Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Three Samba geeks did what Red Hat is scared to do

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Nearly five years ago, three senior developers from the Samba project showed the rest of the FOSS community what could be achieved by resistance which was based on integrity.

Andrew Tridgell, Jeremy Allison and Volker Lendecke, along with investigators from the EU, wrested an agreement from Microsoft that made it mandatory for the software company to provide information about all its network protocols used to work with Windows Server to a new body, the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation.

Contrast the actions of these three geeks with that of Red Hat, a billion-dollar company, that is willing to go along with Microsoft's ruse of a secure boot process. A process that will in no way reduce the amount of malware that Windows attracts, much in the way that dogs attract fleas.

And remember: nobody asked Tridgell, Allison or Lendecke to get involved. They joined Sun Microsystem's 1998 complaint to the EC about Microsoft's refusal to provide needed information for Sun to develop software that could work with Microsoft Active Directory.

Provision of this information was mandated under the settlement of the anti-trust case which was filed against Microsoft in the 1990s - and Redmond was resisting even the law of the land!

None of these three developers is a millionaire. But they have one thing in spades that Red Hat, as a company, appears to lack - integrity. I have met and spoken to Tridgell and Allison, but not Lendecke; one can, however, gauge the depth of professional honesty that all three bring to the table by meeting any of them.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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