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Microsoft lobbying against the GPL

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  • Dan Kegel
    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/03/technology/03SOFT.html Microsoft appears to be worried about the Go Open Source initiatives of several countries (including
    Message 1 of 9 , May 3 4:16 AM
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      http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/03/technology/03SOFT.html

      Microsoft appears to be worried about the "Go Open Source"
      initiatives of several countries (including the United States!).
      and is starting to lobby against the GPL.

      See also
      http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2000-09-14-006-21-OP-CY-SW
      http://www.itworld.com/Comp/2362/LWD010424latinlinux/
      http://linuxpr.com/releases/3462.html
      http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2000-11-12-006-04-NW-CY

      Seems to me this is one of the most important issues of the decade.
      What's at stake here is government policy; it's possible the US might
      follow the lead of some smaller countries and mandate the use of
      Open Source software, and Microsoft will do all it can to prevent that.

      Educating our congress members about the benefits of GPL'd software
      might be one of the more important long-term projects we could
      undertake.

      - Dan
    • Dan Kegel
      ... See http://www.iaff.org/iaff/GovAff/html/lobby_congress.html for some general tips on how and how not to go about communicating concerns to Congress.
      Message 2 of 9 , May 3 4:50 AM
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        Dan Kegel wrote:
        > http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/03/technology/03SOFT.html
        >
        > Microsoft appears to be worried about the "Go Open Source"
        > initiatives of several countries (including the United States!).
        > and is starting to lobby against the GPL.
        > ...
        > Seems to me this is one of the most important issues of the decade.
        > What's at stake here is government policy; it's possible the US might
        > follow the lead of some smaller countries and mandate the use of
        > Open Source software, and Microsoft will do all it can to prevent that.
        >
        > Educating our congress members about the benefits of GPL'd software
        > might be one of the more important long-term projects we could
        > undertake.

        See http://www.iaff.org/iaff/GovAff/html/lobby_congress.html
        for some general tips on how and how not to go about
        communicating concerns to Congress. (Substitute "Open Source
        Software Advocate" for "Fire Fighter" :-)

        I'd be interested in actually working on this. I feel a web page
        coming on...

        - Dan
      • gareth@wiked.org
        This is an awesome idea, maybe an invitation to the CA congress people to come to a seminar on what Open Source software is all about, etc. Gareth ... --
        Message 3 of 9 , May 3 9:22 AM
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          This is an awesome idea, maybe an invitation to the CA congress people
          to come to a seminar on what Open Source software is all about, etc.



          Gareth

          On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 04:50:39AM -0700, Dan Kegel wrote:
          > Dan Kegel wrote:
          > > http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/03/technology/03SOFT.html
          > >
          > > Microsoft appears to be worried about the "Go Open Source"
          > > initiatives of several countries (including the United States!).
          > > and is starting to lobby against the GPL.
          > > ...
          > > Seems to me this is one of the most important issues of the decade.
          > > What's at stake here is government policy; it's possible the US might
          > > follow the lead of some smaller countries and mandate the use of
          > > Open Source software, and Microsoft will do all it can to prevent that.
          > >
          > > Educating our congress members about the benefits of GPL'd software
          > > might be one of the more important long-term projects we could
          > > undertake.
          >
          > See http://www.iaff.org/iaff/GovAff/html/lobby_congress.html
          > for some general tips on how and how not to go about
          > communicating concerns to Congress. (Substitute "Open Source
          > Software Advocate" for "Fire Fighter" :-)
          >
          > I'd be interested in actually working on this. I feel a web page
          > coming on...
          >
          > - Dan
          > _______________________________________________
          > Lilax mailing list
          > Lilax@...
          > http://www.linuxatlax.org/mailman/listinfo/lilax

          --
          Gareth J. Greenaway
          gareth@...
        • Dan Kegel
          Yep - maybe we can invite them to the next Lugfest, for instance. This is a long term project, no need to rush, we have to hone our message and our delivery
          Message 4 of 9 , May 3 9:49 AM
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            Yep - maybe we can invite them to the next Lugfest, for instance.

            This is a long term project, no need to rush, we have to hone our
            message and our delivery skills.

            To get through to any administrator type, we probably have to have
            a convincing answer for the office desktop (since that's probably the part
            of computing they're most familiar with and can connect to at gut level).
            I as a programmer seldom have to use that kind of software
            (spreadsheets, word processors, etc.) and I'll bet a lot of us are similarly isolated.

            I recently used Gnumeric (the one that came with Red Hat 7.1) for
            the first time to fill out an expense report spreadsheet, and
            it was almost, but not quite, easy; it managed to screw up and produce
            unreadable documents unless I did things Just So.

            Anyone know of a "Microsoft Office Replacement Scorecard" web page
            that lists the best replacements for Microsoft Office tools and
            rates them on how ready they are for prime time?
            - Dan

            "Gareth J. Greenaway" wrote:
            >
            > This is an awesome idea, maybe an invitation to the CA congress people
            > to come to a seminar on what Open Source software is all about, etc.
            >
            > Gareth
            >
            > On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 04:50:39AM -0700, Dan Kegel wrote:
            > > Dan Kegel wrote:
            > > > http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/03/technology/03SOFT.html
            > > >
            > > > Microsoft appears to be worried about the "Go Open Source"
            > > > initiatives of several countries (including the United States!).
            > > > and is starting to lobby against the GPL.
            > > > ...
            > > > Seems to me this is one of the most important issues of the decade.
            > > > What's at stake here is government policy; it's possible the US might
            > > > follow the lead of some smaller countries and mandate the use of
            > > > Open Source software, and Microsoft will do all it can to prevent that.
            > > >
            > > > Educating our congress members about the benefits of GPL'd software
            > > > might be one of the more important long-term projects we could
            > > > undertake.
            > >
            > > See http://www.iaff.org/iaff/GovAff/html/lobby_congress.html
            > > for some general tips on how and how not to go about
            > > communicating concerns to Congress. (Substitute "Open Source
            > > Software Advocate" for "Fire Fighter" :-)
            > >
            > > I'd be interested in actually working on this. I feel a web page
            > > coming on...
          • Dan Kegel
            Here s what Microsoft actually said: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/craig/05-03sharedsource.asp Ironic that in one breath they condemn forking, and in
            Message 5 of 9 , May 3 10:47 AM
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              Here's what Microsoft actually said:
              http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/craig/05-03sharedsource.asp

              Ironic that in one breath they condemn forking, and in the next
              breath they condemn the GPL -- the very thing that helps prevent
              forking!
              - Dan

              Dan Kegel wrote:
              >
              > Yep - maybe we can invite them to the next Lugfest, for instance.
              >
              > This is a long term project, no need to rush, we have to hone our
              > message and our delivery skills.
              >
              > To get through to any administrator type, we probably have to have
              > a convincing answer for the office desktop (since that's probably the part
              > of computing they're most familiar with and can connect to at gut level).
              > I as a programmer seldom have to use that kind of software
              > (spreadsheets, word processors, etc.) and I'll bet a lot of us are similarly isolated.
              >
              > I recently used Gnumeric (the one that came with Red Hat 7.1) for
              > the first time to fill out an expense report spreadsheet, and
              > it was almost, but not quite, easy; it managed to screw up and produce
              > unreadable documents unless I did things Just So.
              >
              > Anyone know of a "Microsoft Office Replacement Scorecard" web page
              > that lists the best replacements for Microsoft Office tools and
              > rates them on how ready they are for prime time?
              > - Dan
              >
              > "Gareth J. Greenaway" wrote:
              > >
              > > This is an awesome idea, maybe an invitation to the CA congress people
              > > to come to a seminar on what Open Source software is all about, etc.
              > >
              > > Gareth
              > >
              > > On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 04:50:39AM -0700, Dan Kegel wrote:
              > > > Dan Kegel wrote:
              > > > > http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/03/technology/03SOFT.html
              > > > >
              > > > > Microsoft appears to be worried about the "Go Open Source"
              > > > > initiatives of several countries (including the United States!).
              > > > > and is starting to lobby against the GPL.
              > > > > ...
              > > > > Seems to me this is one of the most important issues of the decade.
              > > > > What's at stake here is government policy; it's possible the US might
              > > > > follow the lead of some smaller countries and mandate the use of
              > > > > Open Source software, and Microsoft will do all it can to prevent that.
              > > > >
              > > > > Educating our congress members about the benefits of GPL'd software
              > > > > might be one of the more important long-term projects we could
              > > > > undertake.
              > > >
              > > > See http://www.iaff.org/iaff/GovAff/html/lobby_congress.html
              > > > for some general tips on how and how not to go about
              > > > communicating concerns to Congress. (Substitute "Open Source
              > > > Software Advocate" for "Fire Fighter" :-)
            • Martin Baehr
              ... how does the GPL prevent forking? it doesn t. greetings, martin. -- i am looking for a new job anywhere in the world, doing pike development and/or
              Message 6 of 9 , May 8 6:19 PM
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                On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 10:47:34AM -0700, Dan Kegel wrote:
                > Ironic that in one breath they condemn forking, and in the next
                > breath they condemn the GPL -- the very thing that helps prevent
                > forking!

                how does the GPL prevent forking?
                it doesn't.

                greetings, martin.
                --
                i am looking for a new job anywhere in the world, doing pike development
                and/or training and/or unix and roxen system administration.
                --
                pike programmer On The Verge | www.hb2.tuwien.ac.at
                Los Angeles | db.hb2.tuwien.ac.at
                unix systemadministrator iaeste.or.at iaeste.tuwien.ac.at
                www.archlab.tuwien.ac.at black.linux-m68k.org
                Martin B"ahr stuts.org bahai.at mud.at is.schon.org
                http://www.iaeste.or.at/~mbaehr/
              • Dan Kegel
                ... True, I misspoke. But read on: Anyone forks a GPL d product and distributes forked binaries must also distribute the sources for their fork under the GPL.
                Message 7 of 9 , May 8 6:26 PM
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                  Martin Baehr wrote:
                  >
                  > On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 10:47:34AM -0700, Dan Kegel wrote:
                  > > Ironic that in one breath they condemn forking, and in the next
                  > > breath they condemn the GPL -- the very thing that helps prevent
                  > > forking!
                  >
                  > how does the GPL prevent forking?
                  > it doesn't.

                  True, I misspoke. But read on:

                  Anyone forks a GPL'd product and distributes forked binaries must
                  also distribute the sources for their fork under the GPL.
                  (That's why some BSD fans don't like the GPL, I think.)
                  Are we agreed so far?

                  That means that the original codeline can then incorporate
                  the fork's changes, bringing the two codelines back together.
                  So the GPL doesn't prevent forking, but it does allow healing
                  the damage caused by forks.
                  Does that sound accurate to you?

                  The BSD license is great for a lot of things, but it doesn't
                  have this particular feature.

                  Cheers,
                  Dan
                • Martin Baehr
                  ... absolutely. ... correct! greetings, martin. -- i am looking for a new job anywhere in the world, doing pike development and/or training and/or unix and
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 8 6:29 PM
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                    On Tue, May 08, 2001 at 06:26:02PM -0700, Dan Kegel wrote:
                    > So the GPL doesn't prevent forking, but it does allow healing
                    > the damage caused by forks.
                    > Does that sound accurate to you?

                    absolutely.

                    > The BSD license is great for a lot of things, but it doesn't
                    > have this particular feature.

                    correct!

                    greetings, martin.
                    --
                    i am looking for a new job anywhere in the world, doing pike development
                    and/or training and/or unix and roxen system administration.
                    --
                    pike programmer On The Verge | www.hb2.tuwien.ac.at
                    Los Angeles | db.hb2.tuwien.ac.at
                    unix systemadministrator iaeste.or.at iaeste.tuwien.ac.at
                    www.archlab.tuwien.ac.at black.linux-m68k.org
                    Martin B"ahr stuts.org bahai.at mud.at is.schon.org
                    http://www.iaeste.or.at/~mbaehr/
                  • Christopher Smith
                    ... Hmm... I looked at his article, and the citing he makes about Lucid emacs (XEmacs) vs. GNU Emacs is really innaccurate. The truth (as I remember it) was
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 9 9:53 AM
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                      On Wed, May 09, 2001 at 08:21:15AM -0700, Steve M Bibayoff wrote:
                      > Which all of this begs the question could anyone point to a fork in GPL
                      > code that wasn't completly forked because of direction of use(Linux x86
                      > vs. Linux PPC) or eventually recombined(gcc vs. egc)?
                      >
                      > An clearer explantion of what I am trying to ask was presented at
                      > a "brown-bag presentation" at Linuxcare by Rick Moen. A recap is
                      > here:http://www.linuxcare.com/viewpoints/article/11-17-99.epl
                      > There is an updated version on Rick's server(linuxmafia.com), but it
                      > appears to be unreachable at the current moment.

                      Hmm... I looked at his article, and the citing he makes about Lucid
                      emacs (XEmacs) vs. GNU Emacs is really innaccurate.

                      The truth (as I remember it) was that proprietary emacs's where being
                      built from public domain emacs code back before GNU emacs
                      existed. Probably the most well known of these was Gosemacs (short for
                      Gosling emacs --yup, written by the same guy who brought us
                      Java). This pissed off a number of people, but in particular it
                      provided a lot of motivation for RMS to start up the GNU project & the
                      FSF.

                      Part of this project created GNU emacs. GNU emacs proved to be a damn
                      good version of emacs, and Lucid decided they would like to use it as
                      a foundation for the Unix development tools. However, they needed some
                      more features in it. At this time we were back in the era of GNU Emacs
                      18, which was pretty ignorant (really completely ignorant) about
                      GUI's. The FSF was already working on GNU Emacs 19, which among other
                      things would be GUI-aware. Lucid actually hired a GNU developer to
                      work on building GNU emacs 19. However, for a ton of reasons (both
                      technical and social) that JWZ describes better than I can, Lucid
                      and GNU were unable to align their goals. Rather than abandoning the
                      substancial development efforts they'd already made Lucid proceeded to
                      continue independantly on their efforts. Of course, GNU emacs fell
                      under the GPL (and had since GNU Emacs version 1), and as such, Lucid
                      had no choice but to release the source code for their "enhanced"
                      version once they distributed the product. This was zero problem for
                      Lucid because they had intended to do this all along, the only thing
                      that changed was that their version was a fork with the FSF's own
                      version.

                      Eventually Lucid Emacs became XEmacs. However, it's worth emphasizing
                      that Lucid/X Emacs was NEVER anything but free software, and we can
                      thank the GPL for this.

                      In terms of popularity, I'd say Emacs is as popular as it ever was
                      (arguably not a grand achievement ;-), XEmacs and GNU Emacs enjoy a
                      surprising amount of compatibility, and I wouldn't exactly say that,
                      within the Emacs community, GNU Emacs has an overwhelming
                      representation compared to XEmacs.

                      Just wan't to clear that up. ;-)

                      --Chris
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