Please realize that Mark Shuttleworth did something like this before
when he started Ubuntu. He publicly offered paying jobs to the top
Debian developers. As far as Ubuntu is concerned, it worked! Many
things implemented by (K,X, whatever)Ubuntu are now ending up in Debian,
rather than the other way around. The Ubuntu team actually makes things
happen faster in most cases. Developers do need to eat.
Mark believes that operating systems ought to be pretty close to free
when it comes to paying for them. Remember that he contributes many
millions each year to pay for that process so that it can be free for
He stated that his post (which is available elsewhere) would be
controversial. Not only does he say that he respects the developers, he
has shown it. From his wording, several Suse developers have contacted
him, it appears. He's offering volunteer positions for those who wish
to stay as volunteers in a GPL-centric environment, one where it's known
the rules don't change. Some of those people WILL end up with paid
positions. Mark has the money to make that happen, and the authority to
make it happen as well.
Mark has PUBLICLY stated he has an issue with the Novell administration
doing this. The last time that a major Linux distro did a deal with
Microsoft, it was Lindows (now Linspire). It backfired on them because
they accepted many millions from Microsoft, and the money ALL ended up
paying their legal bills instead of advancing their cause. As a result,
their founder, Michael Robertson, effectively pulled out of the company
and gave it to Kevin Carmony. Linspire now is outpaced by Freespire.
Distrowatch rankings put Freespire on the up & coming and Linspire on
the down & out. Linspire as a company and especially as a driving force
will not recover, but Freespire has a bigger following.
Take a look at Mark's comments in the spirit intended. He has PROVEN
he's respectful of the developers. He's got some radically different
ideas about how things should run, and I certainly don't agree with
everything he does, but he IS fairly consistent.
There is a large contingent of the disenfranchised with Novell out
there. Some want to jump ship. Let them explore. Some will leave
permanently, some will be back.
But above all, please realize that this event is SIGNIFICANTLY out of
the ordinary. Mark hasn't posted on here before that I have a record
of. But realize that this sort of traffic IS indeed relevant, since
this is one of the major events in Novell, SuSE and OpenSUSE history.
Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
Novell’s decision to go to great lengths to circumvent
framework clearly articulated in the GPL has sent shockwaves through the
community. If you are an OpenSUSE developer who is concerned about the
long term consequences of this pact, you may be interested in some of
the events happening next week as part of the Ubuntu Open Week:
We are hosting a series of introductory sessions for people who want to
join the Ubuntu community - in any capacity, including developers and
package maintainers. If you want to find out how Ubuntu works, how to
contribute or participate, or how to get specific items addressed, there
will be something for you. I’ll also be on IRC on Tuesday 28th to answer
any questions you may have of me specifically, such as Luis’ questions
about our position on software patents at
There are a couple of sessions that would be particularly interesting
for folks familiar with OpenSUSE. The Kubuntu team is hosting some
events during the week to look at KDE and Ubuntu and to discuss the
roadmap of their project. There are also a few events being hosted by
the Ubuntu Desktop team’s, which I think should include some discussion
of the ideas that came from the recent Ubuntu Developer Summit in
Mountain View. There are a couple of Packaging 101 and Package
Maintenance sessions too, specifically for developers.
Ubuntu is structured to empower our community to get things done, and to
maximise the opportunity for collaboration between teams that share a
common vision (even if it’s not 100% of their vision, such as between
the Gnome, KDE and XFCE desktop teams). While we’re always open to new
members, we thought it would be a good idea to identify a dedicated week
where new members would be the focus for our whole project.
If you have an interest in being part of a vibrant community that cares
about keeping free software widely available and protecting the rights
of people to get it free of charge, free to modify, free of murky
encumbrances and “undisclosed balance sheet liabilities”, then please do
I know that posting this message to an OpenSUSE list will be
controversial. I'm greatly respectful of the long tradition of
excellence in the SuSE product and community and have no desire to
undermine that with this post. That said, I think the position taken by
Novell leadership in their contract with Microsoft is hugely
disrespectful of the contributions of thousands of GPL programmers and
contributors to SuSE, and I know that many are looking for a new place
to get involved that is not subject to the same arbitrary executive
intervention. Ubuntu is one option, as are Gentoo, Debian and other
communities. Please accept this mail in that spirit.
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