We recently mentioned Novell’s MonoDevelop in a very negative context. While we maintain our strong stance on this subject, here are some of the more optimisic reports that see it as benign, if not beneficial.
Commercial Linux distributor Novell is kicking off its BrainShare 2008 user and partner conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, this week, and the highlight of the show thus far has been the prototype Linux-MaxDB setups that I told you about last week that German software giant SAP is prototyping to run its applications. But Novell has also announced a new open source development tool for its Mono clone of Microsoft’s .NET tools.
Novell’s MonoDevelop allows application developers to quickly write desktop and ASP.NET Web applications on Linux and Mac Operating Systems. With MonoDevelop, developers can easily port .NET applications created with Visual Studio to Linux and Mac OS X and also maintain a single code base for all three platforms, which is of great benefit.
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that you wouldn’t have seen Microsoft employees, including execs, casually carrying around Macs at a conference a few years back. Winds of change are welling up. However faintly.
Does this mean that Microsoft is agnostic about whether developers develop to Windows and .NET? Of course not. But it’s worth noting this week I’m in Salt Lake City at Novell’s Brainshare user conference. (Yes, it has been a busy month.) Novell execs such as CTO Jeff Jaffe make no bones about their preference for a J2EE on Linux software stack. Yet, Novell remains a major force behind the Mono Project that allows .NET applications to run on Linux and other non-Windows operating environments. And Novell is doing the Linux port of Silverlight (“Moonlight”).
In other words, in this day and age, expressing interest–even a strong one–for a given development stack increasingly doesn’t translate into prohibiting any sort of interoperability or compatibility with the “enemy.” The on-the-ground reality is naturally much messier than executive-level shows of mutual love and respect, but it’s still a qualitatively different reality from the old days when walled gardens had high walls indeed.
Gordon Haff completely misses the point there about software patents. Also, Moonlight is not a Siilverlight port. It’s more like a project mimicking Silverlight, playing catchup.
Thanks to a reader of ours, “CoolGuy”, we now know about yet another Mono infection in Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Will it ever stop?
Pass the needle, Novell. That’s just what Microsoft wants you to do. █
I could probably make some money selling my mother’s blood, if I had no conscience. Or I could rob a liquor store. There’s money in that, I hear. Profit isn’t the only indicator of whether a deal is a good idea or not.
In case you wish to know more about Novell’s case against SCO, here is the latest report. The trial is set to resume in April.
Novell Inc. has had no contact with the head of a company trying to buy the bankrupt SCO Group and plans to go ahead with a trial next month to determine how much SCO may owe it for licensing the Unix operating system, officials said Monday.
Though the anticompetitive issues raised in Novell’s 10-year legal odyssey against Microsoft have become moot, the newly revived case “will be very beneficial from a marketing standpoint for Novell,” said Richard Bliss, vice president of marketing for Gwava. “The publicity will help them get the message out that they are a new company with a new mission that even Microsoft is now supporting.”
Marc Blaise, Manager of the Open Systems Division, ONIGC said: “Our task was to achieve scalability, security and high availability of data in the enterprise, with a solution that is compatible with our existing infrastructure. It also needed to be easy to manage and compatible with our Novell NetWare and Novell GroupWise environments. The FalconStor NSS solution gave us the exact advanced storage services we needed, such as synchronous mirroring and snapshots, in our heterogeneous environment.”
This weekend’s posts are generally a bit of a mess due to the volume of articles to go through. Expect many typos because those posts are published very quickly and written in a single pass without proofreading. █
At its annual BrainShare user conference today, Novell unveiled products,
partnerships and its strategic vision for the future to customers,
partners, press, and industry and financial analysts. Novell’s BrainShare,
with 5,500 participants from 58 countries, features keynotes, business and
technical sessions, and demonstrations that illuminate Novell’s software
that solves customer problems today and Novell’s strategy for streamlining
computing in the future. Cornerstone sponsor SAP leads a group of 65
sponsors and exhibitors at the conference.
First thing this morning I went to the General Session (a.k.a. “keynote”) with Ron Hovsepian, Jeff Jaffe, John Dragoon, and Jim Ebzery. (If you couldn’t make it, or just want to relive the experience, the vids are already up on the BrainShare site here.) The room was packed — not sure how many people were at the general session, but it was a huge room, and looked quite full from where I was sitting.
In case you want to see what it looked like, here are some photos. Seems nice.
However Novell also provides plenty of down-time opportunities from pool tables, and huge TV screens showing episodes of the US version of The Office.
Agility, Agility, Agility
Yes, there was a theme which got rather tedious after you saw it dozens of times in the press. For example:
Free and open source software plus agility is Brainshare mantra
Jeff Jaffe, Novell’s CTO and EVP of business units, outlined the company’s technical vision at this week’s BrainShare 2008 conference in Salt Lake City, codenamed The Fossa Project. Jaffe explained that a fossa is an agile, cat-like animal native to Madagascar with no known predators. Fossa, he mentioned, also serves well as an acronym for “Free and Open Source Software with Agility.”
Speaking at the company’s annual user conference Brainshare, Novell’s CTO Jeff Jaffe has announced the company’s new technology strategy which it has rather curiously decided to name after an endangered relative of the mongoose – the Madagascan Fossa.
Despite keeping references to open source and Linux to a minimum, in this morning’s keynote speeches, the Fossa is obviously a play on Free and Open Source Software with the ‘A’ standing for agility. Novell claims that its going to revolutionise the IT world by focusing on creating “agile infrastructure”.
The widely criticized Microsoft Corp.-Novell Inc. interoperability agreement has been a success for his company, Novell CEO Ron Hovespian said Monday.
Speaking to a group of international journalists at the Novell’s annual Brainshare conference in Salt Lake City, Hovespian said the deal – signed in November 2006 – has worked because most enterprises have both Novell and Microsoft software deployed in their IT environment. And in order to keep the harmony between two software stacks like JSEE and .NET or between Linux and Windows, he said, Waltham, Mass.-based Novell will continue to foster a working relationship that focuses on interoperability and efficiency with Microsoft products.
Quite a few reports from Peter Galli, who was apparently there:
At BrainShare, the company also will announce a deal that will see the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 preloaded on hardware from a major vendor.
SALT LAKE CITY—Novell will use its annual BrainShare conference here March 17 to announce new and expanded partnerships as well as to show off some of the features and functionality of its upcoming SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.
Novell’s chief executive officer and president, Ron Hovsepian, told several thousand people Monday that he has “quite a long list” of reasons to be proud of the company, including a burgeoning customer base and continued innovation.
Top Novell, Inc., officials outlined a strategy Monday that includes an emphasis on products that allow companies greater flexibility to integrate various brands of software into a more seamless whole – and to move the social networking revolution into business.
At the annual Novell BrainShare user conference that started in Salt Lake City today, Novell unveiled its roadmap and loaded the car with new friends. The roadmap includes a new strategy focused on agility, called Fossa, and a new release of SUSE: SUSE Linux Enterprise 11. Joining Novell for the trip will be new partners bearing products such as SAP, PlateSpin and Atos Origin.
After a very fast start, the conference slowed down somewhat, at least in terms of announcement pace and magnitude. Var Guy thinks so as well.
Novell didn’t deliver any home-run news during BrainShare on March 17, but the software company did manage to smack a few solid singles during the day. Overall, the buzz from Utah sounded pretty upbeat. Here’s a look at Monday’s developments, and The VAR Guy’s take on the situation.
Future posts will look at some less Linux-oriented announcements and contain rather dull press releases. We must keep abreast of Novell’s strategy in order to understand how it may evolve and what this means to Free software and its future prospects. █
There are buckets of reports owing to BrainShare. A day may not be enough to cover them all, so it’s likely that BrainShare focus will come tomorrow. In the mean time, here are the news about OpenSUSE and SLED/SLES.
Let’s start with something relatively entertaining. A new advert was coughed up at YouTube just under a day ago.
The eighth Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting (commonly known as FOSDEM) takes place during the last week-end (23&24) of February 2008 in the city of Brussels, Belgium. It’s an annual 2-day event hosting talks, tutorials, and booth for the free software/open source community. It is organized by volunteers at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Access to all parts of FOSDEM is free of charge (but donations and sponsors are welcome to help fund the event).
The video recordings and slides from the openSUSE dev room at FOSDEM2008 are finally up: http://en.opensuse.org/FOSDEM2008. You’ll find some openSUSE KDE 4 slides there as well as many other interesting talks.
All in all I am very impressed with openSuse 10.3. Its an improvement 10.2 and is definitely moving forward at a noticeable pace. I am using it as my current production RoR development environment and I haven’t stopped smiling since I installed it. openSuse 10.3 is definitely worth a look at if you are looking at an alternative to your current desktop OS.
I’m still not sure about KDE 4. While I have no problem living on the bleeding edge, I tend to like my bleeding edge reasonably useful. KDE 4 is just different enough from KDE 3 that I would tend to install KDE 3 on openSUSE 11. But then again, my impressions are with a rapidly evolving desktop, and KDE 4 is advancing with incredible speed. Who knows how it might behave 30 days, or even a week from now?
I knowingly tempt the Fates by saying this, but based on what little exposure I’ve had to it so far, I think openSUSE 11 just might be a really good release.
It has been over a month since the last version and it’s still a month until KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 so it seems a good time to create a new Live CD with the openSUSE KDE 4.0.66 snapshot packages.
More about KDE4 at BrainShare here. It’s just a short blurb really.
The KDE Team here at Novell have worked our KPats off all over KDE 4 to make it great and the Novell customer base deserve to know about it.
Francis Giannaros has got some more bits of new information in the newsletter.
Issue 14 of openSUSE Weekly News is now out!
In this week’s issue:
* Videos and Slides from FOSDEM 2008
* openSUSE to Participate in Google Summer of Code 2008
* Novell Free Hugs at CeBit 2008
* KIWI-LTSP 0.3.14 Now Out
* LimeJeOS, the openSUSE-based JeOS is Born
* Banshee 1.0Alpha1 is Available with 1-Click-Install
* New KDE Four Live and updated KDE 4.1 Snapshot Packages
* HP to preload SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on Notebooks, Desktops
* In Tips and Tricks: Best Practices for Editing Configuration Files
* Upcoming: openSUSE 11.0 Alpha 3 (today)
Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation announced at opening day of BrainShare 2008 that the Fujitsu LifeBook U810, LifeBook T2010, LifeBook P1620 ultra-portable convertible notebooks and the LifeBook S6510 thin and light notebook have been YES Certified by Novell. The certification means the notebooks have been stringently tested for compatibility with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop from Novell.
The bigger news are the preinstalls of SLED 10 by Hewlett-Packard. Steven Vaughan does not hold his breath yet.
I would have liked to have been able to tell you in great detail exactly what desktops and laptops will soon be coming from Hewlett-Packard equipped with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.
We will probably elaborate on this tomorrow.
Novell has started previewing and throwing around some big hints about SLED 11, which had the press humming for a while. One reporter described it as some kind of a war on Sun and Red Hat (it makes an eye-catching headline, doesn’t it?).
The next version of Novell’s Suse Linux Enterprise Server will focus on migration technologies and virtualisation, in order to entice users from Unix and take market share from Red Hat, according to a roadmap announced at the company’s BrainShare meeting in Salt Lake City.
Novell opened the kimono on its development plans for SUSE Linux Enterprise Linux 11 at Brainshare 2008 this week but let it be known the product won’t ship until 2009 or possibly 2010. In fact, the Cambridge, Mass. won’t even provide a planned ship date until the end of this year.
The company president sits down with ComputerWorld Canada to discuss the latest update to its enterprise open source operating system, while a Canadian customer discusses his desktop deployment
To finish off, here is a new Geek My SLED video. It’s part of a series that they had in previous years (at least one year back).
This post is not about Linspire, but then again, there is not much to be said about it anyway. Here is a quick review of Linspire.
Having been round the houses with Linux systems I’ve eventually ended up back with Linspire.
The CNR press releases keep coming, but no reports appear to be covering these announcements, which are non-events really.
Linspire, Inc. developer of CNR.com, an easy-to-use, one-click digital software delivery service for desktop Linux software, and Basilisk Games, an independent game developer, today announced the immediate availability of Eschalon: Book I for Freespire 2.0, Linspire 6.0, Ubuntu 7.04 & 7.10 (32 bit) desktop Linux users.
As you can imagine, there’s loads more to go through. Skip the “Do-No-Evil Saturday”-labeled posts if you have no interest in general Novell news. █
Microsoft really has no shame. If it were a person, it would probably have been arrested by now for harassment, for stalking, for bullying and for bribery. But Microsoft is not a person. Microsoft is still a fairly powerful corporation and it is also above the law in certain parts of the world.
The latest batch of stories which come from Malaysia are disgusting at best. Microsoft should be utterly humiliated and embarrassed now that people spill the beans. Here is the first post. It’s the post that earned a fair bit of attention.
But to pass off a foreigner as a Malaysian organisation’s representative? That’s really stretching it, dudes. It’s not as bad as having someone from Senegal representing another country, but it’s still not particularly … appropriate.
Which is also why there was an uneasy silence when Doug came back into the room to remove his computer, and he gruffly said, “I think it’s best that I leave.” I thought that was noble of him, and a great way to exit with whatever dignity he had left. I don’t think he would normally bend his ethics to represent an organisation’s national branch which he does not belong nor contribute to, but we must all understand, that employees at Microsoft are all facing a really stressful time now.
They are fighting like their jobs depend on this, and unfortunately for Microsoft as a brand, they are killing themselves. Bending their morals, burning their bridges which they have built so long and hard over the years, and hurting so many people and organisations over this silly matter of a File Format.
What the blogger might not be aware of is the fact that a press release from last week showed Microsoft’s brand taking a plunge from top 10 or top 20 down to top 50 or top 100. This comes in addition to a big drop in the employment ladder ranks. It was last updated a couple of months ago.
There are also Microsoft’s financial worries, which it keeps secret. OOXML may be a question of Windows’ continued dominance and the company’s relevance as a whole. But does it justify breaking the rules and pulling a 'covert ops'?
1. Doug, you are claiming that you wanted a technical debate with YK and yours truly. You never contacted us prior to the PIKOM meeting and never told me that you would be present at TC4. How can you claim that you wanted a technical debate when you never bothered to get in touch with the people you wanted to debate with? Your logic simply does not compute.
2. Your blog post says “they threw me out before the meeting started”. Well, no shit sherlock. If you turn up at a meeting without giving due notice of your nomination as an alternate representative of IASA, you really can’t be surprised if they weren’t too happy, eh? There are proper processes to follow in Malaysia’s standards body and IASA flagrantly violated them.
There you go. I’m not going to pursue this any further (but Doug, do feel free to write another scathing post, I’ve got /dev/null all prepped up and ready here). I just felt folk reading Doug’s blog and OpenMalaysiaBlog should be able to see this from another perspective. Specifically mine. Either that or this is just another excuse for more sandiwara (translation: drama).
The level of abuse of and in the process [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] often leads to distraction. We must immediately find ourselves discussing the technical deficiencies of OOXML, as opposed to a meritlessprocess alone.
Rick Jellife’s continued tradition of serving Microsoft (and Australia at the same time… talk about conflicting interests [1, 2]) now involves taking people’s words out of context to infer the very opposite of that they say. Shades of Steve Ballmer.
In the latest round of this mild confrontation, Jim Melton talks about a tedious process lasting 20 years, whereas Jellife cherry-picks selective bits of interest. Jim Melton, ISO SQL’s editor, was unhappy about misinterpretation and Pieter summarised.
You’ve written 6000 pages of specification largely in secret (and, I understand, recently added over 1500 more pages) and given the world five months to read, absorb, understand, review, critique, and establish informed positions on it. Worse, whether it happened because of unreasonable methods, pure random chance, or genuine and unexpected interest, the fact that the size of the JTC 1 Subcommittee that was to vote on the document suddenly exploded gives the appearance that somebody was trying too hard to stack the deck…almost as though it wasn’t really desired to have too much real review.
Stephane keeps up with his excellent essays which offer a purely technical smack-down of OOXML. The latest talks about Microsoft’s Custom XML.
“Custom XML” does not mean much, despite Microsoft ample evangelism of said feature. Technically speaking it has no merit within the enterprise space because you end up sharing corporate data. An interesting fact is that “Custom XML” is actually only implemented in Word 2007. For instance, the ECMA 376 specification provides a data binding for Word 2007 documents, exclusively. Ironically enough, the ability to store an independent XML stream as part of a ZIP package, is just a feature of the ZIP library, not Microsoft’s innovation.