09.02.19

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Openwashing Report: Buzzwords for Lock-in Are Getting Out of Hand and It’s Not Funny

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Marketing at 11:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amusing only for marketing departments, which don’t understand technical issues and probably cannot properly and coherently define even their own catchphrases

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: We now have “serverless 2.0″; never mind if “serverless” is a meaningless and outright misleading buzzword, which never made any sense in the first place

THE outsourcing of computing (sometimes known as “clown computing” or “cloud computing”) is a very major headache. It’s taking us back to the days of mainframes and rental thereof. We’re back to buying “computer time” instead of actual computers. But it gets yet worse. It gets worse over time.

Nowadays there are far more press releases and articles about “cloud” than about “servers” or about “Open Source”. We know roughly why; we know who pushes the media in that direction. We know who stands to gain. So they engage in ‘openwashing’ along with ‘cloudwashing’, trying to associate one with the other and hyping that up; it’s… hip! Does ‘the cloud’ have some Open Source somewhere in the stack? Then call it “open”. Call it “native”. Or “private”. You don’t own it, you certainly do not control it, but whatever…

“We’re back to buying “computer time” instead of actual computers.”Another new press release shows some classic (but not classy) openwashing with buzzwords like "serverless". It speaks of “Open Source Project CloudState” and more puff pieces from Ron Miller would tell us that “CloudState, a new open-source project from Lightbend, wants to change that by moving beyond functions.”

Beyond functions (FaaS, aka “serverless”)?

Buzzword 2.0. Oh wait….

How about “serverless 2.0″?

“Nowadays there are far more press releases and articles about “cloud” than about “servers” or about “Open Source”.”Apparently that’s a real thing now!

“Open-source serverless framework wants to pave the way towards serverless 2.0,” says this headline. “Lightbend has launched a new open-source serverless framework to take on the next generation of serverless. CloudState aims to go beyond the normal stateless functions most serverless initiatives take on today,” SD Times wrote.

So outsourcing not only your servers but also your pertinent services (or ‘micro’ services, typically a fancy word for daemons) to some other companies is so very “2.0″…

All this surveillance and vendor lock-in enjoys openwashing from an IDG site, InfoWorld. The other day we saw “7 open-source tools that make AWS Lambda better” (this is a trap as dangerous as it gets!).

“So outsourcing not only your servers but also your pertinent services (or ‘micro’ services, typically a fancy word for daemons) to some other companies is so very “2.0″…”Mac Asay has apparently just joined Amazon and he says “Lock-in can’t be avoided” in this new headline. Just months after shilling for AWS and making excuses for their gross misuse of Free software and hijacking of projects (made proprietary behind ‘the cloud’) he now works for AWS. If one starts with defeatism (“Lock-in can’t be avoided”) and then promotes openwashing and faked “open”, i.e. proprietary software traps marketed as “open” or “community”, what can one conclude?

And as a side note, Private Equity Wire has this article where an “AWS Advanced Consulting Partner” is being framed “open source specialist” (in the headline).

As if nothing says “Open Source”… like AWS! AWS is proprietary software.

Over a decade ago when I was an online pal of Asay he still promoted the GPL and spoke against vendor lock-in. He himself has just recalled: “Back in 2000 I worked for an open source embedded Linux vendor, Lineo. We talked about using Linux to avoid vendor lock-in. A few years later, I was at a different open source vendor (Alfresco), still talking about open source as a tonic for lock-in. For nearly 20 years I worked for open source and proprietary companies, but lock-in was never far from the conversation, no matter the vendor.”

“Don’t ever let that become acceptable as that would be the end of Software Freedom. “Days ago he asked: “Why doesn’t anyone weep for Docker?”

Nothing to weep for, as they fired the founder, befriended Microsoft, and they also adopted proprietary software business models (the ‘CE’ trick). Notice that part which says “Disclosure: I am an employee of AWS.” It must have happened this past summer, maybe weeks ago.

The main point here, buzzwords are being phased in, Open Source is being made proprietary in ‘the cloud’, and companies such as Amazon hire voices that make it come across as “acceptable”. Don’t ever let that become acceptable as that would be the end of Software Freedom.

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