01.02.07

More on Novell’s Mixed-Source Model

Posted in Fork, Formats, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Interoperability, Novell, Open XML, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, Red Hat at 9:48 am by Shane Coyle

Recently, it was declared that Novell is a mixed-source company, which really shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone familiar with their current product line. The fact that Novell seems to be retreating from their march towards an open-source stack is disappointing, however.

At the CITI forum, Novell South Africa Country Manager Stafford Masie shared his insight in contrasting the philosophies of Red Hat and Novell, or as he put it, “end to end open source” versus a “hybrid stack”:

We believe today alot of the open source technology has not caught up yet to enterprise customers’ needs in the security domain, management domain. Where Linux is open source, specifically Linux is completely applicable is the platform, the desktop, office productivity suite, the database, etc so there’s kinda 5 major areas where its good enough if not better than whats out there, ok? where its not there yet, Novell has proprietary technology and partners that provide 3rd party technologies to that proprietary technologies where we wrap our technologies around this Linux technology. so, like zenworks management, our zenworks management suite is a proprietary piece of technology.

During the question and answer session at the CITI forum, Masie also spoke regarding the differing “streams” of open source that Novell has as well, differentiating between Novell’s OSS and FOSS product lines, in his mind. Masie also goes to great lengths to enumerate the additional proprietary features and improvements in Novell’s version of OpenOffice.org:

but yeah- that interoperability is absolutely crucial, and one of the things that we do get slapped over the wrist with continuously is that… its the OSS debate vs the FOSS debate… Y’know, we’ve got two streams of our technology as Novell, we’ve got the FOSS stream and then we’ve got the OSS stream.

OpenSUSE is really the FOSS stream, we’ve got derivatives of every one of our Linux technologies that you can download for free, gain the source code to, participate in the community, etc but then we do certain things with those derivatives and that innovation that locks it down, makes it more interoperable, that goes through testing, quality assurance, regression testing, backwards compatibility, all that ‘stuff’ with the hardware partners and then we split out a version of it that is ‘enterprise ready’,

Now what we mean by enterprise ready is the following: that its backwards compatible so you can deploy it in a hybrid environment so different versions will work with each other, its going to work well with other operating systems, so theres some interoperability, its going to work well on that hardware, but most importantly we put things in that distribution that you as enterprise customers want.

You know what we do, we license fonts. Y’know, you can go to… there’s several font sites, I could actually go to the sites now, where you license fonts, those true-type fonts, etc. you need to license those fonts because Microsoft does the exact same thing with Office, we license that into OpenOffice – our distribution of it, our derivative of it. So, that’s something proprietary.

Graphic rendering engines, there are certain ways things get rendered in Powerpoint documents, we take some of those graphic rendering engines and embed it into ours, because if a little animation does something silly in Powerpoint, we want it.to do that something silly in OpenOffice in exactly the same way.

Then there’s third party tools like Adobe- Adobe Reader, Real Player, Macromedia’s media little player, those things are proprietary, but you want them in your distribution, why? because when that user wants to open that Powerpoint file, play that animation, click on the link let the realplayer file play, go to a website and watch that flash show properly… you want all of those little pieces in there.

Now, for some customers that feel that’s not important, well y’know, we’ve got the OpenSUSE derivatives of it, but that’s what we do with Linux. We don’t just embed things, we do add things that we believe give it more robustness but it doesnt infringe on the GPL, doesn’t infringe on any patents, etc So yeah, I think the interoperability issue from that perspective is key for enterprise customers.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2007/01/02/more-on-novells-mixed-source-model/

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

2 Comments

  1. wvhillbilly said,

    January 2, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Gravatar

    This sounds like Novell is planning on mixing proprietary code with GPL’d code. Isn’t that a violation of the GPL?

  2. Shane Coyle said,

    January 3, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Gravatar

    This sounds like Novell is planning on mixing proprietary code with GPL’d code. Isn’t that a violation of the GPL?

    Not necessarily, as I understand it anyhow.

    OOO is LGPL and therefore there is alot they can do in terms of linking proprietary code and whatnot and be able to distribute it.

    For their other stuff, like identity management or whatever, they just don’t distribute them ‘linked together’ with a GPL product. GPL is only distribution, not an EULA, users can load/run whatever they want.

    I haven’t any problem with a mixed-source approach, honestly, as long as its done right. I have a huge problem with the patent covenant license exploit that Novell and Microsoft colluded on.

What Else is New


  1. [Meme] Outsourcing Audacity Development to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Then Copying Microsoft Tactics (and 'Telemetry')

    They've had the audacity to call it "telemetry" and pretend that surveillance companies (spying giants) cannot figure out who you are based on IP addresses



  2. Links 7/5/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 156 and Diffoscope 174 Released

    Links for the day



  3. The New Microsoft? No, the New IBM.

    Microsoft GitHub and IBM: a strategic alliance between a monopolistic duo



  4. The Audacity Takeover by Muse Group is No Cause for Celebration

    Audacity is now part of an entity called Muse Group and if it doesn’t take or suck freedom out of Audacity, it will certainly deny users rather basic concepts (or anticipation) of privacy



  5. King of Linux

    If the entire operating system is being called "Linux", then we fall for a publicity or misattribution stunt



  6. The Biggest Troll is the Linux Foundation, Still Looking to Provoke and Defame Free Software Communities in Order to Help a Monopolistic Takeover and to Shoehorn Tyrants Into Leadership Positions

    Contrary to what the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is trying to say, the most toxic element is itself; it’s maligning the real community while protecting abusive and racist corporations that profit from war and tribalism-motivated hatred



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 06, 2021



  8. “The Lolita Express” and Prince Bill

    “The Lolita Express” scandals return to haunt pool old Bill, as it turns out his wife was upset and it's quite likely the reason for their divorce



  9. Links 7/5/2021: GNU/Linux Preinstalled, Plamo 7.3, LibreOffice 7.1.3

    Links for the day



  10. The Latest Reports About Bill Gates Serve to Confirm or at Least Reaffirm Many People's Suspicions

    So, just as many people suspected, Melinda Gates did not appreciate her husband sneaking behind her back to meet someone who had trafficked thousands of underage girls for sexual exploitation and there are high-profile calls right now for greater transparency, seeing the impact on the world’s biggest tax evasion vehicle



  11. Disregard Web Sites That Call Themselves 'News' and Instead Promote Proprietary Software for Companies Like Microsoft

    Publishers like IDG have long been paid-for marketing in ‘article’ clothing, sometimes with the veneer of ‘reporting’ (as if they have some inside knowledge or insight, e.g. speaking with or for the company they secretly coordinate with or market for); but sadly we’ve been seeing some so-called ‘Linux’ sites doing the same thing, in effect acting like de facto Microsoft marketers



  12. [Meme] Who Needs Examination Anyway When There's 'Hey Hi' (AI)?

    The patent production line could do away with 'pesky' and 'opinionated' examiners who actually wish to scrutinise alleged 'inventions'



  13. Europe's Second-Largest Institution Corrupting the Media and Buying Expensive Puff Pieces

    As annual reports reveal, the EPO wastes an extraordinary amount of money on reputation laundering campaigns and it pollutes the signal by paying publishers; we examine this issue using the new 'reports' shown in the video above



  14. Links 6/5/2021: Fedora’s Compiler Policy and Celemony Software GmbH Adopting Free Software

    Links for the day



  15. Free Software Proponents Don't Fall for Bullshit (Same is True for EPO Examiners)

    There are parallels between what happens in the Free Software Movement and the EPO, where well-meaning people — and usually hard-working scientists — are besieged by people who never really contributed anything to society



  16. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 05, 2021



  17. Lessons From Another Failed Coup Against the Free Software Movement

    The coup has very clearly failed and we should prepare for future attempts (they go in cycles); the monopolies really dislike software they cannot control fully (e.g. copyleft/GPL-licensed software)



  18. Links 5/5/2021: Mesa 21.1 Released and New Releases of Python

    Links for the day



  19. Links 5/5/2021: StarLabs, GNU Zile 2.6.2, Fedora i3 Spin

    Links for the day



  20. Phony 'Scandals' From Phony 'News' Site ZDNet

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet



  21. Links 5/5/2021: Windows Security Breaches and GNU Pokology Launched

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 04, 2021



  23. Links 4/5/2021: Taiwins 0.3, KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released

    Links for the day



  24. EPO Already Wasting Money on Media Manipulation Campaigns for European Inventor Award

    An online-only European Inventor Award 'event' is being used as a pretext/excuse to flood European publishers with money they can rightly perceive as 'hush money'; everyone out there with no spine would likely buckle at the sight of EPO euros and just produce mindless puff pieces that serve to distract from EPO corruption



  25. The Timing of This Melinda Gates Tweet Was Always Curious...

    Remarking on her trip to Africa, where the Gates family lobbies for monopolies on seeds (for profit or course, notably through Monsanto/Bayer, which the Gates family heavily invests in), she posted pure fluff and old photos. And it’s hard to believe she had nothing better to do at the time (better than such nostalgia). As we noted last year: “The above tweet of a beach was posted [by Melinda Gates] on the date of the arrest/search of their employee, who was at their residence at the time.” He was arrested around the very same time this tweet was posted. As we wrote last year (based on detailed documents obtained from the police department): “This tweet was posted 2 hours and 40 minutes after the door was breached and incriminating evidence collected.” He was arrested later that morning at the mansion of Bill and Melinda Gates (the police records contain detailed timelines to confirm the chronology). Melinda’s first name was also in the CP 'stash'.



  26. Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill's Crimes

    The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 03, 2021



  28. EPO Disregards Animal Welfare

    An often overlooked issue surrounding the second-largest institution in Europe is its impact on millions if not billions of animals; there's ongoing research into that



  29. Links 3/5/2021: Sparky 5.15, Bill Gates Divorce, Netflix Fraud

    Links for the day



  30. Links 3/5/2021: New in OpenBSD 6.9 and Audacity Acquired By Muse Group

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts