EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.28.06

Consequences, Intended and Otherwise

Posted in Fork, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu at 1:00 pm by Shane Coyle

Don’t think for a second that Microsoft isn’t howling over the Linux community’s apparent fragmentation over this deal, with the OpenSUSE and Ubuntu camps now publicly trading barbs (and both are right), and admittedly, this site has been somewhat vocal as well.

All Microsoft wanted from this deal was a little bit of FUD-munition and a friendly competitor to roll out at all of their European Interoperability dog and pony shows to show the EC they are “reformed”, so this public infighting is just icing on the cake over in Redmond.

Of course, what Microsoft still doesn’t get, the strength of Open Development is that EVERYTHING happens in public, even the “family business” and arguments. Fragmentation is healthy, the huge litany of available linux distributions ensures that none of the “leaders” can rest on their laurels. I saw someone’s comment the other day (Digg? Slashdot? Don’t recall, sorry) which was fantastic: it’s “Darwinism for Desktops”.

The amazing thing about the GPL is the fact that it has been able to govern the distribution and development of such diverse and amazing quality software, while bringing together peoples and companies of varying motivations – some folks want to take Linux and dominate the Desktop market, some just want a system in their home which is Free and under their control.

Over its lifespan, as with any legal document, loopholes have been discovered and exploited, but for the most part the GPL in its current form has been remarkable and prevented many from seeing the real imminent threat. Novell-Microsoft has changed that, and I urge you to participate in the GPL3 discussion.

One positive consequence of the Novell deal is the clear signal that it has shown to the rest of the corporate IT world: the responsiblilities a company must assume to be a part of a “Community”, deciding to participe in Open Source as opposed to Proprietary development, as noted by Dana Gardner:

Based on the Microsoft-Novell deal and its fallout, the entire industry is getting a close look at how open technology communities and companies work, according to Gardner.

“The notion that a vendor can have a secret or fuzzy pact with another vendor doesn’t work when the community is instant and global and seamless,” he said. “You need to be pretty open and thoughtful about your announcements.”

The same factors served to minimize recent industry concerns about Microsoft’s vague claims of intellectual property rights to Linux, which were the cause of some disharmony between the two software giants last week.

“If you’re going to work in a community, you need to recognize you’re exposed,” Gardner said. “Sleight of hand doesn’t work, and ambiguity will be exposed and discussed.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Greg Unger said,

    November 28, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    Gravatar

    I admire the spirit of this article. Open source will be one tough mutt to kill. The very nature of the beast makes secrets hard to keep.

    But I despise what this site (boycottnovell.com) is doing – intentionally or otherwise. “Admittedly, this site has been somewhat vocal as well”? Are you serious? This site has been nothing but FUD since day one. Congratulations. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for your own role in dividing the Open Source community. The Ubuntu-SUSE spat aside, I’m sure public relations folk over at Redmond are laughing in evil glee at the columns on this site.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 28, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Greg,

    Novell’s path is destructive. I believe that SUSE code (and it developers) will be better off without Novell, which is, at this moment, not a credible code forger. Boycotting Novell would be a tough choice. But taking Novell’s code would be tough too. You lose either way, but while the latter is destructive to one company, the latter puts many companies (and a community) at risk.

    In hindsight, the deal should have NOT been made. BAD. BAD. BAD. I can’t believe they sat on it for 6 months. We’re now stuck in a lose-lose situation. Whichever route is chosen will be damaging. We must ask ourselves: which solution will work better in the long-term (for the community in particular)?

    I used to have great admiration for Novell. I evangelised Novell and Opensuse for a long time. See:

    http://tinyurl.com/ybj2rc (81,000 hits)

    http://tinyurl.com/yfww7h (95,400 hits)

    My change of heart did not happen overnight as it took time to digest. It’s akin to the question: would you still love your father if he hurt your mother, your friends and your siblings? I sidle with those who CARE, not those who abuse for whatever reason. A Novell’s spokesman has already publicly admitted that the decision was a selfish one.

  3. shane said,

    November 28, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    Gravatar

    If this site helps convince Novell that their short-sighted, selfish and morally questionable deal should be amended or repudiated, we can all get back to pressuring ATI and NVIDIA to open their specs so we can have eyecandy and legally distribute it.

    As it stands, Novell’s deal does nothing but hurt Open Source, they validate Microsoft’s stance with the EC that their interoperability information is genuinely innovative and worthy of royalties, they bolster Microsoft’s FUD regarding potential IP exposure if using Linux, and they allow a convicted monopolist to engineer a deal that allows them to derive revenue from their only competition.

    What did Novell gain? The stock is coming right back down to earth, their community is fractured, and the rest of the FOSS world is shunning them.

    In the IRC chat, and also mentioned on this site, it was noted that MS is rewriting the Patent Pledge – if they get it right, this site might become irrelevant.

    And I wouldn’t be happier.

What Else is New


  1. Major Revelation: Microsoft Blackmail Against LAMP (GNU/Linux and Free Stacks for Servers) Goes At Least 16 Years Back, Predating the Novell Patent Deal

    (Techno-)Anthropological analyses of Microsoft's patent war on Free/libre software must take into account what Microsoft did to MySQL, a Swedish company at the time



  2. Links 4/4/2020: Sparky 5.11, Firefox 74.0.1, POCL 1.5

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, April 03, 2020



  4. Links 3/4/2020: Ubuntu Beta, GNOME 3.36.1, ExTiX LXQt Mini, NetBSD 8.2 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Digital Communication, Digitalisation and Videogaming Among the EPO's Latest Smokescreens for Illegal and Abstract Patents on Algorithms

    The EPO keeps liaising with the EU to promote patents which EU officials have themselves said were illegal; to make matters worse, the EPO's violations of its own laws inspire the United States to do the same



  6. Emotional Blackmail for Illegal Software Patents

    Semantic tactics the European Patent Office (EPO) uses to promote software patents in Europe and may theoretically use in the future (satire)



  7. Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

    The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either



  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 02, 2020



  9. Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

    Links for the day



  10. OIN in 2020 Resembles Linux Foundation in 2020 (Corporate Front Group Piggybacking the Linux Brand)

    We regret to say that the Open Invention Network seems not to care at all about Software Freedom; to make matters worse, it is a proponent of software patents and a voice for companies like IBM and Microsoft, not the "Community" it fancies misrepresenting



  11. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part IX: Semi-Happy Ending

    Richard Stallman is here to stay and the FSF will let him stay (as chief of GNU); we want to close the series on a positive note



  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 01, 2020



  13. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)



  14. Links 2/4/2020: ProtonMail Bridge for Linux, GTK 3.98.2 and Red Hat DNF 4.2.21

    Links for the day



  15. Links 1/4/2020: Linux 5.7 Merges, Qt 5.14.2, GhostBSD 20.03, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Plans, WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020



  17. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  19. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  21. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  22. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  23. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  25. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  27. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  28. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  29. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  30. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts