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Microsoft Open Source PHP

Open Source Guy Takes the Hardest Job At Microsoft 325

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-he-can dept.
jbrodkin writes "Gianugo Rabellino, founder of the Italian Linux Society and a key member of the Apache Software Foundation, traded his Linux and Mac PCs in for a Windows 7 laptop and took on a newly created job at Microsoft designed to encourage collaboration between Redmond and open source communities. 'Developers nowadays are mostly to be found in the open source world,' the new Microsoft executive says. 'We need to go where they are.' With Rabellino's help, Microsoft is expanding its successful partnership with PHP developers , but Steve Ballmer and crew are a long way from completely erasing their poor reputation in Linux and open source circles."
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Open Source Guy Takes the Hardest Job At Microsoft

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  • As always... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @10:50AM (#35347666)

    It's a trap!

    • Re:As always... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:01AM (#35347804) Homepage

      Don't know whether it's a trap, but what has the Open Source community to gain from working with Microsoft?

      • An endless list of no-no's for development. And possibly money.
        • php developers already make reasonable amounts of money in php development scene. they dont need the restrictions microsoft will bring upon them.

          in the last 10 years, small businesses increasingly moved to having their web presences developed and maintained in lamp stacks. (naturally with php, the p at the end of the acronym).

          microsoft was trying to push windows, iis, asp or asp.net (later) with mssql to businesses, locking them into their stuff. but, lamp made them undone. this is why they are trying
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by natehoy (1608657)

        Resources?

        Microsoft interoperating more easily with open source formats and tools (better support for open document formats, etc)?

        • Re:As always... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by causality (777677) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:20AM (#35348028)

          Microsoft interoperating more easily with open source formats and tools (better support for open document formats, etc)?

          I would like to believe that but there's one reason I doubt it. By their nature, open formats are accessible and open to anyone who would like to implement them. Microsoft wouldn't need outside help for that. If this were important to them they would have already done it.

          Abandoning the vendorlock that comes with proprietary file formats goes against their grain. If they do it, it will be reluctantly.

          • " By their nature, open formats are accessible and open to anyone who would like to implement them. "
            But it might take some time to be an expert on them (e.g. ODT).

      • More: Visibility, credit, projects, money, etc, etc.
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        The specifications to Office documents and and honest help in making them interoperable. We should not consider them OSS friendly before they give that.
      • Relevance.

        Microsoft is evil, blah blah blah, but if people really want open source alternatives to make any progress with regular people, they need to gain mindshare. While Android may help, phones and tablets are a far cry from a full desktop environment. The only way to break into (normal-people) desktop computing is to go where the users are. That means swallowing our pride and working with Microsoft for the foreseeable future. It doesn't mean we've sold out or have doomed open source to failure. It

        • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @12:07PM (#35348540) Homepage Journal

          Microsoft is evil, blah blah blah, but if people really want open source alternatives to make any progress with regular people, they need to gain mindshare.

          open source alternatives dont need to make progress with regular people in web development scene - that scene is already OWNED by open source. the amount and variety of apps on lamp stack (linux apache mysql php - insert postgres sometimes), and their usage is so huge and so varied. this is what causing microsoft to try to bring all those small and medium businesses (and recently big ones) that got out of their hands in regard to web presence, back to microsoft platforms.

          the summary is - all this is pointless. there is no reason for anyone, developers and clients alike, to move to microsoft's platforms. everything is free on lamp stack. even if you go VERY big, and start to cluster servers and then have to employ server farms. all you need to pay for is development of your app. no licenses, no other shit. and, development is quite cheap, because the php dev scene is big.

          there is nothing microsoft can offer to open source community in this field.

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        I kind of though that open source was based on software freedom and not "hate hate hate Microsoft Microsoft hate hate hate".

        But, hey, what do I know.

    • by lysdexia (897)
      Akbar couldn't have said it better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dddAi8FF3F4 [youtube.com]
    • Re:As always... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by penguin_dance (536599) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:51AM (#35348392)

      Indeed. I smell an "embrace and extend" coming.

      Apologies to Frank Capra:

      Ballmer: Gianugo, I'm an old man, and most people hate me. But I don't like them either, so that makes it all even. You know just as well as I do that I run practically everything in this town but Open Source. You know, also, that for a number of years I've been trying to get control of it...or kill it. But I haven't been able to do it. You have been stopping me. In fact, you have beaten me, Gianugo, and as anyone in this county can tell you, that takes some doing. Take during the Internet bubble, for instance. You and I were the only ones that kept our heads. You saved Open Source, and I saved all the rest.

      Gianugo: Yes. Well, most people say you stole all the rest.

      Ballmer: The envious ones say that, Gianugo, the suckers. Now, I have stated my side very frankly. Now, let's look at your side. Young man, twenty-seven, twenty-eight...married, making, say...forty a week.

      Gianugo (indignantly): Forty-five!

      Ballmer: Forty-five. Forty-five. Out of which, after supporting your mother, and paying your bills, you're able to keep, say, ten, if you skimp. A child or two comes along, and you won't even be able to save the ten. Now, if this young man of twenty-eight was a common, ordinary yokel, I'd say he was doing fine. But Gianugo Rabellino is not a common, ordinary yokel. He's an intelligent, smart, ambitious young man - who hates his job.

      Gianugo (taken aback): Now what's your point, Mr. Ballmer?

      Ballmer: My point? My point is, I want to hire you.

    • by Locutus (9039)
      that should be obvious since every time someone is hired to be an interface to open source inside of Microsoft they get moved into anti-open source positions after a year or two of re-education. Microsoft has to spend billions annually to fight customers moving to open source solutions so "working with open source" means learning how to spend less keeping or moving customers back to Microsoft software. Remember how all that Novell stuff was about working with open source? What did that turn out to be?

      Yes,
  • Flying monkeys!
  • I for one welcome our new frenemy with aspirations of overlord-hood.
  • So, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @10:52AM (#35347688) Homepage Journal
    Random php user group in random country lauds some particular act of microsoft, and this ends up being 'microsoft's successful partnership with PHP developers' ?

    what about asp, asp.net, .net., .whatever, silverlight et al ?

    and really, what 'partnership' anyway ?
    • He's there for PHP (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:36AM (#35348210)

      According to TFA, 'Rabellino's main focus right now "is to enable PHP to shine on our platforms."'

      So, he's there to get people to migrate from LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP) systems to WIMP (Windows, IIS, MS-SQL, PHP) systems.

      • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:49AM (#35348368)

        According to TFA, 'Rabellino's main focus right now "is to enable PHP to shine on our platforms."'

        So, he's there to get people to migrate from LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP) systems to WIMP (Windows, IIS, MS-SQL, PHP) systems.

        I think I will stick with TRAP (Tomcat, RESTful, Apache, Postgres) application stack..

      • precisely. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:57AM (#35348460) Homepage Journal
        however the stupidity is that, php developers pretty much see php as a part of linux, apache by now. EVEN if you push it too hard to argue about oracle and the situation of mysql, and take mysql out of the situation and put any mysql fork or postgressql, php is pretty much served on linux, apache. mod_rewrite, for example, is a daily facet of web development with php. same goes for A LOT of modules that can be compiled with apache. moreover, entirety of the scripts/software which create the php development scene, commercial or noncommercial, run exclusively on lamp. i used the world entirety, because its a situation that far out. actually that is the scene that caused php development to get this big in the first place.

        no php developer will ditch lamp and start working on 'wimp'. this at most can cause an infiltration of php developers into windows/iis scene, and cause microsoft to lose on that front too. because due to the synergy in lamp, and the immense software scene of php apps on lamp, php devs will gravitate towards lamp and they will take ex-microsoft clients with them too - 'this requires this, that and that paid infrastructure in ms, but, see, its free on lamp' -> whoops - another client moved to lamp. because, its free into the future - even if you expand, expand expand, cluster, cluster and set up farms.

        their effort is pretty much pointless.
  • by andrea.sartori (1603543) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @10:52AM (#35347698) Journal
    Successful partnership between Microsoft and PHP developers. What could possibly go wrong?
  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @10:53AM (#35347704) Homepage

    It's not the hardest job in MS. It's a PR stunt. Just being hired is already a win for MS.

    • examples (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:04AM (#35347840) Homepage

      I mean, I don't know this guy personally, so it's not an attack on him, but MS has hired various "open source" people in the past, and what do we get?

      MS pays Nokia to drop KDE and MeeGo. MS pays Novell to develop a C# and .Net stuff (which prevents the antitrust commission calling them a monopoly), and when Novell goes bust, MS buys their patents.

      I don't see any indication that this hire is any good news for us.

    • by causality (777677) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:14AM (#35347946)

      It's not the hardest job in MS. It's a PR stunt. Just being hired is already a win for MS.

      The hardest job at MS would be their security experts. Imagine trying to do a job and having every last move you make either neutered or cancelled entirely by Marketing.

      MS has a small army of highly skilled people. They could definitely produce higher quality software. I believe they could make malware a rarity if they really wanted to do it. But what's their incentive when you can make billions without going to all the trouble?

      The only reason MS is being so nice lately is they're more irrelevant than ever. Microsoft can handle being loved and they can handle being hated. What they don't want to face is being ignored. They're hardly obscure yet but they are long-term strategic thinkers so they realize that things are moving in that direction, in baby steps at the moment. The real interesting stuff is coming from Google and Apple while Microsoft is stagnating. Windows 7 is nice but it's not the giant improvement that XP was over Win98. Even the XBox360 is showing its age.

      When things were going so well for MS and the industry was very interested in what they were doing, we got to see how much of a dick they can be. If they start innovating again you can expect their attitude about Open Source to go back to the "Halloween documents" days. I hope Mr. Rabellino understands one thing very well: if you get in bed with Microsoft, you're going to get fucked.

      You know, even if Microsoft really has turned over a new leaf and really has a sincere desire to honestly work with Open Source, even if this really isn't a trap of the "embrace and extend" sort ... their past behavior makes them unworthy of our cooperation. They have about ten years of complete asshattery to undo and all of the people who perpetrated that are still running the company, particularly Ballmer. Maybe this is like politics where people have horribly short memories.

      • by TheLink (130905)

        The hardest job at MS would be their security experts. Imagine trying to do a job and having every last move you make either neutered or cancelled entirely by Marketing.

        Seems the following video was created by people in Microsoft: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXAcwriid0 [youtube.com]

        If that's true they also have marketing talent (or had ;) ). Their stuff just gets "microsofted" on the way out.

      • They're hardly being ignored here on Slashdot. Probably even Microsoft's blog doesn't post such a binge of Microsoft PR material...
        • by causality (777677)

          They're hardly being ignored here on Slashdot. Probably even Microsoft's blog doesn't post such a binge of Microsoft PR material...

          True, though from reading through the comments I see that most people aren't buying it. That's PR I can appreciate.

          It's probably the only kind. They call it "Public Relations" because that's shorter than "a substitute for lack of merit". PR: what you fall back on when the straight unspun truth wouldn't make you look so good.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        The only reason MS is being so nice lately is they're more irrelevant than ever. Microsoft can handle being loved and they can handle being hated. What they don't want to face is being ignored. They're hardly obscure yet but they are long-term strategic thinkers so they realize that things are moving in that direction, in baby steps at the moment. The real interesting stuff is coming from Google and Apple while Microsoft is stagnating. Windows 7 is nice but it's not the giant improvement that XP was over Win98. Even the XBox360 is showing its age.

        Go back ten years, and you're exactly the same... Microsoft owns the desktop with Windows, the businesses through Exchange and Office, everybody is going "Microsoft is stagnating" Uh no, just no. If anything most companies are now even deeper in the pockets of Microsoft than before through Sharepoint and various other hooks. Many people will continue to use Windows at home because they use Windows at work, and honestly if Microsoft wasn't in a crisis over Vista then Windows 7 is a walk in the park. The only

    • by Carewolf (581105)

      In fact a pretty easy job. If the job really involves trying to improve cooperation, the job is essential to tell MS: If you want their cooperation, you should stop trying to murder them.

      Of course if the job is to make open source cooperate more in getting murdered, things might be more difficult.

  • 13 years later, Microsoft realizes that PHP is so much better than .NET. Congrats.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      By what exact definition would you come up with?

      1) Speed -> .NET
      2) IDEs -> Varies by user, VS, Eclipse, whatever, and most that can handle PHP can handle C# or VB.NET -> .NET
      3) Features in Built in Library -> .NET
      4) Available Modules from 3rd party devs -> ???
      5) Documentation -> Parity, both have very good documentation

      So, as far as I can see, the only place .NET could win out is #4 .NET wins on 1 and 3.
      On #2, .NET wins, but only due to one more IDE
      on #5, no clear winner.

      • Re:13 years ... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bberens (965711) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:40AM (#35348260)
        I would say PHP definitely wins in the platform support category. You can run PHP just about anywhere. Mono is okay but it isn't "there" imho.
        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          Sticking to the 2.0 runtime, I've not had *ANY* troubles with mono.

          Mind you, I've not used it on a Mac, and I've read that calling external libraries on a Mac is a bit qurky

      • by unity100 (970058)
        php wins all of them. it doesnt win even, it bulldozes.

        php is part of lamp stack. and on lamp stacks, php flat out leaves behind net et al in speed. in regard to features and libraries, there isnt a few programming languages that can cope up with it on the face of the planet. we are little short of starting having modules for php in apache or libraries in php to do physical interface programming to boil eggs in the morning or make our tea.

        available modules from 3rd party devs ? oh boy. there are ENDLE
      • by ByOhTek (1181381)

        Err, typo, the only place PHP could win out is #4

  • by Yuioup (452151) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @10:58AM (#35347752)
    If I remember correctly there was some guy name Bill Milf [wikipedia.org] who had a similar position. Did that ever amount to anything?
    • by Locutus (9039)
      that's right, this is a training position at Microsoft as they pull open source skilled management types into Microsoft to help them work to fight off open source options. Nobody should EVER think that an open source skilled person inside of Microsoft will help open source projects. It's all about Microsoft software being used _instead_ of open source. Interoperability means this too.

      LoB
  • Assimilation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062)
    It has begun....

    .
    Does anyone really think Microsoft wants to partner with the Open Source people?

    Microsoft is out to destroy the Open Source community. Why else would Microsoft prohibit Open Source apps from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace [theinquirer.net]?

    • by piripiri (1476949)
      Licensing conflict perhaps?
    • Destroying the open source community and wanting to hire them because "that's where the developers are" are hardly contradictory. They gotta eat somehow...

      • Re:Assimilation (Score:4, Insightful)

        by causality (777677) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:25AM (#35348090)

        Destroying the open source community and wanting to hire them because "that's where the developers are" are hardly contradictory. They gotta eat somehow...

        If that's where the developers are it's partly because Microsoft's business practices and general stagnation drove them there.

  • I suspect this is a PR stunt more than anything. Even if MS were serious about it, it wouldn't work. Combining a for-profit company and the OSS philosophy of selfless idealism (which the OSS community often embraces in its most extreme and uncompromising form, no less) almost always results in failure. Just look at Canonical. They tried to do it, only to end up under fire [slashdot.org] for even the mildest moves towards making money. Combining "I want to give everything away for free, including all our IP" with "I want t

    • by causality (777677)

      I suspect this is a PR stunt more than anything. Even if MS were serious about it, it wouldn't work. Combining a for-profit company and the OSS philosophy of selfless idealism (which the OSS community often embraces in its most extreme and uncompromising form, no less) almost always results in failure. Just look at Canonical. They tried to do it, only to end up under fire [slashdot.org] for even the mildest moves towards making money. Combining "I want to give everything away for free, including all our IP" with "I want to make money" is just a very tough proposition.

      The viable Open Source companies like Red Hat generally sell support and enterprise features. It seems to work well for them.

  • Big Society (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:01AM (#35347800)

    Steve Ballmer is the same type of creep as George W. Bush or David Cameron. Instead of Open Source think Compassionate Conservatism or Big Society. It's all the same thing and just a way to market useful idiots as being in the club and get them to work for free. If it doesn't make them and their pals a profit (or reduce a loss) they'll hang you out to dry the second the going gets difficult.

    How about instead of selling out to these toffs people learn management, marketing, and finance themselves so they can provide a better alternative? Microsoft, the Republicans, and the Tories will never change. They just want to be top dog and don't care how they do it. Anyone who things they have changed is wasting their time. It's the 1930's all over again.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:04AM (#35347842) Journal
    Would the Open Source Communities agree to be directed by the director paid by Microsoft? Shouldn't the job title be something along the lines of manager/director of relationship/liaison with open source communities? Or Microsoft thinks it can just move in and claim ownership by fiat? What happened to embrace and extend before extinguish?
    • "Director" is a business title, like "Director of Software", "Director of Business Development", "Director of Engineering", "Director of Sales" etc. In this case, it means it is a senior role with good pay & perks, and probably a decent-sized staff.

  • by phonewebcam (446772) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:04AM (#35347850) Homepage

    No one wants to take a drink from it, no matter how thoroughly they claim to have cleaned it.

  • Are we going to see a sudden outpouring of love for the GPL/LGPL? Or are we talking 'open' as in something Microsoft can scoop up and build into their proprietary product suites?

    I think it will be closer to option B.

  • Microsoft won't really change until the BOD inserts a new CEO.

    Reputation and memory of the current occupant is distinctly distasteful.

  • MicroSoft generously supplies a meeting room. Some of their people attend, but dont give presentations. Job recruiters come too. There are 10x job openings per person looking.
  • Sounds Familiar... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by corychristison (951993) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:35AM (#35348200)

    Anyone remember when Daniel Robbins (founder of Gentoo Linux) went to work for MS?

    From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

    Robbins' move to Microsoft, on 13 June 2005, attracted attention[15][16] within the Linux community, which has historically had a combative relationship with Microsoft. He described his role working for Bill Hilf as "...helping Microsoft to understand Open Source and community-based projects..."[17]

    However, Robbins resigned less than a year later on 16 January 2006 due to frustrations that he was unable to fully utilize his technical skills in this position. His new job is at ABC Coding Solutions where he will be focused on building in .NET on Windows.[18]

    I'm quite certain he browses Slashdot, perhaps he could chime in on what Microsoft has been up to?

  • by return 42 (459012) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @11:37AM (#35348228)

    Microsoft knows the FOSS community has some power now. So instead of their old tactics, they're trying to be nice. Diplomatic.

    As in, diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" whilst you find a rock.

  • This isn't about Microsoft claiming to have a change of heart or wanting to be friends with anybody, genuine or fake. Microsoft is a large corporation run by business executives. Business types don't see themselves or their actions as moral or immoral. They see them as amoral. Think... like a shark. It doesn't kill because it's evil, it kills because it's a shark and that's what a shark does. If Microsoft execs see a benefit to Microsoft in playing nice with OSS developers then that is what Microsoft w
  • by johnthorensen (539527) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @12:40PM (#35348908)
    Hardest job at Microsoft? Pffft...hardly. That prize went to the Windows Vista marketing V.P.

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