Summary: SUSE the Attachmate-run company — just like Mono company Xamarin — is a liability to GNU/Linux and support of both should be questioned for the negative consequences associated with patents and dependence on Microsoft
CONSIDERING all the distributions people can choose to support, we are unable to understand why some folks choose to help Xamarin (still occupied with proprietary stuff) and SUSE, which recently hooked up with Xamarin and then with Microsoft (through a patent deal). SUSE has begun allocating slots for presentation where volunteers provide the content and SUSE reaps the benefits. Yes, that is right. SUSE, which helps Microsoft tax GNU/Linux, looks for free labour (e.g. people to help build the site, create artworks and graphics, and promote the distribution). Some people even prepare for benchmarks, which is a laborious process if a framework does not already exist. Quoting this one new example:
The sources for the benchmark are now on gitorious, and the Wiki entry describes its usage. It’s currently somewhat tailored to SLE11SP1, so you might run into minor issues when running it on a different OS version. And of course, it’s not very polished yet .
It makes no sense to support SUSE at this stage. It helps Microsoft. Google used to allocate some funds to SUSE projects, but should it still do this now that it is under patent attacks from Microsoft? Attacks which were legitimised by Novell and the deal it recently signed with SUSE? There is apparently Google-funded code in SUSE (Marcus’ definitely is [1, 2], as well as others’). There is no doubt that some people feel like part of the (Open)SUSE community, but the project is no longer the same. It is not even managed by the same people. Volunteers would be better off helping distributions not under Microsoft’s control and Google would be better off allocating funds to those distributions too.
“Volunteers would be better off helping distributions not under Microsoft’s control and Google would be better off allocating funds to those distributions too.”The only good thing that Novell still does is that it fights SCO in court, albeit for its own interests that may leave UNIX in the hands of Attachment, potentially to be passed on to hostile hands. Pamela Jones does not expect SCO to last for much longer. She writes:
This is the SCO carcass, and the buzzards are picking the bones.
It isn’t every day, though, that you hear a lawyer tell a court that it would be unquestionably illegal to approve a proposed deal, but that happened that day. And yet the judge approved it anyway.
To borrow Groklaw’s words, Novell too is a “carcass, and the buzzards are picking the bones.” SUSE does not deserve anyone’s support anymore, except Microsoft. █
“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”
–LinuxToday Managing Editor