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Greg Kroah-Hartman Gripes About Microsoft's Linux Contribution; MS Renews Effort 213

Posted by timothy
from the public-growing-pains dept.
dp619 writes "Microsoft's developers were missing in action after the company donated GPL-licensed drivers to the Linux kernel community in July, leaving significant work to the Linux community, according to Linux driver project lead and Novell fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman. The company rekindled its involvement after Kroah-Hartman published a status report this week. Kroah-Hartman said that other companies were also laggards in Linux development, and that Microsoft's lack of involvement was nothing out of the ordinary."
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Greg Kroah-Hartman Gripes About Microsoft's Linux Contribution; MS Renews Effort

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  • Of course. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by NoYob (1630681) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @06:42PM (#29384005)

    Kuhn credited the community for using a "friendly" strategy to enforce GPL by quietly working with Microsoft to inform it of its obligations, and by helping the company into compliance.

    If you're over zealous about it, MS will just stop contributing. They really don't have much to gain financially from this and as far as PR is concerned, well, I have a feeling that MS' actions won't be good enough for some in the F/OSS community.

  • Re:Kinda funny. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @06:53PM (#29384135) Journal

    A good point. Anyone is free to do what ever they like with the gpl donated code that doesn't violate the gpl. That includes not including it in a future official Linus sanctioned Linux kernel. But, I think GKH is trying to get companies to stay active in development of their own donated code,using the carrot of inclusion in the Official Linus Kernel. That's not a bad idea. Someone has to fund the ongoing maintenance costs of the drivers.

    As the drivers usage primarily benefits Microsoft, why not them?

  • Re:Kinda funny. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip DOT paradis AT palegray DOT net> on Thursday September 10, 2009 @07:01PM (#29384207) Homepage Journal
    I have to admit, that's one of the funniest ways I've heard such a process described :). All the same, they have released the code. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, and it certainly won't be the last. I'd just like to see more positive reinforcement, lest their devs lose any inclination to release code voluntarily in the future.
  • Re:Of course. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by petrus4 (213815) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @07:14PM (#29384313) Homepage Journal

    If you're over zealous about it, MS will just stop contributing.

    Bradley Kuhn is a dangerous fanatic. If there's one thing I'm tired of around here, it is people who are willing to condemn Microsoft as being entirely evil on the one hand, yet completely overlook individuals among their own who behave in largely the same ways.

    Also, for anyone who wants to me to cite sources to back up the claim that Kuhn is evil, just ask. There's any amount of material on the Web, and I'm more than happy to link to it.

  • Re:Thanks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @07:37PM (#29384529)
    yup, that is why I would dump this code microsoft donated in to the trash = not even include it in the kernel, and just leave it up to microsoft to to offer it as a third party patch.
  • Re:Thanks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @08:10PM (#29384785)

    Don't be stupid.

    When Intel contributes a patch, they go through the required process necessary to make the patch meet the maintainers' standards. I actually did this a couple times when I worked at Intel.

    If MS isn't going to do the work necessary to make their patches meet the standards, then it shouldn't be merged. I'm actually a little disappointed that they merged it in at all before going through this process fully.

  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday September 10, 2009 @08:44PM (#29384885) Homepage Journal

    VMWare was releasing their changes to the kernel and to X11 back when the technology was being developed at Stanford. When the company was formed that process continued. Of course, that didn't stop anyone from claiming they were violating the GPL and were bad to the community months ago. If it bleeds it leads.

  • by bootup (1220024) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @09:15PM (#29385027)
    Get over yourself... nobody here cares what you think. This isn't the propaganda arm of MS so if people say things that you see as "anti-Microsoft" it is probably because is is true. Certainly a site that is a "Source for technology related news with a heavy slant towards Linux and Open Source issues." clearly identifies itself and needs to be read with a bit of scepticism-even if a significant number of those you see as "anti-Microsoft" are right most of the time. I don't see BestBuy, Staples, PC World, or any other "MS Windows" propaganda arm identifying itself so blatantly as Microsoft for the good of the people.
  • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Friday September 11, 2009 @03:10AM (#29386701) Homepage

    No, they were violating the GPL.
    They had to at least give source to their customers.

    Rather than to continue to do that they made this driver the kernel maintainers problem. If they don't want to help maintain it, I say drop it from the kernel.

    It was a twofer. MS weaseled out of punishment for license violation ( GPL ) and at the same time just shat in the kernel maintainers' collective pocket.

    Denial of Service attacks work in meatspace, too. The maintainers have no obligation to burn up hours coding and supporting someone else's abandonware.

    For that matter, so do injection attacks. For example, find out who gave the order to install any given Windows server, assuming you can still find one these days. No one will 'fess up.

  • Re:Thanks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by msclrhd (1211086) on Friday September 11, 2009 @04:10AM (#29386961)

    Don't you mean;

    Microsoft: Here is a binary Linux kernel module for Hyper-V.
    Someone: But wait... it is using GPL-only kernel interfaces.
    Microsoft: Oh, er...
    Grek KH: You need to release the code to be compliant.
    Microsoft: Here you go. Here is the code for the driver.
    Microsoft PR: Microsoft has generously donated a lot of code to the Linux kernel under the GPL license. We did this because it is the right thing to do.
    [Slashdot story #1]
    [Greg KH spends a lot of time thanklessly getting the code to the point where it is ready for inclusion with the kernel.]
    [Greg KH sends e-mail to Microsoft asking for help.]
    [Greg KH posts a summary for the upcoming .32 drivers.]
    [Slashdot story #2]
    Microsoft: Ok, we'll help maintain it.
    Microsoft PR: Microsoft is actively involved with the Linux community.

  • Re:Thanks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GaryOlson (737642) <slashdot AT garyolson DOT org> on Friday September 11, 2009 @09:35AM (#29388571) Journal
    I think the mods are on crack again. This is a plausible scenario -- not thru malicious action on MS part but just the inevitable turpitude of a large uncaring monopoly.

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