EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.04.11

OpenSUSE’s Future is Doubted Even by OpenSUSE Sympathisers

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stars and Christmas tree

Summary: OpenSUSE critics from the project’s own base of supporters are coming out voicing their discomforting opinions

SUSE means a lot to me historically. It has always been one of the leading distributions, but when Novell liaised with Microsoft its reputation took a tumble. There is not so much news about OpenSUSE anymore. Sure, there is still the occasional security alert, the Weekly News (in need of writers), and an attempt to fill up the vacuum left by departing members. Many people seem to be leaving the core of the project, not just as users.

Groklaw worries about Novell’s betrayal and worries for OpenSUSE’s future [1, 2, 3]; it’s about user confidence, which is being lost in this Novell aftermath. Today Groklaw warns about OpenSUSE’s foundation and to quote some portions from a very long post:

Wikipedia’s page on the OpenSUSE Project says it’s sponsored by Novell, AMD and IP Exchange, not just Novell, and OpenSUSE’s sponsor page confirms those three and adds B1 Systems GmbH as another. Then there’s the community of programmers that develop and maintain the project, judging by this OpenSUSE development page, which says “the openSUSE distribution … consists of around 3500 applications, libraries and utilities. All of them are cared-for by openSUSE Package Maintainers who integrate, polish, update and maintain them. Maintaining packages is the bread and butter development task that is done in the openSUSE project.”

So why is the trademark Novell’s alone?

It doesn’t feel right, does it, when you look at it like that? My point is, there’s more than one stakeholder in the OpenSUSE foundation being set up, and you’ll see that discussed in the log. Trademarks have economic value, and if the community is helping in building that value, I think it’s logical that they should gain a share of ownership rights so as to get some share in that value and some say in what happens with the trademark.

[...]

Don’t be fooled by who from the community signs up with the foundation or think you can rely on them to play fair with you. No matter who the foundation hires or puts on a committee, nothing changes with regard to developers. You have to look out for your own interests. Microsoft has buckets of money. The staff are paid. You are not, so your interests and the corporate and hired interests are not identical, even if they are really nice guys. So keep your guard up, read the bylaws, and notice the licenses that a foundation is using too. If the license allows for taking the code proprietary, as per the Apache License (they call it “keeping your modifications secret”, which is allowed by the license), then it’s maybe Open Source but not Free Software in the sense that the GPL guarantees. It means there is no guarantee that modifications to the code will remain free. That’s why Oracle turns red at the thought of the Apache License on Java, I would imagine.

About a month ago there were signs of progress amid release delays (affecting the milestones even after Novell had slowed down release pace):

openSUSE 11.4 has feature freeze with Milestone 5 to be published on December 16th. So, it’s too late for a full review of all 11.4 features in time – and thus the team will only a review and push a few features.

Novell is reaching out to the community with a new survey. While some users like Dedoimedo and Andy still write about OpenSUSE, it sure seems like the community once fostered by Novell keeps slipping away and a longtime supporter of OpenSUSE makes predictions for 2011, claiming that “OpenSUSE will die”:

openSUSE will die. Or at least as we know it. Attachmate is still beholden to Microsoft for helping them come up with cash to purchase Novell. MS did not do this so that Attachmate could continue developing openSUSE. So what I see is openSUSE being put to rest by Attachmate and a spin off will be created by freelance open source developers.

Another person who supported OpenSUSE (Brian Proffitt) is as sceptical as us about AttachMSFT’s poor assurance. In his summary he claims: “One-on-one interview confirms fates of SUSE Linux, openSUSE tied together.”

Yes, it seems like AttachMSFT might do with OpenSUSE what Xandros did with Linspire and Freespire, in due course.

It is sad to see all of this. Important projects suffer, whereas unwanted projects like Mono and Moonlight are still around. Here we have a new post about a Mono program from Novell and an overly optimistic roundup of 2010 from the OpenSUSE Web site. “Integration with Banshee” (Novell projects that’s a no-no) is shown as something positive there. If OpenSUSE considers .NET to be a selling point, then maybe the demise of OpenSUSE won’t be all that terrible after all.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts