Microsoft brings open source code to Samba

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Abnormal snowstorm reported in hell. The Tea Party recognizes that Obama is the best candidate for the 2012 presidential election. Microsoft submits open-source code under GPLv3 to Samba. It’s all pretty unlikely, but Microsoft really submitted code to Samba open source file server project.

This may not seem too surprising to you. After all, Microsoft has supported some open source projects to CodePlex for some time now and they will work with other projects such as Python and PHP languages ​​and the Drupal Content Management System (CMS)). But, Samba, Samba is different. He’s an old enemy of Microsoft.

Samba, itself, is a set of Windows interoperability programs that provide secure, stable, and fast file and print services for all client operating systems that use the Server Message Block (SMB)/Common Internet protocol File System (SMB/CIFS). As such, Samba is used to seamlessly integrate Linux/Unix servers and workstations into Active Directory (AD) networks using the winbind Devil. In common usage, Samba is found on almost all network-attached storage (NAS) devices shipped today. In short, Samba allows Linux to compete with Windows Server on workgroups.

In fact, it was Samba on Linux that transformed Linux from an edge server, used for web service and email, to an infrastructure server. With Samba, Linux provides the bread and butter of file and print services that every business needs in millions of businesses.

Since debuting Samba in 1992, Microsoft has been far, less than happy, with its server rival. But, since Microsoft lost an anti-trust case in the European Union and was forced to open its network protocols to Samba in 2007, Microsoft slowly got better with Samba.

But, even so, it came as a surprise when on October 10, when Stephen A. Zarko of Microsoft’s Open Source Technology Center, gave Samba proof-of-concept code for extended protection (channel and service binding) for Firefox and Samba for NT LAN Manager (NTLM) authentication. It’s a small step for open source, a giant leap for Samba/Windows interoperability.

As Chris Hertel of the Samba team wrote, “A few years ago a patch submission by Microsoft coders would have been unbelievable to the point of being unthinkable, but the battles are mostly over and the times We still disagree on things like the role of software patents in preventing the creation of innovative software, but Microsoft is now at the forefront of efforts to build community and to improve interoperability in the world of SMEs.

Hertel continued: “Most people didn’t even notice the source of the contribution. That’s how much things have changed over the past four years. … but some of us have seen this as a milestone and wanted to make a note to express our appreciation for the patch and the changes we’ve seen.”

Jeremy Allison, one of Samba’s leaders and a software engineer at the Google Open Source Programs Office, told me he was “really thrilled. It shows that Microsoft now sees us as part of the landscape they inhabit, and cooperating with us is a very good sign that in terms of engineering, they understand that free/open source software is a very good thing that can also help them (not to put words in their mouths, but I think they recently worked on HadoopName [An Apache open-source framework for reliable, scalable, distributed computing] and others have shown it).

That says, “Sending code to Samba is a big deal because of the historical legacy of the EU lawsuit, and shows that Microsoft is becoming a mature member of the OSS [open source software] ecosystem,” Allison said.

He continued, “Now if they just stop threatening OSS over patents, and just try to make money off it like everyone else by putting it into products (they’re almost there, I think), I think we could finally bury the hatchet :-).”

“But,” Allison concluded, “I want to be fair to the guys who sent the patch, it’s another department of Microsoft (the one suing people :-). These guys are in Microsoft’s OSS lab and they’re Great!”

OK, I was wrong. An amazing thing did not happen. Two amazing things happened. First, Microsoft voluntarily provided code to an old enemy, Samba. And, two, one of the leaders of Samba and a well-known champion of open source software says that the folks at Microsoft are great. It’s a day of miracles!

Related stories:

Samba makes changes to appeal to enterprise developer support

Samba 3.6 now available

Samba may consider accepting company donated code… only patches?

Upcoming release of Samba 3.6, Samba 4 postponed to end of 2011, 2012

Similarly moves into storage networks with Active Directory

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