02.06.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

How Novell Helps Microsoft Attack GNU/Linux (Except for SUSE)

Posted in Fork, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenOffice, SLES/SLED, SUN at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Darth Vader Microsoft
Picture by SubSonica

“Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat. Total victory [...] is the universal adoption of our standards by developers, as this is an important step towards total victory for Microsoft itself: “A computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software.””

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

NOVELL IS A LARGE company with many different teams. Only a small portion of Novell (maybe about 10%) is directly associated with free/open source software and there are many who are stuck in between, including those who capitalise on what Novell labels “mixed-source” [1, 2, 3, 4]. Apart from those who build Free software (Greg Kroah-Hartman comes to mind, although there are downsides) and those who build hybrid software at Novell, there are those whose task seems to be to contaminate GNU/Linux with Microsoft’s intellectual monopolies, which only Novell is permitted to share (with paying customers). Miguel de Icaza is a prime suspect because he is helping Microsoft fight Free software while at the same type harming several companies that compete against Microsoft. He advances Microsoft APIs that are a trap.

Neil McAllister, who writes for IDG [1, 2], has defended Mono in a new column that they put in Slashdot’s front page. What gives?

Miguel de Icaza is himself something of a controversial figure these days. He’s a heavyweight among open-source developers, yet he works for Novell, the company that soured the Linux community by signing a patent-licensing agreement with Microsoft. Worst of all, he seems to have all but dedicated himself to projects related to Mono — in other words, to copying Microsoft technologies.

Yes, that is precisely what he is doing with Microsoft assisting his every step. Why would Microsoft help? Because it makes GNU/Linux stronger? Of course not.

Corporations help themselves, they don’t promote or support betterment of their competitors. As Microsoft's internal presentations indicate (required training to staff), “We are here to help MICROSOFT.”

So how does Mono harm Free software? It’s possible classify the issues as follows:

  • Control. Mono is inclined to evolve along the path of .NET, which gives Microsoft great control over its competitor/s (c.f. API wars mythology).
  • Dependency. Whereas many applications that mimic functionality can be interchanged easily, Mono resides beneath multiple applications, so its removal or change would have a cascading effect.
  • Software patents. We have it from the mouths of multiple Microsoft seniors (some public statements and some private which antitrust litigation exposed) that patents are part of the control mechanism.
  • Java/Sun. As hostile as Sun may have been towards GNU/Linux in the past, it is muchly required these days for its good work on projects like Java and OpenOffice.org. By wooing developers away from Java, Microsoft hopes to starve Sun along with its contributions to Free software.
  • Latch. Mono brings with it a raft of other technologies that permit Microsoft to control developers and control the Web (i.e. access to data). Moonlight is one example of this.
  • DRM. The war around de facto DRM standards is no secret because antitrust exhibits exist that shed bright light on it. Mono empowers .NET, which in turn enables and facilitates more widespread Windows DRM (denial of access to media).
  • Security. Mono inherits architectural issues not only from .NET but from Windows as well.
  • Philosophy. We are aware of GNU/Linux developers who are disguised by technological assimilation to a company that committed many crimes (the criticism of Microsoft has nothing to do with scale but mostly with behaviour). This repels and sometimes discourages development, not just casual use.
  • Novell. Copyrights and trademarks are to be owned by Novell; principal Mono-based projects are sponsored by Novell too. It would not have become a serious concern had Novell not expressed its commitment to Microsoft, to "IP peace of mind" (i.e. software patents as a selling point), even to OOXML. Mono gives Novell great control (leverage) over the desktop and its direction.

There are more points and we covered some of them last year.

Mono’s impact can transcend GNU/Linux. It’s an API war, not just a platform war. Novell is a privileged party. To whit:

“There is a substantive effort in open source to bring such an implementation of .Net to market, known as Mono and being driven by Novell, and one of the attributes of the agreement we made with Novell is that the intellectual property associated with that is available to Novell customers.”

Bob Muglia, Microsoft President

Novell employees are doing the same type of thing to OpenOffice.org [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Rather than going strongly in defense of Sun’s Java, Novell is going against it. It also goes head-to-head against Sun’s OpenOffice.org with its Microsoft-esque fork, Go-OOXML. They are still stirring things up to generate dirt which harms the OpenOffice.org brand.

A second thing is what I think could be called the Too Many Evangelists syndrome. The way Michael [Meeks of Novell] put it, the major stumpers for Linux, like Alan Cox or Linus Tovalds, are themselves programmers. “With OpenOffice, the exact opposite is typically the case. Most the leads have had intangible contributions, and I think that’s a big part of the problem with OpenOffice in terms of attracting developers — that there are so many people who are not developers who are also very eager to tell everyone what to do.” The code base isn’t even the real issue, in his purview: every project has a potentially messy, outsized code base.

This has already been refuted. Novell is good at having its employees turn to their supposedly ‘personal’ blogs where they slam Microsoft’s competitors, including Java.

Star wars Vader
Picture by SubSonica

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Sirius ‘Open Source’: When the Company Stops Paying Your Pension and You Don't Know Until the Pension Provider Keeps Sending Physical Post to Alert You

    Today we turn our attention to pension blunders at Sirius ‘Open Source’; in recent years even something basic like pension contributions wasn’t smooth sailing



  2. [Meme] Sirius Open Source, Closed-Minded Bossing

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, decisions are made in the dark without consultation with staff and many things go wrong as a result; of course the culprits never hold themselves accountable



  3. Links 06/12/2022: LibreOffice 7.5 Alpha and digiKam 7.9.0

    Links for the day



  4. Rumour: Very Large Microsoft Layoffs (Another Round) Next Month, Lists Already Being Prepared





  5. Benoît Battistelli in 2015: EPO is Ready to Start Unified Patent Court (UPC), Expect UPC in 2016

    We’re almost in 2023 and UPC is being delayed again; this is what EPO President Benoît Battistelli said way back in 2015 (official video from the EPO; 3:45-4:34 cropped apart)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 05, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, December 05, 2022



  7. Links 06/12/2022: FreeBSD 12.4 and Inkscape 1.2.2

    Links for the day



  8. Sirius Not-So-‘Open Source’: Cannot Talk to Colleagues, Cannot Speak About Work

    Cover-up and lies became a corporate pattern at the company where I had worked since 2011; it was time to go in order to avoid cooperation in unethical activities



  9. [Meme] Guilt by Association

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has a history of hostility towards people with disabilities; the company got sued over this, but kept the lawsuit secret



  10. That Time Sirius 'Open Source' Fired a Blind Lady While Gagging Sympathetic Staff

    Sirius 'Open Source' was taken to court after it had wrongly fired a couple of employees, one of whom was blind; this was accompanied by lies about why the staff's communication server was shut down



  11. Links 05/12/2022: Gnoppix Linux 22.12 and Armbian 22.11

    Links for the day



  12. Unified Patent Court (UPC) is “Real Soon Now!” Since 2014

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobby is once again forced to admit issues and delays; we've seen this time and time again for nearly a decade already



  13. Unified Patent Court (UPC) 'Delayed' Again, As Usual, as Unitary Patent Boosters Caught Up in Lies and Scandals

    “UPC [is] delayed by 2 months,” a source has told us, dubbing it “good news” and reaffirming what we’ve said this past year; this litigation lobby's 'wishlist' system isn’t legal, it’s not ready, there are yet more scandals, and journalists have been catching up with these scandals



  14. Links 05/12/2022: GStreamer 1.21.3

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 04, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 04, 2022



  16. Links 04/12/2022: Status of the 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  17. When a Company Simply Refuses to Talk to Technical and Exerienced Staff Through Internal Avenues

    When companies behave like monarchies where staff has no role at all in decision-making and decisions are made in violation of those companies’ tenets (or mission statements) it is inevitable that staff will issue concerns, first internally and — failing that — in other channels



  18. [Meme] Kings Instead of Open Consultation Among Peers

    In Sirius there’s no room for debate, even among half a dozen or so technical colleagues; decisions are made in the dark by a tightly-knit cabal (with rather childish superhero cartoons as their avatars) and then imposed on everybody else (hardly democratic, not sane)



  19. Sirius Open Source: The Home of Stress and Bullying by Management

    Part 3 of a report regarding Sirius Open Source, which is imploding after bad judgement and misuse of power against employees



  20. Links 04/12/2022: Fosshost Shudown and OpenIndiana Hipster 2022.10

    Links for the day



  21. Links 03/12/2022: pgAdmin 4 Version 6.17

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 03, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 03, 2022



  23. Office Manager in Company Without an Office

    Imagine having an “Office Manager” in a company that does not even have an office. Welcome to corporate posturing.



  24. Dishonest Companies Disguised as 'Open Source' (After Abandoning It)

    A deeper look at the way Sirius Open Source presents itself to the public (including prospective and existing clients); This is clearly not the company that I joined nearly 12 years ago



  25. When the Founder of Your Company Supports Donald Trump the Company Ends up Active in Fascist Platforms

    Politics weren’t allowed in Sirius ‘Open Source’, but there were exceptions for some people (close to management) and it didn’t look good



  26. [Meme] Sirius Actually Used to Promote Free/Libre and Open Source Software

    Before people who reject Free/Libre and Open Source software were put in charge of Sirius ‘Open Source’ concrete steps had been taken to support the wider community (or the suppliers, who were mostly volunteers)



  27. Sirius 'Open Source' When It Actually Understood and Respected Software Freedom

    The company my wife and I joined was (at the time) still Free software-centric and reasonably friendly towards staff; today we examine Sirius of a decade ago



  28. Links 03/12/2022: 4MLinux 41, GNOME E-mail System Melting Down

    Links for the day



  29. Links 03/12/2022: KDE Report and Canonical Lying to Staff

    Links for the day



  30. Sirius 'Open Source' Lists 49 Firms/Organisations as Clients But Only 4 of Them Currently Are

    Sirius Open Source is nowhere as popular as it wants people to think


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