Bonum Certa Men Certa

FOSS DEMonstration Against Novell

FOSDEM sponsorships
ORLY? Novell?!?!



This post addresses an ongoing problem that we've already covered in:





Novell is almost a proponent and also a vendor of software patents, judging by its own words and also its deeds. So what's the deal with Novell being a main sponsor -- one among only two -- of a European conferences that concentrates on Free/open source software? Novell's open source side of business accounts for under 20% of its overall identity, based on some estimates and criteria. O'Reilly is a separate issue that we won't tackle this time around, but it's pro SaaS and use of Free software, which is not the same as contribution.

“Novell's open source side of business accounts for under 20% of its overall identity, based on some estimates and criteria.”"[This event] is taken by FOSDEM crooks," tells us one person. And in response to Rui's letter, off come some gloves at Philip Paeps' blog. Michael Douglas writes: "Your pathetic excuses to ban Novell from contributing to FOSDEM only goes to show how childish you and the rest of the BoycottNovellers actually are, throwing temper tantrums whenever you don't get your way."

This is an ad hominem attack that targets people using labels such as "childish", "kids", "brats", "angry", "zealots" and so on and so forth. Labels are cheap [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], explanations are not.

This troubling situation has already escalated to ComputerWorld and we heard that Slashdot or Richard Stallman might have something to say on the issue too.

“Free software” or “open source”? It's a perennial question that has provoked a thousand flame wars. Normally, the factions supporting each label and its associated theoretical baggage manage to work alongside each other for the collective good with only a minimal amount of friction. But occasionally, the sparks begin to fly, and tempers rise. I think we're in for another bout of this particular fever.


Glyn Moody wants no involvement in such arguments, but it would be interesting to see how FOSDEM justifies giving special treatment (return for investment) to Novell, which says outrageous things like "intellectual property peace of mind" (re: Free software, 'thanks' to Microsoft "patent royalties", paid through vouchers to Microsoft).

Peace of mind



"I've heard from Novell sales representatives that Microsoft sales executives have started calling the Suse Linux Enterprise Server coupons "royalty payments"..."

--Matt Asay, April 21st, 2008

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