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MS No Cathedral, Open Source No Bazaar? 170

Posted by kdawson
from the says-the-high-priest dept.
AlexGr sends us to InternetNews.com for an account of a Microsoft VP demonstrating Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX product running on Ubuntu at AJAXWorld. In his earlier keynote, Brad Abrams had declared that, when it comes to AJAX, Microsoft is not the cathedral and open source isn't really a bazaar. He noted that ASP.NET AJAX is available under Microsoft's permissive license with full source code. "The Web is built on open standards and we at Microsoft believe that we have to enable those open standards," Abrams said.
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MS No Cathedral, Open Source No Bazaar?

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  • deja vu? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rixel (131146) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:20AM (#18477693)
    "The Web is built on open standards and we at Microsoft believe that we have to enable those open standards," .....and then twist them into a New York hot pretzel, with a dash of moebius strip, then 'reintroduce'.
    • Re:deja vu? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cloricus (691063) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:25AM (#18477729)
      Without a word of a troll I believe my brain stem fell to pieces when I read that.

      As a web developer for the last ten years I wonder who they honestly believe they are kidding? No matter what your bias you can clearly see in their current policy that they have no interest in standards and less so in web standards.
    • MS has always seen the web as something to convert away from open standards. Xmlhttprequest was introduced by MS as part of the way to extend and extinguish http. They were surprised when it was used against them, which is why it took them SOOOOOO long to suddenly back it. It was no different when the internet and web were opened to the world. MS had introduced their own internet called MSN that BG wanted to get 1-5 pennies off of ever dollar that was spent. Once he saw the they open internet was killing
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721)
        Microsoft does this every few months. They send out one of their talking heads to talk to some segment of the tech community and spread a heaping, reeking pile of bullshit. Whether it's the idiotic question and answer sessions that Slashdot provides, or some developers conference, it's all about trying to make their monopolistic agenda look nice and cuddly. Microsoft has been one of the single biggest enemies of standards of any kind. They've gone out of the way to break standards, so the only question
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mateo_LeFou (859634)
          "there is another question. Does Microsoft truly think we're so stupid as to buy into any of it?"

          Yes, they truly think that. And many many people are exactly so stupid. If BG says it, it's true. And if you point out that it's false, you're just jealous of BG's money.
      • by jthill (303417)

        Same thing is going on with AJAX. MS did not develop it.

        A few Google searches says the story's not so simple. [alexhopmann.com] The link's longish by today's standards, so TWLAS (Those With Limited Attention Span) need not apply. The gist is that they had all the pieces in their hands to rub together. They built some of those pieces themselves, they built on some pieces from elsewhere, incorporated some more unchanged, put them together to build the first AJAX application ... and didn't invest any more effort.

        They'r

    • by horati0 (249977)

      ...a New York hot pretzel, with a dash of moebius strip...

      How much mustard would you need for that?
  • by jimicus (737525) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:21AM (#18477697)
    at Microsoft or they're hiring stand-up comedians.

    This is the company that wanted to decommoditize standards and protocols [scripting.com], yet they come out with the line "The Web is built on open standards and we at Microsoft believe that we have to enable those open standards"
    • by rucs_hack (784150) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:27AM (#18477745)
      It's an old method. Keep getting soundbites published that discredit the view you don't want, and the lie slowly becomes true.

      I'll be willing to bet they never would have made source for ajax available had open source not existed. Once again they lead by following...

      And anyway, it's not open source, because I can't take the entire source and produce a rival product using it.
      • by OmegaBlac (752432) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @12:05PM (#18479189)

        And anyway, it's not open source, because I can't take the entire source and produce a rival product using it.
        It very well may be open source, but it sure is not Free Software.
      • by icepick72 (834363)

        [Microsoft] never would have made source for ajax available had open source not existed.
        If open source did not exist what would be the point of anybody opening up source code? You can't really put Microsoft down based on a flawed theory. It's like putting down Lance Armstrong because he wouldn't have put the effort forward to win the Tour de France if bicycles had not existed.
        • by rucs_hack (784150)
          Source code from other products/groups was available before 'open source' came into existence. Microsoft have, in the past, always been against the distribution of source code.
    • I don't see any evidence that Microsoft "gets it".

      I think the suits responsible for managing the development of ASP.NET JAVA have confused "bizarre" with "bazaar", and precisely aimed for, and hit, the wrong target. This is a truly bizarre thing that MS is attempting to foist on the world.

      We can expect more weirdness like this coming from Redmond. As a corporate organism, Microsoft was never endowed with very much of the higher cortical functions that are needed to work the top levels of the Maslow pyra

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by novus ordo (843883)
      In the section entitled Beat Linux there's this blurb: "Fold extended functionality into commodity protocols / services and create new protocols." This extended functionality has to do with patents. Read up on how they stunted OpenGL with threats of IP infringement on pixel and vertex shaders to see this is a real threat. Also the patent deal with Novell is only an indication of things to come. It makes sense too. The code license doesn't matter as long as you control what you can code.
      Microsoft is slowly d
  • by flydpnkrtn (114575) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:21AM (#18477699)
    So the first example of MS not using the Cathedral model, and they act like this is huge sweeping change? Release the source to Win2K under the permissive license, or help the Samba team figure out the damn protocols for Active Directory authentication, and then maybe we'll talk about "changes" and "open standards"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by plague3106 (71849)
      How can it not be? You don't think that this is a major shift for them, even if it is just one product so far? Of course nevermind that VS2005 defaults to strict XHTML 1.1 code.

      They cannot release Win2k source code; doing so would violate their agreement with Sun following the Java lawsuit. Win2k binaries aren't even available on MSDN anymore. Basically, if you don't already have a Win2k disc, you're not going to get one.

      • by J0nne (924579) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:02AM (#18478717)

        nevermind that VS2005 defaults to strict XHTML 1.1 code.

        and is it served as application/xhtml+xml by default too? Because there's a certain browser by Microsoft that can't handle that...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Shados (741919)
          Its served as to whatever is crossbrowser. The team that makes VS isn't the team that makes IE, and are probably as pissed off as we all are about how uncompliant it is (for example, the design view for ASP.NET in VS2005 renders correctly a bunch of CSS that IE will ignore even though its in the specs, AND will bitch and whine quite a bit if you dare use a IE CSS filter).

          That being said, last I checked, VS2005 default to XHTML 1.0 transitional, not XHTML 1.1 strict :)
      • by MeNeXT (200840)
        It's not. The only time Microsoft talks of open standards is when Microsoft does not have a majority market share. If Microsoft was serious of open standards then they would publish the standards to their protocols.
      • by a.d.trick (894813)

        Of course nevermind that VS2005 defaults to strict XHTML 1.1 code

        You know, it would have been better if they hadn't. The problem is they make code that pretends to be XHTML, but it isn't. They still use the HTML mime type: sending XHTML with the text/html mime-type is bad [hixie.ch]. If they had stuck with XHTML 1.0 Transitional that would have been okay, because those specs make room for nasty browsers that don't support XHTML [microsoft.com], but XHTML 1.1 should always be sent as application/xhtml+xml.

        • by Kalriath (849904)
          I don't see how that's relevant to Visual Studio, which doesn't honestly care what web server you use. Visual Studio doesn't know what MIME type you will be serving your content as, nor will it actually ever deal with MIME types for your content at all. And even then, if it's ASP.NET you have the ability to set "Response.ContentType = 'application/xhtml+xml'" which would work. Though, annoyingly enough, you need to prefix that with "if ( Request.Browser.Browser != 'IE' )"
    • by stikves (127823) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:05AM (#18477983) Homepage
      It's true that Microsoft used a "vendor specific" byte in Kerberos protocol to keep SAMBA out (at least for a while). It's not good.

      But Microsoft also handles many protocols nicely (as long as it's on the server side), and provides easy to use GUIs to setup and administer them.

      For example, let's say I want to store all my infrastructure for user accounts, X509 certificate and DNS services and email configuration on a LDAP directory and would like to access via Kerberos as well.

      The setup wizard for Active Directory will handle all these tasks (automatically) in less than 10 minutes (and add 30 minutes setup for Exchange and service packs). Additionally I'll receive many administration GUIs, fully redundant setup and backup programs. (Not including group policy which does not have a good alternative on Linux side yet).

      On the other hand the same infrastructure setup on linux (with Fedora Directory Server or similar), requires coding plenty of scripts (LDAP gateway, sendmail configurations, kerberos password migration, etc, etc) and will probably take 3 days at best. Additionally I'll have to setup Amanda and similar backup strategies by hand.

      So, I'd either choose to invest $1000 on a Windows Server 2003 license once, or hire an administrator with $1000 more salary per month than a current one.

      Unfortunately many enterprises choose the first one

      (btw our current setup uses Fedora Directory Server as main, while we also have an Active Directory installation in parallel, yet this is only because we're a university and we like to experiment more).
      • "It's true that Microsoft used a "vendor specific" byte in Kerberos protocol to keep SAMBA out (at least for a while). It's not good.

        But Microsoft also handles many protocols nicely (as long as it's on the server side), and provides easy to use GUIs to setup and administer them.

        For example, let's say I want to store all my infrastructure for user accounts, X509 certificate and DNS services and email configuration on a LDAP directory and would like to access via Kerberos as well."

        So, you mean that they abuse their economical power... But it is ok, since they do that with a nice GUI? Or are you saying (falsely) that Microsoft has not extended those protocols? Because they have extended (or tried) almost all of them, DNS being the only exception, and irrelevant since they already tried to extend TCP.

        "The setup wizard for Active Directory will handle all these tasks (automatically) in less than 10 minutes (and add 30 minutes setup for Exchange and service packs). Additionally I'll receive many administration GUIs, fully redundant setup and backup programs. (Not including group policy which does not have a good alternative on Linux side yet).

        On the other hand the same infrastructure setup on linux (with Fedora Directory Server or similar), requires coding plenty of scripts (LDAP gateway, sendmail configurations, kerberos password migration, etc, etc) and will probably take 3 days at best. Additionally I'll have to setup Amanda and similar backup strategies by hand."

        Now, you seem to be very uninformed. There is quite a long time since people don't need to edit sendmail configs for a normal server (unless you talking about setting your netmask), Windows didn't deal with email by that time. There is less time that LDAP gateways and kerberos servers work easily, but they also do. And I'd really like to know what nice backup solution you get on Windows out of the box, even completely ignoring that to set-up amanda one just need to say where to put all those files and what to backup (I really doubt any other solution won't require that information). Someone that already knows those systems may very well configure it all on a day.

        And, at leat at my box (hint, it's Debian, one of the most geeky and hard to configure distros out there) there are GUIs for most of those.

        "So, I'd either choose to invest $1000 on a Windows Server 2003 license once, or hire an administrator with $1000 more salary per month than a current one.

        Unfortunately many enterprises choose the first one"

        That tells how good at math are those people... Of course 3 days of work by $1000 a month are much cheapper than $1000 on licences and not accounted work on making all that software work as intented.

        And, are you implying that windows doesn't need maintence?!?!?!

        • by stikves (127823) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @12:00PM (#18479131) Homepage

          So, you mean that they abuse their economical power... But it is ok, since they do that with a nice GUI? Or are you saying (falsely) that Microsoft has not extended those protocols? Because they have extended (or tried) almost all of them, DNS being the only exception, and irrelevant since they already tried to extend TCP.


          In order not to get further into a flamewar, it'll try to get technical.

          Let's say we need to build an infrastructure on the open protocols mentioned above. While there're plenty of alternatives, one can propose Active Directory can also do the job well (this does not mean it's best or anything).

          • AD can serve a standard DNS domain (even if mixed with Linux BIND servers), including an LDAP backend and dynamic updates [ietf.org]: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/317590 [microsoft.com]
          • AD can also serve Kerberos for Linux clients (in a standard way): (here) [windowsnetworking.com], it can also do RADIUS as well.
          • AD is LDAP compliant [microsoft.com] so use can also use nss_ldap to grab user information on Linux system from it
          • Linux and Windows nodes can perform two directional file sharing via standard* CIFS protocol [ubiqx.org]
          • AD (with addition of certificate services) can serve as s X509 Certificate Authority.
          • AD + Exchange will understand SMTP, SMTP-AUTH (over LDAP), POP3, IMAP, IMAPS, NTTP protocols (additional web based access is also provided).
          • With Windows Server 2003 R2, AD can also serve standard NIS, NFS, CUPS and similar UNIX protocols.
          • If you include non standard (but known) protocols in the mix, Windows and Linux machines can also interoperate via DFS (Distributed File Sharing), RPD (Terminal Services), etc.


            The required setup is done less than an hour, and will require a (less competent) system administrator for maintenance in the long run.

            (It can be argued that the Linux side will require a more educated - i.e: more expensive - system administrator, and preparation of many site specific scripts and configurations - yet this may not seem objective for some people).

            Don't misunderstand I'm not proposing converting all the systems to AD. I'm telling AD is also a fine solution based on open protocols.
          • by Super_Z (756391) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:32PM (#18481827)

            AD is LDAP compliant so use can also use nss_ldap to grab user information on Linux system from it
            The devil lies in the details. LDAP compliance does not ensure that a product can be used as advertised. The killer lies in the (lack of) implementation of OID matching rules.

            Linux and Windows nodes can perform two directional file sharing via standard* CIFS protocol
            The fact that this can be done is a credit to the Samba community and definetly not a credit to MS.

            With Windows Server 2003 R2, AD can also serve standard NIS, NFS, CUPS and similar UNIX protocols.
            Try creating a file with e.g a colon in it on a volume mounted from a WS2003 server. Their NFS implementation is not only half-assed - its a complete bastard to set up. Other companies - like NetApp - has *far* better products. Which only shows that MS just couldn't be bothered with doing a good job compatibility wise.
            I also find no mention on the WS2003 server feature page that it can serve anything remotely CUPS'ish. You were probably thinking of IPP?

            If you include non standard (but known) protocols in the mix, Windows and Linux machines can also interoperate via DFS (Distributed File Sharing), RPD (Terminal Services), etc.
            RDP support on unix hosts should definetly not be credited MS.

            The AD compatibility list and its features may look nice on a glossy paper. To be honest - I wouldn't touch it with a long stick. Its a one way street into a long life of MS induced pain - non-compatibilities, forced upgrades, a license policy that you need professional help to understand etc.

            Not to mention the happy fact that with AD, MS has a perfect instrument to enforce any diabolic license-policy they can think of - at any point in time they want to. They are in complete control of your core infrastructure.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by morcego (260031)
        Humm, I won't even quote that one.

        1) Just because you can do it easily doesn't mean you can do it right
        2) Have you ever tried using NDS ?
        3) Try using Exim instead of sendmail. You can do the "configuration" in 2 minutes or less.

        I hate LDAP as much as I hate Windows AD. Even tho I don't like Novell, NDS is still the best directory server around (when you want to handle multiple platforms). Btw, unless I'm much mistaken, Novell was the one to invent directory services in the first place.

        (btw, my current setup
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by The_Wilschon (782534)
      The cathedral model doesn't even really refer to proprietary development. You might term the closed proprietary development model the prison model or something, the code only gets out when it has done its time. CatB discussed two open source development models, one in which potential changes were submitted to the monarch or oligarchs of a project for consideration, and one in which pretty much anybody could add stuff whenever. Microsoft uses neither of these.

      In short, the difference between the cathedr
      • by init100 (915886)

        CatB discussed two open source development models, one in which potential changes were submitted to the monarch or oligarchs of a project for consideration, and one in which pretty much anybody could add stuff whenever.

        By that definition, I have never heard of any projects using the bazaar model. I mean, do any project supply public commit access?

        No, I'd rather think of the cathedral model as the model used in certain BSD systems, as well as in the development of XGL, which is a klosely knit team of programmers write the code without accepting patches from the public, while still releasing their code to the public. The bazaar model is used in most F/OSS projects, where anyone can contribute, but contributions are asse

        • Fair enough. You're right, my description left a good bit to be desired. FYI, the canonical examples are the Linux kernel (bazaar) and emacs (cathedral). But as always, the best way to get a sense of it is to read the original essay.
    • by guruevi (827432)
      Or make Active Directory, which is basically built up out of Kerberos & LDAP (with SSL) talk like an LDAP implementation and let the Kerberos work like the Kerberos standard outlines.

      Microsoft did not invent anything anytime, they just bought up or copied it (badly) from someone else and made it sound like they did it. From the beginning (BASIC & DOS) till now I have not seen a single drop of innovation or invention come from Redmond. I have basically grown up with Microsoft products around me (from
    • by VENONA (902751)
      Personally, I don't want to see the Win2K sources. Every time MS code has been stolen (they don't handle their own security much better than they do their user's) or published under a limiting license, I see a few 'at last' posts in at least a couple of fora. If you're looking at their code, unless under anything like an explicit agreement with them involving something like 'helping Samba team' or 'complying with EU demands so they halt our massive fines' (fat chance of either) you might want to worry about
  • Correction (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:22AM (#18477709)
    "The Web is built on open standards and we at Microsoft believe that we have to extend those open
    standards," Abrams said.


    There, fixed spelling for you. ;-)
  • by neongrau (1032968) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:23AM (#18477715)
    there are so many ajax enabled frameworks.
    most if not all of them aren't even tied to a specific server-side technology -> so more choice.

    they point out it's open source? hey of course it is! the major part is in javascript. it's open by design and even if it were possible to scramble, obfuscate and encrypt their code. it would be useless because developers will have the need to extend the widgets to their specific needs at a certain level.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:29AM (#18477765) Homepage Journal
    "MS No Cathedral, Open Source No Bazaar?"

    what cathedral ? what bazaar ? what relation does any cathedral and bazaar have, what kind of metaphor is this, and just what the heck does that mean ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by flydpnkrtn (114575)
      See here [wikipedia.org] for an explanation
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Clazzy (958719)
      http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar / [catb.org]
      Written by Eric Raymond about the differences between open and closed source, pretty much.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by UncleOwl (1016926)
        AFAIK, the original CatB is not so much about open vs closed source, rather than those two models used in open source context - e.g. the original GNU project was more a Cathedral, while Linux was a Bazaar.
        • "the original GNU project was more a Cathedral"

          That certainly explains Stallman's attitude that he's the Pope (the current one, the one who used to be head of the Inquisition) and only his proclamations are to be adhered to...

    • what cathedral ? what bazaar ? what relation does any cathedral and bazaar have, what kind of metaphor is this, and just what the heck does that mean ?

      This is an (indirect) reference to Eric S. Raymond [wikipedia.org]'s seminal paper, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" [wikipedia.org] (actual essay is here [catb.org]), in which he talks about software development being done in one of two ways, by huge development companies in commercial environments, being similar to the way medieval cathedrals were constructed, versus open-source development in which just about anyone can get involved if they want, and that development is closer to the typical bazaars where anyone can walk up and put up a booth to sell rugs. It is this paper that was basically the cause of Netscape deciding to open-source its browser.

      • by unity100 (970058)
        which lead to firefox, i believe ?
        • by sumdumass (711423)
          Well, it lead to Mozilla first then the Firefox offshoot.

          The main difference besides timing is that Mozilla was a web suite like Netscape traditionally was were Firefox was the fist stand along browser of the legacy.
      • by westlake (615356)
        being similar to the way medieval cathedrals were constructed, versus open-source development in which just about anyone can get involved if they want, and that development is closer to the typical bazaars where anyone can walk up and put up a booth to sell rugs

        The gothic cathedral was in many ways a communal project that evolved over decades and even centuries. David Macaulay: Cathedral DVD [shoppbs.org] The medieval craft guilds had a very large say in who sold what and where. Medieval Gulds [iastate.edu] I can't find an anchorage

  • MS and standards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by l3v1 (787564) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:43AM (#18477843)
    and we at Microsoft believe that we have to enable those open standards

    Enable ? Hardly. Follow ? When PR requires. Open ? Yeah, right.

    "Enable those open standards" does this even mean something ?

    First they don't do it. Then they do something similar for a second and act as they've always done it and behaved accordingly forever and even act like it's their ground philosophy.

    Not that I would care what a company does to ensure a certain future - economical, technical or otherwise - yet there are certain boundaries to arrogance - like in we think you're ignorant enough to eat whatever we serve you for dinner kind of arrogance - that sometimes just blows the hood.
     
    • by 26199 (577806) *

      Well. Taken literally "enable" means "make possible", "supply with means, knowledge, or opportunity", "give sanction to" or "make operational".

      In other words: you can't play unless we let you.

      The arrogance is astounding. Of course it may in fact be the case that Microsoft can make everyone pack up and go home if they want to. Does this mean they've decided to let it live?

      Nah. It probably doesn't mean anything.

    • 'they do something similar for a second .. and even act like it's their ground philosophy'

      Now that they have figured out that they can't kill open source through the pollution of open standards, they pretend to engage with it so as they can steal back mind share and subvert it from the inside. To the general public MS = computers, so it would odd that advances were happening elsewhere the MS wasn't involved in. Gets Microsoft and Open in the same sentence, get it. Watch out for a joint Open Source compa
  • by segedunum (883035) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:45AM (#18477857)
    Whenever a Microsoft employee talks about using open standards you can bet it's because no one is using the particular bit of software he's talking about. As soon as a critical mass of people are using it, see the open standards mantra melt away.

    "I'm not sure the bazaar analogy works," Abrams said. "Neither cathedral nor bazaar are the same in the AJAX Web space; rather there is a continuum that reaches across space."
    Anyone have any idea what this claptrap means?

    "In the open source world you can talk to people and get answers," Abrams said. "But we're offering guaranteed support."
    Oh right, this is what it's about. You're trying to stop people from using all the open source AJAX implementations out there, and you believe one way to do this is to claim that open source software has no support? As everyone who uses this kind of stuff should know, it's far faster and more responsive to discuss things like this with like-minded people (and/or employees) on a mailing list or forum than wait for a meaningless answer from some dumb witted twit who doesn't understand the software he's been cajoled into providing support for. You're going to fail there, so no, you don't understand how people are using AJAX at all.

    "The other reality is that you have work on other platform and can't afford to turn away users that are using Mac or Linux as well."
    Yes, because most of the servers on the web aren't Windows, damn it! Oh sorry, that quote was taken out of context.

    Forgive me for being just a tad sceptical, and wondering why this was good enough to make it as a Slashdot news story.
    • by LordEd (840443)

      it's far faster and more responsive to discuss things like this with like-minded people (and/or employees) on a mailing list or forum than wait for a meaningless answer from some dumb witted twit who doesn't understand the software he's been cajoled into providing support for.

      If you lose the spin placed by you and Abrams, you both said "Open source has forum-based support, and Microsoft has phone based support". Which is faster: a mailing list where somebody will volunteer an answer where they have time,

      • Next time, start the clock and measuer how long it takes. From harsh, harsh experience, the forum is faster. The last 3 MS support calls I made took at least 3 levels of escalation to get to the engineers I needed to talk to. It's even worse when I'm calling to report a bug and a workaround: I don't get credit for the fix, the fix if ever eventually provided is not properly described in the "update" list, and the bug report often vanishes into the void.

        Google and public Wikies are often far, far, far faster

      • There is NOTHING about OSS that REQUIRES forum-based support. There are plenty of OSS developers offering support for MONEY.

        Another Windows shill red herring.

        You people have utterly NO intellectual integrity, do you?

    • "I'm not sure the bazaar analogy works," Abrams said. "Neither cathedral nor bazaar are the same in the AJAX Web space; rather there is a continuum that reaches across space."

      Anyone have any idea what this claptrap means?

      Ah that's an easy one. You see, if you nuke the crap out of a planet, eventually the minute particles of cathedrals and bazaars will evenly spread out through space by a form of osmosis. It's a perfectly simple principle of discombobulation.

  • by Gregory Cox (997625) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:01AM (#18477955)
    I don't know what to make of the opensourcelegal.org [slashdot.org] site linked to in the story.

    Generally sites talking about open source tend to be keen to advocate the open source philosophy, but the tone of this site is mostly neutral and lacking any overtly expressed opinion. If anything, the page titled Why Open Source? [opensourcelegal.org] seems more negative than positive.

    So perhaps the legal firm running the site is playing up the difficulties and uncertainties surrounding open source as a way of promoting its legal help on the subject? But I can't see anything on the (rather small) site advertising legal services at all. It doesn't really have enough content to get many visits for its news or information. I wonder why it was set up...
    • The guy is an IP lawyer. IP should be abolished. I don't think he would agree. The same reason why I don't expect him to know the horrors of letting people patent algorithms, I don't think you should expect him to know the difference between open and closed source. Clearly he will get more business in a "closed source" environment.
    • by init100 (915886)

      If anything, the page titled Why Open Source? seems more negative than positive.

      I agree. The negative aspects listed had stronger qualifiers than the positive aspects, which makes it feel more negative than positive.

      By the way, won't you agree that Peter Moldave (their contact) looks a bit like Bill Gates? ;)

  • by Salsaman (141471) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:02AM (#18477967) Homepage
    Embrace.
  • by lotusleaf (928941) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:06AM (#18477987) Homepage
    Speaking of standards:

    * "Microsoft breaks with standards effort" [zdnet.com] 03-25-2003
    * "Microsoft quits W3C standardisation panel" [theinquirer.net] 03/24/2003

    How about a free and open standard in gaming?
    * "Microsoft DirectX killing innovation" [theinquirer.net] 03-27-2003
    • 2003? This is 2007 and that is a lot of time to change your game...
  • We are from the Government and we are here to help.

    We are from Microsoft and we enable Open Standards.
  • They are just spreading their filthy proprietary standards to Linux. That is doing as much to "enable open standards" as it is to solve world hunger.
    • I don't believe he was speaking about the server side. He was speaking of the client side. You can use it with PHP as well.
  • Microsoft has finally decided that the cathedral model of development just isn't working for them anymore, so they've decided to do like the Catholic Church and disseminate their beliefs into every household so that you can be sure to have "MS Guilt" when having any unclean thoughts about OSS.

    Come to think of it, their BSA raids on small businesses is kind of like the Inquisition... I guess you could have worse business models than the church. I mean, they are still around after thousands of years and sti
  • by 3seas (184403) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @10:15AM (#18478381) Journal
    Microsoft is first and foremost a marketing company.

    They can and will say what ever they need to to get people to buy.

    Second in priority is Microsoft is their own legal advisors to advise
    themselves, (based on their interpretation of the law - no different
    than any other lawyer or law firm) on what they can get away with, what
    they can get in trouble for but balanced against what they gain in
    breaking the law (do they gain more than they lose - if so then they
    see it as a cost of doing business).

    Third in priority is the bullying and buy out of the competition. Of
    course their legal house is involved in this too.

    Forth has become the application submittal for as many patents as
    they can get, even stupid stuff that is clearly not patentable. In
    the battle against open source this will become combined with the
    third priority more and more.

    What you don't see in any of the above is genuine innovation.

    Microsoft does NOT enable fair play. But they often make claims
    in contridiction of what they actually do.

    Microsoft has a very long and hard earned reputation of being
    dishonest with marketing speak.

    But we all know this, those of use that read slashdot.

    And slashdot users are not who this markting bull is aimed at.

    Or maybe we should thank MS for enabling us to be open?
  • I noticed two main things in that license text:

    You can't remove any copyright, patent, or atribution notices. Kind of like the dreaded BSD advertising clause, in that if someone puts "Parts written by 1337 h4xx0rz" in the output of the program, you have to leave it there. Repeat ad nauseum for every contributor that jumps on the bandwagon, and things could get... unaesthetic.

    They use almost the exact same patent control system as the GPLv3. If a program contains patented code, you're granted permission to use those patents to execute it. If you sue one of the patent holders for violations of your own patent, that permission is revoked. I think this is called the "please don't eat me, IBM!" clause. Seriously, though, this needs to be pointed out every single time some Microsoft shill attacks the GPLv3. You can dislike v3, but you can't really call it anti-business when the world's largest software vendor implemented parts of it in their own license.

    • by Tim C (15259)
      You can't remove any copyright, patent, or atribution notices.

      Credit where it's due, surely? If a person has made a contribution to the software, surely it's only fair enough to credit them if they so desire? I do appreciate your point about aesthetics (which I firmly believe matter), but in most cases surely a well-designed credits page/screen/listing output/whatever should be perfectly acceptable. For example, take a look at the credits for Firefox (Help->About->Credits); that's a very long list of
  • 'we at Microsoft believe that we have to enable those open standards'

    'One strategy is to jump on the Java bandwagon and try and take control [edge-op.org] of the class libraries and runtime'

    'Screw Sun, cross-platform will never work. Lets move on and steal [edge-op.org] the Java language'

    'Outlook will not run propedy on top of GroupWise 5.1 because it uses/expects unknown MAPI calls/parameters. We have asked our normal Microsoft contacts for assistance in getting this to work .. We have been unsuccessful [edge-op.org] at getting the add
  • But have they created an Eclipse plugin for developing with it? This is same old MS... "We'll own the format and hence be the most capable of creating a development environment for it... then they'll have to run Windows to create the most popular content"

    This is especially significant in a world where the content consumers are more and more also the content creators.

    In addition at the enterprise level: AJAX isn't easy to implement when you're using it for really intense UIs... you need an IDE for this to do

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