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Ximian

Jepson Rebuts Petreley On The Dangers Of Mono 141

Tim O'Reilly writes "Brian Jepson, a long-time perl hacker who's been working with Microsoft on some of O'Reilly's books about .Net, and with Miguel on mono, rebuts Petreley's warnings about mono."
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Jepson Rebuts Petreley On The Dangers Of Mono

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    because .NET is a great platform and we want to be able to use it too? within a stable OS?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's why you IGNORE requirements in job postings and apply to everything. Why worry about wasting some HR's time? The alternative is not to apply which only gurantees you won't get hired. Don't be afraid to waste their time.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Quote from king james bible:
    http://home.att.net/~armageddon_watch/revelat.ht ml
    Revelation 13:14-17

    Note the "no man may buy or sell..."

    14 And deceived them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

    15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

    16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Slashdot without drugs too painful to bear.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You have a situation where .Net can remain untouched, but the Linux community's development effort is in a continual state of upheval trying to keep up.

    Tell me again how successful IBM was trying to keep up with Microsofts's tweeks of Win3.x?

    Not at all. That is why OS/2 lost the battle. That is precisely why Linux will lose if they engage in .NET copying.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe what people are missing here is a deep understanding of exactly
    what Miguel and chums are actually up to. I am going to suggest a few
    questions and their answers. If I am correct, then what Mono means to
    them is this:

    It is:

    A nice new language and a set of GUI tools to write it with

    It is not:

    Expected to be (for any length of time) compatible with any
    pure-play .NET components (i.e. anything written using Microsoft
    libraries, bundled with Windows etc).

    They chose it because:

    They made a terrible design choice right at the beginning of the
    Gnome project (i.e. to write in C) and now they have all the
    versioning problems you would expect. They think that getting the CLI
    to work on Linux will allow them to recompile their crufty code to
    this new target format and, with minimal work, get all the benefits of
    good library versioning and interface abstraction that they threw away
    when they decided against using an object-oriented language in the
    first place.

    Now to those questions:

    1. Is Mono the same as Microsoft's .NET initiative?

    It is not. .NET is a collection of complicated cruft designed to allow
    two things:

    o the creation and deployment of a variety of applications on both
    the client and the server

    o Microsoft to control the Internet

    Because Mono will achieve neither of these objectives, it is clearly
    not .NET

    2. What technologies
    are included in Mono?

    Mono includes a number of components useful for rescuing old software,
    including:

    o another badly thought-out attempt at a common-runtime environment
    targettable from multiple languages (Unix has been there and done that
    ooh, ten years ago. It didn't work. Hint: look up Neutral Distributed
    Object Format.) For those of you who don't grok all the techno speak,
    think "lowest common denominator".

    o a class library which can run on any platform which supports the
    version of the CLI for which it was written

    o a compiler for the shiny new language which is going to save our
    butts

    The CLR and the Common Type System enable applications and
    libraries to be written in a number of impoverished languages. Classes
    and methods written in any language can be used by any other language.
    Some sematically rich and expressive languages can also be shoehorned
    into this crippled runtime format, but of course their efficiency will
    suffer enormously and no one in their right minds will actually try to
    deploy the resulting executables. They'll just switch to the new,
    shiny "C#" language.

    Because we don't expect our stuff to work with Microsoft "Hailstorm"
    for long, we'll soon be announcing our own version, called
    "Shitstorm". Or have we already done that....?

    3. Where can I find specifications for these technologies?

    Right now, Microsoft have told the T3G ECMA group what they need to
    know to get people on the bandwagon. You can probably get something
    off the ground using these specs, but don't expect your stuff to
    remain compatible for long. Microsoft retains the right to extend the
    technology in new, exciting and innovative ways which enhance the
    customer's experience at any time (c.f. their "standards-based"
    implementation of the DOM).

    4. Will you be implementing the .NET framework SDK class libraries?

    Yes, we intend to play catch-up with Microsoft on this one until
    everyone gets bored of being almost, but not quite, compatible, and
    finally gives in and buys a Windows box.

    5. What does Mono stand for?

    It stands for "One". As in write once. Run once.

    6. When will you ship it?

    You're kidding, right?

    7. How can I contribute?

    Run. Very fast.

    8. You guys should innovate instead of copying.

    We didn't do that with Gnome, and we're dammned if we're going to
    start now.

    ...
    ...
    ...

    18. If you implement .NET, will I depend on Microsoft Passport to run my software?

    Not yet. But as soon as they have built in a remote update procedure
    which only works for Windows-based clients, one day you'll wake up and
    find that your code doesn't work anymore, but everyone else's does.
    This will be due to some spurious "security" or "strong verification"
    procedure which Microsoft will decide has suddenyl become necessary
    for .NET components, and will involve them (optionally) registering
    with a passport server before they do anything. Of course when this
    happens they will, "due to an unfortunate oversight", set the default
    to "always register". By the time the patch (for the Passport service)
    has been released, all the companies relying on non-MS versions of
    .NET bits (including any stuff we've written, obviously) will be out
    of business. Boo hoo.

    ...
    ...

    20. What is a 100% .NET application?

    Anthing Microsoft decides it to be, from day to day. Until they've got
    us where they want us, that means it can only use a minimal set of
    system methods and classes. But don't worry, they will definitely keep
    innovating on this one.

    ...

    39. What about using Java? After all there are many languages that
    target the Java VM.

    Of course. And it's more mature, more stable and more advanced.
    But we've already explained that backwards compatibility is out goal.
    It's too late for us.

    ...

    43: Would you allow other classes other than those in the specification?

    Of course. Microsoft will do it so why can't we? We fully
    expect to see a C#NI appear within a year or two. Some of that .NET
    code will honestly give the users more functionality, choice and
    innovation (did we say that already) by accessing the underlying
    Windows system directly.

    44: Will Mono only work on Linux?

    See Q5.

    66: How fast will be Mono?

    We can not predict the future, but a conservative estimate is that it
    would be at least `as fast as other JIT engines'.

    Of course this means it will be no better than Java, but then why
    reinvent the wheel? Er. No, that's not what I meant.

    Anyway, what's cool about the CLI is that it forces languages to
    always use a crippled stack system. So any polymorphic languages, or
    any languages which require more than one stack to express their
    state, are screwed. That's cool right?

    ....
    and on
    ....
    and on
    ....
    till death do us part.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 29, 2001 @02:43PM (#2184425)
    What I don't get is why the HELL they are implementing the CLR. There's already a GNU endorsed, open source VM architecture - Kaffe. GCC 3.0 does java bytecode's now, too. It's a massive wheel-reinvention to go implement an MS technology.

    KDE and GNUStep are both better than anything the NGOME camp's put out anyway.
  • Even worse is the companies that insist on 5 years of *work experience only*. I hear this 95% of the time, even for Linux jobs.
  • That was from the Crying Game [imdb.com] I do believe.

    Very appropriate though.
  • Passport will be heavily demanded once it starts to get popular.

    Free Software developers should concentrate on software that end users are likely to demand. While it is definitely hard to compete with Microsoft on their own turf, there are Free Software projects that do it successfully (most notably Samba). If Free Software developers aren't building the software that the end users want then how in the world are they ever going to grow the Free Software userbase?

    Passport is a pretty cool idea, except for the fact that it is centralized on Microsoft servers. If a competing product were produced that allowed for a distributed authentication system then it would almost certainly give Microsoft a run for their money. After all, who wants to be locked into Microsoft's pay schedule when there is a choice.

    We'll have to see how this plays out, but shying away from building competition to a service that we know is likely to be popular with end users is not the way to build popular software packages.

  • This is an interesting commentary, and pretty close to accurate if we remove the psyhotic hallucinations from the story.

    .Net is about taking computers to the next level where interoperability between systems(not OS, not language, but software systems) is easier to implement.

    That is true.

    Now why you think this immediately means Microsoft wants to hold all of your personal data on their servers, I have no clue. They have discussed some services they may make available, like an online scheduling/calendar in conjunction with hotmail.com.

    But like any service, it is something you subscribe to and decide to participate with. Microsoft's hope is that you'll find it conveninient and want to use it. If not, then well what are you worried about?

    You certainly charecterized why we use SQL databases today instead of flat files well. But again where do you get this idea that Microsoft wants to hold that data on their servers?

    This certainly does not seem to be the case from reading the .Net literature which discusses tools that let *YOU* build your own applications to do whatever you want.

    You then seem to fall into a really cool hallucination about Microsoft having the ultimate history of irresponsibility.

    They certainly have a history of responsibility when it comes to privacy. Every accusation I've ever seen dating back to the Win95 registration process has turned out to be false.

    They certainly have a history of producing high quality software. I don't know what software you've been using that you consider low quality.

    You then claim that this software is rammed down users throats. Are you just gullible? I've never had software rammed down my throat.

    After you puke, I'd suggest maybe toning down on the drinking and seek professional help.

  • Well I must congratulate you for an entertaining post.

    But you continue the hallucinations.

    I'm particularly amused by this claim that Win95 was less stable than Win3.1.

    Thanks for the laughs, although I'm surprised this crap was modded up as insightful.
  • Passport is a server service, not a client service. It's no more dependent upon Microsoft than sending HTML to the client browser.

    The only problem I have seen thus far with .Net is a bunch of people jumping to ridiculous conclusions like you just did.

  • Haha!

    Yeah, pretty much. :)
  • Now there's no need to be rude.

    Slashdot.org is a place for technical amusement. It's not a place to find technical accuracy.

    Let the trolls and morons have their fun, we get the benefit of being able to laugh with them!

    Or is it laughing at them? I can never tell. :)
  • Wow the psychotic hallucinations are thick today on slashdot.
  • "we are all making Microsoft look like FUD amateurs "

    What do you mean we?

    I'm certainly not part of the FUD group, and by all appearances either are you.

    Some people just aren't happy unless they can whine about something. Ignorance is bliss, and they are very blissful.
  • Oh whatever.

    As someone who has supported Win3.1, Win95, OS/2, NT4 and most recently Win2k in various desktop and server configurations...

    The only thing Win3.1 was even remotely stable doing was running a single application without network access. That's it, nothing else. Try to get any real work done, and it blows up.

    Besides, uhh... embedded systems typically don't run Win3.1 because they have no need for a user interface.

  • I don't recall Win3.1 being marketed as multitasking... I believe you are confusing it with Windows 95.

    Kind of makes you think, don't it?
  • Heh. Thanks for the laugh.
  • Now normally I'm a troll...

    But I am curious about this revelation that Java abandoned the native GUI APIs and wrote SWING to access stuff at such a low level. This seems as though it would provide for consistency, but at a terrible risk of performance.

    I honestly don't encounter very much Java stuff. About the only thing I do use is Oracle tools, which in the latest versions of 8i have been rewritten in Java, especially their installer, etc.

    I don't know if they are using Swing in the 8.1.7 client tools, but I have found their GUI tools to be incredibly slow and cumbersome. Granted some of this is because Oracle doesn't hire very good programmers when it comes to GUI work. But it does seem to me like the JVM is the guilty party when it comes to the speed issues.

    Do you have any examples of a good GUI app written using Swing that I could see?
  • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @02:07PM (#2184440)
    Go back and reread the article. You obviously don't understand the technical details.

    The Common Language Runtime and web services and so on DO NOT NEED PASSPORT!

    Passport is simply a web service that Microsoft is offering which provides a single-signon. You don't have to use it, it's NOT required. You can use it if you want to.

    It is amazing how eagerly people are willing to believe conspiracy theories.
  • Just like we don't need flash to browse the web anymore? Just like we don't need a sorensen-v2-enabled Quicktime or WMP7 to view media anymore? Just like we don't need Windows to use any of that software down at Fred Meyer's? The dotNET initiative is aimed at extending the Microsoft platform to the internet in the same way.

    Do we really want to encourage that? I have a lot of respect for Miguel and Microsoft, but I'll base my predictions on past behavior, which doesn't look good.

    The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

  • This is an interesting commentary, and pretty close to accurate if we remove the psyhotic hallucinations from the story.

    That just about sums up Slashdot, doesn't it?

  • > You then claim that this software is rammed down users throats. Are you just gullible? I've never had software rammed down my throat.

    I take it you've never worked in a real job either, or worked on a school project, or had to deal with the Internet using anything more complex than a browser.

    "Yes, that's right boss. I don't like this software you've said we all have to use, so I guess I'll just pack up my desk and find a job somewhere else. I could be a farmer I suppose. Oh... they're using computers too. Well, there's always flipping burgers at the local McDonalds..."

    --

  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @02:33PM (#2184444) Homepage
    It is a real shame that many people have not bothered to research what `.NET' really means, and what the different components of it are, and the relationship with the Mono project is.

    It is not the fault of any of you to do so, but it would be Petreley's duty to do a little research before writing from an uninformed point of view.

    I remember I was once sitting in a panel with another famous pundit. The panel was on `Open Source' and they had brought the `experts' on Open Source to talk about it.

    Such pundit said a minute before the panel begun to us `I do not see the difference between Peer to Perr and Open Source, to me they are the same thing'.

    In Market speak .NET is a Microsoft-wide company initiative. To humans this means that a vision has been set at Microsoft, and every bit of the company is moving towards making that goal happen.

    Now, this .NET "vision" encompasses many different areas, let me list some of them for you:

    • The Development Platform.
    • The Passport/Hailstorm Initiative.
    • Their enterprise servers.
    • Web Services in general.

    People are confused between two elements: The development platform and Passport. People who claim that Mono is related to passport are making statements that are similar to `Excel is Turbo Pascal'.

    The Mono Project [go-mono.com] is a project that Ximian has launched and is devoting resources to bring the benefits of a new, fresh and powerful development platform to Unix. Why we are doing this? Because we need those tools to bring you the next generation end-user applications. We could do this with C, C++ or Python, but it would take us longer, and we would waste our engineering time.

    Passport is a completely different beast. Many people are confused, and asked me `How is Mono related to Passport'? The answer is: it is not related in any way. I have written a document that highlights the problems on Passport, you can get it here: http://www.go-mono.com/passport.html [go-mono.com]. This has nothing to do with Mono, but people are still confused.

    Even worse, some people claim that `Mono will bring Passport to Linux'. Those people have not been paying attention. Passport is already available to be ran on Linux servers. Just go to http://www.passport.com, and download the Linux toolkit.

    This bears repetition: Mono is not related to passport.

    If you want to have an informed opinion on Mono, please read our FAQ: http://www.go-mono.com/faq.html [go-mono.com]

    miguel.

  • The Mono project is not about implementing passport or hailstorm [go-mono.com].

    If you want one of those, take a look at dotgnu [dotgnu.org], but even there the strategy is to be a REPLACEMENT, not a plug compatible Microsoft clone.

  • If they will lose customers by using passport exclusively, they are stupid.

    If using Passport loses them 100 customers, but makes things easier on them so that they can save more money than 100 customers make for them, they'd be stupid not to use it, presuming we don't present them with an alternative.

    -
  • .NET is not Passport. .NET is not Hailstorm.

    .NET is a framework designed to allow software to run across separate architectures, so that (for example) Unix servers can download objects from Mac servers and run them. It also means that in the future (if Mono works) you'll be able to run MS Office 2005 on Linux or IE7 on Linux.

    Hailstorm allows .NET servers to find all the other .NET servers' objects and download them. The protocols for doing this have been developed by people like IBM and anyway MS couldn't obfuscate them - it's XML - if you can use vi you can reverse-engineer it.

    Passport is a bad idea, I agree, but if you don't like that complain to the dotGNU people not the Mono people.

    I actually think the prospect of (for example) being able to develop opensource apps under Visual Studio .NET under Linux which run on any architecture (even Windows!) pretty exciting. If Sun hadn't dropped the ball with Java we could have had something like this years ago...
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:21PM (#2184448) Homepage
    .NET and Passport are just functions and noone is required by law (yet) to use them.. Example? Ebay now uses them, if they require it then I stop using ebay and I tell them why. If you contact an E-commerce site and tell them they you cant buy their products because of a dimwitted decision to lock out people that dont use MS software they will take notice. (In e-commerce today, one lost sale is felt, and general managers will hang sales people for losing sales.... A GM will probably fire the entire web team if their migration to .net and passport hurts sales even just a little nowdays.

    Ecommerce isnt driven by Microsoft and their drivel, It's driven by moola, dollars, that green stuff in your wallet. That is what Ecommerce believes in fully, and that is all they care about.

    Ecommerce sites will bail on microsoft instantly if it affects cash flow or the bottom line.
  • I didn't understand what all the fuss was about till I saw the following posting by Fergus Henderson on the gcc mailinglist:
    http://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc/2001-07/msg01834.html [gnu.org]

    Read it and go implement those layers in GCC :)

  • Good one. :) Few people have the ballage to address their posting mistakes. And you're welcome, by the way. You're right. My sole contribution to the open source revolution is a set of square pictures that a few million people use, and enjoy...That is, if you look past the three projects i've founded over the years, countless projects i've contributed to, helped with, worked on, and continue to support.

    i.e. , Your ignorance isn't my responsibility to correct, sir.

    Cheers,

    Bowie J. Poag
    Project Manager, System 26 GUI Component Stockpile [system26.com]


  • 1) It should be named Chango [ibiblio.org], not "Mono". Somebody needs to brush up on their Spanglish.

    2) The biggest problem with Mono is not in what it does--it's in what it will do. In short, .Net is a leverage tool made by Microsoft. Its a teeter-totter with a fat kid on one end..Anyone who steps up and sits on the other side of the plank isn't going to have much fun, because the fat kid dictates the fun. Imagine this scenario if you will.. Microsoft keeps their implenetation constant for the entire development cycle of Mono. Then waits for Mono to become a commonly accepted feature on Linux desktops, same as Gnome is now. Then *whack*, the fat kid jumps off the teeter-totter..Microsoft breaks their own standard, and effectively breaks Mono in the process. The Linux community is sent scrambling to find a way to level the plank again while the fat kid laughs. You have a situation where .Net can remain untouched, but the Linux community's development effort is in a continual state of upheval trying to keep up.

    A couple days ago I wrote a post about this, which 10 people said was interesting, and another 10 people said was total flamebait -- About how this is Gnome's mentallity. They dont want to take the lead. They want to permanently fix themselves into second place because (big surprise) being able to imitate the leader is a cozy existance. It's been like that for years -- They steadfastly refuse to do or accept anything even remotely unique and try it out.

    Meanwhile, Mono consumes more and more metric tons of brainpower to keep it stable, and all the while, Microsoft uses it as something they can point to and say "Hey, look. See, we told you, the Open Source development model is flawed."

    The saddest part about all of this is that I actually do believe the people running the show in Gnome's inner circle are stupid enough to walk into that trap. You gotta hand it to Microsoft.. They've elevated the science of mental trojan horsing to an art form.



    Bowie J. Poag
    Project Manager, System 26 GUI Component Stockpile [system26.com]
  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @04:17PM (#2184452)
    Microsoft has a new competitor which unlike previous competitors could not be driven out fo business.

    That's partially true. An OSS project lives as long as the tarballs are on a server somewhere. Howeer, you can't think that they wouldn't be happy to see VA Linux, Red Hat, SuSE, Ximian, et al. go away? They might not be able to get rid of the software, but they seem to have shown a certain skill reducing the market share of competitor's projects. For example, I doubt many people are using WordPerfect on OS/2 these days...

    There can be no endgame for MS. They cannot go after a checkmate. They cannot kill us.

    Yes, there can and they can and will. They can do something similar to what the IM stuff has been all about. They tacitly agree to help Mono (by not squashing it outright and releasing some sorta-open code). They get good press and the DoJ off their backs somewhat. People are duped into thinking MS can change and actually do some good for OSS. Then let's say that IBM or some such starts backing Mono. And then let's say that other companies like this because it's either free or low cost, or they have hackers that can toy with it, or whatever. So they start using Mono-based stuff instead of the MS stuff. Maybe even an OSS version of Passport comes out and starts to take off.

    What will hapen then is that the Mono-based stuff will break in subtle ways. Like Java, maybe. Or Kerberos. Or like what will happen soon with SMB. Nothing sinister. It's just that Windows 2004 XP needed small changes "in order to maintain interoperbility with Microsoft's .NET (TM) and Passport (TM) services..." And, oops, those small changes break every Mono-based implementation previously released. And, no, the spec will not be opened because it would compromise MS's IP.

    At that point, Mono plays catch-up and eventually dies. No company will touch Mono with a ten foot pole if they fear that at some point down the road MS might "have" to change a spec, and that change will break their apps. Apps which will aim to take people's money, mind you. That hits close to home. Sure the technology might live on, but it won't compete with MS's stuff. Not really, anyway.

    If MS feels like their lunch is being eaten they will retaliate. They have to. Failure to maintain market share will get Bill Gates sued. This is a cold, hard fact. MS does not give any ground for long.

    So what are we terrified of?

    That maybe OSS companies and independant developers will waste effort on a doomed project. They they are dancing to the beat of MS's drum, not their own. They they will be forced into a role of playing catch-up, of always being second best or merely an "alternative" to MS's software.

    If MS could controvert HTTP (read: Apache) such that IIS would be the only logical choice for web deployments, they would in one flat second and without even thinking about it. It's projects like Apache (and Tomcat, etc.) that are examples of what we need to be doing. Instead of coding up our own implementation of an IIS-like server that can do ASP and FrontPage and whatever, we have our own software. MS has been catching up to us on that front, and that's good because they actually come up with stuff that makes sense and we end up being forced to innovate where we otherwise might not. Apache is good software for good software's sake. Not software because it fits someone else's mold. I'm afraid Mono is just the opposite and that by the time we realize it, it will be too late.

    -B

  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @02:13PM (#2184453)
    I can see the appeal -- from the business side of things -- for .NET and Passport. And I can see how OSS would benfit from playing the game. Very definitely so. But make no mistake: There will never be a level playing field, but at least we'll be in the arena along with MS at game time instead of showing up at halftime/2nd period/5th inning/whatever other sports timing convention suits your locale. (And that's enough sports metaphors from someone who last threw a ball circa 1985.) The thing I can't understand is why people are keeping such a rosy outlook on this whole quasi-partnership/sharing experience/whatever.

    I swear, it's cliche come true: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. It's like the Ximian guys are abused spouses. They're making excuses, thinking they can change the other person, pretending it'll all work out good this time, forgiving this one last time, so on and so on. People get therapy for this, you know. The solution is not to give them one more chance. The solution is to get the hell out and start fresh. We cannot let this codependant wool-gathering to continue where Microsoft is concerned. They cannot be beaten at their game. We need to get them to play our game. There are many things OSS can do better than a monolithic organization. we'll win by focusing on that. Proaction, not reaction.

    Hmmm. Time for a new analogy.

    People need to remember that MS is out to do one thing and one thing only: Create and maintain shareholder value. That's the only thing publicly traded companies aim to do and the only thing that matters to them. Everything besides that is secondary (contrary to the "We like to make innovative software for the betterment of the world" mantra the PR types like to repeat to us). And the cash goal is just fine; it's what our country was built on and it's created a lot of happy people and started a lot of successful companies. It works pretty well. Until you throw in some incredibly lucrative technology backed by technologically savvy yet altruistic individuals. It's chum for the MS corporate shark.

    MS could no more resist the urge to co-opt and/or subvert Mono or related techologies than a Great White could resist a tasty meal at the Ft. Lauderdale Hemophiliac Seniors Beach club. MS will come out with .NET and Passport, and Ximian will have Mono. As soon as organizations start favoring Mono over MS's proprietary tech, MS will devour Mono by any means necessary. They have to, in order to maintiain market share. They have to keep up with the slippery slope, and nobody can tell me they won't do whatever it takes when it comes right down to it. They have to stay moving and eating to survive, and will react badly to anything that threatens their food supply of cash and mindshare. What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine... an eating machine. It's really a miracle of business evolution. All this machine does is extend and embrace and extinguish other competeing technologies and that's all. (Apologies to Mr. Hooper [imdb.com].)

    Anyway, people would do themselves well to remember the past.

    -B

  • "Not to mention MS marketing parnerships pointing customers to their sites."

    What do you think SmartTags(tm) are for?

    /max
  • Why bother writing an OSS version of .Net?

    The same was said about Java: "We already write e-commerce apps in Perl. Why should we bother to learn something new and support Sun's closed effort?" It's just one more tool on your belt, and if it proves to be a useful tool, people will use it.

    The danger -- which I think neither article presented clearly -- is that .NET will grow in popularity with most websites using Passport for authentication since it will be available and supported by Microsoft. Once a critical mass of consumers and companies are all using Passport, switching to something else will be difficult.

    If the OSS community doesn't create an alternative to Passport that is entirely interoperable, then Microsoft will have created their own Internet Sales Tax. Petreley's worry is that by creating our own .NET without our own Passport, we will help Microsoft lock-in the consumers to Passport.

    My worry is that Microsoft will not make the Passport API public. They'll say, "Sure, write your own .NET to the spec and support us, but you can't implement an interoperable authentication service." If that happens, you can bet Ebay isn't going to want to write two authenticationo access schemes.

    It needs to be as simple as having an email address: user@auth.foo.com. Knowing only your address, I can send you email.* I don't have to ask if you're using Outlook or PINE before sending a message. Compare that to instant messaging: AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Jabber. They all provide the same core set of services, but each with their own API, so I have to deal with more software and protocols.

    If other companies and OSS are able to code to the same authentication API that Microsoft is developing in Passport and Hailstorm, then I'm happy. However, Microsoft has a history of sharing halfway (shared source is the latest example).

    * The downside -- easily addressable when creating a new system -- is that advertisers can send email to random addresses with the receiver bearing the cost. A good security model could block this possibility. XNS [xns.org] is a good start.

    Peace PatientZero

  • Microsoft has yet to come up with a product that they haven't copied from someone else.

    I think you're forgetting Microsoft Bob [gratefuldad.com]. :)
  • Is she in one of these pictures [stileproject.com]? Let us know now, so we can avoid the same fate :)
  • A couple days ago I wrote a post about this, which 10 people said was interesting, and another 10 people said was total flamebait -- About how this is Gnome's mentallity. They dont want to take the lead. They want to permanently fix themselves into second place because (big surprise) being able to imitate the leader is a cozy existance. It's been like that for years -- They steadfastly refuse to do or accept anything even remotely unique and try it out.

    And I responded to that post saying that I found it funny that the guy who's sole contribution to the world of open source was a bunch of square tiles that looked the same (and it wasn't like it was an original idea in the first place).

    The amusement still occurs.

  • Yeah, it'd help if I finished sentences I guess.

    ...first place) is complaining about the derth of originality in GNOME.

  • My point still stands.
  • that however, was not my point.
    My point was that he was complaining about lack of originalty, when the major thing he has done, was one of the most uninventive things ever. And from what I remember of the other projects (which I hadn't included, because I thought they had never got off the ground: Project 12 was it), they weren't that original either. So Bowie, the onus is now on you to prove that your other projects are original, and enough to be counted as contributions to the world.
  • No, not all of us registered users are anti-ms conspiracy nuts. Just the ones of us who (have to) use what ms claims to be software.
  • At least there's a nice open specification for Java/ECMAScript -- even if it's a bitch to implement properly (almost all the bugs left with JavaScript in Konqueror are due to strange, wrong code in web pages: code hacked up just enough so that it works in IE5, and then the users interpret a failure in the page as a browser failure, not a website failure). I really don't understand why people let so many opaque file formats (like Flash, and Word .DOC) exist.
  • (OT aside: why mark this flamebait?)

    Indeed, that is the embrace/extend/extinquish model MS has become famous for, littering the One Microsoft Way with dead heaps of promising companies. (Oops, who gave me the purple pen?)

    Anyone trying to reimplement the server-side functionality of passport and hailstorm will have to rely on consistency from microsoft. Oh joy.

    The idea of single sign-on is compelling only to entities wishing to track your movements across the 'Net.

    At least, that's what I'm getting. Any other opinions?
  • Damn, forgot to mention the obvious:

    MS is a supporter of the DMCA, which, with a single license change, could render Passport functionality off-limits to developers.

  • It's true that they have done a few things right, especially w/r/t Microsoft Office.

    The Office that spreads virus-filled documents [securityportal.com] far and wide across the 'net?

    The Office that is not/barely compatible with other versions of itself?

    The only thing they've done "right" with Office is to monopolize the market, enslaving people to a document format of negligent design.

  • Yes, you are talking abot mononucleosis, also known as the "kissing" disease, as it can be transmitted through light fluid exchange. Mononucleosis is characterized by the presence of an abnormally large number of white blood cells with single nuclei in the bloodstream.

  • by butfala ( 39229 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:16PM (#2184469) Journal
    Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman response is here [linuxworld.com]
  • Since Mono is the "kissing disease", I don't think most of these people will have to worry about it.
  • I see things like "required: 5+ years developing Linux device drivers"... What are they thinking?"

    They aren't...

    Technology improves, but stupidity will never die.

    I remember reading job ads listing requirements including "5 years IBM PC programming experience." This was in 1984.

    I was "pre-" interviewing for an embedded systems developer position at some company, and the manager said he was requiring five years of C++ experience. This was in 1992. How many programmers were using C++ in 1987? Very few.

    "Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain."
  • rofl

    I'd take Lara over Bill any day of the week myself though.. ;)

  • d00d, 4.0 introduced FAT16.

    BZZZZT! And thank you for playing. Here's [sjgames.com] your lovely parting gift.

    DOS 1.0 introduced FAT-12 floppies.

    DOS 2.0 introduced FAT-12 hard disks (remember the XT?).

    DOS 3.0 was introduced with the AT, and brought FAT-16 for those big 30-meg drives on some AT's.

    DOS 4.0 introduced the BIGDOS partitions.

    OS/2 introduced HPFS (don't remember whether it was 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2).

    NT 3.1 introduced NTFS.

    Win 95B introduced FAT-32.

    Win2K introduced some variant on NTFS (compression or encryption, I forget which) which was not backwards compatible with anything earlier than NT4SP6.

  • You will enjoy a hungry winter of discontent.

    What are you, some kind of new Oracle at Delphi?

    ____________________
  • .NET is a brand new platform. It will run on many devices, not just Windows PC's. For example, it will run on X-Box's, and Hand Helds, and embedded devices.

    I doubt we will see .NET on embedded devices very soon. Right now Microsoft is pushing Java J2ME on WindowsCE to be able to compete.

    See Press Release [jblend.com] here and The Register (ugh) article [theregister.co.uk] here.

    Microsoft's Stinger phone platform has failed to catch on, and Windows CE has so far been unable to dominate the hand held OS market. Microsoft has been forced to compete in this market, and in the embedded market with so many different platforms and hardware, you must be cross-platform, and you must provide an extensive cross platform programming libraries.

    This is why even Microsoft has been forced to use Java. There is no push seen here for .NET as there is really no evidence for .NET the platform being able to work in such environments. I doubt we will see .NET here very soon either (if ever). This is where Java (J2ME) platform has been really able to leverage its ability to work across so many many platforms.

    For now, .NET is just a Windows PC platform.
  • by decipher_saint ( 72686 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @12:54PM (#2184477) Homepage
    "...long-time perl hacker..."

    Reminds me of...

    "Yes, primarily we're looking for someone with 10 to 15 years of Java application development experience."

    -----

  • No, that is unlikely to happen. Perhaps you don't understand what .NET is. .NET is a brand new platform. It will run on many devices, not just Windows PC's. For example, it will run on X-Box's, and Hand Helds, and embedded devices. Those devices will not be necessarily running on X86, they will use a whole variety of CPU's and architectures. Thus rather than telling programmers to write for the Windows API, Microsoft is not saying that if you are writing an Internet application you should be writing for the .NET API.

    If Microsoft succeeds in doing with .NET what they have failed to do with Windows, that is make it available on a wide variety of platforms, then changing the underlying environment will be very, very hard. The whole point of the environment is that it is consistent across the entire Internet. Its attraction to programmers will be that they can write write something once and it will run everywhere. If you then change that API in an incompatible way you break the concept.

    Microsoft are in the same bind with Samba. I am sure they would love to break Samba with each new release of Windows, in the way they do with NTFS. But they can't, because that would mean older versions of Windows would cease to work on a Microsoft network.

  • .NET is basically bill gates' snake-oil solution to all those registry/DLL hell problems. Bill Gates is a true genius. He's made installing and maintaining windows apps so ridiculously difficult and expensive that businesses and consumers will actually buy into the idea of having their applications on someone else's server.
  • by David Ham ( 88421 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:46PM (#2184481) Homepage
    I guess you forget that Perl was first released in 1987? I count 14 years to date. I'd say you can be a "long-time perl hacker"...

    --
    you must amputate to email me

  • Her Passport(TM) identity... DELETED!
  • Worst three weeks of my life - i still hold a grudge to that bitch who gave it to me.


    err, what were we talking about again?


    ~Warble

  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @05:37PM (#2184484) Homepage
    You have an entertaining style of writing, and there is something to what you say, but you are way overboard.

    DOS 1.0 was not "basically stolen". Bill Gates offered a chunk of money, the chunk was accepted. Fair and square. You may think Gates should have said, "By the way, don't accept my offer, take your QDOS to IBM and they will pay you more than I will." I don't think a failure to say that is the same as theft. Was the guy who wrote QDOS (which became MS-DOS 1.0) heartbroken and embittered? I'd say not, given that he went to work for Microsoft, and worked there off and on for years. (The ironic thing is that his stock options from being hired at Microsoft must have made him a millionaire, given how early he was hired.)

    DOS 3.0 didn't break anything but TSR programs; I agree it would have been nice if MS had made some sort of TSR API, or at least documented everything the TSR guys needed, but to take a lack of documentation and expand that into a claim that DOS 3.0 broke things is absurd. TSRs were hacks; getting different TSRs from different companies to work without stepping on each other was an adventure. By the time Windows got really useful, TSRs had been sorted out, but they were always hacks.

    DOS 4.0 was basically written by IBM. Microsoft had little to do with it, and I remember a lecture I attended when I worked at MS where a DOS engineer talked about ways in which DOS 5.0 would fix the screwed up and broken things of DOS 4.x. DOS 5.0 was a very successful product; it was smaller and more compatible than 4.x, and it had new memory management APIs that people wanted. (HMA and all that.)

    DOS isn't done til Lotus won't run? I don't believe that for a second. I worked on Word for DOS, and I never once saw any calls to secret back-door functions in the OS. Microsoft pulled some weird stuff, like that version of Windows that put up a confusing warning message if you ran it on top of DR-DOS, but I never saw any evidence they did anything like add code to break competitors. You can't do something like that without people in the company knowing about it, and it only takes one of those guys blowing the whistle to land the company under a pile of trouble; which never happened. And the Undocumented DOS books reverse-engineered all sorts of stuff from DOS, and they never found any "secret make Lotus break" code.

    Windows 95 was in beta forever. I was using it almost a year before it shipped, and it always was very stable for me; they tested it as much as they could before shipping it. You may wish they had waited three years before shipping it; if so you are on drugs. Everyone wanted them to ship it. 32-bit addressing, no more near/far functions, Win32 allowing you to write one app for both Windows 95 and for NT? Everyone was eager for MS to ship that thing. Win95 was a huge success, which means that most of the people who got it were happy with it.

    OS/2? When I started out at Microsoft, we all ran OS/2 on our development machines. All the really important desktops were running OS/2. Microsoft really believed OS/2 was the future. Then, after Windows 3.0 shipped, the customers bought huge piles of it; MS realized that the customers wanted Win 3.0, not OS/2. The customers were voting with their dollars, and MS gave the customers what they voted for. I'm amazed IBM wanted OS/2, but IBM did, so MS was able to just walk away from it and not even have to support it; IBM took care of all that. MS never did anything to kill OS/2, unless you count their refusing to license the Win32 API to IBM, which I don't.

    Microsoft stuff is far from perfect, yes. But it is also far from the picture you paint.

    steveha

  • My point is simply that as long as Mono and .Net are both targetting different native GUI libraries, the chances of them working similarly for all but very basic programs is essentially nil.

    Agreed, Mono will still be useful for people specifically targetting Linux, because then you won't care whether it works the same on Windows, but I still consider the potential lack of cross-platform functionality a significant drawback.

    --- egomaniac
  • .Net includes a GUI library, called WinForms. It's roughly equivalent to the AWT, and the Mono team intends to provide an implementation of it based on Linux native GUI code, so yes we're very much talking a similar situation to what Java has gone through. Pretty much exactly the same, in fact.

    And I never said it was impossible to *port* software, but the whole point of .Net (as with Java) is not to have to -- it should just work. That's the idea, at least.

    The fact that Netscape has actually abandoned their own efforts and developed XUL should also be proof enough that porting between Unix and Windows is an unbelievable bitch to get right. Netscape's XUL is yet another case of giving up and doing your own library, very similar to what I mentioned with AWT and Swing. I'm not very familiar with the others, but it wouldn't surprise me if they had their own lightweight component libraries as well and eschewed native code as much as possible.

    --- egomaniac
  • by egomaniac ( 105476 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @11:04PM (#2184490) Homepage
    Go ahead, hit me with the -1, Flamebait. I can take it.

    In all seriousness, though, I cannot even remotely imagine Mono actually working for anything more complicated than Hello World apps. Consider that our experience with powerful cross-platform languages so far basically starts and stops with Java. Before anybody starts spouting out examples of their favorite cross-platform programming language: unless you've written a word processor or equally heinous client-side app and had it work on other systems on the first or second try, it does not count.

    So let's consider Mono in light of our current experience with Java (disclaimer: I am a professional Java developer). Java's basic operations were pretty simple to get right: right out of the gate most non-GUI apps were likely to work on all platforms (as long as they weren't too big...). The AWT, however, was a disaster. GUIs are a lot more complicated than most non-GUI programmers realize, and tiny inconsistencies between platforms can easily break things. The AWT was the simplest API imaginable, and after two years of Sun's (and many other's) work on it getting GUI apps to work was still very hit-and-miss. Keep in mind that this API was so simple that it didn't even support clipboards, drag-and-drop, or even PRINTING in its first release. It didn't have tables, or real file dialogs, or trees, or split panes, or a million other things we take for granted. And it still didn't work.

    Only after the incredible investment of time that Swing took was Java finally able to *really* get things right between platforms. For the non-Java-nuts among us, Swing is a component library written completely in Java. The native system libraries are used only for very basic painting and input operations. In other words, getting native GUIs to work the same way on multiple platforms was essentially impossible for Sun: they gave up and wrote it all from scratch in Java.

    The situation with Mono is even worse, because the API is by Microsoft. I confess that I am not familiar with WinForms; if it's an incredibly elegant, simple API please correct me. However, most GUI libraries are REALLY, REALLY complicated; again, if you've never tried writing something like a cross-platform word processor, you just don't understand how tough it can be. The idea of everything working exactly the same between Mono and Windows (when Winforms simply delegates to Window's native API) is almost laughable.

    I'll close with a simple example of what the Java team faced and why Swing even exists. The AWT TextArea naturally just used the native Windows, Macintosh, or whatever text area to get its work done. Exactly, I believe, as WinForms does. Problem: the Windows implementation of TextArea wouldn't work with more than 32K of text under Win95 and Win98. Unix programmers would happily dump megabytes of text into their (perfectly working) text areas, which would then blow up on Windows. They would then bitch at Java for not working cross-platform. This particular issue with Windows may since have been resolved, but in its time it was a very large problem. There were many, many other similar things -- which is why for the most part nobody uses native GUIs in Java anymore.

    No disrepect to the Mono team intended, but I'm inclined to believe that any complicated apps won't have a prayer in hell of working. Again, the non-GUI stuff may not be a problem, but Unix doesn't need any help in that department. What Unix needs is good client apps, and I think the Mono team is completely out of touch with reality if they think it's as simple as hacking together a Winforms implementation overnight.

    (And please don't bother responding with anything along the lines of "Yeah, but it's open-source so it must be better than what Sun can do!" Bullshit. Sun, Netscape (now AOL) IBM, the Apache team, and a million other groups are all working on Java, and there's no way such incredible development resources will ever be pooled together for a simple port of .Net. The Linux crowd worked for years just getting Java ported, and it already ran on a flavor of Unix)

    --- egomaniac
  • But the point is that they will lose sales by using Passport exclusively. If they can add the passport users who won't use a non-passport site while keeping their current customers, they will do it. If they will lose customers by using passport exclusively, they are stupid.
    ---
  • mono is pretty dangerous, was bedridden for 6 weeks after making out with that girl with the penguin shirt on...
  • Ximian is a joke of a company and will most likely be dead before they finish the clone of .NET. Why work on what you have now? It obviously needs a lot of work.

    They should try to form services around the GNOME API's, but consulting on non-Free Software would probably go against their delicate ideals. Oh well...
  • Unless I'm missing something, I don't see a true rebuttal. Petreley's basic argument was that MS will always have the option to change .NET whenever it feels like it since it is not truly open source. And MS has a long history of playing crack-the-whip. For example, just when the first PowerMacs were coming out ('94-95?) MS "ported" the latest MS Office over, but intentionally made no adjustments or optimizations. A few months later they apologized for the buggy, slow port and optimized. Reputation damage already done. And the dirty trick sailed under the radar.... Passport or no, this leaves open source contrubutors locked in, and as P-man said, vulnerable. It's no different than creating a Linux version of VC++ or VB when you think about it. But you'll always be the poorer relation. To me, open source is all about catching up and then surpassing the commercial monopolists, not accomodating them. Many may counter that MS wouldn't dare screw over the open sourcerers. How many peaceful, treaty-signing, reservation Indians got slaughtered in the late 19th century and no one noticed/cared until about 100 years later?
  • It is a waste of time. I am very surprised that precious resources in such a leading Open Source camp has been diverted into the game Microsoft wants to play. We don't need .Net or the surprises Microsoft has in store for those suckers who get on the bandwagon for .Net. We have Java, and it runs on any platform, and it works quite well as of 1.3, (Very very fast.) This is just a made up product to keep people from writing Java apps. I repeat, there is not ONE single piece of technology adavantage you could get from writing a .Net business solution, except restricting yourself to running on a Microsoft platform. Microsoft knows that any platform independant technology must be stopped and destroyed at all costs or the desktop they own will become irrelevant. By getting the Open Source communnity to divert resources to .Net slows down Linux's progress from the server room onto the Desktop. It looks as they they have partially succeeded. Our last best hope then lies with what KDE guys can come up with to get us the rest of the way. While we leave the suckers at GNOME to wallow in thier grave errors. Hack
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @02:21PM (#2184507) Homepage Journal
    .NET and Passport are just functions and noone is required by law (yet) to use them.. Example? Ebay now uses them, if they require it then I stop using ebay and I tell them why.
    Not a very compelling example. I'm not a big fan of EBay: it a pain to use, and its summary/search pages are often hours out of date. But I keep going back, because that's where all the other buyers and sellers are. Nobody really competes with EBay. Fairmarket [fairmarket.com] tried. But despite a superior auction engine and the backing of all the big portal sites, they failed utterly, and had to turn to other ventures to survive. Ironically, they now offer a "dump your excess inventory on Ebay" service!

    That being said, there is a limit to EBay's ability to control how their customers pay each other. They obviously would like everybody to use their Billpoint system. (Payments amount to $251 per second. That a lot of "collection float" and banks would kill to process it.) But you still see a lot of people using Paypoint. There are even technophobic sellers who still insist on money orders.

    Bottom line: third-party implementations of .NET definitely will help Passport increase its market share. Whether this will force everybody to start using Passport remains to be seen. Given the amount of scrutiny Microsoft is under, and their general ineptitude [wired.com], I'm sceptical.

    __

  • Anybody else find it ironic that Mono is named after a pretty bad disase (which I had last month and was a pain to get over)?

    Mono: Contagious, painful, and well, a disease.
  • Yes. This is very interesting.

    I can't deny my suspicion that Microsoft will break their own standard. They've done it several times before. Then they just say, "We are a company that listens to its customers. Our customers demanded these new 'features' and we gave it to them!" And no one seems to care that they are the cause of the competition's problems. People just see that Microsoft's is more reliable. Its easy to seem reliable when you control and change the platform you compete on.

    So many companies have tried to be friends, or 'partners' with Microsoft. Lets look at Kodak. They spent a year teaming up with Microsoft to develop a digital camera standard for Windows. They think they can work together with Microsoft and gain from it. Then Microsoft includes digital camera software with Windows XP. Software that stays default even after you install Kodak's. Software that requests a fee from Kodak to be listed to send pictures to for printing, and charges a fee to Kodak every time someone sends Kodak their pictures.

    The thing is, this is only one of many examples. It is not cool to try to work with Microsoft. They'll just use it to try to crush you and gain money. They won't let anyone else be successful on their platform.

    Just think. What kind of software is successful on Windows? Adobe Photoshop, Real Player, AOL, AIM, ICQ. Guess what? They're all going to be competing against bundled (and sometimes bolted) Microsoft software in Windows XP. It's not easy to succeed on a Microsoft platform. Mono at least needs to notice that.

  • by swright ( 202401 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:12PM (#2184522) Homepage
    I see you point - but I worry that .Net will be the Windows or IE of the connected world. I.e. everything else will become gradually more sidelined, more difficult to 'sell' to the non-technical people who make the decisions that we then have to implement.

    Basically, I'm worried that they'll all say 'we want .Net, we want Passport' and I'll have to stop coding in my beloved PHP and go back to the pain and suffering that is ASP.

    Seriously, it scares me
  • Now, I know it goes against time honored /. tradition to actually know about a subject before you post.... but I'm going to waste my breath anyway and say it: RTFM!!

    If you read .NET documentation you will clearly see that .NET is a general pupose programming platform for creating all kinds of applications. Whether or not you use passport for an ecommerce app is an architectural decision that you get to make. You can use .NET for non-ecommerce apps. You can use .NET for ecommerce but use something other than passport.

    Brian Jepson is right on the money.

    ...And I posted a similar comment to this in the last /. discussion on .NET and a swear only one person read it....

    (C'mon folks, we are all making Microsoft look like FUD amateurs with the level of unresearched anti-.NET FUD that's coming out of our collective community's mouth....)

  • by angry old man ( 211217 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:52PM (#2184526)
    It's okay. It will give the mob something to do besides drug trafficking.

    Ever since prohibition was lifted, the mob's main cash cow was organized drug trafficking. Now they can get into organized money laundering and theft using MS Passport.

    Microsoft will even make it easy for them to get started for the first 3 years or so.

  • by Arethan ( 223197 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:29PM (#2184528) Journal
    Is it just me, or does anyone else have vivid flashbacks of the Outbreak monkey every time you see the Ximian logo next to a headline containing "Mono"?
  • Did you try doing your taxes online this year from a Linux box?

    No. But I could have. There are good web-based tools. Get over it. Microsoft's glory days are over. The industry is changing and they are trying to prolong their existance. But the economic reality is changing and the industry is growing up.

    Sig: Tell all your friends NOT to download the Advanced Ebook Processor:

  • MS could no more resist the urge to co-opt and/or subvert Mono or related techologies than a Great White could resist a tasty meal at the Ft. Lauderdale Hemophiliac Seniors Beach club. MS will come out with .NET and Passport, and Ximian will have Mono. As soon as organizations start favoring Mono over MS's proprietary tech, MS will devour Mono by any means necessary. They have to, in order to maintiain market share. They have to keep up with the slippery slope, and nobody can tell me they won't do whatever it takes when it comes right down to it. They have to stay moving and eating to survive, and will react badly to anything that threatens their food supply of cash and mindshare. What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine... an eating machine. It's really a miracle of business evolution. All this machine does is extend and embrace and extinguish other competeing technologies and that's all. (Apologies to Mr. Hooper.)

    I fail to see the problem. Really, I do. This was great when done against a company with a name but although the project is headed by Ximian, the product will likely outlive the company if there is any community interest. Microsoft has a new competitor which unlike previous competitors could not be driven out fo business. There can be no endgame for MS. They cannot go after a checkmate. They cannot kill us. So what are we terrified of?

    Sig: Tell all your friends NOT to download the Advanced Ebook Processor:

  • Yeah. I have seen descriptions that wanted 3-5 years Windows 2000 or Solaris 8 experience....

    Sig: Tell all your friends NOT to download the Advanced Ebook Processor:
  • without MS you wouldn't have seen the rise of computer technology and broadband availability...

    You are right. What Microsoft did, though, was see a side of the market that others did not-- the economy of scale. Most production costs of software is tied up in development. By selling lots of copies of the software, they could sell for less.

    OSS, IMO, is an extension of that idea. I firmly believe that open source would not be where it it were it not for MS. The ubiquity of the computer is an amazing factor as is the internet (which has nothing to do with MS, but is just mentioned as an aside).

    MS is not simply the power that we strugle against. It is the Kronos of our existance. It is the murderous father who made our existance possible and whose wrath we will survive in order to overthrow him. We are ascendent now and cannot be defeated.

    .NET is interesting, but I think that we must compete with it because it would not exist were there not a need for it. MS is not alone here either. HP and other companies are starting to offer distributed tools development frameworks which are also promising.

    You also say: "they made it easy to get on and use a computer so that people would buy them, and that fueled the market so faster tech would be developed and rolled out."

    Ease of use has nothing to do with it. Were DOS machines less easy to use than Macs? No. They were more widely used because Microsoft took full advantage of a great economy of scale. The scale is going away though, which is why Hailstorm and passport are so important to the company.

    I do not agree with Ximian's enthusiasm regarding the C# language, but that is there choice, and in a free market, choice must be preserved and, I think, supported. That is our greatest strength-- as computers are ubiquitous, we are ubiquitous. We fave far more resources than MS and far more developers.

    I agree that Hailstorm poses some substantial problems, but my resolution is simply not to use it ;)

    Sig: Tell all your friends NOT to download the Advanced Ebook Processor:

  • That's partially true. An OSS project lives as long as the tarballs are on a server somewhere. Howeer, you can't think that they wouldn't be happy to see VA Linux, Red Hat, SuSE, Ximian, et al. go away? They might not be able to get rid of the software, but they seem to have shown a certain skill reducing the market share of competitor's projects. For example, I doubt many people are using WordPerfect on OS/2 these days...

    Actually, an OSS project which only resides on a server is effectively dead. An OSS project lives on as long as there is developer interest in it-- as long as there is even one unpaid amateur trying to make it better. This must be scary for MS because in the past they have tried to marginalize competitors by targeting various companies (Digital, Novell, etc). This approach fundamentally does not work against open source projects because if they are needed then they are used and further developed by some of the end users. This is why I say that Microsoft fundamentally cannot kill us. Of course this assumes an economy free from meaningful gov't intervention. But I do not see much of a threat of the governments legislating a Microsoft standard.

    The great strength of open source is that we can be everywhere and do everything in a way that a proprietary vendor cannot. We have more developer power. We can offer competition to Microsoft in some of their technologies while others among our community can offer fundamentally new technology (Tux, for example). Our strength is in our diversity and in our ability to be completely ubiquitous in ways that Microsoft, although they would like to be, cannot.

    If MS could controvert HTTP (read: Apache) such that IIS would be the only logical choice for web deployments, they would in one flat second and without even thinking about it. It's projects like Apache (and Tomcat, etc.) that are examples of what we need to be doing. Instead of coding up our own implementation of an IIS-like server that can do ASP and FrontPage and whatever, we have our own software.

    I am not sure I see the metaphore as valid. Here we are talking about offering a competition to a new architecture. This is fine and good, and it prevents MS from attaining total market control in these markets. What we NEED is for some people to make implimentations of their stuff while others work on completely new things. We can therefore become a greater force.

    By the time MONO catches on, it will be too late for them to do that much, as it will have hit critical mass. THe tactics that you speak of, Microsoft is already using, IMO, in the form of shared source-- trying to subvert OSS enthusiasm but they cannot compete because their business model, while it scales better, is fundamentally inferior.

    I share many of your distain for some areas of MONO. I am relatively baffled by comments about C# making their tools suddenly better than ours. But there is a need for technologies like C# which allow for rapid development of componant-based programs-- otherwise VB would not be as prominant as it is today. For this reason, I welcome Ximian and wish them the best.

    Sig: Tell all your friends NOT to download the Advanced Ebook Processor:

  • My favorite - Some ASP was looking for someone to manage their data center and was looking for someone with 10+ years in ISP data center management with a national ISP. Umm, gee ya think that narrows the pool down a bit?
  • Your story is inacurrate. DOS 2.0 did introduce a hierarchical file system and a new API that was a lot simpler to use, but was fully backwards compatible with DOS 1.0

    Next time RTFA. All I said about 2.0 was "almost equal to CP/M", which was true. Sure it was slower and buggier but it was much cleaner, unlike 1.0 which was of course a stolen bad ripoff.

    DOS 3.0 did not break any applications.

    Maybe not any that you used. "TSR's were not well understood?" Maybe not by the idiots in Redmond but there were several that I was using that broke after the re-grade. Of course if MS had acted normally or honorably they just would have published the information necessary to support TSR's and kept the API's consistent, but NOOOOOO. MS has never done that. People like me had to reverse-engineer the damn thing, and do it again after every release.

    Your statement on DOS 4.0 is also inacurrate. It introduced a new shell, which few people used, but it was pretty much 3.3 with a few more device drivers.

    d00d, 4.0 introduced FAT16. It broke a bunch of stuff. It broke so much stuff I was still dealing with the fallout when 5.0 was released. (Finally, an editor that works! Except it's just QB with a lobotomy. Won't load without 340KB of RAM. Typical uSoft crap.)

    Windows 95 might have been released earlier. Did anyone care?

    I'd say the millions of folks who have had their data lost and had to reformat hard drives might have wished for a little less eagerness and a little more QC before they received their gift from Redmond. Especially since they had, by that time, almost gotten Win 3.1 into a state that could be described as "working," and instead of finishing it they abandoned it, never finished it, and did everything corporately possible to force their entire customer base to re-grade to '95, even thought it was more at a Win 2.0 level at that time.

    Out of curiosity, exactly how much does Microsoft pay you to come up with this bullshit?

  • The general consensus is that Windows 95 was the most stable release of DOS/Windows there ever was

    And whose fucking consensus might that be?

    I have three CD's in the drawer to my left. They are labelled Win 95b, Win95 upgrade, and Win95SE. (Yes, they're all pirated. Tell 'em to sue me.) I've used all of them and the only one I'd ever consider telling someone to use would be the Win98SE. Why?

    Because they clearly hadn't finished the fucking thing in 1995.

    I also know coworkers who have legitimate copies of upgrade-after-upgrade, who use such pirated copies of 98 SE to format their machines, simply because the train-of-upgrades doesn't work. Oh, it might (if you're lucky) get the computer to boot but it won't be as stable or have all the features or [insert complaint].

    For a few years, Win 3.1 was the preferred "stable release" even though 95 was out. But it got tiresome to tell people to try to find a legal copy of this OS that actually worked (at least if you were gentle with it). You could restrict multitasking and bump up the RAM and 3.1 would run for months. But '95 would crash for no apparent reason when running nothing but the screen saver. (Can you say "we haven't figured out this pre-emptive multitasking shit yet?")

    I am running 98 SE right now on the machine I am typing into. At work we are running actual legal copies of NT 4.0 and one of 2000 (which is, I must admit, amazingly stable, if you have >300Mb of RAM). I have constant problems with NT4 and '98 isn't stable enough for what I do at work, but for casual use it serves, and it supports my wide array of useless crap.

    To say that '95 was the most stable release of anything is simply a lie. '95 was garbage and '95b was garbage with some of the more obvious shit wiped off. '95 really should have been '98 but if uSoft had waited, OS/2 might have grabbed some of their market share, and hey, it doesn't matter how many people they rip off or inconvenience, they have to prevent that at all costs.

  • I'm particularly amused by this claim that Win95 was less stable than Win3.1.

    It was. With certain restrictions, such as no multitasking and lots of RAM, Win 3.1 could run for months or even years without rebooting. We were never able, after much experimenting, to figure out how to make '95 stable. Apparently, unlike 3.1 where the instabilities were triggered by stress, '95 had instabilities which didn't have to be triggered by anything. From our point of view (and you have to realize a lot of what we do is embedded and mission-critical) '95 was a sad joke.

  • You're right, I just hate it when I get a fact wrong in a comment.
  • by localroger ( 258128 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:32PM (#2184541) Homepage
    You remember the movie. Yeah, you mostly remember Sandra Bullock's bust but surely you noticed the computer network in the movie The Net, the one in which every computer in the world magically interoperated so that virtually all data of any type could be accessed through a single back door.

    Remember how funny that was? Remember how funny it was that the Net portrayed in that movie was so fast you could practically do full-motion video? That was a real scream when you got home to log onto this net with your 56K. And now that you've got a cable modem, well, things are looking a bit faster. And now that you have a 1.2 GHz processor and 512 Mb of RAM the scene where Sandra opens about 50 windows whilst seeking out BillG, er, the bad guy's identity doesn't look quite as foolish any more.

    And the idea of using one application to hack all those different real-world apps -- police, jails, drivers' licenses, hospital records, all stored in a completely compatible and accessible form. Baloney, you remember thinking, thinking of all those old WordPerfect 5.1 docs the boss wants you to convert to Word for Windows 6.0.

    Well, it's not so funny any more because that's exactly what .NET is. MS want not only to perfectly integrate all your apps, they want to hold the data on their servers. It's almost as if BillG saw that movie and thought, "gee, what a swell idea."

    I've lost count of the number of apps I've run across written with Access, or SQL, when flat files would have been more efficient and made more sense. But flat files tend to be proprietary in form, distribution, and content. If you've ever gone into an 80's-era accounting system you know what I'm talking about -- hundreds of files with enlightening names like X878190.DAT.

    But put it all on a SQL server, especially one owned by BillG, and things become much clearer. Every record is tagged as to type and you can much more quickly work out what data go where. It wouldn't be perfect, but tricks like switching the photos on a couple of driver's licenses would become much simpler (assuming, of course, that you go for the last piece of the puzzle and install your back door).

    Microsoft has the ultimate history of irresponsibility. Since their first days in business they've specialized in producing slow, buggy, unfinished code which they've rammed down our throats through brilliant (and often illegal) marketing tactics. Now they want to centralize all the data in the world under their own aegis. Excuse me while I go puke.

  • Now why you think this immediately means Microsoft wants to hold all of your personal data on their servers, I have no clue.

    Because they said so in a press release. This wasn't about .NET, it was about one of their other efforts -- Hailstorm IIRC.

    But like any service, it is something you subscribe to and decide to participate with. Microsoft's hope is that you'll find it conveninient and want to use it. If not, then well what are you worried about?

    Well, it's like this. I have credit cards. Now there is no reason on Earth I need credit cards; I'm debt-free and have plenty of money in checking. I have credit cards because of the absurdly large number of things you can't do without them. Like rent a car, reserve a hotel room, or get stuff delivered next-day when you order it online. Microsoft is positioning itself to be the next "credit card," only moreso because they will invade every area of life that involves a computer. Do I get to "opt out" of the police, hospitals, fire stations, ambulance services, ADT (who write paychecks for my employer), or my employer placing itself in Microsoft's grand scheme of things? Of course not. So as in the movie, if BillG really were to put a backdoor into the architecture, he could create a great deal of mischief for me despite my aversion to his wares.

    They certainly have a history of producing high quality software. I don't know what software you've been using that you consider low quality.

    Well, it's like this.

    1970's

    • several buggy and slow BASIC interpreters which were so bad I had to constantly resort to machine language to do simple tasks.

    1980's

    • DOS 1.0, basically stolen
    • DOS 2.0, nearly equal to CP/M
    • DOS 3.0, broke half the apps that ran on 2.0
    • DOS 4.0, broke 3/4 of the apps that ran on 3.0 AND was a memory hog AND full of bugs (but then, "DOS isn't done until LOTUS won't run")
    • Their first series of compilers, which were unaware of the 8088 failure to complete string copy operations after an interrupt, and so crashed randomly
    1990's
    • Windows 95, released long before it was ready for prime time simply to counter OS/2
    • NT 4.0, slower and buggier than 3.0
    • 32-bit APIs partially documented and then a lot of that documentation is wrong

    It's true that they have done a few things right, especially w/r/t Microsoft Office. But I could have told you in 1978 that their corporate style wasn't capable of developing a stable operating system. Early versions of Word tended to blow up a lot too, but then they didn't tend to take the whole universe with them when they did.

    You then claim that this software is rammed down users throats. Are you just gullible? I've never had software rammed down my throat.

    You've never received a document as a .DOC after you had multiply and explicitly demanded .RTF because of the totally unnecessary virus threat caused by their irresponsible security defaults, you've never had to install a Windoze partition on a machine just to run some app that is unavailable in non-Windoze version which turns out to be indespensible either to you or a coworker, you've never...

    Wait a minute. Of course you haven't been forced to because you're so ignorant you actually like this shit. Never mind.

  • by motox ( 312416 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:15PM (#2184544) Homepage
    Monkey see monkey do... =) Why should people use a bad copy of a bad software ?
  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @02:22PM (#2184545)
    without MS you wouldn't have seen the rise of computer technology and broadband availability... they made it easy to get on and use a computer so that people would buy them, and that fueled the market so faster tech would be developed and rolled out.

    And I suppose without Microsoft, we'd all still be using mechanical typewriters? Get real. If Microsoft hadn't been there, other companies would have filled the demand. In fact, the way things actually happened is that other companies did do all the innovation and create the new markets, only to be copied and then outmaneuvered by Microsoft on the business and PR front. Microsoft has yet to come up with a product that they haven't copied from someone else.

    The overall effect of Microsoft on the industry has been to hold us back technologically by at least a decade compared to what would have happened in an efficient and competitive market. For that, we shouldn't be grateful, we should be furious. And it's particularly depressing that now that they have eliminated all alternatives, they are successfully rewriting history, as your post shows.

  • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:42PM (#2184546)
    Microsoft will probably tell these sites that for every sale they lose to a high-minded geek, they'll gain ten sales from Joe Sixpacks who like the single logon. Not to mention MS marketing parnerships pointing customers to their sites.

    In this case, MS would probably be right.

  • Please consider this possibility -- a full press (pun intended :) critical TW media blitz against MS. Critical news stories. Investigative reports. Editorials. Might not that have an effect?

    While it might initially impact Microsoft negatively, it would provide some seriously high-profile fuel for an antitrust suit against AOL-TW. Microsoft could simply whisper into the ear of one of the politicians currently wrapped around its little finger and get the ball rolling. AOL-TW would be nuts to try something like that. I think they've gotten dangerously close enough with the accusations of discriminating against competing ISP's for advertising space.

    GreyPoopon
    --

  • That is just about the dumbest, most biased statement I've ever read, even for Slashdot. :)
  • with a single license change

    Hence the reason someone called MS a bait-and-switch tactic waiting to happen.

    <OT>As for that Flamebait stuff, I think moderators sometimes don't know exactly what they are doing when they are granted access, hence those few screw up good comments to articles. Thankfully there are enough moderators who do know what they're doing to cover up the bad ones. It's just luck my post wass modded down.</OT>

  • From my post: suggests alternatives to using Passport [...] for authentication

    Doesn't that simply verify your statement:

    web services and so on DO NOT NEED PASSPORT ?

  • by jeffy124 ( 453342 ) on Sunday July 29, 2001 @01:02PM (#2184554) Homepage Journal
    What this guy has done is actually look at the .NET API and see how it actually will work when it comes time for .NET to go live. He suggests alternatives to using Passport as a form of authentcation through the use of SSL and HTTPS. On the other hand, I still follow from the first article of MS's attempt of a possible bait-and-switch tactic to make Mono incompatible with Passport by having MS make a quick change to Passport and dropping support for Mono.
  • without MS you wouldn't have seen the rise of computer technology and broadband availability...

    they made it easy to get on and use a computer so that people would buy them, and that fueled the market so faster tech would be developed and rolled out.

    passport allows someone to put in all their information at one spot, and just login with their username for it without having to re-enter their personal information. it's easy. doesn't mean that it's a good idea though.

    everything will not magically become microsoft controlled if you don't scream about how awful it is, guys. there's always going to be people using other solutions, and it's sad to see everyone down on what is a viable solution to many, many people.

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