Bonum Certa Men Certa

Keeps Your Friends Close, Your Enemies Closer, Your Community Apart, and Your Customers at a Distance

Dana Gardner shrewdly points out that Novell has developed a culture of secrecy, which in its own right justifies some of the criticism that's directed at the so-called Open Source company.

Based on the Microsoft-Novell deal and its fallout, the entire industry is getting a close look at how open technology communities and companies work, according to Gardner. "The notion that a vendor can have a secret or fuzzy pact with another vendor doesn't work when the community is instant and global and seamless," he said. "You need to be pretty open and thoughtful about your announcements." The same factors served to minimize recent industry concerns about Microsoft's vague claims of intellectual property rights to Linux, which were the cause of some disharmony between the two software giants last week. "If you're going to work in a community, you need to recognize you're exposed," Gardner said. "Sleight of hand doesn't work, and ambiguity will be exposed and discussed."

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