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 United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism<



  2. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  3. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  4. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  5. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  6. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  7. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  8. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  9. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  10. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  11. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  12. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  13. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  14. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  15. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  16. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  17. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  18. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  19. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  20. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  21. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools



  22. Bill Gates Investments Harm the World, Not Improve the World, Based on New Exclusive Piece of Investigative Journalism at The Nation

    The Gates Foundation's profiteering efforts and lack of ethics outlined in a new report that many sites around the Web find fascinating and mostly irrefutable



  23. Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

    Links for the day



  24. Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

    Torvalds' latest talk which got media attention earlier this month



  25. Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

    Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition



  26. Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over



  27. New Lies About Microsoft 'Privacy' and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From 'Former' Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

    More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft



  28. Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

    Links for the day



  29. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  30. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)


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