Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:17 UTC, submitted by Josh
SuSE, openSUSE Suse co-founder and kernel team member Hubert Mantel has resigned from Novell, the server software company that acquired the German Linux company in 2004. Mantel announced the move on a Suse Linux mailing list Tuesday, and Novell confirmed the move Wednesday. "I just decided to leave Suse/Novell. This is not (any) longer the company I founded 13 years ago," Mantel said in the e-mail. "I have been the maintainer of the Suse kernel for more than a decade now. I'm very confident the Novell management will find a competent successor very quickly."
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man...
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:26 UTC
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I finally migrate from Debian to SUSE and all hell breaks loose with that company... insane!

Reply Score: 0

RE: man...
by rm6990 on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:33 UTC in reply to "man..."
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

I finally migrate from Debian to SUSE and all hell breaks loose with that company... insane!

I KNOW!!! I mean, a company gets aquired and the founders of the company leave. THAT NEVER HAPPENS UNLESS SOMETHING IS UP!!! Oh...wait, it happens all the time, even if the company doesn't get aquired. Red Hat's co-founder left the other week to start a new company.

Explain how this is significant please?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: man...
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE: man..."
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Uh, this is absolutely not a case of a company getting acquired and falling apart as a result. Novell acquired SUSE ages ago, for all intents and purposes, and only after several months worth of resounding successes are these problems arising. Novell has attracted numerous governments and companies to SUSE (http://www.novell.com/linux/whynovell/speakout.html), open sourced YaST, opened SUSE as a whole (by creating openSUSE), and put a legion of developers behind the community. The recent layoffs, abandonment of KDE (though that phrasing may be a tad melodramatic), and resignations truly are surprising and dissapointing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: man...
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: man..."
Anonymous Member since:
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I dont know how much truth there is to this, but I have heard that many of the old Suse players feel like they are no longer calling the shots and setting the direction that made them the successful OS company they are today. There is also a perception that IBM is influencing so many things at Suse that they might as well buy them out.

In any case, I hope they pull through these seemingly uncertain times..

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: man...
by rm6990 on Thu 10th Nov 2005 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: man..."
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

Uh, this is absolutely not a case of a company getting acquired and falling apart as a result. Novell acquired SUSE ages ago, for all intents and purposes, and only after several months worth of resounding successes are these problems arising. Novell has attracted numerous governments and companies to SUSE (http://www.novell.com/linux/whynovell/speakout.html), open sourced YaST, opened SUSE as a whole (by creating openSUSE), and put a legion of developers behind the community. The recent layoffs, abandonment of KDE (though that phrasing may be a tad melodramatic), and resignations truly are surprising and dissapointing.

Yeah, and if you would please turn your sarcasm detector up 2 or 3 notches, you would realize that is not the point I was trying to make ;)

Unless you didn't mean to reply to me.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[3]: man...
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 08:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: man..."
RE[2]: man...
by Ronald Vos on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:49 UTC in reply to "RE: man..."
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, there's the context of having founders falling out at eachother, and people leaving out of dissatisfaction during a significant company resizing, as opposed to someone leaving because that person is starting a new company.

Reply Score: 1

slack
by 2501 on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:40 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

Something is not right. is NLD going to replace Suse?

I am glad that I am running Slackware. it is the best linux distro i have tried so far.

-2501

Reply Score: 1

A nonissue
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:50 UTC
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He was just a kernel maintainer for the entire history of SuSE. And, as any dictionary will tell you, kernels are small things--practically irrelevant to an OS.

Reply Score: 0

RE: A nonissue
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 12:59 UTC in reply to "A nonissue"
Anonymous Member since:
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"as any dictionary will tell you, kernels are small things--practically irrelevant to an OS."

LOL...am I detecting just a bit of sarcasm? ;)

Reply Score: 0

Theres a trend...
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:53 UTC
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Hubert Mantel (Co-founder Suse): Quit
Richard Seibt (Suse President): Quit
Chris Stone ([0]): Quit

Now back in 2004, Chris Stone "accidentally" let it slip that Novell was going to standarize on QT. He was very pro-KDE and his comment turned out to be untrue. Either he lied or things changed.
http://newsvac.newsforge.com/newsvac/04/03/26/1934246.shtml

Anyone notice the pattern. There was (is?) obviously some sort of internal conflict at Novell about KDE vs GNOME and how to proceed with their Linux stradegy. Looks like GNOME won....

Reply Score: 0

RE: Theres a trend...
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 01:26 UTC in reply to "Theres a trend..."
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Th irony is that I don't think Novell's Linux initiative will last long enough to keep the ship afloat.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Theres a trend...
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 07:54 UTC in reply to "Theres a trend..."
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"Hubert Mantel (Co-founder Suse): Quit
Richard Seibt (Suse President): Quit
Chris Stone ([0]): Quit"

You forgot: Chris Schlaeger (VP of Development) did quit too, recently:

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-5942300.html

"Now back in 2004, Chris Stone "accidentally" let it slip that Novell was going to standarize on QT. He was very pro-KDE and his comment turned out to be untrue. Either he lied or things changed.
http://newsvac.newsforge.com/newsvac/04/03/26/1934246.shtml "

That's in multiple ways untrue. Neither was Stone very "pro-KDE" nor did he ever say such a thing, the heise.de-Article which was the basis of this story never connected Stone with this statement. AFAIK know someone else has been spreading this stuff then, and it was not Ximian ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE:A nonissue
by sbenitezb on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:54 UTC
sbenitezb
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2005-07-22

Without a kernel there wouldn't be an OS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]:A nonissue
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 05:40 UTC in reply to "RE:A nonissue"
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Somebody does not understand sarcasm.

Reply Score: 1

Ouch
by moleskine on Wed 9th Nov 2005 23:58 UTC
moleskine
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2005-11-05

Everthing I've read suggests he's a good man who helped found a distro that for years was synomymous with "quality" like no other. One heck of an achievement; more than 99 per cent of the people at Novell have ever done, for a start.

And as the long-time kernel maintainer for SuSE, I'd wager he is a superb technician who'll be a hard act to follow. I'm sure that Novell will be keen to explain this one away as culture clash, "transitioning", or whatever, but coming on top of all the other news about Novell recently, it is not a good sign at all. The general idea is to hold on to the talented guys.

Reply Score: 5

Of course
by sbenitezb on Thu 10th Nov 2005 00:11 UTC
sbenitezb
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2005-07-22

All those monkeys really have influence in Novell's future. Novell acquired Ximian and invested a lot of resources in GNOME applications, so if they need to standardize on a desktop it's pretty obvious their choice is to go with GNOME. Why did they bought Suse at first and not developed their own distro? Now, one can say Suse's (as is) future could be doomed.

My personal take is their management is clueless about what to do with Linux to make business, or perhaps how. Mono is not going anywhere, they are just using it because they built it; there are still much more Java developers. Evolution is great, but how's that they are going to cut resources on it?

Beside, there is Red Hat covering the market they want for themselves. Who would you trust? A company that lost to Microsoft and almost went bankrupt, or the one that's taking market share from it?

Reply Score: 4

Suse is dead
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 00:16 UTC
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the death of SUSE, thankyou Novell.

Reply Score: 2

Again
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 00:20 UTC
Anonymous
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Let's add SUSE to the thing Novell screwed up.

Reply Score: 2

sour grapes
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 00:25 UTC
Anonymous
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Sounds like someone trow their toys out of the cott.

The last line is a stab at ximian and Novell's standarizing on Gnome for SuSE enterprise and Novell Desktop...

too bad how sad is all I can say. Robert Love is/would be a better kernel package maintainer IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

RE: sour grapes
by cm__ on Thu 10th Nov 2005 01:35 UTC in reply to "sour grapes"
cm__ Member since:
2005-07-07

> The last line is a stab at ximian and Novell's
> standarizing on Gnome for SuSE enterprise and
> Novell Desktop...

Exactly.

Zdnet left out the best part after
"I'm very confident the Novell management will find a competent successor very quickly.".

Mr. Mantel's quote goes on: "After all, there are lots of extremely skilled people over there in the Ximian division." (see http://www.crn.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=173600703)

IMHO that's a slap in the face of the Novell management and Ximian. Basically that means that in his opinion the company is run by incompetent people, both from a technical and a business point of view.

BTW that's close to what I asked myself when I learnt that Novell had aquired *both* Ximian and SuSE.

Reply Score: 5

Well....
by Bobmeister on Thu 10th Nov 2005 00:32 UTC
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2005-07-06

It seems like there is so much speculation around all of this. Granted, a LOT of the Novell news seems bad, but I guess I'll save my energy trying to predict things like the "death" of SUSE and other things and just see what the heck happens. I don't like the looks of a lot of this stuff either, but I'm willing to ride out the storm and see what happens. I don't want to go back to Red Hat right now....so I won't.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Well....
by Jody on Thu 10th Nov 2005 00:53 UTC in reply to "Well...."
Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

There is alot going on a Novel currently, but that is not always a bad thing. Sometimes moving and shifting positions is the best way get get the company in line with what they want their goals to be.

As a Gnome user here, I can't say I expect to be entirely dissipointed with what they come up with.

Reply Score: 1

LOL
by BrazenRegent on Thu 10th Nov 2005 00:41 UTC
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2005-11-10

Welcome to the real world folks, Linux can make you profitable company or will burn you(the late is in vogue). Novell's mistake was staying with 2 desktop platforms for to long(as observed by many readers here), this was inevitable when Novell bought Ximian and Ximian's leadership was elevated to key postions. If I were an investor in Novell, I would be pissed off that they burn so much money(and development time) on platform(KDE/QT)that in the end they would not use in their key products that generates income for the company and its investors.

Novell is the 1st(and biggest)to have big layoffs in the LinuxWorld and not the last. The other key(for profit) distros are on their last VC dollars before they start letting go in large numbers(Xandros and Linspire come to mind)

One of the benefits of the LinuxWorld is that you can always find another distro, the downside is when you pick a distro, they may disappear forcing you to change to another distro and then another. But as a Linux user, you have accepted that fate, so stop complaining about having to change distros.

Reply Score: 1

RE: LOL
by moleskine on Thu 10th Nov 2005 01:12 UTC in reply to "LOL"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

Novell's mistake was staying with 2 desktop platforms for to long(as observed by many readers here), this was inevitable when Novell bought Ximian and Ximian's leadership was elevated to key postions.

Actually, it could be argued that what happened was that Novell left SUSE's German core well alone for a couple of years for fear of an explosion if they tampered with it. Eventually they had to tamper with it and the result is, yes, an explosion. However, if I were an investor in Novell, I might be asking why they seem to prefer lightweight style victims from the Ximian stable to seasoned professionals from the SUSE one.

One of the benefits of the LinuxWorld is that you can always find another distro, the downside is when you pick a distro, they may disappear forcing you to change to another distro and then another. But as a Linux user, you have accepted that fate, so stop complaining about having to change distros.

We aren't talking about changing distros so much as the threat of a significant loss of quality from one of the leading distros. Were that to happen, Red Hat would have an almost monopoly-sized run at Linux in the enterprise, which wouldn't really be very good news. As for changing distros - well, just change to Debian and you'll never have to worry about changing again.

Reply Score: 5

RE: LOL
by segedunum on Thu 10th Nov 2005 13:24 UTC in reply to "LOL"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

If I were an investor in Novell, I would be pissed off that they burn so much money(and development time) on platform(KDE/QT)that in the end they would not use in their key products that generates income for the company and its investors.

Where do you think the money does come from right now? A good manager needs to work out what is viable, not what makes the most noise ;-). The NLD and any desktop wanking is not viable, not as it stands, and that has become pretty clear.

Novell is the 1st(and biggest)to have big layoffs in the LinuxWorld and not the last. The other key(for profit) distros are on their last VC dollars before they start letting go in large numbers(Xandros and Linspire come to mind)

They burned through their VC dollars ages ago, and Linspire actually has decent revenue in the form of Click 'n' Run now. Xandros has stayed fairly small and focused and has made themselves viable on contracts and sales that simply aren't large enough for a company like Novell. Nice try, but KDE and Qt are a cost viable and development toolkit.

Reply Score: 1

Much to do about nothing
by youknowmewell on Thu 10th Nov 2005 01:24 UTC
youknowmewell
Member since:
2005-07-08

Big deal. People seem to be 'connecting the dots', when really what they are doing is making a lot of assumptions and then making predictions about SuSE based on those assumptions.

My gut feeling is that SuSE and Novell will be around for a long time to come. SuSE/Novell, RedHat, and Mandriva will be the top commercial distros in the future, with other commercial distros filling niches (like Linspire) where needed.

Stop this doom and gloom stuff, it's positively melodramatic.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: LOL
by Morty on Thu 10th Nov 2005 01:25 UTC
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2005-07-06

if I were an investor in Novell, I might be asking why they seem to prefer lightweight style victims from the Ximian stable to seasoned professionals from the SUSE one.

A rather good question, but this is sadly not a unheard of fenomen. It's the one where quality engineering lose out against thermodynamics, or more commonly described as lots of hot air.

Reply Score: 5

v Novell == SCO
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 02:25 UTC
RE: Novell == SCO
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 02:35 UTC in reply to "Novell == SCO"
Anonymous Member since:
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Oh shut up..

Reply Score: 2

RE: Novell == SCO
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 05:01 UTC in reply to "Novell == SCO"
Anonymous Member since:
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Er yeah thats nice. How about you stop copy and pasting from dot.kde.org ?

http://dot.kde.org/1131467649/1131562094/1131563159/1131563716/1131...

Pathetic.

Reply Score: 0

Novell will never wake up
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 02:48 UTC
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Novell should not have invested in two drastically different (and at times diametric opposed) technologies. I think Novell was enamored with Mono and pretty desktop themes and lost site of the fact what they needed most was a strong technology position in the market, something they have been losing for quite some time. Muddying the waters with GNOME when they purchases a first rate and technically excellent KDE distribution was pointless, in fact beyond pointless. No offense, but Ximian seems to be selling some kind of drug to upper management, one that is causing mental degeneration and loss of vision. Losing core SUSE engineers is probably the fastest way to destroy any technology position they may have hoped to gain. The morale of the SUSE engineers is probably at an all time low, nervous apprehension has been replaced by smoldering rage and justified anger. If any one in Novell management grew half of a brain (or spine) then they would be begging for their most intelligent workers to stay on board, instead arrogance reigns and they sit complacently as they watch the next Novell Titanic sink before them.

It seems Novell is doing exactly what it has always done, make big announcements and make big promises and then and pin all of their hopes on a multitude of irrelevant technologies, praying that somehow all of their dreams will magically come true. Of course nothing progresses because no one is behind the reigns, and they drop the husk of the dead product they have been hoping would solve their problems on the side of the road and desperately look for the next product to destroy. The whole time management has no idea which way is up. No one within the company has a clear leadership position or vision, the CEO is just a guy that keeps his fingers crossed, smiles, and hopes he can last three more years. The company is just a compilation of bad reaction after bad reaction.

Novell just becomes more and more irrelevant every day.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Novell will never wake up
by youknowmewell on Thu 10th Nov 2005 03:11 UTC in reply to "Novell will never wake up"
youknowmewell Member since:
2005-07-08

You have it backwards. If they 'muddied the waters' at all they muddied them with their purchase of SuSE. Novell purchased Ximian BEFORE SuSE, so you should actually say it was pointless to purchase SuSE when they already had a first-rate team of programmers working on very useful--and some might say vital--techologies.

Face it, Novell wanted a jump-start into the Linux distro business, and they did it through SuSE. The name plus the employees (who already had a grasp of the technology) gave them a quick start into the business, along with some much-needed experience. Now that they've dipped their toes into the proverbial water, they can continue on in the direction that they want (whatever it may be).

A strong technological position will come through Ximian, Mono and related technologies and applications.

Edited 2005-11-10 03:14

Reply Score: 1

v RE: Novell will never wake up
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 03:34 UTC in reply to "Novell will never wake up"
RE[2]: Novell will never wake up
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 06:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Novell will never wake up"
Anonymous Member since:
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Thanks for quoting me, I'm glad you found my post intriguing enough to be used here. However I would ask that you please link directly to my blog instead of copy/pasting my entry. I do thank you for quoting its source however ;-)

-- Aaron Krill (www.funkyshizzle.com)

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Novell will never wake up
by smitty on Thu 10th Nov 2005 10:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Novell will never wake up"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Thanks for quoting me, I'm glad you found my post intriguing enough to be used here. However I would ask that you please link directly to my blog instead of copy/pasting my entry. I do thank you for quoting its source however ;-)

-- Aaron Krill (www.funkyshizzle.com)


Anyone want to explain why they modded this post down?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Novell will never wake up
by japail on Thu 10th Nov 2005 04:05 UTC in reply to "Novell will never wake up"
japail Member since:
2005-06-30

Let me translate this long post into a more succinct comment:

"If Novell had replaced itself with SuSE then I would be happy, and Novell would be important. However Novell bought two companies (one of which I dislike), took what they wanted from both, and decided to take these assets in a direction I don't agree with. Therefore they are irrelevant."

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Novell will never wake up
by r_a_trip on Thu 10th Nov 2005 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Novell will never wake up"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

@ japail

You got the gist of the original post wrong.

Novell tried to jumpstart a Gnome distribution business. The most stupid decission they took on that path, was that they bought an ingrained KDE shop, to provide the underpinnings for their Ximian acquisition.

A fusion of the Gnome desktop within a KDE distro will cause an explosion and fallout. SUSE was created with KDE in mind. It was bought and loved because it was the best KDE solution out there. Rip out KDE from SUSE and you get a Red Hat wannabe, which loses its customers and key developers.

We'll see how Novell Hat will fare, but I suspect that some SUSE adherants will now definatively jump ship.

Luckily, I already jumped ship upon the news that Novell bought SUSE. Given Novells trackrecord, I knew they would turn SUSE's gold in to lead. Ironically I'm running Ubuntu Gnome now...

Reply Score: 1

Change is Good
by RGCook on Thu 10th Nov 2005 03:11 UTC
RGCook
Member since:
2005-07-12

I don't see the changes taking place with SUSE @ Novell as bad. In my view, Novell is taking bold steps to strengthen its position in the marketplace. This will cause ripples with the legacy crowd.

Linux adoption continues to languish. Recall the "definition" of Insanity - doing something the same way and expecting a different result.

If (IsDesiretoImprove)

Then ModifyBusinessPlan(Now)

Else ContinueStruggleing(forYears)

endif

Reply Score: 1

v Two things
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 03:31 UTC
v I mean
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 03:34 UTC
Two things
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 04:03 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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1) why the hell some company does not buy Trolltech and open source (LGPL or BSD) the frameworks? What is it about Trolltech that avoids this? Many companies burn millions in fruitless efforts but can't spend some on Trolltech?

2) SuSE had to make money from its own efforts, just like Mandrake or Mandriva are doing. Novell did not understand this, just like the richy Ximian folks don't understand, not that it's all bad for the community, but maybe if they helped to free QT (1) it would have been even better.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Two things
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 07:47 UTC in reply to "Two things"
Anonymous Member since:
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"1) why the hell some company does not buy Trolltech and open source (LGPL or BSD) the frameworks? What is it about Trolltech that avoids this?"

The hefty price tag, no sane company would buy a toolkit for lots of money, when you can get another one for free.

(maybe one of the ex-SUSEs want's to comment on this, to be precise: Why it didn't happen ;) )

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Two things
by cm__ on Thu 10th Nov 2005 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Two things"
cm__ Member since:
2005-07-07

> The hefty price tag, no sane company would buy a
> toolkit for lots of money, when you can get another
> one for free.

Your answer doesn't match. The grandparent was talking about buying *Trolltech*, not *Qt*.

BTW: Please only speak for yourself. There are lots of sane companies that value the quality of the Qt toolkit, of the documentation and of Trolltech's support.

See: http://www.trolltech.com/company/customers.html

Reply Score: 1

Ximian's incompetence
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 04:15 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Especially note the sarcasm in Mantel's final words:

"I have been the maintainer of the Suse kernel for more than a decade now," Mantel wrote. "I'm very confident the Novell management will find a competent successor very quickly. After all, there are lots of extremely skilled people over there in the Ximian division."

http://www.crn.com/sections/software/software.jhtml?articleId=17360...

As a former S.u.S.E.-employee I can confirm that there has been a _lot_ of infighting between the SUSE and Ximian division. Ximian pushed agendas in areas they have very little clue about. That's one of many reasons why Ximian is _hated_ inside SuSE everywhere (Taking into account that Ximian is even hated by large parts of the Gnome community this should tell Novell something ...). If Novell won't remove Ximian people from positions where they have way too much influence and where they have proven to have very little competence then this will inevitably result in the demise of SUSE. Stay tuned for more important SuSE people resigning from Novell soon ...

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Ximian's incompetence
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 05:12 UTC in reply to "Ximian's incompetence"
RE[2]: Ximian's incompetence
by smitty on Thu 10th Nov 2005 06:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Ximian's incompetence"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

The fanatism of the KDE community never ceases to amaze me. Why can't you people leave GNOME alone and just enjoy your damn desktop enviroment.

Well, actually he was implying that the GNOME community had the sense to dislike Ximian. Therefore, he was actually paying them a compliment and only ripping on Ximian. Hopefully you don't equivocate every single company using GNOME to be synonomous with GNOME itself, do you?

That's like me saying, "Mandriva sucks" and you replying that I'm a fanatic for bashing KDE. All I meant was that the name sucks. Who brought KDE into the discussion?

Reply Score: 2

v RE[3]: Ximian's incompetence
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 06:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ximian's incompetence"
RE[4]: Ximian's incompetence
by smitty on Thu 10th Nov 2005 07:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ximian's incompetence"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I'm not saying he was right. He probably is a troll. But in that post he didn't bash GNOME at all, only Ximian. So when you replied about how KDE users always troll about GNOME my troll alert went off.

Try to only respond to what someone is actually posting, not what they have posted in the past. Or at least don't make sweeping generalizations about others while you're doing it.

Reply Score: 0

my two cents....
by karl on Thu 10th Nov 2005 08:01 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's one thing when KDE and GNOME fanboyz can't get along, each dis(mis)sing the other, ranting and raving over the strengths(of their own) and weaknesses(of the other). One has come to expect such petulant rivalry-after all few of these zealots actually contribute code, in fact little more than hot air. But it would seem that this illness has effected some subset of the developers of KDE and GNOME. Perhaps this was always the case, but the recent ongoings of Novell have made much clearer how much bitter resentment, jealousy, envy and disdain which has fermented between the two development communities.

This troubles me deeply. Although I myself prefer to use GNOME I have always had respect for KDE(the developers). But Freedesktop.org has held the most promise-the idea that people from competing projects can work together to find common ground to avoid unnecessary duplication and to promote a more unified simple solution to complex problems for users. If the contention between the two camps(Ximian being representative of the GNOME camp and SuSE being representative of the KDE camp) is so pronounced and so vehement this bodes a superabundance of ill-will which is damning for projects like Freedesktop.org.

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, being carried away by the hype. But I honestly cannot fathom the unproffessionality of the sentiments being expressed by departing SuSE employees(provided that the last line from Mantel was sarcastic-which certainly appears to be the case). Are these people so insecure regarding their own abilities that they have to resort to backlashing against their fellow coders ?

I should however mention that I am not surprised by decisions which Novell has made recently. It was apparent to me when Novell bought SuSE and then Novel what their respective roles would be. SuSE was purchased for two reasons primarily- 1) it was an established, successful Linux distribution with signifcant standing in the Linux world, which entails profound levels of proficiency in terms of kernel development,engineering compilation environments, rigourous testing and QA, and packaging know-how. 2) SuSE employees had significant real-world experience in Linux network/server architecture and administration via collabarative work with IBM/Sun and countless other European firms.

Whereas Ximian had produced the by far most polished Desktop suite the Linux world had ever seen with an enormous attention to detail. Coupling this with mono Ximian was providing a group of people very proficient in terms of producing a very proffessional desktop product and producing a very powerful c# .Net based runtime environment which was immediately adapted internally at Novell and put to widespread use.

Although many here dismiss mono it is finding a lot of use not only in Novell and the very popular end-user applications which we all know (beagle, f-spot, tomboy, muine etc.) but also has significant uptake by many other software development companies. In reality many corporations that would seek to use a Linux powered solution for their servers are and will be drawn to the rapid application development, which mono enables, for their own internal applications. Mono allows for these companies to reuse existing skills of their workforce, who have gradually transititioned towards .NET over the past couple of years.

Honestly I doubt the KDE hackers at SuSE were little more than a bonus in the eyes of Novells management at the time of the acquisition of SuSE. The departure of Mantel certainly has no direct relation to the choice of GNOME over KDE for the Novells primary Linux products-Mantel was not a KDE hacker-he was a kernel engineer. Yet I can imagine the the internal conflict at Novell concerning desktop technologies may have produced an atmosphere so rife with contention that working their lost a lot of it's appeal. Anyone who knows SuSE knows that GNOME was always, historically, treated as a bastard step-child, to put it mildy. SuSE offered the worst GNOME desktop going for years on end. This was probably due to their being no GNOME developers having ever worked for SuSE. After the aquisition SuSE, which at least since the late 90's had a strong high quality focus on KDE was subjected to work environment in which GNOME developers were treated as *the* hotshot developers. So envy, jealousy and resentment were kind of preprogrammed socially.

I just wish that many of these developers would simply grow up. Why can't they recognize that they *have* proven themselves- they have produced incredibly compelling technology, they have provided a service to humanity, they belong to the exclusive ranks of the best programmers in the world. These developers are great- and I mean BOTH GNOME and KDE developers. Why do they need to dismiss one another and rant about the other project. Why can't they be mature enough to work together in what ways they can. They don't have to prove that KDE is better than GNOME or vice-versa. They have, in my eyes, proved themselves far superior to propietary software developers without exception. Es fehlt leider an Selbstbewußtsein....

Reply Score: 5

TIme to form a new company
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 09:33 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I hope those engineers who have left SUSE go on to form a new company, to continue the good work that SUSE had done for years.

Novell has a long history of destroying everything they touch, by making one bad decision after another. I was very sad to hear that Novell had acquired SUSE. The writing was on the wall.

Remember that Novell had UnixWare, that they bought for hundreds of millions of dollars, then sold it for a fraction.

Also, those now running SCO (McBride and co) are former Novell executives. That tells you something about the calibre of Novell management.

As for the organisation I work for, which has a lot of Netware systems, Microsoft if pushing heavily to replace them with Windows. Our management has been looking to dump Novell for a while. Novells debarcle of trying to reinvent itself as a Linux company has given our management no confidence in them. Their recent 'downsizing' also raises concerns on how long they will continue to support Netware and Groupwise.

Sorry Novell, you will end up in the dust bin of tech companies, alongside Wang, Data General and DEC.

Reply Score: 1

Another Utah Software Company imploding
by shotsman on Thu 10th Nov 2005 10:49 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

Just like SCO, there is IMHO something inevitable about the demise of Novell. Perhaps it is something in the Rocky Mountain air or water that makes them behave in this way.
I think Novell is cutting its head off to spite itself. The core Novell product line has not really evolved. Some bright spark though that "Hey this linux thingy looks cool. We need some of the action"
However the internal cultures of Novell & SUSE are very different. Novell don't really have much clue about what to do with SUSE. The Ximian purchase sort of made sense but SUSE well to me it didn't.
I think they should be brave, hold up their hands and sell off SUSE and concentrate on adapting their core business to meet the modern day challenges. If they don't then Novell (again IMHO) could follow SCO down the pan.

Reply Score: 1

Suse died the day was aquired by Novel
by plainstyle on Thu 10th Nov 2005 10:52 UTC
plainstyle
Member since:
2005-10-27

I've been using SUse for more than 10 years until 9.2 the first Novel-Suse version, that found it less Suse and more Lindows. I was almost sure that soon I would ses the end of Suse (even though the releases where coming out more and more frequently), a distro that gained its power through the support of European Linux community, Governemnts and Local Suthorities; all lost their interest when it became another American Linux ditro.
Its a pitty because it would benefit future with possible European opensource enbrace...

Edited 2005-11-10 11:06

Reply Score: 4

It's damm clear
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 10:56 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Novell has used Suse to insert Ximian's toys into it.
Now can kick off all suse developers because they have a decent userbase (thanks to Suse distro )

Reply Score: 0

RE: It's damm clear
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 12:52 UTC in reply to "It's damm clear"
Anonymous Member since:
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Novell has gutted SuSE for their distro and burned their developers. Now they are enamored with the Ximian faction who keep pressing this mono agenda...

It is not a question of if Novell will fall to pieces, but when...

-----------
if I were an investor in Novell, I might be asking why they seem to prefer lightweight style victims from the Ximian stable to seasoned professionals from the SUSE one.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: It's damm clear
by g2devi on Thu 10th Nov 2005 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE: It's damm clear"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Considering that Novell bought Ximian a half a year before they bought SUSE, I think they were sold on the Ximian vision from the start. Ximian isn't as incompetant as you appear to say. Like them or hate them, you'll have to admit that back when GNOME was more popular than KDE, most GNOMErs depended on RedCarpet and Ximian's excellent GNOME customizations that had a great influence on GNOME. For instance, the Application's menu that's core to GNOME appeared in Ximian long before it appeared as part of the GNOME standard and several of their usuability studies helped shape the GNOME HIG.

The problem isn't Ximian, it's Novell. They changed the focus of Ximian (outside of Mono, Ximian is unheard of in the GNOME world any more), and are changing the focus of SUSE (an alienating KDErs in the process). Changing focus is something companies need to do from time to time, but so far, even though they've shown a lot of good will (e.g. OpenSUSE, YAST opensourced, etc), they don't seem to managing these changes well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: It's damm clear
by cm__ on Thu 10th Nov 2005 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's damm clear"
cm__ Member since:
2005-07-07

> you'll have to admit that back when GNOME was more popular than KDE,

Hmm? Are you from the US? AFAICT that never was the case around here (Europe) thanks to SuSE, Mandrake and others.

Reply Score: 1

Buying Trolltech...
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 10:57 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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why the hell some company does not buy Trolltech and open source (LGPL or BSD) the frameworks? What is it about Trolltech that avoids this?

Trolltech is basically owned by its employees. Since Trolltech is growing rapidly and is actually making profit, there is no reason why they should sell it to someone like Novell. There are rumors that Novell tried to buy Trolltech, but Trolltech employees didn't want that (thankfully in my opinion, I think Novell would certainly have succeeded in ruining Trolltech as well).

Reply Score: 0

Sure
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 12:34 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Red Hat should take the opportunity to hire him. I mean, if Novell's going to hemmorage good employees, there's no reason for RH to not enjoy some of them.

Besides, most corporate mergers turn out to be ill-advised or total failures. No surprise about this one.

-Erwos

Reply Score: 0

FORK
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 13:51 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Can't SuSE be forked?

Reply Score: 0

Novell will support both GNOME and KDE
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 14:00 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Holger Dyroff, Novell's vice president product managment says, that Novell, after talking to their customers, they will offer both GNOME and KDE for their products. Development for both desktops will be continued and both desktops will be supported. Bot GNOME will be the default in the future. More details can be found here (German):
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/66011

I can't believe how stupid people at Novell are! Why don't they talk to their customers first, before officially announcing stuff? I really liked SUSE and I installed SUSE 10 some weeks ago (after using Debian for many years) and I liked it, but Novell is completely destroying everything SUSE achieved over the years and i won't touch anything from Novell again no matter what they do with GNOME and KDE. In my opinion, they are just a bunch of incompetent people who should have stayed out of the Linux market for the sake of the Linux community.

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous
Member since:
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PC-Welt (German News Magazin) writes, that OpenSUSE/SUSE Linux will continue to default to KDE. So all the fuzz was really about nothing.
http://www.pcwelt.de/news/software/123892/

Reply Score: 0

Oh Dear
by segedunum on Thu 10th Nov 2005 15:38 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

How not to manage your organisation. You need to work out what's making money, what isn't, what you need to go on and the people you need to get there. Pissing off said people because some people would like to wank over what software they use is extremely bad and weak management. Remember, it's not just Suse people who have left but good technical people who've been with them for years like Alan Nugent, and also Chris Stone who at least guided some direction.

KDE and Gnome doesn't matter, and certainly not at the moment, althought the culture clash has been a real problem. They need to get their core business right first (where the money actually comes from to pay for technology wanking like Mono), and they actually need to move to Linux and open source software. They're still effectively using Netware and Netware software in OES, rather than moving that software to de-facto open source projects, open sourcing it and maintaining all of their stuff as part of a wider community. They actually need to move to using open source software, not this 'both-source' crap. Suse's SLOX was a good example. It was growing fast, actually saved people money, was partly open source and yet they discontinued it in favour of Groupwise which is in freefall usage wise. There's not just a KDE and Gnome divide in Novell, but a Netware, Linux and open source divide as well.

Now, take all that into account - does Ximian's clique of managers and people really have the knowledge and nous to navigate those waters? It's a definite no. They simply have no track record or expertise in maintaining an enterprise Linux distribution, and that's different from knocking out desktops, non-functioning PIM apps and hacking on stuff that will never be finished. All they can do are put out press releases telling us about stuff that will never be done. You need strong management in the midst of that, and Novell don't have it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Oh Dear
by moleskine on Thu 10th Nov 2005 18:40 UTC in reply to "Oh Dear"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

Really, this is all arguing over deckchairs. In fiscal 2004, Novell needed to make 685 million dollars just to pay the bills (expenditure/cost of sales), that's nearly two million dollars a day in gross profit, or more than three times Red Hat's entire annual turnover. The cost of running the business is what's crippling them. Novell has some 5000 employees whereas Red Hat has just under 1000.

Just remember those figures. Even if SUSE does incredibly well over the next year, the Linux side would still only bring in enough to support a company about a quarter or less of Novell's present size. That's the outline of the mountain in front of Novell unless they can find a way to modernize their traditional bases in Netware and the like and then make healthy profits from them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh Dear
by segedunum on Thu 10th Nov 2005 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh Dear"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Really, this is all arguing over deckchairs.

Quite possibly yes, but they've got to try. Unfortunately, their layoffs and cost cutting didn't go far enough.

The cost of running the business is what's crippling them. Novell has some 5000 employees whereas Red Hat has just under 1000.

Hmm, yes. Investment increasing, and still huge costs, against a backdrop of stagnating and declining revenues. That's always a winner!

Just remember those figures. Even if SUSE does incredibly well over the next year, the Linux side would still only bring in enough to support a company about a quarter or less of Novell's present size.

Or find a way to expand their Linux business into the application server and other businesses and make decent money from it. It would take some cleverness to do that though, as well as good management.

Whichever way you cut it, and thanks for the hard figures, Novell are going bust.

Reply Score: 1

Mono
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 15:43 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Mono must be making lots of money for Novell I'm sure.

DotNet as a whole, including Mono, has been pretty much deficitary so far.

But what is money if not a way to invest, right?

Well, the Open Source comunity as a whole isn't enjoying many Mono applications or Mono installed bases.

But not all is lost! When Windows Vista has been launched and installed in many millions of computers, Mono should be able to enjoy some of that, right?

Talk about a long term investment!

Reply Score: 0

RE: Mono
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 15:49 UTC in reply to "Mono"
Anonymous Member since:
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I totally agree with you, Mono depends of the .NET succes and .NET stil doesn't take off, maybe in a couple of yearas and Novell knows it, it is a long term investmetn, for people like me who have used Mono I can tell you that the Ximian guys are doing a great job in compatibility, you can port a .Net to Mono so easy, I've been in workwhops of C# and .NET and I've see hoe they port Windows applications to Linux in a very reliable way, not to mention that Mono asp is a very mature technology.

I put my money on Mono.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Mono
by segedunum on Thu 10th Nov 2005 15:53 UTC in reply to "Mono"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Mono must be making lots of money for Novell I'm sure.

Pardon? What planet have you been living on? Mono makes zilch for Novell, and costs them quite a bit in developers and resources.

They're giving all of this away for nothing because some people believe that the LGPL is the best license for businesses.

But not all is lost! When Windows Vista has been launched and installed in many millions of computers, Mono should be able to enjoy some of that, right?

No. Since .Net in Windows Vista will be tied tightly with a lot of Windows Vista infrastructure which is definitely not portable, that does not translate into success for Mono.

Talk about a long term investment!

Indeed.

Reply Score: 2

Mono
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 15:50 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Even if Mono gains widespread use in the Linux community (and I doubt that), how exactly is Novell going to make money with it?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Mono
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 15:54 UTC in reply to "Mono"
Anonymous Member since:
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Mono works as a connection betwen Linux and Windows, and there are enteprices who use both, they canoot depend of .NET on works on MS platforms both Mono works in every one.

Reply Score: 0

Kernel
by Anonymous on Thu 10th Nov 2005 15:54 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Kernel isn't just a kernel, but also an important compatibility layer with drivers and settings.

SuSE must have had a super compatible kernel, but I don't have any data on that, though Knoppix as a german product like SuSE tries very hard to be compatible with as many different hardwares as possible.

Hardware detection and compatibility should be the first goal of a good distro for the general public, not just support for the latest advancements in hardware and software.

Reply Score: 0

What the?
by youknowmewell on Thu 10th Nov 2005 17:38 UTC
youknowmewell
Member since:
2005-07-08

How do you people know how much money Novell does or doesn't make on Mono? Who are you that you can judge the quality of the Ximian devs? I think you should stick to what you know, not what you think you know.

What we know: Novell, since purchasing SuSE, has opened up portions of SuSE that were formerly closed (like YaST). Novell purchased Ximian before SuSE, and is now favoring the Ximian side more than the SuSE side. Novell is investing in technology which is unique in the Linux world (i.e. they are innovating), which Ximian devs are working on. Some executives from Novell and SuSE have stepped down from their positions, which isn't all too uncommon and wouldn't even have gotten posted on Slashdot and OSNews except that these are high-profile linux companies.

It sounds to me like it's business as usual. I'm willing to give Novell the benefit of the doubt considering their many positive contributions to the free and open source software world. Those who are disparaging Novell for this are likely masking yet-another GNOME vs KDE flamewar, replacing it with a Ximian/Novell vs SuSE flameware. You can't deal with the fact that another company has decided to standardize on GNOME instead of KDE, and you spell doom and gloom now that your desktop environment sweetheart has been turned down for what you consider to be an inferior product.

SuSE isn't dying, it is merely changing shape. It won't be like the old SuSE, this much is certain. It's time people dealt with it and move on.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What the?
by segedunum on Thu 10th Nov 2005 23:26 UTC in reply to "What the?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

How do you people know how much money Novell does or doesn't make on Mono?

Stick to commenting on stuff you do know - which is very little. It's simply damn obvious. The only people are are making even a fraction of money out of Mono is Mainsoft.

Novell is investing in technology which is unique in the Linux world (i.e. they are innovating), which Ximian devs are working on.

Which (whatever the hell it is) is costing money and brings in zero revenue. Given Novell's current circumstances that's a great combination.

and you spell doom and gloom now that your desktop environment sweetheart

Nope, they were in trouble regardless of that. They're in even more trouble now.

SuSE isn't dying, it is merely changing shape. It won't be like the old SuSE, this much is certain. It's time people dealt with it and move on.

It's certainly going to be funny.

Reply Score: 0

Novell...
by TBPrince on Thu 10th Nov 2005 18:50 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

If you care about an opinion from someone not using Linux, well, I think this is "sane". Is that a good choice too? Time will tell but at least it's sane.

It' insane by itself to have 1, 2 or tens of toolkits / environments but that's even more insane for Novell, which acquired Ximian and is sponsoring MONO. I'm not saying that GNOME is better than KDE (I don't even know), just that's plain right that they made a choice.

I agree with that user writing that Novell is innovating, or trying to. That doesn't mean they will succeede, just they're trying. No-one will consider MONO as a real thing to invest into if Novell itself it's not showing that they're doing that.

However, I'm shocked to read that they released a new statement telling that "they were kidding and they will support KDE after talking to their customers..."! What the heck? Who runs that boat? Do people wake up in the morning and say everything they have on their mind that day to the press??

I think going back would damage Novell image more than choosing to switch to GNOME only...

Reply Score: 1

I wonder
by nmi! on Thu 10th Nov 2005 20:18 UTC
nmi!
Member since:
2005-11-10

if Novell believing in the Ximian Gnome vision will go as well for them as it did for the investors in Helix/Ximian and Eazel...or perhaps it will be yet another funding source sucked dry and destroyed.

We'll see in a couple of years.

Reply Score: 2