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Mark Shuttleworth Tries To Lure OpenSUSE Devs 258

polar_bear` writes "A lot of developers are angry at Novell for its deal with Microsoft, but is it fair game for other vendors to try to capitalize on dissatisfaction with Novell? Apparently, Mark Shuttleworth thinks so. Shuttleworth sent an invitation to the openSUSE developers list inviting developers 'concerned about the long term consequences' of Novell's deal to participate in Ubuntu Open Week and consider jumping ship to Ubuntu. OpenSUSE and Ubuntu developers are not amused."
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Mark Shuttleworth Tries To Lure OpenSUSE Devs

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  • Bad Call (Score:2, Insightful)

    by person132 ( 986809 ) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:43PM (#16989260)
    The idea of inviting developers to jump ship is too... un-Linuxy. OSS in general is not about getting the most developers, nor is it about sucking projects dry when they make an alliance with the heart of all computing evil. OSS is about choice. If developers are really unhappy with the alliance, they will jump ship themselves.
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:49PM (#16989294)
    Maybe he was insinuating the fact that he (Mark), does not have developers as good as those at Novell. Frankly, I find Canonical's latest Kubuntu release rather wanting and disappointing.

    Folks at Ubuntu should borrow a leaf from Xandros and Freespire. These distributions actually work as advertised.

  • Re:Bad Call (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FateStayNight ( 1000465 ) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:51PM (#16989310) Journal
    inviting people over is an act of courtesy though. It not like he threatened them or made false statements about Novell's future.
  • by toby ( 759 ) * on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:52PM (#16989314) Homepage Journal
    Did you really think there wouldn't be any?
  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:53PM (#16989326) Homepage
    I don't see an issue with this. Mark's note was well written, and simply mentions that there are alternatives. It was not malicious or derogatory. As for trying to poach developers, you don't think the like of Novell and RedHat aren't doing that all the time? At least Mark is doing it out in the open, instead of using agents, ie. recruiters, to do it.
  • No big deal (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:54PM (#16989330)
    No big deal. I mean really, they're not trying to hire them. They're trying to convince these guys to work for them for free instead of the other guys. The "invitation" is an invitation to go to some classes so people can learn how to get accepted to work for free. I can't believe people do this.
  • Nu-uh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msaver ( 907214 ) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:55PM (#16989334)
    Certainly, some developers are not at all pleased with the Microsoft-Novell agreement. Mark is just letting them know they're welcome :P

    Anyway, I don't see why this is 'un-Linuxy'. Competition helps OSS thrive, and if you can convince developers to work on your project, why wouldn't you?
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:55PM (#16989338)
    The idea of inviting developers to jump ship is too... un-Linuxy. OSS in general is not about getting the most developers, nor is it about sucking projects dry when they make an alliance with the heart of all computing evil. OSS is about choice.
    And a choice is exactly what he offered.
  • by ezh ( 707373 ) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:58PM (#16989356)
    Mr. Cosmonaut clearly understands that Novell will get a tremendous money advantage over the next few years. It would be enough to lure all bright developers that remain in Debian/Ubuntu world to SUSE. Even RedHat should be aware... Ubuntu needs a big push to get its place under the sun. Currently RedHat and SUSE control the enterprise Linux market. That's why Ubuntu guys want to make it pretty, and even agreed to include binary modules - the goal is to win at all costs. After than they can get more generous and fair, and finally close their bug #1.
  • by cheros ( 223479 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @12:00AM (#16989362)
    Would you really like to invite MS to sue the crap out of every ex MS developer claiming code taint?

    No? Didn't think so either. :-)
  • by Bob54321 ( 911744 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @12:01AM (#16989370)
    I don't think that Mark was saying "Hey, come to Ubuntu, we need more developers" or "You should leave Novell now!". It appears to be more of "Hey, if you're leaving, our distribution has got big fast and there is always an opening for someone we know is good at what they do". Well at least it appears that way to me - just a statement made with good intentions that may have been interpreted by others in a different way. Happens all the time...
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Godji ( 957148 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @12:07AM (#16989408) Homepage
    On one hand this post is blown out of proportion, probably just because it was written by Mark Shuttleworth. Whether he actually intended in his post to lure devs from openSuse to Ubuntu is hard to tell... If he had only posted "Hello", the fact that it's the openSuse list and the poster is the Big Man of Ubuntu would still make people believe he had an evil agenda, or whatnot.

    On the other hand, as you will find out if you follow all those links in TFA+TFS, it appears *someone* at Ubuntu decided to ship binary drivers by default (!) in the next version of the OS. Now that is just wrong, for so many reasons. In any case, it doesn't show Ubuntu a pure-FOSS supporting distro. Some claim the decision was made with little or no community input.

    And while the Novell/Microsoft deal is little more than corporate FUD, the binary driver issue and the world's most popular desktop disto's handling of the matter, is crucial. We need to pressure the hardware companies to release drivers, and Ubuntu may soon brutally undermine those efforts.

    Mark, leave openSuse alone and do something about the binary driver issue. Please.
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schraegstrichpunkt ( 931443 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @12:17AM (#16989482) Homepage

    Um, what? Who made you the authority on what OSS is "about"?

    Also you contradict yourself. You say "OSS is about choice". News flash: Jumping ship is about choice. Mark Shuttleworth is reminding the openSUSE devs of one of the choices available to them.

    Also, OSS is very much about attracting developers. Projects without developers don't go anywhere. Projects that have developers do, almost without regard to technical merit (cf. PHP)

  • Re:Bad Call (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 26, 2006 @12:34AM (#16989556)
    I would mod you up if I wasn't such an anonymous coward.

    I'm getting tired of people saying that OSS is about freedom of choice, and then blasting other developers in the next sentence over choices they've made.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 26, 2006 @01:10AM (#16989720)
    Why does that whole thing remind me of the Gnome announcement posted on the KDE mailing list on Aug 15 1997... Now that Miguel works at Novell would be interesting to hear what he thinks about that post :-)

  • by kaiwai ( 765866 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @01:23AM (#16989776)
    I've spent a good weekend of my life trying to get the wireless working with Fedora Core 6, along with Ubuntu; you're really going to attract developers with the half assed, half baked crap that seems to being pushed out by the opensource developers? get the damn product working properly, then maybe those "Microsoft developers" will view Linux as a viable platform to develop on, rather than some operating system for those who wish to waste a whole weekend on trying to get the damn parts working properly.

    As for Shuttleworth, its about bloody time he piped down from his grand standing and actually got his damn distribution working correctly out of the box rather than jumping on every Microsoft and competitior bashing bandwagon that goes past his doorway, and instead, actually correct the deficiencies in his distribution; like the lack of WPA configuration and setup - no wpa-gui sucks, its broken and doesn't work.

    The day I can dump a ditribution on his oh-so-generic laptop (Toshiba A100) and everything works out of the box, without distorted sound, constant wireless network dropping - then Linux will have made a success on the desktop, until then, it'll be relegated to the server and the desktops of those with way too much time on their hands.

    Yeah, I'll get marked down, and a jihad declared on my ass because I *dare* question the almighty penguin agenda, but for christ sake, part of being an adult is accepting praise as well as acknowledging deficiencies and correcting them as they arrise - something which the Linux/OpenSource community is no very good at.
  • by dr_strang ( 32799 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @01:33AM (#16989822)
    ... is EXACTLY what would benefit Microsoft the most. Sowing the seeds of paranoia and distrust WITHIN your enemy's community is a classic tactic.

  • Re:Bad Call (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bcat24 ( 914105 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @01:50AM (#16989878) Homepage Journal
    Umm, that may be, but the OpenSUSE mailing list is not the place to make that offer. Posting it on his blog is cool. Posting it on another project's developer mailing list is trolling.
  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Sunday November 26, 2006 @02:07AM (#16989936)
    Microsoft cannot defeat FOSS through their traditional means.

    Microsoft has to, somehow, put a cage around it. It can be a big cage. It can be a HUGE cage. But Microsoft needs to put a cage around it.

    Microsoft is trying that with this "patent agreement". It (with Novell's support) splits FOSS into two groups: "Microsoft supported" and "lawyers may sue you".

    That gives Microsoft another chance to move the people from the "lawyers may sue you" group into the "Microsoft supported" group. And once they're there, they're in the cage and Microsoft can alter the rules how ever they want, whenever they want.

    Which is why I have a problem with Novell's "patent agreement" with Microsoft. Particularly with how Novell is marketing it in Europe where they are pushing the "patent protection" as an important "feature" of SuSE.
  • Seems to me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eric Damron ( 553630 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @02:11AM (#16989950)
    Mark said something a little brassy that needed to be said.

    Each of us must decide if the Novell/Microsoft deal changed the way we fundamentally view Novell and Suse. That is even more true of anyone developing a platform that is a part of this deal.
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kz45 ( 175825 ) <> on Sunday November 26, 2006 @02:30AM (#16989994)
    "So, let me get this straight. The openSUSE developers are smart enough to work on openSUSE, smart enough to be welcome to other distros, but too stupid to realize they can work on another distro if they want to?"

    Not stupid, just ignorant of other options. As long as he wasn't an asshole about it, I see it as fair.

    It seems to me that many of the complaints here are due to fear. You are afraid people will actually take him up on the offer.

    "With Ubuntu's questionable inclusion of non-GPL, "binary blob" and closed source drivers, maybe Shuttleworth should worry more about his own distro, and let the openSUSE developers worry about theirs."

    What you don't realize is that this is the only way a linux distribution has a chance at competing with Windows. Shuttleworth is a (smart) businessman and knows this as well.
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pyite ( 140350 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @02:36AM (#16990030)
    And the post to the opensuse dev list was just uncalled for

    Don't have an open mailing list for OpenSUSE if you don't want to deal with sometimes unwanted comments.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <> on Sunday November 26, 2006 @02:42AM (#16990054) Journal
    The GPL doesn't self-replicate. To be passed on, it requires that a programmer invest time and energy to invent a derivative work of a GPL project.

    Derivative works of copyrighted works are not allowed at all without permission of the copyright holder anyways... the fact that the copyright holder says that derivative works can be freely created without royalty as long as they are put under the same license is not denying anybody any rights they would have otherwise had. People who bitch about how viral the GPL is should take a long hard look at this fact.

    Besides, since the GPL's strength comes from Copyright, and Copyright can't protect ideas, so there's nothing to stop you from learning something from a GPL'd work and then reimplementing the ideas yourself, free of any constraints of the GPL, as long as you don't actually copy any previously copyrighted content that was covered by the GPL (but that has more to do with copyright than the GPL).

  • Re:Bad Call (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @02:45AM (#16990062)
    Posting it on another project's developer mailing list is trolling.

    Oh, like when Linus posted about Linux on the Minix list?

  • by kaiwai ( 765866 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @02:58AM (#16990104)
    Just a couple of points (no necessarily directed at you):

    1) Who ever the coward who marked me down, show your face, or are you yet another Linux fanboy unwilling to accept a little criticism of your beloved OS; I have no love for Windows, Linux or what have you; I use what gets the job done, out of the box, with minimum work required; and if Windows does that, then so be it; stop the religious jihad, and start focusing on the problems.

    2) Why isn't that WPA information on the ubuntu website? the ubuntu documentation is absolutely crap - would I help out to fix it up? yeap, but not if it requires me to jump through hundreds of hoops just to get something in there.

    3) The ipw3945 driver has been available for quite some time; sure, you can distribute the firmware, but there is nothing stopping a distribution like Fedora from including it with their kernel binary; also, why don't they set things up so that when the firmware is installed, you don't need to edit 1/2 dozen files just to make sure that the regulatory daemon loads before the wpa_supplicant, but at the same time, ensuring that the wpa_supplicant is excuted before the eth1-up script is executed.

    Its about making sure that your configuration is wise enough to take into account when new drivers are added, and how to handle those new drivers that have been added, so that the different parts are loaded in the correct order - if MacOS X, Windows and others can do the job, why can't Linux?

    4) The problem with Linux, more correctly UNIX is that documentation maintainers make grand assumptions, assuming that everyone has atleast 2 years of UNIX under their belt and a keen interest in tinkering around with their system to get things working - the fact is, those who are like me, sure, we have the technical know how, but at the same time, we don't want to sit there for ages trying to get something working, we just want to follow some instructions, and voila, it works.
  • by postmortem ( 906676 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @03:36AM (#16990216) Journal
    ..of SuSE. SuSE looks good, mature, polished, professional, industrial, etc. It is not secret that SuSE always looked darn good. Unlike some other distros. Strongly IMO the GNOME themes that come with SuSE are very polished and not lacking in any department, an evidence of professional work.

    Remember when Mr. Shuttleworth was calling for developers to improve the looks of Ubuntu? Well this is the same call. Let's get them when they are pissed. They got evident skills.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 26, 2006 @03:44AM (#16990250)
    Well, I'm not suprised. He's clearly trying to keep a calm reasonable situation at the same time as the OpenSUSE people start madly over reacting and trying to cause trouble. The difference between a private blog and a public forum like slashdot is that he is responsible for the posts that he leaves up there. If he thinks that further debate of the patents will cause further problems then he probably should delete the comment.

    If you're trying to communicate with him directly, then the right method is email. If you're trying to make a personal public message then the right forum is your own blog (or something like slashdot.)
  • by r3b00tm0nk3y ( 806499 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @03:47AM (#16990270)
    Ugh where are my mod points?

    Gnome will be winning the desktop wars when Linux starts winning the desktop wars, and there are no signs that we're even making any progress in this area. As much as Linux is growing, the fact that companies are writing more apps in GTK isn't a sign of Gnome's superiority or even progress in this area as it's still mostly servers and specialty machines.

    KDE or Gnome it doesn't matter. They maybe the leper with the most fingers, but they still can't wipe their ass. Whether companies choose to ship Gnome as the default desktop or not it makes no difference, because none of them are succeeding on the merits of being a general purpose desktop OS.
  • by Hohlraum ( 135212 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @04:02AM (#16990316) Homepage
    yeah like infighting hasn't been happening in the linux community /slap
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jlarocco ( 851450 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @04:14AM (#16990342) Homepage
    What you don't realize is that this is the only way a linux distribution has a chance at competing with Windows. Shuttleworth is a (smart) businessman and knows this as well.

    No, I realize that completely. Regardless, distributing binary drivers is in a grey area concerning GPL compliance. Which was my point originally. Shuttleworth/Ubuntu doesn't necessarily have the moral high ground when it comes to GPL adherence.

  • by DandyRandy ( 975987 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @04:47AM (#16990424)
    It looks like that in one year your advice to some novice at will read: ''You should have known that mentioning Ubuntu, Novell, Xandross, Freespire, Linspire or Lindows as model distros in Slashdot is karma suicide!''
    O, Tempora! O, Mores!
  • by strider44 ( 650833 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @06:09AM (#16990638)
    How was it off topic? It looked very on-topic to me.

    Either way, Mark Shuttleworth wasn't being malicious. He wasn't trying to offend anyone. Moral rights are subjective things, and clearly this didn't offend his own morals, so he wasn't abusing anyone's trust.
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:2, Insightful)

    by that this is not und ( 1026860 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @06:10AM (#16990640)
    And I bet said open source devs who are high school students would bristle at a comment that they behave in a fashion similar to their fellow high school students who adopt 'a high school attitude.' Face it, they probably can't STAND that crap, and it's all around them at the moment.
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BobPaul ( 710574 ) * on Sunday November 26, 2006 @06:59AM (#16990754) Journal
    No, because Minix was the next closest thing to Linux, and I believe what he used as his development platform before he was done enough to actually run the Linux kernel.

    Posting about Linux on the Minix list is more akin to posting about Kubuntu or Xubuntu on the Ubuntu lists, or about Ubuntu on the Debian lists , or about Mandrake on the Red Hat lists (when the projects were first started, that is). When derivatives start there's always going to be an announcement on the origional list or no one will know about the derivative.

    Ubuntu, however, is not even remotely an offshoot of OpenSuse. Ubuntu also already has a thriving community and the OpenSuse developers already know about it. They know their options, there's no real need to advertise.
  • Re:Bad Call (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BobPaul ( 710574 ) * on Sunday November 26, 2006 @07:03AM (#16990764) Journal
    Please, elaborate on why this is such a bad thing.
    Because it has nothing to do with the development of OpenSuse. The developers list is like OpenSuse's office. You don't go into GM headquarters and hang flyers asking engineers to work for Toyota, that's just not cool.

    If someone made project related to OpenSuse, or maybe a fork and said, "Hey, look what I'm starting, help me out if you want" cool. If someone says "Hey, look at these project that's existed for 3 years and has a thriving community, why don't you help us instead" that leaves a bitter taste. It's all about context.
  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @08:31AM (#16991036)
    Why would it not be? For that matter, why would it not be okay to post a single, polite message along the lines of "Hey, we're doing great things over here and have openings if anyone's interested" even if the deal hadn't been made?

    Spamming the list with repeated messages would be wrong, as would making threats, lying, etc. I don't see how a single, polite invitation to switch groups would be wrong at almost any time, though.
  • by fwr ( 69372 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @02:42PM (#16993326)
    As Anonymous said, it's his blog. If you want to make a statement or post a leading question then post it on a public forum like Slashdot, or on your own blog. He has no obligation to post any comments from anyone on his own blog. I don't know if this is the acceptable etiquette for blogs or not, but it makes sense to me. I don't have a blog, but if I did I wouldn't want it to be completely "open" where anyone can post anything they wanted. I'd want to maintain editorial control of the content.

  • Re:Nu-uh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @03:01PM (#16993518)
    It's called headhunting, and it happens all the time. How many times have there been stories right here on Slashdot about how ABC, Corp. just hired so-and-so from XYZ, Inc.?
    But how many of those stories have the head hunter walking into a cube farm and saying, "Hey guys, We are having a job fair across the street." The mailing lists are were the work gets done in a project. He went into the "office" (where the work gets done) and made a statement. If it would have been on the Ubuntu server, or, or slashdot, there would be no debate. Then again, debate may be exactly what he was going for.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford