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11.23.07

Novell’s Dirty Little Secret: It Helps OOXML (Updated)

Posted in Formats, GNOME, GNU/Linux, IBM, ISO, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Patents, Standard at 10:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time to spill some beans

An important article has just been published by Bruce Byfield. It highlights conflicting roles and views in the ODF/OOXML debate, which divide Novell and GNOME, respectively. BoycottNovell.com is actually cited by Linux.com (not for the first time), the context being its views on OOXML, Mono, GNOME, Novell and whatever entwines them. Familiarisation with these issues is probably required. From the article:

GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

…I suspect that many in the community would agree with Ossendryver’s statement on his blog that “The participation of GNOME in ECMA TC45’s apparent subversion of the standards process is a major disservice to FOSS and all in the community who have worked so hard for open platforms and open standards.” From this position, what matters is loyalty — and that, for many, seems to mean support only for ODF and a complete boycott of any efforts to make OOXML a standard. Far from clarifying matters, the Foundation’s statement may very well serve only to confirm this position and to justify the paranoia about its motives.

This article follows a press release from the GNOME Foundation. The press release addresses the issues and doubts surrounding OOXML and GNOME’s stance on the issue, which is still mixed.

There is a lot more to come. There are many things which the article does not tell, so we wish to reveal some bits of information that we have gathered thanks to anonymous contributors. The text below blends various views which we are permitted to quote without attribution. Our goal is to inform.

Where do we start? There is so much information owing to transparency in the Free software development world. Here are some highlights the shed light on FOSS bodies and individuals.

We wish not to ‘attack’ (or criticise) the community; rather, we want to concentrate more on Microsoft until March next year. What we do need to consider, however, are those in the community who are possibly doing damage, notably by lending Microsoft a hand.

Jody Goldberg

Here is Jody Goldberg expressing his opinion that OOXML should be a standard:

The effort is hampered by my disagreeing with the opinion you, and much of the community appear to hold. I think OOX should be blessed as a standard, ‘the MS Office XML File Format’…

”The press release and the Linux.com article seem like a case of slight misalignment.“Jeff Waugh assured me that Jody was merely experimenting with OOXML support, but the above shows that he’s in alignment with Miguel de Icaza’s stance. Miguel says that OOXML is a "superb standard". There’s a difference between supporting OOXML as a standard and implementing it because “there’s no other choice”. The press release and the Linux.com article seem like a case of slight misalignment.

Now, watch this new discussion thread from Groklaw, which points to Slashdot. It’s about proprietary extensions in OOXML. Check the followup. This seems like typical Microsoft disinformation, but it come from the mouth of Jody Goldberg. Shane wrote about this before and we are seeing signs of more to come. Why is Microsoft being defended by this developer?

A source tells us that Jody Goldberg and Michael Meeks have a personal vested interested in OOXML becoming an ISO-approved standard. They have already made improvements to OOXML to actually help it become a ISO standard.

Further, we are told that statements such as the following raise deep concern about the interested parties. In a blog post from Jan 30th, 2007 (Miguel de Icaza’s blog):

The original submission to the ECMA TC45 working group did not have any of this information. Jody Goldberg and Michael Meeks that represented Novell at the TC45 requested the information and it eventually made it into the standards. I consider this a win, and I consider those 324 extra pages a win for everyone (almost half the size of the ODF standard).”

Miguel de Icaza

”Why on earth does a Novell employee, who is being paid by Novell for his work, virtually aid suppression of ODF?“This one new observation has been mentioned here before although it was intended to remain secret. Here is Miguel trying to resolve comments in Microsoft’s favour. Why on earth does a Novell employee, who is being paid by Novell for his work, virtually aid suppression of ODF? What is Novell’s stance on this issue? It should be clear by now that OOXML was merely a response to ODF. Its aim was to prevent the industry from establishing a vendor-neutral consensus on standards.

OOXML is about money

Michael Meeks

We mentioned Michael Meeks quite a few times recently due to what we consider an OpenOffice.org fork [1, 2, 3, 4]. The following might be an interesting thread to read (“Regarding OOXML and Microsoft patents”). Meeks seems to come out first attacking ODF, according to one who is familiar with this discussion. Indeed, here is Meeks coming out against ODF in a way.

If you look closely, there are also signs of questioning Groklaw’s credibility (smear campaigns come to mind again). This isn’t the first time that Novell does this to discredit Groklaw. Stepping on one’s reputation is something that is still happening. Only 4 hours ago, two separate threads were ‘placed’ in several newsgroups (to be mirrored on the World Wide Web) which say that schestowitz.com and boycottnovell.com are attacking with Trojan horses. It’s a lie and a false accusation. It’s probably part of an attempt to have the sites blacklisted (never mind reputation) and these attempts are coming from anonymous posters on compromised (zombies) PCs around the world. Groklaw had a similar story to tell a few years ago (Maureen O’Gara, her publisher, and SCO were probably the only parties involved after the stalking). Anyway, anyway, anyway… back to the point now.

Kohei Yoshida

the Position Statement from GNOME says that they support ODF, but GNOME members who are associated with Novell (past and present) appear to be pushing for OOXML. It also looks as though they are now working on OOXML filters, which will be entered into GNOME’s OpenOffice.org with the help of a Novell employee (Kohei Yoshida).

Then we come to Evolution, which recently we found out something unpleasant about. Miguel de Icaza wants to add Mono extensions to it, although it is not necessary and many people depend on this core application. Here you can see Novell and GNOME (yes, they are listed as a pair) supporting Microsoft services. Is this Microsoft Linux in the making? Well, it’s a partly sarcastic approach, but it no longer seems so far fetched.

OpenSUSE/GNOME/Novell

At the bottom of the page of the press resource for GNOME, it should be totally inappropriate for a non-profit free software foundation to be promoting a commercial product. And yet, Kevan Barney from Novell is listed as “Contact for questions about the Novell Linux Desktop”. Is GNOME promoting Novell’s products? Is it an endorsement? A dependency?

To quote the source which found this out, “It feels like GNOME is letting Microsoft control the Free Desktop through the backdoor, so we must stop it.” Novell is apparently directing Gnome activities too. Let’s not forget Mono’s increasing role in GNOME. Mono is only sponsored by Novell.

”It also gives a bridge for Microsoft to invade GNOME’s decision-making procedures.“Some of the findings above are both baffling and worrisome. This makes not only Novell and Mono inseparable. It also gives a bridge for Microsoft to invade GNOME’s decision-making procedures. The separation between Mono and GNOME seems to be gradually fading.

Check this out this discussion about the vote in Geneva. It comes from the GNOME Foundation’s mailing list:

6) OpenXML vs ODF

The announcement of the first ISO vote on OOXML has been published. A second very important vote will take place in February in Geneva and only technical comments will be considered by ISO at that time. Anne believes that GNOME should have a position on OOXML as an open standard. Even if GNOME can not influence the first vote, GNOME can still air a general view on the standardization at stake

What is the question here? The answer should be “No”. OOXML is not suitable, unless you are Microsoft, in which case it’s all about your financial interests (by Microsoft’s own admission). Why be so equivocal on this issue when your goal is to create a free desktop?

To quote another source, “It is troubling that Gnome is still having an internal debate to come out with a simple statement and help the ODF/FOSS at large [, such as] “We do not support OOXML as and ISO but will work on interoperability as our users begin to need it. We are members of the ODFAlliance.org and support ODF.””

Jeff Waugh

Jeff is a polite person, but we are left with some unanswered questions. I know he has a consultancy that he runs with his wife (or something along these lines). He appears in the Australian press when Free software issues come up, so his presence is difficult to ignore. He also markets GNOME or supports those who do market it, based on what I can gather.

”The main question to ask here, given what we have seen above, are there any increases in terms of GNOME donations that arrive from Novell?“We are not exactly sure, however, if Jeff and the other GNOME board directors make a living only from their own businesses? The main question to ask here, given what we have seen above, are there any increases in terms of GNOME donations that arrive from Novell? What about the patent deal? Did the deal with Microsoft play a role? I am merely asking because I have not inquired, so these are not facts. Let’s just assume that it’s all false.

Jeff’s position on ODF has always been ambivalent and he doesn’t speak about it very clearly and openly. He was asked on the ODF list (by Lars) about the Foundation’s support for the ISO policy of “one standard, tested per field”. Jeff would not answer. He brought up arguments against this, which flies in the face of what FOSS stands for. He also said something to the effect that GNOME ships of code all over the world. The question to ask is, “what code and to whom?”

Whether money goes into GNOME and types like Jeff through Novell (Microsoft by association?) is an interesting question to ask. They would then become protective as far as Novell and OOXML go (less likely to extend to Microsoft, having seen the press release from Jeff). The same goes for Miguel de Icaza.

Another source which spoke to Jody (and Jeff) says that hope of convincing them to strictly support ODF was lost. Jeff and Jody apparently don’t contradict one another. Jeff compares OOXML (e.g. in Gnumeric) to Samba, but see this recent comment on this issue (from Béranger). It’s not that simple a comparison.

There are probably several discussions about this, but the one at hand is said to be “quite contentious and did not end on a pleasant note with Jeff and Jody.” That’s what we’ve been told anyway.

From The ODF thread where Lars asks Jeff questions:

Lars: GNOME could easily clear up this misunderstanding by publishing a statement clarifying their opposition to MSOOXML, the independence of individual developers to do what they want, and the support for ISO’s “one standard” policy.

Jeff: The GNOME Foundation could say such a thing, but it wouldn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of GNOME developers, corporate contributors, etc.

Besides, in what way do you suggest we “oppose OOXML”? Entirely? Should we oppose implementation of it? Should we oppose our users using it? Should we stop our developers from supporting it? Should we oppose its acceptance as an ISO standard? Most of these are entirely unrealistic.

Lars: GNOME backs ISO’s “one standard” policy

Jeff: We’d love it if organisations would focus on collaborating around a single standard, but I’m not sure we’d say this as a matter of opposition to OOXML. Think about this for a minute: When we put Free video codecs on the agenda for ISO standardisation, would you like someone to come back with, “But we already have MPEG4″? Perhaps arguing for “one standard” is not the best way to achieve your aims.

I think an important distinction to consider is that GNOME, supported by the GNOME Foundation, is not principally an advocacy organisation: We write and ship code for users who work in the real world.

Others

There are other board members, whose affiliation and stance we know very little about (if anything). These include:

  • Behdad Esfahbod
  • Glynn Foster
  • Quim Gil
  • Anne Østergaard
  • Vincent Untz

What Lies Ahead

Here is a prediction of things to come. This was sent in by a reader. These are merely some thoughts about how Microsoft can sabotage the process in the future, especially when everything goes back to ISO:

  1. Try to bargain with the NBs. “We’ll fix it in release 2.0″ or “We’ll harmonize with ODF, but only once we’re approved”.
  2. Try to take over the NB by signing up more MS partners. When February comes along and NBs decide whether to change their vote, what prevents another herd of partners from joining the NBs on the last day to vote? It almost worked before and there has been no rebuke by ISO. Microsoft just needs to repeat that approach and they are guaranteed to win. Main thing is to avoid their memos becoming public, as in Sweden.
  3. Escalate the decision. Most ISO NBs are run by the government. What we see in the industrial west with independent vendor forums is the exception. So Microsoft can directly appeal in most of the world to the administrations, where offers of discount enterprise agreements or free software for schools have been effective ways of molding behavior in the past. Even in the US we saw such direct appeals from Microsoft to the Commerce Dept, and these were effective, getting the government members of our NB to flip their vote from No to Yes.

Well, Microsoft has already ‘dumped’ some charity on India just shortly (a few days) after India said it would vote “No” on OOXML.

Elsewhere, a FFII campaign spotted a new case where tries to take over the proceedings in Portugal (again).

Last but not least, let’s remind ourselves of OOXML patents, whose existence Microsoft wished to deny or not talk about. A reader says:

If you go to WIPO and search Keywords “Front page = Microsoft XML”, you will see a few recent PCT applications since Microsoft’s pledge not to sue. The question to ask then is, “are any of these applications related to OOXML and, if so, which ones are?” If some are, to me it seems strange that they make pledges and then still file patents.

IBM made a similar pledge some months ago and it even annulled a poor patent that got spotted and ridiculed in Slashdot. As far as Microsoft goes, it remains somewhat of a mystery. Remember that Microsoft uses OpenOffice.org and OOXML ‘protection’ to create divide between ‘legal’ Linus distributions and ‘illegal’ ones.

OOXML patent issue prompt

Summary

This post was just a collection of thoughts, streams of consciousness, and few speculations that require further evidence. In any case, it seems like Novell’s role in GNOME is not healthy to GNOME’s existence (let alone the success of ODF), to say the very least. Only yesterday, we delved deeper into the connections between Microsoft and Novell, which desperately needs Microsoft's money. It is worth stressing that Novell should be approached very cautiously by the Free software world. Novell deserves to be perceived as somewhat of a Microsoft subsidiary at this stage.

Update: we have just been reminded of another item that we had spotted and mentioned a couple of weeks ago. The gist of it all is that Novell will be presenting in the upcoming XML 2007 conference in December. Microsoft has a sponsored track and Novell will prop up OOXML.

Well done, Novell. Your paymaster will be very pleased and will possibly permit you to sell more ‘Linux coupon’.

Novell gets 'bribed'

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34 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    November 24, 2007 at 7:09 am

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    Why is GNOME working so hard to create a standard that won’t even be in use by the next version of MS Office (whenever that comes out)? Brian Jones, who has been Microsoft’s main spokesman for OOXML, said in his own blog that MS couldn’t commit to supporting an OOXML standard beyond the first version if the standard committee did not follow what Microsoft needed it to do (http://www.techworld.com/storage/features/index.cfm?featureid=3685). Once MS drops use of the standard, support will quickly drop by anybody else who has put time into it.

  2. e-2e#t said,

    November 24, 2007 at 7:44 am

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    The answer is: GNOME is not ‘working hard to create a standard’; it is merely not ignoring it. And that is a good thing, isn’t it? Otherwise we will be plagued one year from now by GNOME users complaining: “Why can’t your shitty Gnumeric open my colleague’s Excel-spreadsheets? Is that too much to ask?”

    I don’t hear anyone complaining that Abiword and OOo open and save .DOC files and OOo and Gnumeric open and save .XLS-files. Do I?

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an abusive Internet troll

  3. Victor Soliz said,

    November 24, 2007 at 7:58 am

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    The answer is: GNOME is not ‘working hard to create a standard’; it is merely not ignoring it. And that is a good thing, isn’t it? Otherwise we will be plagued one year from now by GNOME users complaining: “Why can’t your shitty Gnumeric open my colleague’s Excel-spreadsheets? Is that too much to ask?”

    (Sorry for feeding it)

    There are miles of difference between making gnumeric support OOXML and “actually working on OOXML” please, you are making an straw man here.

  4. SundayRefugee said,

    November 24, 2007 at 8:14 am

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    You also don’t have anyone employed by, say, Red Hat making the introductory address at a MS OOXML conference as a Linux Company representative ;)

  5. Yuko said,

    November 24, 2007 at 8:14 am

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    I find this to be an interesting article on double standards. The article rambles on and on about GNOME, in the spirit of openness and that is rather hilarious.

    Here the article is written with a grey font against a white background, intentionally and purposely excluding those of us who are visually impaired. One of the reasons I embrace GNOME is because of their active involvement in making sure that GNOME is highly accessible to people of all types, including those with disabilities.

    “BoycottNovell” on the other hand ensures exclusion. Isn’t that, by definition, a double standard, double-faced action on their part? I would think so.

    And that’s why those of us who are blind/visually-impaired are going to boycoytt “BoycottNovell” for their childish immaturish attitude about wanting everything their way but making sure that only certain people in their elitist club get to read their articles.

  6. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 24, 2007 at 9:01 am

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    I welcome your attempt to contact me or the GNOME Foundation Board to clarify your inaccurate and ludicrous accusations. I’ve said time and time again Roy, that you should research your articles before you publish them, and AGAIN you haven’t done it. This is absolutely ridiculous reporting.

  7. Miguel de Icaza said,

    November 24, 2007 at 1:46 pm

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    Roy, had I wanted to keep my participation in the comments to the OOXML spec secret, I would not have signed with my name in the page you linked.

    I commented on that entry as it was raised over private email to me as the smoking gun that OOXML was not actually XML-compliant as a comment raised by Norway.

    I was surprised that Norway had found something that nobody else had found out, and that the document would not even validate. That seemed like a serious problem.

    As it turns out, the Norwegian comment is wrong and there was no smoking gun:

    * bstr encoding *is* XML compliant.

    * The section addresses how to encode data that can not be represented by the XML (it is basically the equivalent of Quoted-Printable in email instead of resorting to base64, as it at least preserves some readability).

    * The comment did not originate with Norway, it was actually another case of copy-paste from Rob Weir’s blog.

    I do not know where the comment actually originated, but it is factually wrong comment. Sloppy comments on the technology.

    As to why I posted the clarification, I did it because I felt I had researched the topic more than Norway or Rob Weir did and I offered an explanation. I have no religion for or against OOXML. I believe its been unfairly portrayed for political gain. And although I agree with the political position, I do not agree with the means (using half-truths, lies, or deception) to achieve the political objectives.

    Miguel

  8. rlilly@yahoo.com said,

    November 24, 2007 at 2:40 pm

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    Miguel it really does not need an explanation as to why or why you did not not want the comment to be known and other comments on the same website! The evidence is clear you support OOXML as a standard, have helped on numerous occasion to help it gain such status and repeatedly say things against ODF

    So allthough you say “I have no religion for or against OOXML” you actions speak much louder than your words, you are acting in the best interest of your employer MS via way of Novell and damaging the image of Gnome in the process..

  9. moratorum said,

    November 24, 2007 at 2:54 pm

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    @rlilly: Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve had some patience with posters on this blog, but THIS goes too far. As Miguel has said, the comment is public, the comment is signed; how in the world can you keep a straigt face and say he didn’t want it to be known? OOXML obviously doesn’t need any help from us Linuxers to gain recognition, as M$ controls about 95% of the market.

    Also, the second paragraph of your post is pure trolling and doesn’t deserve an answer. It’s a slap in the face of the founder of GNOME. Who are you to speak like this?

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 24, 2007 at 2:56 pm

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    Miguel, you have addressed other comments besides the ones you refer to, trying to help find duplicates.

    Here is just one example, among more: http://www.dis29500.org/no-8/

    I also find you here: http://www.dis29500.org/category/countries/page/25/

    And here: http://www.dis29500.org/category/countries/colombia/page/11/

    As they say in the security world, “you’ve been around.”

  11. rlilly@yahoo.com said,

    November 24, 2007 at 3:30 pm

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    moratorum I can speak anyway I wish, I am not bound by anyone! And my take is the sentiment of many….

    As for Miguel being the founder of Gnome, he has DONE amazing things in the past and we should thank him for that, but now he works opposite to FOSS, so regardless of that fact, he is now a major detriment. The fact is he is answering comments in favor and/or helping find duplicates which helps MS. So he is not on our side anymore PERIOD.

  12. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 24, 2007 at 4:03 pm

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    Given that you realise that Miguel’s contributions to GNOME are “in the past”, would you like to stop associating GNOME with everything he says or thinks? Thanks!

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 24, 2007 at 4:09 pm

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    Unless you guys alienate the founder of the project, this will inevitably affect perception. I find it hard to believe that you would distance yourselves like this and I don’t believe that you do. Some of the other individuals above show that active GNOME contributors think and feel in the same way as Miguel de Icaza. I’m aware that there’s a certain divide inside GNOME, which is why it took you so long to issue a statement (press release) that represents everyone and upsets no-one.

  14. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 24, 2007 at 4:20 pm

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    We’ve distanced ourselves from Miguel’s points of view on many occasions… It’s not exactly a new thing. Go back and look at the voting record of Foundation members: Each time Miguel has stood for election to the Foundation board, he has received fewer and fewer votes. Of course, he hasn’t stood for election for years anyway.

    Yes, there are a range of views in the GNOME project, a sign that we do not unreasonably demand a monoculture of opinions and views. I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.

    It is absolutely hilarious that you think our ECMA statement “represents everyone and upsets no-one”. You’re clearly not doing even basic research about GNOME, let alone asking questions of stakeholders. Hilarious.

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 24, 2007 at 6:29 pm

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    It is absolutely hilarious that you think our ECMA statement “represents everyone and upsets no-one”. You’re clearly not doing even basic research about GNOME, let alone asking questions of stakeholders. Hilarious.

    I’m referring to the scenario where you couldn’t just directly say that the “GNOME Foundation does not support OOXML” (or something along those lines), arguing that a developer’s perspective might be different from that of all users. I can’t recall where I read this (and the exact working/situation), but I can find out if you wish and then get back to you.

    This is by all means understandable, Jeff. We actually have more in common than it seems. Both of us recognise the fact that the patent system — as broken and irreparable as it may be (even in Australia) — is becoming an issue that Linux developers and users cannot completely ignore. I am also coming to discover that you are not necessarily supportive of Mono (or maybe you just speak collectively, on behalf of the larger group).

    Let it be clarified that the reason we ever touch these issue is because:

    1. OOXML is a patent timebomb, it is impossible to implement, and it is a moving target (Microsoft is not committed to its own ECMA standard).
    2. Mono is a patent timebomb, which has already left Linspire and Xandros bare (I haven’t yet checked to see how Turbolinux fits into this).

    There are several more such issues. Failing to ignore these dangers is a route to following Microsoft’s desires. Microsoft does not play nice with Linux (it only pretend to). It wants Linux subverted to the point of being unattractive and encapsulated within ‘legal’ distributor/s, which can be squashed like a typical business. Remember those antitrust memos about Microsoft “tilting [opponents] into the death spiral”? How about the “we need to slaughter Novell” exhibit?

  16. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 24, 2007 at 6:34 pm

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    I am also coming to discover that you are not necessarily supportive of Mono (or maybe you just speak collectively, on behalf of the larger group).

    GOOD LORD! Do your research! ASK QUESTIONS! The reason you don’t know these things is because you haven’t done the ABSOLUTE BASICS of research for all of these accusations — you have not even ASKED me. This is completely ridiculous, and you should be absolutely ashamed of your behaviour and disrespect towards GNOME and the FLOSS community.

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 24, 2007 at 7:11 pm

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    In the same vein:

    This is completely ridiculous, and you should be absolutely ashamed of your behaviour and disrespect towards GNOME and the FLOSS community.

    GOOD LORD! Now I need to do research before leaving COMMENTS on the Web, which ARE, by my own admission, speculative?

    It still appears as though you consider blog posts to be bits that require journal-quality reviews and now the same goes for blog comments.

    Many journalists, an increasing majority of which maintain professional blobs, consider it their workbench. This is where things are discussed and studied. That’s why there is room for comments, unlike articles.

  18. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 24, 2007 at 7:22 pm

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    On a site like this, with its purported goals, and with the access you have to the FLOSS community? Absolutely. If you shirk that responsibility, you end up with exactly the propaganda, offensive insinuations and potentially libellous content you’ve written. If your intent is to provide benefit to the community, you should aim higher, and hold yourself to a higher standard.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 24, 2007 at 8:03 pm

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    The reach of this site is not very high (just thousands of visitors per day). Proper articles I publish elsewhere and they present a balanced view that is by no means/rarely controversial. That’s the type of stuff that reaches a large audience and whose readership can have more faith in the content. Elsewhere, I also pass a lot of news as-is, without interpretation or modification.

    I think you’re nitpicking here. We all have our inclinations (influences by background, perspective, ambitions, etc.) and we are permitted to express our opinions in public. It’s even a constitutional right in the United States.

    We needn’t end up like this (from the news).

  20. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 24, 2007 at 8:15 pm

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    Nitpicking? You called into question the integrity of GNOME Foundation directors, including myself, and bizarrely, my company and wife. If you’re going to do that (particularly in the UK, where libel laws are quite strong), you should aim higher, and hold yourself to a higher standard. What you’re doing at the moment is irresponsible (to FLOSS in general) and nasty.

  21. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 24, 2007 at 8:25 pm

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    I only asked questions and I prefer to assume that the answers are “no”. I even said “Let’s just assume that it’s all false.”

    Asking the readers questions is not a case of stating fact or suggesting something is a fact. Also, the main point of the paragraph is now what you’re trying to suggest (for your own purposes/favour/convenience). It’s intended to say that GNOME receives donations and we’re wondering what effect the Novell/Microsoft deal had on these donations (project aspirations/direction aside). Like many others, I am also curious about Miguel de Icaza’s goals and the interests of those who fund it all.

  22. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 24, 2007 at 8:31 pm

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    So rather than writing vicious insinuations couched as questions, why don’t you go to the source and ASK? I have suggested this to you over and over and over again, but you seem to be refusing to do so. By actually getting REAL information from the stakeholders in these issues, your site will be better, more informative and more useful to readers. Your points about Novell will be more readily received if the rest of your writing is accurate and balanced. You’re not making a good case for *anything* with this blog at the moment, you’re just creating wedge issues in the community, spreading propaganda, and screeching to the converted.

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 24, 2007 at 8:33 pm

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    …you’re just creating wedge issues in the community, spreading propaganda…

    Heh. You’ve just described what Microsoft and Novell do.

  24. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 24, 2007 at 8:38 pm

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    Then you got my point. Good.

  25. Alan Bell said,

    November 27, 2007 at 5:54 pm

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    I run dis29500.org and I am pleased for anyone to comment on it, especially if they know what they are talking about and can add the benefit of their expertise to the debate. I don’t happen to agree with Miguel de Icaza on the specific bstr issue (I understand that XML didn’t meet the requirements of what they wanted to encode, but they should have done something else about it if they want to have their format as a standard) but everyone is entitled to an opinion even if it is wrong :-).

    Alan Bell
    http://www.theopenlearningcentre.com

  26. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2007 at 5:59 pm

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    Alan,

    The issue here is not the opinion expressed; it is about a person helping a monopoly which fights his own creation — GNOME. It’s a long story.

  27. 2234e534e4355t6546 said,

    November 27, 2007 at 6:03 pm

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    I’d rather say the issue at hand is Roy’s dirty, slanderous ego. I guess he gets a kick out of trying to drag the names of people infinitely more talented than himself into the mud.

    Roy, from now on you’re called the RITA SKEETER of open-source. :p

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  28. 2+4e5ä#4355t654ä6 said,

    November 27, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Gravatar

    I’d rather say the issue at hand is Roy’s dirty, slanderous ego. I guess he gets a kick out of trying to drag the names of people infinitely more talented than himself into the mud.

    Roy, from now on you’re called the RITA SKEETER of open-source. :p

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  29. 4350980e904e98t9809 said,

    November 27, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Gravatar

    I’d rather say the issue at hand is Roy’s dirty, slanderous ego. I guess he gets a kick out of trying to drag the names of people infinitely more talented than himself into the mud.

    Roy, from now on you’re called the RITA SKEETER of open-source. :p :p

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  30. 78iuz said,

    November 27, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Gravatar

    I’d rather say the issue at hand is Roy’s dirty, slanderous ego. I guess he gets a kick out of trying to drag the names of people infinitely more talented than himself into the mud.

    Roy, from now on you’re called the RITA SKEETER of open-source. :p

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  31. Dark Phoenix said,

    December 4, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Gravatar

    Er… I’m probably not the best source to be quoting, because I’m not directly involved in this situation, though I did link to where I got my info. IMO, it is bad form for anyone in FLOSS to be helping OOXML in any way, regardless of desires to give “full support”. I doubt it’ll even be the same if it comes out of the BRM as a standard, and even so, it’s a moving target controlled by a monopoly with a clear agenda. Microsoft has already extended it (see the VBA macro stuff), so what Office 2007 is creating isn’t even REAL OOXML. Of course, it seems to me the sentence at the beginning of the standard noting that behavior is not defined by the standard in any way (a serious lie) was slipped in so that Microsoft could still claim to be using “the OOXML standard” while not really using it. Embrace and extend at its finest.

  32. Great said,

    February 12, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Gravatar

    Jeff Waugh is doing white wash and avoiding the core issues here. Miguel de Icaza and Jeff Waugh needs to get their hands off GNOME. They MUST resign out of GNOME Community. They are just harming the community for their own selfish needs.

    NOVELL needs to keep their dirty hands off Linux and GNOME. Take your MONO shit and leave. They have ***ked SuSE and now they are after GNOME.

    GNOME is a work of lot of developers and other people and Jeff and Icaza have no right to destroy it. What they are doing is just unthinkable.

    I personally call for boycott of NOVELL employees/Jeff Waugh/Miguel de Icaza from GNOME community. The Judas Iscariot of the free software . They dont want to remmembered as the traitor of the free software.

  33. Lukas said,

    February 12, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Gravatar

    If GNOME developers don’t want Icaza or Waugh ,why don’t they get rid of them? Seems to me like GNOME are fine with the current direction, else they would not have re-elected Waugh (Miguel de Icaza hasn’t run for the board in years).

  34. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 12, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Gravatar

    Lukas, I’ve noticed a pattern in your comments. What are your affiliations? You seem to stubbornly defend Mono, Moonlight and Miguel de Icaza when any of these get mentioned. I asked you this before, but I think you did not answer. I am just curious and I think it would be fair to have disclosures, at least of real identity.

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