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[P]
Spread the Word: Patch Rejected

By exa in Technology
Fri May 04, 2001 at 11:08:57 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Craig Mundie of Microsoft has delivered a controversial speech which has caused large media coverage.

Briefly, the speech explains MS's alternative to open source while, without surprise, belittling it.


Of interest is ESR's "pre-emptive strike" on the speech which has predicted its aim and content reasonably well.

I call to free software developers and advocates to think about this speech.

I suppose as one post on another discussion site indicated this propaganda shows how dearly MS is in need to evade free software (or open source if you'd prefer the term). It *is* propaganda, because I think every free software developer here will be able to recognize that the article deviates intentionally from the truth, distorting the facts to tune the audience to a new state of mind that will benefit the greedy corporation. You may as well call it FUD.

This is still the bazaar versus the cathedral. MS tries very hard to maintain its monopoly by whatever means available to them. They have now identified their enemy: source that they cannot adapt in their products without opening the source. In other words "free software".

They are associating free software with businesses based on free software and stupid "freebie" .com companies to confuse the reader, presumably managers who are not always familiar with these issues. They are _pretending_ to support an intellectual commons, yet *denying* the very thing that is the strongest supporter of the intellectual commons as Lawrence Lessig put very well in 'Code' : free software movement.

They would like to harness the benefits of open source development without adhering to open source licenses: distributed bug reporting and fixing, large scale peer review, folding of innovations from different sources in software where needed, etc. How clever! Note that this article also supports "copyrights, patents or trade secrets"; surely a software patent is a monopoly's best friend to prevent free software developers from employing the often trivial or published results in their code.

Now about Microsoft's version of the history of the Internet.

MUNDIE: Phase 1: In the early 90s it was all about static information.

Yes, static information like USENET for example!? Most of the protocols, their implementations and important systems software were already written by then. Which were done in the true spirit of the Internet that crowned openness and freedom. And they are regarded as being all about "static information"? This phase may be the least interesting from the viewpoint of the vision-free casual .com manager, but it's the most interesting one for the content of the article since it is about source code. If you don't study how this "phase" was accomplished, then you will never conceive the nature of Internet's code evolution.

MUNDIE: Phase 2: The late 90s saw the birth of the online transaction and the promise of Internet-based business models.

The fact that you can do commerce over the Internet. Which was again made possible by the co-operation of many entities that wanted to enable secure transactions.

MUNDIE: Phase 3 is what is being worked on now. It's all about connecting the currently separate complex systems of information and transactions and bringing that power to the individual in a readily accessible format on a variety of devices. **snapped propaganda here** heavy investment in research and development is going to be required in order for businesses and individuals to see the benefits of phase 3. The technology industry has to prove its commitment to privacy and security in order to encourage user acceptance of the technologies. ** propaganda goes on**.

So, although bulk of the Internet was achieved by means other than "Commercial Software Model", this last phase which is the realization of .NET to lock *every* helpless poor computer user to their ugly mess of code needs it. By enslaving them even more securely; making their everyday applications depend on some monthly subscription. And I think he is very correct in saying that this will require a monopoly and its community of "dependents" and NDA signers! For generally useful software that will demand ridiculous payments is not in the agenda of free software! Surely, there is a lot of research and development put in MS products, for they have thousands of very high quality programmers. And of course, that innovation cannot be replicated or superseded by thousands of free software developers and thousands that are joining our ranks every year !? :) A play we have seen before.

This is the rational part of the whole article. Next is the least informed attack on free software ever witnessed. That Shared Source is a better thing than OSS because it leads to unhealthy forking, instability, hindering businesses, security risks and can force precious IP into public domain. Each one of these points is *totally* *wrong*; you may find refutations already on the Net and most of you will know immediately how misleading they are. The saints and advocates of free software: spread the word how untrue these sayings are.

As this were not sufficient, the article concludes with MS's commitment to an intellectual commons by their contributions to public standards. (to follow up from where I left at the beginning of the post) Nevertheless, code itself, that runs these machines and the Internet *cannot* be part of the intellectual commons according to Mundie. Tax-paid universities and government institutions should better contribute to the MS code base rather than the intellectual commons, don't you think?

Fortunately, free software is already here and the more that they speak of us the stronger we get.

Thanks for your patch to free software licenses, but I believe that will be ultimately rejected.

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Spread the Word: Patch Rejected | 65 comments (61 topical, 4 editorial, 1 hidden)
Newspeak (3.33 / 6) (#3)
by WinPimp2K on Thu May 03, 2001 at 10:38:52 PM EST

I agree that this "patch" should be rejected.

Please remember that Microsoft has redefined the term innovation. They use the term very deliberately - and very subtly. The purpose of the speech is not to convince us that open source and standards are bad, but it is part of a campaign to convince the venture capitalists, and entrepeneurs that OSS is the way to lose money.

Innovation is not progress, it is not developing new things. Innovation is making damn sure that if any money is going to be made - it will be made by Microsoft first.

Very subtle indeed (none / 0) (#4)
by exa on Thu May 03, 2001 at 11:02:56 PM EST

Equating OSS to unfortunate businesses of the .com fallout will cause great fear among managers. If a manager buys this, he will refuse to install Apache, and use IIS instead, he will think using OSS will lead them to losses. It may definitely change the minds of some corporates considering a switch to OSS.

The other newspeak is how they say Shared Source is better for everybody, better than GPL since it is free of GPL's flaws. That Shared Source is the way to support "independent commercial software" which will lead us to "phase 3" of the Internet. Well, these people are rewriting history. Literally.

[ Parent ]

Rewriting history (5.00 / 1) (#6)
by spaceghoti on Fri May 04, 2001 at 01:02:50 AM EST

Unfortunately, they've got a lot of practice at it. Netscape, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, even AMD (although Intel was the focus for that last, Microsoft supported them). It isn't the fact that they're re-writing history that bothers me so much as their chances of succeeding.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Use of open source (3.20 / 5) (#5)
by jesterzog on Fri May 04, 2001 at 12:41:04 AM EST

(For the editorial record..) I voted this story down and the MLP story up because I don't really like the lazy Microsoft bashing in this writeup. It looks more likely to get posted, though.

The OSS development model leads to a strong possibility of unhealthy "forking" of a code base, resulting in the development of multiple incompatible versions of programs, weakened interoperability, product instability, and hindering businesses' ability to strategically plan for the future. Furthermore, it has inherent security risks and can force intellectual property into the public domain.

I don't agree with a lot of the article in general, but I found most of the article an interesting read. The above paragraph was probably the most disturbing, though. While most of the rest of it can be put down to opinion and corporate marketing, this bit can probably be challeneged as straight out incorrect, or at least completely out of context.

A lot of the open source advantages for businesses aren't in developing their own open source products as much as in using what's already there, and is known to work very well. To be honest, I'm not sure if I'd want to try and make money from an open source product, and the Microsoft statement is mostly correct about what it's saying. But there are certainly advantages in using open source and in releasing in-house products for others to use, and make better.


jesterzog Fight the light


Not Necessarily a Negative Thing (3.75 / 4) (#8)
by lucas on Fri May 04, 2001 at 04:54:54 AM EST

I'm glad that Microsoft is using .NET technologies. I'm glad that people are going to be locked into their servers and monitored.

They've been losing money in piracy for a long time. Why is this bad for free software?

It's bad because people have been too arrogant in comparing free software to Microsoft software. A significant number of people pirate Windows and related MS software, so they never feel the real burn of what Microsoft does. They just freeload the proprietary software and treat it like it's free software. They have no appreciation of what free software is, what goes into designing software, or how much time people have spent sacrificing to build the codebase.

The fact that Microsoft is trying to muddy the water and gain some of the benefits of OSS development will ultimately support the free software movement because it will educate users about the methodologies that make it appealing. Once you cross that initial barrier, there's 50% of it. Secondly, something I've learned over the past six months, anytime you spend time disparaging something, instead of turning people away from it, most people will check it out and evaluate it for themselves. Controversy sells. You want to screw Microsoft? Don't write about them and give press to their strategy. Let them crack the heads of their users and freeload their work.

So, that Microsoft is tightening its grasp on the masses while also educating them (albeit partially) on the benefits of free software/OSS development is actually a plus. Yeah, they're trying to muddy the water and this is offensive... on the other hand, they're playing right into our hands.

Nitpicks (2.00 / 2) (#16)
by BigNachos on Fri May 04, 2001 at 11:59:00 AM EST

No one loses money from "piracy", otherwise known as copyright infringement. Merely, the copyright holder doesn't receive more money.

They would lose money if I walked into a store and shoplifted their product. But, if I make a copy with my own resources, no one loses anything.

[ Parent ]

By this reasoning (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by spacejack on Fri May 04, 2001 at 02:37:16 PM EST

nobody loses if you print your own money?

[ Parent ]
why shouldn't i be able to do so? (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by sayke on Fri May 04, 2001 at 05:28:59 PM EST

why can't i mint my own saykebucks and try to get people to use em as currency?


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

fun with semantics (none / 0) (#54)
by spacejack on Sun May 06, 2001 at 06:45:44 PM EST

Ok, let's suppose you do manage to convince people that saykebucks are worth something. You'd have no problem then, if I started printing saykebucks without your approval?

[ Parent ]
ahh, but my saykebucks have... (none / 0) (#55)
by sayke on Mon May 07, 2001 at 04:21:09 AM EST

my public key on em. forge away!


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Oh I see (none / 0) (#61)
by spacejack on Mon May 07, 2001 at 11:53:54 PM EST

I hadn't realized you were for content protection, against my ability to make backups and opposed my "right" to "free speech" :)

[ Parent ]
teehee (none / 0) (#62)
by sayke on Wed May 09, 2001 at 06:22:15 PM EST

hey, nobody's forcing you to use saykebucks. i hear monopoly money displays some of the characteristics you're looking for. ;)

which brings up an intersting question... here's some premises: a physical object can be thought of as an instance of a pattern (where the pattern is the abstract large number describing it's molecular structure and makeup; aka, it's physical encoding) encoded upon physical media. a digital "object" can be thought of as an instance of a pattern (where the pattern is the abstract large number describing it's structure as a series of reflective pits or magnetic spots or something; aka, it's physical encoding) encoded upon physical media. right?

so what's the difference? an instance of a pattern is an instance of a pattern, and they should be treated consistantly, regardless of what the instance is encoded on (molecular structure, or reflective pit structure)... right?

did that make sense? did i just point out a slippery slope inconsistancy in the "intellectual property" construct? have other people noticed this before, and wrote about it more clearly then i? heh.


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Monopoly money is Open (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by error 404 on Thu May 10, 2001 at 10:00:33 AM EST

If I recall the rules correctly, the bank is allowed to make more money if the game ends up requiring more than came with the set. When I wrote them a few years ago asking for a clarification of the rule, they sent me M$1,000,000 along with the reply.

Copying the money would, of course, be a copyright violation.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by sayke on Fri May 11, 2001 at 06:04:37 AM EST

i'm going to have to ask them to clarify that rule.


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

OT: eye-on-the-pea (2.75 / 4) (#9)
by szap on Fri May 04, 2001 at 05:01:52 AM EST

In reference to the URL to ESR's email (eye-on-the-pea) and the phrase in his email. This has sooooo many possible meanings or punnings esp. when spoken and out of context:
  • Correct: "Watch what he's saying, and don't get sidetracked when he switched one thing with another"
  • Watch the pea, literally
  • Pluck it out, put it on the pea.
  • Pluck it out, put it on a pool of urine.
  • The letter 'i' on the letter 'p'
  • And the various combinations thereof.
Isn't English fun?

Internal FUD (4.00 / 6) (#10)
by slaytanic killer on Fri May 04, 2001 at 05:51:06 AM EST

The point of battle cries is to rally the troops. Strengthening outside support is incidental. Often, the most important thing for a company is keeping its employees motivated, in a war-like situation. This translates into more people giving their all to the company.

Just something to keep in mind. War is profitable.

Not (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by kmself on Sun May 06, 2001 at 12:39:23 AM EST

You don't pre-release internal boosterism to The New York Times. This is aimed at something outside, but MSFT's not quite sure what it's target is. They have decided they can't just sit there anymore.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

I guess you gone & got me there... (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by slaytanic killer on Sun May 06, 2001 at 09:54:44 AM EST

This is aimed at something outside, but MSFT's not quite sure what it's target is. They have decided they can't just sit there anymore.
Yup, another day in the life of our favorite merry losers. Microsoft, just wonderin' what they should do next.

If you really are curious, one communicates their "internal boosterism" to the NYT because it's something which defines the company and its direction. It does not allow employees to sit on the sides and say, "I just work here." It says that anyone who works there will be part of this anti-GPL worldview, tarred by the same brush which tars Microsoft.

[ Parent ]
NY Times story (4.20 / 5) (#11)
by wiredog on Fri May 04, 2001 at 08:49:18 AM EST

A NY Times story has this great quote, on the "trap" of the GPL: an I.B.M. vice president, said, "If we thought this was a trap, we wouldn't be doing it, and as you know, we have a lot of lawyers."

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage

Turning Point (3.25 / 4) (#12)
by exa on Fri May 04, 2001 at 09:14:45 AM EST

As lucas pointed out, this might be a turning point which will clearly distinguish free software from proprietary software. Once proprietary software demands subscription fees for web services and alike, the benefits of free software will be much clearer.

Thus, this evasive strategy may not end as planned for Microsoft. In a seminar given by a friend of mine, a Microsoft employee, there was the great prospect of .NET drawn ahead of us by Microsoft. When he explained the subscription plan, I guess not everybody in the audience felt comfortable with it. I recall a professor inquiring "Will not the poorer countries, like Turkey, have difficulty in paying these rental fees just for using Office and Windows? Will they be able to pay you online?". My friend replied promptly "Yes, we will draw their money online directly from the credit cards." Online secure transactions are such a good thing.

I would not be delighted to see such an ambitious move as .NET fail miserably. I'd be glad to see their billions of dollars used for more scientific research (including keyboards and mouses that don't injure my fingers), employing more programmers and writing great interoperable software. And perhaps recognizing that free software is an important component of intellectual commons on the Net.


__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

FUD (3.50 / 6) (#13)
by caine on Fri May 04, 2001 at 09:35:07 AM EST

I see Microsoft isn't the only ones that are good with FUD. What people seem to fail to realize is that the MS target audience isn't the people that's spent 15 years on Usenet, uses Lisp and knows who you mean if you say "Ken".

For example: "Yes, static information like USENET for example!?". As comes clear in the next sentence, they aren't talking about Usenet, they're talking about www, and the other protocols that "normal" people use on an everyday basis. And in that they're right, hypertext was rather static before, and todays www is alot more. (For good and worse in my opnion).

"The fact that you can do commerce over the Internet. Which was again made possible by the co-operation of many entities that wanted to enable secure transactions."

And you think Microsoft actively worked against this or what? I don't get this point at all.

"So, although bulk of the Internet was achieved by means other than "Commercial Software Model", this last phase which is the realization of .NET to lock *every* helpless poor computer user to their ugly mess of code needs it."

Have you even programmed with .NET? It's actually quite nice. And it does help connecting things. Not to mention C#, which is in my opinion the best language I've ever seen. It gives me everything I want. The only thing I don't like about it is that it's such platformdependent and I really wish gcc supported it :). If you think that kind of thing can be done better by loose hackers (which I'm not saying it can't) I suggest in good old spirit, that you go at it yourself, instead of bitching about that someone else actually have implemented a working copy.

In general, spend less time trying to beat Microsoft at their own game (FUD) but instead code, or write docs, or whatever you can do. Bitching doesn't solve your problems. Also, Microsoft have a history of being technically weaker than Un*x but I'm not so sure that's true anymore. Don't underestimate your opponent.

--

Not a lot new in the speech (3.50 / 2) (#14)
by jd on Fri May 04, 2001 at 09:50:03 AM EST

We've heard it before, from Microsoft, in internal memo leaks and assorted "unofficial" Microsoft employee statements.

However, this is the first time we've heard it from anyone so high up, officially. THAT is the first new pice.

The timing of this speech is not good for Microsoft, either. It's going to hurt their appeals case, if the Government can use this as ammunition to prove that Linux, et al, are NOT threats to Microsoft dominion, and that Microsoft knowingly commited perjury by stating otherwise in the anti-trust lawsuit.

The reality is irrelevent. If Microsoft makes two contradictory statements, with regards to competition, that seriously weakens their case that competition - even the potential for it - exists at all. "Unreliable" witnesses are hazardous.

The second "new" thing is that Microsoft has openly challanged the concept of open standards and non-IP R&D. This is something they've "done" for a long time. Witness the "alterations" to Java, the use of the proprietary loophole in Kerberos, etc. But they've hitherto always made much of the idea that they're "improving" upon existing technologies, and "enhancing" designs.

Now, they've shifted tack, essentially declaring themselves an enemy of the WWW Consortium, the IETF, and any other body that does not support or defend "Intellectual Property" as a means of innovation.

THAT is the serious part. Microsoft is quite capable of producing it's own IP specification, which will traverse routers but won't work correctly with non-Microsoft products. This speech is a declaration that they may very well do just that, as open specifications and open architectures seem to be so dangerous.

And with nearly 98% of the PC market, who exactly is going to stop them? Commercial web sites would shift to Windows & IIS in the blinking of an eye, if they thought their sales were threatened.

ISPs would be forced to do likewise, or fold. Linux, *BSD, etc, are popular, sure, but not so much that they can support local ISPs any time soon.

With the web and ISPs under Microsoft's direct control, the rest of the Internet (routers, etc) will follow suit. It wouldn't be supportable, otherwise.

In short, this -could- be just more of the same. Rhetoric, but no substance. OR it could be the start of Microsoft owning the Internet.

I don't want innovation.... (3.00 / 1) (#17)
by Vermifax on Fri May 04, 2001 at 02:01:20 PM EST

....if it breaks current functionality. I am sure I am not the only one.
- Welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack.
[ Parent ]
Salon article (3.66 / 3) (#15)
by exa on Fri May 04, 2001 at 10:24:23 AM EST

There is a well written article, called Microsoft: Free-software licenses are the devil's work! at Salon. It argues that Microsoft wants to expand into new markets, but their assault on GPL "which stands in the way" could backfire.
__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

Simple Arguments (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by Surial on Fri May 04, 2001 at 04:20:03 PM EST

Science is a Communistic process.

That's a known fact. Unfortunately, a lot of people, especially Americans, tend to label every communistic thing out there as Evil. Still, if you have to discuss this stuff with a completely computer-illiterate person, but otherwise intelligent, this argument kind of destroys the entire M$ speech.

If you need to back up the claim that sciene is communistic, there are oodles of famous scientists you can quote. Newton's 'If I see farther it's because I'm standing on the shoulders of giants' is the probably the nicest of 'em.
--
"is a signature" is a signature.

Sch! (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by henrik on Fri May 04, 2001 at 06:55:15 PM EST

Sch! You can't say "communist". That will whip our American friends into a frenzy faster than you can say McCarty backwards. It's quite possibly the dirtiest word in american english - possibly just after "un-american". Just express your point by using another word - as soon as you mention the c word the logical, rational part of most americans shut down and they're compelled to say either "No, it's not communistic at all! Communism is where you enslave, torture and murder all people. This is totally different. " (in case they like the thing in question) or "Damn straight! Communism is where they enslave, torture and murder all people. Just like this" (if they really dislike the topic at hand).

Just spare us and use another word.. (though there's remarably little of that on k5 - even though it still pops up once in a while)

-henrik

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
[ Parent ]

Exponential rate (3.75 / 4) (#21)
by fluffy grue on Fri May 04, 2001 at 05:38:29 PM EST

I just love his introductory sentence that it "seems to be accelerating at an exponential rate." Technology (f(x)) has had an exponential rate (Moore's observation), and as anyone with a basic Calculus education can tell you, the rate of growth (df(x)/dx) is exponential, as is the acceleration (df(x)^2/d^2x).

So, like, duh, technology seems to be accelerating at an exponential rate because it is accelerating at an exponential rate! Take a basic Calculus class, you stupid PR guy! :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Increasing accelleration (2.00 / 3) (#23)
by delmoi on Sat May 05, 2001 at 12:35:59 AM EST

I'm assuming that the phrase "Accelerating at an exponential rate" means that the equation that describes acceleration is an exponential one.

The derivative of an equation is one order of power less then what it derives from. If more's law is about technology doubling every 18 months, then the power of the equation would be 2. So, the velocity of technological change would be linear, and acceleration itself would be flat.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Take Calculus again (3.50 / 2) (#25)
by fluffy grue on Sat May 05, 2001 at 01:17:43 AM EST

You're confusing exponential and polynomial.

x^2 is polynomial. 2^x is exponential. The derivative of a polynomial is a polynomial of one order less, but the derivative of an exponential is another exponential, the simplest example being that de^x/dx=e^x.

Moore's observation's curve is exponential (namely 2^(x/18) where x is in months), not polynomial. The derivative of 2^(x/18) is still exponential (I believe it's 2^e*e^(x/18)/18, though I could be misremembering da^u/du; I'm pretty sure it's a^e*e^u though).
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

The internet...free software in motion? (1.71 / 7) (#24)
by cretin on Sat May 05, 2001 at 01:10:08 AM EST

Based on what do you claim that the internet was not built on the commercial software model? Explain this please, as I cannot comprehend how you can hold a view so blatantly in oppostion to the reality whose evidence is sitting right in front of you as you type your message. Whether on IE, netscape or Mozilla, all three products have been produced almost entirely by programmers employed by commercial enterprises. Even Mozilla.

Let's break this down: The internet was developed mostly in-house at ARPA, funded by the government, for government and commercial use. It's not some hippy hacker heaven, and it never was. It exists to serve the interests of commerce.

The web is the premier example of commercial interests on the net. Prior to the web, the internet was languishing in near obscurity. AOL wasn't interested, prodigy, compuserve and others had their own private networks that they weren't interested in linking at all.

It wasn't even the web that brought them in. The initial work by Tim Berners-Lee, wes not particularly interesting. It was not until Netscape, a commercial enterprise introduced their first graphical browser, a commercial product, that the internet started to become what it is today.

Claiming that things like e-commerce are the result of co-operation by many organisations is willfully blindoflding yourself to the reality, that it has been the lack of co-operation by numerous organisations that hampers internet technologies. Competing standards and internecine rivalry on inter-company committees such as OMG have slowed or stalled more technologies than so-called co-operation has brought about.

It is precisely this problem that allows Microsoft to plow ahead, elbowing all others aside. Leveraging their entrenched user base against any threat, Microsoft is able to introduce new technologies and have them adopted, while others muddle about on committees trying to reach consensus where none is possible. The internet as it stands is a hacked together, wire and chewing gum affair. It will take a strong market leader such as MS to make it function like the well-oiled machine it should be.

"Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.

You someone (4.66 / 3) (#27)
by Tachys on Sat May 05, 2001 at 06:40:01 AM EST

IE, netscape or Mozilla

You forgot NCSA Mosaic which started This whole browser thing. Created by a non-commerical organization.

The internet as we know it probably never would have existed if Mosaic never existed.

Instead I think we would have had a online empire war. Between AOL, MSN, Compuserve and Prodigy. Of course Microsoft could have made sure windows came with MSN and not AOL. And if you updated Windows with MSN the rest might mysterously stop working.

Microsoft is able to introduce new technologies and have them adopted, while others muddle about on committees trying to reach consensus where none is possible.

Now I know you are a troll, what are these new technologies you are talking about?



[ Parent ]
Free software in motion! (5.00 / 4) (#28)
by henrik on Sat May 05, 2001 at 08:36:07 AM EST

Based on what do you claim that the internet was not built on the commercial software model?

The majority of infrastructure on the Internet isn't commercial.
To name some applications: Sendmail, Bind, Apache.
Protocols: http, ftp, tcp, ip, smtp, pop, imap, irc - the "commercial" protocols that exist are few and not very widespread.

Now, how much of the internet would work if you magically took away all software developed noncommercially one day? *That* is what he based his claim on.

Whether on IE, netscape or Mozilla, all three products have been produced almost entirely by programmers employed by commercial enterprises. Even Mozilla.

Acctually, i use Konqueror - developed by the KDE project which has none of the organized commercial activity you seem to be so fond of.

Would the internet have been as widespread as it is without commercial interests? Almost certainly not.
Would it be as successful if it had been developed in a commercial enviroment for profit?

No way. The cases where a commercial product is the base for a standard things go bad - just witness the microsoft case.

Let's break this down: The internet was developed mostly in-house at ARPA, funded by the government, for government and commercial use. It's not some hippy hacker heaven, and it never was. It exists to serve the interests of commerce.

Pff - if you ask the designers of IP and the other internet foundations i doubt they'll say they did it to help Amazon make a few bucks 30 years later.

You bring up some examples of commercial vs non commercial while completly missing the point. Infrastructure should *not* be commercial. Applications can, and should often be, often companies do a better job at packaging something in a friendly way. But infrastructure should never be controlled by a single entity - since so much depends on it infrastructure should and must be Free (as in both Gratis and Libre)

Commercial stuff is all well and good, but claiming it's the only solution to eveything seems a bit nave. The commercial solution works well for building things on top of an established standard but *sucks* when there isn't a common standard that is controlled by someone independant. (Case points: The various IM networks, Unix in the 80s, Personal Computers, Cell phones in the USA vs. the rest of the world)

-henrik

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
[ Parent ]

Nope, that ain't gonna do it. (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by cretin on Sun May 06, 2001 at 06:33:08 AM EST

You are committing an error of equivocation here, plus several factual errors. Software that is availably for free, with source available is not necessarily the product of the free software model. A case in point (and the first of your factual errors) is sendmail, which was and still mostly is written by Sendmail, Inc, who have stated an intention to close the source back up again recently, but they may not be carrying it out. I'd say it met with a lot of resistance.

Apache is a different case, and definitely an open source success, but not really all that necessary for the internet to continue. There are plenty of commercial alternatives. Bind I'd rather not claim as a commercial product. It's a security hole.

As for those protocols, most were developed either in a university environment or by ARPA. ARPA certainly wasn't using the free software model. Universities may have been, but it is not always the case. The HTTP protocol RFCs have Microsoft's name at the top of them, along with Netscape's.

As for commercial products as a standard causing things to go bad, remember, Unix was once a commercial product of AT&T. Also, much of the network infrastructure of many IT departments was developed entirely by Sun. (NIS and NFS for two examples, although both are flawed, but no more so than SMB. Network file systems are tricky beasts. NIS is just a bad joke.)

Pff - if you ask the designers of IP and the other internet foundations i doubt they'll say they did it to help Amazon make a few bucks 30 years later.

Considering the people who developed IP were working for the defense department, I'd be interested to know why they did it also. I doubt it was as much to do with higher motives as you are suggesting. In any case, Amazon doesn't make money. It loses money.

Finally, if we are going to talk about pieces of the internet infrastructure being developed by non-commercial organisations, let's drop down an ISO layer or two:

Ethernet was developed by Xerox

Frame relay as it exists today is primarily the work of Cisco, Digital, Nortel and StrataCom.

BGP was mostly a collaboration between IBM and Cisco.

Really, there are a fairly small set of companies without which the internet would not exist today in the state that it does. Chief among these are AT&T and Cisco. ARPA as well, if you count it as a corporation.

"Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.
[ Parent ]

bah, typoes. ISO should be OSI (nt) (none / 0) (#33)
by cretin on Sun May 06, 2001 at 06:46:25 AM EST

-

"Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.
[ Parent ]

hm. (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by henrik on Sun May 06, 2001 at 11:11:18 AM EST

You are committing an error of equivocation here, plus several factual errors. Software that is availably for free, with source available is not necessarily the product of the free software model. A case in point (and the first of your factual errors) is sendmail, which was and still mostly is written by Sendmail, Inc, who have stated an intention to close the source back up again recently, but they may not be carrying it out. I'd say it met with a lot of resistance.

Sendmail Inc came a lot later than sendmail the mail server. Originally sendmail was completly non commercial and not developed for commercial interest. Sendmail, Inc was founded as late as 1998 while sendmail has been around forever. So no, sendmail wasn't started with any commercial interest in mind. And had it been, it wouldnt have been as successful.

As for commercial products as a standard causing things to go bad, remember, Unix was once a commercial product of AT&T

Ehh.. no, it wasnt. Ok, it was, but not originally. AT&T weren't allowed to go into the computer market with a commercial OS bacause of government antitrust regulations. (they only did that much later - when the cat was already out of the bag)

Considering the people who developed IP were working for the defense department, I'd be interested to know why they did it also. I doubt it was as much to do with higher motives as you are suggesting. In any case, Amazon doesn't make money. It loses money. My "higher motives" isn't nesiccarily "oh, lets do something good for humanity" but "oh, we have a problem to solve in order to do our stuff. Gee, now that we solved it, what do we do with the solution? It's not really interesting to us, so lets give it to someone who cares" (i suspect this was the case of the DOD and a lot of company sponsored OSS). People have a lot of different reasons for writing oss - alturism on occation, interest, n [ok, i just got bored trying to argue with you, so i'm not going to finish this comment.. have fun. ]

Amazon isn't non profit by intention. bwhaha :)

Ethernet, Frame relay and BGP are all hardware protocols (?) that are implemented mostly in hardware and thus have an acctual cost to produce - software (and other forms of create works) is free to duplicate. An ethernet card isnt.

Sure, i dont dispute the fact that companis have done some good stuff. But your original post tried to make it sound like *everything* came out of companies and that everything all developers & designers do is just to make a buck. ..

and maybe those company developed open protocols exist because they all know closed protocols dont succed?

-henrik

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
[ Parent ]

OK (none / 0) (#53)
by cretin on Sun May 06, 2001 at 06:35:47 PM EST

And you've made posts that imply that companies are incapable of doing good stuff. (BGP isn't a hardware protocol by the way. I guess that by the way I wrote that last bit, I implied that it was. My bad.)

I don't think you can really overcome the unix argument like that, considering it was in response to your "product as a standard" argument. Even if AT&T weren't selling it, wasn't it the basis for all the other unixes being made? System 7 is the ancestor to most modern unixes, after all.

"Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.
[ Parent ]

You all are reading far too much into this (3.71 / 7) (#29)
by rebelcool on Sat May 05, 2001 at 09:46:37 PM EST

The speech has a bit of fluff, and obligatory .NET strategy layout, however, the bits about the GPL are fairly accurate. Funny how I don't see many people questioning those, because thats what the speech is really about.

For the more illiterate (or zealots on here who want to take things out of context), in this speech, i see *nothing* that says the GPL is bad or evil in general. Indeed, the real meat of the speech is about how it *can* be bad for business.

And that's quite accurate.

If a business's chief product is a GPL'd piece of software, they're going to be at a terminal disadvantage. Software takes enormous amounts of money and resources to develop. It is expensive. Now, one of the main rules of business is to not give away your most expensive product. This is because it's extremely difficult (if not impossible) to approach any kind of normal rate of return with mere product complements. A company that does this will always be at a disadvantage when compared to other companies which do not give away their principle product.

Now, intellectual property is good. Calling for the abolishment of it is as stifling and ignorant as calling for infinite patents. It allows the small, clever guy to make a buck in a world dominated by giants. Of course, it must be used in a rational way. Does the GPL hurt IP? Somewhat. If a piece of software uses GPL'd source, then the viral clause kicks in and truly does threaten the little guy's software. In this, whats going to happen is rather than being efficient and using existing code, the code will have to be reinvented. This is truly wasteful.

Should the GPL be done away with? No. It has its place. However, if you ever even consider doing something commercially with your code, whether it be include it in something else or try to sell it. Do not GPL it.

As a side note, I do alot of contract work writing community oriented code. My sig line has a link to the GPL'd COG code I've released. Now, if I do contract work and sell this stuff...why would I GPL it you ask? Simple. I GPL the old stuff. The things I sell are quite a bit more advanced than what you'll find to download. As I move along with development, I release older versions under GPL. The GPL is perfect for that kind of release.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Get the big picture! (4.50 / 2) (#31)
by decaf_dude on Sun May 06, 2001 at 04:57:16 AM EST

I agree that nobody can GPL software and sell licences for profit. However, selling software licences is the "old" model, something actually invented by BG. Now The Man himself is saying that the software isn't a product, something you buy, it's a service. He wants to keep the software on his server and let you buy a permission to use it.

Why do you care what type of licence the software on his server is under? You're paying for the access, network speed, perhaps the bouqet of services, some customisations... You're not getting that software, ever! Hence you can't redistribute it, whether it's under GPL or a EULA tighter than a nun's arse!

The only ones to loose in the whole equation are the companies that rely solely on sale of licences to survive. That era is over, the era of services and branding/packaging is before us. Hardware, networking infrastructure, customisation, consulting services, etc. This is where the money is going to be. Those clever buggers at IBM know this and they're marching full speed ahead!

Selling software never made sense and it was a matter of itime before the whole scheme collapsed under its own weight. Microsoft knows it and is shit scared, so they're trying to come up with something (.NET) to try and prolong their monopoly and I'm certain that Mundie's speech is just a tip of the iceberg. Microsoft hasn't invented FUD (not even that), but it sure has fine-tuned it to make it edible for the unwashed masses.

I was hoping that Microsoft would accept their fuck-ups and try to adapt to the changing times, not unlike what IBM did in the 80's. They have enough cash reserves to overcome the transformation period. Unfortunately, thanks to BG's G*d complex, they're more likely to go down the drain, just a greasy blotch on the weave of IT revolution.


--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
hahaha The Man eh? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by rebelcool on Sun May 06, 2001 at 01:44:34 PM EST

Oh theres that man again.

Let me tell you why they want to sell the product as a service rather than a disk, and it's not because they fear linux:

Piracy. I can go and buy a copy of office 2000 for pennies from less reputable dealers. And guess what, ALOT of people do this.

Selling a "service" as opposed to a disk keeps companies from having to do that really-bad-for-pr thing of going into offices and forcing them do an audit.

Selling software never made sense and it was a matter of itime before the whole scheme collapsed under its own weight.

Then you'd better be prepared to having software be made solely by gigantic corporations like IBM. If theres no money in it any other way. Just think..no small companies making games to hit the big time..no more future id software's or lionhead studios.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

The parts of the speech about GPL are all wrong (3.00 / 1) (#34)
by exa on Sun May 06, 2001 at 06:47:09 AM EST

Free software has a goal: making *generally useful* software available to the public with many freedoms granted. A free software developer has no objections against commerce, especially *special purpose* software which is usually not in the agenda of free software. If you want to run a submarine, the application software would not typically be free software.

Now, even for generally useful software GPL has no conflicts with a commercial enterprise: since nobody on earth forces you to use GPL'd code. If you don't believe in free software, you have no right to leverage works of free software developers in proprietary software. Sure, that's what Microsoft would love to do, and they seem to be pretty frustrated to find out that they can't "steal" code from GPL'd packages like they did from BSD.

Plus, you can actually make a lot of money writing GPL'd code. There are examples of that already, so I'm not going to tell how a successful business which develops free software can be run.
__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

[ Parent ]
show me an example (none / 0) (#41)
by rebelcool on Sun May 06, 2001 at 01:50:03 PM EST

show me an example of a company whos primary product is a gpl'd piece of software, that is successful.

This would be a company like Red Hat (who by the way, is NOT successful by any economist's definition)

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

http://www.gnat.com/ (none / 0) (#43)
by exa on Sun May 06, 2001 at 03:06:26 PM EST

A successful business isn't necessarily a huge monopoly like Microsoft. However, Ada Core Technologies seems to be a decent company.
__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

[ Parent ]
can't seem to find download (none / 0) (#44)
by rebelcool on Sun May 06, 2001 at 03:52:16 PM EST

I cant seem to find any mention the stuff is GPL'd (aside from the fact they say they use GCC), much less where to download it.

From the looks of it, some parts are GPL'd but 90% of the core product is NOT and thats what they're selling.

Heh, i wouldnt consider this an open source company. Oracle distributes Apache w/ JServ in their Oracle Application Server, but I wouldnt exactly call them an OSS company would you?

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

rebelcool: that makes you a 100% lamer (none / 0) (#51)
by exa on Sun May 06, 2001 at 05:30:10 PM EST

Almost every free software developer knows what GNAT is.
It's the ada 95 compiler derived from GCC (gnu compiler collection). It's available under the GPL of course. Here:
orion:debian$ dpkg -s gnat
[snip]..
Description: The GNU Ada 95 compiler
GNAT is a full Ada 95 compiler, which implements the whole Ada language.
GNAT is actively maintained by Ada Core Technology (http://www.gnat.com/).
This package contains the compiler, as well as the needed unstripped
libraries so that debugging is possible. If you install this package, you
do not need to install the `libgnat-3.13p-1' package as the latter
contains only a version of the libraries unsuitable for debugging.

Better learn what free software is and available free software packages, then try to rant. Not knowing about gcc and gnat puts you on the lamest point of lameness scale.


__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

[ Parent ]
heh.. (none / 0) (#52)
by rebelcool on Sun May 06, 2001 at 05:52:03 PM EST

Well i dont compile in gcc nor do i use ada. I couldnt care less about it. I guess I'm not a real developer then. Good thing my customers dont know about that.

Further, as I said "aside from the fact they say they use GCC", the rest of the big package doesnt appear to be GPL'd. If it is, they sure don't tout that fact on the webpage.

Therefore, much like oracle, a piece of the package is GPL'd. But the whole thing is not.

I'm not even going to bother about the lamer bit, you've shown absolutely nothing.

I also expect you to back up the claim of this successful company. Point me to some shareholder information.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Cygnus (none / 0) (#58)
by deaddrunk on Mon May 07, 2001 at 12:02:21 PM EST

AFAIK Cygnus were profitable selling support for their stuff before RedHat bought them.

[ Parent ]
not relevant today. (none / 0) (#59)
by rebelcool on Mon May 07, 2001 at 12:26:39 PM EST

Red Hat was successful until reality hit (actually..they might not have been then either..hmm).

What I'm looking for, is a company today, that has plenty of accurate financial info about (i cant even figure out of ada core technologies is publicly traded somewhere, much less any finance stuff), and whose core product is wholly GPL'd.

Red Hat is such a company, since linux, their core product, is a GPL'd piece of software.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

An example, and as a bonus, ME ON A SOAPBOX! (none / 0) (#46)
by smokedjam on Sun May 06, 2001 at 04:08:57 PM EST

Plus, you can actually make a lot of money writing GPL'd code. There are examples of that already, so I'm not going to tell how a successful business which develops free software can be run.

Ok, I can contribute here but I'm going to attach a rant, skip it if you're not interested :-)

Dual licensing. This is when software is made available for GPL'ed work, with all the benefits, and, additionally, is available for commercial licensing with the usual costs. This, folks, is the real deal, advancing the state of the art for _everyone_, yet still blesses and encourages commercial work for profit.

******* begin rant *********

Most "information want to be free" folks don't look at it this way, they don't take the extra step and look at how a society feeds itself. If you want to see some of the real ideas about elimination of intellectual property, do some real reading on what some folks are actually saying. Hop on over to this article, and have a read. How about this section:

  • A musical genius like Mozart may make enormous contributions to society. But being born with enormous musical talents does not provide a justification for owning rights to musical compositions or performances.

How about _that_, Mozart was born able to compose music! Shoulda put him on a street corner eh? Bullshit! It takes work to be great, as well as luck and circumstance. I'll tell you what, all of you "information wants to be free" freaks simply need to drop kuro5hin from your bookmarks, because I found a place more compatible with your interests.

The bottom line is that intellectual property still takes work to create. There are still costs. Now, if we as a society can provide all of our needed IP as a gift, then I'm all for it. Can we? If so, then why is software still being sold, movie tickets still being bought, CD's are still being bought, artists still getting paid, etc... Where is the complete set of GPL'ed solutions for all the intellectual property, even more importantly, why does Microsoft still exist? I'll tell you why, it is because society in general is still willing to pay. If you don't like this, you are still able to steal at this time. Be my guest! But I'll tell you this, its because of the IP theft that we'll see the trusted platform, and I'm not totally sure _that_ will be GPL'ed hehe

Work under the GPL is a gift to the state of the art, as well as to the millions of the users, and the users should be grateful, and I know I am. The GPL is a great balancing influence that hopefully will keep the commercial concerns honest, and give all of us who work with computers an invite to see and use the right stuff. But ultimately, people still need to make a living.

[ Parent ]

Only if you assume software is for money (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by Kellnerin on Sun May 06, 2001 at 08:00:17 AM EST

This speech only makes sense if you accept as given that the purpose of writing software is to sell it for profit. This is far from self-evident. Instead of asking why a bunch of crazies would give away their intellectual property for free, you might as well ask, whose idea was it that you could make money off of this stuff -- particularly the OS? Sure, most PCs "come with" Windows, but we know it's really the hidden Microsoft tax. Is it so much to ask that if you buy a piece of hardware the stuff that makes it work should be included, gratis?

From Mundie's speech: The GPL asserts that any product derived from source code licensed under it becomes subject to the GPL itself.... This effectively makes it impossible for commercial software companies to include source code that is licensed under the GPL into their products, since by doing so, they are constrained to give away the fruits of their labor. As we think about technology, IP rights, and the public sector of knowledge, we need an intellectual model that encourages interaction, not a model that drives them apart.

I found this somewhat hilarious, because if companies are going to be turned away from using GPL software for these reasons, fine -- let them incorporate other people's proprietary code then. Oh wait, it's not available? Darn, another model that drives developers apart! (Yes, there are non-viral Open Source licenses, but Mundie chooses to ignore them in favor of making a black-and-white argument, which doesn't help his case.)

Another bit: The OSS development model leads to a strong possibility of unhealthy "forking" of a code base, resulting in the development of multiple incompatible versions of programs, weakened interoperability, product instability, and hindering businesses? ability to strategically plan for the future.

Bah, you say "fork", I say "embrace and extend". Seems like they're afraid everyone out there is jumping at the chance to fork Windows. Well, sorry. If you want to develop a desktop platform and take it in a slightly different direction than Microsoft's, you'll have to build it from the ground up and fight to create user base. We need our barriers to entry!

Microsoft would have you believe the whole idea behind Linux is as wrong-headed as the business plan of Pets.com. And those misguided .coms brought down the economy dontcha know. Reject Free Software, join Microsoft and its glorious vision of Phase 3 of the Internet!

--Stop it, evil hand, stop it!--
[ Parent ]

oh good lord (none / 0) (#40)
by rebelcool on Sun May 06, 2001 at 01:47:55 PM EST

i'm going to have a good laugh when companies that base their whole software product line off the GPL, utterly fail.

Do you have a truly rational argument aside from "MICROSOFT BAD!!! MICROSOFT BAD!!! WAAH!"?

You may have differing opinions about forking and what not, and while not wrong in that, can you even try to look at it from a businessman's aspect? Me being a developer AND businessman at the same time gives me a view where I can see how the GPL can cause serious problems. And it's not because of greed.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Good point (none / 0) (#42)
by smokedjam on Sun May 06, 2001 at 02:37:36 PM EST

GPL is a good thing, I'm very happy with the software it has produced. I'm not going to begrudge another company using proprietory software (I'll evaluate whether I'll use their software of course).

The open source economic model is all about writing software without profit. Not a bad thing, theres plenty enough motivation for folks to do that, witness what the 'bazaar' has produced. Folks still have to make money in a capitalist society tho. From the looks of things, intellectual property isn't going anywhere, too many people are willing to pay for it.

Until somebody comes up with GPL'ed food and GPL'ed shelter, people still have to eat. Oh, wait, somebody _has_ come up with that idea! Never mind.

[ Parent ]

heh unfortunately.. (none / 0) (#45)
by rebelcool on Sun May 06, 2001 at 03:56:46 PM EST

with the current communist models, you then begin losing your choice of products because of the death of the free market.

So while everyone may have a place to live, everyone will have an ugly and small place to live. And that's true about virtually every other product produced under that economic system.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

yep :-) (none / 0) (#48)
by smokedjam on Sun May 06, 2001 at 04:14:51 PM EST

So while everyone may have a place to live, everyone will have an ugly and small place to live. And that's true about virtually every other product produced under that economic system.

Of course, I'd like to be part of the corrupt commie leadership, they get all the cool stuff. :-)

--
Yes, my rants are getting redundant, have your lawyer call my lawyer

[ Parent ]

all the capitalist produced products (none / 0) (#49)
by rebelcool on Sun May 06, 2001 at 04:38:40 PM EST

american appliances and german automobiles. While the masses of course get Volgas and Yugos.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Re: oh good lord (none / 0) (#56)
by ibbey on Mon May 07, 2001 at 04:21:52 AM EST

Actually, he made several good points which you probably would have noticed had you not been so busy screaming "MICROSOFT GOOD!!! MICROSOFT GOOD!!! WAAH!".

For example, while Mundie bashes the GPL for reasons that are at best arguable, he completely neglects to mention the various licenses that would not be questionable based on his rationale. Or, he complains about the possibility of a fork in an OSS product, while neglecting the 5 major (& numerous minor) forks in the Windows line. Kellnerin points out both of these inconsistencies, but apparently you missed them.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with basing your product around GPL'd software. While it's probably not a good idea to base your business on *selling* GPL'd software, many companies have been quite successful selling *support* for it. Numeorus companies have been successful at this very thing. Is this a risky business model? Not really. Like any other business, it's only as risky as the innvestors are foolish. Many "Traditional" software companies have crashed quite spectacularly due to mismanagement & poor planning.

One important thing to keep in mind: The recent "dot-com crash" was not the fault of the dot-coms. It was exclusively the fault of the idiot investors who dumped their entire fortune into virtual tulips. It's hard to blame the entrepreneurs. Their ideas may have been stupid, but nowhere near as stupid as the people who funded them. And of course the people who funded them are the very capitalists who you seem to worship.



[ Parent ]
Moderation gone awry (3.50 / 2) (#47)
by kimbly on Sun May 06, 2001 at 04:11:04 PM EST

I moderated this as a 5, not because I believe it deserves a 5, but because it certainly doesn't deserve a 1 -- and it has two 1's at the moment.

1's should be reserved for "first post" and other such drivel comments. Even assuming that this was written just as flamebait (which I don't think it was), it's well-done, and so would deserve at least a 2.

I have no idea what justification could be used to rate this story a 1.

[ Parent ]

i wondered the same (3.00 / 1) (#50)
by rebelcool on Sun May 06, 2001 at 04:43:51 PM EST

Theres alot of what appears to be newbies voting (and not just this post..alot of others ive noticed the same thing happening), I'm wondering if they're getting it backwards. Ie, 1 for "first place! good!" rather than the 5 which is reserved for that. The little combo box for rating should say "1 - Spam/Flamebait" "2 - Mediocre" and so on.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Not that your arguments are new, but... (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by infraoctarine on Mon May 07, 2001 at 02:57:21 PM EST

If a piece of software uses GPL'd source, then the viral clause kicks in and truly does threaten the little guy's software

You make it sound like GPL'd code somehow mysteriously sneaks into "the little guy's software". It doesn't. The only way it's going to be there is if he included it, in which case he should be aware of the consequences. This is true for all external software used in a project, be it BSD, GPL or sublicensed proprietary software; you must be aware about what it means to include those pieces of external software.

However, if you ever even consider doing something commercially with your code, whether it be include it in something else or try to sell it. Do not GPL it

There can actually be a compelling reason to use the GPL if you want to be able to make money of your code. If you BSD it, anyone can just take it and include in their project. If you GPL it, an external party who wants to use your code but does not want to GPL their project cannot just take the code. They must then license it from you, and you can charge for it (this is perfectly OK, there is nothing stopping you from issuing the same code under multiple licenses, assuming you did not give up your copyright to the code).

[ Parent ]
If you like the BSD license so much, then show it! (3.50 / 2) (#35)
by exa on Sun May 06, 2001 at 06:47:42 AM EST

It simply makes no sense. These IP hogging corporate droids are so fond of the BSD license. Yet, when they talk about the intellectual commons they only refer to the contributions they have made to public standards.

If you do think that BSD license is such a great thing, why don't you release some of your software under the BSD license to contribute back to the BSD community?

Hypocrites.

__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

OS vs SS (none / 0) (#65)
by octavius314 on Sun May 13, 2001 at 06:56:58 PM EST

To me, the concept of open source appears to violate the whole principle of modularity.

To a programmer, having access to the source can help increase understanding of code and debugging time. Moreover, it is also extremely helpful as an educational tool. How else to learn to program than to read what other people has written ?

But then again, if you have access to source, what is then the use of an API or documentation. The whole point of documentation is to form an abstraction barrier between programmers.

Why the controversy over OS and SS? Clearly each model has its own risks and benefits. OS is clearly for the educational community while SS is for industrial strength applications where speed and tight control over the software architecture is required.

Also, I dont see any reason why Microsoft should become open source just because people want it to. Unless there is a copyright law over source code, having OS is the same as allowing another person to plagarize your book without paying you.

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