making deals with M$

Dylan McCall dylanmccall at
Sun Jun 8 02:58:55 UTC 2008

> >
> > We kid him about using Vista on IRC, but he devotes countless hours to free
> > software development.
> >
> > Who the heck are you and what have you done for FOSS lately except engage in
> > random ad hominem attacks on people who are busy actually getting work done?
> just because I'm not a programmer doesn't mean my opinion isn't worth
> as much or more than yours (I'm clearly better informed about these
> issues having read boycottnovell and having discussed issues with Roy
> himself).
> As far as Richard Johnson being a core-dev, sounds pretty scary that
> you let someone so in love with Microvell to contaminate Ubuntu.

I feel I should jump in here and point out that being well informed does
not involve reading a single web site, be it in complete detail or not.
I doubt anyone would disagree that BoycottNovell is an extremely
one-sided argument with a clear goal in mind. Not that I have anything
against one-sided arguments - in fact, I prefer them. People are better
at arguing points they accept; leave the counterpoint to someone else.
The ideal situation is that people see all corners of the argument while
also accepting that being far off to one side does not work in reality.

Saying that you have read BoycottNovell in detail as your specific claim
to understanding tells me one thing: That you understand one single side
of the issue; you do not undersand the issue in general. If I may be so
blunt, I think your earlier assertion that free open source
software /can/ be "destroyed" (and further that Miguel De Icaza, in his
odd little wanderings, can cause such a thing) shows that you have stuff
to learn about this ecosystem. I won't claim to be an open source
know-it-all, but I think it is important to realize how interconnected
this all is. Just because one distribution wants to license some
software to improve the experience for the end user does not magically
damage the efforts upstream, in another distro or even downstream. It
may change that particular distro, but there is enough padding from the
modularity of all this that there is not a shockwave.

Actually, rather than bumbling on trying to say that, I will simply
challenge your point: Please explain, with realistic examples, how
Ubuntu Notebook Remix using licensed proprietary software for the sake
of market viability will aversely affect the core of Ubuntu and Ubuntu's
contributors. Furthermore, please explain how this ripples outwards and
destroys GNOME, which is contributed to in part by Ubuntu but also by
numerous other distributions and individuals. How about the Linux kernel
and the free software foundation?
I would be interested to know what strange weakness you have discovered,
because that sounds like a serious flaw.

-Dylan McCall

PS: The incredible use of dollar signs for this discussion is seriously
hurting my head. Not sure if it is the facepalming or something prior to
that, but may it please stop? The S key is easier to press anyway.

PPS: I have not seen the world explode yet. In fact, I have seen Linux
operating systems like Ubuntu surge in popularity this year. What
disaster was Microsoft + Novell meant to cause, again?

PPPS: It should also be pointed out that Ubuntu is not unknown to have
proprietary bits and pieces. For example, a great deal of the
promotional material, including case study PDFs and fancy web site
graphics, lack source and are contracted to outside firms.
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