Another good site deserving of a little more love is Distrowatch
It is true that ReactOS has not advanced too much in the past months/years, but it would be great if it succeeded.
I agree completely. It's also good to see a 'built from scratch' alternative to Linux/BSD.
We don't want to get all our eggs out of one basket, only to replace it with a different single basket.
It is not that easy to kill an open source project.
Disagree on that point somewhat. Most open source projects are very easy to buy out, kill, corrupt, or cripple if somebody makes the effort to do so. Fortunately, ReactOS is a world unto itself so there's good hope it will be spared much of the nonsense and machinations going on in the bigger FOSS/GNU/Linux/GPL world.
In the end it's mostly up to the project's community of developers. ReactOS seems to have a good one. So lets keep our fingers crossed and wish them well.
The recent Oracle-Google case about copyright-ability of API and a similar case in EU seem to indicate re-implementing an API is OK, which is a good foundation for ReactOS legitimacy.
Also agree - but only up to a point. Because that only covers situations where the legal arguments make some sense and are based on some possible version of reality.
When true behemoths (like Microsoft or Apple) go up against a small project that states up front the following on it's homepage, it gives attorneys a huge amount of running room for making a case for IP violations:
ReactOS® is a free, modern operating system based on the design of Windows® XP/2003. Written completely from scratch, it aims to follow the Windows-NT® architecture designed by Microsoft from the hardware level right through to the application level. This is not a Linux based system, and shares none of the unix architecture.
And when it comes to APIs and other "parts' of some big company's product offerings you need to be equally careful. Take Mono. It's a trojan horse AFAIC. The time will come when Microsoft lowers the boom. Expect it when Ballmer finally decides to quit the helm. He'll do the "dying general going out with a bang" routine. And initiating the Mono takedown will be his swan song. If it succeeds, it's a feather in his cap. If it causes a huge backlash, he'll be gone and a convenient scapegoat if Micorosoft needs to backpedal. Microsoft will be covered either way.
In the meantime, the 'sellout' Nix distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Suse will work out some sort of a license deal making them the only sanctioned
platforms for anything that uses Mono. Which plays into Microsoft's grand strategy: first, drive a wedge into the Linux community
and separate out the people who "play the game" (by Microsoft's rules), from those that refuse. And then pick off the holdouts one by one
. Probably starting with the smallest (but still popular) distro in order to establish early legal precedent for their arguments.
I personally think Microsoft's real problem with Linux, and FOSS in general, is that so much of it is available at no charge. That is where they see the real
threat - allowing people to expect to get usable and good quality software for free.
I think if most Linux distros and FOSS packages generally charged something
, even as little as $1 - $5 a copy (like iOS apps) for a download, Microsoft would be breathing a lot easier. Because "free" is the one word Microsoft doesn't
ever want to see regularly paired with the word 'software' - no matter who is doing the pairing.
It's all a matter of managing customer expectations. Or, in Microsoft's case, of lowering them.