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

01.02.07

More on Novell’s Mixed-Source Model

Posted in Fork, Formats, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Interoperability, Novell, Open XML, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, Red Hat at 9:48 am by Shane Coyle

Recently, it was declared that Novell is a mixed-source company, which really shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone familiar with their current product line. The fact that Novell seems to be retreating from their march towards an open-source stack is disappointing, however.

At the CITI forum, Novell South Africa Country Manager Stafford Masie shared his insight in contrasting the philosophies of Red Hat and Novell, or as he put it, “end to end open source” versus a “hybrid stack”:

We believe today alot of the open source technology has not caught up yet to enterprise customers’ needs in the security domain, management domain. Where Linux is open source, specifically Linux is completely applicable is the platform, the desktop, office productivity suite, the database, etc so there’s kinda 5 major areas where its good enough if not better than whats out there, ok? where its not there yet, Novell has proprietary technology and partners that provide 3rd party technologies to that proprietary technologies where we wrap our technologies around this Linux technology. so, like zenworks management, our zenworks management suite is a proprietary piece of technology.

During the question and answer session at the CITI forum, Masie also spoke regarding the differing “streams” of open source that Novell has as well, differentiating between Novell’s OSS and FOSS product lines, in his mind. Masie also goes to great lengths to enumerate the additional proprietary features and improvements in Novell’s version of OpenOffice.org:

but yeah- that interoperability is absolutely crucial, and one of the things that we do get slapped over the wrist with continuously is that… its the OSS debate vs the FOSS debate… Y’know, we’ve got two streams of our technology as Novell, we’ve got the FOSS stream and then we’ve got the OSS stream.

OpenSUSE is really the FOSS stream, we’ve got derivatives of every one of our Linux technologies that you can download for free, gain the source code to, participate in the community, etc but then we do certain things with those derivatives and that innovation that locks it down, makes it more interoperable, that goes through testing, quality assurance, regression testing, backwards compatibility, all that ‘stuff’ with the hardware partners and then we split out a version of it that is ‘enterprise ready’,

Now what we mean by enterprise ready is the following: that its backwards compatible so you can deploy it in a hybrid environment so different versions will work with each other, its going to work well with other operating systems, so theres some interoperability, its going to work well on that hardware, but most importantly we put things in that distribution that you as enterprise customers want.

You know what we do, we license fonts. Y’know, you can go to… there’s several font sites, I could actually go to the sites now, where you license fonts, those true-type fonts, etc. you need to license those fonts because Microsoft does the exact same thing with Office, we license that into OpenOffice – our distribution of it, our derivative of it. So, that’s something proprietary.

Graphic rendering engines, there are certain ways things get rendered in Powerpoint documents, we take some of those graphic rendering engines and embed it into ours, because if a little animation does something silly in Powerpoint, we want it.to do that something silly in OpenOffice in exactly the same way.

Then there’s third party tools like Adobe- Adobe Reader, Real Player, Macromedia’s media little player, those things are proprietary, but you want them in your distribution, why? because when that user wants to open that Powerpoint file, play that animation, click on the link let the realplayer file play, go to a website and watch that flash show properly… you want all of those little pieces in there.

Now, for some customers that feel that’s not important, well y’know, we’ve got the OpenSUSE derivatives of it, but that’s what we do with Linux. We don’t just embed things, we do add things that we believe give it more robustness but it doesnt infringe on the GPL, doesn’t infringe on any patents, etc So yeah, I think the interoperability issue from that perspective is key for enterprise customers.

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

2 Comments

  1. wvhillbilly said,

    January 2, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Gravatar

    This sounds like Novell is planning on mixing proprietary code with GPL’d code. Isn’t that a violation of the GPL?

  2. Shane Coyle said,

    January 3, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Gravatar

    This sounds like Novell is planning on mixing proprietary code with GPL’d code. Isn’t that a violation of the GPL?

    Not necessarily, as I understand it anyhow.

    OOO is LGPL and therefore there is alot they can do in terms of linking proprietary code and whatnot and be able to distribute it.

    For their other stuff, like identity management or whatever, they just don’t distribute them ‘linked together’ with a GPL product. GPL is only distribution, not an EULA, users can load/run whatever they want.

    I haven’t any problem with a mixed-source approach, honestly, as long as its done right. I have a huge problem with the patent covenant license exploit that Novell and Microsoft colluded on.

What Else is New


  1. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Has the Full Support of Techrights

    Our support for the FSF is strong enough that we want to occasionally suggest improvements; there are growing frictions designed to isolate the FSF and cause self-restraint/censorship



  2. Why We Support Phoronix (Whereas Some Others Do Not)

    Some people try to characterise Michael Larabel as the 'bad boy' of Linux even though Michael is probably the hardest working Linux journalist out there



  3. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: The Simplest Ways that AI will Change Computing

    "AI is already used to help kill people. We should be cautious, and know that the best rules we come up with (like no doing magic outside the school grounds) won't be followed all the time."



  4. Links 20/8/2019: DragonFlyBSD Developing DSynth

    Links for the day



  5. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Narcissism in The Community

    "Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important."



  6. Breaking the Law Has Become the Norm at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Office’s ongoing practice of destroying critics/whistleblowers and crushing unions, judges, examiners etc. — as well as threats and bribery of the media — ultimately mean a perpetual state of lawlessness that, if it prevails, will let patent trolls raid the European economy and stall innovation



  7. Links 20/8/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.6, Kdenlive 19.08

    Links for the day



  8. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free Software in Education

    "If everyone learns to code, then everyone gains some understanding of how to code in other languages."



  9. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  10. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  11. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  12. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'



  13. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Introduction

    "The FSF isn't just threatened, it will hit a large iceberg in the future that changes it permanently."



  14. Linux Journal and Linux.com Should Have Been Kept Going

    There's apparently no good explanation for the effective shutdown of Linux Journal and Linux.com; London Trust Media Holdings (LTMH), owner of Linux Journal, saw numbers improving and the Linux Foundation, steward of Linux.com, is loaded with money



  15. 2019 Microsoft Glossary

    How Microsoft internally interprets words that it is saying to the public and to the press



  16. 2019 Surveillance Glossary

    Distortion of technical and nontechnical terms in this day and age of '1984'



  17. Openwashing Report: It's Getting Worse, Fast. Everything is Apparently 'Open' Now Even Though It's Actually Proprietary.

    The latest examples (this past week's) of openwashing in the media, ranging from 5G to surveillance



  18. GitHub is a Dagger Inside Free/Open Source Software (FOSS); This is Why Microsoft Bought It

    A year later it seems pretty evident that Microsoft doesn’t like FOSS but is merely trying to control it, e.g. by buying millions of FOSS projects/repositories at the platform level (the above is what the Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin said to Microsoft at their event while antitrust regulators were still assessing the proposed takeover)



  19. Microsoft Grows Within and Eats You From the Inside

    Microsoft entryism and other subversive tactics continue to threaten and sometimes successfully undermine the competition; Microsoft is nowadays doing that to core projects in the Free/Open Source software world



  20. Links 18/8/2019: New KNOPPIX and Emmabuntus Released

    Links for the day



  21. Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

    Links for the day



  22. Computer-Generated Patent Applications Show That Patents and Innovations Are Very Different Things

    The 'cheapening' of the concept of 'inventor' (or 'invention') undermines the whole foundation/basis of the patent system and deep inside patent law firms know it



  23. Concerns About IBM's Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

    The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it's about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?



  24. Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person

    At age 30 (almost) the Electronic Frontier Foundation still campaigns for privacy; so why does it grant awards to enemies of privacy?



  25. Caturdays and Sundays at Techrights Will Get Busier

    Our plan to spend the weekends writing more articles about Software Freedom; it seems like a high-priority issue



  26. Why Techrights Doesn't Do Social Control Media

    Being managed and censored by platform owners (sometimes their shareholders) isn’t an alluring proposition when a site challenges conformist norms and the status quo; Techrights belongs in a platform of its own



  27. Patent Prosecution Highways and Examination Highways Are Dooming the EPO

    Speed is not a measure of quality; but today's EPO is just trying to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible (before the whole thing implodes)



  28. Software Patents Won't Come Back Just Because They're (Re)Framed/Branded as "HEY HI" (AI)

    The pattern we've been observing in recent years is, patent applicants and law firms simply rewrite applications to make these seem patent-eligible on the surface (owing to deliberate deception) and patent offices facilitate these loopholes in order to fake 'growth'



  29. IP Kat Pays the Price for Being a Megaphone of Team UPC

    The typical or the usual suspects speak out about the so-called 'prospects' (with delusions of inevitability) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, neglecting to account for their own longterm credibility



  30. Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

    Links for the day


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