Bonum Certa Men Certa

Necessary Cloning versus Unnecessary Cloning

Or: "Why it's OK for Samba, but not for Mono and OOXML"

Yesterday we stated that CIFS/SMB isn't the same scenario as OOXML. The same goes for Mono which, as Beranger might put it, does not actually serve a required, necessary and needed need (repetition intended).

”Mono is about ease of migration to Windows programmers (the minority), not Windows users (the majority).“Samba has a need. There is no going back in a mixed enterprise environment that is networked. But for mono -- no actual need. Mainsoft appears to be focused on migrating business applications, but this is not the same thing as actually building Linux applications from the ground up using Mono. This can be done with other programming languages. Mono is about ease of migration to Windows programmers (the minority), not Windows users (the majority).

This leads to another point: Is it truly necessary to embrace a Windows-like Linux in order to attract users? This new blog item disagrees. Don't mind the grammar because the writer's mother tongue is not English.

Last but not least, Free software world need to innovate and provide a different experience. They should stop going after an hypothetic cloning of Windows to ease migration. If the system is well done and provide unique features with a good price, people will switch.


Let's look at some older articles, shall we?

From OS Weekly:

- Xandros and Linspire are so much like Windows in overall feel that it's painful.

- Using any Debian-based distribution to install software is actually easier than using Install Shield and Add/Remove. Software management, discovery and installation is light years easier than with Windows.


Here is what Stephen O'Grady said (from Wired Magazine):

Ubuntu Must 'Play To Its Strengths'



[...]

You can't out-Windows Windows, he says. Defining and playing to Ubuntu's strengths are what will make free software succeed on the desktop.


As we briefly mentioned last week, OpenSolaris needs CIFS as well, but it didn't turn to Samba. There's more information in this new article:

The patents and intellectual property behind Samba technology have long been the subject of dispute between the open source community and Microsoft. In an 2006 interview with InternetNews.com, Microsoft's Bill Hilf, now general manager of Windows Server marketing and platform strategy, chatted about the company's IP concerns over Samba. Microsoft's patent covenant deal with Novell specifically lays out Samba as an area of interoperability.

Whether the companies also have agreements covering Microsoft for CIFS/SMB, however, is unclear.

"I know that Sun and Microsoft have a variety of agreements in place covering a variety of technologies, but I'm not aware of an arrangement specifically around CIFS/SMB," Greenberg said.


As you can see, Sun recognises the need for protocols that facilitate communication. It does not, however, try to build a Windows-like Solaris. OpenSolaris/Project Indiana is actually more of a Ubuntu copy (sure, they will carry on denying it). Even Simon Phipps, if I recall correctly, talked about the resemblance (in GNOME) to Ubuntu.

Nomo

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