01.02.07

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  2. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  3. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  4. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  5. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  6. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’



  7. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active



  8. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”



  9. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023



  10. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  11. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  12. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  13. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  14. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  16. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  17. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  18. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  19. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  20. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  21. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  22. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day



  23. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023



  25. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell



  26. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage



  27. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023



  29. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)



  30. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan


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