Is Windows Vista the open source frontier?

Is Windows Vista the open source frontier?

Summary: Let's say you were going to launch a new open source application project, right now. Which would you most like it to run on, Windows or Linux?

TOPICS: Windows

Todd Osagawara of O'Reilly's Port 25 offers an intriguing possibility this morning. Is Windows Vista the frontier for open source?

He doesn't ask the question out loud. Instead he offers a developers' readiness kit for producing Vista open source, and links inside Microsoft's developers' site for resources that will help you "Vista-ize" your open source applications.

Given that most Americans use Windows, and will continue to do so over the next several years (at least), the idea of seeking the biggest possible market for an open source application makes some sort of sense.

Until you get to Osagawara's own experience. Neither Mozilla Firefox nor Thunderbird would upgrade with Vista Ultimate, which he's using. The work-around is to get a new installer and proceed as though you have a new installation, but will your cache and mail follow?

Which brings up the ultimate Microsoft question. Can you trust the company not to hose your project with undocumented "features" or sudden changes? You need to answer that question yourself.

So, let's say you were going to launch a new open source application project, right now. Which would you most like it to run on, Windows or Linux?

[poll id=29]

Topic: Windows

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  • Why choose just one?

    As far as I can tell, if you want wide adoption of your software, supporting both windows and linux is the best choice. There certainly are many more windows users out there than linux users, but typical windows users don't understand free open source software. To them it is likely to be mistaken for just another shareware program. Linux users already understand the concept of open source and generally have a good network at their disposal to evaluate the trustworthiness of an unknown piece of software. So if the application is valuable an doesn't do anything malicious, it is likely to be adopted first in the linux community. Once linux folks like and use the software, they can tell their windows friends about it.
    • Re: Why choose just one?

      [i]...typical windows users don't understand free open source software. To them it is likely to be mistaken for just another shareware program. [/i]

      There's a local technical rag in my city that just ran an editor's column purporting to clue readers in to some cool open source apps.

      The editor did include Mozilla Firefox and vlc, but that was it for open source. There were included Zone Alarm, AVG and a bunch of other stuff that was free to install but not open source.

      It's not just typical users. This guy is a tech journalist and he doesn't get it, either.

      none none
    • Linux is NOT open source, it's GPLed.

      Yes I understand many have worked hard to pevert the meaning of "open source" so they can fly the GPL flag over it, but it is NOT true open source.

      I have created true open source. I provide the source code and documentation and then state thet ANYONE may take it, use it ANYWAY they wish, are under no obligation to reveal their own code, or any other such silly limitation. It is TRUE OPEN SOURCE, not some wanna be...
      • Still on your clueless rants?

        When are you going to get it... oh wait, never. Sorry forgot you were incapable of understanding simple concepts. ]:)
        Linux User 147560
        • Which of my facts are wrong?

          Come one, you cliam to know so much more than the rest of the world, so show me where I am wrong...

          Never, ever going to happen...
          • Oh... as usual pretty much all of them...

            and they are not facts when they come from you!
            [B]?Linux is NOT open source, it's GPLed ?[/B]
            First off, Linux is Open Source and it's covered by the General Public License. Open Solaris is Open Source as well but it is covered by the Common Development and Distribution License, and FreeBSD is also Open Source but it is covered by several licenses: ?[B]All of the kernel code and most newly created code is released under the terms of the two-clause BSD license, which allows everyone to use and redistribute FreeBSD as they wish. There are also parts under the GPL, LGPL, ISC, Beerware license, two-, three-, and four-clause BSD licenses. New contributions to the base system are most frequently under the two-clause BSD license.?[/B]

            Next you again in your great ignorance attempt to claim that the definition of open source is being perverted... sorry you are the one perverting not only the intent but the definition!

            [B]?Open source describes the principles and methodologies to promote open access to the production and design process for various goods, products and resources. The term is most commonly applied to the source code of software that is made available to the general public with either relaxed or non-existent intellectual property restrictions. This allows users to create user-generated software content through either incremental individual effort, or collaboration.
            Some consider open source as one of various possible design approaches, while others consider it a critical strategic element of their operations. Before open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; the term open source gained popularity with the rise of the Internet and its enabling of diverse production models, communication paths, and interactive communities.[1] Subsequently, open source software became the most prominent face of open source practices.
            The open source model can allow for the concurrent use of different agendas and approaches in production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies.[2] "Open source" as applied to culture defines a culture in which fixations are made generally available. Participants in such a culture are able to modify those products and redistribute them?[/B] [url=]Source[/url]

            [B]?open source
            Refers to software that is created by a development community rather than a single vendor. Typically programmed by volunteers from many organizations, the source code of open source software is free and available to anyone who would like to use it or modify it for their own purposes. This allows an organization to add a feature itself rather than hope that the vendor of a proprietary product will implement its suggestion in a subsequent release.
            Sometimes, proprietary software becomes open source; for example, the commercial Netscape Web browser was later turned into the open source Mozilla and Firefox browsers (see Mozilla).
            Not Necessarily Free

            Although open source is technically free, a lot of open source software is paid. For example, if a vendor wants to add open source code to its application, it must comply with the open source license and make all of its software publicly available even though the open source code is only a small part. As a result, many vendors pay for open source code, which allows them to keep their applications private and not reveal proprietary techniques. For more on open source licensing, visit
            Although open source software is used on most platforms, it is particularly common in the Unix/Linux/Java world; for example, the Linux OS, Apache Web server, sendmail mail server and JBoss application server are major open source projects. See Linux distribution.
            Peer Review

            Open source developers claim that a broad group of programmers produces a more useful and more bug-free product, the primary reason being that more people are constantly reviewing the code. This "peer review," where another programmer examines the code of the original programmer, is a natural byproduct of open source. Peer review is an important safeguard against poorly written code.
            In addition, the greater number of contributors provides enhancements and refinements that would take a lot longer with proprietary software or perhaps never be added.
            Vendors of proprietary software counter by saying that "too many cooks spoil the broth!" They say that having complete control over software ultimately results in better products.
            Useful Products May Last Longer

            A distinct advantage of open source software is that as long as there is even one devoted contributor, the program will be continue to be enhanced. In the commercial world, useful software may be abandoned if it does not generate sufficient profit compared to other products. For more information, visit and Contrast with shared source.?[/B] [url=]Source of information[/url]

            From your own fingers... [B]?I have created true open source. I provide the source code and documentation and then state thet ANYONE may take it, use it ANYWAY they wish, are under no obligation to reveal their own code, or any other such silly limitation. It is TRUE OPEN SOURCE, not some wanna be...?[/B]
            I am sure that there is a license (oh wait the GPL is a license too!) that governs your ?code?. You rant and rail about the GPL and it's because you are totally incapable of understanding how the GPL works. You go on long diatribes about how evil it is and yet every time you get shot down and shut up because many people smarter than you keep kicking you in the balls over it... but you still, like that stupid dog that no matter how hard you try, just don't get it. At least with a stupid dog we can perform euthanasia on it... too bad we can't do that with you. Have a nice day! ]:)
            Linux User 147560
          • Repeating a fool makes you a...

            yup, another fool.

            I fully understand the RESTRICTIVE nature of the GPL. I mean it's right there in black and white and even you can read it.

            And no, I have no "license". I clearly state that as TRUE OPEN SOURCE it is released to the public domain with NO RESTRICTIONS and certainly nothing as encumbering as the GPL.

            Let me guess, your one of the fools that have been convicned that "B*tch" is a nice thing to call a woman because some moron perverted the meaning of the word...
          • Exactly What Press Releases Have You Been Reading?

            The statements you just made are suggestive of either a Microsoft astroturfer (Microsoft LOVES the BSD licence because they can steal the code), or one of those idiots who loudly proclaim that the BSD licence is the best licence ever created because of the complete freedom. Unfortunately, that same group of morons then sit there and wonder why companies preferred to simply rip their work off rather than work with them.

            There IS a reason Linux has forward momentum and the BSD's don't (other than Mac OSX, but that's mostly from Apple's advertising); the GPL prevents companies from coming along and taking whatever they want out of the code for their own profit.
          • Well, at least you agree there are encumberances

            to anything covered by the GPL. Glad to see no everyone is blind to the facts.
          • Didn't know people owned fools


            You're typo made me laugh so I had to comment.

            "your one of the fools"

            I figure you really mean You are (you're) one of the fools. Instead you imple that one of his fools is the one convinced. :)
        • Are you saying I can take GPLed code

          that claims to be "open source" and do anything I want with it? Can I change it and use it in a proprietary product that I offer for sale?

          If not, then it's not truely "open", it is encumbered with asome massive restrictions.

          Fortunately, I know what truely OPEN means and when I make my code OPEN that is exactly what it is.
          • While you can't do "anything" with it, you can...

            While you can't do "anything" with it, you can take open source code, GPL for instance, and incorporate it in a proprietary product. Heck, Linksys does it all the time. Of course, the bulk of their proprietary product is software, but there's nothing preventing them from including proprietary programs in their wireless routers, for instance.

            Your tirade against Open Source is truly pathetic. Your definition of "open source" is to make it public domain, with no copyrights and let anyone use it with no restrictions whatsoever. Which is essentially worthless code. Why? Because no one wants to improve it if no one else reciprocates and publishes their improvements. There's no free lunch in Free Software. You know the adage: "It's not the software that's free. It's You."

            The restrictions placed on copyrighted Open Source are that the original code remains available. Your price for incorporating that code into your product that you want to sell to others is to incorporate those improvements you make into the public code base for that code. If you don't want to pay that price, you can pay dollars or euros or dinars or yen to whomever you want to for source code libraries, and abide by their restrictions.

            Why must you be so obstinate? Is it because no one wants to buy your software because there's an Open Source alternative? How many times do you have to be told this before it sinks in?
          • Why? Because it is encumbered is why.

            "Your definition of "open source" is to make it public domain, with no copyrights and let anyone use it with no restrictions whatsoever."

            See, you managed to get one thing right. There may be help for you after all.

            "Which is essentially worthless code. Why? Because no one wants to improve it if no one else reciprocates and publishes their improvements."

            Sorry, according to my web logs it is downloaded several hundred times a week. In fact I get many emails from users saying thank you for making it truely OPEN with ZERO encumberances. I also get a several emails each week asking if it is truely open and may it be used in proprietary code to which I answer yes and yes.

            I also get emails with attachments where the person added/improved on it and are making it available the same way, no restrictions at all. But unlike the GPL and it's limitations, I leave that up to the developer and do not try to force my control over him/her like the GPL does.
          • No, you are just

            not capable of grasping the GPL or it's intent. SO where can we get a link to this code of yours, after all you have stated here SEVERAL times that it's open source for all, so we want to see it... ]:)
            Linux User 147560
          • Tanting over and over there are no encumberances

            doesn't make it so.

            And trust me, I would NEVER want to see someone like you ever coming to my web site.
          • But I give you props over Linux Loser...

            At least you have the courage to admit the GPL carries it's own form of encumberances. He obviously isn't smart enough to read the GPL terms.
          • Smarter than you and obviously

            more capable of fully understanding the very simple text of the license. You seem to be in a very small catagory of morons incapable of grasping simple concepts. ]:)
            Linux User 147560
          • You want simple? Ok...

            The GPL enforces encumberances on anyone that wants to use it as they wish. Now rant like a mad man but that is the fact of the matter.
          • Again you pervert the definition to suit your

            pathetic needs... try again! Linux is Open Source that is covered by the GPL. All software is encumbered by some license of some sort. You are just to damn inbred to figure out how to use the code and the license to your benefit. Either that or to damn lazy. ]:)
            Linux User 147560
          • Wow, getting all puffy are your?

            Ranting, swearing, name calling. Yup, you have lost...