Sunday 50

Spinning pot calling kettle black

Filed under: Open source — Tags: , , — zundel @ am

The single most consequential thing Novell has ever done to make itself look bad:
Solaris Alternatives.

No one likes what Ellison and Oracle have done in their takeover of Sun.

Oracle has already lost Open Office. It has become Libre Office

No one knows which operating system Oracle will go with: the Linux they ripped off from Red Hat, or Sun’s Solaris. They advertise both on their website.

So Novell has put up this great big gob of an ad on SourceForge. (Rather discrediting for SourceForge) Obviously trying to capitalize on the uncertainty generated by Oracle’s indecision and usual bad conduct.

But Novell has sold to Attachmate. And no one understands that deal.
So there’s no certainty about Novell.

In some ways none of this is good for open source and Linux. Uncertainty is always bad.

But in other ways, and with a little time, this will probably help open source.

Oracle built their Linux from Red Hat’s code and now just bought Sun, in the process locking away a lot of Sun products and pissing off a lot of developers.

Novell bought SuSE. They didn’t build it, though they have made a few contributions.

Both companies have bought up open source projects and tried to control them. Thereby reducing the projects’ openness. Not a good thing for open source.

They’ve been parasites. We could wish both never had anything to do with Unix, Linux, and open source.

Both companies shooting themselves in the foot with uncertainty can only help more community minded open source vendors.

The unnamed, unseen key player is the developers. Open source gets built, fixed, and improved by thousands of people all over the world. For a system to thrive, it needs developers, not just in house, but a community of concern that will nurture a product.

Oracle pisses off developers daily. The only developers that like Oracle are the ones that make money selling proprietary products to Oracle customers or fixing Oracle’s bugs.

Novell had some developer support for a while with openSuSE. But with various dubious patent deals and the sale to Attachmate, they loose developer support.

This is all probably good for Red Hat and Ubuntu. Each in their own way contributing to the community and moving open source and Linux forward.

With time the customers will learn that open source isn’t about free. The advantage of open code is freedom not free, and with the right projects, community that leads to the highest quality software.

Dealing with Oracle and Novell are just other versions of vendor lock-in: one of the many evils open source exists to avoid.


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