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Novell Market Start is Virtually Dead; Novell’s Meeks Disses JavaFX, OpenSUSE 11.2 is Broken

Posted in GNOME, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, Oracle, Red Hat, RHX, SUN at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A bunch of bad news for Novell, brought together under one roof

Market Start Ending

Sean Michael Kerner seemingly declares death for Novell Market Start in this new article about a particular business model which failed not only in Red Hat’s case; Novell too never saw it taking off.

In 2007, Red Hat launched an effort called the Red Hat Exchange (RHX), a marketplace for selling open source solutions from Red Hat’s partners. RHX was in part Red Hat’s response to competitive pressure from the Novell Market Start program.

Now in 2010, neither of those sales programs is still operational.

This is okay. Free software is operational and obtainable even without centralisation under another umbrella which is a company. We wrote about Novell Market Start in [1, 2, 3].

Adding Insult to Injury

Novell has already injured Sun’s/Oracle’s OpenOffice.org and now there’s this in the news:

Michael Meeks, the Novell Inc. developer who launched the Go-OO branch of OpenOffice.org, is pessimistic about JavaFX, saying its semi-proprietary licensing is an obstacle for the open-source app, and it poses other technical problems.

That sounds like a better description for Mono and Moonlight.

Meeks puts the demands of his employer before personal responsibility as a GNOME hacker and he is responsible for forking OpenOffice.org, a move which was unhelpful [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. In the next post we will show that Novell aggressively promotes .NET, which competes against Java. We will also show that Novell is a big fan of Silverlight developers, to whom JavaFX is a direct threat.

Locked In

According to this report from Heise/The H, screen lock functionality in OpenSUSE/GNOME is inherently broken and the problem gets confirmed.

The screen lock of openSUSE 11.2 can be bypassed by the simplest of means. A reader’s report prompted The H’s associates at heise Security to investigate. Tests confirmed that a locked desktop session can be unlocked without password by holding down the return key. This causes the GNOME screen saver to crash and unlock the desktop after only a few seconds.

The problem may reside upstream, but this report names OpenSUSE as the problem. Maybe it’s because only tests on this one distribution could be established to confirm the troubling behaviour.

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