01.13.08

Mozilla Firefox Meets Silverlight and Novell’s Impact on This Web Hijack

Posted in Europe, FSF, GNU/Linux, Interview, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE at 1:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell supports OOXML at ODF’s expense, XAML at (X)HTML’s expense, .NET at the expense of all else

Bad Silverlight

As debates about Moonlight/Silverlight carry on, we thought it would be reasonable to bring up this new interview with the President of Mozilla Europe.

Marketing: Unfortunately the best product does not always win and unfortunately, getting open-source products in the hands of users is a hard task. Also, established, closed-source software vendors do their best to prevent open-source from spreading. They use a number of techniques to achieve this.

The first is about formats and interoperability. The game here is to prevent competing products accessing files data (files or documents) created by a proprietary application. For a long time, this issue was more important in the office applications realm. Now we are in a connected world, this issue has extended to new domains like network protocols (SMB/CIFS for printing and file sharing, for example), Internet applications (Microsoft Silverlight applications running in the browser, requiring a proprietary plug-in) and Digital Rights Management.

The second technique used by proprietary players is in the legal field, using software patents and royalty schemes and open source software is often unable to respond. For example, embedding a piece of software requiring a royalty-fee codec (such as a video) breaks the open source nature of the code, because it prevents redistribution.

Right now, such methods are being used by some vendors and are threatening the open source model. I think open source has a great future if it manages to ‘avoid’ these threats. As individual users, we need to make sure that the products we adopt are open source: In today’s world we are ever more dependent on technology and keeping it open is the best way to master it in the long term.

It is rather amazing to see how hard he tries not to name Microsoft, referring it as “some vendors”. Do you know why? Because if he points a finger specifically at Microsoft, people will call him a “zealot”, a “bigot” , a “fanboi”, a “Microsoft basher”, or even a “conspiracy theorist”. These are well-known methods for stealing attention from those who ‘dare’ to criticise abuse. Over the years, this was the technique used to paint people black because they told the truth. Just look at the personal attacks on Nicholas Negroponte and even Richard Stallman. But anyway, let us stick to the main subject again.

Mitchell recently left Mozilla (remaining on the board though) and she will be replaced by John, who gets promoted internaly. Mozilla seems to be too focused on a single product (the Web browser) although it can grow, even without Google’s money. Firefox is still at risk. It is integration and all sorts of similar tricks that can elevate Silverlight and pressure Mozilla in years to come. They need to look ahead. Just recall that recent JavaScript head-butting incident which involved Mozilla and what Tristan calls “some vendors”. Microsoft can’t sit idly while it’s losing market share and it will fight back. Memories of Netscape spring to mind.

“Anything Novell does is likely to be tied to Microsoft’s long-term ambitions.”So, what is this Silverlight/OOXML/XPS/HS/Sharepoint stack all about? Should it blindly be embraced by GNU/Linux? Will Novell sell us patent ‘protection’ for it? Do we get a discount if we exclude and subtract Mono protection (some of us don’t use it anyway)? Novell is not doing so well financially these days, and it was looking for ways to make more sales. We mustn’t forget that it willfully became a vassal to Microsoft (and it shows). Anything Novell does is likely to be tied to Microsoft’s long-term ambitions. Novell still hopes that Microsoft will save it from drowning. Remember a certain struggling company called SCO?

Unfortunately, Novell made the wrong decision, even from an egocentric point-of-view. Sales have not improved sufficiently and Novell resorted to book-cooking as means of drawing a deceiving and optimistic picture. That aside, the entire GNU/Ballux deal has been a case of Novell ‘distinguishing’ itself by FUDing competing Linux vendors along with Microsoft. And just look at the consequence. Microsoft now knows how to get paid by everyone, using Novell as ‘proof’ that GNU/Linux has what Steve Ballmer referred to as "obligations" (to Microsoft).

As a general note, OpenSUSE will be fine even without Novell, but only if volunteer developers keep up th good e work or defect to create a separate company that capitalises on SUSE’s codecase independenly. One thing to watch out for is this gotcha (watch bottom part about a pledge to OpenSUSE developers, which is atrocious). No wonder the (Open)SUSE folks are so afraid of the FSF. It’s probably reciprocal because the FSF is quietly angry at Novell.

Watch this cheap shot from SUSEForums. It’s part of a pattern of smears that sometimes involve the GPL, sometimes the FSF, and sometimes Groklaw. We covered some other examples here before [1, 2, 3, 4].

Warning: This interview contains Richard’s view of reality, which may or may not match the reality you’ve observed.

Is that really tactful?

Novell has been hoping to find and buy forgiveness using good deeds. Novell continues to contribute but also to detract. We mustn’t accept this risk which involves Microsoft milking money from all Linux vendors and threatening large companies until they shell out money secretly (oh yes, they do!).

“Microsoft currently collects royalties from some companies that use Linux in their computing environments, Gutierrez said. However, he declined to indicate the number, the dollar amount Microsoft receives from those payments, or identify any of the companies by name.”

Source

As the above illustrates, the reality you hear about in the press isn’t the reality on the ground where there are back-door and boiler room deals. Al Capone would be jealous at this sight.

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

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 30/11/2020: GhostBSD 20.11.28, Nitrux 1.3.5, Linux 5.10 RC6, GNOME Circle, Microsoft Collapses Again in Web Server Share

    Links for the day



  2. Alternatives to the World Wide Web, to HTML, to HTTP/S, and to the Internet

    Looking around the Web (yes, the Web) for alternatives to the Web (and the stack underneath the Web), we're finding that IPFS is mature and robust enough for our needs



  3. Management of the EPO Dragged to the International Labour Organisation Over Its Assault on the Right to Strike

    Opinion on strikes challenged by the Central Staff Committee of Europe's second-largest organisation; if strike rights are almost abolished there, what hope is there for the rest of Europe?



  4. [Meme] Management of the EPO Cannot Let the Staff Breathe or Smell Freedom

    Working for the EPO means giving up on one’s human rights; that’s the sort of conclusion many workers have reached



  5. “ViCo” is Nothing New (Not Even the Acronym), Done on 9/11 Last Year, Been Possible as Long as the EPO Has Existed

    Contrary to what many people are led to believe, the EPO isn't embracing innovation, it's just embracing COVID-19 and leveraging lock-downs (de facto house arrest to some) to impose an illegal practice on EPO staff and EPO stakeholders



  6. Release: Early Letters and Documents About Financial Hoax Disguised as EPO 'Study'

    It was over a year ago that staff representation at the EPO expressed concerns about what would later enrage workers — seeing that based on unscientific fabrications the EPO would take away what had been promised to them



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 29, 2020



  8. Managing IP: Puff Pieces Galore for the EPO's Dictatorship (Complete With Buzzwords and PR Stunts)

    By giving a platform to notorious patent trolls and ‘engaging’ with the EPO‘s dictator (whom only 3% of EPO staff trusts) Managing IP is sort of giving away its real agenda, which isn’t journalism but conducting or assisting misinformation campaigns



  9. Links 29/11/2020: Genode OS Framework 20.11, Linux 5.11 Kernel Changes, and Latest in KDE Itinerary

    Links for the day



  10. Sincere Thoughts About Outreachy

    Outreachy's role in the Free software community and inclusion in the FSF's High Priority Projects, as seen from the eyes of a female coder from a minority group; she used to work for the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and she expresses concerns about what Outreachy has become



  11. Free Software Under Tyranny of Codes of Conduct as the Western Equivalent of Blasphemy Law (Corporations as the New Religion/Sponsors as Deities)

    The free speech crisis in Free software communities has enabled expulsion of opinionated people whose opinions truly matter; in their place we now have companies that bomb people, sometimes even kidnapping children and sterilising women because nothing says “Ethics” like naked fascism and corporate domination everywhere



  12. Release: 4 More Documents and Letters About the Financial Siege at Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    Documents disputing the accuracy of the "hoax" from António Campinos and the Mercers



  13. One Year Ago: The Last EPO Demonstration Before COVID-19

    About a year ago staff of the EPO apparently had its last protest (in front of the Isar building) before staff got ‘herded’ into homes, where workers became more isolated and even illegally spied on



  14. [Meme] Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is an Attack on Europe and the European Businesses That Don't Do Litigation

    Litigation lawyers and patent zealots want to set Europe ablaze with legislation that they themselves crafted; thankfully, however, they face constitutional obstacles, no matter how many politicians they bamboozle and buy



  15. Reasons EPO Staff Decided to Go on Strike This Year (Before or Until Coronavirus Prevented It)

    An year-old letter from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) to the President of the EPO; 7 reasons for going on strike are enumerated



  16. EPO Can Save Money by “Dropping Events Like the Inventor of the Year, Reducing the Number of Managers, Throwing Less Money at Consultants or Bringing the Boards of Appeal Back into Office Buildings.”

    Constructive suggestions from EPO staff, made just over a year ago and assembled into a letter to their EPO colleagues



  17. The Real Fate of the UPC 'Stunt' in Germany Will be Known Next Month (or Next Year) and There Are Substantial Constitutional Barriers in the Way

    Contrary to what Team UPC wants people to think, UPC(A) isn’t a “done deal” in Germany; they never actually addressed the substance of complaints and with help from Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in the Commission they’re just attempting a blatant coup



  18. Microsoft Removes Free Software From GitHub Again, This Time for Motion Picture Association (MPA)

    GitHub is proving to be more of a censorship site than a code-sharing site; with the GitHub takeover Microsoft became a 'censorship police' or force of occupation against its ideological competition; just weeks after the YouTube-DL debacle and further take-downs seeking to 'protect' broken DRM schemes (by banning code) we can see that Microsoft isn't defending developers at all; it's just protecting the interests of MPA, RIAA and other Biden circles from the interests of the general population, which sometimes circumvents perfectly circumventable 'DRM' schemes



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 28, 2020



  20. Help Make Techrights (and Other Technology-Centric Sites) More Robust to Censorship by Setting Up More IPFS Nodes

    We’re trying to improve the site’s availability (ensuring it can never be offline) and make it more censorship-resistant; people who adopt IPFS can make that happen while tackling the “bloated Web” and “centralised Internet” issues — all at the same time



  21. Microsoft Loves Linux and Android Apps Running on Windows Instead of GNU/Linux and Android Devices

    Microsoft loves Linux, they say; but as Microsoft's former VP James Allchin put it: "If you're going to kill someone there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry -- you just pull the trigger [...] We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."



  22. Links 28/11/2020: RenderDoc 1.11, GNOME 40 Scrolling Horizontally

    Links for the day



  23. Nine Documents About the Financial Siege Against EPO Staff (Past, Present, and Future)

    Today we release dozens of pages of letters and documents (internal to Europe's second-largest institution); they all focus on the betrayal and skulduggery, crushing staff in spite of what was originally promised (and what workers actually signed up for)



  24. EPO Senior Management (Cabal) “Essentially Deaf to the Proposals From Staff Representatives.”

    Representatives of EPO staff feel like the management of the EPO is "deaf" and uncaring; there's hardly any meaningful progress (or none whatsoever) when it comes to truly honest dialogue with real participation



  25. EPO Management, Led by António Campinos, Attempted to Stifle or Prevent Staff From Being Surveyed

    Battistelli's cabal, which covers up a lot of fraud and corruption, is attempting to prevent the staff from expressing an opinion (for insiders and perhaps outsiders to assess) because things are really bad and autocratic measures are seen as necessary to keep the lid on issues/abuses



  26. The European Patent Office's Central Staff Committee: Office Cannot Recruit Fit-for-Purpose Patent Examiners Anymore

    One third of EPO recruits are 'locals' (Germans), 0.2% are Swiss, 1% Scandinavian; the EPO as an employer became unattractive and it's unable to attract the staff it needs (as was projected and planned when the EPC was agreed upon)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, November 27, 2020



  28. Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

    Links for the day



  29. The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

    "In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled," the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)



  30. Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

    "As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try."


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