Bonum Certa Men Certa

GNOME Should Learn from Novell's Mistakes



Summary: A reader alerts us that GNOME permits the GNOME Foundation committee to have more Microsoft influence; Planet SUSE promotes .NET

IT IS bad enough that GNOME accommodated anti-Stallman people whose employers paid for a position (akin to lobbying). When these people are attacking Richard Stallman they only divide and thus harm GNOME [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], probably giving way to conscious erosion of Freedom in the project (Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza [1, 2], for example, brings Mono and Moonlight to GNOME).



It's truly like lobbying (the language of money) and one of our readers, Ziggyfish, worries slightly about the new GNOME Foundation committee (the director is from Novell). Among its members he finds Jeff Schroeder, who runs a blog about Microsoft SQL Server (blog name is "Jeff Schroeder - SQL Server and other interesting stuff"). There is also Ke Wang, whose resume says:

"06/2004 - 08/2004 Summer intern, Systems and Networking Research Group, Microsoft Research       Redmond

Mentor : Dr. John Dunagan My project: FDR - Flight Data Recorder. In this project we are trying to use black-box analysis to the persistent state changes to manage changes on a computer. Persistent state here means the registry system and file system. Our goal of this project is: given all the registry and file modification traces of some machine, we can automatically group them into meaningful groups that are corresponding to the actions happened on that machine. During the summer I've finished initial algorithm design and implemented a GUI to present results. Later we are wishing to refine it and do more experiment using more traces

[...]

Program Committee, SDM 2006. Invited as university representative to the Microsoft Professional Developers' Conference (PDC) 2001 by Microsoft Corporation."


It's hopefully pointless to be worried about it, but as time goes by, GNOME becomes less resistant to Microsoft infiltration. And the more Microsoft-sympathetic members it gains, the more receptive GNOME will become to yet more of them. That's how hostile takeovers are sometimes achieved (see Microsoft's hijack of Yahoo for starters). This afternoon, for example, having taken a look at Planet SUSE, there is a lot of Mono content in there (monodoc); Posts such as "Exporting mdoc Repositories to Microsoft XML Documentation", "Configuring the ASP.NET front-end for mdoc", "Caching mdoc's ASP.NET-generated HTML" and few others just don't pass the SUSE "smell test", do they?

Even Tux Radar (Linux Format, the magazine) has been sort of derailed in the sense that it writes about Microsoft software now, due to Mono.

If you've been following the Hudzilla Coding Academy - our free Mono and C# tutorial series - you'll be pleased to know that it's now available as a special edition magazine, on-sale worldwide and available online.


Wow. Miguel's vision of GNU/Linux. Would you like a EULA with that?

It is worth adding that Novell closed down offices across Europe last year (SUSE operations are mostly located there, unlike Mono which is centred around Boston). This was done in order to save money and have people work from home or somewhere else. Later came large-scale SUSE layoffs (or offshoring), but the Mono team was unaffected. That's the trend [1, 2, 3].

Based on this new European article, Novell is now leasing office area. Leasing, not buying. Sounds reassuring, eh?

The following companies leased office area in the complex: Javart, Bongrain, HTC, Novell, Forma Deco Art, X-press Couriers, Safira Polska, Budlex, Bueltel International Poland, Schutz Polska, M.P. Polska and the Warsaw branch office of Echo Investment.


Microsoft has a long history of turning its competitors into allies and thus eliminating competition. GNOME is hopefully smarter than Novell (which got filled with former Microsoft managers).

"We could refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop with Moonlight"

--Miguel de Icaza



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