[linux-elitists] OH NOOES! Another GPL release from Microsoft!

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Thu Jul 23 09:37:34 PDT 2009


begin François Delawarde quotation of Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 11:05:00AM +0200:

> Hey, I thought it was some funny anti-microsoft flame-war blog-like
> mailing-list. Like some type of people's magazines for geeks to relax.

Anti-Microsoft ranting is a hard habit to kick.
(A better habit to develop if the company comes up
is to talk about it as if it were a great exhibit
you recently saw at the Computer History Museum.
Drop some trivia you read on Raymond Chen's blog,
and never use the present or future tense.)

But it's fun to watch how well the Mainstream Media
is falling in line with the free software media
manipulator's version of the patent story.

How many stories have you seen where the software
patent holder is some kind of Ayn Rand hero, and how
many stories have you seen where the alleged infringer
is the productive one, and the patent holder is
the vandal or violator of norms?

News coverage isn't a collection of facts.  If done
right, it's storytelling, and the failing CEO trying
to crush his nifty rivals with patents is becoming
a stock character.  The patent holder as innovator
version of the story only shows up in press releases.

Keep the meme alive: patent lawsuits are a tool for
senescent companies to lash out at the innovation
they don't understand.  Patent action makes it hard
for companies to recruit, because developers want to
win with successful releases, not legal grinding.

> If it's not, what is it supposed to be exactly?

The Silicon Valley Linux Users Group list used to have
a problem.  People would install Linux on a computer
with 128MB of memory, and Linux would boot up and
show 64MB.  So they'd ask on the list.  The answer,
at the time, was that you had to put

  append="mem=128M"

in your lilo.conf and reboot.  And this answer was
in all the FAQs.  You couldn't do an Altavista search
(this was a while ago) without finding the answer on
the first page.  So some list members would respond
to yet another "how do I use all 128MB" question with
"read the FAQ."

Some other list members complained that telling people
to read the FAQ before asking the same question as
last week on a list with hundreds of people on it was
"elitist".  So I started this list as a place where we
could expect a higher reading level and some effort
before posting.  Later on we added the restriction
on posting from non-Free mailers, and limited the
allowable MIME types.

-- 
Don Marti                                 +1 510-332-1587 mobile
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/
dmarti at zgp.org
See you at OpenSource World: August 11-13, 2009 in San Francisco


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