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. 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