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No Respect for Windows Open Source 551

man_of_mr_e writes "Shaun Walker, one of the founding developers of the DotNetNuke Portal/CMS has written an interesting piece about Open Source software on the Windows platform. "It's hard being an open source project on the Microsoft platform. Because no matter how hard you try to exemplify true open source ideals, you will not get any respect from the non-Microsoft community." He also says "There are Open Source zealots who believe that unless an application is part of a stack which includes 100% Open Source services and components, that it can not claim to be Open Source. [...] But does this "stack" argument actually make any sense?""
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No Respect for Windows Open Source

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  • by fyrie ( 604735 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @07:47PM (#13928068)
    Nobody should be promoting the use of VBScript or whatever that crappy Basic derivitive is that people use to write ASP

    It's written in VB.NET, hence the name DotNetNuke.

  • Predefined Notions (Score:2, Informative)

    by caperry ( 31048 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @07:59PM (#13928181) Homepage
    From my experience, there are a lot of people who make "free" software in windows and it's frowned upon becuase "it's a plot to install a virus on my system". Then there is the folks who feel that writing software for windows should earn them money no matter what. On the flip side, you can get a lot of flack for making non-free software on Linux or you can been seen as evil for charging for services that "should be free". Long and short of it: you can't please everyone. If it makes you happy and people are using it, just keep doing what you are doing. There is a vocal minority on either side of the fence to flame you :)
  • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @08:07PM (#13928248)

    Nobody should be promoting the use of VBScript or whatever that crappy Basic derivitive is that people use to write ASP

    ASP is a language-independent framework. While VBScript is popular, there are two languages shipped by default, JScript being the other. You can also install other components to allow you to use other languages, such as ActiveState's PerlScript. In this particular case, it's VB.NET, which (I believe) is substantially better than traditional ASP VBScript.

    I've converted a lot of this garbage to PHP/Perl, and everything I've seen written using ASP has been absolutely horrific - the worst, least optimised crap I've ever seen

    With all due respect, that particular complaint doesn't mean much when you are converting it to Perl and PHP, seeing as that's the way a good portion of the rest of the world feels about those languages too.

  • How open is C#? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @08:13PM (#13928291)
    This is one reason why I don't use C#. People who use C# develop for Windows and Windows only (MONO be damned). C# is owned by Microsoft; true there is an open implementation but Microsoft has refused to support it, refused to allow them to their .NET conferences or anything else... which says they will NEVER support an open implementation of C#.

    It's like building an 'open source' house with wood that's owned by Bill Gates. What is going to happen to your house when Bill decides to start breeding termites on location? Bye bye house. And bye bye open source C# implementation.
  • Beyond the FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Draconix ( 653959 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @08:24PM (#13928382)
    (Meh, sorry to those I modded up, but I need to say this.) The article is (possibly intentionally) vague on what they mean by 'Windows OSS projects.' If you read into what DotNetNuke actually is, you'll discover that it is a Windows-only OSS project built on the .NET framework, and that they appear to be partly sponsored by Microsoft itself. The article is referring to Windows-only OSS projects, not OSS projects with Windows versions.

    Though I imagine projects like VLC, Freeciv, and Gaim occasionally have someone whining about their supporting windows, that's not what this is talking about, and frankly, where DotNetNuke is concerned, I'm with the 'zealots', despite having nothing against proprietary software. OSS has built up a strong reputation for being cross-platform, so an OSS project that's for Windows-only and is dependant on Microsoft technology is understandably going be frowned upon by OSS purists. Windows-only OSS developers are, arguably, not helping the OSS communities much, and they are especially detrimental to the spread of Open-Source and Open-Source-based operating systems. It's not showing Windows users that they have something nifty that they could still have if they decided to try linux or get a Mac, it's just further miring people in the Windows platform.

    Now, are these people against DotNetNuke still looking so much like zealots, or are they perhaps starting to look more like people against Microsoft who see this as yet another boost to Microsoft's power?
  • by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @08:39PM (#13928488) Journal
    Is it even legal to redistribute (L)GPL software that's linked against the stuff like MFC or DirectX?


    I would think that anyone porting a Linux app to Windows using closed Win32-specific libraries and distributing executables could (technically) be sued by the original author of the GPL software. No?

    Probably not.

    See section 3 of the GPL: "as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs."
  • by cortana ( 588495 ) <`ku.gro.stobor' `ta' `mas'> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @08:43PM (#13928525) Homepage
    If the software is under the LGPL then you can link it to whatever you want. You only have to distribute any changes you make to the LGPL'd work.

    If it's under the GPL then things get interesting. From section 3 of the GPL []:
    However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.
    So you can link against a proprietary operating system's C library... most of the time: one of the ways that Microsoft makes Windows hostile to programmers of Free Software is by releasing newer versions of operating system components, like DirectX or the C library, only as separate downloads. Such components are not distributed as a part of the operating system and so do not fall under the section 3 exception cited above--someone distributing a Windows port of a work that used such components could be sued by the copyright holder of the work.

    I guess porters would be best to stick to whatever versions of MSVCRT and DirectX ship with the latest Windows version.
  • by toby ( 759 ) * on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @08:58PM (#13928663) Homepage Journal
    None of the high rated comments mention the issue of portability (and they use the word zealot all too freely...reminiscent of certain other abuses of language lately, but nm!) Non-portable software is arguably a dead-end too, if it can't be ported to a free system when the time comes. A closed O/S, we have seen repeatedly, means obsolescence; it means the plug can be pulled at whim of the vendor.

    Since XP, technological measures have been in place (DeActivation) that can separate you from your applications (not to mention your data) at any time, through wilful act of the vendor, or fault in the system, and this is regularly experienced by customers of M$ and Adobe.

    It seems obvious that portability is part of the spirit of freedom as expressed in free and open source software. If your code can't migrate from Windows - then it's going to be taken from you and your users sooner or later.

  • Re:Open source is... (Score:3, Informative)

    by happymellon ( 927696 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @08:58PM (#13928672)
    To resolve this issue make sure you can run on []
  • Re:Cross Platform (Score:4, Informative)

    by nxtw ( 866177 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @09:05PM (#13928713)
    While it may be insufficent to run every ASP.NET application, Mono's ASP.NET implementation does exist and is functional. They claim to support all of ASP.NET 1.1 and have implemented many of the new features in ASP.NET 2.0. Of course, I haven't used every feature of ASP.NET 1.1, but overall Mono works fine with everything I have needed to do.

    The article is incorrect in saying "at this point in time DotNetNuke runs on ASP.NET, a services layer which is only available for the Windows platform - a situation which the Mono project is trying to address." ASP.NET is indeed available on other operating systems using Mono's implementation. In other words, the Mono project has already addressed this issue. While running ASP.NET applications with Apache and mod_mono isn't as easy to configure as, say, mod_php or any old CGI application, it's possible and not very difficult for anyone with experience configuring Apache and compiling Apache modules -- comparable to setting up FastCGI.

    Mono's XSP, a small, simple web server, works great for serving up ASP.NET applications.

    While .NET programs can be portable between Microsoft's .NET Runtime and Mono, just as software written in many languages can be portable between Windows and Linux, it's also possible to write software that only functions properly in one operating system or the other.

  • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @10:17PM (#13929129) Homepage
    I cannot accept MSVC project files for the simple reason that I want to be able to add, delete, and rename the source files in my software. If I distributed a MSVC file I have to remember to update that file. Better to not distribute anything and force the MSVC users to copy & paste the correct list from the Makefile each time.

  • Re:Open source is... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @01:11AM (#13929938) Journal

    Well, that's not quite true anymore. KDE 3.x is based on Qt 3. Version 3 was never released under an OSI-compliant license, so there was no legal way to port it, short of porting the Linux/GPL version of Qt 3. That was in progress for a while.

    Trolltech has since released Qt 4 for Windows under the GPL. That means that there are no longer any licensing issues preventing anyone from developing a Windows port of KDE 4. The core KDE libraries would have to be ported, but the underlying Qt libraries are already available and Free.

  • by DavidNWelton ( 142216 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @03:53AM (#13930431) Homepage
    I suppose this would be as good a place as any to mention the wiki I started, Windows for Linux Users [], which attempts to gather up some software that is useful for long-time Linux users who are for some reason constrained to use Windows. I know I had a terrible time getting the environment to a point where I didn't want to smash the computer because focus wasn't following mouse and a bunch of other little annoyances.
  • Re:Beyond the FUD (Score:3, Informative)

    by DraconPern ( 521756 ) <> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @04:09AM (#13930455) Homepage
    Not only do those people look like zealots, I believe you are one of them too. Either you are new here or you are a zealot. Because...

    You can't run .NET on linux []
    You can't run ASP.NET on linux []
    There's not an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for .NET on linux []
    There's no commercial support for .NET on linux []

    So I am betting you want to bash Novell too because they support .NET?
  • by MrBlack ( 104657 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @05:21AM (#13930633)
    IIS has plenty of modules and add-ins (like Apache) via ISAPI - lots of vulnerabilities in IIS5 were vulnerabilities in crappier extensions that were loaded by default. IIS6 ships with far fewer things "ON" and thus is more secure. IIS6 has been out for over 2 years now, and there are plenty of people (both black hats and white hats) trying to break IIS 6 (e-eye for example, which virtuall specialize in IIS - []).

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"