in the valley of the jolly… ho ho ho…

April 10th, 2001

i used an interesting word the other week – inveigle. i like it when one well-chosen word manages to bring together a complete symphony of concepts and context to express a single idea. somehow, in the catacombs of my mind, my synapses have carefully cross-indexed a whole slew of such words, each to be presented at the tip of my tongue just at the moment when their particular ideal conversational and syntactic conditions come together.

funny, then, that such an obscure word should inveigle itself into conversation again today on an entirely different topic.

there has been a remarkable wave of openness and warmth over the last few months emanating from IBM towards the Linux and open-source communities. the big blue behemoth has become the veritable Jolly Blue Giant of the open-source valley, bringing forth a cornucopia of products and services, embracing openness, standards, hand picked enterprise javabeans and individually quick-frozen servlets for all. IBM even released a Mozilla-based browser for OS/2.

what’s truly remarkable is that it has all been done with nary a peep of suspicion from the open-source crowd. the same often vitriolically cynical anti-establishment crowd that spits daily venom at Microsoft seems to be content bedding down with IBM despite its gargantuan stature and storied history.

looks like a wolf in underdog’s clothing to me. not that i mean to demonize IBM, but that they’ve gotta have a motive in doing this, and it will definitely have to do with the bottom line. somewhere along the line, they’ll want to capitalize on their investment. it’s just a matter of where and when. once the inveigling is successful to the right depth, the tentacles will appear.

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