Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Samba Project Still Affected by the Novell/Microsoft Deal

Several Samba developers have left Novell in protest. Most recently is was Günther Deschner, a Samba developer who has recently decided to leave Novell and join Red Hat. What sounded inaccurate at first seems to gradually become a reality. This latest departure follows Jeremy Allison's departure, which we covered back in December. He later joined Google where he is seemingly happy and productive as he continues to write some ZDNet columns while carrying on with the Samba newsletter (and also coding, of course).

As observers, one of the main concerns is the implicit (and sometimes explicit) mentioning of patent infringements in Samba, without disclosure of specifics. It is natural to imagine that the developers' stance on this issue is sometimes filled with and fuelled by anger. Does anyone, other than the mis- and less informed customers, actually perceive these allegations as legitimate? To make matters worse, what happens when people are driven into fear by marketing people, who use this as a weapon (or conversely -- a selling point)?

Several developers in the GNU/Linux community have compared the effect of the Microsoft/Novell deal to that of SCO's lawsuits. Some believe the situation could even escalate to action in court. In response to this, several community initiatives were born, including ShowUsTheCode. Does anybody believe that action in court would be more damaging than a state of so-called 'cold war' which leads to fear, uncertainty, and doubt? SCO, after all, has lost its venom after many of its claims got dropped and discarded. Sometimes the unknown, just like darkness, has a stronger impact. It later turned out that SCO 'stole' Linux code, just like Microsoft 'stole' BSD code.

In a fairly recent interview with LinuxWorld, Jeremy Allison said he had been informed of clients/user who hand over 'protection money'. Large companies that use Linux may be approached by Microsoft and asked to pay for the use of software such as Samba. Has any of our readers had any experience with such incidents? As it verges the litigious boundaries of extortion (with legal implications), have you heard of or seen anything? What would your advice be to companies who find themselves in this position?

SMB2 is said to be bringing new challenges, which a gradual uptake of Windows Vista will inevitably lead to. Have a look at this:

The Microsoft Zombie Army will force Samba out of the Enterprise

Vista is to ship with a new version of SMB, called SMB2. At minute 40 in this FLOSS Weekly podcast, Jeremy Allison of Samba talks of behavior that will flood the network with 1500 packets just to do a network file delete. This will turn Vista computers into a DOS (Denial of Service) attack upon Samba based computers on the network.

[...]

'In the section of the interview from around 33m30s to 39m00 Jeremy Allison reports how he was told that the Microsoft team implementing SMB2 were ordered to "f**k with Samba".'


Does anyone believe that interoperability efforts were deliberately being sabotaged or curtailed in the past? Will Novell be able to address the issue of frequently-changing, out-of-date, or hidden APIs? Is complete documentation being delivered, as recently promised owing to the 2004 European ruling? At the moment, small businesses are barred access to the market. One delay just follows another while market saturation is being lost, which leads to monoculture (and yet another case of monopoly abuse). Europe is concerned about this and Novell makes it even harder to combat this abuse.

One of the things that are considered the most important next step for Samba (technical aspects of the project or otherwise) is the ability to mimic the rather dynamic Windows network protocols. Since these are not standardised (surely not in an open and free fashion), this leads to legal traps. Fortunately, Europe chose to describe the protocols in question as "too trivial to be patentable". Therefore development continues and it looks rather encouraging.

Samba 3 preview release behaves more like Windows

[...]

The latest code changes and improvements to Samba 3.0.25 weren't overly dramatic, said the project's release manager, but the subtle changes do push things along toward a scheduled production release in early April.


What is worth mentioning is that some of these protocols are derivative of Open Source code (prior art springs to one's mind), or at least equivalents with proprietary 'extensions'. Some of these extensions brought more harm than good because -- being closed -- they arguably facilitated back doors, to be later accessed by the wrong people. These have led to damages that could be estimated at billions of dollars in damages.

We are yet to see how the Novell/Microsoft deal is going affect Microsoft's legal battles in Europe. We have already witnessed some of its effects, but Novell has not been mentioned explicitly. More particularly, we are yet to see how issues which revolve around servers and communications get treated and addressed, and to what extent the deal plays a role. Surely, this so-called 'interoperability' deal did no good to Samba, which is all about interoperability.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
Firefox Has Fallen to 2% in New Zealand
At around 2%, at least in the US (2% or below this threshold), there's no longer an obligation to test sites for any Gecko-based browser
 
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Has Resorted to Plagiarism by Chatbots, Flooding the World Wide Web With Fake 'Articles' Wrongly Attributed to Brittany Day
busted
[Meme] Bullying the Victims
IBM: crybully of the year 2024
Ian.Community Should be Safer From Trademark Censorship
We wish to discuss this matter very quickly
Microsoft and Its Vicious Attack Dogs (Attacking Women or Wives in Particular)
Sad, pathetic, destructive people
Upcoming Series About the Campaign to 'Disappear' the Father of GNU/Linux
Today we have Julian Assange's fate to focus on
A Month From Now Gemini Protocol Turns 5
June 20
Colombia: From Less Than 0.5% to Nearly 4% for GNU/Linux
it's not limited to this one country
Rumour: Well Overdue Red Hat Layoffs to be Announced in About 3 Days
we know they've planned the layoffs for a while
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 19, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: Updated Noto Fontpacks and gemfeed2atom
Links for the day
GNU/Linux in Georgia: Looking Good
Windows down from 99% to less than 33%
Tomorrow is a Historic Day for Press Freedom in the UK
Take note of the Julian Assange case
Hiding in a Forest Without a Phone and Hiding Behind the First Amendment in the United States (US)
some serial defamer is trying to invert the narrative
Links 19/05/2024: Iran's President Lost in Helicopter Crash, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Awaits Decisions in Less Than a Day
Links for the day
Links 19/05/2024: Microsoft Investigated in Europe
Links for the day
4 Old Articles About Microsoft/IBM SystemD
old but still relevant
Winning Streak
Free software prevalence
Links 19/05/2024: Conflicts, The Press, and Spotify Lawsuit
Links for the day
GNU/Linux+ChromeOS at Over 7% in New Zealand
It's also the home of several prominent GNU/Linux advocates
libera.chat (Libera Chat) Turns 3 Today
Freenode in the meantime continues to disintegrate
[Teaser] Freenode NDA Expires in a Few Weeks (What Really Happened 3 Years Ago)
get ready
GNU/Linux is Already Mainstream, But Microsoft is Still Trying to Sabotage That With Illegal Activities and Malicious Campaigns of Lies
To help GNU/Linux grow we'll need to tackle tough issues and recognise Microsoft is a vicious obstacle
Slovenia's Adoption of GNU/Linux in 2024
Whatever the factor/s may be, if these figures are true, then it's something to keep an eye on in the future
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 18, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 18, 2024
Links 19/05/2024: Profectus Beta 1.2
Links for the day
Site Archives (Not WordPress)
We've finally finished the work
[Meme] The EPO Delusion
on New Ways of Working
EPO Representatives Outline Latest Attacks on Staff
Not much has happened recently in terms of industrial action
Links 18/05/2024: Revisiting the Harms of Patent Trolls, Google Tries to Bypass (or Plagiarise) Sites Under the Guise of "AI"
Links for the day
Links 18/05/2024: BASIC Story, Site Feeds, and New in Geminispace
Links for the day
GNU/Linux in Kyrgyzstan: From 0.5% to 5% in Eight Years
the country is almost the size of the UK
Justice for Victims of Online Abuse
The claims asserted or pushed forth by the harasser are categorically denied
[Meme] Senior Software Engineer for Windows
This is becoming like another Novell
Links 18/05/2024: Deterioration of the Net, North Korean IT Workers in the US
Links for the day
Windows in Lebanon: Down to 12%?
latest from statCounter
[Video] 'Late Stage Capitalism': Microsoft as an Elaborate Ponzi Scheme (Faking 'Demand' While Portraying the Fraud as an Act of Generosity and Demanding Bailouts)
Being able to express or explain the facts isn't easy because of the buzzwords
Links 18/05/2024: Caledonia Emergency Powers, "UK Prosecutor's Office Went Too Far in the Assange Case"
Links for the day
Microsoft ("a Dying Megacorporation that Does Not Create") and IBM: An Era of Dying Giants With Leadership Deficits and Corporate Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
Microsoft seems to be resorting to lots of bribes and chasing of bailouts (i.e. money from taxpayers worldwide)
US Patent and Trademark Office Sends Out a Warning to People Who Do Not Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats
They're punishing people who wish to use open formats
Links 18/05/2024: Fury in Microsoft Over Studio Shutdowns, More Gaming Layoffs
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 17, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 17, 2024
Links 18/05/2024: KOReader, Benben v0.5.0 Progress Update, and More
Links for the day