I dont think it means much to the community at all. If anything,
it might be used against us, and make us lazy. Let's not let that
As far as I can tell from all my investigations of Microsoft's
.NET, most of which by the pro-Microsoft developers in my office,
the only thing of true value to the open source/free software
community is SOAP. The rest is all server-side code for processing
requests. So I don't see much value to us in what they are
However, there is a threat involved in what they are
doing. Since none of that server-side stuff will be open in any
way, we will simply be users. On top of that, the Linux versions of
these services will be feature-incomplete so as to "encourage"
users to switch to the fully-featured services that will run on the
W2K .NET services.
This is the problem for us. If we use their services, it could
have the effect of limiting our focus in developing open versions
of the useful ones. We need to stop poo-pooing .NET because it's a
Microsoft initiative. It's actually a useful stratagy for deploying
distributed applications, and in fact it's not Microsoft's idea. As
usual, they are merely marketing it better than those in the past
(I still hear faint echos of "The network IS the computer").
Rather than getting excited about Microsoft bringing their .NET
services to us, we need to bring the fight to them. It will be
better for us to focus on developing the service processing code in
our familiar and favorite languages that are so popular in our
community and borrow interesting ideas from Microsoft, as well as
doing our best to duplicate/support any worth while service specs
they develop. Having our own version of these services in our own
languages will allow the dynamics of this community to beat out the
Finally, we need work together. For example, we need all those
interested in building groupware services (Evolution, OpenOffice,
pphGroupWare, GNU GLUE), to all get behind the OGS Project to build a single
standard for everyone to use. This does not limit choice, but
instead increases choice. If all of the various service specs that
get drafted are brought in the open and can get as much concensus
as possible, then the better we will be able to compete.
We have a great opportunity to beat the commercial world at
something they are just starting with, and we on the other hand are
old hack at. So lets show ourselves and our talents.
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