11.08.20

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Large Corporations Aren’t Going to Save the Real GNU/Linux Community Because That’s Not Their Goal (They Just Want to Dominate Everything)

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 11:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Three Panel Car: Microsoft in Linux Foundation, Microsoft in OSI, Like COVID in your body

Summary: Old and new monopolists aren’t allies of convenience and aren’t to be counted on when it comes to salvaging GNU/Linux autonomy and community-like traits; their sole aspiration is to gain greater control over code (e.g. systemd monoculture) and over all governance structures (e.g. via the OSI and LF as submissive, supine front groups)

WHEN the Linux Foundation (LF) let Microsoft in about 4 years ago we knew it was the beginning of the end; the Foundation had already done other bad things, like outright rejection of community representation, amongst other things which infuriated the real community (not monopolies that call themselves “community” or “open org” or whatever)…

Later came the code of conduct (or conflict, both abbreviated as “CoC”) and the de facto suspension of Linus Torvalds, who ‘merely’ created Linux itself (like ESR being banned by the OSI, which he had created). In recent months we also saw more and more elimination of words — sometimes words that are used to express concepts like a master-slave relation (what many Free software developers are to those monopolistic corporations — zero-cost labour).

Last night figosdev wrote to me regarding “Unacceptable comments toward a company: 1″ (as we noted here). He told me: “I am really glad to be done with “Linux”.”

“But notice the response from LF,” I told him. “They did not take action. BSD also has a CoC issue.”

WindRMS recently told me that he rejected the concept of a CoC and GNU did not have a CoC (they used a different template and name for their kind communication guidelines). RMS understands the importance of free speech, even if he’s losing his freedom of speech over time (due to fear of retaliation). It should be noted, yet again, that many of those looking to silence if not oust him (as recently as this year) are IBM/Red Hat employees. They just put a different hat on (not the red one), hoping the association/affiliation would not be too obvious. Many of them use Microsoft’s GitHub for development.

We’ve long argued that an elephant in the room — other than Microsoft — is IBM. It’s not hard to see that IBM played a role in ousting RMS based on false pretenses. Are GNU and the FSF better off for it? Nope. Does IBM care? No, not really…

“IBM’s neglect of Fedora has been rather telling, as was the outsourcing which makes no practical sense unless the sole goal is cost-cutting.”IBM is too busy caring about IBM, which is only shrinking over time. Its previous CEO saw a decrease in revenue for almost 100 consecutive months. The customers are gradually going away. Will Dr. Krishna save IBM? Time will tell… there’s certainly no turnaround, at least not yet (COVID-19 has not helped, has it?), and there are Red Hat layoffs. Red Hat’s growth does not seem to have much of a sway on IBM’s decision; there’s duplication across operations (HR, marketing, administration, legal team etc.) and in threads “regarding layoffs at Red Hat” someone pinned the promotional link (from Wall Street-centric media) “IBM Hopes to Double Sales at Red Hat in Next Three Years” only to receive this reply a couple of days ago:

Doubt it. Unless it’ll be the only unit that’s actually making money. It will soon die because no one will want to run an app on mainframe. Red hat tech is cool but not mainframe cool.

We’ve repeatedly been told by our server administrator (thrice at least) that IBM seems to be shifting towards distros other than RHEL and likely has “buyer’s remorse” (based on what IBM has been doing lately, directly engaging/working with Red Hat’s competition). IBM’s neglect of Fedora has been rather telling, as was the outsourcing [1, 2] which makes no practical sense unless the sole goal is cost-cutting.

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