Is this not an argument for the whole world of unix and linux?
Yes, but I think I see it for slightly different reasons. And no for some reasons. Unix and Linux are not the same. Unix is an extremely expensive operating system. That's why we got DOS and Mac OS and why we have Windows and OS X now. Tens of thousands of dollars for an OS was and is beyond the means of your regular Joe.
Linux, despite its problems, is a fantastic OS that is free in terms of "freedom" and money in most cases. There are commercial versions of Linux out there that are not free. This is a good thing.
Money is important and it helps guarantee vested interest. It is an excellent motivator.
"Free as in beer" must be about the worst analogy ever created. It does nothing but confuse the issue at hand. "Free as in freedom" would be a better description for what Linux / FOSS / OSS is about (loosely that is).
It seems to still be a world that is thriving with enthusiasts writing programs and scripts, mostly for free, that are not motivated primarily by the desire to make money.
I don't mean to be beligerent or aggressive but... This is what I think is fundamentally wrong with the Linux world: Too many people think "free" means "no money". That's not the important thing. The important thing is freedom. If you have freedom, you are free, but "free" gets mixed up with money there and distorted.
The GPL says nothing about money, and even encourages people to sell GPL software and to try and make money from it. The ability to do that has never been greater than it is today. Again, this is a fantastic thing.
The distinction between users and developers remains blurry, and shell scripting is so powerful, one can amuse oneself endlessly writing customized scripts for one's own use.
Hahaha~! There aren't all that many of us out here that find shell scripting fun or amusing. But yes, it certainly can be entertaining.
The proliferation of apps and portable devices is primarily aimed at practical needs that can be sold to end-users.
I always kind of looked at it as more entertainment than practical. The business world goes for practical, while the consumer side of things goes for shiny beeping glittery wow~!
The whole locked-into-devices-vendors-OS's-websites trend was already pioneered by Microsoft with IE, the infamous registry, its net-framework, etc.
The registry, maybe. (It was always a crappy idea anyways, and I never really understood why anyone would use it.)
.NET is the MS implementation of the CLI, an open standard developed by Microsoft and ratified by ECMA and ISO. There are 2 major implementations (.NET and Mono), although there are more (Portable.Net).
But yes, MS is the big-daddy ancestor of lock-in. However, lock-in has evolved now, and what is currently happening makes the old MS stuff look like rainbows, unicorns, and pink ponies.
Microsoft tried to lock people into software applications and operating systems.
The Apple way of the past was to lock people into the cult of Apple, which boiled down to the MS lock-in plus locking people into hardware as well. Apple has several failed attempts at their current lock-in strategy: services.
There really are only a few ways to lock people in:
1) Software applications (IE, Outlook, MS Office)
2) Operating systems (Windows vs. OS X vs. Linux)
3) Hardware (Apple computers, iPhones, the old Sun computers, etc.)
4) Platforms (Operating systems, development platforms (Xcode, Visual Studio, Borland Studio, Eclipse, etc.), application platforms (IE, Real Player, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, etc.), server platforms/stacks (LAMP, WAMP, WIMP, etc.)
5) SERVICES -- This is where the money is.
Services boils down to not "what you're doing", but HOW you're doing it.
Apple failed with some of it's early attempts like .mac, but has finally got this just about mastered.
I am most concerned about seeing things locked down like the iPhone is. Apple is trying to bring that to the desktop, which is an entirely bad thing. It's bad for consumers. It's bad for developers. But it's sure as Hell good for Apple.
I like being able to choose hardware.
I like being able to choose operating systems.
I like being able to choose software.
I like being able to choose platforms.
I like being able to choose services.
I don't like having it all dictated to me. The mobile market is the one to watch, because the "AT&T monopoly" attitude is infectious, and it's spreading.
The strategy then was: make windows-related things so dependent on windows, that you have to keep buying Microsoft products to use the things you like, or to develop things that run on windows.
This isn't entirely fair. Nobody ever created any good development tools except Microsoft, and of course they developed them for their platform. Nobody ever stopped anyone from creating good cross-platform tools; it's just that nobody ever did until the CLI >> .NET and Mono. ANSI C isn't an answer. It's only a problem. ANSI C is simply far too difficult to get anything done in; it's not productive. MFC was a fantastic productivity tool for developers. Why didn't anyone else create anything to rival it?
The same could be said of any company. Microsoft isn't any different. Apple has ALWAYS been more close, more secretive, more proprietary, and more about lock-in and dependency than Microsoft. Always.
However, Microsoft has focused on 1 thing that distinguishes it from most vendors; it has always encouraged partners and has always encouraged people to make money with its plaforms in much stronger ways than other vendors. This has been a key factor for Microsoft's success since its early days.
Other vendors have certainly done the same, but not to the degree that MS has.
Jeez... I sound like a bloody apologist... It's just that it's true.
But yeah, MS likes lock-in, though that is much less than it used to be. If you look at Microsoft today, and not MS 10 years ago, you'd see this.
Here are some examples:http://php.iis.net/http://www.microsoft.../gallery/joomla.aspxhttp://www.microsoft...lery/DotNetNuke.aspxhttp://www.microsoft...llery/WordPress.aspxhttp://www.microsoft...lery/mojoPortal.aspxhttp://www.microsoft...gallery/Default.aspxhttp://www.microsoft...ured/Stonehenge.aspxhttp://www.opensourc.../licenses/ms-pl.htmlhttp://www.ecma-inte...andards/Ecma-335.htmhttp://www.iso.org/i...l.htm?csnumber=42927http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Office_Open_XMLhttp://www.ecma-inte...andards/Ecma-376.htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WAVhttp://weblogs.asp.n...ework-libraries.aspxhttp://weblogs.asp.n...e-now-available.aspxhttp://www.microsoft...dsource/default.mspxhttp://en.wikipedia....ft_Reference_Licensehttp://en.wikipedia....zation_and_licensinghttp://www.microsoft...nsource/default.aspx
Now, just for a simple example, take MS not supporting OGG codecs in HTML5. Who can blame them?
Quick reference: http://gigaom.com/vi...ml5-never-say-never/
There is no proper patent vetting for OGG, and for MS to support it would potentially leave MS open to a slew of lawsuits, and we all know that courts love to flog MS whenever they have the chance.
This entire mess of lawyers and nonsense has forced companies to do bad things because they have no choice. Take the Mike Rowe case: http://en.wikipedia....oft_vs._MikeRoweSoft
MS had to go after him to protect their trademark.
Microsoft later admitted that they may have been too aggressive in their defense of the "Microsoft" trademark. Following the case it was suggested by Struan Robertson – editor of Out-Law.com – that Microsoft had little choice but to pursue the issue once it had come to light or they would have risked weakening their trademark. This view was also espoused by ZDNet, who noted that had Microsoft knowingly ignored Rowe's site, the company would have risked losing the right to fight future trademark infringements. Had legal proceedings ensued, Robertson thought that Rowe would have made a strong argument for keeping his domain, as he was using his real name and wasn't claiming to be affiliated with Microsoft.
So while it's easy to villify companies, like MS, for nastiness, we often have to look at the game they are playing and the entire playing field: it's a dirty, muddy game.
The courts have done almost as much to create injustice as they have done to administer justice. Catch-22 anyone?
I still hesitate with unix/linux apps -- because I so hate hunting for where various libraries, macros, and directories are in THIS installation -- in order to succeed in a make and compile of some application.
This is a genuine problem. The Ubuntu Software Center is a great ways to get help there.
If we had better cross-platform development tools, a lot of these problems would start to go away.
Again, this is one of the reasons why I'm rooting so hard for Novell and the Mono Project. It's what I see as the true future of productive, cross-platform, open computing. With more an more component vendors releasing .NET and Mono compatible libraries, developers have greater flexibility to create cross-platform software, which is good for them, and good for consumers. Everything is open from the very bottom to the very top.