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Microsoft Treating "Windows-Only" As Open Source

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the a-rose-v0.092-BETA-by-any-other-name dept.

Microsoft 383

mjasay writes "The Register is reporting that Microsoft is hosting Windows-only projects on its 'open source project hosting site,' CodePlex. Miguel de Icaza caught and criticized Microsoft for doing this with its Microsoft Extensibility Framework (MEF), licensing it under the Microsoft Limited Permissive License (Ms-LPL), which restricts use of the code to Windows. Microsoft has changed the license for MEF to an OSI-approved license, the Microsoft Public License, but it continues to host a range of other projects under the Ms-LPL. If CodePlex wasn't an 'open source project hosting site,' this wouldn't be a problem. But when Microsoft invokes the 'open source' label, it has a duty to live up to associated expectations and ensure that the code it releases on CodePlex is actually open source. If it doesn't want to do this — if it doesn't want to abide by this most basic principle of open source — then call CodePlex something else and we'll all move on."

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383 comments

haha (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256321)

frast pr0st

Re:haha (5, Funny)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256385)

I don't think it is fair that you got first post, I wish I had got first post, my first post was going to be quite good. Someone (perhaps the shashdot editors should fix this). Maybe in retrospect I should have realised that an Anonymous Coward by nature would try to get first post, but I didn't, my hope was that the Anonymous Coward would change his behaviour this time so that everyone would get to read my post - but I guess the Anonymous Coward can't be trusted to do the right thing after all. Its a shame though. I really hope that from this chastisement Anonymous Coward will get message and change his spots. Irrelevant first posts are selfish and spoil things for everyone.

FP FOOLS OBAMA IS A COMMUNIST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256329)

FP FOOLS

This is microsoft trying to help kill open source? (4, Interesting)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256331)

This is most likely a tactic to try to get people to associate "open source" with Microsoft and not Linux.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256347)

"...invokes the 'open source' label"

Who owns this label?

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (5, Insightful)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256387)

It is not a matter of ownership. Words have a particular meaning and this is a case of MS trying to throw its weight around to change the popular understanding of the meaning of "Open Source" to something that is favorable for them. Last time I checked, "Open Source" does NOT mean "something that is only legal to use on Windows".

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (4, Interesting)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256411)

Or Linux-only, or Mac-only, or Plan9-only. The point is that if someone wants to modify the code so it runs on an Atari 800, they're legally free to do so. Publishing the code, and saying, "You may do this, only, and no more", is certainly within their rights, but it ain't open.

This is people trying to play with words. (2, Insightful)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256457)

"Publishing the code, and saying, "You may do this, only, and no more", is certainly within their rights, but it ain't open."

Licenses by definition aren't open and they most certainly serve an end. All the OSI approved licenses restrict what I can do in one way or the other. Otherwise everything would be public domain which is as free as this world can offer.

Re:This is people trying to play with words. (4, Informative)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256727)

The big difference in this case is that it affects how you *use* the software.

Many OSI approved licenses affect how you may redistribute the software, but none of them AFAIK limit how you may use or alter it.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256603)

Publishing the code, and saying, "You may do this, only, and no more", is certainly within their rights, but it ain't open.

I find that statement to be slightly ironic, since it's exactly how the GPL works, and most people consider that open.

'Course, now I'm the one playing word games, since the GPL is arguably restricting what you can do to keep openness, but still, the point is that almost all open source licenses place some form of restriction on what you can do with the code.

The difference between truly open and closed depend on what those restrictions are.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256423)

Last time *I* checked, Open Source means the source code is openly available.

Cross Platform, on the other hand, indicates that it runs on multiple platforms.

Perhaps you're confusing Open Source with Cross Platform.

Maybe we should have a discussion about the meaning of words. Although your willingness to apply your own meaning to words would probably render the discussion meaningless.

Unix fanboy elitists... heads harder than diamond.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (2, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256539)

But (if I am understanding the comments correctly), the license forbids you from porting to code to another platform. A real open source license wouldn't do that.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (3, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256639)

A real open source license wouldn't do that

That's your opinion. As far as I'm concerned, open source means exactly that - the source is open. People seem to be intent on tacking on a whole load of 'moral' obligations that someone has to follow to qualify to use 'open source', when nothing could be further from the truth.

Definitely a very liberal sprinkling of "Open Source is our phrase, you can't use it" going around the comments on this article.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256671)

By your definition, the latest feature films are "open" as well. After all, you can look at them. You can't copy them, distribute them, compile them, or anything else.

It's the rights that are important. You're missing that entirely.

Bruce

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (3, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256755)

By your definition, the latest feature films are "open" as well. After all, you can look at them. You can't copy them, distribute them, compile them, or anything else.

C'mon, we both know you're cleverer than this. We're talking about the definition of 'open source', not open in general and certainly not Software Freedom or copyright of any kind, which is what the article would like us to get incensed about.

I respect you and your work Bruce, but I'm going to have to disagree with you completely here - I'm not missing a damn thing, and I believe you're getting yourself lost in a moral definition of a very simple English phrase - the source is open and it therefore is 'open source'. One of the plus points of open source as I'm led to understand is that others can review the code to increase trust in that code, many eyes and all that. This is possible with the license as given and as such provides at the benefits that open code can provide. I agree that it doesn't follow the FSF-approved definitions of Free Software or "software libre" but that's not what this is about in the slightest.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (2)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256685)

But (if I am understanding the comments correctly), the license forbids you from porting to code to another platform. A real open source license wouldn't do that.

Then you understand wrong and so do the tossers making the comments because the GPL allows restrictions on open source. Or are you saying the GPL isn't an open source licence?

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (3, Insightful)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256567)

The problem isn't that the code is built solely for Windows...there are lots of projects that are considered open source that are built for a single operating system. The issue is that the license expressly forbids developers to port the code to any other OS.

Call it what you will, but that ain't open source.

Look but don't touch (1)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256613)

"Open source" is an ambiguous term that is almost as bad as "Intellectual Property". The objection here is that the license forbids you from doing anything with the source unless you use Windows to do it. So it's "open source" only if you already use Windows and don't ever plan to use anything else.

I can see why M$ would like that license, and it's almost comically self serving, but I have to agree that it still fits the catchall "open source" designation. It certainly isn't "Free as in Freedom" software, however.

Re:Look but don't touch (4, Informative)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256619)

That's not even the point. When someone says "open source", what do YOU think of? Let me tell you, it's not anything Microsoft related.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256389)

OSI? [opensource.org]

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (-1, Troll)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256433)

Now phrases are owned by organizations? The OSI took a perfectly common phrase 'open source' and attempts to define it in it's own way. Who gave the OSI the right to bastardize 'open source' with it's own narrow definition?

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256531)

They do seem to be quite touchy about the use of the phrase Open Source (in caps).

They really did pick a bad name though, because Open doesn't imply all the things they want it to mean.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256541)

There was no "open source", capitals or not, regarding software until the Open Source Definition. If you look through past material, you can only find a few uses of the words together regarding software at all, with no consistent meaning.

Open Source is what is defined by the Open Source Definition.

A number of microsoft dweebs and/or campaigners would like to have it otherwise. But then Microsoft would like to have a lot of things. It's called corporate totalitarianism.

Bruce

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (5, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256579)

They weren't bastardizing the concept. They were working with the community to provide a definition big companies like IBM, Sun, or Microsoft, and lawyers could understand.

And in the past they even registered "open source" as a service mark for protection of the thriving community against dilution by people who wanted to twist the concept of open source.

To protect against companies who want to just make the source visible without actually opening it for others to use or change without undue restrictions protective corporate lawyers would normally demand upon (things like written approval).

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256653)

Get your timeline right. "Open source" became common *after* and *because* OSI defined it in 1998.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (1)

ConanG (699649) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256697)

Why don't they trademark it? They think they own it? Let them!

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (2, Insightful)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256425)

A case could be made that it's a trademark of the opensource initiative, and/or software in the public interest...

That Microsoft got their Microsoft Public License accepted by the OSI as an open-source license certainly indicates they know who defined the term... Then they go back and misuse it...

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256515)

Except that the term was around long before the OSI "defined" it.

People need to learn to distinguish between "open source" and "Open Source". Anything that comes with source code is "open source". Anything that meets the OSI definition is "Open Source".

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256547)

Yea but can you really trademark such a term at this point? The use of the phrase open source is so widespread now i think they've lost control of whatever power they had over its use, unless they'd like to argue over the use of capitalization Open Source vs open source.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256523)

It used to be registered as a service mark of the Open Source Initiative [opensource.org] .

However, I believe the trademark registration was allowed to lapse in 1999. It is a shame, because this is the type of confusion that the trademark and trademark law should have prevented.

How could that possibly work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256479)

MS is such an insignificant player in OSS and is hardly associated with it as it is... I really wonder what it expects to gain from this. Nobody looks at MS when they think of Open Source.

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256649)

I think mostly they'd like to dilute "Open Source" to mean any code with source code. This is important to them because it's the rights connected to Open Source that scare Microsoft (and others). If you can call it Open Source when there isn't even the right to compile the code, or to use the information you get from reading it, customers don't have a reason to ask for it any longer.

Their publicity agencies are here on Slashdot pumping that angle every day.

Bruce

Re:This is microsoft trying to help kill open sour (1)

sohp (22984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256749)

Also to muddle the meaning of "open source" to the point where people start to believe it means what Microsoft says it means.

Of course they are calling it "open source" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256333)

The more confused PHBs become, the easier it is to continue selling Windows licenses.

stallman is a communist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256335)

first

Nothing new here. (3, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256337)

Honestly, I don't see anything new here. This is just yet another example of Microsoft attempting to muddy the waters. It's classical embrace and extend.

Re:Nothing new here. (0, Troll)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256395)

yet another example of Microsoft attempting to muddy the waters

Or is this FOSS advicates trying to muddy the waters between 'open source' and 'free software'.

Open source == can see source code.
FOSS/Free software == GPL; Few restrictions on use.

If you don't want people confusing the two, then start using the correct term on your stuff.

I am sure I will be a troll, or quickly corrected.

Re:Nothing new here. (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256415)

Hopefully you won't be modded Troll. But "Open Source" is a little more than being able to see the source code.
Have a peer [opensource.org] at the definition.

Re:Nothing new here. (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256443)

'Open Source' is different from 'open source'. Just because a non-profit organization steps it and tries to redefine English phrases doesn't mean the rest of the world has to follow it.

Re:Nothing new here. (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256467)

Okay, I see that a group of people that secured 'opensource.org' has a definition that suits them. According to that definition "closed source" would mean anything that isn't freely distributable? What do you call a project that "has source code viewable", but the author wants to place restrictions on it's use? Does non-"open source" (not viewable code) have to be called compiled code?

Are you starting to see the clusterfuck that is these naming schemes? And the problems seem to stem from the "open source"/"viewable code" crowd.

Re:Nothing new here. (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256561)

Note that i agree with you, but they would probably like for people to use terms like shared source etc.

Re:Nothing new here. (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256583)

Code with source-code available but without the particular set of rights defined in the OSD is called "Disclosed Source Code". It is possible to have disclosed source code with "All Rights Reserved", such that nobody would ever have rights to compile the code. Thus, it makes sense to have a name that is specific to the rights attached, not just the fact that there is source code. That's what "open source" and "Open Source" mean. The capital letters are not significant, if it says it's open source it has to have the rights specified by the OSD.

Re:Nothing new here. (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256469)

Please mod the parent down. Open Source must conform to the Open Source Definition [opensource.org] , which lists ten points. Free Software must respect the Four Freedoms [gnu.org] that the FSF enumerated. These are roughly equivalent. The FSF prefers the GPL, but they accept other licenses are Free Software.

Re:Nothing new here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256625)

"must"? As in, it's illegal if it doesn't?

(honest question)

Re:Nothing new here. (3, Interesting)

Fancia (710007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256705)

"must"? As in, it's illegal if it doesn't?

(honest question)

OSI tried to register "open source" as a trademark, but didn't receive it. I don't think companies are legally bound to follow OSI's principles when describing something as "open source."

If they're using the OSI trademark or something along those lines, which Microsoft doesn't seem to be, it's a different situation.

Re:Nothing new here. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256695)

Open Source must conform to the Open Source Definition [opensource.org], which lists ten points. Free Software must respect the Four Freedoms [gnu.org] that the FSF enumerated.

Who says?

The FSF? And who elected them to be the open source police?

They're just an organization that's trying to force their beliefs and definitions on others. And there are a few things that I disagree with them on and I'll be damned if they're going to force their values on me. I even avoid their stuff so as to distance myself from them.

Re:Nothing new here. (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256699)

Open Source must conform to the Open Source Definition

It must in order to be approved by OSI, but I tend to agree with the gp that source code being available is sufficient to call something open source.

Re:Nothing new here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256707)

Last time I checked no authority has any authority of the words Open Source or Free Software...

Re:Nothing new here. (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256753)

While I appreciate the various efforts to define, evaluate, and compare open source licenses, I don't want someone to be declaring an absolute manifesto of what it is. I wouldn't have disagreed with your post if you said "to clarify, here is the Open Source Definition as defined by opensource.org" and "here is the mainstream recognition of what Free Software is according to the FSF." But treating these definitions as absolutes is taking it too far.

I've hosted and worked on many open source projects, and I've never had to go to some site to see if what I did fit someone else's definition of open. The last thing open source needs is a dictator.

Getting back to the topic on hand, the association of Linux with open source is over simplified, in the same way that Microsoft is using oversimplifications to define what they are doing as open source. There's plenty of open-source operating systems, and there's plenty of open-source projects on closed-source operating systems. So open source != Linux, instead Linux is a subset of open source.

quickly corrected (4, Informative)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256597)

From http://www.opensource.org [opensource.org]

Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria: [...]

Emphasis mine.

Shocking secret of open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256341)

I hear there are no versions of the Linux kernel that run under windows.

Re:Shocking secret of open source (2, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256397)

Hmmmm, I discovered something with the latest Ubuntu......I could install it within MS windows and run it.... like an application.

Re:Shocking secret of open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256599)

Hmmmm, I discovered something with the latest Ubuntu......I could install it within MS windows and run it.... like an application.

Could you expand on that please? Do you mean that the ordinary Ubuntu installation will do this now? Or did you mean running under VWware or something similar?

I've used Wubi before to make a dual boot installation but that isn't really running "under WIndows."

well hear this... (3, Informative)

bone_idol (782109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256413)

I hear there are no versions of the Linux kernel that run under windows.

From http://www.colinux.org/ [colinux.org] Cooperative Linux is the first working free and open source method for optimally running Linux on Microsoft Windows natively. More generally, Cooperative Linux (short-named coLinux) is a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run cooperatively alongside another operating system on a single machine. For instance, it allows one to freely run Linux on Windows 2000/XP...

Re:well hear this... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256487)

Does the colinux site really have those awful ContentLink underlining pop-up adverts, or is my ISP doing something evil?

Re:well hear this... (1)

Arielholic (196983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256517)

It's the site, not your ISP.

Re:well hear this... (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256553)

It really has them, but it is preferable than banner ads...

Re:well hear this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256721)

It doesn't...

Re:Shocking secret of open source (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256427)

Actually there is a way. Virtual machines. You can compare the same with running an NT kernel to boot up Solaris - there's no logic in pointing this out at all. One example of code that can be integrated into the Linux kernel (or loaded as a module) that "runs under Windows" is the ext2 driver. http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/ext2ifs.htm [swin.edu.au] .

I am a little curious on if this ext2 driver [fs-driver.org] that's used uses gpl code. Anyone know more info about it? It's only freeware; closed source.

Re:Shocking secret of open source (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256621)

As long as the author of the driver from that site is the copyright holder of the original source, it doesn't matter if it was originally GPL ; the author may choose to relicense the code any way he sees fit.

I'm not saying that this is the case ; just presenting a potential means of this driver being both based on GPL code and legitimately distributed in a closed-source manner simultaneously.

Code, wide open. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256349)

I suppose it depends upon how "open" you think should be defined? For example if a company as part of purchase gives you the source code but says that you can't distribute it. Is that "open"?

Re:Code, wide open. (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256643)

I suggest that from now on, whenever we discuss open source we disambiguate it

OSI/Open Source -- when discussing open source code that is applied licensing properly meeting the OSI open source definition of open code licensing.

FSF/Open Source -- when discussing open source software that meet's the Free Software Foundation's view of open code

MS/Source -- when discussing what Microsoft calls or insinuates is "open source" software.

Well.. we need for someone to come up with catchy names and brand logos for Open source software that come along with strings (like the software actually has to have open source licensing that doesn't mandate an OS or do other dubious things like restrict usage of software or how its output can be used).

I'm not surprised at all by this... (2, Insightful)

wesley96 (934306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256353)

Microsoft doesn't really understand the idea of 'open source'... It seems to believe that if the source is out in the open in a certain manner, so to speak, it's 'open source', and it believes there could be restrictions placed on top of it despite what the name implies.

Maybe they're thinking along the lines of the 'open door policy' that some managers use as a means of 'communication with employees'. I mean, it's 'open', after all... right? He might throw a chair at you, but you're welcome to step in?

Nobody owns the words 'open source" (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256367)

But when Microsoft invokes the 'open source' label, it has a duty to live up to associated expectations and ensure that the code it releases on CodePlex is actually open source.

Says who? I don't recall anybody owning the phrase "open source" or "free software".

Even if somebody did, I'd think that's as just asinine as other engineered bogus trademark claims.

Re:Nobody owns the words 'open source" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256441)

Nobody owns the word 'beer', does that mean I can start selling horse piss under that label?

Re:Nobody owns the words 'open source" (2, Funny)

GodKingAmit (1192629) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256557)

Coor's Brewing Company would say yes.

Re:Nobody owns the words 'open source" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256571)

If you're an American company, then probably.

Re:Nobody owns the words 'open source" (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256585)

As long as it is fermented horse piss, I believe the stipulations are: made from grain/cereal and fermentation, and horse piss could cover both of those.

False Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256445)

It's about false advertising. Microsoft is making a claim that they aren't living up to.

Nobody owns the phrase "CEO of a multinational corporation" but if I put it on my resume then I'll have hell to pay when trying to find a job.

Re:Nobody owns the words 'open source" (0)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256605)

Says who? I don't recall anybody owning the phrase "open source" or "free software".

http://www.opensource.org/trademark

Terminology is not owned by narrow extremists. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256373)

Sorry about this, but simply being a group of semi-communist nerds ("CopyLeft") does not give you the right to rewrite the dictionary and enforce this upon others.

The way you as a narrow special interest group define 'Free' as in 'Free Software' does not rhyme with how the majority of the world's population define the word 'Free' or the connotations they draw from it. To therefore allow a special interest group to hijack standard terminology and aggressively retribute against people who defy their hold on and special definition of that terminology is not something we should, for the sake of language standards if not anything else.

It's similar to a trademark. (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256681)

The protection of phrases is intended to protect from artificial distortion of the marketplace and also serves as consumer protection. However, OSI does not have a registered trademark on this phrase (probably because it is too generic).

Re:Terminology is not owned by narrow extremists. (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256731)

The way you as a narrow special interest group define 'Free' as in 'Free Software' does not rhyme with how the majority of the world's population define the word 'Free'

As a matter of fact, the majority of the world population has different words for free-as-in-freedom and free-as-in-beer: for the languages I know, there is Italian (libero/gratuito), Norwegian (fri/gratis), German (frei/kostenlos). So it's really because of a glaring fault of the English language, and the last thing you can blame the FSF for is that they did not insist about free software being not (just) free as in free beer. Translation of "free software" is actually much simpler than the original version, since that lengthy explanation about freedom and not-for-pay is unnecessary.

As for Open Source, that's not a trademark as far as I know, but that is a term that everybody associates with the OSI. If you claim a software is open source when it is not fitting the OSI's definition, I think you should be sued. Call it shareware if you really want to use a commonly recognised buzzword.

Of course there are projects around that say they are open source when they are not; Scilab and OpenModelica come to mind. That is however no excuse.

This is the type of complaint... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256379)

This is the type of complaint that makes open source evangelism appear pointless.

What exactly is open source software? Do I really need to be able to compile this on my TI99/4A? Why should I care if this software is initially only available on Windows?

Re:This is the type of complaint... (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256577)

What exactly is open source software? Do I really need to be able to compile this on my TI99/4A?

If you're an awesome enough hacker to take code written for Windows on x86 and compile it on a TI99/4A, then go to. The problem here is that the licence forbids it to be used on non-Windows platforms, not that it's difficult in practice to do so.

Re:This is the type of complaint... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256733)

While I understand open source may mean one can use the source on any platform one chooses, why must open source mean only this?

Seems to me there is plenty of this sort of thing (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256407)

...from MS that a website dedicated to it is warranted and worth linking to from everywhere.

The source code is available. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256437)

That's ALL that's needed to be open.

The criticism that MS' code isn't open source is a lie.

Re:The source code is available. (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256691)

This is one end of the spectrum of definition of "open source".

The more commonly understood definition is a license that meets the Open Source Definition [opensource.org] , which MS-LPL obviously does not (contravenes point 10 at least).

It would not be outlandish to suggest that MS are trying to dilute the expectations of those hearing the words "open source" to include their more, well, useless definitions like MS-RSL which allows you to refer to the source for the purpose of increasing your understanding of the library (so you can make your stuff work around their "quirks", presumably), but doesn't actually grant you the right to build it, fix it, distribute it, or even use the binaries.

Still Open Source (1, Flamebait)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256439)

If someone can take the code, port it to other platforms, and distribute it, then it's still open source. They can refuse to accept patches porting it to other platforms, and it's still open source. Their hosting provider can even deny them free hosting if they accept patches for supporting other operating systems.

Just because you host open source, doesn't mean you can't add extra constraints. Google Code limits the licenses you can use, and used to not allow the Mozilla Public License.

Re:Still Open Source (3, Informative)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256501)

If someone can take the code, port it to other platforms, and distribute it, then it's still open source.

That's the whole point, you're not allowed to do that.

Re:Still Open Source (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256513)

Even more:
The project maintainer or distributer can choose not to have a homepage and not to accept patches at all. He/she doesn't have to host anything at all *IF* the source&license is passed on with the binary distribution. It doesn't even need to be project open to the general public to be a open source project.
The key is, the person receiving the binary+source+license has the freedom make it one.

Here it boils down to the question whether you have the freedom to extend the source to other platforms, not whether that modifications will be hosted for you, gratis.

Re:Still Open Source (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256715)

And to add to that, there are plenty of open source projects on Freshmeat that only run on linux/BSD, or even SourceForge for that matter (which also hosts Windows-only open source projects). "Open source" is that the source is made available. Various open source licenses generally allow for edits to the code but as the parent points out, those patches don't have to be accepted. Does the linux kernel take every patch? Hardly.

There is no problem here (2, Informative)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256461)

Open source does not mean open platform, case closed.

Re:There is no problem here (2, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256519)

No, "open source" means no license restrictions on what you do with the code. If the license forbids you to run the code on another OS, or another pieces of hardware, it is not open. Neither is it open if you prevent the use of the code for a particular purpose. If you want to use the code to tabulate a list of people who you intend to round up, incarcerate, and incinerate, people will deplore your morals, but the OSS movement in principle defend your right to use open source code to do it (but does not allow you to create a license that says that same group of people cannot use your software).

Read point 10 of the Open Source Definition [opensource.org]

Re:There is no problem here (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256693)

No, "open source" means no license restrictions on what you do with the code.

FSF disagrees, see the anti-Tivo section in the new GPL.

Re:There is no problem here (1)

GodKingAmit (1192629) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256563)

It has nothing to do with technical restrictions on platform.

In the license there is specific language that you are not allowed to port the code to a different language.

Re:There is no problem here (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256673)

Open source does not mean open platform, case closed.

WRONG. Open source does mean the right to modify code to work on your platform of choice.

See the Open Source Definition [opensource.org] . The definitive explanation of what open source software is that the public knows of and takes for granted (currently).

Nothing to see here... (3, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256485)

This is classic Register bs. From the codeplex site:

About CodePlex CodePlex is Microsoft's open source project hosting web site. Start a new project, join an existing one, or download software created by the community. More About CodePlex... Microsoft does not control, review, revise, endorse or distribute the third party projects on this site. Microsoft is hosting the CodePlex site solely as a web storage site as a service to the developer community.

In other words, developers can -gasp- choose the license they want. And they do, including MS. Also, it has nothing to do with the OSI since MS explicitly mentions it's 'open source' and not 'Open Source'(which seems to be hijacked by the OSI as a trademark?). open source != free(as in freedom) software.

Re:Nothing to see here... (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256757)

Well said. Mod-U-Up.

Deja vu all over again..... (0, Redundant)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256495)

First there was "Embrace"

Now there is "Extend"

Next up...

Unfortunately for MS, the FOSS genie can't be stuffed back in the bottle, and muddying the waters like this only serves to delay the inevitable - FOSS is cheaper and better than closed in a commodity market.

Nothing new here... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256503)

From the Microsoft playbook circa 1995:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish [wikipedia.org]

"Embrace, extend and extinguish," also known as "Embrace, extend, and exterminate," is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice alleged was used internally by Microsoft to describe their strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors.

forges (1)

germ!nation (764234) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256505)

does rubyforge, for example, host any non-ruby projects?

But... (2, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256537)

Point understood, you have an example of a ruby-only site.

However, do projects on that site have a license explicitly forbidding you from re-implementing them in python or perl or C? I suspect no, that they would allow that even if they choose not to explicitly aid it.

In this case, MS's site is hosting code that not only is Windows specific, but forbids potential developers from even porting it to other operating systems. The former is hard to argue, the latter bit I understand raising some ire amongst Free software advocates.

open source != cross platform != no restrictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256533)

some licenses let you sell your product some licenses don't. so what difference does it make if some licenses want to support a specific goal, like in this case, more open source software for Microsoft products

get over it

Re:open source != cross platform != no restriction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256683)

THIS!

Bad summary (2, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256535)

From the article:

While the CodePlex site does not mandate the license for projects, you are told to pick your own license with CodePlex directing you to the open-source license page of Wikipedia for more information. CodePlex is home to projects under a range of licenses recognized by the OSI, such as Apache 2.0, and open-source-like custom licenses not officially recognized. ®

Honestly, please read more than a paragraph or two of the article before submitting it to Slashdot. You can submit any code under any licence you like to CodePlex, and indeed encourages you to do so. Where's the problem here, exactly? That "open source" means different things to Microsoft than it does to some other people? That term means many things to many people, from the idea of being able to view the source of software but do little else with it, to the BSD/public domain-ish idea of all code being available for modification under virtually any terms. That's all this is. Nothing to see here, move along.

Codeplex is a joke (2, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256631)

What is Codeplex really about? It's a cheap form of recruiting developers to keep supporting the Windows platform by building better programs... as long as Microsoft gets a profit from it.

This is why using the GPLv3 is forbidden in Codeplex [milkingthegnu.org] .

not to nitpick... (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25256729)

..but just because a program is open source does not mean it needs to be portable. Most open source projects are, but it's not a definitional requirement. I don't like the license scheme or the way MS handles this, but as long as the source code is given, it's technically "open source"

stunt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25256739)

Miguel de Icaza caught and criticized Microsoft for doing this

Hehe. Being a m$whore is not all rosy experience, Miguel. And many have told you before.

... or is it cheap stunt to create publicity? Because week later M$ can come and say "we fix it! see - we are actually good!!" adding more cheap publicity to the mix.

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