Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Apr 2007 18:53 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE As reported by Slashdot, debate has risen over ClearType in Linux. OpenSUSE recently disabled this technology, saying "that this feature is covered by several Microsoft patents and should not be activated in any default build of the library". Other websites have picked up on this as well: "The strange thing is though: no matter the fact that Novell and Microsoft are now buddies, openSUSE still has to be concerned about the ClearType patents!"
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Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

Site A reports a story and Sites B through X re-report the story because they assume Site A is reputable. Unfortunately for this example, Slashdot isn't reputable.

People in the Slashdot comments shot this story down as off-base and untrue. Apparently Freetype was disabled by default by its developer before the Novell-MS deal ever happened.

It's just another case of an ignorant Slashdot editor posting an UNVERIFIED story from an ignorant Slashdot reader who got the story from another ignorant source.

Lucky for me my newspaper doesn't make such amateur mistakes, and if they do, they remove or amend the story. This is why internet journalism isn't up to the standards set by print journalism 100 years ago.

Reply Score: 4

grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Amen. As near as I can tell, the sequence was that a bug was reported, squashed as feature-not-a-bug, Beranger wrote his article, which slashdot completely misreported, and was responded to by Beranger here:

http://beranger.org/index.php?article=2805

The internet is typically a mob, and Novell's been nominated for a lynching-- they don't have to do anything wrong right now to be a villain.

Reply Parent Score: 5

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Amen. As near as I can tell, the sequence was that a bug was reported, squashed as feature-not-a-bug, Beranger wrote his article, which slashdot completely misreported, and was responded to by Beranger here:

http://beranger.org/index.php?article=2805


I take it you did actually read all of that?

It also doesn't explain why Novell and Red Hat feel OK about turning it on in their Enterprise distributions but not OK about turning it on for everyone else. It's an awful lot of theoretical hoo-ha about patents that doesn't get open source software any further forward. Turning things off doesn't help anyone. The Freetype person who quoted all this nonsense even states:

Of course, all of this is my personal opinion, and I would *love* to be proven wrong !!

and he's talking about how the patents cover this and how they can't be invalidated.... Unbelievable.

http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.comp.fonts.freetype.user/1912

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's why I specifically said: "debate has risen over ClearType in Linux." I'm not giving any judgement, I do not say it's true, I just report "a" debate has risen over this issue.

And that is a factually correct statement. In other words, Slashdot may have been ignorant here, but OSN took the proper measures to make sure the item is about facts (namely, "a" debate has risen) instead of jumping to conclusions.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Shame on you, Thom. That excuse is pathetic.

"Rumour has it" does not make good journalism, although it works fine in the pink press. "People say" is not usually news; what actually happens, is what should be news.

Your excuses are not only lame, but mendacious too; if the name of the article went somewhat like "Slashdot participants think OpenSUSE is hobbled by Microsoft Patents" then they those excuses may had holded (few) droplets of water. But then, of course, it would have looked a lot less interesting.

Shame, shame.

Reply Parent Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

This is why internet journalism isn't up to par

And non-Internet journalism is?

Reply Parent Score: 2

moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

Lucky for me my newspaper doesn't make such amateur mistakes, and if they do, they remove or amend the story. This is why internet journalism isn't up to the standards set by print journalism 100 years ago.

A very fair point but not really what this story is about, imho.

In the first place, the whole patent thang is so complicated that folks are erring on the side of caution or simply adopting a blanket approach which catches the good with the bad. This may easily be the case here.

In the second place, the real thrust of this story as it originally emerged isn't really do with with what happened and who was involved, etc. It is more to do with trying to prove that the dire predictions of skullduggery around the Microsoft-Novell deal are coming true. But as we now know, the notion doesn't (yet) stack up because this particular example is not strong enough. Something else may turn out to be a genuine smoking gun. We'll see.

So one can argue that this is really all about Open Sauce politicking. After all, there is nothing new about patents and setting switches in freetype. The subject has been going back and forth for years. Not long ago, loads of Linux users were recompiling freetype because of the Apple/hinting issue.

Reply Parent Score: 2