Attacks on FLOSS

We have seen it all:

Some of this may be just the fringe loonies that inhabit the web. Some may be spammer/malware-artists wanting to get in on the action. Some may be M$ or its “partners” trying to mess with the competition.

A lot of the noise has been drowned out by the rapidly increasing strength in numbers of the FLOSS community. Proponents of non-free software are losing momentum in the market due to the obvious success of Android/Linux and the steady march of GNU/Linux on server, desktops and other infrastructure.

The last item in that list is about the EU Commission renewing its own IT with non-free software after deciding that FLOSS should be considered/given a chance in procurement. After years of study found FLOSS beneficial, the obvious calculation that non-free software licences offer no value ( $X * forever = $infinity), and a formal decision to include FLOSS, FLOSS is being excluded once again. They are actually considering making the contract without competitive bidding even though they have attacked member states for doing the same. I see no logical explanation except that some enemy of FLOSS has one or more moles in the EU Commission. Following the money, that may be M$.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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8 Responses to Attacks on FLOSS

  1. ray says:

    Nah, I just use PDFs, it lasted a decade, and there’s a good chance it’ll be there in another decade, and it’s free and open too 🙂

  2. It’s hard to imagine M$ “folding” at this stage. They could go into semi-retirement and live off their investments for decades. The major event horizon seems to be in a few years when the cloud will take a major market share on one end and Linux on the other. They can be around to annoy us for a long time just by lowering prices and laying off staff. The fastest route to collapse seems to be the absence of a real product on ARM which can march into Wintel territory from now on. Even that may be slow, like a small negative growth or even lower growth for a time.

  3. twitter says:

    I have to agree with oiaohm. “Dust ups” in the free software world often emerge with more than one winner because everyone can have what they want. Ray’s argument is a variation on the old trolls, “choice is bad,” and “free software is just written by a bunch of hobbiests, it will never last.” The first is silly on it’s own and the second is easily disproved by pointing to a long list of virtually immortal free software. Open Office is the obvious practical choice right now and Libre Office development is a sign of community strength and ability rather than weakness. The community has enough developers to make two versions that the user will be able to chose from. Microsoft users will be stuck with whatever the failing company can push out as they continue to lay people off.

    Only a person stuck deep in non free software’s hold can think like Ray. The rest of us know that free software plays nice with other free software – KDE works with Gnome, both work under other window managers and all office suites work with all free software desktops and all do a good job of working with each other’s output. Only a Microsoft Trained Mind would conclude that anyone should give up truckloads of money for the least cooperative software on the market that specializes in a broken format that hardly anyone uses. Why pay for OOXML and go through all of the pain that migration will cause when you could just download Open Office and have the choice of using your existing documents without change or migrating to the superior ODF formats?

    In reality, the restrictions of non free software create risks for the user. Microsoft is jerking their users around in a futile attempt to move goal posts in front of free software developers. Instead of just working with the freely available ISO standard,ODF, Microsoft interfered with ISO to harm ODF and bribed their way into a fast track approval of OOXML, a poorly documented, self contradictory and still unemplemented, bloated set of formats. Then there was the removal of old short cuts in Microsoft Office that turned veteran users with decade old muscle memory into stumbling novices. Only a non free software company would dare do something that stupid. The biggest risk of all, however, is Microsoft’s financial stability. The company won’t be around forever and when they fold, OOXML users will be stuck waiting for the free software world to fix their problems for them and making a costly second migration to the free software world. ODF is the safe bet right now. OOXML is immature and Microsoft is unstable.

  4. oiaohm says:

    ray the simple fact when the dust settles over libreoffice and openoffice. They both have the same core fileformat so migration will be painless.

    Really this is a MS style arguement. Lets not bother checking how compadible the two solutions are. Since they are fighting they have to be incompadible logic that is false.

  5. Bender says:

    Where is money there is corruption, enough said…

  6. Ray says:

    But getting another study, and switching again might.

  7. I don’t see delay being worth $6million.

  8. Ray says:

    The other explanation could be that with the LibreOffice vs OpenOffice.org war, it can be hard to choose which office would still be there in the next 3-5 years. Perhaps the EU would wait for the dust to settle down, before making a decision.

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