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In the News: FUD, VB, and the FSF

Posted in FSF, Intellectual Monopoly, Mono, Novell, Steve Ballmer at 9:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

At risk of generalisation, Novell is currently in hot waters over Microsoft’s most recent threats, issued to scare Linux distributors. Novell is being used to empower Microsoft’s arguments.

Meanwhile, Novell boasts cashing in on what appears to be old technology and some further work on Visual Basic under Linux, which is seen as controversial by some.

C|Net has just hosted an anti-FSF column. The delivery of the message, which puts the label “religion” on the FSF, is courtesy of the “Progress & Freedom Foundation”, whatever it may be and whatever they mean by “progress”. They are a Microsoft front.

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  1. Stephen said,

    February 22, 2007 at 5:48 pm


    The old technology you point out is Zenworks and Identity management. It’s nothing to do with Linux directly – or is Novell now just a big ‘ol target anyway because of the perception of a GPL transgression (not that Zen or Identity were ever under GPL)?

    Although VBA support is seen a controversial by some (perhaps because it endorses a Microsoft technology), it’s one of the major impediments to a large scale migration in the enterprise from MS office to OOo (well, that and pivot tables too!)

    The PFF thing is funny and reminds me of Monty Python’s, The Life of Brian (the Judaen people’s front piece). I agree, it smacks of a front (but not Judaen!).

  2. Ian said,

    February 22, 2007 at 11:28 pm


    Old? IDM, Zen, and eDirectory are considered as old as Hula is a competitor to Exchange. Or in other words, not. Mature yes, old no.

    Novell deserves to be ripped for some things, but if you’re trying to be a serious website and not a classic example of a pure FUD(I hate that word, but I couldn’t think of anything else) site, I suggest you might want to try posting with an even hand and maybe even doing a bit of research before you post some of these bits of “news”.


    “Although VBA support is seen a controversial by some (perhaps because it endorses a Microsoft technology)”

    It’s probable. However, nobody seems to piss and moan about Samba’s continued support of Microsoft’s SMB/CIFS server protocols. I’ve been asking plenty of people where the difference is and nobody seems to give a good answer.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2007 at 1:49 am



    The misleading words were noted. When writing this, Novell’s direction which sets focus on Linux and Open Source (appended to all their press releases) was what I had in mind. A more accurate way of phrasing it would be “non-Linux/OSS technology”, I suppose. Thanks for the correction.

  4. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    February 23, 2007 at 9:51 am


    To Roy who posted a link to this : http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070220/sftu010.html?.v=79, I’d like to remind you that the Visual Basic being referred to and VBA are two different things.

    VBA is a combination of 1) subset of classic VB, whose run-time and IDE is proprietary (the IDE is licensed by Microsoft for 150,000$ a year), 2) an associated product’s object model as in “VBA for Excel” which allows to use variables such as ThisDocument with meaning, and a full COM-based object model of the associated application (the Excel’s COM-based object model is a decade old, very rich).

    In addition, VBA can run ActiveX, OLE and a number of other Windows-only technologies.

    Mono’s support for VB is actually an IDE support and a JIT compiler for Microsoft’s VB.NET, a programming language which looks like classic VB but whose object lifecycle cannot be compared at all (that’s why migrating a classic VB app to a VB.NET app is guaranteed to fail).

    My 2 cents.

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