I think that the quiet co-option of FOSS communities by the Frightful Five (and those corporations aspiring to join them) has included a concerted, broad campaign to undermine Copyleft. When I first started doing FOSS back in the 90s, "open source" implicitly *included* Copyleft licenses... more recently, as we've seen the mega corporates barging their way into the space, we've increasingly seen them shifting the definition of "open source" to mean open source code *except* for Copyleft code. Given the disproportionate dominance of the tech media by those mega-corps (all of who have built their fortunes by exploiting users of their proprietary software) I'm cynical enough to think that this shift is not accidental.
11 posts • joined 22 Oct 2009
Copy-left behind: Permissive MIT, Apache open-source licenses on the up as developers snub GNU's GPL
MS is trying to cloud the waters - they don't want to really support Linux, because it's GPL licensed. They want to encourage FOSS projects to adopt more "business friendly" (read "most easily exploited by proprietary software company) open source licenses. If I was an MS shareholder, I'd expect this... but then again, I am no fan of MS shareholders, so I see this as a crafty way to undermine copyleft and user freedom.
Re: Replace Illustrator? In your dreams
If you rate an open source app on its ability to open the proprietary files created by a proprietary application, then yes, you'll find shortcomings. But let's remember, those shortcomings - from a user's point of view - are Adobe's fault for not publishing the specs of its files, not the fault of Inkscape developers who have had to painstakingly reverse engineer the .ai file formats to achieve any sort of compatibility. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Illustrator_Artwork
I think you'll find that Adobe doesn't *like* open source apps being able to open its files as well as its proprietary software can... so (as MS has done for over a decade) it changes the formats subtly from time to time to break compatibility as soon as the open source developers reverse engineer the formats well enough.
Actually, Charles, I think you greatly underestimate the value of the local market. Also, you miss the other major rationale for the industry railing against software patents: most of our patents (80%+) are held by foreign corporations. They could (and have done) patent widely used algorithms and file formats (they have attempted to do so - XML) and then use those patents to kill innovative kiwi companies before they get to the size where they can afford to export. They do this routinely in the US already, and in other jurisdictions. This legislation means that NZ can become an incubator for small firms who can build their businesses in a relatively protected environment until they can enter various export markets with a bit of mass and capital behind them. I'm already aware of several US and Canadian software companies who are moving to NZ to benefit from our less septic and less litigious environment.
Microsoft: Bandwagon Jumper
They know that free software stacks, languages, frameworks, CMSs, etc. are where the market's been going. The vast majority of those are now hosted on LAMP systems.
Microsoft is DESPERATE not to be left behind. So they've swallowed their pride somewhat, thrown a bit of money at open source developers, got them to port open source stuff to run on a Window's proprietary stack. Microsoft is hoping to avoid oblivion by catering for the "developer" demographic who are happy to point and click rather than know what they're doing.
So now we can all look forward to an updated version of the travesty that is/was MS Frontpage: people with the power to create, but zero judgement or aesthetic to know *what* to create (or how to fix it when it goes badly wrong).
MS: throw in the towel...
Alternatively, MS could just do what it should've done years ago and dump its trident rendering engine (which is behind the IE6-9 and, I assume, this Win mob IE) altogether and adopt a real, standards compliant (and then some) rendering engine built by the open source community like Webkit or Gecko. Doing so would immediately remove their massive functionality and web standards compliance deficit, and give them a chance of having a credible browser, which would be a big win for all involved.
I agree on apt-cache
Our company has probably 40ish machines (desktops, laptops, physical and virtual servers) behind a single apt-cache using a mix of Hardy (8.04) and Karmic (9.10)... that's a roughly a 20 to 1 ratio of installs to downloads... wonder how many other businesses like ours and other organisations (universities?) are doing the same...
Why do people say that Silverlight is cross-platform?
As far as I know, it only works on Microsoft platforms. Are people talking about the open source "moonlight" effort? The one that'll always be behind the curve because Microsoft will continually change the APIs around to stymie compatibility and anything that remotely smells like competition. Of course, moonlight seems to be getting minimal developer love because smart developers know that Microsoft is holding a patent axe over their heads. You'd be a fool to contribute.
Let Microsoft have Silverlight. It's not actually necessary for anything you can't do better in other ways.