marketing drone gives their speil, afterwards they come to you saying "What do you think of...?"

  • by e_n_d_o ( 150968 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:00PM (#249219)
    How about just thinking of the GPL as a corporation?

    (before I go on, I don't know if anyone else uses this analogy, so I don't mean to steal anyone else's idea here.)

    Anyway lets call the company "GPL Inc." GPL Inc. produces proprietary software, just like any other normal company. Funny thing is, the cost of all this proprietary software to the public is $0. And just like any normal evil corporation, there is no way in HELL that they are going to let you see their code unless you are an employee.

    But everything's okay, because it's REALLY EASY to get a job at GPL Inc., you need not even fill out an application. Downside is the pay sucks, and the dental plan just isn't going to happen any time soon. By working for GPL Inc., you have access to the source of their vast collection of proprietary software. Just like an employee of a normal company, you can work on that software and improve it. But since you're an employee of GPL Inc. whenever you work on that software, all the work you do is the property of GPL Inc.

    If you're company sells Linux boxes, you're just reselling software from GPL Inc. If your employees work on that software, they're being contracted out to GPL Inc.

    So herein lies the problem: GPL Inc. is a massive international corporation. They just might write more software and have more programmers than even MS does. They write some of the best software in the world and people are starting to realize it. They have partnerships with all the big players in the industry, with the obvious exception.

    And that is called competition, which is a very very bad thing.

  • by spaanoft ( 153535 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @05:48AM (#249222)
    "The Red Cross should be destroyed! They are taking away valuable business from our Doctors and our relief workers! Their volunteers utilize anti-business practices in what they called 'helping' their and other 'communities' while taking away the opportunity from all the starving doctors and workers around the US! We must act now to purge this ugly system from our country as it promotes communistic ideals and is not the 'American Way'."

    Honestly, that's what Microsoft sounds like. What is so wrong about people volunteering to do something worthwhile? They enjoy it and provide something (often) useful. The GPL is there as a safety measure against such things as people freeloading and taking someone else's hardwork, adding to it, closing it, then not giving it back. The only problem is, that's exactly what Microsoft WANTS to do with it. It's like, if someone volunteered for the Red Cross and they needed to help clear someplace a ways away and they flew you by plane there, they'd sure want you to help clean up if you volunteered, instead of just getting a free plane ride. Look at Win2k's use of the FreeBSD TCP/IP stack: Free plane ride to where they need to be. No agreement to do any work.

    Just my two cents

  • by AntiNorm ( 155641 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:39PM (#249224)
    Craig Mundie, a senior vice president at Microsoft and one of its software strategists, will argue that the company already follows the best attributes of the open-source model by sharing the original programmer's instructions, or source code, more widely than is generally realized

    I realize that in some *very limited* circumstances, MS does share their source code, but to make a comment such as this is just plain deceitful. To make a comment such as what Craig is saying, that MS shares their source code "more widely than is generally realized," is akin to saying that I can pay down part of my student loan by submitting one cent to the Financial Aid office. Technically it's true, but in practice it's just plain BS.

    Question for Craig: If, as you say, Microsoft shares its source code "more widely than is generally realized," then why don't any freelance programmers have access to it? For example, why doesn't the Wine team have access to it (not even one member)? And so on.

    Leave it to Microsoft to make up stories like this.

    [end rant]

    Am I the only Slashdotter who is sick and tired of losing 9000 karma points every time they moderate?
  • by vsync64 ( 155958 ) <> on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:11PM (#249227) Homepage
    He cited the history of Unix, which has been replete with incompatible versions.

    Yes, partially due to the fact that each vendor was restricted from building on the work of others, and partially due to the fact that there were multiple vendors. You won't see "Bob's Win32", simply because Microsoft actively works to prevent such compatibility.

    Once solid platform-independent implementations of the various UNIX tools became available, people began switching to them. For all the complaining people do about the various Linux-based OSen, they are remarkably consistent at the most basic user level (drop me on any GNU system and I will be able to at least find my way around the system, write code, etc). And this toolkit is available thanks to the GNU GPL and the enthusiasm RMS roused in the various developers.

    Secondly, free software actually enables integration with closed platforms. For example, see Samba [] or Cygwin [], which allow tight integration between Windows and Unix (no thanks to the "open" and "developer-friendly" Microsoft). And the first thing I and most other people do when confronted with a fresh Solaris box is to install a decent userland [].

    "It is innovation that really drives growth," Mr. Mundie said, arguing that without the sustained investment made possible by commercial software, real innovation would not be possible.

    Uh huh. Sure. Let's take the WWW as an example, since everyone lately seems convinced it's the most innovative thing since sliced bread. It was invented by a guy at CERN, and Mosaic, the first massively popular graphical client, was written at NCSA. Since Web stuff became a commercial thing, exactly what "innovation" have we recieved? Bigger and more offensive ads and horrifically noncompliant HTML, that's what.


  • by TheFrood ( 163934 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:39PM (#249233) Homepage Journal
    This has already been mentioned in this context, but I haven't seen it yet in this discussion. Gandhi's four steps to victory are as follows:

    1. They ignore you.

    2. They laugh at you.

    3. They fight you.

    4. You win.

    Linux spent approximately a decade at step 1. Step 2 was hit this past year (I think) when Microsot ran an ad featuring mutated penguins in Germany. With these remarks, coupled with Allchin's earlier ones (Free Software being un-American and all that), it looks like Linux has entered step 3.

    Pity. I was hoping step 2 would last a little longer, but I guess Microsoft isn't in a "laughing" mood these days.


  • by sydb ( 176695 ) <> on Thursday May 03, 2001 @12:53AM (#249243)
    doesn't this also apply to Microsoft?

    Ghandi was the master of non-violent protest (and non-violence in general). His comments apply to the context of a virtuous "underdog". Underdog in quotes because as he demonstrated, he who seems to have the lesser power may prove to have the greater.

    Microsoft are masters of filthy business practices. So are many proprietary software vendors. They are not virtuous "underdogs"

    The Free Software community, on the other hand, are quite definitely virtuous "underdogs". Some find it difficult to compare the causes of free software and the causes Ghandi fought for, but as far as I can see they are both about human opression.
  • by Anomolous Cowturd ( 190524 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:38PM (#249255)
    All open source accomplishes for these people is letting hax0rs be able to find bugs and backdoors easier. I work on a system which depends on open source software. I've lost track of the number of times I've saved the day by reading through the source of a program to figure out what's going wrong. I'm definately in that ".1%" of people who benefit from having the source. As for the other 99.9%, they are secure in the knowledge that for every black hat looking for bugs and exploits, there's a hundred white hats. How do I know this? Same way you know the 99.9% / .1% ratio I guess. Thousand upon thousands of people like me stumble across bugs in open source every day while we're trying to get our work done. We send in a patch or at least a useful description. What happens when you hit a bug in closed source? I'll tell you what - you ring the vendor and they deny it for an hour, then they admit it but don't do anything, then you buy a premium support contract, whereupon they agree to fix the bug - in the next version. Meanwhile, your business is suffering. Open source is definately the more business-friendly option.
  • by mojo-raisin ( 223411 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @06:43AM (#249280)
    I think "MS used BSD's TCP stack" is an urban legend. No one has ever posted proof of this. Sure the MS ftp client contains BSD code, but that is completely different from the TCP stack.
  • by wrinkledshirt ( 228541 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @10:09PM (#249288) Homepage

    Seriously, these guys are idiots relying on sound bites. ESR and RMS would eat these idiots for lunch in a philosophical debate on software. They can't even sort out the differences between Open Source and the GPL.

    It would definitely be in Red Hat's best interest to do this kind of thing, if for no other reason than to just say "Red Hat" alot and brand like crazy. (Microsoft is a master of this, just count the number of times you read MS, Windows, or Office brand names within an MSNBC article related to the tech industry) Given what IBM and Sun could gain, I can't see why they wouldn't do it either...

  • Microsoft doesn't like the GPL because it doesn't allow them to steal others work without contributing anything back, and allowing their customers the same freedom to do with the software what they please.

    The BSD license is a license to steal. I wonder why it's always the GPL supporters who are spun off as anarchist freeloaders, when that is precisely WHAT companies that exploit BSD licensed code are.

    Also, I find it shocking :) that M$ feels that free software is a threat to IP as they see it. That is EXACTLY the whole point! If it took them THIS long to figure that one out, no wonder their software is so imitative (rather than innovative) and full of bugs.

    This seems a continuation of the "Linux/GPL is Unamerican" FUD that Microsoft's Jim Allchin started some time back.
  • er.htm [] includes this gem:

    We also briefly considered starting with a public BSD-based IPv6 implementation and porting it to Windows NT. We feel that porting a BSD-based protocol, perhaps with TDI and NDIS glue layers, would be considerable work (the differences between BSD and Windows NT internals being much greater than the differences between IPv4 and IPv6) and probably result in an unsightly implementation. Because we would like our implementation to serve as a relatively clean example for others, we did not pursue this approach.

    Note the lack of discussion of licence issues. Clearly using BSD code is accepted practice at Microsoft.

    Personally, I think the original point is made even if they only lifted the BSD ftp client.

  • The free software ideal cannot hope to win in a capitalist system where a person's livelihood depends on his or her labor. Intellectual property owners (such as Microsoft and the music industry) will fight it with everything they've got. Right now they have two formidable weapons: IP laws and powerful police states to enforce them. But those who yearn to be free also have a formidable weapon, the internet.

    The internet and other communication technologies (e.g., file sharing systems) are the first major kinks in the armor of a sick system. As technology progresses, the system will eventually die a horrible death. What will happen to a slave-based economy when robots and advanced artificial intelligences replace everybody, i. e., when human labor, knowledge and expertise become worthless?

    And don't think for a minute this won't happen in your lifetime. The internet is the latest giant leap in human communication. Before that came mass telecommunication technologies and before that was the movable press. If history is any indication, we can expect a giant leap in technological progress and scientific knowledge. In fact, it is happening before our very eyes.

    We should all demand a system where everybody is guaranteed income property, a piece of the pie. There is plenty for everybody.

    Communism confiscates all property and enslaves everybody. Capitalism gives property to a few and enslaves the rest. It's sad. The land should not be divided for a price. It should be an inheritance for us and our children and their children. It's the only way to guarantee freedom in a world where human labor is about to go the way of the dinosaurs.

    Intellectual property laws exist only because we have a slavery system. Our livelihood depends on working for others so we can pay our taxes. The reason that we have to work for others is that 99% of people have been deprived of an inheritance in the wealth of the land. Income property is owned by a few and the state. The others are slaves. Artists, programmers and inventors depend on their work to make a living. Can we blame them? We all depend on our labor because we are all slaves. So now we are swimming in a ocean of laws and rules that take away our remaining liberties, one by one.

    Demand liberty! Nothing less.
  • by The Fanfan ( 264958 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:58PM (#249321)

    When Microsoft denounces open source as a hurdle on innovation, it somehow has a point Open source is very good at incremental evolution but no one in the community really has the power to rebuild a full OS from scratch and ram it through the throat of the installed base as Microsoft can. With its monopoly, Microsoft has more opportunities to implement a serious technologic shake-up (and a serious shake-down for the end-user at the same time :-). And as for the matter of standardization, what Microsoft does often ends up as a de-facto-standard. So yeah, Microsoft is "innovative" and helped to "create standards".

    And when you think about it, GNU/Linux or BSD are indeed old technology grown from the 70s, still stuck with unsexy monolithic kernels, etc. The support for desktop is still unconvincing. They lack productivity applications. All things considered, Microsoft did a fairly good job at creating and enforcing some software consistency on this nightmarish hardware piece of crap which is the PC.

    In Microsoft's eyes, open source OSs just have one little tiny annoying inconvenience. They work. Day after day, they faithfully fulfil all the obscure brutish jobs they're being asked, lost in some remote corners of the sever farm, toiling endlessly, alone amid their peers, all those other servers also toiling endlessly on their own obscure brutish jobs. They're no good for the end-users but ask them to do one specific thing over a network, tweak them a little bit if necessary - hey, you have the code ! - and they'll do it, no question asked, going, going, keep going. Who cares which software is running as long as it runs. Software is a commodity.

    .And Microsoft is scared to death with that. Why ?

    They lost a battle and an important one in the most ignominious way. With its monopoly on the desktop market, Microsoft was supposed to leverage its proprietary protocols to pry open the server market and force and cash in its solutions in the machine room. But in retrospect, it becomes evident they made an ugly mistake with the all-in-one NT, the same software on servers and desktops alike. By cumulating the worst of both worlds, it took more than 5 years to turn NT in something close to a decent platform. On the server side, they should have started from an existing proven platform like BSD and extend it as closed source to support the proprietary desktop protocols. It would have been there much faster. The desktop side could have then had a life of its own without slowing the server side. A nasty case of NIH syndrome. And they lost those 5 precious years that allowed Linux, Apache and Samba to grow up and make NT irrelevant in the server room.

    But that's not really the most frightening for Microsoft. They not only lost the battle in the server room but, missing their window of opportunity to become the One, the war has shifted to a new battlefield. The fastest growing segments in IT are wireless, PDAs, SAN/NAS and internet-based applications such as database Web access over intranets or ASPs (when they don't die...). And coming on the horizon are residential broadband and internet-based appliances. Microsoft has no serious edges on any of those markets, a bit there, a tad here. It's just another competitor and has strictly not a chance of building a new monopoly as it did out of the original IBM PC. IT is not a niche anymore, the market is huge, the array of technologies to dominate is beyond the grasp of any company, and so much funding is now available that even Microsoft and its $25B in cash at the bank is just one player among others.

    The IT market is slowly shifting from the all-purpose PC to a patchwork of heterogeneous specialized devices, both for the end-user and for the infrastructure. With the PC, consistency is in great demand and Microsoft had a global solution, good or bad but a solution. With specialized devices, OS and applications are just tools to adapt, tweak and slap together for such or such tasks. Open source is the evident solution. There's no point for anymore great innovation on the tool side. Like metalwork machine-tools, they simply exist. They are there and they are a commodity. The problem is now to use them.

    Microsoft has every good reason to shriek like a swine in the slaughterhouse. Open source killed its only leverage, on the building blocks. After nearing world domination, it's seeing its death, slowly fading in irrelevancy, its edge blunted, becoming just another company in a mature market.

    Oh yeah, it won't be fast but it will be painful.

  • by Crspe ( 307319 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:56PM (#249330)
    Microsoft would expand its sharing initiatives, he said. But he added that the company's proprietary business model was a more effective way to support industry standards than the open-source approach, which he said could lead to a "forking" of the software base resulting in the development of multiple incompatible versions of standard programs.

    Huh, I like that - like Word 95 documents load into Word 97 and still look the same HUH! And do you rekon you can ever actually get the document to look the same again? No chance!

    I think that open-source inherently encourages compatibility ... If one version of a program is compatible with previous/other versions and the other versions arent, which do you think people will use?

  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @11:32PM (#249352)
    Java was natural language evolution: it was created out of a technical need for a simple language with features from Smalltalk, Pascal, and C++. When Sun created Java, they certainly weren't in competition with Smalltalk, Pascal, or C++ vendors.

    C#/.NET, on the other hand, was a direct business response by Microsoft to Java. Microsoft saw that Java was doing well and couldn't bear to let Sun have the market. So, they came out with their own system that's incompatible but has an almost identical feature set. That's why C#/.NET is a Java rip-off.

  • by oldbox ( 415265 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2001 @09:41PM (#249369)
    So most people don't read their open code. This is why open source is not more secure than closed (but security holes ARE closed faster). It is possable to make the argument that the fact that they could look if they wanted to is a greater good. However, open source is more free (both ways). I have learned a great deal by being part of the open source community (ie running linux, perl scripting, ect). And I like the fact that my only payment is a personal urge to help create stuff. Money is really the least motivating drive I can think of. []


  • by pacman on prozac ( 448607 ) on Thursday May 03, 2001 @05:08AM (#249385)
    yea use the windows ftp client blah blah blah &lt/moron&gt

    I agree, how many times has it been argued that windows is using BSDs tcpip code with the only proof afaik being that the ftp client is from BSD.

    Just because one tiny, very simple application which, since the source is open would only need tiny modifications to work with a completely different tcp stack is used, how does this proove anything about the rest of the networking code?

    Note that I don't follow microsofts news so please go ahead and post links where their developers talk about how they used BSD code, please show me these news stories where this was discovered, please dont just say
    look at the ftp client#@!

The absent ones are always at fault.