OpenSUSE is Novell’s free ‘community’ distribution and one of the key project leaders, Andreas Jaeger, sat down and talked about Microsoft, Linux and where the MS deal is taking SUSE. More interviews can be found as well.
Interviews: Andreas Jaeger, openSUSE
About The Author
Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda
2007-02-06 9:16 pmbutters
He said pretty much what I would say in his position. He can’t say that he disagrees with the deal or agree that the patent covenant is a threat to the FOSS community. He can respect the concerns of the community, and he can express dissatisfaction with software patents, but that’s exactly as far as he can go. The fact that he went that far shows how he really feels.
Commercial Linux vendors differentiate themselves based on services and premium features. But community projects differentiate themselves on the strength, passion, and unity of its contributors. Andreas is at the helm of a community in danger of being fragmented by a controversial decision in which they had no say.
Without question openSUSE is a great project, clearly in the top tier of community distributions, and Novell did a great job with SLED 10. But what they did was wrong. Other commercial vendors stood by their product and their right to distribute it as free and unencumbered software. They did this by offering comprehensive patent indemnification on their own terms.
By buying partial indemnification from a third-party (it really doesn’t matter that it happened to be Microsoft), Novell proved that doesn’t stand by its product. That means that it doesn’t stand by our product, the product of the community’s hard work–free software that we share with commercial vendors on the same terms as we do with anyone else. If they don’t stand by our work, of which we the community assert complete ownership, then why should we stand by and support them?
The openSUSE community should stand up for itself and tell Novell that they made a big mistake. Tell them that if they want to pay a third-party for indemnification, it had better indemnify all Linux users. They haven’t even indemnified the openSUSE community, without which Novell SLED and SLES 10 would not have happened. This is total disrespect for the people who make their product possible. So why are you sticking by their side?
And why didn’t Novell demand Exchange interoperability?
Edited 2007-02-06 21:20
2007-02-06 10:21 pmcollinm
for me, the big issue about opensuse is the performance…..
boot is very slow and system is not enought fast if i compare to other distribution
AJ has worked tirelessly for years now to deliver one of the top-quality distros. As this interview makes clear, he was simply told about the MS-Novell deal shortly before it happened, like the rest of the OpenSuSE team one surmises.
Just goes to show that Novell is a case of “lions led by donkeys”, were that not deeply insulting to donkeys.
2007-02-06 6:44 pmlinux-it
it’s not. Problem is that such deals may not leak away before it’s presented to the world. That’s the *only* reason.
It happens always — else the shareholders may and will do nasty stuff.
Good thoughts, well balanced. No real comment on the Novell/MS deal. Someone who (to me) seems to understand it.
I’ve never seen any reason to abandon Novell or (open)SUSE. It in fact is one of the finest distributions with very fast bugfix turn-around stuff (bugzilla).
Way to go!
Edited 2007-02-06 18:28