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Greg Kroah-Hartman Blogs About Community

SUSE has many, many interesting hackers who have been hacking on free software for years. Greg Kroah-Hartman is a well-known and widely respected Kernel hacker. A friend of mine in the UK recently pointed me to an eloquent post by Greg about the need for community considerations with free software projects. It’s a perspective well worth considering.


4 Responses

  1. Maybe the conclusions to what he is saying are all in my head but I know it is in a lot of other heads as well. So Ted, you going the same way as Mr. Allison? Maybe thats why you’re not blogging much lately?

  2. Kennon [1]:
    I believe that there are a diversity of opinions about the deal among the ranks at Novell. Some don’t care much one way or the other. Others have expressed to me some passing confusion about the apparent disconnect between business objectives and community ethos that some argue Novell management has demonstrated in this deal. And, a few have received the whole thing with disbelief and outrage.
    As you may know, I regrad Jeremy very highly, and consider him my friend. But we should be clear that it is Jeremy’s celebrity that enables him to exit Novell with such a strongly-principled reason. There are others inside Novell who perhaps suffer a certain amount of cognitive dissonance about the whole affair, but are not in as privileged position as Jeremy is.
    I should add that I exempt myself from that last group of Novell denizens that I just described. My reputation, while nowhere near that of Jeremy, is probably sufficient that I could move if I felt I needed to. So to get to your question (finally!), I suppose that the recent dearth in blogging is related. Unlike Jeremy, I’m not a developer, so my capital is entirely in my credibility as an advocate, and I am still uncertain how to advocate the part of the agreement to which Jeremy so boldly objects. One thing that I cannot do is stand up and shill about how good it is for business to an audience whose primary concern is intellectual freedom. Until I find a path that allows me to advocate it with the kind of integrity that I feel necessary, the slow down you observe will likely continue.

  3. I’m not defending Novell over this issue, because I think they put themselves in a very bad spot with a deal which basically tries to augment a very poor area of their business without doing what needs to be done.

    However, I also don’t buy 100% into some of the arguments put forward by OSS community members. Many people point towards OpenXML as a huge sticking point as it promotes a framework for closed binary data. It basically proliferates a Microsoft technology. Samba does a similar thing by helping SMB/CIFS stay relevant. People get all over Novell for Open Office supporting OpenXML, but nobody seems to get on Samba for supporting SMB/CIFS and an obscene domain controller model.

    The open source waters are muddy when it comes to true freedom. Some people will bend their idea of freedom to be more productive(Samba, Novell’s Open Office with OpenXML support, Mono). Others will not bend, even if it makes their computer experience sub par. Others, such as some of the BSD community think the GPL is completely wacked out and not true freedom. Even inside the GPL community itself, some of the Linux kernel devs don’t think highly of GPL3.

    So Ted, I get your frustrations. My frustrations, Novell aside, stem from the ambiguity of open source software communities in general and a growing apathy for the blind crusade for freedom which many people seem to be striving for without regard to other users(like myself). My frustrations from Novell itself have nothing to do with their technology, it has more to do with their absolute lacking in certain areas of business which led to the Microsoft deal.

  4. […] I should propose to Revetend Ted to spread a call to arms to openSUSE bloggers, or even the Fedora Marketing team to promote more […]

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