Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

GitHub as the Latest Example of Microsoft Entryism in Free/Libre Software

Filed under
Just talk

"This is in effect the very same trick they did/pulled with Novell and SUSE (where Nat Friedman came from after his Microsoft internship) about a decade ago."

Postman

THE recent GitHub takeover, which has not formally been approved just yet (although there are no foreseen barriers to it), is definitely bad news; it is a lot of things to Microsoft however. It is good news only to Microsoft and GitHub shareholders, who basically sold out many developers without rewarding/compensating them for this unwanted (to them) takeover.

There are many aspects to it: First of all, it helps paint Microsoft as "open source" and it helps Microsoft gain leverage over developers, e.g. their choice process of framework/s and licence/s (Microsoft still dislikes copyleft); by leverage over platform they can suggest Azure, for example, or create bindings to it; they gain leverage over projects tied to governments, including some of our clients at work; Microsoft can vainly tell them, i.e. the governments and their developers: "look, you want FOSS? We're FOSS" (so they effectively become their own competitor!). In fact, there's so much more and I could easily name a couple dozen examples, but I know people pursue/need concision here. For an analogy, in politics this concept or strategy is known as "entrism" or "entryism".

Microsoft also uses patents to blackmail FOSS; there's that element too, albeit many people conveniently choose to forget it. Microsoft is sending patents to patent trolls, then offers "Azure IP Advantage". This is in effect the very same trick they did/pulled with Novell and SUSE (where Nat Friedman came from after his Microsoft internship) about a decade ago.

There are many other angles to it, including programming languages, frameworks (e.g. proprietary IDEs like MSVS), code editors and not just bindings to Microsoft as a host and API provider. People, especially developers of software, generally know how E.E.E. works; the basic precondition/premise is that you gain controls/leverage over that which threatens you (Nokia: Elop, Novell: Mono and lots more examples). So that's kind of a way of getting inside, gradually forming a partnership and then shutting down or sidelining whatever threatens you. Like Xamarin did to RoboVM, in effect killing it under Friedman's leadership. Friedman is going to be the chief of GitHub.

Microsoft can direct the opposition's decisions and its fate. Sadly, they already do this inside the Linux Foundation, where Microsoft staff already has chairs in the Board.

From what I can gather, developers ditching GitHub is becoming a fairy common thing this month. I already see the 1) active 2) large 3) non-Windows ones leaving, but it can take time; some told me they still rely on open bug reports and other 'vendor lockin'; that needs some work before they can migrate; the real alternative is self-hosted git.

"Sadly, they already do this inside the Linux Foundation, where Microsoft staff already has chairs in the Board."

More in Tux Machines

rga: Search Text In PDF, Ebooks, Office Documents, Archives And More (ripgrep Wrapper)

rga (or ripgrep-all) is a command line tool to recursively search all files in a directory for a regex pattern, that runs on Linux, macOS and Windows. It's a wrapper for ripgrep, the line-oriented recursive search program, on top of which it enables search in a multitude of file types like PDF, DOCX, ODT, EPUB, SQLite databases, movies subtitles embedded in MKV or MP4 files, archives like ZIP or GZ, and more. rga is great when you want to search for some text from a file available in a folder with many documents of various file types, even if some of them are available in archives. Read more

Security: Updates, Containers, Compilers and More

today's howtos

9 Best Free Linux Biology Tools

Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of living things, ranging from microscopic organisms up to the largest known animal, the blue whale. It is divided into many specialized fields including evolution, ecology, zoology, botany, genetics, microbiology and molecular biology. This science examines function, structure, origin, growth, evolution, distribution and taxonomy. Biology is extremely relevant to our daily lives, as it helps us to understand how living things work, including the human body. Furthermore, the study of biology is crucial in the development of new food products, to protect the environmental quality of our world, and improving human health e.g. through the discovery of new medical treatments and tests for diseases. Modern biology is founded on four main components: cell theory, evolution, gene theory, and homeostasis. Schools recognize the importance of biology to society, regarding it as one of the three most important branches of sciences, alongside physics and chemistry. We covered the best open source Linux software available for these disciplines in the following articles: Physics, Chemistry. Biology is at the cutting edge of scientific research and development. In the past 40 years, biology has advanced enormously revealing a wealth of information about the millions of different organisms inhabiting our planet, including, of course, ourselves. Biology continues to grab the headlines with much excitement being generated in the fields of synthetic biology (combining science and engineering) and genomics (the study of the genomes of organisms). A good range of open source biology software is available for Linux. This article focuses on selecting our favorite tools which are extremely useful for biologists. We hope this feature offers a useful resource for biologists and students alike. With the diverse range of software, there should be something of interest here for all budding biologists. Here’s our legendary rating chart showing our top recommendations. Read more Also: Vorta BorgBackup GUI Now Available For Install On Linux From Flathub