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Linux Foundation Detoxicated — Slightly — from Novell Influence

Posted in Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, OSDL at 7:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Out goes Rex, in comes Ted

Not so long ago it was Mozilla that got ‘detoxicated’. Novell’s harmful relationship with the Linux Foundation (LF) is something that we remarked on before [1, 2, 3, 4]. By association, the LF with Novell is an open(er) door to Microsoft, which is a partner/ally of one of its funding sources. There are other examples, e.g. Intel, but it does not come quite so close.

Either way, things are changing for the better. Here is a press release about the departure of Markus Rex from the Linux Foundation. He’s going back to Novell, where he was still partly involved. His ‘inauguration’ we mentioned here and here.

Matt Asay changed his headline from “Novell gets a new/old Linux chief” to “Novell’s new Linux chief has Suse history.” It’s possible that someone from Novell, his former employer, sent him E-mails ‘behind the scenes’ again (the original headline made it sound like Markus is “old”) [correction in the comments]. Anyway, here is his coverage.

Markus Rex, formerly the chief technology officer of Suse and currently on leave from Novell, is back in the saddle as acting general manager and senior vice president of Novell’s Open Platform Solutions business unit, reporting to Novell CTO Jeff Jaffe, as Novell announced Monday.

Some more details

Novell has announced two new executive appointments that it said will strengthen its focus on cross-platform solutions and the SUSE Linux Enterprise market.

The company has appointed Roger Levy as senior vice president of strategic development, responsible for cross business unit strategy and offerings for the data center, end-user computing, and identity and security management markets. Prior to his new role, he was general manager and senior vice president of the company’s Open Platform Solutions unit.

Markus Rex, who is currently on leave from the company as CTO to the Linux Foundation, will take over as acting GM and SVP of the OPS unit. He joined Novell in 2004 when it acquired SUSE Linux, and has served as GM for SUSE Linux and CTO for the OPS unit.

So who will inherit his place? A short while ago it was announced that it would be Ted (also appearing here and here).

Ts’o will be replacing Markus Rex as CTO of the Linux Foundation. Rex was on loan to the Foundation from his employer Novell. He recently returned to Novell to work as the acting general manager and senior vice president of Novell’s OPS business unit.

IDG has covered this.

The Linux Foundation has selected a new CTO, Ted Ts’o, who has been known as the first North American developer of the Linux kernel, the foundation said on Thursday.

This is good news for the Linux Foundation and GNU/Linux as a whole. Ts’o is one of the first contributors to Linux.

Ted Ts'o
Ted Ts’o

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  1. Dan O'Brian said,

    December 19, 2008 at 9:35 am


    Matt Asay changed his headline from “Novell gets a new/old Linux chief” to “Novell’s new Linux chief has Suse history.” It’s possible that someone from Novell, his former employer, sent him E-mails ‘behind the scenes’ again (the original headline made it sound like Markus is “old”).

    You could just ask Matt Asay if this is true or not, rather than trying to spread FUD via your typical shady practices.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2008 at 9:41 am


    I’ve just asked.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2008 at 10:09 am


    This was changed by the editors of CNET, he says.

  4. Dan O'Brian said,

    December 19, 2008 at 10:18 am


    So then he wasn’t pressured by Novell. Perhaps you can fix your statement then.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2008 at 10:43 am


    It’s a suggestion, not a statement, and it’s debunked here in the comments.

  6. Dan O'Brian said,

    December 19, 2008 at 11:04 am


    It’s an inaccurate statement that warrants correction.

    Or is it your hope that people read it in the article and skip over the comments where it was debunked?

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2008 at 11:06 am


    It’s not an article. Stop heckling.

  8. Dan O'Brian said,

    December 19, 2008 at 11:08 am


    Uh huh, I see. Well, how about not making false accusations in the future? Then I wouldn’t have to “heckle” you.

  9. AlexH said,

    December 19, 2008 at 11:40 am


    @Dan: we’ve learned previously that the accuracy of what’s posted is irrelevant. It’s the conclusion that matters, and anything else is nitpicking and/or shooting the messenger.

  10. Jo Shields said,

    December 19, 2008 at 11:44 am


    Isn’t that the difference between real sites and BN? Rather than citing facts and letting people draw conclusions, BN cites conclusions & hopes people make up facts to fill in?

  11. AlexH said,

    December 19, 2008 at 12:40 pm


    Well, I’m not sure on what basis BN “isn’t real” :)

    I think the issue here is that amongst the small percentage of very good stories which appear here, there is a maelstrom of badly referenced rubbished.

    It doesn’t appear to be hard – to my mind, anyway – to remove the fiction without getting rid of the stuff which actually does have merit (e.g., the patent moves in Europe).

  12. jo Shields said,

    December 19, 2008 at 1:25 pm


    It doesn’t appear to be hard – to my mind, anyway – to remove the fiction without getting rid of the stuff which actually does have merit (e.g., the patent moves in Europe).

    Absolutely – but not under the heading of “Boycott Novell” surely? At that point it’s another “No more swpatents plz” site. Not that you can have too many of those. Not that BN has much to do with Novell that isn’t fabricated.

  13. AlexH said,

    December 19, 2008 at 2:41 pm


    Well. I don’t find it impossible that Novell could do something injurious to the community, and (for example) if they were licensing Microsoft patents that would be hugely problematic.

    And I find their Moonlight player problematic as well: if Fedora are not willing to include that in their distribution, that’s worrying.

    So it’s not like there aren’t issues which need to be addressed. But these are needles in a haystack of “ZOMG Novell videos on Youtube!” and crass stories on GNOME, Ubuntu, etc.

    What is plainly also clear is that the people running this site don’t have any interest in actually solving the problems, they’re just hoping Novell are going to somehow disappear at some point.

  14. jo Shields said,

    December 19, 2008 at 3:02 pm


    What is plainly also clear is that the people running this site don’t have any interest in actually solving the problems,


    they’re just hoping Novell are going to somehow disappear at some point.

    I wonder who they’ll move on to assassinating next if that happens

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2008 at 4:10 pm


    You’re like a group of gremlins, aren’t you? Either way, I was at a Christmas party and you left a mess here while I was absent.

  16. AlexH said,

    December 19, 2008 at 4:47 pm


    Resorting to calling people names is generally a sure sign of having lost the argument on the facts.

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm


    No, I just don’t have the time to respond to all this. I’m still just catching up.

  18. AlexH said,

    December 19, 2008 at 5:04 pm


    Time enough for some name-calling, though.

    But not enough time to fix the blog post above which is still making nonsense suggestions shown to be false.

    Priorities, priorities…

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2008 at 5:08 pm


    I’ll change that.

  20. AlexH said,

    December 19, 2008 at 5:14 pm


    Thank you.

  21. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2008 at 5:20 pm


    I have no problem at all with you guys as this is not related directly to Novell’s decisions that I disagree with. It’s just that your comments are a constant stream of nothing but criticism. You pick small bits of much larger posts and take them apart.

  22. AlexH said,

    December 19, 2008 at 6:36 pm


    That’s your opinion. From this perspective the evidence you present often doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny, and the whole post falls down like a stack of cards. When you’re making accusations against companies / projects / people, it’s only fair to be accurate.

  23. Josh Bell said,

    December 19, 2008 at 9:15 pm



    Isn’t that exactly what you do? You take a large piece of an article, look for the small piece that fits your ideals and then post that part. When your post is scrutinized and rebutted you call us hecklers. As I have said before, you have every right to voice your displeasure with Novell but you can’t just make things up or take things out of context and not expect people to rebut your arguments.

  24. Matt Asay said,

    December 20, 2008 at 8:16 pm


    Roy pinged me to ask why I had changed the headline. As I explained to him, and as he notes above, CNET changed the headline, as it sometimes does. I don’t know the rhyme or reason for why its editors change my headlines – sometimes my headlines are too long, sometimes not really accurate, etc. – but in this case, CNET changed the headline, not me. I haven’t been pressured by Novell – ever – though a year or two ago Novell was kind enough to take time to talk me through its position.

    I still fundamentally disagree with Novell on some of the the things it has done (e.g., the patent covenant with Microsoft), but I think it’s getting better, and I believe some other things that it is doing are truly positive developments (like the opening up of the openSUSE development process).

    In short, I’ve become more open to Novell’s perspective, but not due to any pressure.

    That said, I *do* appreciate Roy’s perspective, even when I strongly disagree with his conclusions. It’s important to hear all sides. Including Microsoft’s. Including Roy’s. That’s how we figure out what’s right: the thing that makes sense after hearing all sides is truth.

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