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Novell Software Linux

Robert Love Resigns from Novell 143

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the moving-on dept.
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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Robert Love Resigns from Novell

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  • by chromatic (9471) on Friday May 04, 2007 @06:49PM (#18997039) Homepage

    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.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday May 04, 2007 @06:50PM (#18997055) Journal
    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

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday May 04, 2007 @06:54PM (#18997101) Journal
    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

  • by onetwofour (977057) on Friday May 04, 2007 @06:56PM (#18997121) Homepage
    "Robert Love today has joined Canonical Ltd."
  • Thank You (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday May 04, 2007 @07:33PM (#18997431) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by twenex27 (1004369) on Friday May 04, 2007 @07:38PM (#18997475) Homepage
    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.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Friday May 04, 2007 @07:45PM (#18997515) Homepage

    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:Thank You (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Freed (2178) on Friday May 04, 2007 @07:57PM (#18997605)
    It's a shame to say it, but also thank you for leaving Novell--they didn't deserve you.
  • by grcumb (781340) on Friday May 04, 2007 @09:58PM (#18998381) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday May 04, 2007 @10:46PM (#18998709) Homepage Journal
    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

  • by chromatic (9471) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @01:59AM (#18999683) Homepage

    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)?

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @02:07AM (#18999723) Journal

    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 t

  • Disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheros (223479) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @03:24AM (#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..
  • by apokryphos (869208) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @04:04AM (#19000087) Homepage
    Ubuntu innovate very little compared to openSUSE/Novell on the desktop. So when you're talking about the better _desktop_ you cannot talk about the community; that would arguably fit into _distribution_; so please, once you get out of the Ubuntu fanboy hype, you might see things a little more clearly. SLED is also marketed on the enterprise, which has a FAR larger community than Ubuntu has in any enterprise. Please don't even try to tell me that Ubuntu is even remotely ready for the enterprise.

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