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09.16.07

Press is Still Blind to Negativity of the Novell Deal, Despite Media Enquiries

Posted in Boycott Novell, GNU/Linux, Novell, Site News at 7:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Several days ago I was approached by the press (publication will remain unnamed here). They sought an opinion that would bring balance to an the article. This was rather surprising given the controversial name of the site

Let me clarify and assure that our site’s name (“Boycott Novell”) was not my choice and the name is regretted (for me at least) because it leads to prejudice and damages our credibility. A reader even wrote to say this to me last week. With that in mind, please read this site knowing that I am a very passionate promoter of the Linux operating system. I am a merely a site contributor and I was invited by Shane shortly after he had started this campaign.

“It was bound to get more serious, which it has.”Novell is a danger to Linux. It is not a friend anymore. I say this as a pragmatic Linux user who is in no any way affiliated with the FSF. I was never really focused on Free software (in a ‘purist’ sense), but the deeper you look at Linux and what is being done to subvert it (very silently), the better you realise the the FSF’s philosophy is what will save Linux from turning into another OS X (in a bad way). Linux must not devolve into something which puts to an end what it is today and what it strives to be. The Linux deals with Microsoft, for example, are truly a killer, but they are part of a broader picture (thus the extended scope of this Web site).

There are not many popular bloggers that protest against Novell nowadays. Even Bruce Perens seems to have calmed down a bit. I am only aware of two popular bloggers who every now and then will explain Novell-type deals are harmful. The other bloggers (never mind the biased press) apparently escape controversy or find comfort in “interoperability” fantasies. Nothing has changed, so why the complacency? The opposition to Novell became vocal immediately after the deal, but some people quieted down. Some forgot and forgave. Shane an I, on the other hand, decided to research the issues and explore their depths. It was clear that the problem was not going away. It was bound to get more serious, which it has.

It is important to explain (whenever there is a chance) how Novell’s relationship with Microsoft evolves to become increasingly harmful to Linux and Free software. It gets worse as time goes by. Those who cannot see it are perhaps leaning towards and finding solace in positive news, which is only positive because of a positive spin. Where have we seen that recently?

~~ Interlude ~~ Why Novell Harms GNU/Linux

Posted in Boycott Novell, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Novell at 4:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Repeating the old arguments

There are many implications to be considered here. Let us begin with the fact that Novell has awoken the sleeping giant which is software patents. The deal gave credibility to an argument that Linux infringes on Microsoft patents and is therefore required to license Microsoft technologies. Another important issue is the exclusionary nature of the deal with Microsoft. Novell gains access to and develops various bits of software that other Linux distributors cannot have. This undermines the principles and spirit of Free software which — among several other things — thrives in collaboration and sharing. The relationship should be reciprocal in order for progress of Linux as a whole to be fast.

Novell’s deal has an impact on a variety of other things, including the European Commission’s antitrust ruling. Novell is also engaged in supporting technology that helps Microsoft stifle the adoption of Linux.

I am pleased to find out that PJ feels the same way. In response to a recent interview which suggests that IBM continues to accept the Microsoft/Novell, PJ said this:

If it’s bad for the community, it will eventually be bad for customers too, because the community will disappear. Then you are back in the Cathedral, and you will have lost the Bazaar, which is what made Linux great in the first place. And Microsoft doesn’t have the goal of interoperability anyway. The MSOOXML story proved that to me. So the patent peace deals will not increase interoperability. They will increase the cost of Linux to Microsoft’s advantage and reduce the value received, because the patent license terms restrict what customers can do with Linux. They also restrict what programmers can do, which will kill Linux in the long term.

Why can’t everyone see this?

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