I thought I’d give my views about the interview Jono Bacon ran with Roy Schestowitz of Boycott Novell. http://live.twit.tv/

I make no secret of the fact that I enjoy Roy’s work.  Just like every other opinion on the Net there are places where we don’t agree, but then thats healthy and only natural.  What the opponents of Roy don’t mention is that contrary to the rubbish that is spread around the net about him, he is an interesting and friendly blogger/journalist/poster who, if you actually visit the BN channel will find welcoming and engaging.

I think Jono handled the interview well.  Its would be hard for all the issues which Boycott Novell covers to be catered for in the hour or so slot that was dedicated to it.

A few points struck me when looking at the comments in the accompanying IRC chat.   Firstly, there were those who take great delight in making sarcastic remarks to the questions and answers given in the interview.  I noticed that none of these handles were known names within any FOSS community I have seen.  Does that suggest a conspiracy?  Of course not, but if I have an honest held belief in something I am more than happy to link my handle and ergo my blog to it.  I did not see any of that in the IRC chat, instead I saw 7 or 8 handles trying to cheapen everything Roy said.  This was hardly conclusive proof of the allegation that many people disagree with Roy’s work when in the channel at that time there were over 420 users. 8/420+ people disagree with Roy?

Moving on to some of the points raised, what was not mentioned was that many of Roy’s outspoken opponents ARE VERY CRITICAL OF FOSS/LINUX.  Check out COLA for example and see for yourself.  The opponents of Roy refer to FOSS users as “freetards” and take every opportunity to cheapen FOSS/Linux.  Ive covered some of these handles before and the users DFS, Hadron and Moshe Goldfarb spring to mind from the COLA forums.  It should be noted that some of these handles also “farm” the Ubuntu forums and post issues which users have with Ubuntu as “proof” that Linux is not a viable alternative to Windows. Either Jono is blissfully unaware of this or did not have time to cover that issue.

Recently there was an article by Mr Wong who claimed a certain forum represented the FOSS community.  I pointed out to him that in fact this forum was actually very anti-Linux in general and cited examples.  Mr Wong retracted that statement. You can read that article here: https://openbytes.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/a-case-of-not-so-curious-opinion/

Jono asked the question about what was wrong with Microsoft being involved in Open Source, which I would like to answer.  Putting aside the issue that FOSS and Microsoft’s agenda are completely different, I think you have to look more at why there are any Linux users at all.  If we agree that people consider and move to Linux because of issues with Windows and Microsoft products then you have to consider what these issues are.  For me it was disillusionment with Vista and the realization that the tasks I needed my PC to perform could be better catered for without MS products.  If Microsoft were producing such great products then would I have moved at all?  No. If Microsoft was producing such great products would anyone use alternatives? I think not.   If we can agree that people do move from MS products and that Vista had issues for many users, I don’t think its unreasonable to say that Microsoft has had its chance to be the one-stop-shop as the definitive provider of software solutions and the resulting Vista (and the issues of Windows as a whole) are a damn good reason why I don’t want them involved in FOSS.

I could cite other technologies where (IMO) Microsoft has dropped the ball.  The Zune and its new year surprise, the 360 and its rings of death, WinMob…the list goes on.   Even without the patent issue, Novell, Mono et al, I believe that shows that Microsoft have more than a few issues with their technical solutions…and we want the same companies code entrenched in the Linux Kernel? – I’ll let you decide.

Roy didn’t get the opportunity to mention any of the underhanded tactics used on the Net.  A few years ago I would have probably called Roy paranoid until I experienced them myself.  I have received a torrent of abuse and lies aimed at me merely because I dared to post about my good experiences in regards to alternatives to Microsoft (and its the reason I started this blog)

This blog has exposed people with agenda’s other than honest held belief whose opinion was motivated by gifts or who resorted to underhanded tactics to promote proprietary firms.  I am not paranoid (I hope) I am a family man with a house, wife and kids.  I have a full time job and I spend rather too much time trying my own flavour of DIY around the house usually with disastrous consequences.

I say to everyone who has never been to Roy’s site (or the chat room) please visit.  The experience is wholly different to the one some will try and convince you of.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com