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Red Hat's Mr Dot Comski locks horns with Beast of Redmond

Joe Barr sure knows how to make (up) a good debate...

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A while back Microsoft VP Jim Allchin caused a rumpus by saying open source was in some way un-American, and then unsportingly declining to take up a challenge from Red Hat to debate the issue. There, aside from a public but debateless retort from Red Hat, it might have rested - were it not for Joe Barr.

The Reg sometimes found itself in the same trench as Joe in the years following the great OS rebellion of 1992, but now he's excelled himself in his last column for LinuxWorld.com before it gets folded into ITWorld.com. Joe claims to have used his personal pull with a certain Microsoft employee who was also in the trenches at the time (but not being entirely truthful) to put one "Jim Allmouth" together with Red Hat's Bob Young.

And it's great stuff. Of Allmouth Joe says: "When he graduated from high school, he was voted 'Most Likely to Become the Next Joe McCarthy' by classmates. Allmouth has been using personal computers for over six months, and he credits that background with providing him all the savvy he needs to lead software innovation within the monopoly. Favorite book: The Prince. Favorite flag: American. Favorite breakfast: Seeds of Competition. Favorite item on menu: everything."

We'd be the last to suggest that this Allmouth guy has been in some way fictionalised, and the Bob Young stuff generally sounds like it's Bob Young. But we're a bit dubious about somebody at Microsoft having The Prince as a favourite book; the inelegant and unsophisticated approach to world domination generally used by Oberkommando Redmond doesn't gel with actually having read it. Maybe he just liked the cover.

Young, described by Allmouth as "Mr Dot Comski," does however ring true, coming up with commie-sounding stuff like "empowering the customers," and getting "technology workers of the world" to "unite around the GPL." Excellent stuff, and there's more at Joe Barr's LinuxWorld valedictory. ®

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