Oracle tells the military to buy their products instead of using open source

Image credit: Unixmen

Today in Open Source: Should the military use open source apps? Plus: Things to do after installing Ubuntu 13.10, and Mir and the Linux community

Oracle and Open Source Apps for Military Use

Oracle has never been shy about promoting its products. The Register is reporting today that Oracle is recommending that the military stay away from open source apps.

Oracle has popped out a white paper that may well turn some heads, because it contains robust criticism of open source software.

The paper goes on to explain why that's a bad idea and why paying Oracle for commercial software is a much more sensible thing to do.

The foundation of the arguments is that developing applications based on open source software has hidden cost, mostly in labour.

It also warns that open source software may not scale. “Commercial software companies have developed highly refined methodologies to perform these tasks,” the document suggests. “Don’t underestimate the difficulties associated with testing open source software and incorporating required changes into the main development stream, especially when it comes to testing for robustness and reliability under load”.

For example, a concluding section titled “The Proper Use of Open Source” offers the following advice:

“Oracle helps ensure that open source software fits well within the surrounding infrastructure and provides a route to enterprise grade production. However, for the intensive, mission-critical capabilities required by most DoD projects, Oracle recommends its flagship commercial software products.”

More at The Register

So Oracle is positioning its products as more viable alternatives to open source applications for the military? Wow, big shocker there. It really amounts to "pay us instead of using free and open source software for your projects."

Really, am I the only one thinking that perhaps Oracle is being just a tad bit too self-serving with this white paper? It sounds like something Microsoft would have produced. I doubt very much that the military will pay much attention to it.

Fifteen Things to Do After Installing Ubuntu 13.10

Unixmen has a list of fifteen things you might want to do after installing Ubuntu 13.10.

Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander will be released on coming October 17th with many new salient features, updates and significant performance improvements. In this brief how-to let us discuss how we can enhance Ubuntu 13.10 further for day to day activities. This post we will share some interesting insight and ideas about what you can and should do after a successful installation.

1. Update System

2. Ubuntu Tweak

3. Desktop Environments

4. Accounts Figuration

5. System Monitoring and Eye Candy Tools

6. Multimedia

7. Install Common Codecs and Enable DVD Playback

8. Enable Flash Support

9. Torrent Software

10. Messengers

11. Gaming and Emulators

12. Sharing Files and Folders

13. Extra Miscellaneous

14. Desktop Effects

15. Other Applications Worth Trying

More at Unixmen

That's actually a pretty good list, click through to Unixmen for much more detail.

I suspect a lot of folks will be doing the stuff on this list when Ubuntu 13.10 hits later this week. I've just gotten around to using it, I'll have a review up on DLR soon. Hopefully it will be a bit more interesting than Ubuntu 13.04.

DistroWatch on Mir and the Community

DistroWatch has some interesting commentary on Mir and the Linux community.

Most of us see the open source world as a place where anybody can scratch an itch, develop a new idea and release it into the wild. It doesn't need to have mass appeal, it does not need to sell a certain number of units, developers are able to create their visions and share them freely. At least it seems as though developers can do this as long as they do not work for commercial companies.

The more feedback I hear about Mir (especially negative feedback) the more I get the impression critics are opposed to Mir not on the technology's merits, but because Canonical is behind its development. Ubuntu is a widely used and popular distribution and, when one is king of the hill, everyone wants to push you. The development of Mir isn't hurting anyone, it isn't being forced on other distributions (even Ubuntu community distributions can use Mir or ignore it as they like), and Mir is open source. Mir represents a fresh solution to a long-standing concern -- the imperfections in X -- and Canonical has shown a willingness to develop and even maintain drivers to prevent diluting efforts from third-party coders.

Canonical has basically said they want to try something new, do not expect any help or cooperation and will not push their technology out to the public before it is ready. Despite their best efforts many people in the open source community appear to want them to fail.

More at DistroWatch

I'm with DistroWatch on this one, I don't have a dog in this hunt either. I don't think Mir should be blithely dismissed because Canonical is developing it. Let's wait and see how it turns out before condemning it or ignoring it.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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