07.11.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 4:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They mean systemd “modules” (not the same as universal modularity, which they’ve obliterated)

Kirk Strategist Star Trek: systemd everywhere... Modularity as long as you only use systemd

Summary: IBM cannot totally control the kernel, Linux; IBM’s control over GNU/Linux may be worth even more than what it paid for Red Hat as that’s the key to overpriced support contracts and the general direction of development (important trends such as file systems and various low-level stacks)

THE evil old monopolist, IBM, not only got loads of software patents from Red Hat (we wait to see if some of these patents turn up in future patent blackmail campaigns); IBM also got a lock-in or vendor exclusivity mechanism, hosted by Microsoft. Its name is systemd and by interjecting it into Debian (the father or more than half of everything!) Red Hat has already ensured that nearly all GNU/Linux distros on this planet are at least indirectly controlled by IBM. As we noted some days ago, right now Microsoft also participates in systemd development (in Microsoft’s own platform, where the official project is hosted).

This.

Is.

No.

Laughing.

Matter.

Over the years IBM and Microsoft did have some alliances of convenience (mutually-beneficial ‘gentlemen’s agreements’). This past week we took note of several occasions where Red Hat’s official site promoted/advertised proprietary software of Microsoft. It’s becoming almost normal.

But let’s get back to systemd, which is more monolithic than modular. Calling it modular is almost an exercise in stand-up hilarity. One could equally well claim that Windows is modular (within itself).

Like a lot of other things these days, critics of the ‘modular’ systemd are being dismissed as sexist, homophobes, trolls and so on. As if it’s fair to conflate logical arguments and conherent concerns with the occasional ad hominem troll or two. The Linux Foundation does this too (see comments).

“IBM’s roots of monopolisation are a matter of public record predating the World Wide Web.”UNIX and GNU are both modular and Richard Stallman (rms) sort of emulated UNIX by building it with the copyleft/GPL ‘piece-wise’. With systemd the premise or starting point is that you need some overly complex ‘kernel’ or ‘base’ with over a million lines of code. Is it modular? Sure, within itself. Does it interact or play nicely with other systems and ‘alien’ components? Barely.

IBM’s roots of monopolisation are a matter of public record predating the World Wide Web. IBM “compatible” hardware isn’t the result of IBM “openness” but IBM looking to comply or to alleviate complaints. To quote an old page from Stanford: “Until the early 1980s, International Business Machines Corporation, better known as IBM, continuously ran into anti-trust troubles due to its power over the computer industry. Because they controlled almost 70 percent of the computer market, IBM was considered by many to be a monopoly and a company with excessive powers. In January of 1969, the United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against IBM to break it up into smaller competetive companies. Although this suit was not the only antitrust action against the computer powerhouse between 1960 and 1980, it was the most influential, extending over thirteen years. IBM argued that over a twenty-year period ending when the suit was filed, their share of the revenues of the one hundred top companies in the computer industry went from nearly 60 percent down to 40 percent. Over the six years of the trial, which began in 1975, 974 witnesses were called and 104,400 transcript pages were read.”

It might be tempting to say that IBM is now different, frail and benign perhaps. But it employs a vast workforce and its market value was higher than Microsoft’s less than a decade ago.

“We were recently told that Red Hat/IBM had stopped paying the FSF only last year or this year…”Like we said countless times before, rms (or the FSF for that matter) has said nothing negative about systemd, but rms (through FSF) is partly funded by IBM and Red Hat. We were recently told that Red Hat/IBM had stopped paying the FSF only last year or this year (verifiable by this URL; compare to last year through the Wayback Machine). An interesting development, but we can only speculate about the reasons. It’s not impossible that the FSF itself decided to reject such payments. A year ago we said that such payments quite likely restricted or discouraged a strong stance on systemd.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 27/05/2022: Trisquel 10.0.1 LTS and Perl Appreciation

    Links for the day



  2. Links 27/05/2022: Fwupd 1.8.1 and GCC 9.5

    Links for the day



  3. Visual Proof That Twitter Very Likely Faked Its Magnitude the Moment Musk et al (KSA, Ellison and so on) Wanted to Buy

    There's a very compelling case for the allegation that Twitter is defrauding shareholders and participants in the platform; Twitter is a lot smaller than it used to be (fewer people are actively involved), it is losing money, and it is so desperate to be acquired that it's shamelessly faking traffic



  4. Links 27/05/2022: Wayland 1.21 Alpha, KDE Adds Flatpak and Snap Permissions to Discover

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 26, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 26, 2022



  6. Links 27/05/2022: Many More Microsoft Security Failures (and Spin/Lies)

    Links for the day



  7. Links 26/05/2022: KStars 3.5.9 and Chrome 103 Beta

    Links for the day



  8. Links 26/05/2022: AlmaLinux OS 9.0, MooseX::Extended for Perl Introduced

    Links for the day



  9. Links 26/05/2022: Kernel Events and Systemd-Free GNU/Linux Distributions

    Links for the day



  10. Links 26/05/2022: DuckDuckGo Increasingly Exposed as Microsoft Proxy

    Links for the day



  11. EPO Celebrates Software Patents Again, Dubbing Them 'Hey Hi' (AI) and '4IR'

    The ludicrous state of the EPO is demonstrated by yesterday’s puff piece about “four million” (merely requests for monopoly in Europe; most come from outside Europe) and L’Oréal, which claims to have “invented” something that was already done in the 1990s if not the 1980s



  12. [Meme] EPO's Monkey Business: Lowering the Patent Examination Bar

    As we shall show in a moment, EPO President António Campinos has lowered the quality of patents and applications; sooner or later he might outsource the job to ‘livestock’



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 25, 2022



  14. Heads of Patent Offices Are Immune to Coronavirus

    The overconfident chiefs of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and EPO might love speaking about COVID-19 (in relation to patents), but they do not take it seriously themselves



  15. Links 26/05/2022: Plex Finally on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  16. The General Consultative Committee of the EPO Exposes a Disaster and a Lack of Genuine Dialogue

    The General Consultative Committee (GCC) at the EPO deals with unlawful proposals from António Campinos (he’s happy to violate laws, constitutions, protocols, conventions, just like Benoît Battistelli did) and once again the abuses by managers is covered up; it’s as if the Office is run by unaccountable gangsters who arrogantly curse at everyone whilst insisting they’re the nicest people ever



  17. The Latest Letter to Josef Kratochvìl and the Heads of Delegation of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation

    A week-old letter from the Central Staff Committee (CSC) to the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation highlights the nature of a crisis; there's no genuine dialogue and staff of the EPO (i.e. the scientists who do all the actual work) is constantly under attack



  18. [Meme] The Recordings Must Have Accidentally Been Lost While Breaking the Rules

    The EPO‘s “nicest” chief, Monopoly Tony, won’t even mention the recordings…



  19. Links 25/05/2022: ‘V Rising’ on GNU/Linux and Pearl Linux OS 11

    Links for the day



  20. Links 25/05/2022: Librem Tries Another Approach

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 24, 2022



  22. Links 24/05/2022: nginx-1.22.0 and WordPress 6.0

    Links for the day



  23. [Meme] Divine Protection

    You won’t find Monopoly Tony (António Campinos) wearing a mask at the EPO because the rules of the Office do not apply to him



  24. António Campinos and the Alicante Clique (EPO Management, Appointed Based on Nepotism Despite Lack of Qualifications) Nowadays Exploiting Kids for PR Charades

    The sick old habit of exploiting kids for Public Relations (PR) and marketing purposes is all too common at the EPO (they’re constantly exploiting “the children” to associate criticism of the EPO with demeaning the young and innocent), but the management — which enjoys nepotism and immunity rather than relevant skills — carries on today and it’s being called “inaugural”



  25. [Meme] Snake on a Plane

    The EPO‘s President ‘Monopoly Tony’ (António Campinos), whom you never see wearing a mask (none of the photo ops; he does not even socially distance himself from peers, he wears sneakers instead of masks) during the height of a pandemic, is the "f***ing president"; don’t tell him to wear one…



  26. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XX — Entering Phase II

    We're about to resume the long-running series about the sick clique which ran GitHub until the assault on women became too much of a liability (among other wrongdoings and PR blunders)



  27. Links 24/05/2022: Fedora 37 Test Days and Tor Browser 11.0.13

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft Vidal, as USPTO Director, Already Plays 'Political Cards' to Disguise and Deflect Away From the Corporate Agenda

    Microsoft Vidal, another corporate pawn in charge of the world’s most dangerous patent system, is using soft-spoken defle



  29. Links 24/05/2022: WAL-G 2.0

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, May 23, 2022


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

Recent Posts