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>> This is just as ridiculous as saying that computers lock your documents into binary digits and make things difficult for people to switch to file cabinats. Honestly, if people decide that an alternative is more suitable for their goals than their current solutions, they WILL switch no manner what you say about it or what price tag you have put on it. Consumers' reluctance to switch to your alternative means one thing and one thing only - that they have generally decided that this alternative is by no means more VIABLE to what they are using

Of course switching is difficult and costly if the alternative to preserving your complex document is to rewrite it again in another application because copy/paste doesn't preserve everything because the file formats have not been deciphered totally (bugs, extended features, and all).

When a person considers making a new purchase, they have to consider the total costs. If they like some solution but interacting easily with their existing documents would involve rewriting many documents, then the path of least resistance might be paying $1000 for the various upgrades (and further hidden lock-in).

[Understandably, some of the lock-in is at the mental effort level of being accustomed to a particular way of doing something. This is one reason monopolists want to patent and use copyrights on GUIs, workflows, etc, to eliminate substitutive competition.]

Sometimes people even upgrade out of ignorance, a lack of awareness of the migration tools available or of the competing products and their more open life cycle.

If everything was based on quality, would vendors put so many resources into advertising, for example? Do you think Microsoft misrepresents open source for fun (or for profits)? Consumers don't magically acquire knowledge.

Why don't you ask Microsoft to open source all their code and see what they say? Oh, wait, Ballmer already stated that his business model (you know, the monopolies) are incompatible with free and with open sourcing.

Listen to Ballmer if you won't listen to listen to what I and many others are saying about lock-in and about business 101 (supply/demand). [After you finish with supply/demand, look at implications/applications, such as tie-in/bundling. This is how you create demand for your products where none might exist. You piggy-back off the product that does have demand, and this helps you drive less diversified competitors out of the market so that you can raise prices afterward and even buy their superior products out on the cheap.]

Since we all can't be monopolists and since monopolies are a strong threat in the world of closed source software, the market learns that standards and various other pro-consumer rules ultimately helps them out even if the immediate impact is less leverage in negotiating against consumers.

>> and you can bet with your head that no amount of pseudo-religious rhetorics will convince them otherwise.

Learn business before you try to give me lessons about "my religion" as a consumer and as an engineer of avoiding lock-in from vendors and about the benefits of a more efficient development model.

There are plenty of ways of making money on open source. You just can't be that greedy, and it will help much once Microsoft and other monopolists get cut down in size. Most service providers will simply gain options with Linux from the things they can do currently to create Windows related products.

There are plenty of ways of saving money on open source. Duh!

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J-ose, you are making your points as though you are speaking to people who are blindly stumbling along with Windows because they are too ill informed to use FOSS. In the context of this thread which is about so-called Linux hate sites you are missing the point entirely.

These sites are not there because people prefer Windows / OS X / whatever, they are there because people are sick and tired of the damage that FOSS zealotry is doing to FOSS, for the most part the people who post on these sites are Linux / FOSS users who want to see FOSS advance and who realise that before it ever does advance the FOSS community has to wake up, drink the coffee and start addressing the faults in FOSS rather than burying their heads in the sand and shouting WorksForMe.

Nothing which you are saying is necessarily wrong, but the vast majority of it is irrelevant to most users. Having the source code and being able to fork / change things that you don't like rather than accepting what you get with Windows is great if you are a software developer, if you are an end user then having a system that works reliably, doesn't break with updates and does the things you need it to do simply and without complicated workarounds to get basic functionality is more important than any amount of software freedom.

FOSS advocates are still making the same arguments which have been failing to convince people for years, and just like an Englishman abroad who can't understand why all of these bloody foreigners don't understand him they just shout louder and louder.

The answer for the Englishman abroad is to learn to speak the language of the people he is trying to talk to, the answer for FOSS advocate is the same, stop talking about software freedom, customisability, boot time and fancy splash screens, and start talking about hardware compatibility, a stable ABI / API, reliability and usability. When FOSS advocates can talk about these things and FOSS can realistically compare favourably with proprietary software in these areas then FOSS will become the serious player that it so obviously has the capability to be.

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>> you are making your points as though you are speaking to people who are blindly stumbling along with Windows because they are too ill informed to use FOSS.

I did address this type of individual and did so based on the replies I saw (eg, highly critical of anything FOSS).

I also addressed support that I saw for software patents and attacks on those that don't seek/have them.

I also addressed specific points that painted open source as hardly useful to a developer writing tomorrow's software when contrasted with closed source binaries.

>> start talking about hardware compatibility, a stable ABI / API, reliability and usability

There is only so much that can be done about hardware compat. Linux supports many older things not supported by new iterations of Windows or not supported as well. The main weaknesses are with the newest of hardware. That problem addresses itself as FOSS gains market share. Another issue is the hardware companies that (understandably) may not give Linux drivers equal (or any) effort as compared to Windows drivers. Fortunately, many new products can work using older drivers (perhaps modified a bit and oftentimes not supporting the newest of features right away or sometimes even for a while). Like anything else, some companies do a better job supporting Linux than others (some doing an excellent job).

The varying kernel driver API/ABI is not an outright problem for everyone. Linux, unlike Windows, has people that help migrate drivers if there are changes that impact it, but the key is that you keep your driver in mainline and not abandon it there either. Except for the smallest of companies, it's not a big deal maintain a resident Linux OS expert to work on the Linux end and deal with the usually very small amount of variability over time. The more market share Linux gets, the more attention it will get from vendors. That's a market reality. Obviously today there will exist hardware vendors that don't even know how to write a basic Linux driver. There has been a genuine effort that I imagine you have heard about by many kernel developers to help vendors (I think led by Greg K-H). A very dated article dispeling myths is here http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/man-vs-myth-greg-kroah-hartman-and-kernel-driver-project . Linux has seen great gains in hardware driver support over the past few years.

If you have one or more specific pieces of hardware that you think are not supported, you can visit the site here http://www.linuxdriverproject.org/foswiki/bin/view .

There are some kernel driver areas that have more rapidly changing interfaces than others and where what you mention is a bigger issue. On the other hand, there is value in not settling down prematurely. There are also many drivers that can be created at the user level where the APIs are much more stable and long-lasting.

There are cases of Microsoft negotiating hardware extensions and similar efforts where the vendor is pressured not to support Linux with anywhere near the same level of support, forcing the community to try hacks and reverse engineering efforts.

As for reliability and usability, that is a mixed bad relative to the distro you are using and the Windows you are comparing it to, and it depends what you are measuring (and even when).

You can't write off the value of open source (eg, to have the software audited by the public and avoid strong lock-in and arbitrary restrictions) nor the $0, as you appear to be doing. Fact is many people are attracted to these things.

>> and start addressing the faults in FOSS rather than burying their heads in the sand and shouting WorksForMe

You will have to be specific. Everyone does not have the same needs. WorksForMe means if it doesn't work for you, you have to do something about it (including seeking out an alternative if you don't want to consider coding or paying someone).

In particular, every single proprietary vendor has a long list of bugs and problems that customers complain about and which take forever to get resolved. There are many cases of Linux getting resolution to issues faster than happens with proprietary vendors.

However, do not forget that a desktop OS usable by many people (in particular, with the very young or older crowd who have built up limited habits with Windows) is something many would say Linux has had for much less than a full decade. Whereas, many people recognize Windows 95 to have been quite usable, as far as computing goes (if limited by today's standards and many protocols and features), and that product would today be a solid decade and a half old.

Let's also not forget the vast quantities of money flowing towards Windows. This is another example of a transient effect that is positively reinforced by market share gains. That Linux has continued to make headway owes to various superior qualities of it, in particular, to its open source nature; however, there is still a lot of resistance by proprietary groups.

Microsoft is a known repeat abuser of their monopoly positions. There constant efforts and successes to thwart competitors is something that keeps vendors wary of taking too large a risk on any competitor.

So the gist of my reply has been that you are painting Linux worse off than it is in these various areas you mentioned, you are underplaying the value freedom/source code has for many end users and of course developers, and you are not recognizing some of the obstacles any competitor faces to the (not always law-abiding) incumbents.

That said, I don't know of a developer or user that finds the status of software today to be near a pinacle. There is always much to be done, regardless of the platform. I can certainly be critical of Linux, but I speak out (perhaps a bit passionately) when certain important items are not recognized, eg, Microsoft abuse, drawbacks to closed source, and failure to recognize there are areas where any particular desktop Linux distro excels in some ways in usability, stability, or using some other metric, if perhaps not all-around.

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People can defend something and contribute at the same time (or be critical and contribute). I can understand a statement that says, "Linux could be so much more" but not one that puts Linux down squarely in contrast to Windows or Mac (which obviously could each be so much more as well).

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@J-ose

There are more pointless, paranoid, wildly speculated blahs in your comment than one can endure.

"Patents are too broad, specially for software where the greater work is in building not in general ideas. Even if we very wrongly assume patents aren't too broad, you can't use the "work around excuse" all the time. How do you work around the round wheel, for example. How do you work around mathematically optimal truths?"

Patents are supposed to be broad! Big deal! People have still managed to work around them in all industries. Honestly, do you happen to have nothing better to do than suckering up propaganda from SFLC and regurgitating it on the Internet? The patent system itself has been around for far longer than Windows, OSX, Linux, Amiga, VMS, ITS and both you and me have ever existed. Has Steve Jobs been unable to cash in from all the so-called "iCrap" because of the double-click patent? Or did Charles Goodyear die a rich man because of his patent on rubber vulcanization? As an enterpreneur, complaining about someone beating you to the punch means nothing except that you are a defeatist with a serious lack of ability to generate competitive advantage and re-evaluate your strategies in the face of environmental threats in the industry.

By the way, you cannot patent a mathematical algorithm - only the use of it in an industrialized process (think "double-click" patent). If your ability to innovate amounts only to that of GNU, then nothing on earth can really save you - not even an army of ex- MIT employees with a panchant for toe fungus.

"You totally did not understand my comment (likely because of how I wrote it)."

No, you just don't understand the key ideas behind strategic management. For Pete's sake - the diamond industry is filled with history of human-rights violations and anti-competitive practices that your petty "software freedom" dramas/tentrums can only dream of comparing themselves to. Have you ever heard Rio Tinto or BHP Billiton cease producing diamonds of any sort or run out of business because De Beers happens to own the richest diamond mine in the world? In fact, I doubt that you can even live for a month without just one of the things they produce and watching as the entire globe descends into a nuclear holocaust. So, what the moral of all this? Understand what people actually expect from your product, focus on the advantage you have and formulate your business strategies accordingly. Boy, you can't use an algorithm in your program because someone else has already got a patent on it? Cry me a river, really.

"You will have to be specific. Everyone does not have the same needs. WorksForMe means if it doesn't work for you, you have to do something about it (including seeking out an alternative if you don't want to consider coding or paying someone)."

I still can't believe anyone can actually say this with a straight face and still complain about patents. But, well, such is the hypocrisy of FOSS.

"In particular, every single proprietary vendor has a long list of bugs and problems that customers complain about and which take forever to get resolved. There are many cases of Linux getting resolution to issues faster than happens with proprietary vendors."

Wow, really? I need to get this on a t-shirt because, you know, everyone needs a good laugh every now and then.

"Let's also not forget the vast quantities of money flowing towards Windows. This is another example of a transient effect that is positively reinforced by market share gains."

"Transient effect"? Well, that sounds almost making sense, except it isn't. If you argument were valid, then Apple would not be asking for $2000 for a computer complete with no Windows OS. Again, proper strategies play a huge role in this regard, I tell you.

"Microsoft is a known repeat abuser of their monopoly positions. There constant efforts and successes to thwart competitors is something that keeps vendors wary of taking too large a risk on any competitor. This means that most businessmen and engineers will lose leverage they would otherwise have based on their skills, work ethic, creativity, etc."

Translation: "Wahhhh....."

Again, if your strategies involve relying on your competitors' mercy somewhere along the line, then - trust me - no amount of anti-competitive laws will be able to save you from your inevitable bankruptcy. Seriously, is "free software" a conspiracy to turn business minds in the IT industry into stale, unimaginative mush?

"Of course switching is difficult and costly if the alternative to preserving your complex document is to rewrite it again in another application because copy/paste doesn't preserve everything because the file formats have not been deciphered totally (bugs, extended features, and all).

When a person considers making a new purchase, they have to consider the total costs. If they like some solution but interacting easily with their existing documents would involve rewriting many documents, then the path of least resistance might be paying $1000 for the various upgrades (and further hidden lock-in)."

1) If copying and pasting somehow do not preserve your complex documet, then I think you should really consider what your "complex document" actually involves.

2) If people somehow don't want to go through the complex procedure of migrating to your alternative despite the obvious concept of "total cost of ownership", then I think you should really take a step back and figure out what you actually has got to offer to your potential customers. Blaming your customers for being supposedly "stupid" will simply not help you get people to pay for your products. If you can't even acknowledge the fact that you, as a supplier, is supposed to meet your customers' expectations, then business is obviously not your thing.

"Why don't you ask Microsoft to open source all their code and see what they say? Oh, wait, Ballmer already stated that his business model (you know, the monopolies) are incompatible with free and with open sourcing."

So what? I don't want to waste my sweet time maintaining the source, and I doubt the majority of the IT market wants that either. You are talking about ideals that almost nobody wants to give two flying rats about, and you honestly want other people to take you seriously?

"So the gist of my reply has been that you are painting Linux worse off than it is in these various areas you mentioned, you are underplaying the value freedom/source code has for many end users and of course developers, and you are not recognizing some of the obstacles any competitor faces to the (not always law-abiding) incumbents."

Translation: "Wahhhh....." Again.

The reality, on the other hand, goes that no sane person really wants to give two squats about lawyers unless they absolutely have to. Even if Microsoft is generous enough to send out a check to Dell and HP monthly and DoJ is indifferent enough turns a blind eye to it, is there really absolutely going to be nothing left for the "small guys"? Again, this is just your way of confusing the power of substitutes with the bargainig power of the buyers. Why not tell Abbie from Bumfluff, Wisconsin about it? Maybe you can open a market there by piping bitstreams through antiquated tools from the 70s. Who knows!

Edited by JoeMonco: markups

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@J-ose:

That was a hell of a lot of words about nothing very much. Here's my summary of my own position:

Windows on the desktop works for me. In fact, the machine tends to die before the OS dies. It seems to work, to a similar degree, for 99% of desktop users. But I don't really care about them. It works for me.

Linux on the desktop is a hideous mess and does not work for me. It seems to have gone backwards over the last five years or so. I'm glad it apparently works for 1% of the desktop market, but then again, I don't really care about them, either.

I do not wish to have access to Microsoft source code. I have no idea what I'd do with it. (Well, I did look at some Winsock-related stuff, but I didn't get very far.) Further, I don't need to have access to Microsoft source code.

I do not wish to have access to Linux source code. I have no idea what I'd do with it. (Well, actually, I've spent weeks and weeks trying to patch this and patch that and figure out what crappy #ifdefs and random library choices would actually make something compile. I didn't get very far.) Unfortunately, I need to have access to Linux source code. This is not a major selling point to me.

Some of the older and more respected Linux packages (like, say, emacs), include a shitload of code that's only there because nobody has actually bothered to clean things up. Am I supposed to do that? Why? What are all these obscure shared object libraries doing, when you probably only use 10% of the features? Why should I have to trawl through the other 90%?

Now. Extrapolate from somebody like me (or you, or JoeMonco), who is capable of doing this and will, in extremis, knuckle down and study the goddamn code.

Extrapolate to the 99% of the population who, to put it bluntly, do not know how to code in C. (I'm ignoring the 99% of programmers who think they know how, but don't.)

What's in it for them?

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Dr Loser, explain to me all those places where you say you need access to source code in Linux. Certainly, if people had access to source code for Widnows, more could be done with Windows.

The source is used by Linux distro packagers to build a wide variety of Linux setups. Perhaps you need to change which distro you use. They do the tricky work for you.

Microsoft wishes they had a packaging community to do for Windows what is done for Linux. These people build a lot of variety and include all the stuff a small number of clicks away, including keeping the software updated. Linux users don't have to spend their time hunting stuff online and taking repeated risks downloading things.

In fact, large users and vendors of embedded devices continue to prefer Linux over Windows because of the low cost and other benefits that come with open source.

Basically you ignore what I say. That's fine, but your comment doesn't become worth anything extra for it.

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There exist a breed of people who get kicks out of exploiting powerful monopolies because monopolies are the quickest way to huge riches (for the very few that benefit at a cost to everyone else).

The worse the monopoly is for most people, the more excited these people get.

And it is shameful our government would support this latest round of shameful broad monopolies (software, business methods, etc, patents).

>> There are more pointless, paranoid, wildly speculated blahs in your comment than one can endure.

Well, you've convinced me.

And to express my sincerest regret, I'd like to place my possesions into your care.

Speculating on my part was short-sighted and perhaps more than your delicate ears had any right to bear.

>> Patents are supposed to be broad! Big deal!

When applied to information (literature, software, business techniques, etc), the meant-to-be-broad patents, if exploited, are exceptionally stifling, taxing, and, as a bonus (and unlike copyright), quite biased in favor of the wealthy.

>> People have still managed to work around them in all industries.

In general, you can't always find a way to work around patents except to wait out the 20 year period.

Even when you find a work-around, this essentially signifies a taxing waste of resources that could have been put to better use (to keep costs down and to build out products quicker), especially in light of the fact most vendors don't rely on studying (or even properly identifying) the broad patents that describe their products. So the product you develop happened to have been described by some Joe Schmoe in broad terms inside a patent at some point in time. You lose, and Joe Schmoe (if antisocial and ambitious enough) wins.

And this is particularly troublesome when the "product" is something ordinary folks create on their computer, rather than some high-investment manufactured good.

"Soft" patents are particularly troublesome because all ideas can be implemented in software (though not necessarily with a good implementation -- that's the hard part, implementing things, not describing the implementation from 10,000 feet up).

Software is not beholden to the restraints of mother nature.

This is why patents (broad monopolies) were not traditionally allowed to be used on nonphysical things.

But give it to large corporations and their supporters to find ways to twist their poison into law somehow.

The recent Red Hat case showed how dishonest patent trolls are willing to shake everyone down for hundreds of millions or more despite the patents having used existing prior art. Thankfully, the jury saw through the patent troll's hocus pocus and Red Hat won (but at quite a cost).

The patents copied prior art that existed in many forms by the time the patent was taken out, and it took luck, 3 years, and I think 3 million dollars for justice to be had. That money and time could have been spent to create more open source and help it reach more customers. [Red Hat contributes their source to the public and adds to existing public code.]

All inventions happen within a social context, with the ideas to the invention appearing repeatedly within the society at that point in time.

And sometimes, the patent author just copies products that were not only already thought out in people's minds and designed, but even manufactured and sold in stores.

But worse, the aggressive patent attacks win against ordinary folks and businesses despite their ultimate illegitimacy because few people or businesses can afford to defend themselves and prove the illegitimacy.

The standard for granting a patent is: nonobvious to an average practitioner.

This is ludicrous, and explains how it is that the greediest low life segment of society are managing to patent so frequently with such broad coverage. These people contribute nothing but to their bank account after they dedicate their lives to living in court suing everyone for things others created without the help of their "nonobvious" patent.

"Insulting" is my nice way of saying that this practice should be stopped for the better of the large majority of people and businesses.

And this negative effect, which used to be limited to cases where you had to eventually or even initially invest large capital to play the game, is magnified for these so-called "processes" like fiction, business methods, and software, where most people are otherwise able to play the game and expect to be allowed to exercise their natural rights to do so.

>> Honestly, do you happen to have nothing better to do than suckering up propaganda from SFLC

You are showing you don't have much of a reply.

Do consider reading the FFII and FSF Bilski briefs if you haven't..

Wait! You are in the business of exploiting others maximally. Why read a well-reasoned position paper that favors the majority of people?

>> The patent system itself has been around for far longer than ..

That's right. It has, and business methods, fiction, software, and related things were not included in the menu presented to inventors.

I think all patents do more harm than good and than smart alternatives, but for some topics (software, literature, etc) it's particularly stifling.

BTW, fights among giants doesn't bother me too much. It does mean small venture companies and others are kept out of the game when the Apples, trolls, and other participants raise the bar very high because of patent cross-licensing, but that hurts society less and less directly than when many individuals are directly hand-cuffed or fined.

>> Has Steve Jobs been unable to cash in from all the so-called

Steve jobs wants to be the only one that provides for his baby chickens; however, patents won't win him that completely because other large companies also have many patents.

Steve is a monopolist at heart. He obviously knows how to and is willing to exploit others a lot if he thinks that will make me significantly wealthier.

There is a simple way to fix the worst problems that occur from any kind of patent abuse. It's nice and simple and more along the lines of the intentions behind patents.

*Prevent patents from being used against "the little guy".*

Jobs should not mind (snicker). Heck, he got to where he was because software patents were not used back when his company was small. But like Bill Gates, hypocrisy runs rampant among monopolists and others aspiring to lock up markets.

The software patent craze is a result of large companies wanting to protect their central status and vast profit margins against open source freebies the population would otherwise have.

Also, it's so easy and particularly profitable to the very wealthy to take out loads of broad software patents, since whatever their employees think about can be made into a patent because physical laws aren't a barrier to what you can create with fiction or with software.

>> Or did Charles Goodyear die a rich man

You are advocating monopolies, of course.

A very few people die rich because of them.

How many rich monopolists do you know and what fraction of people does this include?

Monopolists love monopolies. The more powerful the monopoly, the better for them. Robbing society is not a problem for them.

That's why I call it stifling and taxing, rather than "humanity-ending". We will survive.

Righting these monopoly wrongs is about
(a) more and better jobs. This is always nice when you are out of work or when you want to negotiate a better salary.
(b) lower costs up and down all industries affected by software. Who isn't affected greatly by software?
(c) greater individual liberties. Like being able to create things with other people and use what your friends give you without being labelled a "thief" just because someone with money, time to kill, and a dislike for others broadly described to the USPTO the thing you are using or created.

These things monopolists know they have to neuter in order to create cash pipelines into their bank accounts.

So when we end the stifling and taxing soft patent monopolies, it will not be possible for a small number of people to be that much wealthier and so easily. Simply thinking of doing most people justice does makes me teary for the few poor monopolists that will not be pampered. I'm conflicted. Boo Hoo.

>> As an enterpreneur, complaining about someone beating you to the punch means nothing except that you are a defeatist with a serious lack of ability to generate competitive advantage and re-evaluate your strategies in the face of environmental threats in the industry.

Or, it could mean I actually care about the quality of life for the majority of people (myself included) and care about sane rules of competition that allow people to do good things to benefit from them,

.. rather than to have to stifle; tie others up, individually and collaboratively; spend lots of time in court and harrassing others, and raise costs for everyone significantly.. all to make my personal fortune.

Doing masses of other people dirty would make many feel ill and empty, but even if I didn't care, monopoly profits, by definition, will only come to a very few. The rest will waste time and money and not make it through the entire court process and hurdles thrown at them from super-wealthy competitors.

I'll continue looking at your comment in a new comment.

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>> By the way, you cannot patent a mathematical algorithm - only the use of it in an industrialized process (think "double-click" patent).

Tha't commical.

I cannot patent an idea.. just you using that idea to solve your problem!

Ha. That was a joke.

BTW, "industrial processes" is a term applied to heavy machinery and the like, not to someone turning on their computer so that others can shop t-shirts form their home-based e-store business.

You are a funny, funny man, Joe.

>> If your ability to innovate amounts only to that of GNU, then nothing on earth can really save you

Another cheap shot at open source. I might as well make some use of it: http://pclinuxos.com/ or even http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/upgrade.html

Joe, stop exploiting open source and then trying to close the well for others. It makes you look.. monopolistic and corporatized.

>> accordingly. Boy, you can't use an algorithm in your program because someone else has already got a patent on it? Cry me a river, really.

I'm going to guess that you are a troll. I know I'm probably wrong, but *most* people would not say something like this if they were in the business of producing software. [Apple is one of the exceptions given their especially large size allowing them to gain from this broken system.]

>> I still can't believe anyone can actually say this with a straight face and still complain about patents. But, well, such is the hypocrisy of FOSS.

Perhaps you can't believe this because your belief system is a bit broken.

No, see, I'll quickly explain why asking someone to shop elsewhere if this particular store does not carry what they are after is very different from trying to outlaw what other stores can carry.

Oh, I guess I just explained it.

>> everyone needs a good laugh every now and then.

I'm enjoying this as well.

But seriously, open source allows anyone to solve anyone else's problem. This is the "magic" behind the reality that open source has allowed many customers to get problems solved quicker.

Some people might not know that the Internet runs thanks to open source. Open source has been there since the beginning, open blueprints, guiding the way for all who came afterward.

Firefox is open source and IE and other closed source browsers leveraged open source in a multitude of ways.

The Internet has allowed many people to make money and solve their problems faster.

And that's just the start. Even Jobs decided that to be able to compete with Linux and with Windows, he needed to "take shortcuts" and use a significant amount of quality open source (which, being Jobs, meant he modified and locked up key modifications so others couldn't leverage his company's work the way he leveraged others' work). And I'm not even talking about studying open source. I'm talking about outright reusing millions of lines of code's worth. Code that was crafted over many years by many volunteers, academic institutions, small businesses, etc, leveraging other open source along the way. We all gain by participating in open source.

Naturally, monopolists are threatened by this superior development model that produces such quality for so low of a cost to consumers and to the competition.

The US Department of Defense is a fan of open source, as well, and mocks Windows reliability for "industrial" work (like the US carrier that stalled for days). [Apple doesn't have much server market share.]

Windows was cheap and easy relative to high quality software.. except that now Linux is much cheaper and for many, even easier.

A bunch of stock exchanges run on open source, as well, and recently one of the few major players that wasn't on board, dumped Microsoft software for open source Red Hat.

We already know 90% of the top supercomputers run Linux while a measly 1% run Windows (not sure if any run Apple software). Where would Windows and Microsoft be if Microsoft could not leverage their monopolies to stay in business?

We know a very large number of online websites run significant amounts of open source (including lots of parts of Google, Yahoo, and even some of Microsoft: through proxies of course).

>> Again, proper strategies play a huge role in this regard, I tell you.

An example is why Jobs is so high on software patent monopolies.

Most folks can't exploit patent monopolies effectively (assuming they had to money and desire to try) so as to compete with the giants that have armies of lawyers on staff and herds of employees writing out the broad "nonobvious" patent descriptions the USPTO turns into long broad monopolies usable to stop open source and smaller companies.

>> Translation: "Wahhhh....."

I talk about exploiters of monopolies and other tilted playing fields to destroy superior products and competitive prices

.. and that is your reply?

I think you are mocking a great many people that have to deal with the consequences of monopolists.

At some point you stop being funny.

>> Seriously, is "free software" a conspiracy to turn business minds in the IT industry into stale, unimaginative mush?

Another thrust of indirection to hide your unwillingness to compete on even playing fields, where all competitors are allowed to create whatever comes to their minds rather than to find out after the facts that a monopolist had been given legal title to their thoughts and creativity and all products ensuing therefrom.

Free software/open source is an efficient model where people with all ranges of skill collaborate to create software to meet all sorts of needs for everyone.

Free and open source software has people like Jobs nervous (but he has no shame in exploiting others' work before he tries to lock it out of their further use).

Free and open source software is efficient and results in very useful inexpensive software, software obviously Jobs, Gates, and many other monopolists could not avoid leveraging in order to keep up, despite their loads of cash and armies of PHDs.

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>> 1) If copying and pasting somehow do not preserve your complex documet, then I think you should really consider what your "complex document" actually involves.

People create these types of documents all the time.

>> Blaming your customers for being supposedly "stupid" will simply not help you get people to pay for your products.

I figure you are generalizing ("you") and not referring to me specifically since I have at no point called or implied customers were stupid. We are all a mixed bag depending on the topic and circumstances.

Like I said, there exists lock-in from the closed source vendors, in some cases to a very significant amount.

I am pointing that out so that people who want to avoid incurring potentially high migration costs not sink themselves into a deep pit unwillingly and unknowingly (since some people may not have thought enough about software to have realized this).

I do recognize that moving to Linux can be a high cost short-term process for some (especially if attempted in one large move). However, that is no reason for the Linux community to surrender to monopolists and stop building the software ourselves. Many individuals and businesses do avoid the lock-in and are enjoying open source daily.

Like I said earlier, the more people that join open source, the faster it grows for everyone.

>> I don't want to waste my sweet time maintaining the source, and I doubt the majority of the IT market wants that either. You are talking about ideals that almost nobody wants to give two flying rats about, and you honestly want other people to take you seriously?

Once, again, open source means other people can do the work for you.

Linus Torvalds is a great software developer and leader, yet he contributes much less than 1% of all the open source being created out there.

Others do the work when the blueprints and open licenses are there in place. You can try to contribute (and there are many ways), but that is optional (just look at Steve Jobs). The point is to allow those that want to contribute (and many do) to be able to do so. This way we all get lower prices and much more software.

>> Even if Microsoft is generous enough to send out a check to Dell and HP monthly and DoJ is indifferent enough turns a blind eye to it, is there really absolutely going to be nothing left for the "small guys"?

Software patents are a relatively new phenomenon. As we speak, the more savvy of the monopolists are setting the deck. Their leverage is our loss as individuals, small businesses, medium sized businesses, and in most case as employees. We the lose leverage that the government so generously donated to them on our behalf.

BTW, I don't use "nothing" as the standard. My goal is to improve things and not to allow them to slip so far down as to say they merely lie somewhere above "nothing".

>> Again, this is just your way of confusing the power of substitutes with the bargainig power of the buyers.

I couldn't follow your reasoning at this point. It appears to me you threw this from left field.

Like I said, patent monopolies take leverage from everyone and give them to the monopolists. Patent monopolies are very easy to get if you have an army of lawyers and cash and if you started yesterday. It's a land grab that will feed into the hands of a very small number of super-monopolists. They are being given the rights to tax and stifle us according to their wishes. Being super creative will not remove you from their clutches.

In particular, if patents had been allowed for "processes" and "methods" as they are being exploited today, Einstein, Beethoven, and great many other geniuses as well as normal folks coming up with great stuff would have been held back to the discretion and profit of the monopolists. We all suffer when progress is slowed.

>> Why not tell Abbie from Bumfluff, Wisconsin about it? Maybe you can open a market there by piping bitstreams through antiquated tools from the 70s. Who knows!

Another cheap whack at open source and which is about as far from reality as patents are from helping the "little guy".

0

"There exist a breed of people who get kicks out of exploiting powerful monopolies because monopolies are the quickest way to huge riches (for the very few that benefit at a cost to everyone else)."

The name "De Beers" comes to my mind. Actually, I can't think of any other example even remotely comparable to De Beers. We are talking about allegations of crimes against humanity that have resulted in a UN resolution and subsequent legislations in numerous countries, not some contrived values of "software freedom" that the majority of the IT industry has chosen - with cash - to disagree with time and time again.

"The worse the monopoly is for most people, the more excited these people get."

I am sorry that that world simply doesn't understand you. Why not dress in black, put on some makeup and wear your hair down while you are at it?

"Well, you've convinced me."

Well, which part of "ridiculing" do not understand? Do you honestly think that I am here to preach and convert people like FOSS advocates do on a daily basis?

"When applied to information (literature, software, business techniques, etc), the meant-to-be-broad patents, if exploited, are exceptionally stifling, taxing, and, as a bonus (and unlike copyright), quite biased in favor of the wealthy."

Again, did Charle Goodyear die a rich man? In fact, I wonder if the mountain of patents out there has actually made anyone rich - or, at the very least, richer.

"Even when you find a work-around, this essentially signifies a taxing waste of resources that could have been put to better use (to keep costs down and to build out products quicker), especially in light of the fact most vendors don't rely on studying (or even properly identifying) the broad patents that describe their products."

So, in a nutshell, your argument simply boils down to the fact that there are these people out there who lack the ability to come up with something new or original. Honestly, am I really supposed to sympathize on this?

"Even when you find a work-around, this essentially signifies a taxing waste of resources that could have been put to better use (to keep costs down and to build out products quicker), especially in light of the fact most vendors don't rely on studying (or even properly identifying) the broad patents that describe their products."

Again, you are simply complaining about someone beating you to the punch. "Oh, no! I don't know what I am supposed to do if I can't double-click on my mobile device." Well, I have got an answer for you, and it involves removing yourself from the gene pool. Wanna try?

"And this is particularly troublesome when the "product" is something ordinary folks create on their computer, rather than some high-investment manufactured good."

Every now and again, some people are bound to be tempted to make something out of downright refuse and a roll of duct tape. Every now and again, some people are bound to believe that whatever they have knocked up in their own garage is somehow useful or, at the very least, usable. Every now and again, some people are bound to complain about the world not caring about "the little guy that could" and simply focusing on well-polished, properly engineered products that "big corporations" have got to offer. The Red Green Show comes to my mind, but that's just me.

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

""Soft" patents are particularly troublesome because all ideas can be implemented in software (though not necessarily with a good implementation -- that's the hard part, implementing things, not describing the implementation from 10,000 feet up)"

Frankly, I have never heard of such things as "soft patents". What's more - Google seems to think "soft patents" have something to do with footwear. With the addition of the search term "fsf", however, this shows up as the very first result on the list. Well, it's been nice talking to you, Roy!

"This is why patents (broad monopolies) were not traditionally allowed to be used on nonphysical things."

This very statement, my friend, is worth a patent of its own.

"The patents copied prior art that existed in many forms by the time the patent was taken out, and it took luck, 3 years, and I think 3 million dollars for justice to be had. That money and time could have been spent to create more open source and help it reach more customers. [Red Hat contributes their source to the public and adds to existing public code.]"

Quickly, someone order a shipment container of duct tape! We need to reach more "customers", fast!

"But worse, the aggressive patent attacks win against ordinary folks and businesses despite their ultimate illegitimacy because few people or businesses can afford to defend themselves and prove the illegitimacy"

Pfft... "Businesses".

'Hey, looky - I have just made a DE that wobbles and spins! This stuff is going to take over the world by storm - I tell you.'

"Monopolists love monopolies. The more powerful the monopoly, the better for them. Robbing society is not a problem for them."

The term monopolistic competition comes to my mind. Frankly, a society in which businesses don't and can't dominate each other only exists in a fantasy world, and you, my friend, is just preaching a utopian pipe dream.

"more and better jobs."

Making duct tape, apparently.

"greater individual liberties. Like being able to create things with other people and use what your friends give you without being labelled a "thief" just because someone with money, time to kill, and a dislike for others broadly described to the USPTO the thing you are using or created."

Friends don't give friends what they have knocked up in a shed.

Just picture yourself opening a present and realizing that all you had got there was some refuse held together with duct tape - you wouldn't be too happy, either.

"Tha't commical."

To you, maybe. Other people, however, would just get on with the program and move on.

"Another cheap shot at open source. I might as well make some use of it: http://pclinuxos.com/ or even http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/upgrade.html"

Boy, more t-shirt ideas! Are you sure you don't actually work in the fashion industry?

"Joe, stop exploiting open source and then trying to close the well for others. It makes you look.. monopolistic and corporatized."

I eat babies for breakfast, too!

"I'm going to guess that you are a troll. I know I'm probably wrong, but *most* people would not say something like this if they were in the business of producing software. [Apple is one of the exceptions given their especially large size allowing them to gain from this broken system.]"

Speaking from someone who didn't even have a clue about what Dr Loser was getting at with that C preprocessor directive bit. Seriously, go and actually write something first, and then complain about your "freedom" being violated later.

"No, see, I'll quickly explain why asking someone to shop elsewhere if this particular store does not carry what they are after is very different from trying to outlaw what other stores can carry."

You are still speaking as though there were a leveled playing field to begin with. Well, at least I can't argue with the possibility of discovering a creative way of using duct tape and then patenting it as a nonobvious invention.

"Naturally, monopolists are threatened by this superior development model that produces such quality for so low of a cost to consumers and to the competition."

Quick - we need to open a Cafepress account for our t-shirt slogans before someone beats us to the punch!

"The US Department of Defense is a fan of open source, as well, and mocks Windows reliability for "industrial" work (like the US carrier that stalled for days). [Apple doesn't have much server market share.]"

"Fan", "mocks"...

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/customers/DoD_ThinApp_snapshot.pdf

"Windows was cheap and easy relative to high quality software.. except that now Linux is much cheaper and for many, even easier."

"Relative to", "cheaper", "easier... Who cares about doing boring viability assessments anyway!

"Free software/open source is an efficient model where people with all ranges of skill collaborate to create software to meet all sorts of needs for everyone."

"Efficient"...

'Hmmm... I think my friend Bob will look into the problem you have... Maybe in the next few weeks or so.'

"Free and open source software has people like Jobs nervous (but he has no shame in exploiting others' work before he tries to lock it out of their further use)."

ParanoidHypotheticalSituation(TM)!

"People create these types of documents all the time."

And, shamefully, till now you still have no idea what is actually keeping people from wanting to migrate.

"Once, again, open source means other people can do the work for you."

And the rest of your comment, like the above sentence, is just nothing more than a barrage of BasementCodingArmy(TM) blahs.

I demand having five minutes of my life back reading it.

Edited by JoeMonco: n/a

0

>> So, in a nutshell, your argument simply boils down to the fact that there are these people out there who lack the ability to come up with something new or original. Honestly, am I really supposed to sympathize on this?

Nice try, but that is nothing like what I am saying. I don't think you care to read what I am saying or what a lot of research or what common sense or what many people that work with software are saying.

Einstein and Beethoven couldn't come up with anything original?

You are too funny.

Comedy over reading others' comments and addressing what they say. Nice.

#include <string.h>
#include <ctype.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#define JoeMonco

int main (int argc, char *argv[]) {

char monopolist[]="JoeMonco";
char tests_sanity[]="LooneyTunes";
char missing_filler[]="MAD";
#define STRIKES_NEEDED 3
#ifdef JoeMonco
for (int i=0; i<strlen(monopolist); i++) {
if (i<STRIKES_NEEDED) {
tests_sanity=monopolist;
monopolist=i<1?missing_filler[1*STRIKES_NEEDED-1]+2:i<2?tests_sanity[2*STRIKES_NEEDED+1]:tests_sanity[3*STRIKES_NEEDED-1];
} else if (i==STRIKES_NEEDED) {
monopolist=tests_sanity[STRIKES_NEEDED];
} else if (i<=2*STRIKES_NEEDED) {
monopolist=i<2*STRIKES_NEEDED-1?tests_sanity[i+1]:i<2*STRIKES_NEEDED?*missing_filler:*(missing_filler+1);
} else
monopolist=tests_sanity[STRIKES_NEEDED];
}
monopolist[2*STRIKES_NEEDED]=tolower(monopolist[2*STRIKES_NEEDED]);
#endif
#undef JoeMonco
printf("Whew. Done at last with %s!\n", monopolist);

}

//Yes, I was getting tired of making it so simple.
// Here's a hint. Get yourself a good Linux distro and use `` gcc -std=c99 '' so that the above works out for you.

PS: The above notwithstanding, I had missed the story about Goodyear having died in poverty. The patent system is full of ordinary inventors getting very little out of it. It's the extra savvy businessmen, usually backed with lots of money already, and those willing to pursue others aggressively in the courts that win big most of the time with these monopolies.

The modern day Goodyear dealing with software wouldn't have to run around asking people for money to build a large manufacturing plant.

0

Fix:

The line above that has a smiley face at the end should be:

monopolist=i<2*STRIKES_NEEDED-1?tests_sanity[i+1]:i<2*STRIKES_NEEDED?*missing_filler : * (missing_filler+1);

0

@J-ose

So, you can write elementary C. Good for you! (Did you notice that I complimented you by suggesting that you, me, and JoeMonco can write C -- whereas 99% of the population can't? No more soup for you!)

I'm not sure I've ever met anybody more verbose than I am (and I get criticised, fairly, for it all the time.) I'll therefore cherry-pick something that JoeMonco dredged up from your endless waffle:

"The US Department of Defense is a fan of open source, as well, and mocks Windows reliability for "industrial" work (like the US carrier that stalled for days)."

You have two propositions here. Let's take the second one first -- the one with a US carrier stalling. This one is easy. Let's see the link, please. Otherwise, it's just another UFO sighting in Area 51.

I'd like a link that suggests that the DoD is a fan of open source, too. This is interesting in at least different ways:

(1) If the DoD uses open source for anything that's remotely security-conscious, then they're insane.
(2) If the DoD uses open source for anything that requires a hard real-time OS, then they're insane.
(3) If the DoD uses open source (Linux, I assume) for any battlefield system that involves video, audio, or -- shock! -- proprietary drivers for field-hardened devices, then they're insane.

If, on the other hand, they just use the occasional LAMP stack and a coupla hunnert Ubuntu desktops, complete with OOo ... well, I wouldn't say they've picked the Best of Breed, but it's a reasonable budgetary decision.

I fondly expect your rebuttal with the word "supercomputer!" included.

0

It actually wouldn't hurt writing something that would compile with a c89-compliant (and I am using this term pretty loosely here) complier here saving that you wouldn't be able to use "int i=0" inside the for-loop initializer expression, but, hell, you just can't stop someone from desperately trying to show off his (pathetic) programming skills.

"#include <ctype.h>"
Brace yourselves for some crummy c string manipulations, people!

"#define JoeMonco"
Utterly unnecessary and adding absolutely nothing to the code. But how can one possibly resist the temptation of building - as the UNIX-HATERS Handbook puts it - a "rat's nest" of preprocessor directives anyway?

"int main (int argc, char *argv[]) {"
In this context, "[]" makes practically no difference to an "*" in front of argv. Both will just mean a pointer at the end of the day. In fact, you can basically just substitute this part with "int main() {" since the program isn't really gonna use any input arguments from the command line anyway.

#define STRIKES_NEEDED 3
Aother pointless preprocessor directive. Actually, it wouldn't hurt just using "int STRIKES_NEEDED = 3;" or something similar, but then you woull miss the opportunity to let problems take place and to create source code that is unnecessarily difficult to read and maintain.

"#ifdef JoeMonco"
Again, this is nothing more than a spiel to make things unnecessarily difficult to maintain and to create extra moving parts to allow problems to take place.

"if (i<STRIKES_NEEDED) {"
This is basically nothing more than "if (i < 3) {", but, heck, why define a variable when you can over-complicate issues with the preprocessor anyway?

"tests_sanity=monopolist;"
This is a real bait for a buffer overrun/SIGSEGV given the preprocessor directive and all. The fact that "monopolist" has a different length to "sanity_tests" simply doesn't help, either.

"monopolist=i<1?missing_filler[1*STRIKES_NEEDED-1]+2:i<2?tests_sanity[2*STRIKES_NEEDED+1]:tests_sanity[3*STRIKES_NEEDED-1];"
Again, potential buffer overrun is certainly an issue, not to mention that "missing_filler[1*STRIKES_NEEDED-1]+2" simply won't work with certain character sets.

"#endif
#undef JoeMonco
printf("Whew. Done at last with %s!\n", monopolist);"
All this nonsense for sending a hard-coded string to stdout? The word "discipline" comes to my mind - just think of those who have to maintain teflon-coated pieces of garbage like this in order to keep something up and running! But, then again, the word "hobbyist" is hardly a synonym for "good quality". Don't say I am not generous enough, though, because - guess what - I happen to have fixed your code for you - all free of charge! What's more, you don't even need the -std=c99 flag for gcc. Damn - it even works with, say, the C89 compiler in Sun Studio 12 right off the bat - isn't it awesome?

#include <stdio.h>

/* Simply output a string to stdout and exit with status 0 */
int main(){
printf("Whew. Done at last with FunnyMan!\n");

return 0;
}

Notice the sheer elegance of the code. Also, take note of the return statement at the end of the main function and the necessary internal documentation before it. I strongly advice you, though, to look at page 215 and 216 of the UNIX-HATERS Handbook, because - trust me - you need that bit of information.

Edited by JoeMonco: Errata

0

@J-ose

Excellent illustration.

I've compiled and run your program on gcc 3.4.4 using -std=c99, and it confirms that you are a dingbat.

Normal people write "Hello world!" programs as follows:

#include <stdio.h>

int main (int argc, char** argv)
{
printf ("Hello World!\n");
}

Not you, of course.

I guess the output string is immaterial. The effort involved, for such a puny result, is, I'm afraid, typical of Linux followers (and yes, I know that the kernel is entirely different).

What have we got here?

(1) Arguments ignored. Check. That's a Linux fanboi staple.
(2) No documentation. Check. That's a Linux fanboi staple.
(3) Unnecessary dependency (in this case, C99). Check. That's a Linux fanboi staple.
(4) Totally irrelevant use of a toy (in this case, the preprocessor). Check. That's a Linux fanboi staple.
(4) Even more irrelevant undef at the end. OK, fair enough. Not a Linux fanboi staple. Sure smacks of Asperger's syndrome to me, though.
(5) Smarter than the average bear: all this playing around with character sets? Check. That's a Linux fanboi staple.
(6) Ignoring other cultures, any one of which is unlikely to use the same character set? Check. That's a Linux fanboi staple.

It doesn't actually help that you got it wrong before you posted it.

And your magnificently coded point is?

0

It actually wouldn't hurt writing something that would compile with a c89-compliant (and I am using this term pretty loosely here) complier here saving that you wouldn't be able to use "int i=0" inside the for-loop initializer expression, but, hell, you just can't stop someone from desperately trying to show off his (pathetic) programming skills.

"#include <ctype.h>"
Brace yourselves for some crummy c string manipulations, people!

"#define JoeMonco"
Utterly unnecessary and adding absolutely nothing to the code. But how can one possibly resist the temptation of building - as the UNIX-HATERS Handbook puts it - a "rat's nest" of preprocessor directives anyway?

"int main (int argc, char *argv[]) {"
In this context, "[]" makes practically no difference to an "*" in front of argv. Both will just mean a pointer at the end of the day. In fact, you can basically just substitute this part with "int main() {" since the program isn't really gonna use any input arguments from the command line anyway.

#define STRIKES_NEEDED 3
Aother pointless preprocessor directive. Actually, it wouldn't hurt just using "int STRIKES_NEEDED = 3;" or something similar, but then you woull miss the opportunity to let problems take place and to create source code that is unnecessarily difficult to read and maintain.

"#ifdef JoeMonco"
Again, this is nothing more than a spiel to make things unnecessarily difficult to maintain and to create extra moving parts to allow problems to take place.

"if (i<STRIKES_NEEDED) {"
This is basically nothing more than "if (i < 3) {", but, heck, why define a variable when you can over-complicate issues with the preprocessor anyway?

"tests_sanity=monopolist;"
This is a real bait for a buffer overrun/SIGSEGV given the preprocessor directive and all. The fact that "monopolist" has a different length to "sanity_tests" simply doesn't help, either.

"monopolist=i<1?missing_filler[1*STRIKES_NEEDED-1]+2:i<2?tests_sanity[2*STRIKES_NEEDED+1]:tests_sanity[3*STRIKES_NEEDED-1];"
Again, potential buffer overrun is certainly an issue, not to mention that "missing_filler[1*STRIKES_NEEDED-1]+2" simply won't work with certain character sets.

"#endif
#undef JoeMonco
printf("Whew. Done at last with %s!\n", monopolist);"
All this nonsense for sending a hard-coded string to stdout? The word "discipline" comes to my mind - just think of those who have to maintain teflon-coated pieces of garbage like this in order to keep something up and running! But, then again, the word "hobbyist" is hardly a synonym for "good quality". Don't say I am not generous enough, though, because - guess what - I happen to have fixed your code for you - all free of charge! What's more, you don't even need the -std=c99 flag for gcc. Damn - it even works with, say, the C89 compiler in Sun Studio 12 right off the bat - isn't it awesome?

#include <stdio.h>

/* Simply output a string to stdout and exit with status 0 */
int main(){
printf("Whew. Done at last with FunnyMan!\n");

return 0;
}

Notice the sheer elegance of the code. Also, take note of the return statement at the end of the main function and the necessary internal documentation before it. I strongly advice you, though, to look at page 215 and 216 of the UNIX-HATERS Handbook, because - trust me - you need that bit of information.

Alternatively -- what you said.

0

Not yet, Fewt, not yet.

I know how difficult it must be to incorporate links. I feel for you, brother J-ose, I really do. And you know what? We are all mortal sinners -- you, me, JoeMonco, everybody.

Oh look, I just used that bolding button up there. Wonder if there's one for links?

Praise The Lord! Indeed there is! Here, to start you off on your adventure into the unknown (ie reality), is The UNIX-HATERS Handbook. Still relevant, after all these years.

0

Dr. Loser, best I can tell right now (googling), Linux, as is, is too complex to likely be used in the most demanding applications in terms of security and safety. Very likely no one has succeeded (or attempted) to verify correctness at the most demanding levels.

My comparisons have been against Windows and similar complex and full-featured OS.

"Sunk by Windows NT"
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1998/07/13987
>> A system failure on the USS Yorktown last September temporarily paralyzed the cruiser, leaving it stalled in port for the remainder of a weekend.

It was 1998 which is quite old. I guess the experiment didn't work out. Oh, and it was a cruiser, not a carrier.

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20040216213026637
This one is 2004.
>> I recently discovered, by chance, that one regular on Groklaw works at the Pentagon. Naturally, I couldn't resist asking if it is true what a Congressional aide told me last month that the Department of Defense loves GNU/Linux.

"Red Hat Linux Gets Top Government Security Rating"
http://www.pcworld.com/article/132978/red_hat_linux_gets_top_government_security_rating.html
>> Last week IBM Corp. was able to achieve EAL4 Augmented with ALC_FLR.3 certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, putting it on a par with Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Trusted Solaris operating system, said Dan Frye, vice president of open systems with IBM.
>>"This is the highest level of security function that anybody has," Frye said. "We have delivered LSPP functionality in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and we have certified that at the EAL4 level of assurance."

'Opinion: Linux Can Be Used in the Military From COTS Journal: "On the Softer Side: RTOSes: Linux Update"'
http://www.lynuxworks.com/products/whitepapers/linux-military.php
>> Proprietary OS vendors also state that Linux cannot be certified to Common Criteria level EAL-7. While this is accurate, let's not ignore the fact that there are no COTS OSes certified to EAL-7. In fact, no COTS OS is certified higher than EAL-4. Therefore, Linux is no worse off than other OSes on the market today. Nonetheless, Linux opponents and naysayers continue to spread FUD that Linux cannot run in a secure network and that only a proprietary operating system can be trusted.

"Linux trading system to save London Stock Exchange money"
http://www.itworld.com/open-source/108875/linux-trading-system-save-london-stock-exchange-money
"Millennium Exchange, a Linux and Sun Solaris Unix-based platform, ... replacing the slower TradElect platform, which is Microsoft .Net based. TradElect had suffered a series of high-profile outages and will be replaced by Millennium Exchange in stages from September."

"NYSE Euronext Chooses Red Hat Solutions for Flexibility and Reliable, Fast-Paced Performance"
http://customers.redhat.com/2008/05/12/nyse/
"Business Challenge: To integrate varied trading platforms to produce a high-speed, low-cost platform that offers the reliability and flexibility necessary to produce the rapid performance results demanded by the expanding financial trading industry"

I'll oblige and mention that Linux is used in 9 out of 10 of the most powerful supercomputers.

0

Dr. Loser, best I can tell right now (googling), Linux, as is, is too complex to likely be used in the most demanding applications in terms of security and safety. Very likely no one has succeeded (or attempted) to verify correctness at the most demanding levels.

My comparisons have been against Windows and similar complex and full-featured OS.

Uhh what? Linux us used in very complex and demanding applications, and when properly configured provides an unmatched level of security when compared to Windows.

"Sunk by Windows NT"
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1998/07/13987
>> A system failure on the USS Yorktown last September temporarily paralyzed the cruiser, leaving it stalled in port for the remainder of a weekend.

It was 1998 which is quite old. I guess the experiment didn't work out. Oh, and it was a cruiser, not a carrier.

Actually, the divide by zero bug was fixed. Windows NT is quite old, and anyone with half a brain knows that it wasn't the best choice for that task. I'm sure a newer edition of Windows server would be a better fit. If you read the article you would have discovered that it was a software coding error that caused the OS to crash. Not that this is acceptable, you find this problem in Linux quite often.

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20040216213026637
This one is 2004.
>> I recently discovered, by chance, that one regular on Groklaw works at the Pentagon. Naturally, I couldn't resist asking if it is true what a Congressional aide told me last month that the Department of Defense loves GNU/Linux.

Linux has lots of practical use in the U.S. Government. This is common knowledge. SELinux was developed by the U.S. government (NSA) to harden Linux for this purpose.

"Red Hat Linux Gets Top Government Security Rating"
http://www.pcworld.com/article/132978/red_hat_linux_gets_top_government_security_rating.html
>> Last week IBM Corp. was able to achieve EAL4 Augmented with ALC_FLR.3 certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, putting it on a par with Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Trusted Solaris operating system, said Dan Frye, vice president of open systems with IBM.
>>"This is the highest level of security function that anybody has," Frye said. "We have delivered LSPP functionality in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and we have certified that at the EAL4 level of assurance."

'Opinion: Linux Can Be Used in the Military From COTS Journal: "On the Softer Side: RTOSes: Linux Update"'
http://www.lynuxworks.com/products/whitepapers/linux-military.php
>> Proprietary OS vendors also state that Linux cannot be certified to Common Criteria level EAL-7. While this is accurate, let's not ignore the fact that there are no COTS OSes certified to EAL-7. In fact, no COTS OS is certified higher than EAL-4. Therefore, Linux is no worse off than other OSes on the market today. Nonetheless, Linux opponents and naysayers continue to spread FUD that Linux cannot run in a secure network and that only a proprietary operating system can be trusted.

"Linux trading system to save London Stock Exchange money"
http://www.itworld.com/open-source/108875/linux-trading-system-save-london-stock-exchange-money
"Millennium Exchange, a Linux and Sun Solaris Unix-based platform, ... replacing the slower TradElect platform, which is Microsoft .Net based. TradElect had suffered a series of high-profile outages and will be replaced by Millennium Exchange in stages from September."

"NYSE Euronext Chooses Red Hat Solutions for Flexibility and Reliable, Fast-Paced Performance"
http://customers.redhat.com/2008/05/12/nyse/
"Business Challenge: To integrate varied trading platforms to produce a high-speed, low-cost platform that offers the reliability and flexibility necessary to produce the rapid performance results demanded by the expanding financial trading industry"

I'll oblige and mention that Linux is used in 9 out of 10 of the most powerful supercomputers.

All great cases for Linux in a datacenter, which is precisely where it belongs.

Edited by Fewt: n/a

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JoeMonco, you (and some of your friends) disappoint me.

I write a piece that obviously went through trouble to complicate the task. I stated this much at the bottom of my posting (foolishly thinking that was enough to try and preserve the light aspect of the posting while pre-empting ridiculous rebuttals). And I replied to your fabricated comment that I did not understand someone's #ifdef reference.

Pay attention.

Apparently Joe is not FunnyMan. It would have been pretty silly to just print "FunnyMan".

I'll address a few bits.

I would rather not have specifically defined JoeMonco because you are already defined by virtue of posting here, but I worried that without a full program, some people would have trouble getting it to work. Honestly, I don't know who knows C here or not.

>> This is a real bait for a buffer overrun/SIGSEGV given the preprocessor directive and all.

Thanks for the advice, but there is no bait when you aren't fishing. The program was precise and necessarily *not* direct. [It's still good advice though.]

I would have done pseudo-code, but then I'd fail to address #ifdef convincingly.

>> not to mention that "missing_filler[1*STRIKES_NEEDED-1]+2" simply won't work with certain character sets.

It's amazing how you people jump on this yet have a horrible time addressing my points on patents and most other things I have mentioned. You can't be bothered to address the other stuff, but when you (wrongly) think you have a piece of my flesh, you tighten your jaw(s) mercilessly.

Well, that's OK. I know how it is on forums.

BTW, I was going to mention how this might now work on all machines, but that would have taken away from the degree of humor I was trying to convey.

As for the c99 comment, you *do* have to specify this because of the "for (int i...)" and gcc doesn't default to it (at least not on my system, but you should be able to configure for c99).

Honestly, I have trouble imagining that you think writing that long program was what a person would do if s/he ("he" in this case) wanted to print a more comical version of hello world.

Please, I accepted (to Dr Loser) that the DoD is likely not baking Linux into everything over there. Now it is your turn to admit that you either completely missed the joke or have a vendetta or something.

Anyway, I had fun writing the code. I forgive you.

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I did enjoy writing that little routine and didn't mind too much reading the "corrections".

It's more interesting (for me) to just end it on a topic like that.

But it unnerves me seeing support for software patents. This is reaching out to silence other people minding their own business. It is unacceptable to many, and this includes business types, developers, and end users.

It also bothers me quite a bit to see support for aggressive monopolists and monopolies.

Anyway, just have to vent.

I'll come back to this thread later on (maybe tomorrow) to see what other bananas are flying around here.

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In the interest of not confusing or pushing bad practices without a cause, the following line was unnecessary.

>> tests_sanity=monopolist;

I was originally going to do something more elaborate (trying to use the letters within "JoeMonco") but then just chucked that idea and forgot to remove that line.

Also, I didn't realize the posting was going to kill the formatting or I would have done something to make up for it (so that it would be easier to read).

[Hey, who can say that open source doesn't come with genuine benefits? Two people jump in to give a decent evaluation (minus the derogatory side remarks) fairly quickly, and, by their own words and deeds, charge $0. .. I'm sold!!!]

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Oh joy, supercomputers. Nobody gives a sod about supercomputers. If that was all that Linux ever did, I'd be a cheerleader for it.

Now.

Sunk by Windows NT

An exciting little headline, but the ship didn't sink.

Furthermore, the ship in question was "dead in the water" -- in dock -- for two and a half hours, according to your link.

Note that the unquoted techies wondered why NT (1998) was chosen over Unix. I've every sympathy for them. That decision, in 1998, was ripe for CTO-style infighting. Now, let's fast-forward to 2010. Do you choose Linux (which is a poor copy of Unix), or do you choose an improved version of NT?

I believe your original objection was that the ship was immobilised for "several days."

FAIL.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You're relying on Groklaw? Do you have the faintest idea of what Groklaw is designed to do? Impartiality is not in these people.

FAIL.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.pcworld.com/article/132978/red_hat_linux_gets_top_government_security_rating.html, from 2007.

Good ole Dan Frye (circa 2007), eh? I'm sure he's got no interest in selling his company products.

How this relates to Linux' inability to deal with hard real-time, or proprietary drivers, is beyond me. I'd give you the security issues, but to be honest I don't even see those working, except in the back office (which is fine, and back offices need a lot of IT, but which isn't really the point.)

FAIL

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.lynuxworks.com/products/whitepapers/linux-military.php

You're kidding me. This link basically says that Linux isn't up to it. Did you read it?

FAIL

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm going to ignore the stock exchange quotes because they are irrelevant to the point at issue. Incidentally, they're also cretinous. If you want to fork the discussion away from the DoD and towards financial institutions, then that is also fine.

Just admit that you lose on this one.

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JoeMonco, you (and some of your friends) disappoint me.

I write a piece that obviously went through trouble to complicate the task. I stated this much at the bottom of my posting (foolishly thinking that was enough to try and preserve the light aspect of the posting while pre-empting ridiculous rebuttals). And I replied to your fabricated comment that I did not understand someone's #ifdef reference.

Pay attention.

Apparently Joe is not FunnyMan. It would have been pretty silly to just print "FunnyMan".

I'll address a few bits.

I would rather not have specifically defined JoeMonco because you are already defined by virtue of posting here, but I worried that without a full program, some people would have trouble getting it to work. Honestly, I don't know who knows C here or not.

>> This is a real bait for a buffer overrun/SIGSEGV given the preprocessor directive and all.

Thanks for the advice, but there is no bait when you aren't fishing. The program was precise and necessarily *not* direct. [It's still good advice though.]

I would have done pseudo-code, but then I'd fail to address #ifdef convincingly.

>> not to mention that "missing_filler[1*STRIKES_NEEDED-1]+2" simply won't work with certain character sets.

It's amazing how you people jump on this yet have a horrible time addressing my points on patents and most other things I have mentioned. You can't be bothered to address the other stuff, but when you (wrongly) think you have a piece of my flesh, you tighten your jaw(s) mercilessly.

Well, that's OK. I know how it is on forums.

BTW, I was going to mention how this might now work on all machines, but that would have taken away from the degree of humor I was trying to convey.

As for the c99 comment, you *do* have to specify this because of the "for (int i...)" and gcc doesn't default to it (at least not on my system, but you should be able to configure for c99).

Honestly, I have trouble imagining that you think writing that long program was what a person would do if s/he ("he" in this case) wanted to print a more comical version of hello world.

Please, I accepted (to Dr Loser) that the DoD is likely not baking Linux into everything over there. Now it is your turn to admit that you either completely missed the joke or have a vendetta or something.

Anyway, I had fun writing the code. I forgive you.

Accepted, O noble (he) one.

Pay attention.

Apparently Joe is not FunnyMan. It would have been pretty silly to just print "FunnyMan".

Attention paid, and I agree. There are degrees of silliness, however. Writing a convoluted program that requires (a) C99 (b) the preprocessor and (c) a lot of planning to make sure that 'F', 'u', 'n', 'y', 'M', and 'a' are available for ASCII twiddling is, I would suggest, about as silly as a human being can get. YMMV.

As for the joke ... I'm going to try this one again. It got vetoed by the owner of the site, because apparently the link is in bad taste.

However, mark this and mark it well: Linux IsFunny. You are not.

PS Of course C99 doesn't default to a type definition inside an expression. That was precisely JoeMonco's point. It's idiocy, it's showing off, and it's completely unnecessary. As I recall, your theory was that neither one of us would cope with C99.

Guess what? It's ten years later. We're up for it.

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@J-ose:

"Honestly, I don't know who knows C here or not."

Well, I obviously understand C. Joe Monco obviously understands C.

You, on the other hand, are practically unemployable as a C programmer. Long gone are the days where being "clever" by including <ctype.h> and messing around with pointers is the norm.

These days, people who hire C programmers expect C programmers. Not silly little kids.

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"Dr. Loser, best I can tell right now (googling), Linux, as is, is too complex to likely be used in the most demanding applications in terms of security and safety. Very likely no one has succeeded (or attempted) to verify correctness at the most demanding levels.

My comparisons have been against Windows and similar complex and full-featured OS."

Good grief. That's so utterly stupid that I can't even think of a decent response.

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Dr Loser:

I think I had the USS Yorktown in mind and apparently it was only for two hours. I ceded I got details wrong in this case. I also ceded that Linux (just like Windows) is probably not used in certain classes of application by the DoD. Most people here agree that Linux might be used in other places.

>> Writing a convoluted program that requires (a) C99 (b) the preprocessor and (c) a lot of planning to make sure that 'F', 'u', 'n', 'y', 'M', and 'a' are available for ASCII twiddling is, I would suggest, about as silly as a human being can get. YMMV.

Well, it's nice that perhaps at least now it's clear the program involved humor.

Now, to explain more carefully the serious aspect to it:

Read the comment right before that program and you may note the following:

>> > Speaking from someone who didn't even have a clue about what Dr Loser was getting at with that C preprocessor directive bit. Seriously, go and actually write something first, and then complain about your "freedom" being violated later.

So, taking the first step first, I wrote a nontrivial C program which included significant context from this thread. I even added humor and a number of "complexity coincidences" (eg, look at the n*STRIKES_NEEDED sections) in order to avoid the mundane and almost trivial one line hello world program. [Naturally, I had to use #ifdef to help make the point. I also wrote a program that required the latest international C standard.]

And to finish up now with the second part of "then complain about your 'freedom' being violated", I will add that had patent authors thought software patents might have been accepted by the courts in the early days of software development (and the Bilski ruling coming in a few days will clarify much more), many developers in the past, for up to 20 years on a per patent basis, could have been forced to go through the contortions I went through in that program -- and not for fun, but rather to build something less than what they are capable of and with wasted effort but in an attempt to feed themselves and "work around" the patents (eg, "one-click" and many other "nonobvious" inventions).

If Einstein and many others had to worry about patents (and he worked as a patent examiner, so clearly he knew patent monopolies existed when he decided to make contributions to an area untouched by them), we would be much further behind today than where we'd be thanks to certain fields of endeavor not having been inundated with patents as has been happening with software lately.

>> PS Of course C99 doesn't default to a type definition inside an expression. That was precisely JoeMonco's point. It's idiocy, it's showing off, and it's completely unnecessary.

I already explained the motivation for the program which perhaps you two missed given all your comments. [Or maybe you are simply over-eager open source developers helping out the public.] It wasn't "completely unnecessary" or "idiocy".

>> As I recall, your theory was that neither one of us would cope with C99.

You misread.

>> You, on the other hand, are practically unemployable as a C programmer. Long gone are the days where being "clever" by including <ctype.h> and messing around with pointers is the norm.

You failed to understand the basis for the program and a number of its elements.

I already covered a few of the more obvious oversights you guys had (in your enthusiasm to "show off" your experience with C, I know).

Here is another one you missed (and related to ctype.h): Monopolists are so bad, that to fully define one, you have to "tolower" them even when you think you are done and it can't get worse.

>> Good grief. That's so utterly stupid that I can't even think of a decent response.

Well, given how many words you have wasted on this thread, consider wasting a few more (for our benefit) by explaining just how it is that what you quoted was "utterly stupid".

Perhaps you are still missing my point. I can help you with that, but you have to be a little more specific (I don't read minds).

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"I think I had the USS Yorktown in mind and apparently it was only for two hours. I ceded I got details wrong in this case. I also ceded that Linux (just like Windows) is probably not used in certain classes of application by the DoD. Most people here agree that Linux might be used in other places"

The code name "Desert Shield" comes to mind. Do you honestly think that the vanilla Linux kernel is somehow suitable for, say, the radar system, the sonar system, the missile guidance systems or anything that requires real-time data acquisition/output with high granularity? You just seem to fall under the impression that the "bazaar" is somehow gaining victory here despite its obvious non-involvement with the project and the the sobering reality that most of the work it has done is simply not and cannot be used in these places. Forget about the contractors and the sub-contractors who actually get paid for the design, implementation and maintenance of the components, because, apparently, "software freedom" is somehow really serving as more than just an irrelevant part of the picture. Seriously, if you think the Navy is crazy enough to simply ask Captain Propellerhead to do a hack job for them, then think again - in terms of millions of dollars that you will never have a chance to get your hands on.

"Well, it's nice that perhaps at least now it's clear the program involved humor."

And the joke is on you. Your code is an prime example of how not to use the preprocessor, and the joke is even funnier when you utterly fail to understand why it is so. Let's say, for one reason or another, someone needs to insert extra subroutines to the code or simply change the code from printing "FunnyMan" to "HappyDude". In this case, the substituent for "STRIKES_NEEDED" and a whole slew of other things will need to be changed. Now, given the fact that "STRIKES_NEEDED" is outside the scope of the function "main" and the entirety of the code itself, how exactly will you go about finding out where "STRIKES_NEEDED" belongs to or mitigating buffer overrun/seg-faults several dozen additional subroutines and #include's later? Do you see why people tend to call this kind of Teflon-coated garbage "spaghetti code" now?

"So, taking the first step first, I wrote a nontrivial C program which included significant context from this thread."

Which you have never paid serious attention to. The stunt you have pulled is a shameful (and shameless) display of the exact kind of sloppiness that Dr Loser has been complaining about, but you still think you are somehow gaining some sort of victory. Yes, we now know that you actually understand the basic syntax of C. I am quite sure I can teach my 10-year-old niece to master the same thing given enough patience. But does that mean she will be able to actually program
anything? I doubt that, and, in the same way, I doubt your ability to actually program anything that works. Professional development requires discipline, a quality that you have shown not possessing. What you have demonstrated, on the other hand, is your desperation to show off, your lack of understanding of the C libraries (as shown by your stumbling into the common pitfall of mixing ctype.h and ASCII-dependent character manipulations, or what I tend to call "wearing your pants backwards") and your inadequacy in language-independent skills (such as the use of proper coding structures, the consciousness in writing reusable code and the importance of internal documentation). I don't know what Einstein himself would say about this, but this is what he said - and I quote - on an obviously unrelated note:

"Only two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity - and I am not sure about the former."

I consider making a point for the sake of making it a sign of stupidity. But, then again, maybe I am just a bit too old to take Dane Cook as a comedian. Well, whatever the case, takes this as your triumph over the "monopolist" evil forces.

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