There has been a host of blogs and tweets about the latest SEC filing by Novell on 14 January 2011 and what it actually means to business.
One aspect that was quite obvious was the selective quoting by hundreds of journalists and bloggers to make sure that the message is twisted to their perception or agenda.
Neither here nor there; Novell should have handled this with so much more transparency. As an advocate of OpenSource and the principles of OpenSource, Novell has severely neglected in the first place their own staff members, their direct customers, and then subsequently the communities that have been supporting many of the projects that Novell supported.
There has been almost no clarity, let alone transparenacy, on how any of these projects will be affected.
Merely quoting that these are the rules of the game is just NOT ENOUGH. It is only an excuse not to explain the real truth and hiding everything else in secrecy.
Novell has basically opened the flood gates to rumour mongers, and allowed a stream of ridiculous perceptions to take place with regards to Novell Technology.
The rumour mongers or doom sayers will refer to Novell's technology as being dated, old technology, where in fact most of the latest versions are more advanced than any current vendor offering.
It does not help to say internally that these facts are not true - you have to be exceptionally vocal to displace these pathetic rumours that ill informed executives often rely upon.
The furore around the patents is again an issue completely clouded with non-facts. 99% of bloggers and journalists failed to highlight the fact that these patents relate to non-shipping products of Novell.
The perception was created that Novell sold off the patents of all there Identity Managent, Collaboration and Enterprise Management solutions. This is what happens when you selectively quote from sources without verifying the context if the published documentation.
It is the same as selectively quoting from the Bible or the Qur'an. You can twist the story just to achieve your own personal objectives.
Unfortunately it is seldom in this industry that IT excutives actually make decision based upon fact, and it is often more based upon the supposedly popular approach as being perceived by management.
Both the OSI and FSF have a very strong argument. They need transparency on how this deal will affect them. The secrecy around this deal is completely uncalled for, to such an extend that not even Novell Staff on senior level knows what is happenning.
As with recent Government leaks on Wikileaks, it should be time that Corporate Secrecy enjoys the same scrutiny as we are moving to a world without secrets.
Let us hope that Novell will see the need for transparency very soon, as the traditional frameworks protecting this type of secrecy is outdated and must be challenged.