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Re: [K12OSN] The Terror of Open Source

On Mon, May 06, 2002 at 02:09:32PM -0600, Kirk Rheinlander wrote:
> The link which includes the letter is from TheREGISTER - DEFINITELY a must 
> read.....
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/25157.html

> MS in Peruvian open-source nightmare
>    By Thomas C Greene in Washington
>    Posted: 05/05/2002 at 20:26 GMT

> There's a letter circulating, purportedly from Peruvian Congressman
> David Villanueva Nuñez to Microsoft Peru, which cuts the heart out of
> Redmond's chief 'panic points' to chill those considering
> open-source migration.

> Apparently, the Peruvian government is considering a bill mandating 
> open-source software for all public bureaux. From the congressman's letter, 
> we gather that MS had circulated a FUD communiqué calculated to frighten 
> world + dog with images of collapsing domestic software markets, spiraling 
> costs and systems migration nightmares. Villanueva Nuñez slices and dices 
> with great skill to reveal the internal inconsistencies, unsupportable 
> claims and irrational conclusions which the MS flacks trade in.

> The letter provides the most thoughtful and thorough rebuttal we've ever 
> seen to Microsoft's standard open-source terror boilerplate.

The Register's wording seems to cast some doubt on the authenticity of the
rebuttal.  The letter was posted on gnu.org.pe, which I would hope lends
some credibility to it; but more importantly, the original letter shows
that the author is a very skilled writer with a mastery of rhetorical
language far exceeding that of his sparring partner.  If the author of
that letter is not a doctor and a legislator, he ought to consider
applying himself to becoming both. :)

In contrast, the Microsoft FUD letter that spawned it all is written in an
obtuse style which, although not altogether uncharacteristic of the
legalistic incantations of the region, is clearly intended to confuse much
more than it is intended to inform.  At times, it reads as if it was
composed by sending the text through Babelfish to begin with -- so it
doesn't surprise me that no one has spent much effort trying to provide a
good translation of a poor original, and you may find that letting Google
do the translating for you brings you much closer to the feel of the
original dry text than you'd like to think. ;)

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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