EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.04.06

Novell OpenOffice Fork?

Posted in Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, VBA at 8:10 pm by Shane Coyle

Novell has released a new version of OpenOffice.org 2.0.2, replete with all kinds of fancy (and possibly patent-encumbered) “interoperability” features. Let’s count the number of times we see the words "Microsoft" or "Windows", shall we?

key features of OpenOffice.org 2.0.2

The Novell® Edition of OpenOffice.org contains enhancements that are not available in the standard edition. These include:

  • Enhanced Support for Microsoft Office File Formats: OpenOffice.org supports import and export of Microsoft Office file formats, even taking advantage of compatible fonts to match document length. Transparent document sharing makes OpenOffice.org the best choice if you are deploying it in a mixed Linux/Windows environment.
  • E-Mail as Microsoft Office Document: The standard edition of OpenOffice.org supports e-mailing of files as PDF files from within the OpenOffice.org application. With the Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org, you can also e-mail any document as a Microsoft Office file. For example, you can e-mail a Writer file as a Microsoft Word file, so the file is automatically converted and attached to an e-mail in your default e-mail application.
  • Excel VBA Macro Interoperability: The Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org eases the migration of many macros from Microsoft Excel. Although not all macros can be successfully migrated, this interoperability offers more than the standard edition, which does not support migration of macros.
  • Enhanced Fonts: For the Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org, Novell licensed fonts from AGFA that use the same or similar names as the fonts available in Microsoft Office. The fonts also look similar to those used by Microsoft and have identical metrics. This allows OpenOffice.org to match fonts when opening documents originally composed in Microsoft Office, and very closely match pagination and page formatting.
  • ODMA Integration: The Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org for Windows includes initial release of ODMA integration such as GroupWise.

Okay, I didn’t really count, but there were a bunch weren’t there? Interestingly, this article notes that Novell is adding the support to its Linux version of Novell OpenOffice.org, but the download page only indicates Windows 2000/XP as the platform:

Novell has announced that they are adding support for the recently launched MS Office 2007 document format to their version of the OpenOffice productivity suite for the Linux operating system.

Novell has provided a modified version of OpenOffice.org 2.02 as a free download for their registered users, which is compatible with Office 2007 documents.

Did you catch that last part about “free download for their registered users”? What do you want to bet that is so they have a counter for their royalty payment to Microsoft for their “Interoperability IP”? Why else restrict the downloading of an "Open-Source" product, or can Novell customers not redistribute the special Novell Edition now? Is the Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org under any license other than LGPL?

I have lots of questions about this announcement that I will be further researching, Pamela Jones of Groklaw is also on the case, so be sure to check out what she has come up with:

Well, if there are any Novell supporters left, here’s something else to put in your pipe and smoke it. Novell is forking OpenOffice.org.

There will be a Novell edition of OpenOffice.org and it will support Microsoft OpenXML. (The default will be ODF, they claim, but note that the subheading mentions OpenXML instead.) I am guessing this will be the only OpenOffice.org covered by the “patent agreement” with Microsoft. You think?

Yes, unfortunately I do.

UPDATE: Miguel De Icaza says Novell OpenOffice is not a fork, but a patched version of OpenOffice.org. I did get a kick out of this though:

Btw, I believe the translator that people are discussing is built with C# and XSLT and is available here. I wonder some of the posters on the Groklaw thread are going to have a stroke over the fact that the software is hosted at source forge.

The document converter they are working on is in C#? So, I need to use Mono to use their converter for MS OpenXML? How many lawsuits must I expose myself to just to get at my own information in those documents?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. konfusedkiwi said,

    December 4, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Your quote: Did you catch that last part about “free download for their registered users”?

    You clearly do not understand the difference between open source and proprietary commercial software. Businesses charge money for commercial software. Yes, that’s right. This might be a new concept for you, look it up sometime – lightweight.

    Obviously, this is not a “royalty payment to Microsoft for their Interoperability IP” as you assert, it is simply commercial software.

  2. Draconishinobi said,

    December 4, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    Gravatar

    The LGPL (like the GPL) requires that the source (in this case OpenOffice) be published. However, because it is the LGPL, not GPL, “programs that link to the library may be licensed under terms of your choice, so long as the library itself can be changed.” (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/LGPL/2.1/)

    Another reason to use GPL not LGPL. (of course, there are reasons for using one over the other, but if you want truly free software go with GPL)

  3. Joshua Bergland said,

    December 5, 2006 at 2:42 am

    Gravatar

    This is insane …

    Is there anyone on this site that has actually followed Novell before the deal?

    The Windows version of OpenOffice 2.0.2 on Novell’s website has been there for months. Its part of the Open Workgroup suite of products, but if you register a free account on their site you can download it and use it. It just lacks the support that is part of the Open Workgroup product.

    The Linux version is included in SLED and OpenSUSE, also for free with the source code of Novell’s additions. Novell is simply extending the product and making their enhancements available to the OpenOffice community for inclusion.

    OpenOffice already supports Microsoft Office documents, what’s wrong with them supporting the format in Office 2007? It’s called business. What company would switch to an office application that couldn’t guarantee compatibility with their clients?

    As much as you would like to pretend otherwise, Novell has lasted many years being the underdog. The problem (and its always been their problem) is that they are going to continue having poor press relations and marketing and let sites like this publishing opinions take down the company.

    Are you guys so anti Microsoft that you would take down any company that might try to work with them?

    Please actually use Open Enterprise Server and SLES 10, then tell me that Novell hasn’t worked to take Linux to the next level of corporate readiness.

  4. Draconishinobi said,

    December 6, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Gravatar

    “Are you guys so anti Microsoft that you would take down any company that might try to work with them?

    Please actually use Open Enterprise Server and SLES 10, then tell me that Novell hasn’t worked to take Linux to the next level of corporate readiness. ”

    Well, I don’t know about anyone else here, but for me …

    Yes, any company that joins the evil empire (M$) becomes a part of that empire and aids in its propagation. Thus, Novell must die ! And if any other company chooses to take the same path … they must die as well ! The evil empire will be destroyed no matter what it takes. Besides, there are plenty of other distros that work better than SUSE and Novell.

  5. Juan Fermin said,

    April 3, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m in the process of “Selling” a customer to swich over 20 desktops from XP to Suse Linux. One of the biggest selling points of Novell’s product was the fact that it came with a version of Open Office that’s compatible with Office 2007. This particular client gets a lot of documents, and many of them are beginning to come in on the new format, and they want to stay with the times, but can’t afford to switch to MS Office, and pay $6000.00 to get everyone switched over. They like the fact that once they go with a Suse server, they can switch their Exchange Server to Scalix, and not only save a ton of money, but also have a much more stable system that’s not subject to “How Good the Anti-Virus” is. Would you have preferred that Novell not offer this great product and they would have been Forced to buy more MS stuff? Get a Grip and wake up.

  6. Rico said,

    July 3, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Gravatar

    Well Draconishinobi, you sound more like a fundamentalist Muslim then someone with an actual working brain. Saying a company must die just because you don’t like the software. So in fact you want all those people get fire just because you don’t like the software.

    Who was it that once said: If you can beat them, join them.

    If you don’t want it, don’t use it. Now go get a life…

  7. nox said,

    November 30, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    Care! Seems that some other distros are silently adding the Novell patches into
    OOo, for example with mono and gstreamer support
    (and most of them are the same distro who complained about binary drivers, nonsense!!!!!).

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  2. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  3. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  4. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  5. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  6. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs



  7. Black Duck's Latest Self-Promotional Propaganda (for Proprietary Software) Still Fools Journalists

    Under the traditionally misleading title "Future of Open Source" Black Duck expresses its desire for proprietary software sales, salivating over fearful managers who may get bamboozled into buying the patents-'protected' Black Duck 'product'



  8. Links 16/4/2015: Opera for 32-bit GNU/Linux, New Chromebook Site

    Links for the day



  9. Links 15/4/2015: Plasma 5.3 Beta, Docker's New Funding

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing the Term Open Source and Fooling Politicians Who Now Think Microsoft is Open Source

    Microsoft's attempt to assimilate (to confuse) bears some fruit and the Microsoft-linked media plays a considerable role in it



  11. Back Doors/Bug Doors in All Versions of Microsoft Windows Need a Name, a Logo, and Branding Too

    All versions of Microsoft Windows are found to have been insecure since 1997, but the bug responsible for this is not named as candidate for back door access, let alone named (with logo and marketing) like far less severe bugs in Free/libre software such as OpenSSL



  12. OnePlus (or OnePlus Customers) Should Wipe CyanogenMod From Existing Devices and Install Something Else

    A call for OnePlus to reconsider any future updates from Microsoft's Trojan horse, Cyanogen



  13. Links 14/4/2015: 3DR Dronecode, Z1/Z2 Tizen

    Links for the day



  14. Links 13/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Released; A Look at Antergos 2015.04.12

    Links for the day



  15. EFF Uses Alice v. CLS Bank Case to Pressure USPTO to Halt Software Patenting

    A look at recent patent policies and actions from the EFF, as well as increasing secrecy at the USPTO



  16. No, Panasonic Did Not Open-Source Anything (Another Example of Openwashing for PR)

    A dissection of media deception (or media being bamboozled) regarding the act of promising not to sue using patents, which in no way relates to Free/Open Source software



  17. Yes, Software Patents Are Dying, But Media Continues to Be Dominated by Those Denying it For a Salary

    The debate about software patents in this post-Alice era parallels the Net neutrality debate, where voices of people with vested interests contribute to confusion and meddle with largely-accepted views/consensus



  18. Links 12/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, Semplice 7 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  19. GNU/Linux is Crushing Windows, So Microsoft Leaps Ahead to X+2 Vapourware (Two Versions Ahead Into the Future)

    Microsoft continues to pile up bogus claims and empty promises in an effort to stall migrations to GNU/Linux



  20. The ITC's and US Media's Surprisingly Soft Treatment of Patent Bully Apple

    Despite Apple's history of initiating patent aggression against its competition (mostly Android-backing companies), the US corporate media treats Apple like a victim



  21. Microsoft Continues to Attack (and Tax) Linux Using Software Patents

    Microsoft stabs Linux in the back while it continues to insist that it 'loves' Linux



  22. European Unitary Patent Decision Due 5th of May

    The meta-industry of patent protectionism is debating and pushing forth the Unitary Patent Court, with or without endorsement from the European public



  23. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing 'Open Source'

    Microsoft's massive campaign of deception, obfuscation and misuse of the "Open Source" brand is still on, even a week after it was cleverly started by Condé Nast



  24. Links 11/4/2015: elementary OS Freya, Mageia 5 on the Way

    Links for the day



  25. Links 10/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, ZFS On Linux Improved

    Links for the day



  26. New Article Chronicles Suicides and Nervous Breakdowns at the EPO Due to the Management's Abuses

    Article from Le Monde translated into English



  27. Links 9/4/2015: SalentOS, Semplice Releases

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO is Becoming More Like the USPTO Under Benoît Battistelli's Greed-Driven Reign

    Recent articles about the EPO and the Unitary Patent are bundled together to highlight truly disturbing developments whereby those in power beget power through instruments of state-sanctioned power, such as the EPO (stateless entity within a continent-wide 'island')



  29. More Suicides Reported at the Staff-Hostile European Patent Office

    The EPO has become so rogue that it might as well be renamed the Euthanasia-Prodding Organisation



  30. Security FUD Against Free Software Resurfaces, Using Promotional Branding From a Microsoft-Linked Firm, So Red Hat Finally Responds

    Old news is 'new' again, as Microsoft-friendly media decides to keep knocking hard on the reputation of Free software, using words rather than substance


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts