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. Links 7/12/2016: ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5, Ubuntu Touch OTA-14

    Links for the day



  2. The UPC Scam Part VII: A Fine Mess in the Making, as Nothing Can be Made of It Amid/After Brexit

    The final part in this multi-part series about UPC, which cannot be implemented in the UK as long as Brexit is on the agenda



  3. The UPC Scam Part VI: The Real Story Which People Missed Due to Puff Pieces Seeded by Battistelli-Bribed Media is That UPC Technically Cannot Come to the UK

    Another long installment in a multi-part series about UPC at times of post-truth Battistelli-led EPO, which pays the media to repeat the lies and pretend that the UPC is inevitable so as to compel politicians to welcome it regardless of desirability and practicability



  4. EPO Spiraling Down the Drain as Experienced Examiners and Judges Are Seemingly Being Replaced by Interns

    Implementing yet more of his terrible ideas and so-called 'reforms', Battistelli seems to be racing to the bottom of everything (patent quality, staff experience, labour rights, working conditions, access to justice etc.)



  5. A Lot of News From the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Today, With Some Important Decisions on Patents Coming Soon

    A roundup of today's outcomes from the US Supreme Court, which intends to review and decide on important patent cases



  6. In Historic Blow to Design Patents, Apple Loses to Samsung at the Supreme Court

    A $399 million judgment against Android devices from Samsung, with potential implications for other Android OEMs, is rejected by SCOTUS



  7. Good Riddance. Ray Niro is Dead.

    The infamous father of patent trolling is dead, so we need to remember his real legacy rather than rewrite his history to appease his rich relatives (enriched by destroying real companies)



  8. EPO Suicides Greater in Number Than is Widely Reported, Unjust System a Contributor to These

    The horrible regime of Benoît Battistelli has an enormous human toll (fatalities), far greater than the Office is willing to publicly acknowledge



  9. Lobbying Disguised as 'Reporting' by the Patent Microcosm, Which Wants More Patents and More Lawsuits (Lawyers Needed)

    A rebuttal to some new articles about patents, especially those that strive to increase patent-related activities (usually for personal gain)



  10. USPTO Echo Chamber That Lacks Actual Software Professionals Deciding on Patentability of Software

    A look at yesterday's "Roundtable on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility," which lacked involvement from those actually affected by patents rather than those who sell, trade, and exploit these



  11. More Examples of Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Taxing Linux, Even After Microsoft 'Joined' (Paid) the Linux Foundation

    A quick look at the past week's news and clues about Microsoft's (and its broad army of patent trolls) strategy for taxing Linux, or imposing bundling at zero cost (to Microsoft)



  12. Heiko Maas, the SPD “Cash for Access” Affair, and Suspicions of Unwarranted Censorship at IP Kat (Again)

    Unsayable views or just a glitch? Readers of IP Kat express concern about a culture of censorship at IP Kat



  13. Endgame for Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Battistelli turns bad into worse by spitting on the very notion of accepting justice (from the highest court in The Hague or even the UN in this case)



  14. Les Échos Chamber: Having Corrupted the Media (With EPO Money), Battistelli Now Uses It for More UPC Propaganda

    The lies about the Unitary Patent are now being broadcast (Battistelli given the platform) by the publication that Battistelli pays



  15. Rumour: EPO in Berlin the Next Casualty of Battistelli's 'Reform' (Organisational Suicide Plan)

    Months after we learned that a former staff representative in Berlin had been dismissed we come across an anonymous claim that Berlin's 'branch' of the EPO will be folded onto Munich's



  16. Caricature: the Maas App

    The failure of Maas to even bother with regulation of Battistelli (among others) earns him this cartoon



  17. Links 5/12/2016: Linux 4.9 RC 8, DeepMind as FOSS

    Links for the day



  18. Leaked: Battistelli Acknowledges Bunk 'Justice' in About 100 Cases at the Internal Appeals Committee of the EPO

    A look at Battistelli's response to the latest from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), exceptionally delivering two decisions at the very end of last month



  19. The UPC Scam Part V: Unitary Patent Regime a Fantasy of Patent Trolls

    "Good for trolls" is a good way to sum up the Unitary Patent, which would give litigators plenty of business (defendants and plaintiffs, plus commissions on high claims of damages) if it ever became a reality



  20. EPO at a Tipping Point: Battistelli Quarrelling With French Politicians, Administrative Council Urged to Act, Staff Unrest Peaking

    The latest messages about Battistelli's regime at the EPO, which faces growing opposition from more directions than ever before



  21. Quality of Patents at the EPO Dependent on the Appeal Boards When Battistelli Assesses Performance Using the Wrong 'Production' Yardstick

    A look at some recent articles regarding patent quality in the US and in Europe, in particular because of growing trouble at today's EPO, which marginalises the appeal boards



  22. Microsoft's Push for Software Patents Another Reminder That There is No 'New' Microsoft

    Microsoft's continued fascination with and participation in the effort to undermine Alice so as to make software patents, which the company uses to blackmail GNU/Linux vendors, widely acceptable and applicable again



  23. Links 5/12/2016: SparkyLinux 4.5 Released, Kondik Exits Cyanogen (Destroyed After Microsoft Deal)

    Links for the day



  24. Software Patents Continue Their Invalidation Process, But Patent Law Firms Try to Deny This in Order to Attract Misinformed (or Poorly-Informed) Clients

    A roundup of news about software patents and demonstration of the sheer bias in the media, which is mostly controlled or steered by the patent microcosm rather than actual inventors



  25. Patent Trolls of Microsoft and Ericsson Are Trying to Tax Everything, Especially Linux Devices

    An update on Intellectual Ventures and Unwired Planet, whose operations pose a growing problem for Free software and Linux-based products (e.g. Android)



  26. Asia's Patent Litigation Chaos Getting Worse, Reaching Countries in the West, and Sites Like IAM Actively Promote This

    The race to the bottom (of patent quality) in China, the growth of patent trolls in the region, and the ruinous litigation strategy which now spills over even to the US -- through the Eastern District of Texas -- and may inevitably come to Europe (especially if the UPC ever becomes a reality)



  27. More French Politicians Are Complaining That Benoît Battistelli is a Disgrace to France and Urge for Action

    The backlash against Battistelli spills well outside the EPO and is now apparent even at the French National Assembly



  28. Links 3/12/2016: Mageia 5.1 Released, Mozilla Revenue at $421.3M

    Links for the day



  29. Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Sees Decline in Patent Applications and It May Actually be a Good Thing

    Challenging the false belief that the more patents society has the better off it will be, citing examples and news from north America



  30. Blockchain Domain Infested With Software Patents, MasterCard Among the Culprits

    Worrying signs that an area of Free/Open Source software innovation is getting impacted by the plague of software patents


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