09 Jul 2001 15:32:15 -0500
I apologize if I am a johnny-come-lately. If the war has already been
fought, please just share the out come with me.
Firstly, I laud Miguel's efforts and his bravery in embracing a positive
thing out of Redmond. Many of us could not resist the flames if we ever
publicly supported anything MS did right. Nor could we survive if
criticising the "Unix way" of doing something.
Gnome is alot of work. It has taken many (donated) man hours of work to
get the code to it's current place. Making dedications to large
architectural changes or improvments must be made with prudence. If we
decide to do 'X', will we ever get there (remember mozilla)?
I think adopting a standard such as the CLI is a very wise decision. I
have one fear. It would be niave to think that if we as a community
started to 'best' Microsoft (imagine that the Linux implementation is
better) that they would not do everything in their power to 'extend'
interfaces and essentially do what Microsoft does best. Essentially we
don't want to wind up like Samba, going from best to worst (no offence
guys it's not your fault).
Even if it does become an ECMA standard, what assurances do we have that
Microsoft won't engineer subtle differences that make it difficult to
write portable code, or to add small incompatible features that we will
always be running to catchup with? How do we know we won't get, excuse
the expression, 0wNz0r3d?
In the interest of jogging your memory:
Anyone who has been a Java developer for more than 3 years remembers
using the MS jvm and how their extensions to Java were only the tip of
the iceberg. The real problem was the many basic functions existing in
the Sun standard that were used differently, not implemented, or were
not reliable in the MS version. This forced developers to use code in a
manner that was not portable. This is a much more subtle problem but it
is much more dangerous.
Let's remember that this is not simply a protocol to be implemented, it
is an entire environment (much more complex). What assurances do we have
that Microsoft will play well when we show their customers how much
better a platform Linux is?
The three great virtues of programming are laziness, impatience, and
hubris, but bigotry makes the open-source world go round.