Apache Developers Invited to Redmond

A little over a year ago, (when I was still on the CardSpace team) I woke up, and wandered over to my computer at home, and bleary-eyed started up a browser and saw the following:

Whooosh! This was better than a triple-shot-breve-latte! I snapped fully awake, and started cranking out a few emails... this would be a great opportunity to get FireFox to support CardSpace!  Who was this Sam Ramji guy? We have an Open Source Software Lab? Really? Mozilla coming to campus? Can the CardSpace team get some time with them? Yeee-haw!

That one little post on Slashdot started a chain reaction of events that I would never have imagined.  Now, of course, I'm part of the OSSL, and I get to see stuff like this taking shape first hand.

Earlier today, I posted an invitation to several of the Apache Developer mailing lists:


My name is Garrett Serack, and I am the Community Program Manager in the Open Source Software Labs here at Microsoft.

I would like to extend an official invitation to the Apache Software Foundation to participate in the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Compatibility Labs here in Redmond. The Compatibility lab is scheduled for

   Monday February 25 2008 through Wednesday February 28 2008.

The Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility Lab is an event where we invite companies to bring their applications into our lab, and have the opportunity to perform compatibility testing with Windows Server 2008. In addition to gaining insight into Windows Server 2008, this also includes unprecedented access to various product groups (developers, architects and PMs) inside of Microsoft, who can lend their assistance, give technical information and answer design questions you may have.

Normally, we request companies send 3-4 attendees, and we usually have 3-4 companies in the lab in a given week. Given the ASF's size and breadth, we've reserved the entire lab for the week for the Apache Foundation, and we'd like to see somewhere in the range of 15-18 people from a wide variety of projects attend.

We would be very interested in having several people from the Tomcat, HTTPD and Axis groups attend. Other projects including APR, Apache C++ Standard Library project, Harmony, and Maven.NET also come to mind. Any project that is impacted by the release of Windows 2008, or is looking to solve Windows-specific project issues, may profit from this opportunity.

We are interested in having each project who deals with Microsoft Windows compatibility or portability to bring small contingent of 1 or 2 developers to the table, so please chat within your own PMC or even your dev@ list first to determine who is most interested in attending this camp on behalf of your project. Space is constrained, and we'd like to ensure that specific attention can be given to projects that need it.

You might be interested in the "political" rational of why we value this chance to meet some of the ASF developers and help them work through Windows compatibility issues. You can see Sam Ramji's blog entry about why we asked Mozilla out:


As for Apache, we're really keen to see their technology run great on Windows.

To some folks in the ASF, this isn't a surprise... Hank and I have already had good conversations with Apache folks in order to work out the dates and details.

Comments (26)

  1. Dopo i Mozilla anche gli Apache sono stati invitati a Redmond…

  2. Yan Seiner says:

    I’m a bit taken aback by the sheer arrogance of this….  MS is dictating terms to the most successful web server out there, telling when to show up and under wha tconditions….

    If I got this, I’d tell them to stuff it.  If they want me to provide them with my insight, they should extend an ‘invitation’, not a summons, and offer the use of the lab at their convenience.

    And tell them to proofread (and not just spellcheck) their summons.


  3. Hmmm.

    Interesting Yan.

    I guess the part I left out, is the last six weeks where I’ve been emailing back and forth with the ASF, and asking which dates they would like, what we can do to help, and the fact that we’re willing to pay for some of the attendees to show.

    On top of that, most of the text in the email was actually part of an internal invite that Bill Rowe of the ASF had sent between some of the members of the ASF about a month ago, and he sent it on to me, and I included the text in the ‘official’ invite.  

    The reason it’s an ‘official’ invitation, is because we finally locked down the dates, and we could talk with some certainty about it.


  4. suez says:

    don’t go –

    remember in the movie "It’s a wonderful life" potter offers Harry Baily a job and he was taken in by Mr. Potter but finally woke up and realized what was happening and told him to get lost.

    well don’t be taken by the money and the glitz

    stick to your guns and tell microsoft what they really are.  to many so called open source devotees have been taken in by the money and glitz.  

    microsoft can’t beat apache and they would love nothing else to get some of their mopped up code into apache and bring it down with lawsuits.  

    if you do go DO NOT LOOK AT THEIR CODE!! keep apache clean!

  5. Yan Seiner says:

    OOPS!  I wish that had been evident from the post.  In that case, I apologize for the tone and content of my comment.


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  7. kuratkull says:

    Microsoft should go to Apache developers and see if Windows Server 2008 works correctly with Apache, not the other way around.

  8. someone says:

    dont do it! its a trap, they’re going to ambush you!

  9. Bro says:

    If you decide to go, be very very careful not to drink the Kool Aid.

  10. TANK says:

    I say go for it Apache team.  Don’t be another one of them "everyones against us" type people.

    Anyone with an open mind is most likely to learn from this experience.  

    I suppose the key word here is "compatibility".


  11. Eric says:

    Don’t go? Don’t look at the code? These have got to be the most idiotic responses I have ever seen? The whole affair is win-win. Are you a developer (suez)? Probably not. Save your ramblings for digg.

  12. Phil says:

    Win win??? Apache seems to have done great all this time without any sort of Windows compatibility effort from MS. What does Apache really have to win here?

    I would not be anxious to work with a company that called my business model and cancer and actively seeks to destroy one of the OS’s that has made my product successful. I almost guarantee this will come back on the Apache guys as the point and time that they incorporated MS code in their server. There are alot of people counting on the Apache server…don’t let MS ruin it.

  13. I see that there is a handful of folks who don’t think Apache should come, for what seems to be:

    a) thinking that we’ll somehow "corrupt" their code. Or their eternal souls. Same Thing.

    b) thinking that we’re going to show them the source code to Windows and therefor influencing them.

    c) thinking that we’ve not actually done some homework.

    d) Um…spite?

    The Windows Server 2008 Application Compatability labs is a way we can get customers access to all the product engineers, developers, and archetects in a single place in order to help them make their products better, answer their questions, and take their requests. The Apache Software Foundation makes software for Windows. Lots of it. I’d hope that there are ways we can help.

    We’re not "incorporating MS code" into their products. We’re looking to help them make their products even better.

    I’m also pretty positive that we’re not giving them any Kool Aid.

    And, really… What would be a problem with an even better Apache HTTPD that ran on Windows?


  14. CautiousOne says:

    "And, really… What would be a problem with an even better Apache HTTPD that ran on Windows? "

    — Well for one "Microsoft" it is really hard to have warm and fuzzies given past and current actions! have you taken a close look at your company? — because of our type of business all but one of our networks are isolated from the outside world and each other physically; no e-mail, web, "Genuine Advantage", "stealth updates" you are a crook and we must check on you

    We just recently (4 months) moved some areas to XPP after years of flawless W2k, we are not thrilled with it. The same on some of our servers (just moving to W2K3) and that has stopped! we can not have systems that have to "phone home" VISTA is well VISTA and it will never see the light of day here, along with Exchange due to its AD integration/reliance, as we do have internal mail in each network. Due to costs and so called "enhancements" we are looking to move deeper into Linux/MAC — after testing MSO 2007 that was flushed and we in process of moving everyone to Star Office 8 updt9, Our "intranets" are all Apache.

    Due to MS partners we are in process of moving our control systems and ERP to Linux (yes we do pay for our software). Why can’t you have a modular server / desktop? not just disabling…. I will say that the 2008 core is interesting from playing with it.. Powershell is weak to say the least but at least you tried. From the database side we use PostgreSQL / EnterpriseDB. If MS was serious about "playing nice" they would port some things to Linux (Office come to mind) and believe it or not we still do a fair amount in VB/Delphi(Kylix) along with TrollTech. I am also somewhat fond of C#.

    Well anyway I got off the subject…. it’s just hard to trust MS when they don’t trust and the constant rantings from Steve about Linux. Myself and other Directors from different companies will continue to pool our resources and work towards better solutions

  15. Chandru says:

    >> We’re looking to help them make their products even better.

    When did Microsoft start wanting Apache and Firefox to be better  products?  Also why should they do that after all these are already better products.

    If at all u guys want Free software to be better ask your beloved CEO to shut up and quit ranting about patent infringement.

  16. Billy says:

    The first of the E’s begins.  Embrace the Technology.

    "a) thinking that we’ll somehow "corrupt" their code. Or their eternal souls. Same Thing."

    Isn’t that what MS is so good at doing?

    "b) thinking that we’re going to show them the source code to Windows and therefor influencing them."

    With several years of correcting the code.

    "c) thinking that we’ve not actually done some homework."

    In how to Embrace information, Extend it with MS additions, and finally Extinguish the original.  Yes, MS has done there homework for years off the backs of those they embraced then ended up walking over there corpses.

    "d) Um…spite?"

    No.  Actually worry.

    Sorry if I do not see MS as a benevolent company.  To many have been destroyed by them after being welcomed with open arms and smiles.

    Just my 2 cents.

  17. Alonso says:

    Given Microsoft’s tendency to "appropriate" other’s ideas, I would not trust this company in any way.

    GarretS last comment, "And, really… What would be a problem with an even better Apache HTTPD that ran on Windows?", is really telling of the one-sided relationship that Microsoft seeks to harbor.

    Apache is doing very well AS IS. Microsfot is only looking to gain advantages for its own products at the expense of other people’s innovation and hard work- for profit and without contributing back to the community.

    Apache, read this: DO NOT GO!

  18. Rambo Tribble says:

    It is obvious that Microsoft is trying to adapt to a changing software landscape. While that does little to validate the purity of its corporate intent, it is discouraging to see so many unwilling to give detente a chance.

  19. Phil says:

    "And, really… What would be a problem with an even better Apache HTTPD that ran on Windows?"

    I think the better question is…what would be the benefit? For Apache there seems to be little. While your intent may be good your company is still about the bottom line. You should really take a look at some of the antics your company has pulled to understand why most FOSS supporters don’t see this as a good move.

  20. yamimbe says:

    You can’t trust Microsoft ….. if it wasn’t for OSS they would never have got their "cluster" to work I was at the meeting where that was "officially said".

    Apache runs just fine, the largest driving force for it on "Windows" is "Microsoft". I’m for interoperability but with MS there is an obvious danger in association …. WARNING WILL ROBINSON!! don’t go … "keep your friends close, your enemies closer" OSS is a cancer in their eyes they are looking to "DESTROY" their stated cancer.

    Yes I use some MS products (SuSe Enterprise arrrghhhh!!!) and yes I have been testing "2008", it is prudent to have an understanding and level of knowledge in order to handle things you run accross…

    that said, watch for the knife that is aimed for your back….

  21. Tom Sherman says:

    And, really… What would be a problem with an even better Apache HTTPD that ran on Windows?

    The Fact it is "Windows" and "Microsoft" aspirations of world domination of software and user lockin!!

  22. CautiousOne says:

    Seems the moderator doesn’t want to publish negative feedback… that will be noted in other blogs, for sure

  23. Adam Hoka says:

    A better supported lighttpd on Windows would make more sense. 🙂

  24. Sean McCann says:

    If the Apache team wanna go to Redmond to talk to MicroSoft thats up to them. If apache runs better under windows 2008 as a result then its a good thing. The apache guys are smart guys.

    The fact is that MS is going to be around for a long time. Windows 2008 has a large ISP target demographic  that will run Apache or Tomcat. Apache is the largest internet server , Microsoft would be nuts to spurn the chance to talk to them.

    Also can we cut Garret some slack, I’m sure he gets enough grief in work over open source and some of the zealots. At least he has the balls to post it on his blogg and give us an insight into whats going on.

  25. Frank says:

    Garretts >> "We’re looking to help them make their products even better"

    Oh really!? Already smarter and better than MS IIS, and now, even better?

    Why would you need to run HTTPD/Tomcat on Windows anyway?

    MS has got to learn to appreciate:

    – International Standards

    – Open Source (genuine passion and ideas without proprietary motives)

  26. yamimbe says:

    I’m sure he gets plenty of flak (after all he works for MS). That aside he could be a good guy, but his company is a vicious, ruthless, monopoly. They will stop at nothing and do anything, buy, bribe, cajole and garner leverage in the U.S. with cash…. ummm marketing assistance, campaign donations etc. (the same in Africa).. the EU is the only salvation as the U.S. will do nothing pertinent even states that want to continue against them are "discouraged" by the justice dept.

    MS can’t be trusted and their direct actions as well as those through "proxy" companies they ummm invest in. They over charge, treat you as a criminal and laugh cause they can get away with it…

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