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01.10.08

Novell’s Participation in Linux Conference Leads to Some Backlash (Updated)

Posted in Australia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument at 10:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A bad penguin -- Novell

Depiction of Novell’s Ballnux

Sam Varghese has never been a big fan of Novell's use of Microsoft FUD against competing Linux vendors. In fact, at this very moment he is objecting to Novell’s involvement in the largest Linux Conference in Australia.

I also raised the issue of Novell employees like Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman who appear to be pushing further and further to duplicate technologies which Microsoft has developed and offering totally unconvincing explanations as to why they are doing so.

[...]

These arguments notwithstanding, it is a fact that overlooking what Novell has done tends to dilute the whole message of FOSS. Novell, obviously, is hoping that, as public memory is woefully short, it will be able to wriggle its way back into the community. Providing such leeway is, in my opinion, a big mistake.

“Novell, just like Microsoft, is not truly wanted where people promote OpenDocument format and a free GNU/Linux.”Sam is absolutely correct, but he’ll get a good slap for ‘daring’ to say this out in public. There will always be some people out there with a personal vendetta and a burden from previous employers. In fact, only half an hour ago I discovered (and publicly exposed for shame) a former Microsoft employee who has been commenting in favour of Microsoft in Linux forums. This is hardly surprising. It also makes one wonder to what extent current and former Novell employees (of which there are plenty) play a role in shaping perceptions of the Novell/Microsoft deal.

Novell, just like Microsoft, is not truly wanted where people promote OpenDocument format and a free GNU/Linux. It was the same situation in OSBC 2007 where Novell and Microsoft stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder. Dave Rosenberg, CEO of MuleSource and a friend of the organiser Matt Asay, openly objected to this and even blogged about it in public at the time. In InfoWorld, he called for exclusion because this came amid Microsoft's patent assault on Linux. Novell, unsurprisingly, quietly enjoyed and benefited from that assault.

Update: Jeff Waugh is on the offense again (attacking the messenger) and his behaviour earns him the wrath of a chief editor.

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24 Comments

  1. Ian said,

    January 11, 2008 at 8:49 am

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    If that’s wrath, then my post must have been written by Lucifer himself.

    On topic though, Sam Varghese seems to completely discount Novell’s involvement in the open source world at large. While Novell made and deal with Microsoft that many people are against, that can’t discount the amount of work many employees have put back into the open source world. Sam Varghese seems to ignore this.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 11, 2008 at 9:04 am

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    Ian,

    I do write about it every Saturday and I try to give credit where it’s due (I spend a lot of time on this too, just on order to be fair). We can’t just forget what the management did and I will admit that I suffer seeing what developers in Novell are going through. I try not to think of the developers’ depression and instead concentrate on what goes through the minds of those who ‘cooked’ this deal and took pride in OOXML ‘translators’, patent ‘protection’ and so forth. They deserve to feel guilty and ashamed. Novell should have made a deal with Red Hat, not Microsoft. I said this in the SUSE mailing list back in November 2006.

  3. Miles said,

    January 11, 2008 at 12:35 pm

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    Sam Varghese seems to be intent on self-pwnage in this article, so I’m baffled why you’ve posted it here as it would appear to me to hurt your argument more than it helps it.

    By anyone’s account, Sam’s commentary before and after the interviewee’s quotes seem a bit… angry and over the top. In contrast, Ms Donna Benjamin’s view seems very well reasoned.

    My point is that anyone who hasn’t made up their mind that Sam is “right” and Donna is “wrong” before reading this article is going to be put off by Sam’s angry tone and are going to feel more comfortable with Donna’s viewpoint.

    If, however, you’ve already made up your mind that Sam is right and that Novell is “evil”, then this article is useless, it doesn’t have any meat that can be used to sway anyone your way.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 11, 2008 at 1:18 pm

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    Miles,

    Sam writes rants sometimes, but I quoted a particular part of the article before addressing that particular part and saying that I strong agree with it. The part is this:

    These arguments notwithstanding, it is a fact that overlooking what Novell has done tends to dilute the whole message of FOSS. Novell, obviously, is hoping that, as public memory is woefully short, it will be able to wriggle its way back into the community.

    So true! That last argument was made before by several people, including Dana, whom you mentioned just moments ago. The title of that blog item was “open source never forgets,” if I recall correctly. It’s about 6 months old and it talks about the fact that we must not/do not forget what Novell did. Time is no magic cure for one’s sin that has long-term effects.

    I’ve just gotten off the phone with the CTO of MontaVista, who wanted to speak to me. Among the things that we spoke about was the impact of a .NET-rich Web in an age when access from mobile phones is required. Novell does a lot of damage with Mono and Moonlight.

  5. Miles said,

    January 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm

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    I was curious about this quote:

    In fact, only half an hour ago I discovered (and publicly exposed for shame) a former Microsoft employee who has been commenting in favour of Microsoft in Linux forums.

    Since you don’t link to it yourself, I decided to google it and came up with what I assume you are referring to: on comp.os.linux.advocacy.
    The person you are referring to is Greg Cox, apparently a former Microsoft employee who worked on Word for Windows 1.0 and the p-code interpreter for Word and MultiPlan back in the early 80′s.
    What’s interesting is that you claim to have “exposed” him, yet he freely came out and explained to everyone that he worked at Microsoft before you said anything of the sort. Reading further in the thread, apparently he mentioned it even in his first post to comp.os.linux.advocacy around 10 years ago.
    Allow me to post the definition of ‘expose’ here:

    To deprive of concealment; to discover; to lay open to
    public inspection, or bring to public notice, as a thing
    that shuns publicity, something criminal, shameful, or the
    like; as, to expose the faults of a neighbor.

    Clearly, you have done nothing of the sort.
    Lets also take a look at his post to see what he was trolling about…

    I don’t believe either Word or Multiplan were purchased but were
    completely developed in-house. If my memory serves, Charles Simoni was
    the architect for Word and probably Multiplan although Jeff Harbors may
    also deserve some of the credit. In any case, both Word and Multiplan
    were in development at Microsoft in 1981 when I became the 8086 assembly
    language guy that was responsible for the p-code interpreter that hosted
    Word, MultiPlan, and the other products in the MultiTools line.

    As for Word For Windows, I know for a fact that it was completely
    written from scratch at Microsoft because I was on the version 1.0
    development team…

    There doesn’t seem to be any trolling here, only a history lesson on the development of Word and MultiPlan.
    More searching of comp.os.linux.advocacy does not reveal any posts by Greg Cox that attack Linux in favor of Microsoft products, he seems to only pop up in the news group to correct misinformed posts about Microsoft or other issues (such as legal issues surrounding various technologies).

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 11, 2008 at 7:59 pm

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    Miles,

    This fact about Greg was new to me (and I’ve been in on comp.os.linux.advocacy. for just over 2 years). Just so that you understand, about half the posts in this newsgroup come from mysterious Microsoft apologists who have done this since the OS/2 days (when Microsoft paid AstroTurfers). Therein lies the issue and it’s important to understand the context.

    I thought this gem about Greg was new. I’m sure it was new to a few others.

  7. Lukas said,

    January 11, 2008 at 8:44 pm

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    Novell does a lot of damage with Mono and Moonlight.

    I have no interest in the rest of the discussion, but care to back this up?

    …and I don’t mean with your typical “proof” which involves quotes from people who are obviously without clue (I mean, if I can prove them wrong after 5 minutes of investigation, then it’s “obvious”).

    It’s probably easier to prove that Mono and Moonlight have had a positive impact on Linux / Free Software than it is to prove they have done damage.

    For example, do you agree that the Mono project has encouraged Windows developers who might otherwise be proprietary software authors to take an interest in Free Software? If you browse over the Mono forums, it’s obvious that there are a lot of developers using Mono that have come from Windows. Some have even tried out Linux because of Mono and decided that they preferred Linux (I know this because some of the posters have come out and said this).

    That’s definitely a positive impact Mono has had for Linux and Free Software in general, just based on opening more people’s minds to our Free Software alternatives.

    If you then add to that the fact that some of these people experiment more with other Free Software once they made the transition to Linux and decide to contribute to various F/OSS projects, that’s another plus.

    Bringing more people over to F/OSS has the benefit of so many possible pluses it’s impossible to list them all.

    Keep in mind that just because they were lured over to Linux via .NET in the form of Mono doesn’t mean that they can’t branch out to start programming in C, Python, etc on Linux. I seriously wouldn’t be surprised to discover that there are now some KDE, GNOME, compiz, etc contributors that were introduced to Linux due to the Mono project.

    As far as I’ve seen, the only “damage” Mono and Moonlight have done to Linux and F/OSS is purely theoretical.

    - As far as I’m aware, there have been no Linux or F/OSS users, developers, nor distributors who have been sued over any patents in Mono. There have been no threats by Microsoft to do so, either. You can also read a statement by Microsoft making the necessary patents covering C# and the core .Net framework royalty-free here.

    - The Windows.Forms implementation in Mono may be covered by Microsoft patents, however, you’ll note that no for-Linux software is written using Windows.Forms, they’re written using Gtk# or Qt# (or WxWindows#?). The Windows.Forms component (which is split from the core Mono) is there to ease portability of software written on Windows using Windows.Forms to Linux and it is not the recommended toolkit for developers to use when writing cross-platform software as stated by the Mono developers.

  8. Lukas said,

    January 11, 2008 at 8:49 pm

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    half the posts in this newsgroup come from mysterious Microsoft apologists who have done this since the OS/2 days (when Microsoft paid AstroTurfers).

    LOL? Microsoft actually paid people to troll online forums back in the OS/2 days? Back when hardly anyone was even online? That must have been a complete waste of money.

    I have got to see this evidence ;)

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 11, 2008 at 8:56 pm

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    You’ve raised many points and while I can address most/all of them (and probably did so before), I’ll focus on ones where you definitely demand a response.

    Novell does a lot of damage with Mono and Moonlight.

    I have no interest in the rest of the discussion, but care to back this up?

    Yes, the short and simple explanation would be to say that Linux phones will need to have Mono in order to access some sites like they do with Flash. See this new from the other day. Novell is helping Silverlight gain traction and makes it believable that it’s cross platform and ‘free’. More on this below.

    As far as I’m aware, there have been no Linux or F/OSS users, developers, nor distributors who have been sued over any patents in Mono.

    I am sure you are familiar with the term “patent ambush”. Will Microsoft attack Linux with patent? It already has, just 7 months ago. See SJVN’s good article about the ‘Mono patent trap’.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 11, 2008 at 9:00 pm

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    Microsoft actually paid people to troll online forums back in the OS/2 days? Back when hardly anyone was even online? That must have been a complete waste of money.

    It was an easily-provable fact. See for example:

    "Some years back, Microsoft practiced a lot of dirty tricks using online mavens to go into forums and create Web sites extolling the virtues of Windows over OS/2. They were dubbed the Microsoft Munchkins, and it was obvious who they were and what they were up to. But their numbers and energy (and they way they joined forces with nonaligned dummies who liked to pile on) proved too much for IBM marketers, and Windows won the operating-system war through fifth-column tactics"

    This is hardly something Microsoft would deny. It calls this “evangelism”, just as it named bribery “marketing help” a few months back.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of two antitrust exhibits that reveal Microsoft’s intent to use ‘grassroots’ technique to promote its products. It comes from the top.

  11. Lukas said,

    January 11, 2008 at 10:43 pm

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    With respect to the SJVN article:

    Microsoft has released the reference code to all of their past development platforms – this is nothing new.

    The article is nothing but fear mongering. As Joe Shaw explained in your original posting of the article, F/OSS software has had this type of “threat” since the very beginning. Linux has always had the threat of source code from proprietary Unixes making it into the kernel (oops, remember SCO?). Free JAVA implementations have had to be concerned about code from Sun’s JAVA sneaking in, etc. The list goes on to include every F/OSS program ever written (other than perhaps Emacs?). And it’s not limited to just F/OSS software, it can be applied to proprietary software too.

    Your Linux phone argument isn’t very convincing:

    Let’s pretend for a minute that Mono and Moonlight never existed. Where would we be?

    Oh yes, .Net and Silverlight would still exist.

    What would that mean for Linux phones? It would mean that instead of having the option of including Moonlight (you only need Mono for Silverlight 2.0 content), it would instead have no hope of viewing said Silverlight content.

    If I’m to take your argument to mean that Linux phones have to include Mono/Moonlight to view said content, then that means that you agree that it’s important to be able to view it.

    Since you mention Flash, what makes Moonlight any worse than needing Flash on Linux phones to view all possible web content? I know that Gnash exists, but if you want to be able to view the latest and greatest Flash content on the web, you need Adobe’s binary Flash plugin – Gnash won’t render the latest stuff.

    You then claim that Novell is helping Silverlight gain traction. How many Silverlight websites out there used Silverlight specifically because of Moonlight? Did the 2008 Olympic Games web site base their decision on Moonlight? I doubt it. Web developers that decide to use Silverlight will have done so regardless of Moonlight’s existence, to them Moonlight is a bonus.

    I don’t know offhand what the market penetration of Linux desktops is compared to Windows+Mac, but it’s pretty small (afaik, smaller than Mac). If you graphed the 3 OS’s using a pie chart, Linux would only be a small piece of the pie. This means that even if you got everyone installing Moonlight on every Linux desktop, it would still make only a fraction of a difference. The real people you gotta convince to use (or not use) Silverlight is the Windows (and to a much smaller degree, the Mac) piece(s) of the pie. Best bang for the buck.

    It’s really simple math that we programmers use all the time when deciding what code to optimise. For example, if one block of code takes 1% of the total running time and another block of code takes 50% – do you waste time tweaking the code that has 1% of the time spent in it? No, you look for ways to optimize the block that takes up 50%. There’s only so much you can save by tweaking the 1% block.

    Unless you can prove that Silverlight would stand no chance of adoption w/o Moonlight, your best argument is nothing more than speculation.

    It seems to me that you tend to gravitate toward towards saying things that you cannot prove and using opinion as fact.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 12, 2008 at 12:13 am

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    Oh yes, .Net and Silverlight would still exist.

    What would that mean for Linux phones? It would mean that instead of having the option of including Moonlight (you only need Mono for Silverlight 2.0 content), it would instead have no hope of viewing said Silverlight content.

    You’re looking at this backwards. Windows Mobile has a miserable market share of just 6%. It has been out there in the market for roughly one decade and its corresponding division has made such considerable losses that Microsoft merged this division with another last year (to conceal the level of damage). Silverlight would never penetrate the Web without support from Novell. People move from desktops to devices such as phones. I happen to have discussed this yesterday with MontaVista’s CTO, who agrees with this assessment. A recently study/survey in Japan even proved this to be true.

    Developers will take Microsoft’s word that Silverlight is universal and Moonlight is bliss. Novell’s work needs therefore to be shunned. What Miguel does at the moment helps Microsoft more than it helps GNU/Linux.

    Since you mention Flash, what makes Moonlight any worse than needing Flash on Linux phones to view all possible web content?

    I beg to differ. Adobe does not sell operating systems. There is no vertical integration and hardly a single conflict of interest. Judge Jackson — and at one point even Neelie Kroes – wanted to split Microsoft for this reason. The DoJ hasn’t sufficient control (power) over Microsoft, so this never materialised. Even Bill Gates is said to have once joked/said that he “knows how to handle the Federal Government”. Recently, he even made phonecalls to politicians, which helped flip the American vote on OOXML from a “No” to a “Yes”. That’s just how terrible (and corrupt) things are.

    I doubt it. Web developers that decide to use Silverlight will have done so regardless of Moonlight’s existence, to them Moonlight is a bonus.

    Firefox was able to gain traction very fast because people complained, so ActiveX controls (among other IE/Window-only appendages) were removed and never used again. Microsoft is trying to ‘pull another ActiveX’ at the moment, using XAML. Shouldn’t we have learned our lesson by now? Remember. Santayana. Remember? Fool me once, shame on you.

    Microsoft has not changed its ways at all. If anything, Microsoft might be more corrupt than ever before at present times, but the company has become more sophisticated about hiding evidence. Have you heard about their recent E-mail purging policies? Have you seen their vision for Sharepoint/Silverlight/OOXML/HD/XPS/{“me too” du jour}? I have.

    I don’t know offhand what the market penetration of Linux desktops is compared to Windows+Mac, but it’s pretty small (afaik, smaller than Mac). If you graphed the 3 OS’s using a pie chart, Linux would only be a small piece of the pie.

    Is the graph based on real usage? Of course not. I published an article about it some time ago. For what it’s worth, about half the visitors of this Web site use GNU/Linux.

    As a general question, what is your vested interest in Silverlight. You have spent a lot of time and energy defending it here as if you really want it to succeed. I wish to just hear your honest answer to this question. We thrive in honesty here. You know who I am what I do. I wish to know who I speak to (not just a first name).

  13. Lukas said,

    January 12, 2008 at 11:14 am

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    Roy,

    You’re looking at this backwards. Windows Mobile has a miserable market share of just 6%.

    I’m not sure where you arrived at that estimate. According to linuxdevices.com, Windows Mobile has a market share of 17% as of 2006 (if you have a link to more recent data, please share it).

    What I found rather deceitful of your “6%” attack (even if it were true) is that you failed to mention what the market penetration of Linux based devices is, leaving it to the reader to assume the best case scenario of holding 94% of the market which is quite clearly not the case.

    Based on that same article I linked to, Linux penetration was 23% (not much farther ahead than Windows) while Symbian holds 51%. The article’s estimate for 2007 was 29% for Windows Mobile, 26% for Linux and 22% for Symbian.

    My instincts tell me that Windows has not grown to surpass Linux, but I have no evidence to back that up. As the article predicted, I’m pretty sure there was a decline in Symbian – has it dropped to 22%? I have no idea. The company I work for, for example, dropped Symbian in favor of Linux going forward.

    Silverlight would never penetrate the Web without support from Novell.

    This is pure speculation. I’m not seeing much usage of Silverlight at all yet and none of it has been related to Novell’s Moonlight.

    I happen to have discussed this yesterday with MontaVista’s CTO, who agrees with this assessment.

    That’s nice, but without proof, it’s just an opinion… no matter who says it.

    A recently study/survey in Japan even proved this to be true.

    Why do you insist on never providing the links to your claims? Is there something in that survey that would discredit your claims if anyone was to actually read it?

    Developers will take Microsoft’s word that Silverlight is universal and Moonlight is bliss.

    Oh give me a break. You don’t think much of web developers, do you? They aren’t stupid.

    Novell’s work needs therefore to be shunned. What Miguel does at the moment helps Microsoft more than it helps GNU/Linux.

    This is what you want to believe. You continue to manufacture evidence to try and convince yourself that this is the case, but it isn’t fooling anyone willing to check for themselves. You act as if the world is going to end. It’s not. Nor will Linux.

    I beg to differ. Adobe does not sell operating systems. [...]

    That’s all nice and good, but what does that have to do with anything? Nothing. The fact that Adobe doesn’t make Operating Systems does not effect the end user’s desire to view Flash content on his desktop or phone or any other mobile device w/ internet access. Nor does it effect web developers’ decisions to create Flash content. The same will hold true for Silverlight content if it ever takes off.

    Microsoft has not changed its ways at all.

    I’m not arguing that they have!

    Have you heard about their recent E-mail purging policies?

    Who cares? That’s not relevant to this discussion. Whenever it is clear that you are losing an argument, you go dropping random punches in every direction hoping to hit something but you never do.

    Have you seen their vision for Sharepoint/Silverlight/OOXML/HD/XPS/{”me too” du jour}? I have.

    I found this random punch amusing, so I’ll respond:

    No, I have not seen their grand vision for Sharepoint/Silverlight/etc, but I’m sure the Microsoft execs invited you to a dinner party one night to share their vision with you. Yea, right.

    Is the graph based on real usage? Of course not. I published an article about it some time ago. For what it’s worth, about half the visitors of this Web site use GNU/Linux.

    Are you saying that Linux has 50% of the desktops? What reality do you live in? The statistics of what O/S your visitors are using is not at all indicative of the entire pool of desktop users.

    We thrive in honesty here.

    I found that amusing ;-)

    You are not at all honest, just look at any debate we’ve had and you’ll see that you evade providing evidence at every corner. You attempt to dodge every valid question by attacking something unrelated.

    I won’t tell you which company I work for, but I’ll tell you that I’ve investigated the option of providing Moonlight to our customers if:

    Silverlight content on the web ever takes off
    customers demand the ability to view Silverlight content

    So far both of these are uncertain, so we have not committed to including Moonlight. However, should the situation change, we will likely be taking advantage of it.

    My interest is not vested in the success of Silverlight at all. I won’t make a cent more (or less) based on it’s success or fail.

    My interest is, however, vested in the success of Linux. Both personally and professionally.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 12, 2008 at 11:50 am

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    Lukas,

    I am known to many as a person who provides /too many/ links, so your accusation that I provide none is unfair. Here are a few to fill in the gaps you have found. Some of your rude remarks I will not address simply because they are rude, not because I haven’t answers. It’s your attempt to hurt my credibility that I will respond to with peripheral information.

    Here are a couple of references I have been aware of for a while. I don’t know where/how these other figures were obtained, but they tell you about market share:

    2007:

    “Microsoft’s vision for universal mobile platform a little blurred

    Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows Mobile is currently not even in the second runner in the smartphone operating systems race. Linux, which is widely used on mobile devices in China, is second to Symbian with more than 13% market share. Windows mobile is a distant third with about 6% share.

    2006:

    70 percent of smartphones use Symbian

    At 3GSM it became clear that 70 percent of all smartphones use Symbian.

    Linux accounts for 16.9 percent of the smartphone market and only 4.6 percent uses Microsoft Windows Mobile.

    Also see:

    Linux expected to be leading Smartphone OS market by 2010

    I just came across this research by Diffusion Group, which found that Linux is set to become the leading Smartphone OS by 2010.

    FEATURE: Mobile Linux: Why it will become the dominant mobile OS

    I see the mobile Linux wave out in the ocean and am sounding the alarm–the mobile Linux tide is rising. Be prepared.

    Linux Sees ‘Astronomic’ Growth in Mobile Devices

    “We were very aware that the growth in mobile for Linux was huge, but we didn’t know it was so astronomic,” Amanda McPherson, marketing director for the Linux Foundation, told LinuxInsider. “These are very encouraging numbers.” Why Linux has drawn significant support from the community of handset manufacturers can be explained on several fronts, McPherson said.

    Research and Markets: Symbian and Linux Enjoy the Highest Penetration in the Japanese Smartphone Market

    Symbian and Linux enjoy the highest penetration in the Japanese smartphone market and appear to be the beneficiaries in any expansion of smartphone use there.

    Yesterday, 4,000,000,000 embedded devices were said to have been shipped in 2006, so it’s clear that we have a game changer.

    Additionally:

    PCs being pushed aside in Japan

    The PC’s role in Japanese homes is diminishing, as its once-awesome monopoly on processing power is encroached by gadgets such as smart phones that act like pocket-size computers, advanced Internet-connected game consoles, digital video recorders with terabytes of memory.

    After the Desktop — What?

    I would suggest that the open source community should stop obsessing with the battle for the desktop, and start focusing on the battle for the platform that will replace it. As I have said before, the day will soon come when the notion of having to go to a particular machine on a particular room every time you need access to information or computer power will be as obsolete as the notion of having to go to the hand pump over the well in the front yard every time you need water.

    Just yesterday:

    Consumer Darwinism and the Rise of FOSS

    One of the recurring themes that keeps popping up in the Linux community is this pressing need to get Linux on the desktop. I have often pondered in the past that such a goal is indeed worthy–once we actually figure out just exactly what “desktop” means.

    Watching the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) coverage this week, it was once again hammered home that in a very real sense, it doesn’t matter what “desktop” means. The true opportunity for Linux and the rest of the free/open source software (FOSS) developers and business people is to anticipate what the customers want and get in front of their needs in time to deliver the goods. The term “desktop” is, I believe, an anachronistic term held over from the days when one company had the means and the chutzpah to dictate to the market what the customer needed, instead of the other way around.

    [...]

    Look at the events of CES, or even the consumer technology news in the months leading up to 2008. Over and over, we see announcements of popular computing devices: laptops , UMPCs, inexpensive PCs at Wal-Mart, smartphones… all running Linux. More importantly, all running Linux, and no one cares. Because these systems work.

    [...]

    It is the curse and the blessing of ubiquity that’s being bestowed on Linux. The news from CES made that abundantly clear.

    Many more are available in case you are still not convinced. You can ask politely rather than say that I am wrong or that I am making stuff up. I am fairly well-informed in this area, so don’t try to portray me as one who throws around accusations and arbitrary numbers.

    In the future, please try to be patient and gentle so we can share knowledge rather than confront one another. Trust me. It’ll be more fun and productive. ;-)

  15. Vexorian said,

    January 12, 2008 at 5:53 pm

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    Lukas, flash is not better than moonlight in the fact it is proprietary, I don’t really prefer flash, in all senses it would be much better if people just stoped using this garbage for the web and sticked to standards.

    But there’s a fact right now, and it is that you need MS-tax to use moonlight , but you don’t need one for flash, at least not yet. Needless to say It is better to have one annoying Flash than two of them hence the reason promoting moonlight (which means advertising silverlight) I think should be discouraged.

    Your company will be unable to provide moonlight to your customers, the only company able to distribute it is Novell and the only Linux distribution to include it by default is going to be SUSE enterprise. And this is not some invention from some zealot but comes from statements from Miguel Icaza and a Novell guy.

    Right now there’s no need for moonlight, just because MS’ dream to actually conquer the web more has not been accomplished yet. So, I think the only guys promoting moonlight right now would be people that are interested in seeing MS’ dream coming true.

    So, to repeat, Flash is a bad technology, and if the world was to accept Silverlight we would end up with two Flashes , twice the issues and annoyances, twice the problem of requiring proprietary garbage to correctly browse the web, and what’s worse, Silverlight is Flash with a .net dependency, some DRM and proprietary codecs that will not get into moonlight (and thus the Linux version will be guaranteed to be behind the “official” version) can it get worse than that?

  16. Lukas said,

    January 12, 2008 at 6:07 pm

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    Vexorian: There are no Microsoft taxes for Moonlight. I’ve already explained this (as well as provided evidence that Roy has been unable to disprove) in a previous comment on a past article.

    As I have already explained (because I feared the comment you brought up by Miguel), this is untrue – it seems to me that while what Miguel said on September 10th may have been true at the time, but by the end of the month (more negotiations?), Microsoft posted a legal statement saying that everyone is legally allowed to use Moonlight + their video codecs so long as the use is limited to a browser plugin, no matter what Linux distro they use and no matter who they get it from.

  17. Lukas said,

    January 12, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Also, Moonlight will be able to play all video codecs that are used by Silverlight.

    You are quite clearly uninformed.

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Gravatar

    Yesterday I came across an interesting new interview with a top Mozilla chap. I’ll post it later on (with commentary) to show you just what plans Microsoft has in mind. Many giants complained to the EU about Silverlight _over a year ago_. They knew what they talked about. It’s an attempt to hijack the Web and bring upon us another ‘dark age’, which I never doubted in the first place. We’ve covered this for almost a year, Lukas, and I suggest that you read the relevant posts carefully. It goes well beyond Silverlight, which is a piece of a much bigger puzzle.

  19. 54vt454v said,

    January 13, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Gravatar

    “Yesterday I came across an interesting new interview with a top Mozilla chap. I’ll post it later on (with commentary) to show you just what plans Microsoft has in mind”

    Yes, certainly a ‘Mozilla chap’ is absolutely informed about what their biggest competitor has decided in backroom-talks… Oh, come on…

    “…which is a piece of a much bigger puzzle.”

    You are lost in the labyrinth of your own paranoia, Roy. Get help now!

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  20. Lukas said,

    January 13, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Gravatar

    I’m more interested in discussion of facts surrounding Moonlight (e.g. things that can be proven or disproven) and not so much interested in theory crafting discussions around Silverlight.

    Your assertions about Microsoft’s plans with respect to Silverlight may very well be true, but nobody with the exception of Microsoft knows for sure. So for me (a technical guy), it’s not worth discussing. Enjoy.

  21. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 13, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Gravatar

    Recently, one of the developers of KDE was told by a commenter (in relation to OOXML) that “it’s just a software licence”.

    The developer, whose name I cannot recall at the moment (I wrote about it here, so I could find it), responded to say that developers care a lot about the licences they use. After all, don’t developers dedicate a large portion of their lives to programming, only to sometimes discover that they get backstabbed for being negligent with legal stuff? Ask Nagios. How about BusyBox? See what Scott shrewdly said about Microsoft backstabbing its own people, including himself — a person who wrote dozens of books covering Microsoft’s technology. It is a good read, I assure you.

    Think again if you, as a developer, need to bother with all that annoying ‘politician’ and ‘legal’ nuisance. You’ll be surprised. I too, by the way, am a software engineer. Shane builds and maintains a GNU/Linux distribution himself.

  22. Vexorian said,

    January 13, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Hmmm Lucas, Microsoft said everyone is able to use Moonlight, this does not really go against Miguel’s or Novell’s statements that Novell is the only company allowed to “distribute” it.

    So, this means that you will be able to run moonlight on, say ubuntu. And it would have MS’ “blessing” (man, and we could just avoid requiring their blessing at all by not using silverlight in our pages, but oh well…) This does not mean that you will be able to install moonlight from the ubuntu repositories, you will have to download it from novell’s page, let’s just hope they have .deb packages… And the only distro allowed to have it by default is going to be SLED…

  23. Vexorian said,

    January 13, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Gravatar

    Just some acclaration, Miguel Icaza’s post was never about not being able to use Moonlight on non-Ballnux distros, nor was my complaint about not being able to use it in my ubuntu setup. It was about Novell getting the exclusivity for distribution, and it doesn’t look like MS’ statement you are mentioning changes that fact.

    And the greatest reason behind my concern is that people like Miguel love to call Moonlight “open source”, but limiting distribution sounds like the opposite to open source to me…

  24. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 13, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Novell has stated many time before that it’s a “mixed source” company. Moonlight is a marriage between a .NET (think patents) implementation that is open source and patent-encumbered proprietary software, such as the codecs. If Lukas hasn’t vented interest in Moonlight/Silverlight, then he is being a tad naive.

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