Hungary Makes ODF a National Standard

Posted in Europe, OpenDocument, Standard, SUN at 7:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flag of Hungary

Summary: The already-long list of ODF-supportive countries just keeps growing

LAST week/month we saw Ecuador hopping on the ODF bandwagon and this week it’s Hungary. IBM’s Weir and Sutor take pride in that. “I hope it will affect at least state institutions, including educational ones,” says a contributor of ours from Hungary.

Microsoft corruption in Hungary, which includes OOXML dirty tricks, has left supporters of Free software in Hungary somewhat bitter and demoralised (hat tip: Nagy György), so this is a refreshing change. See for example what we wrote in:

Hungary has now a commitment to ODF, which enables interoperability, choice, and the use of Free software (OOXML is Microsoft Office only). This is the type of thing which causes the Microsoft ecosystem to attack ODF so viciously these days [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Sun Microsystems has also just released the ODF Plugin 3.1 for Microsoft Office.

A new version of the ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office is available.

As I wrote in the last ODF Plugin announcement, the Plugin nowadays uses the same version number like the underlying OpenOffice.org version, so this version is now based on OpenOffice.org 3.1.

This ODF plugin is hugely important because Microsoft’s own implementation (MSODF) is doing more harm than good. It breaks interoperability [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

In other encouraging news, Apple is being lobbied to support ODF properly.

6 Projects We Hope Apple Is Building


2. OpenDocument Format (ODF) support in iWorks

ODF is an ISO standard for office document formats, with many government agencies in the world adopt the standard as compulsory interchange format. More organizations would be willing to adopt iWorks if ODF is a supported format. For consumers, it means their files can be saved in a format that is independent of iWorks software version changes.

Thus far, Apple has not been a true friend of ODF. Can it ultimately change its ways? ODF is here to stay and thrive, so sooner or later Apple will have to adapt anyway.

Hungarian money
Microsoft cannot buy its way to abolishment of ODF

“I Believe Gnote is Also Slated for Inclusion by Default in Debian and Ubuntu”

Posted in Debian, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 3:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Reasons for true optimism as Mono drifts further away from GNU/Linux

STATES ONE anonymous person:

I believe Gnote is also slated for inclusion by default in Debian and Ubuntu.

For those who are just joining us, Red Hat decided to remove Mono from its default installation of Fedora [1, 2]. Perhaps the way to reward the project is to check out Fedora 12 when it comes out. The remark above is attached to the following new article from Sam Varghese.

Fedora casts Mono into outer darkness


There are fears around Mono that it may be subject to patent claims by Microsoft down the track.

Richard Chapman adds:

Why in the world would any true blue Linux user want to use anything related to mono/Microsoft. It’s a trap! Go back before it’s too late! I have heard Miguel de Icaza speak of Microsoft in glowing terms. It almost sounds like worship. It makes me wonder why he hasn’t left Novell for a job at Microsoft. My conclusion: He’s worth more to Microsoft where he is. I know many people just look a the technical side of things and harbor no ill feelings towards one side or the other. That’s the way Microsoft would like everyone to see things. If that were the case then they could do their “work” unhindered by sticky matters of market dominance or even monopoly being raised. I don’t need any more reasons to dislike Microsoft but they keep giving them to me anyway. Microsoft is bad. Bad for business. Bad for your mental health. When Microsoft is gone, or gone enough, the World will be a much better place. People and businesses will wonder how they ever got any work done in Microsoft’s prison.

The worst one can do is offer Microsoft a new home in other platforms which it is suing.

“At Microsoft I learned the truth about ActiveX and COM and I got very interested in it inmediately [sic].”

Miguel de Icaza

What Red Hat and Novell Have in Common and What They Do Not

Posted in Europe, Finance, GNU/Linux, Google, Interoperability, Mail, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, Servers at 2:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Remarks on takeover possibilities and interoperability with Microsoft Exchange Server

Investopedia is not a Web site whose name comes up quite so often. It seems to stick to conventions rather than question or challenge them. For example, it uses the Microsoft-based IDC numbers to belittle GNU/Linux (notice the “ASPX” in Investopedia), but either way, there is this new short report regarding Red Hat, Novell, and takeovers.

Novell Takeover Talk Overplayed (NOVL,RHT)

Despite reporting earnings beating expectations, shares of network software provider Novell (NYSE:NOVL) failed to rally on the news, as uncertainty regarding the company’s ability to successfully transition to a new business model based on so-called “open source” Linux software appears to remain a significant concern for investors.

According to this, Red Hat and Novell are similar in the sense that neither will be acquired any time soon (by the way, both companies are symbolised by red colours too). It has been weeks since Egbert's prediction that Red Hat will be acquired -- potentially by IBM — and even months since she spoke about Oracle. She just never gets it right. It is worth pointing out that Red Hat and Novell are in very different positions. Novell’s revenue keeps declining because it carries a baggage from the past, whereas Red Hat is the type of company Novell wishes to be.

Meanwhile, Paula Rooney writes about OpenChange and she makes it sound very much like it’s only a Red Hat thing which bears resemblance to a Novell deal.

Red Hat is not going to let the Microsoft-Novell partnership dim its own prospects for interoperability.

That seems to be the case with the Red Hat-sponsored open source Fedora project, which plans to release on June 9 a major upgrade of its free Linux that offers robust integration with Microsoft Exchange via a new feature called OpenChange.

As one of the commenters points out:

Is this particular to Redhat? My understanding is that OpenChange is being implemented by Gnome Evolution and KDE Akonadi. (It would be nice if the Mozilla Messaging also supported it.) I think OpenChange is already available in some form on OpenSuse, SLED and maybe other recent Linux distro releases and will be available on others soon.

And, yes, it is a big deal, a bigger deal than just Exchange. The European Commission forced Microsoft to cough up the details of all their server protocols. Microsoft are of course doing it to “foster innovation and interoperability”. Ha, ha!


So patent deals are not required for interoperability after all. What was Novell thinking at the time? Speaking of Exchange, Google Wave renders it obsolete (if adopted) and to a large extent the same goes for SharePoint and Outlook (even the whole of Office, by extension). Google terrifies Microsoft for this reason. It puts together a lot of pieces like video (YouTube), spreadsheets editor (Apps), image viewer/album sharing (Picasa), E-mail (GMail), and so on. But that’s another story.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: June 3rd, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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