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The Novell/Microsoft deal: My Reaction November 16, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.

Microsoft and Novell have entered into a partnership where they will work together to provide interoperability between the Novell Linux products and Microsoft Windows and Microsoft products.  In my opinion, not a bad deal.  This is a win/win for Microsoft and Novell customers.  If this deal doesnt affect Open Source developers or software users or if violating someone’s Intellectual property rights are of no importance or consequence and if using open source software automatically protects users and developers by default then I guess the deal is just a lot of wasted ink.  Something tells me that they wouldnt come to financial agreements that steep for no reason.  Would I boycott Novell or Microsoft for this deal?  No, because the end result is transparent to the end user, they have nothing to do with it.  there isnt an extra checkbox to click when installing either companies products, no activation.  Microsoft and Novell are not “profitting off the sweat and hard work of OSS developers.”  I personally think the whole public outcry over this is wasted breath and it has led some companies to royally screw themselves over (see Sun Microsystems)


My Response to Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems November 15, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.

” I’m committed to Open Source but not generally a member of the Free Software movement. For Java, though, it’s the only thing that makes sense. It’s been given away freely for so long, and it’s worked its way into so many places, that it should belong to the community, and if anyone figures out how to make it better, they should just bloody well give that discovery back. So for my money, the GPL’s the only sane choice.

Its the only thing that doesnt make sense. The GPL is more restrictive than any other license out there. It doesnt give developers rights on what they can do with their code. You guys also fail to answer the question that if I write Java code and use your compilers and runtime will I be able to maintain my license and my copyright. The answer is No, Im required to make my offerings open source because my program relies on GPL’ed code found in the Java run time.

” But I think there’ll be lots of forks, and I approve. I suspect that basement hackers and university CompSci departments and other unexpected parties will take the Java source, hack groovy improvements into it, compile it, and want to give it to the world. They’ll discover that getting their creation blessed as “Java” requires running the TCK/trademark gauntlet, which isn’t groovy at all. So they’ll think of a clever name for it and publish anyhow.”

They are not required to run the TCK. Yes they can take it, run with it and not bother with the TCK and your argument that they will want to be blessed as Java is stupid and short sighted. Does Tivo want to be blessed as Linux? Does rPath, Forsight or even Linspire need to be blessed as Linux distributions? Nope, people know what they are,  trying to disguise yourselves as a governing body and trying to play dressup really doesnt benefit Sun, is really childish and it pisses me off that Mr. Tim Bray, Jonathan Schwartz and others at Sun Microsoystems think people are so stupid and cant see through it. Your TCK isnt worth a hill of beans anymore, once you GPL’ed Java you gave up any possible hope of control that you had. You have neutured yourself, the JCP and the TCK. Enjoy it.

” Remember: However many forks there are, it ain’t Java unless it’s called “Java” or has the coffee-cup on it. If it has the name and cup, it is Java and it’s compatible. And Sun will absolutely enforce that in court if we have to. We have in the past and we will again. ”

Good luck, anyone in the world can say “based on Java 5.0, Sun Java” etc and there is no recourse of action for you but to take it and grit your teeth, fight, fuss and complain and whine. Thats what they would call a nuisance lawsuit. And considering that Microsoft, doesnt go after Mono and it declares itself as an “implementation of Microsofts .NET” How long will your good will and charitable image remain intact if you sue people for taking your source code and doing what the GPL gives them clear rights to do, Modify, alter and redistribute. You were able to protect your Java rights in the past because you owned the rights to Java. Now you are essentially giving the rights away.

” What to do about the TCK code? Its status is still TBD, and is going to take some careful thought. Right now, the TCK is like the road test that you have to pass to get your driver’s license. It’s a hugely important piece of the Java compatibility story. It has to maintain its integrity and it has to be perceived as maintaining its integrity. So, what’s the right licensing structure to achieve that? Beats me.”

The TCK is dead, sorry. No one else to blame you killed it. No one else did.

The destruction of Java November 14, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.

Well Sun did it, they managed to destroy the future of Java.  The GPL release of Java was a huge mistake.  Why?  Because now there is no quality control over Java.  With the exception of Linux which is well tested, most other GPL products lack quality, tend to be buggy as hell and we will now have to deal with frequent, minor but sometimes damaging releases of the Java VM.  Not only that but I for one am not looking forward to the dozens of forks and VM’s that will appear because someones not happy with the path the Java community is taking.  Jonathan Schwartz and Sun do deserve some credit, they managed to kill the importance of the JCP and Sun Microsystems and they did manage to screw Microsoft out of two billion dollars and turn around and open the door for Microsoft to do what they were doing before and not have to pay another cent as now Patent protections are pretty much gone.

Red Hat sounds off on Novell-Microsoft deal; More reactions November 4, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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Red Hat put up a FAQ outlining their position on the new deal.  Saying that they would never consider striking a deal similar to the one Novell reached with Microsoft.  They also said in one year they will be the last Linux vendor left standing.  Others like Forbes.com and Linux-watch.com also have something to say about the deal.  Some like the not-so-great-reporter-linux-zealot Steven Nichols thinks Microsoft is about to unleash the litigation hounds.  Forbes thinks Novell has surrendered, with Red Hat thinking Linux has won and that Novell is a traitor.  I will post my own thoughts on the deal later.

Link to Red Hat FAQ           Link to Red Hat interview


Novell and Microsoft to collaborate on Linux November 3, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Tech News.
1 comment so far

Today Microsoft and Novell came to a deal that would allow the two to collaborate and benefit from each others respective environments.  They also came to a patent agreement that would allow the SUSE Linux Enterprise line to be immune to any patent infringement claims.

 Microsoft Link

Novell FAQ 

Hell froze over. Windows CE source code now available under shared source November 1, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Microsoft has opened up the Windows CE OS kernel source code, with 100% availability.  When can we expect to see the Windows OS kernel be placed under terms of shared source?  Or is that likely not to happen?