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Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation 425

Penguinisto writes "According to a somewhat jaw-dropping story in The Register, it appears that Microsoft has performed a trifecta of geek-scaring feats: They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platinum member(at $100K USD a year), submitted LGPL-licensed patches for ADOdb, and have pledged to expand their Open Specifications Promise by adding to the list more than 100 protocols for interoperability between its Windows Server and the Windows client. While I sincerely doubt they'll release Vista under a GPL license anytime soon, this is certainly an unexpected series of moves on their part, and could possibly lead to more OSS (as opposed to 'Shared Source') interactivity between what is arguably Linux' greatest adversary and the Open Source community." (We mentioned the announced support for the Apache Foundation earlier today, as well.)
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Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:10PM (#24342355)

    He doesn't like cold.

    • Yeah. Now watch all the banks fail in the US. Stranger every day.

    • by paroneayea ( 642895 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @07:09PM (#24343133) Homepage


      Actually, this isn't really much of a turnaround. Microsoft has long played the "we love open source" (but hate GPL!) stance. The Apache foundation has long since been in the BSD-like license camp (there's very little actual difference between the apache license and BSD). Microsoft really doesn't mind being able to take code. It just doesn't like the idea of having to give back. This may be a way of trying to push the open source community to move toward the BSD-style licensing community... after all, Microsoft uses BSD code. OSX *definetly* uses BSD code. It's possible to totally be proprietary and be cool with BSD.

      So what about the LGPL? The LGPL does require that if you make changes to the library, you have to give them back. So if you make changes to glib, you gotta give them back. But you can make any app link to glib, and be completely proprietary, and it doesn't have to be open source. In many ways, this isn't too much of a problem for Microsoft though, since they really aren't in the business of libraries, they're in the business of applications and operating systems. It's is a small advancement though.

      It's this kind of situation which is why the FSF, which originally produced the LGPL, wrote an essay saying that it's not always strategically the best choice for free and open source software [gnu.org].

      • by mpeskett ( 1221084 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:01PM (#24343787)
        As far as I can tell the difference between the GPL and BSD licenses is basically the difference between a project, and a piece of code.

        Under BSD, they put out a project, it's open, and you can take bits and build it into something of your own, at which point it is your project, do what you like with it

        With GPL the person who wrote the code wants all of their code to remain 'open' wherever it goes, so if you swipe some of their coding and put it in your own module, to make that module proprietary would be locking up their code. Although of course, the original source remains open...

        Still, it makes the Extend (or maybe the Extinguish) part of the "3 E's" strategy harder if you have to give back everything you add.
      • by iamnotaclown ( 169747 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:49PM (#24344201)

        they really aren't in the business of libraries, they're in the business of applications and operating systems.

        They're very much in the business of proprietary libraries. That's how they lock companies into the Windows platform. If they switched to glibc and gtk (or qt) it would be almost trivial for application vendors to recompile for any platform those libraries are available.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by moosesocks ( 264553 )

          They seem pretty much OK with Mono and the Mono team's Silverlight port.

          Honestly.... I don't get why Microsoft get treated like crap the instant that they start doing almost exactly what we wanted them to.

          I honestly couldn't give a damn if Windows is F/OSS or not. Being able to see the source with a licensed copy would be nice, but not a terribly huge priority for me.

          What is a priority, as a Linux user, is that Linux and Windows play nicely with each other. This means that Microsoft has to commit to keepi

          • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday July 26, 2008 @02:44AM (#24346161) Homepage Journal
            This means that Microsoft has to commit to keeping their protocols open to the open-source community,

            Actually, just using Open Standards would be better. And sometimes there are no Open Standards, and then publishing what they are using without restrictive IPR agreements is all we need them to do. They don't have to spend much money on this. We can make things interoperable without any more help than that.

            Rather than an ext3 driver on Windows, any network-attached storage device using an open protocol (like Samba) would be a better solution unless you're dirt-poor. Such devices sell below $250 these days.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BrainInAJar ( 584756 )
        "there's very little actual difference between the apache license and BSD"

        FUD and lies. The Apache license requires you share the code that is under the Apache license. Any file that contains any apache licensed code must remain apache licensed, along with any changes.

        The difference between Apache and GPL is that GPL defines some vague "project" whereas Apache uses the clear term "file" as the domain the viral clause applies to
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TeXMaster ( 593524 )
          Hm. So what happens if you refactor the code in an Apache-licensed file by taking it apart and making many small files? does the Apache license still apply to any new file which uses part of the original code in the file, or since these are new files you can do whatever you want with it?

          IOW, what happens to the code in the file? Can you grab it and do whatever you want with it, as long as you put it in another file?

          I suspect this would put the Apache license in a gray area just as much as GPL has regard

    • by mooreti1 ( 1123363 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:09PM (#24344773)
      I imagine even God is looking at the Devil and saying, "Dude, don't look at me. Even I didn't see that coming."
    • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday July 26, 2008 @03:16AM (#24346261) Homepage Journal
      This became public on Newsforge a few years after I left HP, that's where I got this copy.

      During much of the time I was at HP - hired to be an Open Source leader first and an HP employee second - I knew about this and had to keep it secret. It was a pretty big hardship for me, obviously I felt I was being disloyal to my own community. I'm pasting it in here today so that we don't forget Microsoft's previous intentions toward Apache. - Bruce

      From: Campbell, Gary [mailto:gary.campbell@hp.com]
      Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 7:27 PM
      To: Stallard, Scott J; CTO Office Directs; Chaffin, Janice; Denzel, Nora; McDowell, Mary; Elias, Howard; Fink, Martin R; Becker, Rick (ISS); Beyers, Joe Cc: Blackmore, Peter; Robison, Shane
      Subject: Microsoft Patent Cross License - Open Source Software Impact

      Microsoft Patent Cross License - Open Source Software Impact

      Today we agreed on a new patent cross license with Microsoft that protects HP in the short term, but it has significant impact on HP's use of Open Source software in the long term. More importantly, we now understand that Microsoft is about to launch legal action against the industry for shipping Open Source software that may force us out of using certain popular Open Source products. We need to create a cross-HP staffed program to understand the implication by product group and to provide the short term and long term steerage. I'll hook up with Martin tomorrow and start planning next steps for a cross-HP planning team.


      HP is we believe, protected by our previous cross license for patents filed by Microsoft up to June of 2001, to ship open source software that violates Microsoft patents that was developed or shipped prior to today. This means that we can freeze on today's open source functionality and we are protected.

      The new cross license does not protect us against new Microsoft patents filed after June 2001 against new open source product functionality shipped or created after today. So we have a two year window before HP has exposure on new Microsoft patents against new open source functionality, but we have exposure because of the MAD clause in the GPL if Microsoft attacks another entity with existing patents. See next section.

      Open Source Software is described as a license that follows the intent and process of GPL or GPL lite. Additionally several major products are explicitly called out as not protected by the cross license, such as Samba, Wine, KDE, Gnome, Apache, Sendmail, and Linux.

      Microsoft's Intentions:

      Microsoft could attack Open Source Software for patent infringements against OEMs, Linux distributors, and least likely open source developers. They are specifically upset about Samba, Apache and Sendmail. We believe Samba is first, and they will attempt to prove it isn't covered by prior patent cross as a so called "clone" product carve out in the previous agreement.

      OEMs that don't have a cross(like SUN), or OEMs like HP that they force a change in their cross license to exclude open source software are probably the first target. Intel, Red Hat, SuSE, UBL, Oracle are probably in the first wave as well.

      IBM we don't know what the status of termination of their Microsoft cross license is. They could be protected by their previous OS/2 deals?

      Mutually Assured Destruction Clause:

      But it probably doesn't matter, because the GPL license has a mutually assured destruction clause in section 7, if anyone is sued over a patent infringement, no one is licensed under the GPL to ship GPL-ed products. This is probably what Microsoft intends to do.

      Basically Microsoft is going to use the legal system to shut down open source software, and for all of its cleverness, the GPL makes it fairly easy unless a white knight steps in.

      Best guess on the timing, this fall when they are finished settling with DOJ and the states.

      Industry Reaction:

      At this point we have no information on who would defend open source with

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:14PM (#24342399) Homepage

    Maybe they finally got tired of being wrong. This is surprisingly clueful behaviour, and should be encouraged.

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:18PM (#24342469) Homepage Journal

      Even if they finally turned around and will finally work with everyone else with no dark agenda for the future, old-timers like me (i.e. more than 25-30 years old) will not trust them until they have really proven themselves.

      Their most recent move was the OOXML fiasco, so you can understand my skepticism.

      • by ya really ( 1257084 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:26PM (#24342597)

        old-timers like me (i.e. more than 25-30 years old) will not trust them until they have really proven themselves.

        Since when is 25 old? I just turned 25 and have yet to tell kids to "Get off my lawn", "Turn down that music" or say "Back in my day..."

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by aembleton ( 324527 )
          He didn't say 25 is old. He said "old-timers like me (i.e. more than 25-30 years old)"; implying that an old-timer is anyone over 30 years old.
        • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

          I said "more than", which means you're still young. And we're talking about the computing field here, where a decade is extremely long and a lot can happen.

          If you didn't start using computers before MS-DOS, you're still very young.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:34PM (#24342719)

          Ah, you young whippersnappers, back in my day 25 was plenty old! We sang the hacker song, enjoyed the writings of ESR and we all coded in vi...uphill...both ways. Now turn down that music and get off my lawn!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew ( 866215 )

        Yet even in the wake of tampering with ISO, one Microsoft employee from the Office group recently had a quote saying that Microsoft knew they have lost the document standard war, and that was why they were adding support for ODF in SP2.

      • by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:57PM (#24342971) Journal

        Microsoft making their protocols available isn't the same as "work with everyone else". Microsoft's protocols and file formats all:

        a) tend to be very complex and/or virtually impossible to fully implement. See OOXML.
        b) change with every version of Windows, and then sometimes in between. Somehow, documentation lags implementation by quite some time. Years sometimes. See Europe's attempt at extracting up-to-date documentation from them.

        While releasing documentation closes the gap somewhat, it still leaves the game as "Works best when you only use Windows machines". Which is exactly what is best for Microsoft.

        While this can be viewed as a positive step, it very much is a "you can play with my ball, but under my conditions, and whenever I get a new one, you can't play with it until I feel like it", and not "let's all play together with all the toys so everyone can have more fun".

      • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @07:30PM (#24343441) Journal

        Even if they finally turned around and will finally work with everyone else with no dark agenda for the future, old-timers like me (i.e. more than 25-30 years old) will not trust them until they have really proven themselves.

        However old timers like me (who programmed computers that used vacuum tubes, not just for the switches, but for the DIODES in the logic), remember when IBM had much the same reputation for closed tech and predatory behavior as Microsoft does now.

        After SCO vs. IBM (and for a while before) there's no question where IBM is on the issue now. Wouldn't it be nice if, now that Bill is going away, Microsoft is starting to take a few steps down the same path?

        (Then again, perhaps an "itsatrap" tag is appropriate...)

    • by Burz ( 138833 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:26PM (#24342607) Homepage Journal

      More likely this is a move to build OSS and interoperability cred they'll need in court if/when they feel the need to pull a SCO against Linux.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What do you mean? Microsoft already did pull an SCO against Linux. That's what SCO was!

      • by seanadams.com ( 463190 ) * on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:34PM (#24342703) Homepage

        It's a big company. Takes a long time for everyone to start going in the same direction, especially given Microsoft's entrenched culture and weak leadership.

        The way this works is some guy deep in the bowels of some special project says to his boss "look, I know what our policy is but I really need to contribute this patch so that it gets incorporated into future versions. See, this benefits us. Can we make an exception". By some miracle it gets approved, and thus an internal movement is born. It may take years for all the upper management asshats to get their head around it, but this is how it starts. I agree with the GP, surprisingly nothing stinks about this particular movement, albeit deep in the bowels of the company.

    • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:30PM (#24342659)

      Maybe they finally got tired of being wrong. This is surprisingly clueful behaviour, and should be encouraged.

      Sure. But actions are where it's at. Let's see what Microsoft does with this. They've got a long history (up to recent events) of doing Bad Things.

      Maybe this is a turning point. I hope it is. But the cynic in me believes Micrsoft is holding something behind their back.

      My guess is this is simply another shot at figuring out Linux's air supply. The old standby of sales didn't work. Copyrights and patents haven't really provided any handholds. Businesses have been resistant - and really, it's just a different angle on sales. So the new tact is to go after the LAMP stack (or the general idea that LAMP represents).

      Sure - "developers, developers, developers" still holds true. But now it extends to "applications, applications, applications."

    • Bill Gates? (Score:3, Interesting)

      Maybe this had to do with Bill Gates' departure from Microsoft?

      Just wondering...

    • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @08:54PM (#24344237) Homepage

      I'll say it's clueful. The FSF hate the LGPL with a passion. It's their red headed stepchild, and they'd throw it in the wood chipper in a second if they could. By supporting the LGPL, Microsoft are basically trolling Stallman and Moglen.

      I'd mod Microsoft -1 troll but +2 funny if I could.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:17PM (#24342445)

    I am with Linus on this one

  • by ndnspongebob ( 942859 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:19PM (#24342489)
    In unrelated news, evolution picks up pace as pigs gain wings.
  • Insanity! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ActionDesignStudios ( 877390 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:20PM (#24342505)
    I love seeing things get open sourced just as much as the next guy, but who in their right mind would WANT the source code for Vista?
    • Not me. Embarassingly, I don't think I even have enough room on my hard drive to compile the thing. (Well, maybe Home Basic Edition.)
  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:20PM (#24342509)

    There's some 'embrace, extend, obsolete' in here somewhere, but I'm beginning to think that this behavior from MS has a lot more to do with Ballmer's seemingly obsessive desire to overtake Google.

    In other words, in order to defeat their enemy, they're going to try to BECOME their enemy first. MS is trying to emulate everything Google does, including supporting open source projects.

  • Embrace.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stox ( 131684 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:21PM (#24342529) Homepage


    Sorry Microsoft, but given their past behavior and downright malicious attacks, they're going to have to do far more to gain trust.

    What is interesting/scary is that for a relatively small amount ( As seen from the Microsoft Universe ), they could buy off virtually every project, of note, out there. How many projects could be supported on Microsoft's toilet paper budget alone?

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:21PM (#24342531) Homepage Journal
    There is much reason for caution. Historically, Microsoft helped to fund SCO's attack on Linux - we have court testimony under oath on that. They briefed HP on their plans to sue the the developers of Sendmail, Linux and other programs - we have the HP memo, which HP admitted was real. Their agreement with Novell was calculated to break the spirit of the GPL without violating the letter, so they've shown they are happy to cheat the developer community when it's to their advantage. More recently, they have cheated every way they could in getting Office Open XML through ISO, even having one of their executives pose as officer of a national standards organization.

    The Apache and LGPL licenses aren't much of a threat to them. GPL is, because GPL prevents "embrace and enhance", Microsoft's commonly-exercised strategy to take over a market. Microsoft has signed over work to FSF in the past when it was necessary to get changes into GCC for one of their (past) divisions that was making a Unix compatibility layer. I don't think this is the first time they've had to deal with GPL, by far.

    So, the big question is, have they turned over a new leaf? I think they're still a super-size multinational for-profit corporation, and the reality is that every one of those will be self-serving first, whether they are Microsoft or someone more usually identified as a "friend" to Open Source. But Microsoft has managed to set themselves ahead of other corporations as a frequent user of dirty-fighting tactics to get its way. I don't expect that corporate culture to go away.

    I think we still have some big problems with Microsoft, primarily around software patents. They are still in a position to attack Linux with them, although they would probably do that using a proxy, as they did with SCO. Their increased involvement in Open Source organizations means that they will be taken as a member of the Open Source community when they speak with national legislators. This is terrible for us, because it means they'll be able to short-circuit our work to protect Open Source from software patents by speaking to government as an insider in our communities. They've been lobbying for a software patent treaty between Europe and the U.S. (part of the "anti-piracy treaty" currently under discussion but not available to the public) which could make criminal prosecution a new tool against suspected patent infringers on both sides of the Atlantic. And because this is a treaty rather than legislation, it effectively takes the question out of public debate and just leaves it to congress to approve or reject the entire treaty. Want to guess how many people in congress want to be seen as "for piracy"? Any non-trivial software program infringes patents, Open Source or not. We're still in rather deep trouble regarding this, if anyone wants to push the issue. And their general counsel made clear, in a recent speech at OSBC, that they're still not willing to put down the patent "gun".

    So, I can't say I think this is a good thing.


    • Tactics aside... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mangu ( 126918 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:56PM (#24342967)

      I can't say I think this is a good thing.

      All the points you mention may be valid, but I think that's not the most important issue here. It doesn't matter what are Microsoft's future plans, the important thing is that they have seen the need for a major change in tactics. This means they are starting to see the possibility of defeat.

      • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @07:05PM (#24343067) Homepage Journal
        This means they are starting to see the possibility of defeat.

        Let's not get overconfident. Whatever gains we once made on the desktop have been blown away by Apple. Despite the fact that we give away a wonderful compatible office suite in OpenOffice 3 for free, most companies and individuals are still buying MS Office. The software patent system is still tilted against us, and may be getting worse depending on an upcoming treaty - assumptions that the Bilski case will solve the problem for us are unrealistic to say the least. And it looks like they will get ISO to publish Office Open XML.

        So, sure Microsoft is positioning itself for future strategy, but I bet they still see themselves winning. And they may well do so.


        • Re:Tactics aside... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by huckamania ( 533052 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @07:24PM (#24343369) Journal

          It's not a zero-sum game and never has been. The bazaar model is not a replacement for the cathedral model, both can exist and flourish. The attitude that you are either with us or against us is flawed.

          At this point, I don't see how MS can roll back the gains that Linux has made. These moves are probably a realization on their part of that fact. They never crushed Apple (far more evil and closed, in my eyes) and never really tried. Most of the examples of embrace, extend and extinguish were helped by the greed and incompetence of those who were embraced, extended and extinguished.

          • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @07:43PM (#24343611) Homepage Journal

            It's not a zero-sum game and never has been. The bazaar model is not a replacement for the cathedral model, both can exist and flourish. The attitude that you are either with us or against us is flawed.

            Well, sorry, but those are three platitudes that I wasn't really discussing.

            To put the issue of Open Source overconfidence in better perspective, though, I'd like to see one legislative change in the United States that is designed to help protect Open Source software. Just one. That would be a measure of our wins or lack thereof.


  • In other news-

    - Hell froze over
    - The moon turned blue
    - George Bush renounced violence as the pathway to peace
    - Oh, and Microsoft "embraced" open-source software

    In the press release, Bill Gates was quoted as saying, "This is going to hurt you a lot more than it will me."

    This oughta be more fun than a barrel fulla monkeys. It ain't over till the fat lady sings ... just wait until other shoe drops... yadda yadda.

  • Never (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <[enderandrew] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:27PM (#24342615) Homepage Journal

    Apple will never use Intel processors.
    Dell will never ship AMD processors.
    Dell will never ship Linux.

    These things happen. People can change their minds. Microsoft is still doing evil and illegal things on a regular basis (like last year, offering illegal bribes to get Nigeria to drop Mandriva) but not every single employee at Microsoft is evil. Not every department is necessarily evil.

    Microsoft has been doing a number of reasonably good things for a while now, and everyone keeps suggesting they are part of some scheme and conspiracy. People shouldn't be completely shocked by this act.

    I think it is just a continuation of a new trend towards being slightly less evil. Every time Microsoft opens more protocols, releases more code, and tries to work with the OSS community, instead of acting like children and calling names, I think the community should encourage Microsoft to continue the trend of migrating to a more open company.

    • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:33PM (#24342695)
      People shouldn't be completely shocked by this act.

      Nobody is shocked, but everybody is rightfully suspicious.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by anss123 ( 985305 )

      not every single employee at Microsoft is evil

      Are you sure?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Yes. I've spoken with a few MS folks, and most that I've spoke with are quite bright and most definitely not evil. There is just an insufficient number of such people in the right places. Did I mention I never spoke with anyone in any sort of upper management?
  • The sky is full of flying pigs! ... or... I'm hallucinating. What's the catch?
  • Wut (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Aphoxema ( 1088507 )

    I was bullshitting with my friends and said that I think Microsoft has two years left before it's no longer the leader of the operating system market. I said it with no real insight or evidence, I just claimed it and I bet 10 dollars against it.

    218 days left... maybe I'll get to go on Oprah or something and show off my framed ten dollar bill. This slashdot entry is officially almost kind of like proof that I said what I did a little bit.

    As big as this news is, assuming it's credible and lasting, I'm complet

  • They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platinum member(at $100K USD a year)

    They just bought out ISO. I wonder if this is getting a start on ASF?

  • by dclozier ( 1002772 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:40PM (#24342787)

    The real reason they are doing this is to make the option of running Apache on Windows more appealing. This way Windows has an easier time gaining ground on Linux in the server market.

    Like others have said, embrace and extend typically leads to something getting extinguished. They are not to be trusted. Sorry.

    • I'm fine with that. Saying, "okay, we're fine with you using Apache and PHP instead of IIS and ASP, but try them on Windows!" is a win-win.

      The end users have choice. Linux shouldn't be the only choice, in the same way that Windows shouldn't be the only choice.

      Competition is good. Interoperability is good. Choice is good.

      Microsoft once believed they had to force and bully people into locked solutions. To an extent, portions of Microsoft still operate that way. But other portions of Microsoft realize they have market share, loads of wealth, and a huge staff. Why not just try to put out a good product and compete? Let the market decide.

    • The real reason they are doing this is to make the option of running Apache on Windows more appealing.

      Not sure how this makes running Apache more "appealing" on Windows. I was under the impression that the Apache web server already ran fairly well on Windows. The code MS was donating was to the PHP project; the only thing they've given the ASF is money.

      Nevertheless, I think I see your larger point about being wary of Microsoft's intentions. They certainly have a lot of ground to make up to win people's trust, especially with the debacle of the OOXML fast-track process.

      However, I think what we're seeing w

  • by erko ( 806441 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:40PM (#24342789)
    microsoft uses GNU?
  • irrelevant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:44PM (#24342829)

    Have they renounced their "200 patents" claim? Have they stopped bundling, tying, and bullying vendors?


    All this other stuff is largely irrelevant. OSP is legally meaningless, the LGPL doesn't require Microsoft's blessing, and joining the Apache foundation could be as sinister as their ISO efforts.

    Microsoft seems to have been moving a little in the right direction, but they are still far away from being trustworthy or respectable.

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @06:51PM (#24342897) Homepage Journal
    no dice. LAMP has grown so big that nothing can topple it anymore. many of you are probably not aware, because you are working in old school corporate positions, or even locked into ms shops, however there are bazillions of web sites, estores, portals, communities being hosted on throngs of LAMP servers throughout countless shared hosts both small and big in size throughout the net.

    it has grown to such an extent that the scripts have become expertise fields in themselves. they are asking for "joomla experts" in elance, "oscommerce module programmers", "somephpscript api coders". not even plain straight 'php programmer'. you are already expected to have a good grip of php, mysql. these sub expertise fields can really vary in hourly rates that are accepted throughout the markets. as a php coder you may able to get $15 an hour if you're decent (even with the $3/ hour indians get), yet an "oscommerce expert" can fetch you over $20/hour, and other niche stuff can even fetch higher. and thats all telecommuting, not even talking about on-site positions.

    im telling these to let you know that even the 'people's community' facet of LAMP has grown to be a market in itself, specializing into subfields. not only that, but as many medium businesses start to adopt lamp, we are increasingly being asked larger scale projects every day.

    you cant match the will of the people. it has gone WAY larger than anyone can have a hack at.

    but thats microsoft. they may not be able to hack at it, but they may definitely try to dent it. thats their philosophy.
  • by LM741N ( 258038 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @07:29PM (#24343427)

    So I can convert it one file with a bunch of simple text config lines.

    e.g. DRM_enable="NO"

    and so on, kind of like a really long rc.conf file.

  • by nEoN nOoDlE ( 27594 ) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:51PM (#24344659) Homepage

    Dear Open Source Community,
    We were wrong and we're sorry. As a token of our apology, here's a nice big wooden horse.


  • by Orbital Sander ( 237340 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @12:17PM (#24348749) Homepage

    You can't "buy" a membership in the Apache Software Foundation, and corporations cannot become members. As has been [codeconsult.ch] blogged [agylen.com] elsewhere [wordpress.com], El Reg has its terminology wrong on this one.

    Microsoft has agreed to a platinum level sponsorship [wordpress.com] of the Apache Software Foundation. If you browse to the page, you'll see that the benefits of sponsoring, even at that level, consist of a logo and a press release.

    You can't buy a membership in the ASF. The only way to influence the ASF is to show up and talk code. Anyone can join the mailinglists and start contributing patches, and everyone who contributes a substantial amount of code signs a license agreement [apache.org] to clear the IP. If folks contribute code of consistent quality, they become committers. As they show their interest in the project surpasses their day to day circumstances (like affiliation), they are invited to the Project Management Committee. Show that you have the interests of the foundation at heart, and you'll likely be invited to become a member and get to vote in board elections. That's how it works [apache.org]. Membership can be earned, but not bought.

    -- Sander Temme - Member, Apache Software Foundation

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay