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

08.10.08

Groklaw: Microsoft and Novell Poison OpenOffice.org; Watch Out, KDE

Posted in GNU/Linux, Java, KDE, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We have warned about this for ages (as far back as 2006), but some folks consider this Web site biased, so our words were not taken seriously by a few developers. Maybe it’s the right time to point out what Pamela Jones wrote some hours ago about this new article: “I told you. I told you. I told you. If you look at the go-oo.org site, you’ll see Mono and “OpenXML” being pushed. Please watch out, KDE. He says they want to share code between Gnome and KDE. Patents are still an issue, in my view. There is no new Microsoft. And I believe Microsoft plans to use their patents at some point, upon which Novell will suggest safety in their arms.”

We wrote about this article here. Novell, being a "Microsoft partner", just wants more customers, so Freedom becomes secondary. It chose not to play friendly with other GNU/Linux distributions. This observation is the raison d’etre of this Web site.

Mono

It is important to remain cautious. In the latest KDE Commit Digest, which was posted yesterday, you’ll find this:

Development Tools

Richard Dale committed changes in /trunk/KDE/kdebindings/csharp/plasma/examples:

* Added a tiger example C# applet.
It wasn’t possible to build an executable called ‘main’ as mono gave an error about it not having an extension.

Maybe some sort of special cmake macro is needed for building C# plasmoids.

Richard Dale might not understand the consequences. Is the 2004 April Fools’ Day story about Richard coming to fruition? Regardless, don’t allow Novell et al to contaminate KDE with software patents for which only they are ‘covered’ by Microsoft. Mono is only for Novell. Microsoft says so and Miguel de Icaza wants this to happen. He would want Mono widgets/Plasmoids to materialise. Remember that it’s all about the holder of the patents and they need a ‘smoking gun’ to make less deniable claims (threats). They wants to extract money and they needn’t sue because the secret extortions have already begun.

Personally, I sometimes wonder if the Vista-esque KDE menu from Novell (yes, it’s Novell’s work) is some grounds for a submarine patent from Microsoft. Many people resist that new menu. In fact, Mandriva has just decided to use the classical menu by default.

OOXML

OOXML is still not safe.

The impossibility of implementing the darn thing and the fact that Microsoft will ignore ECMA OOXML only to deviate into its proprietary trajectory aside, there are legal issues.

Will Microsoft support ODF? Of course not. It will do minimal work to just put an “ODF complaint” label on its boxes (the oldest and out-of-date version of the standard), but will then steer all users towards OOXML using intimidating dialogues that shout out “data loss”. Here is how SJVN puts it in this new article from Fox News:

The headline reads, “Microsoft Bows to Pressure to Interoperate with ODF.”

Oh no, Microsoft isn’t. The Redmond crew has an entirely different agenda for “supporting” the OpenDocument Format with its own Open XML Translator.

It’s not even news, actually, according to Andrew Updegrove, a partner with Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove, and the editor of ConsortiumInfo.org.

[...]

Why, oh why, do I think that Translator’s technical-support line will often be telling users that the fault for a botched document transfer lies at ODF’s door? And somehow I think Microsoft’s technical support’s usual suggested “fix” will be to just use Microsoft’s own Open XML instead. “It’s so much better,” they’ll say to annoyed users.

In conclusion, don’t play with the monopolist by embracing OOXML. Resist it instead. Study from history. There is no “new Microsoft” and the scorpion will always pinch the frog. A couple of days ago, Andy Updegrove brought back this oldie:

So, what I have gleaned from my researches (though that is probably too strong a word) so far is that while there are some valid discussions to be had, the majority of participants are either staunchly pro-ODF, or they are working for Microsoft. I do know that, were I an end-user, I would remain ignorant – but given the mud flying around, perhaps ignorance is bliss.

It rings a bell.

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

Miscellaneous ODF News

A tool that was mentioned here before, ODF@WWW, got some coverage in Linux.com. There is also this free Java library for manipulation of ODF files.

We are pleased to announce the last beta version of the next version of our open document library.

Remember ThinkFree, which may have been pressured by Microsoft not to support ODF? Well, the good news is that it has already come to GNU/Linux.

I tried out Thinkfree about a year ago and just recently check back and it was a pleasant surprise. The website looks much more professional and the user interface for the online version is total awesome. Best off all, Thinkfree offers an offline version that sync seemlessly with the online storage. I love it. This post will not be some kind of tutorial but only my opinion about the suit. Visit my tutorial on how to install ThinkFree office suit for instruction.

Here is an older story about it. As ECT reported a couple of days ago, there are more signs of ODF coming to Apple Macs, too.

“But the Mac presence grants CIOs and others tasked with choosing the right software for their organizations the assurance and confidence that they can adopt the OpenDocument Format (our native format and the only published ISO standard file format for office documents) and have an office array that includes Macs, Linux, Solaris, Windows and so on.

“In short: OpenOffice.org and the Mac version in particular, suture the wounds inflicted by 20 years of divergence. The connecting thread is the file format and the understanding that what counts is creating, communicating, preserving files in a format that resists the fragility of monopoly and the reliance on any one company. In fact, there is a plugin that gives users the ability to read/write ODF, and with Open Office 3.0 and StarOffice 9.0, we’ll have native support of OOXML, which MS Office 2007 uses.”

Here is a new academic study on document formats inter-operability. It uses ODF and OOXML as examples.

Open standards are widely considered to have significant economic and technological benefits. This has led many governments to consider mandating open standards for document formats. Document formats are how a computer stores memos or spreadsheets. Governments are moving away from Microsoft’s proprietary DOC format to open standard document formats, such as the OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Office Open XML (OOXML). The belief is that by shifting to open standards, governments will benefit from choice, competition, and the ability to seamlessly substitute different vendor implementations.

Last but not least, success stories from the FSF:

I’ve just made a couple of updates to the OpenDocument Campaign — adding some perspective on OOXML in India and an announcement from the Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) about their switch to OpenOffice.org.

Microsoft already knows about Malaysia and it appears to be responding to this 'threat' in the only way it truly understands: localised dumping.

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

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

2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 10, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Gravatar

    I suppose that is one reason why MS is getting people to yammer about forcing Sun to drop its lead in OpenOffice.org development.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 12, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Gravatar

    WOw… I did not realize Meeks was such an underhanded shit. I hope OOo and KDE shore up their development process to ensure that no Novell material can get injected. I guess we’ll see him and others promoting trojan horses like go-oo based on repackaged FOSS projects.

What Else is New


  1. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    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