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SuSE Businesses Software Linux

Suse Linux Founder Exits Novell 245

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the look-for-a-new-project-soon dept.
csplinter writes write to tell us that SuSE Linux founder Hubert Mantel has resigned from Novell stating "Too late for me. I just decided to leave Suse/Novell. This is no longer the company I founded 13 years ago." Novell confirmed his resignation but had little else to say on the topic. From the article: "Mantel's departure also comes less than a week after Novell announced a major restructuring that would result in 600 layoffs. It's unclear if Mantel's resignation is related to the restructuring."
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Suse Linux Founder Exits Novell

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  • 13 years for what (Score:2, Insightful)

    by visionsofmcskill (556169) <vision@ g e t m p .com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:06PM (#13992772) Homepage Journal
    Its a tough week for novell when they loose botha founder and 600 employees.... makes you wonder just who is using their solutions anymore?
  • by Srdjant (650988) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:11PM (#13992837)
    Could Hubert Mantel have quit due to Novell making SuSE a GNOME-centred distro instead of keeping it a KDE-centred one?

    Novell standardise on GNOME: http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/05/ 1620206&tid=223&tid=106 [slashdot.org]
  • Re:"Too Late"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElGuapoGolf (600734) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:12PM (#13992850) Homepage
    I'm not sure what the "too late" comment means, but I think he takes a shot at some of the ximian folks later on when he suggests a maintainer for the SuSE kernel could be found from somewhere in the Ximian group.

    Ouch. I mean, given the bloated (but usable) mess that is Evolution, would you want those guys maintaining your distribution's kernel?

    I think he's right, SuSE isn't the same company anymore. Kubuntu, here I come.
  • by cloudmaster (10662) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:19PM (#13992912) Homepage Journal
    Except that Novell didn't say "Oh, by the way - you people who paid for support for your product? Screw you, your year of support ends in April even if you just paid for a year a couple of months earlier. Feel free to buy our overpriced piece of crap version if you want continued updates." RedHat did.

    BTW, Ubuntu's based on Debian, which was and remains community-developed. Shuttleworth just did it right (so far)...
  • by Hymer (856453) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:19PM (#13992913)
    Is SuSE without Hubert Mantel a SuSE people want ?
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:21PM (#13992930) Journal
    When did Novell promise that Suse 10 would be a Windows Killer?

    Please show us a link or two to support your position.
  • My Bet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Crimsane (815761) <clarke@nullfs.com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:22PM (#13992934) Homepage
    If I had to make a wager as to why he left, I would bet someone close to him got layed off and he put his own job on the line to defend them.

    I was sad to hear suse layed of This dude [beaufour.dk] who was doing lots of xforms stuff for FF.

    But of course Novell has been doing lots of good for a while now, all the time losing money, so I couldn't be too critcal.
  • by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:22PM (#13992941)
    This departure is probably no big deal. Every single "amicable" corporation acquisition that I have ever seen worked out the same way. The founders of the acquired company stay on board in order to help assure a smooth merger. But after about a year or so, they almost always take off for new projects. I suspect that sticking around until now was a contractual obligation on his part as part of selling the company.

    These guys tend to be of two types - "startup" guys who don't think it is fun to run an established business, or a "control types" who aren't satisifed unless they are running the whole show. Either way, when they sell the company, they are no longer in the position that most appeals to them so they move on as soon as they can.

    So, I wouldn't take this event too seriously, he's probably had short-timer's disease for the last six months anyway.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:27PM (#13993000)
    Yes, especially since kernel development is not exactly Ximians forte. This is probably a clash between company cultures. German engineers believe that quality matters while american managers know that playing golf with executives is more important.

  • by codergeek42 (792304) <peter@thecodergeek.com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:35PM (#13993067) Homepage Journal
    Silly mods. That should be +1 Funny, not +1 Insightful. *sigh*
  • by daeley (126313) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:38PM (#13993105) Homepage
    I think it was the press more than Novell, but they sure didn't mind mentioning it in passing [novell.com] as early as 2001 -- and that was version 7.1!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:45PM (#13993157)
    I've never particularly liked the leadership and vision of RedHat. I guess RPM worked on some level and put them on the map, but I've hated it since I first started having to use it.

    So I've always been hoping for another group to step up. I thought I had found it with SuSE, where I experenced for the first time on Linux, something approaching a fully integrated GUI.

    However, this move signals that Ximian is going to start to get their hands all over SuSE and essentially ruin it. I hated the Ximian Desktop and those guys have absolutely NO SENSE WHATSOEVER about polish and quality. They royally suck. Then, add in stupid crap like MONO and that whole nonsense, and it's so easy to decide it's not even funny. GNU classpath is almost there, Eclipse already compiles and runs on Fedora core.

    You can get every level of fully community supported+bleeding edge, community supported on top of enterprise-ready (whitebox, centos, etc.), all the way to complete enterprise support.

    It's been a long, hard fought and well deserved win for RedHat in the area of Linux dominance through proper leadership instead of strong-armed tactics. I'm going all Fedora/RedHat on all my new systems.
  • by oever (233119) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:46PM (#13993164) Homepage
    Please give me an example where a company was forced to pay license fees to to Qt because SuSE uses KDE as a desktop environment.
  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:51PM (#13993208) Homepage
    Like RedHat with Fedora, Novell looks for Community backup with their OpenSuse.org project.

    Right, damn those Novell people, open sourcing all the good bits from the companies they've acquired. They're just doing it because they want the community to help them! Let's not fall for it though-- we should all refuse to use YaST or the Evolution connector! If I make it so I can't connect to my e-mail, that'll show'um!

    They're making the life of all those shuttleworths' out there extremely easy.

    Yeah, because... it all plays into Shuttleworth's plan for world domination?

    Damn it, Shuttleworth doesn't want Novell bringing more money into Linux development. Ubuntu is so good, we should just tell all the other developers, contributors, and people spending money on Linux to shove it!

  • Re:Sour Grapes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:59PM (#13993276) Journal

    Or he is bright enough to realize that competing head on with redhat and indirectly with Sun is a mistake?

    At this point, how is Suse different from Redhat? I recently switched to Suse (from Mandrake due to their lousy QC). At the last job, I was coding on Redhat. I was loving Suse until the gnome/kde announcement. At this point, I am telling ppl if they want a Gnome distro to do redhat, and am back to looking for a good kde distro.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:07PM (#13993352)
    Novell is an assimilating race, like Borg.
    It recognizes some good tech,
    gets it,
    survives for a while,
    then screws up.
    And then it needs to move to the next one..

  • by rm69990 (885744) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:10PM (#13993378)
    Red Hat's founders have left also. This could just be a case of the person not liking to work for established businesses, and instead prefering startups. He may also be a control freak, and doesn't like Novell running things the way they see fit.
  • by paugq (443696) <pgquiles AT elpauer DOT org> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:14PM (#13993422) Homepage
    Your comment is stupid and shows a large lack of knowledge about Gtk and Qt.

    Gtk is ugly to develop with, inconsistent, lacks a lot of functionality and it is a complete joke for multi-platform development.

    Qt is so superior to Gtk it pays for itself so soon you will never regret buying it. A Qt license is worth half the pay of one developer for one month. Your company will recover that money immediately.

    Had Suse used Gtk instead of Qt, Novell would be firing twice the people they are firing now. And the movement from Qt to Gtk is so stupid they are firing theirselves on the foot.

    Bye, bye, Novell, you had the best (Suse Linux, ZenWorks and eDirectory) and you decided to suicide.
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:20PM (#13993476) Journal
    The issue is that QT appears to be trying to get more people to pay for QT then is required. Some would say that their methods border on the dishonest.
  • by ScriptedReplay (908196) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:22PM (#13993489)
    Same here. I really do not understand staements like "This is no longer the company I founded 13 years ago." Of course it isn't. It is Novel.

    This is SuSE's *founder* that you're talking about. Meaning he had a *vision* for his company which, from his quote, just isn't there anymore.

    Sounds to me like corporate infighting and Mantel lost.

    Of course it does - and that's probably what it is, too. The question is, however, *what did he lost to*? Now, if you look at the quote more closely, he's saying 'those smart guys from Ximian will pick up on kernel maintenance in no time' - which is of course untrue (at least the 'no time' part, although I suspect whoever will end up in his place will most likely *not* be coming from the desktop division) and to me it sounds like a veiled accusation that the Ximian guys pushed agendas in areas they had little clue about. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it does not sound that implausible in the light of recent evolutions at Novell that 'loud' was preferred to 'clueful'
  • Re:Sour Grapes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashdot_commentator (444053) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:51PM (#13993702) Journal
    Or he is bright enough to realize that competing head on with redhat and indirectly with Sun is a mistake?

    How is that a mistake? Novell has something no other distribution has. A front seat to NDS. In fact, I'm pretty sure their whole original reason for their buying SuSE was to have a solid OS platform to run NDS off of. They probably were not even running against Redhat or Sun. It could be a Hail Mary comeback for network services management on Microsoft shops. Even if they're only partially sucessful, it salvages their original intellectual property (NDS). Also, initially, there might have been some hope of getting bought out by Sun. (Back many quarters ago, Sun had cash and was looking to acquire properties.)

    At the last job, I was coding on Redhat. I was loving Suse until the gnome/kde announcement.

    You are a sad, sad man. I hope you're still a kid. You base SuSE's distribution quality solely on the desktop it decided to consolidate upon. If Novell's entire strategy counted on its KDE users, it would be stillborn. The entire linux market is a zit on corporations' ass. Its total presence is server based. If Novell wants to claw onto the desktop/server market occupied by Microsoft, are they going to do it with a feature filled desktop that has Exchange compatibility, or with a relatively unknown KDE, who they have no pull in terms of guiding its development? Sun is Gnome, and Redhat is Gnome. And that is the environment any Fortune 500 company is going to consolidate upon. Novell wants to cut bodies, not keep KDE users happy. Grow up.

  • by Arandir (19206) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:53PM (#13993716) Homepage Journal
    To me, that sounds like subtle (or not so subtle) sarcasm. Perhaps Mantel heard the phrase "lots of extremely skilled people over there in the Ximian division" used one too many times as an excuse by his bosses, that he simply used it back at them.

    After all, if you have a division of perfect people down the hall, why not let them work on the kernel? Even if they're applications people with absolutely no kernel experience, how hard can it be for perfect people who have all the answers?
  • curse of Novell (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wardk (3037) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:06PM (#13993803) Journal
    It's the curse of Novell. over the course of their history they have been closely tied to many many failing disasters.

    and who founded Caldera? and what are they now?

    exactly
  • by penguinrenegade (651460) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:46PM (#13994087)
    Not to mention that Novell also dropped KDE recently. The "we're standardizing on Gnome" argument really isn't seeming to fly any longer (if it ever did). SUSE built a reputation for quality and Novell has turned SUSE into something else, and it's pretty evident.

    Quality matters, and it showed with SUSE up until now. Novell is deprecating the OS and the people as well.
  • Re:So why no KDE?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by billybob2 (755512) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:47PM (#13994493)
    Is there some license issue that's driving the KDE issue?

    KDE is built on QT [trolltech.com], a C++ framework released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) [gnu.org], a free software license that has strong copyleft [gnu.org] (forced sharing) protections meant to ensure that derivative code stays free.

    Some corporations are raising hell against QT and KDE because the corporations want to make proprietary, non-free, closed-source software on the QT framework without compensating the makers of QT. Of course, those same corporations don't have to pay anything if their applications are free and open source. In this way, QT is actually encouraging companies to give back to the community, something beneficial for users as a whole.

    Debunking KDE Myths [urbanlizard.com] does a good job disproving the FUD against KDE and QT.
  • by r00t (33219) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @09:13PM (#13994653) Journal
    Robert Love is in the Ximian part of Novell. He did DBUS and wrote a kernel internals book.
  • Re:Sour Grapes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stilborne (85590) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @09:25PM (#13994726) Homepage
    this is sort of off topic, but you have obviously never had to actually get exchange support working in a real world environment on GNOME then. or maybe you were one of the lucky few who had a half-decent experience. unfortunately right now there are no proper open source exchange clients. IMAP clients, sure. half-assed calendaring clients that mostly work with certain exchange server configurations, yes. but nothing better than that, and that doesn't cut it in the corporate world.

    chasing the exchange rainbow is about as fruitful as chasing a real rainbow due to practicalities. a much more sound solution is getting people off of exchange and onto something more friendly. most companies that run exchange could do just as well with one of the alternatives out there.

    but going around claiming "exchange compatibility" is just a way to lose credibility when people do their homework and check out the validity of said claim. losing credibility is not something the open source desktop needs right now.
  • by Zemran (3101) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @09:32PM (#13994768) Homepage Journal
    It was probably 'those smart guys at Ximian' that advised Novell to drop KDE. Many users, me amongst them, who have stayed with SuSE for years will now look elsewhere and I should think that Mantel is aware of this since he was there when the last 'should we drop KDE' debate was held and it was decided that it was best to keep KDE as a lot of users prefer it.
  • by Scott7477 (785439) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @10:38PM (#13995083) Homepage Journal
    Your example just emphasizes why this guy probably left Novell...they couldn't sell their way out of a wet paper sack. Given that NetWare is robust and malware resistant, how come this message isn't getting to the people who authorize software purchases? Clearly corporations are willing to rip and replace systems when they're not working..just look at all of the examples of companies that tossed ERP implementations after spending millions of dollars. NetWare ought to be an easy sell.
  • The problem is.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 10Ghz (453478) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @02:23AM (#13995962)
    ... That they had two Linux-organisations: Ximian and SuSE. SuSE had a top-notch distro, lots of expertise (both GUI, kernel and the overall system), great engineers, respectable revenues and profits (they were profitable IIRC) and lots of paying customers. Ximian had a so-so mail-client, Mono and some miscellianeous projects. I don't know about their revenues/profits, but they can't be that big.

    So which of these organisations ended up calling the shots at Novell when it comes to Linux? Ximian, of course! And right from the start it seemed that Ximian's main product was FUD and vaporware.

    I guess this is a case of brown-nosing and PR winning over great products and solid engineering.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @03:02AM (#13996065)
    Remember this [slashdot.org] article? It probably has much to do with this.

    From the article -
    "The pressure is growing on Novell Inc's management to make major strategic changes after a regulatory filing revealed a Novell shareholder has joined Credit Suisse First Boston in calling for change at the identity management and Linux vendor."

    "...a call from financial analyst house Credit Suisse First Boston for Novell to improve its vision, strategy, and execution in order to become a more profitable business."

    PHB -> English Translation - Cut R&D, sell off consulting arms, ZenWorks, Groupwise - i.e. turn us a quick profit by selling your gems so that we can then drop this hot potato and move on to our next investment if our "vision" doesn't quite pan out

    Novell is going the way of HP it looks. Sad, as Novell really does have good products. I used to bash Novell till I worked in a 100 server Novell environment with NDS, before active directory copied it, and realized that long term planning and R&D is what makes Novell so worthwhile.

    Open source has entered the equation and that's where the buzz is, so the MBAs are wondering why Novell is piddling around with all this legacy crap when they see companies like Red Hat making it big time off the Linux craze. Their following another bubble and these people are idiots.

    Focus on customer needs through proper R&D rather than blind pursuit of particular technologies, and you'll outdo your competitors easy, the rest is marketing, where Novell actually does need help. It's all fine and good to adopt Linux, but without proper technical understanding those calling for restructuring will leave Novell seriously lopsided, and even worse, undifferentiated from others in the market.
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @04:22AM (#13996253)
    Me, a year ago:
    ______
    [Article: Novell Announces Agreement to Acquire SUSE]
    I see three scenarios: (Score:4, Insightful)
    by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday November 04, @09:58AM (#7386243)
    1.) Novell does a f*ck up with SuSE, goes down the drain and pulls SuSE along until they're bought out by somebody else. This is somewhat likely, as SuSE is doing very good as a Linux brand right now. It could hardly get better rather than worse. In germany (most Linux users per capita) SuSE is even synonym for Linux!
    All in all that would stall Linux brand recognition but probably be good news for Mandrake, the last one left.

    2.) Novell has actually seen the light and plans way ahead into the future, were software won't make a buck anymore, but free software will reign and the business is in services.

    3.) Novell/SuSE twitches here and there, barely surviving, taking shares from Mandrake, they all die eventually, Mickeysoft prevails and there is a 5 year setback for OSS, with only Gentoo and Debian to the rescue in the far future, when the OSS model has consumed everything.

    Bottom line:
    I don't like this news. Sound bad. Chances are to high that this once o-so big company Novell is gonna screw up. And SuSE is my first recomendation to n00bs right now. It would be a real shame for them to go down the drain.
    ______

    Looks like number one was a hit. Novell didn't see the light. The didn't plan ahead. They're visionless and now sqirming around probably just to prolong some classic VC money. I can just imagine the people involved summoning all efforts to pull their head out of the noose as we speak. They fallen for some hothead geeks and their buzz at Ximian as a last resort, but couldn't convey that spirit into a big business. Unlike Ximian - more or less a geeks workshop - SuSE was a *big* company with lots of disciplined fulltime professionals maintaining a frontline distro. The simple truth is that SuSE was a bigger Linux company than Novell will probably ever be, with one of the longest track records in the OSS industry. Novell on the other hand is just inflated stock and some karma and credit from a decade ago when they were big in the network business. Instead of throwing their marketing value behind SuSE and tuning low on the rebranding & bullshit strategy they did it all wrong. Nothing less than a major botch. Bad move, you stupid execs. No mercy here.

    Note Number 3 above. This is what's actually going to happen. If Novell goes belly up, which I expect more than ever, that will be the end of commercial distros as we know it.

    BTW: The current rise of Apple with their small, simple and cheap all-in-one appliances doesn't help the current situation for x86-OSS-as-MS-alternative either.

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