Monday, November 17, 2008

Boycot Novell?

Seriously why do people spend so much time and energy on boycotting and hating a company? Just because they struck some deal with Microsoft? People who consider Microsoft to be the Great Satan must realise that in the real world, deals are made between companies all the time. Also in the real world people need to make money so that they can buy food and pay bills.

I believe in software freedom. I hold sacred the idea that there must be a choice. So if you don't agree with what Novell is doing, don't use their stuff. Don't buy SLED/SLES or use OpenSUSE, but don't prevent others from doing so. If you do then you are just infringing on their rights and freedom. And yeah by the way, if you are using Ubuntu or Gentoo, you can stop using the bundled OO.o as it is sourced from the go-oo project and the majority of developers for that project are from Novell.

I don't think what Microsoft is ever going to be benevolent towards OSS companies. However, I do believe that Novell is not evil either. Well known hackers like Greg Kroah-Hartman and Michael Meeks work for Novell. These people would have left Novell in droves if there was something seriously wrong.

Has Novell suddenly stopped contributing to the OSS ecosystem? Yeah they support OOXML but so what? Don't OO.o 2x and 3x support MS Office 2003 documents as well? Doesn't in some way Abiword supports MS Word 2000 documents and Gnumeric supports Excel files as well? Should we boycott Abiword and Gnumeric as well?

Microsoft owns the desktop space. And in Malaysia especially, on the server stacks as well. So, if any platform who would even want to see the light of day should have better interoperability with stuff like Active Directory, SMB and MS Office. Novell has an obligation to its shareholders. How many of those who criticised Novell actually bought themselves a box of SUSE Linux or OpenSUSE?

Oh no, it should remain Free of Charge because if they try to make a buck means they are evil right?

I do not work for Novell nor have I received any payments or rewards from them. I just happen to feel sorry for us in the OSS world. We rather be tearing ourselves to bits rather than adopt a united front against stuff like patents and proprietary formats.

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