Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Boycott Novell: Champion of freedom or den of paranoia?

Filed under
Linux
Web

Few sites about free software attract more controversy than Boycott Novell. Founded in 2006 in response to the first Microsoft-Novell deal, as its name suggests, the site has evolved more recently into a site for commentary and investigation of any subject that might be a threat to free software. To its regular readers, this subject matter makes Boycott Novell -- like Groklaw, its apparent inspiration -- a defender of the community. But to others, especially those who have been the subject of its articles, the site is full of illogical arguments and undeserved attacks, and an embarrassment that only brings the community into disrepute.

Although founded by Shane Coyle, Boycott Novell is best known for the writings of Roy Schestowitz, a seemingly tireless poster who frequently writes half a dozen or more articles a day for the site, and posts numerous comments elsewhere across the Internet. For many people, Schestowitz is the public face of the site, and the criticisms -- ranging from the reasoned to the obscenely vicious -- are as likely to be directed at him as the site itself.

Boycott Novell, Schestowitz says, "is an accumulation of resources, many of which are external, that together explain the [Microsoft-Novell] deal in what we consider a more realistic light" than what was being said in the media. "It was immediately evident that the press favoured the words of a pair of companies which colluded against a non-commercial entity [the free software movement]. Their wealth alone established trust, so backlash came from isolated voices, but rarely from the mainstream press."

Describing himself as "an avid SUSE user for years," Schestowitz says he and Coyle are two of the community developers "hurt" by the deal. At first, Schestowitz says, he argued his view of the deal in openSUSE mailing lists, but finding his perspective was not being accepted, "I decided to share my understanding of the deal and shed light on the things which the press simply ignored." With this decision, Boycott Novell soon skyrocketed in popularity, and began its evolution into the center of controversy that it has become today.

more here




More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

Ninja Blocks prepares to begin shipping, announces major Ubuntu IoT deal

Ninja Blocks has begun shipping the Ninja Sphere and announced it has signed up as a key partner for Canonical’s Ubuntu Core embedded device operating system, as it opens its first office in the US. The startup launched in 2012, when it was selected to participate the Startmate accelerator program, and also smashed a Kickstarter campaign for its first product, which was also called Ninja Blocks. Read more

Netrunner 14.1 – Main Edition (Frontier)

The “14.1” indicates an updated and polished release of Netrunner 14 LTS on the same underlying base. Since 14.1 is using the same base “trusty” like Netrunner 14, there is no need for users of 14 to migrate: Simply updating from the shared backports ppa of the Frontier release cycle should give the same result, while keeping customizations in place. Read more

Wayland 1.6.1 & Weston 1.6.1 Released

Bryce Harrington, the former Canonical employee part of Ubuntu's X/Mir team turned Samsung open-source employee, has issued the first maintenance update for Wayland 1.6. Wayland 1.6.1 and the reference compositor Weston 1.6.1 were released on Friday night by Harrington. The Wayland 1.6.1 stable update has just over a dozen changes and they're mostly tiny bug-fixes/corrections but there is also improved handling for some error situations between servers and clients. The brief Wayland 1.6.1 release announcement can be read on the Wayland mailing list. Read more