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

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the public-growing-pains dept.

Microsoft 213

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

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213 comments

Rob Malda's Wife Grips about Size of His Dick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383941)

Rob Malda's wife was missing in action after Rob wiped out his 2 inch fully erect penis in front of her. She started laughing her head off and whacked her head and had to be taken to the hospital.

Re:Rob Malda's Wife Grips about Size of His Dick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29383995)

Why can't I see the other hidden comments? Is slashdot censoring AC posts?

Invisible downmodded posts (2, Informative)

Draykwing (900431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385505)

By default, _really_ heavily downmodded posts are not viewable to users who aren't logged in. If you log in, you can set your view preferences to allow them to be seen.

Thanks (2, Funny)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29383951)

Hmm.. did they forget to thank? It's quite common to cry about this and that... when the only think needed is to shut your mouth and THANK for the little help.

Re:Thanks (3, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384189)

Hmm.. did they forget to thank? It's quite common to cry about this and that... when the only think needed is to shut your mouth and THANK for the little help.

If you're here to build me a bridge, then tell me so and build it. If you're here to bring me a stone, then don't tell me you're here to build me a bridge.

Re:Thanks (4, Funny)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385195)

Hmm.. did they forget to thank? It's quite common to cry about this and that... when the only think needed is to shut your mouth and THANK for the little help.

If you're here to build me a bridge, then tell me so and build it. If you're here to bring me a stone, then don't tell me you're here to build me a bridge.

Oh, cry me a river...

Re:Thanks (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384337)

Thank them for what? MS's contributed drivers are useless to anyone who isn't running MS's own hypervisor and Linux underneath (i.e., MS's customers). They didn't donate this code out of any altruism, only pure self-interest.

So don't act like they're doing the Linux community any favors, because they're not.

Sounds to me like MS dumped this pile of crap code on the kernel maintainers, and then faded away instead of sticking around to deal with the inevitable problems that result when trying to merge code into the mainline (i.e. fixing all the problems that the maintainers point out).

Re:Thanks (2, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384529)

yup, that is why I would dump this code microsoft donated in to the trash = not even include it in the kernel, and just leave it up to microsoft to to offer it as a third party patch.

Re:Thanks (5, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384663)

Yeah, I'd want to do that too. But if the kernel maintainers do that, it would look really bad and arbitrary (no one ever remembers MS's long, long history of unethical behavior), so to be fair, they have to accept the code.

However, that doesn't mean they have to do MS's work for them. I've submitted kernel patches before (pretty minor ones), and part of the process is making your patch meet the standards of the maintainers: the coding style has to match the rest of the kernel (no Hungarian notation crap, which MS is a big fan of), and they usually find all kinds of nitpicky things they want fixed to meet their standards (which is a good thing; this is a place where perfectionism is useful). So it usually takes a few back-and-forth iterations before the patch is accepted and merged.

If I, Joe User, were to submit a patch and then disappear, it would NOT make it into the kernel. They'd write back with their complaints, wait for me to resubmit with the fixes, and then forget about it when I never resubmit.

MS shouldn't be treated any differently. They're not special, and a patchset of this size represents a lot of work to merge into the kernel. If MS wants it merged for the benefit of their customers, it's their responsibility to make the required changes, not expect it to be done for them.

Re:Thanks (2, Insightful)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384615)

Thank them for what? MS's contributed drivers are useless to anyone who isn't running MS's own hypervisor and Linux underneath (i.e., MS's customers). They didn't donate this code out of any altruism, only pure self-interest.

Paying Hyper-V users will probably be running SLES or RHEL, and Microsoft provides support for SLES and RHEL in Hyper-V.

And neither distribution will distributing a kernel new enough to have these drivers in the mainline source for a while.

Re:Thanks (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384645)

They didn't donate this code out of any altruism, only pure self-interest.

And that's any different than any other corporation that contributes code to the Linux kernel, how?

Re:Thanks (2, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384731)

Well, for one thing, most corporations that contribute code do so so that Linux will work better with their hardware. That's why a lot of the code comes from companies like Intel. As a Linux user with an Intel CPU, that makes me want to buy more Intel CPUs in the future.

MS isn't a hardware company, it's a software company, and it competes directly with Linux.

Anyway, other than this, it really isn't different, but several posters here are acting like it's some kind of useful contribution to Linux. It's not. It's only useful for MS customers running Hyper-V who want to run Linux on top of that.

Just like it's incumbent on other kernel contributors to jump through the hoops necessary to make their code meet the maintainers' standards to be merged into the mainline kernel, MS has to do the same. They can't just dump the code on them and expect them to do all the work. Other companies already do it this way, because they want the code merged into the mainline, for the benefit of their customers. If MS doesn't do this, it's their customers who will suffer, not the Linux community at large.

It's not like they're contributing something that's generally useful to most Linux users, like a codec or a font, or a filesystem. So stop acting like it is.

Re:Thanks (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384963)

MS isn't a hardware company

The MS mouse, keyboard, webcam, fingerprint reader, wireless card, wireless router, Xbox and Xbox 360 (with related peripherals) in my home beg to differ on the notion that they do not brand hardware. http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/ [microsoft.com]

Re:Thanks (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385023)

None of those require kernel drivers, except for the wireless card which uses a chipset made by a real hardware company like Broadcom or Marvell.

"Hardware company" in this context means a company that makes semiconductors, not one that contracts with FlexTronics to make hardware for them using other company's off-the-shelf chips.

Re:Thanks (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385179)

You forgot Oracle.

But IMO it make no difference. The whole point of GPL is to create leveled ground for cooperation so that all participants can benefit.

MS benefits because one more OS would run well under its VM. Linux benefits because it has now one more supported platform.

If MS drops from the cooperation and nobody would step in to support the code, then the code is really useless and there is no hard removing it.

Re:Thanks (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385465)

You forgot Oracle.

That's a good point, but Oracle (before the Sun acquisition, which still hasn't been approved) doesn't make OSes, only software that runs on top of them. So just like the hardware makers, it's to Oracle's benefit to support Linux if their customers demand it. Plus, I've heard Larry Ellison really hates Bill Gates and MS.

How the Sun/Oracle merger would affect Oracle's relationship with Linux, I don't know.

Re:Thanks (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385601)

You are stepping into dangerous waters.

Single Oracle license can buy you a lot of OS licenses - along with servers for the change.

Oracle is as evil as MS. If not more: their involvement with Linux is what in greater part makes up for the server bias in development as Linux became in past years the top Oracle platform. IOW, they one of the largest supporters of ruining Linux on desktop, as fat chunk of Red Hat and Novell profits comes from supporting and selling certified Oracle platform.

Re:Thanks (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385215)

Well, for one thing, most corporations that contribute code do so so that Linux will work better with their hardware.

Which means they aren't contributing out of altruism but in their own self-interest. Way to refute yourself in the same sentence.

It's not like they're contributing something that's generally useful to most Linux users, like a codec or a font, or a filesystem. So stop acting like it is.

Funny cause I never made any such claim. Secondly, what do codecs and fonts have to do with kernel hacking? And secondly, most corporate contributions are really of no benefit but to themselves and their own hardware/software platforms and not to the users at large.

Re:Thanks (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385501)

Funny cause I never made any such claim.

Way to miss out on context. You didn't make that claim, "El Lobo" did when he wrote:

Hmm.. did they forget to thank? It's quite common to cry about this and that... when the only think needed is to shut your mouth and THANK for the little help.

which started this entire thread.

I never refuted myself. I'm simply pointing out that this isn't some kind of "gift" like MS sycophants such as El Lobo are trying to convince us it is. You should take some reading comprehension courses, because you completely misunderstood my post.

Secondly, what do codecs and fonts have to do with kernel hacking?

Nothing. Those are simply examples of things that MS already has (and does fairly well with) which they could donate to the OSS community if they wished to be altruistic.

Re:Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29385517)

You're an idiot. You are either too stupid to distinguish between what you are arguing and the GP is saying or you are intentionally being obtuse.

Either way, my sentiment stands.

Re:Thanks (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385703)

>

Anyway, other than this, it really isn't different, but several posters here are acting like it's some kind of useful contribution to Linux. It's not. It's only useful for MS customers running Hyper-V who want to run Linux on top of that.

"Who want to run Linux on top of that"? Don't you mean "RHEL/SLES customers"

Re:Thanks (0)

mocheeze (860870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384677)

Yeah! And we should strip out every other patch from companies that contributed drivers that work with their hardware only! Down with Intel-specific drivers! They only work for Intel's customers, right?

Re:Thanks (3, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384785)

Don't be stupid.

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

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

Re:Thanks (1)

malus314 (1484329) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384709)

They didn't donate this code out of any altruism, only pure self-interest.

I'm not sure if that's the right way to be putting it. Isn't most code submitted out of pure self-interest, rather than altruism? "Scratching one's own itch", if you will? I agree, they're not doing the Linux community any favors, they dumped crap code on us and then bolted, but whether they did it out of self-interest or not doesn't seem like much of a point, and its not going to serve them much if the code is crap, because if its crap that doesn't scratch someone's itch, then no one will stick around to improve or maintain it. So if the code is really that bad, then what's going to happen is that it'll be abandoned, won't make it into the mainline kernel and MS will have ended up with a little bit of temporary publicity and nothing else, the community will move on, and MS will still be a bastard.

All in all, I can't see this having any sort of major effect on anything, of course, I may be wrong....

Re:Thanks (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384811)

I'm not sure if that's the right way to be putting it. Isn't most code submitted out of pure self-interest, rather than altruism?

Yes, of course. I'm not saying MS should donate code out of altruism (though it'd be nice...). My point was that previous posters were acting like it was some kind of "gift" to the Linux community, and it's not. It's for their own purposes, and it would only benefit MS (and their customers using Hyper-V) if it were to be merged into the mainline. If they want that, then they need to do the work required to get it merged, and not expect the kernel maintainers to do it all themselves.

So if the code is really that bad, then what's going to happen is that it'll be abandoned, won't make it into the mainline kernel and MS will have ended up with a little bit of temporary publicity and nothing else, the community will move on, and MS will still be a bastard.

Exactly right.

I'm not really complaining about MS here, I'm complaining about the other Slashdotters who are trying to paint MS's "contribution" as some kind of great gift, when it's not at all.

Re:Thanks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29385695)

they dumped crap code

In Microsoft's defense, I've used quite a few of their products over the years and if the quality of those products is any indication, I can but assume that they figured the code they contributed to the kernel was actually really good. In essence, they probably just don't know any better.

Why anyone would expect quality code to come out of MS, I don't understand. That's like going to McDonald's and expecting a gourmet meal. Sure, I could always go back up to the counter, Big Mac in hand, and patiently explain how I came really expecting champagne and caviar, but I would probably just succeed in getting myself thrown out.

Hopefully, this sheds some light on the situation we have under scrutiny here.

It's actually even lamer than that... (2, Insightful)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385059)

Thank them for what? MS's contributed drivers are useless to anyone who isn't running MS's own hypervisor and Linux underneath (i.e., MS's customers). They didn't donate this code out of any altruism, only pure self-interest.

Yeah, and they only decide to "donate" this code after it was pointed out to them that keeping the code private was a violation of the GPL, since it's clearly a derivative work of the Linux kernel.

So what do they do? Instead of GPL'ing it and working to maintain and clean up the code themselves, they just dump it on the kernel maintainers. Lame.

In my mind, it shows that Microsoft still doesn't take Linux seriously on some level. They don't bother to build a useful working relationship with the kernel devs because they see this as a one-off interaction just to "get Linux working with Windows."

Contrast this with, say, Intel or AMD or Realtek or IBM or pretty much any hardware company. Of course, contributing to the Linux kernel is a matter of "pure self-interest" for those companies too: they want to make their Linux-using customers to buy and happily use their hardware. But those companies learn to work with the mainstream kernel development process, because they see a long-term interest in a good relationship with the community of Linux developers and users.

Re:It's actually even lamer than that... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385131)

Exactly. And the main reason for getting stuff into the mainstream kernel is not only to help your customers, but to make things easier for you, because once it's merged in, you no longer have to worry about maintaining it: the kernel devs do that. So if some big architectural change comes along, or naming changes, or whatever, they deal with any changes that might impact your code. It's a lot easier than trying to maintain your own separate branch of code, and then having to deal with fixing it every time a new kernel version comes out and breaks your patch.

It's pure idiocy to not take advantage of the ability to have your code merged in, and condemns your customers to not only having to build their own kernels or use ones you provide, but keeps them stuck with old kernel versions.

Of course. (1, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384005)

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

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

Re:Of course. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384059)

'scuse me?
They weren't contributing out of the goodness of their hearts?
They were legally obligated to, and since then have avoided doing much of anything further.

It wasn't over zealousness. If they hadn't been reminded of their obligation they wouldn't have contributed at all.

Re:Of course. (0)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384429)

Obligation?

They could have changed their minds and released the drivers under a different license, kept the source to themselves, and there's nothing anyone could have done about it.

Re:Of course. (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384559)

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

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

Re:Of course. (3, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384695)

If they don't want to help maintain it, I say drop it from the kernel.

Indeed. Just because they are obligated to release it, that doesn't mean the Linux kernel is obligated to use it.

Re:Of course. (1, Interesting)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384313)

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

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

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

Re:Of course. (1)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384699)

for anyone who wants to me to cite sources to back up the claim that Kuhn is evil, just ask

Let's see: a guy who works for the FSF and SFLC, helps enfoce the GPL? Yeah, that's real evil.

I'm guessing that since you didn't include your "sources", that you need time to fabricate them?

Re:Of course. (1, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384359)

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

So what? They haven't contributed anything useful anyway. This "contribution" was only so their own customers, running MS's hypervisor, could better run Linux underneath. For Linux users not running MS's hypervisor (99.999% of them), it's completely useless.

Wake me when MS actually contributes something genuinely useful to FOSS, such as some fonts or codecs or something.

Not shocked... (3, Informative)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384037)

From the blog,

"hv (Microsoft Hyper-V) drivers. Over 200 patches make up the massive cleanup effort needed to just get this code into a semi-sane kernel coding style (someone owes me a bit bottle of rum for that work!) Unfortunately the Microsoft developers seem to have disappeared, and no one is answering my emails. If they do not show back up to claim this driver soon, it will be removed in the 2.6.33 release. So sad..."

In other words, there is some coding to do. Did the Kernel devs coordinate with the managers at MS to ensure resources would be available to work on these patches? (200 patches is not a lot in my opinion. I have a minor patch coming out on the 21st for my in-house system with 2000+ users and it has over 300 fixes.)

I wonder if there was a minor miscommunication... ...hmm - hyper-v in Linux?

Cool!

Re:Not shocked... (1)

ma1wrbu5tr (1066262) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384339)

That seems a little risky. 300 fixes in a single patch? Hope you're not patching the dB that way.

Re:Not shocked... (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384995)

Patching the DB? No - these are modules that are being either patched, updated, or added. This is a pretty big program with over 350,000 lines of (C#) code, some 80 assemblies on the servers (there are about 35 servers running the application services) and handles around 2,000 simultaneous users. The database is decent sized - it has around 80 tables. Some of the bigger ones have more than 275,000,000 rows.

I have seven developers writing and fixing code and five analysts testing, reporting bugs and validating fixes.

Nah, 300 fixes isn't *that* big a deal. :P

The really big deal - and the reason we've been testing this build for over a month already - is the fact that we are now ready to accept credit/debit card payments as a payment type in the point-of--sale module. We previously only had cash, check and house charges. Now all the accounting functions have to ensure proper accountability of the new payment type and all 78 reports need to be able to property credit where appropriate.

Re:Not shocked... (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384371)

The code is not for the Hyper V hypervisor to run in Linux - it is for Linux to run properly in Hyper V on Windows.
The code is just extensions like VMware Tools or VIrtualbox Guest Additions. There is probably some links for better I/O and stuff like that.

Kinda funny. (3, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384039)

I don't get it. Microsoft donates code to the community, licensed under the GPL. Anyone is free to do whatever they like with this code (well, within the constraints of the license), and people are actually bitching about this? I've released quite a few pieces of software under various OSI licenses, and I don't actively maintain the code. If somebody else wants to, fine. Would everyone be happier if Microsoft weren't releasing anything at all?

I use Debian for almost all my server needs, and I'm a big fan of Ubuntu on the desktop. That said, I'm certainly not going to bitch at someone or some company because they aren't slaving away maintaining code I got free of charge.

Re:Kinda funny. (3, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384077)

Because it's Microsoft and no matter what they do these people will still criticize them regardless.

Re:Kinda funny. (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384093)

Wow, did you not even read the summary? Greg KH bitches about everybody.

Re:Kinda funny. (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384117)

I was talking about the point in general. Yes, I did read the summary and know that he's bitched at other companies. Though it seems that he has the generosity to not publicly flame them unlike Microsoft.

Re:Kinda funny. (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384159)

No, you're wrong. Whereas everyone else sees contribution of code as a nice bit of corporate philanthropy, Greg KH sees something completely different. He sees it as corporations dumping their code on the community so they can off-load its support. As such, he often calls on corporate contributors to step up and fund a developer or two to work on the kernel full time. This flame is no different.

Re:Kinda funny. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384389)

Welcome to crowdsourcing, my friend! The new corporate model where pathetic geeks will be exploited by the big moguls, and just see promises of profit sharing. After you make my code work, I will close the source, become richer than I already am, and you will go back to watch online pr0n and play WoW...

Re:Kinda funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384545)

> and you will go back to watch online pr0n and play WoW...

Is that part really such a bad thing?

Re:Kinda funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384547)

He has complained about the lack of contribution of other companies before as well, such as Ubuntu for example, who do not contribute to the kernel at all. There's a video on youtube of a speech he gave at Google, where he mentions that fact.

Re:Kinda funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29385561)

Ubuntu not contributing to the kernel is a good thing. Read the Ubuntu forums for an hour and tell me you'd trust that collection of morons to write code for your machine.

Flame (4, Informative)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385701)

You think this constitutes "publicly flame"ing Microsoft? He's just asking them to step it up and contribute. He's much harder on others in that list. It also doesn't seem like he went out of his way to be interviewed. It sounds like he just responded to a few questions that a reporter put to him. "Unfortunately" and "so sad" do not, of themselves, constitute a flame.

Here are a few other choice passages: (these may be interpreted as weak flames)

heci A wonderful example of a company throwing code over the wall, watching it get rejected, and then running away as fast as possible, all the while yelling over their shoulder, "it's required on all new systems, you will love it!" We don't, it sucks, either fix it up, or I am removing it.

me4000 and meilhaus They work on the same hardware, and they duplicate the existing COMEDI drivers. Someone thinks that custom userspace interfaces are fun and required. Turns out that being special and unique is not what to do here, use the COMEDI drivers instead. These will be removed. Heck, I'll go remove them for .32, there is no reason these should still be around, except to watch the RT guys squirm as they try to figure out the byzantine locking and build logic here (which certainly does count for something, cheap entertainment is always good.)

rspiusb A weird, very expensive camera, from a company that does not want to release the specs, and wants custom userspace interfaces. The code hasn't built since the 2.6.20 days. I'll go delete it now from .32, it doesn't deserve to live as no one cares about it, least of all, the original authors of the code :(

In other words: "Though it seems that he has the generosity to not publicly flame them unlike Microsoft." is pure hogwash... on both counts.

Re:Kinda funny. (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384095)

MS only gave it because they got caught with their hands in the open source cookie jar and nanny GPL made them sit in the sharing corner.

Re:Kinda funny. (4, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384123)

Well then they released what they were supposed to so either take it or shut up.

Re:Kinda funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384825)

That they released puts the kernel team under no obligation to do anything whatsoever with it. If MS doesn't want their Hyper-V drivers to be an abortion, they'll have to do more than an infodump.

Re:Kinda funny. (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385335)

I think the point is, that kernel contributions in general, even if it's MS, don't get included just because they exist. In fact, it is my understand that patches more often get rejected than accepted. If this contribution less public, and not not from MS, it might have been rejected outright.

Re:Kinda funny. (2, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384207)

I have to admit, that's one of the funniest ways I've heard such a process described :). All the same, they have released the code. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, and it certainly won't be the last. I'd just like to see more positive reinforcement, lest their devs lose any inclination to release code voluntarily in the future.

Re:Kinda funny. (3, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385365)

I'd just like to see more positive reinforcement, lest their devs lose any inclination to release code voluntarily in the future.

This code supports Linux guests in Hyper-V. In other words, it takes the legendary speed, security and stability of Windows and fuses it to the famous app compatibility and user friendliness of Linux.

It's fair to say the world is better off without it. I'd just as soon people didn't encourage such foolishness.

Re:Kinda funny. (1, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384211)

MS only gave it because they got caught with their hands in the open source cookie jar and nanny GPL made them sit in the sharing corner.

I know this has been modded insightful, but am I the only one who's noticed how chronically juvenile it also sounds?

Re:Kinda funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384623)

To only share code because you were using someone else's work illegally? Yeah, that is pretty juvenile, but it's about what we expect from Microsoft, honestly.

Re:Kinda funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384895)

Shut up! You're not the boss of me!

Re:Kinda funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29385521)

No, they didn't. There was a even Slashdot article referencing a first-hand source saying this wasn't the case, but the FOSS-tards here will ignore reality and substitute their own.

That doesn't mean MS is nice. They probably did just dump the driver so they could satisfy their requirements with RedHat's contract and get the hell out of Dodge.

Re:Kinda funny. (4, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384135)

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

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

Re:Kinda funny. (4, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384155)

As was mentioned earlier, MS got caught infringing [slashdot.org] and so *had* to "donate" the code in question. They did the minimum they could get away with, no big surprise there...

Re:Kinda funny. (0, Troll)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384631)

That's true, but it also demonstrates the Microsoft's Linux developers are second-rate, at best. If I were a hiring manager, and I got a resume from a Microsoft employee who claims to have worked on the Linux kernel, I would assume that can't write code properly.

Re:Kinda funny. (0, Flamebait)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384187)

I don't get it. Microsoft donates code to the community, licensed under the GPL. Anyone is free to do whatever they like with this code (well, within the constraints of the license), and people are actually bitching about this? I've released quite a few pieces of software under various OSI licenses, and I don't actively maintain the code. If somebody else wants to, fine. Would everyone be happier if Microsoft weren't releasing anything at all?

In the minds of the neurological cripples who are bitching about this, Microsoft are the Great Satan, no matter what.

It doesn't matter what they do; it's always part of an Evil Plot. At this point, Steve Ballmer could donate the entirety of Microsoft's net worth to World Vision if he wanted to, and the FSF would still try and portray him laughing maniacally in the background.

Re:Kinda funny. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384395)

Yeah... I'm kind of impressed that my original post is still moderated above zero.

Re:Kinda funny. (0, Offtopic)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384493)

Yeah... I'm kind of impressed that my original post is still moderated above zero.

LOL. Yes, I wrote a rant about that as well. I'm fully expecting it to go down to -1. Two of my other comments in this thread have already been hit.

"Onward, brothers! Comrades Stallman and Kuhn appreciate your efforts! The enemies of freedom must be stopped!"

Re:Kinda funny. (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384441)

Microsoft didn't donate anything. They were violating the GPL and preemptively released this source before they were caught. The code also is only of benefit to microsoft customers.

Re:Kinda funny. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385011)

Let's have a little positive reinforcement for doing the right thing, even in light of the circumstances. This can go a long way toward encouraging developers within Microsoft to push open source initiatives in the company, whereas lambasting them at every opportunity does nothing but reinforce stereotypes about "crazy open source people" in their community.

Frankly, I don't care if the code only benefits Microsoft customers. I choose to use Linux on my servers, along with Linux and MacOS X on the desktop. That doesn't mean open source code targeted at my platforms is any more "worthy" than code targeted at Windows. To believe otherwise is simply naive. People use what they believe best fits their needs; I encourage open behavior on any platform.

Re:Kinda funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29385399)

first of all, they "donated" it after they were found to be infringing on the GPL in the same code.

secondly, GregKH called them out because MS gave code which they wanted integrated into linux, so linux would work right on windows server 2008 virtualization (running as a virtual machine inside win2008 server). (so they were going to benefit too!) but expecting kernel devs to fix their shit.

What's in a name? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384137)

There are only 2 types of people with hyphenated last names. New-age feminist bitches who sucker some guy into marrying them, and bloated vaginal douchebags who can't so much as breath without following it up with some type of complaint. "Cyber Cynic" Seven J Vaughn-Nichols comes to mind, a well known Linux zealot and all around dickhead.

How did it make it into the kernel in that state? (3, Insightful)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384221)

Quote from the article:

It did take over 200 patches to get their code into reasonable shape, which is a bit excessive

GKH also said:

If they do not show back up to claim this driver soon, it will be removed in the 2.6.33 release.

If the driver was in such poor shape and didn't follow the kernel coding guidelines, then how did it make it into the kernel in the first place? I was under the impression that the kernel maintainers had pretty strict guidelines about coding style and what is and isn't acceptable.

Re:How did it make it into the kernel in that stat (5, Informative)

Chirs (87576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384357)

This is for the drivers/staging tree, which is specifically set aside for drivers that don't meet normal code standards but where the intent is to bring them up to par for merging into the "real" tree.

Re:How did it make it into the kernel in that stat (2, Informative)

Lennie (16154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384435)

It only got accepted after the cleanup, done by GKH.

A little credit where it's due (2, Informative)

pathological liar (659969) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384289)

Two thirds of the summary are lifted directly from the sdtimes link...

Re:A little credit where it's due (2, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385199)

So the editors are trying to trick us into reading the article by hiding it in the summary? Good thing it didn't work.

The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points today (0, Offtopic)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384403)

I've already had a few posts of my own down modded with, "Overrated." That's the moderation reason which, when FSF drones get mod points, they typically use, because it's the closest thing available to, "-1, Disagree," or, "-1, Author is writing statements contrary to our programming, which is unacceptable."

I'm also noticing that everyone who says the right things, about how evil Microsoft are, and about how perfectly just the community response is, predictably gets modded Insightful, as well.

How long is Linux going to be choked and held back by your existence, FSF? How long will we have a scenario here on Slashdot, where it is forbidden to make statements which are contrary to your mind control?

Keep modding me down, you corrupt, brainwashed cowards. My karma here is high enough that I can withstand it just fine. You haven't silenced me in nearly 10 years now, and I don't know why you'd think you're going to be able to at this point.

I will be interested to see if any of you actually have the spine to respond to this, or if you'll just respond rapidly and predictably, by down-modding me to -1. I've made it easy for you; you can almost claim your use of -1, Offtopic was legitimate!

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (2, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384693)

I'm just hoping for a day when Apple does the same thing - watching the Apple fanboys against the FOSS fanboys go at it and the dual Apple/FOSS fanboys having aneurysms would be an incredibly entertaining set of threads!

If it has happened, please oh please post the link!

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384775)

When it comes to Apple, you suddenly start hearing sentiments such as "closed environment is a good thing for the users because it Just Works" and "it works so well because they won't let you touch it with your dirty hands" from the very same people who are bitching about Windows kernel not being GPL'd five minutes ago.

My theory is that, so long as an OS has bash/sed/grep/awk and properly-working Flash and no-headache audio and video, no-one cares about the license anymore.

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (5, Insightful)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384831)

All your posts have been so far have all been complaining about how everyone around here thinks Microsoft is evil, and how the group mindthink is fucking you over. No wonder you got modded down.

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (4, Interesting)

bootup (1220024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385027)

Get over yourself... nobody here cares what you think. This isn't the propaganda arm of MS so if people say things that you see as "anti-Microsoft" it is probably because is is true. Certainly a site that is a "Source for technology related news with a heavy slant towards Linux and Open Source issues." clearly identifies itself and needs to be read with a bit of scepticism-even if a significant number of those you see as "anti-Microsoft" are right most of the time. I don't see BestBuy, Staples, PC World, or any other "MS Windows" propaganda arm identifying itself so blatantly as Microsoft for the good of the people.

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385261)

You know I say unpopular things and get modded down,but I don't go and cry like a baby and create crazy conspiracy theories. I accept that some people are motivated by dogma or money rather than reason and logic. That is why some people, adults not kids, feel they can deny statements and ideas that most reasonable people would consider valid.

What is worse, some people can have temper tantrums, promote insance conspiracy theories, call others who disagree with them corrupt, brainwashed cowards, and get modded up. Uncivilized discussion should never be tolerated in a civilized world. When I go crazy, I expect to be modded down. I hope I never write anything as hypocritical as the parent. I also have mode points, almost always, and my karma is high. However, as the faq says, karma is not dick or teat size. Abusing the karma, or treating it as something real, is pretty pathetic. Saying the no one can hurt you because your karma is so high is not dissimilar to a person who goes on a murder spree because they feel they cannot be caught.

To the matter at hand, no one knows why MS is all of the sudden being so nice, but there is evidence it is not completely benign. They probably have violated GPL and similar licenses in the past, and some of the donations may have been settlements for those illegal activities. The courts are pretty convinced that MS destroyed the i4i bussiness [cnet.com], and it is only the massive number of MS lawyers that keep MS Word on the market. MS is not apologetic about this piracy, and claim that since the business is already destroyed, why should there be any damages? Then there is the matter of the patents that MS tried to sell [groklaw.net] on the idea that the price could be recouped by suing OSS providers. In all, there is no evidence that the MS tactics of sneak attacks and massive budgets for lawyers has changed.

It is easy for the young people to just use the OSS without realizing that it is a right that many had to work for. MS helped in this fight, by giving software away, but then kind of lost the faith by writing whiny letter, not unlike the parent, and randomly asserting copyrights as it needed extra cash. But know the kids have OSS, and are willing to take it for granted. Just like women who can now work, vote, and wear pants. Or non-whites who have equal rights and justice. Or kids who get a minimum wage and have some assurance of actually receiving the money.

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29385289)

Mod parent +5 Informative. I'm glad someone has the balls to actually call out the elitists in the FSF community. Kudos to you, dear sir.
The only reason I'm posting AC is because I wanted to mod up the parent.

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29385347)

The Free Software Foundation operates as basically a brain virus just like a religion. Like any brain virus of that type, it completely shuts down rational though. Seriously. FSF is a cult and a good swath of the followers seem to live on slashdot to annoy the crap out of us.

Dear FSF lackeys: you are infected with a brain virus. You are no different than anybody who *seriously* follows a religion of any kind. Think about that next time you bash Christianity or Scientology. You are no better--you are the same.

Also posted as anon to keep *my* mod points.

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29385611)

Somebody call the wambulance please.

Re:The FSF's enforcement bots have mod points toda (2, Funny)

tolkienfan (892463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385681)

That's weird - I have mod points, and your comment is both overrated (5-insightful) and off-topic (as you pointed out).
Damn! I've posted, now I can't mod it. Oh well - I'll go mod some of your posts in another thread...
This [slashdot.org] one is underrated and hilarious. I'll start there.

Just amazing, (1, Troll)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384411)

First I don't blame MS for doing what they did, I do thank them, though I don't use or benefit from their code.
Second, how can anyone actually defend MS actions here. They got caught benefiting from public efforts and were forced to release the minimum code. They put little effort into the task and delivered crap (as usual). So Good on you MS, now can you please clean up the pile of $%# you left in the corner, thank you.

astonishing

I get it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384445)

The driver is deliberately a mess, so it distracts Linux developers from working on Linux and wastes their time with Microsoft's kludge

Nice Work if You can Get It (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384501)

I fail to see why Novell should be doing the work for a competitor, but I suppose that's what they're best at these days.

Re:Nice Work if You can Get It (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384817)

Well, Novel has that whole "interoperability" advertising campaign going, I imagine this might have something to do with this...

Re:Nice Work if You can Get It (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385349)

I don't think Novell is a competitor with Microsoft at this point. This particular code only benefits Novell through their Microsoft partnership, and +200 patches by Mr. Kroah-Hartman must cost Novell a lot of money for someone of his position.

It's all good (4, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384579)

Greg K-H's public comments about the code being abandoned had the desired effect: people at Microsoft got in touch with him again. The same thing happened with code contributed by several other companies:

Although not hesitant to point a finger at Microsoft, Kroah-Hartman refused to name these other companies, claiming it would be "rude" to disclose private e-mail information.

"But what's the big deal here?" he asked. "This is the normal development process happening, and a company learning how to deal with it. It happens every single day with all companies who are new to the Linux kernel development process. Sure, some do it better than others, but in the end, it's all good."

This is Microsoft (and other companies) learning how to deal with kernel development. Greg K-H has a good attitude about it, so let's not build a mountain out of this. Perhaps Microsoft will do better next time.

Not everything and everyone associated with Microsoft deserves abuse and scorn. Save it for their next DRM initiative or something.

steveha

I'd do the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29384659)

When I can get clueless geeks to work for free why would I spend my company's resources on it?

Microsoft's Linux "Contribution" (4, Insightful)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384767)

Ok, honestly, when VMWare released GPLed drivers LOOOOOOOOONG ago, how many blogs did we have talking about how VMWare is contributing code to Linux, and how many people needed to state that those were simply self-serving drivers for VMWare? Nooone... These are self-serving, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it, they wanted their virtualization stuff to be able to run GNU/Linux, and they released drivers. It is not an 'evil' move but simply a logical one. But for sure it is not a 'contribution' to Linux. It is nothing out of the ordinary and honestly, I am tired of having to read countless of stories about...

Re:Microsoft's Linux "Contribution" (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29384885)

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

In true Spirit of CodePlex then ? (2, Insightful)

TravisHein (981987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29385113)

Kind of funny how today there was that other announcement here about Microsoft sponsoring CodePlex foundation to help bridge the gap between commercial developers and open source projects, which kind of seems to be what they should have done a bit more here right.
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