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

10.09.07

Why Would Novell Want to Fork OOO?

Posted in Fork, Formats, Free/Libre Software, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, LGPL, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 11:51 am by Shane Coyle

Regular readers of this site, the ones that remember way back when I had time to contribute more, may recall the hub-bub regarding Novell possibly forking OpenOffice.org shortly after their infamous deal with our friends from Redmond – something that was heatedly debated in the community.

Well, now let’s look at the present times – all over the web, reports abound about the Novell-Sun rift and Michael Meeks forking of OpenOffice.org. Some say it is a fork, some say it is not, and this all sounds very familiar but a little confusing – again.

Charles H. Schulz has written a piece that was published on Groklaw which attempts to shed some light on the background of the dispute, and offers some conjecture on what Meeks’ motivation may be:

Bear with me now: The OpenOffice.org project is developing import filters for OpenXML, but not export filters. Why? Because, I believe, it does not want to make a service to Microsoft by being the second major office suite to produce OpenXML documents on the fly. Novell sees this issue from a different point of view, but let’s not get carried away. Working with Microsoft on interoperability, as Novell claims, includes working on OpenXML filters and plugins. While Novell contributes quite normally to OpenOffice.org’s import filters, it is also developing an OpenXML export filter that won’t be available in OpenOffice.org– that is, if you choose to use OpenOffice.org and not “Open Office, Novell Edition”. And since these export filters are supposedly developed in collaboration with Microsoft, this technology would logically include Microsoft’s sacred intellectual property that Sun and many others don’t want to see covered by the JCA. This could, perhaps, explain Michael’s odd questions on this list of OpenOffice.org

So these new builds from Novell would thus include new features, but features that will carry sometimes an unverified intellectual property. And that’s certainly an issue if Microsoft joins the game. Would that mean Michael’s move was made in order to serve some corporate interests?

So, it looks like Novell is indeed intent on making available a fully OOXML-compatible, yet likely IP-encumbered, version of Novell OpenOffice.org – features that will not or cannot be sent back upstream. Of course, they cannot rightfully be expected to pay Microsoft their per-unit royalty on all copies of OOO that is distributed, as their thirty pieces of silver just doesn’t stretch that far, so fork they must.

Hey, who knows, perhaps over in that joint-interoperability lab of theirs, Microvell is also working on full native ODF support for Microsoft Office. (I’m still pulling for you to be right, Stafford, and sometimes I wish I was more often wrong.)

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

2 Comments

  1. David said,

    October 10, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Gravatar

    Here is Michael Meeks’ response to this which he posted yesterday which you didn’t link to (perhaps you haven’t read it?):

    http://www.gnome.org/~michael/activity.html#2007-10-09

    “Categorically, as of now, this is false; we’re not actively working on native export filters to match the import filter. ”

    I’m confused about this this, as I’ve tried the Novell edition of OO.o, and you can save documents as .docx.

  2. Shane Coyle said,

    October 10, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Gravatar

    Hadn’t seen it yesterday, but there are alot of qualifying words peppered throughout all of Meeks’ statements – ‘as of now’, ‘actively’, and even ‘native’ and ‘to match’. Top that off with this (emphasis mine):

    In other words, Meeks’ comments seem less a declaration of independence than a renewal of longstanding internal disputes within the OpenOffice.org community. Asked by Linux.com whether recent events constituted a fork, Meeks replied firmly, “Novell is not forking OpenOffice. It’s that simply. We’re working closely with OpenOffice; I spent most of the day working on code that will go into the general OpenOffice. If it’s a fork, then we’re working on both sides of the fork. The punchline is that we’re still heavily invested in OpenOffice, we’re still working with Sun, and there’s still projects on which we’re working jointly with Sun.”

    So, we’re not forking, unless of course we are. Where is Novell’s official statement?

What Else is New


  1. Links 30/1/2015: CERN Adopts 64-bit GNU/Linux, Inkscape 0.91 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Apple- and Microsoft-Friendly Media Continues Attacking Android/Linux

    Some of the latest examples where corporate media (funded and run by large corporation) distorts facts, selectively covers facts, and generally serves to protect the Apple-Microsoft duopolist world view



  3. Qualys Admits That Its Scare Campaign (So-called 'GHOST') Somewhat Baseless

    Even the company that bombarded the media with its "GHOST" nonsense admits that this bug, which was fixed two years ago, does not pose much of a threat



  4. European Unitary Patent and Court System in Trouble

    New resistance to the Unitary Patent amid allegations of misconduct in the European patent authorities



  5. Text of Ruling/Decision Against Željko Topić (Regarding Audi as a Bribe)

    The legal loss of Željko Topić laid bear for the public to see even outside Croatia



  6. Media Coverage of Demonstration Against Jesper Kongstad of the Administrative Council (EPO)

    Last week's EPO demonstration has been covered by Danish media, raising awareness of the "banana republic" state of the EPO



  7. Links 29/1/2015: Android Shipments in 2014 Exceed 1,000,000,000, LibreOffice 4.4 is Out

    Links for the day



  8. Corporate Media, Led Astray by Patent Lawyers, Continues to Distort the Reality of Software Patents Post-Alice

    The press of the rich and the powerful continues its attempt to preserve software patents, despite the US Supreme Court's decision to abolish a lot of them on the basis of abstraction



  9. An Estimated 1,000 EPO Employees-Strong Legion Engulfs Danish Consulate to Protest Jesper Kongstad's (of Administrative Council) Protection of Benoît Battistelli

    A large protest waged by staff of the EPO targets one of the key facilitators of Battistelli's terrifying tyranny



  10. Links 28/1/2015: Ubuntu Touch Windowed Mode, NVIDIA Linux Legacy Drivers Updated

    Links for the day



  11. Breaking: EPO Vice-President Željko Topić Loses Defamation Case in Croatia

    The EPO's notorious Vice-President, whose appointment at the EPO is still raising some alarming questions, has just lost his case in Croatia (one of many cases), motivating us to accelerate coverage about the persona known as Željko Topić



  12. Qualys Starts Self-Promotional FUD Campaign, Naming a Bug That Was Already Fixed 2 Years Ago and Distros Have Covered With Patches

    Responding to the media blitz which paints GNU/Linux as insecure despite the fact that bugs were evidently found and fixed



  13. The Openwashing of Microsoft is Now Threatening to Eliminate the Identity of Free Software

    More openwashing of Microsoft, including in the corporate media, shows just to what great an extent and how quickly the old "Microsoft Open Source" Big Lie grows feet



  14. Links 27/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Dell Precision With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  15. Microsoft's Media Attack on Free Software and GNU/Linux

    Brainwash war is still being waged by Microsoft and its friends to convince people that Windows is universally dominant and that Microsoft is now part of the Free software world



  16. Microsoft Accounting Practices After Fire Again, After Previous Abuses and Book-Cooking

    After the infamous IRS brawl comes another confrontation between Microsoft and the SEC, which is unhappy with Microsoft for seemingly cooking the books again



  17. Links 26/1/2015: Debian 8.0 “Jessie” RC1, Linux Kernel 3.19 RC6

    Links for the day



  18. Links 25/1/2015: Android Wear 5.0, Tizen in Bangladesh

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: January 11th, 2015 – January 24th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  20. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  21. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  22. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  23. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  24. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  25. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  27. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  28. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  29. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  30. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    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