03.24.07

Gemini version available ♊︎

Has Novell Made OpenOffice Incompatible with Itself?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Windows at 6:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recently we had a mind-boggling discussion about Novell’s special release of OpenOffice for Windows, with a bunch of extra forbidden fruit. Of particular interest was the following little nugget of information from Novell’s CEO:

What about things [OpenOffice features] that were discussed that didn’t make the cut?

[Hovsepian:] One that we were very interested in would be running some of their toolsets on our Linux platform — Visual Studio and other toolsets. That one didn’t make the cut.

Was the perennial question of a version of Microsoft Office for Linux discussed?

[Hovsepian:] Yes, that was one of the ‘toolsets’ I referred to. That one didn’t make the cut, either. As an executive, I understand that they’re protecting their franchise, and I’m respectful of that.

Now, picture the following scenario: John uses Windows and OpenOffice 2.1.x. He produces a nice presentation using Presenter and also uses a collection of nice and fancy macros for slide transition. He then sends his work over to Anna, who favours the use of GNU/Linux. She uses OpenOffice 2.1.x.

But here comes the fun part. It does not matter which distribution she uses, the software is for some reason unable to reproduce the integrity of John’s presentation, let alone view it without losing some crucial elements. It later turns out that John has unknowingly made use Novell’s special ‘features’.

Has Novell broken the round-trip rule at an intra-application level, rather than inter-application or inter-platform level? Has it led to fragmentation? Is it truly a case of an application not being backward-compatible with self, but also self-incompatible? Can you see GNU/Linux discriminated against here? Was our early questioning justified? Was Pamela right after all?

Novell claims to be working on improved interoperability. Unless the judgment and assumption we make are flawed, Novell has just made Windows less interoperable with Linux.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

7 Comments

  1. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    March 24, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Gravatar

    What I find interesting is that Novell is trying an exclusive support for VBA macros (again, whatever that means in practice), Microsoft themselves are moving away from VBA macros :

    - With Office 2007 documents, file names must end with “M” instead of “X” otherwise macros are disabled.

    - When run on Windows Vista, unsigned VBA macros won’t run. Getting VBA macros signed costs 500$/year.

    - Licensing Microsoft VBA run-time costs 150,000$/year.

    - Microsoft wants to decouple macros and sell licenses of VSTO (Visual Studio for Office) and server licenses (Excel services for instance). Of course, that’s not without an agenda. Licenses of VSTO create further lock-in (not just to Windows, but also .NET at the same time). And server licenses are orders of magnitude more expensive than client apps.

    Long story short, Novell appears to be the “idiots utiles” of the Microsoft agenda. One would think people like Miguel were a bit smarter.

  2. Chris said,

    March 25, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Gravatar

    I never really understood why Novell released their own edition of openoffice. If they were truly committed to helping the project, they would add their features to the main project instead of making their own version.

    Not to mention that the newest openXML plugin for Office 2007 only works on the Novell edition of openoffice.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 25, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Gravatar

    Chris, the implications are actually worse than that. See the following discussion:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/03/06/novell-helps-ooxml/

    “Promoting a Competitor to Openness, on Behalf of Your New Partner”

  4. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    March 26, 2007 at 1:50 am

    Gravatar

    “If they were truly committed to helping the project, they would add their features to the main project instead of making their own version.”

    One has to wonder why they are doing that while Microsoft IS moving away from VBA macros (read my post above, the agenda is to get customers to run arbitrary .NET code on the server). But VBA in general is just a wrapper on top of Windows. VBA imports WIN32, OLE, COM, ActiveX basically all Windows stuff. It is a mistake for Novell to go down that path because they’ll end up shipping a Windows-only build of OpenOffice.

    “Not to mention that the newest openXML plugin for Office 2007 only works on the Novell edition of openoffice”

    It’s a bit worse. The quality leaves much to desire (a number of features were left out since day one, and a number of feature “translations” are actually destructive). Oh, by the way, it only supports Word documents at this point. It does not stop Micro-vell to make announcements at least a year before it makes sense.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 26, 2007 at 6:37 am

    Gravatar

    I never thought that the timing of Novell’s announcement was a coincience. It almost coincided with Lisa Rajchel’s bizarre decision to fast-track OOXML, despite overwhelming opposition. Strings are being pulled here.

  6. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    March 26, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy,

    Here is the reason why Lisa Rajchel allowed the 5-month ballot to proceed : http://lnxwalt.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/packing-the-court-at-the-iso/

    In addition, there are many more Microsoft employees in ISO national bodies : there are 3 Microsoft employees in France national body alone.

    The whole ISO fast-track ballot and voting is a farce.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 26, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Excellent. That’s all we needed to know. Lobbying yet again.

    Q&A: Former Mass. CIO feels ‘bittersweet pride’ after battles with Microsoft, legislature

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | As CIO of Massachusetts from February to November last year, Louis
    | Gutierrez had to endure most of the brunt of Microsoft Corp.’s political
    | wrath over a state policy calling for the adoption of the Open Document
    | Format for Office Applications, or ODF — a rival to the software vendor’s
    | Office Open XML file format.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Do you see any reason for there to be two standards? If you were
    | starting blank-slate, there certainly would not be value to creating
    | two separate standards. Over time, it has sometimes been useful to
    | have the competition of two standards to keep both sides honest.
    | But I don’t see particular value in the long-term co-existence of
    | two separate standards.
    `—-

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9012760&source=rss_news50

    From the previous CIO….

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Quinn: Almost to a person, to anybody involved or who knows about
    | the ODF issue, they attributed the story to Microsoft, right, wrong
    | or otherwise. Senator Pacheco may be a bully but I do not believe he
    | is disingenious and would stoop to such a tactic. Senator Pacheco and
    | Secretary Galvin’s office remain very heavily influenced by the
    | Microsoft money and its lobbyist machine, as witnessed by their
    | playbook and words, in my opinion.
    |
    | Quinn: I believe that the ODF decision will stand. I believe MS
    | will continue to do anything and everything it can to stop it. And I
    | know my seat wasn’t even empty and they (MS) took another shot at
    | the title, to no avail. This horse is out of the barn and I see no
    | way for it to go back in. Remember, all we are asking for was and is
    | for Microsoft to commit to open and the standards process; so
    | everyone looks really bad if the plug gets pulled at this juncture.
    `—-

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060119232859729

    MA Governor-Elect Names MS Anti-ODF Lobbyist to Technology Advisory Group

    http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20061128161343183

    The Sorry State of Massachusetts

    http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=2006111603531029

    Microsoft offers schools in Mass. free software [to stop ODF adoption]

    http://news.com.com/2100-7344_3-6090196.html?part=rss&tag=6090196&subj=news

    Microsoft plays Massachusetts Senate card

    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=32515

    Politics and tech companies: follow the money

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061110-8194.html

    Years of deadlock on EU patent bring some new thinking

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/11/08/business/patents.php

    Leaked letter warns of open source ‘threat to eco-system’

    http://www.techworld.com/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsID=7109

    Study: open source needs official support; Lobbyist disagrees with “flawed” conclusions
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061017-8011.html

    Report Says Nonprofits Sold Influence to Abramoff

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101200889.html

    Open Source Foes In Bed With Abramoff

    http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/12/2036223&from=rss

    EU official joins consultancy serving Microsoft

    http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?view=CN&storyID=2006-10-03T134311Z_01_L03693228_RTRIDST_0_TECH-MICROSOFT-OFFICIAL.XML&rpc=66&type=qcna

    US ambassador to the EU was former Microsoft lobbyist

    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=34706

    US politicians go to bat for Microsoft

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/26/microsoft_eu_political_lobbying/

    Changing the Report, After the Vote

    http://insidehighered.com/news/2006/09/01/commission

    Microsoft playing three card monte with XML conversion

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=959

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  2. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  4. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  5. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  6. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  7. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  9. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  10. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  12. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  13. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  14. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  15. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  17. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  18. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  19. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  20. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  21. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  22. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  23. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  25. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  26. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  27. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  28. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  29. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  30. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts