FEB
6
2004

Novell/SUSE Saga Part II

As a followup to our previous Novell/SUSE article, we have further good news. Following the completion of the acquisition of SUSE by Novell, SUSE CEO Richard Seibt, who had previously expressed a strong commitment to KDE, has been promoted to president of Novell-EMEA and is now in a position to not only to maintain SUSE's strong KDE support but also to help deploy it more widely around the world. Even more interesting, SUSE R&D Vice President Markus Rex will now be responsible for Novell's Linux desktop activities and not solely Miguel and Nat as previously hinted. com.com is reporting further details.

Comments

I still don't understand why Ximian spread false news about Suse's committment to KDE. This was very bad PR work. Suse sells a KDE distribution. So I hope Ximian will be forced to provide better software support for the KDE plattform.

A Suse official talked to me and said the Ximian news was all crap. I guess the market decides. And SuSe has a market.


By Andre at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Did ximian spread false news?

I think the skeptical conclusions about Novell/Suse's commitment to KDE were very obvious and reasonable to make.

That said, I'm pleasantly surprised to see these stories.


By Anony Guy at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Si. ximian spread the news that Suse will switch to Gnome and old qt-license FUD.

Suse is driven by a strong desktop market not by a small development company abroad.


By Andre at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

I don't think there is evidence that Ximian folks spread the rumors.


By anon at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Well, never mind.. I just read this from the article :)

http://www.mail-archive.com/mono-list%40lists.ximian.com/msg04360.html


By anon at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

The only KDE/Ximian Desktop news I saw in that post stated:

Novell/SuSE will continue to distribute KDE and Gnome.

Novell/SuSE will include Ximian Desktop build, as it is a more fine tuned desktop than the default Gnome build they ship.

----

That doesn't seem to imply anything other than what it says, that KDE and Ximian Desktop will both be available with SUSE Linux, rather than KDE and the default GNOME that SUSE used to ship.


By anon at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Miguel was talking shit as usual. He said that Nat & him were in charge of the Novell desktop. Except they are not. Marcus Rex, a SuSE guy is in charge. Nat & Miguel's company is being absorbed by a KDE-centric company. How do you like them apples?


By anon at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Don't forgot how they encouraged everyone on slashdot and at tradeshows to believe that Novell would be putting KDE on the backseat.


By ac at Sat, 2004/02/07 - 6:00am

According to Bruce Perens and others who have spoken to them, I would definitely say yes they spread rumors:

http://lists.userlinux.com/pipermail/discuss/2003-December/000396.html


By ac at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

> Did ximian spread false news?

That's been answered. It's possible that when some of these statements were made it was partly wishful thinking based on preliminary interactions.

> I think the skeptical conclusions about Novell/Suse's commitment to KDE were very obvious and reasonable to make.

I don't. SUSE has had a business model for a while and has strength in the business world. Ximian doesn't have that. Nat pulled a rabbit out of the hat with real moxie getting them venture capital when he did. M & N are smart guys, but they don't have a business track record. They also have a degree of baggage. Nat's statements in particular were not what Novell needed to see floating around when they were trying to mobilize a Linux strategy. I think the shine came off that apple fairly quick. Moreover, if Novell knew they were going to do the SUSE deal when they were still doing the Ximian deal then they were just staffing programmers there. As 15 are going to SUSE it would appear they want to direct that resource a little differently. Whether they will program GNOME, KDE or GNOME interoperability with KDE remains to be seen but I'm guessing it will not be just GNOME.

There's been a lot of weird freaking out from this whole thing which I believe was what some individuals who don't like KDE wanted. However for all the crying about how KDE needs corporate support and the best technology doesn't always win there was just not much clear thinking prevailing. I was never upset. Now we can observe the outcome.

1) Companies will support what customers ask for. Give good software to a few million people and try to keep it a secret. Shazzaam!

2) Being largely dependent on corporate involvement is very dangerous because when the great powers aren't smiling on you then you give up ground.

3) The surest way not to get to "rule the world" is to create friction among factions that create image problems for advancing your cause. Unless of course you are going for the trailer park wrestlemania crowd.

I personally told Nat once that there is a little something to be gained with the experience of years, but I guess it was important to him to be smarter than me anyway. ;-) (Note that my company isn't worth millions yet but I own it outright and it's profitable.) Ximian and SUSE had to sell for two different reasons. They both needed money but for SUSE it was to have the resources to go to the next level.

It will be interesting to hear the new reasons KDE is evil and dead. Of course most in the community play nice and know that open source projects aren't the enemy.


By Eric Laffoon at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

>It's possible that when some of these statements were made it was partly
>wishful thinking based on preliminary interactions.
>Nat's statements in particular were not what Novell needed to see floating
>around when they were trying to mobilize a Linux strategy.

For what it's worth, I tried to get some clarifications from Nat, but I guess he's a busy guy.


By Navindra Umanee at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

thanks Eric,

what's a trailer park?


By Andre at Tue, 2004/02/10 - 6:00am

15 Ximian developers are now working for Suse so this could get interesting.


By ac at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

No one. I bet they are forced to cooperate since now they are on the same ship. I wish this will bring a heavy push towards the interoperation among desktops that we all need.


By vokimon at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

According to GoogleFight, GNOME wins by a hair:

http://tinyurl.com/3cayq

Its really close though :)


By Rayiner Hashem at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Probably just people searching for info on how to switch their buttons around.

But seriously, searching Google either means somebody is interested in something, thinks something is broken, or got excited about Lord of the Rings and is now interested in gnomes. In other words, it doesn't mean anything.


By ac at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Its called a joke :) Hence the smiley. I just find it very fitting for a thread titled: "Who rulzed? KDE or GNOME?"


By Rayiner Hashem at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

wow, you joked about the KDE/GNOME holy war? that's just unexcusable :)


By anon at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Or gee, websites on Garden Gnomes?


By another ac at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

some more results (without fantasy gnomes ;)

KDE desktop : GNOME desktop = 2 110 000 : 1 650 000
KDE apps : GNOME apps = 1 070 000 : 591 000
KDE app : GNOME app = 278 000 : 739 000

which means that everyone should add "KDE app" to his webpage ;-)


By MK at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

That´s just the bazillion guys saying, "GIMP is the only GNOME app I use" ;-)


By Roberto Alsina at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

But The GIMP isn't even a GNOME application!


By Adam Foster at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Oh, some of those pages are from people saying that, too ;-)


By Roberto Alsina at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

easier, more accurate:
http://tinyurl.com/2qql9


By djay at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

With Gnome being a generic term and Google not being case-sensitive this doesn't make much sense.


By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Well, since the difference between the keywords KDE and GNOME is just a hair, and GNOME is a generic name, KDE is the winner :)


By rinse at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

As far as I know "kde" is a very common word in the czech language.


By MK at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Pathetic this comment, isn't it? What is the proportion of czech pages on internet compared to english? 0.1%? More?

Anyways, this is irrelevant. Everybody rulez when it doesn't sucksorz.


By Inorog at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

The question should be "what's the proportion of czech pages containing 'kde' to english pages containing 'kde'?", making the numbers much different ;). And actually 'kde' has the same meaning in other Slavic languages as well, maybe even in all of them, I'm not sure (what a pity Google search for 'kde' probably doesn't include russian pages because of the alphabet).
Anyway, using Google searches for things like this is about as good idea as using Slashdot polls.


By Luboš Luňák at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

'Where' is 'gde' not 'kde' in Russian, so that wouldn't help. (Aieee... please no jokes on this.. pleasssee.)


By Sad Eagle at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

> With Gnome being a generic term

Not only Gnome, also KDE is a generic term. In czech "kde" means "where".


By Stefan Heimers at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

here's a more fair fight...

http://tinyurl.com/yrlle

kde desktop environment
( 958 000 results)
versus
gnome desktop environment
( 609 000 results)

boo yeah


By standsolid at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

more flaming:
don't know how to use tinyurl:
http://tinyurl.com/2nofk

This time gnome wins ! :-)

Btw. this was "KDE problem" against "Gnome problem" :-P

Alex


By aleXXX at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

> don't know how to use tinyurl

Visit tinyurl.com, enter URL, click "Make TinyURL!".


By Anonymous at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Why not let Google count the links to the desktop environment homepages?

Searched for pages linking to www.kde.org. Results 1 - 10 of about 51,700
Searched for pages linking to www.gnome.org. Results 1 - 10 of about 9,500


By Anonymous at Sat, 2004/03/06 - 6:00am

I do not fully understand what was the flame for. Every half-wit knows that Gnome is simply much better than KDE. You can discuss it, you can disagree, but that's all you can do against it.


By K15 at Fri, 2005/12/09 - 6:00am

IIRC, Migual and Nat worked at one time for MS. That company teaches internally that you give an opinion to the populace (4 legged MS good, 2 legged Linux bad). They are just taking a marketing direction as they did their technical ; from another company.


By a.c. at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Don't spread untrue fud please


By bleb at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

what is untrue or fud?

that Miguel and Nat worked at MS and met there?

http://primates.ximian.com/~miguel/helix-history.html

perhaps, you consider that MS forces their opinions on others to be FUD?

Remember how MS had a number of ppl doing astroturfing on OS/2?
Or perhaps the letters that was being sent to newspaper all over and it turned out to be a PR agency from San Diego under MS contract?
Or all the Reports that are coming from Gartner/IDC about how bad Linux is and how good Windows is? Always loaded with half truths at best, normally flat out lies.

Perhaps the last sentance is being consider FUD?

The technical direction for evolution was straight out of Outlook.
It was a simple clone (with a nice L&F to it).

Likewise, they are working on mono.
So just what exactly is mono?
Is it a project that was original and they started on their own?
I think not.
BTW, I do like what I see in mono/.nyet, but I do not trust MS (or ximian for that matter). In many ways, it addresses the shortcomings of java.

Perhaps you did not like my comparing the marketing to their input via MS.
Migual is always speaking down KDE which sounds like MS on Linux.
During the Novell/SUSE merge he announced in a slashdot posting that they would control the future direction of Novell and SUSE. It looks like Migual is simply doing postuering to help build support in the future. That is exactly what MS does. They have historically promise a great deal and delivered as little as possible.

Migual and Nat learned well.

So, what is FUD or untrue here?
Other than my opinion about mono, it was all factual.


By a.c. at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

FUD, but even if it was true: so what? who cares?


By thomas at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Miguel IIRC applied for a job at Microsoft to port IE to Unix.
Nat did a summer internship there.


By dumdeedum at Sun, 2004/02/08 - 6:00am

As far as I know, Miguel wanted to work for MS, but didn't get a visa to work in the USA. He never worked for MS.


By birdy at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

I didn't knew it -- for people in the same situation:
EMEA stands for Europe-Middle East-Africa.


By Andreas at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Of course they will.
Now, you can even make KDE-apps, in Gtk.


By OI at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Nat Friedman, as much as he hums and hars was never in charge of desktop development at Novell. Nat and Miguel are too young guys who talk a bunch of crap, and I can't believe they are about the same age as me. I use KDE and they use Gnome, so maybe that's the difference.

Let me make one thing clear: SUSE IS THE ENTERPRISE LINUX DIVISION OF NOVELL NOT XIMIAN, and will become a much more central part of Novell over time. Money talks: Suse is expanding and making bags of it, Ximian is doing anything but. Quite why people thought that an insignificant little company (and I use that word in the broadest possible sense) will hold sway over a division that will be making serious money for Novell is anyone's guess.

I think with Ximian developers being moved to Suse we will see Ximian completely disbanded as a separate entity. That is the only way you can interpret that. Given that Suse's desktop sales are pretty good, better than Red Hat's ever were, I don't think we'll be seeing Ximian desktop as the default on Suse's offerings at all. In fact I think it will be highly likely that Ximian Desktop, Red Carpet (why do I think that was a bad bit of marketing - it sounds like a Red Hat product) will be broken up and its technologies used elsewhere.

"Markus Rex will now be responsible for Novell's Linux desktop activities and not solely Miguel and Nat as previously hinted."

Markus Rex will be in charge, not Nat and not Miguel at all. This will not be an equal partnership of any kind. Perhaps Novell have realised that Suse already do desktops quite well and at far less cost than with Ximian. That's called a reality check. Payback is going to be a bitch I'm afraid, but that is where desperate FUD gets you.

This is a great opportunity for KDE to support Novell on the desktop through Suse. Groupwise support for Kontact? Sounds good. I'd certainly like to be able to do that or use any groupworking services I like. The simple fact is that KDE does not need tens of millions of dollars to keep it going, Suse does not prop it up as some people believe (remember Eric Raymond and Joe Barr on the Linux Show!?), it pays for itself, it has a good development architecture that enables this and development does not happen at a headless chicken pace.

Eric Raymond's prediction comes full circle. I think we will see GTK and Gnome still around (QtGTK etc.), but in terms of the "potential" for business Linux desktops (we must not get ahead of ourselves at all - Windows is still deeply entrenched), I think Gnome and Ximian have had their fifteen minutes of fame.

Sorry, I don't see these announcements in any other context.


By David at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

>>>Nat Friedman, as much as he hums and hars was never in charge of desktop development at Novell. Nat and Miguel are too young guys who talk a bunch of crap<<<

Talking 'a bunch of crap' as you call it, did get them somewhere.

From the Ximian/Novell website:
"Ximian had its genesis in the GNOME project, which was initiated in 1997 by Miguel de Icaza, Ximian's cofounder, now Vice President of Product Technology for Novell. The effort quickly attracted a group of talented architects and engineers, including Nat Friedman, Ximian cofounder and now Vice President of Product Development for Novell."

At the moment though Nat moved to Vice President of Research and Development.

>>>Markus Rex will now be responsible for Novell's Linux desktop activities<<<

mr.Rex will lead the development of SUSE LINUX, from the desktop to server, and will work with other Novell business units to deliver a complete Linux solution stack. Rex will also assume responsibility for Novell's Linux desktop activities.

IMO mr. Rex will do what's best for Novell, where most money can be generated from, don't make the mistake to believe that automatically is also the best for KDE.


By Tink at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

>At the moment though Nat moved to Vice President of Research and Development.

... at the "Novell Ximian Services business unit at Novell"


By ac at Sat, 2004/02/07 - 6:00am

"Ximian had its genesis in the GNOME project, which was initiated in 1997 by Miguel de Icaza, Ximian's cofounder, now Vice President of Product Technology for Novell. The effort quickly attracted a group of talented architects and engineers, including Nat Friedman, Ximian cofounder and now Vice President of Product Development for Novell."

Well yer, I suppose it has got them made for life so maybe I'm missing the point. In terms of long term business success, no. This doesn't really mean anything.

"IMO mr. Rex will do what's best for Novell, where most money can be generated from, don't make the mistake to believe that automatically is also the best for KDE."

Yer. Like ditching the tens of millions Nat is (and has spent) joyfully spending on Gnome with non-existent returns. KDE does not need that kind of investment from one (nor indeed any) company, and worse, Gnome, Ximian Desktop nor anything else makes any money for the Ximian division. It doesn't matter which way you cut it, logic tells you that this is a good thing for KDE.


By David at Sat, 2004/02/07 - 6:00am

I've never seen that many BS from a kde troll.
You make it looks like it's a Nazi Desktop. "The Superior Race Choice".

Both KDE and GNOME are great. They have their oddities and strengths, so, it's up to the user to decide which is best for him, otherwise, why the heck is fvwm and such are included in all distros?

Give us a break and shut the fuck up, stupid troll.


By meh at Fri, 2004/02/06 - 6:00am

Read it and apply some logic. This was a commentary about Ximian and why they haven't made any money - that's the reality - and what the future holds for them as a result of that. Given all the "Oh, Suse will not maintain KDE any longer" comments, I felt it was awrranted now that some reality seems to have been injected into the situation.

It was NOT a comparison about KDE and Gnome if you'd actually read it, which you haven't.

I wish people would read rather than swearing and coming up with these stupid troll comments. If you're going to come up with these half-arsed comments, prove me wrong then.


By David at Sat, 2004/02/07 - 6:00am

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