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posted by janrinok on Tuesday November 03 2015, @02:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the same-old-routine dept.

It looks like Microsoft hasn't reformed as some would like to think, but has moved its embrace, extend, extinguish policy to the mobile platform. In this article from techrights.org , we see a company (responsible for Mono) with strong MS connections take over an open source project and close it.

LAST WEEK we wrote about Xamarin's disturbing takeover of RoboVM [1, 2], which was a threat to Microsoft's monopoly and domination of APIs (especially on the desktop). Xamarin, for the uninitiated, creates proprietary software that strives to spread Microsoft's .NET to mobile (including Android) devices.

It has only been less than a week and now we learn from Abel Avram that "RoboVM Is No Longer Open Source".

"Following RoboVM's acquisition by Xamarin," explains Avram, "the company has raised the price of their offering and has closed the source code."

Discussion of a fork is in the works:

It has gotten so bad that RoboVM might be forked. To quote Avram, "some developers consider that closing down the source code has to do with Xamarin's acquisition. And some are discussing forking the project, perhaps starting with the sources v. 1.8 which will be pushed to GitHub this week, according to Zechner. It remains to see how successful they are in their endeavor considering that RoboVM is not a trivial piece of software."


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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Tuesday November 03 2015, @02:40PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday November 03 2015, @02:40PM (#257938)

    It looks like Microsoft hasn't reformed as some would like to think

    Umm, who would like to think that, when everything we know about Windows 10 suggests they're as evil as ever?

    What's changed is not that Microsoft has become a Good Guy, but that those companies that might have been Good Guys in the past no longer are:
    - Google: Wants a nice take via Google Play every time somebody adds an app to their phone. Wants to monitor as much as they possibly can about everybody's activities on the Internet.
    - Apple: Also gets a nice percentage of app sales, and intentionally builds walled gardens where you have to pay them to put something in it.
    - Red Hat: Has been pushing a plan to do $DEITY-knows-what to Linux using the ever-expanding thingamajig called "systemd".

    --
    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Nerdfest on Tuesday November 03 2015, @03:07PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Tuesday November 03 2015, @03:07PM (#257959)

    Google: Wants a nice take via Google Play every time somebody adds an app to their phone.

    Android allows side-loading. This complain does apply to Apple though. The other complain about Google is accurate of course. Don't forget Apple's eschewing of standards to enhance the lock-in goodness.
    Sadly, the systemd thing is what scares me the most in this list.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by quacking duck on Tuesday November 03 2015, @07:59PM

      by quacking duck (1395) on Tuesday November 03 2015, @07:59PM (#258087)

      That first complaint doesn't even fully apply to Apple anymore either. Since June Apple developer accounts capable of loading apps onto personal iOS devices have been free.

      So although you can't just sideload pre-built iOS apps like Android, if the app author provides the source you can compile and load it yourself.

      The big caveats of course is that you need a recent Mac to run Xcode, and the app you want must provide have its source code available. But in principle requiring the user to compile the OSS app themselves is more secure than Android sideloading: the user must be more technically knowledgable, and they have the option to check the source code for security/privacy issues.

      • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Wednesday November 04 2015, @03:34AM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Wednesday November 04 2015, @03:34AM (#258259)

        You're *really* stretching the definition of side-loading to fit what Apple allows.

        • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Wednesday November 04 2015, @02:42PM

          by quacking duck (1395) on Wednesday November 04 2015, @02:42PM (#258369)

          I never called what Apple now allows users to do "sideloading". The only times I used that word were when I said "although you can't just sideload pre-built iOS apps like Android" and that it "is more secure than Android sideloading".

          And, if WillR's comment [soylentnews.org] is accurate, Google is trying hard to make Thelaxon's comment ("Google: Wants a nice take via Google Play every time somebody adds an app to their phone") more true... which was the very point you were trying to refute.

          And since you want to argue definition, sideloading is *exactly* what's going on anyway: "process of transferring data between two local devices, in particular between a computer and a mobile device" [wikipedia.org]. Just because Android users started using it in a specific (and technically inaccurate!) context, doesn't make the term theirs exclusively.

          So no, Apple isn't allowing Android app-like sideloading. But it is now allowing sideloading (by definition!) of unapproved 3rd party software, for free.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by WillR on Tuesday November 03 2015, @08:48PM

      by WillR (2012) on Tuesday November 03 2015, @08:48PM (#258123)
      AOSP Android allows easy side-loading, but Google Android tries very hard to make sure it doesn't work. If your phone doesn't have the Google services installed and logged in to a Google account, an app side-loaded from the Google Android world is probably going to crash immediately. If it does have all that stuff, there's not much point side-loading when you can just... download.
  • (Score: 3, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @03:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @03:40PM (#257977)

    RedHat does not deserve to be on this list. Everything they do is open-source and GPL, to a fault; new installs of Fedora need external repos for even multimedia codecs and freetype rendered fonts. RedHat has developed almost everything we have come to associate with a FOSS desktop, from GTK+ to NetworkManager to PulseAudio to one out of every six lines in the Linux kernel. RedHat became a billion dollar company, and they did it without offshoring their cash (based in RTP), without selling your personal data, and while managing to release the source code to their work.

    You have an issue with systemd, but your issue lies with your downstream distribution, not with RedHat. RedHat hasn't coerced anybody into accepting its initial system. In fact, SystemD has shown which distributions are the real creators, and exposed the fraudulent distros that just repackage and re-skin the work of others. OpenBSD, for example, is moving right along with the latest Gnome, working perfectly, and without systemd, because they have competent package maintainers. Your hatred or fear of RedHat is misdirected.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RedGreen on Tuesday November 03 2015, @03:51PM

      by RedGreen (888) on Tuesday November 03 2015, @03:51PM (#257981)

      Apparently you missed the embrace and extend part in there while they may give back the changes for now so no extinguish there yet... That is what a lot of people are uncomfortable with that and the outright killing of the *nix method of doing one thing and doing it well not everything and the God damn kitchen sink thrown in for what is supposed to be an init system.

      --
      "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:20PM (#257991)

        "Apparently you missed the embrace and extend part"

        There is no embrace and extend. The projects that you are angry about were created by RedHat in the first place, and are maintained by RedHat developers. That's a fact. As is the fact that one out of every six lines in the Linux kernel was written by a RedHat employee.

        RedHat *is* Linux.

        I'm sorry you use a shitty distribution whose developers piggyback off RedHat's contributions. That's nothing to be ashamed of in itself as the list includes profitable organizations, such as Oracle and VMWare. But the decision to include systemd was made by your distribution maintainers, not by RedHat. If systemd is so offensive to you, there's always one of the *BSD's, which by the way, have all of this software in ports, and have managed to work around the systemd requirement.

        The list of companies that are FOSS friendly is very, very short. RedHat is on that list, along with iXSystems, Thinkpenguin, and m:tier.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @10:20PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @10:20PM (#258170)

          RedHat *is* Linux.

          Oh you poor thing.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @11:21PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @11:21PM (#258189)

          By your own admission, RedHat is only 1/6th Linux. Red Hat, like everyone else, is freeloading off the contributions of others. Don't pretend that Red Hat develops all, or even most of the code.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by khallow on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:00PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:00PM (#257984) Journal
      The obvious rebuttal is systemd.

      RedHat hasn't coerced anybody into accepting its initial system.

      Except by making a large number of vital projects dependent on systemd.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:11PM (#257987)

        "Except by making a large number of vital projects dependent on systemd."

        What, the vital projects that RedHat themselves created, whose developers are on the RedHat payroll? Again, your problem is with your distribution's package maintainers.

        OpenBSD has the latest Gnome, does *not* have systemd, and I'd venture to say, works better on your laptop out of the box than whatever Linux you are using.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:32PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:32PM (#257993) Journal

          What, the vital projects that RedHat themselves created

          There are a number of projects that RedHat didn't create, but merely took over the maintenance for such as udev. Others they have maintained and transitioned to a dependency on systemd later such as D-Bus. And notice the use of the word, "dependent". These aren't projects that merely support systemd, but projects that require systemd in order to function.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by khallow on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:38PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2015, @04:38PM (#257995) Journal
          In other words, RedHat has created a large number of unnecessary systemd dependencies. Here's an interesting example [soylentnews.org] of those dependencies in action:

          The reason I believe it is bad design is, that it makes the combination of projects more difficult to maintain, more complex to understand (because of the new cross-links), and it makes it more difficult to swap one of the component projects with a newer, better version that is not under the same umbrella. How am I going to use syslogd-ng or rsyslogd or [even better future syslogd], if everything under the systemd umbrella is rewritten to only log to libsystemd-journal0?

          An example: does your company ever need to print?
          cups depends on cups-daemon
          cups-daemon depends on libsystemd0 (apparently all those libs are now joined together into libsystemd0 (since version 215); I hadn't noticed that.

          cups-daemon also recommends on colord (recommends are often installed automatically)
          colord depends on libsystemd0
          colord depnds on libpolkit-gobject-1-0
          libpolkit-gobject-1-0 depends on libsystemd0

          cups-daemon also recommends (not depends) avahi-daemon
          avahi-daemon depends on dbus
          dbus depends on libsystemd0, do you know why? because it used to depend on libsystemd-journal0, do you know why? Because nifty binary logging, that's why.

          I can tell you from my own experience that it's already not trivial to *not* install systemd.

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Bot on Tuesday November 03 2015, @05:36PM

            by Bot (3902) on Tuesday November 03 2015, @05:36PM (#258014) Journal

            HOWTO
            How to stress test a BS meter:

            - this is package A, it depends on package X and not on functionally equivalent packages Y, Z... that have been distributed since forever.
            *BS meter already pulsing an unsettling orange/brown*
            - uh, ok, it depends on it to perform what?
            - for logging purpos...
            *BS meter goes BLAM!*

            systemd is not at all surprising once you factor in that, by thriving on services and assistance, RH has no incentive in producing transparent, stable systems and opaque, unstable systems tend do be buggy.

            --
            Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by canopic jug on Tuesday November 03 2015, @06:30PM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2015, @06:30PM (#258037) Journal

      OpenBSD, for example, is moving right along with the latest Gnome, working perfectly, and without systemd, because they have competent package maintainers.

      No. OpenBSD has made it's own systemd shim [undeadly.org]. That does nothing to stave off the encroachment on the ports. GNOME could keep moving into systemd territory until even a shim is not enough.
      Yes, they have competent port maintainers but you're wrong about the GNOME port if you are somehow implying that they've removed the nasty bits for their ports collection.

      Red Hat is just doing what M$ itself outlined in the Halloween Documents [catb.org]. That is to say, they are finding a way to decommoditize the GNU/Linux distros.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday November 04 2015, @12:05AM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday November 04 2015, @12:05AM (#258207)

        GNOME could keep moving into systemd territory until even a shim is not enough.

        So what's the problem exactly? No one's forcing you to use Gnome, and it's a piece of crap anyway. Why everyone seems to think Gnome is the de-facto standard Linux desktop environment is beyond me. It's the absolute worst of all of them. Who cares what they require?

        KDE for one doesn't require systemd, and never will because KDE actually cares about running on non-Linux platforms (esp. the BSDs).

        • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Wednesday November 04 2015, @01:47AM

          by hash14 (1102) on Wednesday November 04 2015, @01:47AM (#258236)

          KDE for one doesn't require systemd, and never will because KDE actually cares about running on non-Linux platforms (esp. the BSDs).

          Ditto for XFCE, and I haven't used LXDE in years, but I imagine they are in the same boat as well.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by Magic Oddball on Wednesday November 04 2015, @07:24AM

          by Magic Oddball (3847) on Wednesday November 04 2015, @07:24AM (#258308) Journal

          KDE for one doesn't require systemd, and never will because KDE actually cares about running on non-Linux platforms (esp. the BSDs).

          Unfortunately, earlier this year it was revealed that Plasma 5 was/is going to depend on systemd, as David Edmunson explained [davidedmundson.co.uk]. If that changed, I'll be glad to hear it; last I was aware, it was the main reason PCLinuxOS was refraining from upgrading to KDE 5.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday November 06 2015, @02:36AM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday November 06 2015, @02:36AM (#259240)

            It sounds like they're making use of certain parts of it, and making sure it works on other OSes (namely BSD):

            "As maintainers we have a duty to balance what will provide the best experience for the majority of our Plasma users without leaving anyone with a broken system. Projects like this bring the interfaces we need to BSD and as it gets more stable we should be able to start distributing features."

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by opinionated_science on Wednesday November 04 2015, @03:33AM

        by opinionated_science (4031) on Wednesday November 04 2015, @03:33AM (#258258)

        I sometimes wonder if the systemd encroachment is nothing more than the systemd guys doing a "because we can".

        On the other hand, some folks just don't like change such as init scripts - sorry to offend anyone, but the flexibility of scripts is not something you want in a system directory. And I have written many for my systems!!!

        Lennard Poettering may not have the charm to wash over the community, but he is no fool - his blog makes a great deal of sense , where internet postings simply rant.

        Read about the BTRFS/systemd deployment model being developed - this would allow linux to reflect any combination of distribution applications natively.

        And ultimately, if Linux is to survive, having it hide under Android skins is not the way. It is critical that is makes inroads onto the desktop, otherwise we will have future generations lost to proprietary lockin-gloss....

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @07:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2015, @07:02PM (#258058)

      NetworkManager to PulseAudio - Jeebus and while we're at it we can add gtk3, avahi, dbus and udev, gnome oh and systemd, no not the init system the other bits,

      What you associate with FOSS desktop others have been stripping out actively and see the the Freedesktop as an anti-pattern. Redhat definitely deserves to be on the list, a social endrun to make all distributions redhat derivatives is nothing short of disgusting. That you can apologize and divert the blame is disingenuous in the extreme. I'm sure everyone can decide where they have a problem. The packaging is not a matter of competence but one of an agenda.

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday November 04 2015, @12:21AM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday November 04 2015, @12:21AM (#258212)

      Except that GTK+ is used in Gnome3, which is absolute worst desktop environment available on Linux. It's a terrible toolkit to work with, and is so crappy that the low-resource LXDE has switched to Qt.

      That's great that RH contributed to the kernel (but only 1/6 of it, so don't pretend like the majority of it is from RH) and is open-source and doesn't sell personal data and all, but it'd be nice if they didn't employ the arrogant Gnome developers and keep pushing the markedly inferior Gnome desktop. It isn't helping Linux adoption at all, in fact quite the opposite. Just look at how many people switched to Cinnamon and MATE and Xcfe when Gnome3 came out; Gnome has succeeded in fragmenting the Linux desktop even more than it already was.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hash14 on Wednesday November 04 2015, @01:42AM

      by hash14 (1102) on Wednesday November 04 2015, @01:42AM (#258232)

      RedHat does not deserve to be on this list. Everything they do is open-source and GPL, to a fault; new installs of Fedora need external repos for even multimedia codecs and freetype rendered fonts. RedHat has developed almost everything we have come to associate with a FOSS desktop, from GTK+ to NetworkManager to PulseAudio to one out of every six lines in the Linux kernel. RedHat became a billion dollar company, and they did it without offshoring their cash (based in RTP), without selling your personal data, and while managing to release the source code to their work.

      You make a lot of outstanding points. Yes, the Red Hat of the mid 2000's was a great company. They made many contributions to the ecosystem that have made Linux so usable today. Not only that, but you also forgot to mention KVM, DRM, and a host of other under-the-hood changes that they've made, plus their long-standing support of the Linux Foundation.

      Unfortunately, when they hit $1B (I distinctly remember reading that article on the green site), everything went downhill from there. And a small part of me wondered at the time if it was the beginning of the end - profits and growth inevitably corrupt, and unfortunately, this is just what happened with Red Hat as well.

      The thing is, there's open source, and then there's open source. It's one thing to release all the source code and run as an open company. It's another to do all of that, but stick the proverbial middle finger to your users and say, if you don't like it, too bad, get the fuck on board anyway. It has been their approach to Gnome 3, GTK3, systemd, and whatever they intend to fuck up next.

      It would be wonderful if Red Hat actually gave a damn about their consumers and users, but instead they have been taken over by a horde of ideologues who are of the opinion that if you disagree, then you can take a hike. Indeed, there's absolutely no reason why systemd needs to absorb udev, and Red Hat easily have the resources to make it POSIX compliant (or establish a new POSIX-like standards interface that other Unixes could conform to if POSIX in its own is not good enough anymore). But clearly, user freedom is something they now see as an obstacle rather than a goal, because all of their horrid design decisions could be easily averted with a sensibly designed fork which they certainly don't want. And even more clear it is that they want to be Linux, period. You can see that attitude from the way that they act like systemd _is_ the kernel command line (see the Kay Sievers fiasco). And then you can see Red Hat's takeover of Debian - now that they're systemd-constrained, I expect them to adopt RPM and ditch .deb and apt any day now.

      In any case, you can see clearly that there are two Red Hats here - there's the Good Red Hat (circa pre-2012) and everything that they've done since. Frankly, I think the world would be better off if Red Hat didn't exist anymore.

      You have an issue with systemd, but your issue lies with your downstream distribution, not with RedHat. RedHat hasn't coerced anybody into accepting its initial system.

      Now this is flatly untrue. It's the only reason that they keep absorbing components that could otherwise exist on their own, the most significant being udev. As mentioned above, there's no reason why they couldn't architect systemd properly, but the fact is that it's in their interest not to, and that interest is primarily in forcing people to adopt it.

      And don't forget that Red Hat had 50% of the say in Debian adopting it.

      In fact, SystemD has shown which distributions are the real creators, and exposed the fraudulent distros that just repackage and re-skin the work of others.

      And once again, any distro that doesn't use systemd these days has to go through days of effort to uncouple things which, once again, Lennart could have architected properly, but has a clear interest in avoiding. Making your system decoupled is purely obvious design advantage which they have explicitly chosen to forego in order to make it difficult not to adopt systemd.

      OpenBSD, for example, is moving right along with the latest Gnome, working perfectly, and without systemd, because they have competent package maintainers.

      Now this is news to me. I would say that this is something I have to research, but I have no interest in going back to Gnome anymore, since I have seen how hostile they are to configurability, and giving users no way of changing their poorly designed defaults. But I suppose I might as well look into this anyways, for general edification...

  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday November 03 2015, @07:26PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Tuesday November 03 2015, @07:26PM (#258072) Journal

    Umm, who would like to think that, when everything we know about Windows 10 suggests they're as evil as ever?

    s/as evil as/more evil than/

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.