On Fri, 09 Nov 2001 02:49:29 +0000, pip
>> "Really, the reason you see open source there at all is because we came in
>> and said there should be a platform that's identical with millions and
>> millions of machines," [Gates] said.
>Maybe he has been eating too much of our beef, because he really is a
>However, in a very, very odd way he is right that he did contribute
[not arguing with your point in particular, just jumping in]
I could be deluded, but I was always under the impression --- setting
aside RS's (and others in open source) philosophies for the moment ---
that one of the pragmatic selling points of open source was its appeal
to _cross-platform_ developers. I.e., if you're extemely lucky, a
recompile "works first time"; if not, you muck about with headers and
other platform-specific chunks of code; worst-case, it's badly designed
source, and you roll up your sleeves so to speak, but at the end of
the day(/week/epoch) you've managed to port it to a platform it wasn't
necessarily designed for.
In that sense the opposite of Gates's "claim" should be the case: a
rich diversity of hardware platforms should provide a _better_
environment for open-source projects to thrive. This counterclaim
seems bourne out by anectodal evidence (e.g. in READMEs and such) that
"we found these bugs while porting from X to Y platforms". Perl is
touted as a "glue language", enabling (among other things) diverse
systems to talk to one another; Linux's ability to run on diverse
hardware is considered a positive thing; blah blah blah, I'm sure
many other examples could be found without much effort.
Perhaps in a universe with only one hardware platform Gates's "claim"
could be investigated. It strikes me as yet another lame bit of that
subliminal advertising so popular in those quarters: to simultaneously
claim credit for the entire open source movement (I thought we were
supposed to consider it a cancer? Oh well), as well as claim that only
one hardware platform exists (and this thanks to... them again!).
Perhaps Zippy _did_ say it best: zowie.