FEB
16
2002

US DoJ Identifies 47 "Major" Comments

Those of you following the US antitrust proceedings against
Microsoft
might be interested to note that the
US DoJ
Antitrust Division
has selected
47 "major"
comments from the
30,000+ comments
submitted under the
Tunney Act.
Included amongst those are comments from the
KDE
League, Inc.
(nice PDF version, website) as well as
Red Hat,
Inc.
(website).
After a brief review, other comments making significant references to
Open Source include
John A. Carroll,
Steven Waldman,
Ralph
Nader and James Love
,
The American Antitrust Institute and the
U.S. Senate (mainly Red Hat's testimony),
and comments making some reference to Open Source include
Consumers for Computing Choice and Open Platform Working Group,
Paul Johnson,
Dan Kegel,
Mason
Thomas
and
SBC Communications Inc..
Hopefully this volume of comments
will ensure that the district court will pay adequate attention to the
issues confronting Open Source developers in particular when reviewing the
proposed settlement.

Comments

He is objecting, from the point of a free market. He assumes that one exists and that this is asking the government to interfere with it. Nice post, but it will not change his mind.


By About Ximian at Sun, 2002/02/17 - 6:00am

I don't give two hoots about Microsoft, and many KDE people don't either. They make nice keyboards/mice and that's about it as far as I'm concerned. Many are not interested in this US DoJ stuff and all that. Microsoft is doing just fine and will continue doing just fine. The US DoJ is just fine and will continue doing just fine.

However, we can view this letter as a means to an end, and this League letter is really quite interesting from a KDE Promotion point of view.

One of the "unofficial" (because I'm not going to read by-laws to back that up) aims of the League has always been to promote KDE in America. Now many will flame saying that the world is bigger than America, which is true, but the point is that marketing KDE in America to the mainstream is where KDE promotion could use the most help. Face it, we do quite well in Europe, but GNOME has traditionally beat the crap out of us in US mainstream press.

No popularity for KDE means fewer new developers and maybe less old developers. KDE needs developers. Ever notice how all the US Unix developers and companies often choose GNOME over KDE?

So worse comes to worse, this letter won't have any effect on Microsoft, but it's certainly a cheap way (I hope) for the League to bring and promote KDE to the mainstream at large. Many people who haven't heard of KDE will suddenly become aware of it, there interest will be piqued by the short KDE introduction in the League letter.

The US government is starting to think about KDE. We are getting KDE into the minds of people. Microsoft will look at KDE even closer. If we're lucky, Microsoft will say something about KDE. It doesn't matter what. Red Hat will have a bigger reason to switch to KDE, if KDE is popular in the US.

So that's quite a cool and cheap (I hope) way of getting some promotion for KDE, it's the beginnings of a marketing effort. Now if we could leverage that letter somehow to get KDE even more promotion, that would be icing on the cake. Personally I hope that the KDE League will continue using smart tactics like this to bring KDE to the americans, with their limited budget.

Some of you will say it's bad thing to make KDE popular. To that I say "nya nya nya".

Cheers,
Navin.

I speak for myself.


By Navindra Umanee at Sun, 2002/02/17 - 6:00am

KDE's a fine collection of software, but the US Unix companies aren't going
to adopt it because of financial issues (their customers who want to develop
proprietary applications will have to pay for licenses, and the money goes
to Troll Tech, not to Sun, HP, etc). Because the Gnome libraries are LGPLed,
they don't have to give money to someone else. Clearly they are calculating
that they can overcome KDE's present technical lead -- Gnome may be behind
but it beats that CDE crap the big guys are selling now.


By Joe Buck at Mon, 2002/02/18 - 6:00am

Qt is cheaper than both GTK+ and Motif. Motif costs more in direct $$$ and as does GTK+ in developer time and money wasted.


By waggle at Mon, 2002/02/18 - 6:00am

Promote the stuff all you want, I say. Just don't mislead people into thinking that you speak for the KDE user and/or developer community.

The KDE League positions itself as the mouthpiece of KDE. It sets up its website to look like the KDE website, and repeatedly claims to speak for the needs of developers in the DOJ submission.


By Neil Stevens at Mon, 2002/02/18 - 6:00am

Neil,

I would just like to point out that, from reading through the comments on this story as well as related coverage on various other sites, it appears you are the only one having a problem with the comment. This is not to say you are the only one against it, but it would suggest that a large majority in not only the KDE but also in the Open Source community think it was a positive.

So even if, as you claim, the KDE League purported to speak on behalf of the KDE community, which claim seems to lack any basis in fact, it does appear to me that it in fact has broad community support.


By Sage at Mon, 2002/02/18 - 6:00am

This shouldn't be an issue. Political views on this shouldn't be an issue. They're needlessly divisive to the community. Are you saying that just because maybe a majority of the vocal developers agree that you'd like to drive off the minority?

KDE can use as many developers and contributing users as it can get. Taking a political stand will only keep some people away. After reading that, if I weren't already involved with KDE, I'd probably not join. I wouldn't want to help an organization that holds the views outlined in Pour's piece. Anyone who holds principled views in opposition wouldn't join an organization that violates those principles.

Since the League's goal is to *maximize* the number of developers and users that help, I just ask that it either distance itself from KDE, so that it doesn't taint KDE's image with its own, or that it refrain from getting involved in non-KDE matters. Speak up about KDE, not the other guys.

(About Ximian, before you reply again: *What issues I disagree with in the article aren't at issue.* The point is that the KDE League should refrain from being a political body to begin with, and stay in marketing as it says it is supposed to. Why don't you go write some code for KDE instead of writing two posts for everyone I write?)


By Neil Stevens at Mon, 2002/02/18 - 6:00am

I trust you when you say that you don't care about Microsoft but you might want to consider that Microsoft might care about you. Care in the same way as a drug-dealer cares about a friend who holds back a kilo of his cocaine. This is of course a bad example because there is much more money involved in the Microsoft case than in the average drug deal.

Microsoft and its laywers are very much aware of KDE. In fact in 1999 they mention KDE and KOffice in their court filing as an example of competition to prove that they are not a monopoly. (See http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/fof/IV.asp point 128 & 129) Microsoft has no trouble finding KDE when it is in their interest.

And to remind you how Microsoft thinks about this competition... Steve Balmer thinks Linux is just as bad as cancer.

So instead of considering this as a cheap way to get some publicity, you might want to consider this as an attempt to cover your ass by someone who cares about you in the traditional sense.

Cheers,
Waldo

PS. we need to educate the DOJ a bit better, in court documents from that time
he describes KDE as "a German firm not affiliated with Caldera".


By Waldo Bastian at Mon, 2002/02/18 - 6:00am

>Steve Balmer thinks Linux is just as bad as cancer.

I believe this is how an Agent in The Matrix describes humans. What's very funny is how The Matrix came out before Balmer made that comment, iirc.


By Carbon at Mon, 2002/02/18 - 6:00am

Whoa there, have a look at Exhibit H at the end of the Red Hat submission. I assume its a list of all MS software patents awarded since 1988. More than half were awarded in the last 2 years, and the rate of patents in the last few months has exceeded ONE PATENT PER DAY and is apparantly continuing to accelerate.

Scary.


By Ian at Thu, 2002/02/28 - 6:00am

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