Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell's Management Hurts Opensuse's Image (Corrected)

OpensuseOccasionally I come across Opensuse reviews where non-technical aspects of the product affect the overall impression. Linspire and Xandros now suffer from the same problem. It's an image problem. Novell signed a deal with its aggressive, long-time rival. It also made mockery of Free software in the process.



Shane and I have said dozens of times before that at BoycottNovell.com we try to appreciate the developers' work (Opensuse). We only blame the executives for taking the money and allowing their developers to get a bad name. I was among those in the opensuse community at the time. I felt betrayed.

To repeat old facts, the developers were not part of the this decision, with the exception of a few prominent ones such as Miguel de Icaza, who is a VP. It was all done secretly. Jeremy Allison knew about it and he protested against the sneaky, 90th-minute inclusion of patent elements [update: see clarifications/corrections]. These elements were not part of the original deal, which had been negotiated for months.

As for Nat Friedman and de Icaza, their story remains a mystery. It is believed that they are among the drivers in this deal. As you may already know, de Icaza has strong ties with Port 25 and the 'Microsoft culture' (he even had a job interview there). It is my opinion that he does not necessarily represent Opensuse developers as a whole, although he just might. Not all of them care for Mono (.NET), which is a patents-encumbered development technology and a controversial framework to many Linux distributors other than Novell. The validity of these patents is a different matter altogether, but only yesterday, Slashdot reminded us why it's hard to fight for sanity.

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