Saturday, June 23, 2007

Check your facts, honey

In one of her worst editorials to date, Pamela Jones writes another long-winded preachy peace ("Goldman Sachs: Linux Will Dominate in the Corporate Data Center - and a Tip for Them") and centers her arguments around a four year old (January 2003) Goldman Sachs article titled "Fear the Penguin".

The premise of the Goldman Sachs' paper is this:
In our view, Linux has evolved into an enterprise-class operating system that will have a significant and lasting presence in the IT landscape, and its continued emergence will cause considerable changes in the enterprise IT vendor ecosystem. We believe its strongest effects will be seen in the corporate data center, where we see a shift occurring toward Linux-on-Intel servers away from the current paradigm of proprietary Unix-on-RISC systems. This paradigm shift should have significant implications for the enterprise computing market and for a broad range of vendors in both hardware and software.
It's the vindication of Redhat's analysis and subsequent move to supporting the server-side of IT in mid-2003 when they decided to drop Red Hat Linux (RH9) and stick to service and support on the server side. It should also be noted that The SCO Group (a.k.a. Caldera Systems) filed their lawsuit against IBM on March 6, 2003. Interesting timing, no?

But that's all beside the point. The point is her entire rant is based on her interpretation of a four-year-old report, a report she writes about as if it was just released. Idiot. It would have been a far more interesting (and no doubt thoughtful) article if the predictions from four years ago were compared to today's reality, especially after the start of the tSCOg/IBM lawsuit. And then you could have drawn some interesting historical points to Microsoft's FUDstering activities which also started that same year. Get my point?

Instead we're left with a strident sermon about the evil American business folk who lust after the priceless and holy works of Open Source Programmers (especially those of a European persuasion), and how if "you disrespect the GPL, you will find no one willing to code for you." Bullshit. Lots of folks code for cold hard cash and many other reasons besides the GPL. They've done it before and will no doubt continue in the future. UNIX was coded for cold hard cash. The original C (and later C++) wasn't designed because of the GPL. Yes, we have gcc and Linux, but they are derived and implement methods and concepts originally developed by folks on a regular payroll. The GPL is a johnny-come-lately by comparison and is evolving into a confusingly convoluted legal pain in the ass that many are deciding they can well do without. Just like P.J.

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