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The New Struggles Facing Open Source 146

An anonymous reader writes in with this story about the open source movement's contentious beginnings and the points of trouble it faces today. "The early days of open source were fraught with religious animosities we feared would tear apart the movement: free software fundamentalists haggling with open source pragmatists over how many Apache licenses would fit on the head of a pin. But once commercial interests moved in to plunder for profit, the challenges faced by open source pivoted toward issues of control. While those fractious battles are largely over, giving way to an era of relative peace, this seeming tranquility may prove more dangerous to the open source movement than squabbling ever did. Indeed, underneath this superficial calm, plenty of tensions simmer. Some are the legacy of the past decade of open source warfare. Others, however, break new ground and arguably threaten open source far more than the GPL-vs.-Apache battle ever did."
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The New Struggles Facing Open Source

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  • It's the cloud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by poet ( 8021 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @02:55PM (#49416433) Homepage

    The cloud... GCE, AWS/EC2 etc.. that are the biggest threat to Open Source. Things like S3 with its proprietary protocol, developers falling in line for RDS and Dynamo. In short, locking yourself into very expensive, closed alternatives because: "It's easy". The battles never went away, they have just shifted. If you are paying attention and not spending all your time reading CTO magazine, you can see this.

    • Is there currently an open source alternative[to the closed alternative]?

      • by poet ( 8021 )

        Well Softlayer at least offers a SFTP interface to their S3 competitor.

        The current "open source" alternative is to use APIs that already exist instead of creating new ones for no particular purpose.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        With the cloud...uh yeah, Kolab, OpenCloud, RedHat, Apache Cloudstack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus...and these are just off the top of my head, granted I think about this stuff a lot, but yeah it's there. In fact most of the business stuff is fairly easy to replace with open source. There's always some cruft, but once everything moved to the web, it took a ton of compatibility issues with it. Everything can run in a browser.

        • by hitmark ( 640295 )

          I would be weary of RH these days. Ever since Oracle forked RHEL they have been trying to shore up their fief.

      • Re:It's the cloud (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jean-guy69 ( 445459 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @04:08PM (#49417111)

        Yes, thanks to Joyent, who opensourced [joyent.com] smartdatacenter [blog.zhaw.ch] the software they use to run their public cloud...

        The hypervisor is SmartOS, it is based on Illumos (fork of opensolaris)..
        It has ZFS, Dtrace, Zones (think virtualisation with bare metal performance), crossbow.. and KVM as they ported it..
        You can run SmartOS instances inside Zones, and even Linux instances (by way of ABI translation), or any OS using KVM,
        And even present you datacenter as an elastic docker host, as they implemented Docker API in SDC.. (sdc-docker aka Triton)

        I'm currently evaluating it, so far I'm impressed..

        Here are the github repository [github.com] and the docs [joyent.com]

      • Is there currently an open source alternative[to the closed alternative]?

        Yes there is: Abundandt dirt cheap hardware.

        In the grand scheme of things cloud computing is just a fad like SAS or Network Computing was before, in order to hijack peoples stuff and hold it ransom. Nobody short of the bazillionth pinterest clone thgat has to scale by 100 orders of magnitude in 3 weeks because of the hype train coming in is going to fall for that. It's all same shit, different name.

        Cloud development is all the hype bec

    • by hax4bux ( 209237 )

      Why is "the cloud" different from old school proprietary environments? 30 years ago, there were many versions of UNIX like platforms and odder things all promising to make your life easy if you just purchased from the same vendor. I think this is still a strategy at IBM.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Because "the cloud" offers outsourcing of the hardware management, something that wasn't really practical before. That's a big win for customers, especially smaller ones.

        • by hitmark ( 640295 )

          Dunno about practical.

          I seem to recall reading that IBM or some other mainframe company tried to rent terminal time to individuals and companies.

          But then the micro-computer happened along with the spreadsheet, and suddenly every accountant wanted a computer on his desk.

      • by poet ( 8021 )

        The difference is the value proposition. People are fooled into thinking the cloud is somehow cheaper (it isn't once you reach about 300.00-500.00/month.)

        • Let's say you own a business with 60 users in 2 locations? Does it make sense to blow 100,000 in an IT guy after taxes, Obama care, and other expenses, plus an additional 100,000 on servers and 50,000 on software?

          Or go to office 365 and pay $900 a month and it just works?

          • by Anonymous Coward

            If you can run Office 365, you already have all those expenses.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              You're not paying shit for those expenses. Read what the poster actually said.

              You're not paying $100k on an IT guy because you don't need an IT guy to set up all your server stuff.

              You don't need to pay $100k on servers because you just pay MS for their cloud service. You don't need to pay for any cloud software because MS integrates it seamlessly into the user-side of Windows.

              I run a personal version of Office 365 after switching over from LibreOffice and let me just say that the two aren't even remotely co

              • Re:It's the cloud (Score:4, Interesting)

                by chipschap ( 1444407 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @04:56PM (#49417629)

                I run a personal version of Office 365 after switching over from LibreOffice and let me just say that the two aren't even remotely comparable. LibreOffice is at least a decade behind MS Office and I can't believe I ever thought them equal.

                I'm no fan of MS or MS Office, and I use Linux/LibreOffice myself. But I'm willing to try to be open-minded and listen to the other side, and you seem willing to present it in a logical fashion. Can you say in what way or ways LibreOffice lags MS Office so badly? I'm not talking about obscure features used by only a few people. A decade of lag implies some really fundamental problems. Can you elaborate?

                • Re:It's the cloud (Score:5, Informative)

                  by Beefpatrol ( 1080553 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @07:24PM (#49418719)
                  I was actually going to point out that probably 98% of the Office 365 (Word) users out there would be entirely fine using whatever the most recent version of Word was in 2005. I wrote plenty of stuff in Word in the early-late 90s when I was in school. Lab reports including Excel graphs, etc.. Nearly everything that annoyed me about Word and Excel in 1995 still annoys me about Word and Excel in 2015.
                • The UI looks and feels like Office 2003, that's a major point it's lagging behind in; there seems to be an unwillingness to adopt the slick UI Windows has been evolving its platform into. I remember back in 2007 when everyone was complaining that the changes were all horrible, except they weren't; people just didn't want to have to deal with something new.

                  It's not that the old classic UI is bad, it's just clunkier than the new UI.

                  Another major lagging bit is the lack of integration of admin tools. It's real

                • Calc still has hard row/column limits similar to ten year old excel.

                  Writer still has no outline view (or draft view) similar to Word 2000 or earlier - bug report / feature requests outstanding since 2002 I think, and at least second most highly voted feature across all that time.

                  Those decade lags _do_ imply real problems - in each case the underlying architecture cannot cope with the wanted features.

              • by Junta ( 36770 )

                It's nowhere near as clunky as Google Drive (Do you really want to have to trust them with your data?)

                If you don't trust Google, then why trust Microsoft? The degree of trust in the solution should be skeptical. This is of course likely to be fine by a lot of people, but we shouldn't pretend MS is a more or less trustworthy entity than any of their competitors at this junction. Ideally the protection of the data and the storage of the data are provided by two distinct entities (and the protection code audited for security and to be sure it is doing what it promises).

                Do you want Apple taking over and forcing everyone to use the same hardware and lock down everything you develop?

                Nope, but MS would gladly do that in a

                • MS doesn't profit from selling my data, they profit from licensing.

                  But I agree on your point about monopolies.

              • Re:It's the cloud (Score:4, Insightful)

                by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @05:02PM (#49417685) Journal

                I run a personal version of Office 365 after switching over from LibreOffice and let me just say that the two aren't even remotely comparable. LibreOffice is at least a decade behind MS Office and I can't believe I ever thought them equal. People here are probably going to think I'm some shill for MS but I'm not, I'm just not afraid to throw a good product under the bus without ever trying it and getting a grip.

                Shill doesn't matter......but bad arguments and lousy writing does.

                You are a person who just wrote an entire paragraph saying how great Office 365 is, and how horrible LibreOffice is, without giving a single concrete reason why. Would it have been so hard to say, "I don't like how LibreCalc handle equations" or even "the icons are ugly?" But you have nothing. That's why people accuse you of being a shill.

              • "And I know there's a lot of MS hate from IT people, and sure, I hear you, they could do a lot more to make it better for all you tech wizards that know networking like the back of your hand. It's probably that which is clouding your judgment of their system. To a non-programmer, non-tech guy who thinks CLI is some small government agency and not common language infrastructure or command line interface, MS's stuff is gosh darn fantastic."

                Your post implies that non-tech guys' opinions are the only ones

                • by Anguirel ( 58085 )

                  Knowing networking doesn't necessarily inherently cloud one's judgment, but it could be a contributing factor to having clouded judgment regarding certain products unless you intentionally account for it. Say someone asks me for a recommendation on what sort of product to get -- here, being technically knowledgeable can easily cloud my judgment unless I consider the user's end-needs as well. I know how to circumvent the flaws in a more complicated system and thus might minimize those flaws compared to flaws

                • "And I know there's a lot of MS hate from IT people, and sure, I hear you, they could do a lot more to make it better for all you tech wizards that know networking like the back of your hand. It's probably that which is clouding your judgment of their system

                  We don't like the office stack because it's a huge opaque application suite that is horrible to troubleshoot and fix when it breaks.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                That's what I really get from people on the MS hate train, just a common lack of understanding about what the non-programmer thinks and feels. I have seen so many bad UI designs and such that make perfect sense from a programming aspect, but are confusing and unintuitive for the person you designed them.

                Most open source and free software is designed by developers for developers which is why the user experience is usually terrible. LibreOffice is an exception and avoided this for the most part because it isn't a grassroots open source project, it was a proprietary competitor to MS Office which was later released as open source and maintained by the open source community.

              • You guys get it all wrong. We are way past both those szenarios already. You need neither the expensive IT guy nor some overpriced subscription cloud bullshit. You get a stack of NUC Micropcs, install Ubuntu and are done. If you can't spare the 500 euros for the student to do this you get Chromebooks which these days come at 150 a pop, new. Turn on, log in, use. The great Google is taking care of you. End of story.

              • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

                LibreOffice is at least a decade behind MS Office and I can't believe I ever thought them equal. People here are probably going to think I'm some shill for MS but I'm not, I'm just not afraid to throw a good product under the bus without ever trying it and getting a grip.

                That's because you are a shill, maybe not paid, but still a shill. After being locked into Word and its inconcrappable file formats *with itself* and having to reinstall older versions of the software to restore documents, output them in text and reformat them *yeah* there is a BIG reason to stop using MS Anything. 80% of people out there use 20% of the functionality of a Word Processor like LibreOffice or Office 365.

                Show me a list of 10 common *day to day* operations that can be achieved in 365 but not o

          • If there is value added on rolling your own, then any money spent on that IT guy is well spent. I suppose guys like the ones in Venezuela do not trust US companies anymore, so they have to roll their own.

            Not that I trust the US companies that are under NSA rule these days.

            • by jythie ( 914043 )
              Maybe, maybe not. Non-tech companies generally have pretty simple needs, often not enough to justify a full time person much less extract any value from, a you say, rolling their own.
            • Most companies just shrug the security risks away when they see what it'll cost them to do it right.
              Businesses don't want to hire more people, especially not for the perceived money-eating departments like IT infrastructure.
          • by mspohr ( 589790 )

            I get your point but Office365 is a terrible example. You'll still need the IT guy. Better example would be ChromeOS where you wouldn't need servers or software and hardware tech support could just be "grab a new cheap ChromeOS PC out of the supply closet and login".

            • by DogDude ( 805747 )
              No, Office 365 is a perfect example. That's cheap and easy.

              Chrome OS is still a complete unknown. Windows 7 isn't rocket science, can do anything you need it to do, and is solid. Windows isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
              • Windows 7 isn't rocket science, can do anything you need it to do, and is solid. Windows isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

                Windows 7 is already obsolete and being EOLed. Choosing this for a new deployment makes no sense at all.

              • Chrome OS isn't a complete unknown from the user's point of view. Imagine a laptop that runs Chrome, (the browser) in full screen mode and has as it's home page a selection of commonly used office-type web apps and and an app store that works pretty much like the Android web store. You log on to the machine with your Google/Gmail account credentials. That is not particularly unknown even to non-technical users. I don't really like Chrome OS because the hood is welded shut, but for every day usage, (brow
              • by mspohr ( 589790 )

                The real problem with Windows is that it needs a lot of maintenance to keep it running. Updates and malware removal will keep an IT guy busy forever.
                ChromeOS doesn't have these problems. It's kept up to date transparently and doesn't get the malware that cripples Windows.
                I agree that Windows isn't going anywhere anytime soon... that's the problem. It does deserve to die.

          • Let's say you own a business with 60 users in 2 locations?

            How many businesses are like that?

        • by jbolden ( 176878 )

          Can you clarify where you are getting this from. I'd put the price point much much higher (i.e. around 1000 servers and buying your own space via. fiber). I'll agree that paying by the minute for server runs about 4x the cost of by the month but there are clouds that sell more consistent usage.

      • Re:It's the cloud (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @03:22PM (#49416681)

        The problem is that with those environments, you could find a way to export your data from the locked down computer somehow... even if you turned your database tuples into a very nasty .CSV file and had some programmers import every table back into another format.

        There is no physical access to the data in the cloud, and generally few companies will back up their data stored in the cloud... of if they do, the backups are stored in the cloud. So, in theory, all it takes is a bad guy to do a purge on the provider's side... and the cloud provider's client is now out of business.

        Without physical possession, how can one actually say who is doing what with the data, and where it is located? For example, what keeps a US cloud provider from outsourcing capacity to a European provider... which outsources to a provider in a hostile country to the US.

        At least with an IBM mainframe, you knew where your data was and could back it up. With cloud computing, all your critical business data can be destroyed or corrupted and nobody would be able to tell until it is too late.

        • Let the buzzword hoppers be the pioneers who get arrows in their backs before the hard lessons of "The Cloud" are learned and publicized.

          In my opinion we need better standards of file and data representation, and stack versioning for the cloud to work effectively. Vendors would have to cooperate to pull it off, and that's often the hard part.

          For clouds to fulfill the virtualization role they claim to provide, it has to be just as easy to leave (migrate) a cloud as it does to join. Vendors typically make joi

          • by mlts ( 1038732 )

            My ideal would be to have storage and compute nodes interchangeable, and use something like vMotion to move VMs back and forth between local nodes and cloud based nodes. For example, if I have some VMs that do nothing most of the time (a VM that does quarterly/annual reports, for example), it can sit on a remote cloud provider until it needs to be used heavily... then moved to local computer/storage nodes. Once the reports are done, it gets shoved back to the cloud again.

            On the storage side, async storage

            • by Anonymous Coward

              For example, if I have some VMs that do nothing most of the time (a VM that does quarterly/annual reports, for example), it can sit on a remote cloud provider until it needs to be used heavily... then moved to local computer/storage nodes. Once the reports are done, it gets shoved back to the cloud again.

              Why? What possible benefit does that give you? Your Vm that does quarterly/annual reports is likely more-or-less completely idle except for the times it's running those reports. So really all it costs y

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      I remember seeing one OSS company working on a generic API that works with whatever one's cloud provider of choice, so it doesn't matter what is on the backend, one can spin up a VM, provision it, do what is needed, then kill it. For storage, any application can use the API, and it deals with whatever cloud storage provider one is using (S3, Azure.)

      I do worry about cloud computing as a whole for the open aspect, as well as the security aspect... just for the fact that once you lose physical access, you onl

    • I am happy to pay for software.

      In economics both the worker and customer benefits. If you need something done and you have people waiting then there is no time to wait fixing or developing a system.

      The free market provides solutions such as a more reliable virtualize and office suite over free alternatives. Namely MS office and vmware workstation over Libre office and virtualbox. Windows just works.

      My comment just made a few red in the face but it's true. I have money. I need things to work without workarou

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You realize that open source software isn't the same thing as libre software right? Oh you don't, then why don't you let the adults converse. Windows doesn't "just work" any more than linux. The fact that the field of tech support is vat and global testifies to that. Linux was, for a very long time, just not ready. Now it is. You can buy a linux laptop, from a linux laptop vendor or a BSD server from a BSD vendor and it will just work, just like Windows. Also getting a fix from a vendor? That's truly laugha

        • You realize that open source software isn't the same thing as libre software right? Oh you don't, then why don't you let the adults converse.

          Could you explain the difference? The Debian Free Software Guidelines and the Open Source Initiative's Open Source Definition are almost word for word the same.

      • Economically, a copy of software can be valuable, and it's dead easy to make another copy. Therefore, if we have a legal framework that allows people to make their own copies if they want, we have the maximum number of useful copies in the world. That maximizes the economic value of the software.

        Similarly, there is overhead to do license management, and this is an economic loss. FOSS does not require license management, and thereby is overall cheaper (all other things being equal). Nor does it requir

    • AGPLv3 solves exactly this problem.

      The question of open source is really -- do you have a secure upgrade path. If Windows goes away, and software you use depends on their software, you do not. If you use software based on a BSD/Apache2 license, and someone extends it and makes the result non-open source, and the software you use begins to require these extensions, you don't have a secure upgrade path anymore. GPL solves this problem and guarantees that you will always have an upgrade path, because derivativ

      • If you use software based on a BSD/Apache2 license, and someone extends it and makes the result non-open source, and the software you use begins to require these extensions, you don't have a secure upgrade path anymore. GPL solves this problem and guarantees that you will always have an upgrade path, because derivatives need to be open source.

        But it doesn't. In the AGPL case it can easily call out to another proprietary web service or a different process just like the way GPL software can communicate with a proprietary process which creates a non-free workflow.

    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      There is a bit of poetic justice there. Back when GPLv3 was being debated, they made sure you could not do this type of thing with embedded products but, since many of their rank and file worked in the world of web servers, they also made sure the license did not cross those boundaries.
    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      The biggest threat to free and open source software is, and always has been FUD. What this article is saying is that previous FUD did not work, so it is trying to come up with new FUD.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06, 2015 @03:01PM (#49416497)

    The struggle now is how to keep people from destroying things. FireFox is a disaster. Gnome is useless. Seems like people take over these projects and tear them to pieces.

    • by bmo ( 77928 )

      The struggle now is how to keep people from destroying things. FireFox is a disaster. Gnome is useless. Seems like people take over these projects and tear them to pieces.

      I don't think the Open Source community is entirely free of the Peter Principle and politics for all the talk of meritocracy and organic growth. Especially when we have companies that subvert those goals for their own agenda despite their original lofty goals at founding.

      --
      BMO

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Hmm, companies usually do far less damage than "focal point" people when they go wrong/evil/etc.

        We have several of these right now, I am not naming anyone because that would instantly kill any thoughtful discussion.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      The struggle now is how to keep people from destroying things. FireFox is a disaster. Gnome is useless.

      If enough people agree with that and agree why it's a disaster, then they'll fork it or back an existing fork. That's how "democracy" corrects wayward OSS projects. MariaDB appears to have done it successfully after too many got ticked off with Oracle's management of MySql.

      But the problem with the browsers is that there is not yet enough consensus on what sucks about them. Maybe it's just hard to get bro

      • (Personally I'd like to see an XML sub-language to control the browser's interface and menus, and I can copy that XML to any desktop or device to have the browser interface be MY WAY all the time. I don't want an org dictating my browser interface. An "interface builder" utility would probably have to be provided for non-coders. Rough draft of such an idea: http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?Use... [c2.com] )

        You mean something like XUL [mozilla.org]?

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )

        That's how "democracy" corrects wayward OSS projects

        It's also how it destroys OSS projects. For every 1 useful fork, there are 99 useless ones. A city with 100k people may find it nice to have an option of several hospitals, but they don't need 100 hospitals, even if they're all using volunteer workers. Instead of a few good ones you get a bunch of mostly crappy ones. And the ones with good promise can't get enough volunteers because they don't realize how find the good hospitals.

    • I don't know, I still like Firefox, and Gnome is fine (it lets me open terminals, that's all I need). Neither is perfect, but they are fine.
    • Wrong, and wrong.

      Firefox works great. A couple years ago, it definitely had some problems, it crashed all the time on me, but lately it's been working just great, much faster and much less memory usage than Chrome. If you haven't used it recently, give it another shot.

      Yes, Gnome sucks, but this has nothing to do with anyone taking over the project. The Gnome devs are the same as they've been for ages. They were on a minimalization trend when they created Gnome2; Gnome3 is just the logical progression of

    • by JanneM ( 7445 )

      Firefox works just fine. Better than Chrome for me, actually; it uses less memory and less CPU, and when I stopped allowing Flash I rarely or never see any crashes either.

    • Firefox's addons ecosystem is much better than Chrome's, though that may eventually change. Some of those Firefox addons are things I consider mandatory.
    • Anonymous Troll: "The struggle now is how to keep people from destroying things. FireFox is a disaster. Gnome is useless. Seems like people take over these projects and tear them to pieces."

      'Pale Moon is an Open Source, Firefox-based web browser [palemoon.org] available for Microsoft Windows, Android and Linux (with other operating systems in development), focusing on efficiency and ease of use. Make sure to get the most out of your browser!'
    • The struggle now is how to keep people from destroying things.

      When serious work is involved, there is no hooliganism. "Explorative development" may be a better term than "destruction", not to negate that some products seem to go astray, but to ease asking why.

      Market-driven companies have a clear answer —the more it sells, the better a product is. Alternative developments are sometimes subject to hairy evaluations, bringing about considerations on how well a product implements RFCs, its tunability and safety, its compliance with accepted models, and other issues

  • It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. All I know is gimmee mines!
    • by AdamHaun ( 43173 )

      You're quoting A Tale of Two Cities, not War and Peace.

      • The post is about a "war" between OSS camps and how even though they've buried the hatchet an even bigger threat looms. I believe I appropriately intertwined both tomes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06, 2015 @03:02PM (#49416511)

    What people don't realize is how systemd is a big battlefield. This is a program that wasn't placed into userspace as close to the kernel as possible just because it was better than init, sysv, GRUB, and the many utilities that it replaces... but was dropped into place for pure political reasons.

    This only has damaged OSS's reputation because of the incompatibilities with systemd and previous applications that worked fine starting from /etc/rc.d, but adds major security threats, since systemd is this monolithic program that has the ability to listen and take commands via the network... with no real auditing and code vetting to ensure that this doesn't result in a massive remote root issue.

    So, staying that flamewars in OSS are dead is wrong... systemd is the biggest schism in the UNIX world since AT&T and BSD parted ways... and unlike the licensing issues of the two distributions, systemd and shoving it down people's throats appears to an outside observer to be mainly about ego, not adding reliability or security.

    • by SlashdotOgre ( 739181 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @03:33PM (#49416777) Journal

      I completely agree; systemd is in my opinion one of the greatest threats to Linux in particular and open source in general. From a competitive strategy perspective, systemd appears to me as a deliberate envelopment attack [hbs.edu](pdf) to give RH substantial control over a huge portion of the Linux stack; in fact it's so strategically targeted that I wouldn't be surprised to find out years later that a Big 3 consulting firm recommended it to Red Hat. I have a lot of respect for what RH has done for Linux (and OSS in general), but if everyone switches to systemd, their level of control over the Linux ecosystem will be too much. Personally, I'm on Gentoo (have been for over a decade) and run OpenRC and eudev, but if Gentoo/Slackware fall, then I'm off to the BSD land.

    • What people don't realize is how systemd is a big battlefield. This is a program that wasn't placed into userspace as close to the kernel as possible just because it was better than init, sysv, GRUB, and the many utilities that it replaces... but was dropped into place for pure political reasons.

      Yeah, I really don't know if that's right or wrong or what. I know I don't like it either. For me, multiple features of the UNIX design ideas that has made Linux successful are being openly violated, practically with contempt. Per the wikipedia page on the UNIX philosophy: the power of a system comes more from the relationships among programs than from the programs themselves.

      Systemd directly harms the server admins like me. I don't understand the urgent need to have the init system minding other daemon

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        All the arguments against systemd are bogus. Even the things it claims to fix it does not. The strategy is a pure PR strategy one: Promise the holy grail, claim is fixes some things that are actual minor problems, and make sure to get people on-board before you actually deliver. Then make it very, very hard for them to leave again, and you never have to deliver. (They cannot deliver on most of their promises anyways, in part because it is impossible and in part because they are incompetent.)

    • There were technical reasons, as well as political reasons. It's attempting to replace half a dozen working individual tools, such as NTP daemons, logging daemons, and DHCP, with its own unified master toolkit. It's also attempting to get rid of "/etc". Leonard Pottering has stated so, publicly.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      I agree. There are zero good technological reasons for systemd, but a whole load of excellent technological reasons against it, KISS being the most obvious. Yet it get being pushed with relentless force and a high-level of propaganda-skills and many, many people fall for it.

      I predict that this will split the Linux-world into two: One where the term FOSS still has meaning and one where systemd rules (and backdoors) everything. I will happily be part of the former.

  • Wait, are we talking about new problems that are now having to stand up to open source? Or are we talking about open source having new problems with which it has to deal?
  • the argumentative logic for BSD vs GPL is what i suppose TFA is batting around, and yes its still a very real argument for many. BSD being the license many concede is for a perfect world, but GPL being the only stick with which to ostensibly beat the far-too-often occurance of a corporation with its hand too far in the cookie jar. those kinds of arguments will never change, and in many ways they help define our character and shape our resolution as projects.

    So lets tackle the argument, which is basicall
  • With the near Jonestown-like acceptance of systemd (controlled by one dominant company with lucrative NSA contracts, if not even deeper ties), the fait is pretty much accompli.

    Much like the US itself, all we can hope for is a somewhat benevolent dictatorship in everything but name.
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @03:29PM (#49416729) Homepage

    I should have closed the tab when it opened on an infoworld story.

    Services to support Free software has proven to be a viable business model. IMO, that's a huge win. But, VCs aren't going to get too many IPOs out of that and infoworld probably has some newer advertisers thanks to Free software, but nothing like a Google or Microsoft.

    The only threats on the horizon are continued support of increasingly draconian intellectual property laws. They impact everything, not just for software. Two examples: economic growth is constrained and the expansionn of basic human knowledge is restricted. It's returning to a feudal society structure. THAT, in my opinion, is the actual threat.

  • by mpol ( 719243 ) on Monday April 06, 2015 @03:32PM (#49416763) Homepage

    Seeing cororate interest in Open Source / Free Software grow bigger, I am slowly moving towards the camp of the Idealists, like RMS.

    Just looking at Linux, the kernel. It's great that it is being used in Android, and that it has a billion users there. But Android is not free in the practical sense for the enduser. They can never update their device to a newer version, because the hardwaredrivers are tied to the kernelversion. "Just buy a new device", Google and the manufacturers say. Just what GNU was all about in the beginning, "just buy a new printer".

    Similar corporate interests are happening at Red Hat, which is pulling all the sheets in their direction. Their ideal is to have every Linux distro be similar, like RH. And we are "happy" to just take their software and use it, because it is so pragmatic.

    The good thing about Free Software is, you can always fork it. But the barrier to do so is quite high, so there needs to be a lot of frustration for that to happen.
    We will see what will happen to GNOME3, Mate and Cinnamon. I wish the later 2 projects the best.

    • by DMJC ( 682799 )
      I think ultimately the answer will be Hurd, Stallman and co will keep it ideologically pure and eventually it'll get bigger as more people abandon corporate Linux.
      • I think ultimately the answer will be Hurd, Stallman and co will keep it ideologically pure and eventually it'll get bigger as more people abandon corporate Linux.

        The recent http://xkcd.com/1508/ [xkcd.com] shows human civilization ending in around 2042. There's a pause afterwards with no OSes run, and then in 2059, GNU/Hurd.

        One of the survivors, poking around in the ruins with the point of a spear, uncovers a singed photo of Richard Stallman. They stare in silence. "This," one of them finally says, "This is a man who BELIEVED in something."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    FTFA with my bodface: "The early days of open source were fraught with religious animosities we feared would tear apart the movement: free software fundamentalists haggling with open source pragmatists over how many Apache licenses would fit on the head of a pin. "

    Is this what it has come down to? Really?

    The rest of the paragraph is hyperbolic nonsense.

    Skimming over this article, I see a lot of buzz words thrown about and very little content of interest.

    Bored now.

  • But once commercial interests moved in to plunder for profit,

    What a stupid, dogmatic thing to say.

    • And completely justified. I see it every day month, at least, in the database and web utility worlds with people who heavily modify their internal forks and provide _no_ access to those changes to anyone else.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    BSD and Apache are both Free licenses. This author is not well informed.

  • .... 'what if' NFL mock drafts.
  • 'Tonight Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft, delivered the “footnote” address at the Open Source Business Conference 2008. I asked Brad to speak because I figured it was the shortest path to getting clarity from Microsoft vis-a-vis open source and the nettlesome legal issues that have plagued Microsoft’s relationship with open source' ref [cnet.com].

    "I understand that Microsoft may be using the OSI's license approval process to its own ends, and potentially ends that may be anti-open source

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."

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