The invitation that Mark Shuttleworth politely extended to developers of the OpenSUSE Linux distribution has been met with mixed reactions by that community. Most are negative, some are positive. Mark anticipated the controversy when he said:
“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”
Despite this, it seemed to throw gas in the already raging fire.
My opinion? The negative reactions in that mailing list are more like OVERREACTIONS. Relax, people. It was a friendly invitation with GOOD intentions! You don’t have to accept it if you don’t like it. Seems like Ubuntu’s popularity (justified or not, profit or not) is making some other distro communities jealous?
Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu founder, invites OpenSUSE developers who are concerned with Novell’s decision to “circumvent the patent framework clearly articulated in the GPL” to the Ubuntu Open Week events taking place from Monday, November 27th to Saturday December 2nd on IRC.
Shuttleworth will be on IRC on Tuesday, November 28th, to answer any questions that participants may have about him specifically.
He says, “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 join us.”