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Microsoft Software

India Cool to Microsoft Source Code Offer 146

indianseason writes "Economic Times, India reports on the failure of Microsoft to sign up the Indian government as part of the Government Security Program. The Print Edition carries a comment by an official: "... there was tremendous pressure on us to sign an MoU (memorandum of understanding) which would allow Microsoft access to all TDIL products (Technology Development for Indian Languages)." The government has gone ahead and put all the project initiatives in the public domain. TDIL recently released Indix : an engine for rendering Indian languages on linux."
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India Cool to Microsoft Source Code Offer

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  • by Tsu Dho Nimh ( 663417 ) <abacaxi@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:30AM (#7102861)
    there was tremendous pressure on us to sign an MoU (memorandum of understanding) which would allow Microsoft access to all TDIL products (Technology Development for Indian Languages)." The government has gone ahead and put all the project initiatives in the public domain."

    They can still access all the technology ...

    • The problem is that if they hadn't, M$ would have found a way to lock it up and prevent anyone from ever using it. Putting it in the public domain allows other OSes like Linux, Mac OS and the BSDs to utilize it.
    • "Second, the GSP entails involvement of the Microsoft team for rectification of any flaw detected in the Company's software. Any such correction carried out would be the intellectual property of the company. "

      Free bugfixes, no IP, Still paying too much. That and the fact that there are no major Indian software houses that have engaged Microsoft in any previous trust-building exercises.

      Bad deal all around.
      -B
      • Since Microsoft's code has repeatedly (ad nauseam) been demonstrated to be as full of holes as a Swiss cheese and apparently almost infinitely susceptible to viruses crafted by the most juvenile of script-kiddies...

        What value is implicit in being able to read their source code?

    • Clearly, that's not the problem. If the Open-sourcing of TDIL's work was under GNU, then they can't use it line-for-line without some sort of *other* agreement with the authors. (well, actually, they might... but that would imply some sort of liability. I hope it doesn't happen, though, because I'd hate to see WWIII start between Microsoft and India.)

      That also doesn't mean that the MOU won't eventually be signed. Rather, it means that the Indian Government is very cool to the idea right now.

      Not hard t
    • They can still access all the technology ...
      But they cannot copy it into their own software and then let the original starve; that is what Microsoft always tries to do. (See Java, see Stacker, etc.)
    • by flakac ( 307921 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:41AM (#7102944)
      They can still access all the technology ...

      Uh, no, actually they can't. MS engineers are specifically prohibited from accessing much open-source software (in specific GPL'ed code), without first obtaining permission from the legal department. This is to avoid "contamination" of their source code base.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Since when is Public Domain = GPL?

        • by Anonymous Coward
          why is this modded down? the gpl has restrictions; public domain means anyone can do anything to it.
          • mod it up then!
          • > public domain means anyone can do anything to it.
            No ! Public domain doesnt mean that anyone can do ANYTHING on it. Parks and roads are in pubic domain. Does it mean that you can occupy some space of it and start use it for your commercial purpose ? . Any public property has some restrictions attached to it. And these restrictions are necessary to KEEP it in the public domain. GPL is also also like that. It IS in the public domain and you can use it for anything except making it proprietory which is th
            • I'm sorry but I couldn't resist...
              Parks and roads are in pubic domain
              I have my next pick-up line... "Can I drive my 18 wheeler on your road?"
            • > Parks and roads are in pub[l]ic domain.

              Depends where you live. In the UK, for example, roads are most certainly not public property; the street is a public right of way, but you do not have the right to stand still in it; that's a criminal offence known as 'obstructing the Queen's highway'.

              Public Domain, as a legal term applied to software, means "not copyrighted". GPLed software is copyrighted, and therefore is not in the public domain.
            • Bzzzt. Wrong. Try again. Public domain in this case refers to copyright, where it has a very specific meaning: it is the exact opposite of copyright. If a work is in the public domain, it is NOT copyrighted, and no copyright restrictions apply to it. Putting a work in the public domain means you are explicitly relinquishing your copyright protections. If you want to use a public domain work for commercial purposes, you can, as much as you want, including "making it properietary" if you are able to prevent o
      • Hmm...it would depend. We are forbidden to look at any GPL'ed code. BSD code is a grey area, and we need to consult with legal. If the indic language support is truly in the public domain, then we can certainly look at it.

        That said, I have trouble with the base story. We've had full support for all the Indic (Devanagari-based) languages since Windows 2000 and Office 2000 shipped. So I don't see why on Earth we'd need to license the Indian technology.
        • by xanadu-xtroot.com ( 450073 ) <xanadu@NosPaM.inorbit.com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:17AM (#7103195) Homepage Journal
          We are forbidden to look at any GPL'ed code. BSD code is a grey area, and we need to consult with legal.

          Shouldn't you be fixing some bugs and not browsing /. if that all truly be the case??
        • That said, I have trouble with the base story. We've had full support for all the Indic (Devanagari-based) languages since Windows 2000 and Office 2000 shipped. So I don't see why on Earth we'd need to license the Indian technology.

          Microsoft needs to do this to be able to embrace-extend-extinguish it.
        • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @10:05AM (#7103544)
          as it contains code licensed under the GPL.


          /*
          * Structure of a directory entry
          */
          #define EXT2_NAME_LEN 255

          Copright Remy Card, Linus Torvalds

          Now that all the MS engineers are gone, I'll continue... :-)

          Hmm...it would depend. We are forbidden to look at any GPL'ed code. BSD code is a grey area, and we need to consult with legal. If the indic language support is truly in the public domain, then we can certainly look at it.

          Don't you feel that this is a ridiculous rule? Ok - if you read GPL'd code, you are now in the position that anything you write of similar functionality is "at risk" of being contaminated by this knowledge. I have to be careful not to view, say, any code in Postgresql as it might affect any coding decisions I might make in the future (I can feel someone about to post some Postgresql code in reply to this ...). That said, almost every piece of code contains the same ideas - maths, caching strategies, data transport. Coming from a scientific background, being able to build on the vast store of knowledge of those who have gone before me is a natural process. Having to walk the boundaries of copyright law, patents and other legal straight-jackets is a confining and ultimately unproductive method.

          Just where would we be today if we could treat source code in the same way we treat mathematics?

          Cheers,

          Toby Haynes

          • I have to be careful not to view, say, any code in Postgresql as it might affect any coding decisions I might make in the future

            Shouldn't be a problem, as Postgresql is BSD licensed?

          • Just where would we be today if we could treat source code in the same way we treat mathematics?

            I rather think the proprietary experiment has provided some valuable information. It has demonstrated that for information systems the best model of development is the peer reviewed open model used until recently in science. Of course now the trend is back to the guild mentality of the middle ages.

        • Regarding the assertion: We've had full support for all the Indic (Devanagari-based) languages since Windows 2000 and Office 2000 shipped. [YU Nicks NE Way]

          I seem to recall that only a subset of Indic languages use the Devanagari script. I know Bengali doesn't and I don't believe any of the Dravidian languages do. My uninformed guess would be this knocks out half of India. So, I can see what MS may have to gain from this kind of deal.

          Anyone have any information on this?

          • Bengali, Kannada, and Tamil use Devanagari-like scripts. They have similar character-merger rules, and we support them as well as Hindi-like languages.

            • by anandrajan ( 86137 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:15AM (#7104207) Homepage
              Aaah, finally something about which I may actually know something.

              I speak and write Tamil. Characters are almost never merged in Tamil and at least to me, the script looks totally different from Devanagari scripts. This statement should hold for other South Indian languages such as Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and a Pakistani Dravidian language Brahui (unless it uses a Devanagiri or other imported script).

              Perhaps the parent poster meant something else by character-merger which I didn't understand. Obviously there could be similarities due to proximate evolution which could be leveraged.
              • What he means is that there are conjunct consonants ('vottulu' in Telugu, 'adha-akshar' in Hindi) in all Brahmi-derived languages and hence, the rules for rendering is virtually the same in all of them. (Helped by the fact that

                Which, incidentally, is great news for developers, but end-users like you wouldn't be too bothered about it all (unless you want to transliterate between languages or learn a new one).

                But he's wrong in saying there's support for Bengali on WinXP. As this press release [microsoft.com] states, MS sai

              • Bengali, Kannada, and Tamil use Devanagari-like scripts. They have similar character-merger rules, and we support them as well as Hindi-like languages.


                Tamil does not have character merging that I know of, and even in the odd case that there is, there are work-arounds.

                However, the poster could be talking about phonetic modifiers -- converting something like Th to something like Th-ee etc. In that case, you would not quite be merging the characters, but then for a novice that term would do just fine.
                • Being pedantic here, but it's 'Brahmi-derived' scripts, and this extends to most of the scripts in India, Sri Lanka, Burma and South East Asia (think Thai, Laotian, Khmer, Burmese, Mon... you'll be amazed as to how closely 'ga' in Burmese resembles 'ga' in Kannada/Telugu). Brahmi, as many know, was used in the fifth-century, about the time there was a massive cultural spread of sorts.

                  'Devnagari-based' languages, then, is a misnomer; while, like I said, it's convinient to talk about Brahmi-derived languages

              • Blame Kannada!

                (Ok, I've had too much root beer. I'll sit down and shut up.)

        • Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by The Cydonian ( 603441 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:10AM (#7104150) Homepage Journal
          We've had full support for all the Indic (Devanagari-based) languages since Windows 2000 and Office 2000 shipped.
          You probably know this, but let me clarify it for others:-

          Win2k had support for exactly two Indic scripts, Devanagari and Tamil. WinXP has support for four more, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati and Gurmukhi. Till date, MS does not have support for Malayalam, Oriya, Bengali, Sinhala, Burmese or other Indic (that's 'South Asian', not just 'Indian', or 'Devanagari-based') languages.

          So I don't see why on Earth we'd need to license the Indian technology.

          And even in that, it's pretty shoddy; as anyone who's typed in Telugu/Kannada in MS Office will tell you, there's a mysterious space that gets added after the end of each word. Telugu/Kannada characters mysteriously change into boxes every now and then. Again, mysteriously, {Telugu, Kannada} characters change into boxes when placed along with {Tamil, Devanagari} characters on MSN. That's only TWO of the bugs I've sighted so far; trust me, there are many more.

          Your company knows about it and all others; I reported it by email to one of your personnel. Understandably, it's not one of your priorities; obviously, you have other, bigger markets to garner. Which, of course, is precisely the point here; if the source is open, concerned techie Indians can easily look into it and implement according to their needs and schedules, and would not be dependent on some faceless corporation's benevolence.

          While I'm not sure it was Indix that I saw in action, but I'll say this:- I've seen Kannada and Devnagari in Emacs, and it's a much much MUCH better rendering than what WinXP offers.

          And oh, before I end, you still use the Inscript keyboard layout and complex rendering algos in your Indic implementations, don't you? Guess who developed that, hmmm.

        • The reason is Devanagari is only one of the many different scripts used in India. May be you should look at this...
          http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/scri pts.html
      • MS engineers are specifically prohibited from accessing much open-source software (in specific GPL'ed code), without first obtaining permission from the legal department.
        What a contrast to all the other, non-evil companies where developers are encouraged to reuse third-party code willy-nilly without having to care about the legal consequences.
      • by McAddress ( 673660 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:30AM (#7103284)
        This is to avoid "contamination" of their source code base.
        Imagine Darl McBride insisting all Windows users pay $699 to use it.
      • in specific GPL'ed code

        And how is GPL'd code Public Domain?

      • OK, thanks for your contribution to /. misinformation.

        MS has used considerable amounts of BSD code in the past, and still does so, for a recent example(last week) see:
        http://www.deadly.org/article.php3?sid=2003092709 0 008 [deadly.org]

        You can also just do a strings of the ftp command on windows, for more details:
        http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node=BSD%20Cod e%20in%20Windows [everything2.com]

        The original windows TCP/IP stack was lifted directly from BSD too... and I'm sure there are many other examples that we will never know
        • MS has used considerable amounts of BSD code in the past,

          Congradulations! You don't understand the differences between BSD and GPL.

          With the BSD license, MS is allowed to take the code and put it into their proprietary products. They can, and do, because it's easy and cheap, and often has good results (for them).

          GPL, on the other hand, would "infect" their source and require them to GPL whatever program they put GPL code into. The idea that MS might be forced into releasing the windows codebase as GPL sc
      • "MS engineers are specifically prohibited from accessing much open-source software (in specific GPL'ed code), without first obtaining permission from the legal department. This is to avoid "contamination" of their source code base."

        Thanks, I didn't know that.

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:37AM (#7102923)
    The Indian government really managed to get the problem with microsofts shared source initiative. The only thing it does is create a constituency in a government or organization to promote microsoft products. It allows microsoft to get a bunch of your influential people, sign binding agreements with microsoft, and then get the potemkin village treatment of microsofts source.

    Nearly ten years have gone by with Security being a high priority at microsoft, look at the results.
  • by ezh ( 707373 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:41AM (#7102945)

    According to recent talk of Richard M. Stallman at CERN [www.cern.ch], governments do not get Windows source code as such, but rather a means to look at it on Microsoft site.

    There is not way to determine whether what they are looking at is what really running on their computers, thus defeating the whole point of having that access anyway

    • To be frank, the old real way they can know that the source code they have is actually running on their machine in unadulterated form, is to compile the source and then use this version on all of their machines.

      Whilst I guess a government could insist on this, reinstalling all machines after they'd be bought, presumably with Windows pre-installed, from the supplier, it would still be an undertaking.
      • I am in a relatively small organization. We re-image every PC we buy with a standard image of Windows 2000 Pro. Large organizations do this *all the time*.

        The undertaking is defining and maintaining the image. Re-imaging new PCs is trivial.
      • by ojQj ( 657924 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:43AM (#7103382)
        This would only do it if you could also be sure your compiler doesn't have a backdoor of its own. Since I doubt their code builds anywhere other than in Visual Studio, even building the code yourself doesn't give you any guarantees.

        Disclaimer: Although clever, the idea of using a compiler to insure security holes isn't my own...

        • The idea of compiler being infected with malicious code which would 'pass on' two all the programs that are compiled by it (even a new version of compiler!) is not new indeed ;) But I personally think its for very paranoid people only, like Natonal Security Agencies of different countries ;)

          Besides, it's a lot easier to reverse-engineer the compiler to check for malicious code than the whole Windows.
          • But this is even worse, since the classic argument is that even with access to the source of the compiler, you can still be trojaned.

            In this case, you won't even have source for the compiler, which makes it trivial to trojan.
            • But this is even worse, since the classic argument is that even with access to the source of the compiler, you can still be trojaned.

              In this case, you won't even have source for the compiler, which makes it trivial to trojan.

              Considering how large the compiler in question is, and the fact we are talking about Microsoft here, it is almost certainly trojaned in some way. :P

            • > even with access to the source of the compiler, you can still be trojaned.

              Okay. So we develop, from scratch, a compiler capable of recompiling MS Visual Studio from source. For safety, we'd better write our compiler by hand in machine code, so we're not depending on _any_ "first compiler" which might be trojaned.

              Now all we need is a secure hardware platform...
        • Microsoft builds the OS with the "build" environment, which ships with the DDK. Basically build.exe read dirs, sources, and makefiles (but the makefile just includes a master makefile from the ddk, it is not a make-compatible makefile) and kicks off nmake. So yes, they don't build the OS (or other large projects) with Visual Studio.
    • by pirhana ( 577758 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:56AM (#7103043)
      Actually anybody with common sense can understand this fact. How many millions of lines of codes are there for windows and all the related software? just getting a "peep" in to this wont help you to determine whether you have back doors in it or anything for that matter. This is yet another hog wash from Microsoft. Software is not an object of voyeurism. You need to compile it and run it and look in to the source code extensively to get to know about it well. I am genuinely surprised that they got countries like China to subscribe this BS at all.
    • root@localhost# mozilla &
      ...
      www.microsoft.com/sourcecode
      ...

      <.<
      >.>

      ^C
      CONTROL-TAB
      root@localhost# kwrite &
      ^V
      file>save as>windows.cpp
      file>exit
      root@localhost# gcc -o

      *phone ringing*

      "Hunny, its fo you! Darl Mc...dyke?"

  • by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:45AM (#7102971) Journal
    Third, as the sources pointed out, if Microsoft's latest versions are so secure, they should be able to get third party assessment.

    Excellent point; and Microsoft should lose no time in calling up a well-trusted third-party security company to show that indeed Microsoft products are secure. Of course, it had better be a trusted company, because they don't want their source code getting out.

    Hmm... I wonder if I should send my resume to an industry-leading security company, such as @stake, immediately. I'm into document preparation, not security, but I should be able to learn the language reasonably quickly. ;->

    • Of course, it had better be a trusted company, because they don't want their source code getting out.

      And really, with a well-known security corp, trust should be semi-inherent to the name. no well-known company would want the bad reputation associated with illegally distribution MS's source code, and they definately wouldn't want the pounding-into-bankrupty that would follow being hammered into the ground by MS lawyers should the do such a thing.

      You might worry about rogue employees, but I think a repu
    • Hmm... I wonder if I should send my resume to an industry-leading security company, such as @stake, immediately.

      Well @stake does have an opening [slashdot.org] now. However I pretty sure that when you did find security holes in Windows, pointing them out would be detremental to your job security.
  • Which Way? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:49AM (#7102996) Homepage Journal

    It will be interesting to see how the Indian government goes on this one.

    TDIL has value in making computers more accessible to much of their population. For some, this is a money-making opportunity to charge for access to the technology that will be deployed to a billion potential customers. For others, this is an opportunity to speed up introduction of technology to the country. It could be both.

    They could go with something like a GPL on TDIL that MS would detest, but would enable free software development in India, which later could be used as a platform by commercial firms in India for specific applications. But the government would not reap any immediate financial gain from this; only the long term gains from an increased tax base of a larger, faster growing economy in general.

    They could go with selling out to MS entirely, which would give the government more money in the short term, but would impede internal software development because it would necessitate all the Indian software developers acquiring MS specific tools to do their jobs and to compete with MS. Deployment of IT in the country would be less because it would be limited to those who could afford it.

    Possibly going with a BSD license would provide the biggest initial boost in software development in India, but the long term benefits are less clear.

    Personally, I'd welcome the many intelligent Indian programmers to the world of FOSS. Their contributions would help to make for improved quality and continued low cost for free software. Indigenous businesses in India would be in a better position to take more advantage of information technology and its productivity gains if there was both free software and many local programmers available for customizing it for business needs.

    • Re:Which Way? (Score:5, Informative)

      by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @10:15AM (#7103635) Homepage Journal
      The Indian government would like to foster the growth of local computer companies with minimal employment requirements. They'd like it to be possible for an Indian company to be able to hire programmers who don't know any foriegn languages, which means that the computers have to support Indian languages conveniently. The people who produce the necessary software commercially, however, are likely to be competitors of such companies, and thus have no incentive to add this functionality. That's why the Indian govenrment had to produce it in the first place. At this point, they want to minimize the barriers to inclusion, so a BSD license is most suitable. The situation is much like that for Vorbis libraries, where even RMS has said that the BSD license is preferrable, since it helps to promote the free standard, which is more important than keeping the implementation free when embedded.
    • It will be interesting to see how the Indian government goes on this one.

      TDIL has value in making computers more accessible to much of their population. For some, this is a money-making opportunity to charge for access to the technology that will be deployed to a billion potential customers. For others, this is an opportunity to speed up introduction of technology to the country. It could be both.

      They could go with something like a GPL on TDIL that MS would detest, but would enable free software developm

  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:53AM (#7103022) Homepage Journal
    to recap an an earlier story [slashdot.org] about the Indian President advocating OSS over Windows.

    "I am sure this is a first. The President of India has urged Indian IT Professionals to develop and specialise in OSS rather than Windows. To be noted is that he made the speech (look for the "Think Different" section) at the famous Indian Institute of Information Technology (India's foremost academic institution equivalent to MIT). Also he reminisces that his meeting with Mr.Gates were difficult due to differing views concerning OSS and Security. What should be noted about him is that he is not a politician, but a scientist and an independent thinker foremost."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:54AM (#7103030)
    One would think that on slashdot the typical submitter would understand that publically available != public domain:

    This software is copyright (C) 2000-2001, NCST

    That ain't public domain. There's more, of course:

    All Rights Reserved except as specified below. Permission is hereby granted to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software (or portions thereof) for any purpose, without fee, subject to these conditions:

    (1) If any part of the source code for this software is distributed, then this README file must be included, with this copyright and no-warranty notice unaltered; and any additions, deletions, or changes to the original files must be clearly indicated in accompanying documentation.

    (2) If only executable code is distributed, then the accompanying documentation must state that "this software is based in part on the work of the IndiX system".

    (3) Permission for use of this software is granted only if the user accepts full responsibility for any undesirable consequences; the authors accept NO LIABILITY for damages of any kind.

    These conditions apply to any software derived from or based on the IndiX code, not just to the unmodified library. If you use our work, you ought to acknowledge us.

    That looks an awful lot like a BSD license...and is obviously not GPL!

  • Indix? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:59AM (#7103063)
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Pango supposed to be able to render and edit Indian text correctly these days? I'm certain I've seen screenshots if GTK2 apps doing that
    • Re:Indix? (Score:4, Informative)

      by rocketfairy ( 16253 ) <nmt2002 AT columbia DOT edu> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:12AM (#7103142) Homepage
      Pango is still pretty ugly in Devanagri (the Hindi script); Indix seems a little better at displaying conjoined letters, which are a big pain. I'm not sure of the status, but Pango was working on complex text layout, so the framework should eventually be better at laying out Devanagri.
  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:03AM (#7103089)
    "Cool" as in "agreeable to"?

    Or "cool" as in "less interested?"

    Yeah, RTFA. But what a lousy headline.
    • "Became less interested" would require the word be "cools" (since "India" is singular). This is "cool" = "not particularly interested". The difference may seem small, but one is a verb, and the other an adjective. Additionally, the adjective "cool" could also mean "agrees with; not bothered by; supports" (which it doesn't seem to in this case).

      I agree, it's a poor title.
    • Why is it confusing? Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the English language can see that 'cool' applies to India - hence it can only mean not interested. If you wanted to say it was "agreeable to", you would have something like "India thinks MS source code offer [is] cool".

      If MS Source code offer had been anthropomorphic, of course the headline might mean that the offer thought India was cool...
    • Dude!- this is Slashdot..

      MS - BAD

      LINUX - GOOD

      get the picture?
    • I think That person who made this headline show this headline is actually saracastic headline. Otherwise, It is bad headline then.

      MOO!
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:03AM (#7103091) Homepage Journal
    Isnt that a bit on the illegal side?

    "here i sell you a tool, but i get to look at EVERYTHING you do, and profit from it, regardless of its relation to the orginal tool.."

    Only a monopoly would even have the balls to demand such a concept.

    They need to be closed. Im not for governmental influence, but they have gotten out of hand and need to be terminated as a company.
  • MS is hot on OSS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:23AM (#7103240) Journal
    They have been all over the place picking up all the OSS and coding initives that they can
    Project mercury was brought under .net, TRON yesterday.
    I wonder what China promised them?
  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <splisken06.email@com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:24AM (#7103246)
    The article suggests that if the code was so secure, it could pass review by a third-party certifier and that would be sufficient.

    What organization is:
    a) smart enough to properly assess the security of the Microsoft code and
    b) independent enough to publicly fail them if their code wasn't up to snuff and
    c) acceptable to Microsoft?

    Without all three, you got nothing.

  • The Real Story (Score:1, Insightful)

    by rabel ( 531545 )
    For starters, while the Redmond Giant had entered into similar trust-building agreements with global industrial houses, there was not a single Indian company on the list. "If you believe India is a software leader, why not gain industry confidence first?" is the query by policy-makers.

    The real story is that the Indian gov't wants their software development industry to be included in the deals that Microsoft makes with "the big boys." I suspect we'll see a flurry of activity with Indian sofware companies
  • What would you do if your job required you to study MS Windows source? Even touching the code with a 10 foot pole is sure to entail signing The NDA From Hell. Even letting my name share a web page with the word "Linux" would make me nervous.
  • by crazyphilman ( 609923 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @10:36AM (#7103806) Journal
    Would you go with Microsoft? Probably not.

    Consider this from the point of view of the Indian government. They can:

    A) Let Microsoft come in with low initial prices, taking over the Indian software market and then exerting absolute control later on, or

    B) Assign teams at whichever Indian college has the best research facilities, provide them copies of Linux and the BSDs, and have them roll out a purely Indian Linux and/or BSD that can be used across the board as an Indian National O/S. It could be completely pre-vetted for security holes, OpenBSD style, and it could be engineered to support all Indian languages natively alongside English, instead of having them as add-ons. Also it could be used throughout the entire Indian infrastructure, freeing them from any reliance on foreign concerns. Updates could come from the team that rolled it out in the first place. Couple this with a cheap homegrown computer, of course...

    Seriously. If you were in the Indian government, what would YOU do?

    • I also wonder if this has implications for hiring Indian programmers at MS. If the initial liberal licensing results in the code finding its way into all sorts of GPL'd code, how attractive/detrimental is that to MS that a goodly portion of Indian programmers would have GPL'd code rolling around in their heads.

      Just a thought.


    • "Seriously. If you were in the Indian government, what would YOU do?"

      I'd place Indian professors into various universities that have MS source licenses.

      I'd make it blatantly clear to them that they are spies, and that they will be executed for treason if the nature of their mission is leaked. I would use them as tools of espionage.

      At the same time, I would use my existing spies who already have infiltrated MS and every other software company, to the same purposes that they are being used currently.

      And
  • by LuYu ( 519260 )

    I thought the Pango project [pango.org], and therefore Gnome 2.x, already supported Devanagari [pango.org]. If that is true, why is this legacy Gnome 1.x project being announced now?

    I think this webpage is quite old. The IndiX screenshots are from XFree86 4.0.3. The Netscape screenshots are definitely old, too. How could TDIL have "recently released" this?

  • Ok they show you some code. Do they actually provide it in a form that can be built so you can be sure it isn't some kind of almost the same but we've removed some essential sneaky bits?

    With GPL (and other licensed stuff) you can definitely build it and use only your own build of it.

  • i hope other countries see the GSP as India did
  • Regarding your comments claiming IndiX being recently released, I think it is not being maintained anymore. Recently I sent a query to the e-mail address provided on IndiX web page and it bounced back to me claiming that the user does not exist.

    There has been no new version of IndiX for quite some time. They had not tried to merge it with latest X sources. It is more like a technology demonstrator than a finished product maintained by an active community.

    I find pango to be more suitable for the needs of I

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