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11.27.07

Quick Mention: Novell is Very Busy with GNOME’s OpenOffice.org (Corrected)

Posted in GNOME, Novell, Office Suites, OpenOffice at 1:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Thanks to a reader for the headsup]

IIt is rather hard to ignore the fact that, at the time of writing, each and every commit as shown in this dynamic page comes from someone @ Novell (or SuSE). Jeff Waugh claimed that Novell’s intervention in GNOME is not exceptional, but with OOXML involved in this debate (e.g. Kohei adding OOXML-related patches), one cannot help wondering.

When it comes to GNOME’s build of OpenOffice.org Novell’s branch of OpenOffice.org [Correction: see more details below], Novell keeps very busy. Maybe it’s a good thing, but maybe it’s also a cause for concern [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

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16 Comments

  1. 2234e534e4355t6546 said,

    November 27, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Gravatar

    OpenOffice is not a GNOME project, it’s a Sun-Novell-IBM cooperation mainly…

    Don’t you know anything? Stop being embarrassing.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known, pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll

  2. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 27, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m not going to continue participating on this site as part of a discussion, but I’ll probably make brief notes on insinuations or conspiracy theories that are raised here.

    In this case, the ooo-build stuff in GNOME SVN is not a “GNOME build” of OpenOffice.org, it’s the set of patches and build tool for OpenOffice.org that Michael Meeks has maintained since he began working on OpenOffice.org for Ximian way back when we thought that OpenOffice.org would become a GNOME project. He continues to maintain his stuff there mostly because he’s a GNOME hacker, it’s existing and reliable infrastructure, and that’s where it began.

    There is nothing about ooo-build’s existence on the GNOME infrastructure that is controversial or problematic, and I don’t imagine it would ever be raised as a problem in the GNOME community unless Michael was doing something wrong (such as breaking the law or hosting proprietary code or something so obviously bad).

    I’m sure there’s lots of room for conspiracy theorists to have fun with this, but there’s no substance to these insinuations at all — it has been there long before Novell’s involvement in GNOME or any of the issues with Microsoft, OOXML, etc.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Jeff, have a look here:

    http://svn.gnome.org/viewvc/ooo-build?view=revision&revision=10223

    Log Message:
    2007-09-06 Kohei Yoshida

    * configure.in: updated the oox package to oox.2007-09-05.tar.bz2.

    * patches/ooxml/xmlfilter-sc.diff: updated the code to latest from
    upstream.

    And here:

    http://mail.gnome.org/archives/svn-commits-list/2007-September/msg01512.html

    Author: kyoshida
    Date: 2007-09-06 14:26:58 +0100 (Thu, 06 Sep 2007)
    New Revision: 10223
    ViewCVS link: http://svn.gnome.org/viewcvs/ooo-build?rev=10223&view=rev

    Modified:
    trunk/ChangeLog
    trunk/configure.in
    trunk/patches/ooxml/xmlfilter-sc.diff
    Log:
    2007-09-06 Kohei Yoshida

    * configure.in: updated the oox package to oox.2007-09-05.tar.bz2.

    * patches/ooxml/xmlfilter-sc.diff: updated the code to latest from
    upstream.

    That seems like the Gnome build. Novell is pushing OOXML into the GNOME build of OpenOffice.org.

  4. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 27, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s not a “GNOME build of OpenOffice.org” (I mean, you don’t see us releasing that anywhere, do you?), but it is a GNOME SVN repository that Michael and the other Novell hackers have used to work on their branch of OpenOffice.org for a very long time now.

    Sorry, but your suggestion that this is a GNOME issue, regardless of where the SVN repository is hosted, is not correct. End of story.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Gravatar

    Wait, wait. It’s not “end of story” just because you want it to end.

    It does seem weird that Kohei Yoshida from Novell is not on the members list but would have access to the SVN.

    http://foundation.gnome.org/membership/members.php

    Oh, and of course they have not released it, they are still working on it.

    I am also not sure if this works:

    So they are using

    http://cia.vc/stats/project/gnome/ooo-build?s_message=0

    and

    http://svn.gnome.org/viewvc/ooo-build?view=revision&revision=10223

    They basically hack the same thing. This makes little or no sense to me.

    I am not sure about this, but the following looks suspicious as well:

    http://svn.gnome.org/viewvc/ooo-build/trunk/

    Even if GNOME’s build will not have OOXML, it is just further proof of Novell’s influence in the project.

  6. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 27, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    Gravatar

    I said “end of story” because my answer really is the sum total of the issue. You’re not satisfied, and looking for further intrigue, but there really is nothing here of value to your cause. Sorry.

    Not all svn committers are members of the Foundation and not all members of the Foundation are svn committers. We have a very open community, and host quite a few things in GNOME svn that are not directly related to GNOME itself.

    It looks like you have absolutely no understanding of what CIA is either. That’s unfortunate, because it ought to be a very informative place for you to do research.

    CIA is a revision control stats site, providing information about revision control repositories of projects throughout the FLOSS world. What you’re seeing on the CIA site is a report of what’s happening in GNOME svn. It is not a separate svn repository.

    What looks suspicious about the viewvc page, which simply displays what’s in GNOME svn?

    Novell build their OpenOffice.org from this set of patches, as do numerous other distributions. This is where the work is done, that is all. It is not a “GNOME build” or a “GNOME version” of OpenOffice.org.

    The existence of the ooo-build module isn’t proof or evidence of Novell’s influence in the project. It was created years ago before Novell bought Ximian, and work there continues to this day.

    I would absolutely welcome your queries about these issues in order to help you, but you have been entirely unwilling to do so. Sorry Roy, you’re just looking everywhere you possibly can for evidence of some nefarious scheme, and showing your inexperience and lack of knowledge in the process.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Gravatar

    I said “end of story” because my answer really is the sum total of the issue. You’re not satisfied, and looking for further intrigue, but there really is nothing here of value to your cause. Sorry.

    I don’t think one can just announce that an argument has been resolved without the approval of its opposing side. That’s like the United States stating that Japan has already forgiven it for the nukes.

    Not all svn committers are members of the Foundation and not all members of the Foundation are svn committers. We have a very open community, and host quite a few things in GNOME svn that are not directly related to GNOME itself.

    Fair point, Jeff. I hope you’ll agree with me that such thing can sometimes raise suspicion though. It was only yesterday that I found out about a member who resigned silently. He happened to be ‘just’ the president. My point is probably more of a case of lateral thinking, but it’s a suspicion that I have nonetheless.

    What looks suspicious about the viewvc page, which simply displays what’s in GNOME svn?

    Oh, I see. My bad. You’re right and I was wrong on this one.

  8. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 27, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Gravatar

    I don’t think one can just announce that an argument has been resolved without the approval of its opposing side.

    I didn’t Roy. I said “end of story” because that was the end of the story of what the issue was. Don’t be petty.

    Fair point, Jeff. I hope you’ll agree with me that such thing can sometimes raise suspicion though.

    I don’t agree, and I don’t think your approach is reasonable or justified. You just parrot insinuations and conspiracies with no regard for the people or communities you’re talking about. You’re actively looking for devils, and trying very hard to publicise your suspicions to make them controversies.

    You’re right and I was wrong on this one.

    Thank you. Next time, hopefully you’ll do your research *before* publishing such nasty, wrongful accusations. That’s a much nicer way to do things, and much more trustworthy to your readers and the community that you purport to service.

    I hope you have learned something from this, and change your behaviour.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Gravatar

    I didn’t Roy. I said “end of story” because that was the end of the story of what the issue was. Don’t be petty.

    Oh, I must have misunderstood. I thought you suggested that I ought to stop asking further questions.

    I don’t agree, and I don’t think your approach is reasonable or justified. You just parrot insinuations and conspiracies with no regard for the people or communities you’re talking about.

    These are not insinuation and conspiracies (words with bad connotation notes). These are perfectly legitimate questions that simply complete a story filled with missing information.

    You’re actively looking for devils, and trying very hard to publicise your suspicions to make them controversies.

    Again, the word “devil” is used. It’s a word with a negative connotation. This is something which Stallman has spoken about quite a lot recently, e.g. from this brand-new new article by Bruce Byfield:

    Anyone looking for a summary of the free software movement’s concerns needs only to look at Richard M. Stallman’s essay “Some Confusing or Loaded Words and Phrases that are Worth Avoiding.”

    It’s almost as though I’m seeing more demonisation attempts against this site. I only wrote about this yesterday.

    To say more on self-serving selection of terminology, here is a new article from Glyn Moody. He cited Stallman.

    For readers of Linux Journal, “IP” almost certainly refers to the Internet Protocol, part of the TCP/IP suite that underpins the Internet. But to most people, if it means anything, “IP” refers to something known as “intellectual property”. This widespread recognition is rather curious, because “intellectual property” does not exist.

    Ironically, such techniques are mastered by ‘angels’ like SCO, the RIAA (the word “pirate”), and Microsoft.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Gravatar

    An afterthought: in any case, having other GNOME applications ‘supporting’ OOXML would make it seem almost un-reasonable that Meeks, who “forked” the Novell/Sun OOo, works on the GNOME OOo. This whole scenario is a little bizarre, especially with OOXML coming to GNOME from through vectors: OpenOffice.org (via Novell) and Gnumeric (Jody Goldberg, who used to work at Novell, IIRC).

    So many coincidences, so I’m merely looking for answers.

  11. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 27, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Gravatar

    These are perfectly legitimate questions that simply complete a story filled with missing information.

    So why don’t you ask questions and find out the truth first, so that what you publish doesn’t have to be a bunch of flat out incorrect suspicions and insinuations? I’ve asked time and time again. You’re just irresponsible.

    Again, the word “devil” is used. It’s a word with a negative connotation.

    Sure. You’re looking for the absolute worst in all of these things, and will rely on the thinnest of evidence — and usually a complete *lack* of evidence, just leading questions and insinuations — to land your attack.

    the GNOME OOo

    Again, I refute, and again your repeat this incorrect assertion: There is no “GNOME OOo”.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 28, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Gravatar

    Again, I refute, and again your repeat this incorrect assertion: There is no “GNOME OOo”.

    Oops. I should have phrased it differently, like “OOo, which is available for GNOME users”. What I’m trying to say is that OOXML will be reaching Linux applications from multiple directions. As I’ve stated earlier via E-mail to you, “the translator involves C#, which leads to Novell’s exclusionary Mono protection.” Only Novell has a lot to benefit from all of this. GNOME users have a _lot_ to lose here and in the future they’ll have more and more Mono right on their desktop, amid times when Microsoft ‘cracks down’ on businesses and demands money for patent violations (yes, it’s already extracting money from GNU/Linux extortions). I wonder if you already know about this at all. The media does not cover this, but it’s true. It’s almost scary.

  13. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 28, 2007 at 4:46 am

    Gravatar

    Oops. I should have phrased it differently, like “OOo, which is available for GNOME users”.

    This is again casting aspersions on GNOME where it is not relevant. If you had any desire to be accurate, or had done any research about the issue, you’d say “Novell’s branch of OpenOffice.org”. You’ve not updated the article, either.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 28, 2007 at 4:53 am

    Gravatar

    I just have. Thanks for this. What about the remainder of my comment? There are some very important points in there which are worth addressing.

  15. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 28, 2007 at 4:57 am

    Gravatar

    Wow, you’ve corrected the reference, but none of the insinuations! Really nice! Way to keep a site up to date with all the latest information and respectful of the community you purport to serve! Nasty and shameful.

    I didn’t think the rest of your comment was interesting or relevant.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 28, 2007 at 5:01 am

    Gravatar

    What about the remainder of my comment? Namely:

    “OOXML will be reaching Linux applications from multiple directions. As I’ve stated earlier via E-mail to you, “the translator involves C#, which leads to Novell’s exclusionary Mono protection.” Only Novell has a lot to benefit from all of this. GNOME users have a _lot_ to lose here and in the future they’ll have more and more Mono right on their desktop, amid times when Microsoft ‘cracks down’ on businesses and demands money for patent violations (yes, it’s already extracting money from GNU/Linux extortions). I wonder if you already know about this at all. The media does not cover this, but it’s true. It’s almost scary.”

    The more this discussion gets suppressed, the more suspicious one can become. I also worry that companies like IBM will look at this and be worried.

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