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The State of the Open Source Union, 2004

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the wide-angle-lens dept.

Debian 211

Mark Stone writes with a thoughtful look back at the year 2004 in open source, pointing out both major gains and inevitable uncertainties. He writes "2004 stands out as a year in which open source consolidated its position as a valuable and accepted approach to business and technology policy. A less obvious but significant trend underlies all of this: even as open source business models join the mainstream, the open source development model remains a mysterious process on which large technology companies struggle to capitalize. Key issues and developments have played out in four areas: legal, policy, business, and technology." Read on for the rest.


The biggest non-story of the year was SCO's legal efforts. So far SCO has not been able to make substantial headway with a single one of its legal claims, and indeed has suffered a number of significant setbacks in court.

This is certainly good news for Linux and open source. Going back five or six years, clearly one of the major obstacles to widespread adoption of open source software was the uncertain legal status of both the software and the licenses. While this aspect of open source is still an unfinished saga -- more on that shortly -- the inability of SCO, through either legal or PR channels, to undermine Linux gives reason for confidence about the future.

The real story about SCO in 2004 has in fact been the telling of that story. While mainstream media coverage of SCO has varied widely -- sometimes accurate, sometimes resembling coverage of the OJ Simpson trial -- Groklaw has emerged as a steady voice of reason and objectivity adeptly defusing all attempts at "FUD" PR around the case.

2004 has been, especially as an election year, a controversial year for the phenomenon of blogging. Whether blogging will provide a sustainable alternate voice in journalism is very much an open question. A few blog sites, however, have shown what a handful of dedicated individuals can do in the face of much larger, and better funded PR machines. Groklaw is an outstanding example of the positive journalism effect that blogging can have.

The legal front brought other good news for the open source community. Norway's Supreme Court acquitted Jon Johansen, and the Norwegian Economic Crime Unit opted not to appeal the decision. In the United States the Digital Millenium Copyright Act still remains the law of the land, but the Recording Industry Association of America has made little progress in forcing ISPs to disclose the identities of alleged file swappers.

A more troubling legal trend is the shift in debate about the intellectual property status of open source software. The principles behind the "copyleft" approach have gained continued acceptance, and have even been leveraged as an integral part of some business models. The debate now, however, centers more around patents that copyright.

IBM has been out in front of the patent issue. Their open source license was the first to explicitly address patent licensing as an issue above and beyond copyright, and they've taken steps, even recent steps, to see that open source development is unencumbered by patent concerns. IBM is not the only company putting patents in the open source domain. Sun Microsystems recently announced they will make patents available under their recently approved Common Development and Distribution open source license (CDDL).

All of this would seem to be good news for the open source community, especially given that Poland's objections have put a temporary halt to the Europan Union software patent initiative. Appearances can be deceiving, however. IBM is a supporter of software patents. Sun's gesture is in fact intended to create a competitive advantage for OpenSolaris over Linux, since the patent protection Sun offers applies only to work licensed under the CDDL -- in other words, not Linux. In a recent commentary, Bruce Parens said, "So while claiming to make the patents available to open-source developers, Sun can sue folks who work on Linux rather than Solaris."

The biggest patent concern comes from Microsoft. In a speech in Australia, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed that Linux violated more than 200 patents. While this may be more hype -- or hope -- than fact, it does tip Microsoft's hand in terms of what tactics they are willing to use to meet the Linux competitive threat.


All other things being equal, customers prefer an open system to a closed one, and vendor choice over vendor lock-in. In the IT world in general, and between Windows and Linux in particular, all other things are not equal, which makes platform choice complicated. More and more, however, organizations are seeing Linux as a viable platform choice that

  • Lowers up-front licensing fees
  • Has the support and backing of significant technology vendors, whether small, medium (Red Hat), or large (IBM, Novell)
  • Avoids vendor lock-in at both the platform and application level

These claims are independent of the more controversial claims about improving security and lowering total cost of ownership. 2004 has added an interesting additional element to the mix: the desire of government organizations outside the United States to not be dependent on a large, American technology company whose revenues exceed the gross national product of most nations.

This software declaration of independence has taken several forms. Sometimes it seems simply to be a negotiating tactic to force Microsoft to lower prices. India may be an example.

Sometimes, however, price is not the issue. Munich, for example, committed to making the switch to Linux despite direct lobbying efforts by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In the case of a high tech country like Germany, this decision is probably influenced by the reluctance to be dependent on an American company guilty of monopoly practices.

The situation in the developing world is somewhat different. Unshackled by significant requirements of backward compatibility, emerging economies like Venezuela's have a chance to make a clean start and avoid what they perceive as the pitfalls and inefficiencies in older IT infrastructures.

The policy approach in China is even more alarming to traditional technology vendors. China clearly does not want to build an economy dependent on outside production or services, whether it's factories or satellite launches. In the software world China has made it clear that it can and will build its own platform and application stack leveraging open source components, if that is what it has to do to maintain control of its software destiny.


The North American market for computer technology has, in many ways, reached the saturation point. A Pentium 4, to say nothing of a 64-bit processor, is already overkill for most office desktop applications. Older versions of the Microsoft Office suite, and older versions of Microsoft Windows, are often quite adequate for business productivity needs. The problem for traditional technology vendors is aggravated by the fact that Linux, Open Office, and other open source software may now be good enough.

On the one hand this accounts for why policy issues and the international technology market have become so important: this is where technology vendors see the biggest opportunity to grow new business. On the other hand, open source is forcing some significant changes in the software market domestically.

The most visible effect of open source has been the commoditization effect. Microsoft, as we've seen, has been forced to acknowledge the competitive impact Linux is having, and to cut prices overseas in response to this competition. Yet even companies like BEA acknowledge that open source will have an increasing commoditizing effect, meaning that they will cede lower levels of the application stack to freely available open source software and seek to add value further up the stack.

The most dramatic concession to commoditization in 2004 has been the announcement that Sun is open sourcing Solaris. Said one Sun executive who asked to remain anonymous, "Do you think we'd be open sourcing Solaris if we had any other way to compete with Linux on price? Of course not."

If anything, the opening of Solaris reinforces that Sun has been unable to find a business model built around Linux. Given that competitors like IBM and HP have, with varying degrees of success, been able to integrate Linux into their business models, one suspects that there are deeper problems at Sun than the opening of Solaris can solve.

The bottom line is that Sun is still trying to compete with, rather than embrace Linux. The CDDL doesn't extend patent protection to anyone working under a different open source License, and the CDDL is incompatible with the GPL, meaning none of the Solaris code can be used to benefit Linux.

This move, of using a license as a competitive tool, is one of the more subtle but more important business trends to emerge from open source in 2004.

The most common approach is a dual-licensing scheme, utilized by Trolltech (for Qt), Sleepycat (for Berkeley DB), MySQL, and newcomer db4objects, among others.

In each case the company makes its core product available under the GPL, or else under a similar viral-type license. Since each of these software products is intended to be embedded within or combined with other software to create a derivative product, companies are forced to make their own product available as open source, or to approach the originating company about separate licensing under proprietary terms.

The result is a very low-cost distribution mechanism for the open source companies, as well as a cheap in-bound sales channel of pre-qualified leads.

Of course, to be able to dual-license, you must have created all the code in question, or have full rights granted to you for all the code in question. Thus this very successful open source business model is incompatible with the open source development model; each of the companies using the dual-license approach does all, or nearly all of their software development in-house.


What then of the open source development model? Has it enjoyed the growth and widespread acceptance that open source business models have?

Certainly 2004 saw a number of significant releases for open source projects. GIMP 2.0 was finally released, as was Gnome 2.6. Large companies as well as individual projects made strides. IBM announced the release of its Java database, Cloudscape, as open source. Novell released SUSE Enterprise Server 9.

The year's most significant releases were the 2.6 series of Linux kernels, and the 1.0 release of Mono. With 2.6, Linux now has many of the features needed to compete as an enterprise-class server: better multiprocessor support, failover and hot-swap support, better journaling file system support.

Mono is absolutely critical if the open source community is to compete in the application development market. C# and .Net will be important application building blocks for the forseeable future, and Linux and open source need to be viable approaches.

The Debian Project has undergone an interesting evolution in the last year. Long-time Debian users have often complained about the slow pace at which Debian moves, favoring security and stability over feature growth. The result is a very solid server system, but one that, for the end user, often lacks support for advanced hardware.

The solution, which seems so obvious now, is independent distributions that leverage Debian as a base but target the end user with ease-of-use features and hardware-support features that have yet to make it into Debian. Two successful projects heading down this path are Ubuntu, which follows the Gnome approach to usability, and Mepis, which follows the KDE approach to usability. Either distribution will give you an easy install, access to Debian packages and apt-based network updates, but with more advanced hardware support and an improved UI over stock Debian.

By far the biggest development story of the year, however, has been Firefox, the browser component of the Mozilla project.

Timing is everything. Security, privacy, and spyware have become major concerns in 2004. Microsoft has refused to significantly update Internet Explorer (IE) until Longhorn is released, which could be in 2006 (as in "Santa Claus could be real"). The Mozilla Foundation capitalized on this opportunity with a major fundraising blitz for the foundation and PR blitz around Firefox; this included a full-page New York Times ad.

In November, Firefox 1.0 was released, and to date downloads exceed 10 million. Mozilla has raised over $250,000 in its fundraising campaign. While IE's market share still hovers around 90%, Firefox has rapidly grown to 5% market share, and put a dent in IE's market share for the first time in years. Industry analyst Gartner Group has looked at the results of 2004 and declared the browser war open again.

Looking ahead to 2005, it's interesting to ponder the tech sector's differing response to open source business and open source development models. The business models are reasonably well understood and generally accepted now. Not everyone is leveraging open source as a business play, but everyone understands it is one viable strategy to pursue.

On the development side, however, the results of open source continue to confound the establishment. Why did no one see the Firefox phenomenon coming? Equally important, why isn't anyone (AOL) attempting to leverage Firefox's market success and technology advantages?

With Solaris, it's interesting to note that even supporters of OpenSolaris admit it sees no real development savings to opening Solaris; the benefits are all on the marketing side. Ben Rockwood blogs "It's going to take Sun more work to maintain it open source than it will to just leave it closed."

Yes, open source has become mainstream. But that mainstream presence needs to be more than a commodity benefit to companies willing to leverage the results of open source. Will mainstream technology companies figure out how to anticipate and collaborate with open source development as a deep part of their technology strategy? That's a big question that 2005 may answer.

Mark Stone is an open source consultant and freelance writer living in the Sierra Nevada region of Northern California. He can be reached at

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The State of Open Source (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805411)

Stallman still smells

Propz to GNAA

You Did It! (1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805424)

Yay! m4d pr0p3Z!

Re:The State of Open Source (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805461)


No link (0, Troll)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805420)

It would have been nice to include a link to the material, so us non-subscribers could have perused the material while waiting for the 'please move along' dialog to go away...

Re:No link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805557)

This is the material.

Re:No link (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805610)

You're missing the point....the material was inaccessable while the 'nothing to see here' dialog was up.

Troll??? (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805638)

Isn't this typical...

I point out (correctly) that non-subscribers couldn't even see the material until they were cleared to post to it, and suddenly I'm a 'troll'.

Last time I try to be helpful.

Re:Troll??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806674)

Last time I try to be helpful.
Oh gee whatever are we to do without your sagely advice. You've been here for, hmm.. must be 2 weeks or so given your UID?

Do us all a favor and go read [] which is more your pace.

And oh, yeah... STFU :p

OSS for voting ! (4, Insightful)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805444)

I hope Hillary Clintons bill does go through. Although Diebold and the GOP will stonewall it, I think that this would be the PERFECT environment for OSS. Get a university to write it.

Re:OSS for voting ! (4, Interesting)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805699)

After that, it would be nice if our government funded an open-source "TurboTax" replacement. I find it annoying that expensive commercial software is required to make sense of our tax laws and forms.


Re:OSS for voting ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805902)

Uh, how about the government tries to simplify the tax code instead? Idoit.

Re:OSS for voting ! (1)

jmacleod9975 (636205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806385)

You do what? Simplify tax codes?

Re:OSS for voting ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806757)

It's spelt 'Idiot'.

Re:OSS for voting ! (0)

SpongeBobLinuxPants (840979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806586)

You can efile federal taxes for free online ( from several companies, TurboTax included.

The Statue Of The Union: +1, Patriotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805721)

has been subjugated to the world's most dangerous and inarticulate leader []

Thanks for nothing,
Kilgore Trout, CEO

Re:OSS for voting ! (2, Interesting)

size1one (630807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805816)

Don't limit it to just 1 government application. There are numerous applications that all levels of government need. Opensource is the perfect fit for government entities because they arent there to make money, they are there to serve the people in the most efficient manner possible.

Re:OSS for voting ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806034)

If some people can't even figure out basic paper ballots, computer assisted voting will blow their minds!


The voting system isn't being hampered by "butterfly" ballots (which only requires simple line following skills) or problems getting to voting locations (solved by planning ahead of time). Voting is being screwed up by idiots and those that over-amplify/distort the few problems for selfish political gain. And, of course, everyone wants their side to win so it's only to easy to drum up hysterics if it hurts the opposition.

And who the hell would trust universities, the largest institutions of political bias and suppression, to create a honest voting system?

Joe Sheep (and slashdotters), that's who.

Need a Constitution too... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805445)

We the People of the United Open Sourcers, in Order to form a more perfect Code Base, abolish FUD, insure programmatic Tranquility, provide for the common security, promote the general technological Welfare, and secure Blessings of Library to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United Open Sourcers of the World.

Re:Need a Constitution too... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805746)

The only question is, who is Mark Stone, and why do I give a crap about what he thinks the state of this non-existant "union" is?

Oh, he's Yet Another Software Consultant? And I don't give one? Okay, thanks.

Re:Need a Constitution too... (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806003)

We'll need a Bill of Rights as well, post corrections below.

  • There shall be no law to prohibit sharing of knowledge, or the right of people to communicate or post messages on Slashdot.
  • A well-educated populace being essential to the progress of Open Source, the right of people to keep and use the instruments of science shall not be infringed.
  • No software shall be installed forceably on personal possessions, be it brain or computing device, or required to participate in protected communication.

From the article: (4, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805457)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed that Linux violated more than 200 patents.

Honestly, how do you take such a claim seriously??? If M$ wasn't such a financial juggernaut, this would be hilarious. As it stands, it's depressingly sobering...M$ has the financial clout to do a lot of damage in court, event if the cases are ultimately thrown out.

Re:From the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805551)

Ballmer didn't make the original claim: PJ's little insurance sugar daddy did. It came from the Linux faithful.

Re:From the article: (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805662)

Just quoting the article as posted...I work with what I'm given.

Re:From the article: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806723)

Shhh, nigger, shhh. Good boy.

Re:From the article: (3, Insightful)

delire (809063) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805856)

As it stands, it's depressingly sobering...M$ has the financial clout to do a lot of damage in court

.. thankfully not here in the EU - given that software patents are generally considered destructive right up to a parliamentary level. we'll see what the new swpatent draft looks like however. see []

also consider that the new GPL is looking closely at patents toward the end of greater resilience in court. meanwhile IBM, Redhat and Novell now provide indemnity to their enterprise linux customers where swpats are concerned, the market battlefield on which M$ would fight first.

as it stands it isn't quite as depressing as it was this time last year. anyway, it's not the court cases i worry about, it's the fact that the mere existance of software patents discourages innovation amongst many small development houses (where it all happens first).

Hey Balmer. (1)

rbochan (827946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806708)

Name them.

OSX killed Linux about 3 years ago (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805473)

Linux, the free Unix clone, will always rule the server.

OSX, however, will own the desktop.

KDE/GNOME just suck too bad.

Re:OSX killed Linux about 3 years ago (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805965)

So do you think that OpenUsability [] will NEVER achieve success?

Always is such a long time...

Firefox is good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805475)

But it leaks quite a bit of memory. If you want corporations like AOL to pay attention to a product like Firefox, more attention needs to paid to minor details like this.

regarding MEPIS (2, Informative)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805480)

As a newbie it's great, but when you need to install new things it gets trickier.

Been attempting apt-get install plone to work with no success.

WTF? (2, Insightful)

LordHunter317 (90225) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805485)

So some freelance writer makes a store for /. and all of the sudden it's the offical F/OSS "State of the Union".

CmdrTaco, guys, nice try, but you need to quit stroking your egos now.

This is probably the worst article ever.

Re:WTF? (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805949)

Also, the article should be titled "The State of the Open Source Union in USA, 2004" since most of the article only discusses things related to USA. Not to mention, naming it "The state of the ... Union" which refers to USA.

RIP Jef Raskin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805522)

Sad news - I just read on Yahoo that Jef Raskin, the creator of the original Mac, has died. Even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contribution to overpriced hardware and poor operating systems. Truly an American icon.

2.6 was in 2003, not 2004 (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805524)

This is just a technicality, but it should be noted that the 2.6 branch of the Linux kernel started with 2.6.0, which was officially released December of 2003, _not_ in 2004 as mentioned in the article.

Re:2.6 was in 2003, not 2004 (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805705)

I think the idea is that the impact of the 2.6 kernel was felt in 2004, even
though it was officially released in 2003.

Re:2.6 was in 2003, not 2004 (2, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805848)

I'm pretty sure this publication used the marketing calendar, not the gregorian one.

Re:2.6 was in 2003, not 2004 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806389)

+1 Intersightfunny

State of the American union. (5, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805543)

Well at least there weren't 68 clapping breaks and 22 uses of the word "Freedom".

Re:State of the American union. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805724)

U.S. State of the Union address = Propaganda.

Re:State of the American union. (4, Insightful)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805802)

The 22 uses of "Freedom" would have been more appropriate than in the US State of the Union address.

Re:State of the American union. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806214)

Yes, because "freedom" is obviously a bad word and we should revile anybody who suggests that we should promote it.

Re:State of the American union. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806240)

> Yes, because "freedom" is obviously a bad word and we should revile anybody who suggests that we should promote it. ...if you're rich.

Damn! that does work!


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805545)

1775-1783: The British crown presents a bill to American settlers who must now pay for their protection. Ungrateful settlers who are already allergic to taxes go on a rampage and attack tea boxes on a ship; several Americans are wounded in explosions. Americans win their sole victory in Saratoga when general Burgoyne realizes that Canadian merchants sold him ragweed instead of tea before his departure. Facing a mutiny he decides to surrender. In the following years Americans will lose most of their battles due to their lack of discipline and massive desertions. In 1781, 30,000 French soldiers & sailors accept to integrate 11,000 American mascots who will play music from afar while the French win the Battle of Yorktown.

1812: The American army is crushed by an army of spear hurling natives and drunken Scotsmen trying to invade Canada, and abandons annexation plans. During the 19 the century, several raids are led against Indian women and babies with the US troops achieving some victories, but fail in their effort to ethnically cleanse the Indians. Nevertheless, some successful slaughters will lead them to believe that they are mighty and courageous warriors.

1861-1865: Americans win an impressive victory against themselves but it took a while. The Civil War as it comes to be called, will turn out to be the only war Americans ever win. Mind you they beat themselves, but why digress.

1898: The Spanish succeed a master coup and get rid of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines at the expense of the Americans, leaving them the impression that they won the war. Soon the US discovers that there is no oil there, and that their new possessions are a wastebasket, more than anything else.

1900-1950: A series of military interventions against banana republics in South America and the Caribbean against people armed with slingshots and spears has a beneficial effect on the American ego.

1918: The Americans arrive just on time to see the victory of the French and the British against the Germans. They then turn around, and try to claim the high ground by sabotaging the peace treaty and stabbing France in the back when it tries to enforce reparations and prevent Germany from rearming, thus setting the stage for WWII.

1941-1945: While as many as 20 million Russians die bleeding the Wermacht to death, the US wait until the Germans are left with the Hitler Youth, a children's' force comprised of 14 year old soldiers to launch their assault. They are still saying today that they suffered heavy loses at their hands. In the whole Normandy Campaign they suffer less casualties than the French did in the first six months of 1940, and inflict less damage on the Germans, yet this is enough for them to claim they liberated Europe. That claim alone is the biggest piece of historical myth in history.

1950-1953: The US fails to beat North Korea, in 1953 the borders are still roughly what they were three years earlier.

1963-1973: Americans suffer cruelly from the lack of AC and marijuana of a poor quality in Vietnam. When they realize that their soldiers can be killed in a war, they retreat.

1983: The combined aviation, navy and ground troops apply an audacious plan and succeed to beat a bunch of Cuban workers armed with shovels in Granada. The celebrations go on for weeks with parades and chants of USA, USA.

1991: Americans align more soldiers than the French or the British combined and succeed in crushing an army of barefoot shiite drafted against their will who are armed with empty rifles and have barely had a thing to eat in months. But even this so-called victory is hollow as it is actually led by the Daguet division from France which leads the charge while American soldiers console themselves by rounding up prisoners for TV crews.

2003: Iraq. Unable to totally defeat resistance elements on its own...America is now shamelessly begging Third World Nations to pull its fat out of the fire.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805685)

This is really a sad attempt at copying the hilarious and true military history of France text going around.

Nice try, but it doesn't even come close.

It's hard work (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805560)

Yeah....reading that lengthy article is certainly "hard work".

But it's good to see Open Source is on the march...

Political, rather then merit-based alignment (2, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805567)

It's interesting that the writer would describe Munich's adoption of more OSS-ish stuff as due to an urge not to be dependent on big bad Redmond (a political decision) where as he credits Venezuela (described as an "emerging economy") with embracing a clean start without being weighed down by the "pitfalls and inefficiencies" of traditional systems (implying policy making by technologists, something that doesn't really resonate with current events in that country).

Venezuela, of course, is suffering more from self-inflicted wounds than anything else, and certainly the companies doing business there (or trying to, without getting nationalized) are likely to be making their own IT decisions based on low-friction extensions of how they already do things. It seems more likely that to the extent Chavez' government is making any thoughtful IT policy decisions, it's going to be driven by simple cash, or the lack of it.

The writer's comments on China are also somewhat puzzling. He indicates that China clearly doesn't want to be dependent on outside entities - but that doesn't lead directly to open participation in the OSS-sphere. They (as a matter of government policy, anyway) seem more inclined to establish their own proprietary standards, aimed at making more people dependent on their own industry players' wares and standards. Whether China leverages OSS and plays along, or simply uses that low-cost foothold to build their own stuff and then become MicroChina - we shall see! I think the writer is looking back (and forwards) through a rose-colored monitor on some of this stuff.

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (2, Funny)

killawatt5k (846409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805669)

MicroChina, damn I wish I would have thought of that. too bad is already taken

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805707)

Well, I was thinking about MicroAsia, too, but that's a lot like Micronesia... all the good stuff is taken! And Macromedia's probably already working on MacroChina.

Of course, there's always RedSoft, a distribution for the masses. Get it? Heh.

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805690)

Venezuela, of course, is suffering more from self-inflicted wounds than anything else, and certainly the companies doing business there (or trying to, without getting nationalized)

You have no idea what's going on in Venezuela, do you?. I'm surprised Fox News even covered Venezuela long enough for you to pick up this snippet of right-wing fear mongering.

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805823)

You have no idea what's going on in Venezuela, do you?

Um, actually, yes, I do pay attention to actual facts and everything! I'm more impressed by your completely vague (and cowardly anonymous) implication that my take on things is wrong without actually saying in what way it's wrong.

When I refer to self inflicted wounds in that country, I'm talking about the long term strikers, the thuggish election tactics, the pretension that they (unlike the foolish rest of the world that just can't quite get it right) have discovered a brand new, properly-tuned form of Socialism that will magically bring prosperity to the people there. Please. Running a nationalized semi-economy that tries to sell things to the rest of the world for hard currency while simultaneously condemning the very economic mechanisms that allow international trade to happen in the first place... its all so... Cuban. Of course, we know what a paradise that is. Imagine Cuba with huge oil reserves, and you'll know where Chavez (out of expediency, not love of freedom) is headed. He's trapped in a 40-year old view of the world, and has enough control over what happens in that country to make a lot of his people think that's simply the way it has to be.

In the meantime, he's borrowing money from China to build housing and win local popularity contests. China, of course, will take the money back in the form of cheap oil.

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805936)

Ah! Mod it a Troll without bothering to even read the news! Love it.

Just take about 30 seconds on Google, looking for keywords like "loan", "Venezuela", "China", "Oil", etc., and you'll get a real sense of how things are shaping up there. Venezuela will become an oil-producing client state of China's, plain and simple. I'm not trolling, I'm just reading the damn news!

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806046)

Well, considering the crowd that hangs out here, reading the news is trolling. Most of the people here couldn't base an argument on fact to save their lives. The funny part is that this is exactly what they accuse other people of doing. Silly liberals, er, I mean, progressives.

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (1)

killawatt5k (846409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806289)

I agree. google:"panama canal" china venezuela. (it really took 5 seconds)

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (5, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806767)

Cuba - under a strict embargo and with a superpower in direct opposition, has been doing far better than many other Carribian states - look at Haiti, for example. Heck, Cuba's lifespan is almost as long as that of the US. What a horrible example. There are plenty of examples of socialist collapse out there, but Cuba's a rather poor example.

the long term strikers

You mean the ones that opposed Chavez and supported Carmona - the replacement for Chavez after the coup whose first act was to dissolve the judiciary?

the thuggish election tactics

Please elaborate - this should be good. :) Be sure to only cover things that were only being done by one side, not both. And remember that those trying to destroy the economy and using a media monopoly that made Pravda look free and independent were the *anti-Chavez* side, not the pro-Chavez side.

the pretension ... brand new, properly tuned form of Socialism that will magically bring prosperity ...

Please quote Chavez talking about such a thing. He supports socialism - but, heck, even Spain is under a socialist government. What's the big deal?

He won 58% of the votes in a recall election monitored by *international monitors* (both the OAS and the Carter Center, both widely respected as election monitors in central and south America - both of which said the election was clean) despite the fact that the opposition owned essentially all media (apart from the Venezuelan equivalent of "PBS") and were viscious about using it against him, as well as attempting to sabotage the country's economy (in order to get him kicked out) via strikes.

Fox should really get over it. For better or worse, his "bricks and milk" plan - basically a modern day Robin Hood style appeal - has captured the hearts and minds of much of the urban and rural poor who historically have had little voice in the country. It's exactly the result of what you'd expect from his policies: high taxes on the wealthy that fund food kitchens and urban reconstruction. Seizure of unused land from wealthy landowners to give to the poor who were squatting on it. Etc.

It's kind of funny.... I read this one article of a reporter covering a protest around the time of the election. A huge crowd - tens of thousands of mostly blonde, light-skin anti-Chavez protestors clashed with roughly twice as many brown-haired dark-skinned pro-Chavez protestors, almost like some bizarre overbudget shampoo commercial. The smaller numbers of those with more Spanish ancestry have historically been the middle and upper classes and have typically held power, while the people with more native blood have typically been the poor and unempowered.

Save your "Socialism doesn't work, I told you so"s for when/if Venezuela's economy falters. Until then, it's not our responsibility - if we want to support democracy, we need to accept that Venezuela's poor are sticking up for this guy. That's one thing that seems hard for many people to accept: Democracy != Pro America. Democracy != Capitalism. Democracy != American ideals. Etc. Democracy equals the will of the people, for better or worse.

Re:Political, rather then merit-based alignment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805996)


Seriously, liberals, its getting old. If you were debating specific stories or facts that you believe Fox News misrepresented, it would be one thing. Instead we just see constant non-specific discounting of Fox News. Try to graduate past your 4th grade argument and debate things like an adult. People can disagree with you without being ignorant, you know.

Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strategy? (4, Insightful)

lpp (115405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805592)

Microsoft exists as a business entity. They offer an OS with arguably the most exposure of any OS, one many folks associated directly with general computer use. They offer a number of other products which tie in to, add to and build upon that OS and it's market share.

Why then shouldn't they go ahead and pursue a patent attack strategy in order to crush what they see as the competition? They are bound only to act within the confines of the law. There is no legal reason why they should play nice.

I'm not saying this because I like the possibility, but rather because if Linux supporters can come up with a cogent response to the question and present it to Microsoft in a manner likely to be received without substantial hostility (i.e. something different from "Don't use patents you m!@#$!@# a$$hatz"), then perhaps Microsoft would avoid this approach.

Re:Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strateg (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805726)

You are right. As is often the case, seemingly "mean" or even "unethical" business practices should highlight not that companies are 'evil,' but rather that the laws should be reconsidered.

MS has the ability (in terms of money and laws) to pursue these kinds of strategies. But if we the people do not like these strategies, we should strongly consider pushing for laws that force companies to act ethically.

Re:Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strateg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805900)

MS has the ability (in terms of money and laws) to pursue these kinds of strategies. But if we the people do not like these strategies, we should strongly consider pushing for laws that force companies to act ethically.

We can't even push for laws that keep companies from buying the legislators they need in order to do whatever they want, and you want us to write to our congresscritter to ask them kindly to not vote in favor of the big business interests that put them in power? Most of the letters probably wouldn't even make it past the staff without liberal amounts of cash in the envelope, and even then the letter will still wind up in the shredder.

Re:Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strateg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805755)

guess you never heard of being nice.

i guess its okay to shove old ladies out of the way as long as you dont break the law.

Re:Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strateg (1)

lpp (115405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806021)

To respond to folks who seem to think I'm in favor of Microsoft "not playing nice" and basically crucifying any and all competition, I personally think it's not nice to compete on other than the merits. I can't say it's immoral or unethical, but it certainly doesn't pass muster as nice, and I think in the long run, maintaining such a posture will hurt their image enough to be a bad strategy.

The point of my original post, however, was not to outline what I thought they should do, but instead to point out that a) Microsoft acts as a corporate entity out to protect its interests and b) anyone wishing to change their behavior has to provide Microsoft a reason to want to change.

Most folks discuss how it's wrong of them to do what they do, they heckle and deride them for their actions, but in the end Microsoft doesn't care what Linux users have said about them. They care about what affects their bottom line. They might even care about long term factors or unquantifiable factors. But until they are convinced that they want to act differently from how they currently act, they will continue to act as they have always acted.

Re:Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strateg (2, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805792)

"Why then shouldn't they go ahead and pursue a patent attack strategy in order to crush what they see as the competition? They are bound only to act within the confines of the law. There is no legal reason why they should play nice."

I think they would be afraid of the fall out that could possibly occur. Linux has gained enough support that an all out attack on it would very possibly bring about an all out attack on software patents and copyright law, as well as more antitrust suits. Their empire would slowly crumble if either of these two things were pushed very hard.

Re:Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strateg (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805878)

Yup, and citizens^H^H^H^H^H^H^Honsumers only exist to make the good people richer. They could have made Civics Class 5 minutes long and still been 100% truthful.

Re:Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strateg (2, Insightful)

ashSlash (96551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806344)

With the number of government organisations, military, schools etc already using OSS, Microsoft would have a real shit-fight on their hands.

They'd also go down in history as being Very Bad People and attract even more ill-will, from regular computer users in above organisations.

Before they ever attempt a patent attack, they have to win over the hearts and minds of the public to their view of software patents. I guess Gates' stabs at 'Communism' among the OSS movement were an early step in this direction.

Re:Why shouldn't Microsoft pursue a patent strateg (1)

micromoog (206608) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806454)

Why then shouldn't they go ahead and pursue a patent attack strategy in order to crush what they see as the competition? They are bound only to act within the confines of the law. There is no legal reason why they should play nice.

You're correct. This is exactly why business must be regulated and restricted by the government; corporations by design use law as a surrogate for ethics.

Open Source (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805614)

The state of Open Source:

Open Source = Amateur hour for programmers.

That is all

Oxymoron buzzword of the year (4, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805618)

inevitable uncertainties

No. (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805775)

Given a particle of which you have perfect knowlege of it's position, you can have no knowlege of it's velocity. This uncertainty is inevitable.

Yes. (1)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805844)


inevitable: incapable of being avoided or evaded

uncertain: not certain to occur

Re:Yes. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805909)

uncertainties - more than one uncertainty, Plural of uncertainty.

inevitable uncertainties - of these 20 uncertian items, some are inevitable to occure while some are not. There is no way to tell which are which.

Re:Yes. (1)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805997)

oxymoron: a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as cruel kindness); broadly : something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements.

Duh! I get what Mark Stone was trying to say, but it was still an oxymoron. My calling it an oxymoron doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense, but just that its an oxymoron.

No. (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806197)

He was using it in the sense of "risks". Inevitable risks.

Re:Oxymoron buzzword of the year (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805841)

Not really an oxymoron so much as a statement of the obvious. Or just an attempt to enbiggen the word future.

Release date for desktop Linux revealed! (3, Funny)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805623)

They've finally set a date - it's going to coincide with the release of Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Release date for desktop Linux revealed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806507)

April 4th? []

Article text (1, Redundant)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805679)

Oh, wait, never mind.

Groklaw (3, Insightful)

zeitgeist_chaser (607006) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805680)

While mainstream media coverage of SCO has varied widely -- sometimes accurate, sometimes resembling coverage of the OJ Simpson trial --
Groklaw has emerged as a steady voice of reason and objectivity adeptly defusing all attempts at "FUD" PR around the case.
While Groklaw's coverage of the SCO case has been the most thorough and detailed, it has hardly been objective. There has been virulent anti-SCO sentiment on that site from the very beginning of the case. That may be a reasonable attitude, but it is hardly objective.

Re:Groklaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805945)

No, no, no, you've got it all wrong. In the past, "objective" meant, roughly, "without bias or opinion." But today, every issue is black and white. Everything is politicized. You are with us or without us. Just look at the recent rebuttal to the Brittanica ex-editor regarding Wikipedia; the ex-editor argued against some of the merits of Wikipedia, so automatically he was AGAINST the community and THEREFORE he DIRECTLY SUPPORTS Bill Gates, George Bush, and Darl McBride. There is no room for debate anymore; all issues have been decided conclusively. Linux is perfect, Liberals aren't corrupt too, and SCO has committed the world's most ultimate injustice in at least the last 200 years.

Today, "reason and objectivity" means "agrees with me", or more accurately, "agrees with whatever is fashionable." In this case, what is fashionable in this community is probably what is correct, but don't you dare offer a dissenting opinion lest you be cast from society, forever to be associated with "them."

You keep using that word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806762)

Objective is the opposite of subjective. Subjective things are those that consist primarily of opinion, in which there are rarely any "right" or "wrong" answers, but things are primarily matters of taste. Objective things are those centered or focused on facts.

So while you would be correct that PJ has long held a subjective opionion that SCO is talking nonsense about the courts, she primarily comes out with hard, objective facts (e.g. the court filings, quotes from SCO, interviews & transcripts) which makes the site, on the balance, objective.

Bias is generally measured by a person relative to that person's own opinion. It is not unreasonable after hearing all the stories to favour one account over another. In that way, bias is not the same as prejudice. Prejudice, being when one forms an opinion before the facts are all in, is bad. Becoming biased against someone because they've constantly lied to you and you can prove it from their own words, can scarcely be considered unreasonable, illogical, or even in bad form.

Therefore, I submit that Groklaw is objective in that its focus is upon providing the court documents whereby one can make up one's own mind, though the commentary is at times subjective, and many readers there (myself included) have become biased against SCO due to its inconsistant statements over the course of this litigation--a great many of which are conveniently documented on Groklaw in a thoroughly objective manner.

At least, that's my opinion.

We really are in a beautiful place. (2, Interesting)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805688)

I'm going to JBoss World tomorrow and Wednesday.

Four yearas ago, if I'd said you could generate enterprise-level solutions with open source code, I'd have been laughed at.

Now, with JBoss, and all that goes into it, I can deploy an all-singing, all-dancing J2EE application, for only the cost of the hardware.

Drop in OpenReports, and you've got the complete package: Servlets/JSP/etc..., for the webby bits, JNLP and Swing for the interactive bits, and OpenReports for the bar-chart crowd.

Add in Eclipse as your IDE, and you're good to go.

The next challenge, will be to place this all in a neat little iconified environment so more-naive users can do really powerful things.

Re:We really are in a beautiful place. (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806234)

Yeah rewind 5 more years before that. I used to tell people I run Linux. People say "run to where?"

Re:We really are in a beautiful place. (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806621)

Except when you realize that Eclipse is a disaster and Java is not open-source.

Eclipse is a disaster? How so? (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806642)

I use it every day. Mostly it's fine with me.

WHAT? (4, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805696)

Groklaw was objective about SCO? You're joking, right?

Of course, this follows with the stereotypical /. thinking that for news to be objective, it has to follow your opinions...


Re:WHAT? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806128)

Umm, that seems to be pretty much everyone's opinion. Very few people will read something against their opinion and say wow they're right but I'm not going to change my thoughts on the matter. You either agreed with it, start agreeing with it, or think it is biased in the other sides favor.

His brush is too wide (2, Insightful)

Ih8sG8s (4112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805741)

I think many people (including me) would take offense to this guy packaging Opensource in with Free Software. He also takes the libery to call witness to the greatness of the opensouce development model.

I realize that to many people, OSS and Free Software are synonymous. To those who fall squarely within either camp, the differences are meaningful enough to warrant the existence of two separate groups. This guy seems to fall into the OSS camp, which is fine and well, but one can't have their cake and eat someone else's.

There are fundamental differences.

Re:His brush is too wide (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806372)

There are fundamental differences.

Is aqua blue?

2005 is the year and the goverment might help (4, Interesting)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805810)

I predict that Open Source will come into its own in 2005. While it has hit some bumps and trouble along the way this year and in recent years, especially with microsoft's flagerant abuse of a number of linux patents, there is no question that the whole concept in general is gaining mass acceptance.

I work in Washinton for one of the senators from Virginia and its interesting to see how even the legislature is starting to look at open source seriously. My boss, who sits on Ways and Means (the committe which is in charge of the budget) and a few of his friends have been talking amongst themselves and they are planning a number of hearings this year to discuss open source in general and more specifically as a way to save goverement money from going to huge software companies like M$ as a way to help cut some goverement spending.

2005 will indeed be an interesting year to watch.

Re:2005 is the year and the goverment might help (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806286)

Wasn't VA the first state to pass the CBITA?

Given that history of love for proprietary software companies, it is hard to imagine that there would not be sufficient campaign donor resistence to any consideration of free software.

GPL et al are not viral (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805977)

What's viral is copyright law. Mixing anyone's code with yours "infects" your code because it creates a derivative work. The only way you can legally do that with any copyrighted material is if you have permission from the owner (or fall into a Fair Use category).

Some open source licenses grant a blanket permission to do that without any strings attached. Many (like the GPL) do not. Few commercial licenses provide that permission, and many of those that do require some sort of royalty payments.

The GPL isn't viral, it just doesn't allow you to ignore the viral nature of copyright.

What's wrong with Americans? (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805984)

Can't they write even one sentence without bashing China? Even in an article meant for an international audience?

Re:What's wrong with Americans? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806570)

I wouldn't give them a chinaman's chance.

Mono is dead until theres a usable IDE (5, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806102)

And Monodevelop is not, at it's current point, usable.

It works fine for little "Hello World" apps, but once my project got to a small-mid size (6 or 7 files, about 1000 lines each), it slowed to a crawl. It took minutes to register each keystroke. I turned off the command-completion engine, thinking it was to blame - it wasn't. It seems to be whatever code that constantly rebuilds the class tree?

Whatever it is, it's unusable. I had to migrate my project back to Windows-land and do my work in SharpDevelop. Now, for whatever reason, Monodevelop won't even open my SharpDevelop cmbx file.

This is a big, BIG deal. My company, like so many others, has tons of old VB/Delphi and other Windows-RAD based code, all powered by SQL Server backends.

It's time to migrate most of this stuff to .NET. I actually managed to convince the brass that we avoid WinForms, and use GTK# to build our GUIs. I actually convinced them that we can support Sybase as well as SQL Server, being as the T-SQL is similar enough it won't involve any rewriting for us.

Did TFA mention FREE (beer) Sybase ASE for linux? A SQL Server killer - heck it is SQL Server - is HUGE. I've worked with MySQL, PostgreSQL, firebird, and they are all toy databases.

Sybase+Mono= a whole hell of a lot of people, and a whole lot of source code that was once very MS-specific, that can now be opened up to other platforms.

Anyhow, the brass were impressed when I showed them how the same executable runs under Windows, Linux, Solaris, etc, etc - and unlike Java, it looks and feels like our old application, not a kludgy pile of crap (Java evangelists need not reply, I've yet to be convinced. AWT sucks just like Swing. We simply have no use for the platform, get over it.)

The brass were blown away when I mocked up a little box, with Sybase built in, to run as a terminal server via NX - NX is cool as hell. Blows MS Terminal Services and Citrix right out of the water. When I told them the machine they were using was sitting at my home, and they were working over my home connections measly 128k upstream, hell - you just can't help but be impressed.

So now I'm at the point where they're actually considering linux. All of our apps on a linux-based self-contained blade server, complete turnkey for clients. It's about giving the client what they want, after all, and that's what they want. A box they plug in and does its job. (With a quarter mil per annum support agreement, and as we all know, once properly set up, there ain't shit to support).

So now I'm tasked with putting together an environment with which to work with the stuff/crosstest under linux. And I'm short one IDE.

It'll get there eventually, I'm sure. Just get your ass back to work Miguel. Actually, scratch that, finish your GTK# documentation first - or at least fix the goddamned hyperlink to it. There's plenty of great stuff in those namespaces (gtk, pango, etc), but to someone like me with no real prior experience with GTK, figuring it out can be a real bitch - though not impossible, but so far the process has been for me to read some C documentation, figure out the C# binding by way of autocompletion, and guess at the parameters.

This year was big, but IMO, Mono and Sybase were the two biggest things to hit the scene. I don't know if NX counts as this year or not, but if it does, it's a big thing too.

Note to any Gentoo users fighting to get Sybase to work: Nothing I found on google helped, installing Red Hat 7.2 under UML and installing sybase on that didn't work. ASE did nothing but segfault until I switched to NPTL, now it runs like a champ. (emerge unmerge linux-headers; emerge --oneshot linux26-headers; emerge glibc; reboot). This is probably applicable to other uncertified distros too.

Also, anyone know of any good free as in I'm-broke SQL Server->Sybase ASE migration tools? For years the flow has been 100% the other way, people ditching their big proprietary unix boxes in favor of Windows. So there's tons of stuff to convert ASE->SQL Server, but not the other way around. I've already written most of one out of necessity (just a bunch of scripts with some awk and sed voodoo to translate bcp format files and "sanitize" the CREATE scripts that Enterprise manager spits out). I plan to ask the boss if they got any objection to me slamming that stuff up on Sourceforge, they probably wont.

Re:Mono is dead until theres a usable IDE (2, Insightful)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806299)

Isn't the promise of C# to allow you to develop using Windows and deploy on Linux?

And, if that's the case, why bother with a "Mono IDE"?

Honestly curious here -- I am more in the Java camp - develop on Linux, Windows, or Solaris, and deploy J2ME on Cell Phones.
Also, develop on Linux, and deploy on Windows.

I have been thinking about the whole C# and Mono thing; and am almost ready to give it a whirl.


Re:Mono is dead until theres a usable IDE (1)

fdrebin (846000) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806440)

Toy databases?

Oh crap, are all those thousands of people whose lives depend on those toy databases in our application gonna die now?
Of course, I always thought *SQL Server* was the toy database, but what do I know? - but at least I'll admit to what I don't know.
Imagine writing all that otherwise apparently useful and informative commentary then blowing your credibility right out the door. Ouch.

Realistically, our perceptions are often colored by our current environment, which is very easy to forget. Seems to be the case here...

you Fail It5! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11806189)

vitality. Like an_ please moderate

Desktop Linux is still nowhere (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806516)

Hmm, status on Desktop Linux is conspicuously missing.

So when are commercial app developers going to release Linux versions of their apps along with Windows versions?

Until that question can be answered, Desktop Linux will continue to be a theoretical possibility with almost zero marketshare. No one cares about operating systems; the applications are everything.

I've gotten to used to Bush (0, Troll)

focitrixilous P (690813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806580)

I was looking for "And may Stallman continue to bless Open Source" at the end. And it just didn't read the same without frequant, akward pauses.

Evil Idea: Reverse Class Action (1)

wse7k (863345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11806688)

Is there such a thing as a reverse class action lawsuit(RCAL?)?

Imagine this:
RIAA files an RCAL against the class of people who "have traded copyrighted files on the internet without permission". RIAA wins, because they are legally correct. Then you run ads on TV like:

"Have you traded songs on the internet? You may be entitled to compensate up to ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Call Schwarz & Lloyd! (374)867-5309. Call now and gets whats coming to you!"

People call, RIAA laughs until it cries about how stupid people are.

Who thinks people would call?
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