1997-07-21 - Re: Will Monolithic Apps Dominate?

Header Data

From: Michael Stutz <stutz@dsl.org>
To: Mismatched NFS IDs <nobody@toad.com>
Message Hash: 4b88196a4888882e374c13b83f05398baade87399c418ab84e52b9fad09671b6
Message ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970721183747.25439E-100000@devel.nacs.net>
Reply To: <97Jul19.201054edt.32257@brickwall.ceddec.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-07-21 23:02:44 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 07:02:44 +0800

Raw message

From: Michael Stutz <stutz@dsl.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 07:02:44 +0800
To: Mismatched NFS IDs <nobody@toad.com>
Subject: Re: Will Monolithic Apps Dominate?
In-Reply-To: <97Jul19.201054edt.32257@brickwall.ceddec.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970721183747.25439E-100000@devel.nacs.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Sat, 19 Jul 1997, Mismatched NFS IDs wrote:

> I think that depends on what people start adopting.  If you want
> "geodesic" software, use Linux.  Pieces are there from every continent,
> and all any business needs to do to have a driver and applications written
> for any hardware is to release the spec.  It is flexible and upgradable
> and 'out of control', and is developed on the internet.  Interestingly
> enough, the only stego-crypto "device" I know of is the linux loop device.

Like a geodesic network, it naturally routes around obstructions or any
attempts to stop it.

This is a story I did for Wired News today about a possible attempt at
stopping free software in the most obvious manner -- close the hardware.
Notice the outcome.

   [5][LINK] _Consortium Segregates the Bus_
   _by [6]Michael Stutz _
   3:07pm  21.Jul.97.PDT A coming improvement to the PC architecture
   promises to dramatically enhance throughput for high-end servers,
   while at the same time only granting a select few the right to create
   software for it. Some programmers say this is a move by corporate
   giants like Microsoft to enforce a prohibition on the growing free
   software movement, and have begun to fight it.
   Intelligent Input/Output, or I20, is the technical specification for
   the next breed of high-end PC hardware devices invented by Intel and
   developed by the [7]I2O SIG, an industry consortium. Conforming
   hardware will help relieve I/O-intensive enterprise applications, such
   as client/server networking and videoconferencing, by taking the I/O
   load from the CPU, said consortium spokesman Michael LoBue. "It
   'tweaks' the basic architecture by offloading I/O processing from the
   CPU to a dedicated I/O processor," he said.
   This built-in processor is part of an intelligent I/O subsystem that
   would even allow I2O devices to communicate with each other - for
   example, a network card could make a request directly to a disk
   controller - without intervention by the CPU or operating system.
   Eventually, OEMs such as H-P and Dell may release high-end systems
   conforming with I2O, some before the calendar year's end.
   "We feel that the technology is promising," said Patrick Franklin,
   Microsoft's I2O SIG rep, who confirmed that its NT 5 operating system
   will begin to implement I2O compatibility while noting that "there's
   the risk that I2O performance will not justify the cost."
   But another issue has begun to raise a stink with programmers - the
   ability to write and share software for I2O-enabled hardware devices
   is controlled by the Microsoft-dominated SIG.
   "It looks as if the I2O SIG agreements are deliberately written to
   exclude free software," said Bruce Perens, chairman of [8]Software in
   the Public Interest, a nonprofit organization formed to support Debian
   GNU/Linux, a free Linux operating system package. "It's my opinion
   that this was a very deliberate decision on the part of the I2O
   consortium, and specifically on the part of their sponsors Microsoft
   and Novell."
   Free software - software whose source code is shared throughout the
   Net community - has taken a good portion of the high-powered server
   market that I2O targets, said Perens. "[For] [9]Web servers, file
   servers, and big-ticket systems, people have dumped high-priced
   commercial server packages in favor of free software."
   Because software development for I2O peripherals is forbidden for
   nonmembers, the US$5,000 yearly membership dues will put individuals
   and small organizations out of the game. Members themselves are not
   permitted to disclose their source code, and Microsoft has veto power
   to drop any organization from the SIG. This makes a grim scenario for
   independent programmers.
   The usual reason for keeping a hardware system closed - to prevent
   cloning of the device - does not apply in this case, as all I2O
   hardware vendors have access to the same documentation. "Five thousand
   dollars is assurance that the little guys, people like [10]Linus
   Torvalds [the original author of Linux] who might work for a college
   or program at home on hardware they purchased with their own money,
   will be locked out," Perens said.
   But, says LoBue, "I try to tell these people that one, this isn't a
   conspiracy and two, the founders are not stupid, ignorant people
   unaware of a free approach to licensing - so grow up, get over it.
   Either join or wait until such time as they feel that it doesn't need
   to be licensed. Boy, they're sure having a lot of fun on their soapbox
   lecturing about how ruin and damnation will happen because there are
   'proprietary specs.' I would claim that I2O is _not_ a proprietary
   spec - _anybody_ is free to join the SIG."
   Proprietary specs have surfaced many times throughout PC history; the
   outcomes have almost never been good. The MicroChannel Architecture
   bus was IBM's one-time attempt to keep the PC bus its own. It didn't
   "MCA was doomed from the start," said Microsoft's Franklin, citing the
   difficulties in getting a license from the IBM bureaucracy as a prime
   catalyst for its demise. Similarly, it may prove tough to impossible
   to keep determined hackers from programming their own hardware: Some
   have even now routed around the I2O membership requirements, informing
   Wired News that the secret document describing I2O in its current
   revision was [11]openly available from the I2O SIG's own site.
   _Related Wired Links:_
   _[12]Penguin Plaque Honors Linux Creator
   [13][LINK] [14][USEMAP]
   [15]Feedback: Let us know how we're doing.
   [16]Tips: Have a story or tip for Wired News? Send it.
   [17]Copyright (c) 1993-97 Wired Ventures, Inc. and affiliated companies.
   All rights reserved.
   [19]PSINet. Sign up now and get $200 of free Internet faxing.
   [20]Consortium Segregates the Bus
   _Today's Headlines_
   _[21]Email Spy Lurks in Corporate Future
   [22]Digital Maps Help You Take a High-Tech Hike
   __[23]Consortium Segregates the Bus
   [24]Net Cannot Work by Man Alone
   [25]Launch Entrepreneurs Bet Down Under Goes Over
   [26]Sun's Adventures in the Third Dimension
   __[27]Tools: Internet Explorer 4.0 Preview 2
   [28]Street Cred: The Interface Hackers
   [29]Geek Talk: VBScript
   _[30]PSINet. Sign up now and get $200 of free Internet faxing.


   1. LYNXIMGMAP:http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5343.html#masthead.map
   2. LYNXIMGMAP:http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5343.html#nav1.map
   3. LYNXIMGMAP:http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5343.html#nav2.map
   4. http://www.wired.com/wired/
   5. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology
   6. mailto:stutz@dsl.org
   7. http://www.i2osig.org/
   8. http://www.debian.org/social_contract.html
   9. http://www.netcraft.com/Survey/Changes/ALL/
  10. http://www.forwiss.uni-passau.de/forwiss/archive/linux/personen/interview.html
  11. ftp://ftp.i2osig.org/ver1-5.pdf
  12. http://www.wired.com/news/news/culture/story/1763.html
  13. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology
  14. LYNXIMGMAP:http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5343.html#navstrip.map
  15. mailto:news_feedback@wired.com
  16. mailto:tips@wired.com
  17. http://www.wired.com/wired/full.copyright.html
  18. LYNXIMGMAP:http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5343.html#nav3.map
  19. http://www.wired.com/cgi-bin/nredirect/zMN5zNoNlV+G@http://www.psi.net/bannerads3/hotwired@news@topstories@def@psinet@psinet/greenpsinet125@
  20. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5343.html
  21. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5315.html
  22. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5313.html
  23. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5343.html
  24. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5321.html
  25. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5304.html
  26. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5287.html
  27. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5337.html
  28. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5272.html
  29. http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/5266.html
  30. http://www.wired.com/cgi-bin/nredirect/zMN5zNoNlV+G@http://www.psi.net/bannerads3/hotwired@news@topstories@def@psinet@psinet/greenpsinet125@