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Truth Behind the ClearType/OpenSUSE FUD

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the making-it-clear dept.

Slashback 123

Kennon writes "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols over at Linux Watch clears up the FUD around Tuesday's Slashdot discussion concerning OpenSUSE, ClearType, and patent deals with Microsoft."

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ClearType (5, Funny)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700881)

I think ClearType is a great idea

Re:ClearType (1)

BlueWomble (36835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704281)

I can't see what all the fuss is about.

Maybe it's just me but I've turned cleartype on in both Linux (a couple of distros) and Windows and I can't say I like the results.

I find font rendering in Linux more visually pleasing than that in Windows XP and I turn off the sub-pixel smoothing in Linux because text looks better without it.

Re:ClearType (1)

LuYu (519260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704699)

I have to second that. For some reason I regularly forget this. Then I start using someone else's Windows computer, and I suddenly realize how nice my own desktop is. This is also one of the places where Fedora truly outshines Knoppix. KDE's transparent menus are nice, but the fonts are so much prettier in Gnome (Yes, I know I am going to get totally flamed for this;).

hinting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18700895)

wish they did something about font hinting and Adobe patent on it

What a novel idea (3, Insightful)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700919)

To come up with an idea, prevent others from working on it, and to claim all work in the area as their own property. And make claims of future work as well: "more patents to come." Sounds like pirating to me. Microsoft is raping and pillaging the software community.

They didn't invent clear type, Steve Wozniak did (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701585)

Well except the sub pixel anti-aliasing they claim as their invention was invented by Steve Wozniak a couple of decades earlier.

So yeh, Microsoft is raping and pillaging the software community. The guy wants to avoid a patent fight spat with Microsoft, he knows he'll win, but the patent nuisance (for a patent that should never have been issued) is the problem here.

Some people would call it fraud, to apply and continue to use a patent you know had/has prior art.

Re:What a novel idea (1, Offtopic)

u8i9o0 (1057154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702267)

Microsoft is raping and pillaging the software community.
You must be new here.

Oh, wait. dattaway (3088)?

/me head explodes

:)

Re:What a novel idea (1)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702819)

may be he was buying his userID on the eBays?

I don't need no steenkeen clarification (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18700921)

I already got the truth from Slashdot. Save it for the dupe.

I have no problems with Suse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18700923)

I don't use them anymore, since the deal with M$. It's a free market. Vote with your download. I switched to Ubuntu and I have never looked back.

Re:I have no problems with Suse (1, Offtopic)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701111)

I like Suse and Novell does a lot for open source, I hope they come through this arrangement ok, but I'm switched to Debian.

Changed Before the Microvell Deal (5, Insightful)

10scjed (695280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700927)

This change was last summer, pre-microvell, so the news actually would have been if OpenSUSE was enabling it and taking advantage of MS' patent covenant for Novell customers and OpenSUSE contributors while other distros couldn't.

MS' plan to fragment the community is only effective if Novell has customers and developers supporting them, otherwise the covenant is irrelevant. Boycott Novell, the rest takes care of itself.

Re:Changed Before the Microvell Deal (5, Insightful)

rudegeek (966948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701005)

if Novell has customers and developers supporting them

You reap what you sow. Novell exposed themself to any FUD by going to bed with MS. Now everything they do (whatever it will be FOSS friendly or commercial) will be taken into MS deal context. It will just get harder and harder to wash off mud thrown by others.

Not that I think FUD is a weapon FOSS supporters should use. But a bit of paranoia is healthy. :-P

Re:Changed Before the Microvell Deal (4, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701629)

This change was last summer, pre-microvell, so the news actually would have been if OpenSUSE was enabling it and taking advantage of MS' patent covenant for Novell customers and OpenSUSE contributors while other distros couldn't.
Yes. I submitted the previous story about this matter, and I stand corrected. I didn't know everything about the issue; I relied on the sources reporting on it, and mainly, the whole matter seemed suspicious, and I thought posting it to Slashdot would shine some light on it. Not 100% sure if doing so had an influence, but what matters in the end is that things are now clarified.

From my standpoint, the interesting issue that remains is what I mentioned in the little comment at the end of my submission for the previous story: ok, assuming there are MS patents on this technology, isn't Novell licensed to use them now (even if it "isn't a patent license", but it just acts like one)? Apparently the Microsoft-Novell deal doesn't help openSUSE out much with regard to MS patents. Is the same true for SUSE?

Re:Changed Before the Microvell Deal (2, Informative)

G Money (12364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702395)

This wasn't a cross patent license between them, just an agreement not to sue each others customers. They can still sue the hell out of each other for patent infringement. Both Novell and Microsoft have large patent portfolios so it's a bit like the cold war where either side could drop a patent litigation bomb on the other but they both have a huge arsenal to counterattack with. The agreement they made was more of a form of detentes than anything else. Novell can't use any of Microsoft's patents and Microsoft can't use any of Novell's without fear of litigation. They can't sue end customers though so it gives customers a nice safe feeling that long before a lawyer ever shows up at their door, either Novell or Microsoft will be long gone.

Re:Changed Before the Microvell Deal (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701775)

Your two statements seem to contradict each other. If Novell doesn't embed technologies covered by MS patents, then there isn't any real reason to boycott them. MS' plan only works if Novell does embed those technologies.

Poor Novell (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18700929)

They try to do the right thing by signing an exclusive collaborative deal with Microsoft, and inexplicably seem to have attracted lots of unnecessary displeasure from the open source community on which they rely!

Who'd have thought it?

This hurts my head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18700947)

Comments about the "cleartype font" from clueless execs don't clear anything up. My understanding is that Microsoft are evil and software patents are not legal in the EU - if these patents are valid at all. It's a fucking travesty that such a technique belongs to Microsoft as "intellectual property".

Perhaps the USPTO can tell us all why we should disable sub-pixel rendering when it's a technique that has been used since the '80s? Actually, perhaps they'd like to refund everyone the cost of their LCD monitors and increased power consumption by CRT's. Viva la innovation eh fuckers?

Re:This hurts my head (5, Informative)

10scjed (695280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701011)

According to Microsoft's attorney, software patents are invalid in the US as well [patentlyo.com] :

MR. OLSON [For Microsoft]: The '580 patent is a program, as I understand it, that's married to a computer, has to be married to a computer in order to be patented.
JUSTICE SCALIA: You can't patent, you know, on-off, on-off code in the abstract, can you? MR. OLSON: That's correct, Justice Scalia.
JUSTICE SCALIA: There needs to be a device.
MR. OLSON: An idea or a principle, two plus two equals four can't be patented. It has to be put together with a machine and made into a usable device.

Re: This hurts my head (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701225)

Can it not be argued, then, that program authors cannot be sued for patent infringement? They only write programs "in the abstract", they don't combine it with any device, neither explicitly nor implicitly. That's done by the end user at the time of running the program. Of course, as such, such an argument wouldn't protect the end user, but is a programmer really vulnerable to software patents?

Re: This hurts my head (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701293)

Only if it's assumed (and legally able to be assumed) that they've compiled and run the program in the course of developing it.

Re: This hurts my head (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702107)

Given that Microsoft has agreed not to sue Novell's customers over patent infringements then Novell just needs to have customers that do the compiling and testing of software for Novell.

Basically the coders just write code without testing and then check it in, and the customers download, compile (if necessary) and test it.

Heck, something like this already happens in many software companies around the world ;).

Re: This hurts my head (1)

w128jad (643759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701439)

MR. OLSON [For Microsoft]: The '580 patent is a program, as I understand it, that's married to a computer, has to be married to a computer in order to be patented. JUSTICE SCALIA: You can't patent, you know, on-off, on-off code in the abstract, can you? MR. OLSON: That's correct, Justice Scalia. JUSTICE SCALIA: There needs to be a device. MR. OLSON: An idea or a principle, two plus two equals four can't be patented. It has to be put together with a machine and made into a usable device.

Can it not be argued, then, that program authors cannot be sued for patent infringement? They only write programs "in the abstract", they don't combine it with any device, neither explicitly nor implicitly. That's done by the end user at the time of running the program. Of course, as such, such an argument wouldn't protect the end user, but is a programmer really vulnerable to software patents?

The other parties that are vulnerable are hardware vendors and system OEMs that offer to pre-load FLOSS on their hardware. Dell/HP/IBM and their like will generally avoid clear-cut legal liabilities. They marry a device to software as a normal part of their business model.

Take the Blackberry as an example of married software and hardware that infringes patents. If someone else wrote the software, RIM still has the liability because they did the combining of software and hardware into a device.

Does anyone know if there has been a case of an end-user being sued for patent infringement?

Re: This hurts my head (2, Interesting)

chris macura (899109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703011)

You can't sue an end user for patent infringement because they're not selling it or making a profit off of it. And if they are selling it, they're no longer the end user.

Its perfectly legal---and theoretically, encouraged---to take a patent and use it to build the system at home. Theoretically, patents are to be in such detail that the invention they patent may be recreated from the patent.

IANAL.

Software patents at devices. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701295)

Unless you call the lcd monitor a device.... however looking at


Methods and systems for hinting fonts

A system for providing a hinted TrueType font comprising: one or more computer-readable media; one or more processors; computer-readable instructions on the one or more computer-readable media which, when executed by the one or more processors, cause the one or more processors to implement a method comprising


They work arround it by nameing the computer processor as a device.... Not sure if this is really valid.

Re:Software patents at devices. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701435)

A CPU is a device, the purpose of which is to run software (programs for computers). Software is not patentable in the US according to Microsofts own lawyers. Additionally the output "device" for cleartype would be a software rasterizer.

VOID

Re:Software patents at devices. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701737)

You really should re-read the quotes from MS lawyers. What they say exactly follows the legal precedent of software patents. You cannot patent software without including the machine. They clearly state you patent the combination of the software and the computer on which it runs. Read any software patent and you will see it talks about "a device" or "a computer system" in the claims. The computer does something that has been deemed patentable by law. The software makes the machine patentable. I think the nerds who hate patents, but do not understand them, like to use that quote to spread their own version of FUD among the internet.

Really, I recommend if you are going to bash anything, whether patents, copyrights, or some large corporation of your choice that you do a little research into what it is you are saying, before spewing total non-sense and spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt of your own.

Re:Software patents at devices. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18702075)

A computer is an invention that computes. So something invented to do something is patentable when it then does that thing?
  • Method of using a microphonic device and audio recorder designed for recording sounds to capture flatulence in the key of C#.
  • Method of using an oven designed to cook foodstuffs to cook something that looks like chicken but taste like something else.
  • Method of using a remote control device designed to switch channels to switch to channel 30 and muting the volume.
  • Utilizing a vehicle designed for transporting humans to transport humans who have big, fuzzy, pink hair.
  • Putting garbage consisting of issued USPTO software patents into a garbage can.

Wow, the justification for software patents gets more absurd and surreal every time I hear it.

Re:Software patents at devices. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18702167)

Really, I recommend if you are going to bash anything, whether patents, copyrights, or some large corporation of your choice that you do a little research into what it is you are saying, before spewing total non-sense and spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt of your own.

You're obviously new here.

Re:This hurts my head (2, Informative)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701075)

The problem isn't sub-pixel rendering in general (if it was, any anti-aliasing feature would be covered by these patents). ClearType [wikipedia.org] is taking avantake of the way of drawing pixels LCDs use (red, green, blue standing next to each other instead of being mixed together) to increase anti-aliasing even further. This technology is LCD-specific and patented by Microsoft.

Re:This hurts my head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701333)

No, the technique isn't LCD specific. [cnn.com] Now I don't know about you Tonto but when the CRT monitor is replaced by the LCD panel, adapting existing techniques is obvious. The only novelty here is that Microsoft have buckets of cash to bet on invalid patents for a little (anti-)competitive advantage.

Re:This hurts my head (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701363)

I believe, it only works on CRTs, if you pump up the resolution to the technical maximum. When I tried ClearType on a CRT (in 1024*768) a few years ago, it looked like crap.

Re:This hurts my head (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702007)

That doesn't mean the feature didn't work. It just means the feature wasn't beneficial at that resolution. In other words, "It's not a bug, it's a feature!" =)

Re:This hurts my head (2, Informative)

juiceCake (772608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703177)

ClearType works wonderfully on my LCDs, much better with it enable than without it enabled. Worked wonderfully on my CRTs, when I used them, as well. Others report different results. Results, therefore, may vary.

Re:This hurts my head (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701429)

There seems to be a confusion of terminology in the above, but I admit I may be misreading it.

Anti-aliasing is not the same thing as sub-pixel rendering, which is orthogonal to anti-aliasing and can be (and almost always is) combined with it.

Anti-aliasing is merely the use of different shades to adjust the sharpness of object boundaries, where the shade is based upon the amount of a pixel the objects covering that pixel would intersect. While this sounds like something that would be describable by the term "sub-pixel rendering" if, for a moment, you assume you would divide the pixel into smaller virtual pixels to calculate the end result, that's not what sub-pixel rendering refers to. The term "sub-pixel" is not being used to describe these smaller "virtual pixels".

In an LCD a pixel is made up of three "sub-pixels": real, discrete, lighting elements that together illuminate one complete pixel. The sub-pixels are the three primary colours and are almost always mounted side by side as three thin strips. Sub-pixel rendering is the technique of using the separate red, green, and blue sub-pixels of an LCD "pixel" in isolation to improve the sharpness of object boundaries. When used, the screen effectively has an increased horizonal resolution of 3x the regular resolution, so a 1400x1050 screen effectively becomes 4200x1050.

It is usually, if not always, used in conjunction with regular anti-aliasing (though technically it doesn't need to be.)

Microsoft's patents, as I understand it, cover the latter, and in particular focus on preventing "colour fringing" that is otherwise a major downside of using sub-pixel rendering.

Re:This hurts my head (2, Interesting)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701527)

Mod parent up! That is exactly right and the full scope can be found on Steve Gibson's ClearType pages [grc.com] . What they have patented is simple filtering of sub-pixel rendering. That is just a simple combination of two very old techniques, color filtering is used in everything from blur filters to fire effects to texture mapping. Sub-pixel rendering too, has been used for ages to increase the apparent screen resolution.

Re:This hurts my head (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701813)

It's interesting because the patent combines 2 existing techniques to increase apparent resolution on a hardware display. I'd argue firstly that it isn't novel, the only reason MS were able to get this patent is because early LCD costs were prohibitively expensive. That prevented the wider hacker community from "inventing" (sic) this first.

Secondly, it's a patent on pure software, simply optimizing output for a specific display type.

Re:This hurts my head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18702817)

"This technology is LCD-specific..."

No, it isn't [grc.com] , as discussed previously in the threads on Tuesday.

Heck, I can even *remember* the use of analogous "sub-pixel" rendering in some Apple II programs to increase the apparent resolution of lines, as discussed on the above pages. It was a quirk in the way that Apple II systems rendered their "high resolution" modes, and something that people soon realized could be used to an advantage -- just like sub-pixel rendering for LCDs. It's certainly the same principle.

Not everything is a conspiracy (2, Informative)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701003)

However, Lowry continued, "In this specific case, the ClearType font is supplied as part of the freetype2 package; last summer the upstream maintainer changed the package's default settings to disable Clear Type and thereby avoid possibly relevant Microsoft patents. So, consistent with Novell's preexisting practices and current policy, Novell is using the default settings established by the upstream maintainer. Distributions such as Fedora made the same choice. This issue only came up in the summer of 2006 and therefore older distributions are using the previous default (enabled ClearType)."

So it would seem that the disabling of FreeType is more coincident than anything else. It's possible for parallel processes to affect the same thing but have no overt connection.

One good invention in the past decade (3, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701117)

Microsoft has come up with some outstanding products and inventions over the years:
  1. 1991: Word for Windows 2.0
  2. 1992: Excel 4.0
  3. 1993: Visual Basic 3.0
  4. 1996: Windows NT 4.0
  5. 2001: ClearType
Notice any clustering of the dates? With hundreds of billions in revenue, all they can produce in over a decade is ClearType? Let them have it -- we'll live with seeing our font pixels.

Microsoft didn't invent this idea. (5, Interesting)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701493)

Microsoft may have a patent on ClearType, but they didn't invent it. We did the same thing in the Commodore 64 days with regards to fonts in graphics. I clearly recall zooming in on text and seeing different colors in the transition from text to background. I've spent many hundred hours doing graphic arts on the Commodore 64 and have been published.

I guess prior art doesn't apply to patents anymore?

"Sub-pixel font rendering with Free&Clear - Microsoft says they invented their "ClearType" technology, but I quickly and independently "invented" the same thing . . . as had others who came years before. It is very cool, but rather obvious. "

http://www.grc.com/ct/cleartype.htm [grc.com]

Re:Microsoft didn't invent this idea. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701931)

There's more to sub-pixel font rendering than just manipulating individual color values to add detail. An image processing filter is involved (just read the GRC article for an example of one), which may be patentable, even if the basic idea is not.

Microsoft's ClearType seems to combine the old Truetype bytecode hinting instructions with sub-pixel detail, filtering the results to remove color fringing. IMHO this results in the most readable text I've ever seen on a computer monitor.
YMMV.

Re:Microsoft didn't invent this idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18703557)

Except that I see the color fringes *despite* the filter that's supposed to remove them. It is sufficiently annoying that I had to find out how to turn off ClearType anyway.

If I was the one responsible for configuring that library in SuSE, I would have turned it off too.

Re:Microsoft didn't invent this idea. (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702253)

You were seeing the phosphors on a CRT. Totally different animal.

Re:Microsoft didn't invent this idea. (1)

davevr (29843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703571)

I guess prior art doesn't apply to patents anymore?

If you would bother to read the patents, you would see that the techniques that Microsoft is patenting here have ZERO to do with the color-clock splitting that we had on the old Atari and Apple machines back in the day.

And as far as your app - boy, what we can say here. You read an article about something, implement a bad version of it, and then claim that counts as an "independent invention"?

Wow...

Re:One good invention in the past decade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701507)

Mod this guy a troll.

Google the net for Bill Gates' late 80's / early 90's speech given at Waterloo University. The shear breadth Microsoft's involvement in the development and evolution of home computers is astounding and worth respecting. MS has had key roles in shaping hardware, software, usability, design, standardization, etc. Their accomplishments go FAR beyond just a simple list of "shelf products".

PS: Cleartype sucks. It never works right on my PC.

Wonderful Practice (0, Flamebait)

Rydia (556444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701129)

This all shows the wonderful practice of choosing systems based on gut reactions and petty politics. If you think SuSE is not as good as Ubuntu, or Fedora, or slackware, and therefore don't use it, good on you. Choice is great.

If you switched, or spend appreciable time bashing or advocating a boycott of SuSE because of the Novell/MS deal, you are a moron. I'm sorry. You aren't making any sort of choice based on the merits of the system, just on politics and the fact that you dislike microsoft. The agreement is harmless to "the community." It's an indemnity agreement! That's about the most benign thing two companies could possibly sign.

The bad part is that the reaction (as we saw here, sometimes humorously disinformed) is unfairly hurting a valid (some would say good) choice in the linux market (choice is good!) and one again painting all of us as petty, politically-driven zealots who care more about bashing MS and anyone who associates with them than what we really are: intelligent people who have made a very smart decision about operating systems. The whole business is thoroughly disappointing.

Re:Wonderful Practice (5, Insightful)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701423)

Since when is disagreeing with a companies business decisions not a good reason to stop using their products? That's kinda the only way for the public at large to keep corporations even remotely close to ethical (not that it always works). You may not agree that Novell has done anything worth boycotting them for, but isn't that up to their customers (in this case Linux users) to decide? You make your choice, and even try to make others see it your way, but don't knock the system. It may not be perfect, but it's all we got.

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701641)

"You may not agree that Novell has done anything worth boycotting them for, but isn't that up to their customers (in this case Linux users) to decide?"
Customers yes. Linux user no. The people that download OpenSuse are not Novell customers.

But shouldn't people also think before speak or in this case post.
All the flames at Novell over FreeType was total FUD worthy of Microsoft at it's worst.
This was a case of way to many idiots thinking they had all the answer but where totally full of pre-compost.
Anyone that flamed Novell for turning off the ClearType like features in Freetype2 they where 100% wrong. It really is as simple as that. Every anti Novell post in that Slashdot thread is -5 Troll.
Trying to that statements is also wrong. A mistake is what Wise men makes and a fool defends.

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

rudegeek (966948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701437)

You aren't making any sort of choice based on the merits of the system

You see, I consider technological partners of my vendor to have merit while selecting an OS. If the partner is well known of thier abusive bahavior and I'll invest time/hard-cold-cash into OS that can be somehow "pushed-around", I'll consider it as a bad thing.

Imagine this: I run a company that has 10 servers running OS developed by Company X who partners with Company Z. I run a Open Source implementation of, let say, Exchange. It's core of my operations. I contribute code and maintain al servers. But then, Company Z says: Hey, Company X, renember the $AMOUNT you get? Drop support for libexchange from all you packages.

Now, I will have to a) put up with it, build my custom packages and deal with security issues for the OS I've paid, b) switch to other distro, and that would cost me in time, customers anger and relearning system tools.

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701477)

"You aren't making any sort of choice based on the merits of the system, just on politics and the fact that you dislike microsoft"

I feel that purchasing *anything is inherently political. You could go mad with guilt hunting down all the ramifications of every purchase you make, so you pick your boycotts carefully. But software purchases are especially political because the very fact that code is treated as a *product results from the government-granted monopoly we call copyright.

Thought experiment: if Apple made a similar deal with -- say -- Mandriva, would we be pist?

Re:Wonderful Practice (4, Insightful)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701649)

This all shows the wonderful practice of choosing systems based on gut reactions and petty politics.

Petty politics or genuine concern that Microsoft and Novell are preparing to give the FLOSS community a good shafting? It's all in the semantics.

If you switched, or spend appreciable time bashing or advocating a boycott of SuSE because of the Novell/MS deal, you are a moron. I'm sorry. You aren't making any sort of choice based on the merits of the system, just on politics and the fact that you dislike microsoft. The agreement is harmless to "the community." It's an indemnity agreement! That's about the most benign thing two companies could possibly sign.

No. That agreement is tantamount to Novell saying: 'yes, GNU/Linux does infringe upon Microsoft patents.' It gives Ballmer evidence to extort money [slashdot.org] from GNU/Linux users, will probably be used in future lawsuits by Microsoft and has been the basis of much anti-GNU/Linux FUD.

What is particularly bad for the community is the indemnity stops with the Novell customers, the development community is very much left out in the cold. I'm scared of releasing my code under a FLOSS license because of patent FUD. It might be an indemnity agreement, but it's a thinly veiled threat too.

The bad part is that the reaction (as we saw here, sometimes humorously disinformed) is unfairly hurting a valid (some would say good) choice in the linux market (choice is good!)

You speak of choice, yet the Microsoft/Novell deal has taken customers away from other distros [infoworld.com] (for all the wrong reasons). The whole point of the deal is to eliminate choice and leave Microsoft with just one competitor to deal with: Novell.

If a company kills babies, I'm not going to buy their products. In fact I'll actively make others aware of their actions, this is not petty, I would consider it my moral duty. As a geek Novell and Microsoft have done something far worse: gone against the spirit (if not the letter) of the GPL. It is therefore my moral duty to boycott their products and advise everyone (who would know what I'm talking about) to do the same.

Re:Wonderful Practice (0)

Rydia (556444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702157)

So, vague fears, a couple assertions from Ballmer, and the ridiculous claim that an indemnity agreement is "That agreement is tantamount to Novell saying: 'yes, GNU/Linux does infringe upon Microsoft patents?" It doesn't. People who are pissed off with the idea that anyone would have any dealings with microsoft might want it to say that, but when an indemnity agreement says that if, in the future, one or the other is found to have violated the other's personally-held IP rights, there will not be severe repurcussions. Indemnity agreements, amusingly, are often put into place to protect users, because they encourage stability. As for the spirit of the GPL, that only is true if you consider "spirit" to be "what RMS thinks." There is a reason that this sort of thing is not addressed in the GPL, and RMS's desire to stamp out certain agreements is part of the reason v3 is meeting such strenuous opposition.

Freedom, and all that, you know?

"If a company kills babies, I'm not going to buy their products. In fact I'll actively make others aware of their actions, this is not petty, I would consider it my moral duty. As a geek Novell and Microsoft have done something far worse: gone against the spirit (if not the letter) of the GPL. It is therefore my moral duty to boycott their products and advise everyone (who would know what I'm talking about) to do the same."

And this is the real problem. There is no moral duty. There is no moral imperative regarding software choice. Why do we support OSS? Because we think it is a better way of doing things. this is a utilitarian view. Not a moral one. This is business and productivity, not religion.

Your example is even quite absurd. Are you seriously saying that anyone who ever had dealings with anyone who did something wrong should be branded? The friends of a felon? His family? They had dealings with him even after they knew he was guilty!

How about the government? Lots of senators collaborated with Duke Cunningham, on both sides. Should we toss all of them out of office, now that we know he was one of the most corrupt congressmen in history?

Not only are you trying to assign some sort of bizarre guilt by association, you are claiming you have the moral obligation to do so. This is exactly the problem that I sought to address in my previous post.

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

mha (1305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703039)

Mod parent *up*, please!

The problem is not Linux, MS, Novell, etc. - the problem is you, me, US. Since when have knee-jerk reactions ever benefited anyone - long-term, I mean? Isn't using the brain and controlling ones natural pre-human genetically coded urges a beautiful thing? What I mean: Giving in to that first impulse of "kill them!" (or "slap them!", less strong) when you THINK someone else did something wrong (cut you off in traffic, stole your girlfriend, etc.) is natural, sure.

However, question is, is it sane? Which means nothing else but is it beneficial to you/us - long-term?

There seem to be way too many frustrated single males posting on Slashdot... how else can obvious OPINION pieces be modded "+5 Insightful" - only because they show the posters very strong superficial opinions against the "foe of the day/week/month"?

Since there are WAY more useless postings/articles/etc. expressing opinions, repeating hearsay, and all without ANY kind of fact-checking or thinking, maybe it's time to create a tax on them... okay, I pay the first 6 cents since I don't have too much to say myself but to express an opinion. Well, at least I *know* that.

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703167)

If a company kills babies, I'm not going to buy their products. In fact I'll actively make others aware of their actions, this is not petty, I would consider it my moral duty. As a geek Novell and Microsoft have done something far worse: gone against the spirit (if not the letter) of the GPL.
While I fully agree with your sentiment, I think comparing GPL violations to killing babies is a bit harsh ;)

(Perhaps this is some of that British humour you were talking about)...

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704239)

Depends on how you look at it. Microsoft is worth a couple of hundred billion dollars. That money came from somewhere (a market aberration, monopolistic practices etc). Now if that money had been used for other purposes no matter what marginal percentage you take out of it, there will inevitably be babies impacted :).

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

dueyfinster (872608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703333)

If a company kills babies, I'm not going to buy their products. In fact I'll actively make others aware of their actions, this is not petty, I would consider it my moral duty. As a geek Novell and Microsoft have done something far worse: gone against the spirit (if not the letter) of the GPL.

Yes I agree, the GPL is far more precious than babies or even women to geeks!

Re:Wonderful Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701685)

Certainly some people are overreacting. However, the MS-Novell deal is not as benign as you surmise. Both MS and Novell hope to attract customers to SuSE that don't want to worry about future patent lawsuits from MS. We're talking about business-types and average people - specifically NOT people who will try out 4 or 5 distros before choosing one.

For Novell, this is simply a vie for customers. MS probably hopes to round up most of the "important" Linux users (the ones that will pay for support) into one place: Novell. MS could then squash Novell like it has before, as exemplified by it's behavior leading up to its antitrust conviction.

That may not seem likely right now. No one I know is taking this deal seriously. But, if Microsoft chooses to sue someone, we will see news all over WSJ, Forbes, etc. It will be like SCO all over again, but with an important twist: the one offering the indemnification won't be the same entity as "bad guy" instigating the law suit.

So, can you really not understand why many would avoid SuSE for this reason, and not merely for the technical merit of the distro?

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701803)

Choice is great.
Yes, but making a choice buy ignoring certain information, such as the political decisions of the company you buy from, could shortcut your future.

Imagine if it were simpler: Suppose Company A made a great product but killed babies. And Company B made a mediocre product but saved babies. Which product would you buy? Naturally, life isn't that simple. But you can't just ignore the behavior of a company when buying their products. Every dollar you spend is a vote that money should go toward that organization. Knowing that, I don't want money going toward thes Microsofts, Novells, and SCOs of the world.

The agreement is harmless to "the community." It's an indemnity agreement! That's about the most benign thing two companies could possibly sign.
Okay, so onto the subject of Novell specifically. By signing that deal, Novell is openly acknowledging that Linux infringes on Microsoft patents. And when Microsoft sues someone, they can refer to that indemnity deal as evidence that the patent is valid and that the infringement did occur. Microsoft has even openly stated that this deal is because Novell knows of such infringement. And Novell denying it is obviously a lie since there is no other reason for them to go into the deal. Novell is playing politics with someone else's intellectual property and that stinks. So no, I won't support them in it. And no, that doesn't make me a moron.

Re:Wonderful Practice (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702111)

Microsoft has even openly stated that this deal is because Novell knows of such infringement. And Novell denying it is obviously a lie since there is no other reason for them to go into the deal. Novell is playing politics with someone else's intellectual property and that stinks.
Well put, please mod parent up.

I switched for another reason... (0, Offtopic)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701855)

Easy mod points on slashdot. I need to feel like I fit in, so I do whatever the consensus is. Don't hate me because I conform!

ClearType draws from Apple II, says developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701151)

Technologist Steve Gibson, a software developer and consultant whose claim to fame was inventing the light pen more than a decade ago, says he recognizes the technique as one used in the Apple II. He confirmed his suspicion by comparing notes with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, who developed a font-smoothing technique for the Apple II.
http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9812/08/cleartyp e.idg/ [cnn.com]

Re:ClearType draws from Apple II, says developer (3, Interesting)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701443)

Technologist Steve Gibson, a software developer and consultant whose claim to fame was inventing the light pen more than a decade ago

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

The first light pen was used around 1957 on the Lincoln TX-0 computer at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Gibson was born in 1955 [wikipedia.org] . That's some fast work!

Re:ClearType draws from Apple II, says developer (3, Informative)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701619)

Gibson have a "Who Did It First?" text regarding sub-pixel rendering as well:

http://www.grc.com/ctwho.htm [grc.com]

M$ discovery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701205)

So, M$ sees that fonts are looking good in Linux and decides to do something about it. Can't have Linux looking good, can they? "Let's create more patents to stop Linux from rendering fonts well on LCDs.." , thinks Ballmer as he throws another chair as he dances across the floor at M$ HQ..., "This is only the beginning".., "Today the USA, tomorrow the world. (except for France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, South America, China, .........)"

mod do3N (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701215)

I got ya patent *right here* (4, Funny)

mtec (572168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701229)

Ballmer asked his lawyers for a patent on his peener
The prototype was quarter scale and looked like a pipe cleaner
Prior art be damned! He told the counsels - get to working!
I can prove it's novel just by bellowing and jerking!

Re:I got ya patent *right here* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701839)

Would the patent's would be denied because of a physical resemblance to the young Frankenstein monster who already has a trademark and fame of having a large pipe cleaner ?
seriously...
  Put the image of the young Frankenstein monster in your mind and this guys image in your mind
If this a patentable Alias or just coincidence ?

I would call his face Prior art!

Re:I got ya patent *right here* (1)

organgtool (966989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702189)

There's a mental image I never needed - thanks for squirting that video into my head!

What file are those comments in? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701237)

I did a 'less * | grep ClearType' in several of the directories in the FreeType source tree, and could not find the mentioned files.

Anyone know where they are at?

Re:What file are those comments in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701347)

Y'know, less is a file viewer, not a concatenator.

Not that you want to use cat in this case anyway when you're really trying to do 'grep ClearType *'

Re:What file are those comments in? (1)

cab15625 (710956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701385)

Try running

egrep -ri "cleartype" * | less -S

from the top of the source tree. I only have the source for 2.1.10 handy right now and it just shows up in the ChangeLog.

Re:What file are those comments in? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701673)

Thanks, I have 2.2.1 and I got:

freetype2 > egrep -ri "cleartype" * | less -S
work/freetype-2.2.1/ChangeLog.20: `ClearType-like' rendering.

so, it doesn't appear to be there either.

Re:What file are those comments in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18702009)

The technique is not called "ClearType" - that's just what Microsoft calls it - it's called sub-pixel rendering.

Note that only the most recent versions of FreeType even have an option to disable it, until recently it was always included. I've been using it on every LCD monitor I have for more than 4 years.

Re:What file are those comments in? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702045)

RTFA and my comment, so that you can understand why I searched for that and why your comment is irrelevant in regards to mine.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

Re:What file are those comments in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704003)

Well, it is somewhat relevant in that you're using an old enough version that the option is not yet there (which I was guessing would be true, as when the option recently appeared, so did the "ClearType" term in the comment).

Additionally, I wanted to make the point that it has been there for years and that people are relying on it...which is not relevant to your comment, but seems to be missed by most of the comments. Am I the only person who has been using the feature for a long time?

Software Patents violate my First Amendment Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701267)

Anyway...just another example of the stupidity of software patents. Someone with the legal know how and funds needs to take a case to the supreme court and get this stopped once and for all.
Software patents violate my free speech. If I can not write software that is my own code because someone has a patent on something similar... my cival rights are being violated! Natural human language, mathematical algorithms, computer languages... It's all the same.

What's a mater proprietary software patenters? You don't like cival rights? Well, you're going to have a riot on your hands...

SuSE Bashing aside, this affects MANY distros (2, Interesting)

GroundBounce (20126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701491)

First off, despite the popularity of bashing SuSE these days, most or all "purist" linux distros do the same thing, this is not just a Novell/SuSE issue. By "purist", I am referring to distros which try to stay as close to 100% open source and patent-infringment-free as possible. Fedora is the prime example of such a distro, even more so than SuSE. On whole, fedora is even more conservative than SuSE, and also has Freetype compiled in its non-patent-infringing way, yet, hypocritically, none of the SuSE bashers are bashing Fedora over this.

Second, the deal between Novell and Microsoft regarding patents was an agreement not to sue Novell's customers over patent infringement. While this might be viewed as a "patent license", it is not an explicit license and thus very limited. The implication is that it would only cover inadvertent patent violations, for example by redistributing someone elses software. Novell probably still has an obligation not to infringe any patents that it has not been granted an explicit license to use.

Re:SuSE Bashing aside, this affects MANY distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701623)

Publishing or distributing software does not infringe a patent, that's why timeline threatened to go after Microsoft's end-users. MS settled on their customers behalf, the entire software patent racket would have been dealt with earlier if they hadn't.

Re:SuSE Bashing aside, this affects MANY distros (1)

10scjed (695280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701643)

Second, the deal between Novell and Microsoft regarding patents was an agreement not to sue Novell's customers over patent infringement. While this might be viewed as a "patent license", it is not an explicit license and thus very limited.

That's why the new GPLv3 draft now includes a definition of "patent license" to include deals structured in this devious manner:

GPLv3 Draft 3 S.11 [fsf.org] For purposes of the following three paragraphs, a "patent license" means a patent license, a covenant not to bring suit for patent infringement, or any other express agreement or commitment, however denominated, not to enforce a patent.

Patent Idea (1)

mainphrame (932817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701553)

Ok, software is just instructions for your computer right?, sort of like a receipe for you computer to "cook". That being the case and the fact that software code (instructions) can be patented. Then I have a very, very good idea. I'm going to patent receipes, I'll start with breads, then everyone will need to get their bread reciepes from me. What do you think?

Software Patents outside the US (3, Insightful)

bug1 (96678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701625)

Not all countries recognise software patents, so i assume this patents doesnt apply in all countries.

Why do we force software patents on people who live in non-software patent countries ?

Re:Software Patents outside the US (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701761)

Because then companies in those countries would have a competitive advantage over ones in the patent encumbered ones. That just wouldn't be fair.

Re:Software Patents outside the US (1)

Wienaren (714122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702503)

Sorry, this is bulls... and one of the most stupid arguments of the pro-patent lobby.

Nobody stops companies to operate in multiple countries.

If company A has patent protection in country A, company B is bound to it in country A. Same vice versa. Hence, both companies have the same chances and possibilities. (Foreign companies can apply for patents in the US, you know)

Also in Country B, where sw-pats are not available, both companies have equal possibilities.

Re:Software Patents outside the US (1)

chucklinart (1019932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702929)

So the right of companies to compete in the global market undoes the rights of sovereign nations to make the laws that suit them? Even if so, the playing field is not made the least bit unlevel by different laws. Companies from non-patent countries would still have to comply with laws in patent countries, and vice-versa.

Re:Software Patents outside the US (1)

eMbry00s (952989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701937)

A lot of OSS is developed in the USA, and a lot of open source consumers are in the USA. These often don't want to use software with patent problems due to threat (wether FUD or not) of litigation. Neither should you assume that your country will always be free from software patents (US diplomacy has a long arm.) To ignore a market as large as the US probably doesn't weigh as much as being able to ignore patents.

Re:Software Patents outside the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704551)

You're talking marketing. But it's the other way around.

Person writes software to use its computer. Person gives away software it has written. Person does not sell its software. Other people download software and use it freely. There are no "consumers".

And a "distribution" takes software, puts on CD and sells. Why should the distribution be responsible for what the software does????

This is 100% marketing FUD to take a percentage of the incresing revenue invested in linux, and flow it back to redmond. With pure FUD and legal barking.

Re:Software Patents outside the US (1)

eMbry00s (952989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704811)

No, I am talking adaption by organisations (wether for-profit or not.) No US/UK organisation can use our software if it infringes on patents, because they are too large a target (as opposed to individuals.) If you sell something that infringes on patents, you will be held responsible for it wether it is software or not, so distributions aren't immune either - and quite a few distros are run from the US.

Re:Software Patents outside the US (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703569)

Most [English] Linux distributions are based in the US (or in another country where software patents are enforced), so they try to stay clean. If someone made a Linux distro along the mindset of MPlayer (i.e., fuck patents) in a country where software patents don't exist (e.g., eastern Europe for sure, or the EU in general), that could have the potential to be an "ultimate" distribution.

Although, I just recently tried out Ubuntu 7.04 (I typically use Kubuntu or Debian with KDE), and the ease of which you can install patent-encumbered codecs (e.g., gstreamer-ffmpeg, faad, libmad) and other "Grandma can't install this" bullshit is astounding. For instance, I open an Xvid/MP3 video file in Totem (the default media player), and it asks if I would like to search for a codec to play it. It opens up a Synaptic-like thing with a choice of codecs of which I can tick (only shows codecs relevant to the video in question), click OK, wait for it to download and install the codecs, and be on my merry way. It's almost like what WMP could have been like if it was able to find codecs for anything, but it can never find them in my experience (which is why I recommend installing CCCP if you want codecs for Windows, or VLC for a general-purpose media player that doesn't need extra codecs).

Also in Ubuntu/Kubuntu (and probably other derivatives) is the option to enable subpixel font anti-aliasing, and it's pretty straightforward. I'm not sure if it's enabled by default if your monitor is detected as an LCD monitor, but I always enable it to its strongest hinting. It also looks a lot better than the Windows ClearType implementation (which uses font-specific hinting rather than autohinting like FreeType2 does); in fact, it looks very similar to how it's done on Mac OS X, and I only hear good things from people about it (and I agree).

OS X's subpixel rendering? Adobe's "CoolType"? (2, Interesting)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702069)

It's not as if FreeType and MS' are the only subpixel technologies around; OS X has had it since version 10.3. Microsoft's isn't even particularly good, compared to the others.

At least the brouhaha, while a waste of energy and attention like all FUD, is strong evidence, if any more were required, that software patents are a bad idea.

Re:OS X's subpixel rendering? Adobe's "CoolType"? (1)

TheMeld (13880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702219)

OSX, CoolType? FAH! The Apple I/II used sub-pixel rendering to display things nicely on a tv screen.

Re:OS X's subpixel rendering? Adobe's "CoolType"? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702597)

Sub-pixel rendering on a tube TV would only work if it was a Trinitron, which have parallel bands of phosphor. Conventional CRTs have dots of phosphor arranged in triangles.

Re:OS X's subpixel rendering? Adobe's "CoolType"? (2, Informative)

TheMeld (13880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702969)

If you know the positioning of each of the three dots, you can still do a certain amount of sub-pixel rendering, just not in quite the same way. Doing some more research, I think this was just on the Apple II, which may well have used a trinitron tube and thus used the same style of subpixel rendering as ClearType/CoolType/etc.

c.f. http://www.grc.com/ctwho.htm [grc.com]

Re:OS X's subpixel rendering? Adobe's "CoolType"? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703199)

You can still do sub-pixel AA on a CRT, you just can't use the same algorithm as on an LCD. The trick behind sub-pixel AA is to realise that any adjacent group of red green and blue emitters can be regarded as a pixel, not just those that are exposed as a pixel by the hardware. On an LCD, it's easy because you have a nice regular RGBRGBRGB pattern. You can trea a GBR, BRG or RGB run as a pixel, and just alter the colours for the hardware pixels to turn on the individual emitters as required. For CRTs, it's a little bit more difficult, but it's still possible.

Re:OS X's subpixel rendering? Adobe's "CoolType"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18703251)

The Apple II didn't do sub-pixel anti-aliasing. The problem with the Apple II was that they didn't use enough bits to store all possible colors, meaning that you could not have multiple adjacent white pixels in a row. The end result was that white text actually looked rainbow-colored. It was actually somewhat harder to read, not easier. It was definitely not anti-aliased.

Since framebuffer pixels don't match up exactly with CRT phosphor groups, there's no way to do sub-pixel rendering with a CRT, or at least not the kind that would be plugged into an Apple II!

dom

Acorn, Pace, Risc Os Ltd, Siggraph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18703047)

If they spend a day on what has been written about Acorn Risc Os font descriptions, scaffolding, hinting, sub-pixel rendering, ant-aliasing, etc technology that's about 20 year old and what preceded that in research as recorded in the Siggraph archives they wouldn't need to be so tight assed. Pace or Risc Os Ltd will not ask much for a license if there still is patent fear.

Ernst

Patent Issues not new for FreeType (1)

sofla (969715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703615)

Ok, so I'm late to the party, and this might be a little off-topic, but... well, patent issues aren't new for the FreeType devs. They used to (I think its gone now) have an #ifdef for a rendering technique that, like this one, was by default disabled. That particular one (I forget what it covered) infringed on patents held by Apple. It was off by default to keep the default build of the library OSS-friendly. Anyway, to make a long story short, the FT devs did eventually develop a better alternative to Apple's patented technique and now that particular limitation is history. FT v2.1.3, iirc.

Reading the article (and, sorry, I missed the original FUD), this looks to be more of the same. FT devs are concerned that they have something in the library that might infringe a patent. So, as before, they mark it with an #ifdef and, as before, disable it by default so that the library is OSS-friendly. SOP for them, and given their charter is to create a free alternative to a technology that is swarming with proprietary IP, it comes with the territory. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. If history is any guide, the devs will come up with a patent-free alternative that is better than the original, its just a matter of time. Until then you'll have to live with the fact that the distro vendors will ship pre-built versions with the feature turned off so they can CYA. The code is still there, and the only thing stopping you from enabling it is 1) your ability to build from source, and 2) your conscience, depending on how you feel about software patents.

The Headline is FUD (1)

LuYu (519260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704863)

While the issue with ClearType is clearly not limited to Novell or SUSE (pick your flavor), that does not mean that Microsuck's patents are not an issue. This is an example of software patents affecting any users with a current distro.

While it turns out that Novell did not enable the functionality in their distro, there is still a possibility that they could enable it and claim that the rest of the Linux userbase could not. There is also the problem of sofware patents which do exist, and the fact that the developers of the FreeType package decided to disable part of the code because of the existence of software patents. Finally, there is also the problem of Novell, once again, not coming out and saying that they intended to defend anybody but their "customers", even though Free Software developers from around the world actually contributed their market product to them free of charge.

There was no FUD in the story. A blogger had an opinion that turned out not to be true. Go figure. This is a far cry from the type of marketing based smear campaign that The Beast at Redmond is famous for.

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