Microsoft prohibits GPLed work via licensing of CIFS standards

M E Leypold @ labnet leypold at
Sun Apr 7 10:27:17 UTC 2002


MJ Ray writes:

 > > If they can't get Samba as part of the package, many users won't
 > > choose a free system, they'll chose a proprietary system. [...]

 > Will they still, if we have a better alternative?  Surely Samba is
 > normally used during migration.  You never know, availability of a
 > more secure remote mount may make them have to implement it in
 > their OS at last.  Then we have the upper hand.

I think migration is (in "real life") a slow and often very painful
process. If you look to big corporations you'll find they still use
old UNISYS systems from the 70ties and IBM Mainframes -- not for fun,
but out of necessity. So more often than not, it's not migration, but
integration: Run+build the new system(s) parallel to the old
ones. Applikations that bridge both worlds are essential then. Since
CIFS is the majority solution for LAN file+resource sharing in the
DOS/Windows world, and it is that kind of installation
Linux/Hurd/whatever-free-software has to penetrate ([1] in example: in
the Greman Bundestag the decision is now to use Linux usw. for the
servers and Windows for the desktop -- which leaves the option to
migrate to Linux later and perhaps incrementally, but I bet that'll
only happen if Linux can interoperate smoothly with the remaining
Windows machines).

What I want to say: From that point of view interoperability matters (a
lot) and we have 2 option (as far as ressource sharing is concerned): 

   (1) Samba and it's successor version -- now threatened by the license
       in question, and
   (2) build an own ressource sharing service. 

Option (2) is what you suggest, but to ensure interoperability (which
is the only ticket to getting into existing pure Windows environments)
would require client software for windows. Don't expect MS to write
that, and writing (and promoting) it as a GNU project will also be
difficult, since none of the us AFAIK can access techical
documentation as freely and as early as MS can. I fear that could end
like the Browser war.

So after all I think, the best way is not to require from Windows users
to install any additional software at their machines, but instead
emulate MS server functionality: Back to Samba.

Regards -- Markus

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