The first major effect of Attachmate buying Novell (and thus, SUSE) has come into, uh, effect. Novell, of course, is the birth place of Mono, the open source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET framework. Reports indicate Mono developers have been fired as part of the streamlining process, but according to Attachmate’s CEO, they weren’t fired because of Mono.
At this point, it’s unclear as to if everyone has been fired, or only a few. Michael Larabel reports that 30 Mono developers have been let go, but I’m not exactly sure how many developers were actually working on Mono in the first place for Novell. While it’s tempting to assume that Attachmate is letting these people go because it doesn’t see a future in Mono, reality is a little different. Attachmate CEO Jeff Hawn has told InternetNews that it’s all part of a reorganisation.
“We have re-established Nuremburg as the headquarters of our SUSE business unit and the prioritization and resourcing of certain development efforts – including Mono – will now be determined by the business unit leaders there,” he said, “This change led to the release of some US based employees today. As previously stated, all technology roadmaps remain intact with resources being added to those in a manner commensurate with customer demand.”
In other words, it’s not that Attachmate sees no value in Mono – it’s that it sees no value in having developers in the United States while the SUSE business’ headquarters are located in Germany. Hawn provides no insight into how many employees have been let go, and it would seem that no Mono developers have been let go in Europe – if there even are Mono developers to be let go here.
Mono, of course, has always been a controversial project. It implements several technologies patented by Microsoft, and as such, has been shunned by many Linux distributions. I personally used to have ‘don’t worry, be happy’ approach to Mono, but since the recent patent litigation explosion, I’ve become a lot more cynical regarding the project. It would be understandable if Attachmate wanted to kill their involvement with Mono out of fear of possible patent litigation, but it would seem that isn’t the case at this point.