The social skills of a thermonuclear device: Ruining a conversation


On an internal distribution list that a bunch of Microsoft bloggers hang out on, somebody asked a question about how to accomplish X, and another person suggested using the Y plug-in. I replied to the thread by saying, "The Y plug-in is not allowed on Microsoft-hosted properties for legal reasons. See this Web site for more information."

Ned Pyle sent me a reply:

I can always count on you to simultaneously ruin and improve a conversation...

Comments (14)
  1. Boris says:

    This is more like a thermonuclear fact delivered with regular social skills, though, so I’d invent another tag for the purpose.

  2. Brian_EE says:

    I rather enjoy the Thermonculear articles and was excited to see this one in the list today and simultaneously a little let down because it was so short. Personally I’d like to see more of these show up in the mix of topics.

    1. Muzer says:

      So, you’re saying that Raymond has the social skills of a thermonuclear device because he’s able to disappoint everyone when talking about his social skills of a thermonuclear device?

      1. Boris says:

        It’s just that this article should probably be tagged ‘Now you have two problems’.

  3. Karellen says:

    I get that you’re hiding the identity of the Y plugin for reasons, so I’m not going to ask about that, but I am intrigued as to the nature of the legal reasons behind disallowing it. Is that also a deliberate elision, or can you elaborate on that at all? It is due to the licensing of Y (AGPL?), or the nationality of its authors (Russian, Chinese, Iranian?), or…?

    1. Klimax says:

      Mosr likely free only for non-commercial use, commercial requires special licence and associated fee.

      1. Engywuck says:

        I really like programs/libraries that write “free” or “use at no cost” on their web page – and then add a “for personal use” in the EULA. The “better” ones give no indication of how to license for commercial use and/or don’t react when asked about it.

        1. smf says:

          If you want a new license on anything then any contact address you can find is good enough. If they don’t answer then it could just be that your email just went into the spam folder.

          Most developers are clueless when it comes to licensing because most of the time nobody wants to license their stuff.

    2. poizan42 says:

      I could be one incorporating some of Douglas Crockford’s code such as JSLint under the JSON license with the “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.” clause. Contrary to IBM, I don’t think Microsoft has gotten an exemption for Microsoft “, its customers, partners, and minions, to use JSLint for evil.”.

      1. Boris says:

        If X is something that can be programmed easily, I would always suggest doing so within a development environment, so the question here is also how hard it was for Microsoft of all companies to accomplish X.

      2. Muzer says:

        Is Microsoft a customer of IBM though? They must buy SOMETHING off them. Ergo, Microsoft is also allowed to do evil with JSON.

  4. Ray Koopa says:

    Well. A fact is a fact is a fact. If the policies do not allow people to use it, then what do?

    1. Adrina says:

      Change job asap. Monkeys are usually not paid for fighting the good fight inside a bureaucratic megacorp. Either option (working with inefficient tools, or disobeying the policy) can only land you in trouble.

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