FLOSS WEEKLY INTERVIEWS ROY SCHESTOWITZ

I thought I’d give my views about the interview Jono Bacon ran with Roy Schestowitz of Boycott Novell. http://live.twit.tv/

I make no secret of the fact that I enjoy Roy’s work.  Just like every other opinion on the Net there are places where we don’t agree, but then thats healthy and only natural.  What the opponents of Roy don’t mention is that contrary to the rubbish that is spread around the net about him, he is an interesting and friendly blogger/journalist/poster who, if you actually visit the BN channel will find welcoming and engaging.

I think Jono handled the interview well.  Its would be hard for all the issues which Boycott Novell covers to be catered for in the hour or so slot that was dedicated to it.

A few points struck me when looking at the comments in the accompanying IRC chat.   Firstly, there were those who take great delight in making sarcastic remarks to the questions and answers given in the interview.  I noticed that none of these handles were known names within any FOSS community I have seen.  Does that suggest a conspiracy?  Of course not, but if I have an honest held belief in something I am more than happy to link my handle and ergo my blog to it.  I did not see any of that in the IRC chat, instead I saw 7 or 8 handles trying to cheapen everything Roy said.  This was hardly conclusive proof of the allegation that many people disagree with Roy’s work when in the channel at that time there were over 420 users. 8/420+ people disagree with Roy?

Moving on to some of the points raised, what was not mentioned was that many of Roy’s outspoken opponents ARE VERY CRITICAL OF FOSS/LINUX.  Check out COLA for example and see for yourself.  The opponents of Roy refer to FOSS users as “freetards” and take every opportunity to cheapen FOSS/Linux.  Ive covered some of these handles before and the users DFS, Hadron and Moshe Goldfarb spring to mind from the COLA forums.  It should be noted that some of these handles also “farm” the Ubuntu forums and post issues which users have with Ubuntu as “proof” that Linux is not a viable alternative to Windows. Either Jono is blissfully unaware of this or did not have time to cover that issue.

Recently there was an article by Mr Wong who claimed a certain forum represented the FOSS community.  I pointed out to him that in fact this forum was actually very anti-Linux in general and cited examples.  Mr Wong retracted that statement. You can read that article here: https://openbytes.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/a-case-of-not-so-curious-opinion/

Jono asked the question about what was wrong with Microsoft being involved in Open Source, which I would like to answer.  Putting aside the issue that FOSS and Microsoft’s agenda are completely different, I think you have to look more at why there are any Linux users at all.  If we agree that people consider and move to Linux because of issues with Windows and Microsoft products then you have to consider what these issues are.  For me it was disillusionment with Vista and the realization that the tasks I needed my PC to perform could be better catered for without MS products.  If Microsoft were producing such great products then would I have moved at all?  No. If Microsoft was producing such great products would anyone use alternatives? I think not.   If we can agree that people do move from MS products and that Vista had issues for many users, I don’t think its unreasonable to say that Microsoft has had its chance to be the one-stop-shop as the definitive provider of software solutions and the resulting Vista (and the issues of Windows as a whole) are a damn good reason why I don’t want them involved in FOSS.

I could cite other technologies where (IMO) Microsoft has dropped the ball.  The Zune and its new year surprise, the 360 and its rings of death, WinMob…the list goes on.   Even without the patent issue, Novell, Mono et al, I believe that shows that Microsoft have more than a few issues with their technical solutions…and we want the same companies code entrenched in the Linux Kernel? – I’ll let you decide.

Roy didn’t get the opportunity to mention any of the underhanded tactics used on the Net.  A few years ago I would have probably called Roy paranoid until I experienced them myself.  I have received a torrent of abuse and lies aimed at me merely because I dared to post about my good experiences in regards to alternatives to Microsoft (and its the reason I started this blog)

This blog has exposed people with agenda’s other than honest held belief whose opinion was motivated by gifts or who resorted to underhanded tactics to promote proprietary firms.  I am not paranoid (I hope) I am a family man with a house, wife and kids.  I have a full time job and I spend rather too much time trying my own flavour of DIY around the house usually with disastrous consequences.

I say to everyone who has never been to Roy’s site (or the chat room) please visit.  The experience is wholly different to the one some will try and convince you of.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

27 Comments Add yours

  1. openbytes says:

    I would also like to add in respect of the question of “Whats wrong with Microsoft contributing to FOSS” that we have to remember that the same companies CEO referred to Linux as a cancer and also recently pretended to smash an Iphone belonging to a collegue. That hardly suggests (IMO) that Microsoft really does want to get involved in FOSS or celebrates its competition…food for thought.

  2. Richard says:

    “If Microsoft was producing such great products would anyone use alternatives? I think not.”

    Contrast with:

    “If Tesco was selling the best products at the best price, would anyone shop elsewhere? I think not.”

    Yet I don’t see anyone declaring that there’s no need for Tesco to exist, or that there is some huge flaw with Tesco that they need to address so that all other stores will close down.

    If you are a handyman, you might shop at a hardware store instead of Tesco; if you want a secure-from-the-ground-up OS, you might choose OpenBSD instead of Windows. If you are the majority of people, you probably shop at Tesco, and use Windows, and are quite content with both.

    “…and the resulting Vista (and the issues of Windows as a whole) are a damn good reason why I don’t want them involved in FOSS.”

    I don’t see how this makes any sense. You don’t like Vista, so they can’t contribute hypervisor code to the kernel? You don’t like Windows issues, so they shouldn’t make a PHP accelerator for IIS?

    “I could cite other technologies where (IMO) Microsoft has dropped the ball. The Zune and its new year surprise, the 360 and its rings of death, WinMob…the list goes on”

    Really? I could cite technologies where (IMO) $ORG has dropped the ball; replace $ORG with IBM, Sun, Oracle, Mozilla, Canonical, Novell, Apache Foundation, Sony, Google, or pretty much any other famous company. Big deal, everyone makes mistakes …

    “…I believe that shows that Microsoft have more than a few issues with their technical solutions…and we want the same companies code entrenched in the Linux Kernel? – I’ll let you decide.”

    Fear about such code being “entrenched”? Check. Uncertainty about the stability/viability of the solution? Check. Doubt about the company’s technical ability? Check. Ahh, FUD …

  3. openbytes says:

    I would say it was a very clever response….if it actually was.

    Your theory on Tesco is as flawed as it is distorted when comparing a supermarket. What you dont mention (if we are talking supermarkets) is that all the major players offer the same products and really the difference in supermarkets is price and possibly a difference between their own branded goods.

    A completely irrelivant comparison and even more so if you seek in anyway to compare it to a software solution.

    Lets look closer at what you said:

    If Tesco was selling the best products at the best price, would anyone shop elsewhere? I think not.

    and if the mainstream products that Tesco offers differ in anyway to sainsburys or similar, let me know. Supermarkets engage in price wars (if you didn’t know) Of course in the Windows/Linux/Foss world its wholly different and if you are saying that the software “war” can be won off price alone then Linux/Foss has already won has it not?

    Quote “You don’t like Vista, so they can’t contribute hypervisor code to the kernel?”

    No please read what I say, its due to the experiences with Vista (and the list of issues with other products that I merely touched on) which make me form my decision that Microsoft code should be nowhere near Linux and if it is, its us doing MS the favor by letting it be included in the FOSS world. I did think I made that clear the first time.

    Quote “Really? I could cite technologies where (IMO) $ORG has dropped the ball; ”

    Im sure you could, however when making a decision and balancing the facts (with real world personal experiences) I chose Linux/Foss solutions…whats your point? I see this argument over and over when people are trying to justify MS….”xyz is ok because xxx has done xxxx in the past”….try typing “Microsoft blames” into google…its quite an eye opener.

    Quote “Fear about such code being “entrenched”?”

    Please tell me where I say I’m in fear. Personally I exercise my right to remove MS code and its influences from my FOSS experience, thats my choice. Others may differ as I say “I’ll let you decide”

    Do I have doubt about Microsoft’s technical ability? Yes. I’ve briefly given a small number of reasons (I could write a whole article) Do others? Try Googling it and finding out for yourself what others think. As I say “I’ll let you decide”.

    In my opinion your response really doesn’t say anything or counter me at all and the purpose of my article was more to state my opinions on Roy’s interview and not delve into MS and its suitability for being welcomed. (youre a little late for this discussion since I wrote an article on it a few days ago)

    So lets get this straight, putting aside all the technical issues I have with Microsoft, on the basis of what Steve Ballmer has said about Linux and his behaviour when allegedly one of his employee’s had a Iphone…adding the flying chairs at Redmond, you are saying “Microsoft loves the FOSS” come on. This is not 1995. Everyone is talking on the Net, you can’t cover this up.

    Also maybe you would return and tell me how my PERSONAL VIEW which I justify is considered FUD….hang on, its obvious, if you are not praising Microsoft there must be something wrong..its always FUD unless it praises Microsoft..is that not right?

    Oh and please let me know why people use FOSS alternatives if Microsoft have no issues and everyone loves their products. Id love to hear that one.

    1. Richard says:

      Goblin,

      Try this comparison: “If Toyota was producing such great products would anyone use alternatives? I think not”. Or this one: “If Google was producing such great products would anyone use alternatives? I think not”. I’ve got a million of ’em.

      The point of the comparison is not to say that Microsoft is like a supermarket; it is to say that ANY reasoning that goes “If X was producing the best Y, nobody would use alternatives” is quite obviously false for any market sector that you’d care to name.

      “its due to the experiences with Vista (and the list of issues with other products that I merely touched on) which make me form my decision that Microsoft code should be nowhere near Linux”

      So … how does this differ from “I don’t like their technology X, so their technology Y (made by a totally different set of people in the same organisation) must suck”?

      “you are saying “Microsoft loves the FOSS””

      … nope, I didn’t say that.

      “tell me how my PERSONAL VIEW which I justify is considered FUD”

      From Wikipedia: “FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs”. When you post about an actual technical issue around a particular code-donation, let me know. Anything else is just fear-mongering.

      “let me know why people use FOSS alternatives if Microsoft have no issues and everyone loves their products.”

      You seem to misunderstand me. I don’t claim that their software has no issues: all software, whether from Microsoft or anyone else, has some issues. I don’t claim that everyone loves their products: that’s not necessary in order to use their products with the minimal level of fuss to get the job done quickly and productively.

      People use “FOSS alternatives” because they provide features or support workflows that particular users prefer. Unless they’re ideologues, of course: such people use “FOSS alternatives” just because they’re “FOSS alternatives”. It’s really as simple as that.

      1. openbytes says:

        Quote “Try this comparison: “If Toyota was producing such great products would anyone use alternatives? I think not”. Or this one: “If Google was producing such great products would anyone use alternatives? I think not”. I’ve got a million of ‘em.”

        I am sure you have all equally as silly. If we want to take simple branding then why not use baked beans? The reason why my point does not and can not relate to any of the examples you describe is that software is not only wholly different in the case of Windows the market penetration is already there with both business and home for a long time using mainly Microsoft products. If most people are using Microsoft products and everyones happy, why on earth would anyone switch. Happy customers getting the functionality they desire would not only be silly to switch for switching sake but would also incur the inconvenience of the switch.

        If you want to use vehicles as a comparison then you would have been better served to use a car/motorcycle example.

        Quote “If X was producing the best Y, nobody would use alternatives” is quite obviously false for any market sector that you’d care to name.”

        as I say, rubbish, the market penetration was already there and if that product was providing functionality that was required then please tell me who would change for change sake.

        Quote “… nope, I didn’t say that.”

        So what are you saying? Are you agreeing with me? Either Microsofts intentions to work with FOSS are honerable and they do have FOSS’s best interests at heart (like they imply in their PR) or they dont…or do you have another idea?

        Quote ““FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs”

        Really? Then comment on MS’s trading slides for retail that have already been stated as being genuine.

        Are you saying that the information I provide is both negative and wrong? Please quote me. If you can’t then what you are talking about is the silencing of facts that may be harmful economically to a company. That sounds like censorship to me.

        Quote “You seem to misunderstand me. I don’t claim that their software has no issues: all software, whether from Microsoft or anyone else, has some issues. I don’t claim that everyone loves their products: that’s not necessary in order to use their products with the minimal level of fuss to get the job done quickly and productively.”

        I would agree completely with that statement and thats why I use mainly FOSS solutions. If you had cared to read my opinions instead of simply dancing around them you would see that I don’t class the “freeness” of FOSS as a reason for using them, its merely an added bonus.

        Quote “Unless they’re ideologues, of course: such people use “FOSS alternatives” just because they’re “FOSS alternatives”. It’s really as simple as that.”

        and Im sure that Windows has its collection of similar users (and Mac) Without distracting from the real reason of this article I will say this, tell me where Microsoft offers something that cannot be achieved with FOSS (thats relevant to the average user) and more importantly something better. If you can’t then that would suggest FOSS is able to provide just as good functionality and the “freeness” of FOSS would come into play as giving it the advantage.

        You havent addressed many of my responses to you in the previous and instead tried to create a side issue to distract away from them (IMO).

      2. Richard says:

        Goblin,

        Well, this is interesting. I hadn’t met anyone who believed that “If X was producing the best Y, nobody would use alternatives”, until now. What’s even more interesting is that you believe that Windows is a completely different special case to any other that exists in any other market sector in the entire world. I’m not sure whether this is because you lack an understanding of economics, or because you’ve been blinded by ideology. I don’t care to give you an understanding of economics or struggle to get past your self-imposed blinkers; so, here’s a suggestion: go to any university or financial institution, find an economist, and tell him “I believe that if Microsoft was producing the best software, nobody in the world would use non-Microsoft software” and let him explain to you how wrong you are on many, many levels.

        “Either Microsofts intentions to work with FOSS are honerable and they do have FOSS’s best interests at heart (like they imply in their PR) or they dont…or do you have another idea?”

        Yes, I do. Microsoft views FOSS (both the model and the software) as useful for some things, and not useful for other things. Where they believe it is appropriate, they will work with FOSS projects; where they don’t, they won’t. They certainly don’t have a single “intention” towards ALL FOSS projects, much as they don’t have a single “intention” towards ALL proprietary software; that would be stupid.

        “Are you saying that the information I provide is both negative and wrong?”

        I’m saying that the opinion you provide is negative and designed to undermine the credibility of people’s beliefs. For example, “its due to the experiences with Vista (and the list of issues with other products that I merely touched on) which make me form my decision that Microsoft code should be nowhere near Linux”.

        “You havent addressed many of my responses to you in the previous and instead tried to create a side issue to distract away from them (IMO).”

        This is because I consider those responses to be irrelevant, tangential, addressed by other points, or non-productive.

        EDIT: RICHARD, IN ORDER TO SEE MY RESPONSE THIS YOU WILL HAVE TO LOOK BELOW. – Goblin.

  4. Joe says:

    I was really disappointed with the FLOSS Weekly interview. I can only describe it as a thinly veiled, hour long attack on Roy and the Boycott Novell site by Jono Bacon. Thank heavens that Leo Laporte was able to chip in occasionally and provide some (modest) balance.

    Every single question was phrased negatively – “Don’t you think that the Boycott Novell site is damaging to the free software movement?” or similar. I’m completely confused as to why the interviewer, who clearly has a wealth of personal FLOSS experience to draw from and strong credentials in FLOSS, seemed to spend the entire time attempting to slander and mis-represent Roy and Boycott Novell. I have a lot of respect for the way in which Roy was able to remain calm and collected.

    By the end of the interview, it was obviously becoming clear even to the hosts how totally one-sided and unbalanced the podcast had been. Telling Roy he then had a free few minutes, unplanned, to try and counteract the entire bile-filed and biased past hour was hardly going to rectify things!

    Sadly, we spent far too much time trying to blame Roy for (of all things) people spamming links to his site, and far too little getting to the heart of what the Novell/MS deal means for GNU/Linux and why the community should care.

  5. openbytes says:

    I think Jono may have been put in a difficult position. Because of his role in the FOSS community I certainly don’t think he would want to adopt the role of being contraversial.

    I agree with you and that a set of generic questions such as:

    What would you say to the detractors of your site?

    instead of making the claim that many people were critical (in a general way) making it unreasonable for Roy to make a direct response.

    Quote “Telling Roy he then had a free few minutes, unplanned, to try and counteract the entire bile-filed and biased past hour was hardly going to rectify things!”

    Agree, that was a little cheap but then I get the impression Jono was at a little of a loss of how to tackle the interview. BN is not simply like say an interview with the creators of Wine and with BN having so many opinions and subjects under its umbrella it would have been difficult to be able to generalize for the sake of time.

    Quote “trying to blame Roy for (of all things) people spamming links to his site, and far too little getting to the heart of what the Novell/MS deal means for GNU/Linux and why the community should care.”

    Very true and really its a moot point since there would be no way to stop anyone linking to Roy and spamming other sites trying to blame him.

    I think the message was missed although I don’t think Roy looked bad because of it.

  6. openbytes says:

    Ive received emails asking to explain what I meant by “Jono handling the interview well.”

    Its funny that whilst the crux of the interview hinged on apparently Roy being unpopular in the FOSS world, the many communications Ive received asking to explain my comment all support Roy. So much for the opinion of some that Roy is unpopular.

    When I said Jono handled it well I meant in respect of his own personal opinions and his job as interviewer. It was obvious Jono had completely different views to Roy and its obvious that Jono would want to get some of his points across to Roy in a public forum. (IMO)

    I think Jono could have gone down the completely anti Roy route, whilst he gave little scope for Roy to make a comprehensive answer on anything, I think what he also did was to generalize his points and so weaken his own stance. Whether that was intentional or not it made the interview balanced and whilst Roy did not get his opportunity his put his views on the important subjects across properly, nor did Jono really tackle anything specifically.

    If I was to say the interview was poor it would be on the basis of its factual content (no fault of Roy) but as a piece of entertainment where (IMO) the interviewer was desperately trying to hide his own opinions in the spirit of impartiality then it succeeded.

    Roy seems to be of the opinion that the interview was a flawed, I would disagree, from the lack of attacks and the amount of support/interest I’ve seen I think people were well aware Roy was “fighting a loosing battle” being on that show. Intentionally or not I think Jono has provided an insight into Roy’s personality that some would deny existed, an insight that Roy is polite, patient and above all else only human.

    Roy didn’t have a statement to elaborate on at the end because I don’t believe he expected to be put in that situation, usual interviews are Q,A,Q,A and then side topics from some of those Q&A’s. To simply give him a chance to put his point across at the end was a hollow gesture since where would Roy begin? How many different topics are tackled on the BN site?

    Did Roy look bad? Definately not. Did Jono “pull a fast one”? I’d say no. I just have the opinion that whilst it was an interesting interview, it was a wasted opportunity for Jono to produce a compelling piece which would have had the forums talking for months.

    I hope it doesn’t harm the possibility of Roy participating in another interview as that would be a loss.

  7. openbytes says:

    IN THE INTERESTS OF PREVENTING THE THREAD BECOMING UNREADABLE, THIS IS THE RESPONSE TO RICHARD AND THE THREAD WILL CONTINUE ON HERE IF HE RETURNS.

    Quote “Well, this is interesting. I hadn’t met anyone who believed that “If X was producing the best Y, nobody would use alternatives”, until now. What’s even more interesting is that you believe that Windows is a completely different special case to any other that exists in any other market sector in the entire world.”

    Well now you have. Let me introduce you to the Ipod/Zune case. Or what about Google/Bing? Stand by for another shock. You say Windows is a special case, its not, its merely a platform and that platform has many issues which are not present in a Linux distro. People are migrating to different apps from MS because they are better (else why would FF gain the market share) or are you really saying IE is superior. LOL.

    After you have recovered from your enlightening about better products stand by for another shock.

    Quote “I’m not sure whether this is because you lack an understanding of economics, or because you’ve been blinded by ideology”

    Do not suggest that I am idealistic about FOSS. I also promote the proprietary model in the area’s where I believe it is still very relevant.

    The average computer user has an interest in economics? and chooses their software based off that? Really?

    Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to appologize, there was me thinking people used packages as a result of personal experience/recommendations of others, word of mouth and interest as a result of advertising…Now its all to do economics and nothing to do with decent code.
    Oh dear. Sorry everyone.😉

    A few years ago when the internet did not exist for the average user you may have had a point product awareness and PR would have been more of a result of massive marketing campaigns and PR. Now its different and this is shown when people like yourself comment here.

    “I believe that if Microsoft was producing the best software, nobody in the world would use non-Microsoft software”

    Of course it would be the case. Flash/Silverlight? Why did people embrace the WII when really after the popularity of PS2 it should have been PS3? Why did Sega drop the ball after the megadrive? These are simple of examples of people NOT economics choosing the best products. Look at the Atari Jaguar.

    Quote “Yes, I do. Microsoft views FOSS (both the model and the software) as useful for some things, and not useful for other things. Where they believe it is appropriate, they will work with FOSS projects; where they don’t, they won’t. They certainly don’t have a single “intention” towards ALL FOSS projects, much as they don’t have a single “intention” towards ALL proprietary software; that would be stupid.”

    LOL. Absolute rubbish. When you have a CEO of a company who behaves the way its been reported then, the first thing they should do is remove Ballmer. Are you expecting anyone to believe Ballmer embraces FOSS? He can’t even stage an event without targetting one of his employee’s who had an Iphone (as per allegations)I believe ANY software house would look at a FOSS solution as a revenue looser. The proprietary business model is an ethos which they need to keep their end-users convinced of otherwise they loose everything.

    Microsoft’s behaviour in respect of competition/alternatives is quite clear. Recent examples of training FUD slides for retail are just another example (and sadly not surprising to me)

    Richard seems to suggest I don’t give my comments on Vista. Richard seems not to like negative comments on MS….Richard, if what I am saying is only negative and NOT INCORRECT why on earth do you feel the need to suggest I shouldn’t say it?

    Quote “I’m saying that the opinion you provide is negative and designed to undermine the credibility of people’s beliefs.”

    So its not wrong its merely uncomfortable. Sorry about that. Note to every blogger, please don’t post uncomfortable views about Microsoft. They may not be wrong but they get in the way of a good sale.

    Back in the real world and away from the alternate universe Richard seems to co-exist in. I would suggest readers take a long look at Richards response where we can see emulation of the tactics that have been described here in the past.

    Dismiss, imply the poster is a fanatic, counter with a related but irrelevant point to the topic..and if all else fails dismiss with a generalization.

    What am I suggesting about Richard? Nothing at all. He’s been here before and he’s always welcome.

    Oh and Richard please refrain from comments such as ” designed to undermine the credibility of people’s beliefs.” and then give a half baked opinion. Why am I not entitled to make my opinions known? I make it very clear they are my opinion and I even encourage people to research themselves.

    Maybe Richard is saying I am wrong about Vista, maybe Richard thinks Vista is great. Ill let my readers decide.

    Goblin.

    1. Richard says:

      “The average computer user has an interest in economics? and chooses their software based off that? Really?”

      No, not at all. Economics, much like psychology, is something that affects you whether you know about it or not, and whether you base your decision on being rational (in the economic sense) or not. It may be considered here to be descriptive, not prescriptive. All of the factors you mention are merely variables in the greater scheme of things, and can be represented accurately as opportunity costs, switching costs, and so forth. For your own benefit, you might want to sit down and talk to an economist; or, at least, ask one to read over this weblog entry and give you his opinion. You might be surprised.

      “Are you expecting anyone to believe Ballmer embraces FOSS?”

      Whether he does or not is irrelevant, and whether you believe it or not is irrelevant. Codeplex.com has plenty of open-source projects; jQuery support will be offered in VS2010; ASP.Net MVC and IronPython are both open-source projects; Microsoft has worked with Samba devs and PHP devs and Mono devs to achieve interoperability and better performance on its platform; and so on and so forth. And on the other hand, Microsoft sued TomTom, and disparages Linux as a platform. Your model cannot accept Microsoft’s open-source contributions without resorting to conspiracy theories; mine can. Perhaps you’ve heard of Occam’s Razor?

      “I believe ANY software house would look at a FOSS solution as a revenue looser.”

      You must be living in the early 90s. I suggest that you emerge from that decade and look at Sun, Google, Microsoft, and IBM, all of which have open-sourced important software and make money off it by providing products, services and tools around the open-source component.

      “if what I am saying is only negative and NOT INCORRECT why on earth do you feel the need to suggest I shouldn’t say it?”

      It’s negative and fallacious. If Group A at organization X create terrible software, you cannot assume that Group B at organization X will also create terrible software. This is known as an association fallacy.

      “Richard please refrain from comments such as ” designed to undermine the credibility of people’s beliefs.””

      … if you’ve been paying attention, you would have realized that these are not my words: they are taken verbatim from the Wikipedia definition of FUD. I notice that you don’t dispute that this is your intent.

      “Why am I not entitled to make my opinions known?”

      Go ahead, make them known. Just understand that certain bits are FUD — not necessarily intentionally, by Hanlon’s Razor — but FUD nonetheless.

  8. openbytes says:

    A rational decision based on an economic sense is exactly why Ive been trying to tell you your comments miss the point. FOSS doesnt cost anything for the average user. If a software choice is made based of an economic decision alone then MS would not get a look in. It can’t compete with free (although its really trying with an AD filled Office starter)

    Quote “For your own benefit, you might want to sit down and talk to an economist; or, at least, ask one to read over this weblog entry and give you his opinion. You might be surprised.”

    Why? I base my software decisions of real world experience, what enlightenment to my software experience could a economist give me? Please let me know I am genuinely interested.

    For the record I repeat, I am not disputing the proprietary model as having a relevance in todays IT world, I am merely pointing out that it no longer is the only viable solution to a users software needs.

    Quote “Codeplex.com has plenty of open-source projects”

    Maybe you haven’t come here before, otherwise you would have seen the article on that and also the feeling about it by many people.

    Quote “You must be living in the early 90s. I suggest that you emerge from that decade and look at Sun, Google, Microsoft, and IBM, all of which have open-sourced important software and make money off it by providing products, services and tools around the open-source component.”

    LOL. Good try. I never suggested to the contrary, what I did suggest though is that Microsoft survives on a model that is completely at odds with FOSS. How on earth would MS create a revenue stream large enough to support itself. As I say before, its really trying with its AD based Office, but as it will find out IMO thats not enough and users will switch off.

    Quote “if you’ve been paying attention, you would have realized that these are not my words: they are taken verbatim from the Wikipedia definition of FUD. I notice that you don’t dispute that this is your intent.”

    Richard, it is not my first port of call to check to see if a poster here has plagiarized his/her text from somewhere else. The fact that you posted it suggests its your opinion. If you feel the need to express yourself using the text of others I have no problem with that.

    I did dispute it, I said it was my opinion and challenged your implication of me not being able to express it. Ive said before the intention of this site is to counter FUD (and thats on any platform) since you can’t dispute any of my posts then I can only assume you consider them as uncomfortable truth ergo FUD.

    Let me know when its against the law to post honest held belief and facts on the net.

    Quote ” Just understand that certain bits are FUD”

    Thanks for that. I’ll let others decide.

    Goblin

    1. Richard says:

      “FOSS doesnt cost anything for the average user. If a software choice is made based of an economic decision alone then MS would not get a look in.”

      Mistakes like this are precisely why you need to speak to an economist. The “cost” of something is never purely financial, and no economist would ever tell you that it is.

      “it is not my first port of call to check to see if a poster here has plagiarized his/her text from somewhere else”

      It’s a bit disconcerting to be called a plagiarist when I’d posted this text, crediting Wikipedia, in my second reply to you. Perhaps your short-term memory failed you.

      “Microsoft survives on a model that is completely at odds with FOSS”

      The examples of active engagement with open-source projects that I provided in my previous reply are counterexamples to this statement.

      “I said it was my opinion”

      Do you believe that claiming something is your personal opinion automagically turns FUD into non-FUD?

  9. openbytes says:

    Quote “Mistakes like this are precisely why you need to speak to an economist. The “cost” of something is never purely financial, and no economist would ever tell you that it is.

    Really? LOL. What other costs? Staff training (both time and money) yes we have heard that claim before. Its been debunked. Cost to the software industry as people move to a FOSS model? I skimmed over your “cost” as it was so vague and failed to specify. You still havent. Maybe if you ever elaborate on the generalization you made we can have a proper discussion on it.

    Quote “It’s a bit disconcerting to be called a plagiarist when I’d posted this text, crediting Wikipedia, in my second reply to you. Perhaps your short-term memory failed you.”

    It didn’t but its certainly failed you. Please go back and read what I typed. What I think you will find is I used:

    “if a poster here has plagiarized his/her text from somewhere else”

    Notice the use of the word “IF”?? Just to help you understand, here is another part of what I said:

    “If you feel the need to express yourself using the text of others I have no problem with that.”

    Again, I use the word “IF”. Very handy, you can use it to put a point not state a fact. I am more than happy for you to express yourself in any way you want.

    Quote “The examples of active engagement with open-source projects that I provided in my previous reply are counterexamples to this statement.”

    Don’t be so silly. Are you seriously suggesting Microsoft can survive on a FOSS model alone. Are you seriously suggesting that ANY proprietary software house that finds FOSS alternatives to its own products would not want to see FOSS eradicated. You are the first one to talk economics and think thats a no brainer. Are you suggesting that MS welcomes the free OpenOffice in the spirit of competition to MSoffice. I am sure MS shareholders would have a thing or two to say about that.

    Maybe (as Ive suggested before) Microsofts opinion on FOSS is “We like it as long as it benefits Microsoft”

    Quote “Do you believe that claiming something is your personal opinion automagically turns FUD into non-FUD?”

    If you are asking me, yes. Personal opinion, not corporate PR is vital IMO for a more enlightened view of the IT world. As long as that personal opinion is based on honest held belief and not either a paid or other dubious agenda then yes. Thats my opinion and maybe why month on month my blog increases its reader base.

    I have no financial interest in anything within the IT world. I have never/will never receive any gifts or enticements for my opinion (check a previous article where I have refused and printed an offer of a gift)
    My posting integrity is the most important thing to my online profile, if I find someone else with the same ethos, regardless of their opinion I respect it.

    Honest held belief can be uncomfortable for some, especially when it doesn’t conform to what the company in question would like to be put out.

    1. Richard says:

      “What other costs?”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_cost

      Books have been written about the concept of opportunity cost; get one (or get any entry-level economics textbook, which will definitely devote a chunk of text to it).

      “Are you seriously suggesting Microsoft can survive on a FOSS model alone.”

      No, I’m saying that your statement (“Microsoft survives on a model that is COMPLETELY AT ODDS WITH FOSS”, emphasis mine) is false.

      “Are you seriously suggesting that ANY proprietary software house that finds FOSS alternatives to its own products would not want to see FOSS eradicated.”

      Yes. Does it blow your mind that Google has its own chat clients and infrastructure, and sponsors Summer-of-Code projects for Pidgin?

      “As long as that personal opinion is based on honest held belief and not either a paid or other dubious agenda then yes.”

      So, exactly the same words by a company spokesperson — say, an Apple or RedHat spokesperson — should be interpreted as FUD, but when you say it, it’s somehow not a fallacious appeal to fear (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_fear) because nobody is *paying* you? If I were to say “Linux code is probably crufty and bug-ridden”, that would be OK because I’m not being *paid* to say it?

      Heh, OK. Whatever you want to believe. I’d suggest that you take a course in philosophical rhetoric, but you look to be more in need of economics education first.

  10. openbytes says:

    Quote “Books have been written about the concept of opportunity cost; get one (or get any entry-level economics textbook, which will definitely devote a chunk of text to it).”

    Im sure, but then if you have a point about economics and its validity to this debate why not bring it up yourself? are you expecting me to go away, read a book then debate it with you? Make your point on the relevance, we will discuss it.

    Quote “Yes. Does it blow your mind that Google has its own chat clients and infrastructure, and sponsors Summer-of-Code projects for Pidgin?”

    So Microsoft main cash cows of Windows and Office rely on a FOSS model do they? Come on. In respect of Google, no but then thats hardly the topic you mentioned before.

    Quote “So, exactly the same words by a company spokesperson — say, an Apple or RedHat spokesperson — should be interpreted as FUD, but when you say it, it’s somehow not a fallacious appeal to fear (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_fear) because nobody is *paying* you? If I were to say “Linux code is probably crufty and bug-ridden”, that would be OK because I’m not being *paid* to say it?”

    Firstly there is a big difference between paid opinion and opinion that you are being paid to give.
    Paid opinion is material which you post because of financial reward. Paying for an opinion is where you put your beliefs forward and get paid for them.

    Its silly to suggest that people who work for a company can have a unbiased view on competitors. If Steve Ballmer suddenly started working for Apple do you seriously think he would still be critical of them and promote MS tech?

    Not everything that is said by official sources is FUD and thats not what I said, what I challenged was your implication that negative comments from a source (mine) could be interpretted as FUD. I made reference to the personal blogger in general too, the one who receives no gifts.

    Quote “If I were to say “Linux code is probably crufty and bug-ridden”, that would be OK because I’m not being *paid* to say it?”

    I would say yes of course its fine. Of course if you wanted that opinion to be taken seriously I would expect reasons, supporting evidence and maybe personal experience, but thats fine.

    Quote “Heh, OK. Whatever you want to believe”
    I don’t believe anything at face value and thats one belief that I encourage every reader to have.

    Quote “but you look to be more in need of economics education first”

    Thanks. I personally don’t see how it will make me realize that Windows is better for me than Linux or change my view on anything. Its very easy for you to say a book on economics but you can’t expect people to believe that MS makes anywhere near the sorts of revenue it requires on the back of a FOSS model. Google is different, it built its business in the world of search and its lifeline is very different that of Microsoft IMO.

    Please, if you want to try and suggest I know little of economics that is relevant to this debate and think it needs to be said, why not make your point instead of suggesting that I read a book.

    Great blog scenario here:

    Q: Why is assembly language code faster than a scripted high level language?

    A: Read a book.

    I take it then you are not a supporter of debate (or at the very least if you expect people to read a book everytime then you get yourself involved in a limited number)

    Interesting angle of debate…certainly different.

    Goblin.

    1. Richard says:

      “if you have a point about economics and its validity to this debate why not bring it up yourself? are you expecting me to go away, read a book then debate it with you?”

      Let’s review. You don’t believe that the statement “If X was producing the best Y, nobody would use alternatives” is false. I have the discipline of economics to back me up, and you have … your own opinion. You refuse to educate yourself, or ask anyone knowledgeable about economics about the matter, and instead want me to go over a semester’s worth of economic theory on your behalf.

      No thanks. Instead, I expect you to get off your buttocks and visit a library, instead of sitting there and waiting for knowledge to magically fall into your lap. Failing this, please stop acting as if you know what you’re talking about until you actually know what you’re talking about.

      “So Microsoft main cash cows of Windows and Office rely on a FOSS model do they? Come on. In respect of Google, no but then thats hardly the topic you mentioned before.”

      Some review is, once more, in order. You said: “Are you seriously suggesting that ANY proprietary software house that finds FOSS alternatives to its own products would not want to see FOSS eradicated”. I said yes, and provided an example. And, somehow, you understood that to mean that Windows and Office follow a FOSS model? Astounding.

      YOU made the ridiculous statement. I refuted it. Suddenly, it’s “hardly the topic *I* mentioned before”?

      “your implication that negative comments from a source (mine) could be interpretted as FUD”

      This is precisely why you need to do some philosophy. Fallacious reasoning (such as an appeal to fear, or an association fallacy) is fallacious reasoning, and is incorrect no matter which source says it. Your reasoning is fallacious. It contains an appeal to fear, which is a superset of FUD. The fallacy doesn’t suddenly go away because you say it instead of some corporate drone.

      “you are not a supporter of debate”

      I am a supporter of informed debate. Uninformed debate is a waste of time.

      1. openbytes says:

        Of course Richard. You have tried to twist and deviate the original topic at hand and then make another claim:

        “I have the discipline of economics to back me up, and you have … your own opinion.”

        You don’t know what I have, nor do I you. You won’t be specific on whatever “economic” point you want to make you simply imply its something I don’t know and something I should read about.

        Ok Richard😉

        Quote “YOU made the ridiculous statement. I refuted it. Suddenly, it’s “hardly the topic *I* mentioned before”?”

        Now you’ve shown you are merely here to try and confuse. It was you who said:

        “Yes, I do. Microsoft views FOSS (both the model and the software) as useful for some things, and not useful for other things.”

        to which I replied that this may be the case but MS had an opinion of “if it suits MS” about FOSS. You then went onto compare google….ok Richard I think you’ve got your point over.

        Quote “This is precisely why you need to do some philosophy. Fallacious reasoning (such as an appeal to fear, or an association fallacy) is fallacious reasoning, and is incorrect no matter which source says it. Your reasoning is fallacious. It contains an appeal to fear, which is a superset of FUD”

        Oh thats good. So I need to read two books do I? Can I just confirm, since your word power is increasing over the space of a few posts, is this your text or is it a cut and paste from a source you have not mentioned.

        Quote “I am a supporter of informed debate. Uninformed debate is a waste of time.”

        LOL. Oh the irony.

        Please, (third time asking) what point is it you are trying to make and what relevance does your alleged “discipline of economics” have to this debate?

        Richard you are a hoot, you are not a nymshifting Captain Cool from the Linsux forum are you?

        Andrew thinks you may be lefty however from what Ive seen of his work this is no where near good enough.

        Please, one last time be specific on what you are trying to say. Yes I do what this economic revelation of yours to fall in my lap, I have neither the time nor the interest to read a book on every subjected that is implied had relevance to the topic at hand.

        Since we are talking about software, what coding experience do you have (since you claim an economic one) I’d say thats more relevant.

        I don’t believe you will ever be specific and Ive re-read this entire thread incase I missed something. I didn’t. So maybe you can answer this, an easier question, what on earth does your fictional point (and credentials) have to do with the original article on Roy Schestowitz’s appearance on FLOSS….

        All the best,

        Goblin

    2. Andrew says:

      Richard equ – Echoes of “Lefty”.

      1. openbytes says:

        Hi Andrew.

        I get very tired of the time wasting responses which deviate off the topic at hand. Because I won’t delete or censor it does mean that I have to respond.

        Richard is not as bad as some

      2. Lefty says:

        I beg your pardon…?

  11. Joe says:

    Whether FOSS products should be accepting contributions from Microsoft, and whether there exists a business model for Microsoft that can include FOSS, I think one thing’s for sure – Microsoft still doesn’t ‘get’ FOSS.

    Microsoft has a long history of undermining cross-platform development and free and open standards wherever it sees it’s Operating System or Office monopoly threatened. Clearly, open source, Linux (and to a lesser extent, OpenOffice) threaten that monopoly. In the past, Microsoft has opted to deal with such competing software products or models by ruthlessly and illegally abusing their monopoly, or subverting and undermining through illegal means [sadly, this isn’t hyperbole, it’s fact – these strategies are on record]. Should we have any reason to believe that this philosophy has changed, given that the senior management (with Ballmer setting the tone) hasn’t?

    Taking steps to ruin the cross-platform software movement, or to scupper open standards is really despicable. It’s shows corporate greed of the worst kind – it works to actively enslave consumers against their best interests and perpetuate an illegal monopoly. Is this the kind of philosophy that we want to bring into the FOSS world? It’s true that commercial organisations (Google, Sun, IBM) are all out for themselves (that’s capitalism, right?), but there are ethical and legal limits that should keep even the most ambitious organisation in check. Microsoft has never respected those limits when it comes to the competition, so forgive me if I view efforts like CodePlex with scepticism. I find it funny how quickly people forget.

    Here’s my expectation for how CodePlex will pan out:

    1. Microsoft will attract open source developers with the promise that FOSS is now being embraced by MS and that it’s a key part of their new strategy.

    2. Microsoft will use CodePlex to ride the pro open source zeitgeist, whilst at the same time introducing faux FOSS (pseudo-proprietary) licenses to muddy the FOSS waters.

    3. Microsoft will use it’s Windows/Office monopoly to push the .Net world to choose CodePlex as their route to open source, building a large body of so called “Open Source” development in which the goals of FOSS software and open standards are undermined by semi-proprietary agreements and patent-controlled code.

    Someone else described Microsoft’s strategy here as divide and conquer, and I completely agree. CopePlex is the Trojan Horse of open source services. Today, Microsoft is vocally advocating, enforcing and filing, software patents. This is incompatible with free software and it’s incompatible with open source. This isn’t part of a magical new ‘healthy, varied, inclusive, open, mixed business model’ that fuses the free and the proprietary in perfect harmony – it’s a thinly veiled attempt to stall, fragment and bastardise FOSS, giving the momentum back to MS to protect the Windows, Office and .Net IP.

    That’s my 2c anyway🙂

    1. openbytes says:

      Completely agree Joe. As I tried to explain to Richard I don’t want MS code near my kernel. I had decided to not simply quote the main reasons and go down the route of others.

      Richard cannot seem to fathom this and also does not seem to fathom why Microsoft/FOSS would be at odds with each other.

      Codeplex has been covered here before and despite being another example (IMO) of MS re-inventing the wheel, is, IMO too little too late.

      You’re comments about Google et al are correct and Richard seems to be under an illusion that I believe we should all live in some happy and fluffy FOSS world. Of course thats wrong and Ive repeatedly said that I not only agree with but support a proprietary model when its relevant.

      I use OpenOffice to show where that proprietary model (in respect of the end user) is getting less relevant and I think Microsoft are very worried about OO since Office is IMO a big cash cow for them. MS in my opinion are trying to give it away free with an Ad based system but lets face it, if MS GPL’d Office and were able to create a revenue stream from doing that, would it even come close to recouping the monies required to keep Microsoft going? I think not.

      Thanks for your reply and it was nice to have someone summing up that which had been fudged into irrelevance by Richards post.

  12. donkey says:

    “I find it funny how quickly people forget.”

    Indeed. Anyone remember the Microsoft enticement of UNIX developers to the NT platform back in the 90’s ?? Promises of toolsets to allow said developers to easily recompile their code back to Unix so they could then just manage a single code base.

    Then they waited for the migration and never released the toolset – essentially leaving all those developers high and dry on NT only.

    I believe that’s partly the reason we have so many MS-only vendors/software developers right now – they don’t want to be burnt again but have, apparently, forgotten how they got where they are now…

  13. openbytes says:

    Thanks for everyone’s participation and links. I will be following up with comments this evening, however Im pushed for time this morning and need to get to work.

    Kind regards
    Goblin.

  14. Hitos says:

    I don’t see the point of this FLOSS Weekly. If Jono Bacon sees Boycott Novell as so fundamentally detrimental to Open Source, why Roy was brought to the show in the first place.

    It was visible that Roy is “passionate”, like RMS or maybe even more. If he is so wrong, why to pay so much attention on him? And why to care that someone will use Boycott Novell as a reason Open Source is wrong? If those people want to bash Open Source enough to use sources of low credibility(as it was implied BN is), they will bash it anyway.

    Well, he is entitled to an opinion, we agreeing with it or not.

    To say he is responsible for the trolling just because some trolls hang around BN community was insulting. I am surprised Roy, being the extremist people say he is, was able to keep calm. There are bad people in every community. Unless Jono has a better reason believing it’s Roy’s responsability(let’s say, he incited them to do the trolling), he should not have accused Roy.

    Let’s say he actually is responsible for all those trolls. In this case isn’t there anyone better to interview than him? Stop feeding the trolls, that’s not why I listen to the show.

    I am very disappointed with Jono Bacon.

    P.S.: I didn’t know much about Boycott Linux before the show and I feel I still don’t.

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