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Microsoft Ponders Shared-Sourcing SQL Server

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the more-toys-to-play-with dept.

Microsoft 194

i_frame writes "C|net is reporting in an interview with Tom Rizo, director of product management in Microsoft's SQL server unit, that 'the company is thinking about including the forthcoming SQL Server 2005 in Microsoft's shared-source program for disclosing product source to customers'. Is Microsoft reinventing themselves, and are they ready to learn the benefits of open source?" From the article: "It's not finalized. It's not anything there, but if a lot of customers demand it, we'll definitely look at doing shared source with SQL Server..."

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You're a pee-in's (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793550)

Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater where the whole powder keg's about to go up.

Re:You're a pee-in's (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793585)

Yeah. We know. Good isn't it? All the interesting stuff in the world happens here. Wars. You know, proper ones, where millions die. None of that pansy American war-fighting, where the soldier's are so tech'd up that no real danger's involved.

You want fuckin' bayonets. Hand-to-hand. Survival training. None of that "I broke a nail! EVAC!!" wussness. I mean, look at your sports. Baseball? We have that here too. Except we call it 'Rounders' and it's generally played by pre-teen girls. Your American 'football' is also comic. It's just Rugby for wimps who need to hide behind a shitload of padding incase they fall over and go boo-boo. Bless them. Wouldn't last 10 seconds on a rugby field.

Oh well. Carry on as you are. May your god bless you all, and save your leaders from choking on savoury foodstuffs!

AMERICAN BAD. EUROPEAN NOT SO BAD. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793616)

AMERICAN IS SHIT!

Re:You're a pee-in's (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793682)

Here, soccer is played by 3 year old retardates as physical therapy.

Re:You're a pee-in's (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793726)

It is here, too. But they're unbelievably well paid retardates. Don't understand it myself.

To be honest, you're welcome to take soccer if you like. It'll fit in with the rest of your pansy sports. We'll keep the proper stuff here.

Oh, I'm sorry... was that meant to be an insult? Hehe. Everyone knows what a girly sport (soccer) football is.

i think yurope is full of idiots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793625)

and i voted for gorge bush!

Re:i think yurope is full of idiots (0, Offtopic)

SpamMonkey (850104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793649)

I know I should know better than to reply to this but PLEASE. It's spelled Europe and please don't include the British in that phrase. We can't help where our island is!

Re:i think yurope is full of idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794034)

That's right, I suffer from the presence of the britsh island in Europe, too. Average IQ would be higher without you.

Share Source is not shared (5, Informative)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793551)

It is look but do not touch

Re:Share Source is not shared (5, Interesting)

matth (22742) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793556)

Indeed.. there is a huge difference between shared source and open source.... I've been told also that shared source some how they make it so that it will not compile??? I don't know exactly how you do that but that sounds like it's not the whole source then!

Re:Share Source is not shared (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793569)

SQL Server 2005 Express is FREE anyway. Nobody forces you to use it either. If you don't like it, shop elsewhere.

Bloody whiners.

Re:Share Source is not shared (5, Insightful)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793676)

This isn't about being FREE, this is about being able to modify and compile the code for your own use, and about being able to fix bugs and security holes and submit those changes to Microsoft for inclusion in the codebase. Being FREE helps the product to increase its visibility so that more developers will work with it (at least, from the developer's point of view), but the size of the installed base isn't a problem for SQL Server.

Being able to look at select chunks of code but not being able to modify anything or recompile is of nominal value. I'm really not sure why anyone would want to do that. It sounds more like a PR initiative, so that MS can technically say that they've embraced "open source".

Re:Share Source is not shared (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793794)

You can do what you want with it, just dont tell them :D

There are plenty of SHARED SOURCE licenses out there like HydraIRC, do you bitch and moan about that, NO?

How often do you MODIFY code? I am a software design engineer and I rarely modify the code on projects available on Sourceforge.net

Alot of the time the amount of effort required to maintain it is a bitch unless you are over 80% confident in the code otherwise you are just plain and simply hacking and poking and proding the product hoping the fix is gona work.

Quit yer whining.

Re:Share Source is not shared (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793859)

MS DO INDEED support FREE and OPEN SOURCE licences.

WTL [sourceforge.net]

They donated this to sourceforge.

Quit yer whining. zealot.

How do you do a bug fix if it won't compile?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793987)

Maybe that's the problem with all the bugs M$ releases: their developers don't even bother to compile and test their code!

Re:Share Source is not shared (2, Interesting)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794018)

Being able to look at select chunks of code but not being able to modify anything or recompile is of nominal value. I'm really not sure why anyone would want to do that.

To make it easier for them to find security exploits?

No, I'm serious, and I'm talking about security-conscious users as well as people attempting to break into computers. If you can't modify or reuse the code, isn't security auditing the only other reason to want to look at it?

Perhaps that's why Microsoft only wants to release code a chunk at a time: so they can perform their own audits first. They'd be suicidal to risk the sort of "closed source product suddenly becomes visible source with visible flaws" embarrassment that happened with Interbase's back door when that database went open source.

Re:Share Source is not shared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793628)

Only Microsoft has enough chickens to sacrifice and enough fancy Glade candles to burn in order to get the code to compile.

Re:Share Source is not shared (5, Informative)

Lxy (80823) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793633)

IIRC, Shared Source is limited in several ways.

You do not get a complete copy of the source. You get large chunks... enough to examine the code, but not enough to compile a working product.

Modification is a no-no. Even sending code modifications to Microsoft is against the license. You may NOT modify code or write patches against the code.

You absolutely may NOT incorporated shared code into anything. If you've seen MS source code, you must wash your eyes and cleanse your brain as not to inadvertantly introduce MS code into other projects. Some would say it goes as far as not participating in GPL projects.

Shared source is to appease the customer who wants the ability to evaluate the code and audit its safety. It goes something like "purchase XXX licenses, and we'll show you the source code. Of course, if you don't like the poor quality of the code, you don't get a refund, just that sinking feeling that you're screwed.".

Re:Share Source is not shared (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793715)

You do not get a complete copy of the source. You get large chunks... enough to examine the code, but not enough to compile a working product.

Shared source is to appease the customer who wants the ability to evaluate the code and audit its safety.

Why do customers think this works? If you have a partial source tree and you cannot compile it to the binaries that you run on your servers, then no matter how much source the company gives you it is still not the binaries you are running.

Is this trustworthy computing? Your trusting Microsoft that the source they provide is the same source your running and the source they don't provide is simply irrelevant headers? I don't get it.

Re:Share Source is not shared (5, Interesting)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793716)

Then what's the point? You cannot change it for your needs, or compile it at all; You cannot put bits of it into your own projects to make them work more efficiently; You cannot even send patches to Microsoft (not that you could compile them to see if they worked anyway). All you can do is say "yes, this is good code" or "no, this is very unsafe" about it, which doesn't get you anywhere. And you can do that from using the product anyway.

It can't be for the curious either, as many curious hackers would then be 'tainted' as people have said, and unable to continue with their own projects in case they get sued for copying Microsoft's code.

'Shared Source' must be doing something correct, otherwise it wouldn't still be here. What is it doing right?

Re:Share Source is not shared (4, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793832)

Appeasing the lawyers and negotiators in the meetings.

Govt OSS Advocate says "But OSS software is better because everyone can see and review the source code".

MS says: "You can see ours as well".

Its certainly answering some of the critisms against closed source, but its still 100% missing the point of OSS.

Re:Share Source is not shared (3, Insightful)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793955)

It is not answering any criticisms - there is no point in seeing the code if you cannot do anything with it. In fact, seeing the code counts against you, as I said above.

The Govt OSS Advocate should have said "But OSS software is better because everyone can see and adapt the source code". MS just says "You can see ours as well, but don't you dare try to accomplish anything with it."

Re:Share Source is not shared (3, Interesting)

tdemark (512406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793736)

You absolutely may NOT incorporated shared code into anything. If you've seen MS source code, you must wash your eyes and cleanse your brain as not to inadvertantly introduce MS code into other projects. Some would say it goes as far as not participating in GPL projects.

(Hold on while I get my tin-foil hat on)

Since the money they put into SCO is fizzling, maybe this is their next attempt. Release code into the open (not "open source" open, just that some non-MS people have access to it), wait a few years, then go after the OSS projects that compete with your product because they have "stolen your code". Whether they did or didn't is not the issue, the legal wrangling is what MS would be after.

- Tony

Re:Share Source is not shared (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793961)

This is exacty why I will NEVER look at MS code ever. The software patent problem aside, I want to be sure that anything I write will be free of legal and corporate entanglements. This is why I work for a non-profit organization as well. As I like to say:

1. Your computer (CPU, RAM, etc...) is the wood, nails and screws
2. The GNU tool chain (gcc, ld, make, etc...) are the hammer, saw and screwdrivers
3. YOUR OWN IDEAS and the resultant code are the blueprints

I don't see anyone hauling off DIY folks to court because they are making furniture, dog houses or modding their living spaces because their work resembles the work of a large corporation. If that ever happens, it's time to go to war againt an unjust government... Keep in mind, I'm always free to use my carpentry skills to make a coffee table for instance. In fact, I could even make it resemble one that I saw in an ad. As long as I'm not slapping my name or their name on it and selling it, I'm within my rights. As soon as they are suing me for using my own tools and supplies for my own personal use (even if that use is in the workplace), they are out of bounds.

You forgot (3, Insightful)

RoLi (141856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793993)

... the most important limitation:

Because you can't compile the code, you have no way to verify that it is even the right source code.

The only thing you will get is [i]some[/i] source code. It might be from a 5-year old version of the product, it might even be from another product.

Re:Share Source is not shared (2, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793693)

you couldn't pay me to use that thing anyway...


I used to have a really good contact with Microsoft, we were running FreeBSD at the time (Linux nowadays) and were quite happy, they suggested we port our stuff to NT so we could 'evaluate' the whole windows thing, they'd pay our way.


So, free NT licenses and MSDN subscriptions and all the other goodies we're slaving away to make this thing work, just to give them the benefit of the doubt (I'm all for looking at the evidence) and guess what ? YOU CAN'T DO IT. If you're used to a unix environment and all the seamless integration between tools and the ability to tune the server there is absolutely NO WAY you are going to port any major web application over to Windows in any form, especially using Microsoft SQL and not end up with a server farm that's twice the size of what you had before. Also you will never ever be as stable, for one you have more hardware, so your mtbf goes down and secondly the Windows core isn't as stable as FreeBSD or Linux on the same hardware.


I don't know why they can't get their act together, I don't give a damn about whether it's open source or not - I just want the best environment for my application to be built on, and it seems that the open source side wins that argument hands down.


Re:Share Source is not shared (2, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793779)

"and guess what ? YOU CAN'T DO IT. If you're used to a unix environment and all the seamless integration between tools and the ability to tune the server there is absolutely NO WAY you are going to port any major web application over to Windows in any form"

"I just want the best environment for my application to be built on"

The build environment is not the same as the deployment environment.

If your Web application is so tied to one Unix environment that it is impossible to move then I suggest you have problems of your own making.

If it is tuning the server you are worrying about then one wonders how Ebay manages ?

% telnet cgi.ebay.co.uk 80
Trying 66.135.217.11...
Connected to cgi.ebay.co.uk.
Escape character is '^]'.
HEAD /ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=27947&item=713 6571813&rd=1 HTTP/1.1
host: cgi.ebay.co.uk

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 14:43:07 GMT
Content-Length: 80399
Content-Type: text/html;charset=iso-8859-1
Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0
Server: WebSphere Application Server/4.0

Re:Share Source is not shared (3, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793841)

hehe, all my problems are of my own making :)


transplanting from PHP to ASP is more then a little bit of work, Apache leaves IIS in the dust, so you need more hardware.


If I can't even get decent performance in the 'lab', and the tools don't let me tune the server to perform at least as good under BSD (or linux for that matter) then why bother throwing it in front of the lions ?


What happens in the open source world is something like this: Developer X is working on some project, needs a feature (say server-status in apache), adds it to the source, compiles and tests it until it works for him, submits the DIFF to the apache crew so he won't need to do it again next time he rebuilds the latest souces, it gets accepted, he feels good, they feel good, the product just got better. You try to get MS to include one of your 'improvements' or even a suggestion of one into IIS. Good luck :)


If you throw enough hardware at the problem it will eventually go away, I don't doubt that (and besides Ebay there are quite a few other large companies that can 'afford' to run windows as their server platform).


It's just that *I* can't afford that strategy and for a small operation like the one we are running (but with a significant web presence) windows is simply not an option due to the above concerns.


Big companies have less of a problem with wasting some money, some are actually quite good at it !


And I really gave it a good try, came away quite disappointed.


FWIW I'm handling some 2000 database driven hits on pages per SECOND.


I'm sure EBAY does a lot more than that but not on a puny little farm like mine.

Re:Share Source is not shared (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793956)

Server: WebSphere Application Server/4.0

Their dynamic content is mostly through a non-MSFT application server.

First, they can go away any day with minimum effort.

Second, they can use higher level abstractions compared to ASP/PHP as a result of that. This is the other approach to the problem which is more typical of people with the size of eBay. Once your business is that big you are working from a different set of premises:

  • Hardware costs compared to cost of loss of revenue are much lower then in a little shop. At the far end of the scale (in banks) hardware costs are outright negligible.
  • You have enough money to invest in software/hardware/meatware high availability platform. So you no longer care a lot about the MTFB of a single component as you no longer have any single points of failure anyway.
  • So your major drive becomes to minimze the chances of revenue loss through a developer fsck-up when fixing bugs or adding new features. This is what you get through the abstraction offered by using a good application server. Your secondary goal becomes good profiling information inside your app which you once again get from the application server. And you do not care about the server platform as such because you approach it at an application server level.
    I suspect that the only migration cost besides hardware for eBay if they decide to move the lot to let's say AIX will be retraining operations. N?o development costs as such.
Back on subj, I strongly suspect that MSFT cannot shared source any of their SQL products. Too has been bought from someone else.

Re:Share Source is not shared (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793713)

Indeed. The whole strength of open source is that you can make changes, submit them to whoever, and have them included in future versions for everyone's benefit. People who fix bugs pretty much have to submit them to the code base, otherwise, when they upgrade, the bug may still be there. Who care's if you can look at the source if you can't actually modify or compile it. It would be like KFC giving you the chicken recipe, but you weren't actually allowed to make your own chicken.

Re:Share Source is not shared (2, Informative)

d95adam (621910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793626)

Yep, have a look at Microsoft's Shared Source FAQ [microsoft.com] . It contains a few blurbs about Linux and the GPL too...

Re:Share Source is not shared (5, Interesting)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793627)

Look but don't touch that particular code, maybe...but how are they going to enforce/prove it if someone looks at their code and gets ideas from it...and doesn't use their exact syntax, or even copy their entire concept verbatim?

If Microsoft are serious here, they've got a couple of different options:-

1) Use a license like the APSL or Mozilla License, which from memory does have a few commercial stipulations.

2) Come up with their own version of something like the LGPL, in the sense that there are terms with regards to specifically where the source can and can't be used.

3) Use the loss leader approach. Find something they don't really care about losing too much, (most likely something in their dev department, since that's not their primary bread and butter) and put it under the BSD license. Bill has already been quoted at one of his keynotes as saying that he likes the BSD license, or at least prefers it to the GPL, and he could earn himself some major PR points if he decides to prove it in practical terms...and good PR is something that Microsoft needs as much of as it can get these days. This would also help a few other people. It could score some free PR for FreeBSD, and if Bill was really smart he could even ally with the FreeBSD Foundation and Apple with the goal of driving back the GPL somewhat...Something which I for one wouldn't necessarily see as a bad thing. Stallman gives himself far too much credit for FOSS in general...the man is in dire need of being put squarely back in his box, in my opinion. More promotion of the BSD and other licenses could go a long way towards demonstrating to him that the world does not in fact need him anywhere near as much as he likes to think. I'm aware the GPL zealots will now materialise howling out of the woodwork and mod me a troll, as they generally do when I express this kind of opinion...but they are welcome to mod me a troll as much as they like...it won't silence me.

Re:Share Source is not shared (2, Interesting)

datajack (17285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793662)

Where Bill says that he prefers the BSD license to the GPL, he is talking about other people's code. Basically, with the BSD licence, code can be ripped out of a project and used within their own closed products. Such as what apparently happened with parts of the NT IP protocol stack

If they tried that with the Linux IP stack, they would have to put the rest of the nT kernel under GPL - that's what's wrong with GPL, he can't make money off other people's work without giving something back in return.

Re:Share Source is not shared (2, Informative)

leandrod (17766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793672)

>
how are they going to enforce/prove it if someone looks at their code and gets ideas from it

That's what patents are for, and MS has been known file quite some lately. Also, they have the option of isolating what they consider their 'most innovative' pieces in libraries still hidden from view. Finally, if you are good enough to get ideas from them without incurring in copyright infringement by inadvertently doing derivative work by inconscient memory afterwards, you are probably worth your weight in gold.

But seriously, how innovative is MS SQL Server? It is as decent a Transact SQL implementation as it can get in a substandard OS as MS Windows. It does not conform fully to the ISO SQL standards, it contradicts the relational model, the only interesting thing it has is integration with and extension of MS .Net's type system -- not exactly rocket science, PostgreSQL for example has had an extensible type system for years and neither of them conform to, for example, Date's and Darwen's specialisation by constraint type inheritance system.

Re:Share Source is not shared (1)

whitespacedout (696269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793639)

In other words, not free. And you always have to watch out for embrace, extend, extinguish [wikipedia.org] tactics when dealing with Microsoft, which is a convicted monopolist.

Don't even look! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793977)

If you ever write code that even looks remotely like something M$ put out as "shared" source, and whatever you write has some commercial success, what do you think M$ is going to do to you?

Yeah - sue your ass off.

Never let M$ shared source touch any computer you log on to.

GNAA HONORS GREAT NEGROS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793552)

The GNAA (Great Negro Association of America) would like to commemorate Black History Month by honoring great Negros in history. We would like to commemorate Malcolm X [wikipedia.org] , an excellent example of the great negro. Malcolm X stood up for what he believed, and so does the ECFA.

About GNAA: The GNAA is slashdot's oldest and most famous mass-troll group. The current ECFA/GNAA combined organization (called "ECFA") is the result of the 2004 merger of the ECFA and the GNAA. The ECFA (Euthanasia for Canis Familiaris Association) serves as sole holder of the GNAA trademark, copyrights, and all other legal ownership. In Q1 2005, ECFA announced that the acronym GNAA now stands for Great Negro Association of America. Note that the ECFA is based solely in the United States. The future of the international GNAA is uncertain, and it will likely cease operations altogether. Please note that the United States ECFA takes memberships from all over the world. The combined organization is committed both to celebrating black history and to the improvement of our society through eliminating overpopulation of animals to improve their lives and the lives of humans.

About ECFA: The ECFA (Euthanasia for Canis Familiaris Association) is an organization committed to improving our society, leaving it better than we found it. We use the Slashdot trolling capabilities of the GNAA to spread our message of improvement.

Do you want to Commemorate great negros [wikipedia.org] ?
Are you sick of overpopulation of household pets [wikipedia.org] ?
Are you willing to take radical measures [aapn.org] to keep these pests at bay?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, the ECFA(Euthanasia for Canis Familiaris Association)/GNAA is for you!

You can work toward the noble of goal of INCREASING OUR SUPPLY OF O2! OVERPOPULATION of DOGS is RAPANT in this country. Did you know that DOGS turn BENEFICIAL O2 into CO2 simply to gain their energy to bark, drool, and howl? They ACTUALLY BURN OUR OXYGEN SUPPLY WITHOUT PRODUCING ANY BENEFIT!!! One dog easily waste the Oxygen output of ten mature trees!

This country has MANY UNWANTED, ABANDONED DOGS that WE ARE PAYING MONEY TO KEEP ALIVE. We are FEEDING them our food supply while making the homeless STARVE! Are you TIRED of having your TAXES increased? Humane Societies cost our country over $100 million annually. By using a Dog Killing Gadget, a dog can be turned into beneficial food, helping us all. We let children go hungry yet feed our **UNWANTED** dogs like royalty.

We hunt deer when they become overpopulated. Why should dogs be any different? We don't have deer pounds to send 'homeless' deer to. Yet for most people, dogs are personified to the extreme. We advocate treating dogs like the animals they are.

We are also temporarily supporting Great Negros to please our former GNAA members and to keep our distribution channels open. We have been and always will be committed to the eradication of dogs. The takeover was all for the trolling channels, never for the content.

WANT TO SUPPORT ECFA (Euthanasia for Canis Familiaris Association)? Simply participate in our propaganda campaign to exterminate dogs. You can become a member of our slashdot trolling team, our usenet trolling team, or you can be a member of our local campaigning - by simply handing out brocures or posting signs outside humaine socities. If you have MOD POINTS, alternatively you can moderate this post UP to support our cause.

Important Note: The ECFA has recently "connected" with the GNAA to form one ECFA. Stay connected. Please note that since we are moving to a larger demographic (the untold scores of people who deal with dog messes, noises, and annoyances daily), most of the current GNAA content is offline. In fact, we're pulling all of it except the "early post", which is now a ECFA-style "early post". The traditional GNAA "early post" will continue to be posted on all SCO stories, as insisted by upper GNAA management and its core team of fans. The illicit images and language will not be a part of the new combined organiztion. We do not condone any sexual lifestyle or race.

==Brought to you by the GNAA Trolling Group, now a division of ECFA.

Where can we get in touch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793608)

with the ECFA group? Extensive searches did not turn up any such information.


Our best wishes to the GNAA and ECFA, both noble organizations, on their 2004 merger.


-- Concerned Slashdot Readers Association.

License type (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793557)

Yeah but it is not GPL ; so it is necessarily shit.

Open source, but not free to use... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793562)

Microsoft may be willing to open up the source to allow for open peer review of its app; this may be a necessity to stay in the government contracts. The still won't be giving people an open "GPL" type license to use it. Knowing M$, they will find a way to realease enough source to review but not to compile it...

Re:Open source, but not free to use... (1)

blowdart (31458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793582)

It may not be GPL licensed, but they will be offering a free ("beer") version.

Re:Open source, but not free to use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793618)

Yeah it will take them a few weeks to obfuscate the MySQL code.

Avoid shared source (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793646)

It still needs an non-free OS, so it's hardly free beer.

Still Interesting to see how Linux/Apache/Mysql/PostgresSQL is shadowing microsoft - They are giving IIS away free, they have to sell WS 2003 web edition cheaper xp home, and now they have to give sql server for free... Ms users should be happy about the competition.

But Shared source is a hideous "Have a look, don't touch, and definetly don't touch any competing product after looking at this". Nice if you are a researcher, but it escapes me why do research where only one corporation can profit from it, when there are less restricting alternatives.

Re:Open source, but not free to use... (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793717)

The only piece of software that will ever mean anything if they 'shared source' it will be the office suite, specifically excel and word because of file compatibility.


It is my guess that they'll open source the whole of windows long before they'll 'shared source' the office file formats. The lock in of the market is based on this file compatibility and you'll never have 100% as long as those formats are not public.


Myself, I'm for forced legislation that states that as soon as a certain file format gains common acceptance, either because it's better or because of unfair marketing or whatever other reason the company that produces the file format will be required to produce two pieces of code, a reader/viewer and a writer for that file format and place it in the public domain. Files are like protocols (another area like that), where software will always have to interface to other software, the moment you use that as a lock in you should be accusable of anti competitive behaviour.


That way you have a choice, use 'open' file formats, or roll your own but be forced to open up.


No more file incompatibilities.


Shared Source is the ideal license (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793564)

Hello,

Consulting for several large companies, I'd always done my work on
Windows. Recently however, a top online investment firm asked us to do
some work using Linux. The concept of having access to source code was
very appealing to us, as we'd be able to modify the kernel to meet our
exacting standards which we're unable to do with Microsoft's products.

Although we met several technical challenges along the way
(specifically, Linux's lack of Token Ring support and the fact that we
were unable to defrag its ext2 file system), all in all the process
went smoothly. Everyone was very pleased with Linux, and we were
considering using it for a great deal of future internal projects.

So you can imagine our suprise when we were informed by a lawyer that
we would be required to publish our source code for others to use. It
was brought to our attention that Linux is copyrighted under something
called the GPL, or the Gnu Protective License. Part of this license
states that any changes to the kernel are to be made freely available.
Unfortunately for us, this meant that the great deal of time and money
we spent "touching up" Linux to work for this investment firm would
now be available at no cost to our competitors.

Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any
products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to
its source code released. This was simply unacceptable.

Although we had planned for no one outside of this company to ever
use, let alone see the source code, we were now put in a difficult
position. We could either give away our hard work, or come up with
another solution. Although it was tought to do, there really was no
option: We had to rewrite the code, from scratch, for Windows 2000.

I think the biggest thing keeping Linux from being truly competitive
with Microsoft is this GPL. Its draconian requirements virtually
guarentee that no business will ever be able to use it. After my
experience with Linux, I won't be recommending it to any of my
associates. I may reconsider if Linux switches its license to
something a little more fair, such as Microsoft's "Shared Source".
Until then its attempts to socialize the software market will insure
it remains only a bit player.

Thank you for your time.

Re:Shared Source is the ideal license (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793595)

I have a tough time believing that you have the skill to make genuinely useful improvements to the Linux kernel... yet somehow seem totally unable to understand the GPL.

Oh well!

(yeah, parent's a troll, but I'm bored).

Re:Shared Source is the ideal license (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793637)

That gets posted in practically every thread on /.

It's not even a matter of understanding the GPL, they have no idea what they are talking about (Gnu Protective License?! come on).

Feel your pain, brother... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793661)

Lunix will prosper only when it is licensed under the GNAA Protective License (GPL). Either that, or the Microsoft Shared Source License. It would make it a viable alternative to the awesome Windows Operating System, something which it can never hope to achieve with it's current restrictive licensing scheme.

Whatever (5, Insightful)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793571)

This is just another attempt to try to dillute the term "open-source" by injecting their new buzzword "shared-source".

Re:Whatever (4, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793594)

They're innovating here!!!

Geez, you anti-american zealots...

Tom

Re:Whatever (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793620)

Hey mods, the above post was a JOKE!!!

MSFT always claims they're "innovating" ...

bah

Some mods are just plain stupid me thinks.

Re:Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793727)

not stupid, just a using new innovative way of moderating

Re:Whatever (5, Interesting)

back_pages (600753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793636)

Maybe.

On the other hand, if Microsoft "embraced" enough of the open-source philosophy that it placated corporate customers, won't that be a significant blow to the rise of linux?

I doubt those corporate customers are interested in all the feel-good benefits of open source. The feel-good benefits are probably the most difficult for Microsoft to adopt. If I had to guess on what "shared-source" really means, I would guess "Beating linux and open source at its own game in order to solidify the corporate market."

Re:Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793753)

Absolutely correct. And that's why we should not buy into this marketing ploy. I'm going to call it Microsoft Secret Source, or SS for short.

Isn't it sad... (1)

I_Heat_Sexylaid (675028) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793578)

When mediocre products try to immitate PostgreSQL?
A full-featured, standards compliant server, that lets you do such righteous stuff as compile Python support right in.
T-SQL, you got a face like 40 miles of bad road...

Microsoft are not pondering anything (3, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793579)

They said they would consider it if they received sufficient requests from customers. Thats like me saying I would consider it if I received enough request for me to wear a tutu while on site with clients. At the end of the day consideration is not action.

Re:Microsoft are not pondering anything (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793587)

Yes, except if you want to keep those clients, it helps a lot to meet their requests, no matter how crazy they may be. If for some reason 75% of your clients require you to wear a tu-tu, it's usually a good idea to do it. Unless you want to lose 75% of your clients.

Re:Microsoft are not pondering anything (5, Funny)

Lxy (80823) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793612)

I, for one, would welcome our tutu wearing overlords.

You can consider this a request.

Dear valued Microsoft customer (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793591)

Hello Dear Valued Microsoft Customer,

As part of our Shared-Source[tm] initiative, you have requested to see the main SQL server[tm] source code.

We at Microsoft[tm] strive to meet customer demands. As part of the Shared-Source[tm] initiative, we are happy to disclose parts of our source code, in stages, after approval of our Customer's requests.

Your request has been approved. Please find attached to this email the main SQL server[tm] source code.

We hope this source code disclosure meets your requirements. The next scheduled disclosure will happen in 450 days.

Regards,
Joe Blow, Customers Satisfaction Manager, Microsoft Corp.


PROJECT: SQL_SERVER
FILE: main.c

/* This file is part of the Microsoft SQL server[tm]. COPY IS STRICTLY UNAUTHORIZED WITHOUT MICROSOFT'S APPROVAL. AND EVEN SO, YOU BETTER WATCH OUT IF YOU BREATHE WHILE LOOKING AT IT!
*/

#include <common.h>

main(int argc, char **argv)
{
start_sqlserver(argc,argv);
}

Re:Dear valued Microsoft customer (3, Funny)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793699)

There's at least 1 bug, 1 possible issue and 2 coding style issues there.

Re:Dear valued Microsoft customer (4, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793739)

for a four line program that's actually pretty good :)


Re:Dear valued Microsoft customer (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793762)

Other than main should return int, what are those bug prey tell?

Re:Dear valued Microsoft customer (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793787)

It's windows. The proper declaration for main is:

int wmain(int argc,wchar_t **argv)

UTF-16 is Windows native, UTF-8/ANSI is slower.

Re:Dear valued Microsoft customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794038)

Sounds about right. This is Microsoft after all.

shared source (3, Interesting)

H9000 (529061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793602)

shared source is not opensource or a license like BSD or GPL so I'm not interested an I will stay with potsgres.

Re:shared source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793674)

Pots Gres?

Re:shared source (1)

Mr Ambersand (862402) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793943)

Pots Grass. Speed kills. Wine is fine but whiskey's quicker.

Anything else I can help you with? ;-)

sybase (3, Interesting)

datadriven (699893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793604)

Do they need permission from sybase to do that?

Re:sybase (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793630)

Oh come on, give the guys a break. They already disclosed the *WHOLE FRIGGIN' API* for their sql server. You know, SELECT, INSERT and all...

Re:sybase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793654)

I wonder if mysql will fully support transactions someday then it can be as good as SQL Server was in 1997.

Re:sybase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793660)

This is not funny but insightful you idiot moderators. MS SQL Server was originally bought from Sybase. It is rumoured that it was rewritten then, but still...

Re:sybase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793740)

Well, the moderators have done it, they actually got me to start meta-moderating.

And yes, it's been completely rewritten from the Sybase code they originally had in SQL 4.2x.

7 hours since the last story (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793611)

Checking for dupes?

Underpant gnome problem solved (5, Insightful)

zenmojodaddy (754377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793615)

1) Ship half-arsed product.
2) Let customers spot and fix all bugs, but don't give them the right to use the code they write.
3) Charge same customers again for new and improved product.
4) Profit!

At least until they find out what Free software is really all about... at which point the game is up.

Do you know MS SQL server at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793917)

1) Ship half-arsed product.
2) Let customers spot and fix all bugs


Why is this +5 insightful? If you think MS SQL server is "half-arsed" or somehow not mature enough to have had the bugs shaken out of it yet, then you have clearly never ever used it.

is it one time look (2, Interesting)

camcorder (759720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793621)

I really wonder those shared-source service of Microsoft? Is it checking source only one time? I hardly believe any other developer get to the point he wanted by just checking source at once. So it's actually no use at all apart from marketting trick.

Dont hold your breath. (2, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793652)

Regardless of the fact that 'shared source' is not 'open source' ( actually its worse, as it could potentially create 'tainted programmers' and ruin their careers, and any open project they touch ) i dont see Microsoft letting anyone take a peek at one of their few GOOD products..

Too much risk for them. Just imagine the next 'slammer worm'...

Honestly Great News (4, Insightful)

occamboy (583175) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793667)

While shared source is not nearly as good as open source, this is pretty dramatic stuff. Microsoft would only be discussing this publicly if they believe that they're getting seriously hurt by open source stuff, e.g., PostgreSQL and mySQL.

This means that open source is really and truly getting a serious chunk of the market.

Personally, I've been using PostgreSQL in situations where I'd otherwise be using SQL Server if PostgreSQL did not exist. PostgreSQL is phenomenally powerful and robust. And, for those who want to go the Windows route, its new Windows installer is so user-friendly that it approaches SQL Server in that department.

Shared source, half for me half for you? (1)

SpamMonkey (850104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793684)

How exactly does shared source work? With various other FREE and Open-Source databases out there (MySQL, PostGreSQL) then why would people be tempted? The TCO of a windows server is lower admittedly but that's only because your server management team need to be less skilled to start with. With a linux/unix server you're stuck with a system that requires more competant Admins right from the start but once the system is up and running they get to sit around all day playing tetris. Without getting into the linux/windows debate surely microsoft opening up their systems to any kind of peer review is better than them keeping it closed down? Hopefully with it being open (and I hop ethey mean the recent versions and not MS-SQL2000) then maybe more skilled developers can take a look at the code and pass across suggestions? Even if we end up suggesting improvements for MSSQL surely that's better than trying to pander to MS to improve a flawed system? (by flawed I mean that MS_SQL has severe problems when your DB gets to 2TB). Just a thought.

Gift of polution (3, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793691)

SQL Server is a joy to use, in medium-sized databases. So if MS was truly sharing it with the world gratis, that would be wonderful.

But the bigger concern is that by opening their source code, every open source database is now subject to a lawsuit from MS, claiming that it misappropriated some for-loop or comment line that appeared in SQL Server.

IMHO, the open-source DBs are catching up to SQL Server just fine, and would be far better off without the lawsuit risks associated with MS exposing its source code.

Re:Gift of polution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793890)

you never used mySQL before.

mysql is easier to use than mssql, certianly more robust, and has more features. with the myriad of GUI's out there for mysql it's the tits.

what fool would want to see the source for mssql???

BTW, for those getting ready to pan mysql, slashdot uses it and CERTIANLY does more database activity than your piddly little business does. ( 400,000 employees all accessing the DB at once is piddley.)

Yikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793703)

They just need to get rid of those pesky prefixes first... like:


syb_open(...), syb_close(...), syb_reindex(...)

Anything to keep your attention (0)

MrSoundAndVision (836415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793722)

I wouldn't expect MS to open much. Their products are so insecure it would probably be a disaster. This is a dying company. The only product they innovate now is litigation against creativity.

Is this useful? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793746)

I have not used shared source, so please correct me if I misunderstand this:

When they did this to ATL 7, that seemed useful since that is a lightweight library that developers commonly call into. A C++ developer could trace into it and it would help them figure out a crash in their app, or contribute bug fixes/improvements to ATL7.

I want access to the source for libraries that I call into directly such as MFC. That would me debug MFC applications better. Shared source of IE would help me figure out why IE doesn't render something properly or why it crashes when I embed it in my application to do something.

But what good is shared source to SQL server? SQL server isn't a library I call into directly. I don't plug-in to it or link to it directly. It is a huge program, and not likely that an individual developer will find bugs or contribute patches to it. So what's the point? Do I understand the purpose of shared source?

Re:Is this useful? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793802)

*not likely that an individual developer will find bugs or contribute patches to it*

that would be against the license of shared source, you can't really do anything with the source.

the real purpose of it is just another checkmark on the evaluation paper when considering them against an open source rival.

A little poem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793757)

Oh Microsoft, oh great giant, have thou at last found the joys of open source?
Will thy code be available to me, as it now is to thy developers or thy partners?
Will the flag of Windows proudly flutter beside Tux, no longer divided, but united?
Will it?
Will it?
I do not think so, Microsoft.

NO (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793758)

>Is Microsoft reinventing themselves, and are >they ready to learn the benefits of open source?

NO. Messages like the above only serve to confuse and distract. Microsoft's shared-source scheme is nothing like open-source.

Re:NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793949)

Everyone raise their hands if you believe that commercial software is immoral and nobody should hold IP rights in source code.

Do we really need so-called, "free-market incentives" to work for future "rewards"?

PostgreSQL 8.0 for Win32 (1)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793777)

'Nuff said. Rumor has it that this even has some lower level marketing types at Oracle a little nervous.

Another step in the right direction!! (1)

LqqkOut (767022) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793788)

While not exactly source code, I was very impressed to see the inclusion of the SQL Server 2000 System Tables [microsoft.com] when I got my copy eons ago. Now with the hints of shared-source, I'm actually less suprised than I might have been.

shared source is a trap (4, Informative)

idlake (850372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793803)

Once you look at someone else's source code, you run the risk that they claim that your own future work is "derived" from theirs. Some shared source agreements are quite explicit about that, while others are merely silent on the issue. Some shared source agreements also explicitly state that the code you are looking at is unpublished and contains trade secret information.

The only way to guard against those claims is not to look at other people's source code unless the license not only permits you to look but explicitly permits you to reuse. Open source licenses do that, shared source licenses don't.

Shared source isn't new. AT&T UNIX and DEC VMS were "shared source", for example. Companies hand out shared source licenses because they are too cheap to fix their own bugs and want to get bug reports with fixes from customers, because they want customers to be tied more closely to their product (making it harder to switch), because they want others to do their porting work for them, and/or because they actually want to lay traps for open source developers.

If you have looked at any shared source source code under a non-open source license, do not work on any related open source or proprietary project; you would be putting those projects in jeopardy. Do not be fooled by "shared source" that's downloadable with a click-through: it may look like open source at first glance, but whether it's downloadable or whether you have to go into a room with five lawyers and sign an elaborate agreement may make some difference if it came to a court case, but it doesn't change the principle. Furthermore, most of those cases won't get to court: your future employer or open source project will probably unceremoniously dump you if there is even a hint that you have looked at shared source.

In other words, before you look at some company's proprietary source code, think carefully whether you want that company to own a piece of your brain for the rest of your life, because that's what it comes down to.

Re:shared source is a trap (1)

enosys (705759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793953)

How often has someone actually been harmed by this trap? Windows source is shared with various companies and universities yet I haven't heard of any problems arising from that.

What about Timeline? (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793805)

What about the Timeline patents? Is this going to be used to allow Timeline to harass companies other than MS?

Will Sybase be unhappy about this ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793821)

I wonder if the folks at Sybase will be unhappy. SQLServer is basically a fork of the Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise product. [ispirer.com]

I suppose the freetds [freetds.org] folks could benefit from it, but SQLServer is probably patent encumbered, so perhaps they'll avoid looking ?

MS DO SUPPORT OPEN SOURCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793847)

WTL is FREE and OPEN and its pretty damn good. What I would like to see is somebody port this to Linux as a PORTING aid to help get more apps onto the linux desktop.

WTL [sourceforge.net]

What would Sybase thinh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793860)

I wonder how much of the SQLServer code base is actually Sybase code still? Could get interesting from a legal perspective if they ever did try and release it under shared source.

transparency, not openness. (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793991)

Compare it with a dictatorship where all decisions are exposed to the public. The public can whine, rant, yell, scream, protest, but it's still the govt's decision anyway.

Open Source is in contrast, a democratic government, run by the people. Open source isn't about "opening" your source. Open source projects are community driven, designed for and by the people.

If Microsoft wants to share its SQL server source, they must ensure:
a) That the whole thing is released so people can compile it at home,
b) Support the community requests to change this or that part of the code
and most important, c),
NOT use this as a weapon to end the competition. How do we know that they'll sue open source projects because one of their developers has even glimpsed at Microsoft code?
Call it FUD if you like, but As much as Bill says GPL can infect projects, I fear that the "microsoft share code" will "infect" open source projects so that Bill can sue them all and vanquish the competition.

If you view "shared" source you're forever tainted (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794011)

Once you look at M$ "shared" source, you're tainted - you're now subject to having M$ review all the code you ever write to make sure you didn't "steal" the ideas you saw in M$'s code.

Have a nice career - my company won't even interview anyone who's signed one of those "agreements" that allow folks to see M$ code. You have to sign an affadavit that you've never done such a thing to work with us.

Pondering ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794015)

Bill G: Steve, are you pondering what I'm pondering ?
Steve B: Sure Bill. But how are we going to find chaps our size?

Lets just look at why they are doing it: (2, Interesting)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794029)

1) They tried to 'dirty' open source, and still do, calling it viral, commie... dirty words in the US/IT dictionary.

2) Open source is a big buzz word, something each IT manager is worrying his job over.

3) Open source is seen as growing competition against M$, they want to remove any unique selling points

4) pressure from gov's looking to switch to open source

IBM have opensourced a DB, sun have/are about to.

So Microsoft invent shared source... I thin they were forced to do this... so they went along... it is pathetic at least.

Now they are trying to us thier 'shared source' to confuse the unwashed masses that microsoft has the benefits of open source... the best of both worlds... pathetic shit like that.

still, doesn't work on me.
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