In a recent live episode of Novell OpenAudio, Nat Friedman was interviewed and got posed some questions from the floor. One question highlighted that Novell had chosen AppArmour over SELinux and developed XGL in secret.
Nat highlighted two advantages of AppArmour over SELinux. 1) It was written by people who worked on the Linux kernel security structure. 2) It’s easier to configure than SELinux. What the presenters didn’t counter with was why Novell didn’t choose to put their efforts into making SELinux better, rather than spending millions on purchasing a company that owned an alternative product. And given that SELinux is developed by the NSA, it’s probably safe to assume they have a resonable grasp of the security issues…
On the XGL question, Nat’s response was that XGL development started a year or so before AIGLX. I’d have like to see the presenters take him up on that too. The project may have existed, but early development was kept secret and the project was not developed in the normal Open Source manner – a publicly available source code repository and patches submitted by the community. Because Novell didn’t develop XGL using the Open Source model, people were denied the opportunity to get involved and contribute code. That’s hardly a great way to build relationships with the community. Some people who would have contributed to XGL went off and started AIGLX, a project that does much the same thing (albeit in a different way) and that uses the traditional Open Source development model.
Nat’s second point was that AIGLX only works with Open Source drivers, as opposed to XGL which works with all graphics cards. Yeah, there’s an ambiguity there. XGL doesn’t work with the Open Source drivers. So if you want to use it, you have to use the propriatory drivers. So even if you’ve gone out of your way to ensure you have a graphics card supported by the Open Source 3D drivers, you can’t use XGL. From a company that has done so much to free the propriatory software that they have bought, that’s a bit sad.
But being a corporate show, the presenters are never going to be tough on guests from within the same company. At least the questions got asked, I suppose.Pin It