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Microsoft Sponsors Apache Software Foundation

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the it-has-an-excellent-license-after-all dept.

Microsoft 120

gbjbaanb writes "Ars Technica reports that Microsoft is to sponsor the Apache Foundation to the tune of $100k. From the article: 'I asked him if this could possibly be the beginning of a broader initiative by Microsoft to increase Apache compatibility with .NET web development technologies, but he says it's still too early to guess Microsoft's future plans for Apache participation. ... He doesn't anticipate a confrontational response from the developers working on individual Apache projects ... The response of the broader open source software community, however, is harder to predict.' (In related news, MS also intends to participate in the RubySpec project.)"

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120 comments

Cliche? (5, Insightful)

Johnny_Law (701208) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340401)

Would, "It's a trap", be too cliche?

Re:Cliche? (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340817)

Would, "It's a trap", be too cliche?

I believe the term is "embrace".

Extend and extinguish to follow.

Re:Cliche? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24340835)

Would, "It's a trap", be too cliche?

No, since you ask. It would be too clichéd.

A better sponsorship (-1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340433)

A better sponsorship would be to quit developing IIS and focus all of its development staff on Apache for Windows, and Apache in general. Apache already dominates, make it better.

Re:A better sponsorship (5, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340611)

Couldn't the same argument be used in reverse -- quit developing for KDE/GNOME, Windows already dominates, develop for that?

Oh, that's right -- monoculture is ok so long as its your monoculture.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340773)

So, err, where do I download this mystical .rpm or .deb file that puts a Windows GUI on Linux?

Is it in one of the unsupported repos, perhaps? Not that I have a use for it, but it'd be fun to play with, I guess...

/P

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340795)

I was mostly referring to application development which depends on a certain desktop, rather than "independent" apps or other *nix-specifics.

Re:A better sponsorship (2, Informative)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341745)

Except a comparison between IIS and Apache is actually analogous while comparing an OS versus a Windowing system is far from analogous.

Re:A better sponsorship (0)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341851)

Neither KDE nor GNOME is a windowing system. However, they are platforms -- and platforms are platforms, so to speak. I could just as easily have said Java vs .NET or something, and I suppose I probably should have -- except its too popular on slashdot to hate both.

Re:A better sponsorship (5, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340841)

Well to use an analogy, if Apache and IIS were car companies, one is manufacturing cars that get 200 MPG, with keyless entry security systems that are highly customizable and can be purchased for $10. The other company makes a car that runs on baby kittens, can be hijacked everytime you go under 30 MPH (and whose top speed is 35 MPH) and can be purchased for $100,000.

Who do you think deserves the market in this case?

Re:A better sponsorship (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340979)

If market share were determined by who deserved it, we'd have non-profit pharmas, home-based rapid-production kits, and most "work" would be a thing of the past.

However, the future will probably be more like Minority Report than Star Trek.

Re:A better sponsorship (0, Redundant)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341403)

bwaahahahahaha it runs on baby kittens!! :) I don't have any mod points for you, but you just made my day, thank you.

Re:A better sponsorship (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341743)

You know, you might want to do some research and rethink your view on the security aspect of IIS and Apache - since version 5, IIS has been impressively secure.

Re:A better sponsorship (0)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341847)

And compared to Apache, it's still lacking. It's only secure in comparison to its HORRIBLE past track record.

Re:A better sponsorship (3, Informative)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342251)

Uhh.. no, that's not true at all. Since IIS6 was released in 2003, there hasn't been a single critical security vulnerability in IIS. Not one.

The same can't be said for Apache.

Re:A better sponsorship (2, Informative)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342523)

While I agree IIS security has improve dramatically, you might want to do your own research when you claim that there are no critical security vulnerabilities.

http://secunia.com/product/1438/?task=advisories [secunia.com]

There are two remote system compromise vulnerabilities listed there.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342977)

I wasn't aware of the February vulnerability, but the 2006 vulnerability is not a flaw in IIS, it's a flaw in ASP which is exposed via IIS (because that's really the only way to expose it). It would be like a flaw in mod_perl or something being attributed to IIS. In addition, ASP is not enabled by default, so it's a less critical flaw.

The February vulnerability appears more serious, however, it's still mitigated by the fact that the attacker can only execute code as the worker process, which severely limits things in the default configuration. But still, only one critical vulnerability in 5 years, with that vulnerabilty being only a few months ago?

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#24344317)

ASP may not be enabled by default, but I highly doubt many people are going to use IIS to serve static pages.

I bet the first thing most IIS administrators do with a new server is to enable ASP.

Yes, it's just a hunch on my part, which may be completely wrong, as I've never worked at a MS-only shop, but it just seems weird to me.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341939)

Well to use an analogy, if Apache and IIS were car companies, one is manufacturing cars that get 200 MPG, with keyless entry security systems that are highly customizable and can be purchased for $10. The other company makes a car that runs on baby kittens, can be hijacked everytime you go under 30 MPH (and whose top speed is 35 MPH) and can be purchased for $100,000.

Who do you think deserves the market in this case?

The guy that sold a few thousand copies for $100k each. Considering that the other product would have to sell 100K to match the profit in 1 single sale of the other.

O.k. The guy would make far more money if it could sell that $10 one for $100K to a few thousand, but that's always an option to charge them to upgrade to the new improved version.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342593)

Profit potential != deserves the market.

Some of us put things like customer service and social responsibility above profit.

I can take a pirated copy of Windows XP Pro Corporate and sell it for the same price as my competition sells legitimate XP Pro. But of course, I'd make more profit, as I don't have to buy the product. Does that mean I deserve the market more than the competition? Of course not.

Yes, it's an extreme example, but it makes my point.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

kagaku (774787) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342459)

Unfortunately you need to read the manual before you even purchase the car, and the car comes in so many body styles, colors and designs - and every option under the sun. You can even throw in a Model T engine and have it run great.

The car that runs on baby kittens on the otherhand, comes with far fewer options, and these options are all kinda similar (different engine sizes and three or four colors) - but the support is great, everyone has one (so if you don't know something about it, your neighbor might) and the roads were designed with them in mind.

Sometimes it's not about features, it's about the marketing. Microsoft is successful not because they offer the best product, but because most people only know of their product and nothing else. And unfortunately until recently (Ubuntu and similar), Linux just hasn't been close in ease of use. The previously mentioned distros are a great step in the right direction but are still far from being ready for the prime time.

Meanwhile, I'm going to hop in my Aluminum iCar. It only has one button and is maintenance free. Only comes in black or white though, and it costs $150,000 - but hey, that's the price you pay for ease of use sometimes?

Re:A better sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24344583)

What's the MPG of the second car? What's the top speed of the first car?


I suppose that because the second car cost 100k then it must be able to go at something like 400 MPG but that is only in the 30 MPH zone where as at 35 MPH it goes at 100 MPG.

Re:A better sponsorship (2, Insightful)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340627)

A better sponsorship would be to quit developing IIS and focus all of its development staff on Apache for Windows, and Apache in general. Apache already dominates, make it better.

Doesn't that run counter to the idea that monoculture is bad in computing?

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340693)

So let me get this straight... you are lobbying for an elimination of competition, collusion, and handing a controlling interest of Apache over to MS?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for compatibility between IIS and Apache, but to beg for either one of them to get snuffed out seems like an awfully huge risk.

-Rick

Re:A better sponsorship (2, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341023)

Well that is true in a world of closed source code but not in the open source world where security reviewers and amateurs are always looking at your code. When the whole world has access to your code all the time, you always have to be improving it and working on it.

When it is closed (such as IE was) you can sit on it and not develop for years. Keeping things open causes more people to force you to stay on your game or else they will eventually fork it. Thats kind of what happened with Mozilla and Firefox; Mozilla wasn't really doing things right so Firefox was created. Lucky for them he was willing to work WITH them.

Re:A better sponsorship (5, Informative)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340759)

I sure as hell hope not, I cannot begin to list all the advantages of running IIS+.NET on Server 2003 over [insert language] and mod_whatever on Apache. Having to muck around with httpd.conf and chmod wouldn't exactly be an improvement over their current stack, especially for intra-corp applications.

(I realize the above paragraph might hurt some fanboys - sorry. You can have your platform, I recognize its strengths. Just leave mine alone)

This is probably part of Microsoft's push to make things like PHP and Ruby work better on Windows. After all, they'd rather you run WAMP than LAMP. They've been engaged with Zend on the FastGCI implementation for IIS that makes PHP so much better on Windows. I don't think they see IIS as some sacred cow to be protected. Again, as long as you're running everything on Windows Server =)

Re:A better sponsorship (1, Funny)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341347)

I have no doubt that you're a highly experienced WAMP admin, and that you know IIS on a first name basis, but if you're having trouble with chmod, its probably time to walk out of the server room.

Re:A better sponsorship (2, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341473)

Never had a problem with it, it works as advertised. I like my security to be slightly more granular though, which is why I'd rather have ACLs on NT.

This is for internal corporate applications though, irrelevant in the context of where I'd run my blog or picture gallery.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

karmatic (776420) | more than 5 years ago | (#24343053)

A lot of us like permissions better than "User, Group, World". That's why a number of file systems support ACLs.

man setfacl [linuxcommand.org] is your friend.

POSIX ACLs are crap (1)

slittle (4150) | more than 5 years ago | (#24344393)

A lot of us like permissions better than "Read, Write, Execute". Also, ACLs without dynamic inheritance are a nightmare waiting to happen. And lastly, userspace support for ACLs is still woeful on *nix - while getfacl/setfacl work well enough, GUI support is poor, archiver support is thin at best and many end-user apps still think it's OK to meddle with your permissions and inevitably screw it up because they only copy your permissions, not your ACLs (this happens more than you might expect, even word processors do it).

I strongly advise not using ACLs on Linux unless you're really sure they're the only option you have to get the results you want (and then make sure your intended results are worth the penalty). On Windows, use them as much as possible because runas is a piss-poor substitute for su/sudo.

Incidentally, this is the same reason you shouldn't use symlinks (junctions) on Windows unless you're really sure. While it's technically supported at the low level, the upper levels are basically oblivious and will carry on as though they were normal files and therefore fuck your system up one way or another (such as getting lost in a loop, backing up the same files multiple times, crossing filesystems, etc.).

Re:A better sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24343315)

Have u ever heard of ACLs for ext3?

Re:A better sponsorship (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24341943)

I cannot begin to list all the advantages of running IIS+.NET on Server 2003 over [insert language] and mod_whatever on Apache.

Yeah, I can't list any advantages, either.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342341)

Having to muck around with httpd.conf and chmod wouldn't exactly be an improvement over their current stack, especially for intra-corp applications.

Where I work, both approaches are used.

The difference I've seen in the 10+ years since we've had web-based applications in the intranet is that with Apache you must have an experienced analyst who configures httpd.conf once, then the system runs forever. With IIS you must have someone with much less experience, who's always doing this or that to keep the system running.

The consequence is that we have a few very critical systems that run in Apache, while the less important systems run in IIS. We don't keep accounting with enough detail to be sure, but I'd guess the TCO for Apache is much less than for IIS, since so much less attention is needed.

So, you might ask, why not use Apache for everything? The simple answer is that the experienced analysts who take care of the critical systems do not like the kind of stuff that gets relegated to IIS. There are people who do not mind implementing a meeting room reservation system, and there are people who know how to configure Apache, and the two don't mix.

Re:A better sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24344551)

yeah right, because metabase editing and web.config editing is SOOO much better than httpd.conf, and chmod is obviously deficient compared to clicking on like ACL boxes, right?

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340771)

A better sponsorship would be to quit developing IIS and focus all of its development staff on Apache for Windows,

NOOOOOO!!!!In general I dislike most of Microsoft's technologies. First they make MFC. Code usually looks like someone threw up on the monitor. Then they go and get the same guy that came up with MFC to write C#, which is also horrible. And to top it off, on top of the crap that is C# they pile on things like Forms, WPF, and 1000s of other things that are all hideous.

No company in history has made uglier looking API's. The nice thing about open source is that if you don't like some API, there is a good chance someone has written another one that you will like.

Re:A better sponsorship (2, Informative)

godefroi (52421) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341427)

Anders Hejlsberg wrote MFC? While working at Borland in 1992? Huh, I never knew that...

Re:A better sponsorship (2, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342315)

Uhh.. you really have no idea what you're talking about. First, MFC is a library, C# is a language. Second, C# was developed by Anders Hjelberg, who Microsoft hired away from Borland. He's the guy that basically wrote Delphi. And no, he did not create MFC.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342613)

Well at least the "threw up on the monitor" part was right. I actually really loved MFC when I first was using it, but as time went on I really wished that I had the time to re-do it in some way that read better.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24344307)

Wasn't a massive fan of MFC either if I'm honest but C#? What's wrong with it exactly? combined with the .NET framework it's like Java done right.

If you only have to write for Windows or are happy with the current Mono implementation, C# is one of the best languages out there for application development. It's a modern language, it takes what other older languages did right and fixes many of the things they did wrong.

The .NET framework is easily one of the best frameworks out there also, it's not like stuff running on the CLR is even slow, it's also a pretty efficient language in that respect also.

C# and .NET let you write some very good apps in a lot less code and hence in a much cleaner, tidier way than the vast majority of other languages out there, at least for the Windows platform that is.

Re:A better sponsorship (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341953)

This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the Apache HTTP server. Apache also does tons of Java stuff.

Microsoft Support of OSS (3, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340437)

Could it be that they would like to quit supporting IIS? Make Apache do the dirty webserver stuff, but keep all the content creation in a dll or something. Maybe the 100k is for working on Windows API's and such?

That is the only logical conclusion, as nobody just gives money to the competitor. Right?

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24340617)

I know for a fact that's not the case. The IIS team is actually expanding internally and we're preparing another release soon. We're actually interviewing for more people right now.

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340719)

The IIS team is actually expanding internally

Exactly! They are tired of hiring you people. It would take just a handful of QA guys and a few Apache on Windows experts to utilize Apache for the webserver work. The community would take care of the rest.
Just becuase you are expanding, doesn't mean you are making money, and doesn't mean your safe.

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (3, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340669)

I don't know if they see it as a replacement so much as IIS/Webservers aren't terribly important to their core business model. IIS is a pretty crappy web server in comparison to... ummm... almost everything else. I think it's more important to Microsoft that people are using .net and Windows servers. If they want to use another web server on Windows w/ .net, so be it. They'll always offer IIS, but they don't fight IIS replacements tooth and nail like they fight Office replacements.

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341553)

They do tho...
Look at the netcraft web server survey over the last few years, microsoft have paid several companies that park thousands of domains in order to increase the market share of IIS.

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24342147)

If that's insightful, then I'm Santa Claus!

IIS is a key part of their whole product line:
-they get to sell their Windows Server product line (and CALs) to serve ASP.NET pages -- including a specialized webserver edition
-they get to sell Visual Studio linceses to develop ASP.NET apps, as well as related products (e.g. expression suite)
-they sell a LOT of MS SQL licenses for web servers
-it makes more developers use their .NET platform, and use unified languages for widows development throughout (C#, VB.NET)
-IIS is the underlying part of many important MS apps (sharepoint, certificate authorithy, etc)
-IIS is used to run most intranet servers I've seen
-it's their very platform for web services/WCF and SOA
etc.

IIS is what's keeping an awful lot of us on Windows. Get rid of that, and then there's no reason to run Windows anymore on our servers. That would be suicide for MS.

Office wise, I wouldn't quite say the battle is lost yet, but OOo is quickly getting "good enough" for most people to use.

Long story short, you couldn't be more wrong no matter how hard you tried.

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342231)

IIS is a pretty crappy web server

{{cite needed}}. Not saying it's superior to Apache but having used both I wouldn't call IIS a "crappy web server". Though these days dynamic content is the name of the game so the web server is less important (reduced to more of a front end that passes along the nifty gritty to the PHP/Java/Net/etc back end).

Even media players have built in web servers these days; works with PHP too.

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24344177)

Out of interest, what are your specific problems with IIS that make you suggest it's one of, if not the worst web servers out there?

I much prefer Apache, but there are scenarios where IIS is a better choice, and I don't think IIS is any worse than much else other than Apache to be honest.

It's not the IIS of old anymore, it's nowadays pretty decent. Microsoft have certainly cleaned up their act a lot in terms of security and stability of the likes of IIS/SQL server in recent years. ASP.NET is of course a major improvement over classic ASP also and combined the full suite make IIS a pretty attractive option for many applications.

I'd never use IIS to build the next Facebook or anything personally certainly, for really high volume, high profile sites I'd still use Apache but for medium sites requiring high functionality or for intranet based web applications it's still a very good choice. Furthermore with the amount of companies running Windows out there, any negative points in using IIS over Apache are absolutely negligible compared to ease of integration into existing infrastructure and hence the ease of maintaining consistent identity management. The same is true of course on a Linux/Unix based platform with Apache and the likes certainly, but my point is that there are a lot of Windows shops out there and for them IIS is simply the better choice because the benefits of IIS truly do outweigh the benefits of Apache in many circumstances.

Again, I know praising Microsoft or their products is a touchy subject here on Slashdot and again Apache is still my favourite but I think it's rather foolish to blindly dismiss IIS with the suggestion it's one of the worst web servers there is nowadays.

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340741)

I'm not so sure... IIS serves as a tie-in to quite a few different (and damned profitable) Microsoft products... starting with Exchange (for OWA), and branching out a couple thousand different directions from there.

Microsoft's income depends way too heavily on products having exclusive interoperability (e.g. IIS, Exchange, Active Directory...)

Start breaking that up, and enterprises would be more easily liable to start choosing solutions that don't have acronyms like "CAL" anywhere in the invoice.

While yes, IIS is pretty much a money hole for MSFT in a direct sense, they have way too many enterprise products that rely on its existence, and it in turn requires Windows, and only Windows.

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (2, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341049)

And those enterprise products connect to IIS through COM. Which is perhaps what I should have said instead of API.

So as I said, perhaps this is to get Apache working with Windows COM objects so that they can still have Sharepoint creating content in a compiled application, but the stdout is just changed to html and passed to $webserver.

This is my first conspiracy theory, dammit. Give me a break!

Re:Microsoft Support of OSS (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341315)

Maybe the 100k is for working on Windows API's and such?

I'd hate to be cynical, but I'm guessing it's just PR. I mean, MS giving $100K? What, did they find it under the sofa in the exectuive lunch room?

That's like selling 3 copies of Vista. =P

Competitor is 'your' perspective (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341689)

Microsoft may have a different perspective based on their judgement of the enviroment, and whether it's a Zero-Sum Game or not. [wikipedia.org]

Non Zero-Sum Game = contribute to everyone; grow entire pie; so your own little percentage yields a high profit.
Zero-Sum Game = control hardware, software, and even services; shrink entire pie; so that you own a large piece that yields more profit relative to others' profit.

If you believe contributing to Appache would be good for everyone, and hence good for you, then you support them. (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo)
If you believe contributing to Appache would be good for everyone, and hence not good for you, then you don't support them. (Apple)

Where is the ship? (0, Offtopic)

ancientt (569920) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340491)

Okay, I have to admit this confuses me. There are a lot of possibilities where MS could make investments or try to push markets, but this seems business backwards. I can't tell if it is a magic trick or the real thing.

And for the subject reference:

A magician works on a cruise ship and entertains the audience with his show. The only problem is that the captainâ(TM)s parrot has figured out all his tricks and tells them during the show. âoeAaarrr, itâ(TM)s in his sleeve, itâ(TM)s in his sleeve, Aaarrrâ âoeAaarrr, itâ(TM)s under his hat, itâ(TM)s under his hat, Aaarrrâ

One night the parrot starts again to tell trick. The magician pulls out a gun and shoots at the parrot. The parrot dodged the bullet; it hit a propane tank and blew the ship into a million pieces. The only two survivors are the magician and the parrot floating on a piece of wood in the middle of the ocean.

The parrot looks around, looks at the magician and say: âoeAaarrr, ok, you got me. Where is the ship?â

Re:Where is the ship? (2, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340631)

Congratulations. You're not only incoherent, you've obviously copy-and-pasted "smart quotes" that came out of Microsoft Word somewhere. Ick.

Re:Where is the ship? (1)

ancientt (569920) | more than 5 years ago | (#24343535)

Worse, copied and pasted off some random website.

As for incoherent, well, probably, the news left me befuddled at best.

Re:Where is the ship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24341367)

I'd quote your post, but you've trademarked too many parts of it and I don't want to be sued.

Re:Where is the ship? (1)

ancientt (569920) | more than 5 years ago | (#24344643)

Oh, do feel free. Promises not to sue, just like MS, I give freely. Probably a little less scary when I do it though.

I really did think my meaning was a little more transparent than the mods seemed to think though. Once off topic though, why not explain the joke to death right? First, it should be noted that my assumption is that MS is up to something, some sort of dark magic, which is not clear. Typically when they squash competition, I see the trick, thus the "up his sleeve" or "in his hat" relevance. Second, as the parrot, I fear that MS has done something rash, in the rush to quash the competition of OSS, I suspect they decided to join the ranks of contributors, thus making their image seem a little less evil. I call it rash because I don't think that, despite statements to the contrary, they really understand that OSS isn't some marketing gimmick and think they can woo the masses with cash. I think it will come back and, well, sink their ship. I thought of the joke, an old one, because I felt like the parrot watching the MS magician do some extrodinary trick, slowly coming to the realization that it really might not accomplish the usual sleight of hand but have terrible (from their perspective) consequences in the end.

I didn't notice the weird character representation in the preview, but didn't bother to correct the error since I figured that quoting a parrot, it would do just as well for sounds that don't have ascii representations.

I do have a new theory though. I don't know the details, but my guess is that somebody lost a bet, and it went something like this:
Scene: Balmer and IIS department head are on a golf course
Balmer: "Okay, if I miss this putt, I'll give you my jaguar, but if I make it, your department has to donate $100,000 annually to Apache."
Smuckly: "Seriously? Okay, but only after Gates is retired okay?"
Balmer sinks the putt with an evil smile while Smuckly turns a little green.

How to interpret this. (2, Insightful)

jskline (301574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340589)

Based on Ballmers history, I'd say this is inroads by which to "divide and conquer". So; with the check, what was on the document saying what they wanted in return. Microsoft never gives anything away and usually takes everything it wants?

Re:How to interpret this. (2, Funny)

Rgb465 (325668) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340681)

So; with the check, what was on the document saying what they wanted in return.

It was in Italian. Loosely translated it said "Apache may someday be called upon to return the favor".

Re:How to interpret this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24341545)

That is, fund some MS product when MS will eventually run out money :-)

It begins (1)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340619)

Embrace

Re:It begins (0)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340763)

If it gets .Net and Silverlight support to Apache, Embrace away!

-Rick

Re:It begins (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341031)

if this is what .Net and Silverlight to get recognition, forget it.

a language/framework that is not competitive enough to be recognized by itself will be ok if there is broader support for it ? dont think so.

Re:It begins (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341219)

So you are saying we should scratch PHP, Ruby, and Pearl off as well because they don't have nearly the penetration or recognition of .Net?

Silverlight 2* is still pretty low-key, but it's in Beta (a real beta, not the "this thing isn't ever going to leave beta" definition that Google likes to use). But I keep hearing more and more bounce back from developers, and the head hunters are starting to pick up on it too. When SL2 is released, it's going to rally up some decent press, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if MS's goal here is to push for SL support on Apache.

-Rick

*Silverlight 1/1.1 is in production, but it was create more as a feasibility study, the attention it drew was sufficient to motivate MS into doing a full managed code version: Silverlight 2. And it is on its way to becoming quite a nice product!

Re:It begins (0, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341411)

So you are saying we should scratch PHP, Ruby, and Pearl off as well because they don't have nearly the penetration or recognition of .Net?

excuse me, but if you say this, i have no option but laughing over it with my ass. i dont know any decent way to put it. youre totally unaware of what the web is built with.

silverlight 2 ? what is silverlight ?

Re:It begins (0)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341691)

excuse me, but if you say this, i have no option but laughing over it with my ass. i dont know any decent way to put it. youre totally unaware of what the web is built with.

Okay, so it was a slight hyperbole ;) The combined presence of VB.Net/C#/ASP.Net and the rest of the .Net language does by most measures, out weigh PHP, Ruby, or Pearl individually in terms of distribution and use. But it's all arm chair statistics anyway, change the metrics and you can easily show any single element out performing any other single element.

The point, hyperbole aside, still stands. Do you feel that if a product is of lesser popularity, it should be forsaken in favor of the market leader?

Should MS drop the idea of Silverlight all together because you can do much of the same functionality with a combination of javascript and flash, and that is currently the most popular way to fulfill that functionality?

Should MS drop IIS all together because Apache is the market leader?

Should Mozilla just pack it up and go home because IE is the market leader?

Should all of the Linux distro call it quits because Windows is the market leader?

In all cases, the answer is NO. A wide variety of tools, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, gives us the best opportunity to pick the correct one for any given situation. If, by investing in the Apache community, MS manages to get better .Net and Silverlight functionality on Apache, it gives us yet another option for tools to use.

I'm failing to see how this would be a bad thing(tm). MS gets their tools on another plat form, the Apache community gets a free lunch, so to say, and us developers get more options. Like I said above, so long as MS's "contributions" to Apache do not result in closed source code, I'm all for it.

-Rick

Re:It begins (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342035)

Okay, so it was a slight hyperbole ;) The combined presence of VB.Net/C#/ASP.Net and the rest of the .Net language does by most measures, out weigh PHP, Ruby, or Pearl individually in terms of distribution and use. But it's all arm chair statistics anyway, change the metrics and you can easily show any single element out performing any other single element.

no, they dont.

do you know how many millions of websites use php on shared hosting ? as opposed to asp servers being generally standalone, serving only one site ? this example should by itself be enough to draw a picture. im not even gonna go into what perl means for linux.

The point, hyperbole aside, still stands. Do you feel that if a product is of lesser popularity, it should be forsaken in favor of the market leader?

the popular is decided by the market itself. php did not became popular because some big buck company pushed it through various means. or spent big marketing cash on it.

no one is saying that anyone should drop their own brainchild. what is being said here is that noone should try to push stuff that has not been getting any kind of preference by the community.

Re:It begins (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#24343523)

1. believe me, PHP by itself runs on more webservers and sites than all the .NET languages put together. Probably more than .NET languages and ASP/classic too!

Netcraft stats for PHP [php.net] - over 20 million sites a year ago. According to the same Netcraft survey, IIS itself only runs 20 million sites, so unless *every* IIS site ran ASP (note: these stats are from Aug 2007, so they'd all be classic ASP) PHP would *still* be running on more active sites.
There's more stats available [nexen.net] for the current month.

2. Silverlight is a client-side technology. IIS/apache doesn't come into it. A silverlight discussion would be MS supporting it on Firefox on Linux.

3. MS is the market leader only in certain segments of the IT marketplace. For webserving, Apache has been dominant for, well, since forever. MS is catchign up as they provide 'incentives' for some providers - eg Myspace, GoDaddy etc, which you'll see on the netcraft stats.

4. The problem is that you'd never get .NET on Linux, which is Apache's native platform. Though Apache runs on Windows I guess MS may be trying to get developers to program in .NET using Apache and they be as locked in to Windows server platform as if they had stuck with IIS. I think this is the goal for this sponsorship.

To answer your question - should MS drop Silverlight because you can do the same in Javascript and Flash (Flex), then the answer is no. Should *you* drop Silverlight because you can do the same in a free technology on any platform you choose, then the pragmatic answer is probably yes. Simply, if you stick with C# then you're stuck with Windows. If you choose PHP then you can choose any platform you like.

Re:It begins (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24344625)

1. believe me, PHP by itself runs on more webservers and sites than all the .NET languages put together. Probably more than .NET languages and ASP/classic too!

As I stated, change the metrics and you can get what ever answer you like. Open the poll to all applications, not just web sites, and .Net (especially if you combine ASP/classic stuff too) pushes even better. Limit it back to Open Source projects, and the MS tools drop significantly. Look at closed source solutions, and MS dominates. Like I said, you can look at any specific segment of the programming world and see a skew.

2. Silverlight is a client-side technology. IIS/apache doesn't come into it. A silverlight discussion would be MS supporting it on Firefox on Linux.

I actually do all of my silverlight development using Firefox. ;) But what would be nice is WCF/ASP.Net server side on Apache, I should have clarified on that in my initial post, but Silverlight is way more entertaining to talk about ;)

3. MS is the market leader only in certain segments of the IT marketplace. For webserving, Apache has been dominant for, well, since forever. MS is catchign up as they provide 'incentives' for some providers - eg Myspace, GoDaddy etc, which you'll see on the netcraft stats.

Very true! But MS/IIS has some great tools and features that Apache is lacking, namely, ease of configuration and maintenance. Apache has improved a lot over the years, and I still prefer it for it's stability and scalability. But honestly, the IIS server I've been working off of for the last year and a half hasn't given me a single issue. And I love the fact that MS's drive to make inroads in the web serving market is forcing them to improve IIS. Just as Apple's resurgence in the PC realm is forcing them to improve Windows (even if Vista missed the mark).

4. The problem is that you'd never get .NET on Linux, which is Apache's native platform. Though Apache runs on Windows I guess MS may be trying to get developers to program in .NET using Apache and they be as locked in to Windows server platform as if they had stuck with IIS. I think this is the goal for this sponsorship.

Actually, there is the Mono project, which seems to be getting a decent bit of positive attention from MS. And there is also the Moonlight project, which is aiming to bring Silverlight to Linux as well, although I'm not of it's state or scope.

If you choose PHP then you can choose any platform you like.

I like PHP, it's a handy language for putting together websites and CMS sites. Would I use it to create a web based desktop application? not a chance. Same for Javascript/Flash, a great combination, and it makes some tasks impressively simple, but it falls flat on it's face for more complex systems. Sure, you could develop significant applications using it, but it would be a nightmere (IMO) to maintain. Silverlight is also not a cure-all invention, but it does give me access to a solid vector based graphics system, an amazing multi-media library, a huge portion of the .Net library, and integrated support for ASP.Net web services. It is no where near as refined as the desktop environment, but for a beta product, it's not bad. And the Beta 2 release added a lot of the tools and refinements that Beta 1 was missing. If they continue on their current path, the production release will be something pretty impressive.

Oh yeah, I drank that coolaide. But I'll keep browsing in FF, writing in Open Office, and a copy of Sharp Dev handy just incase MS tries to screw me ;)

-Rick

Re:It begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24341709)

Ahhhh, nothing is cuter than an inflamed zealot pretending to have a valid point.

Apache 2.4 (5, Funny)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340649)

Apache 2.4 release notes
new modules:
mod_drm
mod_ooxml
mod_reject-firefox

Re:Apache 2.4 (2, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340697)

hey! you forgot the most important

mod_bsod
mod_clippy

Re:Apache 2.4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24343635)

Don't forget about these as well

mod_sell-soul
mod_fuck-fork

and my favorite:

mod_resistance-is-futile

Developer, developer, developer....! (3, Insightful)

judethecutedude (1333089) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340935)

Steve Ballmer is either:
1) Trying to appear more "open" (what with all the lawsuits in Europe & the oh-so-enthusiastic reception of OOXML), so they can have more influence in the real standards body.
2) Simply trying that old trick (to pretend suck up to developers) & then turn around & do something else.

Eitherway, its a PR stunt because it's hard to believe Microsoft wants to change its definition of "industry standards" from "something we came up with" to---wait for it---"industry standards". Unless I'm missing something

Re:Developer, developer, developer....! (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#24343591)

Oh no, they're sucking up to developers all right... "hey kids, come and have a play with this cool new toy, yes the Express version is totally free... and you can do so much stuff with it, just look how it does most of it for you, no you don't have to think too hard about your programming, just let the nice IDE suck your bra... um, help you work smarter, not harder. Yes, you'll need to buy more RAM, but its cheap nowadays. Now, look at the nice client tools included too, yes, you can have animated icons on your buttons isn't that cool, yes so you'll work with Uncle MS's technology now, and you won't be able to leave ever again... mouhahahahahahaha".

Managed code, pah. Managing to break all the old stuff more like.

Ill summarize the response of broader community : (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24340963)

Suspicious, wary.

and rightly so too. look at what happened to all those who got affiliated with microsoft in any way.

microsoft has huge negative karma to alleviate.

You could point to it instead. (1, Informative)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341301)

See this warning about divide and conquer [boycottnovell.com]. M$ has not brought much to the table. In return their marketing department is going to pretend there is community support for OOXML and other proprietary formats.

The broader M$ goal is to have people pay M$ if they want to use free software. They want you to use Windoze and taxed versions of GNU/Linux. Until they shut up about patents it is best to have nothing to do with them.

Re:You could point to it instead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24341549)

I don't know how to tell you this man... but if I may, the repeated use of M$ in your posts makes you look like a moron, which I'm sure you're not (well, I hope).

Just a thought.

Re:You could point to it instead. (1)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341637)

I don't know how to tell you this man... but if I may, the repeated use of M$ in your posts makes you look like a moron, which I'm sure you're not (well, I hope).

Just a thought.

You must be new here.... (Note: GP is Twitter)

spot on !!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342061)

M$ has not brought much to the table. In return their marketing department is going to pretend there is community support for OOXML and other proprietary formats.

thats probably the thing they are going for.

Boycott Apache! (0, Troll)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341337)

Apache has sold out. We must fork their code now and abandon their Microsoft-backed versions, no matter what the cost. Look at what Microsoft did to Novell and openSUSE - the same thing is going to happen to Apache. Tell everyone you know to stop using Microsoft-backed products. Friends don't let friends use Apache.

Re:Boycott Apache! (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#24342339)

I find it very funny that I've been modded down as a Troll for that comment, but if I had made a similar comment about Novell, I'd be modded +5 Insightful.

To push for wider adoption of M$ standards (2, Interesting)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341375)

TFA says:

He believes that this move is based on a legitimate desire by Microsoft to foster collaborative development of Apache technologies that implement Microsoft standards.

If that's true, then we have a grave situation. M$ can make apache compatible with M$'s home-grown standards and then claim that the standards themselves are open standards. Since the percentage of IT people who mistake an open-source implementation as an open standard is almost 100%, M$ can even be very successful at this. Since the standards themselves are not open, all web servers, except Apache and M$-IIS, will soon die out. Finally M$ withdraws support for Apache and thus giving it a final blow. Now M$-IIS becomes the king. I know that I'm sounding like a conspiracy theorist. But we have seen enough instances of this Embrace-Extend-Extinguish policy.

Re:To push for wider adoption of M$ standards (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#24343025)

The trouble with that is, if they make Apache fully compatible with the rest of their stack, they would have to break compatibility between IIS and the rest of their software in order to break compatibility with Apache.

Which of course would be a stupid move, you'd just get the current situation where XP does exactly what people want, with no configuration, and Vista is a pain in the ass to switch to. Except this would be a matter of not wanting to switch from MS's next server release to a hypothetical release after that one.

That said, this announcement isn't really that big a shift. They've just decided that if they're not going to open up everything, there's no need to be douchebags with a ton of doublespeak about things which no one wants to use anyway: they'll only piss us of. However, you'll note the conspicuous absence of Silverlight, as well as WMA. In fact, it seems the only thing's they're opening up are things that are shameless rip-offs of actual open standards. So they don't really need to pull any further slight of hand, they already have.

Resistance Is Futile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24341587)

All your software are belong to us

What do you get crossing Microsoft & Apache? (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341693)

Q: What do you get when you cross Microsoft and Apache?

A: Microsoft.

Novell Deja Vu? (1)

The_PHP_Jedi (1320371) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341751)

I really wouldn't mind having better ASP support on Apache (that doesn't hurt anyone), but this talk about "interoperability" between Microsoft and the ASF just brings back into my memory what happened to Novell.

The Apache Software Foundation /HAS/ (triple emphasis!) to keep their usual levels of strictness when it comes to outside contributors, specially Microsoft in this case.

I hope they don't let their guard down. I'm quite concerned, honestly. I do have some hope that the ASF will handle this properly, and not let such a great project succumb to Corporate America.

Infection complete? (1)

davburns (49244) | more than 5 years ago | (#24341927)

When I heard about this at OSCON, I had the same disbelief as anyone on slashdot. But then I thought.. what if it's true? What if MSFT isn't going to fold up and die a relic of the days of propriatry software? I wanted to see that, and I'm sure I'm not alone. But they have new management and can see how the software world is shifting just like everyone else. The "enemy" might be infected with "good", and we might get a powerful new ally instead of a vanquished foe. (What if this happend to the MPAA?)

But for now, I'm going to watch out for boar aviators and do what I can to slow the pace of infernal cooling.

Netcraft confirms it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24344655)

Apache is dying. Seriously, I'm considering dumping Apache in the future. It's a matter about trust. I simply cannot trust MS.
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