Waiting for ProSCO

comment The open source community is waiting with bated breath for ProSCO.net, a SCO Group Website which will chronicle, from its perspective, its ongoing litigation against Linux.

comment ZDNet Australia and, no doubt, the open source community are waiting with bated breath for the launch of one of the most long-awaited Web sites for some time.

The SCO Group is planning to launch a Web site which will chronicle, from its perspective, its ongoing litigation against Linux. The launch is viewed by most observers as a counterbalance to the highly effective, pro-community Groklaw site and an effort to win back some ground in the propaganda war.

Your commentator gives the ProSCO.net site--due to launch by 1 November--less than a few seconds' existence before hackers try to deface it or take it down. If there's one thing you learn writing about the online world, it's that there's a minority out there who are inclined to vandalise rather than argue their point in a more acceptable manner.

That said, it seems SCO is not particularly keen to unleash the wolves onto a forum or similar feedback mechanism on the ProSCO site. ( SCO's ubiquitous spokesperson Blake Stowell is quoted as telling CNET News.com that, unlike Groklaw, SCO won't let others post their opinion on the site). It doesn't take much imagination to guess at the volume and tone of posts from the open source community that would be made to the site; in ZDNet Australia's experience, the only people more vociferous than the Linux crowd are the Apple crowd.

According to Stowell, the site will be "informational" for those who want to follow the twists and turns of the litigation.

"We've received a lot of feedback from people saying 'I would like to follow what's going on, but I would prefer to not have to visit Groklaw'," he said.

Your commentator thought he'd test the situation locally and ask Kieran O'Shaughnessy, SCO's Australian and New Zealand boss, whether the reporting and commentary in Australia was fair and balanced or whether ProSCO was needed to offset a bias or imbalance. Unsurprisingly, he came back with "in Australia, I have come to the view that the coverage is not necessarily even-handed.

"We see a need to make more information available (on SCO's perspective)".

O'Shaughnessy added that more people had approached him over the last six months to understand SCO's position on the litigation, undiluted by the opinion or distortions of others.

In terms of sheer weight of commentary in print and online regarding SCO's actions, ProSCO is unlikely to make much of an impact. However, it is interesting to ask who the company is targeting with the site: the Linux and open source communities who are already vociferous about their views or the business and investment communities who have a much more dispassionate view of the issues.

What do you think? Is ProSCO likely to have any positive impact for SCO? Will you visit the site?