2006-06-18

If Half The Things I've Heard Are True

So I've been reading around the place various comments about the recent release of a new public beta for Vista. This has had an interesting effect. Because it's a public beta, the 'taboo' of talking about running a pirate copy of the beta has been nulled, and people have started talking about the operating system publically.

It seems everyone is trying to either a) sell vista to unbelievers, or b) explain why vista is so terrible.

Unfortunately, I end up talking to a lot of (a)'s. But I read many blogs, and there's quite a few (b)'s around. I'm one of those odd people that neither likes nor dislikes windows anymore. I'm a programmer, I write code for linux, and at home I run a mac that I didn't pay for. I didn't buy into any paradigm but the one that comes for free on the cover of magazines.

But the thing that I find interesting is that as a GNU/Linux Open Source Free Software Penguin Loving Fanatic, I'm excited about Windows Vista. I'm excited that as someone who has had to deal with, on a network level, the brokenness in Windows pre-Vista, that there might be improvement.

I'm excited that somehow, the number of viruses in the wild might drop a little.

I'm excited that trivial things like burning CDs, sharing music, finding files, talking to people, developing software and being Good People might just get slightly easier.

An aquaintance of mine, who is a developer for Microsoft, gave me a cute little snippet of information that only someone who codes would appreciate:

Not much we do nowadays is really closed. We don't obfuscate any of our IL, so it's pretty trivial to pop it into .NET reflector and look at all the source.

I don't know how that works with licensing. Does that count as reverse engineering? What does it mean that in a year or two people will have a project that's parallel to SIMBL?

Sometimes folks forget. Freedom is an attitude, not an abstract concept. Linux is free because of the freedom to open up the code, see what makes it tick incorrectly, machine a new cog, replace it, and show everyone else how to do it.

As a GNU/Linux Open Source Free Software Penguin Loving Fanatic, nothing thrills me more than Vista coming out. I think it may be one step closer to Folks being Free.

I wrote this little rant in a bit of a hurry, feel Free tell me why I'm wrong.

1 comment:

Cory said...

Am I allowed to tell you why you're right? Vista definitely includes some improvements for the developer community. (Is this the end product of Ballmer's "developers" rant?) Everything that makes the developer's job easier makes interoperability easier, and since everything I write has to be cross-platform these days, I will breathe a little sigh of relief for Vista. It's the same reason I'm greatly looking forward to IE7, as well.