Summary: Setting the record straight on news that’s not news
SEVERAL years ago, Microsoft was accused of spreading the false rumour that Linux had been derived from Minix. It was a lie, and some people still think it is true.
Microsoft’s loadable module for Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] has demonstrated the strengths of the GPL, but Linus Torvalds continues to disrespect those who made the GPL possible. This is not news. FSF disdain from Torvalds has lasted an eternity, yet some people try to characterise his latest interview with Linux Magazine as some sort of change of heart; it’s not. As I pointed out 3 years ago, Torvalds even had a comment deleted for cursing Richard Stallman in Groklaw.
Regarding Microsoft’s loadable module, Free Software Magazine has just written an article explaining why Torvalds’ attitude is wrong.
Torvalds seemed to express indifference to the submission which he dismissed as only being about device drive code. If he looks at it at all it will be after it has been filtered through others, and even then only out of a sense of “morbid curiosity” apparently. The code is concerned with virtualizing GNU/Linux as a guest in Windows. That tells you a lot about Microsoft’s motives. If clients can’t run GNU/Linux on Hyper-V, Windows’ virtualization software, it makes it more likely that they would migrate to wholly free and open source systems running on wholly free and open systems.
Torvalds does the right thing by accepting Microsoft’s code (he hasn’t a choice), but the dismissal of the vigilant as irrational Microsoft Haters© is very unproductive but also very typical. █
“Giving the Linus Torvalds Award to the Free Software Foundation is a bit like giving the Han Solo Award to the Rebel Alliance.”