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Re: Now all this is not helpful to Linux advocacy (long)

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____/ Tony(UK) on Saturday 25 October 2008 13:00 : \____

> This has just appeared on my RSS feed from Linux.com:
> http://www.linux.com/feature/151215
> 
> Entitled Boycott Novell: Champion of freedom or den of paranoia?
> 
> As a disabled Linux user, I read all the insults and personal attacks
> here in COLA daily, and sometimes get some quite good information on
> the goings on in the Linux world. I find some people quite entertaining,
> some very confusing, and many more contradictory, especially Moshe, who
> for a short while actually used and quite liked Linux, but now apparently
> hates both it and now, like so many others in COLA, it's users.
> 
> While I can understand the 'He said and I said' comments, and also the
> joys and pains of Linux (which I have undergone myself because of my
> needs), what I do not understand is why the hatred and posting of
> personal details of people here, has turned inwards to the extent that
> Linux sites and advocates are now attacking advocates.
> 
> I use Linux for day to day use, have learnt from scratch, /and/ am
> severely partially sighted with many other disabilities. I choose Linux,
> but I have nothing against other operating systems - this is my choice,
> and I *was* proud to advocate Linux to others. I now believe that the
> root cause of many people turning away from Linux is not the operating
> system, it is other users who see newcomers as an annoyance, stupid.
> There is no advocate on this, or any other newsgroup, who was fully
> conversant with Linux from day one - you were all beginners at some
> point, and this attitude is a barrier to anyone new looking to learn.
> This, coupled with the infighting and a growing number within the Linux
> community turning in on itself, without any help from Windows or
> Microsoft supporters, will eventually kill Linux. So-called Linux
> advocates IMO, should be bloody ashamed of themselves. I like Linux, but
> it is my overwhelming conclusion that the community stinks and is on a
> course of self-destruction.
> 
> Or is this, *honestly*, what some Linux users want? To be part of an
> elitist niche, where others are not welcome? No? Well it bloody well
> looks like it to me.
> 
> What is going on? Would someone kindly explain it all to me, as it does
> look as if my journey with Linux is at an end. Not because of /it/,
> because of some of /you/.

Bruce's arguments with me go a long way back (he is the one who wrote
this 'article'). In the article, Bruce accentuates and exaggerates the
situation, using daemonisation terms such as "fight" (where there is none)
and "controversial".

Bruce has an axe to grind and Novell's /current/ employees, whose paycheck has
a portion coming from Microsoft, are not so happy either. Why /would/ they be?
Money comes before values, right? To some people, that condition applies. Many
SUSE developers left the company (Novell) as the result of the
Microsoft/Novell deal. They went to other companies that honour their
producers (mostly volunteer developers). I happen to be speaking with some of
them. They agree with me and they disagree with their former employer.

As you can see even in the comments, there is history there. Some of the
author's friends permit GNU/Linux to be devoured by what's known as "Linux
tax", which assists Microsoft and /Novell/.

Novell, not Linux.

A more objective article deserves your attention. This is an eye catcher
intended to provoke for comments and satisfy critics who want to reference it.

The infighting you refer to came through Microsoft's intervention in struggling
companies like Novell. By liaising with them and paying them, Microsoft hoped
to make Novell subjugate the remainder of the 'community', which pretty much
refers to anyone but Novell customers.

Do not forget that by helping OpenSUSE, one can also help SLE, which is
Microsoft's distro that it uses to pressure more vendors into software patents
tax. This is achieved by means of exclusion such as hypercalls in Hype-V (only
SUSE is allowed access) and special patent provisions for stuff like Mono (to
expire in 2012 for Novell customers).

Study what is happening by approaching both sides (Bruce is not an impartial
party and he never was). Don't download a distro just because it looks pretty
and don't trust article just because they come from pretty sites.

Microsoft has already lost based on technical merits, so it sends out
lawyers/hounds to do their job for the /$$Investors$$/. They look for
loopholes (c/f Halloween Documents). Remember SCO?

Novell has almost 5,000 employees and it it exerts a lot of influence over the
press.  You can always expect some attacks from Novell employees, or even
their friends and affiliates. Microsoft also helps in disguising the truth in
their joint press releases and 'theft' of customers' voice (there are
documented examples). They try to manufacture consensus (where Linux 'patent
tax' is the norm). Some of Novell's employees are core devs of OpenSUSE, which
by the way, is a trademark, property and item of Novell, not its
so-called 'community'. The illusion of Novell as a 'community' player is like
Microsoft's illusion of the same thing. It's just business to them, disguised
as PR. It's possible to be both a business and a humble player, as other
vendors of Linux have already proven.

It's easy to just ignore issues that you don't want to know about and don't
want to care about. But just ignoring it won't make it disappear.

Novell is not with the Free software community. It vends Linux by harming other
vendors and helping Microsoft deform Linux. But that's not the story it is
tell you (or telling journalists).

I'd be happy to clarify some more. You base your assessment on an article from
one I've argued with for over a year. Other sites argue with him too, so it's
not a special case.

By the way, as Brian Proffitt (LinuxToday executive editor) stated some months
ago, the Linux community was /never/ a 'happy family'. There was always
friction like this, so to accuse people or individual groups is the wrong way
to approach it.
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