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. The EPO is Becoming an Embarrassment to Europe and a Growing Threat to the European Union

    The increasingly pathetic moves by Battistelli and the ever-declining image/status of the EPO (only 0% of polled stakeholders approve Battistelli's management) is causing damage to the reputation of the European Union, even if the EPO is not a European Union organ but an international one



  2. Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

    Cherry-picking one's way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation



  3. As the United States Shuts Its Door on Low-Quality Patents the Patent Trolls Move to Asia

    Disintegration of Intellectual Ventures (further shrinkage after losing software patents at CAFC), China's massive patent bubble, and Singapore's implicit invitation/facilitation of patent trolls (bubble economy)



  4. Links 17/2/2017: Wine 2.2, New Ubuntu LTS

    Links for the day



  5. Bad Advice From Mintz Levin and Bejin Bieneman PLC Would Have People Believe That Software Patents Are Still Worth Pursuing

    The latest examples of misleading articles which, in spite of the avalanche of software patents in the United States, continue to promote these



  6. Patents Are Not Property, They Are a Monopoly, and They Are Not Owned But Temporarily Granted

    Patent maximalism and distortion of concepts associated with patents tackled again, for terminology is being hijacked by those who turned patents into their "milking cows"



  7. SoftBank Group, New Owner of ARM, Could Potentially Become (in Part) a Patent Troll or an Aggressor Like Qualcomm

    SoftBank grabbed headlines (in the West at least) when it bought ARM, but will it soon grab headlines for going after practicing companies using a bunch of patents that it got from Inventergy, ARM, and beyond?



  8. Technicolor, Having Turned Into a Patent Troll, Attacks Android/Tizen/Linux With Patents in Europe

    Technicolor, which a lot of the media portrayed as a patent troll in previous years (especially after it had sued Apple, HTC and Samsung), is now taking action against Samsung in Europe (Paris, Dusseldorf and Mannheim)



  9. Michelle Lee is Still “in Charge” of the US Patent System

    Contrary to a malicious whispering campaign against Lee (a coup attempt, courtesy of patent maximalists who make a living from mass litigation), she is still in charge of the USPTO



  10. Our Assessment: EPO Wants a Lot of Low-Quality Patents and Low-Paid Staff With UPC (Prosecution Galore)

    The European Patent Office seems to be less interested in examination and more interested in facilitating overzealous prosecution all across Europe and beyond; The Administrative Council has shown no signs that it is interested in profound changes, except those proposed by Battistelli in the face of growing resistance from staff and from ordinary stakeholders



  11. Links 16/2/2017: HITMAN for GNU/Linux, Go 1.8

    Links for the day



  12. Yet More Complaints About the European Patent Office in the Bavarian Regional Government

    Some German politicians do care about the welfare of EPO staff, a lot more so than the EPO's management that is actively crushing this staff



  13. EPO Staff Representatives to Escalate Complaint About Severe Injustices to the EPO's Secretive Board 28

    In a new letter to President Benoît Battistelli it is made abundantly apparent -- however politely -- that Battistelli's gross abuses could further complicate things for Battistelli, who is already embroiled in a fight with his predecessor, Roland Grossenbacher



  14. New Survey Reveals That High Patent Quality, or Elimination of Bad Patents, is Desirable to Patent Holders

    A new survey from Bloomberg BNA and AIPLA reveals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which still grows in prominence, is supported by people who have themselves gotten patents (not those who are in the bureaucracy of patents and self-serving politics)



  15. Open Patent Office is Not the Solution; Ending Software Patents is the Solution

    Our remarks about the goals and methods of the newly-established Open Patent Office and what is instead needed in order to combat the menace that threatens software development



  16. New Scholarly Paper Says “UK’s Withdrawal From the EU Could Mean That the Entire (Unitary Patent) System Will Not Go Into Effect”

    A paper from academics -- not from the patent microcosm (for a change) -- provides a more sobering interpretation, suggesting quite rightly that the UPC can't happen in the UK (or in Europe), or simply not endure if some front groups such as CIPA somehow managed to bamboozle politicians into it (ratification in haste, before the facts are known)



  17. Patent Trolls Update: Rodney Gilstrap Maintains His Support for Trolls, MPEG-LA Goes Hunting in China, and Blackberry Hits Nokia

    A roundup of the latest news about patent trolls and what they are up to in the United States, Europe, and Asia



  18. Guest Post: EPO, an Idyllic Place to Work

    The true face of the EPO as explained by an insider, recalling the history that led to the negative image and toxic work atmosphere



  19. Links 15/2/2017: Linux 4.9.10 and Linux 4.4.49

    Links for the day



  20. Claude Rouiller (ILOAT) and ILO Rulings Effectively Disregarded by the European Patent Office

    The compositions of kangaroo courts at the EPO continue to be absurd, in spite of a ruling from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which insisted that change must be made following a lot of mistrials



  21. National Law Journal Believes That Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice Would be Opponent of Patent Reform

    Whispering campaign surrounds Neil Gorsuch's alleged or perceived views on patents, and in particular the America Invents Act (AIA) which brought the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a serial invalidator of software patents, owing to Alice (a Supreme Court decision)



  22. Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU) is a Lobby Group for Software Patents and Patent Maximalism

    An introduction to what the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding really is, what it is for, and who is behind it



  23. The European Patent Office Looks More and More Like the Sicilian Mafia Every Day

    Battistelli has constructed or pulled together a Mafia-like family inside the EPO, where all those who protect the 'King' (or Don) are rewarded and the rest are removed with prejudice



  24. EPO-Connected Writers Are Using Alternative Facts or Fake News to Promote the Unitary Patent in British Media

    The misuse of publications for the purpose of lobbying by Battistelli and Team UPC (a small group of opportunists looking to exploit change that they themselves introduce) is worth noting, for its frequency is on the rise again



  25. Microsoft Has Not Managed to Blackmail Huawei Over Android and GNU/Linux, But Its Trolls/Satellites Are Trying

    The story of Huawei gets more complicated, even though software patents are losing their teeth and notorious patent trolls are altogether losing their patents



  26. IBM Has Become an Enemy of GNU/Linux and a Loud Proponent of Software Patents

    IBM's poisonous policy on patents, which has long been incompatible with Free/Libre software, has gotten even worse and the company now takes the lead in lobbying for patenting of software



  27. Leaked: European Patent Office a Fire Hazard Waiting to Cause Tragedy (Possible Deaths)

    The EPO has known for a while that is was not in compliance with regulations, but as usual -- flaunting immunity and impunity -- nothing happened



  28. For Valentine's Day, Battistelli Learns to Stop Worrying and Love to Lie

    Battistelli lies about patent quality once again, incidentally on the very same day that serious leaks regarding patent quality got published (and need distracting from)



  29. India Cites Public Interest in Patent Case Where Embargo Attempted Against Local Drugmaker

    India turns away a foreign corporation that attempts to use patents to shut down (or destroy the business model of) an Indian company



  30. Links 14/2/2017: Linux Lite 3.4, GNU Health 3.0.6

    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