MAR
29
2004

Nat, Miguel, FUD and other buzzwords

It's hard to see what's going on at Novell right now, and recent comments by Nat and Miguel aren't making things any clearer. They're claiming that they're not aware of any SuSE development using Qt other than YaST, ignoring all the SuSE sponsored KDE development (including new hires such as the developer of the KDE-OpenOffice GUI glue). Nat says he's 'Novell/SuSE Desktop Lead' hmm. I wonder could that be 'Novell/SuSE Ximian Desktop Lead' perhaps - after all he said he was VP of Novell Desktop Services a few months ago, missing out the crucial word Ximian which indicated the limitation of his scope.




Unfortunately Nat and Miguel don't seem concerned about confining what they say to the declared policy of the company they work for, perhaps they know something we don't, perhaps they just wish it was true?




If any of the Novell guys attending the Linux Expo UK would like to explain what on earth they're doing I would be most happy to listen, either as a UK KDE Representative, an editor of the Dot or a user and developer of KDE.

Comments

All the discussions about this topic since when the take over of SuSE by Novell was announced has been hot air, with the seemingly only insider information being by Nat and Miguel, usually contradicting all other information available. In the past SuSE developers never publicly talked about internals, and considering their own press releases they now head Novell Linux server and desktop business, so we should expect to hear nothing more anyway. =P


By Na at Mon, 03/29/2004 - 23:10

that Nat says "Toolkits don't matter". I mean what better way to not admit your toolkit approach was wrong than to say it doesn't matter anyway :)


By Ian Reinhart Geiser at Mon, 03/29/2004 - 23:15

First of all, it was Miguel who said that, secondly he didn't say they don't matter; he said they will become obsolete, and he's probably right. It's called Canvas based toolkits. Miguel has also prompted Federico to take a look at the problem.


By jamin at Wed, 03/31/2004 - 20:24

the last 25 years of computer technology and go back to the geoworks days :)

i am a firm anti-beliver in the idea that xul, xaml, and svg+js will be our saviours. Im sure after a few years well just invent toolkits to sit on top of those to make common widgets easier...


By Ian Reinhart Geiser at Thu, 04/01/2004 - 02:24

...your complaint. Miguel and Nat spoke the truth. Miguel was simply saying he wasn't aware of any Novell internal projects that used Qt. Sure SUSE contributes and sponsors KDE development, but he was refering to Novell specific projects such as Evolution, iFolder/Simias integration, integration with groupwise from gaim/Evolution. If you watched the RealMedia presentations from Brainshare you saw KDE on a server demos and you saw GNOME integrating on the desktop. This is because the Ximian business unit has been focusing on integrating the GNOME Desktop with Novell's entire product line. And that is what they continue to work on to this day. If QT is going to be the prefered platform for development in Novell then what in the heck are all the GNOME hackers in the Ximian business unit (and outside it) and in India working on right now, hmmm?
Nat is the Linux desktop lead at Novell, reporting to Chris Stone. If you watched the brainshare videos, or if you follow anything that Ximian has been working on in the last few months since their acquisition, you'd know that the entire focus of the Ximian Business Unit of Novell is to integrate the Linux Desktop with Novell's entire product line. The Brainshare videos were an awesome demonstration of that.
All Miguel and Nat were trying to do is clear the air after a really really awful German article tried to spread FUD about Qt which lead people to claim that Gtk development was being replaced by Qt in Novell. Anyway, I personally think we should all just chill out and watch what this very interesting company does in the upcoming months. There are of course a lot of potential conflicts but they don't really have to be. KDE/GNOME, Java/Mono don't HAVE to be wars, they can compliment each other nicely. And that is what Novell has claimed they will do. Let's just watch and see how it pans out. No need to point fingers.


By jamin at Tue, 03/30/2004 - 15:23

Nat is the Linux desktop lead at Novell, reporting to Chris Stone.


If that's so I have to wonder why Nat doesn't appear on Novell's own management overview page. Note that that page reveals that Markus Rex as General Manager of Novell's SUSE LINUX business unit (quoting) "is also responsible for Novell's Linux desktop activities." In the bios by David Patrick, credited for being General Manager Novell Resource Management Services and Ximian Group, is written, that this business unit (quoting again) "is responsible for developing enterprise technology asset management services for Novell customers, including Novell's ZENworks, Ximian's Linux-based Red Carpet Enterprise products, while the Ximian Group oversees Ximian Desktop, and Mono, the .Net developer platform for Linux." I can't find any biography by Nat or Miguel at novell.com. My logical conclusion would be that while both might have management positions within the Novell Resource Management Services and Ximian Group, they are not at all in the position of being able to speak about Novell or Novell's Linux business (which is being handled by SUSE LINUX according to the information on Novell's website) as a whole.


By Na at Tue, 03/30/2004 - 18:31

And that is what they continue to work on to this day. If QT is going to be the prefered platform for development in Novell then what in the heck are all the GNOME hackers in the Ximian business unit (and outside it) and in India working on right now, hmmm?

You tell me, and I doubt whether some of the Novell Executives know either. Novell won't have been the first company to not know what the hell its people are doing or where they fit in.

Nat is the Linux desktop lead at Novell, reporting to Chris Stone.

Says who? There is no where to confirm that. Besides, the only way to report to Chris Stone is to be in the executive layer of Novell, and Markux Rex, who's description is actually desktop development, is the only person there. I get the feeling that after the Suse merger they don't know were the hell Ximian fit in (well we do know where they fit in - they don't exist anymore), which is common amongst companies. Sorry, but I doubt Nat Friedman is going over Markus Rex's head.

If you watched the brainshare videos, or if you follow anything that Ximian has been working on in the last few months since their acquisition, you’d know that the entire focus of the Ximian Business Unit of Novell is to integrate the Linux Desktop with Novell’s entire product line. The Brainshare videos were an awesome demonstration of that.

Again, vapourware. It doesn't mean anything, and describing Ximian Desktop as the Linux Desktop is not an accurate description of reality. It looks as if Novell are running some parallel operations at the moment, and Suse is the company that ultimately counts here. That is where Novell's software stack is heading and they have 50 million dollars of IBM investment on them.

All Miguel and Nat were trying to do is clear the air after a really really awful German article tried to spread FUD about Qt which lead people to claim that Gtk development was being replaced by Qt in Novell. Anyway, I personally think we should all just chill out and watch what this very interesting company does in the upcoming months.

They failed to do that, but yes, the coming months should be very interesting :).

There are of course a lot of potential conflicts but they don’t really have to be. KDE/GNOME, Java/Mono don’t HAVE to be wars, they can compliment each other nicely. And that is what Novell has claimed they will do. Let’s just watch and see how it pans out. No need to point fingers.

Yes, out in the world there is no reason why they can't complement each other. Within the context of Novell at the core of their strategy, they do not complement each other at all. Novell have to say they will cater for everyone, because that is the nice line to take.


By segedunum at Tue, 03/30/2004 - 22:04

Miguel was simply saying he wasn’t aware of any Novell internal projects that used Qt. Sure SUSE contributes and sponsors KDE development, but he was refering to Novell specific projects such as Evolution, iFolder/Simias integration, integration with groupwise from gaim/Evolution.

That's a nice try at labelling Ximian software, such as Evolution, as Novell specific projects. All this can quite easily be integrated with anything that Suse have, so I don't really see where all this Ximian stuff fits in. I don't think Novell's Executives do now either, as in the description of the Novell Desktop Ximian were not mentioned at all. You get marks for trying. You make it sound as if Suse is an outsider, which they quite clearly aren't.

If you watched the RealMedia presentations from Brainshare you saw KDE on a server demos and you saw GNOME integrating on the desktop. This is because the Ximian business unit has been focusing on integrating the GNOME Desktop with Novell’s entire product line.

This is because Novell have not yet worked out where all of their software fits in as Suse have not been with Novell for long, and they just haven't had the time. Suse is handling the server-side because that is where their focus is at the moment, and that is Novell's core business. I would imagine the desktop side of things would be sorted out in the coming months, and from Novell's own web pages it is quite clear that Suse are driving this.

Yes, Novell made a great blunder in being conned into buying Ximian as Suse could have done everything they wanted from day one. Now Suse have months of political crap and a whole community split to wade through.


By segedunum at Tue, 03/30/2004 - 22:18

acording to linuxtoday he is speaking the truth.


By jas at Tue, 03/30/2004 - 23:38

That just says that Nat says it's not true ie. it is a rewritten version of his slashdot comment. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.


By Richard Moore at Wed, 03/31/2004 - 00:31

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