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[News] Novell Helps Microsoft with Mono, OOXML, FUD

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The OpenSuse FAQ touched me in a bad place

,----[ Quote ]
| I consider enthusiatically supporting a company that calls your underlying 
| community a “cancer” to be a “sell out”. I consider promoting Microsoft 
| technologies to the direct detriment of competing Free and Open Source 
| technologies to be a “sell out”. The “clear conditions” and “few specific 
| areas” are irrelevant. The question of “selling out” is very much a 
| subjective one, because it requires one to make a value judgment based on 
| actions. And that’s about as far as you can go with the arguement on whether 
| Novell “sold out” or not - do you think they did? (Hint: the answer is yes.)       
| And “fierce competitors”? Please. Microsoft has two major development 
| platforms it wants deployed right now: .NET and Silverlight. Novell is doing 
| everything it can to spread both of them wherever it can.  
| [...]
| Well, I don’t know what you mean by “pushing”. I do know that:
|     * Miguel de Icaza thinks OOXML is “superb”, superior to ODF, called 
|     criticism of it “FUD”, considers ISO approval was a good thing, and so on 
|     [1] [2] [3].  
|     * Novell announced that the “Novell edition of the OpenOffice.org office 
|     productivity suite” would support OOXML very early in the game [1] 
| These could be construed as “pushing” OOXML. Be careful now: the argument 
| that OOXML support - now, after approval - is needed is not relevant. The 
| problem is that when the discussion was started, and OOXML was proposed 
| specificially to counter ODF, Novell stood firmly behing Microsoft.   
| The reason people think Novell is “pushing” OOXML, even if technically Novell 
| recomments ODF, is because most people judge by actions, not words. Novell 
| has taken a lot of action to support (”push”) OOXML. ODF? Not so much.  
| It also provides me an opening to touch on my favorite pet peeve: just 
| because someone disagrees with you, does not mean the message is “FUD“. If 
| someone is laying out a reasoned argument - it is not “FUD”, no matter how 
| much you might disagree with the premise or conclusion. It doesn’t mean you 
| agree with someone’s argument, but you don’t just get to dismiss legitimite 
| criticism by calling it “FUD”. Let me help you out:     
| This is FUD: “Linux infringes on 235 Microsoft patents.” “Linux is a cancer.“
| This is not
| [...]
| Here we have the FAQ that caused me to write this entry; I won’t use openSUSE 
| precisely because it is “sponsored” by Novell - and so, according to the 
| FAQ - I am being clearly ignorant and being absurd.  
| First, the easy pickings: Tomboy/F-Spot/Banshee/Beagle, etc. - no I don’t use 
| any of those because I won’t have mono on any of my machines. I dare say most 
| people that disagree with the Novell/Microsoft deal don’t use mono. (And 
| here’s the thing: I don’t care if someone wants to use them - I just don’t 
| think they should be included by default in some many distros. But the key to 
| gaining mindshare is to have your products on the desktop, and that’s why 
| Novell pushes so hard to get these things included in the default GNOME and 
| so on.)       
| [...]
| As I mentioned in another blog post Novell’s relationship with openSUSE is 
| not one of “mere sponsorship”: 
|     * openSUSE is a trademark of Novell
|     * openSUSE EULA is was a “Novell Software License Agreement” [I see this 
|     has changed for the new release.] 
|     * openSUSE is promoted as “openSUSE from Novell” on Novell’s own website
|     * The openSUSE site is copyrighted by Novell.
|     * The openSUSE “Community Board” is lead by a Novell-appointed chairman, 
|     and must contain a majority of Novell employees. 
| [...]
| In a way, this speaks to the heart of the matter: Microsoft has been 
| hell-bent on destroying Open Source for a long, long time - and still Novell 
| gets into bed with them. Limiting the discussion to patent issues attempts to 
| obscure the fact that Novell is enthusiastically pushing Microsoft technology 
| into the Open Source ecosystem as hard as it can. Patents may be one part of 
| the issue, and an important one - but the larger issue to me is embracing an 
| anti-Free Software company like Microsoft.      

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