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 Boards of Appeal Openly Complain (in the EPO's Web Site) About Battistelli, But Don't Tell Battistelli About It...

    The Boards of Appeal have found the courage -- in the face of a pattern of illegal retaliation -- to state that Battistelli's abuse of power compromises the perceived if not actual legitimacy of their decisions



  2. Web Site of French Senator Richard Yung Cracked Just Days After Criticising the EPO

    A French politician finds himself red-faced after criticising the EPO, as his site gets flagged as malicious, gets blocked, and his blog post (speech) about the EPO vanishes



  3. New Survey Shows That Even Patent Professionals Know That Team UPC is Lying About Unitary Patent Roadmaps

    The "Unified Patent Court (UPC) is unlikely to become operational by December 2017 [according to] nearly three-quarters of WIPR readers," but Team UPC continues to spread lies



  4. Does the EPO Want Patent Quality to Decline Against the USPTO and Become Akin to SIPO?

    The EPO, which is trying to convert a patent system into a cash cow rather than a public service, risks losing public support and an applicants base (where it hasn't lost it already)



  5. Xinova is a Patent Troll With Connections to Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures, the World's Largest Troll

    A Microsoft patent troll gives birth to another trollish tentacle (one among literally thousands), this one called "Xinova" but formerly known as Invention Development Fund (IDF)



  6. IAM 'Magazine' Rented Out to Microsoft Again, in Order to Attack Amazon (as Host of Free/Libre Software) Using Software Patents FUD

    The new front against GNU/Linux, or the attempt by Microsoft to tax the platform using software patents, is glossed over in puff pieces from Microsoft, conveniently published under IAM's own umbrella again



  7. Links 27/2/2017: GNU Linux-libre 4.10, Weston 2.0.0, Git 2.12.0, Linux From Scratch 8.0

    Links for the day



  8. Top Officials in French Government Are Growing Tired of Battistelli's Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An automated translation of a recent debate about the EPO in the French government, culminating in intervention by Richard Yung



  9. A US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Which is Hostile Towards Patent Maximalists May Closely Examine More Patents That Apple Uses Against Android

    A company which often takes pride in designers rather than developers (art, not technical merit) may lose that leverage over the competition if its questionable patents are taken away by the Supremes



  10. As Long as Software Patents Are Granted and Microsoft Equips Trolls With Them, “Azure IP Advantage” is an Attack on Free/Libre Software

    Microsoft is feeding enemies of GNU/Linux and Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) in order to sell its 'protection', which it names "IP Advantage" in a rather Orwellian fashion (same naming as back in the Novell days)



  11. Patent Trolls on Their Way Out in the United States and Their Way Into China, No Thanks to the Open Invention Network (OIN)

    An update on patent trolls and the role played by supposed allies of Free/libre software, who in practice do everything to exacerbate the problem rather than resolve it



  12. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VIII: When Governed by Criminals, Truth-Tellers Are Cast as Criminals and Criminals as Justice Deliverers

    The bizarre state of affairs at the European Patent Office, where being an honest and transparent person makes one incredibly vulnerable and subjected to constant harassment from the management



  13. The Sickness of the EPO – Part V: Shedding Light on Institutional Abuse Against Ill and/or Disabled Individuals

    The seriousness of the situation at the EPO and a call for action, which requires greater transparency, even if imposed transparency



  14. The EPO's Race to the Bottom in Recruitment and Early Retirements Explained by an Insider

    The European Patent Office under Battistelli is failing to attract -- and certainly failing to retain -- talented examiners



  15. Wouter Pors and Other UPC Boosters Believe That Repeating the Lies Will Potentially Make Them Truths

    The lobbying campaign for UPC, or hopeful lies (sometimes mere rumours) disguised as "news", continues to rely on false perceptions that the UPC is just a matter of time and may actually materialise this year



  16. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Utilised in Fixing the US Patent System and the Patent Microcosm Loses Its Mind

    A roundup of PTAB news, ranging from attacks on the legitimacy of PTAB to progress which is made by PTAB, undoing decades of overpatenting



  17. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Take on Patents Pertaining to Business Methods

    Patents on tasks that can be performed using pen and paper (so-called 'business methods', just like algorithms) and oughtn't be patent-eligible may be the next casualty of the America Invents Act (AIA)



  18. Google's Stewardship of GNU/Linux (Android, Chromebooks and More) in Doubt After Company Resorts to Patent 'First Strikes'

    Google has just turned a little more evil, by essentially using patents as a weapon against the competition (by no means a defensive move)



  19. Links 24/2/2017: Ubuntu 17.04 Beta, OpenBSD Foundation Nets $573,000 in Donations

    Links for the day



  20. IAM, Greased up by the EPO, Continues Lobbying by Shaming Tactics for the UPC, Under the Guise of 'News'

    The shrill and well-paid writers of IAM are still at it, promoting the Unitary Patent (UPC) at every opportunity and every turn



  21. Patent Scope Gone Awry: European Vegetable Patents Office?

    In its misguided race to raise so-called 'production', the EPO lost sight of its original goals and now facilitates patent royalty payments/taxation for naturally-recurring items of nature



  22. Yes, There is Definitely Brain Drain (Experience Deficit) at the European Patent Office and Stakeholders Feel It

    The direction that the European Patent Office has taken under Battistelli undoes many decades (almost half a century) of reputation-building and progress and naturally this repels existing staff, not to mention hampers recruitment efforts



  23. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IV: Cruel Management That Deliberately Attacks the Sick and the Weak

    The dysphoric reality at the European Patent Office, which is becoming like a large cell (with bolted-down windows) where people are controlled by fear and scapegoats are selected to perpetuate this atmosphere of terror and maintain demand (or workload) for the Investigative Stasi



  24. Links 23/2/2017: Qt 5.9 Alpha, First SHA1 Collision

    Links for the day



  25. UPC Roundup: War on the Appeal Boards, British Motion Against the UPC, Fröhlinger Recalled, and Fake News About Spain

    Taking stock of some of the latest attempts to shove the Unitary Patent (UPC) down Europe's throat, courtesy of Team Battistelli and Team UPC



  26. The Sickness of the EPO – Part III: Invalidity and Suicides

    An explanation of what drives a lot of EPO veterans to depression and sometimes even suicide



  27. The Appeal Board (PTAB) and Federal Circuit (CAFC) Maintain Good Pace of Patent Elimination Where Scope Was Exceeded

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to accept about 4 out of 5 decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refuses to intervene



  28. Software Patents Are Ebbing Away, But the “Swamp” Fights Back and Hijacks the Word “Fix”

    The club of patent maximalists, or those who profit from excess prosecution and legal chaos, isn't liking what has happened in the United States and it wants everything reversed



  29. Report From Yesterday's Debate About the European Patent Office (EPO) at the Bavarian Landtag

    A report of the EPO debate which took place at the Bavarian Landtag yesterday (21/2/2017)



  30. Links 22/2/2017: Wine-Staging 2.2, Nautilus 3.24

    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