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Novell (NOVL) Fell Below $5

Posted in Finance, Novell at 8:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell stock falls

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  1. Josh Bell said,

    September 23, 2008 at 8:37 pm


    Are you sure? I just looked at the pricing and it’s low today was $5.26

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 8:46 pm


    Yes, watch the date in the image above.

  3. HC said,

    September 23, 2008 at 9:18 pm


    How does this relate to the general decline in tech stock (if there has been any) in the tech industry as a whole?

  4. Josh Bell said,

    September 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm


    OK last week yes by a whopping 2 cents for about an hour. I wasn’t looking at the 18th when it is the 23rd. Novell stock has been hovering between the $5 and $6 range for a while. If you bothered to look at tech stocks in general a number of them dropped percentage wise at that time. I don’t really know why. Novell at that time dropped 8.25 percent while the Nasdaq as a whole dropped about 6 percent so something was going on. At the closing bell Novell was up over 2 percent while the Nasdaq was down very slightly that day. Today Novell was down 3/4 of one percent. But as you know stocks are all about trends and right now the trending is down if you go out 3 and 6 months for tech stocks in general..

  5. Alec Baldwin said,

    September 24, 2008 at 1:09 am


    Oh my God!!! Below $5? On the same day that everyone else’s shares fell through the floor! Oh My God! What does this mean? Does it mean that Novell is in real trouble again? What ever shall we do?

    All – if you reading this FUD article, take a look at the DOW Jones for the 18th of September… and Microsoft, and every other graph….

    Mr Schareowitz – you’re making an idiot of yourself…. again.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 3:44 am


    Josh Bell,

    I stated a fact and showed it. I didn’t say anything about the market or about what this meant for Novell. Speaking of which, you might want to read this.

  7. Josh Bell said,

    September 24, 2008 at 5:27 am


    Roy but you don’t give a context to which you write. IMHO if you would have written Novell stock fell below $5 around noon on Sept 18th at least people understand what you are talking about. You use the same FUD technique that you claim Novell uses and that’s the true point.

    I saw the article, but you can’t just take snippets of an article. Again you write without context. Even the Groklaw article you mention had nothing to do with cooking the books, it mostly had to other people’s opinion such as Sam Varghese and others about the new additional 100 milliion not cooking the books.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 5:33 am


    Groklaw covered a lot of ground. I raised a particular point so as to not just repeat GL and weaved that in with something else I know.

  9. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 5:45 am


    @Josh: I think this is just Roy’s way of encouraging people to buy NOVL stock, since it has obviously been undervalued in the past ;)

    People buying at that low would have made ~7% on their investment already, which is a pretty handy profit over that time-frame.

  10. Alec Baldwin said,

    September 24, 2008 at 5:46 am


    You stated a fact that was clearly intended to spread FUD

    And I clicked on your link above – and got more FUD.

    It’s sad that someone can devote so much time and energy to being so puerile, witless, one-eyed, and bilious.

    When you publish FUD like this you gain a reputation for being a moron. It undermines your arguments, and it’s surprising that someone academically clever, can be so dumb.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 5:51 am


    …encouraging people to buy NOVL stock…

    Very much doubt it. In fact, my mate sent me this E-mail just an hour ago (to give you a sense of things): “Prepare yourself for the worst. the fed cannot pump one trillion dollars of public cash to subsidise the greed and failures of the corporate hoares on wall street. Hideous Inflation will follow then full scale meltdown, this is just a finger in the dyke, any market rallies in the next few weeks are just a dead cat bouncing. Wall street has been feeding off tomorrow for far too long, well tomorrow has just come home to roost, what a surprise.”

    See the link I gave at the top. Novell is among those who are clearly in trouble and their dependence on Microsoft’s money will surely increase.

    Love Novell? Learn to like Microsoft. Tough love.

  12. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 6:06 am


    There’s more to global finance than Wall St.

    American stock may have trouble in the short term. If you’re an investor, you’re more likely looking at the long term, and Novell’s long term outlook is pretty disconnected from the short term turmoil we’re going to experience.

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 6:07 am


    NOVL is traded in the US. How is it disconnected?


  14. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 6:21 am


    I said that its long term outlook is disconnected from the short term problems that the US market is experiencing.

    They have a large amount of institutional investment (large holdings make up 50% of the shareholding) and these are people who are looking long-term.

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 6:36 am


    So where will those trillions to turn things around come from? (hint: http://beranger.org/index.php?page=diary&2008/09/23/11/20/43-what-the-us-administration-is-ta )

  16. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 6:43 am


    I think you’re confusing different issues.

    There are two problems in the banking system at the moment: bad debt, based on mortgage assets being worth less than their valuation, and an unwillingness to lend each other money.

    Once is a capitalisation issue, the other is a liquidity issue.

    Novell, like a lot of businesses, would be affected by the lack of liquidity in the market as they would be unable to borrow money (or, their investors would be unable to) as they would normally.

    The “trillions” (actually, only one, but I’ll let that pass ;) you talk about are aimed at the capitalisation problem: with that, they will swap mortgage-based assets for Govt.-backed bond assets, effectively guaranteeing their value.

    Now, once the banks have assets whose value is known and guaranteed they will be a lot more willing to start lending money again, so that indirectly solves the liquidity issue, but that’s not where they’re spending the money.

    Hope that helps.

  17. Josh Bell said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:12 am



    Well put. You explained that well.

    Thanks :)

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:24 am


    And what exactly is on Novell’s horizon? Its core business is dying [*] as the company is on the decline, for a fact (unless you listen to their PR Dept.)

    [*] http://boycottnovell.com/2008/06/02/novell-netware-balance/

  19. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:30 am


    Unless we listen to their PR dept.? From your link:

    “Novell is dying,” concludes one man

    Truly, this one man must be an oracle of our times.

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:38 am



    31-Jul-08 | 30-Apr-08 | 31-Jan-08 | 31-Oct-07

    Total Assets | 2,656,913 | 2,679,323 | 2,771,538 | 2,854,394

    Total Stockholder Equity | 1,167,497 | 1,221,210 | 1,198,826 | 1,158,326
    Net Tangible Assets | $508,006 | $566,199 | $767,215 | $720,142

  21. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:39 am


    In an attempt to inject some objective opinion into this debate, Yahoo! finance has NOVL stock listed as buy or strong buy from most analysts, with only two downgrading it to “Hold” recently, most upgrading it, and no-one advising people to sell.

    Reuters lists the consensus opinion on the stock as being outperform.

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:41 am


    Yes, I’ve just pointed to that sort of analysis. I might add that Novell’s market cap is dropping. But hey, that must be a good thing, right Alex?

  23. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:44 am


    You “pointed to it”, but you didn’t mention it. Funny that :)

    The fact is that most analysts rate Novell stock as something worth buying. You can spin that until you’re dizzy, Roy, but that’s the consensus opinion.

  24. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:50 am


    Analysts are like gamblers and I remember very well how Novell was ranked “outperform” with a $7 target before it dropped to $4.xx.

    My dad and paternal grandfather is in this field. They don’t rely on analysts, either. Analysts just try to make self-fulfilling prophecies or reasoned guesses.

  25. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 7:59 am


    Well, given that you stated that Novell is declining “for a fact”, it seems that these people and their “reasoned guesses” (damn that reason!) are a bit slow to catch up.

    Or, maybe, it’s not a fact that the company is in decline, and they’re willing to take a punt.

  26. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:01 am


    maybe they believe in a turnaround. I don’t.

  27. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:04 am


    Sure, and you’re welcome to your opinion. It’s just not “fact”.

  28. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:08 am


    That Novell is /currently/ declining is fact.

  29. HC said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:11 am


    Boy, the trolls sure came out of the woodwork on this one, eh Schestowitz. Well Alex et. al., if the opinions here are not *closer* to the fact, why spend so much time trying to derail them. Just ignore Roy and hope the troubles go away.
    Me personally, I am even staying away from SLES at this point. I make sure to uninstall any Mono dependencies from my distro. I am sure there are many like me.
    If you are such hotshot coders/lawyers/financial analysts, why not go do something more worthwhile with your time?

  30. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:15 am


    @HC: I defend free software on any web site I come across which bashes it, particularly if it does so on a systematic basis.

  31. HC said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:19 am


    You mean to say that you troll websites all day on behalf of either your paymaster, or your ego, take your pick.

    Well Mr. Defender Man, let’s see a sample of your other defense against other sites.

  32. Josh Bell said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:25 am


    Novell is currently declining as are most tech stocks right now. In fact if you read the last quarterly report, you would see that other than Workgroup, Novell’s revenue was up. Again just focusing on the fact that Novell’s market cap has declined to 1.84 billion is just throwing around FUD. Oooh look their stock dropped below $5 or their market cap is below 2 billion. This is a sure sign that Novell is a dying company. However if you read just a bit on the financial statements you see a different story. As Alex mentioned the analysts do see promise in Novell and their strategy.

  33. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:26 am


    @HC: “trolling” would mean I was making baseless accusations. Let me give you an example of the kind of stuff written here that I argue against.

    Just a couple of days ago, someone wrote a blog post comparing take-up of languages in free software.

    Roy referred to this blog post yesterday as “a new study” because it used some graphs the blog writer created on Ohloh. Roy misread the graphs, and claimed that the blog post said C# was the only language not in decline. It made no such claim.

    Today, we have a new article where Roy takes his claim one step further: apparently the original article “slags off Free software” (I challenge anyone to back that up based on the original links…).

    This is what happens over time. Stories get posted here, twisted, re-cited again and again, and it’s just a tower of nonsense.

    You can call me names, I’m big enough to take that. But I notice that you’re not willing to contest the validity of what I’m saying.

  34. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:34 am


    Alex: that’s because they can’t challenge the validity of what you are saying. Their entire argument depends on a make-believe reality (which obviously cannot be proven to be true because it isn’t).

  35. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:35 am



    I don’t bash Free software and if you bothered to look outside this Web site, you would know that I vigorously promote Free software. Novell-type patent deals are the single biggest threat to Free software.

  36. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:40 am


    If you don’t bash free software, then stop the indiscriminate posting of negative material about the software and its authors.

    Make a start by correcting the blog post that Zeth wrote about language take-up, you said it “slags off free software”, which it doesn’t. Zeth is a free software developer.

  37. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:42 am


    You bash Mono all the time, and it is Free Software.

    Spamming USENET with Linux Today and Slashdot headlines is hardly promoting Free Software. The people that read your little group on USENET already use Free Software, you are just preaching to the choir which accomplishes nothing.

  38. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:47 am


    I’ve had amiable E-mail correspondences with Zeth before. He’s not being accused at all.

  39. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:48 am


    Maybe you should have had him explain his article too you then, because clearly it was over your head ;-)

  40. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:51 am


    No, I just don’t trust the source of the numbers (it’s like trusting IDC, re: Linux). As you can see, I left a comment there some time ago.

  41. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:55 am


    Oh, so it’s Ohloh who is “slagging off free software” then?

    Where do they do that, exactly?

    What specific criticism, based on evidence and not speculation, do you have of their service?

  42. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:56 am


    Well, so far you have yet to come up with any reason to distrust the numbers. You can browse all of the projects and checkout the sources for yourself to collect your own data to see if it coincides with what Ohloh gives.

    This is starting to remind me of the time you accused Mr. Steadfast that he lied in his Mono vs Java I/O comparison article, without actually bothering to check the evidence or rerun the tests yourself.

    Instead you shot the messenger, same as you are trying to do here.

    For someone who hates it when people shoot the messenger, you sure do it a lot.

  43. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 9:00 am


    Oh, so it’s Ohloh who is “slagging off free software” then?

    No! There’s a misunderstanding here. :-) I’m referring to the study cited by Asay and Slashdot. There are two items in that post.

  44. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 9:02 am


    Dan O’Brian,

    It’s nothing at all to do with Ohloh. It’s about s study funded by enemies of Free Software: Kleiner Perkins


  45. Bob said,

    September 24, 2008 at 9:16 am


    @Dan O’Brian
    Here’s the logic behind the evilness of Mono.
    * Microsoft wants to kill free software as software freedom is a threat to MS profits.
    * Novell is an evil company for signing a exclusionary deal with Microsoft
    * Microsoft uses Novell as a proxy to maim and ultimately kill the free software movement
    * Novell sponsors Mono development, a .Net platform implementation licensed under various free software licenses
    * Users and developers of Mono that are not covered by exclusionary deal are subject to the threat of “Intellectual Property protection measures”
    Thus, Mono is a tool of Microsoft to trap people into using their “Intellectual Property”.

    As much as I dislike the logical conclusions of Schestowiz in the vast majority of his articles (I find them far too hasty to be acceptable), I actually agree with him that Mono is a danger to the free software community.

    However I also believe in the existance of patents-that-cover-the-field-of-computer-software to be so vague that MS doesn’t require Mono at all to harm software freedom; MS already controls software patents so vague that using Mono as a trap is completely unnecessary should MS’s aim to be “sue those that infringe our IP”.

  46. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 24, 2008 at 9:22 am


    Roy: but you are attacking Ohloh and there is no evidence what-so-ever that Ohloh has in any way manufactured anything.

  47. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 24, 2008 at 9:27 am


    Bob: you contradict yourself.

    As you said, Microsoft do not need Mono in order to attack free software.

    One could argue that Microsoft are less likely to attack Mono users/developers than others because doing so would harm them, not help them.

    But let’s also recognize that “Mono is harmful” is only speculation as there has been absolutely no damage done to Free Software due to Mono.

  48. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 9:30 am


    Former Microsoft executives start open source company

    “Some big Microsoft names are involved in the startup. Paul Maritz, who served as a member of the executive committee and manager of the overall Microsoft company from 1986 to 2000, and Pradeep Singh, who spent nine years at Microsoft in various management positions, are some of the major investors. So will Ohloh surf off into the sunset? Who knows, but it will be interesting to watch.”

    Oh great! Mr. “cut the air supply”.

    Former Microsoft employee (and source of FUD) also bought Koders:


    They try to gain influence in “communism”, AKA “cancer”, AKA “open source”. Do you trust them?

    They already speak about subjects like GPL as objects of authority. yes, ‘Microsoft’ is explaining the GPL to you.

    I don’t trust them.

  49. Bob said,

    September 24, 2008 at 9:41 am


    @Dan O’Brian
    The point is that Mono is quite possibly a threat but it is not more dangerous than Microsoft’s other “IP”; they are all equally dangerous. If Microsoft went on a patent lawsuit rampage against major free software projects today, they could do so without touching any of the patents that cover the .Net platform.

  50. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 10:39 am


    Not trusting them is one thing, but your allegations about their graphs are just flat wrong.

    Their figures agree with a source that you cited.

  51. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 24, 2008 at 3:18 pm


    @Bob: The fact that at least 1 Microsoft website is running on Mono (ironruby.com) will make it harder for Microsoft to attack Mono afaik.

    As time goes on, it becomes harder and harder for Microsoft to make the claim without getting laughed out of court.

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  52. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm


    No t really. Microsoft can ‘buy’ a Mono licence from itself. It’s about so-called IP, which Microsoft claims to own.

  53. AlexH said,

    September 24, 2008 at 4:21 pm


    @Roy: I think the point is that it becomes increasingly difficult for them to feign ignorance of a patent infringement.

    They also claim Linux infringes their patents. Their sabre-rattling is not going to stop free software.

  54. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 4:28 pm


    Yes, I agree entirely.

  55. mike said,

    September 24, 2008 at 8:10 pm


    Has there really been no damage to free software from mono? I wouldn’t be so sure. Not only has it generated a lot of heated debate and conflict (a classic ‘wedge’ tactic, aka divide and conquer), it has sucked resources away from other projects and competing technologies.

    Surely it wont destroy free software — but no damage?

    Free software is MS’s *stated* ‘enemy #1′ (‘biggest competitor’ in business-speak), so their only interest is to compete against it — vigorously. There may come a day when to compete they go `open source’ too, but for now — and their entire history — is driven by very aggressive tactics. They have been and continue to be convicted of anti-competitive (and illegal) behaviour. So there is plenty of reason to be wary – not just whack-o conspiratorial reasons. While BillG is anywhere near the management and Crazy Steve Ballsup is still king, at the very least.

    As for NOVL – clearly trending down (directly and vs nasdaq). Which is bad news for them, and may lead to them doing silly things.

  56. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 2:17 am



    The “sucking away resources” argument is very difficult to make. There are many examples of where free software has multiple implementations of a given piece of software – GNOME vs. XFCE being a really obvious one – and the thing is, they don’t all do the same thing, and it’s really worth having the diversity.

    Mono is encouraging a lot of interesting development in the free software world. As one great example, we now have Vala, which we didn’t have before. People who don’t like Mono have no problem with Vala, and people who want to program in a higher level language than C/C++ have a new option.

    I agree with you that it’s generating a lot of not very productive debate, though.

  57. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 25, 2008 at 6:24 am


    I would argue that the debate is not Mono’s fault, but rather the fault of the individuals who wage this debate (generally using speculation to badmouth the project) and thus the damage is not coming from Mono itself, but rather from the people who oppose it.

  58. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 6:26 am


    You mean, like Seth?


  59. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 25, 2008 at 6:39 am


    From anyone who doesn’t take the time to get all the facts, which includes Seth, yes.

    Perhaps you’ll note the disclaimer he posted at the top of his post and also the fact that his post is speculative, not fact-based. It’s a bunch of “what-if’s”.

    His only point might be the GPL problem he mentions at the bottom, but as he also mentioned, Mono is under an X11 license and so his issue does not even apply.

  60. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 6:43 am


    @Dan: it’s worth considering the fact that Seth wrote that at a time when there were more legal worries surrounding Mono; e.g., it wasn’t accepted into Red Hat/Fedora.

    The situation over the four years since that was written has changed massively. So we don’t even get to Seth’s “Act 2″:

    As the number of Mono-only features grows, Red Hat’s unwillingness to ship Mono begins affecting sales. Novell holds a competitive advantage (self-inflicted by Red Hat)

    That just hasn’t come to pass. No-one who is distributing free software is unwilling to ship Mono, so no-one is disadvantaged.

  61. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 25, 2008 at 6:50 am


    Yes, you make a good point and I agree.

  62. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:07 am


    To be fair to Seth also, he made his concerns about Mono known and then moved on. He does not continually attack Mono afaict.

  63. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:24 am


    You two seem to be enjoying this “yes man” game.

  64. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:26 am


    @Roy: defending free software isn’t a “game”.

  65. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:28 am


    Perfuming your supposition that Mono is okay, despite clear warnings from Microsoft, is not defending Free software. The mutual corroboration by you and Dan reminds me of what Linus recently called a “security circus” or “masturbating monkeys”.

  66. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:33 am


    I’m not sure that comparing Dan and myself to “masturbating monkeys” advances your arguments very far.

    Do you have anything further to contribute to the actual discussion about Mono?

  67. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:08 am


    When Seth wrote about Mono, it did not have an effect so great (as in widespread) on the desktop. Had it not been a substantiated risk, I would not spend so much time warning about it.

  68. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:21 am


    Where’s the substance? All you’ve got is theoretical (all of which is extremely unlikely to occur), nothing concrete.

  69. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:26 am


    Words are cheap, Dan. Check my past posts, which contain evidence.

  70. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:57 am


    Your previous posts have been regularly knocked down. You’ve made claims about .net in Evolution, DBUS being replaced, and numerous other articles which have been shown to be factually lacking at best.

  71. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:01 am


    You’re selectively looking at weaker claims.

  72. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:03 am


    By “selectively looking weaker claims”; I’m not sure what you mean – I am restricting myself to your posts on this website, that is true.

    Nothing you have presented thus far is even close to convincing, and the evidence against your position (free software companies happy to distribution Mono, etc.) is pretty overwhelming.

  73. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:06 am


    Here is a decent place to start.

  74. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:15 am


    No, that’s a terrible place to start. Virtually all of those articles pre-suppose that Mono is a bad thing, and document places where it is used: that’s called “begging the question” and doesn’t actually inform us as to whether or not there is a problem with Mono because of the in-built bias.

    The only “substantial” issue you’ve ever been able to raise is that your rattle Microsoft’s patent sabre for them, ignoring the fact that:

    - no distributor that I’m aware of refuses to ship Mono; including those such as Red Hat who have taken a very close look at the licensing;
    - the project actively avoids any code which could infringe someone’s patent (Microsoft or otherwise);
    - the project is protected by OIN.

    You’re asking people to believe that Mono is trouble even though those with actual legal expertise say that it’s not. I know who I choose to believe.

  75. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:25 am


    I don’t get a lot of time in the day for these kinds of debates. But who are these 2 guys, Alex and Dan, and why do they spend so much time defending/distorting/derailing the posts here?
    Let’s face it, you can prove anything you want to using data on the internet. Then this guy says that he will believe lawyers etc. etc.
    There are lawyers who defended Enron execs also. Gimme enough money, I will put up as many lawyers as you want saying the earth is flat.

    What are Eben Moglen’s view on Mono. Or Richard Stallman’s. And no, this is not some God complex. People like these are the ones who are most invested in FOSS for the right reasons. Not MS flunkies and apologists. I don’t use Mono because it fails the smell test. Because of people like DeIcaza and his beliefs. Because of people like you who for no apparant reason somehow find all the time in a day to constantly barrage down on others opinions. And because of the very fact that Novell is involved. I can see Novell following in MS’s footsteps perfectly. No innovation, just sabre rattling and FUD.

    God I wish I could be paid to troll all day long!

  76. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:26 am


    Remind yourself why Fedora made this decision.


  77. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:33 am


    What happens in Fedora is that people propose software, it’s reviewed, and if it’s ok it gets let in.

    There was a bar on Mono for a time while Red Hat’s legal people reviewed it. That bar was then lifted when they were happy with the situation.

    The default position is that free software is allowed into Fedora.

  78. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:34 am


    @HC: the only people doing software patent sabre-rattling are those trying to FUD Mono, which is a free software project.

  79. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:35 am


    That was before the deal with Novell, which gave Novell’s customers exclusive ‘protection’.

  80. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:39 am


    Given the deal doesn’t talk about non-Novell customers, etc., it’s pretty obvious why that deal doesn’t change anything from the point of view of other distros.

    What was safe before continues to be safe.

  81. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:42 am



    That’s it! No introductions. No explanations.
    So your esteem self posted just to let me know that poor Mono is under attack. Awww, I got news for you. Mono is funded by the richest corporation in the world, and supported by one of the sleaziest. So, no I don’t buy your BS.
    You got anything else or will you just post another one liner to get the last word.

  82. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:44 am


    Talk about spin, Alex.

    November 2006, interview in eWeek with Microsoft’s Bob Muglia:

    There is a substantive effort in open source to bring such an implementation of .Net to market, known as Mono and being driven by Novell, and one of the attributes of the agreement we made with Novell is that the intellectual property associated with that is available to Novell customers. But we certainly have no intention of releasing the source code to .Net to the community, but the community is free to go with Mono and enhance that and build solutions for customers.

  83. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:47 am


    @Roy: you chasten others not to believe MS spin, you would do well to heed your own advice.

    The basic fact remains, distributors do not have a problem with Mono, and they are aware of the Novell/MS deal.

    Are you saying that Red Hat is deliberately putting themselves/their users in harms way? Or that they are doing it accidentally?

  84. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:48 am


    I’m saying things have changed. Microsoft’s intentions are more transparent for all to see.

  85. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:51 am


    Nothing has changed, though. Mono doesn’t include Microsoft code, and avoids Microsoft patents. Large parts of Mono aren’t even part of the Microsoft stack, nor do they have Microsoft equivalents.

    Microsoft don’t get to say how we use free software, and they have no say in whether or not we can use Mono. It’s not in their gift.

    Free software never, ever relies on someone’s “good intentions”, whether that is Red Hat or Microsoft. Such software would not be free.

  86. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:54 am


    I refer your back to the post which summarises the issues. You dance around them with spin.

  87. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:56 am



    Its the intent. Mono is subject to MS’s whims. It will always follow the .Net implementation and cannot innovate on its own if it is to be a true implementation of .Net. That raises the question why all this effort is being made and money spent on playing Simon-sez.

    And you don’t/can’t know whether or not Mono includes MS code or if it violates MS patents. You just made that up. Or did I miss something and MS opened up its code for everyone to review?

  88. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:00 am


    “Dance around with spin”? I answered this previously; most of those links don’t address the legal issues, and the few that do just cast FUD about patents without any actual evidence.

    People with lawyers have looked at it, and are not worried about the supposed patents problem.

    It’s interesting that you don’t answer the question about Fedora.

  89. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:03 am


    @HC: actually, Mono contains substantial innovation outside the MS platform. See Cecil, for example.

    And no, I didn’t make up the code/patents stuff either. It’s Mono project policy to avoid patents, and if code were found to be infringing it would be removed and rewritten. That’s no different to any other free software project.

    And of course it doesn’t contain MS code. No-one is seriously suggesting that, not even Roy.

  90. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:09 am


    What about http://www.csharphelp.com/archives/archive74.html ?

    Also see http://boycottnovell.com/2007/12/02/patent-poison-and-gplv3/

    As Vexorian (IIRC) said, I can envision that there will be a poor man’s Mono and one you need to buy from Microsoft/Novell (for patents).

  91. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:12 am


    Ok, let’s look at those links.

    The first one is to a “Hello world” app. So, what about it – what’s the point you think it proves?

    And the second one is about how the sources were split up into modules. Again, what’s the actual point you think this makes?

  92. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:14 am


    How can you avoid patents when you don’t know what those patents are?

    Having Cecil does not change anything. It just an implementation for something on the backend. Mono’s API’s will still be dependent on the reference .Net implementation.

    And noone said Mono contains .Net code.

  93. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:14 am


    It’s about WinForm, being an example.

  94. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:19 am


    @HC: in general, free software projects will try to re-use existing software and/or copy existing techniques, as that is a relatively robust way of avoiding patents. Additionally, they will be aware of what areas Microsoft have patents relating to this system. Of course, you can’t guarantee to avoid everyone else’s, but that’s true of any software.

    I’m not sure that you understand Cecil, since its API is nothing to do with any Microsoft API.

    And in terms of including .net code, if that’s not what you were suggesting, what did you mean by:

    And you don’t/can’t know whether or not Mono includes MS code


  95. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:20 am


    @Roy: just pointing at some code and saying “Look, there!” isn’t an argument.

    Do you want to try to substantiate that a bit?

  96. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:22 am


    And in terms of including .net code

    See http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Linux-and-Open-Source/Microsofts-OpenSource-Trap-for-Mono/

  97. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:24 am


    @Roy: the Mono project explicitly excludes contributions from people who’ve seen the code.

    Are you saying that doesn’t work in practice? Or is this more Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt about the Mono project?

  98. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:26 am


    @Roy: just pointing at some code and saying “Look, there!” isn’t an argument.

    Do you want to try to substantiate that a bit?

    You said Mono folks are aware of patents. Well…


    So now not only do we have to wait for submarine patents on C# and the runtime, now they can hit us on anything in their API as well. Especially with the Novell deal, people ought to realize that MS is just waiting for a chance to use their patents against open source. This is turning a bad idea worse. Just say no to Mono.

    What do you know about WinForm and ECMA?

  99. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:29 am


    Slashdot comments aren’t evidence of anything, I can pick out plenty of pro-Mono ones as well and it doesn’t prove a thing.

    Is there a substantive point you actually want to make?

  100. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:40 am


    We’ve been through this before.

  101. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:51 am


    And you had no better evidence than a Slashdot comment back then either…

  102. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 1:21 pm


    Some things are not in ECMA and you already know it. Now that ECMA is any guarantee anyway…

  103. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm


    Rather than hand-wave again, do you want to make a specific point which can withstand some scrutiny?

    It’s easy to say “patents”, “ECMA”, “Winforms” and point at Slashdot commentary. It’s not very convincing, though.

  104. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 1:46 pm


    As I understand this, based on what I am told in IRC and based on what I see, Mono apologists love to use the ECMA standardisation (which I find meaningless) as an excuse, thinking it is a protection from software patents (it’s not). WinForm, as far as I can recall, is an example of portions that are not under ECMA’s wing, which rubbishes the “ECMA” defence.

  105. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 2:09 pm


    Well, you’re the only one mentioning ECMA in this discussion, so I’m not really sure how that applies here: you’re making a classic “straw man” argument.

    If software patents were a problem, leading free software distributors would not distribute it, there are plenty of such examples.

  106. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 2:11 pm


    Alex, not true. Mono developers use ECMA as excuse.

  107. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 2:21 pm


    Maybe they do; but they’re not here and there’s no-one putting forward that argument. By attacking it, you’re simply attacking a straw man of your own creation.

    You’re still not putting forward any argument of your own or any evidence to support it.

  108. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 2:42 pm


    I explain to you that Microsoft has so-called ‘IP’ related to .NET/Mono (only one among several issues) and tell you that a major excuse/rebuttal is “ECMA” (clarifications here), but you don’t care anyway. Your loss, I guess..

  109. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm


    A straw man is a straw man, Roy. You’re trying to propose problems by attacking an argument which no-one here is making.

    You’re still completely unable to articulate any coherent argument that Mono has problems. Meanwhile, free software distributors happily make it available.

    It’s no-one’s loss except yours, because you’re choosing to bash a free software project based on no evidence you’re able to cite.

  110. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm


    I already wrote about this subject many times and offered you an index. I’m not going to rewrite everything here in the comments.

  111. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:29 pm


    I’ve already explained what’s wrong with that index: just because you’ve managed to write a lot about it doesn’t in any way make it true.

    Much of what you’ve written is simply documenting where Mono is used, and doesn’t inform us at all about any proposed problem.

  112. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm


    You choose to ignore. I’m among those who prefer to write once and link rather than repeat later on. I’ve posted many more items with external links that corroborate. You can find them by searching.

    You’re stubborn and you don’t want to be convinced.

  113. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:40 pm


    I’m stubborn, but I’m willing to be convinced.

    I’m not willing to bash a free software project just on your say-so, Microsoft’s, or anyone else involved in Mono-bashing, though.

    You’re asking me to believe that leading projects such as Fedora, Debian, Mandriva, etc. are all distributing software which puts them in danger and puts their users in danger. I choose to believe them over you for now.

  114. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm


    Alex, I beg to differ. For example, see how Mandriva recently removed that Mono dependency from OOo.

  115. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm


    Sure. They did that so that you can install OOo without needing Mono. I applaud that. I also applaud those who make packages of OOo which don’t depend on Java runtime. I applaud both those because I have an EeePC and I don’t have the space for VM-based stuff, but I do need OOo.

    It’s pretty safe to say that they didn’t remove that package dependency over a legal issue, though. They did it as a courtesy to their users.

  116. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:59 pm


    “It’s pretty safe to say that they didn’t remove that package dependency over a legal issue, though”

    Why is it pretty safe to say that?

    Fedora is not distributing Mono because it is safe patent-wise. It is only distributing it because Mono is on the protected-patent list of OIN. So, if a dispute does arise, a company being sued will have something to defend themselves with.

  117. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm


    @HC: it’s safe to say because if it was a legal issue, they would remove the openoffice.org-mono package. Simply removing a packaging dependency doesn’t solve any legal problem.

    As for the OIN; that lends re-assurance, that is true. I’m not quite willing to believe that they’re gambling on being able to win a lawsuit, though. It wouldn’t protect them if Microsoft transferred their patent rights to a patent troll, for example.

    OIN is just added protection.

  118. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:27 pm


    And what’s the need for this protection?

  119. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm


    @HC: OIN protects a lot of projects who’ve had patent threats made against them, for example Linux.

    Virtually all of these projects have specific policies to avoid patents where they are made aware of them, so you can be relatively assured that none of them infringe patents.

    OIN is a layer extra deterrence on top of that. You can think of it like security: you don’t do one single thing, like putting up a firewall, you take many precautions like also disabling services, making sure passwords are hard to guess, etc. Having many different defences makes it much harder for you to be attacked.

  120. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:50 pm


    Love the condescending tone. So, everything is fine, but just in case, we have this extra protection here. You can’t claim that everything is 100% safe and then back up on that and say, well, just in case….

  121. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:54 pm


    I didn’t claim it was 100% safe, nothing is.

    What I am saying is that the situation with Mono is not measurably different to the situation with many other projects. Software patents threaten many free software projects.

  122. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:59 pm



    To pretty much duplicate a Microsoft framework and use it as the basis and foundation of key applications is an issue worth debating.

    I refer you back to:


    I also remind you that Microsoft needn’t take legal action. All it needs is threat and constant FUD, of which it spread some in May 2007 and never retracted since. It’s like 5 years of SCO relying on UNIX-Linux similarity (technical). It’s perceptual and it’s perpetual.

    In 2007 Microsoft barked and showed its teeth, but there was nothing OIN could do, let alone the PF. It could only punish some lousy article in BusinessWeek.

    Lastly, I remind you that technical similarities enabled (and still enable) Microsoft to do actual extortion, which the media hardly covers. It’s collecting protection money from businesses. It didn’t even need to take this to court.

  123. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm


    Exactly. And that brings into question the need for Mono in the first place. Given MS and Novell’s deal, nd its proximity to both MS and Novell, Novell being the thin end of the wedge for MS to rattle its patent sabre. That’s where the problem lies. I am not convinced Mono is even needed. And I don’t buy the “its another tool in the ecosystem” either. There’s Python, Java, Ruby, PHP which are more than sufficient for Mr. DeIcaza and his minions to have focussed their time on.

  124. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm


    @Roy: Which business, precisely, is it collecting “protection money” from? If it can do that, why is it not collecting from Red Hat, who have some of the deepest pockets?

    @HC: had Java been free software at the time, I rather suspect Mono wouldn’t have happened. However, it wasn’t. Python/Ruby/PHP aren’t really comparable, though (good tools that they are).

  125. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:08 pm


    Grasping for straws there Alex.

  126. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:14 pm



    Time for you to catch up. ;-)

    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.

  127. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:18 pm



    That article claims they’re doing it for use of Linux, not Mono.

    If companies are willing to pony up, that’s their problem. Even if Linux infringes a Microsoft patent, it could be easily pulled out and people can make use of the OIN protection to dissuade others from suing them.

  128. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:21 pm


    You’re missing the point and I suspect you might be doing this deliberately. The point was that showing similarity alone can be an aide in extortion.


  129. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:25 pm


    If I’m missing the point, it’s because you’re not stating it or it doesn’t exist. The article you linked to talked about Linux and OpenOffice.org.

    OOo is superficially similar to Office, Linux is extremely dissimilar to NT’s kernel. Similarity alone doesn’t seem to play a role.

    The real point here is, if Microsoft are doing, why on earth would you be complicit in allowing them to do so?!

    Free software projects must be protected. First, you’re getting people to stop using Mono. Next, OpenOffice.org. After that, Samba, Wine, and C++. Very soon you’ll have absolutely no software left.

    No thanks, I’ll stand up for the free software community instead.

  130. Jumping Jack said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:06 pm


    Alex, you might want to see the following article: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/25/036232

    I think you’ll find that applicable to certain people on this website ;-)

  131. HC said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:35 pm


    Or you could just watch any movie with the words Gordon Gecko, troll, slimeball etc. etc.

    I think you’ll find that applicable to certain other people on this website . See what I did there?

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