Oh dear. I used to like reading Groklaw and admired it for its accuracy and straight-down-the-line reporting. Recently though, I have felt it has become too much of a pulpit, and this post is just sensationalist clutching at straws. Now take the story over to Slashdot and it seems the headline is more important than the content. How can Slashdot reference the Groklaw story as the point of reference for the news story when the Groklaw article spends most of its time poking fun at Novell rather than finding the heart and soul of the story? I really hope PJ reverts back to the good ‘ol days of Groklaw and brings some balance and premise to the reporting.
From what I can see, this is exactly the kind of interop that the Novell guys were promising between Linux and Windows, and according to Nat Friedman in the OpenSuSE/Microsoft deal IRC discussion, these interop technologies would be made Open Source anyway. Its hardly a fork as the work is being submitted to go upstream. So whats the problem? If the claim of a fork is that they have patched OpenOffice.org and included extra stuff before it is shipped upstream, well, this is fairly normal for a lot of distributions. The problem here is that PJ and the Slashdot author knew that the word fork would grab attention. They were right, it certainly grabbed mine.
It seems the cool thing right now is to bash our friends at Novell left, right and centre for every decision they are making post-MS deal. One bad decision does not a bad company make. Novell have contributed some amazing free software to the world and have made great efforts with working with the community. I am sick and tired of the continued wave of sensationalist bullshit that has infected the Open Source and Linux media and blogger community, and I hope some of these people can get a healthy dose of realism, and get it soon. In my book it is not good journalism, not good reporting, and not good for the free software community.