Bonum Certa Men Certa

Drinks Under the Moonlight

Drinks are on Microsoft

If you watch the arrangements made at the XML 2007 conference, you'll find that Microsoft hosts, pays for, covers, and sponsors all sorts of things (mind the "Hors d’oeuvres and drinks hosted by Microsoft"). Novell is involved as well, though it appears to have no interest in real standards, but in "interoperability" instead.

Novell has just reiterated its arguments about the role and the plan for a Silverlight clone, which relies on a framework tied to Microsoft patents.

"We don't know if [Silverlight] becomes successful," De Icaza said, but if so, Moonlight will offer the same functionality to Linux.

"We didn't want to be left out. We didn’t want Linux to be a second-class citizen," he said.


But that is exactly what Moonlight does to GNU/Linux. While encouraging the use of a supposedly cross-platform Silverlight and ensuring it "become[s] successful" (to use his own words), GNU/Linux becomes a second-class citizen.

Silverlight is not needed and it is hard to come by. There is already Flash. The most recent version of Flash was released to Linux at the same time as the Mac and Windows version. That was a couple of days ago and there was feature parity, no patent threats, and no demands. Compare that to Microsoft and Silevrlight, which is a case of ignoring GNU/Linux and leaving the heavy lifting for somebody else to do.

Adobe's patent promises and standards are easier to trust because there are no prior incidents of so-called 'patent terrorism'. In fact, PDF too has just received an ISO as well, which gives Adobe plenty to rave about.

Adobe has received word that the Ballot for approval of PDF 1.7 to become the ISO 32000 Standard (DIS) has passed by a vote of 13::1.


Speaking of standards, Jan van den Beld has meanwhile been writing about ECMA, whose credibility seems stagnant.

Related old article: Moonlight and the dupe quiz? Microsoft or Novell?

Microsoft doesn't respect Novell. Microsoft uses Novell. Novell has a temporary use for Microsoft as its sycophant to "prove" that Microsoft cares about interoperability. "See! We interoperate with Linux, provided that it's a Linux we can crush at a moment's notice the minute too many of you care about it. We'll even keep tabs on your Linux adoption with our nifty coupon program."

Novell needs to keep growing its Linux business independent of Microsoft. Then, and only then, will it be able to talk interoperability with Microsoft as an equal and then, and only then, will customers truly benefit. Customers that are locked into the Microsoft + Novell platform are not any more free than they were with just Microsoft. In fact, they may be worse off, because they've been duped into believing they actually have freedom.

Watching shadows on the wall....

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