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Corel Linux Advisory Council 43

Hos writes "Saw this press release this morning. Looks like they have an interesting list of members (Linus, Larry Augustine, Bob Young), though it doesn't say whether thy will be speaking or not. "
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Corel Linux Advisory Council

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  • We? Do you work for Corel? If not, you're perfectly welcome to form your own Linux Advisory Council with board members of your own choosing. (I'd really recommend not having a jackass like Stallman [] on it, though.) Then you can have your own conferences and release your own press statements instead of imposing your warped political correctness on this particular group. Corel is a publicly traded company (i.e., their raison d'etre is to make money, just like Red Hat and soon VA Research), so it comes as no surprise that they'd like to focus a group that they formed on the business side of things. As a fan of capitalism, I think this sounds much more appealing than Yet Another open source mutual wankfest.


  • One can only hope. I'd like to see Philips open up their hardware more, they make some good stuff.
  • I also had problems understanding exactly what they are trying to do here... If you go to the fact sheet it just lists the names of the advisory council members (again). Sure, they have a nice mixture of companies and influences, but most of the members are CEO's. I guess we just have to have faith in the members that we know we can trust, Torvalds, Hall, etc.. that they will keep this thing on the right track.
  • I was impressed by the very balanced mix of members. KDE and GNOME. Debian and Redhat. Penguin and VA. Yes, it would have been nice if a FSF member were included, but it looked like they were concentrating on Linux in particular and not free/open software in general.

    I'm just wondering what they'll do?
  • To quote verbatim:
    "This event is a unique opportunity for leaders in the Linux community to meet and discuss ways to ensure the success of the operating system (OS), and to accelerate the development of the OS and its applications."

    "In addition, the forum will provide a central voice for the open source community."

    That does not sounds strictly commercial to me, unfortunately. In my mind, the success of the OS depends not on groups like Corel, but on the programming community which created this thing in the first place and whose motivation is being slowly eroded by closed-source competition (like Corel's WordPerfect, which despite the noble talk about following what Corel's own CEO calls the "ideology" of the Linux movement, won't be even Open Source(tm), much less free.
  • It's a Linux Advisory Council, not a Open-Source Advisory Council.

    Go away, troll.
  • >In addition, the forum will provide a central voice for the open source community

    You may be right, they do state in the article that they are concerned with commercial aspects, but not specifically. And the above statement would mean not specifically Linux either.
  • "We" meaning: Supposedly we have an Open Source Community. Whether you like it or not-you are part of it as well. If you call someplace "Your home town", it's not neccessarily yours-just like when leaders within our community step up to bat, "WE" now have a voice within the commercial community.
  • 'scuse me?

    Is this the same Debian that has been getting slammed for being too militantly free? Is this the same Debian that is considered to be a marginal player because it isn't commericial enough? Is this the same Debian that is the only Linux distribution to carry the word "GNU" in the name? Is this the same Debian that is the only Linux distribution worthy of carrying the GNU name (IMHO, of course)? Is this the same Debian that wouldn't include KDE because it wasn't careful enough about free software licenses? Is this the same Debian that refuses to ask for permission to ship software that is "free so long as you ask", on the grounds that it isn't free to re-redistribute?

    No, I think you'll find that Debian is still rather more careful about remaining free than most distibutions are; talk to the developers; if you don't get laughed at or ignored as a troll (which you are, BTW), they'll tell you that Corel!=Debian, even if Corel is based on Debian.

    I think you'll also find, should you ever care to become educated, that freedom includes the right to build a commercial product on top of a free product, so long as the relevant licenses aren't violated. One of Debian's original goals was to build a system that others would be free to use for any purpose; this includes building a commercial distribution on top of it. You'll also find, should you care to look, that Corel is doing a *lot* of work under the GPL, including wine and winelib. I personally think Corel "gets it" better than most, and is actually leading the pack when it comes to commercial software companies and free software.

    I look forward to the day when I can give my father a Debian CD set with Word Perfect and erase Windows from his hard drive.
  • That is just so naive.

    The minute Microsoft walks away from the DOJ case - regardless of the outcome - they are going to come down hard on the open source community.

    I'm not only talking about FUD; they'll be vigorously protecting all their intellectual property. You can also expect to see a number of free software packages withdrawn as the copyright holders are sued for infringement of Microsoft patents etc.

    This is going to be very bloody and if we don't at least keep up our end of propaganda war - and that means fighting dirty, just like they will - we will lose everything we have gained so far. Just remember they have billions of dollars to lose, and a legal obligation to protect their shareholders' investment with any means at their disposal.

    Faced with an onslaught like that I don't think moral high ground is going to be a winning factor somehow.
    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • Right on, Brett! Did you also notice that in the headline "Corel Linux Advisory Council Brings Leaders of the Open Source and Linux Community Together" fat Lithuanian midgets and the women who love them are also conspicuously missing? It appears that Corel has intentionally excluded the fat Lithuanian midgets and the women who love them, all of whom are markedly superior to the rest of the human race. It's a conspiracy, I tell ya! Boycott Corel!!

    --Nicholas Petreley

    My apologize to fat Lithuanian midgets and the women who love them for using them in a humorous post. If you are a fat Lithuanian midget or a woman who loves one, I hope you'll notice that I positioned you as superior to the rest of the human race in an attempt to offset the potential offense. If it didn't work, I suggest you boycott whomever it is that makes you feel better to boycott.

  • Yup - companies don't generally make investment decisions based on dejanews or altavista search results and informal e-mail with package maintainers.

    This Linux Council provides a way for a company to send over their CEO and VPs and chat about Linux with other bigwigs over a nice lunch. It also allows Linux folks to promote open source development right at the top.

    The only real equivalent right now is probably RedHat's marketing department, so a vendor neutral group seems like a good thing.
  • by lenthe ( 14112 ) on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @07:16AM (#1860095)
    This is like the jedi council and Linus is yoda.
  • by doomy ( 7461 )
    Debian is represented there, i'm sure debian would always act in the best interest of FSF. It's also nice to see Gnome and KDE represented on this board. Anyway, this is a good thing, I hope the best for Corel and wish them luck with their new dist (which hopefully would be pretty stable due to debian's stability, build a good gui on top of that and you got yourself a nice OS).
  • They can have whoever they want on their little board. Given that this is a Corel effort, I wouldn't count on said board even existing in twleve months, so there's no need to get in a tizzy.

    Your post reminded me of my college days, when the campus nazis insisted that any decision making board have "representation" from groups X,Y and Z (you fill in the blanks).
  • Or the commercial community has a voice within _us_. You are right about it being a "like it or not" thing- since we get our software from each other and not from one source, we are tied together. As soon as we stop thinking of ourselves as a community, we are going to lose one of the big motivational tools that we have to get software done... and I think that we are doing just that by allowing corporate "thems" to speak for individuals like ourselves.
    ~luge (who doesn't intend to sound so RMSy, but...)
  • I was amazed to see Philips was on this list.
    I had a hard time with their "Brilliance" screens, that are the winmodems of screens.
    (they need software called customax)

    I've been fighting trapezoid shapes until I gave up and settled for a lower resolution and scan rate,
    because they're "customax" is windows only.
    I found a reference for OS/2 but the actual driver could not be found.

    Since I live in Israel I have to contact their middle-east support center,
    which is conveniently loacted in Saudi Arabia.
    They don't have email addresses for support not sales nor anything,
    So I couldn't even had the pleasure of hearing that they don't have plans to support linux.

    My opinion is,
    that they only want their name to be on "a linux thing" because "linux is THE buzzword and we like buzzwords".
    I say, until they prove to help linux, just fuck 'em.

  • The desktop isn't the only missing piece. Some others are:
    * Broader hardware support (eg. USB, MPEG-2, bleeding edge video and sound support)
    * Better support for highly SMP systems (16 processors and up)
    * Better support for huge files and memory
    * Journaling FS
    * Better ACL support
    * Better Palmtop/small graphics support

    All of these are being worked on. Most of these can even be managed now, but with a lot of convolutions. The desktop is all that's needed to get the Press in line (and maybe a bribe or two ;-), since most of them don't even know what a Journaling FS is.
  • Good point about the continued existence, I suppose... :)

    But as far as the campus-nazi jibe- look, it would be one thing if Linus weren't involved. At that point, the corporate types can get together and pontificate all they want. None of us have to listen, and they might even have some useful and non-self serving things to say. (Though I remain concerned about global warming as a result of corporate hot air.)

    However, if Linus is lending his name, or more importantly his ears, then I am concerned that this group might have an undue level of influence with him and others. A group that claims to speak for all of us while actually only representing a small fraction of us is dangerous. It's not nazi-like to demand representation, if you recall your American history...
  • * Broader hardware support (eg. USB, MPEG-2, bleeding edge video and sound support)

    Ah, that explains Philips then.
    Or doesn't it?

  • >corporate "thems"

    Yeah, there are a lot of CEO's on the board. But some of them do have credibility: Ransom Love and Larry Augustin to name a couple. With the others, I agree with you that we can't be certain exactly what their motives are. But you hope that since they have Torvalds and Hall, they will be cautious about what they say and how they say it. What sounds good to corporate ears could enrage us "Little People (speaking humorously)". But that's a whole other problem and discussion within itself.
  • by DonkPunch ( 30957 ) on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @07:34AM (#1860106) Homepage Journal
    Something in the article made me say, "Hmmmm":

    "The Corel Linux Advisory Council will attempt to address issues and propose solutions to create an environment which helps Windows(r) operating system vendors to understand the possibilities of Linux...."

    /* Deep breath, asbestos underwear on */

    The wording makes this group sound a little like a counter for the recently-announced Microsoft Linux disadvisory group. I don't know if this is a Good Thing(tm) or a Bad Thing(tm). Is this group going to be focused on advocating Linux, attacking Windows, or both?

    If the group intends to attack Windows, I wonder if The Linux Community, Inc. really wants to play that game. It might give them less room to complain about MS FUD attacks. It also means taking on one of the most well-funded PR machines of our time.

    Perhaps it would be better to take the high road and talk about what Linux CAN do -- leaving out the "...and Windows can't".

    I also wonder if they will concentrate on technical OS features, or the overall benefits of using Free Software. That's probably a whole 'nuther issue, though.
  • This thread has pretty much answered some questions raised by Corel's press release announcing our Linux Advisory Council meeting June 14-15, but I'd like to clarify a few points...

    Corel's goal in setting up the Council is to bring leading Linux and OSS community members together to discuss our Linux initiatives, the direction of the platform, what needs to be done to strengthen it and promote it, and how to best meet the needs of users. Obviously, we're also interested in getting feedback that will help us develop and market our products more successfully. But the main point of this meeting is to get together a good representative group of Linux and OSS advocates and developers for constructive discussion - people and organizations who have the welfare of Linux at heart, who want to see its continued growth and prosperity.

    Part of the meeting agenda is slated for discussion of how commercial Linux development intersects with OSS development. We believe that the development of a broad range of applications and the refinement of the Linux desktop are critical to accelerating its wide-scale adoption as a mainstream OS. And we think that the participation of vendors like Corel and those represented on the Council will help key that effort. But this meeting is foremost an exchange of ideas. While we're going to try to get it right from the start, this will be one of the first meetings of its kind and, realistically, we're not going to cover every issue or community concern in one session. We hope to continue with these Advisory Council meetings in the future, and build on what we share and learn.

    ZDNet News ( and ZDTV Radio will be hosting an hour-long live webcast interview with Council members and Corel representatives on Tuesday, June 15 starting at 3 p.m. ET. Within the next couple of days, Corel's Linux Users Network community Web site ( will have an e-mail link for advance submission of questions for the panel.

    Mark Lipson
    Manager, On-line Communications
    Corel Corporation
  • It sounds to me like that statement means they want to encourage Windows developers to consider developing their applications for Linux.

    IMHO, this is a Good Thing (TM) for Linux.

  • by luge ( 4808 ) <slashdot@tie g u y . o rg> on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @06:58AM (#1860117) Homepage
    I mean, I hate to start that old flame war up again, but it'd be nice if there were more than one "free speech" advocate on the board- or even anyone with a political agenda at all. While I generally agree with RMS, this board (which seems mainly corporate) doesn't even have an OSI representative- so the politics of free software are likely to be completely swamped by making money, which is undeniably Corel's goal. Even if you don't agree about the politics, we must remember that there *are* politics to this- we *are* trying to change the way people think and do business, not just provide a new method by which the old forms can attempt to make profits.
  • by luge ( 4808 )
    I suppose the GNOME/KDE battle will cause it's share of political consideration in the group, and (as a Debian user) I'm thrilled to see their participation. However, they really don't fit in with the rest of the group, and (knowing how groups work) I wonder if they can really make the case for truly free software while being outnumbered 19 to 3 (assuming Gnome and Cygnus will also strongly advocate for the FSF.
    just concerned-
  • "USB support you seek? Heh, heh. Write drivers, you can, yes?"

    "Microkernel not make one great!"

    /* Ok. I'm done now. */

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.