Talk:Halloween documents

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Suggest removing "alleged" since according to Raymond, MSFT has acknowledged documents were real.

The above added in edit " M 04:15, 2002 Mar 15 . . "
I hope this is merely carelessness: the word of the recipient of the illegally released information is the only source cited for their authenticity.
I believe they are authentic, but that is my PoV, and not verification. If there is a verifiable admission of authenticity of a particular document, the removal of "alleged" from ref to that doc is justified by citing the source on that admission on this talk page.
If we don't have that for each document, the word "alleged" needs to appear, e.g. in a phrase like "some allegedly, and some admittedly, from MS" in the first 'graph. And we would also need a section on "Authentication Issues".
As i say, hopefully this info is at hand and merely needs to be added here; please bring it forward to forestall correction of the article. --Jerzy(t) 22:28, 2004 Mar 9 (UTC)
I've put a {{Citation needed}} on the bit about MS admitting they're authentic. I'd really like to see an independent reference here. It definately needs a reference of some sort, as it is claimed as fact.

How about the New York Times? "Microsoft executives acknowledged on Monday that the document was authentic." here: more press coverage:

The set of documents exists and their provenance is confirmed, there are several decent references now cited so this ought to be taken as fact. Therefore the "so-called" in the first line is in violation of the neutrality rule as it clearly casts aspersions on the authenticity of the documents. In addition even if the material authenticity of these documents _were_ in doubt "so-called" would not be the correct tone to use in an encyclopedia entry, or indeed any scholarly work. I am going to remove it. Roger. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

How many docs?[edit]

There also needs to be more clarity about the suited of docs, which has grown beyond two according to the site cited on the article. Perhaps:

The HD is a doc...; "the HDs" (in the plural) is the phrase used to refer to the progressively growing series of [insert number] related docuements assembled by [insert date of last one] (or in earlier contexts, those that were available at the corresponding period).

This is annoying, but it is necessary, since otherwise one describes reactions to the HDs with the implication that the reaction was to the whole collection, including some that were not available at the time. --Jerzy(t) 22:28, 2004 Mar 9 (UTC)

The Halloween Documents are GONE![edit]

The Open Source Intiative has removed the Halloween documents by Eric S. Raymond. At the same time, OSI has been in negociations with Microsoft.

Something fishy is going on here.

--Bushido Hacks 01:17, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Looks like the documents are being moved to ESR's personal site. Let's wait a bit before jumping on any conspiracy allegations, though. It's worth noting (as I tried to in this article) that several of the "documents" aren't Microsoft internal documents at all, but ESR editorials ... so it may just be that they're being moved to a more appropriate place, seeing as many open-source advocates don't feel like endorsing all of ESR's views .... --FOo 01:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Let's speculate that Microsoft does not hold monolithic opinions, and that some people within Microsoft want to produce more Open Source software. As long as we continued to publish the Halloween Documents, that lent aid and support to the enemies of Open Source within Microsoft. We shouldn't be subverting our moles within the organization. Thus, they're gone. We still have a link to Eric's page, but we might remove that as well, given that this page links to Eric's page, and Google has no trouble finding them on Eric's site. RussNelson 20:05, 13 March 2007 (UTC)


For balance, this article should present some of the criticism of Raymond's documents. For example, the authors of the email are low-level employees, and not software developers, so their opinions really don't carry the weight of corporate policy that Raymond implies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 31 March 2006

Written by program managers (not low-level employees) at the request of a senior vice-president for the attention of another senior vice president. If Allchin didn't support the content of the memos, would Maritz have seen them? AlistairMcMillan 22:26, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
That's incorrect. A program manager is not a high-level employee position. They are not a "manager" in the sense of a "development manager". A PM has not other employee reporting to him. That's pretty much the definition of a leaf-node employee. So much for counter-balance. DonPMitchell 09:04, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Other Implications[edit]

It would seem to me that the documents reveal much more than Microsoft's argument with Open Source software. It has long been the stated management POV that Capitalism and Free Enterprise are synonomous. However unofficial the documents are, they indicate a keen sense of the difference, and illuminates older fights with Dr Dos and IBM. While a Conservative POV would down play those differences, objectively these documents rank highly in illuminating that division. Dragonwlkr 12:25, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

I disagree, I think these documents, just speculations of a program mananger (which is not even an engineering position) have been hyped out of all proportion. What they do provide is a vehicle for Eric Raymond's exposition of his philosophy. The "Halloween Documents" are really a written document by Raymond, in the form of commentary and editorial. DonPMitchell 15:17, 19 May 2006 (UTC)


I think this is just Linux propaganda, and non-neutral. -- 16:55, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Added {{NPOV}}. It it biased: it certainly needs to give Microsoft a chance to rebuff the comments made here. As there's nothing I can find putting forward Microsoft's point of view, I've asked Microsoft's press office (by email) if they made any statements about these documents. I won't be holding my breath for a reply though. --h2g2bob 18:41, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Touché, i hope someone fix it. -- 16:40, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
The original documents themselves are not likely to be judged by anyone to be "Linux propaganda" as they are written by Microsoft employees on the subject of combating Linux. Raymond's comments appended to the documents may be biased but they are, as noted in the article, his own. An individual reading the Halloween documents should easily be able to judge the validity of Raymond's comments on the documents for themselves as they are clearly defined. This Wikipedia article should not take a pro or con stance on the Halloween Documents themselves or Raymond's comments on them. It should only accurately describe them.. The Decision of "if Raymond's comments are valid" should be left to the reader of the actual Halloween Documents. The article should be modified to note that. Any suggestion in this article that they are the position of Microsoft OR Linux propaganda needs to be removed. Microsoft has made many public claims and even advertising campaigns about Linux and so they have addressed the topic and also have a "public stance" on these documents, that should not be hard to find. (in fact just read Halloween XI) There general public stance on Linux (correct me if I'm wrong) is "Ignore it because its not very good, and cost too much to train people to use." These documents show that Microsoft has actually done an official internal investigation to arrive at that public stance and suggests that there are people in Microsoft concerned with the capabilities of Linux to hurt Microsoft profits.. that means the documents are relative to Microsoft's overall stance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
There is no evidence that Microsoft did an "official internal investigation". These emails were simply the opinions of one low-level employee, evidently not even a developer. I'm sure all kinds of things get said by individuals in email threads inside Microsoft, but that's a far cry from being any kind of statement of policy. This seems to be more of a propaganda exploit by Eric Raymond than a real news story about Microsoft. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DonPMitchell (talkcontribs)

Thanks for adding the "neutrality questioned" flag on this page. I tried once to introduce a small paragraph of rebuttal on this article, and it was instantly removed by a follower of Raymond. There are two big problems with the Halloweed Documents. First, the actual text we see is the extended comentary by Raymond, not the original email from Microsoft. Second, the email from Microsoft came from a program manager, a very low-level position (not a manager and not a developer who would have technical expertise). These opinions of a leaf-level employee are misrepresented as internal policy statements, which they were not.

In general, when a person starts a political mass movement, it is vital to the integrity of Wikipedia that they not be allowed to use this encyclopedia to create facts and revise history!

I was also pleased to see that someone fixed the article on Potlatch, which used to be completely incorrect -- fashioned to support Raymond's theory of gift economies (which the Potlatch was not!). There was a classic example of the political abuse of Wikipedia. DonPMitchell 21:54, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

The document (the original at least) is an internal microsoft document... so it can't be pro linux propaganda... even if this stuff was its an article about the halloween documents and not a forum for debating them, sure include a rebuttle, but only if microsoft ever release one...

theres a person who's filled this talk page with a lot of uncited: this wasn't written by a high level employee... i would like to see where that information comes from. 09:47, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, have a look at this document from the iowa consumercase This is what Raymond says about it: "Are these for real? Yes. Microsoft has acknowledged the authenticity of these documents. Furthermore, they have surfaced as an exhibit in the Comes vs. MS. antitrust litigation. Bill Gates himself had them distributed internally."

Why "Halloween"?[edit]

The current article omits to mention one of the most important pieces of information: why the documents are labeled "The Halloween Documents." Without referring to any other sources, I can but assume that they were leaked on Halloween (i.e. October 31st)? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:41, 29 January 2007 (UTC).

Well have a look at the Halloween Docs. Theres the explanation. "The first (1.1) annotated version of the VinodV memorandum was prepared over the weekend of 31 Oct-1 Nov 1998. It is in recognition of the date, and my fond hope that publishing it will help realize Microsoft's worst nightmares, that I named it the Halloween Document."

Where/how did he get the documents?[edit]

How can someone who is not connected with Microsoft in any way get such important documents? -- 15:00, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

We need prayers as open sourcers, take a leaf from the Oracle-Sun-MySql "SAGA" God help us!!! Amos Bwambale - Database Systems - Uganda —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:33, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Moved. DMacks (talk) 06:36, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Microsoft Halloween documents leakHalloween Documents — Since half of the documents are not actually leaks but written by Eric S. Raymond, "leak" is misleading. Keeping the "Microsoft" is unnecessary since there are, as far as I know, no other documents known as "Halloween Documents". Schuhpuppe (talk) 22:15, 10 July 2010 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support - common usage refers to these as simply "Halloween Documents", and while they present a critical view of Microsoft they do not all originate there. (talk) 01:28, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
  • The original move in March 2008 had no basis in policy (nor does Billinghurst's oppose), and reversing it makes sense, per WP:COMMONNAME. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 00:08, 14 July 2010 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • Oppose as the existing name is better as a descriptive name. Manage expectations. If someone browsing clicked on a linked so entitled, they would not be getting what they are expecting. If someone went searching they will find it and clearly identify it under the existing name. A redirect is in place that will clearly find the documents. billinghurst sDrewth 02:50, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
What else would someone seeing the link "Halloween documents" expect? It should generally be clear from context that the documents are not actually about Halloween, but Microsoft. Also, the current name is plain wrong for the reasons stated and thus even more misleading. --Schuhpuppe (talk) 09:50, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

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