25 votes

Upcycle Windows 7 - Free Software Foundation

34 comments

  1. [5]
    emdash
    Link
    This whole thing is based off of a faulty premise: The product as a holistic unit may have, but you can bet that the majority of the Windows 7 codebase is shared with Windows 10 in some fashion,...

    This whole thing is based off of a faulty premise:

    Microsoft has nothing to lose by liberating a version of their operating system that they themselves say has "reached its end."

    The product as a holistic unit may have, but you can bet that the majority of the Windows 7 codebase is shared with Windows 10 in some fashion, in a way that Microsoft isn't comfortable sharing. Sure, you can debate the merits of FOSS and such, but that's just the perspective MS has, and the FSF here knows this. I'm not sure what this accomplishes other than more internet noise.

    33 votes
    1. [4]
      thomzane
      Link Parent
      Why would sharing code with Windows 10 be a deal breaker for freeing Windows 7? I see the issue of security being raised, but that is just arguing for security through obscurity.

      Why would sharing code with Windows 10 be a deal breaker for freeing Windows 7? I see the issue of security being raised, but that is just arguing for security through obscurity.

      1. [3]
        emdash
        Link Parent
        You can argue it’s security through obscurity or whatever you like—that’s irrelevant. Microsoft considers the source code for their windows 10 product to be valuable, so by definition, windows 7’s...

        You can argue it’s security through obscurity or whatever you like—that’s irrelevant. Microsoft considers the source code for their windows 10 product to be valuable, so by definition, windows 7’s code base is also still valuable. The product itself may be retired but most of the source code isn’t, while FSF is misleadingly trying to claim otherwise.

        FSF should stick to winnable battles, not making internet noise.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          thomzane
          Link Parent
          So anything of value should be closed source? That does not make sense either.

          So anything of value should be closed source? That does not make sense either.

          1. emdash
            Link Parent
            No, just—ugh. I’m not debating the merits of closed/open source; you seem to be conflating that with what I’m actually talking about.

            No, just—ugh. I’m not debating the merits of closed/open source; you seem to be conflating that with what I’m actually talking about.

            2 votes
  2. [15]
    JXM
    Link
    The fact that they're "demanding" this rubs me the wrong way.

    The fact that they're "demanding" this rubs me the wrong way.

    27 votes
    1. [6]
      DanBC
      Link Parent
      Especially when it starts with "bringing an end to its updates as well as its ten years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security" -- when you're trying to persuade...

      Especially when it starts with "bringing an end to its updates as well as its ten years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security" -- when you're trying to persuade other people to do something you probably shouldn't start by insulting their work.

      17 votes
      1. [5]
        JXM
        Link Parent
        Yeah. Ive noticed a lot of the FSF's communications have this sort of attitude. It just leaves a bad taste in people's mouths and makes them less likely listen to the actual message.

        Yeah. Ive noticed a lot of the FSF's communications have this sort of attitude. It just leaves a bad taste in people's mouths and makes them less likely listen to the actual message.

        11 votes
        1. [2]
          Diff
          Link Parent
          I'm glad they exist, someone needs to be the fanatic. But so often it turns into eccentricity instead of activism. Wish they could temper themselves with some practicality.

          I'm glad they exist, someone needs to be the fanatic. But so often it turns into eccentricity instead of activism. Wish they could temper themselves with some practicality.

          9 votes
          1. JXM
            Link Parent
            That's my biggest problem with the FSF. They're unwilling to come to a practical solution. Instead they just demand that someone do things their way.

            Wish they could temper themselves with some practicality.

            That's my biggest problem with the FSF. They're unwilling to come to a practical solution. Instead they just demand that someone do things their way.

            7 votes
        2. [2]
          arp242
          Link Parent
          I recently watched Keith Packard give a presentation of the early days on X11. During X11's development at MIT Richard Stallman would come in and rant about how they should use the GPL and how...

          I recently watched Keith Packard give a presentation of the early days on X11. During X11's development at MIT Richard Stallman would come in and rant about how they should use the GPL and how proprietary software was bad. They were so turned off by him that they didn't use the GPL, even though Packard admitted that in hindsight the GPL/copyleft would have been the better choice.

          In other words, the FSF is founded on "this sort of attitude", and has thus far avoided growing up. We can only hope that Stallman's long overdue resignation will change it, but I fear the worst.

          8 votes
          1. vorotato
            Link Parent
            His resignation probably helped, whether it changes their trajectory in time is another thing. Ranting usually isn't the most productive approach. It can have its place for the right audience, or...

            His resignation probably helped, whether it changes their trajectory in time is another thing. Ranting usually isn't the most productive approach. It can have its place for the right audience, or the right situation, but it really isn't something you use lightly.

            3 votes
    2. Diff
      Link Parent
      Agreed, demanding is the wrong angle to come at this. Maybe it's because I'm just primed to think this way but when I see them demanding something like this it just strikes me as so out of touch...

      Agreed, demanding is the wrong angle to come at this. Maybe it's because I'm just primed to think this way but when I see them demanding something like this it just strikes me as so out of touch with reality.

      7 votes
    3. [7]
      thomzane
      Link Parent
      How would you phrase it?

      How would you phrase it?

      6 votes
      1. [6]
        Wes
        Link Parent
        Request? Implore? Propose?

        Request? Implore? Propose?

        10 votes
        1. [5]
          thomzane
          Link Parent
          Petitions should demand, urge, and call on. Activism is in a sad state if we do not feel like we can demand anything of a much larger organization.

          Petitions should demand, urge, and call on. Activism is in a sad state if we do not feel like we can demand anything of a much larger organization.

          10 votes
          1. Wes
            Link Parent
            Okay, but why? It comes off as rude and assuming. If I were a decision maker at Microsoft reviewing this, I'd be turned off by the language. I don't see how this does anything but harm their...

            Petitions should demand, urge, and call on.

            Okay, but why? It comes off as rude and assuming. If I were a decision maker at Microsoft reviewing this, I'd be turned off by the language. I don't see how this does anything but harm their chances of success.

            9 votes
          2. [3]
            arp242
            Link Parent
            "I demand you pass the salt", "I demand a pack of cigarettes", "I demand a coffee", "I demand you answer my support question". Doesn't sound so good, does it? There is nothing wrong with asking,...

            "I demand you pass the salt", "I demand a pack of cigarettes", "I demand a coffee", "I demand you answer my support question".

            Doesn't sound so good, does it? There is nothing wrong with asking, in any context.

            5 votes
            1. [2]
              vorotato
              Link Parent
              While I agree with you under most circumstances, the FSF operates under the principle that the consumer has the right to read code they run on their machines. Given this philosophy, "demanding"...

              While I agree with you under most circumstances, the FSF operates under the principle that the consumer has the right to read code they run on their machines. Given this philosophy, "demanding" seems more reasonable, as the consumer has paid for a product that will no longer be supported, and they might argue that it falls under the consumer's right to repair. People are right to demand that their rights are respected. Though really Microsoft isn't going to do it whether you ask politely or demand it, so its rather moot.

              2 votes
              1. arp242
                Link Parent
                Perhaps ... and I actually have some amount of sympathy for that point of view; if I buy something, I should have the "right to repair", right? I just think a lot of the FSF's messaging on this is...

                Perhaps ... and I actually have some amount of sympathy for that point of view; if I buy something, I should have the "right to repair", right? I just think a lot of the FSF's messaging on this is just really ineffective, and is just preaching to the choir.

                From what I've seen, the FSF Europe (independent of FSF) is actually a lot better and more effective. They actually focus on achievable goals to improve the state of things a bit, rather than unrealistic pipedreams like FSF's "upcycle Windows 7".

                1 vote
  3. [5]
    moocow1452
    Link
    Even though "Microsoft Loves Linux," that's an awfully big step in their relationship. Maybe Windows 95/98 for some super legacy programs, but I'm going to assume that a lot of Windows 10 is...

    Even though "Microsoft Loves Linux," that's an awfully big step in their relationship. Maybe Windows 95/98 for some super legacy programs, but I'm going to assume that a lot of Windows 10 is composed of Windows 7, and they aren't entirely comfortable exposing everything.

    17 votes
    1. [4]
      thomzane
      Link Parent
      Microsoft has to start somewhere. It might as well be with Windows 7 while it is somewhat relevant. Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, and XP would be historically interesting, but irrelevant.

      Microsoft has to start somewhere. It might as well be with Windows 7 while it is somewhat relevant.

      Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, and XP would be historically interesting, but irrelevant.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        mat
        Link Parent
        I think you can say the same about Win 7. It's over a decade old now. That's a long time in software. There's not a lot relevant about an operating system from 2009, especially when there's been...

        Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, and XP would be historically interesting, but irrelevant.

        I think you can say the same about Win 7. It's over a decade old now. That's a long time in software. There's not a lot relevant about an operating system from 2009, especially when there's been two releases since then. Both of which are better, although tbh I don't spend all that much time in windowsland.

        I don't know what the FSF want with Win 7. They say it's had "ten years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security", why on earth would anyone want that? The UI is easily replicated on a modern linux system, and has been for almost as long as Win 7 has existed. Other than that it's an ancient and outdated OS that should be consigned to the archives and nothing else.

        6 votes
        1. SkewedSideburn
          Link Parent
          Considering a lot of it is in Windows 10 now -- no, there's a lot relevant about it. Not a chance it's gonna happen though.

          There's not a lot relevant about an operating system from 2009

          Considering a lot of it is in Windows 10 now -- no, there's a lot relevant about it. Not a chance it's gonna happen though.

          7 votes
        2. crdpa
          Link Parent
          It is relevant. It could help Wine development tremendously.

          It is relevant. It could help Wine development tremendously.

          6 votes
  4. [5]
    arp242
    Link
    The FSF is so toxic: Whatever valid points they may (or may not) have, "poisoning education" and "threatening user security" are just toxic, and "invalid privacy" is overly simplistic at the...

    The FSF is so toxic:

    bringing an end to its updates as well as its ten years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security.

    Whatever valid points they may (or may not) have, "poisoning education" and "threatening user security" are just toxic, and "invalid privacy" is overly simplistic at the least.

    If we want Free Software to have a future, we need to get rid of the FSF as soon as possible.

    12 votes
    1. [4]
      edenist
      Link Parent
      How is stating "poisoning education" toxic? The behaviours of MS + apple in the way they hook young people into their ecosystem shares similarities with the tobacco industry. So yeah, I'd call...

      How is stating "poisoning education" toxic?

      The behaviours of MS + apple in the way they hook young people into their ecosystem shares similarities with the tobacco industry. So yeah, I'd call them pretty toxic.

      They aren't about teaching kids how to use computers, they are teaching them how to use products. "Free" licenses for students, buying their way into hosting schools entire IT infrastructures and teaching platforms, and perpetuating the cycle by locking people into their products [and mostly at the taxpayers expense]. Yeah, I'd call that toxic.

      10 votes
      1. [3]
        arp242
        Link Parent
        It's emotionally charged and implies malicious intent. You can apply your arguments to any product, so guess that selling products like any company is "hooking young people into their ecosystem"...

        It's emotionally charged and implies malicious intent. You can apply your arguments to any product, so guess that selling products like any company is "hooking young people into their ecosystem" 🤷‍♂️

        They aren't about teaching kids how to use computers, they are teaching them how to use products

        So does your driving instructor. Most people don't care about the internals of their computers, and they shouldn't have to. Teaching people how to use Linux or OpenBSD or VMS or whatever would also be "teaching them products", just products you prefer.

        FSF should just be about basic consumer rights regarding software (e.g. "right to repair"), not this massive upheaval of the fundamentals of out economic system. If you're calling normal people performing normal economic activist "poisoning" then you're not meaningfully contributing to any constructive debate; you're just just an old cook in the corner shouting and wondering why no one is listening, which is what the FSF has been doing for 30 years with almost no effect.

        12 votes
        1. [2]
          edenist
          Link Parent
          A school is not a marketplace though. You can go shopping and choose what you want to buy, you can even choose which driving instructor you want to use [and learning to drive on car doesn't stop...

          A school is not a marketplace though. You can go shopping and choose what you want to buy, you can even choose which driving instructor you want to use [and learning to drive on car doesn't stop you from driving any other!].

          Most people can't choose their school, and when a school sets a policy of what technology is in use, you have to go with the policy. A school is a captive audience and it is our moral imperative to make sure said children are not being taken advantage of. Don't get me wrong, using apple or microsoft products isn't immorral [even in a school setting], but the way these companies currently get their tech into schools and then leverage their position of dominance is, in my opinion, immoral.

          I don't see how this is related to any economic system. I'm not pushing for workers to rise up. I just want our kids to start their computing lives [which, let's be honest, is going to be one of the largest parts of their lives] in a fair manner, free from powerful influences. I don't think that's asking too much.

          7 votes
          1. arp242
            Link Parent
            It's one thing to say "I think computing education could be better", it's quite another thing to say "they're poisoning education". I don't really have strong opinions on this; I am so far removed...

            It's one thing to say "I think computing education could be better", it's quite another thing to say "they're poisoning education".

            I don't really have strong opinions on this; I am so far removed from education that I don't know how things work these days, and it probably depends per country (and even school) anyway. In general, I'm not so sure if using Linux or Windows on your school's computers matters all that much. In my experience regular folk switch quite easily between the two, even without training, and this has been the case for over a decade. People don't really seem to care all that much about their OS.

            I was mostly responding to the FSF tone and style of communication. This is classic FSF, instead of being constructive and trying to make education better, they just rant about Microsoft and whatnot with very strong wording. Yeah, very helpful ... thanks for that... 😒

            4 votes
  5. [3]
    ducc
    Link
    Perhaps I'm not the most knowledgeable on this, but I feel like this is incredibly optimistic. Windows 7 is still used and being updated for enterprise customers, so it's not entirely EOL yet....

    Perhaps I'm not the most knowledgeable on this, but I feel like this is incredibly optimistic. Windows 7 is still used and being updated for enterprise customers, so it's not entirely EOL yet. Plus, open-sourcing it would include the NT kernel, which is still used. I'm not sure they'd want to do that.

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      jwong
      Link Parent
      EOL means no longer supported by Microsoft, not how much it's still in use. Agreeing that the bits of Win7 in Win10 being exposed by this wouldn't be a good idea though.

      EOL means no longer supported by Microsoft, not how much it's still in use.

      Agreeing that the bits of Win7 in Win10 being exposed by this wouldn't be a good idea though.

      2 votes
      1. babypuncher
        Link Parent
        Microsoft still supports it for enterprise customers who are willing to pay for updates.

        Microsoft still supports it for enterprise customers who are willing to pay for updates.

        4 votes