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

07.17.08

Novell and OpenOffice.org — Harming, Helping, or Just Exploiting?

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, SUN at 1:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell’s promotion of Microsoft OOXML and bringing of Microsoft .NET (Mono) closer to OpenOffice.org hasn’t escaped developers’ attention. Moreover, their confrontation with Sun Microsystems over control of the project was quite nasty [1, 2, 3, 4]. Novell was seen as self-serving at the time.

Novell has a double commitment. On the one hand, it is a partner of Microsoft, so sales of Microsoft Office are important, even if they are defended through elevation of Microsoft formats. On the other hand, Novell works with Sun, which competes against Novell and Microsoft on several fronts while also collaborating. The question is: in which way would Novell lean?

According to recent communication among OpenOffice.org developers, Novell may slowly be alienating itself. Consider, for instance, what Michael Meeks writes.

Hmm, “they are in alpha, beta, whatever stage” :-) I beg to differ. Yes – some of the patches in ooo-build are experimental, but we [Novell] disable these by default on stable branches so they are not applied. Everything else that is applied to our product Novell offers L3 support for – if you find something broken, we will fix it (well, if you’re a paying customer – but we’re interested in bugs of course anyway).

Interestingly, when you look at our L3 work-load, only a tiny fraction of our bugs are specific to our changes – almost all are present in the “conservative” up-stream OO.o. Conversely, in many other cases the fix for a bug is not in the “conservative” up-stream OO.o – so up-stream users suffer it, but not ours :-)

That is of course just selfish, but it’s part of a broader picture. The thread as a whole is worth seeing.

GNOME CalcThe basic premises of Michael Meeks are a lie. OpenOffice.org versions that are produced by the Novell build system are typically much buggier than the ‘vanillas’.

More importantly, the thread above teaches us about that old admission that Novell is refusing to contribute to the codebase of OpenOffice.org. It then accuses Sun Microsystems of standing in its way (see the links at the very top again). Not nice.

Novell is not a team player. It did, after all, sell out the GNU/Linux ecosystem as well, did it not?

With ‘friends’ like these, who needs Microsoft?

Novellsoft

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

6 Comments

  1. Ian said,

    July 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Gravatar

    “OpenOffice.org versions that are produced by the Novell build system are typically much buggier than the ‘vanillas’.”

    You should probably support this with evidence, unless I missed it.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 17, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Gravatar

    A short example, not very scientific, but empiric of this: the ooo-build is used for every GNU/Linux distribution out there by default (now you can go to the OOo web site and download the “vanilla builds”. Run those two versions, and perhaps easier, test out your original OOo on Linux and the one on Windows (vanilla build again). You’ll see for yourself.

  3. aeshna23 said,

    July 18, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Gravatar

    Ian, I don’t view the relative bugginess of OOo as the major point of this article. It’s understandable why Roy went off on that particular tangent. There is a human tendency to get wound up in one’s own advocacy and without it I don’t know that Roy would put in the excellent work he does here. Without having any experience of OOo on Novell myself, I think Roy should have left out the word “much” before “buggier”. Defensive rhetoric like defensive driving is a good idea.

  4. David Gerard said,

    July 19, 2008 at 6:17 am

    Gravatar

    The important thing to remember is that the Novell ooo-build has existed since the Ximian days, not just because of their copyright assignment rules but because it was such a pain in the backside to get anything into the Sun build. Sun wanted the advantages of a bazaar but very much ran OOo as a cathedral.

    (I don’t think highly of Sun’s requirement of copyright assignment for OOo contributions, but then I’m not impressed by Novell requiring the same for Mono contributions.)

  5. Balzac said,

    July 19, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, I appreciate that you’re watching Novell closely because their problem is not one of divided loyalties, they know who they work for.

    This loyalty to Microsoft share holders will manifest its self in myriad ways, and one of those ways is unhelpful and even subversive methods of engagement to the major component projects that make up the GNU/Linux software ecosystem.

    Their participation in Open Office development is particularly interesting because of Microsoft’s enormous revenue from sales of MS Office licenses. Their development of support for OOXML is not something I want to see pushed up-stream into core OOo functionality. I hope OOXML and Mono wither on the vine because Microsoft is deliberately obstructing innovation and computer user’s freedom.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 19, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Thanks, Balzac. Keep an eye on iTWire. Sam will post an analytical article about Mono. It’s time to share some answers.

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft is Interjecting Itself Into GNU/Linux and Free Software News, Even Events and Foundations

    Microsoft's entryism strategy is proving effective as Microsoft successfully embeds itself inside the idealogical competition, subverting the competition's overall message and diluting the competition's focus on Free software



  2. The Unethical Business of Selling Fear of Free/Libre Software Bugs (Black Duck, Sonatype, and Symantec)

    The spreading of fear of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is now a growth industry, so proprietary opportunists are eager to capitalise on it, even if by distorting the truth



  3. Patients' Data at Risk as NHS Reinforces Its Microsoft/Accenture Stockholm Syndrome

    The worst privacy violator in the world and the firm behind LSE failures are pocketing as much as £0.35 billion of British taxpayers' money to acquire access to very sensitive data of British people



  4. Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

    Links for the day



  5. Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

    Links for the day



  6. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  7. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  8. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  9. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  10. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  11. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  12. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  13. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  14. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  15. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  16. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  17. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  18. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  19. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  20. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  21. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  22. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  23. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  24. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  25. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  26. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  27. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  29. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  30. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    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