hey remember all that time I've spent arguing that large tech companies use "open source" software and services to further their own monopolies? this is from the antitrust complaint against Facebook alleging they do exactly that

@walruslifestyle see also: Google progressively shuttering features out of Android's open source tree and re-doing them as proprietary stuff as part of Google Play Services or whatnot, to make it harder for not just Android users but also device manufacturers to escape lock-in

Ars called this in 2013:

@outie This article should be the stock response to anyone cautiously optimistic about google's new "open-source OS"

@matt @outie I think one reason people continually fall for these traps is that they look just different enough each time. Facebook had "open" APIs that seemed like a whole app ecosystem, then closed em / turned them totally predatory. Twitter had "open" APIs that let people access their data set, then closed them to consolidate a changing understand of their core business. Fuchsia seeeeems like it's MIT+Apache+BSD but it's unclear where and how big the doors into that lobster trap are.

@jplebreton @matt @outie

the Peanuts place-kicking gag was not meant to be an instruction manual

@outie @walruslifestyle You know, whenever someone criticizes iPhone for being closed, and says they're using Android because it's open but then what they really use is a closed source, Google infested, OEM bloated, proprietary phone they have less control over than an iPhone and can't even delete stock apps or opt out of services, that's just laughable... and sad. iPhone has an open source core, and so does Android and that's it. Except Android usually gets modified and you don't see that part.

@rage @outie @walruslifestyle Yes but I meant those people that buy, say, the latest Samsung phone and leave it "as is" with proprietary Google and Samung stuff. As for iOS, it's itself is fairly "Apple free" (I mean from a services/tracking aspect), just don't use iCloud and don't opt into anything. You can even uninstall most system apps. I do have an iPhone, a Samsung phone and a LineageOS (with microG) and the difference between the three is night and day. Each covering a different need/use.

@rage @outie @walruslifestyle When you use Android (LineageOS) without Google, then I did not mean you. You are indeed using FOSS (not counting the OEM blobs, if any).

And yes, "for now at least". :c

@rage @outie @walruslifestyle There are phones out there that work without blobs but usually old and/or underpowered. But even then, there's till the modem. ;)

@rage @outie @walruslifestyle But even then, the modem is a problem (I know, hardware switch to disable, but still). BTW Have you heard of the PinePhone?

@rage @outie @walruslifestyle If you mean, ready for consumers, probably neither but I haven't tried them. But if I had to choose I'd go for the PinePhone as it's got a lot of active development from the community and is cheaper. The Librem phone seems overpriced to me.

@walruslifestyle Twitter also did this with their API, tuning it to be increasingly hostile to third party apps and eventually just straight up going "if you have more than x users we need to talk about API access (because we'll want to buy you)"

and I suspect it's where Microsoft are going again as well, rather than just a straight up repeat of Extend Embrace Extinguish


> and I suspect it's where Microsoft are going again as well, rather than just a straight up repeat of Extend Embrace Extinguish

Some extensions on "Visual Studio Code" already have checks to see if you're running the official build (which has a different EULA than the code)

@ihatehoney yeah, I noticed that when I switched from Sublime Text to VSCode recently but needed to use an OSS build because I'm on ARM64

@outie yes, for sure. all the third-party twitter apps have basically become non-functional as a result of Twitter's actions there, so they are just as guilty of this practice. I wonder whether the case against Facebook will persuade them to walk that back.

Google is just *throws up hands*

@walruslifestyle @outie
The Twitter API was a straight up outsourcing of mobile client development. They bought Tweetdeck and capped API key access shortly after (as I remember)

Google APIs have 3 states - experimental, deprecated, and internal

Facebook is unique, however, in the dollar volume, laziness, and infrastructure consequences of its fuckery

@walruslifestyle I’m not sure if open APIs (which is what they’re taking about here) are the really the same thing as open source, though?

@ghost_bird you're right, but I think they can be used to the exact same effect.

@walruslifestyle For me, the significant difference is that an API lets you do gatekeeping, but if your actual code is open source the best you can do is embrace & extend. The bigger risk is companies monetising open source dev in a way that turns it into just another kind of unpaid internship, arguably.

@ghost_bird @walruslifestyle You can also build your open code so horribly complex that it's impossible for anyone smaller than you to maintain it. See Also: Chromium.

@walruslifestyle it is not saying that. It says the open first and their closed THEIR APIs. Their APIs were all the time close sourced and they belonged to Facebook.

No related to opens source software...

@walruslifestyle it's going to get used incredibly irresponsibly & horrifically but they need to re-open anyways.

@walruslifestyle true, though that's not really open source. A problem with FB open source projects is many get eventually abandoned or forked internally

@walruslifestyle it shows the extreme danger of any open source community being dependent on the largess of any major corporation - they're fickle and self-serving. Just look at Mozilla, who allowed themselves to become totally dependent on Google...

@walruslifestyle seems that this is more talking about access to the facebook platform (api's)?

@walruslifestyle Aye... and we can argue the nuances forever... my particular concern is that history tells us the remedies don't work that well... I've posted an opinion at for what its worth.

@walruslifestyle err... no... ref the AT&T example... took them 20 years but baby, they're back!

@walruslifestyle It's important to differentiate between "open source software" and just having "open" APIs.

Once open source software is released, it's part of the commons. Whatever the original developer does from then on, the world still has that software and can use and improve it.

APIs, whether "open" or otherwise, are just a service that's being provided. They might be useful or not, but they'll go away as soon as they stop supporting the business model of the company running them.

@nat yes, there's a distinction, but I don't agree that it matters much.

@walruslifestyle You say that, while having the discussion on a network where the most commonly used UI is based on the Facebook-released react.js framework.

It's possible that technological infrastructure and the associated commons isn't that important, but if it important then corporate contributions to open source software are a huge factor.

@nat how many software developers write user interfaces in a way that Facebook has dictated via its release of front end libraries? how many of their skills become obsolete if the industry fad shifts to some other libraries because Facebook chooses to abandon theirs?

they control the industry via open source and open APIs. that is illegal behavior and should be stopped.

@walruslifestyle That way of looking at things makes some sense for APIs, but that it doesn't really make sense for infrastructure libraries like react.

There are plenty of options for UI libraries. React gets used because it's well designed and solves concrete problems that some developers have, not because Facebook imposed it. In the particular case of React, they can't even hurt people by abandoning it - there is community support and even compatible re-implementations.


Wow, that’s exactly what Twitter did too, lol

@daebb yes. in the US its pretty blatantly illegal but antitrust law is just not enforced. till now, with any luck.

@walruslifestyle this is very similar to the EEE strategy that got Microsoft sued in the 90s.

@mistermonster oh i know. monopolists aren't very creative. they have a common playbook they always use.

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