Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Nov 2006 18:26 UTC
Novell and Ximian "Someone just asked me whether, now that Novell's become buddies with Microsoft, I'll be turning away from Novell/SUSE as one of my favorite Linux distributions. My answer is no. I'm sticking with SUSE Linux on both my desktops and servers. Here's why."
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Member since:

"""Stay away from cults. It will bring you nothing but grief."""


One thing that I have noticed is that you like to pidgeon-hole Linux advocates all into one neat category.

You can't do that and retain an accurate view of that nebulous thing we call "the community". (This is really true of any group.)

I've been an advocate and administrator of Unix, and later Linux, since 1988. My primary attraction to Linux is that it is a great unix and has done a lot of things right that the proprietary vendors never got around to, like having a usable desktop. I am also a strong open source supporter; I strongly prefer open source software to proprietary for various reasons. Some of them practical, some of them could be considered idealistic. I would never go as far as RMS and the FSF on that point since I feel that being an extremist does more harm than good. And sometimes I am forced to go the proprietary route because I don't have an OSS solution that would work as well for my customers as a proprietary one. (For example, business accounting and Point of Sale are very weak areas for OSS.)

And guess what, NotParker? There are a *lot* of people in the community just like me; more than your realize. And the reason you don't realize it is that *we don't talk as much* as the people with more extreme opinions. (This is also probably true of most any group.)

I believe that this is the first post that I have made in *any* of these threads about the Novell-Microsoft deal, mainly because I am still making sense of it all. I've never really liked SUSE (personal preference) so I don't have any SUSE installations to delete.

If I did though, I suspect I might be considering a move to a different distro for my own workstations, since my feelings about SUSE's move are generally, at this point, negative. As an individual user, I have that luxury.

Now, if I had clients' servers on SLES or SLED, that's a whole different ball of wax. To move them to something else, I would have to have some good solid business reasons to do it. Oh, I could make up something and my customers would believe me because they have confidence in our company. But I would not do that. It would not be ethical. There is more to ethics than software freedom; There is my responsibility to do what makes the most business sense for my clients. That does not always have to mean "in the short term", though. Sometimes I recommend things, like a move from Windows to Linux, based upon gains that I see after the initial migration is over, and I'm usually pleased with the results, and so is the client. (I've never had anyone ask to move back, or say that they were dissatisfied, but then again, I only move the ones that I know will benefit.)

Certainly, at this point, there is not nearly enough reason to uproot a client and move them to a new distro.

And I consider myself to be a big Linux advocate. I sympathize with some of the FSF philosophy, but believe that if I let my attraction to OSS overshadow my responsibilities to my clients, I am doing a disservice to both the client *and* to OSS.

So please remember that "the community" has more depth to it than may sometimes be immediately apparent.

Some of us live our lives in what sometimes seems like a perpetual moral dillemma. ;-)

I don't really want to make a long thread out of this. But please, just think about it, OK?

Steve Bergman

Edited 2006-11-06 21:31

Reply Parent Score: 5

twenex Member since:

Oh well said, sir!

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stestagg Member since:

I went to mod you up, but you were already +5 ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

gilboa Member since:


First, I'm no OSS purist. I rather use OSS when I can, but I use nVidia/VMWare/etc when I can't.
Second, I don't use SLED. I got burned by Novel in the past and I never let anyone screw my twice. (Needless to say, I'm not that surprised by the Novel/Microsoft pact).

If I was using SLED, I would have began making long term preparation to jump ship to another enterprise level distribution. Here's why:
A. This deal helps Microsoft sue other distributions, which in-turn, locks me into SLED. In the long term, I have a vested interest in breaking any attempt to lock me to a certain platform. (That's why we decide to [try and drop] Windows as a target platform to begin with)
B. This deal helps Microsoft impede the progress of the OSS movement and in my view, less OSS means less choice (in selecting which software to use) and higher prices (limited selecting of developers). As a consumer I have a vested interest in keeping the market alive and competitive.

While in the short term, I'd continue to use SLED, using it in the long term means platform lock-in, higher prices, less features and less freedom. Call me crazy, but funding someone as he tried to screw me doesn't look like a good business plan.

- Gilboa

Edited 2006-11-07 16:09

Reply Parent Score: 1

gilboa Member since:

/ Please ignore bad English. too much work, not enough sleep, edit doesn't seem to work.

Reply Parent Score: 1