Links 23/02/2008: GPLv3 Rising More Quickly, RMS Moves On (from Emacs), Yahoo Sued (by Proxy?)

Posted in News Roundup at 2:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 23/02/2008: GNU/Linux PCs Keep Expanding, Tajikistan Reached Also

Posted in News Roundup at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM on Open Source, Standards, and OOXML (Video)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard, Videos at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As background you may wish to consider the following video, which UNC recently made available (a couple of months ago to be precise). At the beginning of this talk, Bob Sutor explains why Microsoft feels threatened by Web technologies and standards. Think about Silverlight, OOXML and a family of server-side technologies Microsoft wants replaced by something it controls.

While we’re presenting the views of one IBM employee, it might as well be added that Microsoft’s DOS attack with heaps of pointless pages received a pushback from China, the world’s largest population. From the blog of another IBMer:

For another demonstration of pure disingenuousness let’s look at Microsoft/Ecma’s response to China’s comment.

China filed along with their No vote in September a comment explaining that “we found it is a very complex technology […] We think the fast-track procedure is not suitable for this DIS” and ending with “more time is necessary and essential to conduct a credible and responsible evaluation.“

Seems reasonable enough and it’s fair to say that this sentiment is shared by many.

Watch Microsoft’s response.

Quick Mention: Novell ♥ Vista

Posted in Novell, SLES/SLED, Vista, Windows at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Partly sarcastic, yet with an element of truth

At the beginning of this month we spotted Novell pretty much advertising Windows Vista. It has not quite ended there.

Whoa! The guy who is writing this is Novell Canada’s CTO! He’s an evangelist for the power of Linux and Open Source! Everyone knows that he’s a complete Machead too! How can he, of all people, defend Vista?

Well I hope that serves for introduction and initiation. Let me get to the point. I think the slamming of Vista comes from a certain perspective. Mine is different.

Perhaps Microsoft should start handing out free copies of Windows Vista to all Novell employees, just as it does with some journalists. Bury the hatchets, dual-boot with SUSE, and harbour Microsoft products is Novell’s new strategy on the face of it.

When will Microsoft’s CTO rave about his GNU/Linux installation out in the press?

A bad penguin -- Novell

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: Novell’s Roots Move On, Return to Headlines

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Steve Ballmer at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell’s more glorious days continue to have it mentioned in all sorts of stories and announcements. New examples include:


An old Novell acquisition returns to light with the appointment of a new CEO at Metallect.

Auger has more than 15 years of experience with enterprise software startups. Prior to joining Metallect, he was part of the founding management team at SilverStream Software, where he served first in quality assurance, later as vice president of research and development and ultimately as vice president of product management and marketing for identity management and SOA when Novell acquired the company.

Google’s Schmidt and Novell

Novell gets mentioned in Google articles for two main reasons: (1) Google’s CEO is a former leader of Novell; and (2) Microsoft tries to use tricks against Google, some of which are similar to the ones it used against Novell. Here is a new analysis from Seeking Alpha:

To make this fight even more exciting, remember that Google CEO Eric Schmidt was once the Chief Technology Officer at Sun and became the CEO of Novell (NOVL) in 1997.

In both cases, he was stopped cold in his tracks by Microsoft’s shenanigans to keep open solutions from happening. It killed Java’s potential as described above, and it killed Novell’s NetWare by making many of its features standard parts of the dominant Windows OS. From Wikipedia’s Novell entry:

By 1999 Novell had lost its dominant market position, and was continually being out-marketed by Microsoft, which gained access to corporate data centres by bypassing technical staff and selling directly to corporate executives. Microsoft worked to make NetWare look second place with Windows 2000 features such as Group Policy.

Does anybody doubt Mr. Schmidt’s desire to see Microsoft’s monopolistic grip on computing broken?

Regarding Mr. Schmidt, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an incident a couple of years ago, “I’m going to bury that guy. I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to kill Google. . . . Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.” Note that I paraphrased. To see the decidedly more graphic original, click here.

WordPerfect’s Blast from the Past

Consider this another post mortem involving a Novell product.

But other companies have fallen into that very trap of overintegration, sometimes with disastrous results. Consider software maker Novell Inc’s $855 million acquisition of Word-Perfect Corp—a leader in word-processing applications—in 1994. The marriage was intended to create a tough competitor to Microsoft. Novell sought to fully assimilate WordPerfect’s different product and services lines, sales group, culture and business model. But this backfired, sparking culture clashes that diverted Novell’s focus and led to key product launches falling behind schedule.

This is what the Var Guy called Novell 2.0 the other day.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Novell Product Releases and Integration

Posted in Mail, Marketing, Novell, SLES/SLED at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell-SUSE event


SUSE has a new client and look at whose expense that business was earned.

By switching to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment running on SuSe Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), South African toy manufacturer and distributor Prima Toys has managed to reduce its processing time by 500 percent and has gained enhanced stability for its line-of-business computing environment.

Before the switch to SLES, Prima Toys made use of an outdated SCO Unix deployment that was slow and no longer enjoyed official support.


There continues to be some talk about the SiteScape acquisition and integration work with Novell’s Bonsai.

Like Microsoft and IBM, Novell is also moving its groupware and messaging in a social networking direction, a Novell executive told BetaNews.

Mind the role SiteScape in GroupWise:

Novell, an old player in enterprise networking and collaborative enterprise messaging (GroupWise), has moved aggressively into the UC market with its acquisition of SiteScape (CPM web news). While it is relying on this acquisition to bring in real-time conferencing and social networking for “team collaboration” to its traditional GroupWise capabilities, it is also emphasizing the open source Linux framework that it has structured its product directions upon.


Some third parties boast GroupWise support in their offerings. This includes M+Guardian:

Compatible with Novell GroupWise, Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, our products are installed and supported via a world-wide channel of over 100 Certified System Integrators and IT Consultants, including Novell (NOVL).

FalconStor also:

It also needed to be easy to manage and compatible with our Novell NetWare and Novell GroupWise environments. The FalconStor NSS solution gave us the exact advanced storage services we needed, such as synchronous mirroring and snapshots, in our heterogeneous environment.”


Novell’s BorderManager gets a new version of LinkWall, illustrating some work by the partners.

The LinkWall Suite, consisting of LinkWall, AdWall and FileWall, adds valuable functionality to Novell BorderManager by providing blocking of unwanted sites, advertising and defined file types, using public-domain site blocking lists. The products are significantly less expensive than competing third-party solutions, which require costly ongoing annual subscriptions for downloading site-blocking lists.


Here is a new article covering Novell’s ZENworks ESM version 3.5.

This centrally administrated product can increase productivity while strengthening security, adhering to compliance regulations and lowering mobile support costs. Its primary function is as a handheld management system that integrates into the overall ZENworks management suite. In that regard, it treats the handheld as just another component of the enterprise, simplifying device management.

Identity Management

On the identity management front, which had Novell’s PR rather excited the other day, there’s this reiteration of recent news.

Novell Inc. announced last week an enhancement to its security and information event management solution, Novell Sentinel, that will help retailers meet the detailed requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). The new enhanced security and information event management solution helps merchants achieve compliance with PCI-DSS.

The next post, much like this one, is likely to be boring. It’s an important record for future reference though.

If you dislike these posts and have little or no interest in tracking Novell, consider just ignoring/filtering everything that starts with “Do-No-Evil Saturday” (the phrase has some historical significance).

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: FOSDEM Starts, OpenSUSE Attends, SUSE’s New Qt4-rich Installer

Posted in Europe, Novell, OpenSUSE at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUSE in Green

Francis Giannaros has published his latest OpenSUSE newsletter, the summary of which lies below.

[opensuse-announce] openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 10


Issue 10 of openSUSE Weekly News is now out! [0]

YaST bootIn this week’s issue:
* A look at SUSE Hack Week Innovations
* FOSDEM 2008 – This Weekend!
* In Tips and Tricks: How to Enable 3rd-party Upgrades

[0] http://en.opensuse.org/OpenSUSE_Weekly_News/10

Have a lot of fun!

Martin Lasarsch spoke about OSDEM, which is apparently about to kick off any moment (it’s 10 AM in Belgium):

[opensuse-announce] Last Reminder: FOSDEM this Weekend


This weekend (23-24.02) the openSUSE folks will again go to Brussels to one of
the most important developer events in Europe: FOSDEM.

For all openSUSE users we will again have an openSUSE devroom, which means
2 days full of interesting presentations about the openSUSE universe.

Some highlights:
* 19 talks total
* We will record all talks
* openSUSE Buildservice track
* Laptop track
* Community talks
* Meet Zonker for the first time in Europe
* openSUSE booth
* Meet the community!

For a detailed schedule visit the FOSDEM openSUSE wiki page [1], where you
will also find the videos and slides after the event. Or visit the official
FOSDEM schedule for the openSUSE devroom [2].

[1] http://en.opensuse.org/FOSDEM
[2] http://fosdem.org/2008/schedule/devroom/opensuse

There is some more information about FOSDEM 2008 in the OpenSUSE Web site.

This weekend (23-24.02) the openSUSE folks will again go to Brussels to one of the most important developer events in Europe: FOSDEM.
For all openSUSE users we will again have an openSUSE devroom, which means 2 days full of interesting presentations about the openSUSE universe.

Zonker talks about Hack Week 2. We mentioned this last week when Andreas brought up the topic.

While it’s groovy that the Eee PC runs Linux, I’ve been thinking about how to put openSUSE on the little beast. Lucky for me, Sonja Krause-Harder is already working on it as a Hack Week II project…

There is a rather weird press release about an OpenSUSE commands book.

Aimed squarely at aspiring Linux power users and professional administrators, the SUSE Linux Toolbox offers more than 1000 examples of useful Linux command lines.

It’s not too clear how SUSE is different from many other GNU/Linux distribution, but there you go.

Ryan Paul took a look at the latest installer of OpenSUSE, which makes good use of Qt’s latest and greatest capabilities.

Novell’s second Hack Week event is taking place right now and developers are writing blog entries about some of their projects. Artist Jakub Steiner, who is best known for his work on GNOME and OpenOffice.org icons, has written about the new installer for OpenSUSE 11 which uses the CSS-like styling capabilities of Qt 4 to provide an aesthetically rich interface.

Not much more from OpenSUSE in the past week, but we no longer keep good track of OpenSUSE beta/alpha reviews.

Novell Speaks About Microsoft’s Software Patents

Posted in Asia, Courtroom, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 2:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad decision

Dragoon is probably among those who were part of the decision to go ahead and sign a software patent deal with Microsoft (the first among several others later to follow, possibly as a direct result). The company continues to try quite hard to twist this deal, spinning it as an “interoperability,” but the press conference announcing the deal suggests that Novell knew all too well what it was getting into and what it involved.

Just over a day ago, Microsoft did its 'open' media blitz is preparation for the BRM in Geneva where a secretive key meeting [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] is to take place, potentially harming the city’s reputation. Here is what Novell’s Dragoon had to say about this announcement:

Perhaps not surprisingly, at face value, I’m encouraged and in support of Microsoft’s expanded interoperability as it hits upon two core values that Novell believes in and acts upon: To be Open and Interoperable.

Is this what Novell endorses? Really? Miguel de Icaza’s response is actually quite reasonable, so he deserves some credit for parts of it.

Miguel de Icaza, founder of the GNOME project and a Novell programmer working on Mono, an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s .Net software: “As a chess move, it is a fascinating one…On the surface it looks very good. (There are) lots of things that we want to interoperate with–Office, SQL Server, SharePoint. Getting the documentation to everyone sounds great, and it seems like they are serious about doing more interoperability work…When the full list for patents becomes available, the question is what will open-source vendors do if they find pieces that have historically infringed: will they choose to license and be the recipients of the community wrath, or will they hold their grounds and risk a lawsuit?”

He is being realistic, but doesn’t he virtually spread some FUD that serves Novell at the same time? Aside from the fact that Microsoft never revealed any patents and apart from the reality that only a few countries actually honour software patents, he seems to portray this as positive news (which it is not, i.e. it’s neither positive nor is it news).

In actual news, Microsoft has just lost another patent lawsuit, this time in Korea.

A Seoul court ruled that the world’s largest software giant Microsoft illegally used patent-covered software technology developed by a Korean professor, ending an eight-year-long legal battle between the scientist and the U.S. company….

Microsoft believes that it needs more patents in order to remain relevant in the long term. Perhaps it will rethink this every time a patent lawsuit against it thrashes its money and affects its limited budget.

“Those who insist that copyright is the same as real property break their own rule by also insisting that they retain perpetual rights to the good, even after it’s been sold. If copyright were like real property, after the creator sold it, the buyer could do whatever they want with it, including giving it out for free.”

Mike Masnick [Kudos to Glyn Moody]

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