What am I talking about? A company which should not be in the picture has poked its nose in as a sponsor. Novell, which indicated the level of its commitment to FOSS by signing a deal with Microsoft in November 2006, will be one of the supporting sponsors for the conference.
It's difficult for me to understand why Novell is needed there. There are sponsors aplenty, and all of them are good FOSS citizens. You don't need turncoats to sit at the main table.
However, chief conference organiser Donna Benjamin has a different view.
Asked whether it was right that Novell should be allowed to be a sponsor for a conference such as this - which, in my view, is a privilege - considering that they have sold out the entire FOSS community by signing a deal with Microsoft, Ms Benjamin said: "I'm aware of your views after reading some of your articles, and have some sympathy with your perspective. I tend to have a more moderate view. I don't agree that they have sold out the "entire FOSS community", although I appreciate there are many who feel that to be true and understand keenly where they are coming from. The past indicates there is much reason for suspicion and distrust."
I also raised the issue of Novell employees like Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman who appear to be pushing further and further to duplicate technologies which Microsoft has developed and offering totally unconvincing explanations as to why they are doing so.
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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.