Some of you people actually think Microsoft isn't going to screw you over and it shows

I know some people I respect work there but holy _shit_ y'all

They consistently build user hostile software that trades on attention and tolerance of their bullshit because there's no other option

Show thread

Using some cool trendy technologies and open sourcing some unprofitable shit doesn't negate the irreversible harm they've done to the industry and it's really not okay to participate in that

Show thread

Like oh yeah MS loves Linux and open source now, sure, but that's because they _won_. Free desktops are essentially zero in the market, even Mac OS isn't a viable option for a lot of people, and they successfully capitalize on that in extremely predatory ways

Show thread

Case in point: This fucking bullshit, in which MS tramples an existing Linux project's trademark and, when this is brought to their attention, tell everyone to just calm down: medium.com/@probonopd/microsof

Show thread
Follow

Mark my words: the free desktop is going to get right and properly EEE'd within the next five years, and none of you are going to lift a fucking finger to stop it because Microsoft is all cuddly and friendly now.

@tindall

Competed with them years ago, never forgot the lessons. As soon as they bought github I moved all my projects off to my own Fossil SCM server:

sources.vsta.org

(What is an "EEE"?)

@vandys @tindall

"Embrace, Extend, Exterminate", Microsoft's modus operandi. Find an industry-standard, add proprietary software to it, become the de-facto standard, then flex the monopoly power.

@tindall maybe have a little more trust in Open Source licenses and Free Desktop projects like Gnome. Microsoft can do whatever the hell they want, they have no power here. And I find it pretty nice that they are getting into Linux after all.

@strider I believe that's a naive understanding of the situation. Similar tactics killed XMPP, despite many implementations being GPL.

@tindall XMPP isn't really dead, it didn't go anywhere. But yeah, Facebook and Google stopped using it so that was a major blow to its popularity. Mostly because there weren't any Open Source project using it that massively caught on.

@tindall I could say the same about Open Street Map. It's still around but the only real users are big corporations. It's missing a good product that's community based.

@strider @tindall open licenses are no good if Microsoft controls the entire community space, aka github

@operand @tindall github has never been and never will be the entire community space. The entire point of git is that it's decentralized. I've moved my project from launchpad to github and I could move it from github to gitlab if I ever needed to.

@operand @tindall the whole thought process in building open source software is having trust in a system that doesn't have a 95% market share...

@strider @tindall it effectively is the entire community space for a ton of projects, though. and even if Microsoft doesn't actively exploit this, the fact that new developers are encouraged to never leave the Microsoft bubble is another tactic in their EEE arsenal.

@strider @tindall centralizing all community management aspects around github is one of the worst things to ever happen to open source software.

@operand @tindall having a massively used platform for open source development is certainly not a bad aspect. I haven't noticed any change since the MS acquisition, except that private repos are now free so I can stop paying... Also, in 2007, people were freaking out about Microsoft suing every Mono user in existence. Now, the co-founder of the Mono company, Ximian Nat Friedman is CEO of Github...

@operand @tindall EEE is a relic from the 90s. Microsoft now understood that geeks like Linux. They also understood that Linux is very powerful for cloud computing. They don't want developers to build things on Macs like this is the case now, they want developers on Windows 10. They are not going to mess with Linux since they are bringing a lot of their infrastructure onto it. Microsoft can build whatever they want, it will not harm the broader Open Source community

@tindall actually its because i don't give a fuck about your precious linux

@xj9 you'll note the wording of my post was "free desktop" and not Linux

@tindall that's what happens when the entire movement is an unimaginative clone of the same corporate bullshit. of course free desktop is going to get eaten, it has nothing unique or compelling to offer.

i hope that this will be the wake up call for free software folks need to realize that they can't win by playing ditto.
@xj9

> it has nothing unique or compelling to offer.

Apparently compelling enough to presently attempt to subsume and pursue for decades with a bloodlust for the ages. You're one hell of an imaginative player in the computing space and I think that gives you every right to scoff at some of the monkey-see type moves that a lot of the canonically (pun absofuckinglutely intended) "free desktop" projects make, though.

> i hope that this will be the wake up call for free software folks need to realize that they can't win by playing ditto.

In the past few years Microsoft has:

Open sourced .NET Core
Joined the OSI
Joined the Linux Foundation
Created WSL
Begun work on a Wayland Compositor implementation
Added Linux to its marketing and ad strategy
Added bash to Windows

For a massive company like Microsoft that's quite a huge ditto move.

And I honestly think we will be lucky if what they get in the end constitutes a mere wake up call cause we're talking about a lot of patents and lawyers and money. There's other's like Oracle just behind them for what's left too I'll bet.

@tindall
@seasharp @tindall

i think microsoft has realized that they can't beat linux on the server side. desktop linux is such a tiny market, i doubt that's motivating any of this work. from my perspective the goal is to woo developers away from macOS, not linux. free desktops are not going anywhere, the install base there is not going to start buying windows licenses because of some new WSL feature.
@xj9

Yeah I don't think the point is at all that FOSS on the desktop is the carrot at the end of the stick. The point is that it'll be collateral damage, exactly like the article @tindall posted illustrates. Maui Linux isn't a UI framework but if it wants to fight a massive corp for its trademark it now has the esteemed privilege.

I'm with the FOSS users who are freaked out by every move Microsoft makes to bring the ecosystem we use into line. If I was to just stand by while every project I value that relies to heavily on github gets thrashed about when they make these kinds of choices that'd be weaksauce.
@seasharp @tindall

drop the victim mentality and kick Microsoft's teeth in. death by a thousand cuts to every mega. 👊
@xj9

I suppose it could be perceived as victim mentality from a certain perspective but I think it's alright to raise the alarm a bit. You already know I got my teeth kickin' boots shined up :)

@tindall
@seasharp @tindall

I mean, its always

>bad corporation did bad thing so they are bad. WE ARE THE GOOD GUYS! how could this happen?

i'm not going to itemize the community's tactical errors, but one of them is their extremely short sighted dependence on predatory organizations with sugary branding. git had federation built right in! but no, it has to look like a git hub. gitforge is whatever, seems superfluous to me, but if it'll get people to use community hosting its a good thing.

there's a threat, but no model and no systemic response. just yelling and pointlessly cathartic mobs.

@xj9 I think this ignores both the multiple communities that do use the git email workflow and the fact that such a workflow is directly limited by the available tools - most notably e-mail clients, which are basically divided into "high barrier to entry" and "chokes on precisely formatted plain text".

Of course there's an element of community complicity, but it's not nearly as large as you paint it.

@tindall no we're fine and Microsoft is irrelevant :)
@xj9
Oh I think there are models but a lot of the ones with high buy-in are anything but effective as evidenced by the complacent consumer cultural habits you described (brand affinity and bias, centralisation apathy [KeyBase is still very very funny])

Lots of people more engaged in these problems and smarter than me have long acknowledged that we have a marketing problem, but I think that's one we can't solve in our community, full stop. We need to engage the other hackers - the social ones - with expertise in (the non-predatory aspects of) marketing and advertising. At least from a pragmatic perspective.

I'm firmly (and honestly probably obtusely) in the camp that advertising and marketing in their current forms are more anti-social than anything (in aggregate) and we'd all benefit from a reconstruction from scrutinized first principles, so I'm inclined to think we'll be plugging holes with plasticine for a good long while yet.


(Pinging @tindall in case you'd like an untag?)

@tindall I don't think they'll be able to do that with open source projects, but if they ever succeed it's going to be open source projects' fault: Gnome's inability to make quality software, causing large spinoffs, Canonical changing it's DE more frequencly than me, the Gnome/KDE divide. We should've been able to come together and make a single, customisable, polished, and stable DE. But we can't even decide between ~/.xprofile or ~/.xsessionrc. Absence of a common ground kills our creativity.

@tindall April 1st there was the KNOME joke, KDE and Gnome joining to make one desktop.
Fun joke but imagine if it was the reality: if we could all come together and build the Linux of DEs, w/o compromising usability, customisability, accessibility, creativity, stabilit or compatibility. Under a strict OSS license like GPL or MPL. That'd *be* the year of FOSS desktop. But we have nothing but chaos on the most vital part of FOSS desktop, namely the desktop itself.

@tindall And it's not like a couple niche alternatives. The top 10 distros in distrowatch today, use one of 6 different DEs. Some of which are distro-specific like elementary or budgie.

If FOSS desktop fails that's our fault and we should own it up. I doubt MS would bother EEEing the desktop because we're already failing anyways. They're going after developers which is what they've always focused on anyways. Because the one thing we're the best is developer QoL, which was formerly their forte.

@cadadr Maybe this is true in the grand scheme (though I don't think it is), but for me personally - starting on Ubuntu, with year-long forays into Fedora, Arch, and SUSE - I've only seen usability improvements. I started on Unity and now I'm on GNOME and, with some minor hiccups a couple years ago, it's in a place where things Just Work (TM).

And that's not because GNOME is so amazing. I used KDE for a few months recently, just to test it out, and it's great as well. As is XFCE, which my partner (a non-techie) has been using as her daily driver for over a year, and Budgie as well.

You're asking the community to give up its greatest asset - diversity of thought - in exchange for... what, exactly? It's not like all the people who love XFCE and volunteer their time to building it are going to suddenly be super committed in the GNOME way of doing things.

@cadadr the idea that it's somehow "our fault" for making software - not choosing not to make software, but rather making more, different, and more interesting software - and that somehow we as a community "deserve" for Microsoft to swoop in, profit off of the large amount of hard work on devex on the free desktop in general and Linux specifically, and EEE the parts of it they find valuable, is just gross.

People are allowed to be creative. Just because doing something that will have a negative impact on people is legal and will make you money, doesn't mean it's not wrong. Microsoft is doing the morally wrong thing here.

@tindall I don't say we "deserve" it. Just that we've created a bad situation where some of our hard earned perks are up for grabs now, and that it needs fixing. My ideal fix is unifying a strong common ground for mainstream distros and DEs so that our infrastructure is not fractured, and diversity happens where it's indeed effective. Or else, all that really brings new devs is political/philosophical ideals, which I ❤️ , but which will hardly be helpful in bringing in and retaining new people.

@tindall I use Linux since I was 11, which makes almost 15 years now. People like you and me know where we stand. But to a lot of people it's just another decision, and in order to be competitive we should find our problems and fix them. Having a diverse set of DEs is not bad, but having an extremely diverse / fractured set of APIs to develop for is a big negative.
Look at what MS does: VSCode, Github; they're coming after devs, not users. We should offer good reasons for devs to come, and stay.

@cadadr yes, this I completely agree with. Unfortunately project politics make this difficult but I hope the initiatives like Flatpak can help bridge this divide.

@tindall Diversity is beautiful, but it's important where it is happening. We're all different, but we're all human beings. That's a huge common ground. But Gnome vs. KDE vs. ..., and deb vs. rpm vs. ... is like different species. If it weren't for FreeDesktop and (I'm sorry to say) systemd, there'd be nothing holding it together.
We need common ground to make that diversity our strength, otherwise it's more a fractured community than a diverse one, and that's bound to disincentivise new devs.

@cadadr so which desktops will you pick to jettison? What will you say to people who don't like the desktops you pick to stay? It goes against the whole point of a free desktop.

@tindall It's about picking a stack and perfecting it, not killing others.
I'd probably go with a Gnome+GNU+FreeDesktop+Debian stack and somehow bless it as "the Linux Desktop stack", solely because that's what seems to be the de facto reality anyways. The compromise for the rest is some porting work. Then on we could work on making great docs, and making this stack perfectly portable.

@cadadr I think you've really hit the crux of it with docs - they're poor or non-existent as I found when writing nora.codes/tutorial/packaging-

@tindall Hey, thanks for the link! Bookmarked.

If only we had a comprehensive and detalied resource (think Android docs) to develop & distribute proper and portable apps with FreeDesktop, Gtk+, Vala, Gjs, .deb & one of Snap/Flatpak/AppImage, with info on FOSS monetisation and project management ideas, it'd be a huge win. FOSS app development would be less of a dark abyss with only a lantern to navigate.

@tindall @cadadr Just to mention l10n: you're referring to the "original" ones, the industry consensus, those which are written in English, not about the localized docs.
Sign in to participate in the conversation
Cybrespace

Cybrespace is an instance of Mastodon, a social network based on open web protocols and free, open-source software. It is decentralized like e-mail.