Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell's Hack Week: Mono, Ports to Windows, Mac OS X

Loss of direction

It's disappointing enough that the head of the Linux Foundation (which we have not much respect for [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) buys an iPhone, but it's also worth highlighting the fact that some Novell employees still have Macs./p>

Here for example is a video interview with a Novell General Manager that uses a Mac. Granted, some of these people run GNU/Linux on Mac hardware (Linus Torvalds for instance), but some may not. Either way, it's clear that Novell and the Linux Foundation, which is partly funded by Novell, are not truly committed to what they preach, especially on the desktop. The other option is that they simply don't preach what people believe they should preach.

“...they simply don't preach what people believe they should preach.”Maybe Novell is not an open source company after all. It actually insists that it's a "mixed source" company [1, 2, 3, 4]. Microsoft adopted a similar ploy.

Are there no decent laptops that come without an operating system? Is it true that there are no business-ready Linux phones, as Jim Zemlin seems to be implying by deeds? Frankly, this is just embarrassing, but it reflects perfectly well on the stance taken by those who consider themselves pragmatists and concede key values even at the very senior level. Dana Blankenhorn, for example, is one among many writers who cover open source and GNU/Linux without actually using it. It's insulting.

Found in the news yesterday is the following short piece. Look what OpenSUSE (funded by Novell) is up to.

Calls for porting Tomboy to Windows (and maybe even Mac OS X), adding geocode filtering to RSS and fully supporting Amazon's Elastic Cloud 2 are just a few of the ideas put forth in this year's annual Hack Week.


Tomboy is Mono [1, 2] and it seems like efforts are being diverted into the wrong direction. A year or so ago, Sun (SUNW) changed its ticker/stock symbol to Java (JAVA), symbolising a shift in strategy. Might Novell see .NET (and software patents) as a business strategy rather than pay attention to Free software?

At the moment, points are being raised in the IRC channel about Mono fans slamming Java. Novell is no friend of Java anymore [1, 2, 3, 4], despite it embracing the GNU GPL. A lot of Mono advocacy seems to be arriving from Novell. Bloggers just find it hard to criticise.

In case the roots of Mono need finding, the following new article may be of use.

Like Aaron Seigo, Mr. Harrington also theorizes that Linux users are more tech-savvy and accustomed to the idea of being contributors, and Windows users are conditioned to being passive consumers with only two options for handling problems: yelling, or purchasing a different product. The foundation of Microsoft's core business plan is eliminating the second option, so Windows users get a lot of yelling practice. So a large influx of Windows users can swamp a FOSS project with demands but no help. Inkscape's Windows port has a larger userbase than its Linux version

[...]

Which is a point that is always overlooked by the "World Domination At Any Cost" crowd- attracting hordes of Windows and Mac refugees doesn't necessary benefit FOSS projects, as the KDE4 near-riots demonstrated. The complaining was unbelievable; all those disappointed users behaving like spoiled brats instead of members of a community that depends on community contributions and support.


Could the same observations and lessons be applied to Mono?

"Moonlight is usable for anyone on any distribution of Linux (redhat, ubuntu, etc.) -- it is not limited just to Novell as Mono is."

--Brian Goldfarb, Microsoft
[note: Moonlight depends on Mono, emphasis is ours]



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