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10.02.07

Stay Away from OpenSUSE 10.3

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 9:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OpenSUSE 10.3 is going to be released shortly, so this is probably a good time to discuss the effect of OpenSUSE on the Linux foe that is Novell (the company, not the project). To structure this argument in a convenient and digestible way, let us clarify things in a point-by-point fashion:

  1. When you use OpenSUSE, you support SLED/SLES, which Microsoft gets a revenue percentage from
  2. When you download OpenSUSE, you give the impression that Novell’s business is on track
  3. As soon as you install OpenSUSE, you are most likely installing Mono (in GNOME)
  4. If OpenSUSE succeeds in gaining market share, then truly open source Linux distributions suffer
  5. When you choose OpenSUSE, you contribute to acknowledgment of patent infringements in Linux

Steve Ballmer rides SUSEDo not use OpenSUSE or even download OpenSUSE. Many SUSE developers have already left the building. Meanwhile, Novell is hiring .NET developers.

Let Novell find its own route and stick with the root of Linux. Linux is doing great, even without patent deals.

OpenSUSE is considered a community distribution, but if only Novell actually cared about the community that built it

Popular open source security products are being commercialized, changing the way customers and vendors view “the community.”

A greedy mind hasn’t conscience, let alone a sense of responsibility.

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30 Comments

  1. Vexorian said,

    October 2, 2007 at 9:56 pm

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    hmmm perhaps 5. should be rephrased to something like “You contribute to those who claim patent infringements in Linux”

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 2, 2007 at 10:24 pm

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    True. A matter of semantics in retrospect, but IANAL and it shows.

  3. Anonymous said,

    October 2, 2007 at 11:15 pm

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    Stay Away from Boycott Novell

    This site long time ago left any satire heights and is today just only trash.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 2, 2007 at 11:28 pm

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    Here come the anonymous shoot-the-messenger posts.

  5. Francis said,

    October 3, 2007 at 5:43 am

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    Not that I care much about your baseless rants on here again, but I wish you’d be consistent Roy.

    You really want Novell outside the community? You really want to ‘boycott Novell’? Why aren’t you doing this yourself? Put your money where your mouth is. Why not start stripping out all that Novell-contributed code from your applications? That’s why no-one takes this site seriously, Roy — because even you won’t practice what you preach.

    Even the distributions that you praise and use most probably install Mono for you by default. You think this is strange?

    And stop spreading FUD: “Many developers have left”. What’s your definition of “many” here? Only two developers I know have left _because of the deal_. I’d be interested in seeing one other person who thinks “two = many”. How exactly is that ‘many’ when Novell has some 5,000 employees?

    Knowing you you’ll probably troll our news stories again, as you always do. Yes, Roy, that is not called “protesting” — protesting is what you’re doing here on your site. When you go to others’ communities and do it, it’s TROLLING, and it’s disrespective of other distributions and their communities. Even if you disagree with them.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 6:54 am

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    That’s why no-one takes this site seriously, Roy — because even you won’t practice what you preach.

    I beg to differ, Francis.

    Even the distributions that you praise and use most probably install Mono for you by default. You think this is strange?

    I use KDE personally and I am not a fan of Mono. That, however, is a separate discussion.

    And stop spreading FUD: “Many developers have left”. What’s your definition of “many” here? Only two developers I know have left _because of the deal_. I’d be interested in seeing one other person who thinks “two = many”. How exactly is that ‘many’ when Novell has some 5,000 employees?

    Have you followed the links? It’s not a void statement but a hyperlink that turns it into something more factual .

    Knowing you you’ll probably troll our news stories again, as you always do.

    Troll them? How so? I don’t participate in the SUSE mailing lists anymore and I’m only passive in SUSE/Novell blogs. Trolling is trolling when one invades a rival’s turf, not when one expresses an opinion and offers an assessment on neutral ground.

    Yes, Roy, that is not called “protesting” — protesting is what you’re doing here on your site. When you go to others’ communities and do it, it’s TROLLING, and it’s disrespective of other distributions and their communities. Even if you disagree with them.

    You are making accusations here that I do not understand. What other communities are you referring to? The Digg community, which clearly dislikes the Novell deal? That’s neither a Novell’s nor a SUSE’s territory.

  7. Francis said,

    October 3, 2007 at 10:27 am

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    > I beg to differ, Francis. I use KDE personally and I am not a fan of Mono.

    And you’re deluding yourself into thinking that Novell doesn’t contribute to KDE? It’s pretty much the BIGGEST contributor to KDE, with more KDE developers than anyone else. Nice of them, isn’t it?

    Tell me Roy: why are you not practicing what you preach? Have you taken out the recently contributed Novell code from KDE? I hope you have.. Otherwise you are very very inconcistent. Your left hand types on BoycottNovell.com while your right hand very happily uses all the Novell-contributed code. Is that how it is?

    Can you tell me why I should take you seriously in your ‘Boycott’ when you are not adhering to what you preach to everyone else? I’m not sure that you know what boycott means.

    I would appreciate it if you could answer this question (rather than evade it, like before). If your cause is just you shouldn’t be afraid of answering it.

    > What other communities are you referring to? The Digg community, which clearly dislikes the Novell deal? That’s neither a Novell’s nor a SUSE’s territory.

    The community it’s disrespective to is the openSUSE community of course. It’s not that you post bad things on Digg about Novell — by all means, post whatever you please there. It’s that you specifically comment on all the openSUSE release announcements on Digg. That _is_ trolling, and it’s wrong.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 2:18 pm

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    Tell me Roy: why are you not practicing what you preach? Have you taken out the recently contributed Novell code from KDE?

    You are moving goalposts (away from Mono) and you are talking about impractical things here.

    It’s that you specifically comment on all the openSUSE release announcements on Digg. That _is_ trolling, and it’s wrong.

    Let me see if I get this right. So when an item about Opensuse is posted to a general technology site, then it mustn’t be touched by anyone but Opensuse users? Sounds like free speech is hurt here. If this was an Opensuse site, that would be a different story.

  9. Francis said,

    October 3, 2007 at 3:19 pm

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    > You are moving goalposts (away from Mono)

    Mono was never the topic of discussion, it was merely an example of the code which Novell contributes.

    > and you are talking about impractical things here.

    Ok, so boycotting Novell is impractical? I wonder why you are calling for it then…

    Seems odd to call for others to do something that you won’t do yourself.

    > So when an item about Opensuse is posted to a general technology site, then it mustn’t be touched by anyone but Opensuse users?

    It’s not any item, it’s explicitly the openSUSE _release_ announcements that you post on. Free speech isn’t hurt at all — I have no problem with you posting the 1,000,000 negative posts about Novell on there that you do, that’s fine. What is not so nice is when you go into an openSUSE release announcement entry, which is of course celebratory by nature, and then start trolling.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 3:39 pm

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    Ok, so boycotting Novell is impractical? I wonder why you are calling for it then…

    Nice attempt to twist the facts and redefine the workings of this boycott.

    What is not so nice is when you go into an openSUSE release announcement entry, which is of course celebratory by nature, and then start trolling.

    Because of your comments I refrained from commenting on the release of Opensuse outside this site. You’re a good advocate and as I said last Saturday, you deserve to become the Evangelist.

  11. Francis said,

    October 3, 2007 at 4:12 pm

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    > Nice attempt to twist the facts and redefine the workings of this boycott.

    Which fact am I twisting? I can’t help but feel that you’re being a little cryptic here. You’re calling for a boycott of Novell. Does this now suddenly include only its distributions, or its *code*?

    You can’t have it both ways, Roy. A boycott is a strong statement; you shouldn’t be surprised that I’m holding you to it.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 4:19 pm

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    As we stated many times before, it’s about Novell’s management more than anything else. By not helping Novell increase its sales, Novell’s management can be ‘punished’ and then be properly scrutinised for a poor and selfish (not just Novell-centric but also also relating to personal benefits) decision.

  13. Paulo Cesar said,

    October 3, 2007 at 5:11 pm

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    Hey Roy, do you use compiz? Just wondering…

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 5:35 pm

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    No, it doesn’t serve my needs. I know where Compiz comes from, but it hasn’t anything to do with this decision.

    I’m not sure that this strand of Linux eye candy can be attributed only to Novell. There was earlier work back in 2005 (starting with wobbly menus, which I think Red Hat developers worked on).

  15. Paulo Cesar said,

    October 3, 2007 at 6:13 pm

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    Ah ok then.

    Anyway, I think you are taking this Novell thing a bit too far..

    Wouldn’t be more productive to help some project or contribute to something than just bash a company?

    Sorry if I’m being too intrusive, but I just prefer to help than bash.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 6:43 pm

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    Paulo, I spend just an hour or two on this site per day, I spend a lot of more time promoting Linux elsewhere. I see Novell as a huge threat to Linux.

    Remember: Novell is about Novell and to Novell, being good to GNU/Linux is just a nice-to-have. I’m not talking about the developers here, but about the management at Novell, whose mind is still latched onto Novell’s proprietary roots. These “roots” account for about 90% of Novell’s current revenue stream, which is gradually declining, or balanced through cost-cutting, i.e. layoffs.

  17. Francis said,

    October 3, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Gravatar

    > By not helping Novell increase its sales, Novell’s management can be ‘punished’ and then be properly scrutinised for a poor and selfish (not just Novell-centric but also also relating to personal benefits) decision.

    Basically I get the impression that you are only willing to boycott the convenient things for you, but not the ones that really show you putting your money where your mouth is. It’s pretty much a testament to Novell’s awesome contribution to Linux that you simply wouldn’t have a functional Linux desktop or server probably if you tried to strip them out.

    > By not helping Novell increase its sales, Novell’s management can be ‘punished’ and then be properly scrutinised for a poor and selfish (not just Novell-centric but also also relating to personal benefits) decision.

    Convenient, or odd, then, that this decision also helped everyone else. You don’t see RH’s sales going down. You also don’t see a single distribution not wanting the new code in OO.o that Novell is contributing as a result of the deal.

    All I see is one person (namely, you) trying to tear the open source community apart. Distributions are not ignorant of what the deal involved (do you think this?). Instead of spending those extra 1-2 hours of your day working on collaboration in the open source community, you seem to be quite fixed on the contrary.

  18. Niall Hewitt said,

    October 3, 2007 at 7:26 pm

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    What’s with the iPod fella riding the SUSE lizard? What have iPods got to do with it?

    Also, I have to agree with Francis above. Your partial boycott is pretty lame, and downloading openSUSE isn’t a “sale” at all. If you want to be effective, target your message at the sysadmins who decide to install SLED.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Gravatar

    Basically I get the impression that you are only willing to boycott the convenient things for you, but not the ones that really show you putting your money where your mouth is. It’s pretty much a testament to Novell’s awesome contribution to Linux that you simply wouldn’t have a functional Linux desktop or server probably if you tried to strip them out.

    A person uses the liberty of free speech to demonstrate against the very same government that gives this one liberty. The protest needn’t necessarily be about free speech.

    Convenient, or odd, then, that this decision also helped everyone else. You don’t see RH’s sales going down.

    Are you suggesting that Novell actually helped Red Hat when it signed the deal. Ask Red Hat why it needs to battle Microsoft for interoperability and codecs ever since Ron shook hands with Steve.

    All I see is one person (namely, you) trying to tear the open source community apart.

    Have you ignored all my previous posts about journalists who protest against this deal as well? Or about people who hate the deal but are too shy to talk about it (or have conflicting interests, as in the case of Mark Shuttleworth)?

    Instead of spending those extra 1-2 hours of your day working on collaboration in the open source community, you seem to be quite fixed on the contrary.

    Let’s clarify this: Novell collaborates with Microsoft. Microsoft wants Linux destroyed and it gives Novell exclusive incentives in order to achieve this goal. Search the Web for literature on “divide and conquer strategies”. Microsoft knows very well what it’s doing. Microsoft isn’t stupid and Microsoft isn’t frantic when Novell hands over these coupons. There’s no hysteria and no frowns. It’s more like an evil grin; it’s Novell and Microsoft against “the world” (Red Hat, Mandriva, Canonical, Samba, BSD and so forth).

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Gravatar

    Niall,

    That’s extracted from the viral video called “Ballmer’s iPod“.

    While OpenSUSE is not a sale per se, it leads to-be or existing sysadmins to SLED and SLES. They becomes experienced and familiar with Novell’s product. They potentially buy them for personal use too ($50/year subscription).

  21. kevin Dupuy said,

    October 3, 2007 at 8:46 pm

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    Roy: I’ve pre-ordered by boxed edition of openSUSE from Novell. I can get you one if ya like.

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 3, 2007 at 9:15 pm

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    No, thanks. I already have a pile of OpenSUSE 10.2 DVDs because some anonymous person (from the UK, apparently) sent me a parcel full of them (without a return address). Weird, but true. I wasn’t expecting this.

  23. Eudoxus said,

    October 4, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Just installed new openSuSE10.3. and found your stupid article. Man, you shluld gather some more information to come up with your opinions. By the way, as far as I know Novell contributes to the Linux kernel. So, If you are serious about boycotting it, then you should better use FreeBSD

  24. eet said,

    October 5, 2007 at 4:32 am

    Gravatar

    Dear Roy Schestowitz,

    I haven’t read so much shit, since… I read the last boycottnovell-article.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an abusive Internet troll

  25. youckFou said,

    October 9, 2007 at 7:48 am

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    This is so stupid. I just wanted to express myself.

  26. xploited said,

    October 23, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Gravatar

    SUSE is my favorite distribution for a long time, and I find 10.3 release to be close to “amazing”…
    So, even if the whole Novell team sells their guts to Satan, I am not gonna turn away from one of the most advanced distros in the linux world.
    Learn to separate politics and from the technology

  27. Aaron said,

    November 8, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks for letting me know these things. I wanted to make sure Mono got installed with OpenSuse 10.3 and you have confirmed it. Thanks!

  28. Martyn Hare said,

    April 29, 2008 at 7:01 am

    Gravatar

    I am about to try 10.3. In my opinion the deal was harmless overall and in the main not about patents. Patents in relation to interoperability MS wants with a bonus of indemnification plus a boatload of money for Novell – a good business deal. It got MS off the hook somewhat with regards to anti-trust and that is why they are doing this, not to ruin Linux.

    If they really wanted to ruin Linux then why are they sorting Para-virtualisation for Server 2008 with Xen on SuSE platforms? In theory a little port here or there could get such a thing on any distro.

    Also, Novell has learnt it’s lesson and is working to work more with the community before making rash decisions ever again. Novell stock value went down 30% shortly after the deal, then rose slowly up again after that – they saw the damage done to their company with rash moves.

    Also just look at the way Novell has supported OpenSuSE with being “truly open”, who else would have their build services open to almost every distro? Who else still supports KDE so well? Also who else tries to innovate beyond standards? (AppArmor has some kick-ass points over SELinux).

    I’m more a Red Hat backing individual but OpenSuSE has massive appeal to me, especially on a home desktop. It’s a fact i’d use RHEL/CentOS on a server though.

  29. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 29, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Gravatar

    I used SuSE myself, but I think your explanation of this problem very much echoes Novell’s ‘damage control’ story. To Novell it’s seen as beneficial at the expense of Linux rivals and the spirit of the GPL. It’s also beneficial to Microsoft, wish tries to escape fines, ‘inject’ software patents, create fear in the Linux market and so forth. All in all, it’s harmful to progress, unless you speak of short-term financial progress for Novell and Microsoft in isolation.

  30. Sergio Dias said,

    May 24, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Gravatar

    Only a complete idiot write this. Whether the boycott Novell? Then stop using all that it sponsors: kernel, KDE, Gnome among others … Leave to speak and understand the silly things before leaving trash talking.

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