Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Nov 2006 23:05 UTC, submitted by SEJeff
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Mark Shuttleworth is trying to entice OpenSUSE developers to join Ubuntu. "Novell's decision to go to great lengths to circumvent the patent framework clearly articulated in the GPL has sent shockwaves through the community. If you are an OpenSUSE developer who is concerned about the long term consequences of this pact, you may be interested in some of the events happening next week as part of the Ubuntu Open Week."
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"What is right?" You don't seem to understand here, not everyone has the same opinion of what right is.

Many people think of Shuttleworth's pro-binary blob policy as wrong, many do not. Many view Novell's actions as wrong, many do not. Many view OpenBSD's vocal community actions as wrong, many do not.

Which group is right?

Well, OpenBSD's community thinks it's right for fighting for complete access to the source code of it's operating system, ensuring it's security and freedom. They are sick of waiting for a revolution that doesn't exist to make everything open source, so they fight for it. Many outsiders think they alienate the open source world from hardware manufacturers by doing this, being a vocal group that openly calls companies liers and cheats and complains about things, often in massive waves. They think that OpenBSD is a bunch of big scarey monsters that sour the relationships that they the more mild people are trying to build in their own ways.

Novell thinks it's right for trying to obtain a licensing agreement with Microsoft to ensure the safety of it's customers from any potential legal repercussions. Many think it's wrong, because it's dealing with Microsoft, well, many companies deal with Microsoft, it's hardly new and hardly evil to do so.

And Shuttleworth thinks he's right because he wants to give the users of his system the best experience possible, regardless of how, to ensure that they stay Ubuntu users in the future and don't go elsewhere. Many think it's wrong because it's using binaries instead of trying to open things up or not support things which are not going to be opened. They think that supporting any company that refuses to open up is hurting open source by not supporting those hardware makers who do support open source.

Not everyone is out for the big bucks, and getting those big bucks isn't wrong when one does. A company has an obligation to make money for it's shareholders you know, it's not right to make 10 dollars where one could have made 12. As a publicly traded company, they must make as much money as possible, or they can and will be held accountable.

Canonical is not the Linux community, it's not even a community, it's a company, a company focused on making a Linux distribution to be sure, but a company. A community doesn't have bills to pay or a bunch of shareholders - Novell has those, Canonical lacks the shareholders because it's private, but it still has the bills. It's not in any way a community member, it's a company trying to direct and enhance the community for their purposes. Novell is doing the same thing.

Which is the right way? To try to protect your customers and dance with the devil ala Novell, or to wander on your own attacking anyone you think is your enemy ala OpenBSD, or is it to help the community with it's problems and make a buck in the process ala Ubuntu?

It depends now doesn't it? When one looks at it Novell is just as much a community member as Canonical is, likely more of one, in fact, since Novell has made or at least released the source code for more than Canonical has. Evolution and many other things have come from Novell, while there has been little new code coming out of Canonical, just the control of a distribution.

In truth, Microsoft has done what is right by all it's standards. It is obligated in the same way as Novell to make the most bucks for as little bang as possible. They just happen to have made a lot and done things you don't like.

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