decoration decoration
Stories

GROKLAW
When you want to know more...
decoration
For layout only
Home
Archives
Site Map
Search
About Groklaw
Awards
Legal Research
Timelines
ApplevSamsung
ApplevSamsung p.2
ArchiveExplorer
Autozone
Bilski
Cases
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Contracts/Documents
Courts
DRM
Gordon v MS
GPL
Grokdoc
HTML How To
IPI v RH
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
Lodsys
MS Litigations
MSvB&N
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
ODF/OOXML
OOXML Appeals
OraclevGoogle
Patents
ProjectMonterey
Psystar
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v IBM
SCO v Novell
SCO:Soup2Nuts
SCOsource
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Transcripts
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal


User Functions

Username:

Password:

Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.


What's New

STORIES
No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


Sponsors

Hosting:
hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

Webmaster
Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:09 AM EDT

This is one headline I wasn't expecting. Computer Associates has seen the Linux light and released K-Gem under the GPL:

"Computer Associates has contributed a significant piece of widgetry it calls K-Gem to the Linux kernel that should put Linux in the running for B1 security clearance by 'hardening' it.

"K-Gem, short for Kernel General Event Module, will also simplify the lives of other ISVs by curing the 'hooking nightmare' that has haunted Linux, according CA Linux chief Sam Greenblatt.

"Linux developers will no longer have to intrude on the kernel and modify it to accomplish something as seemingly basic as event notification.

"K-Gem will standardize the event notification process, tell the kernel that, say, someone wants to open a file and in turn pass that 'event' to a security module such as CA's own eTrust Access Control for access authorization. . . .

"The development puts Linux on a footing with, say, Sun's Solaris, which has had built-in event notification for a dog's age."

The article says the code has already been turned over to Andrew Morton and once the code is cleared, they say it will become part of the kernel by August. That's a bit of an assumption.

CA says they will "shortly be announcing" that they've joined the Eclipse Foundation:

"Indeed, Greenblatt said at CAWorld, CA will make several major announcements about working with the Linux community and fostering community support in general."

Peter Galli puts it this way:

"Linux is getting driven deeper into the core products of Computer Associates International.

"At its CAWorld conference in Las Vegas this week, CA will make several announcements regarding extended support for Linux and open-source software.

"Central to the effort, according to Computer Associates International Inc. officials in Islandia, N.Y., is the formation of a new open-source foundation that will house and support open-source code, which will be made available under open-source licenses, officials said."

Uh oh. I hope somebody told them that just because you donate code, it doesn't mean it will necessarily be accepted. And that the GPL is irrevocable. Do we actually need a new corporate-run foundation to support open source code? Whose code? And in what way do they intend to "support" it? I think I'd like to look at the fine print before I sign on that dotted line.

IBM and HP are, according to Greenblatt, in favor of this development:

"'We are pretty excited about this,' he said. 'It is the first major step to creating a kernel that will be independent for ISVs. We're also excited about it because we have gotten endorsement from our friends at IBM and [Hewlett-Packard Co.] over it.'"

Excuse me, but with all due respect, IBM and HP are not in charge of the open source and free software community. They don't decide what goes into the kernel. We are happy to have them, but they don't run things. As nice as it might seem to some to have Linux with increased security capabilities and in a new space, one that governments care about, this is a good time to really think about the overview. What should Linux be? What should it do? What is the role of corporate "benefactors"? If corporations remake Linux in their own image, the rest of us are out-a-here. I know I am. I chose GNU/Linux software precisely because I trusted the authors of the code, and I appreciated the freedom to copy, modify and distribute the code. I trust that the authors haven't slipped in some code that spies on me or takes note of my taste in music or whatever. The values of the community, freedom, ethics, and sharing, matter to me more than how well the code works even. I am not interested in Brand X Linux.

We have already seen what corporate involvement can mean. Lawsuits, cutthroat competition, and attempts to kill the GPL. Thanks, but I believe I've had enough of that for one lifetime. OSDL exists already. FSF exists already. So does OSI. Why not fund free and open source groups that already exist, that actually spring from the community, instead of setting up their own corporate version? What need are they filling? This is nothing against CA, and it's very nice they want to join in and I hope they make buckets of money from Linux, if they are sincere and not just out to make a buck at the expense of everything we care about. But there is a little water under this bridge. And it really is time to think about who gets to do what and on what terms.


  


Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both? | 291 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Computer Associates: why not both?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:13 AM EDT
Or on the road to Damascus and to the bank...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here Please
Authored by: PJ on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:17 AM EDT
Collect my mistakes in this thread, please. Thank you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Umm, not everyone uses the same kernel
Authored by: dlamming on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:19 AM EDT
Not everyone has to use the same kernel. Now, granted, Linus maintains the
"official" kernel... but the number of people who use that are small.
Redhat, Suse, and yes, IBM (in collaboration with Redhat and Suse, usually) all
ship their own versions of the kernel. Redhat, for instance, backports security
fixes, and has complete freedom to modify the kernel. If they want to include
GPL'd code from CA, they sure can.

"Brand X Linux" is already here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:20 AM EDT
Totally agree with you PJ , they should have said something like: "...We
turned over the source code to Andrew, leaving the Linux community free to
examine it and/or change it at their will; and we really hope that it will make
it into the kernel..."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:21 AM EDT
For folks worried about a big corporation successfully pushing unwanted
code into the kernel, just look at what happened with EVMS. And for code
eventually becoming orphaned and unmaintained, look at what happened
recently with Intermezzo. Don't worry, there are checks and balances which
work quite well here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:22 AM EDT
IBM and HP may not be able to say yes, but I suspect that a no from them would
have a great deal of weight. It makes sense for CA to talk to them before doing
anything. They would be among the biggest users of the CA code. I'm sure they
talked to others too, probably including Linus. It would be embarassing to
donate code and have it rejected. It's better for them to sound everybody out
first.

On the other hand, That doesn't mean it's a done deal. The kernel review process
could still produce objections.

I don't think there was any intent to imply IBM and HP could decide.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't be too negative, PJ
Authored by: DFJA on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:30 AM EDT
I think what we might be seeing is CA starting to 'get it' here. OK, they may
not have quite got all the details right (Novell didn't this time last year,
IIRC) but please don't put them off by being too negative. We need to welcome
them to the Free Software community with open arms, and gently guide them in
areas where they are understandably inexperienced and may make the occasional
false move.

Regardless of whether their code makes it into the official Kernel, they have
still released their code under the GPL which means that anyone can apply these
additions to their own kernel. That's good enough for me for the time being. If
everyone starts using these patches in their own custom kernels, I'm sure Linus
et. al., who are very pragmatic, will add it to the official kernel, at least as
a configuration option. But even if they don't, it doesn't matter that much. If
it's good code, it will fly. And it will add to the quality of the Free Software
that is available.

Thankyou CA, and welcome to our community!!!

---
43 - for those who require slightly more than the answer to life, the universe
and everything

[ Reply to This | # ]

Good for Linux and the community
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:31 AM EDT
One more name brand, One more notch up the ladder to
unseat Microsoft as the OS of choice.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: gdeinsta on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:32 AM EDT
"Central to the effort, according to Computer Associates International Inc. officials in Islandia, N.Y., is the formation of a new open-source foundation that will house and support open-source code, which will be made available under open-source licenses, officials said."
[...] Do we actually need a new corporate-run foundation to support open source code? Whose code? And in what way do they intend to "support" it? I think I'd like to look at the fine print before I sign on that dotted line.

PJ, I think you are being overly suspicious. It sounds to me like they want to make sure their open-source activities are kept strictly compartmented from their closed-source activities. It's just good management practise to split off a separate group.

We have already seen what corporate involvement can mean. Lawsuits, cutthroat competition, and attempts to kill the GPL.

Let's not forget that IBM is a corporation. And Red Hat. And they're in it for profit, too. A corporation is just a tool, which can be wielded for good or for ill.

[ Reply to This | # ]

selinux
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:34 AM EDT
CA should perhaps read up on the NSA's selinux, now part of Fedora.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: blacklight on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:34 AM EDT
"I trust that the authors haven't slipped in some code that spies on me or
takes note of my taste in music or whatever." PJ

This is why Microsoft has a credibility problem with end users. Microsoft is
quite aware that the farther it pushes into DRM, the more it differentiates
itself from Open Source in a particularly negative way.

"We have already seen what corporate involvement can mean. Lawsuits,
cutthroat competition, and attempts to kill the GPL"

Let's not overstate the issue: I for one am thankful for IBM's and Novell's
corporate involvement. As for SCOG's corporate involvement: jerks have dreams,
too. And jerks will be with us whereever we go, and whereever we live. Let's put
in the appropriate pest control and eradication measures, and enjoy the rest of
our lives.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Needless freaking - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:06 PM EDT
    • clarification - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 06:05 PM EDT
Computer Associates: A normal everyday company
Authored by: seanlynch on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:37 AM EDT
I have worked with many CA products over the years, and attended corporate
events sponsored by them.

They are a pretty big player in the software industry and have created, bought,
and even killed a variety of products over the years.

They are, as most companies are, dedicated to making money. Their performance at
making money has been both good and bad at various times. They have also been
'good' and have been 'bad' at other corporate game playing throughout their
history.

They are not a SCOX like parasite. They are a company that wants to make money.
They will probably market a kernel with enhancements to work with their products
wether or not these enhancements get accepted by Andrew Morton. Some companies
will want to pay CA to use it.

Some of the people at CA do 'get' open source, but as a whole it is just another
market for them to compete in. They are a very competitive company.

There will probably be some stumbling around at first, but I don't think CA will
be trying to cause harm. Once the corporation 'groks' the free and open source
market place better, the stumbling should be rare.

The more corporate entities we have living, functioning, and profiting in that
market, the harder it will be for MS and SCOX to spread FUD and try to influence
lawmakers. Companies like Daimler Chrysler, IBM, CA, and HP have lobbyists too.
They will protect their investments and interests.

Companies like CA may act like IBM and Novell, or they may be wishy washy like
Sun and HP, but they are all coming to the reality that is the open source
market place.

Seán

I think CA

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:39 AM EDT
"Excuse me, but with all due respect, IBM and HP are not in charge of the
open source and free software community. They don't decide what goes into the
kernel. We are happy to have them, but they don't run things."

They could fork the kernel and manage their fork, and of course, they certainly
would be in-charge of *that*. Many who utilize linux might want to follow that
forked kernel instead of directly following Linus's.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Real freedom = the freedom to say no
Authored by: bonewah on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:39 AM EDT
PJ - dont worry about any code that is made gpl. The real power of open source
is the ability to say "no thanks, i dont want your software on MY
hardware"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Take issue with this sentence
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:41 AM EDT
I take issue with this sentence

> We have already seen what corporate involvement can mean. Lawsuits,
cutthroat competition, and attempts to kill the GPL.

I don't think that there is ANY evidence that IBM's, HP's, Red Hat's, Novell's,
etc. corporate involvement in Linux has done any or precipiated any of those
things.

Instead the ONLY entity attempting those things by corporate involvement (or
perhaps past corporate involvement) is SCOX.

And, as far as anybody who has examined the filings can tell, SCOX have no case
and no evidence.

In fact SCOX's behaviour tell us only about SCOX mindset, rather than the
mindset of other corporations who have contributed to Linux.

The analogy I would give is if 1 Linux user misbehaves, it tells us only about
that user, and nothing about the rest.

The same applies to corporations. Just because SCOX has consistently misbehaved
(incidentally in a unique and somewhat novel way), it doesn't tell us anything
about other corporations. Particularly since no other corporation involved in
Linux has ever behaved anything like SCOX.

Additionally, whether SCOX is even a corporation in a full sense of the word is
open to doubt, at least in my mind. Yes they are registered and taxed as a
corporation. But they appear to be acting not as a corporation, but merely as
arm of Canopy and/or the SCO executives who have consistently offloaded so many
overpriced shares.

Additionally SCOX do not even seem to have any of their principal business as
any of the normal main corporate activies.

The normal main corporate activities are:

1. Sell products (common)
2. Sell services (common)
3. Generate money by litigation (less common but some corporations do it)

SCO's planned prinicipal business isn't any of these. Their "Linux
licensing" business is not 1 or 2 (nothing is being sold), and it isn't
even 3 -- as SCOX's principal aim in their litigation efforts seems to be delay
resolution as long as possible.
2, Sell

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank?
Authored by: jrzagar on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:42 AM EDT

IMHO, I don't see this as something to get terribly concerned about. I have some concerns of my own regarding CA's ability to "grok" the GPL, but I see this move as a positive one. There are quite a number of things you want an OS to do in an enterprise environment that Linux just doesn't do, and one of them is fine-grained auditing and event reporting.

There is a need, for instance, to be able to define a security policy for a system and have it log any anomalous events and possibly take some action on them. You want the OS to be able to do something when a user (or a process) attempts to violate security policy, and you want to be able to control what the OS does... This is not something that can be done with the existing syslog service... at least not without significant effort, and it'll be incredibly ugly and hard to maintain to boot.

The vendors probably feel that their needs aren't going to be addressed through standard channels and want to play in their own sandbox. That's perfectly fine, especially considering that preserving the end-users' right to do their own thing is exactly what the GPL is for.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: hardcode57 on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:45 AM EDT
Ow! PJ, you've got your tin hat on tight today!

The model for making a living out of FOSS code is through support, so starting a
business unit (call it a foundation if you want to sound better) to do this is
appropriate and non-threatening.

What goes in the kernel remains up to LT and AM, and no-one is going to change
that: it is even less in the corporate interest to fork Linux than it is in the
user's. My guess is that they've already talked to the kernel team prior to this
press release: it would be cripplingly embarrassing to them for their offerings
to be rejected.

I agree that a 'by your leave' would have been polite, but the release is
clearly aimed at the business press, so the main story they want to get across
is what a big head of steam the Open Source locomotive is building up, and it's
surely a good thing for us: more apps, running slicker, more acceptance and
awareness of what we are about etc.

I regard this as wholly positive, and if CA don't yet understand the etiquette
of the Open Source community, we'll (gently) instruct them.





[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Tin Hat? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 08:02 PM EDT
Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: hutcheson on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:53 AM EDT
CA has been, forever, a "computing services" company -- contract
programming and systems integration. They compete with, um, the IBM division
that was quickest to see the Linux Light. Unlike Sun, they don't have a hardware
manufacturing company to anchor them; unlike Microsoft, they don't see
shrink-wrap licenses as an entitlement to an eternal revenue stream. They are
natural industrial-strength-Linux users.

And they're definitely crossing their own Milvian Bridge, and therefore always
watching out for "in hoc signo vinces".

Unix has been down this road before -- multiple incompatible versions, every
manufacturer tweaking its own enhancements for the sake of competitive
advantage. Now, with the "core" Unix so obsolete, distributors have a
choice: (1) keep tweaking their own flavor of Linux (Solaris); (2) Cut over to
the Linux core (catching up to the pack) and start tweaking their own release;
or (3) Get their own mission-critical functionality into Linux, and ride the
wave.

(2) has been tried, and if people HADN'T tried it before, Unix would still be
the state-of-the-art system, and Linux would be a hobbiest toy. IBM has been
ramping up option (3), and suffering no immediate harm thereby -- except a
little lawsuit worth far more than its weight in favorable publicity. Novell has
gone over, perhaps in desperation. We may see more converts, as the value of not
backpatching exceeds the competitive advantage of concealing proprietary
extensions.

This may not be accepted into the core. But whether or not it is accepted, it
will start a discussion on the best way to install hooks and handles for this
type of functionality -- which is acknowledged as wanting in Unix. And when the
smoke clears, the next person to need this kind of functionality will find it
easier to add. The value of this kind of work is easily overlooked, but
absolutely critical to the stability of any complex system. [One of the major
deficiencies in Microsoft's development process is that they DON'T do this: they
just hammer the hooks in wherever.]




[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: T. ProphetLactus on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:56 AM EDT
Damned shame we have to treat everyone as if they were a scog in sheep's
clothing now-a-days. Let's see what the current cases do as far as the scog's
'contributers remorse' vs. GPL code. Otherwise the GPL is still the silver
bullet for the future Heeps of Infamy.

TPL

[ Reply to This | # ]

CA and a small sacrifice - to appease the FOSS community
Authored by: Rsnable Person on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:56 AM EDT
Just a thought - a small one, but a thought none the less -

Who else sees this sacrifice, or 'submission', as a move by CA to try and erase
the SCO licensing fiasco they got a black eye over with the FOSS community? Do
you doubt they heard the backlash and outrage?

Granted this will also give them an in-road into the development fray, but It's
interesting that they jumped into it so suddenly, and are now budy budy with the
community.

yup yup yup - the more I think about it, the more it seems obvious.

"Good feelings gone.." - Marlin, "Finding Nemo"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: Nick Bridge on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:02 PM EDT
The event model would be a nice feature to add to Linux - as long as it's
cleanly implemented, etc...

Linus has always accepted contibutions based on the value of the code and how
widely used the code will be.

It doesn't matter who the contributor is (although I can think of a couple of
companies who may find their code denied simply based on their past behavior!).

I trust Andrew/Linus will do due dilligence in examining the code.

Perhaps CA already had been using this as a patch and feel that releasing it to
the kernel will do two things:
1. Remove the necessity of porting the patch to each new kernel they wish to
support.
2 Help drive sales of the products they have that require the patch.

It looks to me like they (CA) have taken the right path with regard to donating
code.

I welcome this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

CA and SEC
Authored by: artp on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:05 PM EDT
I share some of PJ's misgivings about this. I've seen a lot of good software
disappear into CA, never to be heard from again.

From:
http://www.enn.ie/frontpage/news-8828599.html
Tuesday, November 19 2002
by Matthew Clark

The world's number three software maker, Computer Associates, announced a regime
change on Monday, as Chairman Charles B Wang stepped down.

Replacing the 58-year-old Wang is the outgoing chairman's long-time general,
Sanjay Kumar, who will also hold on to his positions of president and chief
executive. Kumar, 40 years old, has been the top executive at Computer
Associates since August 2000.

While Wang's departure comes as a surprise, his position with the influential
software firm has been diminished in recent months, mainly due to the scrutiny
that he and his firm have faced from federal investigators over accounting
practices. One aspect of the investigation included questions over whether the
firm manipulated its books to boost management's compensation.

Officially, the company has said that the resignation is in no way connected to
the investigation by the US government.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A bit OT: Taste in music
Authored by: MadMax on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:07 PM EDT
I trust that the authors haven't slipped in some code that spies on me or takes note of my taste in music or whatever.
Unless, of course, that is what you want :>

I love free and open source software. I love that there is so much out there that can do anything and everything I want, and I love that finally I can trust the software that I am using, and feel *good* about using it. I've just started using Audio Scrobbler and am a big fan. Yes, it takes note of my taste in music and sends it to a central server, but I *trust* it.

---
irc.fdfnet.net #groklaw - Displaced Aussie

[ Reply to This | # ]

Easy now, PJ
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:08 PM EDT
Hi

MeThinks you're more worried than need be. Anything contributed to the kernel
will be GPL, and anyone is free to fork the kernel if they like, CA or the
community.

They're just speaking a bit of corporate-slang. The GPL protects us (again :)

Good luck!

-Henrik

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:11 PM EDT
The key phrase seems (to me, anyways) to be this:
""K-Gem will standardize the event notification process, tell the
kernel that, say, someone wants to open a file and in turn pass that 'event' to
a security module such as CA's own eTrust Access Control for access
authorization. . . ."

Clearly CA has an interest in their event mechanism becoming the standard - they
no longer have to maintain it, and the s/w works. From what I know about CA (not
much, actually) event management is not a product they make money on.

Whether this is good or not depends on the quality of the code - something that
Linus and Co. are very qualified to judge. So I won't worry - yet.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: hutcheson on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:15 PM EDT
On the "separate foundation": if SCO had tried to accuse IBM of
stealing BSD Unix code (and putting it into Linux), then they might have gotten
past the Summary Judgment phase and been able to go to a jury hoping to find a
Rant-for-Rent-like prejudiced idiot on the jury. And if that happened, then
IBM's "Chinese wall" between Linux and Unix development teams would
have been closely scrutinized. Most companies couldn't stand such scrutiny --
IBM intends to be one of the exceptions. Under the circumstances, CA probably
does well to consider their own institutional version of a Chinese wall, and
this "foundation" may well be it.

As for the SCOGbems connection: after their unhappy relationship with Canopy, CA
might well review their partnerships with a view towards avoiding having future
Darlnesses rub off on them. This announcement could well be considered a poke in
SCO's eye with a sharp stick -- "try to use us for your sleazy promotional
schemes and scams!"

The exact form of the press release is for business types, who know the
difference between a foundation and a subsidiary, even if they don't know the
difference between using and copying a development system. So details of the
development methodology and source control mechanisms would be out of place. No
doubt some of them aren't firmly in place in reality yet either.

This is most interesting, but I think we need to see how the cookie crumbles
before proving the pudding.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: CrimsonAvenger on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:16 PM EDT
I wonder how many people will recognize the "Road to Damascus"
reference?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Loss Leader
Authored by: maco on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:18 PM EDT
By giving away the event scheduler they gain an opportunity to sell their
security module, eTrust Access Control for access authorization. This is
similar to CUPS - the lightweight printer driver/manager given away as an
advertisement for the heavyweight from the same company.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Loss Leader - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:30 PM EDT
CA would be a great Linux Supporter -- and they need linux too.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:25 PM EDT
Computer Associates is a deep research company with history. They would make a
great supporter.

Also, with Microsoft looking like it will include their own anti-virus stuff, or
rebundle Symantec stuff, Linux could be a great move for CA.

[ Reply to This | # ]

CA, Canopy And Linux
Authored by: dmscvc123 on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:26 PM EDT
How does CA's Linux license apply to this? Can Canopy/SCO sue someone for this?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corporate involvement
Authored by: sela on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:27 PM EDT

I want to join the choir, and agree with everyone saying you're a bit too harsh
on CA today, PJ.

First, as for the SCO case, I don't think it's enyone's fault but SCO's greed.
Not IBM's involvement, not anyone else.

I think we're often underestimate the importance of IBM's involvement in Linux.
It is not their contibutions that are important - on its technical merits, Linux
was great software without direct corporate envolvement.
The real significance of big blue's involvement is that once they showed this
level of commitment for Linux, other PHBs followed suit and started looking at
Linux as a real, mature OS.

Few years ago I used to work in a huge, international hightech corporation. When
we started migrated out in-house tools from expensive unix machines to the
cheaper x86 platform, the R/D veep refused to even consider using linux, calling
it a "hobbist OS", and we were told to migrate all our tools to NT. By
the time it turned out the NT migration pilot was a total failure, IBM was
already involved in Linux, and this time around Linux was considered to be a
true alternative, and was in fact the chosen as the major platform for our
tools.

You may ask: but why do I have to care about PHB's decisions? Those don't affect
MY ability to use Linux, do they?
Well... the sad thing is, they do. As long as there is so much hardware around
without Linux drivers (such as GDI printers etc.), and as long as there are so
many internet sites can be accessed only using IE (such as the site used for
viewing my bank-account), I am forced to go back to my XP.

The only way to have a true freedom of choice is by making Linux as widespread
as possible. Only this way, anyone releasing a new HW, designing a new internet
site etc. would not be able to ignore Linux, is by making Linux so widespread it
cannot be ignored. And, like it or not, corporate endorsement plays a major role
here.

Now, I am aware of the fact that corporate involvement can be a mixed blessing,
a double edged sword, but I think we need tomake this sacrifice.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just a continuation of a process that started a while ago
Authored by: DaveAtFraud on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:28 PM EDT
PJ, I would throw out the idea that what CA is "donating" is just a
part of a larger process that started a while ago. Not to be a troll but a lot
of the things that SCOG is complaining about showing up in Linux (NUMA, support
for large numbers of processors, etc.) along with things like SNMP support
really aren't in there for the "common man." These are features that
allow IBM, Red Hat, CA, et al. to sell Linux into the data center. The same can
be said for non-kernel Linux developments such as SuSE's replacement for M$
Exchange. One of the few things that SCO was right about is that Linux having
these features is what is killing Unixware. It just that this isn't some deep,
dark plot to put SCOG out of business but more a case of the companies involved
recognizing that Linux is the technically supperior platform.

On the positive side, the modular nature of the Linux kernel and Linux itself
means that those of us who don't need SNMP for a 32-way SMP system at home get
the benefit of the testing and expertise that the big boys bring with them when
they make sure Linux works in such an environment. Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS
is currently the ultimate expression of this; just check out Red Hat's pricing
(and I'm sure Red Hat will charge even more if K-Gem allows RHEL to be B1
certified). Having traditionally closed source development houses like IBM, CA,
HP, etc. contributing to Linux is a bargain with the devil since it means that
Linux will include "hooks" to include modules such as CA's K-Gem but I
think that this is a small price to pay for those of us who don't use it in
exchange for having CA "on-board."

Personally, I'm more concerned about M$ making kissy face with Sun and Oracle.

---
Quietly implementing RFC 1925 wherever I go.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: sef on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:37 PM EDT

I wonder how much this is a reaction to certain statements claimed by TSG...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: ujay on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:44 PM EDT
I'm not sure what to make of this. I checked the Computer Associates web site,
where there was no indication of such a release, nor did any searches yield any
results. I was trying to get better information than what the initial report
indicated.

I guess I'll just have to wait until Andrew is finished the code review.

I have never had to 'hook the kernel' to do event processing in Linux. But
then, the event processing I have done has either been from third party
constructs, such as TrollTech's excellent connect signal/slot implementation, or
SDL event processing.

Aside from those, integrating a signal handler has not really been a challenge
in code bypassing third party signal processing.

The example given in the report is a bit odd, as the kernel already has file
system privilege processing, and calls to file system access already implement
the security checks. There may be holes in the process (what code is 100%
secure), but I have not seen any serious level of problem yet.

I applaud CAI for this move, as if it is accepted, there is another option for
kernel siganl processing, but the initial report is actually too vague to really
see what direction they are going toward. Can't expect a reporter to understand
kernel programming when so many developers don't.

PS: I don't do kernel programing.



---
Programmer: A biological system designed to convert coffee and cheesies into
code

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: News from Lindows vs. M$
Authored by: m_si_M on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 12:48 PM EDT

The Court of Appeals has de nied M$‘s appeal.

---
C.S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Cool
Authored by: avbidder on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:03 PM EDT
PJ, why so gloomy?

Code donated under an OSI-compatible license stays that
way. As long as (some) companies want to donate code and,
perhaps, even work with the community, fine. If their work
is good, it will be used. If there is foul play, oh, well,
use of the code in question will either drop, or people
will look elsewhere for support. If companies start Brand
X Linux and you don't like that, use Brand Y Linux which
you like (you already do that: I use Debian, others prefer
Mandrake, still others SuSE or whatever. My university is
just now slowly shifting away from RedHat and is now
mostly Debian (glee! :-))

Also, since more than one big company works on Linux, I
don't fear that one company will monopolize it - the
players are watching each other sharply, and I guess if
some major players manage to agree on something that
should be there, it will not be that bad. (The UnitedLinux
idea apparently was not that well thought-out - and so, it
fell apart quite quickly despite it being backed by some
companies with quite big influence...)

Oh, well.
</ramble>

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT; List of outstanding Court Filings
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:03 PM EDT
These filings have not yet been posted on Groklaw

IBM v SCO
=========

(1) Exhibits 1 to 42 (to the extent that they don't duplicate earlier filings)
of 153 - Memorandum by Intl Bus Mach Inc in support of [152-1] cross motion for
partial summary judgment on claim for declaratory judgment of non-infringement
(blk) [Entry date 05/19/04]

(2) 154 - Declaration of Daniel Frye Re: [152-1] cross motion for partial
summary judgment on claim for declaratory judgment of non-infringement (blk)
[Entry date 05/19/04]

(3) 156 - Declaration of Amy F. Sorenson Re: [155-1] opposition memorandum (blk)
[Entry date 05/19/04]

(4) 157 - Declaration of Todd M. Shaughnessy Re: [152-1] cross motion for
partial summary judgment on claim for declaratory judgment of non-infringement.
(Please Note: This is an oversized document and has been placed in an expandable
folder next to the case file.) (blk) [Entry date 05/19/04] [Edit date 05/19/04]


Red hat v SCO
=============

(4) 37 - Declaration of Josy W. Ingersoll, Esq. in Support of D.I. #35 (ft)
[Entry date 04/21/04]

(5) 38 - Letter to Judge Robinson from J. Ingersoll re D.I. # 37; writing to
clarify that the documents which were the subject of declaration filed on
4/20/04 (D.I. #37), did not include attachments, except for Exhibit J (ft)
[Entry date 04/23/04]

(6) 39 - Answer Brief Filed by SCO Group Inc. [35-1] motion for Reconsideration
of [34-1] order - Reply Brief due 5/11/04 (ft) [Entry date 05/05/04]


SCO v AutoZone
==============

(7) There should be a reply brief by SCO opposing AutoZone's Motion to stay or
in the alternative for a more definite statemnt.

This most likely document 24 and was due 24/5


SCO v DaimlerChrysler
=====================

(8) There should be a reply brief from SCO opposing DC's Motion for Summary
Disp

I believe this was probably filed on Friday

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:06 PM EDT
I'm with PJ on this. Big corporations with lots of
lawyers and money might be able to do things in
the future that you can not even foresee at
this point. I had predicted years ago that something
like the SCO/IBM thing would eventually occur once
Linux got popular. I wonder what the ramifications of
the SCO/IBM lawsuit will be, even when IBM 'wins'.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: math geezer on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:09 PM EDT
Put down your pitchforks and torches.

CA are "embracing" the GPL, one more nail in the coffins of "Rant
for Rent Enderle", "The Didiot", and all the others who impugn
the GPL and Linux.
Corporate acceptance of the GPL by big name corporations should strenghten the
positive view of FLOSS. "Normal" journalists can start writing
positive stories, instead of casting aspersions.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: MS flips Opera a dime,
Authored by: Tim Ransom on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:15 PM EDT
sez, 'amscrae, kid, yer botherin' me!'. Link.

---
Thanks again,

[ Reply to This | # ]

Caution is good, but the community should be fine
Authored by: lilo on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:23 PM EDT
PJ,

Caution's good. Unless they've already talked to Andrew Morton or Linus about
it, you're right, the wording was a little pushy. And, yes, you're right to
worry about abuse.

But Linus and company have been doing this for a while and, up to this point,
they've done a great job of sorting submitted feature code. My money is on CA
not getting the opportunity to steamroller anybody.


Rob L.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: scott_R on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:24 PM EDT
Sorry PJ, I'm with the others on this. While we should never blindly overlook
the possibility that someone might attempt an abuse, I think it's important that
the community be accepting of "newbies", and allow a couple PR
mulligans here and there. Learning to work with the community is so contrary to
most companies histories, that even the most sincere efforts are bound to goof
up in the beginning. Of course, if it's a pattern, that's another thing, but it
takes time for a pattern to develop.

Put into perspective, how would you like to be invited to someone's house for
dinner, and when you arrive, they start stashing their stuff, locking doors, and
looking at and talking to you like you're a criminal? Sometimes I feel that
part of the reason some companies have avoided Linux for so long may be due to
watching others get "beat up" by the community.

And, not to raise the flame level here, but I think that's part of the reason
why Linux has succeeded while Hurd has floundered. Linus is friendly and happy
to have help, whereas the FSF tends to be suspicious of anything offered, and
gets hung up on pointless nuances. Debian, for example, is slow putting out
releases, but the mailing lists are filled with arguments on what kind of
document license is the best, whether certain software (including
Mozilla/OpenOffice) should even be linked to from the Debian site for their
user's benefit.

The community's been extremely effective so far dealing with SCO, and while we
shouldn't rest on our laurels, I think that should relax us a little regarding
the dangers of corporate attempts to co-opt Linux. In a way, perhaps we should
use something like the "father's threat".

You know, "Nice to meet you <name>. You seem like a fine young man.
Oh, before you two leave on your date, have a look at that elephant gun over the
mantle, ok?" :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

K-GEM will probably flop
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:35 PM EDT
K-GEM is about providing kernel hooks to userspace programs. It looks like the
primary reason for wanting this feature is so that you can write proprietary
pseudo-kernel code without respecting the GPL. I predict that unless the
outside security modules are also open sourced or cloned that this extension
will be a big flop. This is because noone outside of CA will be interested in
bloating their kernel with this new feature that they cannot use and facilitates
working around the kernel license.

Michael

[ Reply to This | # ]

I read it differently I guess
Authored by: ray08 on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:46 PM EDT
My take on this is that it is good news. I don't see CA as trying to ram
anything down anyone's throat. Actually, they seemed really happy that IBM and
HP, both Linux supporters, backed up the decision. My take is that CA wants to
help OSS.

If I'm right, it also says more corporations are fed up with M$'s domination and
extortion tactics.

I say "Welcome CA!"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Woa, PJ, take a deep breath
Authored by: philc on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:55 PM EDT
The idea behind GPL is everything is open. Its great that CA places their work
under GPL. We can all look at it and use/modify what is relevent to us. CA looks
like it is trying to become a player in this space. Good for them. Its up to
them to establish themselves in the good graces of the community. Time will
tell.

Linux is always "brand X". Virtually every distribution provides one
or more official Linux kernels patched as they see fit. Very few of us run an
unpatched kernel. Because this is all GPL, we have the source of the patches
too.

GPL is about freedom. That includes the freedom to say no thank you.

As for large companies getting involved, as long as they remain faithful to the
requirements of the GPL all will be well. There is a lot of money to be made
using Linux and other open software and this corporate activity is a good sign
that the open software is maturing.

Good luck to CA and I hope they take this opportunity to become a force in the
open software world seriously and that they form a strong bond with the open
source community.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Bad article. We should thank CA
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 01:59 PM EDT
Computer Associates, by releasing this software under the GPL, has given some interesting software to the community.
Nobody - not CA, not IBM, not even Linus - can make you use it. They are not ramming anything down anybody's throat. It's a gift. You can use it, stuff it in a closet, or throw it away. So can each one of us.

For once, PJ, you just don't seem to get it.

Personally, my response to Computer Associates is: Thank you very much.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT "Visit" to ADTI's DC address
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 02:03 PM EDT
The following was copied from the Yahoo SCOX board:

"Visit" to ADTI's DC address
by: minorcanon2k 05/24/04 02:00 pm
Msg: 136779 of 136779

After finishing the morning chores, I took the subway to downtown Washington,
DC. Got off at the Eastern Market metro stop and walked to the address given on
ADTI's website:

611 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Number 119

Which turns out to be a UPS operated package and mail-drop. The number 119 is a
postal box.

For folks that do not know the DC addressing scheme, note that while the UPS
shop is on Pennsylvania Ave, it is 6 blocks into the southeast quadrant while
the better known location, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW is 22 block away in a
"better part of town" or not all things considered.

If the folks that talked about going to the address in West Lebanon, NH find the
same sort of setup, I'll task one the my lawyers to send a somewhat more formal
request.

I'll be meeting with an Enrolled Agent tomorrow 5/25/2004, and she has agreeded
to review the ADTI returns that were linked to in this board.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: winkey on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 02:17 PM EDT
Great one of the things i hate most about windows

I am sorry you cannot delete this trojan, its in use

You have to keep it

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Stowell explains FSF subpoena. McBride "we own all UNIXes" etc
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 02:20 PM EDT
These quotes appear to have been missed in recently discussions

(1)
http://www.idg.com.sg/idgwww.nsf/0/93CDEF68C07A3E9E48256E9B002217EF?OpenDocument


SCO issued the FSF subpoena because it believes that it might uncover evidence
that could help it in its case against IBM, said Blake Stowell, an SCO
spokesman. "If IBM is using the GPL as a defense in their case, and there
is any kind of collaboration going on between IBM and the FSF, we'd like to know
what that is," he said.

(2)
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2004-05-21-linux-test-suit_x.htm

McBride claims more than 700,000 lines of Unix-derived code have seeped into
Linux, whose kernel or brains contain about 5.7 million lines of code. It was
code IBM and other Unix customers, who were supposed to keep it confidential
under licensing pacts, just gave away, he says.

...

SCO is making copyright claims not just on raw code but its sequence and
organization and Unix variants developed by others, testing the limits of U.S.
copyright law.

McBride says SCO owns the core Unix system and licensing rights to variants
developed by a third of Fortune 500 companies. In all, SCO controls more than
30,000 licensing pacts "all over the place" with major colleges and
universities, governments and others.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Stowell explains FSF subpoena. McBride "we own all UNIXes" etc
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 02:21 PM EDT
These quotes appear to have been missed in recently discussions

(1)
http://www.idg.com.sg/idgwww.nsf/0/93CDEF68C07A3E9E48256E9B002217EF?OpenDocument


SCO issued the FSF subpoena because it believes that it might uncover evidence
that could help it in its case against IBM, said Blake Stowell, an SCO
spokesman. "If IBM is using the GPL as a defense in their case, and there
is any kind of collaboration going on between IBM and the FSF, we'd like to know
what that is," he said.

(2)
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2004-05-21-linux-test-suit_x.htm

McBride claims more than 700,000 lines of Unix-derived code have seeped into
Linux, whose kernel or brains contain about 5.7 million lines of code. It was
code IBM and other Unix customers, who were supposed to keep it confidential
under licensing pacts, just gave away, he says.

...

SCO is making copyright claims not just on raw code but its sequence and
organization and Unix variants developed by others, testing the limits of U.S.
copyright law.

McBride says SCO owns the core Unix system and licensing rights to variants
developed by a third of Fortune 500 companies. In all, SCO controls more than
30,000 licensing pacts "all over the place" with major colleges and
universities, governments and others.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Profits Support Open Source
Authored by: kawabago on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 02:39 PM EDT
Someone somewhere is paying to store and distribute OSS so there must be a
benefit realized or it wouldn't happen. Sometimes the benefit is esoteric i.e.
would you rather be rich or be Linus Torvalds?

All along we have been saying you can make money from OSS so we shouldn't
criticize anyone for trying. Also, open source jobs aren't offshored because
the revenue stream comes from local needs revolving around free software. So
OSS makes perfect sense for CA as it does for IBM, it keeps IT professionals
working in developed economies.

On the other hand, 20 years ago I did receive a misleading promotional letter
from CA with a completely false claim about how a virus was spread. So I am
very suspicious of them and they will have to earn my trust.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT:ADTI
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 02:39 PM EDT
The adti site is a kind of a mess I think.
But i notice something strange.
The image of linus at the linux fud article links to :
"http://www.adti.net/kenarbeit/samiz.release.html"
Wich is protected (browser ask password). Take note at the directory name:
"kenarbeit". 'Arbeit' is german for "job".
I don't know if this means anything, but i did found it wourth noting.


[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ may be right
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 03:03 PM EDT

First, the only thing this patch does at this time is enable one of CA's products. It may be useful for others in the future (assuming it's accepted), for stuff like B1 certification, but nobody else uses the interface CA is trying to introduce. It only benefits their access control module right now.

Second, note the line about how poor ISVs are having to patch kernels to make their stuff work ("hooking nightmare"). If the articles can be believed, the patch is 25k lines. That's a huge burden to have to keep up to date, if you're selling a product that relies on it. Far easier to get somebody else, like a kernel maintainer, to do it for you.

IBM and HP don't decide what goes in a kernel, of course. However, I'd expect Linus to reject this out of hand, just because of the size of the thing, unless somebody tells him that it's needed badly. I'd guess HP and IBM corporate, together, make as much impact as a couple hundred other kernel developers. Maybe, with their support, and assuming it passes technical muster with Andrew, this patch will be accepted.

Third, that bit about the 2.6 kernel going "gold" sounds like an attempt to hijack the development. What are the odds that (a) 2.6.8 will come out in August, (b) this kernel is as stable as we all hope, and (c) the CA patch is accepted and included in 2.6.8? I like Linux, I use Linux, but I don't hang my hat on any Windoze-like pre-announcements (on any OS!). So why would CA include something like this in a press release? I'm guessing that either CA is trying to sell a major access control installation and needs to calm the buyer's qualms about having to patch the kernel, or they're trying to undermine Linux as an OS for one or more potential sales, which may succeed if (a), (b), and (c) aren't met.

Fourth, this may be a shot across the bow to the forthcoming Redhat AS with security enhancement (SE) inclusions. AS with SE reportedly includes some access control functionality. It may be CA thinks their system will not sell if AS/SE starts to make inroads in their target markets. As I don't run either Fedora 2 or CAs module, I'd welcome any comments by those in the know on either side on this point.

Maybe CA is honest and upfront with this offer. Maybe they just want a pet module included. Given their prior history with Linux, the size of the patch, the unique use of the patch by their own product, I'm suspicious, though not hostile. It may just be I don't itch where they're scratching.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Scorched Earth
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 03:05 PM EDT
By their scorched earth attitude towards everyone else in the software business,
Microsoft has made a large number of enemies. By supporting Linux and open
source the "enemies" are fighting back.

prteacher

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT:ADTI II
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 03:13 PM EDT
In the quest to get information about ADTI i have found a image of ken Brown (also Kenneth Brown or Kenneth P Brown). Found at the DCFund site(related to ADTI): here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not all Forks are GPL-legal
Authored by: arch_dude on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 03:13 PM EDT
Linus has some issues with "hooks" in the kernel. He has rejected such
"hooks" in the past when they were primalily a way to permit an
interface to non-GPL software. The primary example that I can recal was MOSIX.
The MOSIX project ported MOSIX to LINUX, and then submitted the hooks, but not
the actual code, to Linux. Linux rejected the hooks. To its credit, the MOSIX
project then evaluated what they had doen and decided to GPL MOSIX.

If Linus thinks that CA is attempting to permit Kernel-space run-time binding
primarily to benefit proprietary software, he will reject the patch. If CA
attempts to fork, Linus is likely to invoke the GPL, since these
"hooks" mean that the resulting kernel-plus-hooked-software form more
than a "mere aggregation."

Linus did make an exception for proprietary modules to support propriatary
hardware, but this caused some consternation on the LKML (Linux Kernel Mailing
List.) In particular, not all contributors to the kernel agree with Linus on
this, so potentially some contributor could sue a Linux distributor for
distributing linux together with a proprietary driver module.

It's also clear that Linus believes in retrospect that is "modules
exemption" was too broad and is being abused.

To avoid this mess, CA must make a strong case that the K-GEM "hooks"
are generally useful.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: ExcludedMiddle on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 03:21 PM EDT
I must join the chorus of voices here regarding CA's move. I think that this is
unequivocally a good thing, and regarding their commercial motives with such
great suspicion is not warranted. The process, and especially the licensing, of
the OS development process is protection enough against a company hijacking
Linux.

This is what it means to have a successful software product: vendors want to
create products for your platform, because there are so many people using it.
The price to get into most commercial platforms is money, or some form of mutual
business relationship with the ones that create the platform. Of course, with
OSS, the cost is...software itself. In particular, GPL'd software. CA's paying
the price. We all benefit, because we can use this software if we please, or can
ignore it if it loses the darwinian competition between software projects.

A refrain I've heard lately from the FLOSS community is "Adapt or
die". Should we be all that surprised when companies choose to adapt?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: BigTex on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 04:10 PM EDT
PJ,

I am not going to critique your wiritng style nor your passion. However I have
noticed a trend in your posts over the last several months. Your normally
"objective", "unemotional" and "balanced"
approach
to disputing FUD which has earned you much respect and given the FOSS community
a voice that is not dismissed as evangelical, has changed to become a bit more
"shrill" and "unbalanced".

This is not the Inquisiton Part 3 where those that do not believe the same as
us
need to be shouted down and burned at the proverbial stake. Rather I believe
that you can continue to most effectively serve the cause of the Open Source
community by not being dismissed by the mainstream as another one of those
folks
who is "against proprietary software in any form". Open source and
closed source can and do co-exist in this market. There should not be a need to
say "we are better than you" when both development processes serve
different purposes.

PJ, You have done more to effectively dispell the SCO/MS FUD efforts than
anyone else in recent history. PLEASE don't become "marginalized" and
"dismissed" by the mainstream media by being perceived as a FOSS
Zealot. We have enough Zealots...we don't have enough people like you!

Respectfully.

Rob Barney

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT - Novell's Financial Results for Q2
Authored by: utahbob55 on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 04:11 PM EDT

Novell's financial results for Q2 just in. Definite improvement even in NetWare sales.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't forget the patent war, PJ!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 04:38 PM EDT
Aside from the GPL issues that you've stepped into :) don't forget that if the
open source community gets into a patent war with M$ every corporate sponsor
that supports Linux becomes an important player in that war. A patent war won't
be settled in the courts because that takes too long. Patent wars are settled
by horse trading (cross licensing) in the corporate board rooms. The more
corporations Linux has on board, the better able we are to offer M$ a deal they
can't refuse.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 04:54 PM EDT
umm not to be a stick in the mud, but this;-

Darl translation: Hey, get off your fannies and buy...
^^^^^^^

Is a pretty explicit word in the UK - same region of the body, just think front
instead of rear though.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Good or Bad ?
Authored by: garbage on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 05:00 PM EDT
In the IT community CA are not exactly liked.
They have made an art form of buying up good software companies, ceasing
development & charging the present customers an arm & a leg to support
it.

Basically IT vampires.

For them to commit an act of altruism is stretching the imagination, so yes this
has to be a cold hard business decision.

Maybe we are witnessing history, big companies finally 'getting it' and the
landslide away from the old proprietary OS model.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 05:04 PM EDT
Good evening PJ.

While I understand your concerns about companies that try to taint GNU/Linux I
still have to warn you like most other before me and point you to a few things.

First of all, Linus is not against DRM in the Linux kernel.
Further while I personal disagree with any form of DRM also because of it's
counter productivity, I have to point you to a similar process to make you see
out point.

Democracy, same as with a Linux kernel people can vote for bad politicians but
that does not imply that either we quit democracy or say to some people that
they don't have right to participate because they are a liability case for
democracy.

Ok, politicians do not give the good example at this moment of time with this,
but still I hope you understand that your view on this perticular case is a bit
of a elitist one.

Keep up the good work though!! and thanks for your effords...

Bas Burger.
The Netherlands.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: Second Pass
Authored by: bbaston on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 05:32 PM EDT
Pardon for posting at top level with my last read over an hour ago. Here is a quote from CA:

"a new open-source foundation that will house and support open-source code, which will be made available under open-source licenses"

Here are my thoughts on a new open-source foundation. [Remember, when you flame a grey-beard, the smell of burned hair makes your hair turn grey too ]

What services will this foundation provide? Sounds like another mirror site for source code, distribution iso's, updates and stuff. If the foundation emphasizes areas like making use of kernel event monitoring or whatever, that doesn't bother me. While waiting to see, making constructive comments or other accepting noises seems appropriate, as CA should definitely know by now that we are sensitive to their manners and recognition of our procedures and leadership, especially while we get used to each other.

Here's hoping these issues arise often, because that would mean that the open source bandwagon is rolling right along.

---
Ben
-------------
IMBW, IANAL2, IMHO, IAVO, {;)}
imaybewrong, iamnotalawyertoo, inmyhumbleopinion, iamveryold, hairysmileyface,

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ: Re: "We have already seen what corporate involvement can mean."
Authored by: ap on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 05:51 PM EDT

Hello Pamela,

I'm not sure I understand your hoolabaloo about who gets to decide what goes in Linux. RedHat has been putting things in the kernel that Linus hasn't yet or never did accept, since forever. Others have done similar stuff. There's a couple patch-sets that are popular (-mm and -ac, to name the biggest ones (I think)). Yet without Linus' blessings, these efforts have been tremendously popular and they certainly haven't been detrimental for Linux. Even the dreaded traditionally fragmentation disease Unixoid systems are afflicted with is nowhere to be seen.

When I read that you express trust to authors, I can't help but feel you haven't understood what free software really means, because that is exactly what free software is not about. Linus himself has said that free software is great because you don't need to trust any of the participants, so long as you trust the process.

Linus has never been very fervent about defining what Linux should be — just very vocal about some things it shouldn't be. This course of action has served it perfectly so far. Why would we have to act any differently?

Linux can't even be any one thing, because it is used by more than one person. Only in the world of a proprietary commercial vendors is there an all encompassing vision for the future of computing. In a liberated world, diversity and adaption is the most important characteristic of solutions. The strength of free software is that it can do exactly that — that it can be anything and everything to each and every of its users.

Companies will play their cards and users will play theirs; all that matters is that everyone be vigilant about enforcing the freedom of the source. If you don't like the way CA moves, but some people want what CA have to offer — why should you worry?

Let go of the fears.

Trust the process.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I wouldn't worry PJ...
Authored by: Acrow Nimh on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 05:51 PM EDT
...'Cos if the quality of code produced for Linux is up to par with the normal
CA output, there is no chance of it getting accepted!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trojan horse ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 08:16 PM EDT
It seems to me at first sight that K-GEM is a sort of
"trojan horse": It allows proprietary modules to interface
with the kernel without being linked with it, by using event
passing. On the other hand, kernel hooks allow to control
what is made available to third party modules, GPL or not.

"K-Gem will standardize the event notification process, tell the
kernel that, say, someone wants to open a file and in turn pass that
'event' to a security module such as CA's own eTrust Access Control
for access authorization. . . ."

Would you bet that eTrust Access Control is not GPL ?

Now, this would not make K-Gem evil by itself, but pretending
to contribute to Free Softwares when one is just pushing glue code
to run proprietary modules is not OK.

Maybe I am paranoid, but my experience with large company
claiming to solve 'nightmare' problems with Linux is that they
are the only one to have such nightmare with linux.

We will see on lkml...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Computer Associates: GPL is viral
Authored by: afruss on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 09:18 PM EDT
Breaking news:

CA seems to consider the GPL is Viral.

Eweek article

They want to use the Plone software under the CPL or similar licence.

Through this SCO mess I have been convinced of the GPL's worth as a copyright owner even if BSD licenced software makes it easier to write and distribute software commercially.

Andrew.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Move Over Beethoven...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 10:00 PM EDT
This is exactly what makes a commodity operating system. B1 is good
security. CA is a big company. More choices is the real news here.

There can be different versions of Linux: big, medium, small, real time, and
secure.

[ Reply to This | # ]

UNGRATEFUL
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 11:00 PM EDT
Linux isn't crap without contributions from Unix and other US companies, yet you
have the gall to criticize someone over them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • UNGRATEFUL - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 26 2004 @ 07:07 PM EDT
  • UNGRATEFUL - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 10:08 AM EDT
Computer Associates: On the Road to Damascus? Or to the Bank? Both?
Authored by: jccooper on Tuesday, May 25 2004 @ 02:19 AM EDT
Corporate involvement is good good good for open source. That is in fact how the
game is supposed to be played. Anyone who wants the software to do what they
need it to do should be able to help make it do that. If others disagree, they
are free to fork. Open source development does not only embrace the individual,
nor only small organizations. Everyone's welcome: like constitutional democracy,
we allow everyone to participate because the system ensures that it'll work
out.

Open source works when there's no money, but it works even better when there's
lots of it, and that's what CA and IBM and the like bring. If they're developing
towards their goals, well, do you blame 'em? That's how it's supposed to work.

Frankly, corporate involvement in Linux is great, and more isn't going to hurt.
There's no forcing a product on anyone here. If you trust the kernel team to
only include what's good for the kernel, use the official kernel. If you think
they've sold out, find someone who hasn't. If you trust someone else who
maintains a fork (and there are many: datacenter, telephony, secure, real-time,
non-MMU, clustering) use theirs. And this includes a theoretical Big Company
Kernel.

And attacks on the open source system you refer to (by the likes of MS and SCOX)
happen because it's getting big and important, not because IBM is involved.
(Though IBM getting involved was an important accelerator in open source getting
big and important.) It's good to have folks with a large concentration of money
to deal with those attacks.

Also, I don't know if there's more than one foundation they're talking about,
but the Plone Foundation, which is funded by CA, is totally backed by the
developers and is going to mean big things for the project. If there's also an
open-source-in-general foundation, I say bully for that. The more the merrier.
I'm sure they'll have a different tack than the existing organizations, and
that's a good thing.

PJ, you do great work, but you're way off base here. Spend some time as a
working open source developer before telling the folks with the money to get
lost.

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ, you're the classic security guard
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2004 @ 04:23 AM EDT
who thinks he runs the company. I know you've got a thing for Lunis, but don't
kid yourself that he reciprocates, or even knows that you exist.

Any more of this and you're in danger of becoming another ESR. It ain't all
about your opinion, girl.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Isn't this (Plone) like Apache ...
Authored by: futureweaver on Tuesday, May 25 2004 @ 04:45 AM EDT
... which went this route, with help from IBM and others, in 1999. No-one seems to have found any big problems since. Of course, the original Apache licence was BSD-like, and the current one is CPL-like. And there's a discussion going on (see here) about the compatibility of the GPL and the new Apache licence. But on the whole, this seems like a much less serious problem than the betrayal of trust over the CDDB / Gracenote affair (see Musicbrainz for a brief history on this).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ingres
Authored by: lordmhoram on Tuesday, May 25 2004 @ 05:39 AM EDT
Just come across this (commenting on the announcement that CA are intending to
"open-source" the Ingres RDBMS - the writer is obviously somewhat
sceptical.)

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1599395,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594

Whatever actually does get open-sourced, it will presumably be complicated by
the fact that the earliest releases of Ingres (using QUEL rather than SQL) were
"open-sourced" years ago, and eventually evolved into PostgresSQL.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )