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06.29.08

Intellectual Monopolies Roundup

Posted in Interoperability, Patents, SUN at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software patents and other dubious nonsense

Those who are no friends of software patents and other intellectual monopolies may wish to have a look at the following set of posts:

The war-of-words between Sun Microsystems and NetApp over patent infringement claims wages on, while legal means to settle the matter have failed.

The two companies tried to sit down this week for a settlement conference, but judging by Sun’s response of publicly boasting that it has removed at least one of NetApp’s patents from the litigation and declaring the legal scuffle a war between ideologies — we’d say the mediation wasn’t entirely a success.

The book is a real treat for those who like intellectual property (despite the anti-patent message of the book) and may offer something for the generalist reader who likes to get lost in a legal thriller while basking in the summer sun.

Patents would be turned into a customs issue (whaaat?), and there would be no need actually to show that an infringement happened in order to start a “procedure”…. In other words, this SECURE (and for the name, see here) is about extending the RIAA’s intimidatory tactics to the whole of intellectual monopolies, and globally.

nteroperability continues to be a major issue. New systems are built on proprietary standards, increasing the cost of installation, while an older but effective system loses support when its maker merges with another vendor and decides to let that product fade into history.

We’ll be back to posting at the regular high pace tomorrow.

06.28.08

Links 28/06/2008: Ubuntu 8.10 @ Alpha1; Sabayon @ RC2; GPLv3′s Healthy Growth Noted

Posted in News Roundup at 4:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

F/OSS

Firefox

Leftovers

Ogg Theora

Direct link

ODF ‘Conquers’ the Web; OOXML Abuses Revisited

Posted in ISO, KDE, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 3:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open document standard breeds open networks

Things are looking very good. It was only a few days that we wrote about ODF's relevance to the World Wide Web. The developers from Sun Microsystems appear to have been doing some interesting stuff which involves Web embedment and ‘Wikification’ of ODF. Have a look.

While demoing the ODF Wiki to OpenOffice.org and Sun Folks (and by the way, I happily demo it to everybody stumbling into my office :-), I recognized different reactions of people, there were the ones who obviously use Wikis in their daily work and who immediately understood what I wanted to show, namely the possibility of an ODF based Wiki with rich editing capabilities (including graphics, formulas etc.), than there were the ones who seemed to be disappointed, as I just recombined already available stuff, and finally the ones, whose first thought was about how I did implement this. So, this posting is just for the people curious about how it works :-)

For implementing the prototype of an ODF Wiki I used off-the-shelf components only, I have to admit, that I only tried it on Linux and OpenSolaris … Windows just seemed too far away ;-)

This seems like steady and encouraging progress that third-party developers and ISVs are likely to embrace. As a matter of fact, the new ODF mailing list, OIIC, has been exceptionally busy since it was launched, which is a good sign indeed.

Tim Bray has been a critic of the ISO process that had been broken apart by Microsoft’s OOXML. On one occasions he called the BRM process "complete, utter, unadulterated bullsh*t" and later he described the ISO process as "brutal and corrupt". It turns out that his ISO familiarity and credentials are likely to be high. He writes:

I got to watch John work in the context of the recent OOXML process, including the BRM in Geneva, where he was one of the most effective operators. He knows ISO process and politics comprehensively.

Speaking of ISO politics, Bob Sutor, IBM’s VP of standards, has significant experience with this process, for sure. His remark on ISO’s latest denial speaks volumes. About the Reuters placement article he wrote: “Worth reading, if only to understand attitude and whether they “get” the problem.”

So, he too acknowledges that there is a problem there (in Reuters, in ISO, or both). It’s only a consensus that ISO and Microsoft are unwilling to share and accept. It’s their reputation that’s harmed enormously.

It is actually via Bob Sutor that the following new report about ODF in KWord came to our attention. For context, see [1, 2, 3, 4].

It’s a good time for ODF. Microsoft too has recently said that “ODF ha[d] clearly won.” Savour the reality.

___
[1] NLnet Gives KOffice a New Logo and Sponsors ODF development

The Dutch NLnet foundation aims to financially support organisations and people that contribute to an open information society. Some time ago they decided to help KOffice in two exciting ways: to sponsor the design of a new logo for KOffice, with matching logo designs for all KOffice applications, and to sponsor Girish Ramakrishnan to improve the ODF support in KWord 2.0. The KOffice team is deeply grateful to NLnet for this support!

[2] KOffice 2.0 Alpha 7 Released

This release is the first to see some results of the OpenDocument Format testsuite being imported into KOffice. The testsuite exists from a lot of little documents that each show one feature in ODF. Automated testing of loading those documents will allow developers to keep on working on the code without fear of breaking the already working code. This is known as regression testing.

In this release already 23 tests are added into KOffice and the results are visible in much better loading of text documents in KWord. KWord is also one of the target applications for 2.0, and NLNet has sponsored a developer working on that application.

[3] Closing Day at the Release Event

Alexander from OpenOffice talked about some of the possibilities of OpenDocument including dedicated C libraries to process the format which could be shared between apps. KOffice developers discussed plans for an OpenDocument API in kdelibs to make use of the format available throughout KDE.

[4] Key KOffice Developers Talk About KOffice 2 and Open Standards

KOffice standardises on OpenDocument. Free Software and open standards are a perfect match and the way to move forward for a society to ensure vendor-independent access to its data. We’re actively participating in the OASIS since it matches our value, and we believe that one strong standard is in the best interest of our users.

KOffice Logo

Links 28/06/2008: More Linux Phones from Motorola, Wine 1.1.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

Symbian Analysis

  • Nokia’s Open Source Response: The Symbian Q&A

    A: A few of the inquiries we’ve seen incoming have asked whether the EPL is compatible with the GPL – the license that governs, among other projects – Linux. The answer to that question is no, it is not. So Symbian assets will not be permitted to be legally recombined with Linux code for their mobile efforts.

  • Nokia to buy and open source Symbian

    There’s a huge difference between Linux and the handsets, though, and I think it’s an important one.

F/OSS

Internet

Windows

Leftovers

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: June 27th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part IV: Novell’s Upgrade, Buybacks, PlateSpin, Security, and Identity

Posted in Dell, Finance, IBM, Identity Management, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Security, Virtualisation at 6:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is the last portion of news for today. It’s subdivided into the main developments that came up over the past week.

Upgrade, Buybacks

This may not actually mean much, but Katherine Egbert has upped NOVL, which led to a rise in share value. It may have something to do with Novell’s recent buybacks [1, 2, 3, 4].

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: Novell SUSE and Xandros Catch-up

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, HP, Mail, Servers, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In what could be seen characterised as a battle between Microsoft partners, there’s this comparison between the ASUS Eee (with Xandros) and SLED on the HP Mini-Note.

The biggest complaints I hear about the Eee PC are that the keyboard is too small and there’s not enough screen real estate. Even the new 8.9 inch only offers 1024×600 screen res. Some people also complain that the Eee PC runs a knobbled version of Xandros Linux. A Mini-Note running SuSE Linux Enterprise should address these issues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: OpenSUSE Beyond the Release

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 5:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Further to the previous grouping, there have been some more technical blog posts too. Here are a few which could prove handy as informal bug reports or instructional texts.

HOWTOs

Read the rest of this entry »

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