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Portugal's Vortalgate — No Microsoft, No Bidding

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the bad-for-bidders-and-for-bidness dept.

Microsoft 312

An anonymous reader writes "Companies using software other than Microsoft's are unable to bid at many Portuguese public tenders. This is due to the use of Silverlight 2.0 technology by the company, Vortal, contracted to build the e-procurement portal. This situation has triggered a complaint to the European Commission by the Portuguese Open Source Business Association; the case is unofficially known in Portugal as 'Vortalgate.'"

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first ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055555)

first port !!!

Kdawson (-1, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055561)

Another informative jewel by our "friend" kdawson. Silverlight is just another technology, like flash, java, or you name it. It's just getting more and more popular, and there is direct support for Windows and MacOs. The mono team is doing a wonderful work bringing Silverlight for Linux as Moonlight. True, 2.0 is not really supported yet, but it's on it's way, really soon now (TM).

Silverlight is a wonderful programming platform, easier and more elegant than flash will ever be, and you have a whole subset of the .net platform for you to use, which makes it very powerful. So Silverlight is here to stay. Take your medicine and don't be bitter.

Re:Kdawson (4, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055611)

So Silverlight is here to stay. Take your medicine and don't be bitter.

--
It's time to realise that Abble's products are the biggest abomination these days. Just say NO to the dumb iAbble way!

Yeah, because no one here is biased...

Re:Kdawson (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055627)

> This is due to the use of Silverlight 2.0 technology by the company,
> Vortal, contracted to build the e-procurement portal.

I'm sure the bid said, "accessible via any computer with a web browser"? Or "apps available under x, y, and z OS's", or some such?

Quite frankly, although Microsoft getting people dependent on their proprietary APIs is a common business model, this isn't really Microsoft's fault, but Vortal's. Or the doof who put together the RFQ for this particular service for not being more specific about what kinds of computers can access it.

Re:Kdawson (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055973)

Quite frankly, although Microsoft getting people dependent on their proprietary APIs is a common business model, this isn't really Microsoft's fault, but Vortal's.

Well, sort of. Remember that ongoing prosecution of MS in the EU courts for antitrust abuse? Remember what it is about? MS intentionally broke interoperability with Web standards and prevented Web standards from advancing and being more functional on the majority of user's systems by leveraging their Windows monopoly to artificially promote IE. As a result, it is harder for companies like Vortal to implement a procurement system using Web standards, resulting in more companies using Silverlight (and Flash). But since Silverlight is another Microsoft product... well hopefully you see where this is going.

You can argue Vortal should not have used Silverlight for this project and I'd agree with you. That doesn't mean MS bears no guilt for making developing this with interoperable Web standards artificially difficult for Vortal.

Re:Kdawson (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055637)

Silverlight is a wonderful programming platform, easier and more elegant than flash will ever be

That's nice and everything, but anyone using Flash OR Silverlight as a required part of a tendering process needs to be put down for the good of humanity. What could possibly have been going on in their tiny little minds? Responding to this insanity by babbling about Silverlight being better than Flash is absurd.

Re:Kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056261)

"What could possibly have been going on in their tiny little minds?"

Thank you for clarifying that. I agree.

Of course, possibly they were paid by Microsoft.

Re:Kdawson (4, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055691)

...and when Microsoft has wrapped your entire world into a compendium of proprietary digital glop with no hope of improvement, only then will you realize how bad it can be.

...again.

Re:Kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056345)

only to those on the outside

Re:Kdawson (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056599)

only to those on the outside

Everyone will be on the outside when the price of watching your own media skyrockets, or your machine is scrubbed of things deemed "illegal".

Re:Kdawson (1, Troll)

Tracy Reed (3563) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055699)

No, it's a trap. Use it at your peril.

Re:Kdawson (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055703)

It's not about the quality of Silverlight, if you didn't get it go read again.

People with other Operating Systems other than those provided by Microsoft are not able to access a governmental website, that is what is being discussed.

Re:Kdawson (-1, Troll)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055951)

Correction... People with other Operating Systems other than those provided by Microsoft and Apple are not able to access a governmental website, that is what is being discussed.

It's likely that moonlight works with the site as well, so linux users can access it as well. Of course, if it doesn't, you have the source so fix it yourself.

Re:Kdawson (1)

sloanster (213766) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056351)

Of course, if it doesn't, you have the source so fix it yourself.

Sorry, what planet were you from again? Telling Aunt Mildred "you have the source, so fix it yourself" isn't going to fly.

As for trotting out apple, you're hopelessly naive if you think that microsoft won't kill the OSX version of silverlight the minute apple's market share gets a little bigger than microsoft would like.

For the government to put microsoft firmly in control of a lever by which which can hurt its competitors as much as it likes is like putting the proverbial fox in charge of the henhouse.

Re:Kdawson (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056501)

As for trotting out apple, you're hopelessly naive if you think that microsoft won't kill the OSX version of silverlight the minute apple's market share gets a little bigger than microsoft would like.

No doubt just like they killed Office.

I would tend to think you're hopelessly paranoid on the topic, if we're going to be tossing around superlatives.

Re:Kdawson (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056685)

No doubt just like they killed Office.

Microsoft nearly did kill Office for the Mac, but was a required part of a dispute settlement. Now, it's too profitable to kill off. That's called a dilemma.

Re:Kdawson (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055705)

Mono will always be behind and you can count on MacOSX support being dropped quite soon. Using Silverlight now is no different than what using activeX meant in the past.

Re:Kdawson (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056379)

Mono will always be behind and you can count on MacOSX support being dropped quite soon.

I agree with the first statement. However, when did Microsoft decide to drop Silverlight for OS X?

Re:Kdawson (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056519)

Mono will always be behind and you can count on MacOSX support being dropped quite soon.

Except ActiveX was more or less impossible to be cross platform. Silverlight is not.

You're also the second person I've seen trotting out the meme that Microsoft is "just about to" kill Silverlight on the Mac. What makes you believe that?

Re:Kdawson (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056703)

IE for OSX.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Re:Kdawson (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055723)

Another informative jewel by our "friend" kdawson. Silverlight is just another technology, like flash, java, or you name it. It's just getting more and more popular, and there is direct support for Windows and MacOs. The mono team is doing a wonderful work bringing Silverlight for Linux as Moonlight. True, 2.0 is not really supported yet, but it's on it's way, really soon now (TM).

Silverlight is a wonderful programming platform, easier and more elegant than flash will ever be, and you have a whole subset of the .net platform for you to use, which makes it very powerful. So Silverlight is here to stay. Take your medicine and don't be bitter.

And even better, if you don't work for Novell, and use it via Mono, you might even get sued! Yay for patent-encumbered software that relies on the goodwill of a multiple-conviction monopolist.

Re:Kdawson (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056239)

And even better, if you don't work for Novell, and use it via Mono, you might even get sued! Yay for patent-encumbered software that relies on the goodwill of a multiple-conviction monopolist.

Bu... But Microsoft products are an IT industry standard.

Re:Kdawson (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055761)

Troll troll is troll.

yea (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055845)

.net was a wonderful platform adopted by everyone. and flash was the driving force behind web.

in an alternate reality perhaps.

Re:Kdawson (5, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055933)

I agree Silverlight is probably better than Flash, but that's setting a rather low bar.

Re:Kdawson (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056027)

Another informative jewel by our "friend" kdawson. Silverlight is just another technology, like flash, java, or you name it.

And a closed one at that.

He does bring up a good point: Shouldn't public interfaces use speech-free technologies? Why is Javascript not good enough?

It's just getting more and more popular, and there is direct support for Windows and MacOs. The mono team is doing a wonderful work bringing Silverlight for Linux as Moonlight. True, 2.0 is not really supported yet, but it's on it's way, really soon now (TM).

Translation: if you want to use it without hassles, you'll have to buy something from an american company.

P.S. HURD is "on its way, really soon now (TM)", too.

Re:Kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056227)

...okay. Do you have a point to make, or did I miss it? If the company were Chinese would that make you happier? I don't understand your logic...

Re:Kdawson (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056361)

If the company were Chinese would that make you happier?

You shouldn't have to pay to use a government website. Especially not someone in a different country.

Am I asking too much?

Re:Kdawson (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056183)

Silverlight is a wonderful programming platform, easier and more elegant than flash will ever be, and you have a whole subset of the .net platform for you to use, which makes it very powerful.

So how much did they pay you to do their marketing for them? If nothing, then you definitely got the raw end of that deal. Microsoft doesn't need your charity even if you HAVE bought into their shit hook line and sinker. If they ARE paying you, do you ever miss your self-respect or has it been so long that you forgot what having it felt like?

So Silverlight is here to stay. Take your medicine and don't be bitter.

More smugness please! It's alright, you pretty much have to be a dick about this. "Silverlight is here to stay. Take your medicine and don't be bitter" sounds much better for you than "I fell for Microsoft's marketing because I'm a sucker". How do I know you fell for it? Because of the way you do their marketing for them -- no one is as fervent as a convert. It's not good enough for you to just enjoy MS's products whether anyone else likes them or not, for that would be a true preference. You can't just do that, you gotta join their little "team" and take up for them in online forums as well because you have SOLD your allegiance. You got in bed with Microsoft and like everyone else who does that, you got fucked. You just told yourself that you liked it, that's all.

There's nothing commendable or noble about dealing with an entity that would like very much to completely own you. Perhaps you should read that sentence again. If you don't think Microsoft would like very much to completely own you and your data or at least your access to it, you're a sad naive little person indeed.

I hope your enjoyment of Silverlight is worth it.

Macs, moonlight. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055565)

What about Macs, and Moonlight. Granted Using Silverlight is a stupid move done by STUPID Developers, and braindead PHB. But still if you wanted to do bidding you had ways.

Re:Macs, moonlight. (-1, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056077)

What about Macs, and Moonlight. Granted Using Silverlight is a stupid move done by STUPID Developers, and braindead PHB. But still if you wanted to do bidding you had ways.

Well here's the shocker, unless I'm using a computer, I can't use Moonlight! I smell a plot!

Seriously folks, this is a non-issue except to people like RMS and his followers, and they will not be bidding anyway.

Re:Macs, moonlight. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056127)

Seriously folks, this is a non-issue except to people like RMS and his followers, and they will not be bidding anyway.

Really? Don't you think that Adobe or Apple might have something to say about it?

Re:Macs, moonlight. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056291)

Really? Don't you think that Adobe or Apple might have something to say about it?

And so would any competitor. But to the businesses actually doing the bidding, the relevent parties, I would wager none have any issues.

Re:Macs, moonlight. (4, Insightful)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056271)

Well, suppose you're selling GNU/Linux desktops. Now to make your bidding for a public tender in Portugal you need to NOT USE your own dogfood?

You need to buy from your competitors in order to compete against them?

Seriously folks, this is a REAL issue (plus, this mess was paid with my taxes, I'll have to demand a refund).

Re:Macs, moonlight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056669)

Well, suppose you're selling GNU/Linux desktops.

Obviously, Portugal isn't buying any.

Re:Macs, moonlight. (4, Informative)

comm2k (961394) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056135)

Silverlight 2.0 versus Moonlight 1.0 which does not implement any 2.0 features... maybe..?

Major Pain quote (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056301)

One! Don't you feel dumb.
Two! Look at you.
Three! Don't you ever make jokes about me behind my back or else I'll stomp you into the ground

http://www.mono-project.com/news/archive/2009/Jan-13.html [mono-project.com]

-Rick

Re:Major Pain quote (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056347)

Sonofabitch, I posted the wrong link.

Don't I look dumb.

-Rick

Re:Macs, moonlight. (5, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056517)

Silverlight 2.0 versus Moonlight 1.0 which does not implement any 2.0 features... maybe..?

And by the time we get Moonlight 2.0, Silverlight will be 3.0. You'd almost think they were doing it on purpose...

Good (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055567)

Good for Portugal. It is about time some country stood up for quality closed-source software in the face of all you open-source zealots who won't take total cost of ownership into account.

Oh, a comedian. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056375)

On Slashdot, that comment is immediately recognized as intended to be humorous.

Proprietary Shit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055573)

Yeah, clearly Microsoft was the superior solution. Just ask Netflix! Their users got very pissed off at the proprietary nature and lower quality of Silverlight. It's a piece of shit that M$ promotes because they want to own this market. Why anyone would be dumb enough to continue to use Microsoft when alternatives are available is a mystery.

I am shocked, shocked I tell you (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055601)

...that such a thing could happen.
Incompetence or corruption, which is worse?

Re:I am shocked, shocked I tell you (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055647)

I'm more shocked to learn that the -gate postfix is used outside of the US! Or, indeed, even English-speaking countries!

Re:I am shocked, shocked I tell you (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055935)

Seriously, that was the most shocking thing I got out of the article.

Re:I am shocked, shocked I tell you (2, Funny)

whopub (1100981) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056129)

I'm more shocked to learn that the -gate postfix is used outside of the US! Or, indeed, even English-speaking countries!

Oh, but it is.

We even use colgate around here.

:))

Re:I am shocked, shocked I tell you (5, Informative)

!coward (168942) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056423)

Speaking as a portuguese, I can tell you that the whole "-gate" postfixing is senseless.. It just doesn't carry weight around here as it does over there. I'd wager the submitter knew this, but just added it anyway because a) he/she is "close" to the matter (probably belongs to the group who's denouncing the situation) and therefore takes this issue seriously and b) wanted to exarcerbate the impact of this news piece by way of a commonly used word-gimmick.. After all, your own media abuses the term whenever some sort of scandal crops up.

As far as "-gate" scandals go, there's another one a LOT more prone to getting that tag (allegations of impropriety or downright corruption that may implicate the current Prime-Minister regarding the licensing of a big real estate development when he was Minister for the Environment -- and therefore had specific oversight on these matters), a huge mess. And even THAT didn't get tagged "Freeport-gate". It would mean nothing to the majority of people here, many would probably not even get the historical reference (even with "Frost vs Nixon").

To be honest, and again speaking as a portuguese citizen, this is the first I'm hearing about it (and the first time I've heard about this particular portal, to be frank). As far as I can tell, this relates to a governmental portal for job procurement/hiring.. The "bidding" here either relates to companies wishing to offer services, applying for consulting positions (getting contracts) or for people trying to get employed.

It's obviously a Bad Thing(TM) but I doubt it was done intentionally and even less that MS had anything to do with it. Not that MS is above this, of course, and they do enjoy a cosy relationship with Portugal and portuguese institutions (we're a small country and they're a BIIIIG corporation -- it's "good business" to keep a major player/investor like that happy, however it may sicken me that we need it) but as other posters have pointed out, this is Vortal's own doing.

Silverlight is a new technology and Microsoft has been investing heavily around here.. I personally know many aspiring developers (as well as fully-fledged software engineers) who genuinely think Microsoft is God's gift to software engineering.. And it doesn't help that MS does indeed get some things right now and then. :)

The way I see it, whomever made the decision to use SL (and the ensuing IE-optimized html code -- even the places you can go without Silverlight installed really suck with Firefox, the usability/interoperability is seriously broken) didn't think things through, or honestly felt that Silverlight is the Next Big Thing(TM), and that going with it would be a clever move.

It's another reflection of the worst thing that Microsoft has managed to instill into so many people, often through the deals they broker with education institutions: the mono-culture mentality.. That only Windows matters (in fact, for nearly all non-CS students, Windows is pretty much IT, and even Apple has only recently begun to show up on their mental map). That as long as you develop for THEIR platform and use their technologies, you'll reach that huge percentage of users, the magic Windows OS desktop-share.. And that the rest basically don't matter. It's so sad seeing this happen in the very places that used to be all about inclusion, early adoption of ALL technologies and diversity.

The submitter over-dramatized the impact that this is having over here, but I'm glad that the complaint went through and hope they can coax the European Courts to issue a legally binding EU-wide mandate on interoperability.

Re:I am shocked, shocked I tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056633)

.. I personally know many aspiring developers (as well as fully-fledged software engineers) who genuinely think Microsoft is God's gift to software engineering...

They're not too far off. Microsoft keeps people employed... fixing their mess.

Re:I am shocked, shocked I tell you (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056245)

...that such a thing could happen. Incompetence or corruption, which is worse?

Incompetence, if only because so many people are so quick to excuse and defend it. There are not a lot of apologists for corruption.

As a representative of Vortal.pt ... (5, Funny)

shrubya (570356) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056277)

... I must object to these allegations in the strongest terms. Our QA department went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure compatibility, by testing our software not only on HP and Dell computers, but also Lenovo, Sony, and Acer. Whatever objections these critics have are clearly spurious.

That old saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055635)

"Nobody ever got fired for choosing Microsoft." Might not hold much longer.

Re:That old saying... (2, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055731)

Really, that saying was a saying? The old saying was "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM." I don't know if it is still true, but it had the advantage of being true for longer than Microsoft has been a company.

Portugal! (1)

trmanco (1344269) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055643)

Heh!
What else can we do? Everything said, it is Portugal...

Thumbs up for ESOP for filling this complaint!

Re:Portugal! (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055749)

It's a bom deal for Microsoft... ;)

It's 2009 (5, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055665)

It's 2009. There's Java, Perl, PHP, Ruby, C#, and Tcl, to name just the main languages that can be used to write web software (I've even seen a page done in Cobol on a lark). Javascript is well established, as is Flash.

Silverlight comes along offering nothing new but plenty of obstacles and lock-out of end user browsers, requiring active download of a plug-in, and yet, there are bozos out there willing to commit paying customers and their websites to an endless, costly, non-standard nightmare in exchange for nothing! You can't make shit like that up, it's real.

Re:It's 2009 (2, Interesting)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055779)

I know nothing of web programing but was under the impression that Flash sucks for any actual applications beyond a video or basic games.

And that silverlight was more or less flash but is easy to program for.

Re:It's 2009 (2, Interesting)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055969)

I was under a similar impression, except that Silverlight, while being easier to program for, actually blows Flash out of the water in functionality.

I know that my experiences with Silverlight have been overwhelmingly positive compared to Flash.

It's also worth mentioning that Silverlight works well in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on Windows, as well as Firefox and Safari on OS X.

Moonlight even works on Firefox on Linux, and it's getting better at a pretty good rate.

Complaining that it requires a separate plug-in while promoting Flash, Java, and others is stupid, since Flash and Java both require separate plug-ins as well. And what do Javascript, Perl, etc, have to do with anything? They're not exactly competing products.

Face it, Silverlight is good. It's multi-platform and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere.

Re:It's 2009 (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056185)

Moonlight even works on Firefox on Linux, and it's getting better at a pretty good rate.

Moonlight doesn't support Silverlight 2.0-targeted code. You're being a bit disingenious implying that Silverlight code works on Firefox. Some of it does, but a great deal of it does not. Much of it even requires a Windows client.

That is what we call 'vendor lock-in'.

errata (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056207)

s/Firefox/Firefox on Linux/

Re:It's 2009 (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056567)

You're being a bit disingenious implying that Silverlight code works on Firefox. Some of it does, but a great deal of it does not. Much of it even requires a Windows client.

Are you being disingenuous now? Fully featured silverlight exists for Mac, where you can run it with Firefox, Safari, etc.

Re:It's 2009 (3, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055983)

I know nothing of web programing

And yet, you still decided that your opinions on this subject are worth sharing with the world. I love slashdot.

Re:It's 2009 (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056593)

And yet, you still decided that your opinions on this subject are worth sharing with the world. I love slashdot.

God, that's the story of the Internet now.

Have you noticed how in the past 5 years or so, googling answers to technical issues has become horrible? It seems like anywhere somebody asks a question, dozens of people who don't have a CLUE will chime in. The real, SMART responses get lost in the noise.

Is it really that hard to NOT answer a question if you don't know the answer?

No doubt the same people that do this are the ones who marked you flamebait.....

Re:It's 2009 (2, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056091)

Check out Adobe Flex, its Flash for actual business applications. It is an astoundingly good programming language and is actively being supported by people like Google and SalesForce.

Re:It's 2009 (1)

Infamous Tim (513490) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056551)

For anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, there is an Adobe Flex interest and advocacy group that meets at my university (the University of Texas @ Dallas). Their website is http://www.d-flex.org/ [d-flex.org] , and they meet every month on Thursdays.

I heard the leader of the organization speak at a UUG recently, and it seems like a really neat tool. You'll have to forgive me for promoting it over Silverlight. I'm always suspicious of Microsoft's long-term intentions, as their history has born out time and time again how malicious they are. I just don't trust them.

Re:It's 2009 (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056331)

It does, but that doesn't stop people from trying.

Re:It's 2009 (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056399)

Flash didn't suck at that, it just wasn't convenient on the development side. But ActionScript being equivalent to Javascript, it can be very functional. Apparently Adobe is fixing most of dev side issues via Flex.

Re:It's 2009 (4, Insightful)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056023)

...and yet, there are bozos out there willing to commit paying customers and their websites to an endless, costly, non-standard nightmare in exchange for nothing! You can't make shit like that up, it's real.

QFE. You've just summed up all problems in the IT industry in one sentence.

Re:It's 2009 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056049)

Are you seriously going to tell me you would rather build a complex site in flash (no decent debugger) VS building it in Silverlight with the full support of Visual Studio 2008? How about support for the features of C# and .NET 3.0? LINQ? You don't see this as an advantage?

Some people don't know what they're talking about. You can't make that shit up. It's real.

Re:It's 2009 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056199)

You're missing the point. There is simply no sane reason for a fucking government procurement website to use Flash or Silverlight or Java for that matter on the client side! The Irish government is reknowned for sucking microsoft cock, and even they manage to have a standards-compliant cross-platform procurement site. They're clearly using microsoft on the server side (.aspx!), but they don't prevent companies not using microsoft tools accessing the site.

http://www.e-tenders.gov.ie/search/search_mainpage.aspx [e-tenders.gov.ie]

Re:It's 2009 (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056561)

The Irish government is reknowned for sucking microsoft cock, and even they manage to have a standards-compliant cross-platform procurement site. They're clearly using microsoft on the server side (.aspx!), but they don't prevent companies not using microsoft tools accessing the site.

http://www.e-tenders.gov.ie/search/search_mainpage.aspx [e-tenders.gov.ie]

Well, given that Ireland's country code is "ie", they're pretty much stuck with Microsoft I'd think.

Re:It's 2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056137)

My understanding is that Silverlight allows you to write browser plugins using managed code and the .NET framework (or a subset thereof). This is client-side stuff; Perl, PHP, Ruby, C#, and Tcl are all server-side. The latter technologies all rely on JavaScript to make things work on the client-side (assuming there is some kind of whizz-bang, "rich client" interactivity). Java, on the other hand, is a good example; it has both a server-side and client-side presence. I would imagine that writing a plugin in a .NET language is ridiculously easy for Microsoft shops (i.e. SQL server, etc). Silverlight is available for platforms other than Windows/IE, you know. However, unless they are doing something complex I don't really see the need for something heavy like that over simple JavaScript. I don't know what their website does, so maybe they find the features Silverlight offers useful. If it wasn't Silverlight it would probably be Flash, so be careful what you wish for.

Re:It's 2009 (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056231)

Silverlight comes along offering nothing new but plenty of obstacles and lock-out of end user browsers, requiring active download of a plug-in, and yet, there are bozos out there willing to commit paying customers and their websites to an endless, costly, non-standard nightmare in exchange for nothing! You can't make shit like that up, it's real.

Well, from what I hear, Silverlight is actually pretty good and some of us hate flash. Still, probably a stupid choice for that developer to make unless it gave them some feature they needed that they couldn't get elsewhere. On the other hand I think open source community is getting a little bit trigger happy with these kind of lawsuits (or whatever "a complaint to the European Commission" is). It's not uncommon for the government tenders to include some sort of requirement for proprietary formats, .pdf, .doc or whatever. How is this any different? Just use a PC to submit your bid, or as someone pointed out there are other options as well.

Re:It's 2009 (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056563)

On the other hand I think open source community is getting a little bit trigger happy with these kind of lawsuits (or whatever "a complaint to the European Commission" is).

The European Commission is the executive branch of the EU (a bit like the Cabinet in the US government). Among other things, it's their job to make sure the rules of the EU are carried out.

It's not uncommon for the government tenders to include some sort of requirement for proprietary formats, .pdf, .doc or whatever. How is this any different? Just use a PC to submit your bid, or as someone pointed out there are other options as well.

It's all very political really, isn't it. MS have been up for anti-trust cases in the EU quite a lot recently, and are not really top favourites in the upper echelons of government. They're also a foreign company (so to speak), who are notorious for vendor lock-in.

Making a government service compatible only with Microsoft products is just never going to pe popular in the circumstances.

It's clearly not going to be an anti-trust issue, and MS haven't done anything wrong here- they've just sold their product to someone fair and square, like they should do. But open standards in government is all the rage at the moment, and a "complaint to the European Commission" is a good way of grabbing the Portuguese government's attention.

Re:It's 2009 (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056587)

pdf is way more open than doc. wayway more open than this abomination silverlight. not sure about that "whatever" you mentioned.
it's been bad enough with flash, we really don't need another shitty provider of tech that everybody thinks is shiny enough to use everywhere. especially when requires for government contracts.

Just use a PC to submit your bid

right. with which operating system btw ?
why didn't you specify vendor ? maybe such a procurement site could require a specific cpu and ram vendor, wouldn't that be a good idea ? and hey, there probably is a way to require submitters using a specific power grid.

Re:It's 2009 (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056613)

Silverlight comes along offering nothing new but plenty of obstacles and lock-out of end user browsers, requiring active download of a plug-in, and yet, there are bozos out there willing to commit paying customers and their websites to an endless, costly, non-standard nightmare in exchange for nothing! You can't make shit like that up, it's real.

Unlike Adobe Flash right? Oh wait, you have to install a plug-in there too.

Granted, Silverlight 2 support isn't quite there yet with Moonlight but I believe the Mac OS version is up and running.

Argue if you will over whether technologies like Flash or Silverlight should be used for rich internet applications, or argue whether they should be used on public sites (on this note I would say that any site that expects to be most accessible should stay away from these technologies). You shouldn't, however, simply discount Silverlight as a valid development platform just because its Microsoft.

Yes, there is prior history here. Yes, its very possible they'll up and say "No more Moonlight and Mac support... ahaha GOTCHA!". And so what if they do? They'll be shooting themselves in the foot and people will just jump back over to Flash/Flex. By that time, I expect somebody will have written a C#/VB.Net to Flash/Flex converter if there isn't one already and we may be able to mostly port over a lot of the code.

I would argue that Silverlight has offered some good things, including a very nice development environment (with Blend v2 and above) and a smaller learning curve for people who already have some .Net programming under their belt. I also noticed around the time Blend with .Net support launched, Adobe announced a better development environment for Flex so I'd wager there are plenty of Flash/Flex developers out there who are happy now as well.

Competition is good, even for Adobe.

I, for one, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055759)

...would like to apologize to our Portuguese friends for giving them that horrible, overused suffix.

Re:I, for one, (4, Funny)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056035)

Sadly, we have yet to understand the full repercussions of Suffixgate, but I suspect they will be with us for a long, long time.

I cannot access Slashdot without a web browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055783)

I have a commodore_64 for which has been working just fine for me for many many years, but I am told that I must have a "web browser" in order to post comments to the Slashdot web site. This is DISCRIMINATION and requires a substantial outlay of cash for me. As soon as I can find a government official who doesn't laugh at me, I'll be filing my complaint.

Re:I cannot access Slashdot without a web browser (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055931)

If you really had one you would be using Lynx or HyperLink. So STFU and GTFO.

Re:I cannot access Slashdot without a web browser (3, Insightful)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055997)

I have a commodore_64 for which has been working just fine for me for many many years, but I am told that I must have a "web browser" in order to post comments to the Slashdot web site.

Don't worry dude, I've got you covered! [armory.com]

And forcing people to use Silverlight is nothing like that. There's no good reason to use Silverlight (or Flash for that matter) on a site that easily be done without nonstandard plugins. Remember when they used to do that 10+ years ago? Every site had its own pet video, audio, or other single-purpose wonky player. We're beyond those days, with the notable exception of Flash. Does anyone really want to go back?

Vortalgate? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055835)

Do other countries/languages use the "-gate" nomenclature for every government scandal/complaint/event too?

Re:Vortalgate? (4, Informative)

xSander (1227106) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055949)

Yes.

Re:Vortalgate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056603)

no.

Re:Vortalgate? (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056617)

for every, no. in general, yes.
we had a corruption scandal where politicans and other persons were involved in a bribing attempt that got widely publicised - it was called -gate, by the name of the city where the corruption attempt occured. it sounded lame, but journalists liked it.
of course, nobody who actually organised it was charged with anything :)

I'd adapt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27055947)

If I think that I would have a good chance of getting the contract with my bid, I would find a windows machine to do it.
In today's economy, purism is a luxury.

Re:I'd adapt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056431)

In today's economy, purism is a luxury.

And yet here you are demanding that the owners of the site be allowed to engage in it, rather than providing genuinely accessible services using actual standards based technology. (And no, I am not saying "use Flash!" - Flash is not standards based technology either. Neither is Java. There's this thing on the Web called "HTML", and it's simply amazing in it's ability to work in any browser. You should look into it some time!)

Flash has wonderful Linux support, I suppose (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#27055993)

I suppose Flash is much better supported on Linux. Hmmm. Yes there are flash versions, but Adobe took their sweet time about it, did they not?

I'm not a FAN of silverlight (or flash!), but Silverlight seems to be better supported on Linux and Mac than Flash was initially. I could be wrong about that.

I don't undrestand why Microsoft gets blamed for producing a product that isn't supported on platforms that Windows isn't supported on. I may as well complain that it took forEVER for Amarok to get Windows support, and it's STILL not available! Or, even better, that Safari took forEVER to be ported to Windows! Or whatever other software you care to complain about.

If developers choose to use a MS only product, that's not MS's fault. Ms is under no obligation to produce software that works with everyone's, including their competitors, operating system. That makes no sense, monopoly or no monopoly. Now, if they were forcing the developers to use Silverlight, or forcing Adobe not to let Flash have a Windows version, that's different.

Re:Flash has wonderful Linux support, I suppose (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056085)

Exactly. I hate MS as much as the next Linux dude, but this situation is hardly their fault. The company contracted to build this portal was obviously retarded, but unless they were bribed by MS themselves, this has nothing to do with Redmond.

Re:Flash has wonderful Linux support, I suppose (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056139)

If developers choose to use a MS only product, that's not MS's fault.

Yeah, and it's the developers that mostly get the blame anyway.

C.f. all the flaming around mono.

Re:Flash has wonderful Linux support, I suppose (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056225)

If developers choose to use a MS only product, that's not MS's fault. Ms is under no obligation to produce software that works with everyone's, including their competitors, operating system. That makes no sense, monopoly or no monopoly. Now, if they were forcing the developers to use Silverlight, or forcing Adobe not to let Flash have a Windows version, that's different.

How is it an entire post that was 4 paragraphs is actually self-answered by it's final sentence. Only in another way, through managerial coercion and stronghanding in other products to gain the use of that piece of software... which is another way to "force the developers to use Silverlight".

I guess in a way we're just around you explaining things to you and your sputtering... think of it that way. In a nutshell, since it's never been proven differently in the history, anything Microsoft does in net-related products is destructively evil and needs to go from passively forgotten and shoveled underground, to not so passively having a village burning.

What does Flash have to do with it? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056355)

I'm not a FAN of silverlight (or flash!), but Silverlight seems to be better supported on Linux and Mac than Flash was initially. I could be wrong about that.

Why on earth do you imagine you would you need either Silverlight or Flash to submit a bid?

This isn't a frigging high end interactive-video-entertainment application, this is something that shouldn't need anything more than Mosaic 1.0 or Lynx.

Re:Flash has wonderful Linux support, I suppose (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056415)

Who blames Microsoft? The only person who should receive blame is the developers who choose it for anything that isn't explicitly supposed to be Windows only.

Portugese vortigaunts (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056067)

I don't know why the vortigaunts in question don't just zap the portugese computers and make them work. They do wonders for pretty much anything else. I mean, I don't know anything about computers besides how to play half life 2 and even -I- know that much.

Re:Portugese vortigaunts (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056393)

Some guy with a crowbar killed all the computer savvy ones

Not that surprising (1)

Cultural Sublimation (884893) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056321)

Isn't Portugal's current prime-minister (Jose Socrates) notorious for his close association with everything Microsoft?

And isn't he currently at the center of a national scandal involving serious corruption charges?

And didn't his government recently try to sell the notion that the Intel Classmate they are introducing into public schools is a "portuguese invention"?

Anyway, this sort of report does not surprise me one bit...

Vortal Inputs? (2, Funny)

baKanale (830108) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056527)

It is rude of them to commune by flux shifting in front of those whose Vortal inputs are impaired. They should vocalize in our auditory language as a matter of courtesy. Unless they wish to say unflattering things about us. Just so.

Open Source vs. Closed Source (0, Flamebait)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 4 years ago | (#27056615)

Are we all forgetting about Moonlight? Silverlight actually has a supported fully open-source alternative. Flash does not-- the open source flash solutions are basically reverse engineered while Mooonlight has support and documentation from Microsoft-- while retaining no licensing snafus.

Basically, you're all letting your fanboy rage over Microsoft blind your sense to the point that you're pushing a fully proprietary non-oss solution (flash) over a fully open source solution. If this site simply keeps in mind that Moonlight support is the base level of silverlight support to shoot for, then they've got a completely open-source friendly solution that has decent development tools (silverlight has a beautiful C# .NET base that is far easier to work with than flash-- not to mention can be developed with free tools).

As far as I can tell, it doesn't matter how much better the development is made by tools, docs, and language, or how open source the project is... all that matters is Microsoft affiliation.

So slashdot isn't necessarily pro-linux, pro-oss, or pro-free software. It's just anti-microsoft. I mean, that's the major crux of slashdot- that is its entire focus. Isn't that a little... you know... sad?

Here's the final word: if Microsoft is beating the Adobe toolchain in a cost-benefit-analysis, then more people should volunteer on Moonlight-- the project is progressing well and should remain at a competitve level with mainline silverlight. It has way more of a chance than gnash or anything, that's for damn sure. If Adobe wants their customers back, they can open source flash. That's that. I could use less binary blobs in my system.

Gn44 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27056645)

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