Fair enough, I suppose, since Mr. Webbink went all Godwin’s law by comparing the Microsoft/Novell deal to Neville Chamberlain’s deal with Hitler. Oops. I guess I can see how I might take that badly if I were a Novell executive.
So I posted the following comment to Mr. Dragoon’s blog entry. It’s currently awaiting moderation. I wonder if he’ll respond to it.
Yeah, Mark went straight up Godwin’s law, didn’t he? Probably a bit over the top — but then again, watching Linux distributors abusing the patent system is one of his pet peeves.
You say that you’re up for a healthy debate on your technologies, services, sales and support. All that’s fair enough, and all very debatable — but are you up for a healthy debate on the nature of the patent deal that you signed with Microsoft, which had the clear and acknowledged (by Ballmer, anyway) purpose of defining “a patent-clean distribution”? Are you ready to acknowledge that this patent agreement is a deliberate violation of the spirit of paragraph 7 of GPLv2? And most importantly, are you up for discussing your plans regarding GPLv3, why Richard Stallman is working the GPLv3 to invalidate the very language that you used in your deal with Microsoft, and how you’re going to replace all that GPLv3 code that you’ll no longer be able to ship in your Linux distributions?
Seems like Novell never really engages in that debate in public. Not surprising, because it’s a debate that Novell can’t really win.