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Microsoft Seeks Open Source Certification

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the guess-who's-climbing-into-the-bed dept.

GNU is Not Unix 220

eldavojohn writes "Microsoft is applying for OSI certification for its Shared Source Initiative. The move is described in a blog post by an MS OSS lab worker: 'Today, we reached another milestone with the decision to submit our open licenses to the OSI approval process, which, if the licenses are approved, should give the community additional confidence that the code we're sharing is truly Open Source. I believe that the same voices that have been calling for Microsoft products to better interoperate with open source products would voice their approval should the Open Source Initiative itself open up to more of the IT industry.' According to PC World, reaction from the community has been mostly positive."

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In Related Stories (5, Funny)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034195)

Record Low Temperatures in Hell Reported!

Lamb Found "Shacked Up" With Lion!

Paris Hilton Receives Rhodes Scholarship!

Bush Announces Iraq Withdraw!

Re:In Related Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20034211)

Hmmm.. [jakesjokes.com]

Still, this deserves a tag of "itsatrap".

FOSSies desperately fear MSOSS (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035289)

This is another fearful battle for the FOSSies, in their war against choice. Why do I say FOSSies fight choice? Look at their activities: they slam businesses which choose MS Office, they slam businesses and websites which create their pages for IE7 or use WMV formats, and of course they are desperate to stop anyone from using Windows... but most FOSSies can't even hit that level of delusion to try getting businesses to use Windows on the desktop (especially since the City of Munich has been stuck in a high profile Lunix total conversion quagmire since 2002).

So now it seems the FOSSies are even losing control of OSS- MS is coming out with their business-friendly license which doesn't lock companies in to purely FOSSie-approved apps. FOSSies only like choice when you choose the apps and platforms they dictate... so you can have any OS as long as it's Lunix (or OS X), you can have any web browser as long as it's Firefox (or Safari), and you can have any media format so long as it's Quicktime (kind of strange how they play favorites with the Apple monopoly).

The FOSSie denial of reality, and the fact that MS custom tailors their applications for business, is why MS will always win and FOSSies will always lose.

Troll on little trollies , troll on ..... (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035833)

So been living under that bridge for awhile, or you own micrSoft $tock$ ?

LOL

Gates in a press conference openly admits the only way they are doing well
in Asia is piracy, or it would be linux on top.

I find that hilarious.

You prolly reach over to your Vista box to check your portfolio.

Hahaha.

Re:FOSSies desperately fear MSOSS (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035943)

so you can have any OS as long as it's Lunix (or OS X)

Sir, you're full of it.

Lots of OSS works on multiple platforms, including the one of the Marketing Spenders. OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, MySql, PostgreSQL, Apache HTTPD, jBoss,...

Now, would you kindly return to the forest? Or wherever a decent troll's habitat is.

Parent is completely true and why shouldn't it be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20036681)

The fact that insecure zealots are modding things down inaccurately because of political motivation just serves to prove the point of the parent poster.

Keep on trying to suppress information, guys. Keep on with your hypocrisy and censorship.

Re:In Related Stories (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035857)

How many members have they recently stuffed onto to the OSI committee?

Re:In Related Stories (3, Funny)

bruno.fatia (989391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036559)

Record Low Temperatures in Hell Reported!
that means... that girl in college that said she'd sleep with me when hell froze... SOON!

My Apologies & Thoughts (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034199)

Ok, so after I submitted this story this morning (while I was grasping for sobriety), I noticed that this topic was already covered last week [slashdot.org] but the Port25 posting is news--somewhat.

I apologize for submitting a dupe.

From that blog posting:

I also run a training class that teaches people around the company how to engage in open source projects and make them successful.
Now, after reading the higher ranked comments from the first article, I know many of you saw this as disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics on order with a politician, the RIAA or Steve Ballmer.

But this blog is written by someone who's genuinely interested in Microsoft becoming part of OSS efforts. Will it happen? Probably not as a good many of you pointed out.

The real question is, when it doesn't happen, what was the real reason? This is tough, because Microsoft is a large company. I felt the pain of using their products when I had to stay at work until midnight on Wednesday trying to get AJAX (that worked fine in Firefox) working in IE. But this is only one of their many products. Is it fair for me to condemn their application for hundreds of other products for OSS certification based on a few tools I've used?

My answer to that is that "I don't think so."

What I'm trying to say is that the open source community is a community. Once you start to blame Microsoft for everything, turn a cold shoulder towards them whenever they even mildly reach out, you're essentially becoming them on the other side of the mirror. What's worse is that this attitude will ensure that there will never be a point in time in the future when Microsoft can reconcile with OSS. I think the fact that even one person inside the company is reaching out says that Microsoft as an entity is not 100% against opening a code base. They have great marketing and business tactics, they are hear to stay for as far as I can see. I think that the attitude should be open arms under the right conditions instead of a persistent never ending cold war or middle east-style conflict in software today.

Will I be jumped on as not being a hardliner open source advocate? Probably. Because I care far more about the success of everyone than I do the success of either side.

The people running the accreditation will no doubt be very stringent on the licenses passing OSS certification. I'm not a lawyer but I doubt any of the MS-GL/SL/RL licenses will pass. I hope it's not an outright rejection. I hope there's talking between the OSI and MS, I hope there's negotiations, I chances are given, I hope for compromise, I hope that some of the projects end up as OSS, I hope to use Microsoft's software, whether I pay for it or not, and to be able to see the source in the future.

Everyone needs to make money, I need to make money. This is a capitalistic society. I don't blame Microsoft for making money, I blame them for failing to see the folly of their position. I believe a different pricing scheme could net them billions more dollars & millions more users. I believe that slowly opening up the code on more and more of their products can only improve it. I believe that people will steal it one way or another if they want to so your job shouldn't be to catch them but to take away that motivation.

In the end, if you rail against Microsoft for doing this, you're only building the barrier higher. I wouldn't recommend an "you're either with us or against us" attitude, I personally do not feel that has gotten anyone anywhere before. The world is not black & white, software is no different.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20034301)

Once you start to blame Microsoft for everything, turn a cold shoulder towards them whenever they even mildly reach out, you're essentially becoming them on the other side of the mirror.

Don't be duped by a dupe.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (5, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034317)

ON THE OTHER HAND ... you cannot ignore the history of that company, the number of times Microsoft has operated in bad faith. As Bill Cosby once said, "That's like if someone throws you a left hook, you lean into it." Given that history, and given Microsoft's numerous public statements about the evils of open source software, the correct stance is to look askance at everything they do, particularly when it relates to FOSS. Nor can Microsoft be trusted to maintain a consistent position on anything. In that regard, they're much like Klingons: they'll make a deal with you, and they'll even abide by it ... until something more profitable comes along. It's only then that you'll notice the haft of the knife sticking out of your back.

Microsoft may hold out an olive branch from time to time, but just remember what's on the other side.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20034431)

MS's complaint isn't with Open Source (tm). They've made source code available (shared source, etc). They released rotor for *BSD. Their complaint is with the viral nature of the GPL (something many people are concerned with).

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (2, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035945)

Looks like the truth hurts. Definitely an unfair moderation here.

FOSS Vs OSS (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034455)

FOSS
I think there's a difference between FOSS & OSS. FOSS has that modifier 'free' and OSS is just opening your source. You can still open your source and charge money for the product. In fact, I think if you opened your source to only the people that bought your product, you'd still be pretty close to being OSS, right?

Linux is open source to an extent. You only have to release the source code to those who you distribute it to. Take Google, for example, to my knowledge they run a stripped down Red Hat kernel on hundreds of thousands of machines. Have they released this modified code that runs the core of their search engine? Nope.

The same could be true of Microsoft. Say I'm using the .NET framework and ASPs and all that bad stuff to write webpages. Well, with a competing open source technologies, I just point my editor at the mound-o-source that I untarred on my machine and I can step all the way from my code to their code to the point where the framework borks. Well, if Microsoft distributed the .NET source with every release of .NET, that makes a world of difference to me. Granted, I'm pretty sold on the free stuff (what with not having to pay for anything) but this would be a step towards me and Microsoft working together.

Their software system & security is broken. Unfortunately their marketing and business divisions are top notch world class--that means we have to put up with the former. I hope they get as close to making me happy as possible. Would it be out of the question for them to release at least some of the Windows source code or IE's source code? I hope not, I would dearly like to see what the hell that rendering engine is doing sometimes ... but I can't.

Their fears are obvious, people scanning the code for bugs ... both good and bad. A bad PR blog that points out high school mistakes in Vista would be pretty crushing--especially if the posters intents were good! Why? Because they can't even demonize that person.

I seriously hope you change your mind about Microsoft. I mean, I hope that the community--those who make the decisions--are willing to work with Microsoft or at least hear them out. The open source community and licenses should be safe enough that anyone can use them or take part in them without finding a haft of a knife in their back. If they aren't, they need to be changed, hence all the debate on the GPLv3. If you're telling me that Microsoft is exploiting the Open Source Initiative for their own good, I question who's at fault here--Microsoft or OSI? Because Microsoft excels at making software make money, open source should excel just at making software work for everyone.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (3, Interesting)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034603)

I seriously hope you change your mind about Microsoft. I mean, I hope that the community--those who make the decisions--are willing to work with Microsoft or at least hear them out. The open source community and licenses should be safe enough that anyone can use them or take part in them without finding a haft of a knife in their back. If they aren't, they need to be changed, hence all the debate on the GPLv3. If you're telling me that Microsoft is exploiting the Open Source Initiative for their own good, I question who's at fault here--Microsoft or OSI? Because Microsoft excels at making software make money, open source should excel just at making software work for everyone.


Sorry, but MS is very, very hard to trust. They'd be willing to let you look at Windows/.NET/whatever code alright. Only I would expect this would come with strings attached that'd ensure you'd be "contaminated" for the purpose of contributing to anything related. Say, they let you look at MS SQL, and then the moment you try to contribute to MySQL/Postgres they'd claim you're stealing their IP or something of the sort.

Personally, I wouldn't touch any source from MS with a 10 foot pole, unless BSD or GPL licensed. What do they need their own license for anyway? Like there aren't enough already.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034925)

Sorry, but MS is very, very hard to trust. They'd be willing to let you look at Windows/.NET/whatever code alright. Only I would expect this would come with strings attached that'd ensure you'd be "contaminated" for the purpose of contributing to anything related. Say, they let you look at MS SQL, and then the moment you try to contribute to MySQL/Postgres they'd claim you're stealing their IP or something of the sort.
I dont know if you have a job yet, but this is pretty much par for the course when you get one.

I am a software developer. My current contract says I cannot work for another company in the same line of work for 6 months after I leave. This prevents our competitors from poaching me and also prevents me from setting up my own business and taking any of their clients with me.

I believe that when the GNU toolchain was being written one of the authors was worried that his current employer would claim it was derived from what they had been paying him to write so would claim it was their IP. As a result of these fears he quit his job and completed the project while not working. I have just looked and cannot find a link to back this up, so if anyone knows where I might have read this, please post a link here as I would love to read it again in case it inspires me to do the same thing.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (3, Informative)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035145)

I believe that when the GNU toolchain was being written one of the authors was worried that his current employer would claim it was derived from what they had been paying him to write so would claim it was their IP. As a result of these fears he quit his job and completed the project while not working. I have just looked and cannot find a link to back this up, so if anyone knows where I might have read this, please post a link here as I would love to read it again in case it inspires me to do the same thing.

Are you referring to Richard Stallman?

In January 1984 I quit my job at MIT and began writing GNU software. Leaving MIT was necessary so that MIT would not be able to interfere with distributing GNU as free software. If I had remained on the staff, MIT could have claimed to own the work, and could have imposed their own distribution terms, or even turned the work into a proprietary software package. I had no intention of doing a large amount of work only to see it become useless for its intended purpose: creating a new software-sharing community.

However, Professor Winston, then the head of the MIT AI Lab, kindly invited me to keep using the lab's facilities.


FYI, GNU is an operating system, just like Solaris and BSD. The fact that one piece of it can be replaced with Linux to make it far more useful doesn't make it any less of an operating system :)

"GNU toolchain" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035569)

I believe that when the GNU toolchain was being written one of the authors was worried
FYI, GNU is an operating system, just like Solaris and BSD. The fact that one piece of it can be replaced with Linux to make it far more useful doesn't make it any less of an operating system :)
Right, but "the GNU toolchain" tends to refer to GCC+Binutils+Coreutils+Make, which make up the "chain of tools" that produces an executable file.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (1)

VENONA (902751) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035581)

"GNU is an operating system, just like Solaris and BSD."

That will be true the day they announce that The Hurd, or some other kernel, is ready to go. Until then, it's a userland. The purpose of an operating system is to allocate memory, schedule processes, handle networking, manage filesystems, and other I/O, etc.

GNU software can be very good, and I don't mean to take anything away from them. But calling GNU an operating system is just wildly wrong. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_system [wikipedia.org] or a huge number of other references.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (2, Interesting)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036229)

Hurd works. It's worked for a long time.

It might be a hard to install, and still be fairly unstable, but you can run X and people are using it.

So, GNU is an operating system.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036067)

Yes, I thought it was him but was not sure enough to post saying so.

Thanks for the confirmation.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035747)

I dont know if you have a job yet, but this is pretty much par for the course when you get one.

I have, since several years. And no, it isn't, at least for mine.

I am a software developer. My current contract says I cannot work for another company in the same line of work for 6 months after I leave. This prevents our competitors from poaching me and also prevents me from setting up my own business and taking any of their clients with me.

My contract includes nothing of the sort.

This misses the point anyway. Such a thing MIGHT be acceptable for me with a contract. But no way I'm allowing some random third party that's not paying me to do anything of the sort to me. As a software developer I can't afford to get locked out of an entire area just because I looked at the source to debug something. No way. Thank you very much, but MS can take their source and stick it where the sun doesn't shine, if it's going to offer it under terms like that.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036125)

They are not the only company that restrict access to their source code. Do your employer let anyone view their source or do you have to either sign some NDA or be an employee?

Maybe you are lucky enough to work for an open source shop but unfortunately I am not.

Please do not comment on any silly typing or gramatical errors in this post as I am quite pissed.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036267)

Where I work, we let you see all our code.

Download it too, if you like ;)

http://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/ [gnu.org]

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036665)

I work on a vertical app, source code isn't terribly interesting.

No NDA or anything like that. My contract doesn't include absolutely anything related to programming. I'm simply hired to code for X hours a week.

Again, that's irrelevant for the purpose of the discussion. I MIGHT be willing to sign NDAs and agreements, PROVIDED I get something out of it. No way I'm agreeing to anything of the sort attached to a license from a third party manufacturer who isn't paying me, or who I may be paying for the privilege of looking at their precious code. If they charge for that I'm certainly not giving a cent for it.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20036529)

I dont know if you have a job yet, but this is pretty much par for the course when you get one.


There is a growing trend in technology business to have workers believe that (A) Their work is not their work, it is owned by the company, (B) Their skills are not their skills, they are owned by the company, and (C) Their knowledge is not their knowledge, that is also owned by the company. Where do you draw the line? At some level, you are a smart person who thinks for yourself, so you must bring something to your employment. Not so, says the company: All knowledge of your work is owned by the company, and please sign this document agreeing to that fact.

I just quit an employment because they wanted a commitment that all x86 server hardware knowledge and processes associated with that hardware was going to be considered a trade secret. Forever. They had already had me sign a 3 year non-compete agreement, so now I am having to go back on other another technical skillset to find new employment. Thankfully, the job market is great and I consider myself an expert in multiple skillsets.

One thing that Free Software brings to the employed is they can truly own their work and they own the skills around their work. You can walk out the door tomorrow and no one can say you are stealing company knowledge about mySQL or Apache.

Re:FOSS Vs OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035037)

If a boulder announced it was going to flow with the river what would you expect the water to do,... slow down for it,... or continue running around it.

Of course, if it disintegrated into gravel, there might some sense of "Oh, I understand what you mean."

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034559)

FTA: >>>"....should give the community additional confidence that the code we're sharing is truly Open Source."

I'm not worried about the code they ARE sharing being Open Source, I'm worried about the Open Source code they're NOT sharing.

The words spoken look like they were very carefully chosen by the legal department...

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (3, Interesting)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034741)

Don't you mean a Ferengi? [wikipedia.org]
At least when I look at Balmer [pocketpicks.co.uk] , I think Ferengi...

Yep, you are on target. (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036033)

Honor is important to Klingons, but not the Ferengi or M'softies, who worship at the alter of Latinum.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035253)

they're much like Klingons

Man, that analysis you're pulling off there is amaaaaazingly deep! I love it.

And this thing I'm smoking is making it even better.

Curiously enough everything you said is true about every single big corporation.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034371)

turn a cold shoulder towards them whenever they even mildly reach out, you're essentially becoming them on the other side of the mirror.

Are we? Sure we are, but it is self-protection. For now, Microsoft has proven themselves to be untrustworthy. Let them prove themselves to be trustworthy, then we'll talk again. I'm not going to make the same mistake of trusting Microsoft once again. I've been bitten once, I won't be bitten twice.

Why apologize? (0, Flamebait)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034397)

I apologize for submitting a dupe.

Are you an editor?

If not, I don't see any reason for you to apologize. Even if you are, it's not like you're duping an article within a couple of days or less.

Why apologize? - Because I was wrong. (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034519)

I apologize for submitting a dupe.
Are you an editor?

If not, I don't see any reason for you to apologize. Even if you are, it's not like you're duping an article within a couple of days or less.
Because I've bitched about dupes many times before. Many times. Which implies that I hold the editors to a high standard. If I can't be a standard candle for them when I submit stories, how can I expect them to hold these artificially high standards I force them to?

Too many times, I've said that if they just went to Google or Google news and typed "site:slashdot.org Microsoft OSI [google.com] " they would find the dupe from a few days ago about a story with basically the same keywords. I mean, you could even build a link on the admin page for them to click and do that search.

I apologized because I submitted before taking my own advice, leading to what I considered a dupe.

I apologized for being a hypocrite. It's a basic idea of not contradicting yourself that was ingrained into me when I was a child & seems to be lost these days. You act like you would want someone else to act (the ultimate maxim) and it's clear to me that everyone hates a dupe so I apologize.

Re:Why apologize? - Because I was wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035849)

Hey.. this one was useful because the previous one was posted during my vacation. on /. I am sure that important stuff is posted again.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (4, Insightful)

Frizzle Fry (149026) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034405)

If MS is interested in becoming part of the OSS scene and playing nice with everyone else, why can't they use an existing license? What makes their new licenses better than the established ones?

I think this is what they need to address in order to be trusted because it looks to me like the only reasons they would need to create a new license are to try to get away with something the existing licenses wouldn't allow or (more likely) to try to cast a shadow of doubt on the appropriateness and safety of the licenses everyone else in the community uses.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034687)

Its called compromising. MS is a large company with conflicting interests from the inside. So they take baby steps. There are shareholders that will (try) to stop certain things from happening if it goes too fast: when you are the size of Microsoft, you can't do bold moves, ever. Little, progressive changes, one by one, is how things work. Anything else and you end up like Novell.

On top of that, in the inside you have the ideas of the project managers, architects, developers, etc, all conflicting. People with different backgrounds give different opinions (which was, btw, the source of why .NET is the way it is, supporting multiple languages: from the inside, they couldn't get a consensus as to what would be the real .NET language, so they allowed em all). Some are for GPL3, some are for close source only, and there are people everywhere in between. So they compromise, and that means that (for now), they won't use existing open source licenses across the board. Give em time.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034747)

Bullshit. They released a license that is only valid for programs that run on Windows, and the other license has stricter limitations for source distribution than object code. They are just trying to confuse people.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034847)

So how'd they compromise on the license they are using? Maybe you should think this through a few more times before posting on the topic.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035077)

How did they not? The license lets you see the code, play with it, change it, go wild, own what you make with it, etc. So people can't go and say "waaaah, its not as secure cuz I can't see the code!", or "what if Microsoft goes bankrupt??? I won't have the code!". On the other hand, it has some pretty rough requirements, like the whole "this is only valid if you're using the code on windows" or whatsnot.

Compromise, as in "in between". It sure isn't a valid license if they want a little certificate of approval, as far as I understand, I'll give you that. But it has all the properties of a partial step forward.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1)

JNighthawk (769575) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035897)

I will *never* license any of my code under the GPL. It's an extremely restrictive license that takes away the rights of the developers. If I release something as open source and it's modified, I don't care who modifies it. There's no good reason for them to have to release their changes to the public. The only thing I care about is if my code is used to generate profit. Any other uses... *shrugs*

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts - YOU'RE 110% CORRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20034495)

"In the end, if you rail against Microsoft for doing this, you're only building the barrier higher. I wouldn't recommend an "you're either with us or against us" attitude, I personally do not feel that has gotten anyone anywhere before. The world is not black & white, software is no different. - by eldavojohn (898314) * on Sunday July 29, @04:06PM (#20034199)

VERY WELL SAID eldavojohn, intelligent & WELL thought-out, as well as one of the BEST comments I have seen on /. this year in fact, and NOT just the portion I am quoting!

APK

P.S.=> I used to say, a year or so back here, that the MOST important thing that Linux/BSD *NIX folks ought to be concentrating on, along with Microsoft, is INTEROPERABILITY, between them ALL... & this happening (MS at least SEEMINGLY reaching out to 'make peace')?

It would be pretty fairly "KEY", that both sides, communicate & cooperate, in order to achieve it + perhaps helping to foster better OS-to-OS binaries or other types of interoperabilities (file formats, diskdrive read/write filesystems diff.'s, you-name-it)... I am not 100% sure of MS' motivations here, but, it's an opportunity perhaps, for the *NIX side folks to get a view @ some MS "insider info." like code, or other 'secrets' they may have held back before, but would openly show &/or discuss, NOW, because of this initiative of theirs.

IMO? It's FAR better than take some "Pro-Linux/Pro-BSD variants uber alles & F-U to the rest of U" type of attitude, which I do tend to see here @ slashdot quite a lot (and, it in turn, has made ME "fire back" in return a few times, unfortunately, where both sides behave reprehensibly)... apk

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts - YOU'RE 110% CORRE (1)

amber_of_luxor (770360) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036089)

MS at least SEEMINGLY reaching out to 'make peace')

That reaching out is to do things like changing the structure of MSO2007 purely to ensure that third party ODF convertors that work in release candidates do not work in the final release.

Or stacking the deck so that organizations with legitimate questions about Office Open XML are prevented from attending meetings, and that all questions about implementation of OO-XML are rejected as being "not important".

If Microsoft wants to make peace with the FLOSS community they have to do the following:

  • Change the EULAs on all of their software to one that neither violates the three tests of Debian Legal, nor fails freedom 0, freedom 1, freedom 2, or freedom 3.
  • Retract Office Open XML from the standardizations track
  • Provide complete documentatiion for all file formats for all programs they have created, distributed, sold, licenced, or released since 1982.
  • Pay the fine that they owe the European Commisison.
  • Conform to the requirements of the European Commission Court, on all software that they release, distribute, licence, or sell worldwide.
  • Publicly apologise for destroying Intergalatical Digital Research Corporation, and every other company that they pushed out of writing error messages that falsly claimed that the product was incompatible with DOS, or Windows.
  • Give US$1,000,000 to every project on source forge that is licenced under the GNU GPL, or GNU LGPL.

As an alternative to the above, the following will suffice:

  • Release both Windows Vista Enterprise Edition and Windows Vista Ultimate Edition under the GNU GPL 3.0
  • Release Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Enterprise Edition and Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate Edition and Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise Blue 2007 under the GNU GPL 3.0;

Until they are willing to do all that, any effort on their part to make peace with the FLOSS community should be viewed with the same degree of skepticism as one would have of an announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that Southern Baptists can take communion at a Mass of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, without undergoing the Rite of Christian Initiation of an Adult.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts - YOU'RE 110% CORRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20036725)

"That reaching out is to do things like changing the structure of MSO2007 purely to ensure that third party ODF convertors that work in release candidates do not work in the final release.

Or stacking the deck so that organizations with legitimate questions about Office Open XML are prevented from attending meetings, and that all questions about implementation of OO-XML are rejected as being "not important".
- by amber_of_luxor (770360) on Sunday July 29, @07:30PM (#20036089)

WoW... I was NOT aware of them playing THAT many games on you *NIX/OpenSource folks!

(Yes, I had heard tell of it on the "rumor mill" online (which I do NOT fully trust, either, but now? A bit more I think per your reply... especially as regards MAPI & interfacing with Exchange before specifically))

Those type of tactics WOULD make ME upset, also...

I.E.-> I can see a LOT of dev. time wasted, creating a file header reader, only to find it NO LONGER WORKS, once you attempt to access said file for read/write I-O!

Me? I don't DO a lot of "cross-platform" (TRUE) development in those terms (strict ports @ binaries levels, & most I might run Kylix over some DELPHI Win32 code to port it to Linux on occasion for personal usage), & I am admittedly a "Win32 guy" PROFESSIONALLY, mostly since it is what is OUT THERE, mostly...

I.E.-> My livelyhood is in databasing/MIS/IS/IT type coding (& the middlewares to say, *NIX variants, OR from IBM zOS families (to say, Oracle on UNIX, DB/2 on IBM midranges, etc.) tend to work, for the MOST part, flawlessly nowadays!

I go @ those DB backends, using tools like VB6/VB.NET, Access, & Delphi (sometimes C++ Builder) to talk to those "industrial strength" Non-MS (SQLServer 2005) DB backend engines...

So, that all said & aside? Well, you have to take WHERE I am coming from, into account! I don't run into those kinds of hassles, as those you speak of typically. I have seen documentation for API calls & other routines be WRONG though, which has caused me hassles though, admittedly in the past.

HOWEVER/perhaps? MS really HAS changed this time! I do hope so...

See, MS has hassled me before (as well as interviewing me too before that)!

E.G.-> I had them hassle me once, contacted by their attorneys for using the word "WINDOWS" in my apps' names (freeware stuff, no less... it BLEW MY MIND, & forced me to recompile them all (for resource strings only really, just alterations of their names))...

Still, it came out of MY time, with NO remuneration by MS for my time in doing so (& I was worried they'd "bushwhack" my apps IF I did not comply, really, more than them coming @ me with a lawsuit)...

What BOTHERS me MOST about MS now? Their leader: Mr. Ballmer (the guy's NOT a computer science person, far less than "King Billy" (Mr. Gates, my nickname for him, OUT OF RESPECT, not sarcasm mind you) was)... he's ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS & that alone imo!

Mr. Ballmer's approach (their new advertising framework especially, is INVASIVE AS HELL imo, & their goal is revealed in it (pure greed, they are the 1 company that does NOT need to be 'finding new sources of revenues' & of THAT nature imo)...

Good for business? OR, is it?? I think not... it's going to make folks DISTRUST Ms, unfortunately... & see them MORESO, as nothing but a "money making machine", when this company used to be one I admired for "changing the world" & how we think & communicate!

APK

You are still drunk. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034553)

Ok, so after I submitted this story this morning (while I was grasping for sobriety), ...

Not another one night stand [slashdot.org] , I hope.

I know many of you saw this as disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics on order with a politician, the RIAA or Steve Ballmer.

Can you tell me why someone who works for Steve Ballmer should not be looked on as a pawn [slashdot.org] , or why we should suddenly trust Ballmer/Gates? Do you really want them telling you what software freedom is?

Take a nice cold shower, compile a program with gcc and you will start to feel better.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20034647)

MS's motivation?

Well, one possibility is that it could be a diversion. MS has a long history of announcing projects, then dragging their feet for years before announcing that they didn't mean it after all. See, for instance, Windows Help 2. Or Vista Help, for that matter.

What they gain from this is that their potential competitors are scared off. Or just distracted. If people start waiting for MS to cough up the goods before they tackle some of the trickier parts of their code, then... well, OSS will be that much more handicapped.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034901)

I believe a different pricing scheme could net them billions more dollars & millions more users.

Wait, so you're trying to tell one of the richest corporations on the planet how to make money? Where's the (+1, Funny) moderation option when you need it?! ;)

I hate MS as much as the next Slashdotter... but Jumpin' Jesus, if there's ONE thing they know, it's making money by the boatload!

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20034931)

I'm assuming your remarks are done in jest.

But in case they aren't:

Yes, people in a capitalistic society need to make money.
People in a capitalistic society do NOT NEED to take advantage of others or threaten others.
People in a capitalistic society do NOT NEED to use unethical acts to place themselves above all others.
People in a capitalistic society do NOT NEED to purchase politicians to bend, twist, and abuse laws to their benefit.
People don't need to be polite to someone who has abused them fiscally and threatened them with lawsuits.
People don't need to take a company at their word, when that company's actions have demonstrated the opposite of what they have said for decades.
People don't need to embrace a company that has specifically targeted them numerous times, including within the last few months.
People don't need to embrace a deal with a company which has made deals that have bankrupted other companies they have previously made deals with, and either killed or absorbed their products.

In short, people don't need to be stupid, and assume the school bully is going to suddenly become fair and abide by the golden rule.

If Microsoft wants to change and suddenly play fair, if they want to suddenly use open standards and interact well with others who use open standards, that's nice, and I'd welcome them to the world of the ethical. But I wouldn't encourage anyone to let their guard down for some time, and I'd be suspicious of them for as many years as they have behaved badly before I believed they had a true change of heart.

Re:My Apologies & Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035177)

Here's your reason not to let them through: It's called license profileration. There are _already too many licenses_. MS's licenses are pretty worthless BTW. Just use BSD!

Some of these licenses won't do (5, Informative)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035229)

From reading the higher modded posts on the previous story, I was surprised that few people seem to have bothered to take a quick look at these licenses. Let's give that a try-

Both the Microsoft Limited Permissive License (Ms-LPL) and the Microsoft Limited Community License (Ms-LCL) contain a clause like this:

Platform Limitation- The licenses granted in sections 2(A) & 2(B) extend only to the software or derivative works that you create that run on a Microsoft Windows operating system product

The Open Source Definition has this:

5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

Either 5 or 6 look a like a clear contradiction to above clause. So IMHO, the 'limited' licenses shouldn't qualify for OSI approval. Then the Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL) has this:

the Licensor grants you a non-transferable, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce the software for reference use

(Emphasis mine). Basically a 'look but don't touch' license. Thanks to other commenters for pointing out Open Source vs. Free/Libre: this could qualify as Open Source, but definately does not qualify as Free/Libre software.

I don't see any obvious problems with the other licenses though. And 1 thing I do like: they're nice and short, so that you can actually read them, and (try to) understand what they say. As opposed to reading through the pile of legal mumbo-jumbo in common EULA's.

One final point I'd like to make: one shouldn't take a license and complain about whether it does or doesn't suit your purpose. Instead, start with what you want to do with your code, and use a license that best suits that purpose. For some funny, new app the GPLv2/3 may be good, but for an implementation of a low-level networking protocol, that you want to become the defacto standard, a BSD-style license may be more appropriate (so that it can be used by anybody, even hidden deep inside black boxes, but using your protocol). You might be worried about the exact purpose of these MS licenses, but they may also be a vehicle to have your code included in MS products (and help improve standards compliance/interoperability). Not to mention that it's zero problem to contribute things like small bugfixes to projects licensed under these.

So I agree very much with parent poster. Why complain about MS when you think they're throwing you a bone, and you don't trust it? Simply throw them a bone back sometimes, and see what happens.

It's offensive... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035973)

Personally, I find it offensive when Microsoft tries to pass off it's "Shared Source" for "Open Source." I don't think they are doing this by accident either.

Maybe Microsoft would have better luck "building bridges" to the Open Source community if they stopped trying to screw us at every turn.

Open source Windows 2000 (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036431)

I agree with you in principle eldavojohn but we don't have to look much further that kerberos and smb to see how M$ has "leveraged" open standards and then Pwned them for their own gain, i.e. Embrace and Extend.

I've been in the position you are in where I gave M$ a go, only to find that they again acted in a way that justified being cynical and suspicious of their motives, I see the same thing now. If Microsoft were sincere why don't they just open source the code base of Windows 95 or Windows 2000, which in reality that is the kind of thing they would need to do to end criticism, and if Sun can do it with Solaris...

No, M$ is well past the point of trust, even if their employee's motives are pure there is little doubt the coporate machine will find a way to corrupt the original intentions, bend it to M$'s advantage to the detriment of all other parties.

M$'s practice of bullying their employees shows in they way they bully the entire IT market and treat everyone else with contempt. It's a pityfull state of affairs for a so-called "market leader", still, you reap what you sow.

is it just me? (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034221)

microsoft... open source... oxymoron

Could we get a Monty Python skit of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20034227)

"Spring Surprise" comes to mind.

And crickets were heard... (1)

fragmentate (908035) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034353)

...in the deafening silence.

Microsoft, of late, has been pretty responsive to public outcries. Now, I know at the heart of it they're just responding for financial reasons. But, an era ago they didn't have to care -- and they didn't care. They were the game.

But now, I don't think we care. We being the few, the proud, the OS hackers. I would love to get my hands on the Windows kernel, and it's "DOS". I would love to get into its scheduler.

Until some monumental step by Microsoft, I can't be impressed. (But, sir, they released a package that allowed the OSS community to create Windows installers! -- and they'd never scrutinize what we package with it.)

It's a Sunday. I guess this is the best reused story I can expect on church day.

PC World (5, Funny)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034359)

"According to PC World, reaction from the community has been mostly positive."

PC World hadn't yet read this Slashdot thread.

Re:PC World (2, Funny)

derrida (918536) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034675)

That's where the mostly goes.

wtf? (2, Insightful)

jkiol (1050424) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034385)

I thought we already had an april fools this year!??!

Show me the Freedom or Go Away. (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034439)

the same voices that have been calling for Microsoft products to better interoperate with open source products would voice their approval should the Open Source Initiative itself open up to more of the IT industry.

What a pile of M$. The only barrier to products that interoperate better is them. Everyone else has bent over backwards for years, only to treated as a pawn in the quest for M$ dominance of everything [slashdot.org] . M$ is the only organization using such sleazy language. The goal is not some kind of imperfect interoperation, it's the use of real standards, the end of M$'s silly games and the beginning of real freedom. Without the four freedoms, everything M$ does is just another game.

If M$ sends the OSI software freedom, great. If they don't and the OSI certify it, the OSI will not have raised M$ in anyone's opinion, they will have disgraced themselves and further diluted the terms "free" and "open". We will all be able to judge for ourselves, but I don't expect anything useful from a company that's rabidly threatening everyone with patents.

At this point, M$ has very little of value to offer and the best thing they can do is cease hostilities and start to repair the damage they have done. It would take the community a decade to fix the mess Windoze and Intel BIOS are. It will take even longer to undo the DMCA, software patents and other evil stuff they have promoted. The market itself is doing a better job of fixing the problem by ignoring them.

Re:Show me the Freedom or Go Away. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20036395)

"We will all be able to judge for ourselves, but I don't expect anything useful from a company that's rabidly threatening everyone with patents."

And that's the problem, people will never be happy.
Nothing MS ever does will ever be good enough, short of going all out, and that won't happen. There's no incentive to, since they're chastised every step of the way.

If you're expecting them to adopt the GPL and relicense all of their proprietary code under it, it won't happen. Not with this attitude.

Same thing happened when Corel tried to embrace Linux. They ported over a much needed top-tier Graphics suite and Office suite, but it wasn't good enough. The community wanted it open and now, and Corel pulled away, for good reason: Nothing short of giving away a decade worth of R&D right out the door would have been good enough. And there's never been the incentive to try again, because the community just isn't interested in the intermediate steps, and seemingly isn't even willing to tolerate them.

And about the patents. If they have cause to believe that OSS is infringing on their IP, as much as it sucks for OSS, regardless of weather or not it's true, they have both the right and responsibility to act on it, and enforce their license/patent/copyright. It's a give and take thing, you want them to respect your license and the idiom that go with it, you're going to have to respect theirs, too, regardless of weather you agree or disagree with it. Don't try to tell me that if MS was suspected of violating the GPL, the GNU crowd wouldn't be crying bloody murder over it, regardless of weather or not it was the case; so why is bloody murder when they do it?

Don't think for a second that MS is doing this because they have to, or because it's "the right thing to do". That's a load of bullshit. Don't stare a gift horse in the mouth, as they say. Instead of criticizing them for not going all the way, accept the offer, and encourage them to gradually kick it up a notch. If OSS wants MS to play nice with them, then OSS is going to have to play nice with MS, it's not a whole lot more complicated than that.

It's very much like a parent telling a child constantly that's they're lazy and will amount to nothing. The parent might think that this will encourage the child to get their act together, but it only encourages the contrary. Keep chastising MS for being evil and wanting only to corrupt and control everything, well, it's the same thing, you're only encouraging them to do just that. Try encouraging them when they take these steps, try not being to pointlessly hostile and critical, something good might actually come out of it.

subvert the certification criteria (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034445)

Here's where MS weasels in and manages to change the criteria, much like the way Kirk changed the Kobiyashi Maru scenario. They'll subtly get the rules altered, either by lying, or using their IP influence, or promising to dot the Is and cross the Ts just as soon as that cert. is issued.

FAIL (5, Interesting)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034483)

Well the limited version of the license certainly fails...

"(F) Platform Limitation- The licenses granted in sections 2(A) & 2(B) extend only to the software or derivative works that you create that run on a Microsoft Windows operating system product."
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/li censingbasics/limitedpermissivelicense.mspx [microsoft.com]

"10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral. No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface."
http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php [opensource.org]

Re:FAIL (1)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034721)

10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral. No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.

Doesn't the LGPL fail that test? IIRC, you can only use LGPL code by linking to it via dynamic library.

Re:FAIL (2, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034981)

No. You can use LGPL code any way you want as long as the derivative work is also put under the (L)GPL. It is only if you want to use a different license for your own code that the dynamic vs static linking rule is relevant.

Re:FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035003)

And that's why LGPL is diferent from GPL

Exactly! (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034725)

In other words open source that REQUIRES closed source to use is not open source at all.

Re:Exactly! (1)

kasperd (592156) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035451)

In other words open source that REQUIRES closed source to use is not open source at all.
That certainly depends on what you mean by requires. If the license says, you must use it together with a closed source product, then it does not match the definition of open source. But if an open source product happen to technically depend on some Windows API, but is released under an open source license, then it is still open source. Anybody are allowed to take such a product and remove the dependencies on that API and make it work on some other systems (known as porting). And being allowed to do things like that is exactly what open source is all about.

Like GNU before Linux? (1, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035677)

In other words open source that REQUIRES closed source to use is not open source at all.
In the mid-1980s to early 1990s, the GNU operating environment ran as a layer on top of proprietary UNIX operating systems; it needed those UNIX systems to work. (Now, it commonly runs on top of Linux, a free kernel.) But even nowadays, in order to start Linux, you need a bootloader such as GNU GRUB [wikipedia.org] . But how do you start GRUB? Doesn't a bootloader require proprietary software, namely the BIOS?

Re:Like GNU before Linux? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20036153)

GNU software doesn't say "Thou shalt (and always will) use specific proprietary xxxx software to bootstrap this." It just happens to be an expedient way for it to happen.

What if GNU required you, in the licence to run in on proprietary UNIX systems... where would it be today?

That's the difference.

It's called "Embrace and Extend" (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035205)

You see how good is it that Microsoft joins in? They have already improved the existing standard definition!...

nice try (1)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034615)

You can buy a certificate, but you can't buy trust. ..... Assholes.

Open Sores (0, Flamebait)

PenGun (794213) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034619)

Oh yeah baby that free software stuff is so last century

source vs object code... (3, Interesting)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034627)

(D) If you distribute any portion of the software in source code form, you may do so only under this license by including a complete copy of this license with your distribution. If you distribute any portion of the software in compiled or object code form, you may only do so under a license that complies with this license.
Note the distinction between source code and object code. The requirement for source code to be kept under teh license makes it incompatible with other open source licenses, while simultaneously the license makes no such requirement if your edistribute obct code only. In other words, this license is deliberately designed to make the code useable by proprietary vendors, while simultaneously being incompatible with other open source projects. The OSI should reject this license based on point 2 in their definition:

The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form.
Even if this can be interpreted in complicance with Microsoft's license, the OSI should simply point out that the rationale behind point 2 is that source code should be available, and thus it is not acceptable to put stricter restrictions on the redistribtion of source code than one does on the redistribution of object code.

Re:source vs object code... (3, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034899)

IANAL, but (or maybe because of that) what you said doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

First of all, I see no conflict between

The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form.


and

(D) If you distribute any portion of the software in source code form, you may do so only under this license by including a complete copy of this license with your distribution. If you distribute any portion of the software in compiled or object code form, you may only do so under a license that complies with this license.


There is source code. You are allowed to distribute it. You're also allowed to distribute the software in compiled form.

Also, the requirement that you must include a full copy of the license if you distribute the source seems pretty standard and sensible. After all, if you didn't, how would the recipient know their rights and obligations?

Finally, the part about being allowed to distribute the object code under a compatible license also makes a lot of sense to me. I'd say, obviously, the license should be compatible with the present license. However, the license is allowed to be a different one, which is good if you're distributing the object code as part of a larger work.

In short, I don't see what you're complaining about.

Re:source vs object code... (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035075)

I'm complaining that the license allows you to use a different license ( i.e a proprietary one ) for binary form, but not for source. You are explicitly dissalowed from redistributing the source under any other license, even a compliant one. However, I notice now that this is largely mitigated in the "comunity" version of the license, which contains:

(A) Reciprocal Grants- For any file you distribute that contains code from the software (in source code or binary format), you must provide recipients the source code to that file along with a copy of this license, which license will govern that file. You may license other files that are entirely your own work and do not contain code from the software under any terms you choose.

Re:source vs object code... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036387)

Well, compare it to some open source licenses. The part you quoted:

(D) If you distribute any portion of the software in source code form, you may do so only under this license by including a complete copy of this license with your distribution. If you distribute any portion of the software in compiled or object code form, you may only do so under a license that complies with this license.


This from the MIT license, one of the most permissive open source licenses:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Software.


This from the (revised) BSD license:

Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.


And this from everyone's beloved GPL (version 2):

1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate
copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the
notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty;
and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License
along with the Program.


Clearly, the requirement that a copy of the license be included with copies of the source code you distribute is present in all 4 licenses.

As for distinguishing between distribution of source code and distribution of object code: out of the 4 licenses quoted, only the MIT license doesn't make this distinction.

Finally, the complaint from your original post that the terms of source distribution are stricter than the terms of binary code distribution. I can't really judge that based on the parts quoted. However, I will give you a few observations anyway.

For example, (contrary to your earlier claim) there is nothing to indicate that the Microsoft license does not permit distribution of the source code under a compatible license. This leaves the requirement to include the license text in source distributions, but apparently not in binary distributions. That, indeed, puts stricter requirements on source distributions than on binary distributions. On the other hand, I don't actually see a problem with this specific requirement.

The BSD license specifies different terms for source and binary distribution, but I don't see either as stricter than the other.

The blurb quoted from the GPL does not concern binary distribution, but the requirement the GPL puts on binary distributions is basically that the source code be made available to the recipients of the binaries. There is no mention of including the text of the license with binary distributions.

All in all, I don't think the MS license is doing anything evil here.

DO NOT WANT (1)

sykopomp (1133507) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034665)

It's a trap. Even if the guy who's pushing for this is someone who genuinely wants to push FOSS within Microsoft, Microsoft as a corporation does not. If it ever does allow this to happen to a significant extent, it's because they have some evil plan to Mer GNU/Linux in the balls. They like Merring balls. shoot me...

Beware of large wooden horses (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20034793)

Any of several ulterior motives on the part of M$ management is equally plausible. The most obvious is that they're going to hang some of their code out there until every contributor to Linux internals is tempted by curiosity to take a squint at it. After the next kernel roll, they swing the patent hammer, claiming that the new release can't possibly not be "contaminated" by its authors' having been exposed to their proprietary code.

The other possibility, if all the OSS folks assume the above and don't take the bait, is that Redmond cues the violins about how they made oh, so great an effort to meet the other side and act in "good faith" to promote interoperability, and use it as an excuse to continue going their own way.

The Dark Empire is falling! (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034813)

Even the greatest Lord of Sith ever to exist redeemed himself as he was about to die. Maybe Microsoft is feeling its life energy leave its body and decided to go down a hero instead of a villain.

First they ignore you (4, Insightful)

fyoder (857358) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034841)

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then they pretend to join you and stab you in the back at the first opportunity. Never trust Microsoft.

Gandhi (somewhat adapted)

Re:First they ignore you (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035495)

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - Santayana

What you've said Microsoft has done over and over and over. Yet people are still willing enough, naive enough, stupid enough, to play along. When they get burned, they have no one to blame but themselves.

PR stunt at the most. (4, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 7 years ago | (#20034893)

This is just a PR stunt so that Microsoft can reap the benefit of open sources good reputation. If they wore genuinly interested in working with the community all they had to do would be to release current specs for their various document formats and network protocols. I really hope the OSI take a long hard gander and turn every single stone before agreeing to anything. Microsofts history tells you to watch your back. Microsofts shared source license should not in any way be let in without complete abolishment of the windows platform clause. OSS licenses should not tell you what platform you can use the code on.

Embrace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035023)

Step 1... (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) Also provides the secondary purpose of "Divide et impera" to the community.

I just don't care about their code (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035051)

It's all crap. Microsoft Windows XP has all of the stability and (relative) performance of a development Linux 1.3 kernel + userland environment. My 20+ year old AT&T Unix PC had a similar but prettier and far more productive user interface.

I do care about a level playing field when buying equipment. I do not wish to be forced to pay for a license for software that I will never use.

I do care about a level playing field when it comes to interfaces. Standards must be open and drivel like render this paragraph like 1996 Microsoft Word running on a Macintosh just doesn't cut it.

Mod me down, Microsoft Fan Boys, bring it on. I've spent the last few months attempting to appreciate Microsoft Windows XP, but fortunately my employer has relented and will now allow me to install Linux on the company notebook.

Re:I just don't care about their code (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035377)

Twat. Get a life and grow up fucktard! No one is remotely interesting in your bullshit filled exaggerated opinion. No wonder OSS has failed, with cunts like you waiting for new users.

Re:I just don't care about their code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20036589)

Ah, did somebody call your baby UGLY?

OSI (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035103)

I am fine with Microsoft wanting to open up their source code but OSI needs to go through the proposal with a fine tooth comb. Prior to approval, OSI needs to make certain that this is truley open source, not the shared source propaganda a few years ago that placed such stipulations on the "openness" as to preclude being used in an open source project. In fact, this Shared Source was such the proverbial crap that Samba (and others) had to ask developers that signed on to the MS Royalty free agreements and Shared Source agreements not to participate. If that isn't a wolf in sheep's clothing, I don't know what is.

the farmer and the snake (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035117)

the farmer found the snake freezing in the winter

the snake said 'please help me out, pick me up in your coat and i wont freeze to death'

the farmer said 'but you are a snake, you will kill me...'

the snake said 'no, i promise i wont. please help me'

so the farmer picks up the snake and puts him in his coat. after a while, the snake warms up.
his natural instincts take over. the snake bites him.

as the farmer lays dying, he says 'what on earth has happened. you rascal!'

the snake said 'you knew i was a snake when you picked me up!'

No. More. Licenses. (5, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035121)

Seriously, we're way past the point that new licenses are tolerable. It seems like every major project demands its own license, even if the result is 99% similar to other common ones. Is there really a need for the Apache, CDDL, Mozilla, and Artistic licenses and their countless derivatives?

If you want other developers to use your code, no strings attached, pick BSD or maybe MIT. If you're more interested in end users but want the developers to still have a few avenues to lock the code down, there's GPLv2. If you're really into end users and care about patents, etc., then pick GPLv3. Repeat after me: no new licenses!

Really, I think OSI needs to pretty much reject all new submissions unless they are substantially different from the pre-existing major choices. Fragmenting codebases by writing Foo License and Bar License that are almost identical but incompatible in some subtle way can only appeal to Microsoft and other proprietary vendors. Just say no!

Microsoft doesn't want to be a "software company" (3, Funny)

etnu (957152) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035149)

The writing has been on the wall for years. Microsoft has little to no interest in continuing to be a company that builds the core platforms in the long term. Over the next several decades, Microsoft will become a company very similar to Google in most ways, though they will still have the Gaming / Media Center business around (the underlying technologies will be mostly open source by then, though). This is a good thing for everyone, Microsoft included.

A tiger does not change its stripes (0, Troll)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035401)

Microsoft has a history of more than 25 years of abusing the computer industry and stifling innovation in that industry.

I would be very wary if Microsoft tries to look as if they want to cooperate with the Open Source community.

Oh, no (1)

Azuma Hazuki (955769) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035691)

Would you let Microsoft in the OSS pool? I sure as hell wouldn't, for the same reason I wouldn't let someone in my swimming pool who has a history of malicious urination. Adult swim, creeps; out of the pool!

M$ says, "I, for one,..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035759)

M$ says, "I, for one, bow before our new free software overlords".

In sort of a lying and conniving way.

Money quote from summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20035785)

"...the Open Source Initiative itself open up to more of the IT industry"

Oh, the OSI doesn't approve of deliberate attacks which undermine everything they stand for? Heavens, they're guilty of being closed to the IT industry!

Yes, and New York could improve its world standing by being more open to terrorist bombings in the future.

My God... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20035871)

Now Microsoft is trying to hijack the term "Open Source." Their "shared source" is in no way "Open." It's a "look but don't touch" bullshit initiative.

If I'm not mistaken you have to sign all sorts of agreements including the agreement that you won't try to compile the source. That's right, no way to verify that they really gave you the real thing.

sh1t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20036039)

are She had taken a way to spen3 use the sling.

Groklaw Covered this last year (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036095)

Groklaw [groklaw.net] had an intersting look at how Microsoft'shared source worked last year and it was very enlightening. The first paragraph I find the most amusing part of the article as they try to explain in simple human terms how Microsoft views sharing.

When my sister and I were growing up, we were almost always about the same size. We still are, actually. So we shared clothes. It was a way to double our wardrobe. But, from my point of view, I shared mine freely and she never wanted to share back. If I'd say, "I'd like to wear your blue sweater today," her answer would often be, "No, I'm wearing it."

How about actually, you know, interoperating? (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036409)

I believe that the same voices that have been calling for Microsoft products to better interoperate with open source products would voice their approval should the Open Source Initiative itself open up to more of the IT industry.

I think they'd voice their approval much quicker should Microsoft make a concerted effort to actually interoperate better with other products, open source or not. It's interoperation that is really the key... for example: back in the early '80s the yet-to-be-named open source community embraced UNIX not because it was open source - in fact at the time it wasn't - but because it was designed to be easy to interoperate with at every level.

It's not good enough to provide open source components that only actually work on top of your API, or to provide libraries that allow people to talk to your protocols through the cut-out of your system software, you need to open the black box and commit to supporting documented and non-proprietary wire protocols and file formats.

Otherwise what you've got is better described as an "open pit-trap".

You're missing the point (2, Insightful)

Wabbit Wabbit (828630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20036449)

Once you start to blame Microsoft for everything, turn a cold shoulder towards them whenever they even mildly reach out, you're essentially becoming them on the other side of the mirror. What's worse is that this attitude will ensure that there will never be a point in time in the future when Microsoft can reconcile with OSS.


They aren't "reaching out" at all. If they really wanted to reach out, they would open the APIs for Outlook, Exchange, SMB, and who knows what else. Until they open these products, they're merely hand-waving. It's that simple.
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