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Robert Love Resigns from Novell

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the moving-on dept.

Novell 143

An anonymous reader writes "Robert Love who was the Chief Architect of Novell's Linux Desktop has resigned today. Robert is a prominent Linux kernel hacker, author and journalist in the Linux community. His blog doesn't specify why he resigned, but after colleague and friend Jeremy Allison's departure from Novell in protest of the Microsoft-Novell deal, this might be the latest fallout from it."

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143 comments

REISER DID IT!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997029)

FRIST PROST!!!!!

Speculation is Lame (5, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997039)

The speculation in the submission is unnecessary. Regardless of my personal feelings about the Novell-Microsoft deal, this looks like an opportunistic attempt to re-open an old debate. That's not fair to anyone actually involved.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997093)

Interesting how is he signing his letters.. "Love Robert" or "Robert Love" or, maybe put a comma in between like: "Love, Robert"...

Re:Speculation is Lame (4, Funny)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997107)

I don't see a problem with signing his letters that way. He might just be a very enlightened person.

I really wish there were more people like this in our industry. That would attract women.

And women have boobies.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997437)

beast +1

This is so FUCKING Lame (but TRUE) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997573)

This is so FUCKING Lame (but TRUE). Death to the infidels. Novell will rot in the firey mouth of the demon beast (who, or which, happens to like throwing chairs). All hail RMS. All hail Linus. Our Gods are better than theirs. We will rule... someday.

Re:Speculation is Lame (2, Funny)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998675)

In the good old hippie days:

"Love, Robert" would indicate he wrote with a good post-sex mood. "Love Robert" indicates he wrote after a few beers and signing as "Robert Love" just means the cocaine was good :)

Re:Speculation is Lame (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997101)

Maybe, maybe not, but if anything looks and smells like an 800-lb elephant in the living room, the Novell/MSFT deal has to rank up there pretty high.

Dunno why Love just up and left... could be a better opportunity, could've been retirement, could've been disgust at the company culture... could be that he was sick and tired of having to go to Salt Lake City once a year for Brainshare and put up with the local 3.2% beer. Who knows?

Either way, the fact that such speculation is obvious and rather persistant is a good indication that maybe it does need to be re-assessed (not necessarily by the /. crowd, but certainly by Novell...)

/P

Re:Speculation is Lame (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997515)

Either way, the fact that such speculation is obvious and rather persistant is a good indication that maybe it does need to be re-assessed (not necessarily by the /. crowd, but certainly by Novell...)
Or maybe the editorial staff on slashdot is showing their bias by posting what's blatantly unfounded speculation with no original source, thus trying to reinforce that such speculation is "rather persistant". It's like posting another story on Jack Thompson and violent video games and concluding that "the fact that such speculation is obvious and rather persistant is a good indication that maybe it does need to be re-assessed by the gaming industry". Sorry, if you have a crackpot theory it's still a crackpot theory even if you repeat it often enough.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998447)

Either way, the fact that such speculation is obvious and rather persistant is a good indication that maybe it does need to be re-assessed (not necessarily by the /. crowd, but certainly by Novell...)
Or maybe the editorial staff on slashdot is showing their bias by posting what's blatantly unfounded speculation with no original source, thus trying to reinforce that such speculation is "rather persistant".

So let's remove any possibility of bias:

  1. Novell pays MSFT a shedload of money, ostensibly to get MSFT to help w/ Win32/64 app interoperability and sell a few SuSE licenses.
  2. Ballmer almost immediately starts mouthing on about Linux and how it allegedly "infringes intellectual property".
  3. Novell's response wasn't (at least IMHO) much more than a weak 'do not...'
  4. Ballmer continues bull-horning the original point unabated, pointing at SuSE and claiming the money was to help insure against vague future threats of lawsuits by MSFT.
  5. Now, compare that to the majority of the other partnerships MSFT has had in the computer industry... first big example: MSFT & IBM. The pattern usually resolves to MSFT=wins big, Partner(s)=at best manages to survive but not really thrive from the partnership, or at worst they lose their butts.

    It's like posting another story on Jack Thompson and violent video games and concluding that "the fact that such speculation is obvious and rather persistant is a good indication that maybe it does need to be re-assessed by the gaming industry". Sorry, if you have a crackpot theory it's still a crackpot theory even if you repeat it often enough.

    Dude - that may not be the best strawman I've ever seen, but it is still a strawman. Thompson v. [pretty much Game Industry member] is based on a series of blatant accusations by an obviously unbalanced egomaniac who goes out of his way to abuse the legal system in order to get his way. The MSFT and Novell deal is among the latest in a number of provable "deals" that MSFT makes whenever they really want to twist the knife into someone or something.

    It is pretty hard to deny MSFT's history of partnerships with people they clearly want to harm or destroy. Ballmer has gone out of his way to indicate his intentions w/ Linux with that crack about intellectual property infringement.

    What part of this refuses to remain an 800-lb elephant in the room for you? I suppose the day MSFT serves Red Hat or Canonical a summons of law suit for patent or copyright infringement might suffice (while naming SuSE as a licensee of stated IP), but I prefer to be wary of Redmond long before I end up getting blindsided by it (I make a majority share of my income from Linux and UNIX administration, which means that yeah... it does affect me).

    /P

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999205)

[Big blurb of why Microsoft is planning do to evil with the MSFT/Novell deal]

Perhaps they do, I certainly don't think they did it out of the goodness of their hearts. But there is still absolutely nothing to suggest Robert Love's resignation has anything at all to do with that deal, which is the unfounded speculation here. Trying to make it look like the 800-lb invisible elephant in the room is at fault regardless, is a lot like talking up violent video games after a violent killing spree where there's no evidence the perpetrator played violent video games. Yes, the comparison is harsh but accurate in my opinion.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998663)

If only the propaganda pattern you decry were not repeated across the government and media, all across the idiotlogical spectrum.

Re:Speculation is Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18999425)

"BSD code is free code to be used in software. GPL code is code to be used in free software." Shouldn't that be BSD code is code to be used, for free, in software. GPL code is code to be used in free software.

Re:Speculation is Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997619)

He left to live the life of a carney [sjmusart.org]

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997917)

What does the Microsoft Novel deal do that is just so damn bad? I mean seriously, Look at what Novel has done with it and tell me what is so bad.

I bet nothing can be said that is bad with the MS Novel deal without imagining something that hasn't happened. For crying out loud, Why cannot we just take novel for what they have done instead of what some kook think they might do. This is nonsense and contains more fud and misinformation then anything else.

What happened? Did Microsoft feel the need to bust sales? Is there some company thinking of going to Linux instead of Vista and MS needs to make sure some more fud is in the air to convince them to stay with the overlord that owns everything? Novel has done nothing wrong. And because they have the ability yet haven't done it, then I think that makes them a better company then all those assuming the worst and attempting to change the GPL because they got a boner for MS and anyone they do business with.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998465)

Look at what Novel has done with it and tell me what is so bad.

Trying to circumvent GPLv2?

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999561)

In what instance have they tried to circumvent the GPLv2? They haven't!

You can name any actual instance were they have done anything of the sorts, even with the GPLv3 minus the "no deals with microsoft" clause, they haven't attempted to violate it. What you inferring is that people think they might be able to try to do this. And in a time were so many people are judged guilty until proven innocent, I thought I would have seen better from the GPL crowd.

Re:Speculation is Lame (2, Interesting)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999135)

What does the Microsoft Novel deal do that is just so damn bad?
Novell gets (real) money for "intellectual property" (ip) in linux which may have been used by microsoft, but since the "infringing" ip is never identified, Novell may in fact be keeping money for ip that rightfully belongs to other linux community developers.

Fact: money was paid.

Fact: the ip supposedly paid for has not been identified.

Fact: Ballmer says linux contains microsoft ip.

Fact: Ballmer says the infringing ip is also contained in linux distributions other than just Novell.

Conclusion: Novell and microsoft claim that the only linux ip infringed upon by microsoft is ip that belongs to Novell, or Novell has received payment for ip that does not belong to them, or Novell licensed the use of technology from microsoft without the consent of the copyright/patent holder of the code licensed.

In short, the Novell-microsoft deal has clouded the title to the entire linux codebase.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999601)

You got that wrong,

Novell gets (real) money for "intellectual property" (ip) in linux which Microsoft has placed a claim on. And yes, nothing has ever been identified and as far as we know, the claims are completely false. But so does redhat and so does Mandriva, Debian and so on. So there is no difference there. Your last fact illustrates that point well. But your facts also point out how Balmer said everything and neglect to mention Novel denied it from the start. It also goes on to state novel may have, Not that they did. Nowhere is there anything that novel has done besides made a deal with Microsoft to help customers of novel inter-operate.

Also your conclusion is completely wrong too. I can take any open source/GPLed software and sell it to whomever is willing to pay for it without sending any money to any developer. This is how the GPL works and how Redhat and all the other operate. Novel also employed a good deal of the key developers who contribute to a good portion of open source projects.

I think you don't even understand the issues at hand here. This doesn't surprise me because of all the fud surrounding it. It used to be that only the proprietary vendors used fud. It is sad that the GPL people are doing so now to push an agenda. It is also sad that they are doing so at the expense of people who have supported them in the past. Nothing like burning bridges that kept your feet dry for so long.

I seriously suggest you look at the facts again, get them straight, and if something novel has actually done has slipped my radar, then come back and tell me. As of now, it is nothing more then your "scared they might do something" or "microsoft can do something now". There is nothing stopping microsoft from using GPLed products and there is no obligation to pay any of the developers anything for doing so. The only obligations there are is explicitly spelled out in the GPL and no where does anything Novel had done violate the terms of any of it.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999917)

I can take any open source/GPLed software and sell it to whomever is willing to pay for it without sending any money to any developer.
What part of licensing is it that you don't understand?

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997141)

Looking back on this period in Novell history from some point down the line you will see a deal with Microsoft followed relatively closely by several key personnel departures.

Whatever the case, Novell is going to be linked to the M$ deal for some time with business decisions, personnel moves, and market value all discussed in relation to it.

After all... It was a big deal if only for symbolic value. Perspectives were changed as a result.

Regards.

changed indeed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997837)

Perspectives were changed as a result.

Mine was. Before the deal I used SuSe exclusively. I knew that it wasn't a purely free OS, what with YAST and Adobe and NVIDIA binary RPMs being sent along with it...but it was at least MS-free which is exactly what I liked about it.

I switched to Fedora. It wasn't easy to set up, but I have that nice, clean MS-free feeling again when I turn on my machine. Now that I have struggled through the hard part, I like Fedora better than Suse. I won't be switching back.

Speculation is trivial (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997553)

I agree with you up until you start talking about what is fair. IMO, the deal was much less fair than this token mild speculation.

Re:Speculation is trivial (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997645)

Perhaps you can measure the fairness of both actions and find this one much less unfair, but it's difficult for me to believe that any solution to injustice is more injustice.

Re:Speculation is trivial (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997821)

To call the speculation injustice trivializes injustice. I don't see how something so mild and predictable is unfair to Love. On the contrary, it could easily grant him a little extra (speculative, to be sure) respect from afar.

Moreover, not seeing it as unfair to Novell does not even require any particular enmity toward it. It's just another corporation, after all.

Re:Speculation is trivial (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998065)

Company A does something of which certain other people disapprove. Employee B leaves said business several months later and gives no public reason for the departure. Anonymous spectator C says "Employee B left because of Company A's action of course!"

Is this not FUD? Is FUD fair? Perhaps it's only unfair to a small degree, but that's shallow justification.

Re:Speculation is trivial (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998579)

Come on--the summary mentioned Allison as a precedent, could have mentioned recent previous disgruntled resigners, and qualified Love's motivation with "might."

Perhaps it is some mild FUD towards Novell. If the target of FUD is behaving badly on the whole, I cannot see how FUD towards it is unfair. Maybe you can, but I think that requires more slack towards Novell than I think it deserves.

To be more precise, I hold above these specific events the importance of the four freedoms that the GPL tries to promote. Novell treated the GPL with contempt and set a nasty precedent. They show no signs of repealing their patent agreement. Thus, I want another precedent: the speedy demise of those who gain the trust of the community only to then turn on it.

Re:Speculation is trivial (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999653)

Perhaps it is some mild FUD towards Novell. If the target of FUD is behaving badly on the whole, I cannot see how FUD towards it is unfair.

If FUD is not universally unfair--if FUD is acceptable when applied against a group or individual with whom you disagree--then from a certain perspective, Microsoft FUD against Linux or F/OSS is completely fair.

I don't accept that. Therefore, however much I may disagree with a particular group or individual, I believe FUD against that group or individual is unfair. Certainly I hope to have a sounder basis for my disagreement than FUD.

Re:Speculation is Lame (3, Interesting)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997623)

My feelings are quite the contrary.

The FAQ on the Novell/Microsoft deal is filled with business doublespeak, but one sentence of it strikes me: "Novell will continue to promote Linux as the premier platform for core infrastructure and application services." It strikes me because it is the only sentence stating what Novell will continue doing after the agreements. It's a feel good sentence, sounding like "oh, Novell's continuing Linux development," but really explicitly stating the parts of Linux it will continue on. Considering that Novell was actively developing the Linux Desktop, and Robert Love was "Chief Architect, Linux Desktop, at Novell" [wikipedia.org], it's apparent that the Linux Desktop is one of the items Novell will NOT continue.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997665)

... it's apparent that the Linux Desktop is one of the items Novell will NOT continue.

What prevents Novell from promoting or hiring to fill the architect position? If you know more than you inferred from a press release, please do share.

Speculation is natural, but fruitless (3, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998709)

Hi Chromatic,

When Jeremy Allison resigned from Novell, the fact of his resignation was known by the public for some weeks before his last official day as a Novell employee. Jeremy had to refrain from doing or saying certain things until he was actually off the payroll - for example he did not sign the petition [techp.org] until then. Love is probably in the same situation right now: known to have resigned, but still to some degree responsible to the company.

We might not get to know how Love feels about the Novell-Microsoft agreement for some time, and should not make assumptions. It may well be that his strongest feelings are about wanting to continue to develop a great desktop, and that Novell might not be such a great place to do that any longer. That's all he mentioned in his blog.

That said, the agreement is a big honkin' elephant in Novell's living room that is not going away. It's unfair to ask people not to speculate, we just have to make it clear that such speculations are vapors until Love himself comments.

Bruce

Re:Speculation is natural, but fruitless (2, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999683)

It's unfair to ask people not to speculate, we just have to make it clear that such speculations are vapors until Love himself comments.

Suppose his reasons are none of our business, and he never shares. What use is it to speculate (other than my speculation that the anonymous story submitter wanted to kick the Novell pariah yet again)?

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998797)

First of all it's not unfair.

Second of all even if it was unfair so what? Why does a corporation (or two) need protections from unfair treatment on slashdot.

It's not a person, it has no feelings, it's a corporation. It doesn't care about you or any other human being except it's shareholders. It only cares about making money and giving it to it's shareholders.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998895)

A corporation _is_ a person, e.g., from Wikipedia:

"A corporation is an artificial legal entity (technically, a juristic person)..."

A case could be made that the speculation was unfair to Robert Love, and I guess I agree with that, after having thought about it more. However, I agree with you that the original statement--that it's unfair to all parties-- is false. Corporations are people without a conscience that do not deserve fair treatment.

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999467)

Whether you are good or not, is not dependent on whether something deserves your act of goodness or not. Similarly for fairness. It's part of having integrity.

I would think it would be better in the long term to choose to be good, rather than choose to not be evil (ala Google[1]).

[1] Seems Google's policy is to try to "hire above the mean" (which is a good idea for them), but aiming for "don't be evil" is not aiming "above the mean".

Re:Speculation is Lame (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998945)

Regarding my personal feelings towards the Microsoft-Novell deal, I say good for him. If Robert wants to dispute the obvious, maybe he can make his 262nd blog entry clearer. I say his leaving is clear enough.

Re:Speculation is Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18999477)

>That's not fair to anyone actually involved.

You must be new here.

OK, OK, SOMEONE had to say it :)

On one hand ... (2, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997049)

... I'm sure he'll end up at a company where his talent's can be used to further Linux's position in the desktop marketplace.

On the other hand this is another nail in Novell's coffin as they suffer through being possessed by Microsoft.

Re:On one hand ... (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998517)

I'm sure he'll end up at a company where his talent's can be used to further Linux's position in the desktop marketplace.

Yeah, I know one [ubuntu.com]

Re:On one hand ... (1)

apokryphos (869208) | more than 6 years ago | (#19000057)

Do you have no idea how companies work? Employees come, employees go. Believe it or not it isn't that exciting working in the same company for ever.

...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997055)

Not 100% sure if it's fallout from the Novell/MSFT deal or not, but maybe it'll finally get Hoviespan's attention that you simply do not make deals with The Devil and expect everyone to be happy with it?

I can grok the 'foot-in-the-door' theory of getting enough interoperability w/ Windows to make Windows no longer matter (or at least ease customers out of the Windows-only lock-in), but man... he HAD to have seen the 'Plays for Sure' fiasco and figure out that the only real winner in any MSFT-3rdparty deal is MSFT, even if MSFT has to screw the partner(s) to do it.

...'the Hell was he thinking, anyway?

/P

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997567)

CEOs and their staffs care about the share price, because that's how they get evaluated and compensated by the board. Maintaining and increasing the share price is mostly about making good on short term financials. As for the ideals of free and open source software, eh, not so much.

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998105)

What is it with this deal that is so bad? I'm talking about what Novel has actually done? So far it has been a bunch of OSS advocated spreading fud and Balmer Throwing chairs to incite the fud slinging.

Novel hasn't done anything wrong outside talking to Microsoft. So what does the deal specifically do that is so bad?

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (4, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998381)

Novel hasn't done anything wrong outside talking to Microsoft. So what does the deal specifically do that is so bad?

In signing this deal with Microsoft, Novell (note spelling) has deliberately and disingenuously circumvented one of the key elements that ensures the continuity of the GNU General Public License, version 2. The GPL states that you cannot encumber the license with additional terms (patent limitations, for example), because that would work against the the principle of the FSF's four freedoms: to study, copy, modify and redistribute software.

Novell inked a deal with Microsoft that did an end-run around this limitation by agreeing not to sue Novell's customers for patent infringement. This makes a scenario possible in which an unsuspecting company or individual could use GPL software, assuming that they had every right to do so, only to have Microsoft sue them later for breach of patent. As long as they're not Novell customers, MS would be perfectly within their rights to do so.

It stretches belief to imagine that Microsoft didn't know they were subverting the essence - if not the letter - of the GPL with this deal. But we've known for years now that Microsoft sees the GPL as a threat, and that they are working actively to defeat it using both fair means and foul.

What gets people's knickers in a knot over this deal is the fact that Novell should have known better. They built a major part of their business strategy on the hard work of the FOSS community, and contributed a lot to it, too. But now they've gone and exploited an inherent weakness in the current version of the GPL, and damaged FOSS in general for short-sighted, selfish reasons. In effect, they're poisoning the very well they drink from.

Needless to say, a great many people in the FOSS world, including RMS, Bruce Perens and a lot of others who know a thing or two about this stuff, have castigated Novell for being remarkably stupid. And a lot of us here on Slashdot agree.

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (4, Interesting)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998861)

Hmm... if all it takes to get permanent immunity to Microsoft FUD is being one of Novell's customers, maybe Novell should start selling 50 cent insurance policies?

not bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18998973)

I know that's tongue in cheek but it is remarkably brilliant and a way to future proof against MS tricks. Use the fine print details against them. A customer is a customer.

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999227)

It doesn't matter if the license is $600, $6 million, or $0.00000006. Regardless of the cost, if it's non-zero it kills the GPL licensing model. Why? Because no matter what, the patent license would be non-transferable. This means that third parties wouldn't be able to exercise their redistribution rights under the GPL, because they wouldn't be allowed to also transfer the patent license.

Make no mistake: this, just like with SCO, is another Microsoft attempt to destroy Linux. The value of Linux is in the GPL; subvert that and Linux becomes "just another proprietary UNIX" which Microsoft can kill off at its leisure.

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999723)

n signing this deal with Microsoft, Novell (note spelling) has deliberately and disingenuously circumvented one of the key elements that ensures the continuity of the GNU General Public License, version 2. The GPL states that you cannot encumber the license with additional terms (patent limitations, for example), because that would work against the the principle of the FSF's four freedoms: to study, copy, modify and redistribute software.
There is nothing in the GPLv2 stopping you from placing patented software under it. As long as you release the code and fulfill the obligations of the GPL (extend all right downstream), there is nothing stopping this from happening. So the problem is that MS is involved. And that is the only problem. Further, Novel has never done what your worried about and has stated it has no plans to do so. So were is the problem? Plus the GPL says anything you release under it must extend all the rights you have to everyone downstream so if you were to place a patented item into the code then i could distribute it just as you have according to the GPL. I still don't see the problem.

Novell inked a deal with Microsoft that did an end-run around this limitation by agreeing not to sue Novell's customers for patent infringement. This makes a scenario possible in which an unsuspecting company or individual could use GPL software, assuming that they had every right to do so, only to have Microsoft sue them later for breach of patent. As long as they're not Novell customers, MS would be perfectly within their rights to do so.
Novel cannot insert code that the downstream user cannot exorcise the full rights of the GPL under. What part of this do you not understand? It is plan and clear in the GPLv2 and it is even clearer in the GPLv3. If Novel adds or distributed software via GPL, all the rights the GPL offer are extended with it. If novel cannot do that, then they cannot place the code under the GPL. If it is found later that this happened, then that patented code needs removed because it is incompatible with the GPLv2 and more specifically the GPLv3.

It stretches belief to imagine that Microsoft didn't know they were subverting the essence - if not the letter - of the GPL with this deal. But we've known for years now that Microsoft sees the GPL as a threat, and that they are working actively to defeat it using both fair means and foul.
There is no subversion. First, it would require someone to falsely place something into a GPLed work or GPL something that is patented. Novel has never, I repeat never attempted to do this. They have never indicated they would do this. And they have specifically stated they won't do this. Again were is the problem?

IBM, Motorola and several other companies own patents on software that is under the GPL, why is novel different? Ahh because they got friendly with Microsoft.

What gets people's knickers in a knot over this deal is the fact that Novell should have known better. They built a major part of their business strategy on the hard work of the FOSS community, and contributed a lot to it, too. But now they've gone and exploited an inherent weakness in the current version of the GPL, and damaged FOSS in general for short-sighted, selfish reasons. In effect, they're poisoning the very well they drink from.
No, what gets their knickers in a knot is the fact that Microsoft is involved and Balmer has stated that it was proof of MS's IP in Linux were Novel fired right back and said it was no such thing and went further to say they didn't know of any Microsoft IP in Linux. And yes, Novel should have known better. But not for the reasons you say. They should have known that any support for or from microsoft will get you in the dog house with the FOSS community. Most of which is stuff that will be made up about something you might do but nothing over anything you actually have done except the deal that might make it possible to do something you haven't done in the delusional minds of those thinking it. (yes, that was supposed to sound stupid because this entire situation is stupid)

Needless to say, a great many people in the FOSS world, including RMS, Bruce Perens and a lot of others who know a thing or two about this stuff, have castigated Novell for being remarkably stupid. And a lot of us here on Slashdot agree.
I've talked with perens. He is an idiot. And I mean that personally. I'm assuming the other you name are in the same league. Do a google search of slashdot for my conversations with him. He held a press conference A few months ago when Novel was having brainshare or something. He stated the GPLv3 specifically forbids the MS deal and then came here to gloat in the stories. I spoke with him and at the time it didn't but he went on rambling about it will when the new draft comes out. I asked him several times were and what Novel has done that is against the existing GPL and he could only answer with novel might do something or the new GPL when ever we got the chance to see it would forbid it. Nothing has novel done to subvert the GPL and nothing can be noted of it. It is all implied speculation just like the reasons Mr love left novel.

And then the FSF, Well RMS himself started taunting about whether or not they should grandfather novel in after the new draft was finally released like he was some kind of king that can retroactively impose restrictions and such. Everyone thinks that the new GPL will stop novel from using it, it won't. It won't be that hard for them to fork everything and keep it GPL2 either. There will be more companies needing it then you know, It would suck when all the companies that pay developers only pay the developers using GPLv2 code because they have made deals in the past and probably would make them in the future. IBM, Novel, Motorola, All the big players are in that boat. And if novel is stopped from using GPLv3 product because of their deal, then they will be too. Think about that, then make another "but they could" statement as if it has already happened. I'm not asking you for innocent until proven guilty, I just asking for some honesty which people seem to be lacking.

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999823)

Write shorter posts: responding to such long points and failing to cover all your points implies that we agree with the rest, instead of needing eight hours of sleep before being able to finish the reply.

Second, to take a specific example, have you ever tried to fork and maintain a fork of anything critical like gcc, emacs, make, vi, less, gzip, or the Linux kernel? And if the main codeline goes to GPLv3, you'll have to do clean-room development to keep it GPLv2. That makes it far, far more expensive to do such development.

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999867)

There was so much that needed said. Thats the reason for the long posts.

But no I haven't tried to for anything myself. But you see, they don't have to upgrade anything, they just need to to continue to work with their product. So it isn't the same as devloping everything from scratch. The Linux Kernel will Stay GPLv2. Too much has already been said on that matter to think otherwise. GCC and the GNU tool chain already works so there isn't much to do there unless you change what your working with. These companies aren't pushing products into people, They are selling products to companies and selling services behind them. They don't need to continually develop everything, All they need is to have something stable and working.

And even if they did continue developing something, it is likely that more then one person/company is going to need it too. So the costs and efforts are still going to be dealt out. Not to mention the arrogance of thinking that all the developers with jump to the new license too. Especially if there is an alternative available. Some will, Some won't, some might dual develop and you might find it surprising, but most of the companies who pay developers, have made deals like the MS novel deal except it might not have been with MS. They will/could be forced to stay GPLv2 because of the anti MS deal clauses. Novel definitely won't be alone.

Re:...maybe NOW Novell will pay attention? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999795)

And there are specific instances of the problem. Jeremy Allison's extensive work with Samba was something Microsoft *needed* to spike, by whatever means possible, since most of the network file system drives and external storage devices we're seeing today are Linux and especially Samba based. That's not a market Microsoft can leave alone: it keeps people away from the license and hardware over-burdened Windows server market.

Jeremy continuing in Samba work under the Novell/Microsoft patent agreement put Samba users at risk, and gave Microsoft leverage through Novell to interfere with it. That's perhaps the most obvious example of the problem: there are doubtless others. Fortunately, Jeremy resigned from Novell rather publicly over this deal, and resigned rather publicly. I hope Google, which hired him, can continue his efforts.

No Love for Novell? (4, Funny)

sczimme (603413) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997091)


Well, I guess when people say there is no love for Novell, they mean there is no Love for Novell.

Re:No Love for Novell? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998045)

Oh man get someone to hand a giant banner on Novell headquarters that proclaims....

"NO love here"

and I guarantee you would be the king of all geeks for at LEAST 2 maybe 3 years.

Next week's headline? (5, Insightful)

onetwofour (977057) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997121)

"Robert Love today has joined Canonical Ltd."

Re:Next week's headline? (2)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997639)

Probably Canonical is the best possible place for him, in terms of ideals of openess, and freeness. Novell is a closed source company at the core, and only markets linux opertunisticalalaly just like SCO of yesterday. Good luck Robert.

Re:Next week's headline? (1)

Aequo (923926) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997765)

Don't make me laugh. Novell hire far, far more open source developers than Canonical, contrary to what Shuttleworth states in a recent interview with him [slashdot.org]. My favourite one there is "Google uses Ubuntu on all of their developer desktops" (emphasis mine). That is outright false, as even Shuttleworth himself has said [markshuttleworth.com].
Soon Ubuntu will not even need users -- it will run completely on hype.

Re:Next week's headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18999465)

The article you link doesn't say anything about Google using Ubuntu on their developer desktops. Mark is addressing the rumor that Google plans to publicly distribute a Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu. That rumor is indeed false. However, Google does use Ubuntu on all of their developer desktops and this has been publicly stated numerous times by Google employees.

Disagree (2, Insightful)

cheros (223479) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999957)

I disagree, for two reasons.

(1) You label those who have started to use Ubuntu as people without judgement? Well, sorry, I don't consider myself *that* clueless. I've used Slackware (since it came on floppies), SuSE since v5 or so, RH from when they started, Mandrake, enfin, to cut a long story short, I experiment. And Ubuntu has gone from nothing to my preferred desktop, with Fedora and SuSE running a close 2nd (although I'm not very impressed with OpenSuSE, and the MS tie in makes it less likely I'll ever use it in production).

(2) I know Mark and occasionally meet up with him (not often, we're both rather busy). He is genuine, and genuinely on a mission. The code develops alongside that thinking, which is for me a much stronger argument than anything else to support Ubuntu. I like people that do as they say and he's definitely in that category.

Now, I *am* interested why you call Ubuntu 'hyped', as far as I can tell they deliver. Don't equate interviews and what the press states with reality - I have yet to come across ONE, repeat ONE interview that completely matches what was said, and I've been quoted enough in the press not to expect any different..

Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997137)

Maybe he could find work over at SCO.

WTF, People? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997147)

Get some priorities! Paris Hilton has just been sentenced to 45 days in jail, and you discuss some radroid nerd quitting his job. For shame!

Thank You (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997431)

I'm shocked no one has said it.

While everyone grips about Novell-MS, let me instead say thank you.

Thank you for all your contributions, paid for or otherwise, we all benefit from them, often at no cost to ourselves.

I wish you the best in future endeavors.

Re:Thank You (4, Insightful)

Freed (2178) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997605)

It's a shame to say it, but also thank you for leaving Novell--they didn't deserve you.

Next job (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997463)

A source told me he was leaving to work on the code for the Metagovernment [metagovernment.org].

Reminiscent of Compaq/HP Merger (5, Insightful)

twenex27 (1004369) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997475)

This reminds me of the HP/Compaq merger: At first HP said they would integrate the superior technologies from Compaq/DEC's Tru64 Unix into HP-UX; two years later (or less) most of the Tru64 workforce was gone and the "superior technologies" were jettisoned. And where is HP/UX now?

Similarly, if all the Linux hackers leave Novell/SUSE, who exactly are Novell going to employ to develop the distribution? Not many people looking to make a good career move are going to man a ship whose crew says she's sinking.

Re:Reminiscent of Compaq/HP Merger (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998195)

It won't be hard to find developers. They just won't have the experience or insights into the systems as the one leaving. But this might be a good deal in the end, It can allow more things to move in different directions and possibly in better directions.

And don't think for a minute that it won't be easy to find developers. When everyone is claiming all the jobs are going over seas, I seriously doubt that some starving outsourced programmer is going to get all ethical and pass up a full time job. He is going to take a salary, get benefits, Take car of their families and so on. And I'm willing to bet that they will do it cheaper then the ones already there but leaving.

Re:Reminiscent of Compaq/HP Merger (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999107)

This reminds me of the HP/Compaq merger:
It's even more reminiscent of the Compaq/DEC merger. Compaq acquired DEC and then went to all of the Tru64 Unix customers and declared to them: "Hi there. We're going to migrate you to Windows NT." The vast majority of them replied, "Fuck you, we're going to Sun." By the time Compaq realized that enterprise admins will give up Unix when you pry it from their cold dead fingers, it was already way too late, and Sun (and later, Linux) ran away with Compaq/DEC's unix market share.

Paris Hilton going to jail for 45 days (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997513)

for real. Hah!

It could have been Mormonism (0, Flamebait)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997545)

Sooner or later, a career at Novell will require a stint at the Provo, Utah headquarters. Perhaps he did not want to reside or raise a family deep within the heartland of Mormonism.

Re:It could have been Mormonism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18997937)

Yeah. No one likes friendly neighbors.

Eh???? (0, Troll)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999281)

If you are not Mormon, then living in Utah outside of SLC is very difficult. Do not get me wrong. I like Utah. But folks are not friendly with you unless you are the same religion.

Re:It could have been Mormonism (1)

isdnip (49656) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998149)

Novell's headquarters hasn't been in Utah for several years now. After the merger with Cambridge Technology Partners, the combined firm set up its official HQ at the latter's Waltham, MA location.

It is true that presidential candidate W. Mitt Romney has built a Mormon Temple (the only one northeast of Maryland; a temple is much bigger than a normal church) near his house in Belmont, a town adjacent to Waltham. But other than Mitt and his many kids, there aren't a lot of Mormons near Novell HQ.

Re:It could have been Mormonism (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999829)

I've met people from Massachusetts. Apparently the whole town of Belmont, where Romney lives, is very Mormon, with no liquor stores and all the shops closing by 6:00 PM.

Blame IBM (1)

geek49203 (676684) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997695)

Novell is already a subsidiary of IBM in everything but name -- see my article on www.abend.org. Long-term, Novell is cruising for a buyout, and the only activities that are happening at Novell are either to please IBM, or to get ready for the buyout. In addition, has anyone considered how bad a FOSS person feels working for IBM execs? Well, 5 of Novell's top 8 execs, plus a boatload of others, are ex-IBM. IBM has never been know for open standards, and in fact, their logo is next to the definition of the word "proprietary" in the dictionary.

IBM?! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999309)

Surely you misspelled "Microsoft," right? I've read your article, and most of it makes sense, but it really seems like Novell is either aiming for Microsoft to buy them out instead of IBM, or at least for MS and IBM to fight over the UNIX rights (wouldn't that be the battle of the century!).

Somewhere in Redmond a NDA is explained.. (0)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997709)

Balmer sits comfortably.

Remember, a Developers's strength flows from the Code.
But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The MS side are they. Once you start down the MS path, forever will it dominate your destiny.
Robert... Robert... do not... do not underestimate the powers of the Balmer or suffer your Co-Workers's fate you will.
Robert, when reassigned am I... the last of the Developers will you be.
Robert, the Code runs strong in you.
Pass on what you have learned, Robert.

That name rings a bell... (0, Flamebait)

dinther (738910) | more than 6 years ago | (#18997847)

Novell, mmmm I am sure I have heard of that name before. Novell, wasn't that an old gift store franchise? No...ummmm

I give up, it must be insignificant.

Tadaa (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18998061)

In a year Miguel de Icaza will be the only Novell employee left.. until he gets _the_ call from Microsoft he waited so long for, of course.

mod do3N (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18998083)

But with N3tcrafUt

Speculation, false. (5, Informative)

sagei (131421) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998323)

The MSFT/NOVL agreement was not the motivation behind my departure.

I appreciate the postings by those who recognize that the speculation behind my departure is ill-founded and inappropriate.

Re:Speculation, false. (2, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998525)

...It was the 3.2% beer in Provo, wasn't it?

(PS to all the indignant: I used to live in Salt Lake City...)

/P

Re:Speculation, false. (-1, Offtopic)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#18998899)

Hi Robert,

I am rather cross with you for lending your verbal support to Novell/Ximian's ignoble agenda to push KDE out of its well deserved and much loved position as the default desktop of the SuSE distribution. Which as you will recall, sparked a veritable customer revolt. How arrogant of you and those others involved. No, contrary to your claim [rlove.org], Ximian's offering is the second best Linux desktop, in my opinion. To be honest, I find Ximian's desktop downright irritating, clumsy, limited, buggy and really badly coded (yes I have been in there). However it is a fact that you have supported and continue to be an apologist for that cynical attempt to push KDE out of SuSE, that is not in doubt.

Regards,

Daniel

Re:Speculation, false. (2, Interesting)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999303)

I am rather cross with you for lending your verbal support to Novell/Ximian's ignoble agenda to push KDE out of its well deserved and much loved position as the default desktop of the SuSE distribution. Which as you will recall, sparked a veritable customer revolt. How arrogant of you and those others involved. No, contrary to your claim [rlove.org], Ximian's offering is the second best Linux desktop, in my opinion. To be honest, I find Ximian's desktop downright irritating, clumsy, limited, buggy and really badly coded (yes I have been in there). However it is a fact that you have supported and continue to be an apologist for that cynical attempt to push KDE out of SuSE, that is not in doubt.

What is offtopic about that? It is a reasoned and honest response to the claim made on this page [rlove.org], linked from this article. On topic I say. And somebody with mod points yielded to the temptation to play the role of censor.

Re:Speculation, false. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18999703)

It's off topic because this thread is about why he left Novell. You're the only faggot here bitching about fucking GUI choices. Nobody's "censoring" you, asshole; we just don't want to read whining tripe from some internet nobody, so you get modded down. Lots of people like C and GTK better than C++ and multi-modal licensing. Shut the fuck up already. Thanks.

Re:Speculation, false. (1)

apokryphos (869208) | more than 6 years ago | (#19000075)

No. Novell is pushing for GNOME in the Enterprise Desktop they choose. (i) this has NOTHING to do with openSUSE (where more KDE developers are working on it than any other distribution), and (ii) KDE is still fully supported on the enterprise desktop. Now remind me what your point is again?

Re:Speculation, false. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18999103)

Well that makes me sad, because you *should* have left for that reason.

And please don't try to claim you deveoped the best desktop distro at Novell, that title clearly belongs to Ubuntu [ http://distrowatch.com/ [distrowatch.com] ]. Sure you developed technology, but linux isn't just about technology, it's about community. And Novell has burned its bridges and doesn't have a real community, it's just a soulless corporate entity. Just look at the reception de Icaza got when he pops a boner about Silverlight [ http://linux.slashdot.org/linux/07/05/03/2033219.s html [slashdot.org] ]. The only people who speak highly about Mono are people who come from windows, they just speak highly because they didn't have to lose their skill set and re-train. Nobody starts on true unix-style tools and with linux and then moves *to* Mono, for good reason.

I thank you for your contributions to open source, paid and otherwise, but don't pretend Novell-MSFT is a good idea, that you were the best distro, or that anyone should care about Mono and the rest of the clusterfuck that is Novell.

Re:Speculation, false. (3, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#18999329)

In that case, would you mind ending the speculation by simply telling us the reason (if it was business-related; otherwise just tell us "it's private")? Curious minds want to know...

Novell - Love = Nolove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18999287)

Sorry, it was obligatory.
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