Many people have pointed out that the scary thing about Microsoft potentially buying Yahoo is that Yahoo owns many important web sites (Flickr, del.icio.us, upcoming.org, etc.) and supports many important open source projects (PHP, FreeBSD, YUI, Hadoop, Squid, etc.) I’m not worried, though. These days Microsoft is so ineffectual that it would take them at least a decade to ruin all of those sites and projects.
Microsoft have announced an ODF plug-in for Office and already released a prototype version under a BSD license. Kudos to Microsoft for finally doing the right thing. I think they realized that if they didn’t do this, they couldn’t say they cared about interoperability and open standards with a straight face. Now that that’s dealt with can we remove the ODF slander from the Open XML FAQ?
Once a year, he said, top software programmers from rival software companies from around the world gather at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose, California, for what they term a â€œplugfest.â€
The engineers bring computers and the software programs they are working on and literally plug them together to see how their programs interoperate. â€œWe work around the clock for a week. We torture our machines in the pursuit of interoperability,â€ he told a rapt courtroom.
â€œCan you do this test with Microsoft?â€ Judge Cooke asked.
â€œYes, but they donâ€™t turn up,â€ Tridgell said.
But instead of playing the “hate Microsoft for being Microsoft” game, Parris cited a real-world example for his mistrust: In the late 1990s Microsoft threatened to pull Windows from the Republic of Korea if it was found guilty of antitrust allegations presented against it at the time. “Even when I call Microsoft an ‘economic terrorist’ [in a recent LXer.com column] I don’t hate Microsoft. But I do hate its unethical conduct,” he said.
That was a while ago, but open source devotees have long memories. And even with Hilf presented as a friendly face for open source, Parris said he believed it was all for naught because of the executives positioned above him in the Microsoft pecking order.
“It’s a top-down problem, and if that doesn’t change, then anything else they do is just shooting in the wind,” he said. “Bill Hilf could be a great person with a sincere love for OSS and Linux, but the people he works for conduct themselves in an unethical manner.”