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

10.07.07

Is Novell is Trying to ‘Hijack’ OpenOffice.org from Sun Microsystems for Competitive Reasons Alone?

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Novell, OpenOffice, SUN at 10:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As the argument about OpenOffice.org evolves and developers, Novell is beginning to have its true colours shown. It used to put the blame on Sun Microsystems for lack of openness, but looking at the other side of the fence, it seems like Novell has its own financial agenda as a considerable part of the equation. Sun’s Simon Phipps, whose opinion I can trust, has this to say:

It’s a shame Michael [Meeks] has chosen now – a turning point in OpenOffice.org and a moment when Sun has radically improved the SCA in response to broad feedback from many communities – as a time to mount a fresh challenge to Sun that by implication also harms OpenOffice.org. And when you distill out all the details, that’s what this turns out to be even by Michael’s admission – a competitive issue, not a community one.

It therefore appears as though Novell has its own plans and alternative agenda for OpenOffice.org, which is not surprising given things we have seen. The founder of Linux Questions has just posted some words in defense of Sun.

I forget sometimes how difficult a position Sun has put themselves in after years of being schizo about Open Source. For the last couple of years they have done some truly awesome things, yet they continue to take a beating in the community. I wonder how long it is until some will think they have paid their dues.

The complex relationship between IBM, Microsoft, Novell, and Sun continues to baffle. They want to collaborate, but they compete and exchange favours and/or money at the same time. Can standards be established in this way? Which side would a standard then serve? And most importantly — how does the innocent customer fit into this picture? Companies wants money. Ordinary people want their data to be accessible and easy to interchange. They also want to have choice between platforms and applications so a proprietary/de facto status-quo is not acceptable. It raises price and reduces quality.

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

9 Comments

  1. Eric Gearhart said,

    October 7, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Gravatar

    As long as ODF is the document format, not Novell ODF, or Sun ODF, or IBM Lotus Symphony ODF, I don’t care. OpenOffice.org has stagnated. They need to man up and improve performance. It really is bloated… making Meeks out to be the bad guy is bad form (but business as usual for boycottnovell…)

    Sun needs a kick in the pants… OOo IS bloated, and does need to be gutted.
    Either fork a branch internally, stop adding features to it and significantly improve performance, or for OOo 3.0 target major performance improvements. However they wanna go about it, this really does need to get done. This has been a complaint of OOo for years.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 8, 2007 at 12:11 am

    Gravatar

    I fear that ‘performance’ can be used as an excuse to open a door to other ‘improvements’.

  3. Eric Gearhart said,

    October 8, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Gravatar

    Roy pardon my ignorance, but if “Novell OpenOffice” had major feature improvements over Sun’s OpenOffice they’d have to release them too… correct? Both projects would fall under the LGPL right?

    Forking can be a good thing, although “the sky is falling” is the common reaction from the open source community. Forks are a healthy side effect of having an open source project. Look at XFree before X.org forked… there are major feature improvements that happened there. Also look at Compiz/Beryl.. they forked and are now in the process of “unforking” and marging improvements back together.

    There seems to be a “self-tuning” aspect to open source projects… if a project stagnates and the “benevolent dictator” that runs it starts being unreasonable, well then it’s forked.

    If that fork doesn’t gain enough momentum from developers because it’s not necessary, it dies off. If it does gain enough developers usually it provokes the original project into waking up and introducing new features (or in the case of XFree… it basically falling by the wayside as X.org became the de facto standard in every major distro).

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 8, 2007 at 4:26 am

    Gravatar

    To quote a comment from someone whose opinion I respsect (posted just a couple of hours ago):

    “First you took money from Microsoft while strengthening its argument that Linux violates its patent.
    Then you guys said that OOXML is superior and added that to your distro.
    You find it necessary to make your users dependent to Microsoft’s stuff.
    And now you find it necessary to split OpenOffice.

    Shame on you Novell.”

    The guy is not anti-Novell.

    The Microsoft dependence here is the main issue with this fork.

  5. Sebastiaan Veld said,

    October 8, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Gravatar

    As far as I know Go-OO is meant to get the Novell builds faster in the community leveraging the OpenSuSE build service. This really has nothing to do with Microsoft. It’s just a way to get Sun to faster accept needed changes that are used in OO versions in many distro’s but not accepted in the OO main tree.

    As the site states: “The go-oo version of OpenOffice.org is designed to give a foretaste of new features in development and includes functionality not yet accepted up-stream.”

  6. John Drinkwater said,

    October 8, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Eric,
    Openness of the code isn’t the complete issue here.
    If Novell produces some work to improve OOXML support (that includes the parts of the spec. that aren’t in the spec. and not covered by the covenent not to sue/OSP ), and that enters into go-OOo, can it be safely used outside of the Novell branch?
    I don’t want to fear monger at all… but can any contributions now be safely accepted from Novell with their licence from MS?

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 8, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Gravatar

    John, that was my response to Rob Weir as well. It’s similar to the Mono/Moonlight issue.

  8. Eric Gearhart said,

    October 9, 2007 at 5:01 am

    Gravatar

    The bottom line, at the end of the day, after the water’s boiled off (ok enough cliches) is this: what is the software licensed under. PRODUCTS that you buy from Novell are covered under the patent deal. If they release software that’s GPL’d or LGPL’d or BSD licensed, then that’s the license. End of story.

  9. John Drinkwater said,

    October 10, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Gravatar

    If the code is free from requiring patent deals, PRODUCTS that you buy from Novell would not need to be covered. Producing binaries from code doesn’t change potential infringements.

What Else is New


  1. Links 9/2/2016: Linux in Robotics, Hyperledger Project

    Links for the day



  2. Besieged Benoît Battistelli Mimics 'Damage Control' Tactics of FIFA or Blatter as More Judges Start Getting Involved in EPO Scandals

    Rumours and a new rant from Battistelli reinforce suspicions that actions are being organised behind the scenes, possibly as part of an upcoming, high-level campaign to unseat/dethrone Battistelli, who has become a reputational disaster to the European Patent Office (EPO), much like Sepp Blatter at FIFA



  3. Several Political Parties Directly Challenge the European Patent Office for Ignoring the Law, Not Obeying Court Orders

    Politicians make it crystal clear that the EPO, despite its unique status, cannot just raise its nose at the rulings of courts of law, definitely not in Dutch territory where the EPO operates



  4. Even the Legal Community is Upset at Benoît Battistelli for the Damage He Did to the EPO

    A recent article from lawyers' media (in German) speaks of the great damage (or mess) left by its current president, who has become somewhat of a laughing stock and growingly synonymous with farcical trials even in the circles of stakeholders, not just his own staff



  5. EPO Union (SUEPO) Getting Busted: “More and More People are Joining the Union, but Fewer and Fewer People Dare to Take on Leading Positions There.”

    The union-busting actions taken by EPO management in collaboration with Control Risks (for weak accusations against staff representatives) and FTI Consulting (for 'damage control') as described in a recent article, in the words of SUEPO lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld



  6. Microsoft's Copyrights- and Patents-Based Attacks on GNU/Linux Carry on

    The SCO case is still going on and Microsoft has just signed a patent deal with GoPro over its FOSS-based software, relating to “certain file storage and other system technologies”



  7. The EPO's Benoît Battistelli is the Dictator Who Can No Longer Dictate Like He Used to

    The European Patent Office's mechanism of oversight is starting to work just a little because, based on a new report from Juve, Battistelli is now reluctant to make proposals that would prove unpopular among delegates



  8. La Más Detallada Explicación (hasta ahora) de ¿Qué esta mal con la OEP?

    La insistencia de la OEP que permanece arriba de la ley no sólo est bajo fuego en los medios pero también esta siendo desafiada basado en personas familiares con la aplicabilidad de la ley a organizaciones internacionales.



  9. Links 8/2/2016: Vista 10 Nags Help GNU/Linux, Nautilus Updated

    Links for the day



  10. The European Patent Office “is Acting as Though the Law Does Not Apply to It.”

    An article from Nieuwsuur which provides the words of Liesbeth Zegveld (for SUEPO) and Guillaume Minnoye (for the European Patent Office), reaffirming the EPO's bizarre notion that it is above the law, even in the face of human rights violations and a court ruling against the EPO



  11. Microsoft-Connected FRAND Lobbying (Software Patents Against Free/Open Source Software) in Brussels

    Anti-Free/Open Source software (FOSS) talking points and FRAND (anti-FOSS) lobbying groups in Brussels as seen by proponents of FRAND, who also worked for Microsoft



  12. Latest Propaganda From the EPO's Management an Effort to Make the EPO the Tool of Megacorporations

    A quick roundup of some of the latest spin and paid-for (bought) coverage that helps introduce a distorted patent system whose beneficiaries are not European (or even people)



  13. 'Aversion to Change' Propaganda From the EPO Echoes or Parrots Lenin and Stalin

    The out-of-control EPO management is trying to fool the media by blaming staff representatives for getting fired, simply because they stood up to a highly abusive and megalomaniacal dictator



  14. The Gates Foundation Subjected to Criticism, But Over a Decade Too Late

    Reckoning and accepting the fact that even some in the media now openly speak about Bill Gates' corrupting influence in everything, including politics



  15. Links 8/2/2016: Zenwalk 8.0 Beta 2, Q4OS 1.4.7

    Links for the day



  16. SIPO (China's Patent Office) Taken Over by Patent Maximalists

    A look at China's race to the bottom (decline in quality) when it comes to patents, assuming quite wrongly that quantity is more important than quality and severe penalties for perceived infringement will spur innovation



  17. The Alice Case Continues to Smash Software Patents (This Time OpenTV's); Will the EPO Ever Pay Attention?

    The potency or the grip of software patents in the United States is quickly eroding, but the EPO continues to act as though software patents are legitimate



  18. EPO Staff Responds to Team Battistelli's Expansion to Include French Economic Propagandist on the Payroll

    With strings attached (like string puppets of Battistelli in various units including the Investigative Unit), can the new Chief Economist, who is French and paid by Battistelli, ever be trusted?



  19. UPC: To Understand Who Would Benefit From It Just Look at Who's Promoting It (Like TPP)

    The UPC, which is designed to aid patent trolls and aggressors (and their lawyers), is still being advanced by the EPO and some misinformed (but loyal to these former groups) politicians



  20. Trolls Molestos: Rovi (del famoso Angry Birds) Ayuda al Más Largo Troll de Patentes de Microsoft Intellectual Ventures (Corregido)

    Alguna vez conocido como hacedor de juegos y más tarde como vigilancia en masa en jugadores, Rovi ahora se ESTA ALIANDO CON EL MÁS GRANDE TROLL DE PATENTES



  21. Estadísticas de Invalidación de Patentes y Costos de Litigación de Patentes (incluso si son falsas) Muestran que la Esfera de Patentes y los Estándares de Examinación son un Probleman, No Sólo en Los Estados Unidos

    Demasiadas falsas patentes que no deberían haber sido otorgadas en primer lugar y fraudulentes jucios de patentes que terminan en favor del acusado sirve para mostrar el costo externo (o externalidad) cuando set trata de un bajisímo sistema de patentes que se esfuerza en otorgar muchas patentes irrespectivamente de su mérito.



  22. The 'Offenses' of EPO Staff Representatives Boil Down to Truth-Telling

    Dutch television examined the documents of the mock 'trials' against SUEPO leaders and concluded that whistle-blowing (i.e. exposing abuses by EPO management), not misconduct, is the reason for overzealous dismissals



  23. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President



  24. VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents

    What the media really ought to be talking about after the high-profile VirnetX case, rather than obsess about the status of Apple or patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas



  25. Diápositivas de Nueva Charla Explican la Connección Entre la Corte De Patentes Unitarias (UPC) y Patentes de Software

    Benjamín Henrion habló el pasado Domingo acerca de las patentes de software europeas -una presentación que habla de la Corte Unitaria de Patentes, por la que la OEP aboga sin cesar y que es lo que significa para las patentes de software.



  26. Las Políticas de Microsoft Alienan Incluso a los Hinchas Más Acérrimos de Microsoft, Incluyendo Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    El agresivo comportamiento de Microsoft y su BAJA CALIDAD DE PRODUCTOS dejan algunos de sus últimos restos de ´hinchas´ descorazonados y molestos.



  27. Links 6/2/2016: CoreOS Rocket 1.0, Scientific Linux 7.2

    Links for the day



  28. Maybe It's Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 'Upgrades', Which Were Definitely No Accident

    The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people's computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility



  29. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part II)

    Željko Topić's allegedly dark background, which includes a suicide, a retreat of potential witnesses, German funds in Topić's private bank account and several more interesting bits



  30. Links 5/2/2016: Wine 1.9.3, Slackware 14.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day


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