back to article Introducing the Open Source Rookie of the Year... Whoa, it's Microsoft

It's déjà vu all over again for Microsoft, as Black Duck Software has named Redmond's TypeScript project among its 2012 Open Source Rookies of the Year - despite Microsoft spending nearly a decade trying to figure out this crazy communist software manifesto. Back in 2001, Microsoft labeled open source a "cancer," "un-American …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It wasn't open source they took issue with, it was the GPL.

    Link your code with some GPL code and yours then becomes GPL. That was the "cancer" they were talking about.

    1. 45RPM
      Facepalm

      Well said…

      But this is just another case of ElReg pulling our legs on a Saturday morning by allowing newbies to write articles for them.

      Please stop, Vulture Central, it's too early for your teasing!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Well said…

        45RPM: "But this is just another case of ElReg pulling our legs on a Saturday morning by allowing newbies to write articles for them."

        Yes, and these are fresh shell newbs, not yet fried. If you read the list of "Rookies of the Year", you'll notice immediately these softwares are used by web doodlers. I would go as far to say .ASP web doodlers. BlackDuck or whatever, is pretty lame.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      Link your code with some GPL code?

      "Link your code with some GPL code and yours then becomes GPL. That was the "cancer" they were talking about".

      Actually, the Lesser General Public License (LGPL) was specifically designed to allow linking your code to GPL code without having to release your own code ...

      1. FIA

        Re: Link your code with some GPL code?

        Actually, the Lesser General Public License (LGPL) was specifically designed to allow linking your code to GPL code without having to release your own code ...

        <pedant>

        The LGPL was designed to allow people to write code that could be linked to non GPL code whilst maintaining the 'change the code; release your changes' ethos of the GPL, but the code still has to be licenced under the LGPL, you can't just take a GPL licenced bit of code and link against it without your code becoming GPL too. For example the Qt framework is licenced as either LGPL or GPL3 allowing you to pick the most apropriate.

        </pedant>

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Link your code with some GPL code?

          Although Qt framework is licensed under LGPL if your changes are in separate modules which link to Qt then you don't have to release your changes. Furthermore their source code is well written. Twenty minutes browsing and you can understand how their Visual IDE works. Try reading Smalltalk (Scratch) even after hours you wont understand whats going on. Smalltalk should be renamed to Alientalk.

    3. Lars
      Pint

      Sorry, but you are spreading that same cancer, unintentionally perhaps. The cancer Microsoft was spreading was that if you use Open Source (GPL) then what ever you write, produce, will become GPL too. And that of course is rubbish unless, of course, if you decide you want to take part and add to GPL software. Using Linux as the kernel does not make anything you produce GPL.

      1. daveeff
        WTF?

        Hear my words that I might teach you

        If you link in anyway to GPL code your code must be made GPL, if you static link to LGPL code your code must be made (L)GPL, if you dynamic link (DLL / so) to LGPL you don't have to LGPL your code. That's the way I remember it anyway - and wikipedia agrees (and I didn't write the entry!).

        So yes, GPL does "infect" proprietary code. If MS use some GPL code for one routine (eg from Linux kernel) in some windoze version they should publish all the source code for that OS

        If you "use" GPL products to produce your code (eg compile under Linux, use git, browse with firefox, ...) no one knows or cares.

        "Fools", said I, "You do not know Silence like a cancer grows

        Hear my words that I might teach you"

    4. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      IOS is not free.

    5. sisk

      It wasn't open source they took issue with, it was the GPL.

      To be fair GPL was, at the time, the dominant OSS license in use. It has never been the only one, of course, but there was a time when it was as dominant in OSS as Windows was in OSes.

  2. 45RPM
    Thumb Down

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    Apple is a big-time user of open source, but contributes comparatively little back, webkit and a few other projects excepted.

    I got to this point and realised that you don't actually know what you're talking about. Comparatively little? CUPS? LLVM/Clang? launchd? Darwin? Zeroconf? All major contributions. Truth is that even 'ultra closed' iOS isn't particularly ultra closed. As with so many systems these days, it's a pretty good mix of open and closed - and you can even download the source for large parts of it from Apple. What iOS really is is locked down, but locked down and closed are two entirely different things.

    If you'd picked on Apple for being patent hoarding bell ends then I'd have agreed. But name one big business that isn't? We were given a talk by a troll, sorry, lawyer at work this week (on patent law) and I could hear Vikings in a cafe.

    1. danny_0x98

      Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

      You're a tad too harsh on Mr. Asay. I would say this, everyone does comparatively little when observers start excluding the things done.

      Also, where licenses oblige entities to contribute back, Apple has adhered to the terms. After a dust up (and it was NeXT regarding Objective-C twenty years back) Apple contributed its changes to gcc. There is no such thing as comparatively little contributions. There's only compliance and non-compliance.

      1. 45RPM

        Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

        I think that there can be more than merely compliance and non compliance. Starting entirely new projects and open sourcing them goes above and beyond - launchd, for example, from Apple or TypeScript from Microsoft. That said, I take your point (but I still don't think that I'm being too hard)

        1. danny_0x98

          Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

          Well, I stand by my assertion. Consider it self-rationalization as I use open-source projects in my work. I do not donate money and I do not fix bugs. Lack of money and talent. So when I look at contributors such as RedHat or IBM I appreciate what they do, and not hold them against a standard of what I think they should do or a standard I can't personally meet. They adapt things to suit their business purposes and do so as per the license. Apple is in the category of IBM, Google, or RedHat, though with fewer incidents of altruistic project management. Apple clearly has chosen code, when it may, that has licensing terms they prefer. Don't you? I sure do, especially when the licensing terms are "give us money."

          Or companies don't follow the license and then, rightfully, some guardian of the license has a serious talk with them about getting right.

          You, of course may apply your own systems of ethics to the issue.

    2. The BigYin

      Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

      "Apple is a big-time [abuser] of open source"

      Fixed that for you.

      Just ask BSD.

      1. FIA

        Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

        "Apple is a big-time [abuser] of open source"

        Fixed that for you.

        Just ask BSD.

        How is it abuse? They're doing exactly what the licence says they can? Not all open source follows the GPL ethos.

        "The Berkeley license is a rather liberal license. All it requires is that the author of the work be given due credit for their creation, and that their name not be used to promote products based on their work. It allows free distribution, as long as the terms are followed, and also allows people to modify the work and not distribute it, if they so choose.[…]"[1]

        [1] http://www.netbsd.org/about/redistribution.html

    3. David Dawson

      Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

      WebKit and jskit are forks of their KDE equivalents. So they didn't originate at apple, but have been improved there.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

      Don't mind if I ask, what is Darwin ? I don't think I've heard of it. If Linux users are a tiny minority, Darwin user are exactly 0 due to underflow error.

      As for downloading large part of iOS, of course you can, but why bother ? What can you do with it apart from reading it ? Modifying it, contributing to it ? You're kidding us, right ?

      This is why they had to come up with FOSS, because suddenly, every proprietary software vendor's product was open source. TiVo even tried to go further than that: create the illusion that their product was even free as in freedom.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. eulampios

      Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

      CUPS: Apple hired the original developer Michael Sweet in 2007. I don't know if Apple offered Michael to change the GPL license. If they did, even more kudos to him. I can only conclude, that if CUPS were BSD-licensed Apple would not have to hire Mike in the first place, just like in the case with their borrowings from FreeBSD. How much we all should we all be grateful to Apple is a question.

      LLVM/Clang concerns mostly Objective-C (a framework, not very interesting outside of Apple's infrastructure) and Apple's pathological fear of GPLv3. It's still years behind gcc with performance of the compiled code (performing pretty well to compile it though ).

      Even if your list would not have all the indicated issues remembering that Apple is the richest IT company owing a good deal of its riches to the aforementioned (f)oss, according to Aesop, that'd be "a mountain gave birth to a mouse"

      Well, no one would care really if Apple submit/open the code they use or not. It's their megalomaniac attitude that they invented everything in IT their pathological habit to lock everything in -- what makes it especially aggravating.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

        Apple fund a lot of FreeBSD developers and projects, so I don't see where this assertion comes from. The security and auditing portions of OS X and iOS directly come from TrustedBSD/OpenBSM, which are projects majorly sponsored by Apple - just look at the commit logs.

        clang is now the default system compiler on FreeBSD current, and produces correct code that runs as fast as gcc. It's not as fast at compiling as gcc currently is though.

        It's all very well bitching about how evil Apple are, or how XYZ is better, but I don't see them contributing. The point of BSD is that we don't mind people reusing things, it is better when they contribute back. Successful users of BSD, like Apple, Citrix, IronPort and Netflix all contribute back.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    No one charges for an operating system?

    "Whether open-source Android or ultra-closed iOS, no one charges for an operating system anymore".

    Microsoft does, it is "cross-licensing" Android to certain hardware manufacturers ...

  4. LDS Silver badge

    No one charges for an operating system?

    Geez, iOS is one of the most expensive OS around, and to get it you have to pay for the device also. What's wrong in buying an OS and install it on the device you like?

  5. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Windows

    hmmm

    "at some point , our products will have open sauce in them"

    Whats the betting they already have by some m$ programmer using some linux code to solve an m$ application problem?

    Then the m$ management found out just how much open sauce code is in windows/office/ etc

    1. Rob Moir
      Facepalm

      Re: hmmm

      Open "sauce" eh? *not sure if trolling or just demented*

      Equally, what's the "betting" that there's an open source project *somewhere* that contains code taken from Microsoft, if you want to look hard enough? Or from another Open Source project, but without proper attributation or respect for the licence attatched to the original code? It's easy - and rather pointless -to just throw gossip around without actually identifying anything, isn't it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hmmm

      As many companies and organisations government and non-government have been able to get MS source code for over a decade now, I'd suggest that there isn't any to be found. (NB: MS themselves have used GPL, but for drivers in Hyper-v which are freely available after initial cock-up in failing to release them.)

      Of course the alternative is that they're actually using GPL code left right and centre, but have released non-GPL code to their partners, but somehow I don't think that's entirely likely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 18:02GMT - Re: hmmm

        How can you tell it is the code they have compiled into the binaries of your OS and not being "enhanced' after being handed over to you ? Does anyone have access to their CVS to get the latest version or they just received 500MB of source code on some CD ?

        Just asking.

    3. jake Silver badge

      @Boris (was: Re: hmmm)

      Well, Microsoft's first implementation of TCP/IP (Windows 95) was lifted directly from BSD. Does that count?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Boris (was: hmmm)

        @jake - that would be nt 3.x where a 3rd party wrote the up stack for windows, since then it's all been MS code.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Boris (was: hmmm)

          IP stack, that should have been.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: @Boris (was: hmmm)

          I just got off the horn with a compadre who was there at the time. The Win95, Windows For Workgroups "Wolverine", and NT 3.1 working groups all lifted the BSD code, at roughly the same time, after MS suddenly "discovered" TehIntraWebTubes.

          Last time I checked (ego surfing WinXP SP3's binaries in 2008, I couldn't be arsed after that), MS was still using BSD TCP/IP code that I, personally, wrote. My fingerprints were still there in several places.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Boris (was: hmmm)

            @Jake: Ok a few things:

            The didn't "lift" the code as this implies stealing, it's BSD, so they're welcome to use it .

            Windows for Workgroups / LAN Manager didn't have native TCP/IP, you had to buy a 3rd party stack.

            NT 3.1 had the BSD stack, subsequent versions of NT didn't. Windows 95 didn't use the BSD stack and wasn't written around the same time as NT3.1 in any case.

            Some of the utils (ftp.exe springs to mind) still have the Uni of California copyright notice in them, I suspect this means that they still have some BSD code, however not the networking stack.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: @Boris (was: hmmm)

              "lift" in this case meaning "taken from".

              WfW 3.11 had a Microsoft provided TCP/IP package called "Wolverine".

              Inclusion of copyright or no, XPsp3's stack had my personal fingerprints on it from the work I did on the BSD stack. Of course, that could be just a coincidence.

              The working groups laying down the basics for Win 95, the NT 3.0 to NT 3.1 transition, and Wolverine were in operation concurrently.

              I'm sorry if all this history disturbs you, although why it would is beyond me.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Boris (was: hmmm)

                It turns out that we're both right - At launch there wasn't ann MS IP stack for WFW3.11, it was released a year later.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: @Boris (was: hmmm)

            Oh well, Apple's first implementation of a truly multitasking OS was directly lifted from BSD. But of course if Apple does that is good, if MS gets some code is bad... and OSX as well is not a free/open source OS.

            1. jake Silver badge

              @LDS (Was: Re: @Boris (was: hmmm))

              Nope. Not BSD. NeXTStep/OpenStep, although that was based on BSD. There was also a little NetBSD and BSD(lite) in MacOS X Server (the first true multitasking Apple OS). A little FreeBSD and Apple proprietary code was added to that mix to produce OS X 10.0 a couple years later.

              Nowhere in this thread have I commented on "good" or "bad".

              Personally, I've run Slackware on my personal desktop for about 20 years. BSD has been on the household servers for around a third of a century.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't trust them (MS)

    It's like their shit OS, full of Trojan horses.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't trust them (MS)

      Name one Trojan in Windows.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 18:02 (was: Re: Don't trust them (MS))

        One trojan in Windows? Uh ... IE, in all it's iterations, comes to mind.

        Might not be an intended trojan, mind, but the total affect of "it looks like it's intended for one 'good' thing, but in actual fact does one or many 'bad' things in the background" is awfully trojan-like. And it is, of course, an integral part of the entire Windows Universe. At least according to Microsoft.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't trust them (MS)

        I'm dealing with a customers trojaned Windows machine now, I'll let you know the name when I'm finished.

      3. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Don't trust them (MS)

        Could the fact that both Windows and OSX make digital fingerprints of your hardware be considered spyware?

        If my laptop dies and I put the HDD into another machine Windows will check that the hardware has changed and refuse to boot, but does it call home to MS?

        I don't know, maybe someone else does, all advice welcome.

        In the meantime I will stick with Linux.

        Of course there is the possibility that Skype has become the new global espionage tool of the USA. I stopped using it as soon as MS bought it. I don't think that I'm being paranoid, I just don't trust them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't trust them (MS)

          "...If my laptop dies and I put the HDD into another machine Windows will check that the hardware has changed and refuse to boot, but does it call home to MS?..."

          Windows won't refuse to boot, if there is a suitable driver for the hardware that you're trying to boot with, it will boot, otherwise you'll get an "inaccessible boot device" STOP error. If it can boot it will, you may need to re-authorise your version of Windows (or whatever it's called in MS speak) this is basically just to prevent someone making an image of the disk to copy the OS.

          Then you tail off into conspiracy land...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Some care adviced, but even so...

    I have to concur that Microsoft as a company seems to be very friendly towards smaller companies, private developers and well; the public in general.

    To be honest I only discovered their CodePlex website only last week and I was quite surprised. Especially since they allow you to put anything you want up there, you're not limited to Microsoft products alone. I quote: "projects can use any technology (e.g. any operating system or programming language).". Or what about the license, surely you need a Microsoft approved license here, right? Yes, and no... The accepted licenses are limited, as you can see here but still include the Apache License, GPL, LGPL, BSD, MIT and even Microsoft Public Licenses. And if you have something that isn't listed you can always contact them.

    What also strikes me as solid are their licensing terms. All sites of this sort have many licensing terms to protect their own interests. Its a common. SourceForge: "All information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, graphics, video, messages, or any other materials whatsoever (collectively, “Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such Content originated. This means that the user, and not Dice, is entirely responsible for all Content that he or she uploads, posts, emails or otherwise transmits via the Sites.".

    But please picture my surprise to find this amongst the Codeplex licenses: "Microsoft does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to Microsoft (including feedback and suggestions regarding Codeplex or other Microsoft material posted on the site) or post, upload, input or submit to any Services or its associated services for review by the general public, or by the members of any public or private community, (each a "Submission" and collectively "Submissions")." (see here for the full document.

    Most of these websites solely focus on relaying responsibility and making sure they can't be hold liable for actions taken by their users. Very few of them are so open and clear about who eventually owns the contents. Make no mistake here; in some situations this could be a big deal...

    Of course there's more... We have the freely available Visual Studio products, their Express versions. I've been playing with the 2010 variants myself and although I'm no professional developer it surprises me how deep you could go. I made several PowerShell extensions by merely using C# Express 2010. You don't get as much "hand holding" (examples and such) as with the full version, but you can get things done.

    Because I don't quite represent a big company I have to work with rather limited resources. As an example; my company "sits" on Server 2k3, due to hardware and cost restrictions. Even so; 2k3 performs perfectly for what I need it to do.

    And what I then grew to respect and enjoy is that Microsoft still keeps full documentation for Server 2003 available. Most companies throw all the old stuff away because who needs them? People should stop whining and simply cough up and get with the program; only their latest stuff is supported. Not here.

    Well, finally.. All good things aside I think the most important thing here is not to get carried away all of a sudden. Always remember that Microsoft is in the end still a company, and a company by definition wants your money over anything else. Also keep in mind where Microsoft currently stands on the global market. I'm pretty sure they're doing quite fine, but they still need all the happy customers they can get, because in some parts interest is fading, if not drastically declining.

    Most of all they need to wise up here and there IMO, but that's a different story alltogether.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some care adviced, but even so...

      Aaawww! You're warming my heart! Microsoft is very friendly towards smaller companies, private developers and well; the public in general. I'm relieved to find I'm in good hands but does Mr. Ballmer know about this ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        @AC

        Most likely not. Which is why I ended my response with the warning that all things aside we should never forget that in the end Microsoft is still a company. And hopefully we all know what those want first...

        1. eulampios
          Linux

          @ShelLuser

          Microsoft is still Microsoft

          #Fixed it for you

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ShelLuser

            @eulampios - Internet commentator with history of anti-ms postings, is still posting anti-ms postings.

            I will on this one occasion stoop so low as to say: There fixed it for you.

            1. eulampios

              @AC

              And your post makes it even more anti-ms.

  8. Panimu
    Paris Hilton

    Charged for OS'?

    Pretty sure iOS is being charged for.

  9. Tank boy
    Facepalm

    No one charges for an operating system

    That's an amazing observation. So computers run on Rainbows, Unicorns, Glitter and Sunshine that no one pays for?

    What fantasy world do you live in Asay? Did all of your precious Apple products come with an unpaid for OS? Nope, you paid top dollar. Maybe if you buy the new iPad, they'll let you take a ride on that ugly-ass yacht.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: No one charges for an operating system

      Corporations may attempt to charge me for operating systems, but I will never again[1] pay those corporations for their operating systems, because I can do better purchasing bare hardware & going the FOSS route. Funny thing is, if you look at the history, it's been that way since the dawn of digital computing.

      Try it, you might like it :-)

      [1] I haven't purchased a general-purpose/desktop OS since 1999 ... and then it was because I had to convince a few clients that there wasn't really anything to fear about the so-called "Y2K bug".

  10. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Backed into a corner...

    As a WP7 game developer, I was pretty hacked off last year when Microsoft announced that as of Win/WP8, XNA would be deprecated.

    So imagine my surprise when I discovered Monogame - an open source implementation of XNA that was not only free for WP8 (iOS and Android versions need a Mono licence), but was also being actively touted by several people from Microsoft as the way to go for game developers...

    Having thought about it for a bit though, I can't say I'm totally shocked - Microsoft backed themselves into a corner when they dropped XNA. After all, it's not exactly rocket science to see that when faced with the choice between learning C++/DX and continuing on the WP8 or continue using a known skill, stump up a bit of cash and switch to platforms with much larger market shares, it's pretty obvious which way most indie devs would jump.

    So embracing and evangelising the open source solution in this instance is a pretty shrewd move from Microsoft... even if it does have a delicious taste of irony.

  11. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Microsoft may have come to terms with open source, but will Matt learn to write?

    open source has never infiltrated Microsoft's core DNA

    Oh god, not again. Matt takes the hackneyed, unevocative, feeble "corporate DNA" metaphor and stretches it beyond the breaking point. What the hell is "core DNA" supposed to be? And in this dreadful rhetorical exercise, is "open source" a retrovirus, since it's "infiltrating" that DNA?

    Eh, it's not like there was any content in the article anyway. (As usual with Matt's pieces, the comments are far more interesting.) Good job completely overselling git,[1] Matt. It's not "the new standard for open-source projects"; there isn't any "standard", because, hey, open source. Yes, many people use git; and more than a few use Mercurial, and there are still plenty of folks using Subversion, and so on. By the same token, throwing some support for git into Visual Studio is only a sign of Microsoft being "deeply serious" about open source if you're deeply serious about overestimating the importance of symbolic gestures.

    [1] And, seriously, "Git"? What sort of git capitalizes "git"?

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