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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 , 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: 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...

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