Bonum Certa Men Certa

Stop Press: Novell Critics Are Not Religious Fanatics

Shock, horror!

SUSE sites and blogs are always a tad suspicious because Novell has its share of boosters [1, 2]. Here is a revealing new confession from the community leader of OpenSUSE, who is also a paid booster with some blogs (Microsoft has some too [1, 2]).

With open source projects, every contributor and every user is a potential source and they don’t have to be vetted by corporate PR first. For instance, with the openSUSE Project we have had board members and other contributors and users quoted (and blogging) about openSUSE and will again in the future.

It was a little amusing to find this Novell-sympathetic post in a blog which sports OpenSUSE banners. It praises Novell for contributions, starting with Poisonware like Mono and Moonlight. This is reminiscent of Crismon's blog, which clogs up some social networking sites with Novell/SUSE 'marketing'.

“A word like "crusade" (religious connotation) is an insult to those who defend their rights and basic freedom.”Back to that first blog, there is another new rant there which defends Novell from 'crusaders'.

A word like "crusade" (religious connotation) is an insult to those who defend their rights and basic freedom. It's not a case against Microsoft either, but Microsoft happens to be the company that attacks digital Freedom the most, whereas others giants like IBM and Sun try to live in harmony with it and even embrace some of it. Since when are activists for freedom "crusaders"?

Were women who fought for equality "crusaders"? Did they carry a cross?

Did people who fight against slavery do something 'religious'? That's the crux of the matter.

Are people who (still) fight for racial equality do it on grounds of religion or based on descent?

So please... enough with words like "zealots", "crusaders" and "fanatics" to marginalise those whom you disagree with. Fighting with labels is easy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Microsoft and the MAFIAA (daemonisation name) have their reasons for calling customers "pirates" and naming kill switches "Genuine Advantage". There are many examples just like that ("trusted computing", "digital rights management" and so forth).

Debate with messages, not with words.

Knight with armor

"A Jihad is a road trip. in which an evangelist visits a large number of ISVs one-on-one to convince them to take some specific action. The classic Jihad is one focused on getting Tier A ISVs to commit to supporting a given technology by signing the technology's Letter of Agreement (LOA - see above).

"A Jihad focuses on the Travelling Salesman aspect of evangelism. As in sales, the purpose of the exercise is to close – to get the mark the ISV to sign on the dotted line, in pen, irrevocably. Not to get back to us later, not to talk to the wife about it, not to enter a three-day cooling-off period, but to get the ISV to sign, sign, sign."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]


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