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IBM acquires Red Hat (redhat.com)
2611 points by nopriorarrests on Oct 28, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 1052 comments

I went to IBM(India) interview sometime in 2011, after leaving GlusterFS (Red Hat). Interview went well, during final call with management. I was asked to stop working on Open Source during weekends or off-hours even though the IBM project and my Open Source work has nothing in common.

I said, "I thought, IBM support Open Source right?" his response, "Yes, but that's another team"

I decided to call-off the interview after that.

I am currently working for IBM and I'm tied. I had to supress my commercial project once I joined big blue. What I have in contract is - if you want to open a company, you need IBM's permission first.

And it's just frustrating as they try to block it for as long as possibe even if you're not doing IT in your private little business.

A long time ago I joined IBM via an acquistion of the company I worked for. One part of the (lengthy) contract I had to sign, was a form listing any side projects I may have that I would be required to no longer work on. I simply omitted that page when I returned the contract and no one ever noticed.

I'm curious. Anyone care to outline the legal ramifications of this action? What would happen if IBM tried to stop his side-project?

1. Would IBM be able to enforce the original contract as it was outlined when they sent it to him? Would he be liable to fraud or other similar charges (for instance if he altered the contract after IBM representative added their signature)?

2. Or would the altered contract stand up in court?

This reminds me of that extreme example of altering the contract: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowin...

I routinely alter almost every contract I receive. It drives a lot of doctor offices/emergency rooms nuts. But they have so far always calculated that their liability will be higher if they refuse service than if they allow me to cross out the part that says I won't sue them if they kill me.

It is a point of amusement to me to see that the receptionist is extremely uncomfortable agreeing to the terms I have come up with in the last five minutes. They don't think it is reasonable for me to expect them to execute the altered contract without consulting attorneys. I point out that five minutes ago they asked me to sign a contract without consulting a legal expert. Their multi-page contract had been painstakingly drafted by a team of expensive lawyers and meticulously tweaked over years. Yet they gave me mere seconds to read it, understand it, and sign it under duress of not receiving medical attention. If they balk at the contract I hand back to them, how can they expect me not to balk at the original contract?

On the other hand, if they refuse to provide medical care because I wouldn't sign away my rights to any photographs that might be submitted to medical journals, they had better be very confident in their lawyers.

Banks, rental agencies, repair shops, etc., on the other hand, can safely refuse my revised contract. Most don't glance at them when I hand them back.

There is a very good reason (pressure) these kind of contracts are unenforceable in most of the world. That would work both ways.

If they choose to have a judge nullify the contract, I'm good with that. I didn't add any verbage to the contract anyway, so that would just mean that the entire contract is void and not just the parts I crossed out. We can re-negotiate the whole thing. Oh, but this time, seeing as we're in front of a judge and all, I have a lawyer with me. And we can examine the reasonableness of every single line item on the bill without any medical time constraints.

The new contract can be something we collaborate on. Them, their lawyers, me, my lawyers, the whole happy family. We can take four or five years to do that. I'll pay them when we sort it all out.

Or... they can accept my thanks for sewing my toe back on and bill my insurance.

Either way, we are on much more equal ground after the fact.

Very interesting read. However, he changed it before the bank added their signarture. I imagine that if you change the contract after a signature is added by one party, and then add your own signarture, that would surely be fraud... right?

If you presented the post-hoc changed contract as binding, I believe so. If you presented the post-hoc changed contract back to IBM and went "Hey, do you agree to an updated contract?" then you'd probably be laughed out of their office, but that's not a crime to ask them to update a contract.

You could make an intentionally vague reply saying; "Thanks! Here is the updated contract with my signature back.". Making the other party think you just updated the contract by adding your signature.

I remember the story. The bank's CEO (the guy is a billionaire of considerable notoriety in Russia) threatened to put the story's protagonist in jail for fraud for 4 years.

The protagonist took the threat very seriously (as he should have) and in a later interview to banki.ru (i.e. banks.ru) said that he was fleeing the country to a destination he preferred to keep secret. Reason being the precise "4 years" that was used. Not 2, not 3, not 5. Meaning that the CEO had already made "arrangements".

Then 2 days later there was an article that both him and the bank have reached a peaceful resolution and were recalling all mutual lawsuits.

IANAL, nut I would say 2. You can alter a contract proposition. It was up to IBM to check what was actually signed.

At least for real estate contracts in the US, both parties have to initial each of the alterations and amendments to the contract that typically come up during negotiations. I doubt a random line crossed out in a contract would hold any legal weight in court unless acknowledged by both parties.

On the other hand, if I intentionally mislead you about the contents of a contract, it might not be binding. If you hand me a 10 page document, I pencil something in on page 7, sign it and hand it back to you without notifying you of the change, I don't thing you'd be required to honour my modifications.

Or you know, it might be fraud, as in the crime. Misleading someone about the contents of the contract they signed is exactly that. The paper (they printed) and gave to you in the understanding that you would sign and return it was altered in flight.

Essentially: if IBM wants you thrown in jail, you will be thrown in jail for this. Have fun in court.

> I had to supress my commercial project once I joined big blue.

I am pretty sure this is the standard practice at all large companies, at least in the US. Small companies may just not care too much, but even at a small company if your management notices you might have to choose between that and your day coding. I wish it was not like this, but to me this is at least somewhat justifiable.

Much worse is the desire of most employers to control everything you do, including your work on open source project off hours. Want to fix coordinate computation for an open source satellite sim? Call the lawyers first. Lead a robotics club at a high school? Check with the management. IMO many employees do it anyway and hope to not get called on this, but this is formally going against the contract.

I've only worked at one large company (EA), but they were ok with side businesses as long as it wasn't competing with their core business of gaming. IIRC you could even promote it internally. This was about 9 years ago.

For game related things you could list them as existing inventions when joining. So you can carve out exceptions. Which is common with game companies.

How do enough people agree to those terms to make them plausible in the first place? That's like going to work at a restaurant and being required to stop working at a soup kitchen on the weekends.

I would never agree to those terms and strike them out. That's ridiculous.

One way of looking at it is paying for mindshare. Sometimes companies want your brainpower only focussed on one programming problem. They might not want you at work, thinking about items in your side project.

Focus is a big deal. Doesn't make it right but it's the only business justification I've ever heard that actually seemed legit.

At the same time, there should be an expectation of compensation to give something like that up.

People are aware that they're not required to sign any contract they're not happy with, right? You are well within your rights to cross through any section of a contract or amend it until you're happy with it.

I've routinely done this with every contract I've ever signed. Nothing gets signed without legal scrutiny on my part and it never will; and I've quite literally never had a potential client or employer balk at this.

All of them have agreed that my amendments have been quite reasonable - and that includes scrubbing through any sections that prevent me from working for other clients or writing my own projects, commercial or otherwise.

Ensuring a contract is fair and equitable is part of doing business. There is nothing wrong with this. When you work for a company, you are still an autonomous person with your own agency. Any company that seeks to deny that agency don't deserve your employ.

Any reasonable and honourable company expects you to review contracts and amend them. You shouldn't feel bad about doing this. Nor should you feel coerced by the fact that they have given you a one sided contract. Make it equitable.

I don't care if you're IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook or God almighty, himself. If you choose to attempt to quell my agency, our relationship is done. I will not be denied my agency and neither should anyone else.

Those companies that over-reach in a bid to control their employees are unscrupulous. This is the same kind of toxic behaviour that people seek to avoid in their relationships, yet somehow they're quite willing to live their life working in relationships like this... I don't understand the double standard.

I've heard soooooo many people say that "contracts are just standard paper and if I rock the boat I won't get the job."

Don't be bullied into signing a contract because you feel like you don't have any other option.

Contracts are not "standard paper," they are legally binding documents that seek to limit your behaviour. Don't let any employer reach outside their jurisdiction and into your personal life. Ever.

>People are aware that they're not required to sign any contract they're not happy with, right? You are well within your rights to cross through any section of a contract or amend it until you're happy with it.

How do people do this these days? Virtually everything I sign these days from my employment contract to my lease to the vast majority of the paperwork for my mortgage was all signed electronically. There's no apparent mechanism for redlining sections when e-signing.

You don't get coerced into signing for something electronically for a start. If this is the only way they allow to do this and don't allow for you to amend sections, you tell them that you will print it, have your lawyer amend it and then fax it back.

If they want your business, they will make concessions to win that business.

If they don't allow for this, then you need to be the one to decide if you still want to do business with them. I sure wouldn't. I'm not signing for anything that gives away my rights.

I generally refuse to sign edocuments, I'll print it and mail it. I might email scanned signed copies. But I have enough experience to know DocuSign sucks. I have zero faith in it.

(OT) I interviewed with IBM after they were acquiring my companies resources at the time. My first two interviews went swimmingly. On my third the interviewer had marked through my last name on my resume and when I asked about it she said she assumed I had spelled it wrong. That was the best thing that happened in the interview.

She assumed you misspelled your own last name? That's so bizarre.

Years later I had a thought that she was trying to throw me off and see how I reacted under pressure maybe - but bizarre is a great way to put it. She took everything I said out of context.

I'm an IBMer and the current rule is you can work on OS projects in your own time as long as it isn't to the detriment of IBM's projects.

Funnily enough, one of the most praised points in Red Hat's code of conduct is the fact that it specifically says that you can work on open source projects _even if it is to the detriment to Red Hat_. Guess that's going to change now.

Disclaimer: Red Hat employee (at the moment)

That's a great example. I remember a lengthy thread about this on memo-list back when I was at Red Hat. Always made me smile.

It's also how we were able to spin out our company and raise VC on something inspired by experience, if not using the same code, as what we worked on internally. Having one of the Red Hat founders as our investor helped, but I just loved this attitude of "go build something awesome and keep in touch".

I hope your transition goes well!

Hey ndru, I'm a reporter with Bloomberg and I'm keen to stay in touch with Red Hat employees to get an accurate picture of how the acquisition is going. Can keep it completely anonymous. gerritdevynck@protonmail.com if you're interested. Thanks!

(Also a Red Hatter)

So...not completely true. There was that one memo-list thread last year where someone complained loudly that they were not allowed to work on an intentionally competing solution and repo, even if it was on their own time.

He was certainly allowed to work on it on his own time. He just was no longer being paid by Red Hat to work on it, or to travel to conferences/conventions to work on it.

IBM has such a large portfolio that you are probably hard pressed finding an OSS project that doesn't compete with an IBM solution.

As IBMer you should know there are a plurality of local IBM all over the world, each with local laws and regulations to abide. In Italy all work produced off hours as subordinate is intellectual property of the employer by default unless you sign off a release form for each of them. In Ireland at least they don't want you to touch third party open source code without license vetting because it could inspire you subconsciously and result in copyright infringement.

These terms would be illegal in the Netherlands as the company cannot infringe on personal time.

> In Italy all work produced off hours as subordinate is intellectual property of the employer by default unless you sign off a release form for each of them.

I'm pretty sure that will not hold up in court if you go high enough (e.g. European) as it would impede self determination.

This is some of the craziest stuff i've ever read. I must be naive, i've worked a couple big firms but have never seen employment terms like these.

I can see Joel's points here and this is relevant to the discussion.

It's probably the article he has written I disagree with the most as there is a simple way to deal with this; be very clear about the projects, code and designs the employee works on each month and sign them over as they are delivered. That way the employee's own work will be clear should there be any legal wrangling. This could be done by a status in Jira for example.


What wouldn't be the 5th time I've heard such stories, but I don't think it's in any way specific to IBM. Employers like that want any OT you do to be dedicated to THEIR endeavor, not somebody else's...even your own.

If you're able and willing to code in your off-time, you should be doing it for the good of the Company. /s

It's a terrible and completely unreasonable stance for an employer. You get the hours you pay for. You don't get to own people's free time.

So when you come up with a solution to a work problem in the shower in the morning or while lying awake in bed in the evening you could sell it to the employer, since you owned that time?

What happens if you create something patentable in the eve information related to your employer's business, maybe even to your project. Can you patent it yourself and then collect royalties from your employer?

What happens if you infringe Copyright on a competitor on your GitHub project, where your GitHub profile also says where you are working, can the competitor distinguish wether it was you personally or as part of work?

For creative work it is tough to fully distinguish between work and leisure time ... some companies deal with this better though, than others.

In a right to work state, you could indeed walk in, terminate your employment, and file a patent later. You could then charge that company for that work. In civil court, it would be argued as to when you actually had the idea.

In these civil suits, the one with the most money wins, so you would still lose even if you indeed solved the problem after you left.

No need to defend those huge corporations. They're perfectly capable of bribing officials to screw over employees all by themselves.

This is a fair argument, but the solution isn't to just strip the employees right to own their own thoughts.

The specific problem seems to be about patents and trade secrets. If a contract covered those two things well, would an employer have legitimate cause to push further than that?

Well, for corporate lawyers the solution is easy :-D

A good solution is hard.

One relatively benign reason behind such policies is that the employer wants your free time to actually be free time that helps your recover, not a second job that leaves you exhausted and fighting burnout and sleep deprivation.

This happens because the "first job" doesn't pay enough (so doesn't allow for long-term free time), or has hours that are too long to begin with (so doesn't allow for short-term free time).

They can "want" whatever they like. Doesn't mean it's reasonable, nor something people should cater to. ;)

That's not benign at all - using your "free" time for rest and recovery so that you can be worked to exhaustion during the week.

More the opposite. Your contract says 8 hours, but everyone does 11 on average, so there is no way you could dispute ownership of those results.

Secondly most IT companies have 'innovation participation' programs that want to have first dibs on all your creative ideas, whether it's on the clock or off.

Thirdly, in an industry with very low start-up costs (all you need is a computer)and high competition for talent, even the potential threat of a former employer claiming IP over your new business can be a potential deterrent that nudges people into just not do it.

And yet if I went to work at a retail job, they wouldn’t care.

It’s purely to help themselves.

The response to this should be "Sure, for 3x the salary"

That doesnt stand up to reason. There was no enquiry into the amount of hours put into this that would indiciate it was second job or exhausting, they also don't do a full enquiry into any other activities outside your work that might exaust you. That would make contributing to open source a totally arbitrary thing to pick on, which of course it isn't.

Yeah sure, and if you like I can also clean the bathrooms because I know how to do it... Off-time is for your own not for your company regardless off what you do with it.

The /s stands for sarcasm

No it doesn't, it stands for "This used to be sarcasm but I ruined it by telling you"

People use it for a reason. Intended tone does not carry reliably over text.

I've always wondered whether /s predates, was a concurrent development, or is an evolutionary shortening of </sarcasm>.

The history went something like this:


This punctuation is very ironic.

It also stands for "hitting over head with hammer"

If they want that sort of dedication they can give me equity or back off.

> If you're able and willing to code in your off-time, you should be doing it for the good of the Company.

Excuse me, what the f...?


Stop using such cliches to play it holier than thou when it's uncalled for, please.

Radical differentiation from competitors is the name of the game for entrepreneurs. Online communities in general and Hacker News in particular have every reason to push back and reject low-effort Redditisms and 4chanisms.

The same is for Intel...

I would have done the same.

Having worked at IBM for 10 years, this is what I have come to know how IBM operates top-down:

1. To make significant profits, we need to sell services on top of our software products (this is essentially GBS and their "strong" sales people)

2. To make very good profits, we need to make highly customizable software (for example AI and BI offerings).

3. To make even more profit we need to make sure the software is tuned to the hardware we make.

If one of those weakens the entire IBM portfolio and profits weaken dramatically.

Here's problems in last 7 years tho: 1. People moving to the cloud so the hardware business flatlines. 2. Because people moved to the cloud they found replacements to IBM software. 3. At the end of the day IBM is forced to deliver professional services on top of other companies' software and hardware (and services employees are not cheap).

At some point the IBM execs must have had an epiphany that their AI offerings don't sell because they don't have a platform that sells other commodity cloud services on top of which AI components can be sold as high-priced addons.

So thus IBM decided to do what it does best --- take control of the entire stack.

With this acquisition IBM has the potential to become a next gen. cloud vendor. For example IBM has been trying to sell Bluemix as a hybrid PaaS/IaaS but haven't been very successful. The engineering team in Bluemix is weak and one way to really up the ante is getting access to top talent in the industry to do this (CoreOS team, Openshift.io team, linux kernel devs, distributed storage devs).

What's not clear here is that why would one company, which is dong pretty well, better every year, would want to be sold to another company, which doesn't look well (from your own description), instead of just continuing growing and eventually "winning" the cloud market by themselves? Is that just because top Red Hat people wanted to cash out more quickly?

Maybe because IBM would have provided a superior price, and RedHat is a public company answerable to shareholders.

Let's take reality, RedHat is still a small player compared to Amazon, Microsoft or Google. They don't have the bandwidth to compete on all the additional hosted services offerings. By partnering with IBM, they get access to IBMs entire suite of enterprise customers and hosted products, making them a serious competitor to the 3 big players instead of being a "me too, cloud". They could make it big together, looking optimistically. But it's on IBM to not screw this up.

>> Maybe because IBM would have provided a superior price, and RedHat is a public company answerable to shareholders.

I think a lot of readers probably don't understand what that line means. Even if the C-suite at RedHat did not want to do this, they have no choice. Shareholders can riot and oust you(executives) for not taking what they consider to be the "best deal"(and this is one heck of a deal). Long story short, even if you don't want to sell - once the price is high enough, the shareholders will force you.

This makes a lot of sense, thank you!

They bought them for 136x earnings, for a mature company with $100s of millions, that's a pretty sweet multiple.

redhat must also have seen that their ability to grow will rely on a handful of clouds that may or mayn't continue to enable them on their platforms.

.. they probably though the price right now is better than what they would get in 5 years.

redhat was trading at around $120 last week and IBM announced "Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion."

That $120 was really high for redhat, who just crossed the $100/share price last year. (unless you count year 2000/dotcom-IPO-madness) RHT's market cap was previously $20B.

Note that IBM is buying every last Redhat share here, so of course it has to pay more than the price for "just one more" share.

That's not weird. It's a bit much as these things go, but 20-30% over the share price would not raise any eyebrows.

yeah it's not raising my eyebrows but I was trying to give the data to explain why an established and somewhat profitable company (like redhat) would sell to a player like IBM. It's just a lot of money to turn down!

Amazon, Microsoft, Google. Now that RedHat has to compete against all three, perhaps it felt that now was the time to cash out.

Because IBM vastly overpayed and there will not be another opportunity like that any time soon.

Guys, this is not just, or mainly not RH Linux. :(

- kernel development

- Ansible

- JBoss (I know HN hates Java, especially Java EE, but it was and is an important factor in enterprise OSS adoption)

- OpenShift

- Ceph, Gluster

All these are in danger, not just RHEL. I don't know about any other company that is large, successful, focuses on the enterprise and absolutely behind OSS. Canonical is way behind Red Hat in terms of revenue (1/20).


Also in practice glibc, systemd, GNOME, etc. have a ton of maintainers from Red Hat, even if they're not Red Hat-owned the way Ansible or Ceph is.

Yeah the whole freedesktop.org stack is to a large extent RedHat folks.

Not to mention LibreOffice.

I don't know of any other OSS company that does _exclusively_ OSS.

Canonical, for example, has a number of proprietary solutions built around their core OSS stuff, so they function as an open core business. And they're not doing anywhere close to as well as Red Hat does.

WSO2 - an open source integration software company - is exclusively OSS. We will do $50M in sales this year with 80% of that subscriptions for on-premises open source software. We are the 6th largest OSS company by revenues. We'll probably jump up to 5th next year because of the RedHat acquisition of IBM.

I'm happy for you, really. But you being in 6th place with 50M$ in revenue says worries me about the market.

big typo on your home page "by using our our open source"

Thanks - forwarded onto marketing.

Nice to see WSO2 represented here!


SUSE? They make a big song and dance (literally) of being open source, but I don't know if they're exclusively OSS.

[I work for SUSE.]

Nowadays, yes. SUSE Studio was the main proprietary thing we had in recent memory, and it was sunlit a few years ago with KIWI being its successor.

As far as I know, everything we develop is free software. You can get the full sources for any package in SLES or openSUSE (which isn't really SUSE but SUSE engineers work a lot on openSUSE) using zypper.

Personally, not only is everything I work on free software, I also exclusively work upstream-first (and I maintain several upstream projects like runc and some OCI projects). To be clear, this is not a company-wide thing -- many of my colleagues do not consistently contribute upstream -- but regardless all of our products' sources can be downloaded under free licenses. In fact you can get the sources from OBS (it's what openSUSE Leap is directly based on).

Now, there are some things that we distribute which are proprietary to certain customers (think flash or the NVIDIA drivers), but these are mostly because customers pay us to repackage other peoples proprietary code. We don't develop them. Personally I'd prefer if we didn't do this, but it is a very small part of our business.

@cyphar - I would love to chat with you about SUSE's policies and encouragement to enable working exclusively on upstream-first. We are working to bake that concept into our policies at WSO2 (I'm its CEO). While we practice that in motion, we are codifying it within policies. If you could email me tyler@wso2.com, would appreciate a chat about it with your or management there.

Is openshift really open source? I was under the impression that nobody really runs origin on its own since it's far too hard. It seemed more like they just wanted to point out but it's open source, but you need support and a lot of know-how to actually use it.

OpenShift comes in two variants: Enterprise and Origin. Everything you can do in Enterprise can be done in Origin (Origin is ahead of Enterprise), but Enterprise comes with support.

I run Origin for my employer. It's pretty easy these days since you can do all of it with openshift-ansible and other related tools.

I know there are plenty of others like that, as well.

We run OKD (formerly Origin, the project was rebranded) as well and have for two years in just a couple weeks. It's been a pivotal part of our application stack since we adopted it, the developers on my team love being able to paste in a git URL and have an application live in a few minutes.

I stand corrected. Thanks.

We also run Origin.

we run okd as well...

I help maintain a Chef recipe that installs both - it's quite feasible but not for the casual user.



Add Fedora to the list - while technically a community project, Red Hat is the main contributor.

It seems to me that Red Hat is based on Fedora. Fedora being the fast release gratis community version and Red Hat the slow release commercial corporate version.

Then CentOS would the community gratis version of Red Hat.

That's basically how Red Hat describes it:

Fedora - Community Innovation

RHEL - Commercial Production

CentOS - Community Adoption

Also with RH's recent acquisition of CoreOS, that suite will also be in IBM's arena. I work for "a corporate". We used to be big IBM shops (AIX, IBM Java, websphere, etc, etc...). But AIX is now hardly used and neither is websphere. It's mostly off the shelf k8s, wildfly and other open source projects deployed on RHEL (not my personal favorite since its kernel is way behind the times). I think this is IBMs way of playing catch up in the arena. I worry how they will handle entrenched "political interests" - e.g. Webpshere/AIX/etc.. and the more open source friendly RedHat suite. Pretty sure its going to be one big mess in a few years time.

They _did_ pay a lot of money to acquire them, so there's a reason to believe they're committed to fully integrating RH technology. Considering Jim, who certainly has an interest in the survival of open source software, signed this off also gives some hope.

Just because the people in charge sign off doesn’t mean they won’t later be fucked over anyway. E.g. Instagram & Whatsapp.

The OpenShift folks sit on a ton of critical posts in the Kubernetes project. I'd suspect this is what IBM wants, but it's a risk that they stop contributing to the open source project.

It goes much deeper than that, Red Hat maintains or contributes regularly to a wide swath of the Linux ecosystem. They also have a policy of open sourcing acquisitions. If the deal goes through, it's a dark day for open source software.

- kernel development

- OpenShift

I very much doubt these 2 are in any danger. In fact, I'd say these are the golden eggs IBM wants.

Agreed. Seems that most $largeco I come across used to use IBM AIX and are switching to RHEL. This seems more strategic than surface level only.

You might want to read up on your Aesop’s fables ;)

Red Hat's Open Source only approach does mean that none of these projects can be closed down, though: AFAIK, IBM are acquiring people and a brand, but no significant proprietary IP. If higher-ups at IBM turn out to be as clueless as Oracle, then key engineers will just walk and continue working on those projects elsewhere.

Where elsewhere? The landscape of options to be paid for your OSS has just become a barren field.

Yes, OSS as a concept can survive only on gratis work. However I'm not sure the portfolio of projects supported largely by Red Hat maintainers could. If maintainers are forced to start walking as they did with Oracle I expect to see quite a few projects fall into disrepair.

I guess they can start a new company and keep working on the same products. The community would have to change to their new repo's but other than that RedHat could get a new start, with a different name.


Trademark is owned by Red Hat


Also Atomic/CoreOS - this will probably be cut now, perhaps even before it is complete.


I doubt it. When you read the IBM and Core OS acquisition press releases side by side you get a lot of the same "hybrid cloud" language.

Update: Near as I can tell the acquisition completed in March/April.

We'll see. Often talk like that is just buzzword soup. What matters to large companies like IBM is money from services, not owning the coolest tech stack. If it is clearly contributing lots of money or it has a champion in IBM they'll keep it.

In progress greenfield projects with no obvious monetisation are just the sort of thing that gets cut in this sort of merger, after the assurances that redhat will be run as a completely independent unit are forgotten and a new manager comes in looking to trim fat.

I use coreos and am now very concerned about its future.

Well over in Fedora, it is full steam ahead. CoreOS is going to be merged with "atomic" (in particular rpm-ostree style updates and layering), and then base Silverblue on that, which will become Workstation. Could all of that work just stall out? shrug Yeah sure, and Red Hat could suddenly decide they want to support Btrfs.

CoreOS is going to be merged with "atomic"

I’ve been following that work with interest.

Red Hat could suddenly decide they want to support Btrfs

Red Hat won’t be deciding much about anything after the merger goes through. I sincerely hope you’re right though and it survives and makes money somehow.

Pivotal is probably next in line for size for independent enterprise OSS but still a fraction the size of Red Hat, at under $1b in revenue. And some proprietary bits.

Also CoreOS, recently acquired by Redhat.

IBM would rather push Spectrum Scale/GPFS over Ceph or Gluster

Spectrum Scale Support is one of the most horrific things I've encountered in my entire professional career.

- etcd

Also everything CoreOS-related.

CoreOS :(

Super pessimistic point of view. Why do you think these are all in danger? These are things that people and more importantly enterprises use. Why would IBM ruin that?

Because IBM ruins everything it touches?

It’s possible they don’t want to. But they will.

Exactly, these are products to monetize and make money from.

Sure rationally the products should be a success, that's why IBM bought them. But GloboMegaCorps have a consistent record of acquiring great products then running them into the ground by smothering them with shitty internal policies.

It seems like a fair % of SVers haven't had the pleasure of working for one of these Kafkaesque giants. They operate on dream logic and risk aversion.

Though I dedicated a few years of my life to OpenStack at HP, I sometimes wonder if OpenStack would be healthier if GloboMegaCorps didn't get involved.

In 2013, OpenStack felt like the "new Linux"

2013, OpenStack at HP, aka Helion? Anupriya Ramraj - is that you? :) If so, your old team misses that project. We're bored these days.

> I don't know about any other company that is large, successful, focuses on the enterprise and absolutely behind OSS.

Doesnt Microsoft tick all those boxes? Even if they aren't exclusively an open source company, they are "absolutely behind OSS" if you go by how much open source code they have contributed.

How on earth is Microsoft "absolutely" behind OSS? Which of their main products is Open Source? Windows? Office? SQL Server? Azure? Exchange? What exactly makes Microsoft a company "absolutely behind OSS?"

Their stupid boot loader still ignores any other operating system for god's sake.

Kudos to people at Microsoft's Marketing and "developer relations" department who won the hearts of developers by allowing TypeScript and VSCode to be FOSS. Suddenly MS is "Absolutely behind OSS".

I work in the public sector in Denmark, and we’ve delt a lot with both IBM and Microsoft over the past 25 years.

Microsoft has been one of our best partners, including for the open source software we run, especially since Azure became their mission.

IBM has been one of the worst, so bad that I’d dread making any deals with them ever again.

I wouldn’t say MS is fully behind OSS though, they contribute a lot these years, but their main goal is still to sell you Azure. I think they won the hearts and minds with .Net core though, I mean VSC is the best ide and typescript is typescript, but the future of a lot of web programming lies within .Net core.

You are likely coloured by being in the one marked where .Net became significant and that’s mostly bacause the only accepted altilernative in Denmark’s monopoly friendly procurement systems were IBM mainframes or Oracle solutions.

Everywhere else RedHat/Jboss won the game and is being replaced by new JWM languages rather then node or .Net though node hides in strange places like the latest SAP framework.

Frontend/native .Net apps are fastly becoming extinct.

MS pretend love for Linux is more an acknowledgement that no one wants dotNET on IIS or anything windows centric in the cloud than any genuine love for Linux so they kind of have to pretend to like Linux workloads and unix tools if they want azure to be more then an niche product.

In many European countries it mostly boils down to Java vs .NET, depending on the business sector.

And by Java I really mean Java, with alternative languages being done by clever consulting companies, which sometimes I get to rewrite back to Java.

Oh we have JBOSS in our stack, it’s what handles our service bus. I’d rather we didn’t though, it’s really hard to find JBOSS developers/maintainers for public sector pay checks.

We used to see a lot more of it from our suppliers, but it seems to be rapidly going extinct. Possible because there just aren’t a lot of JBOSS developers/maintainers in general.

I am coloured by my environment of course, but I do work in software cooperatives with 97 other muniplacities, as well as a few European communities and I don’t see anything to indicate that .Net, JAVA and PHP won’t remain the dominant techs in Europe for the foreseeable future.

I like node.js, I use it for hobby projects and I genuinely think graphql is a lot better than rest APIs (and there isn’t a graphql adaptation for .Net that isn’t bad), but I just don’t see the adoption anywhere outside of what you hear from American startups.

And again, I didn’t say .Net would rule all web development , I said it would be important, and if the European public sector continues to run on .Net then it’ll continue to be a billion dollar industry.

dotNET will stay around just like the mainframes but it’s not a growth market nor the worldwide norm for enterprise web backends.

I work on legacy platforms so I know there is good money in dead technology. But that don’t make it the future.

I just don’t see any legacy codebase being rewritten as dotNET and a similar amount of new greenfield dotNET projects as new Perl project being launched due to NETs heritage as a windows component.

I’m not sure what gave you the impression it wasn’t growing, because it certainly is in Europe.

Come to Europe, plenty of .NET greenfield projects across the continent.

If I were a Perl consultant I’m sure I would say the same about Perl and my region and it’s not that long ago that IBM stopped claiming the future was still the mainframe.

The most available job in my country for any programming language is C#, followed closely by JAVA. On third place is PHP. Fourth is Sharepoint and RPA. Around half the number of the C# jobs include some kind of JS requirements but almost every JS job uses a different backend than node.

There is one fullstack JS job. Three JBOSS jobs and six DJANGO jobs.

This isn’t unique in Europe.

As polyglot developer, .NET is just one of the many tools on my toolbox, just look for yourself on European job boards.

> the future of a lot of web programming lies within .Net core

How is that, really?

How is it not? I mean, we’re a muniplacity, we operate around 500 IT systems, that are all moving toward becoming web apps in some form.

The core tech behind these is in 95% of the cases either .Net or JAVA.

Our in-house development has moved from .Net to JavaScript, mainly because we’re small and if our front end had to be JS then our backend might as well be, but now you have something like Blazor.net emerging, allowing for full stack C#, of course we’re going that route.

I didn’t say all, but I frankly think it’s obvious that .Net will play a big part of web development future, considering how big a part it already plays today and considering how Microsoft is moving it forward in all the right ways.

Historically many different companies and frameworks have targeted the web platform and almost always they lost to "plain old Javascript".

That trend is going to continue, specially considering WebAssembly.

But as of now there's no sign of Javascript becoming less dominant as almost all the innovation is in the land of React, Webpack, Babel, etc.

I mean, what you're claiming "will emerge" is already there in form of Typescript, Node, React, Webpack etc and has a pretty good traction.

Does it JS really have that much traction on the backend? Maybe outside of Denmark, but our little department is actually one of the few places which uses Node for serious backend application in the entire country. At least that I know of.

I mean, I can go on job databases or LinkedIn right now, and there isn’t a single full stack JS job available in my entire country. There is a lot of JS including jobs of course but they all require you to also/mainly do C#, JAVA, PHP or Python because JS is almost exclusive used on the frontend.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like the JS environment. There’s a reason we moved to it, but it’s not like it doesn’t have its flaws either.

I think WASM will absolutely change web development, but I think it’s already made it to the is, I mean, we’re launching our first minor Blazor app this week, and it’s something we typically would’ve build with vue and graphql Apollo, but now it’s all C#.

The world of enterprise typically moves slow though. We’ve recently bought an on boarding system that’s made with web forms for instance. You may laugh at that, but the truth is, at least in my part of the world, that JS hasn’t seen that much adoption outside of hobbyists. Eventually these companies are going to upgrade their client sides, but would you pick modern JS or full stack C# if you were coming from web forms? Hell even if they go vue, react or angular chances are they’ll still use .Net on the backend, as that seems to be the trend pretty much everywhere except for us.

Does it JS really have that much traction on the backend?

I cannot speak to the whole industry as I moved to the states a year ago and my view is quite limited. But for sure Node has a lot of traction and usage in here.

However, generally, I feel developers live in their own echo chambers. For example I personally am very much connected to JS people and Linux/Open Source people. I rarely meet any ASP or Java based stacks.

I think it also depends on who you are developing for. Governments and enterprises for sure use more Microsoft or Java based solutions while startups and private companies are more "bleeding edge".

So to answer your question, I think you're right. If an organization is using WebForms, their most probable choice for upgrade is the newest offering by Microsoft. That's where they have already invested it. collectively.

But other stacks have a lot of users too. And they are not going to switch to .NET even if it becomes FullStack.

This Google Trends results [0] are interesting. Not sure if they tell us anything meaningful or not though.

[0] https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=....

I manage though, so I get to do the contracting. Mainly our software is enterprise, and it’s always either .ner or java, these days typically with an angular front.

We’re part of several muniplacity driven OSS communities though, where we buy OSS development from small startups and take ownership over project management as well as the codebase.

None of the startups are big on node.js, it’s nostly python, .net, java or php because that’s what they teach at the universities and it’s what they work with in their free time.

I think the node.js environment is great, like I said, but I don’t think it really has much adoption in Europe.

A lot of (older) sites run ASP with some prebuilt or compiled c#/vb to js on top of that. No programmer would have to do JS if they want to.

The technology is flawed in my view, but it does work and has no active js development needed.

Note again: you can, but you don't have to.

Similar experience here in Norway...

If you are including the boot loader, don't leave out the file systems.

Meh. They have a bad reputation due to calling open word source software cancer the new windows business model.

Also, while their engineers are certainly smart, their software seems very crusty (the down side of infinite backwards compatibility) and usually doesn't play well at all with existing open source software. Thus: Mostly useless.

Amusingly, they're damned both ways at this point, since many of the Windows 10 complaints have, in fact, been breaks in backward compatibility.

The early 2000s called and would like their objection back. Microsoft isn't that same company any more and haven't been for a long time. Sure, some of their technology is pretty awful but they definitely changed their tune around OSS.

So we can merge exFAT support into the Kernel now? Microsoft loves Linux, right?

Mostly useless projects though for people that want speed and Linux-native open source.

On the other hand it might mean the end for SystemD!


Debian and Ubuntu still use it.

When I worked for IBM (via acquisition), I wanted to fix bugs in Cygwin (owned by Red Hat). Red Hat does not accept patches unless you get permission from your current employer. I could not get anybody in IBM to sign Red Hat's permission slip. Nobody would sign because it's all risk, no reward from IBM's point of view.

I have the same problem in academia, being in a non-CS department, I'm required to notify the University's Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization about assigning my copyright over software to another entity (like the FSF), but so far I have been unsuccessful at getting them to sign the letter the FSF wants, despite the code I would be contributing being completely outside of my work at the University and so therefore theoretically outside of their purview. I suppose the moral is that all large organisations converge towards bureaucratic processes that waste the time of high$/hour employees and attempt to hinder all not immediately commercialisable progress.

Come to Sweden then :) As a researcher you explicitly own the rights to any foreground, i.e. results, as stated by law — the so called teacher’s excemption.

Careful, this might only apply to professors, not the rest of the staff.

Might be, but in general the attitude and laws surrounding ownership of code (and most anything else) is very different in Norway, and I would assume Sweden. Here anything you make is explicitly yours and you have full ownership over it, even if you made it on company time. I've talked to several larger IT firms in Norway about this and they all have said that it would be suicide to force their employees to sign away their rights to personal and side projects, but that it would also more or less be impossible to enforce.

If this is indeed true it is a killer argument for moving to sweden.

Europe also more generally has much higher salaries for postdocs and grad students from what I've seen floating around listservs.

If you have a job for me, I'm happy to. :)

> I suppose the moral is that all large organisations converge towards bureaucratic processes that waste the time of high$/hour employees and attempt to hinder all not immediately commercialisable progress.

All large organizations have a decent amount of bureaucracy around copyright and IP, but the difference is good ones make it easy and straightforward for employees to go through that process.

Google, for example, has a well-documented and clear process for contributing to open source software (both in work hours and in personal time): https://opensource.google.com/docs/patching/

Wait, so your university owns copyright on all your work by default?! That's a bummer if true. Outrageous, actually.

My contract requires that anything I develop using University resources, which in practice means potentially anything in my areas of specialisation, the University has some claim on.

It's not entirely unreasonable - imagine someone in Biochemistry developing some drug using University labs etc. and then turning around and selling the formula to a private lab.

But it's the petty bureaucratisation which is infuriating. (And usually the people making the decisions aren't practically qualified.)

While I was working as an assistant researcher three years ago, my contract also considered all research-derived knowledge uni property. In this case, pretty much anything tangentially related to HTTP performance enhancements would have been claimable by them.

It the software is GPL, and you use it for your company/university to do work with, that is a very dubious claim and more likely falsifiable in court.

GPL is a license applied to a work by the copyright owner after (or at the time of) creation. It has nothing to do with authorship of the work and who owns the copyright.

To elaborate, even if GP developed code as part of a GPL project, the copyright owner could prevent him/her from distributing that code to anyone else, whether that distribution occurs under the GPL or any other license.

If you use any (and I mean any) school funded resources for any of your personal projects, yes, they usually have a basis for a claim.

I have a friend who went to Utah for his bachelor's in CS.

I'm not in CS, but my understanding is that the CS dept has a historical relation with the FSF.

Well, that is the result we got from turning Universities from public knowledge centers into private for profit IP accumulating businesses.

It's the standard in many universities and many countries that consider the university your employer if you have a full time equivalent dedication, even if the university only considers you under some kind of stipend or scholarship.

And yes, it's outrageous.

I think this is US specific.

The rules vary by school and state and whether the contributions used school resources or were created as coursework.

Nope, Its the same in Germany too.

Only if it is directly related to your research under office hours and is done solely by your university. If you use the university laptop to do some OS at home it is not, though in the US it could be and usually is.

It's actually the norm in the U.S. ...

I totally understand that large organisations don't want to sign papers about things that are none of their business. It's ridiculous that they need to sign them. This shouldn't be a requirement for Open Source contributions. But with some businesses claiming their employees' unrelated work done in their free time, I can see how this has become a necessity.

It's harmful for open source, and a terrible situation that's not to anyone's benefit. I guess US law should make more clear that employers don't own their employees' private work?

It's not only owning the outcome that is the problem, if you develop a software system that in any ways competes with your employer they may have a reason to fire and/or sue you.

The problem as someone else stated above in this discussion is that with a company the size of IBM it is hard to do anything that is guaranteed not to compete with anything they do.

Totally agreed.

I always imagined it stems from historical experiences where staff ran off with ideas that they were paid to have within the scope of their employment. So perhaps this is the only way employers have thought of protecting themselves against that. Ie., what other way do we have to offer them?

What if you would just publish your code on GitHub, would they seek to punish you?

I doubt it, but that's not the issue. The issue is that the FSF wants a signed "ok" from the University that I can assign copyright to the FSF, and the University's Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization won't issue that. I'll wait a year or two until I'm (hopefully) tenured and then press the issue again.

If I were sure it's ok and the university/company is not going to be mad at me I would just publish my code as public domain and let whoever can make use of it decide on themselves. Perhaps some FSF-approved developer would pick the code up if it is useful to them.

In some courses publishing coursework on GitHub can break academic integrity rules related to plagiarism. It’s hurt students as more hiring processes assume portfolios. CS departments are behind the times.

Posting your coursework on a publicly available forum is clearly academic dishonesty, what are you talking about?

Am i taking crazy pills? How is publishing your work in any way dishonest?

For a lot of those courses there's pretty much one way to solve the coursework, so all solutions are pretty similar. It's practically impossible to tell the difference between an original solution and a copied solution with the variables renamed and some code moved around. Or the student can look at the solution and reimplement it themselves, without solving it on their own. Sharing solutions can even get you expelled in many unis.

I'm going to suggest that it's on the universities to find a way around that problem. It's a real problem, but everything being publicly available online is how the world is now. Just varying assignments every year should be enough. If reasonable variations don't make the assignments challenging enough? Well the students are always going to be able to find some reasonable variation online. Starting from absolute scratch is just not a thing anymore in most fields.

It should be on a student to choose whether or not do they want a challenge, what particular aspect and what degree they'd like to be challenged in. The job of an educational institution is to educate, whoever interested can easily invent a challenge for themselves or use an old challenge without looking at ready solutions if they so desire. Forced artificial challenge policy is questionable.

They have found a way around that problem...they expel students who share solutions.

I think we're taking the same pills.

It appears that this is one of those issues that polarizes people very strongly into one of two possible options. My response to the complaints above is usually "tough luck", because I do not see it as my task to ensure that other people cannot cheat. In fact, with today's availability information, I'm certain all those that want to cheat can and will do so easily, no matter what.

This leads me to the conclusion that the fundamental problem is actually the conflation of two very different purposes which are often at odds: teaching and certification. Universities try to do both and it often ends very badly. Certification should be removed from universities and put into separate, specialized organizations.

If it's their code by employment contract, they could.

This is also a major obstacle towards open science, and one that the open science community seems generally unaware of. Every day there seems to be another journal article extolling the virtues of data-sharing and imploring other researchers to share, but very few folks seem to treat the elephant in the room, which is that universities have no motivation to allow their researchers to release data for free and potentially relinquish valuable IP.

I'm a current IBMer, and there is a process for getting CLAs signed - it's a bit bureaucratic if it's not a CLA for a company we already work with, but otherwise IBM has no problems with contributing to projects like that.

I left IBM a few months ago, but I led a bunch of developer advocacy efforts for a couple years.

There are several internal programs at IBM that enable employees to make contributions to open source with very little bureaucracy. Go to the intranet site w3.developer.ibm.com for details.

Deeply regrettable. One of my colleagues identified and fixed an issue with Duplicity while he was working on a backups subsystem for our server estate, and after a quick check with a Director I was able to sign off the work for release back to the Duplicity project.

This actually seems like fair policy to me, think of the mess Red Hat would be in if IBM decided that they had copyright on your contributions to Cygwin.

Or is my understanding of copyright law off base?

That's exactly why Red Hat had said permission slips. The ridiculous thing was that IBM refused to sign them

The ridiculous thing is that IP law makes this necessary.

> if IBM decided that they had copyright on your contributions to Cygwin.

How could they decide this if you'd have written the code on a weekend?

Many employers have clauses about owning any IP you produce while employed there, regardless of whether or not it involved company time or property. Whether said clauses are actually enforceable varies from location to location.

Aka "justice by bank balance and time".

At some point software engineering is going to have a union just as a legal defence fund.

Software engineers already have their own chambers of engineers in some states. No need for another trade organization.

The FSF doesn't want to get caught up in a dispute, and thus requires explicit disclaimers of work-for-hire interest from employers https://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.en.html

Couldn't you just submit patches under a pseudonym?

I think that, if you were to ask open source maintainers, "What would you think of me committing fraud to get around your project's policies?" most of them would say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

You'd be surprised. I have first & second-hand experience with the maintainers of GNU projects just agreeing to accept patches on the sly and commit them as themselves with the consent of the submitter because the submitter can't be bothered to sign a copyright release form.

I do understand your point, but I wouldn't spin it that way or bring it up with them, just start committing using a "new" identity, assuming they have no knowledge of your "main" identity.

Easier said then done.

That dishonesty is exactly what makes it fraudulent.

They're asking you to sign some legal documentation. If you forge a signature rather than getting it signed by your employer, that's fraud. If you create a false identity in order to hide the fact that you have an employer, that's also fraud.

You have exactly two legal (and, just as importantly, honest) options in this situation: Get permission from your employer before contributing, or don't contribute. If you like the project and don't want to create trouble for its maintainers, you will pick one of those two options.

The reason this permission exists is that contributions will not be owned by your employer, but will be part of the project. It depends on your employer if they allow you to work on personal software that they do not claim ownership for or not. I think you are right to not use a pseudonym. I once did, and regret having done so.

It depends on the type of CLA. There are many CLAs that do not imply copyright assignment, it's just legalese to make sure that you are taking liability for making sure that you have the right to add your contributions to the project -- basically a longer-form version of the Linux DCO.

In those cases, your employer would own your contributions and thus you need permission from them to license their copyrighted work (your changes) under whatever the project license is.

But in any case, contributing under a pseudonym is something that you should think about very seriously. This has been done before in the Linux kernel and luckily nobody got sued over it, but it is basically copyright infringement mixed with various levels of fraud and deception. Don't do this to us poor maintainers.

> In those cases, your employer would own your contributions and thus you need permission from them to license their copyrighted work (your changes) under whatever the project license is.

How does your employer own what you do in your free time? AFAIK there is no job contract like that which is legally enforceable. At least in California.

It depends on the country. In some countries, work related to your job but done outside work (or work using company resources like a company laptop -- I believe in California this is also the case) might possibly be owned by your employer (if your work contract says so). For instance if you work on databases and in your free time you developed a really awesome database from scratch, that might be owned by your employer because of the training and learning resources your employer provided (I think this is the reasoning -- but personally I find it quite abhorrent).

But I assumed that GP was talking about wanting to contribute something they did on work time, not on their own time.

It's jurisdiction by jurisdiction. And even if it's not enforceable, it might still be very expensive to duke that issue out in the courts.

Worrying about these details is the last thing a project maintainer needs to be worrying about. Easier to just require everyone to have a belt, even the ones who say they own suspenders.

> I think you are right to not use a pseudonym. I once did, and regret having done so.

Did it cause you some problems later, or?

Well, the permission exists to ensure that the contributions will be owned by the project and not anyone's employer.

If that permission isn't secured, though, and the employee has a contract with their employer that signs ownership of some or all of their off-hours work over to their employer, and the employer decides to try and exercise those rights, then it's anyone's guess who the real owner would be. Might vary by jurisdiction. Might be down to whether the open source project can afford to lawyer up in the first place.

Given all that, a FOSS project isn't unwise for asking for a permission slip. You could argue that it's being over-cautious, but that's the project maintainer's decision, and it deserves to be respected.

Contributions can be owned by employers and things still work. That's how Linux development works for instance, and the DCO is arguably a similar "permission slip" (though it mainly depends on the honour system with contributors just asserting they have the right to contribute). Some CLAs are very similar to the DCO (for instance, the Apache CLAs or the Google/Kubernetes ones).

Out of curiosity, why do you regret it?

> that's also fraud.

No, it's not fraud because there's no intention to gain illegal or unlawful gain. It's just deceit.

A very interesting point. I think it's fraud. You're doing it for (potential) monetary gain. Not your own, but the ownership of copyright which you're claiming and reattributing on behalf of your pseudonym. Still fraud, I suspect.

Linux kernel, as an example, expressly rejects this.

Source: multiple discussion with GKH.

I wish Cygwin would get more steam, a new package manager and a repository...

Why wouldn't you use WSL?

I haven't used Windows in quite some time, but I believe they are quite different. WSL is more like a very basic version of Wine in that it implements Linux system calls and can execute ELF binaries, and as such requires you to install a host OS for libc and any other libraries you want. Cygwin is more like Winelib in that it provides a custom libc implementation and toolchain that are natively compiled, and as such requires you to rebuild your applications.

My understanding of WSL is that Linux software runs natively on Windows by virtue of a compatibility layer. Eg. if there is a fork() in my code it will be translated into CreateProcess() or something like that.

Right, so like what Wine does. (Remember: Wine Is Not an Emulator.)

Correct. It's an interesting architecture, if you're interested in reading more:


I have always been curious on how WSL differs to coLinux or andLinux ( http://www.andlinux.org/ )

About 10/15 years ago I used andLinux to have a Linux shell and other apps inside Windows. It was really good and it seems ahead of its time, as it was not virtualized.

WSL is actually backwards analogue of WINE, also described as ENIW.

Emulator Not Is Wine? ;)

It is actually ENIW:Now inside Windows

Wine seems basic and immature in comparison to WSL not the other way.

Wine is a lot broader in scope than WSL, while Microsoft is fine with implementing a kernel-level ABI and then shipping a download for an Ubuntu userspace, Wine cannot ship any official Windows components. They had to re-implement every important DLL from scratch in addition to the ABI.

I can see why you would think that, but there is a reason that many think the opposite. Wine is obviously less compatible than WSL, but it is also a much more ambitious project. For WSL to work, it "only" has to implement the kernel translation layer and then run the various userspace tools that Linux does (GNU tools, Gnome, etc).

For Wine to implement even enough to run Notepad, Wine needs a reimplementation of huge portions of userspace. Of course, this also means it is a little bit of an Apples to Oranges comparison.

Windows < 10/1809 compatibility, ability to ship standalone applications, force of habit, need for something WSL doesn't support.

Ironically, Cygwin might be closer to "native" than WSL is in some cases.

> need for something WSL doesn't support.

Like what...?

> Ironically, Cygwin might be closer to "native" than WSL is in some cases.

Which cases...?

> Like what...?

SQLite, for one. https://github.com/Microsoft/WSL/issues/2395

Perhaps you're right, maybe WSL can do all the job nicely so maybe there is little if any point in developing cygwin. I have never tried it to be honest. I just prefer Windows 7 and loosely-integrated solutions - a 3rd-party Linux in a box feels better than a Microsoft Linux in the Windows kernel (yet just using a VM doesn't feel great for performance reasons and beacuse of not rally seamless file system integration).

You could try MSYS2.

Honestly I probably would have just scribbled a name in a terrible hand writing (not hard for me anyways) and called it a day. They just wanted something on file that would never be looked at again.

That's more a Red Hat legal failure than a IBM legal failure.

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