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. 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