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Microsoft, as you may have heard, has been under pressure in Europe to make their APIs available to its competition for interoperability purposes. Now, so far, that has meant only that they have to do so for non-Linux competitors, as they were able to achieve a carve-out that leaves Linux and all FOSS out in the cold during the appeal. For all their other competitors in the server space, they were ordered "to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers". Of course, they claim they have, and they did turn over documentation.
But Professor Neil Barrett, the Monitoring Trustee, monitoring their compliance with the EU order says, according to the EU Commission press release, the technical documentation Microsoft submitted is "totally unfit at this stage for its intended purpose":
Since the 24(1) Decision, Microsoft has revised the interoperability information that it is obliged to disclose. However, the Commission takes the preliminary view that this information is incomplete and inaccurate. This view is supported by the report of the Monitoring Trustee, which concludes that, “any programmer or programming team seeking to use the Technical Documentation for a real development exercise would be wholly and completely unable to proceed on the basis of the documentation. The Technical Documentation is therefore totally unfit at this stage for its intended purpose.” The report also states that, “the documentation appears to be fundamentally flawed in its conception, and in its level of explanation and detail... Overall, the process of using the documentation is an absolutely frustrating, time-consuming and ultimately fruitless task. The documentation needs quite drastic overhaul before it could be considered workable.”
Ask yourself this: is it because Microsoft doesn't know how to write clear documentation?
This article at XYZ Computing takes a look at Linux's strange naming practices. When compared to their Window's equivalents, the names of many Linux programs are difficult to recognize and even tougher to remember. This may seem like splitting hairs, but it is actually an important usability issue. Just think, if you had to do a bit of graphic design which would be easier to pick out of the menu, GIMP or Photoshop? Or if you wanted to play a song, Media Player or xine?
[ED: While there is a certain logic to the complaint, it fails to recognize where copyright infringement plays a role. Moreover, the extreme methods some companies have used to protect the names of their products. Furthermore, on the chat tool how much more information does one see in aim over gaim or how hard is to guess what mplayer does? - HC] [ED: It will all be moot once Linux pushes Windows aside and the new ISV have brillIant naming. Sal just a bit of patience is needed - HC]
You know what the sad thing about this whole affair has been?
If SCO has only stuck to doing Linux, they'd be a winner.
They, and not Red Hat, might have been the ones reporting great financial results. They, and not SUSE, would likely have been the company that Novell picked up to jump-start its operating system business.
Sound unlikely? I don't think so.
Linux represents a computer technology designed from the bottom up rather than a copy cat. As long as people compare it to Windows, they cannot grasp its power and uniqueness. Simply put, Linux isn't Windows.
This brave lady - Patricia Santangelo - a single mom with five children is fighting the Recording Industry Association of America by herself. She's accused of downloading songs like ncubus'"Nowhere Fast," Godsmack's "Whatever" and Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life," and others. But she barely knows how to retrieve email.
Jon Newton, founder of an Internet site critical of the record companies, said by e-mail that with all the settlements, "The impression created is all these people have been successfully prosecuted for some as-yet undefined 'crime'. And yet not one of them has so far appeared in a court or before a judge. ... She's doing it alone. She's a courageous woman to be taking on the multibillion-dollar music industry."
Yesterday saw IBM cease the sale of the OS/2 Operating system. Come the 31st of December, standard support for the OS will end also. However, a significant number of companies and people continue to use it, and they are finding ways for OS/2 to live on. OS/2
Back in April of this year, OS/2 website OS2 World started a petition. It's aim was to get IBM to release OS/2 as an open source piece of software, so that existing users could continue to use and develop it, should they wish. In November, after nearly twelve thousand signatures had been collected, the petition was sent to IBM's CEO, Sam Palmisano. As of yet there has been no response from IBM.
The firmware is maintained by BrainSlayer (mailto:email@example.com) and is hosted at dd-wrt.com (http://www.dd-wrt.com/). The first versions of DD-WRT were based on the Alchemy Firmware (http://www.wrt54g.com/) from Sveasoft Inc (http://www.sveasoft.com/), which is in turn based on the original GPL'd Linksys Firmware and a number of other open source projects. DD-WRT exists as a direct result of Sveasoft's demand for $20 in order to be able to download their firmware.
The newer version(s) of DD-WRT- v23 (currently in beta development)- are a complete new project. DD-WRT offers many advanced features not found in the original Linksys firmware, or even firmware purchased from Sveasoft. It is also free of the product activation or tracking found in the Sveasoft firmware.
Open Letter to the movers & shakers in Massachusetts (Governor Romney, Secretary Galvin, Senator Hart, et al)
This news story appeared on LXer yesterday, however, the staid, balanced presentation style of the NYT is no match for Groklaw (as found on lwn.net) it is indeed a story and view worth repeating.
Red Hat, a provider of open source to the enterprise, announced that Messe München International (Munich International Trade Fair - MMI), a leading trade fair company, has deployed Red Hat Global File System (GFS) as its cluster file system for its web services. Red Hat GFS runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and will enable MMI to realize high-performance and scalability for the future, which were the main deciding factors for the trade fair company.
The foregoing is not to make light of real problems some users are encountering using even this new, improved version of Firefox, hence, I have a few suggestions at the end on how to search for some solutions and to report problems so that that may receive the attention they deserve.