% fortune -ae paul murphy

"OpenSUSE Linux 10.0 OSS Beta 3"

During the late nineteen eighties the word "open" became computing's equivalent to "lite" in food marketing. At one point there was (and still is, actually) and "open" VMS for which you could not, of course, get source code or full documentation. Now we have open Linux. As in huh? Isn't closed Linux a bit like diet butter? (another product you can actually get people to buy - don't ask, ok?)

Two years ago I would often have to explain the hypocrisy of preaching Linux to others while using Solaris myself - now the question no longer seems to come up. Why? One reason, I think, is that Red Hat's anti-Sun marketing focus, IBM's adoption of Linux, and Novell's role as an IBM proxy with respect to both SuSe and SCO have combined to rob Linux of its image as the rebellious techno-child of the open source movement.

Now we have "OpenSuSe" - What is that? A penguin in a business suit? beat's me, but I'll tell you what it isn't: a label for an open source product driver.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specialising in Unix and Unix-related management issues.