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 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  2. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  3. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  4. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  5. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  6. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  7. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  8. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  12. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  13. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  14. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  15. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  16. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  17. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  18. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  19. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  20. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  21. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  22. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  23. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  24. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  25. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  26. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  27. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  28. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  30. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software


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