10.09.07

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 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.

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?

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 25/03/2023: Gordon Moore (of Moore's Law) is Dead

    Links for the day



  2. Links 25/03/2023: Decade of Docker, Azure Broken Again

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] Money Deducted in Payslips, But Nothing in Pensions

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has stolen money from staff (in secret)



  4. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023

    IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023



  5. The Corporate Media is Not Reporting Large-Scale Microsoft Layoffs (Too Busy With Chaffbot Puff Pieces), Leaks Required to Prove That More Layoffs Are Happening

    Just as we noted days ago, there are yet more Microsoft layoffs, but the mainstream media gets bribed to go “gaga” over vapourware and chaffbots (making chaff like “Bill Gates Says” pieces) instead of reporting actual news about Microsoft



  6. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: Time to Issue a Warrant of Arrest and Extradite the Fake 'Founder' of Sirius

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is collapsing, but that does not mean that it can dodge accountability for crimes (e.g. money that it silently stole from its staff since at least 12 years ago)



  7. Links 24/03/2023: Microsoft's Fall on the Web and Many New Videos

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 23, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 23, 2023



  9. Links 24/03/2023: Social Control Media Bans Advancing

    Links for the day



  10. Links 24/03/2023: GNU Grep 3.10 and Microsoft Accenture in a Freefall

    Links for the day



  11. Links 23/03/2023: RSS Guard 4.3.3 and OpenBSD Webzine

    Links for the day



  12. Experiencing 15 Years of LibrePlanet Celebration Firsthand as a Volunteer: 2023 - Charting the Course

    Article by Marcia K Wilbur



  13. [Meme] Grabinski the Opportunity

    Reports of European Patents being invalidated (judges do not tolerate fake patents) have become so common that a kangaroo court becomes a matter of urgency for the EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; will the EU and the EPO’s Administrative Council go along with it, helping to cover up more than a decade of profound corruption?



  14. Union Syndicale Fédérale Cautions the EPO's Administrative Council About Initiating an Illegal Kangaroo Court System for Patents (UPC) While EPO Breaks Laws and Sponsors the Ukraine Invasion

    Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF) is once again speaking out in support of the staff union of Europe's second-largest institution, which lacks oversight and governance because of profound corruption and regulatory capture



  15. Investigation Underway: Sirius 'Open Source' Embezzled/Stole Money, Robbed Its Own Staff

    In light of new developments and some progress in an investigation of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (for fraud!) we take stock of where things stand



  16. [Meme] Sirius 'Open Source' Pensions: Schemes or Scams? Giving a Bad Name to Open Source...

    What Sirius ‘Open Source’ did to its staff is rightly treated as a criminal matter; we know who the perpetrators are



  17. Sirius 'Open Source' Under Investigation for Pension Fraud, Several Pension Providers Examine the Facts

    2 pension providers are looking into Sirius ‘Open Source’, a company that defrauded its own staff; stay tuned as there’s lots more to come. Is this good representation for “Open Source”? From a company that had many high-profile clients in the public sector?



  18. Links 23/03/2023: Sparky 2023.03 Special Editions and SUSE Changes CEO (Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen)

    Links for the day



  19. Links 23/03/2023: Linux 6.2.8 and XWayland 23.1.0

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 22, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 22, 2023



  21. Apple 'Porn' Filter

    Guest post by Ryan Farmer: Apple and US State Governments Developing System to Require People to Report Themselves for Watching Porn.



  22. 3.5 Years Later Gemini Protocol and Geminispace Are Still 100% Community-Controlled

    Community-centric alternatives to the World Wide Web have gained traction; one of them, Gemini Protocol, continues to grow in 2023 and we're pleased to report progress and expansion



  23. Windows Falls to 16% Market Share in India (It was 97% in 2009), Microsoft Layoffs Reach India Too

    This month’s picture from the world’s most populous nation does not look good for Microsoft (it looks good for GNU/Linux); anonymous rumour mills online say that Microsoft isn’t moving to India but is actually firing staff based in India, so it’s a case of shrinking, not offshoring. When even low-paid (much lower salaries) staff is discarded it means things are very gloomy.



  24. Links 22/03/2023: GNOME 44 “Kuala Lumpur”

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Has Also Infiltrated the OSI's Board of Directors After Rigged Elections

    Weeks ago we warned that this would happen and for the third or fourth time in 2 years the OSI’s election process broke down; today the Open Source Initiative (OSI) writes: “The polls just closed, the results are in. Congratulations to the returning directors Aeva Black…” (Microsoft employee)



  26. Links 22/03/2023: Official Thunderbird Podcast Starts

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 21, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 21, 2023



  28. Many More Microsoft Layoffs Later Today

    Yesterday we shared rumours about Microsoft layoffs being planned for later today (there were 3 waves of layoffs so far this year). There are several more people here who say the same. How much noise will Microsoft make in the “media” in order to distract? Will the chaffbot "ChatGPT" help create enough chaff?



  29. Links 21/03/2023: JDK 20 and GNOME 43.5

    Links for the day



  30. Germany's Lobbyists-Infested Government Sponsors the War on Ukraine via the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The chief UPC ‘judge’ is basically seeking to break the law (and violate constitutions, conventions etc.) to start a kangaroo court while dodging real courts, just like Vladimir Putin does


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