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Novell’s “Time Would be Better Spent in Doing Something Positive”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Extortion rackets ain’t positive

Novell’s screw-other-Linuxes-as-a-business-model strategy is treated too lightly by the Linux Foundation, which itself is funded by Novell (at least partially). The complaints about this need not be justified again, but Groklaw seems to have taken a similar stance, referring to this (“Highlights of the Linux Foundation End User Summit will include: An address from Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian, which will include a Q&A with the Linux Foundation’s executive director Jim Zemlin.”) and then adding: “Here’s a question for him. “How could you?” And “When are you going to figure out the role the GPL plays?”

In a way, Novell is already destroying the credibility of the Linux Foundation. It does not necessarily endorse Microsoft’s actions, but it does not publicly denounce them anymore.

Having brought the burden of frauds [1, 2] to the FOSS community, Novell has no shame. The legal issues are worth highlighting again, not to mention the brainwash, which seems to have charmed SJVN.

Curiously, one of the major drivers behind Novell’s Linux business it its controversial partnership with Microsoft. While many open-supporters hate this deal, Novell has reason to love it.

Widened losses are nothing to crow about. As for Novell’s figures, the company settled fraud allegations before, it can cook easily its figures and we shall soon show in details how Microsoft does this too (it’s a very long post).

Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier is meanwhile downplaying the issues on behalf of Novell/OpenSUSE, proving that OpenSUSE is still represented by Novell itself. There is also the issue AstroTurf or paid-for press coverage [1, 2].

Anyway, here is a portion of what was said most recently:

Sean: Let me ask you a question in a different area. Generally speaking, in the open source community, there’s a somewhat mixed reaction to Novell having agreements with Microsoft. Do you feel that any controversy in that area has an effect on uptake of openSUSE?

Joe [Brockmeier]: When I took the job, that was one of the first things that I expected a lot of questions on, and in fact I did at one time, because everyone thinks that it’s the elephant in the room. But when I go to open source conferences and actually talking to users and whatnot, I generally haven’t found it to be as big of an issue as is generally suggested in the press. This is not to say that it’s not an issue at all, but it’s hardly the only issue, and after nearly two years, a lot of people have realized it’s not the catastrophe that some painted it as when it was announced.

I think there are some folks that are very active online trying to complain about this particular issue, and they’re welcome to that viewpoint. I would suggest that maybe if you are deeply committed to open source, perhaps your time would be better spent in doing something positive.

“Zonker” seems to be taking cheap shots at us. He should have done something useful like denouncing the deal rather than taking money from Novell to become an outspoken Microsoft apologist. Well, hopefully, for their own pseudo-benefit (imaginary advantage), “Zonker” and Novell will be enjoying their “intellectual property peace of mind” [1, 2] (or knee caps) — a situation and a phrase that they themselves created when they approached Microsoft for a software patents deal back in the middle of 2006.

I'm Linux
That’s what Novell asked for

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  1. aeshna23 said,

    August 31, 2008 at 8:30 am


    “I think there are some folks that are very active online trying to complain about this particular issue, and they’re welcome to that viewpoint. I would suggest that maybe if you are deeply committed to open source, perhaps your time would be better spent in doing something positive. ” –Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier

    There are many ways we can go astray and there is often an urgent need to discuss what these ways may be. The issues raised here about how Linux may go astray are urgent and substantial and should be discussed–not silenced by Zonker’s petty accusation that we are merely whining.

  2. Dan O'Brian said,

    August 31, 2008 at 8:35 am


    You’ve been whining for 3 years now, it clearly isn’t changing anything. Maybe you should try something else, like contributing to Free Software?

  3. Chris said,

    August 31, 2008 at 9:05 am


    Dear Roy,

    please be so kind to enlighten us why it’s AstroTurfing if Novell hires a PR guy / community manager who then does his job but perfectly fine if Ubuntu et al do exactly the same!

    Also I, probably as well as many others, would be very interested in knowing what your contributions to Free Software are – obviously except this little site.


  4. aeshna23 said,

    August 31, 2008 at 9:32 am


    Contribution to Free Software takes many forms. Ordinary users can proselytize for Free Software and report bugs. Programmers can contribute code. Another form of contribution is to look at the big picture and talk about direction. Some big picture contribution may be like the ongoing discussion about how to involve the user experience in KDE4. Other big picture discussion will discuss the risk Free Software runs. Anyone who has taken an MBA class in business strategy has to admit the possibility that Mono is a patent trap for Linux, since Microsoft’s own statements about Silverlight and Moonlight make it clear that Microsoft is thinking about the Intellectual property issues.

    It seems strange to me that anyone who supports Free Software would desire to squelch this discussion. If Roy is right and Mono is indeed a patent trap, Roy’s effort may help prevent hundreds of thousands[*] of programmer man-hours going into a blind alleyway. Such a contribution seems huge to me.

    [*]This guess was entirely made-up, but seeing how much work goes into gnome, I think it quite likely that tens of thousands would be too small.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 31, 2008 at 10:00 am



    I’ve published some Free software and I still actively contribute to some projects. You probably already know that.

  6. HC said,

    August 31, 2008 at 11:42 am



    I follow your articles quite a bit and I agree with you a lot of the time. Keep up the good work. And please do ignore these paty basement dwellers who are most likely beholden to Novell anyways.

    Oi Dan, if you don’t like the articles, why don’t you go somewhere for your fill of Novell info instead of trolling here all day.

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