Linked by Adam S on Thu 19th Jun 2008 14:47 UTC, submitted by M-Saunders
SuSE, openSUSE A new major release of Novell's community-supported distro openSUSE 11 is now available and can be downloaded from the mirrors. Linux Format has a hands-on look at the new installer, SLAB menu and Compiz Fusion, and weighs up whether the distro can fight competition from Ubuntu and Fedora. Is this the start of a new era for SUSE?
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RE[3]: Comment by satan666
by elsewhere on Sat 21st Jun 2008 04:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by satan666"
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This dead horse is never beaten enough. It should be beaten until the patents deal between Novell and Microsoft ceases to exist. The patents deal still exists. You may feel good knowing that you are patent protected but I refuse to be protected against Microsoft. All Linux users should refuse. When there are so many good (if not better) distributions out there, why would anybody want to use a tainted one?

*heavy sigh*

Ok, so what *exactly* is the harm to the community from the patent deal? You guys like to keep banging the alarm over it, but then melt into a puddle of vapid ambiguity when actually trying to rationalize it.

First off, there is no patent licensing. That would void the GPL. Novell issued a public statement that the agreement was irrespective of linux/GPL software, and that there was absolutely no acknowledgment or implication of patent infringement. Microsoft, on the other hand, played the Groklaw community to their advantage by having them stir the FUD pot about IP violations far more effectively than their own marketing department could ever have. Do you not realize that the vocal acrimony over the deal actually played to Microsoft's benefit? That's all they were looking for. You guys validated Microsoft's patent assertions, not Novell.

Second, companies like Red Hat, IBM and HP all offer indemnity protection for their users of GPL-protected software. When Red Hat offers indemnity to one of their enterprise customers, but doesn't in turn guarantee that same privilege to the community-at-large, how is that any different from Novell having a covenant with Microsoft not to sue each other's customers over patents? Because it boils down to the same thing. Red Hat is telling their enterprise customers that they will cover the legal bills if Microsoft sues, whereas Novell cut-to-the-chase and arranged for Microsoft not to sue at all. The result, from a corporate compliance POV, is the same.

And the net result, to the community, is the same. The commercial companies deal with commercial realities that require them to make decisions and take actions that are sometimes inexplicable to the public-at-large. It doesn't mean they're out to eat the poor.

The Novell-MS deal was seized upon by the free-software community as a wedge to drive GPL v3 adoption, nothing more, nothing less. They FSF engaged in FUD just as much as Microsoft did, and both to meet their own end gains.

But yet, nothing has changed. The world hasn't stopped moving. Linux continues to evolve, and with considerable contribution from Novell, even to this day.

The irony is that the free software community, in decrying the Novell deal, utterly diminished the true strength of free software. It cannot be owned or controlled by anyone. Yet by leveraging zealous antagonism against Microsoft to help escalate their own agenda, the FSF helped plant the seed of doubt that Microsoft continues to cultivate to this day.

Perhaps, more to the point, openSUSE isn't even part of the patent deal to begin with. Implying that openSUSE is somehow tainted because of their relationship to Novell, means that virtually every other distribution is equally tainted because they are just as dependent upon Novell-produced code.

Let it go. Seriously. It's time to move on. Even Chicken Little gave in, eventually.

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