Fair Source, April Fools', Winbuntu review

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 02, 2016

Today in Linux news, Matt Asay explained why Fair Source isn't Open Source and Blogger Locutus reviewed the new Winbuntu monster. Microsoft lured Oracle's Linux guy to Redmond and LinuxGizmos changed name and focus to Hackerboards.com. Of course, April 1 wouldn't be the same without some April Fools' jokes.

LinuxGizmos.com used to feature all kinds of devices that ran Linux, but as of today, no joke, they will henceforth be known as Hackerboards.com. They will expand their OS coverage beyond Linux (including proprietary) and no longer feature end-user products. They will focus on single board computers and "other development-oriented devices."

Microsoft made further Linux moves today with the news of luring Wim Coekaerts, Oracle's former VP of Linux, also referred to as "Mr. Linux," from Oracle to Redmond. Some are saying this is another indication of Microsoft's new commitment to working with Linux. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols today reported that his new position at Microsoft will be Corp VP of Open Source in our Enterprise Cloud Group. First order of business is to find a name plaque large enough for the new title. Vaughan-Nichols said one can only imagine what his real goals for Microsoft and Linux might be. No joking, that long-running April Fools' joke MS-Linux (at least for the cloud) might actually come to fruition. In other Windows news, Locutus posted a Winbuntu review today concluding, " I am not sure what to think."

Wired.com ran a story about a new start-up called Sourcegraph which released its code under something dubbed Fair Source. It's not exactly Open Source, which is the topic of Matt Asay's article today at TechRepublic.com. He said it's "another attempt by pseudo-open source advocates to resist the future (and present) of software licensing." He quoted the Fair Source website saying the definition is:

Not open source. Not closed source. The Fair Source License allows everyone to see the source code and makes the software free to use for a limited number of users in your organization. It offers some of the benefits of open source while preserving the ability to charge for the software.

But, there's always a but, Asay said that really means "if your software stinks and no one wants to use it, hurray! It's open for usage, redistribution, and modification. But, once it crosses an arbitrary threshold of popularity, the doors come clanging shut and you lose those rights unless you pay. See the rest of his article for more detail, but he summed it up by saying, " Fair Source is an attempt to resurrect yesterday's software licensing model in a world that has gone open source and cloud. Time to move on."

April Fools' Day comes but once a year and we can't let the occasion pass without a few laughs. Seems' Google caused some problems with one of their jokes, but another is hilarious and fitting in these times. Of course, the Microsoft jokes are becoming less and less obvious these days with their latest Linux announcements. But folks try. The Free Software Foundation got in on the act and announced they were being sued by Apple for trademark infringement for GNU Emacs. A KDE Plasma joke was taken seriously at first as was this Wayland on Plasma joke. This isn't really a joke, but still a funny read.