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07.18.19

Librethreat Database Updated

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Java, Microsoft at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lion's statue

Summary: Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat

HOURS ago we updated Librethreat Database, which had been described at the end of June. “Apathy” has been added. “I’d refer to what is labeled “Apathy” there in the Librethreat Database as the Microsoft Effect,” one reader suggested. “It is where a defeatist attitude is cultivated among end users such that “all” computers are perceived as difficult, expensive, and unreliable and thus there is no point in even investigating, and so the status quo is opted for again. I’d expect it’s some sort of cognitive dissonance, like the one illustrated by Aesop in the story about the fox and the grapes.

“However, what you describe under the title “Apathy” would be more accurately described as false help. It is so pervasive a problem that it probably even has a name.”

It’s important to understand how Free software is being attacked — so urgent a matter in fact that we nowadays cover less politics or general news in our daily links (to make time for more articles about the threats).

Moments ago we published an article about Fig, which is connected to Python (OOP like Java). Techrights “mentioned Java recently,” the reader said about this article which followed one about Netscape. “Included in the “proprietary” category below are some old links, but they could just as well be filed under “Standards”. Basically it looked like Microsoft was succeeding at two things by selling something that it called Java but wasn’t: first, it was carrying out its Embrace, Extend, Extinguish attack by including Windows-only extensions. Second, it was giving Java a worse reputation by distribution something that was significantly broken and underperforming. Sun won a Pyrrhic victory and was paid off in chump change. Microsoft succeeded in defending its Windows monopoly against Java with no real penalty for its methods.”

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. [Old] Sun, Microsoft settle Java lawsuit

    The dispute dates back to a Java licensing agreement that Microsoft signed in 1996. In November the following year, Sun filed suit against Microsoft for breach of contract, accusing the company of distributing a version of Java that was not compatible with Sun’s. Sun amended its complaint in May 1998 to include charges of unfair competition and copyright infringement.

  2. [Old] What does Sun’s lawsuit against Microsoft mean for Java developers?

    Sun has responded to Microsoft’s release of Internet Explorer (IE) 4.0, and its 2.0 release of the SDK for Java (SDKJ) with a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. According to Sun’s press release, “the complaint charges Microsoft with trademark infringement, false advertising, breach of contract, unfair competition, interference with prospective economic advantage, and inducing breach of contract.” Specifically, Microsoft made the choice last week to ship products it claims are fully Java 1.1 compliant, but which failed to pass the Java 1.1 compatibility tests the company received from Sun in February. “Microsoft embarked on a deliberate course of conduct to fragment Java,” said Alan Baratz, president of JavaSoft, during a Sun teleconference today at 10:30 a.m. PST.

    [...]

    The sticking point is that Microsoft decided the Core Java class libraries were insufficient for its needs. Now there’s nothing wrong with extending things by subclassing and placing the new objects in a package outside of the java.* class hierarchy. But deciding to add about 50 methods and 50 fields into the classes within the java.awt, java.lang, and java.io packages, as Microsoft did, is extremely problematic. “Microsoft deceptively altered key classes and inserted them into their SDK,” said Baratz, which results in developers thinking they are writing Java, when actually they are writing something that runs only on Internet Explorer.

  3. [Old] Microsoft to Pay $20 Million to Settle Lawsuit Over Java

    In its lawsuit, filed in 1997, Sun accused Microsoft of violating the agreement by shipping a version of Java that could be made to run exclusively on Windows. Sun said the version ”polluted” Java, which is designed to run on all systems, and it asserted more generally that Microsoft was seeking to co-opt a technology that threatened the dominance of its Windows platform.

  4. [Old] Sun Microsystems v. Microsoft (Java Licensing Suit)

    Sun Microsystems makes network computing systems which use a Unix operating system. Sun also is the developer and licensor of Java Technology, a standardized application programming environment that is designed to allow software developers to create programming code that can run across different platforms. One set of uses is for applets that improve the appearance and interactive quality of web pages. On March 11, 1996, Sun and Microsoft entered into a licensing agreement which allows Microsoft to use, modify and adapt Java Technology. Microsoft proceeded to use Java Technology in developing MS Internet Explorer 4.0, and other software products. Sun alleges that Microsoft has refused to adhere to Sun’s most recent set of Java specifications and Java API, and that this constitutes an attempt to fragment the standardized application environment, and break with cross platform compatibility. Sun filed suit on October 8, 1997, seeking both injunction relief, and $35 million in monetary damages. Microsoft has counter-claimed against Sun.

  5. [Old] Sun, Microsoft settle Java suit

    Java emerged in the mid-1990s and was immediately hailed as a technology that could greatly affect Microsoft’s future, as it allowed developers to create desktop applications that could run on any operating system. As a result, developers ideally would not have to dedicate themselves to writing Windows programs to survive.

    Although hype outpaced actual Java implementation, the technology has steadily caught on.

    The germ of the suit began when Microsoft took out a Java license in 1996. Sun contended that Microsoft quickly began to run afoul of the licensing terms and filed the initial lawsuit in October 1997.

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