12.10.09

Microsoft’s and Novell’s “Fauxpen Source”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 11:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell error message

Summary: The fake cases of Free/open source software named a top issue for 2010

DANA Blankenhorn has written a provocative short piece about the increasing number of open source fakers, which happen to include Microsoft. In part he says:

When there’s an open source “community” version and a paid “enterprise” version of the same software, what is the difference between writing a check for enterprise support and just buying a closed source license?

Another type of “fake” would be “Open Source” that requires a whole stack of proprietary software to run on. The Source has expanded Blankenhorn’s thoughts and pointed out that therein lies the real problem which deserves the name “fauxpen source”.

Is there any better answer than a wolf in sheep’s clothing? (Again, I beg for the help of a skilled graphic artist!)

That’s what fauxpen source is after all: an attempt to shroud restrictive software in the appearance of open-ness. We see it when so-called “open” projects are under exclusive “covenants” and “promises” – is that really “Open Source”? How about some restrictive trademark / logo / name / credit requirements? Or perhaps the source is available, but does not allow any community contributions?

It seems to be that some people consider it a “win” if the absolute minimum standard to claim the term “Open Source” is met, despite any additional restrictions/requirements. As if the term itself is what is important.

Last month we wrote about Microsoft’s Orchard/Oxite [1, 2, 3], which is a good example of Microsoft’s “fauxpen source”. It only runs on Microsoft’s proprietary stack, which is so unreliable that the London Stock Exchange (LSE) had to dump it. Mary Jo Foley has been one of the very few Microsoft bloggers who promoted (and still promote) Orchard/Oxite and there is hardly any response to it — implying lack of interest — except this one comment (at the time of writing), which says:

it’s just a ‘me too’ M$ gimmick

to use open source and avoid patent infringement law suits.

Speaking of .NET gimmicks, Novell’s Marek Safar has just announced more of them. Oddly enough, some Linux sites offer it coverage. Mono is more like "Open Core", which is a form of “fauxpen source”.

“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”

LinuxToday Managing Editor

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5 Comments

  1. verofakto said,

    December 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Gravatar

    DANA Blankenhorn has written a provocative short piece

    ZDNet would rather hire Windows hacks like Blankenhorn, then label it “open source” … Then they are guaranteed little [respect] for RMS

    Source.

    Like your claims of Novell gaming social networks on the face of your activities to the same effect, I find your habit of linking to journalists you insult in your chat room rather odd. Matt Asay comes to mind as well.

    your_friend Reply:

    Rob Enderle, is that you?

    verofakto Reply:

    No Mr. Hill, I’m the guy who figured out you’ve been nymshifting with Roy Schestowitz’ implicit approval, despite the fact that he loathes that kind of thing.

    Do you think you’re getting close to breaking the record for most personalities?

    your_friend Reply:

    Hmm, I thought you were a woman.

    Your supposed unmasking is almost as twisted and unhealthy as your consumptive blog. You have put a lot of effort into smearing Roy over the last six months. I count 13 entries, each of which must have taken days or weeks to research and all of which depends on years of stalking and smear. Surely you have something better to do with your time than harass a graduate student with a blog.

    I don’t understand these kinds of smear attacks outside the context of commercial interests and PR, something that’s usually called libel. Is there a reason you hate Roy so much?

    verofakto Reply:

    Actually I’m a small forest creature. Thank you for reading my blog though.

    Is there a reason you hate Roy so much?

    It’s fascinating that you bring it up so much, but hatred is a destructive and emotionally paralyzing state normally associated with weak intellects, so I tend to give it a wide berth.

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