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David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Friday, December 30 2005 @ 11:59 PM EST

We have a winner for most tasteless reaction to Peter Quinn's resignation, David Coursey's mean-spirited "opinion" on eWeek, offensively titled "The Open-Source Martyr Meets His Fate."

Before I tell you about that, let me tell you this: everything I am hearing is that Massachusetts is firm in its decision to go with OpenDocument Format. If Microsoft can meet the Commonwealth's definition of openness, ha ha, they can qualify too, but that has always been the case. It was only Microsoft's intransigence that had them out in the cold, their refusal to support ODF, for reasons that make no sense to anyone, that shut them out. Now they're trying a workaround, and we'll see how that works out for them, but the ODF decision is firm.

Let's see what else Coursey has to say in what I nominate as the FUD winner for 2005. He couldn't win in 2003 or 2004, of course, because Darl McBride won for those years, hands down. But Darl's been quiet as a little mouse recently, and SCO filed its "evidence" under seal, so that left an opening for Coursey, and he surely surged to the head of the FUD pack today, if not for the year.

First, the inaccurate title.

Quinn is not an "Open Source" martyr, because ODF is not Open Source.

Period. Coursey really should correct the title and the article on that, because it is factually incorrect. And eWeek needs to ask itself, how much does this man actually know about this subject if he writes something as inaccurate as that? If he does know better, does eWeek intend to be in the FUD business? I doubt it. But where was the editor, who let this slip?

To prove my point, let's let Coursey explain in his own words what Massachusetts' decision to go with ODF meant:

Quinn's edict had the effect of saying that unless Microsoft implemented ODF, state workers would find their copies of Microsoft Office replaced by WordPerfect or, more likely, OpenOffice.

Let me ask you this: is WordPerfect an Open Source product? Why no. No, it isn't. And neither is StarOffice, which also supports ODF. And neither is Workplace, IBM's proprietary software that one could also switch to, if one wished to use only proprietary software. Here's a list of applications that support ODF.

ODF isn't software. It's a format. It's an open format. There is no such thing as an Open Source format, that I know of. Microsoft should support ODF, Coursey writes, and in writing it, his synapses should have connected and made him realize that it's proof positive that Quinn's decision to choose ODF wasn't a choice of Open Source software. Hence, he's not an "Open Source" martyr. He's an open format martyr, maybe, but even Coursey says open formats are the right goal. So... choosing the best format results in martyrdom?

Next, as the title indicates, Coursey seems to minimize the damage done to Quinn, trivializing his injury:

Before you shed too many tears for the man, consider that he's likely to fall up, landing a better job, for more money, than what the people of Massachusetts were paying him.

So, libel doesn't matter, if the victim gets a better job -- despite the libel -- afterward? What kind of morality is that? This man was smeared on the front page of The Boston Globe and undeservedly. What do you pay a man for his good name? What's it worth on the open market? There will always be some who will believe that he did something wrong, if only because the libel was on the front page, and the correction, stating that the investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing, was hidden deep inside. Isn't that always the way?

Coursey says he's not surprised Quinn resigned, in fact he predicted it:

Quinn's plan proved unpopular with some state officials; it put Microsoft on the attack, and even brought Mr. Quinn himself under The Boston Globe's scrutiny.

Well. That's an interesting bit of news. What does he mean, "it put Microsoft on the attack"? Is Coursey directly linking the libel of Peter Quinn to Microsoft? Was it Microsoft, or a lobbyist for Microsoft, who got the Globe started on their failed, bogus investigation of Peter Quinn?

Coursey also says that while Peter Quinn's technical analysis was correct and Open Document Format is the right goal, even saying Microsoft should support it, he says that "most people think he was foolish." Oh? Why does he think so? He apparently thinks that if you don't recommend Microsoft, you will end up out of a job:

First, I told you so. I toned down my comments on Quinn's likelihood of survival in an earlier column because I don't think it's appropriate to predict someone's demise, but I never expected Quinn to be around if he persisted with his file format plans.

If this is the way it really is, is he saying that Microsoft is like the Mob? They make you an offer and you can't refuse? Or like a street gang, that you can join but you can never leave or there will be an unfortunate "demise"? If it's like that, does that make you want to do business with Microsoft? Or run in the opposite direction?

Do you want to do business with the Mob? No? Yet people do sometimes, when they are sat on. So is Mr. Coursey implying that that's why only a foolish person would dare to choose a format other than Microsoft's? What would he be saying about the company in saying such a thing? Is that how governments decide what format to use? Is it really based on who muscles them? Should it be?

That makes my mind ponder another question: what constitutes an anticompetitive act, under antitrust law? Can you libel anyone you think might be standing in your competitive way?

Coursey says Microsoft's software is probably open enough already, because a lot of people use it. Something tells me logic wasn't Coursey's major in college. Even Microsoft, by choosing to go the Ecma route and offering a patent covenant that covers even the GPL, is acknowledging that it needed to open up more in order to meet the Commonwealth's definition of openness. Ipso facto, it was *not* open enough. So far, they still haven't made the grade, and frankly, the Ecma process being what it is, I seriously doubt they ever can.

Here's the thing. Anyone who uses Microsoft products knows that upgrading Microsoft Word is a heartache and that you can't always easily access your old documents that you wrote in older versions. And even if they fix that, can anyone guarantee that the company will still exist in 100 years? Not even Microsoft can make that promise. No proprietary company can. And if they go out of business, who do you ask for the information and the authority to open those documents 100 years from now?

ODF means that it doesn't matter what vendor is still here then. You won't need to get a vendor's permission, or try to find out the proprietary technical info you need to access your documents, because it's an open format. Open Document Format means that you can do whatever you like, because you have total access and all authority, so it is impossible to ever have the door slammed on you and have a vendor throw away the key or disappear with it in its pocket, leaving you stranded. Your documents belong to you and only you, and you don't have to rely on a single vendor to guarantee you can read your own documents.

What is an open standard? A Groklaw member, Lars, who reads Norwegian, sent me a translation of an article in today on that very subject, which he was kind enough to translate for us. An organization there has proposed 8 specifications to qualify as an open standard, 4 that the EU requires already, all of which ODF meets, and 4 the Norwegian organization proposes be added. Here's a bit of it:

The specifications have been sent to the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities, and will also be sent to the national political parties....
1. The standard is approved and maintained by a non-commercial organization and the ongoing development is continued on the basis that the decision making process is open for all interested parties. (OpenDocument is maintained by the standards organization OASIS)

2. The standard is published and the documentation is available either free or for an insigificant fee. It is allowed for anyone to copy, distribute, or implement the standard free of charge.

3. The rights to the standards (e.g. patents) are made irrevocably available free of charge.

4. There are no restrictions on the re-use of the standard.

In order to make the format as user friendly as possible and to invite more innovative use of the standard within information systems, technical systems and so on, OpenDocument fulfills also the following which open standards should comply with:

5. The format is XML-based with a syntax which makes as much use of existing standards as possible. This simplifies the re-use of the standards significantly, at the same time it eases and invites innovative use of the standard.

6. There is no use of binary formats within the standard.

7. OpenDocument has no digital restrictions mechanisms built into it.

8. Use of OLE-objects is clearly documented in OpenDocument. Developers who have written programs which interoperate with OpenDocument experience that the format is easy to use, and works well with existing standards in a good and thorough manner. That one has complete access to information on all components of the standard makes development more effective and leaves one free to choose the best ICT-tool for the job.

In a normal world, which of those suggestions would anyone balk at?

Finally, Coursey ends with a prediction:

My expectation is that his plan will quietly go away and be forgotten, by everyone except other potential open-source martyrs who might see Quinn's experience as a cautionary tale.

As they say in the Westerns, it's one thing to be right—and something else entirely to be dead right.

Um. . . didn't Mr. Coursey just predict that Mr. Quinn will fall up to a better job? If so, will this entire incident not encourage others to follow in his footsteps? Joke. Joke. But seriously, is Microsoft now in the business of causing martyrdom? What else is he saying? People can be dealt with, if they don't cooperate? If they choose Open Source? Have we become so cynical that any of us think that's acceptable?

This is the time to explain, once again, that the Commonwealth did not choose Open Source. They can, if they want to, but they haven't yet. ODF is not Open Source. It's a format. It's not a software application or an office suite, and being an open format, anyone can support it, including Microsoft, as Coursey knows. And I've heard absolutely nothing to support his prediction that the ODF plan will "go away" quietly or otherwise, except maybe in Microsoft's dreams.

I think Coursey and Microsoft are in for a surprise, if they think threatening folks will work long-term. Here's the thing Microsoft, and Coursey, are not factoring in. Microsoft can't bully everyone on Planet Earth, or buy us all off. In the end, what people use at home is what they want to use in the office, and vice versa, and the world is turning more and more to FOSS. Not even Microsoft has enough money to buy us all, for one thing, and some of us aren't for sale, for another. But the main reason is because FOSS is now concentrating on the desktop, and it will happen. As it improves, it becomes irresistable. For many of us, it already is ready for the desktop, and we use it every day. And we tell our families and friends about it, and we show them how to switch, and so it spreads. And so Microsoft is playing an end game now, trying to slow down the inevitable. They have to realize that, or they wouldn't need to threaten anyone or libel anyone, if that is what they did.

And do you know why it's inevitable that the world is going to increasingly turn to Free and Open Source software? Because no one muscles you to use it. It's based on old-fashioned values of trust and honesty and fairness. Who doesn't want those things? No. Really. Think about it. Who likes to be told they have to use a product or they'll be punished? That is so wildly offensive on so many levels it truly amazes me that Coursey can even think it could work out in the end for any company. It's contrary to human nature.

Incidents like the libel of Peter Quinn cost Microsoft business. Here's why: There's something in the human heart that utterly despises a bully.


David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD | 125 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
OT here...
Authored by: webster on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:15 AM EST
escept catnip, geology and ID.



[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: webster on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:16 AM EST



[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:38 AM EST
he's a columnist, the opinions are his own, and hopefully not many more.

I wish Mass would referred to the standard as unencumbered instead of open
source, I think microsoft would have a harder time fighting it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Coursey gets it wrong most of the time
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:57 AM EST
I think he does it on purpose. And probably for the same reason MOG gets
syndicated so often. Controversy brings traffic; traffic brings ad revenue.

There have been numerous occasions where Coursey's "opinion" pieces
have been inaccurate, smelled of vindictiveness or otherwise sour grapes, or
seemed so off-target that it seemed to call his competancy into question.

At one point I wrote the editors to ask if I wrote a rebuttal opinion piece, if
they would print it. I also explained point-by-point how Coursey had either
intentionally or ignorantly misstated the situation throughout his
"article." In the end, they said they might put it somewhere in the
eWeek website, but that was it. In the end, I decided Coursey had goaded me into
wasting enough of my time.

Now, I might skim what he whines about, but mostly I just delete it or turn the
page. In the end, if people would just ignore him, and not drive traffic to
eWeek or his pages, then eWeek would figure out it's not cost effective to keep
letting him spout his drivel.

Do yourselves a favor -- don't give him any more of your time. He'll just waste
it. The attention and hoopla surrounding his stories are what feeds him.


[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Latesigner on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:01 AM EST
I do not like.... ( DR.Seuss readers will add the rest ).
What's the public penalty for being this guy.

The only way to have an "ownership" society is to make slaves of the rest of us.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Coursey -- the cowardly MS drone
Authored by: grouch on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:20 AM EST
David Coursey wasn't spouting FUD. He is cowering from his dreadful master, proclaiming that all who dare to oppose MS will suffer its wrath.

This guy is too cowardly to stand up for anything, so he now gloats over the trouble encountered by one who had the fortitude to make a difference.

Second, Quinn's goal of unfettered access to state documents is a laudable one and he should be commended for pushing the issue, though he chose the wrong way to do so.

Worse, Microsoft and Adobe formats may already be "open enough" to accomplish the goal. In short, this was a battle that probably didn't need to be fought.

Note he has no suggestion for a right way. His only answer is to promote his master's work:

It remains my opinion that because almost everyone uses Microsoft file formats already and the company provides free reader software, those formats are "open enough" to provide access to state documents.

His ignorance, aptly pointed out by PJ's article, is further demonstrated by the following:

Quinn's supporters have complained that Microsoft changes formats too often for archival storage in its formats. The counter argument is that OpenDocument is unproven and is itself likely to change over time.

Either that shows he is completely incompetent to be writing about this subject, or he is too terrified of getting unfavorable attention from his masters at Microsoft if he were to write about the trouble with formats under the control of a single, predatory vendor. Either he has no knowledge of ODF and the proven track records of open standards developed and maintained by multiple vendors, or he is too cowardly to speak out against his master.

Such minions, who revel in their ignorance and are incapable of imagining life without their all-protecting, all-providing, but terrifying master, are beneath contempt. This type of low-life I would not allow near my children, nor my home. Let the stray cats cover this mess.

-- grouch

[ Reply to This | # ]

My apologies to all copyright holders and fans
Authored by: chaz_paw on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:25 AM EST
The Dark Lord = Windows
The One Ring = Office
Frodo = Peter Quinn
Steve Ballmer = Gollum
Gandalf = Richard Stallman

Proud SuSE user since 07/26/04


[ Reply to This | # ]

Idiot of the Day - David Coursey
Authored by: kawabago on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:35 AM EST
Don't any smart people like Microsoft? I never hear anyone with a shred of
intelligence defending Microsoft. Coursey can't even get through a paragraph
without contradicting himself. With a bankroll of $50Billion are these pathetic
morons the only allies Microsoft can find? If we have to deal with FUD,
couldn't it at least be brilliant? At least it would be a little more fun to
deal with. Just a thought.


[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:19 AM EST

It astounds me that ZiffDavis publishes the drivel Coursey writes.

I see the anger in PJ's words and I share the sentiment. Perhaps Coursey is to be pitied for his need to use a journal as a forum for denying the inevitable. On the other hand he is to be admired for his ability to be 100% wrong and then doggedly write articles to bolster his previous misstatements. It is as if, having set out on the wrong road, he has turned new signs around to point to the old destination.

"Don't trouble me with facts, my mind is already made up"

Paul Thomas

[ Reply to This | # ]

Standard typewriters and standard Office Suites
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:39 AM EST
I guess you could draw the parallel of Microsoft to a typewriter manufacturer
who also produces paper for the typewriters. The sale of the typewriters are
analogous to Office. The paper is analogous to the formats.
Opportunities for driving the sale of the typewriters are evident when a change
is made in the format ...i. e. the size of the paper may be larger in one
version, physically smaller in another, thicker in another, made with certain
rag content, made with certain watermarks etc...
AND the use of the same paper from one version of the typewriter to another will
not always work as time goes by. The typewriter may not be physically able to
handle the changes made in the paper. (Time to buy a new typewriter.)

What Massachusetts has done is to say all typewriters will be able to use
standard 11 X 8 1/2 inch paper. Otherwise your typewriter will not be compatible
with industry standards and will no longer be purchased. Microsoft is absolutely
able to make such a typewriter but refuses to do so because the lockin of its
near monopoly in supplying typewriters is threatened by such standards and its
lack of ability to drive upgrade sales by changing the paper standards.

[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Hygrocybe on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 05:09 AM EST
When I first saw this article, I commented on David Coursey's "mean
spirited opinion" to PJ - I do not resile from that summation. I also
speculated that he should have added an ending to his article requesting payment
to his FUD account by the Redmond monolith. Of course, this is pure hypothesis
and I have no proof whatsoever of Redmond's involvement. But one thing remains:
it is my opinion that David Coursey's attempts to smear a good man's reputation
by innuendo and false information is irresponsible journalism and unforgiveable
from an ethical perspective.

Blackbutt, Australia

[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Rhialto on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 06:24 AM EST
OpenDocument fulfills also the following which open standards should comply with:
5. The format is XML-based with a syntax which makes as much use of existing standards as possible.

Did they really write that for a standard to qualify as open, it should be "xml-based"?? (whatever that means)

That is completely stupid. XML has its uses, but it is certainly not suitable for literally everything. I would not like to have an XML movie format. I shudder to think about the file expansion that you'd get (easily a factor of 10 or more I guess). Or TCP/IP replaced by XML, that would also be ridiculous...

It looks like somebody has fallen for the XML hype.

I have not "authored" this, I have written it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: SilverWave on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 08:11 AM EST

"They [each] put in one hour of work,
but because they share the end results
they get nine hours... for free"

Firstmonday 98 interview with Linus Torvalds

[ Reply to This | # ]

Typical Coursey
Authored by: Bill R on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 09:18 AM EST
This article does not surprise me. I first read Coursey when he did a column for
ZD-net several years back. He was no better at fact checking then as he is now.
Before I finally stopped reading him, I noticed he follows a cycle.

At the beginning of the cycle, he is very complementary toward Microsoft and
critical of anything else. Slowly as the cycle goes on, his articles lose their
fervor, and once in a while he will even do a positive article on something
else, like OS X for example. Shortly after such a lapse would be an article
where he has visited Microsoft and they introduced him to their latest toys.
Again Microsoft is great and the cycle begins again. Once I watched this cycle
complete a couple times, I stopped paying attention to him.

I am sure he was called into Redmond over ODF for the Microsoft point of view.
It is just a shame that he could not have bothered to fact check about what ODF
actually was before he published but then I do not expect any more than this
from David Coursey.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I am Disappointed in Microsoft
Authored by: Prototrm on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 09:36 AM EST
This whole affair in Mass has me deeply disappointed in Microsoft. I was
introduced to MS back in the days of MAC OS 6, when I discovered how much better
Microsoft Word was over Word Perfect. WP, for me, was a confusing mess that
didn't follow the interface standards of the platform (of course, I found its
MS-DOS interface even worse at the time). Microsoft Word, on the other hand was
relatively simple to operate, and did its job nicely. Microsoft Excel, too, was
a dream compared to Lotus 123, which again didn't follow the accepted interface

What the bloody hell happened to your company, Mr. Gates? You used to have the
best Office suite on the planet, but the only changes you've made to it in the
many years since have been to befuddle the users (Office 12 should have an
option for people to stick with the old familiar interface. The new one's like
some bloody game of musical chairs), or add features nobody needs, which only
serve as open doors to malware writers.

What happened to innovation? How about making the suite that everybody uses, not
because of some new flashy doo-dad, but because it's solid as a rock, has
features people have actually been asking for (how about the kind of format code
preview found in Word Perfect?), and has a well-thought-out interface (the old
one was bad, but the new one is worse) that doesn't change much from version to

All the heat and steam over a simple file format, instead of spending all that
energy on making the product better. Bill, there's a reason people like me are
still running Office 95 instead of staying on the treadmill. Why? Let me give
you a hint: it's not about the money!

[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: LarryVance on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 10:01 AM EST
As they say in the Westerns, it's one thing to be right—and something else entirely to be dead right.

That sounds like a threat. I david coursey trying to threaten people to believe in being open?

Never underestimate your influence!
Larry Vance

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not everyone agrees
Authored by: hopethishelps on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 11:14 AM EST
There's something in the human heart that utterly despises a bully.

There is in yours and mine, PJ.

But it certainly isn't true of everyone. A great many people, perhaps a majority, just want to be told what to do. They will follow a 'strong leader'. They will join whichever side seems more likely to win. That's the 'bandwagon effect' in politics, for example.

If everybody despised bullies, there wouldn't be any bullies - they'd never get started.

[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey has a sick mind
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 11:29 AM EST
Well, we don't have Peter Quinn to kick around anymore.

I have read it and re-read it - all I get is a picture of David Coursey kicking a naked Iraqi prisoner with his hands tied behind his back.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Blinding Stupidity
Authored by: davcefai on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 11:34 AM EST
In one of the links in this article, there is a passage which goes:

Meanwhile, the existing formats have proven themselves open enough that Corel (WordPerfect) and OpenOffice/StarOffice implement them in their own products, allowing their suites to read and write Microsoft-formatted files.

Is this man incapable of distinguishing between reverse-engineering and working to a specification?

Or does he hope that we are?

[ Reply to This | # ]

eWeek used to run Enderle
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:08 PM EST

Is Coursey going to be a replacement for Enderle, i.e., eWeek's attempt at
"balanced" coverage?

If "balanced" coverage is the goal, maybe we could get PJ to write for
Forbes. Which brings up the idea: if PJ asked Forbes to let her write an
article, would they accept it?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Great line...
Authored by: krc on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:15 PM EST
"Something tells me logic wasn't Coursey's major in college."

In my opinion Coursey has always been this clueless. It just seems that since he got left to spend more time with his family became separated from his position at the "Anchor Desk" he has become increasingly bitter and delights in jabbing others.

He reminds me of the obnoxious little fat kid in 4th grade that raised his hand at 2:50pm every Friday to remind the teacher she hadn't given us the weekend homework assignment.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some Points I think you missed
Authored by: bsstmiller on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:24 PM EST
#1 He lumps MS license in with Adobe and they aren't even close to the same.
There is a big difference in legal terms of granting a right to use and agreeing
not to sue. Which is MS's poison pill.

#2 If MS XML format (I refuse to associate the word "open" with it)
should be available for all to see for ever once it goes through the standards
process. The question is will you be able to use it legally? The unfortunate
thing is the software most likely to keep this in long term are open source
software and they can't use it because of the way the license is worded.

[ Reply to This | # ]

...which of those suggestions would anyone balk at?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:44 PM EST
The first for are good. Once you start requiring XML and blocking binaries, you
get out of the realm of a good 'general' Open Standard. I would not want
network standards to require XML and ban binary data. Ftp would be even slower.
Images expressed as PNG are fine and open. The text only XML equivelant would
be wasteful.

Does OpenDoc allow for the import of picture files? Does it really require them
to be translated into some text only XML format. If so, that really is kind of
backward. I won't advocate any MS format, but that would still be foolish.

Requiring the use of existing standards can be over done to. Creating a
functional duplicate of an existing standand is foolish and MS should realize
that and go with OpenDoc. All the same ftp, http, rsync and bitorrent are all
(fairly) Open Standards for getting a file from point A to point B. Frankly,
I'm glad the the folks who made rsync and bitorrent didn't just settle with ftp.
Those where some nifty inovations. (Brought to you by open source software no
less, but I digress.)

Simply put, the 4 suggested additions are very specific to documents. They make
sense in a lot of cases, but I would not want them mandated, because they are
limiting and could become an obstruction when a real inovation is needed. It
would be ammunition for someone who is more interested in rules than meeting
needs. Even the anti-DRM requirement. I don't have a use for DRM, but I'd hate
to block it if a use could be found. (Say producing read-only copies of
government decrees to prevent forgery. Of course, there's the issue that you
can't have a secure DRM scheme implemented in Open Source software...)
Requiring XML, non-binary and OLE refernces are not general enough to be forced
on all Open Standards.

[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:06 PM EST
I've been trying to comment on Mr. Coursey's article for almost 24hs, with no
So I will post the (long) comment here, as a reply to this comment.
I'd love comments on this.


[ Reply to This | # ]

David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: trekkypj on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:49 PM EST
*rolls eyes*

Look Ma, more FUD!

It just goes to show that accurate reporting in certain journalistic circles
isn't much of a priority. For someone who claims to have two decades worth of
experience in the field, he seems to have a lot of inaccuracies there. find it
really hard to believe someone with that amount of experience could make such a
mess of a simple report.

Therefore I can conclude that either

(a) he's not as knowledgable about the industry as he claims
(b) he's heavily biased against open standards and open source, in which case he
has no business being a jorunalist if he can't write balanced reports.
(c) he's not a journalist but a Microsoft propagandist who answers to the PR
Dept. in Redmond.
(d) some/all of the above

Answers on a postcard, please *grin*

Meanwhile, I have one question for David Coursey. Who's his paymaster?

"I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally."
WC Fields.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Used to read Coursey....
Authored by: ray08 on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:41 PM EST
when he was at Anchordesk. Didn't take long to see that he was a M$ shill
through and through. How Cnet ever put up with is anyone's guess. Maybe that
says something about Cnet. I got tired of telling the guy he was a paid shill
and quit reading him. Tell me, does he still think Apples are the best? Or has
he changed his mind on that too? I agree with other posters. I think his main
objective is to drum up traffic to draw ad revenues. That means being

Best advice: Ignore him.

Caldera is toast! And Groklaw is the toaster! (with toast level set to BURN)

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Coursey's just Got It Wrong (TM)
Authored by: cknadle on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:50 PM EST
First let me just say that I'm pleased with the news that MA is sticking by ODF,
because that is the right decision technically as well as leagally, but not
necessarily politically -- as it should be. Politics often lags technical as
well as social innovation.

Now, as for the David Coursey's opinion -- okay, he took a stance, but his facts
are not correct. I'll just focus on some of the items less covered.

1) He says that MS OpenXML "may be open enough". Um -- no. He
needs to read up on that again. He obviously hasn't been reading his Groklaw.
There are very good legal and technical reasons to use ODF than MS OpenXML.

2) He says that Peter Quinn's choice of ODF was the "wrong way to do
it." Um -- no. Did Mr. Coursey perhaps mention what the "right"
way was? No. Peter Quinn did an excellent job in trying to invite comment
along the way well beyond requirements, and followed proper prodecture. Here
again, I think Mr. Coursey hasn't been reading his Groklaw.

3) He says that the choice of ODF would force others to use
Um -- no. It's a storage format -- again, not mandating procurement decisions.
There are a number of ways of handling this without mandating use of

4) He seems to indicate that Peter Quinn should have expected the backlash
from Microsoft and the scruitiny of The Boston Globe, as if both were in the
right to go after him. Um -- no. As PJ put it on another subject, I think this
shows part of Mr. Coursey's internal character far more than it says anything
about Peter Quinn.

5) He says that the complaint that MS formats changing over time isn't an
argument to go with ODF, since ODF is likely to change over time. Um -- no.
ODF has a standards body that would make those changes -- and the format is far
more open -- and MS does not, and the MS OpenXML specifically allows for
proprietary changes to the format. These two situations are not even remotely
equivalent as Mr. Coursey attempts to state.

6) Mr. Coursey's opinion starts with "Before you shed too many tears for
the man", follows up with "even if most people think he was
foolish", and at the end of the article says he's sorry for the personal
pain brought to Mr. Quinn. Um -- riiiight. Mr. Coursey doesn't seem to be
appreciating the fact that Peter Quinn did all of this work for reasons of
intelligence and that due to the fact that he was so open-minded, he likely
expected his leadership above him to like what he was doing. Instead a
political backlash formed, and, well, I think I see which court Mr. Coursey is,

In short, to Mr Coursey's opinion, I say -- "Dude, whateva."

- Chris

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An Example of accessing Closed Source Data
Authored by: davcefai on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:43 PM EST
A couple of years ago I had an interesting experience in getting at closed
source data. I can see this happening in the future if the world does not
convert to Open Formats.

I'll put details in a comment on this post for anyone interested as it may get a
little lengthy.

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David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 04:42 PM EST
Maybe he wrote and got some facts and opinions correct, and also got some wrong.
But that could be overlooked, but for the "glib-ness" and callous
style of the writing.

It is the "writing style" and not so much the content that seems to
indicate the attitude and character of the man.

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David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 01:47 PM EST
Hi everyone....
I went to the e-week site to give them some feedback on David's article, and to
post I had to register, and to register I have to give them my home
address.(sorry, e-week) So the best I can do is never go back to their site. I
wanted to let them know that the main reason (there are plenty) I'm moving away
from Microsoft products (98% complete) is that I don't care to deal with thugs.
(or thrir supporters)
This is my first post and I tried to creat an account but haven't recieved my
password yet.

Keep up the good work.....Wirehead

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David Coursey's Massachusetts FUD
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 12:39 PM EST
You said: "There's something in the human heart that utterly despises a

However, Pamela, many human hearts must have special spots for the likes of Bill
Gates and Steve Ballmer. Otherwise it is totally unfathomable to me how
Microsoft and its managers have been able to get away with holding their clubs
over so many people's heads for so long a time.

However, there is not only hope but certainty that monopolists, by the actions
that they themselves fail to see as despicable, kill their own goose. In my
native Holland we have the expression "A boat takes on water until it
sinks" meaning that the bully situation, as it applies to Microsoft, is
being alleviated slowly by one Open Source user at a time. So take heart in the
fact that, while the Microsoft boat is seemingly floating just fine, the next
drop of water that makes it sink is already on its way.

Henry keultjes

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PJ, please don't feed the trolls
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 05:58 PM EST
That is all.

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