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University of the Western Cape Boycotts Novell

Posted in Action, Boycott Novell, Novell at 12:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

While the impact of the petition may be nothing but words and promises, we also observe action being taken.

Professor Keats shared the mail with the South African anti-software patent mailing list, and gave permission to share it further.

Dear Stafford,

This is a personal email from me, not an official policy of UWC. However, as the custodian of IT at UWC, I will be pursuing a full investigation into a total exit strategy for all Novell products from the University of the Western Cape.

As a non-trivial CUSTOMER of Novell, we will be looking at all our Novell applications during the next 3-4 months, with a view to finding the fastest possible way to get ALL NOVELL PRODUCTS completely out of our environment. As a company that we have been customers of for over a decade, Novell has let us down badly, and as customers, you may expect us to vote with our feet and encourage others within the education domain to do the same.


SUSE Dev Speaks Ubuntu

Posted in OpenSUSE, Ubuntu at 12:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No-one other than Andreas Jaeger wound up praising Ubuntu for its Open Week.

Ubuntu’s open week sounds like a really good idea. I’m just surprised that it is done to get users away from openSUSE as Mark Shuttleworth announced on the opensuse mailing lists.

Andreas is one of the roots, if not the principal figure of authority, in the Opensuse project. To put things in context, Mark Shuttleworth invited SUSE developers whilst some people are giving up SUSE, often migrating to or sticking with variants of Ubuntu. This statement by Andreas is therefore quite bold yet generous. It does, however, seem as though Shuttleworth crossed the picket fence and invaded mailing lists of competitors. I am aware of Red Hat employees who read the SUSE mailing lists, but I doubt they actively participate rather than just lurk or post off-list.


Here is the message that started it all.

[opensuse] Invitation to OpenSUSE developers

  • From: Mark Shuttleworth [mark at xxxxxxxxxx]
  • Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 18:16:57 +0000
  • Message-id: <45673719.9020906 at xxxxxxxxxx>

Novell’s decision to go to great lengths to circumvent the patent framework clearly articulated in the GPL has sent shockwaves through the community. If you are an OpenSUSE developer who is concerned about the long term consequences of this pact, you may be interested in some of the events happening next week as part of the Ubuntu Open Week:


Commonalities with the Sun Microsystems Deal

Posted in Deals, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents, SUN at 12:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shortly after the infamous deal had been made, I happened to have spotted an article about Sun’s deal with Microsoft. It goes back to 2004.

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said that it is looking for ways to work more closely with developers of the Open Office open source project, while at the same time, apparently reserving the right to sue them, according to a legal agreement between Microsoft and Open Office’s major sponsor, Sun Microsystems Inc., made public this week.

PJ has just posted the following analysis. It compares Novell’s deal with Sun Microsystems’ deal.

What do I think Microsoft is doing with these deals? I suspect they are making deals with every entity that has patents, clearing the deck so it can attack Red Hat and the entire Open Source method of development. Whatever is left standing will be firmly inside Microsoft’s embrace, and you know as well as I do what that historically means.

The way this is bound to develop will be interesting for many reason. Among those reasons we have OpenOffice, which is fundamentally the main link between the two deals. While the OpenOffice team approves and supports the deal, Novell can be scrutinised over that very same legal timebomb.

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