Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft is Not an Open Source Authority But an Opponent of Open Source

Openwashing Report part III

Part I: Openwashing Report: 'Open Source' Without Any or Most of the Benefits Part II: Summits of Open Bear Traps: The Open Core Summit and Other 'Open' Events That Actually Attack Software Freedom

Weekly openwashing report



Summary: Various outlets that are closely connected to Microsoft are trying to convince us that Microsoft is now 'king' of Open Source; nothing could be further from the truth however

THE corporate media, which is habitually paid/funded by Microsoft and Bill Gates to promote their mythology, would have us believe that Microsoft is an "Open Source company" (never mind if all the key software is proprietary).



"It's part of a PR campaign whose goal is to subvert and/or hijack Linux. It started around 2015, back when Microsoft made plans to buy GitHub and 'steal' the Free software movement."That's just as absurd as claiming that BP is an "environmentalist movement" and Donald Trump is a "fighter for women's rights". "Microsoft loves Linux" is another lie they habitually throw at us, even in image form (which cannot be trivially edited). It's part of a PR campaign whose goal is to subvert and/or hijack Linux. It started around 2015, back when Microsoft made plans to buy GitHub and 'steal' the Free software movement.

Many people underestimate the dangers posed by GitHub. It's used in a lot of ways, including propaganda, censorship, surveillance ("business intelligence") and generally control by Microsoft. In this third part we focus on a few aspects of this takeover.

"GitHub is Microsoft owned; what can be expected from 'studies' that are based on Microsoft's own data and platform? Limiting surveys to just GitHub again?"Days ago came out a press release entitled "Deloitte Launches Open Source Compass, Providing Visualizations of Open Source Software Trends and Insights" [1, 2]. This speaks of an Open Source Compass (OSC). Then came this other press release about OSCI, a "NEW TOOL RANKS TOP COMPANIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO OPEN SOURCE EACH MONTH" (they use all caps).

"I think you've written about this," said a reader, quoting this new nonsense: "The OSCI solution, which is open source itself, is based on an algorithm that calculates the number of monthly employee commits to GitHub, the leading source code repository for the open source community."

"That was back when Microsoft already knew it would buy GitHub (and had already 'stuffed' it with its code)."GitHub is Microsoft owned; what can be expected from 'studies' that are based on Microsoft's own data and platform? Limiting surveys to just GitHub again? We wrote about that many times before. Mac Asay used such bogus numbers to repeatedly publish articles asserting Microsoft is "biggest Open Source company" or something to that effect. That was back when Microsoft already knew it would buy GitHub (and had already 'stuffed' it with its code).

As readers could see in our Daily Links (under the "Openwashing" section), several days ago Microsoft bombarded the media with openwashing of proprietary software, MSVS. Apparently "Code" wasn't enough; so in order to sell (rent actually) more copies of that malicious software with surveillance (they call it 'telemetry') they threw C++ STL at GitHub; Microsoft-connected media (funded by Microsoft, e.g. through ads) soon called it "Open-Source Project of the Week". At around the same time Microsoft also 'opened' a VERY VERY VERY major piece of software! HUGE! Yes, a font! Mind the sarcasm. Why did this receive so much press coverage, e.g. [1, 2, 3]?

So a font was "open-sourced"! Big deal... how many such fonts have we already got? But it's one way to game GitHub numbers; they're stuffing or stashing their openwashing 'assets' there; CodePlex redux.

"Going back to OSCI, the propaganda is in full swing."Media then focused on the Semmle news [1, 2, 3, 4], which seems to reaffirm GitHub's status as a proprietary software platform.

But don't let all those 'pesky' facts get in the way.

Going back to OSCI, the propaganda is in full swing.

As our reader put it, citing this page: "So who do they rank?"

Well, they rank Microsoft's participation in its own Web site. They make Microsoft seem like a leading contributor as if rivals like Red Hat would choose Microsoft to host code, even after the takeover. GitHub is also proprietary software, so there are additional (ethical) reasons to avoid it. From the page:

1 Microsoft: 38827868 2 Google: 34627760 3 Red Hat: 23273850 4 IBM: 16063506 5 Intel: 15843971 6 Facebook: 8102179

“I also dislike the tacit acceptance of GitHub as the dominant free software hosting platform for a decentralised version control protocol, when it is itself centralised, proprietary, for-profit, closed-source, and politically active.”
      --Tom Ryder, October 2017
As our reader noted: "What's the problem with this? (Apart from being built on Azure)

"These aren't contributions that will necessarily (ever) help anybody apart from the companies producing them."

"Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight," Bill Gates once said.

Tom Ryder, back in October 2017 (less than a year before Microsoft bought GitHub), published "Why not GitHub?"

In his own words: "I also dislike the tacit acceptance of GitHub as the dominant free software hosting platform for a decentralised version control protocol, when it is itself centralised, proprietary, for-profit, closed-source, and politically active."

"But the propaganda lives on."Actual Free/Open Source companies would reject GitHub because of its antithetical nature.

But the propaganda lives on. Days ago someone published this press article which said "GitHub is basically the most important code repository for open source code on the web and is bigger than most."

It may be the biggest one, but it is a proprietary software trap of the foremost opposer of Open Source.

And going back to OSCI again, what does their data actually show? Why are they basing all this on Microsoft data alone? Here they go: "EPAM has always been a strong proponent of open source as an effective way for our enterprise clients to build technology solutions that are flexible, adaptable and robust," said Jitin Agarwal, VP, Enterprise Products, EPAM. "Our team created the Open Source Contributor Index because we believe it is important to highlight the top contributing organizations who recognize the value of open source as much as we do. We're proud that EPAM has consistently ranked as a top open source contributor over the past few years, and in fact, is the leading service provider on the index, which is especially impressive given our size and scale."

"This is what we meant when we repeatedly said (months ago) that GitHub is routinely used for Microsoft propaganda.""EPAM's software engineering team experimented with several different algorithms in developing the logic behind OSCI. Built on Microsoft Azure, OSCI uses publicly available GitHub commit event data from the GH Archive and includes contributions from employees of commercial organizations – universities, research institutions and contributors from free email providers are not included. The key measurement utilized in the algorithm is the number of employees who have made over 10 commits, which highlights the number of highly active contributors to open source projects at the company. The secondary measure for OSCI tracks the number of employees who made one commit, indicating the overall size of the open source community at the company. To ensure transparency, OSCI's source code can be found on GitHub."

So it's all Microsoft; hosted by Microsoft, based on Microsoft...

This is what we meant when we repeatedly said (months ago) that GitHub is routinely used for Microsoft propaganda.

"There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises."

--Bill Gates



"Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols anyone can implement is communism; it was set up by that famous communist agent, the US Department of Defense."

--Richard Stallman



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