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Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 05:01 PM EDT

Andrew Tanenbaum has published the most remarkable email from the man hired by Ken Brown to do a line-by-line comparison of Minix and Linux, Alexey Toptygin, who summarizes his findings and posts them on the Internet:

"Around the middle of April, I was contacted by a friend of mine who asked me if I wanted to do some code analysis on a consultancy basis for his boss, Ken Brown. I ended up doing about 10 hours of work, comparing early versions of Linux and Minix, looking for copied code.

My results are here. To summarize, my analysis found no evidence whatsoever that any code was copied one way or the other."

When he turned in his work, he had a conversation with Brown:

"Apparently, Ken was expecting me to find gobs of copied source code. He spent most of the conversation trying to convince me that I must have made a mistake, since it was clearly impossible for one person to write an OS and 'code theft' had to have occured. So, I guess what I want to say is, pay no attention to this man. . . "

Eric Raymond has also answered Ken Brown's Samizdat. Another very detailed response here, on Newsforge, by Jem Matzan. I'll end your suspense. No, they didn't like it.

Matzan:

"In the history of publishing there has never been a less scrupulous work than this book. It's a stinging insult to real books and genuine authors everywhere, harming the credibility of all of us who write for a living."

Raymond publishes his email to AdTI, who inexplicably (unless the book is an elaborate troll) and foolishly sent him a copy to review:

"Judging by these excerpts, this book is a disaster. Many of the claimed facts are bogus, the logic is shoddy, some of the people you claim to have used as important sources have already blasted you for inaccuracy, and at the end of the day you will have earned nothing but ridicule for it. . . .

"The problems start in the abstract. Software is not composed of interchangeable parts that can be hodded from one project to another like a load of bricks. Context and interfaces are everything; unless it has been packaged into a library specifically intended to move, moving software between projects is more like an organ transplant, with utmost care needed to resect vessels and nerves. The kind of massive theft you are implying is not just contingently rare, it is necessarily rare because it is next to impossible. . . .

"Your account of the legal disclosure history of the Unix source code is seriously wrong. Persons authorized by AT&T did, in fact, frequently ship source tapes which contained no copyright notices — I know, because I still have some of that source code. . . .

"I began reading the excerpts skeptical of the widespread conspiracy theory that this book is a paid hatchet job commissioned by Microsoft. Now I find this theory much more credible. I can't imagine how anyone would want their names on a disgrace like this unless they were getting paid extremely well for undergoing the humiliation. . . .

"You claim that 'To date no other product comes to life in this way', presenting Linux as a unique event that requires exceptional explanations. This is wrong. Many other open-source projects of the order of complexity of the early Linux kernel predated it; the BSD Unixes, for example, or the Emacs editor. Torvalds was operating within an established tradition with well-developed expectations.

"'Is it possible that building a Unix operating system really only takes a few months —and, oh by the way, you don't even need the source code to do it?' Yes, it is possible, because there are published interface standards. I might have done it myself if it had occurred to me to try — in fact, I have sometimes wondered why it didn't occur to me.

"As for whether it was possible to produce Linux in the amount of time involved — it is never wise to assume that genius programmers cannot do something because the incompetent or mediocre cannot. Especially when, as in Linus's case, the genius already has a clear interface description and a mental model of what he needs to accomplish. . . .

"You propose that the absence of credits to developing countries might be evidence of some sinister memory-hole effect. The true explanation is much simpler: developing countries don't have Internet. There is a straight-up geographical correlation between contributions to open-source projects and Internet penetration."

There is a great deal more, and I encourage you to visit all four sites, to get the complete picture. Honestly, how incompetent must you be to think attacking Linus Torvalds' integrity is a good strategy? He is loved and admired internationally by folks who do understand the code, unlike Mr. Brown, and everyone knows such a man would never knowlingly steal anyone's code, period. Nobody else would either. It's not the FOSS way.


  


Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code | 303 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here Please
Authored by: bsm2003 on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:02 PM EDT
.

[ Reply to This | # ]

URLs here please
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:03 PM EDT
For PJ

[ Reply to This | # ]

ADTI and Ken Brown use OpenOffice.org
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:04 PM EDT
It was just posted on the SCOX news group (message ID 138043 by zeke19692000) that the document www.adti.net/thefutureofbroad castconten.pdf written by Ken Brown was produced with OpenOffice.org 1.1.0. You can see this in the Document Properties screen of Adobe Reader.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thanks, PJ, for picking these up!
Authored by: ray08 on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:08 PM EDT
These articles do some real analysis and true debunking. Now, if only the
general media will pick them up as well! Hello, C/net, want the rest of the
story?

---
Caldera is toast! And Groklaw is the toaster!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:09 PM EDT
I've been monitoring the adti.net website since this whole fiasco started,
hoping to see some indication that they were willing to put up a spirited debate
and at least create some kind of real conversation.

I noticed on May 25th that they had put up a link to a page on their site that
purported to include Tanenabum and Torvald's responses to Brown. That same page
also has a link to Brown's response to Tanenbaum and Torvalds; unfortunately,
two days later, the links all still point to an "under constructions"
placeholder.

I know that someone is updating the site though, because on the 25th I sent
their webmaster an e-mail pointing out that they had misspelled the word
"click" on the homepage in a hyperlink that said, "clik
here". They've fixed the misspelling, but apparently they haven't been
able to post any new information.

I get the feeling that they have not really given this matter a great deal of
thought.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:14 PM EDT
Is the any potiential liability for the publisher of something so blatantly
false?
Attempted character assasination, purposeful misquoting, etc, etc...

------------------------
No login, cuz I'm lazy...

[ Reply to This | # ]

So what is the threshold for slander
Authored by: timmy on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:17 PM EDT
It seems to me that Ken Brown has shown wanton disregard for the truth in this
matter. Since he is effectively calling Linus a thief, in very public ways, and
since some very knowledgeble folks have told him he is wrong, he seems like a
pretty good target for a law suit. And whoever is paying him.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Additional note (not that it's needed)
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:18 PM EDT
Note that not even the stat.h excerpt is a real match even though, as pointed
out, the names and numbers are POSIX-specified, and hence Linus could've
directly copied this with impunity if he wanted to. '

And he didn't.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Again with feeding the troll!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:29 PM EDT
What gives? Next you'll be recommending that we all buy the book to see just
how bad it is.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:35 PM EDT
Quibble from Raymond's critique:
It is known from behavioral analysis of the Microsoft TCP/IP stack, for example, that they swiped their code from BSD.

My understanding is that earlier versions of NT used the BSD TCP/IP stack and credited them as per the BSD license.

Perfectly legal.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Get the picture
Authored by: bonzai on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:36 PM EDT
>> There is a great deal more, and I encourage you to visit all four sites, to get the complete picture.

Well, to get a picture of Kenneth P. Brown B.A. click here. I also found some more backgr ound information about him and posted that yesterday at Groklaw.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Get the picture - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:50 PM EDT
    • Award - Authored by: bonzai on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 09:02 PM EDT
Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:38 PM EDT
From the linked email
While I was working on this in my spare time, Ken kept pestering me to hurry up and finish. He told me he had a paper awaiting publication, and that my analysis was the last bit of data he needed. I sent the final results (which are, exactly as given to Ken Brown, at the above URL) to him on May 17th.
So Ken Brown had the paper and conclusions written before he has the evidence, I always thought it should be the other way around.

But then I obviously don't kave the keen analytical mind that Ken Brown has.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Third possibility
Authored by: snorpus on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:39 PM EDT
Raymond publishes his email to AdTI, who inexplicably (unless the book is an elaborate troll) and foolishly sent him a copy to review:

I'll grant that the "foolish" and "elaborate troll" possibilities are most likely, but a third possibility is that AdTI simply doesn't known who Eric Raymond is. That would certainly fit well with the rest of what they've produced.

---
73/88 de KQ3T ---
Montani Semper Liberi

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just 10000 lines?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:45 PM EDT
I wrote 35K line product (large compnennt of an enterprise application) in a few
month. Alone. With comparable complexity.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Any news from Michigan and that nice lady judge?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 06:48 PM EDT
Deadlines were 19th and 26, so are there any news yet from there?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Something for Mr Brown to consider
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 07:06 PM EDT
Working in a corporate environment, with all its distractions, blind alleys and
mind games, I'm lucky to write a few dozen lines of (tested, reviewed, approved,
committed) code a day.

But today, while on vacation, I lashed out over 2,000 lines of "good
enough" code to my own design and for my own purposes. And that was in an
unfamiliar language. Sure, it assumes that I know how to call it, it doesn't
validate inputs very well, I can crash it if I try hard enough. But that's the
initial criteria Linus used. Good enough. Suck it and see. Get it running and
improve it later.

linux-0.01 had 8,933 lines of code. That's under five days by my calculations.
0.96c had 29,719. Just over two weeks.

If Mr Brown doesn't believe that Linus could have written Linux in the time he
did, then perhaps he should consider not getting his time estimates from
Microsoft developers burdened with the twin millstones of legacy code and pointy
haired bosses. Absent those, it's quite remarkable how much you can achieve.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell Gets it
Authored by: bsm2003 on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 07:11 PM EDT
Open source a disruptive technology, says Novell

[ Reply to This | # ]

How do we know the email to AT is true?
Authored by: whoever57 on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 07:22 PM EDT
How do we know that the person writing to AT is telling the truth? Not about the
code comparison, since that can be duplicated, but about being hired by Ken
Brown?

[ Reply to This | # ]

If the Brown book is sold in Britain Linus should sue there, NOT IN THE US.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 07:35 PM EDT
much, much, much easier to win libel cases in Britain.

About time the left used laws that normally are abused by the corporate
polluters & corporate murderers (Barick murdered miners in Africa, when the
Brits printed it Barick sued using British libel law) to muzzle reporters.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: m$'s tax vs the Fortune 1000 taxes
Authored by: edumarest on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 07:46 PM EDT
m$ has a lot of money to spend on FUD and changing the laws, that's true.

But in so many applications they do not have the best product. One m$ goal is to
destroy the GPL through changing the law because they cannot compete with Linux
systems. To do this they must convince many members of Congress that the law
needs changing.

Groklaw has mobilized thousands of individuals around the world to support Linus
and Linux. What can be done to have the companies of the Fortune 1000 who use
and profit from Linux mobilize as well? These companies need to speak up to
avoid the m$ tax. There was a valid and compelling reason for Autozone and
Chrysler to change to Linux. Do they want to be forced to make the change to
m$'s products?

Google: Largo Florida Linux. This is one of many government entities that has
saved the taxpayers a lot of money by switching to Linux. All business owners in
the town benefited because it saved tax money thereby keeping taxes lower. Lower
taxes = greater profits.

The taxpayers will benefit from Linux where it is used in government. I am a
taxpayer and I wish my city of residence would change to Linux.

Linux contributes to the economy. Is it better for shareholders of the Fortune
1000 to get bigger dividends or for m$ to force a software tax on them?

---
...if you cannot measure it then you cannot troubleshoot it, you can only
guess...
SuSE 9.0 on hp pavilion ze 4560us

[ Reply to This | # ]

An idle thought....
Authored by: Rasyr on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 09:12 PM EDT
You know, it occurred to me that, from the comments floating around by those
that have seen this report, that perhaps we may be missing something.

Could it be at all in the realm of possibility that the fellow who wrote this
was 1) paid to write something damaging to Linux, 2) did not really want to do
so, and 3) did such a lousy job of it on purpose because of #2?

Perhaps ADTI was told by MS (or somebody else) to write a damaging report on
Linux or loose their funding. Perhaps they really did not want to write this
report. Perhaps they wrote this literary fiasco because they did not want to
write it, but had to in order to keep from losing funding, so they wrote a
report filled with factual errors (apparently easily identified ones), and
faulty logic in an effort to appease those who are pulling the string while
making sure that nobody would take the report seriously.

Just some food for thought....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Somewhat OT, another data point.
Authored by: CPD on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 10:34 PM EDT
For what it's worth, I have built a near equivalent to a kernel myself (earlier
in my carreer). Plus, all the structure and interfaces were entirely my design,
the thing was ROM resident and written in Z80 assembler.

I wrote a multi-tasking (pre-emptive, by timer interrupt) executive for a
daughter board on an S-100 bus. All the code on the card was in this executive
or loaded by it (there was no BIOS or equivalent). The executive handled I/O
bufferring on 8 serial channels, task load/locate/linking (and the programs were
in intel 8080 Object Module Format, which was a bit-oriented format - much more
tricky than a.out or elf), task preemption and context switching and host
communication. Not completely a Unix kernel equivalent, but most of the same
jobs and if you could do this, you could certainly put a bit more effort in and
make a full kernel.

Anyway, the code produced was full production quality and in it's lifetime the
only problem found was that it originally handled the serial I/O by polling
during the context switch rather than with vectored interrupts - which was what
I originally wanted but the contractor helping out didn't agree/understand
vectored interrupts and was just too stubborn to be worth the fight. So this
code was THOUROUGHLY tested - far more so than I would imagine Linux was in it's
first incarnation. All told, including an interface program on the host and a
professional quality programmer's manual for the system, three people (with no
more than two wroking together at any fiven time and sometimes only myself)
produced the finished item in a little more than six months.

So, two experience, but not greatly so, programmers (neither of whom I'd call a
genius level programmer) and one summer student (still very raw and learning the
basics) produced this beast. I have absolutely no doubt that we could have
procuded a bullet proof, professional OS kernel in two to three years.

Hence, on personal experience, I can confidently state that the "Brown
hypothesis" that an individual could not have written a kernel himself is
total and absolute B.S. (and I ain't talkin' Bachelor of nothin').

Cheers, Colin

---
Just when I thought it couldn't get any wierder, SCO proved me wrong again.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Easy now...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 11:21 PM EDT
People, please.
I understand that Mr.Brown has not gone and done himself any favors with his
writing.
However, people at this forum should be above this kind of personal attacks on
the man.
His work is muck and The Community has exposed it as such. We are going to beat
this with facts, not irrational personal attacks.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What is it with this Brown guy?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 11:23 PM EDT
What is it with this Brown guy, thinking that Linus COULDN'T have written an OS,
and that code theft MUST have occurred.

Operating system KERNELS, which is all Linus started off, are a dime a dozen.
Linus had project management skills, a great choice of licence, the
newly-founded world-wide web with its multiplier effect on code development, and
so on, to make his particular kernel the lucky one that succeeded. But the
actual coding he did, all since replaced, might even be the least important
reason for the success of Linux.

I can only think that either Brown mistakes the kernel for the whole OS,
including GNU utilities, X11, etc etc which Linus didn't write - or he fails to
understand that operating systems, like programming languages, proliferate all
the time, but have a high failure rate (i.e. most just disappear quickly without
much trace).

The question shouldn't be "how could he possibly write an OS on his
own?", because that isn't all that hard, but "why did he bother when
most OSs fail?" And why, against the odds, did his kernel succeed? I think
Linus was the right person, with the right licence, at the right time (think
AT&T vs BSD, and also the WWW), with acceptable code. And Brown hasn't a
clue.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 11:24 PM EDT
Since Mr. Brown clearly seems to have chosen to ignore a well-research
opinion that Linux does not copy from Minix, doesn't this document that his
book claiming such must display a "reckless disregard for the truth"
that
would be needed to sustain a charge of slander?

Wayne

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Stoopidity
Authored by: Tim Ransom on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 11:36 PM EDT
Kenneth Brown's addle-pated text based finger paintings seem to be appearing and disappearing from the adti site and elsewhere online like some whack-a-mole propaganda campaign.
Found an article on their site today called Patents and the Penguin, wherein Brown trains his fog machine at patents and open source. Hilarity ensues as Krazy With a 'K' Ken inadvertantly trips over the coffee table and, through a series of slapstick manouvers, ends up scanning and OCRing his own buttocks, then turning the finished product in as an article. A sample:

'The GPL enables developers to transfer the rights of their work to anyone they would like, for the privilege of having the reciprocal use of GPL’ed work. This feature makes selling GPL’ed software inane because anyone that agrees to the terms of the GPL can also have a copy of the same software with the code - for free.'

Sheer genius. Someone call up Red Hat and break the news!
Incidentally, I found an excellent picture of Kenneth Brown. He looks much more intelligent than you might imagine.

---
Thanks again,

[ Reply to This | # ]

Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 11:44 PM EDT
Early in the 1980s (unless my memory is getting worse with the years), I
investigated an S-100 bus computer (The Gazelle) made by a company called
"Seattle Computer". I answered an ad from a magazine, probably
PC-World, and gave the company a direct call. I ended up talking to the owner,
sorry, but I cannot recall his name. After a few technical questions about the
abilities of the machine (CPU, memory capacity, etc.), I asked: "Is your
PC-DOS operating system compatible with MS-DOS."

Whoa! I literally had to hold the phone receiver away from my ear to prevent
hearing loss. What I could hear, from about 6 inches away, went something like
this: "Yes it's compatible, because it is the SAME SOURCE CODE. One of my
employees went to work for Microsoft and he took the product he developed here
with him. I am suing." Now this is a paraphrase, based on what I remember
from about 22 or so years ago -- I believe my facts are straight, and
fortunately my hearing has recovered from the exposure. I remember seeing,
almost 6 or 8 years later that Seattle Computer had won a court battle with
Microsoft and obtained the rights to distribute DOS 1.0. By that time, the
updates to DOS had left them in the dust (was it up to 5.0 or 5.1 by that
time?).

Would it not be interesting to research this little story? Is the sauce that's
good for the goose, also good for the gander? I wonder if there is any PC-DOS
code left in good old Windows, say in the compatibilty subsystem? Hmmmm.

As another exercise, try opening a command line window on Windows (we won't go
into "windows" versus "Windows"), and type "netstat
-r" (Note the unusual command name *and* the funny option prefix character,
which is *not* "/r" as you would expect. Follow that with
"route" command (something like "route add 192.168.0.1
default" might be instructive. Oh, then there is good old "nslookup
<hostname>" -- functions the same, even to the annoying requirement
to type "quit" instead of "exit".

Maybe there is another reason behind Microsoft paying money to SCO for a
license? Just exactly *is* the heritage of the Xenix (?) commands that have
been carried through into today's Microsoft products? Is there more sauce
bubbling here?

[ Reply to This | # ]

What A Crock
Authored by: Jeff on Thursday, May 27 2004 @ 11:54 PM EDT
He spent most of the conversation trying to convince me that I must have made a mistake, since it was clearly impossible for one person to write an OS and 'code theft' had to have occured.

If it is impossible, than how does Brown explain Minix's creation in the first place? And since Minix was produced by one man, why couldn't Linux? I really fail to see the logic in this man's though process.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • What A Crock - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 03:00 AM EDT
Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: tydyed on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 12:04 AM EDT
Sounds like logic similar to someone else we know comming out of Brown's
"research"

Linus couldn't have written an operating system (yes *I* know it was just a
kernel) in 6 months so he MUST have stolen code.

We paid many millions of dollars for all of this "Unix stuff" so there
MUST be some valuable IP, copyrights, something in there somewhere.

Chrysler didn't answer our unreasonable demands so they MUST have done something
wrong...

These people (SCO, Brown, Darl, M$ et al) sound like my kids!

Daddy I can't find my toy car so HE must have stole it!

Sigh....



---
An older member of the "GNU" generation!

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: SCO responds to OSIA
Authored by: Tim Ransom on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 12:37 AM EDT
Link

---
Thanks again,

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interesting code similarity tester in the links
Authored by: macrorodent on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 02:09 AM EDT
In case you have not followed the links: The man who mailed to Tanenbaum and did the code comparisons used a program called SIM written by Dick Grune at the same university (Vrije Universiteit) where Tanenbaum works. The mail provided a link to it ( ftp://ftp.cs.vu.nl/pub/dic k/similarity_tester ).

The program seems to be originally intended for catching cheating students, but it could probably be also used to investigate, say, similarity of Linux and System V...

(Hmm, the sources of SIM or the web site do not contain any kind of copyright notice or license, so I guess I had better delete the source after peeking at it... too bad).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 03:19 AM EDT
Q.

How do you copy any Micro kernel code into a Monolithic kernel and expect them
both to work together like they were the same type off code?

A.

Software developers can't do this. But a Journalist thinks they are experts on
anything when they have some source off money.

20 cents, and you're in.

[ Reply to This | # ]

... sort of like apple
Authored by: johram on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 05:35 AM EDT
I've often heard that the worst thing a technology CEO can do is attack the
creativity of Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

The guy, apart from being a cult hero with thousands of fans, lead the
creation of landmark personal computing technologies.

Linus, apart from being an incredibly well grounded individual, is genuinely
kind and has thousands of admirers.

Another example: if you are a writer in the tech industry there are possibly 2
(two) things you can do to piss off your readership.

1. Diss Apple or Steve Jobs
2. Diss Linux or Linus Torvalds.

If you do either of these two things at least take the time to substantiate your

claims.

Ken Brown provoked the Linux community which, armed with Groklaw and
slashdot, is widely renowned for its quick and educated debunking of FUD.
You'd think he would have put some thought into his work.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Funny quote from ESR
Authored by: mjr on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 08:54 AM EDT

There's a funny quote from ESR in his reply: "...I am a libertarian who believes in strong IP rights."

Considering that IP rights are a way for the government to regulate trade (ostensibly for encouraging innovation, in practice not so much anymore whether it's patents or copyrights), I wouldn't call this exactly libertarian.

I'll note that I'm not exactly a libertarian myself; more of a left-liberal. In this particular matter I am against government regulation though (as I believe it is no longer justified), and would like some self-consistency from professed libertarians :)

(Yes, this means that I'd be willing to let go of copyleft as well; but I do believe that copyleft is a good idea as a counterbalance while strong copyrights remain.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Matzan uses Matzan uses Ultra-left to complain about Ultra-right
Authored by: tz on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 09:39 AM EDT
While making generally good points in his newsforge article, he falls into one
of his own traps.

Mediatransparency.org is an Ultra-Leftwing group. He uses them to identify
funding for AdTi. If you go to the homepage of MT, you won't find ANY left-wing
funding groups, Any complaints about left wing "issues", or any
complaints against diatribes against conservatives. As such, the quality of
their information is on a par with Ken Brown's. At least they don't seem to
even make a pretense of balance.

They should call it mediaprism since it bends things leftward.

The opensource debate crosses these ideological lines - the left likes to
micromanage, tax, and regulate as much as the right, and you can find as many
democrats as republicans on both sides of things like software patents and the
DCMA. AdTi seems to just be a mercenary or prostitute.

Mises.org also has covered the debate in complimentary terms toward the FOSS
community, and they are even more for "a state of unregulated,
laissez-faire capitalism".

Microsoft funds corpratism, but also funds a lot of "left-wing"
causes. You can type them in on MTs search - you won't find any of their
"progressive" donations listed, just the "regulate our
competitors and consumers but not us" stuff.

For me, "a pox on both their houses", but the last thing I would do is
ask for an honest unbiased opinion from Ted Kennedy about Jesse Helms or vice
versa.

The case against AdTI is provable by their own words. There is no reason to
polarize or politicize things further.

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Man AdTI Hired to Compare Minix/Linux Found No Copied Code
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 09:44 AM EDT
"Nobody else would either. It's not the FOSS way."

I like you PJ, you seem very intelligent and provide a great service.

There are people in the world that would sacrifice all values for a cause, even
the values that comprise the cause. I can guarantee you that somewhere out
there is an individual that considers themselves to be part of the FOSS movement
and that others consider to be part of the FOSS movement and who has broken some
tenant of the values of the FOSS movement. I think (maybe I'm wrong here) that
it is the responsibility of other FOSS supporters to identify, expose and reform
(if possible) or expel those members. Blindly believing they do not exist is
the first step on the path into moral ambiguity where anything goes as long as
*your* side wins. Isn't this where the FOSS movement believes the *other* side
is now?

I think a certain level of FOSS is destined for success. I sincerely hope that
the FOSS that “wins” really is better than the system it replaces.

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Windows NT kernel written by single man too
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 10:28 AM EDT
Wow, unexpected help from Microsoft! According to this description Dave Cutler wrote the Windows NT kernel by himself.

Look for "and even wrote the kernel himself."

Thank you, Microsoft. There's three words I never believed I would utter. :-)

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Eric, Eric, Eric...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 11:56 AM EDT
...please don't mince your words; tell us how you *really* feel, okay? I'm
tired of having to read between the lines!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ever Gone to College?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 02:13 PM EDT
Mr. Brown clearly does not have, nor claim to have, a
degree in computer science. However, he would have done
well to call a few schools and talk to professors about
the plausibility of writing an OS like Linux in such a
short amount of time.

At least at my alma mater, computer science students
taking the operating systems course were required to write
similar systems, de novo, in a single semester. That's
homework; it's unreasonable to believe that all of those
students would through themselves into it -- yet an
operational product was expected in the end just the same.

The thesis that Linux could not possibly write Linux by
himself in that much time is patently silly. Not only is
it feasible, but done on a regular basis by people
throughout the world. The initial product was only 10000
lines! Heck, I'm a bioinformaticist and I can turn out 200
- 400 lines of similar quailty code in a day... Not that I
know anything about coding an OS, but implementing DP and
HMM algorithms I could whip out 10K in a couple of weeks
and have a working product (granted, in my field, there's
rarely a "final product" or ad hoc work that requires such
coding). Heck, I have tools that I've written that write
chunks of code for me (such as code that analyzes Java
code and writes C++ bindings to it -- I could write a C++
binding to the entire J2SE1.4 API in 10 minutes and it
would be several hundred thousand lines of code).

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NIH gone wild.
Authored by: jbn on Friday, May 28 2004 @ 08:23 PM EDT

ESR writes

"You claim that 'To date no other product comes to life in this way', presenting Linux as a unique event that requires exceptional explanations. This is wrong. Many other open-source projects of the order of complexity of the early Linux kernel predated it; the BSD Unixes, for example, or the Emacs editor. Torvalds was operating within an established tradition with well-developed expectations."

ESR's point would be stronger if all of these examples didn't predate (by many years) the open source movement. One of these examples stands out because it was developed over a decade in advance of the open source movement and this program was specifically developed to promote software freedom instead: the GNU Emacs editor was written for the free software movement and is identified as such by its authors (specifically, it's first author RMS which does). I'm reminded of an essay by fellow open source advocate Mark Webbink (chief lawyer for Red Hat) on software licensing which dishonestly uses the concept of copyleft to break up various licenses for better understanding without giving any credit to the FSF folks or using the word "copyleft" which predates the essay by about 20 years.

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No Separation Between The Lie And The Lier
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 09:59 AM EDT
Bill Gates created a derivative of Dartmouth BASIC in less than a week using a
good programmer. Bill is NO programmer!

Bill Gates bought DOS from a friend for $50,000 after negotiating with IBM
and turned it into billions.

Microsoft has been successfully sued and has also settled for claims that MS
stole others' software. There are many such cases on the record. Embrace,
extend, and extinguish depends on taking what is not Microsoft's.

Now, we can infer who convinced Brown that Linus could not have created
Linux versions 0.x. Follow the court and press records. Follow the money.

These lies are useful. These lies prove how damaging Microsoft is to the
American software community. A twice convicted abusive monopolist, also
convicted and self admitted software thief, has ITS own historical methods
and motives laid wide open (i.e., if MS and Bill Gates could not create
commercial software, they created derivatives) in the form of its well funded
lies.

$56 billion is cheese for all the world's rats. It is irresistible to corrupt
individuals and organizations. The danger inherent in Microsoft's current
abusive activities might be too much for regulators to tolerate. Brown is one
more rat. The interest accrued on $53 billion might be too much for a mob,
bank, or government to ignore. A tiny fraction of this action is definitely
too much inducement for the rats to bear.

Public scandal is chasing them all.

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Eric Raymond's statements (inaccuracies)
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 04 2004 @ 10:46 PM EDT
"You propose that the absence of credits to developing
countries might be evidence of some sinister memory-hole
effect. The true explanation is much simpler: developing
countries don't have Internet. There is a straight-up
geographical correlation between contributions to
open-source projects and Internet penetration."

The above statement of Raymond is inaccurate for different
reasons:

1) Developing countries do have internet. Its just that
the penetration of internet is much less, which is
obviously a key factor behind people from developing
countries not contributing much to OSS.

2) A bigger barrier is ideological. OSS is a concept that
took birth in the US/Europe and it has still not developed
much foothold in Asian countries (both 1st world and 3rd
world). For example, countries like India may produce lots
of "software professionals" but they are nothing but paid
employees writing proprietary code. They write code, get
paid, and forget about it. OSS requires coders who do it
as a matter of fun/hobby and principle, mostly in their
spare time and without getting monetary compensation.
Until and unless people develop a CULTURE of OSS, OSS will
remain at the fringe of these societies.

3) Another barrier is a linguistic one. The vast
majority of OSS developers are speakers of European
languages (Europe and Americas). How many OSS developers
are there, say, from Japan or South Korea, which have
higher penetration of broadband than many developed
western countries ? Much less since they are restricted
somewhat by the language barrier.

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Where is adequacy.org when you need them?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 11 2004 @ 05:54 AM EDT
This reads just like one of RobotSlave's finest.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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