[TUHS] What UNIX Artifacts Are Still Missing?

Robert Brockway robert at timetraveller.org
Thu Dec 7 17:02:01 AEST 2017

On Wed, 6 Dec 2017, Jon Steinhart wrote:

> Don't know how much time you've spent on standards committees; I've done 
> my time.  Standards committees are not filled with altruistic folks 
> working to make something great.  Much of the time people are there to 
> prevent a standard from interfering with their market, or to prevent a 
> good standard from being adopted.  The examples of the NSA participating 
> on crypto committees to weaken the standards got a lot of press and is 
> emblematic of what happens.  Microsoft has a well documented record of 
> using standards to screw the competition so I didn't read any goodness 
> into their joining up.  I would agree that they're not the company of 
> old in that they got themselves trounced by Apple and are no longer top 
> dog and able to tell others what they're allowed to do.

I'm not suggesting any sort of altruism on the part of MS (or any other 
company).  I have been very critical of MS in the past and was initially 
skeptical when they started to open up.  IIRC one of the first signs of 
change was when they called the Mozilla Foundation and asked for a 
meeting.  They met with the Mozilla Foundation and started working on 
interoperability.  Many in the FOSS community were skeptical but that was 
a lot of years ago.  I haven't seen any "embrace and extend" for many 
years.  I'd be interested if anyone else has.

The evidence I'm seeing suggests that today they consider working with 
others to be in their best interests.

As you note they can no longer throw their weight around in the way they 
used to.  No doubt that's a driver for change.

If someone had told me 20 years ago that I'd be sitting here today 
defending Microsoft's involvement in FOSS... ;)


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