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LINUX.COM Managed by Apple’s MacOS Users, Open Source Managed and Covered by People Who Reject Open Source

Swapnil Zemlin



Summary: The narratives are being hijacked; people who we're supposed to assume speak for Linux and for Open Source support neither of these things; they're only in it for the money

IT wouldn't be the first time we note this; openwashing is a fast-moving, rapidly-growing problem. Nobody seems to want to tackle it. The media seems to even cheer for it, to egg on the culprits. GitHub, for example, is proprietary software that takes Torvalds' Free/libre project and 'entraps'/'booby traps' it, adding lock-in to it (proprietary extensions). Does the media ever mention that? No, not really. Does the Linux Foundation realise that this is proprietary software that has nothing to do with Linux? Nope. Even though Microsoft owns and controls it the Foundation is happy and very much eager to promote it. Never mind the fact that Microsoft pays the Foundation through GitHub (don't call it a bribe! That's impolite!)...



"Never mind the fact that Microsoft pays the Foundation through GitHub (don't call it a bribe! That's impolite!)..."Yesterday we saw the Foundation linking to this article about proprietary software that has nothing to do with Linux. Sadly it has become quite 'normal'... the sole editor of LINUX.COM continues pushing proprietary software in a site called after "Linux". In his personal site he's pushing Apple stuff (proprietary software for a proprietary platform). Here's an example from less than a day ago. These jokesters who work for the Foundation don't care about Linux. All they care about is money.

Incidentally, there's this new article, "The Software is Now Open Source or It Is Not" (what a strange title; "you are tall or you are not tall"). This article starts by saying "[p]roprietary software providers" lose grip, then mentions GitHub as if it's a substitute to these even though Microsoft hijacked and corrupted it. And it's part of the problem, not the solution. GitHub also encourages proprietary software; it is itself proprietary. Those "[p]roprietary software providers" are not embracing FOSS but hijacking it to push their proprietary software under the guise of "open"; this gross openwashing is basically the abduction of their resistance or competition to diffuse and confuse. Does it work? Certainly. Look what disruption Microsoft's takeover of GitHub has already caused. From the article:

Proprietary software providers like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Blackboard have dominated the technology scene for years. Not anymore.

Publicly accessible open-source has transformed how software is developed and delivered in the last two decades. It is getting increasingly popular, with 30 million developers exchanging code and ideas and collaborating at GitHub.

[...]

Another one of Google’s most successful open-source projects in recent years is machine learning (ML) library TensorFlow. Its widespread use has created a large, engaged community, resulting in contributions from many independent developers.

With thousands of developers contributing, Google and other tech giants such as Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Facebook — none of which are open-source companies — benefit from the free developer input and direct user feedback. This allows organizations to build better software faster.


Notice how they're openwashing some of the most hostile companies -- those that put back doors in everything and keep their 'crown jewels' proprietary. What weakens FOSS isn't a bunch of people who criticise phony companies that claim they're "Open Source" but those who play along with the lie, allowing if not actively facilitating the watering down of the term. Unless we start calling out companies that are openwashing and reject those who do openwashing for these companies (for a profit) "Open Source" will become so meaningless that it's almost synonymous with proprietary software plus a little code on GitHub (the marketing or bait). This is anattack on FOSS that is basically misuse of the term by those looking to portray non-FOSS as "open enough" or "kind of open" or "look! We put some code on Microsoft GitHub, so we're ethical!"

The bottom line is, the Linux Foundation now actively participates in this agenda. Perhaps more so than anyone else. This means that the Foundation too is a big part of the problem. It's a threat to Software Freedom.

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