Coffeehouse Thread

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Open Source

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  • User profile image
    scapermoya

    I know this is a very touchy issue with M$, what are the current things being done to give us outsiders a peek into the workings of the multitude of applications under the umbrella of Microsoft? Eventually, Microsoft isn't going to be able to continue denying the sizeable advantages of having a developer base that includes thousands of people dedicated to the improvement of a piece of software. And they don't cost anything. Understandably, certain code will always be kept under wraps just simply because if it were released, people with malicious intentions would exploit problems before white hatters could alert Microsoft and a suitable update could be created/deployed (the time it takes for updates to be deployed is a whole other issue). I do think it is time to slowly move towards more public access to code though...

  • User profile image
    machocomacho

    Are you 12, have the respect to say MS, just because you are insecure doesn't mean you need to use the $ symbol...grow up kid

  • User profile image
    scapermoya

    excuse my friend kevin, hes a handful. I meant no offense by M$, i dont think anyone here is ACTUALLY offended.

  • User profile image
    prog_dotnet

    http://www.vnunet.com/News/1101806


    Research company Gartner has debunked the myths surrounding open source development and support that it believes are leaving many enterprises apprehensive about embracing the technology.

    In a strongly worded research note, Gartner has refuted what it identifies as five main myths. These include that no one controls open source software and that few people have access rights to integrate code.

    Nikos Drakos, an analyst at Gartner, said: "Contrary to common perceptions, open source development is often tightly controlled. In addition, the availability of the source code and the requirement to share modifications promote longer-term viability, reduce the entry barriers for those offering services and support, and discourage 'Balkanisation' [when vendors deliberately build in proprietary extras to make their offerings attractive enough to buy]."

    First on Gartner's hitlist is the myth that no one controls open source development. The researcher said this view ignores the fact that open source products are tightly controlled either by a single individual or a small developer group, as is the case with Linux.

    The idea that anyone can change open source software so that it will eventually becomes unstable, also get short shrift. Gartner argues that few people have access rights to integrate code and that enterprises are to select older versions have code that has been proven to be stable.

    Gartner said the history of Apache web server development, where many in the original group left to form Netscape, gives lie to the myth that open source development is dependent on key individuals.

    "In fact, that chance of a popular open source software product continuing to be supported after the departure of key individuals is much better than the survival of a proprietary product after the demise, acquisition or change in the product strategy of a commercial vendor," argues the research note.

    Unlike Unix, no one stands to gain from a split in the source code of Linux so splintering and Balkanisation is unlikely to happen, said Gartner.

    Only the idea that open source support is not up to scratch is given any credence.

    Usenet resources and some telephone support exist but "this type of support, however, is much less acceptable to corporate users who are looking for accountability as well as maintenance and technical support".

    Colin Tenwick, Red Hat's general manager of European operations, said that research companies are reversing their position in light of strong uptake of Linux in the market.

    "Many analysts first took a position on why the open source model wouldn't work, then they said it was only useful for quirky things on the web. In a year's time they'll be explaining how Linux is worth looking at for enterprise applications," said Tenwick

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    I should mention that MS has invested in Gartner ( oracle likevise)..But its a easy shot to dismiss the argument just based on that. Gartner makes some compelling arguments and I mostly agree with them.
    Also, if you get your hands on the bits..how many actually are capable of producing high quality code. Its not for the masses at lagre thats for sure.

  • User profile image
    scapermoya

    I wasn’t talking about making any Microsoft product 'open-source' in the sense that it was powered mostly by the public, I was talking about letting people see the source. This could lead to a better understanding of how Microsoft code is written, making suggestions more reasonable. Let the public see what powers the most prolific software every created, who know, it could improve. One of the main problems people often have with a lot of Microsoft products is the amount of bugs compared to open-source programs, and while going open-source doesn't magically eliminate everything, it would help simply because so many people would be able to see the code. It is hard to blame developers for bugs when you are can see how many trillions of lines of code makes up Windows. Channel 9 is a great step towards giving the people out there who want to see how things go down at Microsoft, and hopefully we will one day reach a point where there will be a little more trust placed in those of us who are willing to help out, from the outside.

  • User profile image
    Karthik

    I was waiting for something like this to come up Smiley

    I agree with you completely. At some point of time or the other, MS will have to give a long hard look at releasing atleast some of their source into the open - there is no denying the benefits.

    I wish MS would understand that both Opensource and commercial enterprises can co-exist and cater to different niches - both have their benefits and disadvantages, and there is no reason why a company cannot have part of its code proprietary and part of it closed source.

    I mentioned it in this article, too. Microsoft can actually benefit by releasing some of their code out in the open - and its even been done before.

    Opensource also means more eyes looking at the code, and adding extensions that could be beneficial. If not anything, MS could perhaps give this a try and see how it works out.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    At last count, hadn't 1.25 million companies and individuals been privy to the source under the Shared Source Initiative?

    I agree that more openness is good, and I'm glad this isn't about Open Source, but more about open source (I've written several times about this as well). Both are good, only one will work for Microsoft in the next 20 years (give you a hint, turn off your caps lock Wink).

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