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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-05-22 Print this article Print

With regard to the Microsoft-Novell deal and GPL 3, MacCormack said the questions asked as part of the research were qualitative ones, and that the responses indicated that many developers were suspicious of the deal. "But the reasons relate more to a general distrust of Microsoft. I dont recall many coherent explanations of why deals like this are detrimental to the software ecosystem in general. Our objective was not really to gauge opinion on one particular industry transaction, as much as to look at issues of license design," he said.
Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian has no regrets about the Microsoft deal. Click here to read more.
The report concludes that its results suggest the actions of the Free Software Foundation may only be favored by about 10 percent of the broader community. "That leads us to ask, Should a committee be created with a charter to create and revise open-source licenses using a governance model similar to that of the open-source development model?" MacCormack said. "Is it contrary to the spirit of the open-source community, which relies on the wisdom and view of the masses, to have the governance of licenses controlled by a few individuals whose views run contrary to the objectives of potentially 90 percent of the people affected by their actions, especially when the community members are the very creators and developers of the software under discussion?" he questions. Asked about these conclusions, MacCormack said that it is common for academic research to pose questions that arise from the findings generated, as this could create a road map for future work. Corporate reaction to GPL 3 Draft 3 has been swift, and critical. Click here to read more. "I recently returned from a conference in Texas where developers asked these questions in a panel discussion where I was just an audience member. In fact, if you go to the bulletin boards on license issues and the GPL 3, you will find these views espoused there. But sometimes, you need to point out that this may in fact be the majority opinion. Thats all we are doing here," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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