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Shared Source vs. Open Source

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the who's-the-driving-the-source dept.

Microsoft 393

leonbrooks writes "Microsoft are fond of touting Shared Source as being "as good as" Open Source, with a view to muddying the waters as much as possible, and so keeping as many people away from the benefits of Open Source Software (OSS) (particularly Software Libré AKA "Free Software") as they can. This new article analysing the differences arrives just in time for Microsoft's Australia-wide series of "Competitive Hour" misinformation sessions on Open Source, and includes a handy list of potentially showstopper questions. We'd like your help in putting these and other questions to the speaker during such misinformation sessions, with the dual aim of opening the eyes of many of the audience, and reporting back to us what was said so that we can refine the questions to close whatever loopholes are employed in evading these important issues."

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Open Source? More like Openly Racist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269983)

The Open Source movement, otherwise known as 'Free Software', has been a topic of considerable debate on the Internet's most controversial site. The majority of this debate has centered around the technical merits of the software, with the esteemed editors argueing against adopting Linux by employing the full depth of their considerable intellects, and the other side hurling death threats and similar invective. This has allowed many who would not otherwise receive quality information about Open Source software to be made aware of many of its ramifications, but one issue has been left alone: The overt racism that is deeply embedded in the movement.

Allow me to explain.

Alan Cox; Richard Stallman; Bruce Perens; Wichert Akkerman; Miguel DeIcaza.

What do you see in this list of names? Are there any African-Americans on it? Absolutely not, none of those names sound like one a self-respecting black person would have! No Maurice, no Luther, no Lil' Kim. There are many other lists such as this, you can see one here. Flip through each page, do you see anything other than white faces? Of course you don't, because Open Source and its adherents are ardent racists and they absolutely forbid access to the sacred 'kernel' by any person of color.

Lets look at another list, this time a compendium of the companies using Linux. Are there any black owned companies on that list? Nooooooo. How about these companies? They all have something to do with Open Source software, any of them owned by an African-American? No again. Here is an extensive collection of photographs from a LUG (Linux User Gathering) meeting, more can be viewed at that link. What is odd about these pictures, and every other photograph I have ever seen of a LUG meeting, is that there is not one single black person to be seen, and probably none for miles.

More racist overtones can be found by examining the language of Open Source. They often refer to 'white hat' hackers. These 'white hats' scurry about the Internet doing good, but illegal, acts for their fellow man. In stark contrast we find the 'black hat' hackers. They destroy the good works of others by breaking into systems, stealing data, and generally causing havoc. These two terms reflect the mindset of most Linux developers. White means good, black means bad. Anywhere there is black, there is uncontrollable destruction and lawlessness. Looking further we see black lists that inform other users of 'bad' hardware, Samba, an obvious play on the much hated Little Black Sambo book, Mandrake, which I won't explain except to say that the French are notorious racists. This type is linguistic discrimination is widespread throughout the Open Source culture, lampooned by many of its more popular sites.

It is also a fact that all Unix 'distros' contain a plethora of racist commands with not so hidden symbolism.

It can hardly be coincidence that the prime operating system of choice of the 'open source supremacists' - Linux, features commands which are poorly disguised racist acronyms. For example: 'awk' (All White Klan) , 'sed' (shoot nEgroes dead), 'ln' (lynch negroes), 'rpm' (raical purity mandatory), 'bash' (bring a slave home), 'ps' (persecute sambo), 'mount' (murder or unseat nubians today), 'fsck' (favored supreme Christian klan). I could go on and on about the latent racist symbolism in Linux, but I fear it would take weeks to enumerate every incidence.

Is there a single unix command out there that does not have some hidden racist connotation ? Suffice it to say that the racism pervades Linux like a particularly bad smell. Can you imagine the effect of running such a racist operating system on the impressionable mind ? I don't have to remind you that transmitting subliminal messages is banned in the USA, and yet here we have an operating system that appears to be one enormous submliminal ad for the Klan!

One of the few selling points of Open Source software is that it is available in many different languages. Browsing through the list I see that absolutely none are offered in Swahili, nor Ebonics. Obviously this is done to prevent black people from having access to the kernel. If it weren't for the fact that racism is so blatantly evil I would be impressed by the efforts these Open Sourcers have invested in keeping their little hobby lilly white. It even appears that they hate the Japanese, as some of these self proclaimed hackers defaced a web site with anti-Japanese slogans. Hell, these people even go all the way to Africa (South Africa mind you, better known as White Africa) and the pictures prove that they don't even get close to a black person.

Of course, presenting overwhelming evidence such as this is a bit unfair without some attempt to determine why these Open Sourcers are so racist. Much of the evidence I have collected indicates that their views are so deeply held that they are seldom questioned by the new recruits. This, coupled with the robot-like groupthink that dominates the culture allows the racist mindset to continue to permeate the ranks. Indeed, the Open Source version of a Klan rally, OSDN (known to the world as Open Source Developer's Network, known to insiders as Open Source Denies Negroes) nearly stands up and shouts its racist views on its demographics page. It doesn't mention the black man one single time. Obviously, anyone involved with Open Source doesn't need to be told that the demographic is entirely white, it is a given.

I have a sneaking suspicion as to why their beliefs are so closely held: they are all terrible athletes.

Really. Much like the tragedy at Columbine High School, where two geeks went on a rampage to get back at 'jocks', these adult geeks still bear the emotional scars inflicted upon them due to their lack of athletic ability during their teen years. As African-Americans are well known for their athletic skills, they are an obvious target for the Open Source geeks. As we all know, sports builds character, thus it follows that the lack of sports destroys character. These geeks, locked away in their rooms, munching on stale pizza and Fritos, engage in no character building activities. Further, they interact only with computers and never develop the level of social skill that allows normal people to handle relationships with persons of color.

Contrasted with the closed source, non-geeky software house Microsoft, Open Source has a long, long way to go.

Troll 1 of 208 from the annals of the Troll Library [] .

Re:Open Source? More like Openly Racist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269991)

Jesus was a black man.

Re:Open Source? More like Openly Racist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5269992)

Please stop plagarizing my stuff. I am an Adequiod and proud of it.

- cyborg_monkey

Talk to your lawyers (-1)

bunungs (536665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270173)

And get them to pressure slashdot into removing said content from their website.

Most of them are African-Americans (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270167)

Most of the names are indeed Africans-Americans.

They are Americans of African descent, correct? If you disagree, consider the dominating paradigm in anthropology, thanks to the research of Richard Leakey and others, which tells us that the ancestors of all of us came from Africa.

This makes everyone in America an African-American. Some of us have more recent African ancestors than others: that is the only difference.

Re:Open Source != Free Software (0)

dfiguero (324827) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270322)

They share many common things but that does not mean they are the same. You should read:

and also

I love Arabs and hate Americans (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270006)

Just like the rest of the world, I am sick of fat, dumb americans.

Get nuked!

Libre is without accent (2, Informative)

stm2 (141831) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270011)

In Spanish is libre, and not libré. (libré would be past participe)

Could be worse (1)

cheezycrust (138235) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270089)

In the lecture of John 'Maddog' Hall on the history of open source (this weekend on Fosdem), his slides had 'livre' software on it. Several times...

Re:Could be worse (2, Insightful)

stm2 (141831) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270150)

You wrote:

" In the lecture of John 'Maddog' Hall on the history of open source (this weekend on Fosdem), his slides had 'livre' software on it. Several times..."

Maybe he copy it from a portuguese or brazilian webpage. In Portuguese, is LIVRE. Take a look here: []

Re:Libre is without accent (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270146)

no. In Spainish liberado is the past participle if the verb is librar. Libré is the preterit aka pretérito indefinido aka simple past.

Re:Libre is without accent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270375)

It is probably a good idea to designate free software parenthetically as "software libre" when dealing with non-slashdot audiences lest it be confused with gratisware. However, assuming "software libré" is supposed to be Spanish, it just wrong. The stressed syllable in libre is the 'i' not the 'e', an accent mark reverses that. Coincidently, with the accent mark on the 'e' you get the conjugation libré or "I freed".
Interestingly (in my opinion), 16th and 17th century English had the word "libre" which the OED defines as "Of the will: Free." Perhaps this word can simply be revived.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Vollernurd (232458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270012)

Er... First Post!

YOU FAIL IT!!!!!!!111 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270016)


If it's as good as open source, (5, Funny)

bcarlson (516657) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270013)

why don't they just give it an open source license?

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, but it tastes like crap on a bun, it's probably a bad licensing scheme.

Mod Parent Up (0)

CubicDDD (556754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270184)

Hehe.. i almost fell from my chair laughing! :-)

shared source in the right direction.... (1, Funny)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270021)

shared source is a step in the right direction. i'm just not sure which direction.

Re:shared source in the right direction.... (1)

Tyreth (523822) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270103)

The wrong direction?

which direction? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270126)

The right one you fool.

Listen up, GNU terrorists! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270023)

Stop sabotaging my business, okay? I'm just trying to eek out an honest living, is that so wrong!? ...billg

NO!!!! Microsoft ad on Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270025)

Ack! Why is there a Microsoft Small Business Server ad embedded on this page!?!?

Re:NO!!!! Microsoft ad on Slashdot (2, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270194)

I don't understand why people rant about MS ads on Slashdot. MS are paying to keep the site up, even though they get bashed and flamed continuously. Just take their money and shut up.

I suspect that something like 90% of Slashdotters are using some sort of MS product somewhere.

Hooray (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270030)

Hooray for impartial journalism!

Re:Hooray (5, Insightful)

harry lime (538029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270144)

Hmmm... Slashdot, running on Slash an open source project is pro-open source. Imagine that. To all who post "journalism" comments or some variation thereof: get over it. Slashdot is not an impartial news site, doesn't usually claim to be, doesn't need to be. It has and probably will always be an open source and linux community news site. If it really bothers you that "news" is a noun contained in its blurb, just preface it in your mind with "linux" or "community" or "open source" or whatever if it makes you feel better. I'm responding to an offtopic post and I'm sorry.

Shared Source? (5, Funny)

natron 2.0 (615149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270034)

Funny, I thought "Shared Source" meant downloading the latest build of XP Pro from Kazaa.

Re:Shared Source? (5, Funny)

roalt (534265) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270077)

Funny, I thought "Shared Source" meant downloading the latest build of XP Pro from Kazaa.

No no no, you have to wait until Eric S. Raymond introduces the term open binary after which microsoft somewhat unthoughtful releases their shared binary initiative.

Linux? (-1, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270041)

Hello?! Why is there even debate or/and commentary on the merits of Open vs. Shared Source software?

Look at Linux!!! It's arguebly the greatest software ever written in the world, and it was made possible only thru the collaborative efforst of programmers acrossed the entire globe.

Shared source. Give me a shared break. Pft.

What the hell is this? (1, Funny)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270043)

How many different competitors of OSS do they want to be within themselves?

Can't they ever just... stop?

Re:What the hell is this? (4, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270105)

yeah, I hate that whole competition/capitalism thing. Why doesn't everyone just bow down and go with the obvious choice of making GNU/Linux a monopoly. I mean it's the best OS ever and is perfect for everything. And it's so simple a goldfish can use it!

Re:What the hell is this? (0)

diablobynight (646304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270132)

Please tell me I there was some sarcasm in that post and that you are pointing out that, without capitalism we are left with Communism or Socialism in which case niether ever end up working out for the good of the people.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270048)

Spock serenading Nurse Chapel:

"Take care young ladies and value your wine.
Be watchful of young men in their velvet prime.
Deeply they'll swallow from your finest kegs
Then swiftly be gone leaving bitter dregs.
Ahhhhhhhhhh bitter dregs."

Is /. selling out? (1, Interesting)

Handover Slashdot (255651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270049)

I'm surprised we are still seeing articles like this side-by-side with the massive barrage of Microsoft ads you guys are now running. What's the deal guys? Does funding take precedence over principles these days? If so, are we so different than them?

Re:Is /. selling out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270080)

No, they simply take their money and screw them over :)

Re:Is /. selling out? (1)

diablobynight (646304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270156)

Arguably even bad publicity is good publicity. And quite honestly I think they are selling out if they have such strong opinions against Microsoft. Or are you one of those people that would have sold goods to the nazis but then said you just sold them things, you never did what they did. Helping the enemy is as bad as being the enemy.

Think of it this way. (5, Insightful)

Corvaith (538529) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270097)

MS is desperate enough to pay a site with more than an average number of anti-MS people to run their ads.

Slashdot hasn't made them any promises besides that people will see their ads, presumably. They've got no guarantee of sales of any kind.

If Microsoft wants to shoot themselves in the foot that way, then why not let them?

I mean, if at some point we start seeing articles like, "Windows XP SP1 is best OS ever!" then maybe it'll be cause to worry. But since they're hardly censoring anti-MS opinion, and pro-MS opinion seems no more prevalent than anywhere else, I'd say it doesn't appear to be clouding their judgement.

It's normal, like in newspapers (4, Insightful)

cheezycrust (138235) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270100)

I guess the advertising is completely separated from the editors. OSDN's advertising network gives you the ads, but the (Slashdot) editors are independent of this.

Re:Is /. selling out? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270125)

You see ads? The only time I ever see ads is when I use a public internet cafe, or my mom's computer. It's shocking what the general public has to put up with in the way of intrusive ads these days.

Re:Is /. selling out? (3, Interesting)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270138)

I certainly don't mind Microsoft paying for the news I want to read! Especially if that news is anti-microsoft.

Is advertising just a way of getting people to think better about your products/company... if so, is there some sort of metric?

Microsoft Ad +2 Popularity Points (PP)
Slashdot BORG logo -1 PP
Article on horrible SS -5 PP
Constant flames in comments -3 PP

So I guess -7 is better than -9 for microsoft?

VA Software is poor (3, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270203)

Look at their financials. They're just barely hanging on, financially. I'm sure they're willing to take ad revenue from where ever they can get it. When you're in the hole as deep as they are, you can't be picky about your advertisers. I suspect that we'll see porn ads on here very soon. Their stock has been on the verge of being delisted from NASDAQ for months, none of the owners have bought a single share of stock in the past 2 years at least, the company has never been profitable, revenues are down, and according to their 10Q, they're not sure how much longer they'll be able to continue operations. So yes, the situation is very desperate for them.

Funny... (3, Funny)

Omkar (618823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270053)

includes a handy list of potentially showstopper questions

This is what I do before almost every presentation in school - screwing the presenter makes you look good here.

Re:Funny... (0, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270142)

The article makes me uncomfortable. Isn't telling people to go in and disrupt presentations with crazy questions quite close to Microsoft's "astroturf" campaigns? For that matter, it's about as tasteful as going in to a religious ceremony you disprove of and desecrating it (as has happened in many Catholic cathedrals recently).

Re:Funny... (5, Insightful)

stevens (84346) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270304)

This is what I do before almost every presentation in school - screwing the presenter makes you look good here.

School and work are different things.

Where I work, Managers accept pitches from vendors and decide on multi-million dollar purchases all the time. When a vendor comes to make a pitch, it's all shiny slideware and gleaming promises.

Technical people are there to 'screw the presenter,' so to speak. We're there to probe the actual benefits and costs of their product, not the bullshit marketing line they lead the presentation with.

Allowing vendors to go unchallenged has left us with some huge bills for garbage software. If we have a requirement for seeing source code for a new product, you can bet I'll not let any vendor get away with equating "Shared Source" with actual OSI-approved licenses.

Holding your tongue is a good strategy in school where a teacher's favor is the criterion, but in business good choices and good thinking win, not quiet acquiescence.

Marketing vs. reason (3, Interesting)

Koos Baster (625091) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270057)

As a geek, I'm convinced Open Source will eventually vindicate over Closed Source -- no matter what. Whatever argument Microsoft could come up with, there'll always be a better counter argument. IMHO, the only thing their $50 billion could buy is better software, and this will work only on the short term. But I'm prejudiced...

So my question is: Would it be possible for Microsoft to kill Open Source solely through a media campaign?

Re:Marketing vs. reason (5, Insightful)

rusty_razor (635173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270165)

Marketing and reason seem diametrically opposed to my mind.. can you imagine slander campaigns similar to election ads?

"Do you want your enterprise code written at 4am by a community of hackers?!"

I doubt any such marketing campaign could convince people who already appreciate the benefits of OSS.

I think the main danger is providing management with misinformation, making a tech's job harder justifying OSS. Most people wouldn't blink as long as the name "Windows" was mentioned.

Once OSS becomes more of a household name (and it is) M$ will have a much harder time suppressing it.

Re:Marketing vs. reason vs. reality (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270216)

it won't take a media campaign from MS

there are a number of threats to OSS that will emerge as it becomes more pervasive. None of these would kill Open Source as a movement , but they will compel the community too temper some of their absolutism.

There WILL be a widespread virus that attacks some popular OSS platform / architecture. The community's reaction to this event could determine the viability of OS across all domains.

There WILL be a test of the GPL that effectively modifies its tenets , perhaps fundamentally changing the character and popular interpretation of the license. This will bring a reality check to the more strident elements of the OSS community , but could encourage OSS realists to adapt more commercially viable licenses.

Very grown-up article! (1, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270058)

I was very impressed by the 12 year old who wrote that detailed analysis. His educated reference to Star Trek really helped me to understand the situation, and make an informed decision. After all, anything written by a group called "The Cyberknights" has GOT to the authoritative!

Re:Very grown-up article! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270096)

I could say the same about your comment.

Re:Very grown-up article! (-1, Offtopic)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270151)

I'm not writing articles intended to convince anybody of anything. I'm just posting to some message board on the web. Big difference. I think that an article titled "Brittney Rulez!!!" would be about as convincing as this one.

Re:Very grown-up article! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270208)

No, your just Anal. You shouldn't even have replied to the first AC, in doing so it just shows how childish you are.

Say I'm childish? nope it's just a parody. think about it.

Re:Very grown-up article! (1)

diablobynight (646304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270166)

I could say the same about people who post as Anonymous Coward. Couldn't you remember your password, or are you just afraid of having your opinions associated with you? If this is the case, then your opinions really shouldn't count.

Re:Very grown-up article! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270189)

bite one.
I posted AC to see who would was really anal. It was kinda an infinitely rhetorical post, like the parent.
It wasn't even a good attempt at sarcasm.

I think your childish too, lar lar lar I can't hear you.

Re:Very grown-up article! (5, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270219)

Couldn't you remember your password, or are you just afraid of having your opinions associated with you? If this is the case, then your opinions really shouldn't count.

You know, I read a lot of this nonsense on Slashdot. The vast majority of the board leaps all over anything that potentially infringes privacy, but then turns its nose up at postings from Anonymous Cowards.

Are you also in favour of losing the right to an anonymous vote? You would like all authorities to know your voting record? There is nothing wrong with anonymity. I posted for months as an AC because I didn't want to create yet another web account on something. Gradually, as I found I used this site more I decided to create an account.

Frankly, I find this anti-AC thing to be farcical. It isn't any form of moral highground to insist an opinion be identified with an individual. Instead it represents a regression - you should argue the point, not the personality.


Re:Very grown-up article! (1)

diablobynight (646304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270256)

Where the quote comes from is important. And why do you feel you need to be anonymous. Are you ashamed of your own opinions. Most flames are posted as anonymous. Like an idiot yelling in a crowd, or those annoying guys with laser pointers in the movie theaters. If you think what you have to say or do is so damn funny, than stand up and take responsibility for it.

Ah, the bitter tang of hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270361)

You missed the point entirely. Re-read his post, and try again.

(posting as AC just to piss you off, btw)

Re:Very grown-up article! (3, Interesting)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270371)

Where the quote comes from is important.

Why? Why is an opinion's origin important? If it means that you can't dismiss a thought with "Oh, that's just so'n'so ranting again" then that is surely a good thing. If so'n'so really is ranting again, then the opinion should be easy enough to knock down anyway.

Are you ashamed of your own opinions.

No. I'm not the original AC. Then again, there's no proof that the AC is ashamed of them either.

Most flames are posted as anonymous.


If you think what you have to say or do is so damn funny, than stand up and take responsibility for it.

As I say, the logical conclusion of this is to lose the rights to anonymous ballots. Anonymous ballots were a large step forward in the democratic process, and I rather feel that heading back to the days of pinning things on personalities is not a step to be welcomed.


Shared source doesn't work (5, Interesting)

simplexMethod (564813) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270061)

I work on a scientific project that is supossedly an "open source" project. In reality, it is really shared source. What it comes down to is users from the community reporting bugs and even submitting patches that are never incorporated into the code. The "czar" of the project often refuses to apply these fixes or doesn't do so in a timely manner. It just doesn't work and is just about as pointless as not having the source at all...

Re:Shared source doesn't work (4, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270109)

I'm not sure thats a reflection on shared source, more an indication of a poor PM. Shared source is realistically the only advance MS can currently make in the direction of fully open source. They are a large corporation with many shareholders who will not accept the source, excuse the pun, of their honeypot suddenly being made available to the public at large.

Shared Source imprisons (1)

LinuxXPHybrid (648686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270190)

> The "czar" of the project often refuses to apply these fixes or doesn't do so in a timely manner.

I personally don't see any problem of "czar". Maybe not czar, but I believe that open source project needs to have a benevolent competent dictator to really move the project with speech and power. For example, we have Linus Torvalds in Linux. Billy Joy was the benevolent dictator in BSD. Larry Wall has been leading Perl, and the list goes on. So to respond to your post, I don't think that the real problem is your "czar".

However, I do see a problem in your project and also Shared Source. Shared Source says that your brilliant idea (even if it really is brilliant), you can never ever test it legally, and that stifles innovation. Everyone in shared source project is captured in prison and can never ever escape. (On the other hand, open source allows new ideas (even if they are wrong) to be tested, which truly facilitates innovation).

Re:Shared source doesn't work (2, Funny)

DeadSea (69598) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270199)

So you have a bizarre czar at your bazaar [] ?

Re:Shared source doesn't work (1, Flamebait)

DeputySpade (458056) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270288)

I work on a scientific project that is supossedly an "open source" project. In reality, it is really shared source. What it comes down to is users from the community reporting bugs and even submitting patches that are never incorporated into the code. The "czar" of the project often refuses to apply these fixes or doesn't do so in a timely manner. It just doesn't work and is just about as pointless as not having the source at all...

It's open source, gonad. The whole point is that you can take the code, fork the project, manage it better that the other guy and have a better product so that the community as a whole benefits. If you continue to get stonewalled by the "owner" and simply give up on getting the code changed, then you really don't get the whole point of OSS in the first place so who the heck are you to say it doesn't work?

Re:Shared source doesn't work (4, Interesting)

Khalid (31037) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270351)

This is alas often also true for Open Source projects, many open source projects maintainers refuse to apply patches too. I think this depends on a lot of factors, for instance whether he has enough confidence in other people's work or not; many maintainers just simply don't want their baby spoiled by wanabe hackers for instance, who don't understand the whole architecture. It often takes a lot of time working together to accept other people work. As it has been said, Linus way of doing things is remarquable as he has accepted patches from the begining and he knows how to work with other people, while keeping track of the whole Linux source code, which is very very difficult in practice and a lot of work, as he needs to review all the code which goes into the kernel.

Embrace and Extend (4, Interesting)

Octagon Most (522688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270074)

It appears that Microsoft's famously successful Embrace and Extend strategy can apply to concepts as well as technologies. Expect to see Shared Source (i.e., Open Source with proprietary extensions for improved performance on Windows only) heavily promoted as a new Windows development tool.

Shared Source? Sounds like Subjugation to me. (-1, Troll)

GDanzig777 (639370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270079)

So, Microsoft will let you look at some, not all of thier code, allow you to modify part of it to debug applications, and then they take it and copyright it. God, how America has become such a land of freedom and oppurtunity. Makes Nazi Germany look like a kid's park compared to this.

Nazi Germany? (-1, Troll)

iamweezman (648494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270148)

Looks like nazi germany? Don't insult those that suffered through that just to try and use a strong metaphor for something you don't like. Besides, the two don't compare in the least.

good, but not on point... (5, Insightful)

MagicMerlin (576324) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270081)

While this is a very informative article, I get a very 'preaching to the choir' felling about it. The bias seeps through and undermines the effectiveness of the article. I think the best advocacy of open source software could be realized through: 1. case studies of successful industry/governemnt deployment of oss. 2. summary of development/use of open source superstars like apache, postgres, etc. of course, its always fun to pick at ms, but the idea is to change minds, not appear dogmatic.

It *is* preaching to the choir :) (2, Insightful)

Frodo420024 (557006) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270353)

> While this is a very informative article, I get a very 'preaching to the choir' felling about it.

It's a guide for OSS people to be able to ask the right questions at the right time at the conference.

Then see MS people squirm...

Patents. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270082)

Any-one fancy going throug the M$ code and looking for patent violations, M$ still has a lot of finincial muscle.

Good job genius. (1)

chamcham (647769) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270083)

Great, now they know what questions to expect. Billiant!

Call me off topic, but... (2, Funny)

Aquitaine (102097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270087)

Hasn't the OSS done battle with the SS once before?

Bernhard Rosenkraenzer (bero)'s article (5, Informative)

dwheeler (321049) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270093)

For a similar "shared source vs. Free Software" article, see Bernhard Rosenkraenzer (bero)'s article, which makes interesting points about "Shared Source". It was at; it's no longer there, but you can get it via the Internet archives: []

Unfortunately, the "picking up your marbles" article uses nonstandard terminology and thus may end up confusing many readers. For example, it seems to equate "Free Software" with copylefting licenses (like the GPL), and "Open Source" with non-copylefting licenses (like the BSD license). That's extremely confusing; the standard definitions for both Open Source and Free Software include both the GPL and the BSD licenses. Also, "Shared Source" is still proprietary; trying to claim it isn't just confuses things. Proprietary software comes in at least two varieties: secret source, and "shared source". Licenses are confusing enough without using nonstandard, inconsistent terminology. Hopefully, the article will get updated - it makes interesting points, and the shifting terminology is unfortunate. For the moment, I would recommend Bero's article instead if you're looking for an article opposing "shared source".

Re:Bernhard Rosenkraenzer (bero)'s article (2, Interesting)

Sarcazmo (555312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270141)

And it's less confusing that shared source is proprietary and open source is Free? To the lay person, they would sound like the same thing.

Face it, MS is making up their own terminology here, so we should stick to ours too. He who controls the language controls the mind too.

Shared Source is GREAT! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270110) will allow us to take part in the development of the greatest software that'd ever exist: Windows!

With delight we'll see our patch commited by Microsoft

Maybe they'll replace CVS with Sourcesafe so we could have write access (does not work with stupid CVS of course)?

And after that all Geeks will be gone for good... because with Shared Source M$ software will proof being worth every money you have...

Linux sucks! Windows rules!!!

Flamebait my arse... (-1, Offtopic)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270243)

Post it logged in and you might get a +1 Funny

Simple question: (5, Interesting)

BadDoggie (145310) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270114)

"If I find a coding error or vulnerability in a Microsoft Shared Source program, can I fix it and recompile?
"Can I provide this fix to others? If not, why not?"

I'd recommend losing the bit about the Borg on that site unless it's a page meant only for geeks and techies -- name-calling cheapens the rest of your arguments. It doesn't matter that they started it. </FourthGradeTeacher>

Just point out the uselessness of Shared Source and the piles of responses to Microsoft FUD.


Excellent (2, Insightful)

cigarky (89075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270117)

A very nice and concise review and discussion. The questions, in particular, are a great preparation for a rebuttal. Polite and informed disagreement will go lot farther in an audiences opinion than shouting "LINUX ROXORS". In extreme situations, it may still be necessary to fall back on that technique :^)

My humble addition (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270118)

I just sent them this extra question. Looking forward to see if MS has a good answer:

What kind of paperwork, NDA's, and other obligations do I need to sign on before looking at the shared source? With GPL I can look at the license (and only that!), and know that if I do not like the source I see, I can put it down, not use it, and be free to continue my life as if I had never seen it.

Yet another anti microsoft article... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270121)

That document was poorly written, I was expecting a business quality doco. The linux community needs to realise that if they want to be taken seriously in big business, they have to act in a mature business like manner.

For example: Stop refering to closed source companies as being evil. Treat them all the same - did you know that there are more closed source software companies that just Microsoft? Such as Lotus, IBM, Apple (surely not Apple???) and most of these guys have borrowed code from BSD, Apple even got praised for it, rather than berated. (Which I still can't believe to this day)

Imagine if MS had taken almost all of BSD and started selling it, because they couldn't be arsed to develop their own OS.

Apple is much more closed than M$ (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270212)

Apple is much more closed than M$. Could you imagine the reaction here if Microsoft "went Apple" and made sure its big ol OS only ran on its company hardware platform....which M$ then jacked the price ridiculously high on? Yet this is what Apple is doing.

What's the difference (-1, Troll)

Hanul (533254) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270122)

between a Open Source product like Red Hat Advanced Server and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server? I have to buy a license for every system every year. It cost a lot. For patches I have to wait for Red Hat and Microsoft to release them. Sure, I can look a the source using RH Linux, but if I apply my own patch, I'll have an unsupported system. Red Hat will do the same audits as Microsoft to validate if you have the proper license. What's the benefit of Open Source in this case. To look at the source? Just looking gets me nowhere.

but if I apply my own patch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270227)

I assume you'll post it to the correct mailing list so that it gets reviewed and included in the next patch.

Re:What's the difference (3, Insightful)

DeputySpade (458056) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270356)

Red Hat Advanced Server contains the same GPL'ed code as every other Red Hat Linux distribution. Unlike some vendors (who's names start with a 'C'), Everything you get from Red Hat in the basic distro is GPL'ed. They can't " the same audits as Microsoft..." because they can't change the licensing. You don't need to buy a Red Hat Advanced Server license for every machine you put the OS on. You only need to buy a support contract for every machine you expect support on. There's a big difference here. Red Hat is pushing the envelope on the chief means for income for an OSS company (give away the software, sell the support), but the code is still the same GPL code you could get from any other distribution. There's no such thing as the Red Hat equivalent of the BSA and there never can or will be.

I normally don't reply to trolls, but this disinformation really ticks me off. Assuming you don't already know all this and you aren't just a 100% blatant troll, you either have never read the GPL or have no idea whatsoever what is contained in RHAS. Either way, if you don't know what you're talking about, then keep your mouth shut.

Television (1)

Tyreth (523822) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270127)

I'm glad this isn't televised. If Microsoft televised a question session that looked like genuine hackers, geeks, executives, secretaries, etc asking questions about software, the future, and esp. software....well, I know just enough people who will want to believe what is said, and that's scary.

And it will only give a greater confidence to those who think that my optimism about free software is unfounded, and that Microsoft can't be that bad since they are so big. After all, the only reason we geeks hate them is because they are too big!

Then again, I suppose I shouldn't be giving marketting suggestions to Microsoft.

Re:Television (1)

DeputySpade (458056) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270380)

"Then again, I suppose I shouldn't be giving marketting suggestions to Microsoft."

No offense, and I happen to agree with the sentiment, but I don't think Micros~1 would take marketing advice from anybody. *grin*

Maybe I'm wrong here but.. (3, Interesting)

Dagowolf (646208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270154)

Wouldn't it make more sense if you were a company that produced a large, bloated program that has a long history of poor performance that you would want to get input from people that might be able to streamline your program and optimize its performance? We were always taught in computer classes that the best programs where the ones that got the job done, correctly, with a minimum of code and in the quickest possible way. As much as we all might dislike Microsoft, Windows has the ability to be a good OS, it just hasn't been allowed to get anywhere near that ability. It seems each iteration of Windows creates more bugs and more bloated code rather than the reverse (which would would expect in most software programs). So, IMHO, Microsoft should move to open source, perhaps just releasing large segments of Windows code so they can protect their business (otherwise why release anything?). Ask programmers to streamline the code, even to the point of optimizing it for AMD, Intel, and Cyrix chips individually (Make Bill happy that he can market 3 versions of Windows).

Re:Maybe I'm wrong here but.. (3, Interesting)

diablobynight (646304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270231)

Quite honestly I like XP better than Redhat 7.2, And it runs my multimedia devices better. I run my big screen off my computer when I want to watch my Divx movies in the living room, you know what a pain in the arse that is in Linux? In windows I right click the desktop, choose properties, make the change and click apply. I didn't have to download any special modules or programs, My OS was set to go. And well, ever try to play BattleField 1942 on Linux? Oh that's right, you can't.

Opensource != Free Software necessarily. (3, Informative)

termos (634980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270207)

OpenSource is that you have the source, in order for you to compile it. Somone see this as a benefit because they can compile it from source, and get certain optimizations on the executable of the program (Gentoo Linux for example).
The Free Software Foundation [] has other values in mind.
The look on software as something everyone owns, ideas, science and so on. With free software you have the right to make changes that fits you, then release that source again with a new and (hopefully) better version. You of course have to include who originally wrote it.
A good example of Open Source and not free software is the NVidia drivers for Linux and not BSD. They are not licenced under GPL, you only have the right to compile the source, not make changes to it and redistribute those changes.

"Shared" Source... (3, Funny)

frozenray (308282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270213) the girl who lifts her skirt and lets you have a good look, but never lets you go further than that. Nice, but useless and frustrating in the long run.

The Open Source variation, on the other hand... well, I can't speak from personal experience, but I heard it must be very nice.

Open Source was a mistake (5, Insightful)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270214)

Hm, the last time I uttered that Microsoft's Shared source is going to be indistinguishable from open source to most people, I was modded funny, and I love that of course.

I have a deep respect for many of those who coined the term "Open Source", especially Bruce Perens.

But, I think we're about to find out that "Open Source" was a mistake.

Microsoft will clearly claim that their "shared source" encompasses all the benefits of open source, and for those who do not allready understand what Open Source is all about (which is to say, most people), it will be a compelling argument.

We can go "uh, no, you see, it is about, free, and I mean free as in speech, not beer, uh, if you know what I mean". And they don't. And they won't read this paper. When they can see the source, the source is open enough to them. What more could you ask?

I attended one of ESR's talks, and while it took me a long time to realize, ESR's top selling point ("you can always take development in-house"), is not a simple pragmatic argument. It is an argument based on freedom.

The top selling argument for Open Source, for Linux and for all the rest of it, is, and will remain, an argument of freedom. Not only freedom for individuals, but freedom for corporations too!

It is about politics. It is about creating a society where freedom benefits everyone, individuals and corporations alike, the whole society.

I realize, of course that "Free Software" is not a good term either, but for those of us who speak a Real Language[tm], the term "Open Source" should be abandoned, and terms like "Software Libré" or "Fri programvare" should be used instead.

Re:Open Source was a mistake (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270274)

Open and Free.

The peoble is English, which is why Software Libre is used.

Open could be Macro or Micro, Microsoft picked the Micro form of open. Open source used the Macro form.

Again free could be Micro (costs nothing) or Macro.

Free in most cases it a myth, that 'free' phone, not free but take out as a tax on you phone bill.

non-subscription TV, is that 'free', nope every time I buy a mars bar I help pay for CNN, there's a TV tax on most food, and I don't even have a TV.

Will people get followup questions? (1, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270252)

It makes little sense to bother if the MS guy blahblahblahs for awhile and doesn't actually answer the question. If you can't verify, push the question, or ask a followup, all the power stays with the presenter.>

I've heard enough press conferences at the White House to know how that works.

I'd ask, "Does Bill know I'm screwing his wife?"

That ought to toss a wrench into the works...

"Freed Software"- my question dreamlist (4, Interesting)

mattr (78516) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270259)

With the accent it sounds more like "freed software" and maybe that's a key.

It is not free as in "you are free to make my day". It is free as in "this software code has been freed from any restrictions, to the point that no man or woman may hide it or stop it from living its life to the fullest".

Law of nature? Law of freed information!

Question 1: Does any software actually exist which has gone through a full life cycle as shared source and not demonstrated major problems e.g. with respect to security, monopoly law, cost effectiveness?

Point 2: Open source is critical to proving that software is secure in a concrete case: security of one's private machine and data. If Microsoft is only sharing source, how can it be known (without resorting to blind trust of unknown coders/governments) that the source you saw is the source that made it into the final product?

Point 3: Microsoft's shared source campaign seems defined partly in terms of an attack against open source software. How does this reconcile with open source software being highly promoted by the security experts of the majority of major companies, server operators, and governments. Is it such a good idea to distance itself from such amazingly beneficial, successful, and satisfying projects? If Microsoft believes it to be critical to do so, then would Microsoft be open to funding a free (free of cost, anonymous, with results posted publically, and run by a third party) online facility to scan software (source and object code) for violations of liscense agreements (like GPL etc.) to guarantee that no GPL code is in Windows? (After all if it is then all of Windows legally must be GPL'd..)

OSS and FSF racist? (0, Offtopic)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270268)

Depends on what you call race..

Last time I checked blacks asians and other slavics were different races..

Remember Cacuasian is a slavic race :)

But seriusly Asians and black are invovled in opensource.. MS ignoers this fact because they liek being the evil emprie..

Lets ask a more valid question hwo many women work as programers at MS?

Software Libr? (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270286)

If that was meant to be french, it should have been "Libre" (for "Free"), or "Libéré" (for "freed"). And I'm ignoring "software".

People in Québec would Say

Vive, le logiciel, LIBRE!

But that's a different political issue.

(With my regards to De Gaule).

Anybody notice (1)

briancnorton (586947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270294)

Has anybody noticed the Microsoft ads on Slashdot?

A bit late for me... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270303)

Last friday here Microsoft had a meeting about Shared Source. I had the funny idea about going with the printed version of to give them a bit of work, but found that the domain was down, and even if I could make my own points against shared source, between not having something with stronger basis and that was early in the morning, well, I missed it.

Software Libre. Not Libr (1)

DVega (211997) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270311)

In Spanish is "Libre". With normal "e". Not acute "e". And I think in French is also the same.

Curious (3, Interesting)

KoolDude (614134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270321)

...Microsoft are fond of touting Shared Source as being "as good as" Open Source...

Didnt they also mention Open Source is "cancerous" ;)

Why don't things evolve? (2, Interesting)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270340)


Why don't things evolve?

I keep thinking about the space shuttle, and open-source, and Microsoft; also of tiny winged dinosaurs recently found in the Mongolian Highlands. All these controversies and discoveries start me thinking -- but mostly the dinosaurs. Why did those little dinosaurs sprout wings? What was the point? Don't they know that was a greater wind resistance drag, making it even harder to escape predators? Why did the space shuttle, built in 80's never upgrade? One could talk of the government and the fact that they never, ever, upgrade unless it's tanks or grenades. But the space shuttle, with it's aging tape-to-tape flight computers, and it's spray on foam insulation, and it's glued on tiles -- why evolve to serve this niche, then never evolve? Was it laziness, stupidity, or some perceived fecundity that we've reached the promised land?

I can feel there is a tipping-point here, some wisdom I'm about to understand, and yet it eludes me. Back to Microsoft. Why couldn't Novell evolve? Did they think that a different password for everything was better than one password to rule them all? Why continue to chew the prehistoric cud whilst the meteor streaks across the sky - moocow!. Now it's Microsoft, you might argue, that is starting to run a little slower, a little more gamely, who sees the big game cats bearing down in their proverbial rear view mirrors. Will they evolve? Can they evolve? What will they become?

And so open-source sits too at the precipice, but its penultimate creative spark blew apart at its evolution, splitting into various organisms wading the primordial ooze. Fascinating stuff: evolve now or later, but why not right at the beginning? Evolve on the starting line! It's a pretty awesome strain of thinking. Keep trying to get it right on the starting line -- holding back some DNA -- shooting off ideas that might work. Hyper, hyper-parasitosis. I believe it's the way of informational beings. Even WOPR decided [] that there might be a better way.

So why can't Microsoft evolve? I believe they can, but it must happen while, and before, the energy required to evolve is still greater than the remaining energy it has to sustain life. Can they evolve a hybrid, become open-source (you heard it here first!), jump from the abyss, sprout wings, and fly?

Pure Communism (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5270355)

Free software will help destroy the American economy. Anything that is built on a "support" income structure is fatally flawed. Why would I trust "free" software from a vendor while at the same time pay them to support that software? Seems to me that they WANT the software to be low quality or hard to use so they can charge me more to support it. Plus, now I have to hire a 150,000 a year linux geek. No thanks.

I'll take the bugs in commercial software and the shared business model that comes from using it in a business transaction.

Some of you need to grow up and leave the dorm for awhile. There is a REAL world beyond your frat hazing and beer festing. There's a world beyond your professor butt-kissing secret society. No, really, there is.

Out here in commercial software land, we all WORK for a living. And work isn't free. I LIKE getting paid. Get a job.

Freakin' communists.

(My apologies to those 5 people in the country who actually know how to make free software work to help the people, not destroy the economy.)

Let the flames begin...
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