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Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu
Friday, September 21 2007 @ 01:50 PM EDT

I can usually tell what the new Microsoft anti-Linux FUD is by reading what Rob Enderle writes. Not that I seek it out. People send it to me. He's as reliable as Old Faithful at spilling the strategies, just as he channeled SCOthink before. I found it very helpful, by the way. Thanks for being so transparent.

One of the purposes of Groklaw is to do antiFUD work, to meet FUD with facts, so people are not misled. And after reading his latest, about the EU ruling, I think I've figured out what the new FUD is:

In addition, the ruling may create a stronger Microsoft code-based competitor for Linux at a time when the Linux supporters seem to be increasingly at odds with each other and appear to be vulnerable to a true competitive attack.

Increasingly at odds with one another? I'd say quite the contrary, myself, thanks to SCO. No, what I believe I'm seeing is what appear to be manufactured incidents or at least incidents blown way out of proportion making it appear that the Linux community is at odds with itself. Is it deliberate? Or just free-floating anti-Linux hostility? Time will tell.

When SCO popped up, the FUD to the enterprise was that Linux was too dangerous to use, that there was a legal doubt about it. Of course, it was a manufactured "legal" doubt. Vaporware, as it turns out. That got smashed to bits, and so now, might the new FUD be that Linux is no better than proprietary software, that it's written by a community of infighting, unpleasant people who can't get along, a community that might be falling apart from within, so you'd best not risk your company on it?

That's not the community I know. I guess that's better than being called a cancer or Enderle calling the community terrorists. Or was that Lyons? I always get them mixed up. And no, that was not an adequate apology to me.

Now if you were Microsoft -- just imagining for a minute -- and you wanted that to be true or be perceived as true, what might you do? Stir things up by creating disputes or make sure at least the world knows all about any passing argument in its every detail? It'd be easy. The FOSS community does everything out in the open. Why, in my imagination, I can visualize hiring BSD folks who are jealous of Linux, for example, or hiring some actual community members to be Community Rat to get the job done. They could go to all the conferences and let the Mother Ship know about any disputes that could be used for FUD or just create some. How hard is that? But you probably wouldn't even need to. In any large group, you can always find one discontented soul, and a few willing to sing about his treatment, whether they know anything about it or not.

Remember, you are not imagining what *you* would do. I know you'd never sink so low. You are imagining you are thinking like Microsoft, based on earlier behavior and extrapolating. Think they'd decide that would be beneath them?

I thought about all this today because of this article, "Sparks Fly As Linux Kernel Guy Quits In a Huff," by Alexander Wolfe on Information Week, part of his theme song on "Reasons Why Linux Won't Succeed on the Desktop." You wish.

This headline makes you think it just happened, doesn't it? The story is about a guy who decided to stop contributing to Linux back in July. July, folks. It made headlines at the time. And here it is again, recycled. This is almost October. Why now? Why again? They didn't milk enough headlines back when it happened or what? Not that Wolfe tells you that it happened in July. You have to click on the link at the very end of the story and find out for yourself. Here's his conclusion:

The whole tale tells us something else, which runs counter to the image of Linux. Most of us think of Linus, the Linux folks, and indeed the whole open-source community as more fact-based than, say, the grubby commercial software sphere in which the Microsofties play.

Obviously, that ain't true. The Linux folks are just as prone to internecine warfare and backbiting as the rest of us.

See what I mean? Note A Point of View? Now he's a perfectly nice fellow, and he honestly admits that he has no idea if this guy's code would have improved the kernel or not. Yet he has a conclusion that assumes it would have and more. Might that indicate a desire to find fault? A partisanship? Has Information Week declared a jihad against Linux or something?

I'll assume not, to be fair. It just seems like it. So, let me ask you a question so we can reason on this dispute a bit: whose kernel is it? Who leads the development and has for 15 or so years with incredible success? Deeper, who came up with the development model for software, developing it over the Internet? Was that not brilliant? Who did that? What does that tell you as to his ability to lead a project?

Do you have any idea how many thousands of people have contributed code to the Linux kernel over the years? Anyone writing headlines about that? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get thousands of people to work productively together? Did you know that the number of developers contributing to the kernel is growing:

In the initial 2.6 kernel tree there were only 700 developers. In the last two and half years from 2.6.11 to 2.6.22-rc5, around 3,200 people have contributed patches to the kernel.

That's just in the last couple of years. Thousands of good-hearted men and women over the years decided to help Linus write a kernel and give it to the world for free. That makes them better than Microsofties, as Wolfe calls them, right there, in my book. They lack the "grubby" factor. But my point is, look at the numbers. Even just on the latest kernel, there are thousands of happy developers and one guy who quits. Get it? Even if he's right, it's not a trend.

If you quit your job at some company because you don't like a management decision, does Information Week run a headline? Maybe if they hate your company, but not normally. And even if it did, how silly is it? What if out of 2,000 employees, they only find one or two who claim you are right and thousands who say the company is right? Would they still write about your beef, and if they did, wouldn't the headline have to be, "One Guy Out of 2,000 Employees at Company X Has a Gripe; Everyone Else Is Perfectly Content"?

Of course management sometimes make decisions nonmanagement folks don't like. That's called Real Life. And it's particularly so in creative fields. Sometimes people gripe because they lack the entire picture. Sometimes it's because they have no management skills or experience and just don't get it. Ever been in the Army? Worked for a large corporation? If so, you know that it always happens with every single decision made that somebody doesn't like the decision. You know why? Because the decision is made taking into consideration more factors than just that one somebody who is griping. It can sometimes occur that a decision is wrong, maybe unfair to an individual, or is perceived to be unfair, but that doesn't necessarily make the decision wrong. It wasn't all about that one individual. Management gets to make decisions because that's the job. And the job is to not only get the big picture; it's to design it.

If this guy wanted to fork the kernel, there is nothing stopping him, is there? He could lead his own desktop kernel. Why not? Or he could have decided to keep developing his code and prove Linus wrong. Others have, and it's a perfectly acceptable approach. Linus admits when he knows he's wrong. Let the best code win. Instead, the guy's not coding at all any more. He's learning Japanese. What might that tell you about his dedication to the success of the kernel? How's Linus' decision looking now?

And may I just point out that Ubuntu is a screaming success on the desktop, despite all the proprietary nails thrown on the roadway? Do give it a spin. It's free. They'll mail you a free CD.

In this case, Ingo Molnar did an equivalent chunk of code, and it did get accepted into the kernel. So it's not like the issue was ignored. Linus knows Ingo. He trusts him. And he knows he can rely on him to follow through with bug reports, because he's done it before, and to get along with people who send the bug reports. Is that an irrational decision, to choose someone because you know you can rely on them? Hardly. It's the sinew of the kernel development method, really, distributed trust. It's a meritocrisy. Remember?

No one has the right to tell Linus what to include in the kernel. No one. It's his project. And no one has the right to insist their contributions are accepted. Period. Live with it. And these headlines are mighty suspicious to me. They make me believe that someone wants there to be friction in the Linux community, and will use it. At least. So, don't let yourself be used by any conscienceless men out there, who might drool at the chance to portray Linux in an ugly light.

Say, that reminds me. About that whole Theo thing ...

: )

One last thing. Our own Jill C Carpenter, who designs our graphics, helped with my video for the Peer-to-Patent project [credits], and did most of the graphics for Groklaw Gear, contributed a new wallpaper for Edubuntu, which has been chosen to be the default installation desktop for Edubuntu Gutsy, which hopefully will be available next month. It's lovely, and so the FOSS community keeps right on chugging along, working together and having fun.

It's even more beautiful in full size, but Groklaw choked on it, so all I can give you is a kind of thumbnail. You'll get to see it in all its glory in the next Edubuntu, though. You might want to view this video too, where Professor Joseph Dembo of Fordham University explains what prior art is and how to find it.


Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu | 486 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here please, if any
Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:04 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks discussions here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:05 PM EDT
With title and link if at all possible, please.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:07 PM EDT
Please try to make clickable links, and remember to use HTML mode where

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu
Authored by: tknarr on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:23 PM EDT

I'd note that the Linux community, and software development communities in general, do in fact engage in a lot of what looks to an outsider like infighting. Geeks love arguments, especially good knock-down drag-out arguments on the technical merits of things. It's like a big farm family: the kids are forever getting into arguments and fights with each other. But woe betide the outsider who believes that shows some basic division between the kids, or who tries to come in and take advantage of those "divisions".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dan Lyons Apology Thread Here
Authored by: red floyd on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:28 PM EDT
For the anonymous poster who insists on telling us about it 20 times in each

I am not merely a "consumer" or a "taxpayer". I am a *CITIZEN* of the United
States of America.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Congrats to Jill
Authored by: Just_Bri_Thanks on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:35 PM EDT
It's lovely.

Bri. Just Bri. Thank you.
(With a long i sound.)
Without qualification, certification,
exception, or (hopefully) bias.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu
Authored by: JamesK on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:40 PM EDT
"I can usually tell what the new Microsoft anti-Linux FUD is by reading
what Rob Enderle writes."

Perhaps he should change his name to "Elmer". ;-)

There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born CK's point was totally lost
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:42 PM EDT
I have watched the whole CK story with fascination and
disappointment. CK was not saying "Linus and his henchmen
won't accept my patches, waaah!", he was saying "Linus et al.
didn't accept that there is no one-size-fits-all scheduler
until it was proposed by one of the henchmen (after a long
period of condemnation of the idea by the henchmen), so I am
finished trying to work with this so-called meritocracy."

The whole discussion jumped off the rails when Ingo said
"don't be sad, lots of my code doesn't get accepted too," and
it has never gotten back on the rails since. It's all "CK's a
crybaby" instead of "CK was right but ignored until the
message came from someone in the club."

Quotes are my summaries, not anyone's actual quotes.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Orwell would be proud
Authored by: overshoot on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:42 PM EDT
So, aside from the counterattack on Linux, the really interesting point to me is
the race to spin the Court's decision as being a plus for Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Compare with Democracy
Authored by: Simon G Best on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:49 PM EDT

Let's compare with democracy.

Imagine someone saying that democracy is doomed to failure, because, in most democracies, there's more than one party, and they're all competing against each other. How can a democracy survive when it's so deeply divided against itself?

Of course, if someone was to put forward such a view, many of us would regard it as a matter of that person having failed to understand the point of democracy, how it works, and stuff. What that person perceives as weaknesses and vunerabilities, we would generally regard as strengths and opportunities.

FOSS is very much about freedom. And, unsurprisingly, there are different groups, different factions, different movements and communities within the whole community of FOSS communities. There are different views and opinions about how FOSS should be, what the point of it should be, what the goals and objectives should be, and so on. There are disagreements, divergences, competing projects, and competition between competitors. There's variety, diversity, the freedom to pursue different projects for different purposes, and so on, and so on.

Really, it's just a matter of how our FOSS "society" is a free "society". You know, like how the US is supposed to be. You know, with different parties, different campaigns and movements and so on, different projects with different objectives, competitors competing with and against each other in commerce, politics, and other areas of society.

Let's compare with the free market and proprietary software in particular. What do we find? Competitors competing with and against each other! We find lawsuits! We find all sorts of trouble and strife. What does that mean? That the proprietary software world is in deep crisis? That proprietary software is vulnerable to competition from FOSS? What about the free market? Well, FOSS is itself in the free market!

Really, this old stuff about FOSS being divided and therefore vunerable, blah blah blah, it's just old stuff that's been debunked plenty of times before. It just does not stand up to the most basic scrutiny.

I mean, if freedom, diversity, democracy, competition, and so on, are such bad things that result in such weakness and vunerability, how come the United States is the world's only remaining superpower? How come the Soviet Union, which lacked freedom, supressed diversity, ditched democracy and forbade competition is already consigned to history?

Why do Microsoft and Rob Enderle want to be so, so wrong?

"Public relations" is a public relations term for propaganda.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Unix/Linux Wars
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:51 PM EDT
The biggest impediment to Unix has always been internicene warfare. Sad to say
that only seems to be increasing w/ Linux as the number of distributions and
incompatible "features" increase.

While Linux contains little Unix code, the basic conceptual model is still Unix
derived so I can see no real distinction other than implementation quality.

I think a likely outcome of the SCO fiasco is that another entity acquires the
SCO intellectual property from the bankruptcy, negotiates a license from Novell
to open source it as Sun did and builds a nice business providing OpenSCO
support for the VAR community which depends on SCO Unix to run their products.

religous rants to /dev/null ;-)


[ Reply to This | # ]

Heard it all before
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:55 PM EDT
As has been said many times, the FOSS movement is not a company or person but a
community. A community will always have disagreements and accommodations will be

Compare this with the Microsoft ecosystem where if You stay under MS's radar you
survive, if your market grows, MS produces a free competing version of your
product an you can try your luck at suing the richest company in the world.

I think Enderle's problem is that it is Microsoft that has the real problems at
the moment. MSOOXML, European court, SCO, Vista ...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Guy Quits In a Huff...
Authored by: hAckz0r on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 03:09 PM EDT
I just wish I had half a penny for every guy that "quit" working for

DRM - As a "solution", it solves the wrong problem; As a "technology" its
'logically' infeasible.

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ's Voice
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 03:16 PM EDT
That was a nice video, and very interesting to hear PJ speak. It sounded like
some digital synthesis of the voices of 10 IBM lawyers... Eh, just kidding!

Actually, she has an interesting accent and diction. She kinda sounds like a
geek (and I say that with the greatest affection). There is almost a Garrison
Keillor quality in how she pronounces words. So obviously, PJ is from

Anyway, thanks for promoting the Peer to Patent project so faithfully!

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Linux supporters ... at odds with each other"
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 03:28 PM EDT
This is micorSoft's new talking-points 'strategery'.

They started it (what there is of it that might seem real to folks who don't know better) themselves with their patent-protection racket deals. They know those are shady, we know they are shady (both the racket and the Redmond-based company behind them), but the buzz got started when Lin-nerds decried those who'd sign such a deal.

So expect to see/hear/read lots of this in the coming year or two, until it finally becomes evident even to those-who-don't-know-better (ie; non-geeks) that we are a community who can disagree vocally, while moving ever onward making and using better and better products - both the OS and the applications for it.

Eventually, micorSoft + shills like Blob EnDarl will see that this strategy isn't working either, and will cease making such claims, and move on to their next futile attempt.

Get stuffed, microSoft.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Not so new
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 03:36 PM EDT
PJ, this particular FUD is not so new; there have been numerous examples of it
ever since the GPL 3 was announced - people complaining about the
"anti-tivoisation" clause and so on. These examples increased in the
media and blog sites as the GPL 3 was finally released - remember the stories
about splits between the GPL 2 and GPL 3 "camps" and how the GPL 3 is
"anti-business". Every point of discussion around the wording of v3
was blown out of proportion - just take a look at some of the comments on here
and on Slashdot for example.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu
Authored by: waltish on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 03:43 PM EDT
You Know they are running out of rocks to chuck at you, when they start throwing

Anybody who is anybody in corporate decision making land is fully aware of the
Group dynamic.

They themselves would have had to deal with those kinds of issues, and the
absurdity of the position taken by this new FUD is patently obvious , by virtue
of the fact that all this time later and contrary to early days naysayers
predictions, Linux not only survives it flourishes.

This kind of "Linux People Argue FUD" has much less tractability with
Business Professionals than the "Linux IP problems FUD" ever had.

There is nothing to do to fight this stuff, just keep doing what we do and it is
defeated, and of course shine the light of truth on it, which is Standard
Operating Procedure for all FUD anyway.


" You can fool some of the people all of the Time
And all of the people some of the time
But you cant fool All of the people All of the Time."

[ Reply to This | # ]

You're being unfair to Lyons
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 03:48 PM EDT

being called a cancer or Enderle calling the community terrorists. Or was that Lyons? I always get them mixed up. And no, that was not an adequate apology to me.

Lyons did admit that he'd been wrong. You may not find that "adequate", but in fact he was pretty frank about it. He's got some integrity, some respect for the truth, and he put that ahead of his personal pride/vanity. That doesn't make Lyons a second PJ, but it does put him so far ahead of Enderle that treating them as equivalent is a serious and unwarranted slur on Lyons' character and integrity.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Bug reports to the Linux Kernel
Authored by: tyche on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 03:56 PM EDT
I am not new to Linux (though I would be the first to say that in many ways I'm
a n00bie). I've been using it since before RedHat fostered FedoraCore. And
I've been straight Linux at home for at least 5 years. There have been times
when I've submitted bug reports (most lately to Ubuntu) for things that I've
seen or experienced. Unless one is a developer, it's difficult to know just
what information is needed in a bug report - easy to feel stupid and easy to
feel rejected when a developer comes back and says, "why, it's simple.
Just do this, this, this, and this and it'll work." Yea, it's easy for

And how would I know if a problem is because of the kernel, or because of some
program running on top of the kernel. I would say that the biggest difference
between desktop and enterprise is that an enterprise computer would be
overpowered for most desktop use. This isn't a fault in the kernel, it's a
benefit. A kernel powerful enough for enterprise work will work fine for
desktop use.

In fact, The disconnect really isn't between enterprise and desktop as much as
it is between those who know where to look and those who don't. As an example
in another field, people take their car to a mechanic when something happens.
They may have asked friends what to do, first, but they ended up with a mechanic
anyway. They may not know what system has failed, or what is making that funny
clunk, but they know there is a problem. Finding out where the problem lies is
the mechanic's job. He listens to your complaint and formulates ideas as to the
location of the problem, then goes looking. Sometimes it's something that the
manufacturer needs to know about. A faulty switch that causes a fire, or a
poorly designed rear axle. So it is with the maintainers of a distribution.
They listen to the complaints and try to figure out if they've got enough
information to act on, or if they need more. Is this a "one off"
problem, or are there more people having it? Then, is it a problem with an
individual program, or is the problem a conflict between programs in a package?
Or is it the kernel itself that appears to be creating the problem?

And we're back to the kernel. But who is the one submitting the bug report to
the kernel? Other developers "downstream" of the kernel. Programmers
who take the kernel and interface with it to make their programs work. I might,
and have, submit bug reports to a distribution (such as Ubuntu), but I would be
way out of my depth to do so to the kernel. That's the job of other programmers
and developers - people much further upstream of a mere user.

For my part, I'm just glad they're there, and that for the most part they
understand that there are those who don't know as much as they do. The ones
I've dealt with, in one form or another, were quite willing to stop and try to
help a n00bie out. I appreciate it.

I just wish I could remember 1/10th of what they've said.

I must be getting old. :-D


"The Truth shall Make Ye Fret"
"TRUTH", Terry Pratchett

[ Reply to This | # ]

There is more to Linux than Ubuntu
Authored by: complex_number on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 04:41 PM EDT
I know you mean well PJ but please remember that there are many more flavors of
Linux than just Ubuntu. Just like all those niceties at your fav Ice Cream

Here are a few other distros that deserve an honorable mention

Open Suse
Damm Small Linux

And the rest of the supporting cast.

Personally, I won't use Ubuntu as its usability OOTB with that Black and Orange
color scheme is IMHO rather poor especially for those of us who are visually
impaired (5/20 vision and getting worse). Yes I know you can change it but that
is not the point. If a piece of software is going to be easy to use then the
ability to read the text surely is a major issue.
Back in the days when I worked on a long defunct Office system we made sure with
extensive usability test that even comparitive novices could use it without
having to RTFM. These tests included different screen backgrounds and text
colors. Have the people at Ubuntu done the same? I personally doubt it.
But hey, this is my personal view and I do respect others who have different
ones (vive La Difference)

But, On a slightly philosophical bent,
Linux has come a really long way since my first encounter with Slackware 1.1 on
Floppies. IMHO, the diversity of distros is a mirror of humanity. The diversity
of genes is what makes us dominant. If we reduce this diversity then we are
surely doomed as a species. The same applies to other things. Think of the
different things you can buy. Cars, Cameras, Food, Gas.
A society with no variation in life, product, TV etc etc would be a totally
boring place. If you doubt that read 1984 , watch Metropolis(Fritz Lang 1927 and
set in 2027) and many other works on a similar vein.
The old saying
"Variety is the Spice of Life" suddenly has a completely new

[ Reply to This | # ]

Spin, spin, spin... FUD included free
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 04:48 PM EDT
The overall spin in Rob-for-Rent's article is just bizarre...

Because of this overt anti-american action by the EU, M$ will be forced to
reveal all their highly sought after innovative code, and so all the worlds
coders will then simply have to use it, thereby making all software from then on
a Win-Hybrid.

Now, ignoring that there is nothing that requires M$ to release code, merely
API's which are not the same thing, and also ignoring his misdirections and
falsehoods regarding M$ "standards", this still makes no sense.

He is trying to argue against the EU judgement. Even if we assume that their
code is so great the the rest of the development world flocks to incorporate it,
and that it would result in a deluge of hybrids as he posits, wouldn't that mean
competition and interoperability were achieved and simply prove that the EU
solution was correct after all?

So his argument seems to be that opening up APIs will force the usage of those
APIs, thereby increasing the monopoly's market share, so the proper way to
combat an abusive monopoly is to marginalize competition even further and
encourage the monopoly to hide their API's so as not to increase monopolistic

Logic like that makes me wonder if he wasn't writing some of SCO's motions...

[ Reply to This | # ]

let a million flowers bloom...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 06:17 PM EDT
...and a billion schools of thought prosper.

that's the strength of linux and the weakness of windows, one size does not fit
all, or fits all poorly.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The disgruntled patcher
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 06:20 PM EDT
History repeats, but we all make different choices.

Back in early 90s, Linux was toying with Minix, and wanted something to run on
386, something Tannenbaum, the author of Minix didn't care for.

At that point, Linus could have done like Con, our Austrian friend, quit
programming and learn japanese instead, complaining about how minix and
academia, and anything unix-like in general was a sham. Instead, Linus decided
to roll his own, and the rest is history. If minix had been an internet-based
collobarative project, maybe minix would have been the juggernaut, with
Tannenbaum as ultimate arbiter, and maybe Linus as angry patch contributor. Or
maybe linux would have been created in any case because of some disagreement
about file system concurrency and disagrement on microkernel vs monolithic
kernel. History is not shaped by accident alone. Many people have strong
compasses, and will strive towards their goal no matter how long it takes, and
they end up shaping history.

At any given time, Linux gets more contributions than what can fit. There are
competing implementations, where only one can be admitted to the kernel. It is
par for the course to get one's code rejected.

Anyone who wishes can fork the project and start over, however, if they do that
just because they don't like the development model, they are likely to face
serious issues downstream. They might not have the social skills to recruit
enough followers to maintain a separate branch, or have the required firm hand
to keep it together. If you can't endure following a good leader, you might not
be much of a great leader yourself. They will need to decide how to merge in
changes from the official kernel. And at some point, the divergence will get so
big, that syncing up the branch with the main kernel becomes mission impossible.
So maybe our man did the right thing in switching from C to japanese.

However, that the press would decide to make a big balooba over a rejected
patch is ludicrous. There have been many battles over the years, virtual memory
management, builtin kernel debugging capability, etc. If there was no
disagreement, we would all be working on the same 5-year-plan, and the
disgruntled patch submitter would have been enjoying a gulag in Siberia instead
of learning japanese. And Wolfe, the article writer would have been praising
the People's Mikrosoft Kooperative in his Pravda Kolumn.

Since there will always be an infinite number of ways to skin a cat, there will
always be rejected patches. And a rejected patch is not a sign of riot. In fact,
maybe the ideas behind the patch will become useful one day and make it in there

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu
Authored by: roman on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 06:20 PM EDT
PJ, I read the article by Enderly, certainly GNU/Linux vs GNU/Linux developer is
not the most interesting FUD in it. That FUD is old news.

More interesting is the FUD directed at Apple and Google, those are not FOSS
oriented places (well both shops use Free and/or open source and I imagine
Google contributes some things back,) but they are large proprietary firms that
MS considers competition just like Free Software. Certainly MS with its Zune or
whatever is nowhere near Apple and their IPayToApple products. Google search is
definitely more widely used and thus serves more ads than MSN.

Basically what I am reading in this article is a general number of various
thoughts on how MS will prevail against everyone, including the EU, FOSS, Apple,
Google, Oracle etc.

Sounds like the guy likes to make pro-MS profecies, not that he is great at

Oh, and you are right about Lyons, that was not an apology. An apology is when
someone trully shows remorse and is willing to learn from ones mistakes. His
tone was full of bitterness that his chosen position was not a winning one and
his language was full of contempt towards the very people he was supposedely
apologizing to. So we are the amateur sleuths-nerds and he is on a high-horse
because he wrote an incompetent and demeaning apology. Well he can shove it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This issue deserves reportage
Authored by: gdt on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 06:36 PM EDT

I haven't read Enderle's article. I don't give him that pleasure anymore.

But I do not see why Groklaw needs to be so defensive. What happened to Con Kolivas was a shame, bordering on an outrage, and reflects poorly on the management of the Linux kernel. That deserves reportage in the trade press, just as high points of mis-management and departures of well-known staff in other IT projects gets reported.

Con was a volunteer. He had a set of patches available for years. He aimed to integrate these patches into the Linux kernel eventually. The Linux developers were aware of them. In rejecting Con's patches these developers essentially wasted years of Con's unpaid effort. There's in immorality there, and a lack of empathy when other professionally-paid Linux developers tell him: tough luck, happens to us all.

What happened to Con is important because it shows the risk of doing volunteer work on the Linux kernel. That risk did not used to exist -- the kernel development once encouraged and relied upon volunteer effort. In the long run it's going to make a difference to how good Linux is at applications which matter more to volunteers than to paid developers (in Con's case, desktop performance).

A recent LWN article asked "where have the universities gone", who used to be large contributors to the Linux kernel. And the answer turns out to be "to other projects". Part of the reason is the increasing barriers the Linux kernel developers place in front of volunteer effort.

Of course, I don't doubt for a minute that Enderle's reportage misses such subtle points.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu
Authored by: ak_hepcat on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 06:46 PM EDT
I'm an old-timer with Linux. Started using it in 1992. And I've submitted a
few bug reports and patches for different things.

None of my personal patches ever made it in, however, further down the road, the
equivalent got merged.

Did somebody steal my idea? Probably not.
Did somebody implement my idea better? More than likely.
Is the end result the same? Yep.

Of course, nothing I submitted was as "visible" as the schedule code,
but there's really no difference. And Linus was exactly the same in his replies
to me as he was to Con. In that sense, he's been remarkably consistent.

Some people just can't take the step back from their own egos, tho. More's the

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Linux Is Already A Success
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 07:23 PM EDT
Sept. 20, 2007 - Serdar Yegulalp writes, on

"Anyone who reads InformationWeek regularly probably knows by now that my colleague Alexander Wolfe has more than a few pithy things to say about Linux..."
"Maybe the truth is that Linux is already a success, and that talk of "the year of Linux on the desktop" is also misleading. Plain and simple: I don't believe Linux has to eclipse Microsoft on the desktop to be viable. Frankly, I don't think it has to eclipse anything at all."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 08:33 PM EDT
...That Theo thing...
What a lame remark, stick to law PJ, or look like a groupie...
Learn some about OpenBSD, you might understand why OpenBSD users stand behind
OpenBSD and Theo.

Otherwise, keep up the good work with groklaw.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why does Information Week WANT to be laughed at?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 08:56 PM EDT
Same thing with Forbes, SCO, MOG, Enderle, Didiot, and
all the others. I've never understood why people, and the
publications they work for, actually try to destroy their
own credibility deliberately.

Do they, like Darl, value money more than truth? Are they
being paid enough to compensate for their destroyed

It's like reading the old Soviet Pravda, which, by the way,
was essentially no different than a corporate house organ.

Does anyone reading Information Week really believe anything
they say?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Be happy, its free advertising
Authored by: philc on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 08:57 PM EDT
Just think of all the free advertising Linux and FOSS are getting from the great
Microsoft PR machine. You don't really have to debunk it since most intelegent
people will see through it.

Microsoft keeps telling everyone about Linux and FOSS. They keep filling in
details that make the community seem more and more real and human. Real people,
passionate about writing great software. The more you hear, the more you learn,
the more you relate, the more intreguing it becomes.

Microsoft is happy to introduce more and more of their customers to Linux.
People that have never heard of Linux find out about it from Microsoft. People
have come to understand that the target of FUD is the source of interesting
products. Why dump on something that is not a threat? Heard much Unix FUD

[ Reply to This | # ]

Linus views on kernel forking ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 09:43 PM EDT
In the following interview Linux clearly explains his views on kernel
development and forking.
" .... That said, I'm sure we'll eventually hit some issue that gets
peoples blood boiling, and we'll have a tree for some changes that I don't think
are appropriate and am not willing to merge, and that's as it should be: unlike
a lot of other open source projects, I've always encouraged people to try their
hand at forking off a kernel project of their own to scratch their own itch.
So I don't think such project forks are bad at all, it's how a lot of
development is done. Obviously, most development is about
"micro-forks" and people don't even think of them as real forks at
all, but I actually think it's good to encourage experimentation - and by
keeping it friendly, if some experimental kernel shows that it was actually the
right direction, we don't end up having psychological road-blocks to switching
over or to merging the code... May the best code win...."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Whoops! Missed the boat again!
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 09:57 PM EDT
Hey, everybody!

You know, just in the relatively short time I've been using Linux, I've noticed
an interesting shift going on. What is being fought over is a good sign.

Let me illustrate. When I got my first Linux distro and put it on my computer,
I didn't have the information on my level. Most people using and talking about
Linux were the hardcores who saw their seperatism as a badge of honor. (This
bunker mentality is actually pretty common, with people turning what they are
ridiculed for into a positive trait.) Information was simply not forthcoming,
and I wasn't just hitting dead ends in the maze, I was hitting the walls

But now? Linux was supposed to be for everybody. And people started joining
the community that wanted it to be for everybody. And as the ranks grew, so did
the tolerance and acceptance of people who aren't code monkeys but are still
sincere and nice. There's still some rotten apples, but there are for any
culture, and they are percentage-wise fewer now.

As the crowd has gotten bigger, you naturally have very different interests
suddenly joining the mentality. It's no longer two extremes, the Linspire crowd
versus the Debian crowd. Yeah, there are fights, but they are fights of policy,
of figuring out and doing the right thing. There are people who don't see the
harm of Mono project and people like me who want de Icaza to go bug someone

But you know what? No one has frozen me out for not liking de Icaza. No one is
freezing out people who agree with de Icaza. With my limited knowledge, I can
get into very geeky discussions with propellerheads, because the fights aren't
personal. Some are, but they have gotten fewer, especially in the last few
years alone.

M$ is trying to hit two fronts here. 1) there is no common goal for the
community, which is bull. If anything, it's wishful thinking on M$' part, since
that would make it easier to steamroller. 2) fighting is so intrinsic to the
community, it will never stop. M$ is trying to confuse involvement with

All of which underscores how desperate M$ really is. When you think about the
big reasons to switch to Linux, you think of freedom of choice, free to
download, bulletproof security, runs on older hardware, and so on. The
community isn't really a major factor for people switching over, and for people
like me, we're familiar enough now that we are concerned about community
(witness my questions about distros and the stumpers for PCLinux and Mandriva
made sure to point me to the very friendly forums for their favorite distros).
In short, M$ is now grasping at straws, since it won't fool those in the know,
and those not in the know don't care.

How long before M$ has to invent a target to shoot their FUDgun at?

Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

Let's Hear It For Circulation Numbers
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 10:07 PM EDT
The "people who write for these journals" (I can't call them
journalists) need to write something every week or month. The best way to hype
their credentials and drive eyes to their rags is to write a
"controversial" story that just blows readers away with angles no one
would ever figure out. Many are just hacks with a paycheck to make and a sports
line to follow.
I think the saying goes, "Those who can't do ,teach and those who can't
teach, write very bad, misguided, "I apologize" articles"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born - a slightly different take
Authored by: fenris on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 11:51 PM EDT
After reading the Enderle article I come away with a different impression about
the divisions within the Linux community he references. Given the scale of the
arguments that he presents later in his text, I get the feeling that the
divisions he refers to revolve around our treatment of vendors who make deals
with Microsoft. In particular, he contends that Microsoft will lead in
innovation and development of technology and Linux will merely be a follower.
Thus in Enderle-land, Microsoft will always lead. Microsoft partnered ( and
MS-taxed ) Linux distributions will be able to swiftly follow. and everyone else
will be picking through the crumbs at a later time. Given that the rabble will
be unable to keep up with the the royally sanctioned distributions, they will
turn to pulling down the the "honest" distributions that pay homage
and cash tribute to the Lords of Redmond.

Yes, I can poke all kinds of holes in this.

No, I'm not agreeing with his conclusions.

However, if we're trying to scry out future FUD, I would worry less about folks
looking at our internal ... but public ... arguments than I would about a FUD
offensive along the lines of, "Look at poor Novell-SUSE. They try to
improve themselves by adopting Gates-own Microsoft technology and look what
happens, most of the Linux community rises up against them. In fact, they disown
anyone who makes an agreement to access MS's superior technology. Those Linux
people, they eat their young."

Paul - I am not a diviner, nor do I play one on TV.

[ Reply to This | # ]

If there is any split at all
Authored by: inode_buddha on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 08:19 AM EDT
If there is any split at all, then it is likely between the FSF (Richard
Stallman) and Open Source (Eric Raymond) camps. IMHO the two are not *natural*
enemies, but they are not necessarily friends either. Any perceived split will
be exploited or manufactured. Divide and conquer.

Copyright info in bio

"When we speak of free software,
we are referring to freedom, not price"
-- Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thus in Enderle-land, Microsoft will always lead. That's A joke
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 09:19 AM EDT
"Thus in Enderle-land, Microsoft will always lead."

Please I'm trying to drink my coffee without spilling it. M$ NEVER leads.

"Sean Daly: It's important to say "streaming media", because in
Microsoft's communications, they like to talk about all media players together
such as iTunes, QuickTime, whereas it's really the streaming media market that
was killed off by Microsoft with Windows Media Player.

Jeremy Allison: Yes. So market definitions have been a really interesting part
of the case. So if anyone is interested in looking at the documents, some of the
biggest arguments in the case have been about "what is the definition of
the market?""

The E.U. decision has a lot to do with M$'s Windows Media Player and the crummy
video codec VC-1 that M$ is pushing like crazy with their "Pay For Say
Pimps" all over the internet's video forums.

The potential value of streaming video on the internet is THREE trillion dollars
per year (according to Mark Cuban who sold to Yahoo for FIVE
billion dollars).

That’s 250 billion a month (I think - short of toes ;). M$ only makes 3 billion
a month right now (if I remember correctly).

So streaming media is big. As we know M$ bought off RealVideo for $800,000,000
(give or take a few zeros) to drop out of the E.U Samba versus M$ . According to
Ozer at StreamingMedia, in a lengthy comparative study, revealed that RealVideo
easily surpasses all other video formats. But to forget about Real; because Real
is now out of the picture (having been bought out of competition).

A second follow-up comparative study by Ozer at StreamingMedia showed the H.264
video codec is superior to M$’s implementation of the VC-1 video codec. It’s was
a very hilarious situation. Ozer had to be given step by step instructions by a
M$ hired gun; because, M$ implementation of VC-1 was so bad (LEADERS - huh!).

So M$ doesn’t lead. And whoever is first to the post (the streaming video post,
that is) with an excellent video format will lead. Maybe it will be Steve Jobs,
by hook or by crook (mainly by crook). It won’t be M$. And maybe something new
in video FOSS will show up.

[ Reply to This | # ]

some more Enderle quotes ..
Authored by: emacsuser on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 10:41 AM EDT
'He said he had "no direct evidence" that IBM pilfered SCO's code for
the benefit of Linux, but left the impression that to come to that view wouldn't
take a great leap of imagination', Rob Enderle

Then why not have SCO call him as witness ..

'He said that during his tenure at IBM - which included a year spent trying to
spin out the IBM Software Company so it could compete with Microsoft - "I
saw us falsify internal reports ..', Rob Enderle

Same here ...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Enderle: Ethics Free since 2003 (at least)
Authored by: bobn on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 12:47 PM EDT
Here is a quote from an article Rob wrote on InternetWeek in 2003:

As an analyst I have to be able to argue both sides of a position because often we are asked to step in and help justify decisions that have already been made.

He left the firm he was with (Giga or Forrester) and founded "The Enderle Group" shortly thereafter. I always wondered if that move had anything to do with this public declaration that he had no ethics at all.

IRC: irc://
the groklaw channels in IRC are not affiliated with, and not endorsed by, either or PJ.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft knows it's doomed
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 12:48 PM EDT
When Timothy Leary was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he said publicly,
"Thank goodness. Now I know what I'm going to die from". Microsoft
knows what's going to kill it. It's gone through all the various stages, in
full view, for anyone who's careful to see it.

Microsoft can't stop Linux now. Nobody can. It's accepted. My employer's
software product runs on Linux, not because it's cool or whatever, it's ONLY
because our customers are demanding it and are willing to pay. When our
customers lose interest in a platform, we drop it like a hot potato because it's
a lot of work keeping our product running on all those platforms. We used to
support SCO, but we dropped SCO a long time ago, we don't even have any more SCO
test machines.

On a previous job, we supported Linux, AIX, etc. Windows was supported too, but
only for small tests and such, because the machine bogs down and becomes
unpredictable at heavy loads. We used to laugh about how even BSD, with its
relatively small developer base, could handle heavy loads so much better than

And Vista is just a disaster! Anyone who uses Vista as a server is going to be
really disappointed with the performance. We have spent months getting our
product to run on Vista, but it still has major performance issues and we
certainly can't recommend it for production use. If Microsoft can't produce a
proper server OS, they will be toast in the enterprise. They're already the

[ Reply to This | # ]

Now Apple Playing Same Game As SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 04:56 PM EDT
I mentioned above that Apple could become the master of the 3 trillion dollar
per year video streaming industry - and said: "by hook or by crook (more
likely by crook)". Looks like it is by - crook! Here's another SCO look a
like - but Apple this time. What is as interesting is the "in depth
coverage" by the MEDIA:

"It has been a long time since I worked at a newspaper, but in the old days
reporters were supposed to cover beats, develop sources, and really bring a
perspective to the stories they covered. It wasn't necessarily a personal
perspective (Lord knows we have enough of that now with blogging) but more of a
factual perspective: reporters were supposed to know what was actually happening
on their beats and to not be fooled by spinmeisters. Well this week there has
been a heck of a lot of spinning going on having to do with a story I broke
years ago and have followed off and on ever since -- the trials of little -- and even the revered New York Times (and nearly everyone else) this
time got it shamefully wrong.

In case you have forgotten, is a three-person company based in Santa
Rosa, CA, where I used to live before moving to Charleston, South Carolina.
Burst, which was started with a seed investment from the Irish rock band U2, has
many issued patents on ways of sending digital video and audio over electronic
networks. In 2000 it looked like Burst was about to become a huge success, but
then a succession of Microsoft dirty tricks put the company on the ropes and
today -- despite a $60 million settlement from Microsoft -- the company is still
trying to pick itself up and resume licensing its technology. Burst's current
adversary is Apple and in this case Apple sued Burst rather than the other way
around, trying to invalidate Burst's patents following months of license

This week Apple lawyers filed a motion to have Burst's countersuit thrown out of

[ Reply to This | # ]

Does not pass the PHB test.
Authored by: Ian Al on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 04:22 AM EDT
The 'Get the facts' programme was great. A really easy message for PHB's to
assimilate. Linux total cost of ownership is much more than Microsoft and here's
some numbers which are much higher for Linux. When ordinary folk like me looked
at it, we saw stuff that seemed legitimate; staff retraining, support costs etc.
When the pros looked, they noticed that the Linux example was a mainframe and
the Microsoft example was a PC. PHBs don't listen to techies.

The Novell/Microsoft deal was brilliant. Linux is terminally encumbered with
hundreds of Microsoft patents. We'll all be sued. The techies couldn't address
it because they couldn't 'Get the facts'. Microsoft would not let them. Novell
said there was no MS patents in Linux. Buy ours and be free of the Microsoft
patent threat. It took a lawyer opining about clauses in licence text to show
the threats were groundless. PHBs agreed that Linux was patently dangerous.

The 'Look they are fighting amongst themselves or leaving' FUD just doesn't work
for the PHBs. They say it's not important what long-haired smellies do. They get
the professional versions of Linux from Redhat or Suse. They don't get Linux,
they get product. The ageing wrinklys like me say that there are dozens of
working Linux kernels going back years. This latest pong is like saying the
Microsoft Windows kernel team is losing staff: XBox360 games are doomed. We
cannot see the difference between server Linux kernals and desktop Linux
kernels. By the time the techies have tried to explain that there are important
differences and how to compile the most appropriate binary for a quad processor
enterprise server we are well into our afternoon nap. There is just no PHB
message for them to get scared about. This is ex-FUD. It is no more.

Please shoot the original messenger. He deserves it for serial incompetance.

Ian Al

Linux: Genuine Advantage

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some New FUD Is Born - And a New Wallpaper for Edubuntu
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 04:45 AM EDT
I've said it before, I'll say it again - Ubuntu and it's
derivatives are a cult.

As long as you tow the party line, you are completely
fine. Step outside of the party, and not only are you
mocked, belittled and ridiculed but then 'shunned'.

Be wary of Ubuntu - it is nothing more than a marketing

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do Give It A Spin
Authored by: Jeff on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 10:36 AM EDT
PJ: "And may I just point out that Ubuntu is a screaming success on the
desktop, despite all the proprietary nails thrown on the roadway? Do give it a

What a timely article, PJ.

Although I have installed and played with various free Unix-like OSes in the
past, I had standardized on Windows a few years ago because, frankly, as a 40
year old I am no longer interested in tinkering with my OS. But with the recent
news of Microsoft updating Windows without user knowledge, I decided to give
Ubuntu a go on my PC.

I installed both Ubuntu and Xubuntu (I don't care for KDE, so Kubuntu was out).
After playing with them both, I have standarded on Xubuntu x64 as my new desktop
OS (I like Xfce just a bit more than Gnome).

What stood out in both versions was the total lack of configuration that was
required on my part to make everything work, not to mention how much lighter it
is on RAM and disk usage than Vista is. I am very impressed and, barring
something unforeseen, I can't see returning to Windows.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Split - Some New FUD
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 24 2007 @ 12:20 PM EDT
Split in the Open Source Community.

Where do you want to go today?

There have always been splits in the community. You have uncounted individuals
working on stuff they want to work on, not because of the corporate
"vision" b-------- (cat tracks) but because it's what they want to
work on. It's what makes the community so valuable.

You have purists who want absolutely no question about the source of the code,
and you have pragmatists who just want it to work.

You have people who are scared to death of Microsoft infiltration such as with
Linspire or Novell, an you have people who think this is the best thing since
sliced bread. Microsoft has worked hard to engineer highly visible splits in
the community.

None of it matters, because, as big as Microsoft is, the world is bigger.

People will keep developing code, and others will see value in the work and use
it. It's hard to believe it has been thirty four years since the Apple came
out. Less than a generation. During that time we had one major paradigm shift,
from Big Iron to desktop computing.

Things are so much in infancy that to predict the demise of Linux because of
"community splits" is like spitting in the ocean against the wind.

As far as operating systems go, Microsoft still doesn't get it. More's the
pity. They are following the same path IBM tried to forge back in the eighties.
IBM was forced to unbundle and while it hurt, it also strenghthend them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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