Novell’s and Linspire’s GNU/Linux Hoarding
Ever wondered why you don’t see [m]any SUSE forks around? Have a look at this new essay which why there is no Open Source SLES.
One of them is that the SLES community is much smaller and more aimed at proprietary software. Novell itself is promoting Mixed Source and promotes its own proprietary software on top of SLES (also see OES). This obviously scares part of the community away. The deal with Microsoft obviously does as well. As a result Novell is big within Enterprises with little community people, and these are not the kind of people that would spend their free time rebuilding packages and do QA.
Another reason is that Novell is not in favor of such a project (even though people from within Novell _and_ people in the SLES community disagree with management) because it fears it will take away some of the profit and Novell made a big risk by taking the Linux route, they cannot afford to make it fail.
It no longer begs the question: why hasn’t anyone forked SUSE yet? Novell deserves to have a CentOS pulled against it after what it did (and given many contributors whom it betrayed). Novell won’t exactly allow this though. Remember FreeSUSE? How about Freespire, a supposedly-free version of Linspire. Caitlyn has just taken a good look at the EULA of Freespire and she was very underwhelmed (even shocked). Here are her conclusions:
That [Freespire EULA] read to me entirely like a proprietary license. Of course I am not a lawyer and I may be misinterpreting something. Still, I am seriously uncomfortable about having Freespire on my system based on their EULA.
My review was also postponed by the release of version 2.03 which corrects many of the bugs I ran into. So… do I review 2.03? Probably not, at least until Freespire makes clear that they are truly an Open Source OS that I can use as I see fit without fee. I’m not at all sure Freespire is even free “as in free beer”.
Linspire’s EULA too has only permits the software to be installed on a single PC. Needn’t it be compared to just another “Windows of the Linux world”? Or the “Microsoft of Linux”, as we mentioned last night? This is also a GPL violation, probably. Watch the comments in Caitlyn’s good assessment. IANAL. Neither is she.