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[News] Microsoft Emits Pile of Worthless Code (Failed UNIX Copycat)

  • Subject: [News] Microsoft Emits Pile of Worthless Code (Failed UNIX Copycat)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2008 14:25:23 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: Freelance
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.4
Microsoft Singularity: What is the mess we've been handed?

,----[ Quote ]
| I'm totally tortured with agonizing over Microsoft's Singularity. See, I have 
| a standing moral obligation with myself as follows: If Microsoft ever 
| released a purely Open-Source or Free Software system - as defined by the 
| Free Software Foundation, the Open Source Initiative, or common conventional 
| wisdom - I have said (and will repeat here) that I would download it, try it 
| out, review it, and possibly adopt it, to be treated no different from 
| software from, for example, Red Hat Inc. or BSD.      
| But I'm poring over the license, and this seems like it doesn't qualify. It 
| seems to be proprietary with the extra feature of being able to see the 
| source, and modify and redistribute it only in the interests of academic 
| research, with the stipulation that:   
|     * It allows no "activity which purpose is to procure a commercial gain to 
|     you or others." Does blogging about it on a website with ads count? Does 
|     publishing an ebook hacking guide count?  
|     * "That Microsoft is granted back, a non-exclusive, irrevocable, 
|     royalty-free, and sub-licensable license to, for any purpose, reproduce, 
|     publicly perform or display, install, use, modify, distribute, make and 
|     have made, sell and transfer modifications to and/or derivative works of 
|     the Software source code or data that you provide to Microsoft through 
|     the CodePlex tool or otherwise make directly available to Microsoft."     
| [...]
| Seriously, it could just be the case that Microsoft really wants to do the 
| right thing, but has no idea how to go about it. But common sense is telling 
| me that that's a thin defense. Microsoft has two licenses approved by the OSI 
| (MS-Pl) and (MS-Rl); and it only takes a minute to research the Free Software 
| Foundation's philosophy.    
| Microsoft knows damned good and well what an open source license looks like. 
| And I guess I can't kid myself about that fact, as hard as I would like to. 



My resolve to treat Microsoft like any another license submitter is being
sorely tested.

,----[ Quote ]
| They haven't stopped at pushing a "standard" that is divisive, technically 
| bogus, and an obvious tool of monopoly lock-in; they have resorted to lying, 
| ballot-stuffing, committee-packing, and outright bribery to ram it through 
| the ISO standardization process in ways that violate ISO's own guidelines 
| wholesale.    
| [...]
| This is not behavior that we, as a community, can live with. Despite my 
| previous determination, I find I'm almost ready to recommend that OSI tell 
| Microsoft to ram its licenses up one of its own orifices, even if they are 
| technically OSD compliant. Because what good is it to conform to the letter 
| of OSD if you're raping its spirit?    


Microsoft's newest Halloween documents

,----[ Quote ]
|     * Microsoft is trying to look like it's all about interoperability 
|     through futile projects like Mono, Moonlight, and patent agreements with 
|     Novell and also-ran Linux vendors. But these deals are really nothing 
|     more than a way to tax open-source innovation to ensure open source is 
|     hobbled by Microsoft's fees.    
| And so on. Microsoft is much more open about its intentions vis-a-vis open 
| source. That doesn't mean it's any more supportive of open source. It just 
| means that it's getting easier to glean from public documents how the company 
| feels about open source.   
| We don't need Halloween Documents to read the tea leaves on Microsoft and 
| open source. We just need to pay attention to what the company is doing. In 
| the open. On an increasing basis.  


Halloween XII: What’s really behind those Microsoft licenses?

,----[ Quote ]
| Given the OSI’s stated desire to reduce the number of open source licenses, 
| not increase them, I asked the OSI board why they had approved it. “We won’t 
| approve licenses that are too similar to existing licenses”, board member 
| Russ Nelson responded in an email. However he praised the licenses for being 
| simply written, for addressing trademarks and patents, and for not naming a 
| specific jurisdiction.     
| Is that enough to differentiate them? Not according to Greg Stein of the 
| Apache Foundation, who is opposed to the creation and use of new licenses 
| when existing, popular licenses already do the job. “License proliferation,” 
| he writes, “slows development and discourages usage by making it more 
| difficult to combine and remix code.”    


Reverse-Halloween: The Marketing Checkbox Strategy

,----[ Quote ]
| Getting Microsoft software licenses OSI-approved and similarly getting 
| Microsoft's proprietary document formats approved at ISO are like painting an 
| old Chevrolet.  
| [...]
| This may be enough to satisfy the enterprise customer that he is achieving 
| something different. Clearly, the substance is no different: it's a lock-in 
| in sheep's clothing.  


OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

,----[ Quote ]
| Things got really interesting when Chris DiBona, longtime OSI member, open 
| source advocate, and open source programs manager for Google, Inc. chimed in: 
|     I would like to ask what might be perceived as a diversion and maybe even 
|     a mean spirited one. Does this submission to the OSI mean that Microsoft 
|     will:  
|     a) Stop using the market confusing term Shared Source
|     b) Not place these licenses and the other, clearly non-free , non-osd
|     licenses in the same place thus muddying the market further.
|     c) Continue its path of spreading misinformation about the nature of
|     open source software, especially that licensed under the GPL?
|     d) Stop threatening with patents and oem pricing manipulation schemes
|     to deter the use of open source software?
|     If not, why should the OSI approve of your efforts? That of a company who 
|     has called those who use the licenses that OSI purports to defend a 
|     communist or a cancer? Why should we see this seeking of approval as 
|     anything but yet another attack in the guise of friendliness?    


Merging "Open Source" and "Free Software"

,----[ Quote ]
| Of course, they are not. Other Shared Source licenses may very well be too 
| restrictive to be considered Open Source. But, Microsoft may conveniently 
| divert the attention from this little detail to the fact that some of 
| Shared Source licenses are Open Source.   


Microsoft not so 'open' after all?

,----[ Quote ]
| Head of open-source group says more than half of licenses don't pass muster
| [...]
| Michael Tiemann, president of the non-profit Open Source Initiative, said 
| that provisions in three out of five of Microsoft's shared-source licenses  
| that restrict source code to running only on the Windows operating system 
| would contravene a fundamental tenet of open-source licenses as laid out by 
| the OSI. By those rules, code must be free for anyone to view, use, modify as 
| they see fit.    
| [...]
| By his count, the OSI has rejected "two dozen" or so license applications for 
| language that restricted the use or redistribution of software and its source 
| code, even when the restrictions were written with what Tiemann 
| called "moral" intent. For instance, the OSI has rejected license 
| applications from Quakers and other pacifists who sought to prevent the use 
| of software for weapons such as landmines.     
| "I am highly sympathetic to that point of view," he said. "But the OSI is not 
| in the business of legislating moral use. We allow all use, commercial or 
| non-commercial, mortal or medical."   


Is Microsoft Hijacking Open Source?

,----[ Quote ]
| What really worries me is what looks like an emerging pattern in Microsoft's 
| behaviour. The EU agreement is perhaps the first fruit of this, but I predict 
| it will not be the last. What is happening is that Microsoft is effectively 
| being allowed to define the meaning of “open source” as it wishes, not as 
| everyone else understands the term. For example, in the pledge quoted above, 
| an open source project is “not commercially distributed by its 
| participants” - and this is a distinction also made by Kroes and her FAQ.      
| In this context, the recent approval of two Microsoft licences as 
| officially “open source” is only going to make things worse. Although I felt 
| this was the right decision – to have ad hoc rules just because it's 
| Microsoft would damage the open source process - I also believe it's going to 
| prove a problem. After all, it means that Microsoft can rightfully point to 
| its OSI-approved licences as proof that open source and Microsoft no longer 
| stand in opposition to each other. This alone is likely to perplex people who 
| thought they understood what open source meant.       
| [...]
| What we are seeing here are a series of major assaults on different but 
| related fields – open source, open file formats and open standards. All are 
| directed to one goal: the hijacking of the very concept of openness. If we 
| are to stop this inner corrosion, we must point out whenever we see wilful 
| misuse and lazy misunderstandings of the term, and we must strive to make the  
| real state of affairs quite clear. If we don't, then core concepts like “open 
| source” will be massaged, kneaded and pummelled into uselessness.     


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