A blog about computers, open source, software and other perceptions gained over the years as a sysadmin.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mark Shuttleworth is a bit naive.

Saw an excellent blog-post from TheOpenSourcerer  and then Marks answer. Then TheOpenSourcerer made a followup.

In essence TheOpenSourcerer  begs the question, is canonical slipping towards Microsoft and away from the free software goals?

I would rather say Shuttleworth is setting himself up to be knocked down by being all to nice to a predatory company.

One comment made by Shuttleworth is very alarming:

"But I'm not here to punish Microsoft, or hate them, I'm here to build a better way, if I can. It will be hard, but we can. And in the cases where we have common cause, I am happy to work with Microsoft. That may be a hard concept for people who think that life is easier to understand if you have an enemy to make your own cause right, but I find that attitude leads to bigotry and bad results, and makes it impossible to get past the wrongs of the past."

If Mark Shuttleworth takes a quick gander backwards he will see a ton of wreckege. A pileup of past companies that had the same view on Microsoft lies there in rumbles. History is a good indicator of what lies ahead and ignoring it will never lead to success. Its good to be looking forward but you cant just close your eyes and pretend some things never happened.

The reason you never work with Microsoft has nothing to do with hate, its about survival. The concept of cooperation just isn't in their vocabulary.

Calling these protests about mono and yahoo Microsoft-hate is wrong. We want canonical to survive but not as a vehicle for Microsoft to destroy Linux. Internal email from Microsoft clearly states Linux is Microsofts biggest enemy. The Halloween documents still apply inside Microsoft. Your dilusional if you think MS want to play all nice and clean this time when it has never happened before.

Mark writes:

"Nor were we willing to accept Microsoft's terms of IP licensing, as Novell did. But if there are constructive places where we can work with Microsoft, or Oracle, or IBM, all of whom ship quite a lot of proprietary software, we certainly will engage openly and in good faith. And I believe we do so with the full support of the leaders of the Ubuntu community."

Canonical has clearly accepted Microsofts licensing of the patents in mono and all the loose ends about it.

About working with Microsoft in good faith, again, its only possible if the other side does the same. Why would you go in knowing the other side uses every possible cheat in the book?

The leaders of the Ubuntu community? Since when was Linux about some leaders telling users and developers what to do? Its a grassroots movement, not some kind of pyramid. This is the statement that disturbs me the most. What about the users? I read this as a "end of discussion!", that canonical lost the argument and decided they know best and just ignore the little guys.

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