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OpenSUSE Has New Trademark Problem and Delay

Posted in GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, OpenSUSE at 1:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Effect pedal

Summary: Smeegol has problems with the name and Milestone 3 of OpenSUSE 11.4 gets delayed as the project as a whole slows down

REMEMBER OpenSUSE? It’s that Novell product which people no longer hear so much about anymore. It used to be covered regularly, but now there just isn’t enough news with which to do so. Looking at the past fortnight, however, there is this one scandal around Smeegol 1.0, which was reviewed here:

Smeegol 1.0 distribution quite similar to Meego distribution which built by combining between Moblin and Maemo. OpenSUSE goblin team announced Smeegol 1.0 release, OpenSUSE based distribution, using Meego user interface. Comes with a really big software collection and most of them up to date including internet application, multimedia application, social media application, and many applications will mention it on the review.

We wrote about Smeegol in [1, 2, 3] and there is a feud about the name as the “Linux Foundation rules against use of the Smeegol name”:

After its October 6th release, the Smeegol project (an openSUSE interpretation of MeeGo, which we reported on), has been told by the Linux Foundation that it must find a new name. In a reply to the project, the Linux Foundation said the project’s use of the Smeegol name would not beneficial to MeeGo. Read on for more details.

Unsurprisingly, there has been some consternation among the Smeegol community about this. There is thus resistence to change the Smeegol name, which has partly been fueld by the timing of communications.

Andrew Waffa initially contacted the Linux Foundation (via the gmane.comp.handhelds.meego.devel newsgroup) on behalf of the Smeegol project on the 20th of September, 16 days ahead of Smeegol’s official release.

What will Mr. Waffa do? He was presenting Smeegol at the OSC, which is the annual OpenSUSE Conference:

Wednesday at the conference, Smeegol master Andrew “Funkypenguin” Wafaa was given the stage by Michael Meeks who was supposed to talk about MeeGo. Meeks claimed that he’d rather have someone on the stage who actually knew what he was talking about, hence Andrew had to explain himself to the audience.

Will Smeegol be renamed/rebranded?

OpenSUSE has been having a hard time attracting new people and Novell tries to use money in desperate attempts to attract more people to Novell appliances. It’s attracting them using prizes which Linux Foundation marketing staff then advertises :

Bowen: The chance to win $10,000 has attracted many entrants. Of the 900 appliances that have been published to SUSE Gallery, a couple of interesting ones involve social media…

OpenSUSE Invis Server is said to be one new flavour of OpenSUSE:

As a result we decided to found the openSUSE Invis Project. The idea is to create an openSUSE Distribution flavor with solid packages coming from openSUSE Factory together with some specifically packaged sources ready to power the Invis Server. The openSUSE Buildservice will be used to build the needed packages and create the product images. The first tasks will be to clean up the package list and do some packaging to be able to create a convenient openSUSE-Invis CD.

Going back to the OpenSUSE Conference (OSC), Jos Poortvliet keeps a positive attitude about it (here is his OpenSUSE talk), calling it a “big success” (as a Novell employee he is biased) and Novell’s PR staff writes about that too. Novell has an overly optimistic outlook given that SUSE is up for sale. “We’re already excited for next year! So, stay tuned for updates on dates and locations for 2011,” they say.

Other than technical posts and some more coverage of OpenSUSE Build Service 2.1 (e.g. [1, 2]), there are new Mozilla vulnerabilities in OpenSUSE being reported [[1, 2]. There are also new releases of OpenSUSE Weekly News (issue number 145, 146, 147, and 148) and saddening news about release delays in the project.

While it is unlikely that this will cause any disruption to the current release schedule for openSUSE 11.4, it’s certainly something to keep an eye on if you’re a big fan of fancy graphics and effects with KDE.

“Election season in the openSUSE Project is just around the corner,” says the project’s (product) Web site. Novell will keep control of this product, as usual. The elections just make it look more independent.

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