Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (496 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Balsam Professional & Balsam Enterprise
Normaly, it´s not my problem when a company´s business gets hurt, but in
this case, the company is our main sponsor and the employer of some
openSUSE-developers (well, some? A lot...)

So, I´m interested in Novell getting successfully because this is the
only way to keep them sponsoring us. Your right. It´s Business, not
charity. And do you know what happens when they feel that SUSE/openSUSE
doesn´t work for Novell´s business? Yeah, right, the will sell it or
just say: Okay fiends, we had a great time together, but Novell have to
make money. Don´t be angry with us... but openSUSE is history!

History has shown us that FOSS depending on a single corporate sponsor is bad
for the
community. The most recent example is Oracle and many of its FOSS projects.

From the point of view of FOSS communities, it is in the community's best
interest to have
a diverse ecosystem of contributors. In the best case scenario if one
contributor is
forced for whatever reason to downscale its commitment, another contributor
steps in and
fills the void.
As I've written in another mail in this thread: open-slx does that.
Novell is downsizing its FOSS commitment since years. In the past Novell had 3
or 4 full-
time developers only for KDE (I use that example because I'm most familiar with
it).
Stephan Binner was fired, Lubos Lunak was transferred to LibreOffice, IIRC
there was a
third developer who was transferred or fired, and now only Will Stephenson is
left.
Now thanks to open-slx there is also Sebastian Kügler which means that there
are now two
instead of one full-time KDE contributors in openSUSE.
It's not open-slx's fault that Novell's managers are unskilled business people
(though I'm
not really convinced that a company that calls its corporate Linux distribution
like a
name for a body lotion company is run by geniuses... "the new shower gel – now
by Balsam
Enterprise")

The people who recently formed Mageia already experienced what clinging to a
single
corporate sponsor with dwindling commercial success means.
IMO the best outcome for openSUSE would be to become the Debian of RPM distros:
A neutral ground for all kinds of entities (be it corporations or individual
people) to
contribute and serve as base for whatever distributions (SLES, Balsam, possibly
MeeGo, and
maybe even the Mageia people).

Markus
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