02.06.07

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Samba Team Walked Out on Novell? (Corrected)

Posted in Action, Boycott Novell, Deals, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, GPL, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Red Hat, Samba at 1:19 am by Shane Coyle

We all know about Jeremy Allison going to Google after leaving Novell over the Microsoft-Novell deal, but it appears that the other 4 members of the Samba team that were employed by Novell are now employed by Red Hat. Somehow, that escaped me until now.

In an article regarding Red Hat’s upcoming RHEL5 and the "nonevent" that the Oracle and Microvell announcements have been for Red Hat, I happened upon this gem:

Stimson has seen a “backlash” in the open-source community to the Microsoft/Novell arrangement. He noted that all five members of a Novell software development team quit Novell after the Microsoft deal was announced and four of them went to Red Hat. They were working on the Samba Project, developing an open-source file and print server software product than can run on a Microsoft Windows operating system.
“I think (Microsoft/Novell) is tainted now, because I think they are violating [the] GPL license,” said Jeremy Allison, the fifth member of the team to quit Novell in December 2006. He went to Google Inc. but emphasized that he was not speaking for Google on this subject.

In our interview, we had asked Jeremy if any other developers had, or were considering, also leaving Novell over the deal. Of course, he could not comment due to legal and ethical reasons, but now it appears that there have been further repercussions for Novell as additional developers join the exodus.

At the CITI forum, in December 2006, Novell South Africa Country Manager Stafford Masie had refererred to the Samba team, noting their public dissent over the Microsoft deal but told those in attendance that "the Samba project team actually works for Novell.":

There’s alot we do to the kernel, we’ve got alot of kernel developers… we’ve got alot of file system guys, the Samba team- the project team, the Samba project team actually works for Novell. I know the recent press releases about what the Samba team thinks about the Microsoft thing doesn’t depict them working for us, but y’know what? they actually do. They used to work for HP, but now they work within us. And then we’ve got Miguel and Nat and that entire team there.

Well, they’ve still got Miguel and Nat, anyhow.

Correction (February 17th 2007 by Roy Schestowitz): Linux.com points out that, as one of our references was inaccurate, the headline (which has always contained the question mark by the way) is in fact incorrect.

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4 Comments

  1. Ian said,

    February 6, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Gravatar

    Losing developer talent is never good, but I’ll bet the Samba protocol is a drop in the bucket compared to NCP usage with Novell customers.

    Beyond that, I’m not sure how one can support the moral objections of the Samba team towards Novell on the basis of this deal. I vaguely understand the concerns about the patents within the scope of patents being bad. Deeper in, it doesn’t seem like the patents part of the deal is anything more than verbiage. Maybe it was a play against Red Hat, I don’t know. Maybe some Novell customers or potential customers had those IP worries. Again, I don’t know.

    But I do know that Samba proliferates SMB/CIFS. While Microsoft didn’t invent SMB, it’s now firmly their game. They set the rules. If Longhorn server breaks compatibility, Samba will react to support those changes. I have difficulty supporting the moral objections against Microsoft by a group whose core competency is tied directly to Microsoft. There’s nothing wrong with that because people need that functionality. However, I do think it should limit the “holier than thou” attitude.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 6, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Gravatar

    FWIW, the following story was published not so long ago:

    Red Hat Hires Ex-SUSE Sales Exec to Run EMEA Channels

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 6, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Gravatar

    @Ian:

    If Longhorn server breaks compatibility, Samba will react to support those changes.

    Have a look at (listen to rather) this interview:

    The Microsoft Zombie Army will force Samba out of the Enterprise

    Vista is to ship with a new version of SMB, called SMB2. At minute 40 in this FLOSS Weekly podcast, Jeremy Allison of Samba talks of behavior that will flood the network with 1500 packets just to do a network file delete. This will turn Vista computers into a DOS (Denial of Service) attack upon Samba based computers on the network.

  4. Draconishinobi said,

    February 6, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    Gravatar

    “Vista is to ship with a new version of SMB, called SMB2. At minute 40 in this FLOSS Weekly podcast, Jeremy Allison of Samba talks of behavior that will flood the network with 1500 packets just to do a network file delete. This will turn Vista computers into a DOS (Denial of Service) attack upon Samba based computers on the network.”

    AWESOME !!! I wanna see that ! :D

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