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

05.06.09

Don’t Let Novell (and Microsoft) Control GNU/Linux, Licences, and Open Office

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Oracle, SUN at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MS Novell

Summary: Dangers of Moonlight seen in a different light (but same angle); OpenOffice.org needs to be kept away from Novell

EARLIER on today we wrote about Microsoft's fanfare over the release of Microsoft Moonlight. The Microsoft-oriented Elizabeth Montalbano (at IDG) covered it promptly just like other reporters who pick the same theme. By contrast, Sean who is actually a GNU/Linux user talked about the problems which make Moonlight quite so controversial (and forbidden in Fedora's case).

Yes there is still a debate about the media codecs themselves which are still proprietary, even though Microsoft is making them freely available via Novell. Questions about Free Software purity aside, Moonlight is about enabling Linux users with the ability to view the same content as Windows users. With Moonlight in play, Microsoft can rightfully claim that Silverlight isn’t just for Windows.

Those who are not careful enough mistakenly call Microsoft Moonlight a “port” of Silverlight. It’s not a port by any stretch of imagination. And in a similar vein, Go-OO from Novell is a fork of OpenOffice.org [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], whose 3.1.0 release is currently being deployed across mirrors. If the following new articles bear truth, then Novell’s fork could spell trouble. The last thing the community needs is a Microsoft ally in virtual charge of Open Office development (whichever variant is dominant).

The setting Sun: responses to the acquisition

Another project with a cloudy future is OpenOffice.org, Sun’s open source office suite. Sun’s stewardship of OpenOffice.org has been mired in controversy. The company often clashed with other major contributors, especially Novell. Many critics of Sun’s conduct have called for OpenOffice.org to be spun off into an independent foundation with vendor-neutral governance so that all interested parties can participate in enhancing the project on even footing. Such advocacy has been renewed in the wake of the acquisition.

Saving OpenOffice From Itself (And Oracle)

The big question is: will Oracle let such a thing happen? If they don’t, the only alternative may be to fork it and let IBM (via the Lotus Symphony project) or Novell (via Go-OO) pick up the pieces. The former brought a great sense of design and integration to the suite; the latter a tenacity to improve the whole in ways that were previously neglected. Maybe the two of them can join forces on this one; they’d both have everything to gain.

The Sun ain’t gonna shine on OpenOffice any more

Everyone who has cheerfully been using OpenOffice for the past seven or eight years must face the prospect that the new owners will drop the project. As it’s open source, this is easily accomplished by “releasing it into the community”, which will make it reliant on Novell and IBM, the only other companies to put significant numbers of programmers into the work.

By all means, do not ever allow Microsoft’s close ally to control the rival of Microsoft’s #1 cash cow. It won’t work. SUSE never worked for Novell because the companies hardly compete, except Microsoft which mostly divides and conquers.

“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”

LinuxToday Managing Editor

Novell and Vista

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

8 Comments

  1. Will said,

    May 7, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Gravatar

    If I recall correctly, the version of OpenOffice in the official Ubuntu repositories is actually Go-OO, even though it doesn’t come right out and say that. Vanilla OO.org works just fine on Ubuntu though, as I’ve been manually updating it from the OO.org site since the official Ubuntu repos stay frozen on the same release version within an Ubuntu release.

    I’ve no idea how the Oracle-Sun thing will turn out for OO.org, and while it may turn out well in the end, I wonder what might have resulted if IBM had acquired Sun and subsequently fused OpenOffice 3.x with Lotus Symphony (which was forked from OO.org 1.x code) to perhaps create a new office suite better than either of them.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    IBM currently builds a version of Lotus Symphony which is based on OpenOffice.org 3.0. IBM won’t allow OpenOffice.org development to dry up.

  2. souskel said,

    May 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Gravatar

    “The last thing the community needs is a Microsoft ally in virtual charge of Open Office development (whichever variant is dominant).”

    Your argument that Go-OO is a hostile fork because of Novell’s association with Microsoft seems like a bit of a false dichotomy, Roy. Sun has a patent agreement with Microsoft that covers OpenOffice.org and it’s pretty much the same as the deal that Novell has with Microsoft. To make matters even more sketchy, Sun says that patent indemnification is a major selling point of their commercial StarOffice program.

    Why all the love for Sun? Wrt OOo, they are as much in bed with Microsoft as Novell is.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Oracle in bed with Microsoft? Tell that to Ellison.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Oh, they must be. You can buy Oracle for Windows.

    *cough*

    Personally, I’m sure they were sorely tempted to laugh in the face of the people who were asking for Oracle on Windows, of all the platforms. But there’s infinite sums of money in serving those who refuse to think.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    80% or 90% run UNIX/Linux, mostly Red Hat/Unbreakable. There are up-to-date statistics on their Web site somewhere.

    Oracle also releases software to GNU/Linux before it releases it to Windows.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Oracle is a serious performance database for when you need something with serious performance. Unix and Linux versions both involve ridiculous amounts of performance tweaking, custom file systems, etc. That sort of thing plus Windows is so stupid that anyone asking for it probably deserves to pay for it.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve found it.

    Oracle’s market share on Linux was 82.6 percent in 2006, up from 80.6 percent in 2005

    The newer figures are even better.

What Else is New


  1. Links 4/8/2015: KDE.org Redesign, Point Linux 3.0

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Admits Vista 10 Not a 'Free' 'Upgrade', Especially If You Upgrade

    Microsoft debunks its own false promises, showing that Vista 10 as 'free' is virtually a mirage



  3. Free Software is Commercial

    orporate media helps stigmatise Free/Open Source software as unsuitable for commercial use and once again it uses the 'security' card



  4. 'Sanader’s Protégé' Željko Topić Slammed by Press in His Home Country

    The mischiefs of Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić still not forgotten while temporary calm prevails at the EPO



  5. Links 3/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC5, Korora 22

    Links for the day



  6. The World is Changing and Patent Law Can Change Either for Better or for Worse

    Recent secret dealings (which are being exposed to the public owing to whistle-blowers) show the degree of coordination and collusion against public interests; it's up to us, the majority, to fight back and tackle this injustice



  7. The Latest on Patent 'Reform' in the US: GOP Media Deception, Healthwashing Patents, and SIIA Lobbying

    Techrights looks at the more prominent actors driving patent policy in the US, with budget to absorb and agenda to lobby for



  8. Newegg Uses Its Fight Against Patent Trolls for Marketing

    Comments on Newegg's fight against patent trolls in court, setting an example for other companies



  9. Microsoft Lies, Propaganda, Embedded 'Journalism' and Other Dirty Tricks to Promote Vista 10

    The Vista 10 entrapment is being sold to the public using bogus/unverified figures, Microsoft propagandists pretending to be journalists, and some gullible people who actually believe them



  10. Microsoft -- Like Bill Gates -- Bribes PBS for Propaganda to be Presented as 'TV Programme'

    Microsoft pays the supposedly 'public' network to act as courier of Microsoft marketing, shrewdly disguised as 'information'



  11. Links 2/8/2015: KDE Applications 15.08 Beta, Zorin OS 10

    Links for the day



  12. Links 1/8/2015: Steam Sale, blackPanther OS 14.1

    Links for the day



  13. Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

    Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called 'partners' in the process



  14. As Microsoft AstroTurfing/PR Budget Runs Dry, Vista 10 Truths Come Out

    The media manipulation by Microsoft (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on 'marketing') grows thin as a growing number of growingly angry early adopters of Vista 10 publicly rant



  15. Links 31/7/2015: Lennart Poettering as 'Linux Hero' and systemd Conference Coming

    Links for the day



  16. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  18. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  19. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  20. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  21. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  22. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  23. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  24. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  25. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  26. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  27. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  28. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  29. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  30. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system


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