Changelog: FSF, SFLC, OOXML, and Questions to Mark Shuttleworth

Posted in Boycott Novell, GPL, Interview, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Site News, Ubuntu, Videos at 3:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FSF has mercy…

Viciousness (on the licensing side) didn’t prevent Novell from being reluctantly jubilant at the end. The following bit is quite quote-worthy:

When Stallman released the final draft of GPLv3 on June 1, he told me he had decided to include a cut-off date in paragraph 7 of section 11 of the draft to make it possible for Novell to continue to distribute software covered under GPLv3 as part of its deal with Microsoft. In other words, the man was being merciful to a company which has sought to pervert the GPL.

Moglen’s latest public talk…

You can watch Eben Moglen’s talk which he gave just days ago. Proprietary and patent-encumbered codecs are seemingly needed. Some transcripts can be found in Groklaw.

OOXML and blogs…

This isn’t the first time that I see what appears to be a pro-OOXML blog. Why would a blogger promote lockin? Microsoft has already been caught using astroturf-type tactics to promote document format monoculture where Microsoft always takes the lead. Examples include paid-for Wikipedia edits, starting a petition in favour of OOXML, calling business to support OOXML at massive scale (phonecalls and E-mails), and even setting up pro-OOXML Web sites which pretend to be Microsoft-independent. Let’s not even mention the stuff they do on the ‘political’ side.

Mark Shuttleworth interview questions…

We received a large number of questions not only in this Web site, but also in a few others (which linked to us). I have assembled them all together (no legitimate questions were left out). Since Mark is traveling and his time is limited, I worry that not all questions can be answered. I fear that altogether excluding some of them would be unproductive and even offensive to readers. I might sent him a subset of these questions and let him answer only the ones he feels most comfortable with (and has time to address).

Novell Sets Focus on .NET

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Windows at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Development at Novell continues to be very vibrant. We mentioned Novell’s Hack Week only briefly on Saturday, but it is now over.

It is always great to see development marathons, but one thing that stands out is development with Mono, whose increasing role and presence in Novell’s Linux has become worrisome if all factors are considered. To Novell, .NET might seem ‘safe’ because it pay Microsoft, but some other distributors consider Mono a no-go area.

In any event, one of the fruits of Hack Week are Mono desklets, which make use of Microsoft-patented technology.

The Mono project team created a desktop widgets environment similar to SuperKaramba or gDesklets. While in early development the C# based project has interesting features like running separate or combined sandboxes.

Not everyone is happy with the isolated moves towards Mono. To quote an example that we have not mentioned in the past:

You can call it FUD, but for me it’s a question of investing my time and energy in technology that are and will be available on the platforms I use (Mac OS X and Linux). I don’t trust Microsoft and I don’t trust Novell anymore either. Who knows when Microsoft will bring out it’s (sic) patents and kill Mono use outside of Novell? I think .NET is good if you want to develop for Windows only. For cross platform development I would not use it – I would go for Java.

Say No to Mono
Welcoming developers from the ‘Windows world’ is one thing. Introducing youngsters to languages that are not platform-agnostic is another. The mind finds no comfort in Novell’s .NET education for young programmers where “The ultimate goal of the series is to give students a solid grounding in programming using the Mono/C# framework“. Novell’s top priority ought to be languages that are not Free software-hostile. Why introduce fresh minds to this trap instead of giving them free tools and freely-transferable skills?

Sun Sticks to CDDL’d OpenSolaris (For Now)

Posted in CDDL, GPL, SUN, UNIX at 1:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Sun-GPL saga continues. As you may recall, Sun has some interest in GPLv3 as a competitive differentiator and its choice of a licence could also affect the licence of the Linux kernel. Yesterday, Dana Gardner came out with a word on Sun’s latest stance on licences.

Sun demurs from adopting GPL v3 for OpenSolaris, keeps CDDL only


On the other hand, there may be highly positive long-term effects that protect users, build bridges to the Apache community, close patent infringement loopholes (you know what I mean), and that bring more low-risk open source use to more organizations (and spur them on as contributors) in a mission critical sense. Sun should be for that, no? But here’s where they are at…

Dana quotes some relevant new E-mails that shed more light. The day before that, PCWorld published another article on the matter, but it remained quite inconclusive.

Sun CEO Mum on GPLv3, Reveals Licensing Hopes


Then he added, “One of my great fantasies in life is that the number of people with opinions on open source licenses will come roughly into balance with the number of people who have read them.”

It will very interesting to see where (and when) Sun adopts GPLv3.

Related old articles:

Hypocrisy Defined: Microsoft Sponsors Initiative Againt ‘Junk Patents’

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents at 1:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

O’Reilly Radar presents a short overview that takes a look Peer-to-Patent. It is a project which is intended to make patent trolling a thing of the past, among other things. Isn’t it surprising that we find Microsoft among the sponsors? That is the very same company that is said to hijack Linux conferences, then changing their agenda through sponsorship. Like many things — conferences, panels, and programmes included — everything is driven by money, not rationale. Looking closely at this item we find the following argument:

I was impressed to see the list of corporate sponsors (see the logos below). There are some pretty big names there. It’s unsurprising given the rise of technology-licensing companies like Acacia. The bigger companies have the most to lose when it comes to patent lawsuits.

I could not disagree more. Large companies sponsor Peer-to-Patent because they have cash to spare, not because they are the primary target and victim. We already know that small companies fall victim to lobbying and threats from the large companies that can actually afford to file patents and influence decision makers. Have a quick look:

Instead, the report, titled IPR (intellectual property rights) for competitiveness and innovation, was written up almost entirely by large corporations and the patent industry.


Jean-Pierre Laisne, of ObjectWeb, an open source software community, said that he found the report useless: participants were told that all their contributions would be recorded but at the end only those of Business Software Alliance and Microsoft were used.

Open Sources (at InfoWorld) has more to say on the subject.

I firmly believe that Microsoft’s intellectual business division is executing a well-thought out plan – monetize where possible (Novell), implicitly threaten where monetization is not possible and sow enough uncertainty to slow down those who don’t acquiesce, directly or indirectly, to Microsoft’s licensing pressure.

Returning to the roots of this rant, how dare Microsoft pretend that it combats abuse of the existing, highly-flawed patent system?

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