If you want to live don't fund Microsoft ever
Anyone still worry about the Microsoft monopoly? Executive director of the Eclipse Foundation Mike Milinkovich does. Following GitHub's announcement of an integrated package registry, he snarked on Twitter: A monopoly on both development experience and artifact pipelines. Just what I always wanted when I imagined the future. …
Instead of wasting their time on that they should be forcing the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Samsung to make all the devices repairable by 3rd parties. And make all parts for said devices purchasable but at a reasonable cost. This would help combat the throw away nature of said devices. Apple bangs on about how great their are with renewable energy, forcing all their supply chains to follow suit. But Apple are still insisting on fighting Right To Repair. And why? Because they want you to buy their next Apple shit and not be able to repair your last one.
>So which newspaper do you recommend?
I only buy the Saturday Times and that's mostly for the crossword and target word, the rest of it keeps me in toilet paper for the week but don't use the supplement as it's like Izal loo paper, just moves it around and gets nothing off.
Doubt it. I'd have gone with:
in before a load of old men with memories of MS' monopolistic practices
in before loads of tedious "Embrace extend extinguish" comments.
(depending on whether you find MS' move into open source hilarious or terrifying)
in before a load of old men sneering at visual studio code
An old man writes:
I like VS Code. For TypeScript work, it's much more responsive than IntelliJ. Some features are a bit thin: I can run one or more karma tests in IntelliJ by right-clicking in the editor margin, but I've just spent a morning trying to work out how VS Code might do this.
I'm guessing you must be using a fairly hi-res screen?
Quite rightly, the pages are designed to top-out at a certain window width, because it has been proven that lines of text become much harder to read once they exceed a certain length (about 60 - 70 letters).
The reason you have a hi-res screen is so that you can open several windows on it and multi-task, not just to display one hyuuuge window and struggle to read the resulting text, if it were full-width!
With GitHub, VS Code and now package registry, could Microsoft be too dominant?
How about this:
With GitHub, VS Code and now package registry, Microsoft will eventually be dominant.
Make no mistake about it.
Dominance is exactly where M$ is heading.
It has already started to wrap its slimy tentacles around Linux with their Windows Subsystem for Linux and MS' acquisition of Github is just another step.
The worst part of all this is that the writing has been on the wall forever.
And everyone is just going "Look Ma ... Now I can run my Linux apps in Windows !
So cool !!!! "
Embrace, extend and extinguish may sound like joke but it is not.
I'll say it again: this type of stuff does not bode well for the Linux ecosystem.
It will end up rotting it from the inside.
My worry is that Microsoft will intentionally make the Subsystem have total crap performance but then release a whole suite of libraries to fix those performance issues. So that over time, developers become ridiculously dependent on Microsoft's libraries to the point where most stuff running on Linux will now need a Windows Subsystem for Linux for the binary to run on both platforms.
The only entertaining thing in all this is that there are those whose ability to deceive themselves in the interests of living in their own personal lala-land sacharine-space will allow them to deny that this is exactly the sort of thing that's on the menu.
No, it isn't really funny at all.
I don't like Microsoft either, and there is cause for concern when they're sinking their tentacles into the Linux world, but the possibility of this sort of attack (E-E-E) has been foreseen by Richard Stallman when he wrote the GPL. We should certainly be vigilant about watching MS, but consider that MS has disliked open source software openly for decades, and they haven't managed to stop it. Open-source (specifically with the GPL) is the strongest real defense we have against the likes of Microsoft.
MS may be able to put a given company out of business as they did with Netscape, but Netscape's decision to release the source under the GPL prevented MS from taking the threatening product out with the company. (All they would have had to do for that would be wait for Mozilla to lose the plot and take itself out from within by systematically removing all of the unique and defining features of their core product, but that's another story...)
If WSL becomes so proprietary through MS extensions that what is developed on it won't run on actual Linux, then the resultant program is just another flavor of Windows 10 program. What good is a runtime ostensibly in place to make developing for another platform easier if the resultant binaries won't actually work on that other platform? That would obviously not be the whole story.
Even if MS manages to extend its own WSL with proprietary extensions and get the dev community to accept it (good luck doing that with Linux devs who actually develop on Linux and know better than to trust MS), and then they offer such extensions for Linux, they will have only gotten the embrace and extend part. The only way the extensions would ever end up in the Linux kernel itself would be if they were seen as actual improvements by Torvalds, et al, so at least at that stage, MS will have been making Linux better with code that it does not any longer own and that it cannot take back, as it will be 100% GPL.
So how would it then be able to extinguish anything? The whole extinguish stage requires MS ownership of the code in question so that it is able to decide to discontinue it once everyone has gotten dependent. They could stop funding the Linux foundation as one of fifteen platinum members, which would just bring the Linux world back to the point where it was before MS got involved in the first place, and Linux was doing fine then. That's not even close to extinguishing anything.
The very thing that made Steve Ballmer refer to Linux as a "cancer", the GPL license that attaches itself to anything it touches, is meant to prevent exactly what MS likes to do. It's a cancer to Microsoft because it prevents them from doing business the way they want to (the same reason Apple didn't use the GPL'd Linux as the basis for OSX, presumably). They can't extinguish or weaponize copyrights for that what they don't own or control.
The worst MS could do, I think, is to extend WSL, then write a runtime for Linux proper to enable those extensions to work within Linux, but keep them out of the kernel. They might be able to pull off keeping that from having to be GPL'd.
If so, they would be able to end that bit anytime they wanted, but not Linux itself. Linux and native Linux programs would still be around if MS ever extinguished their extension runtime, and MS would have just made its own WSL useless going forward by making WSL programs (which would require Windows 10) once again just another form of Windows 10 program. In the meantime, it would have given Linux a boost during all of the time between the introduction of the extensions and what would then be the present, and a lot of people would have seen that it is very feasible to live Windows-free during that time.
The programs so affected would only be those written to use the new extensions, which would mean one of two things: all of those programs will have been written on Windows 10, so genuine Linux devs would be unaffected, or else MS would have had to release a SDK to allow genuine Linux devs to write for the runtime, which means the APIs therein would be a little less hidden, and invariably, an open-source version of the runtime would appear (like Mono now). That would leave the open runtime behind the real thing in terms of support and features, as is the norm when reverse engineering proprietary standards, but even in its less-advanced form, it weakens Microsoft's position. If MS tried to extinguish its new extensions, the devs of that
Linux Windows 10 software would only need to port their products to the open runtime, not to native Linux all the way, and MS would be exposed as being the same old company as always, not in any way new or nice (which they're not, of course).
By that time, independent devs who used the WSL extensions to write for Linux would hopefully be convinced as to why MS should never be trusted.
We will have to be vigilant, and if MS ever tries to roll out this kind of thing, we'll have to do what we can to warn people not to trust it, but I do not think MS will ever be able to get the Linux genie back into the bottle, nor even significantly hurt it. I'm not even convinced MS even wants to be in the OS business anymore, with all of their new ambitions being about the cloud. It looks to me like Windows is in the process of being scuttled, with the monetization being a way to suck the value out of the Windows behemoth before it is cast aside.
Open source had a monoculture flaw from its very beginning. In most areas, there is very little space but for One Anointed. There was much more competition among software in the days of DOS and early days of Windows, than what you see in Linux - where mostly there is a single one for most tasks (with a few notable exceptions, but not many).
Eclipse itself aimed to be the IDE That Ruled Them All, and become the Only One (remember when people was telling with Eclipse IDEs became a commodity?) - just the plan didn't work, it looks. Single centralized package registries are another bad idea - application just become a house of cards of too many little libraries many of dubious quality and often unsupported soon.
It's open source developers who made GitHub "the only repository you shall use" - now it's a bit late to complain just because it was bought by Microsoft.
"It's open source developers who made GitHub "the only repository you shall use" - now it's a bit late to complain just because it was bought by Microsoft"
^ This. I generally don't like undue concentrations of power but Microsoft under Satya is not definitely not Microsoft under Ballmer plus being open source with other options available and to go to, developers will go somewhere else so poor conduct will ultimately backfire and be counterproductive (which in itself is an incentive to do the right thing).
ironic because monoculture is precisely what made open source successful.
You publish some source code for Linux and you could be sure that your users are familiar with cmake, build with GCC and have the standard Linux libraries. Before that you needed autoconf to support the little differences of a dozen mostly-posix Unixes
But back in the old days of Windows you would need to ship separate code and build instructions for a half-a-dozen free versions of Windows C compilers and IDEs all with their own build systems and incompatible shared libraries - it was never worth the effort, so everyone concentrated on Linux.
"Microsoft under Satya is not definitely not Microsoft under Ballmer"
I'm not trying to be difficult here, but people say this a lot and I honestly don't understand why. Microsoft doesn't really seem much different now than it was before in terms of business practices. What am I missing?
Personally I find MS a lot more deceptive under SatNad. Under Ballmer, at least you knew where they stood. You knew that they hated Linux, pushed their own products/services in a very monopolistic manner, liked to flex their muscles etc. Under SatNad, MS have become a lot more sneaky. There's all the data harvesting going on. The "Free upgrade for Windows 10" which was just a ploy to give them a big pool of testing guinea pigs, then MS's moves with Github etc.
You know there's a sneaky plan there somewhere - MS isn't a company that does things just to "be nice", there's always an ulterior motive that will eventually benefit themselves. It's just a case of when MS's less altruistic intentions will become clear here.
Open source had a monoculture flaw from its very beginning. In most areas, there is very little space but for One Anointed
OSS often have lots of similar projects getting spun up : Unity in response to Gnome, Mir in response to Wayland, Flatpacks, Snaps and Appimages, Systemd, Upstart etc.
That the 'Linux arena usually settles on one 'winner' and adopts it as a standard is often due to eventual pragmatism.
Unfortunately, it's usually the most money that fuels the winner, whether or not another contender is better, and MS have lots of that.
It's indeed pragmatism of the "less is more" type. Do I like the default Ubuntu/Gnome experience? Nope. Do I hate it enough to spend oodles of time tweaking it and then again for my other machines? Nope. And the same thing goes for a ton of stuff (systemd is the other big one). People stick with the defaults because they're good enough and the default becomes Linux, then Ubuntu, then Ubuntu with Gnome, and so on.
Also, I don't understand VS Code. Barely beyond notepad. Spacemacs here, it's the only IDE I can bear
W2K than it does to the defaults.
i3wm - and it's not the predominant desktop styling that bothers me, it's their limitations in important areas and excesses of the irrelevant (from my perspective).
i3wm isn't perfect either, but it fits better than most and is less work that XMonad (or at least less likely to waste an entire day griped by the impulse to tweak).
Monocultures are bad, predominculture are OK, and GitHub was that - there were alternatives, but most were happy with the Hub.
Ok, I think you're being a bit revisionist in your history....
In terms of Open Source... take a look at Apache.
There are so many competing project that have overlap. In the big data space, as an example, you have Ranger and Sentry. There are other examples and that's just Apache. There are now competing stacks that sit outside of Apache control.
So its a bit disingenuous to say 'one anoited all'. What I think you're seeing is the survival of the fittest. (Looking at Open Source browsers)
With respect to Eclipse... If memory serves, its based on Rational Software (Rational Rose) that IBM bought and couldn't deal with it so they tossed it over to the Open Source community. Also cloudscape's silver cloud became derby / javadb.
What the open source culture did was to skew the model for commercial code. I agree that the open source model is flawed, but not for the same reasons you suggest.
Also I don't know how old you were way back when, but while you saw competition, if you followed the path of evolution you saw the market choices shrink. Take a look at the whole spreadsheet market as an example. Visicalc, Lotus123, and I forget how many others that disappeared early on. Relational Databases? (Progress Software, Informix, Sybase, Oracle, IBM, and many more ...) How many are still in use today? Most have been supplanted w mySQL / MariaDB, even derby/javadb has a niche.
Sorry, just keeping it real.
And isn't that exactly the reason people blamed Microsoft for? Being dominant, killing competition and leading to a single-product market?
I can't see any difference is a market is no longer competitive because the dominant product is proprietary or not. A non-competitive market means worse products and less innovation, as users have no other choice.
Open Source often pushes people to a single project - as there are no economic incentives to competition, and people naturally want to work on what they feel is the "best" product. Other may suffer because people can't see a reason to work on them (see Thunderbird, for example)
Sure, in some new sectors like AI and Big Data you may see more competition in the beginning - and depends often who's behind the project. But look at LibreOffice. Where's the competition?
Why all projects moved to GitHub? Just because it was perceived as where all the "cool ones" were. Sorry if all your eggs are in an MS bucket, now.
BTW, Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 are still widely used - not for little web sites where the cost would be not justified. Your bank is not running on MariaDB, probably....
@LDS: ‘Open Source often pushes people to a single project - as there are no economic incentives to competition, and people naturally want to work on what they feel is the "best" product.”’
The difference being is that no single commercial monopoly can take control of the project and Open Source is a methodology and was never a product.
It really doesn't matter - any monopoly is bad.
The hate for "commercial" products it's another symptom of the Open Source monoculture - they believe the world must work in one way only and there should be no choice but the Anointed One.
People use products, not methodologies, and the fewer products, the less competition, the less innovation - and fewer jobs too.
> It really doesn't matter - any monopoly is bad.
> The hate for "commercial" products it's another symptom of the Open Source monoculture - they believe the world must work in one way only and there should be no choice but the Anointed One.
> People use products, not methodologies, and the fewer products, the less competition, the less innovation - and fewer jobs too.
I am not a product, I am a human being.
"Why all projects moved to GitHub? Just because it was perceived as where all the "cool ones" were."
Source Forge, GitHub's predecessor as the place to put your open source project started rolling ad-and-worse-ware into the pre-compiled binaries offered for download.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of users found this so offensive that they were willing to put what was probably hundreds of thousands of man hours into shifting over to GitHub.
Had you really forgotten that? Or is it just that you never knew?
"It's open source developers who made GitHub "the only repository you shall use""
I never got that memo. I did use GitHub until Microsoft bought it, but it was never the only (or even the main) repository I used. That's why leaving it was painless for me.
remember when people was telling with Eclipse IDEs became a commodity?
Remember it? I can't even parse it.
Eclipse never became a monoculture. It may have been popular, but many people developed open-source software (and closed-source, for that matter) without it.
GitHub never became a monoculture. It's popular, but there are alternatives and there are projects which use them. When you want to pull sources from an existing project that's hosted on GH, then, yes, you may have to use GH; but nothing's forcing you to use it for your own work. Even if you're forking a GH-hosted project, you can pull the source and then commit your version elsewhere.
Open source had a monoculture flaw from its very beginning
Nonsense. Long before "open source" became a widespread term (1998, by most accounts), there was a tremendous range of software that was freely and legally available in source form. That didn't magically stop when the OSI was formed to promote the term. There was a reasonable choice of projects in most categories. In the two decades since, many categories have indeed seen consolidation, largely because most developers just want to get things done and go with whatever offers the path of least resistance. But if that's a "monoculture flaw", it's a flaw inherent in human beings, not in open source.
Rampant feature creep leading to a maze of twisty little settings all alike, terrible documentation, stuff that doesn't work without loads of messing about, other stuff that just doesn't work, and some versions of it are on life support. I can see why VS Code's simplicity is attractive.
Rampant feature creep leading to a maze of twisty little settings all alike, terrible documentation, stuff that doesn't work without loads of messing about, other stuff that just doesn't work, and some versions of it are on life support.
....Sounds like a description of Windows....
I think you are misinterpreting the comments. u$ has a long & sordid history of abuse, and we greybeards will never forget. But we also are aware that monoculture is almost as bad as monopoly, and there is a lot of lamenting that the OSS movement has in fact produced a lot of the former--which is a very long ways from defending u$.
Can MicroSoft do more damage to Linux than Lennart Poettering has?
Best thing is to go BOFH-style on them. Lock mickey$loth and pottything in a room together, half-bricks on the table in front of them. Whoever does the most damage to the other gets to live to go on to the next round.
Which is where we nuke them from orbit - it's the only way to be sure.
Microsoft haven't changed - let's just clear that up. What they have changed is there tactics to undermine competition by subversion and using backdoor methods to get inside competitors products, and ultimately I'm sure their plan is to eat them from the inside out. They're trying it with Android, WSL inside Win10, and currently Github. They're actively starting to coerce the open source market into believing Microsoft are all cuddly and cute, and love open-source developers and products, but mark my words, Microsoft's longer term plans are far more devious.
Yeah wonderfull. So I wonder if they base their fixes and features on gut feeling or will they just keep syncing to the MS repo's that have these improvements based on the ANONYMOUS tracking they're doing?
BTW, if you only knew how many, if not nearly all, applications do some kind of tracking to learn about how the applications are used so they can improve it. It's called UX strategy or something.....ahum. anyway, because MS is doing that now it must have become evil, right?
Well, when you're done celebrating the new millennium you're in, please open your eyes to reality...
By the way, Pamela Jones is sorely missed here at Linux Mansions!!
Anyway, take a look at the quotes in this article from Graoklaw....and at Pamela's discussion. Then tell me that anything at all (ANYTHING AT ALL) has changed in Redmond WA.
Have an upvote from me for mentioning Groklaw. That site is sorely missed but the threats against her sort of made it inevitable.
Many of the things that were discussed more than 10 years ago on that site, are sadly coming true.
The threat of MS not only embracing and extending Linux is all there for all to see.
I use 3 different IDEs: VS code for when I have to use windows, Eclipse for 2 very large projects and Sublime text for everything else. I too will never forget about what M$ did. Ballmer still makes me gag whenever I hear his name or see his picture. In a way, I am glad they made me switch to U* though.
Before M$ bought Github, I self hosted all my private repos in AWS. All Github has now is my public repos. I'll never trust M$ again - They're dead to me.
A subsidiary goal by Microsoft is to control the "IT portfolio" sites.
Both LinkedIn and GitHub were important for developers when trying to find a job. It is worrying that Microsoft now owns them both.
I wonder if their next move will be Stack Overflow or some other site advertising jobs (Ardvaark Swift?)
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