EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.11.08

Mono Quote to Bear in Mind

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Quote at 4:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

106 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:23 am

    Gravatar

    Bit late for Microsoft now.

    They can’t ink a deal to co-operate on a Silverlight 1.1 plugin and then sue for basically the same codebase, or host Mono talks at their PDC, or put Mono broadcasts on their developer network.

    A quote out of time methinks.

  2. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Gravatar

    Well, they Do still have the right to sue Novell – the companies haven’t given each other any patent rights, remember? (i.e. only their customers)

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Gravatar

    It begs he question, “why is Mono a no-go area?”

  4. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Gravatar

    MS do a LOT of sabre-rattling. Remember their hundreds of supposed violations in the kernel? Their ridiculous patents on things like progress bars? Mono gets singled out as an easy target by some members of some communities – it hasn’t been singled out in that way by anything disclosed in public by either party concerned (and second-guessing private conversations is pretty much pointless)

    Given the thawing of the supposed “no support for Mono!” thing Scoble mentions, I think AlexH is probably right with his “comment out of time” words – e.g. http://research.microsoft.com/fsharp/release.aspx mentioning Mono support

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:59 am

    Gravatar

    MS do a LOT of sabre-rattling.

    This is not sabre-rattling. It’s internal communication.

  6. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Gravatar

    I think you’ll find they tell their employees to keep quiet about any of their competitors products in general; that’s known to apply to OOo at the very least.

  7. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Gravatar

    You’re inferring an awful lot from a contextless, 10-month-old twitter post.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:15 am

    Gravatar

    I think you’ll find they tell their employees to keep quiet about any of their competitors products in general

    “They reserve the right to sue” != “They don’t want to mention the competition”

    You’re inferring an awful lot from a contextless, 10-month-old twitter post.

    Intent does not ‘expire’. Do Microsoft’s crimes ‘expire’ too? Because I see a lot of apologists defending Microsoft by saying “it’s X years old.”

  9. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Gravatar

    Intent does not ‘expire’. Do Microsoft’s crimes ‘expire’ too? Because I see a lot of apologists defending Microsoft by saying “it’s X years old.”

    Sure intent expires. And technically, crimes do too (that’s the very principle behind ‘doing the crime then doing the time’), although in Microsoft’s case they’ve hardly been given any *real* punishment for them. That’s a different topic.

    But intent DOES expire. Especially in business. Even moreso in large businesses. Businesses constantly need to re-evaluate their plans and ideas, because things change – and if they don’t respond to those changes, they die. In, say, 2003, did anyone ever think Microsoft would release any source code under an OSI license, on SourceForge? ‘Course not. But sometimes you try things out, see how it goes, see the effects, and see whether you need to revise your plans as a result. Do I think Microsoft are “good”? Of course not. But they’re a business, and as a business, they need to react to the realities of the markets they are in or plan to enter. They once said they had no interest in the Internet. Would you argue that their intent hasn’t changed from then?

    “They reserve the right to sue”… well, where’s the documented evidence that they won’t sue over the kernel or GNOME or X.Org or whatever? IF there are any real signs of manifested problems (i.e. beyond one exec saying “we should totally sue over this” and another saying “except that’ll fuck us in the market, and do more harm than good”), then we can react to those problems. But, again, I really see nothing here which isn’t a) obvious and b) equally applicable to loads of other things.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Gravatar

    Sure intent expires. And technically, crimes do too (that’s the very principle behind ‘doing the crime then doing the time’), although in Microsoft’s case they’ve hardly been given any *real* punishment for them. That’s a different topic.

    It almost sounds as though it’s a past thing (“been given”), but Microsoft committed many crimes this year as well.

    In, say, 2003, did anyone ever think Microsoft would release any source code under an OSI license, on SourceForge?

    That’s not a good thing.

    Do I think Microsoft are “good”? Of course not. But they’re a business…

    Breaking the law is not a requirement for being a business. Au contraire.

    “The government is not trying to destroy Microsoft, it’s simply seeking to compel Microsoft to obey the law. It’s quite revealing that Mr. Gates equates the two.”

    Government official

    Would you argue that their intent hasn’t changed from then?

    Would you like me to quote more recent things to show this to you? Back then, did Microsoft openly threaten to sue GNU/Linux (a la May 2007)?

    “They reserve the right to sue”… well, where’s the documented evidence that they won’t sue over the kernel or GNOME or X.Org or whatever?

    Show me a quote about that. Good luck suing over X… it does not mimic a Microsoft technology piece by piece, unlike Mono.

  11. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Gravatar

    Releasing code under a free software license – particularly the unambiguous ones that MS has been using – is definitively a good thing.

    That doesn’t mean everything else they do is good, but releasing free software is good.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Gravatar

    If the software requires proprietary SQL Server, is that still a good thing? Microsoft is trying to create surrogates to replace truly Free software that runs on GNU/Linux. That’s their plan. You can see it in their silos.

  13. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Gravatar

    It almost sounds as though it’s a past thing (”been given”), but Microsoft committed many crimes this year as well.

    Any *actual* crimes they got taken to court for (beyond the endless dragging of old anti-trust cases that really should be resolved by now), or just dick moves?

    That’s not a good thing.

    What IS a good thing? You don’t think releasing Free Software is a good step? What COULD Microsoft Corp do to appease you?

    Breaking the law is not a requirement for being a business. Au contraire.

    “The government is not trying to destroy Microsoft, it’s simply seeking to compel Microsoft to obey the law. It’s quite revealing that Mr. Gates equates the two.”

    –Government official

    Nice quote. And it’s true. Good thing Bill doesn’t run the show anymore. Every time an old-school money-grabbing guy leaves, every time they hire someone brought up with Free Software all around him at uni, then it’s one step closer to a change in attitude and policy. Personally I’m waiting with baited breath to see when Ballmer goes. That’d be awesome

    Would you like me to quote more recent things to show this to you? Back then, did Microsoft openly threaten to sue GNU/Linux (a la May 2007)?

    I wouldn’t bother. I KNOW they make threats about all sorts of things, like GNU/Linux. That’s the POINT. That’s why it’s sabre-rattling. They’ve made those threats for years. Who believes them? The same chumps who bought $700 SCO Linux licenses?

    It’s just another dull strategy from the top, from people with MBAs instead of MEngs. To some extent, it’s working – some people really believe their FUD.

    Show me a quote about that. Good luck suing over X… it does not mimic a Microsoft technology piece by piece, unlike Mono.

    Have you seen the list of technologies they claim to hold patents in? TCP/IP? Ping? Echo? If they can patent progress bars and double clicking, I don’t think they’ll struggle to come up with some bullshit thing to add to the list of “OMG! VIOLATIONS!” for as long as they continue down that path.

    Whether things really DO violate patents is, of course, a much bigger question. Do GTK’s progress bars infringe on MS’s patents on them? Prove it, either way. Does Mono infringe on anything? Name a patent, then prove it either way – even getting the first part of that is hard enough, given none of the “anti” crowd are concerned with documentation or proof beyond hearsay or blogs, and none of the “pro” crowd give a crap about things as silly as software patents, given madness like progress bars, page up, and double clicks

  14. pcolon said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Gravatar

    Past business behavior has a lot to do with current. Just because past crimes expire doesn’t mean they’ll not do it again. Microsoft won’t sue over patents outright – they’ll probably use Intellectual Vultures or an offshoot to do that.

  15. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Gravatar

    Past business behavior has a lot to do with current. Just because past crimes expire doesn’t mean they’ll not do it again. Microsoft won’t sue over patents outright – they’ll probably use Intellectual Vultures or an offshoot to do that.

    They can’t do that without transferring ownership of those patents.

    Which their shareholders would have a heart attack about.

    COULD happen, but unlikely.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Gravatar

    Any *actual* crimes they got taken to court for (beyond the endless dragging of old anti-trust cases that really should be resolved by now), or just dick moves?

    No, new crimes.

    What IS a good thing? You don’t think releasing Free Software is a good step?

    Poisonware and Windows-only software is not a good thing.

    What COULD Microsoft Corp do to appease you?

    Are you talking on their behalf?

    Nice quote. And it’s true. Good thing Bill doesn’t run the show anymore.

    Incorrect.

    Personally I’m waiting with baited breath to see when Ballmer goes.

    That would be the end of Microsoft. Without criminal behaviour (bribes, blackmail, extortion, threats etc.) the company has nothing but lock-in and ‘theft’ of other people’s ideas.

    I wouldn’t bother. I KNOW they make threats about all sorts of things, like GNU/Linux. That’s the POINT. That’s why it’s sabre-rattling. They’ve made those threats for years. Who believes them? The same chumps who bought $700 SCO Linux licenses?

    Show me where the threats were retracted. Again I ought to emphasise, this is internal correspondence, not sabre-rattling ‘for show’.

    It’s just another dull strategy from the top, from people with MBAs instead of MEngs. To some extent, it’s working – some people really believe their FUD.

    Yes, some people already pay Microsoft for patent royalties (covering GNU/Linux).

    Have you seen the list of technologies they claim to hold patents in? TCP/IP? Ping? Echo? If they can patent progress bars and double clicking, I don’t think they’ll struggle to come up with some bullshit thing to add to the list of “OMG! VIOLATIONS!” for as long as they continue down that path.

    Patents do not automatically pass the ‘court test’.

    Whether things really DO violate patents is, of course, a much bigger question. Do GTK’s progress bars infringe on MS’s patents on them? Prove it, either way. Does Mono infringe on anything? Name a patent, then prove it either way – even getting the first part of that is hard enough, given none of the “anti” crowd are concerned with documentation or proof beyond hearsay or blogs, and none of the “pro” crowd give a crap about things as silly as software patents, given madness like progress bars, page up, and double clicks

    That’s like saying, “it’s okay for me to steal my neighbour’s car because s/he didn’t mind me breathing the oxygen from his/her house.”

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Gravatar

    They can’t do that without transferring ownership of those patents.

    How do you think Intellectual Vultures obtains patents?

  18. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Gravatar

    They certainly don’t have patents freely transferred to them so they can start lawsuits. This was explained clearly to you in another thread.

    As for the SQL server stuff: it doesn’t matter. If it’s free software, you have control over it so the SQL server bit can be ripped out and replaced with e.g. Postgres. That’s why it matters that it’s free software.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Gravatar

    Good luck forking such a project and keeping up with the main branch. Bongo comes to mind (although it’s a successor). Another much better is the Linux kernel.

  20. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Gravatar

    Er, if you fork a project, you don’t care about “keeping up” with the original, because if you wanted to do that you’d set up a branch.

  21. pcolon said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Gravatar

    Nathan of IV has said “IP is the next software”; B.Gates has poured money into an IV offshoot. MS is tied to ACT and it’s trying to backdoor/change EU patent laws. All this effort and finances in patent sabre rattling is not for nothing.

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Gravatar

    Who would bother with that? And who would market this branch?

    The whole point is that Microsoft controls these projects (their own site, licences, copyrights, developers and so on).

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Gravatar

    Of course not. I can’t find it instantly, but I think it was linuxdevices.com that published an article about Ballmer describing patent play as an obligation to shareholders.

  24. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Gravatar

    This “control” thing is a nonsense, though. Their licenses and copyright simply do not matter: if it’s free software, you have the freedom to do what you will to it.

    Yes, they host it on their site. So what, go to Savannah and set up a new project. Yes, they have their own developers. No business, including Microsoft, is going to give you free access to developers to tell them what to do Roy, sorry.

    It’s no different to any other project. There are plenty of business-backed and community-based projects who have twits in charge who prevent other people from being involved.

  25. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Gravatar

    No, new crimes.

    Which specific criminal acts, I’m curious now.

    Poisonware and Windows-only software is not a good thing.

    “poisonware” is a convenient term with no definition. Please provide one.

    Windows-only software….. of course, I agree that Windows-only software is a bad thing. But if the software is under an OSI license, there’s nothing stopping you from taking the source & taking the bits you like, or making it cross-platform, or whatever. That’s one of the core points of Free Software, y’know.

    Are you talking on their behalf?

    What makes you think I have that authority? I’m merely curious. Is there a single thing on this earth they could do which would raise your opinion of them?

    Does EVERYONE you don’t like work for Microsoft, in your mind?

    Incorrect.

    Remember the whole “quitting day to day work” thing? The “no longer Chief Software Architect” thing? He’s remaining as chairman of the board of directors, but that’s it.

    Mostly he’s just the company mascot now. That’s quite sad :/

    That would be the end of Microsoft. Without criminal behaviour (bribes, blackmail, extortion, threats etc.) the company has nothing but lock-in and ‘theft’ of other people’s ideas.

    They could try their hand at “doing it better”. It might work. Some people LIKE their products. Or some of them.

    Show me where the threats were retracted. Again I ought to emphasise, this is internal correspondence, not sabre-rattling ‘for show’.

    Who said anything about retraction?

    And, again, you’re placing a LOT on a contextless twitter post. Will they have discussed it internally? Sure. Along with pretty much every “how can we kill these competitors” discussion. How many of those have materialized? Where’s that list of supposed kernel violations we’ve been asking for for years?

    Yes, some people already pay Microsoft for patent royalties (covering GNU/Linux).

    And it’s their call to do so. Doesn’t make it right.

    Patents do not automatically pass the ‘court test’.

    Precisely. But as a result, it’s in their best interests to keep making threats, without acting (because the act may cause the patent to be declared null). Hence sabre-rattling.

    That’s like saying, “it’s okay for me to steal my neighbour’s car because s/he didn’t mind me breathing the oxygen from his/her house.”

    Really? You’re equating breathing with theft why, exactly?

    How do you think Intellectual Vultures obtains patents?

    By buying them from people for whom they have no value. To Microsoft, patents have enormous value, which is why they file so many (along with other massive patent hoarders like Sun)

  26. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Gravatar

    It’s no different to any other project. There are plenty of business-backed and community-based projects who have twits in charge who prevent other people from being involved.

    We’re back onto OOo?

  27. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:57 am

    Gravatar

    @Jo: the example of refusing to accept Kohei’s solver simply because Sun wanted copyright control of the code did cross my mind.

  28. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Gravatar

    Which specific criminal acts, I’m curious now.

    Check my archives for details. It’s all in the public domain.

    “poisonware” is a convenient term with no definition. Please provide one.

    Free software with strings attached, such as software patents.

    What makes you think I have that authority? I’m merely curious. Is there a single thing on this earth they could do which would raise your opinion of them?

    Does EVERYONE you don’t like work for Microsoft, in your mind?

    Not works with. Sympathises with a criminal organisation, with plenty of proof to support the fact. Judge Jackson too called Microsoft “criminals”, so this is a very conventional assessment. White-collar crime is a crime as well and it’s costing a lot more than drugs and shoplifting.

    Remember the whole “quitting day to day work” thing? The “no longer Chief Software Architect” thing? He’s remaining as chairman of the board of directors, but that’s it.

    Microsoft has always been largely a ‘political movement’. Again, lots of evidence exists. Bill Gates is now fighting political battles, which are by far more fruitful to the agenda of those who rob others of freedom and basic rights. I recommend that you read some literature on the history of this, which applies not just to high tech.

    Mostly he’s just the company mascot now. That’s quite sad :/

    How is that sad? The man committed crimes and stayed out of prison because in the land where he lives people who accumulate wealth are portrayed as heroes in the media that they themselves own.

    They could try their hand at “doing it better”. It might work. Some people LIKE their products. Or some of them.

    I’m not talking about products. That goes back to Zemlin’s tactless “respect Microsoft” remark (versus, let us say, “respect Windows”). Products and perpetrators are isolated entities. Some people would point out that Germany prospered in World War II. Does that justify its action? The same goes for the Soviet Union under Stalinism.

    Who said anything about retraction?

    Unless it’s all retracted, Microsoft is still determined to threaten, to extort, or even to sue.

    Really? You’re equating breathing with theft why, exactly?

    Progress bars are too trivial to stand the test. They have analogous examples that are thousands of years old (prior art). They are free knowledge. They are like oxygen. Mono, on the other hand, comprises complex systems that perfectly mimic others.

    By buying them from people for whom they have no value. To Microsoft, patents have enormous value, which is why they file so many (along with other massive patent hoarders like Sun)

    And why do Microsoft and Gates invest in IV?

  29. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Gravatar

    @AlexH:

    This “control” thing is a nonsense, though. Their licenses and copyright simply do not matter: if it’s free software, you have the freedom to do what you will to it.

    Will people use your derivative work? OpenSolaris seems like a solid product, but few people choose it over GNU/Linux, despite the fact that it shares many components like GNOME.

    Yes, they host it on their site. So what, go to Savannah and set up a new project. Yes, they have their own developers. No business, including Microsoft, is going to give you free access to developers to tell them what to do Roy, sorry.

    What about choice of licences in CodePlex? Might that change in the future too? Who has the power to change it? What about the owners of the licences?

    It’s no different to any other project. There are plenty of business-backed and community-based projects who have twits in charge who prevent other people from being involved.

    How many of these businesses call Linux a cancer?

  30. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Gravatar

    You can’t make people use your fork no matter how much “control” you have over it, that’s just complete fantasy-land. Freedom is about being able to do things for yourself, not making other people do stuff.

    As for the licenses: frankly, I don’t care about that either. MS can go ahead and change the license; if it’s still a free license then no damage done, if it’s non-free then you fork the software. It’s exactly the same situation as any other copyright owner changing their license (which many companies have done over the years), in projects as small as cdrecord to as big as XFree86. If the software is important enough, it will continue on – not the end of the world by any means.

  31. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Gravatar

    That perspective of yours is overly simplistic and there are many conditional things there about Microsoft’s intent. Have we learned nothing from history?

  32. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Gravatar

    History has nothing to do with it. Microsoft can make their choices; the software being free makes their choices independent of us. If my perspective is “simplistic”, it’s because the problem is really very simple, and Microsoft’s “intent” is irrelevant.

    You cannot force anyone to continue to improve a free software project. It doesn’t matter whether they stop by changing the license and making it proprietary, or they sell it to someone else, or they simply stop working on it (how many projects has that happened too? Thousands…). If it’s important enough, someone else will pick it up. If it’s not important enough, then no real loss.

    It’s that simple.

  33. SubSonica said,

    December 11, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Gravatar

    AlexH: Microsoft has never and will never release Free Software, just Open Source (since they infiltrated the OSI).
    I must remind you of the faact that the permissions allowed by the Microsoft’s licence are not transferable: Microsoft hates and fears the virality of the GPL. At the end of the day they want to be in control, ultimately reserving for themselves the right to sue or otherwise screw you, (remember the case of the guy who tried to commercially release plugins based on Visual Studio express edition?) as they have invariable done in the past with every one company they have partnered with.
    Moreover you yourself told that patents make de facto free software not free.
    On the issue of the “Microsoft has changed, they hare open now” mantra, c’mon give me a break, you resident-microtrolls!:

    Remember ESR: ” I had my serious, constructive converstation with Microsoft last year, when a midlevel exec named Steven Walli took me out to dinner at OSCON 2004 and asked, in so many words, “How can we not be evil?” And I told him — open up your file formats (including Word and multimedia), support open technical standards instead of sabotaging them, license your patents under royalty-free, paperwork-free terms.

    I believe Steve Walli went back to his bosses and told them that truth. He is no longer with Microsoft, and what little he’ll say about it hints that they canned him for trying to change their culture.

    This didn’t surprise me. Microsoft’s profit margins require a monopoly lock on the market; thus, they’re stuck with being predatory evil bastards. The moment they stop being predatory evil bastards, their stock price will tank and their options pyramid will crash and it will be all over.

    That being the case, negotiation is pointless. Microsoft is not reformable. Jeering at offers like this is actually the most constructive thing we can do.”

  34. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Gravatar

    @SubSonic: if you don’t accept the licenses in question as being Free Software, then there’s not much point us having a discussion. OSI accepts them, but so also does the FSF. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone seriously argue (outside of this site) that they’re not Free Software.

  35. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Gravatar

    > OSI accepts them

    http://opensource.org/node/363

    “But is Microsoft really so stupid that they would write a $100M check to prop up a message that nobody believes? I don’t believe so, and I especially don’t believe so given that nobody in the world of open source is asking Microsoft to keep propping up Novell. My conclusion, especially given the lack of response from Sam Ramji, is that Microsoft knows perfectly well what it is doing. Microsoft’s good-faith effort at technology innovation, Vista, has failed, and so they are resorting to their true core competency, updated to the 21st century: Monopoly 2.0.

    “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Asay may be right that Microsoft is throwing away their money, in which case customers and shareholders may wish to be less generous sharing their money with Microsoft. Or Microsoft may be pursuing a new way to undermine open source–is that something you want to support?”

    > also does the FSF

    They were pushed into it.

    http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/

    “Please do not use this license for anything you write; there are already well-known free software licenses that serve the same purpose, such as the Apache License version 2.0, and we must all stand together to combat license proliferation. However, there is no reason to avoid using software released under this license.”

  36. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Gravatar

    Always interesting which irrelevant links you’re going to dredge up next.

    OSI’s listing of the MS-PL and here’s the MS-RL. Both open source licences.

    And yes, you’ve finally remembered that the FSF consider them free as well, although where you got this “the FSF were pushed into it” notion is beyond me. The FSF have never been “pushed into” anything, and certainly not by a discussion on a webpage.

    So, nice try Roy, but no dice.

  37. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Gravatar

    You did not discuss the points that I raised, instead replacing them with ones that support your thesis about Microsoft being all fine and dandy.

  38. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Gravatar

    Except that my thesis isn’t that Microsoft is “all fine and dandy”, as well you know. My point is software under these licences is free.

    Don’t quote from the text I write if you’re not arguing against the points I’m making, please.

  39. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Gravatar

    You did not discuss the points that I raised, instead replacing them with ones that support your thesis about Microsoft being all fine and dandy.

    Points YOU raised?

    Points Michael Tiemann and Daniel Lenski raised, and you quoted.

  40. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Gravatar

    @Alex:

    http://www.poisonware.org/ is available

    Maybe worth an awareness campaign.

  41. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Gravatar

    @Jo Shields:

    I raised points defended by other people’s words.

  42. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Gravatar

    @Roy: I don’t call Free Software “Poisonware”. I would suggest you take the domain to campaign against it, but you campaign against enough Free Software on this site already that you don’t really need a second outlet.

  43. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Gravatar

    I dunno, it might be nice if he took non-Novell stuff away from a site with Novell in the name? Perhaps regain some focus?

    Out of interest, is something “poisonware” if it’s Free but Windows only? Or Free but cross-platform incl. Windows? Or Free but might violate some undisclosed patent?

  44. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Gravatar

    I dunno, it might be nice if he took non-Novell stuff away from a site with Novell in the name? Perhaps regain some focus?

    Novell already functions like Microsoft subsidiary and it might get acquired by it one day. It’s like Citrix.

    Out of interest, is something “poisonware” if it’s Free but Windows only? Or Free but cross-platform incl. Windows? Or Free but might violate some undisclosed patent?

    We’d have to sit down and write a definition more carefully. :-)

  45. SubSonica said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft tries to re-define the term “Free Software” and substitute/dilute its meaning thus to be in control again.
    Open Source encumbered with patents is not free.
    You can open the source of a software and still attach “chains” to them in term of patent royalty payments/threats or restrictions or other terms of the software.
    As usual, the devil is in the details, and for example, if Microsoft really wanted to be free why not taking the GPL or even the BSD licencce and play the same game as the rest?
    I’ll tell you why, because they want to re-define the rules and be in control. If the software is controlled (and this control cannot be broken, because the permissions granted by the licences are not transferable outside the relationship between Microsoft and the “end user”) by them it is not free.

    Notice how they try to insert once again the artificial notion of “end user”, whereas in true Free Software there is no real distinction between users and developers. Any user/recipient of the software can become a developer/contributor and vice-versa in equal grounds. Microsoft wants to delimit artificial differences on this and keep the high ground for them exclusively. Thats why they needded to develop a licence of their own.
    Moreover, if the Microsoft licences were so free ¿why is nobody outside Microsoft using them?
    They don’t want to play a game in which they cannot cheat, instead they want the rest to play by the rules they define, so they can screw you whenever they need it.

  46. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Gravatar

    @SubSonica: they’re not “redefining what open source” means at all, and even if they did, the FSF wouldn’t be bound to say that they are also producing free software.

    Just have a look at the MS-PL license and tell us how patents Microsoft holds are a problem.

  47. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Gravatar

    Don’t forget that Microsoft can have these licences ‘evolve’ at any time.

  48. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Gravatar

    Open Source encumbered with patents is not free.

    Is LAME Free Software?

    Is DeCSS Free Software?

  49. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Gravatar

    Not Microsoft patents. Not belonging to a company that has others mimic a framework completely, either.

  50. Jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Gravatar

    Don’t forget that Microsoft can have these licences ‘evolve’ at any time.

    An Ms-PL 2.0 would not be Ms-PL, any more than GPLv3 and GPLv1 are the same thing

    Releasing an updated license does not mean old apps suddenly change license, unless the copyright holders for the app wish so – and even then, it’s not retroactive.

    DO learn about XFree86 4.4, Roy. It might help.

  51. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Gravatar

    Also, removal of codecs is very different from removing the underlying framework on which programs are built.

  52. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Gravatar

    An Ms-PL 2.0 would not be Ms-PL, any more than GPLv3 and GPLv1 are the same thing

    Compatibility.

  53. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Gravatar

    They don’t have an upgrade clause.

    And even if they did, it doesn’t matter.

  54. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Gravatar

    It does. It remains a Microsoft licence. From what I’m told at this moment, “ms-pl can protect ms patents, I think. ms tries to buy people with a candy for working in OOXML.”

  55. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Gravatar

    Then don’t go by what people tell you, go and look it up yourself. Whoever told you that is talking baloney.

    The MS-PL has a clear patent license for the patents owned by the authors, extended irrevocably and royalty-free to everyone. If they hadn’t done that, it wouldn’t be free. They did, so it is.

  56. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Gravatar

    So do you advocate using it?

    I pointed to the FSF arguing against it and you reacted as though I shared a personal insult.

  57. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Gravatar

    Addendum: by building with Mono you ensure that the applications you build work better on Windows (i.e. work better for Microsoft).

  58. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: no, you pointed to the FSF arguing against using it for new projects, not against the license terms. Proliferation is a very different issue indeed.

    It’s a free license, so working on a project under that license is fine. However, as always, I recommend people use the GPLv3 when starting a new project.

    Addendum: actually, no, many Mono apps are actually harder to port to Windows than many other apps, especially if you’re using free software APIs like Mono.Posix. Look at the work it took to make Tomboy – a relatively simple app – work on W32.

  59. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: no, you pointed to the FSF arguing against using it for new projects, not against the license terms. Proliferation is a very different issue indeed.

    It does not state that this is the sole reason.

    Addendum: actually, no, many Mono apps are actually harder to port to Windows than many other apps, especially if you’re using free software APIs like Mono.Posix. Look at the work it took to make Tomboy – a relatively simple app – work on W32.

    This is irrelevant to my point. .NET is .NET is Mono. They belong to the same class, which works better in Windows and is ‘safer’ under Windows’ wing (legally speaking).

  60. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: given it is the *only* reason they cite, I’m not sure why you think you’re able to divine further reasoning. If there was a problem with the license, they would ask people not to use it full stop: but they didn’t, they said there’s no reason not to work on existing software.

    As for Mono: you’re not bringing new facts, you’re just re-stating your opinion using different phrases. “.NET is Mono”, “works better in Windows”, “‘safer’ under Windows”, these are all your opinion and many people disagree with you (including the distros – hey, how is that project to remove Mono going? I didn’t see many distros removing it recently….)

  61. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Gravatar

    Download the Live CD of Fedora 10 then.

  62. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Removed from the distro, Roy, not “one specific install media”.

    Have you actually asked the Fedora people why it’s not on the Live CD? :D No, of course not, because then you wouldn’t be able to pretend it’s because Mono is problematic.

  63. jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Addendum: actually, no, many Mono apps are actually harder to port to Windows than many other apps, especially if you’re using free software APIs like Mono.Posix. Look at the work it took to make Tomboy – a relatively simple app – work on W32.

    Mono.Posix isn’t an enormous problem – the assembly works on Windows provided you also have “MonoPosixHelper.dll”, an extremely limited stand-in (basically provides the 18n bits and nothing else)

    Bigger issues are Gnome, GStreamer, and other *NIX technologies which Mono apps are designed to use – i.e. the platform-specific parts are missing on Windows.

    For a “pure” CLI app, yeah, it should run fine on Windows, but most apps include some P/Invokes somewhere, which ties them to a platform providing the native library being P/Invoked

  64. jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Gravatar

    Have you actually asked the Fedora people why it’s not on the Live CD? :D No, of course not, because then you wouldn’t be able to pretend it’s because Mono is problematic.

    Know what? I’ll ask my equivalent in Fedora. He’ll probably know.

  65. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Gravatar

    For a “pure” CLI app, yeah, it should run fine on Windows, but most apps include some P/Invokes somewhere, which ties them to a platform providing the native library being P/Invoked

    I’m sure these barriers will be duly removed.

  66. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Gravatar

    I hope so, getting free software into the hands of people stuck on Windows is important.

  67. jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m sure these barriers will be duly removed.

    Which barriers specifically?

  68. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Gravatar

    Mono + Vista/Vista7.

  69. jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Erm, what?

    Do YOU know what you’re talking about? I sure as hell can’t work it out

    How is that a reply to the question?

  70. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Gravatar

    Mono bridges gaps. Specifically, it makes it easier for Microsoft to ‘embrace’ other people’s work.

  71. jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Gravatar

    Really? DO explain.

  72. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft has its universe of proprietary technologies, which include toolkits, formats, and all sorts of other things. It would be easier for them, for example, to integrate OOXML using Mono.

    If you want to know something, please be specific.

  73. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Mono doesn’t make OOXML any easier or harder at all. They’re completely different technologies.

  74. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Gravatar

    There is room for reuse.

    But there’s a much bigger difference here: The OOXML SDK will expose the most useful components of the format through the .NET Framework, to developers for any of its associated high-level languages.”

  75. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Gravatar

    The OOXML SDK is a piece of software to access the format. ODF has a .net library identical in the ODF toolkit. Nothing to do with Mono, Roy.

  76. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Gravatar

    It does, Alex. See the remarks about this Microsoft ‘universe’. The man behind Mono is a fan of MOOX as well.

  77. SubSonica said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey Roy, you must have really rubbed salt into some wound by quoting the revealing cite of Scobleizer, former Microsoft blogger-evangelist to make these microtrolls post so many coments here! Good job!

    @AlexH: “@SubSonica: they’re not “redefining what open source” means at all, and even if they did, the FSF wouldn’t be bound to say that they are also producing free software.”

    Curious: Microsoft minions NEVER utter the phrase “Free Software”, what I said is Microsoft tries to obliterate the meaning of “Free Software” as fighting-for-freedom-and-against-monopolisation-of-knowledge-software (remeber the distasteful comments of Bill Hilf one of MSFT execs saying “Free Software doesn’t exist in 2007″, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and etc ad nauseam) and instead substitute it by the much easy to tame “Open Source” phrase, which they promote everyone to embrace, without any ethical implication whatsoever which must represent just a way of developing software and MONETIZING it.

    Yes, they do. When trying to infiltrate and destroy a new market they don’t dominate yet, they always try to invent similar-but-not-quite-the-real-thing marketing words and denominations for their products in order to introduce confussion to the unsuspecting public that will probably confuse them with the original thing or somehow try transmit the impresson they were the original ones: “Shared Source” instead “Open Source”, “MPL” instead of “GPL”, “MS-lmpl” instead of “LGPL”, “Open XML” instead of “Open Document”, CodePlex (for GooglePlex), etc… you get the pattern…

    “For example, I read a story earlier this week about a company named Aras that radically shifted its strategy in the last year, switching from a traditional proprietary model to one involving “open source.” The article called attention to the fact that Aras is only making its software available for Microsoft Windows — an acceptable open source strategy, if an unusual one. But then the article indicated that Aras was releasing its software under a “shared source” license that was written by Microsoft.

    Now, to anyone in the world of open source software, the term “shared source” is a red flag. The “shared source” program was and is Microsoft’s way of fighting the open source world, allowing customers to inspect Microsoft source code without giving those customers the right to modify or redistribute the code. In other words, “shared source” is not open source, and shouldn’t be confused with it. So if Aras is distributing its software under a shared-source license, then we can’t consider it to be open source, can we?

    Actually, we can: It turns out that “shared source” is now the umbrella term that Microsoft uses for its policy of relatively openness and transparency, and that this program includes several different software licenses. Two of these licenses, the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL), have indeed been approved by the Open Source Initiative, which means that they are indeed open-source licenses. And in fact, Aras is distributing their software under the Ms-PL, which means that their software does indeed qualify for the “open source” moniker.

    The confusion stems from the fact that Microsoft’s “shared source” program includes three proprietary licenses as well, whose names are similar in some ways to the open-source licenses. Thus, while the Microsoft Reciprocal License has been approved by OSI, the Microsoft Limited Reciprocal License (Ms-LRL) is not, because it allows users to modify and redistribute the software only on the Windows platform.”

    even Miguel de Icaza was mad at these tactics:

    “Microsoft is hosting Windows-only projects on its ‘open source project hosting site,’ CodePlex. Miguel de Icaza caught and criticized Microsoft for doing this with its Microsoft Extensibility Framework (MEF), licensing it under the Microsoft Limited Permissive License (Ms-LPL), which restricts use of the code to Windows. Microsoft has changed the license for MEF to an OSI-approved license, the Microsoft Public License, but it continues to host a range of other projects under the Ms-LPL. If CodePlex wasn’t an ‘open source project hosting site,’ this wouldn’t be a problem. But when Microsoft invokes the ‘open source’ label, it has a duty to live up to associated expectations and ensure that the code it releases on CodePlex is actually open source. If it doesn’t want to do this — if it doesn’t want to abide by this most basic principle of open source — then call CodePlex something else and we’ll all move on.”

    Microsoft-only open source, what a mockery…

    About the FSF, it never endorsed any Microsoft licence, it was the OSI who approved it as “Open Source” (not endorsed) and it was much begrudgindly, in fact some of the Microsoft licences it tries to marketing as “Open Source” are listed as NON-FREE by the FSF. Of course Microsoft has issued numerous different licences that they try to market as Open Source (remember, never “Free Software”, because for Microsoft the word Free is too dangerous since for them it just means “NO MONEY”) to introduce confussion in the field, so you can never be sure as whether a Microsoft-licenced product is really open or not… in any case anything coming from Microsoft always will have the “threat” of patents attached…

    Just look at what the FSF says about Microsoft Corporation’s alleguedly “open” licences:
    “Microsoft Limited Public License (Ms-LPL)

    This license is non-free because of section 3(F), which requires that any modified software you make from the original code must run on Windows. The Microsoft Public License does not have this restriction.
    Microsoft Limited Reciprocal License (Ms-LRL)

    This license is non-free because of section 3(G), which requires that any modified software you make from the original code must run on Windows. The Microsoft Reciprocal License does not have this restriction.
    Microsoft Reference License

    This is a non-free license: you are not allowed to modify the software at all, and you are only allowed to share it under very particular circumstances.
    Microsoft’s Shared Source CLI, C#, and Jscript License

    This license does not permit commercial distribution, and only allows commercial use under certain circumstances.

    Microsoft has other licenses which it describes as “Shared Source”, some of which have different restrictions.
    Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Shared Source License

    This license is non-free because it places various limitations on the kinds of modifications you can make. For example, your modified software must run on Wince, and you are required to provide end user support for your software.”

  78. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: you’re attempting to confuse the matter by bringing in unrelated things. Mono simply doesn’t make OOXML integration any easier or harder than Java or Python does.

    @SubSonica: we’re talking about the MS-PL. It’s a free license. FSF recognises it; OSI recognises it. Sad that you don’t, but your loss.

  79. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Gravatar

    SubSonica,

    This is an excellent comment. Would you mind if I posted this as a new item so that it earns more visibility?

    Regarding Aras, I wrote about that scam before (also elsewhere) and Aras was not happy.

    As a side note, I’ve just seen that members-only post in Groklaw. I hope PJ not burning out. Hecklers were one of her reasons.

  80. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Gravatar

    @AlexH: you spend a lot of time fawning to Microsoft, so I am left so baffled.

  81. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: you’re baffled because you don’t read, therefore you never understand what’s actually being said.

    If recognising MS-PL as being a free software license makes you “fawning to Microsoft”, then that means the FSF is guilty of that too. Thank goodness that’s not what it means.

  82. jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Gravatar

    @SubSonica

    Who said Ms-LPL was Free? I didn’t. It’s a garbage license. Ditto Ms-LRL and the assorted proprietary “Shared Source” licenses for this & that.

    It’s possible for the same people to produce both Free and non-Free licenses. No sane person would call the GFDL a Free license, fr’example.

  83. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Gravatar

    @AlexH,

    I wasn’t talking about that specifically (or in isolation).

  84. SubSonica said,

    December 11, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Gravatar

    @AlexH
    “we’re talking about the MS-PL. It’s a free license. FSF recognises it; OSI recognises it. Sad that you don’t, but your loss. ”
    Is it? I could’t care less about a Microsoft licence. For anyone who has a clue here it is crystal clear that Microsoft Corporation’s strategy is to try to stick to the letter of the requirements in order to gain the “Seal of approval” while trying by any means to undermine and subvert the spirit and intention of Free-as-in-Freedom Software (it was exactly the same strategy with the MSOOXML fiasco)

    Anyway we are talking here not just about MS-whatever-L, we are talking about our Freedoms, patent threats and the role that Microsoft-copycat technologies (mono, silverlight, msooxml) play in the strategy of Microsoft to destroy Gnu/Linux and Free Software, that is.

    @jo Shields:
    “It’s possible for the same people to produce both Free and non-Free licenses.”
    Yes, but why are these licences names all so dumbingly looking the same? What a LAME attempt at confusing people!

  85. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Gravatar

    @SubSonica: if they wanted to stick purely to the “letter”, they wouldn’t have included the clear and unambiguous patent grant (as one example).

    @Roy: then kindly note the specifics, it’s just an ad hominem otherwise.

  86. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Gravatar

    Look at the news. Microsoft wants to ‘merge’. After the OOXML crimes it’s very clear what Microsoft means by “open”.

    My “open source” feeds are also flooded with Microsoft EEE junk.

    It is people like you, Alex and Jo, who help them.

  87. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Gravatar

    No, I don’t help them, I don’t participate in any Microsoft communities.

    It’s really incredibly sad that you cannot accept contributions to the free software community for what they are, though. The article you link is a great example; MS are contributing HBase code into Hadoop.

    What’s wrong with that? Is it written for an MS platform? No, it’s Java. Is it under a non-free license? No, it’s under the Apache license. Is there a patent problem? No, there is a clear patent grant.

    So why exactly should we be worried about this? And specifics, please, not more FUD.

  88. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Gravatar

    You’re ignoring the message of the article. I didn’t say a think about a project.

  89. SubSonica said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Gravatar

    Patent grant, WTF? surely you must be joking. what use has a patent grant if I cannot pass the rights downstream? clear and unambigous you say? C’mon give me a break! these clauses are just more FUD BS and fearmongering, ant totally useles against a proxy attack (a Microsoft’s speciality) since they do not specify which specific patents they refer to, so it can provide you with rights for anything in the world or nothing at all… , moreover: there is no place for patents in software. Software is not patentable outside the US. and should never be, anyhow, as if there weren’t Free and Open Source licences galore already to choose: who the hell needs Microsoft’s licences except Microsoft itself?

    “The Patent Poison Pill

    What happens if you file a claim regarding a patent implemented in the
    work? The MSPL section 3B says:

    That is, if you initiate legal action against any contributor to the
    work regarding a patent which the work may infringe, your right to the
    patents of that contributor (under this agreement) go away.

    Set aside that commentary for a moment. The Apache 2.0 license (again
    section 3) is much more strict:

    If you file a claim (even in response to a claim) that the work
    infringes on one of your patents, against anyone, not just a
    contributor, you lose this license’s grant of patent usage.

    Now neither
    license offers any protection against patent trolls who
    don’t use the software at all, but adding such language to any OSI-approved
    license is difficult. (Such language would likely overreach the scope of
    the license and offer no protection.) However, it’s interesting to see how
    anemic the MSPL is.

    Suppose I, as an individual, contribute to a work licensed under the
    MSPL. A company which uses the work decides that my contribution infringes
    upon one of their patents, and files suit against me. Under the terms of
    the license, they no longer have an implicit right to any patents I hold on
    the work.

    The problem is that I don’t hold any software patents. As an
    individual, it’s likely that I never will. Worse, I don’t even have to be a
    contributor. I could even be a mere user of the work, and a likely
    target. (It’s even more fun to point out that even if you receive MSPL-licenced
    code from Microsoft, they can revoke their patent grant immediately and file a
    claim against you. You might get some traction with estoppel, but the license
    language isn’t that strong, and a SLAPP that gets thrown out
    eventually is still painful.)

    If I had contributed instead to a work under the Apache 2.0 license, all
    patents held by all contributors–revealed or not–are on the line. Note
    also that the target of the legal action does not have to be a
    contributor to the software. The target can be completely
    independent of the project. The target doesn’t even have to use the
    software.

    With a patent protection clause as anemic as MSPL 3B, I wonder why even
    bother adding it to the license. Though I don’t really believe it’s this
    useless as part of some sinister master plan, I think it demonstrates that
    Microsoft still doesn’t understand that there’s no distinction, in terms of
    our licenses, in the FOSS world between users, contributors, and
    companies.”

  90. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Gravatar

    So what relevance does that article have at all? What does it demonstrate about Microsoft’s behaviour that we should beware of?

  91. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Gravatar

    @SubSonica: first, the patent grant is entirely clear and does pass downstream. Have you actually read it?

    Second, no free software license can protect against patent trolls. That’s fundamentally impossible.

    Third, it doesn’t need to list the patents. The authors give you the licenses needed; they cannot sue you.

    Give it up; it’s a free software license.

  92. jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Gravatar

    So what relevance does that article have at all? What does it demonstrate about Microsoft’s behaviour that we should beware of?

    It’s about subtext, man!

    A bit like Joerg Schilling insisting that GPL and CDDL were compatible and that RMS was wrong, because a Sun employee winked at him once in a conference

  93. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Gravatar

    @ AlexH:

    It’s part of a pattern of recent articles about Microsoft not competing with Free so… errr… I should say “open source”, shouldn’t I?

    @ jo Shields:

    Don’t bring Jörg Schilling into this. I don’t need him triggered to come here.

  94. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: so let me ask you this straight; what is your opinion of Microsoft’s contribution of HBase to Hadoop?

  95. jo Shields said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Gravatar

    Know what, Roy? I apologise. Profusely.

    A visit from J000000rg isn’t something I’d wish on anyone. Not even you. Hell, not even Balmer.

    I made the mistake of filing a bug against cdda2wav once.

  96. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Gravatar

    AlexH,

    It’s a PR thing, at least in part. There are many reasons for Microsoft to either pretend or genuinely demonstrate participation of the kind it offers, but none of them serves freedom or anything but the financial interests of Microsoft shareholders. The company has very many reasons to do this, some of which are:

    1. Starve GNU/Linux as the underlying platform for popular Free/open source applications like Apache.
    2. Elevate protocols that are platform-specific, DRM-ready, patent-encumbered and susceptible to disruptive (sometimes undocumented) changes by a vendor with shady history and strategy in this particular area.
    3. Embellishment of public image and blurring of difference in philosophies, which leads to confusion and brand dilution (e.g. how “Open Source” is a program that only resides in a proprietary cocoon?).
  97. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: but the problem is, they’re not doing any of that. All their doing is contributing Java code – enterprise level code at that.

    If you can’t differentiate between “good” and “bad” at such a basic level, and instead judge by the name of who’s contributing, then you cannot hope to increase freedom.

  98. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Let me put it simply:

    1. Microsoft contributes a little;
    2. Microsoft claims it is a friend of open source;
    3. Microsoft then ‘extends’ open source to its own advantage.

    That’s how EEE works.

  99. AlexH said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Gravatar

    EEE applies to standards where you compete against other people’s products.

    By definition it cannot apply to software, particularly that software which MS does not have full copyright interest in.

    I suggest Wikipedia’s article to brush up on what EEE actually means.

  100. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Gravatar

    EEE is broader in scope. Some people extend the definition of EEE to describe other Microsoft actions.

  101. jo Shields said,

    December 12, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Gravatar

    You’ve embraced & extended the definition of EEE. Classic!

  102. SubSonica said,

    December 12, 2008 at 2:50 am

    Gravatar

    EEE:
    Microsoft is yet at the “Embrace” stage with respect to Free and Open Source Software. At the “infiltrate” stage. Of course for them to kill Free Software through EEE they must go beyond standards and protocols. Free Software is very much a different beast as a competing company or product. They need to re-define the very philosophy of Free Software, marginalize the FSF and any related movement (because, oh, the GPL is sooo restrictive!, Free Software advocates are soooo radical and religious zealots, sooo comunists, suuch a big cancer….) it and restrict FOSS just to Open Source with legal burdens so they can monetize it. But first they need to disguise themselves as “part of the community”… and we are alrteady seeing the problems: Windows-only software, non-free licences specifically designed to introduce confusion, patent threats, bizarre open-source “redefinitions” i.e.:¿Are you open source? No: we are open to collect patent royalties… and in the meanwhile they send some drones to stalk any site that tries to raise awareness and ring the alarm bells about their strategy!

  103. Jo Shields said,

    December 12, 2008 at 3:33 am

    Gravatar

    @SubSonica:

    I’m going to explain this as clearly as I can.

    If you think anyone who disagrees with your point of view is a Microsoft employee, then you’re mentally unbalanced with delusions of grandeur.

  104. SubSonica said,

    December 12, 2008 at 3:55 am

    Gravatar

    “If you think anyone who disagrees with your point of view is a Microsoft employee.”

    Did I say that somewhere? No Sir!. Hmm, I wonder why you “felt” so attacked by what I wrote about EEE (nothing anyone who has a clue about MSFT strategy does not know) so as to “conditionally” (if/then) insult me. I really wonder.

  105. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 12, 2008 at 4:51 am

    Gravatar

    Diversion tactic. The message is hard to address.

  106. SubSonica said,

    December 12, 2008 at 6:00 am

    Gravatar

    Btw:
    C# is an Ecma standard, which given Ecma’s track record and recent developments around MSOOXML gives us a good measure of how meaningless the word “standard” is for anything related to Microsoft and/or Ecma.

    For the record: In Ecma’s own words:
    http://www.ecma-international.org/activities/General/presentingecma.pdf
    “A proactive, problem solving experts’ groupthat ensures “high speed”publication of international standards;
    Offers industry a “fast track” to global standards bodies, through which standards are made available on time;
    “Pay one price and participate as much as you want”

    Also about Ecma and its “solid” patent policy:
    http://www.noooxml.org/ecma-humour

    Ecma has become just a “standards mill”, it just has as pay-for-seal-of-approval business model, just as some fake universities are degree mills.

    Moreover Microsoft only grants patent permissions on demand and on unprecise RAND terms. Of course for Microsoft, the only reasonable thing is extorting anyone to pay patent royalties for using its secret “IP” (Whatever it means, I’m sure any Microsoft lawyer will state that the GPLv3 is discrimainatory and non-reasonable or otherwise they will be sacked ipso-facto)
    There you go:

    http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/files/ECMA-ST/Ecma%20PATENT/ECMA-334%20&%20335/2001ga-123%20&%202002ga-003.pdf

    http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/files/ECMA-ST/Ecma%20PATENT/ECMA-334%20&%20335/2001ga-123%20&%202002ga-003.pdf

    I think it is good to have an alternative implementation not controlled by a single company of any programming language, but at the same time, letting a patent-ridden language framework, over which Microsoft “reserves the right to sue” developed by mimicking one of Microsoft star products (.Net framework) be inserted into fundamental components of the most powerful competitor of Microsoft core cash-cow (Gnu/Linux) while downplaying the importance of the threat of software patents is, at best, a terribly shortsighted idea, no matter how nice, easy, comfortable or even technically superior mono C# framework is… Microsoft is using mono as a Trojan horse, once it has been inserted deep in the core of fundamental components of Gnu/Linux distros and enough widespread, they will sue anyone not caving to their IP protection racket: remember software patents is the only one bullet left in Microsoft’s gun against Free Software.

What Else is New


  1. The Quality of Patents is Connected to the Quality of Life of Patent Examiners

    EPO staff is not happy (a new President has not changed things) and the problems associated with low quality of patents become more visible in courtrooms



  2. American Patent Courts Keep Narrowing Patent Scope, No Matter What Few Politicians Are Doing on Behalf of Litigation Firms and Patent Trolls

    Acts of desperation in the patent microcosm of the United States, where judges now overwhelmingly reject software patents at all levels (tribunals, lower courts, higher courts)



  3. Links 25/4/2019: Rancher Labs Releases Slim OS, OpenBSD 6.5 is Ready

    Links for the day



  4. Links 24/4/2019: Chrome 74, QEMU 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Supreme Court of the UK, Which Habitually Throws Out European Patents, May Overturn Troublesome Unwired Planet v Huawei Decision

    A lot of European Patents are facing growing scrutiny from courts (Team UPC, including Bristows, publicly complains about it this month) and "greenwashing" of the Office won't be enough to paint/frame these patents as "ethical"



  6. German Federal Patent Court Curbs the Patent Maximalism of the EPO, Which Promotes Patents on Nature and/or Maths Every Single Day

    European courts are restraining the EPO, which has been trying to bypass or replace such courts (with the UPC); it certainly seems as though European Patents rapidly lose their legitimacy or much-needed presumption of validity



  7. Any 'Linux' Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

    Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership



  8. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  9. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  10. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  11. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  12. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  13. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  14. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  15. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  17. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  18. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  19. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  20. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  21. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  22. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  24. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  25. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  26. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  27. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  28. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  29. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  30. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts