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

09.12.09

Latest Wins for OpenDocument Format

Posted in America, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, SUN at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

Summary: IBM dumps Microsoft Office; reports from ODF Workshop arrive; the Microsoft crowd still tries to capture ODF seats

IBM and Lotus

THE BIGGEST piece of news about OpenDocument Format (ODF) is probably IBM’s internal migration from the proprietary Microsoft Office to the proprietary Lotus Symphony. But it’s not exactly news; it seems like news that IBM occasionally re-announces to generate buzz. Either way, it is another “Big Win for ODF,” to use the summary of a Sun employee.

IBM asks all their employees to stop using Microsoft Office, and completely switch to Lotus Symphony – IBM’s office suite which is based on OpenOffice.org 1.1.

Here is the coverage from Heise:

American IT giant IBM plans to have its staff abandon Microsoft office software. According to a report in German daily Handelsblatt, the some 360,000 employees of the firm are to switch from the MS Office Suite to IBM’s own Lotus Symphony. The paper’s report (German link), is based on leaked internal IBM correspondence from upper management. IBM’s internal move away from Microsoft Office began in June 2008 with early pilots. By the end of the year, IBM documents are to be created in the ODF format, which is license-free for everyone.

There is also some coverage in IDG and in The Inquirer, which adds this for context:

IBM’s aggressive new campaign comes as Microsoft faces legal challenges over the lynchpin of its Office suite. Canadian software firm i4i has accused Microsoft of violating its patents on XML components within the word processing application. The case nearly halted sales of Word within the US.

Here is some coverage about the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

ODF Workshop

The ODF Workshop in Brazil is something that we covered at the end of August. The ODF Alliance finally has a sort of summary covering this event.

The growing public-sector support for ODF was on display at the 3rd International ODF User Workshop, which concluded last week in Brasilia. The event—organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SERPRO (Federal Service for Data Processing – Ministry of Finance, Brazil) and Caixa Econômica Federal, in collaboration with the ODF Alliance—brought together representatives from governments around the world that have already made the move to ODF or are actively considering how best to utilize an open format to preserve access to documents and records, increase software choice, and save some money in the process. The first day of the event was held at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty Palace) and the second day at CONSEGI, the largest international free software and electronic government conference organized by the Brazilian Federal Government.

Jomar Silva, who organised this event (or helped in organising it), has his own summary too. Here is the English version:

After his presentation, the debate was basically done by a group that agrees that we need a stronger stance against proprietary technologies and the group that believes that we must continue addressing the issue more calmly … and we had almost two hours of debate, perhaps the most interesting I’ve ever attended.

Microsoft Interference

Microsoft Corporation, the company which is fragmenting ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], has already attempted to bring ODF to its own turf; corrupting for OOXML was apparently not enough. A month ago we showed that Microsoft managed to bring SC34 into its own area of influence and now we find messages like this one: “packing for Seattle ISO SC 34 meeting #sc34 #odf #ooxml #microsoft”

“They try to get into panels where they can promote Microsoft without it seeming that way.”Yes, Seattle/Microsoft will be the place in which to discuss ODF. And meanwhile, Microsoft proponents Rick Jelliffe and Jesper Lund Stocholm are grilling Rob Weir over ODF in their continued battle to mock ODF (based on simple track record and business affiliations/payments).

Stocholm, for instance, is flirting with other ODF people like Jomar Silva, hoping to hide his agenda and mingle with those whose work he later abuses. Privately, we’ve heard similar stories about Microsoft proponent/partners who attend FOSS events across the world for the purpose of getting inside, understanding the people (reporting/ousting ‘troublemakers’ to Microsoft) and later affecting the agenda from the inside. That’s what Microsoft and its ecosystem do best. Here is Stocholm getting inside another panel. Very typical. They try to get into panels where they can promote Microsoft without it seeming that way.

Leftovers

Pia Waugh is seen promoting ODF, which is great news. “Current speaker has format compatibility issues,” she wrote. “Good lesson in importance of open standards. Everyone sh[oul]ld go ODF!” From the Customer Support Lead at Mozilla we learned a few days ago that this is “a day to remember…. as the day when @patrickfinch sent an ISO standard ODF document to the k-team!!”

Here is a warning that “iWork lacks ODF support”. We have already explained why Apple helps the duopoly with Microsoft.

“That particular meeting was followed by an anonymous smear campaign against one of the TC members. A letter was faxed to the organization of the TC member in question, accusing the TC member in question of helping politicize the issue (which is, of course, untrue). I too had the dubious pleasure of hearing first hand how Microsoft attempted to remove me from the TC (they did not succeed, thanks to integrity and cojones of the organization I am affiliated with).”

“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

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

10 Comments

  1. JohnD said,

    September 12, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Gravatar

    Lotus Symphony is not proprietary.
    They are using an old product name for continuity only. Symphony is based on OO with some minor changes to allow the applications to run as tabs within an Eclipse based client.
    The suite is free for everyone.
    IBM has stated that they will integrate things from previous apps like 1-2-3 into Symphony and make those features available to the community.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Where can I download the source code of Lotus Symphony?

    I’ve already asked some people in IBM about this and it is not Free software. IBM exploits people’s inability to discern gratis from libre.

    JohnD Reply:

    Well you need to find some other people to talk to because they’ve obviously given you inaccurate information.
    Here’s a link that explains what they’ve done:
    http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/developers.nsf/home#1
    Want the source code? Download OO and Eclipse and you have it. The only “thing” that might be close to proprietary is the UI. The only reason they changed the UI is to provide a consistent interface for the end user.
    If you take the time to read the literature they are also marketing it as an alternative to proprietary options like M$.
    How do I know all this you ask? Because I’m a PCLP 5&6, and I sell and support Lotus products and work with IBM business partners.

  2. JohnD said,

    September 12, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Gravatar

    Download OO and eclipse – that’s all you need.

  3. JohnD said,

    September 12, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Gravatar

    I’d also like to know how IBM is “exploiting” people when they aren’t charging for the product and they are using ODF instead of a proprietary format.
    They took two FOSS products and integrated them in order to provide a consistent interface with some of their other products which are proprietary. Lotus Notes 8.x and Symphony use the same eclipse based client that’s all. Just because they aren’t telling you exactly how they did it, doesn’t make the product proprietary. They have done nothing to alter the functionality of Eclipse or OO. All they have done is change the packaging, not the product. The user community is not being short changed in any way.
    This idea gets to be even more of a stretch when you factor in the fact the IBM started Eclipse and helped move it into the FOSS community. Not to mention IBMs continued support of the Eclipse project.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The code situation is more complicated than you make it seem.

    JohnD Reply:

    No it isn’t.
    All the code that makes the product works is available to anyone via OO or Eclipse. The only pieces “missing” are the things they did to integrate OO and Eclipse to provide an interface that’s consistent with other products that are proprietary.
    End users are not being charged for the product.
    IBM has not included anything into the product that would subject end users to patent attacks.
    You have cited definitions in the past:
    1 : one that possesses, owns, or holds exclusive right to something; specifically : proprietor 1
    2 : something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker; specifically : a drug (as a patent medicine) that is protected by secrecy, patent, or copyright against free competition as to name, product, composition, or process of manufacture
    3 : a business secretly owned by and run as a cover for an intelligence organization
    Item 2 is the most applicable in this case. The only thing IBM has exclusivity to is the name and possible the UI – this hardly makes Symphony a proprietary product.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Gravatar

    The only pieces “missing” are the things they did to integrate OO and Eclipse to provide an interface that’s consistent with other products that are proprietary.

    So it’s not Free software. IBM still controls it.

    The only thing IBM has exclusivity to is the name and possible the UI – this hardly makes Symphony a proprietary product.

    Saying “hardly makes Symphony a proprietary product” is like saying “this lady is hardly pregnant.”

    JohnD Reply:

    Roy what world do you live on?
    IBM does not control Eclipse or OO. Take those two things away and there is no product.
    Using your rationale – if I create a custom tool bar for OO and don’t tell anyone how I did it – OO has just become my proprietary software.
    All the tools they used to create the UI are public domain. Anyone who has a desire could go out and duplicate what they’ve done.
    There may be a few things they don’t want to release because they are covered by preexisting patents for Notes – Notes has been around a long time. Not putting those things in the public domain would actually protect end users – not screw them over.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    IBM’s attitude towards software patents is another topic worth debating.

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/5/2017: Mesa 17.1.1, Wine 2.9, KDevelop 5.1.1

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Dangers to Linux and Android: Qualcomm, Apple, and Nokia

    The prevailing problem which is companies with mountains of patents going after OEMs, using a bulk of infringement accusations, and demanding 'protection' money



  3. Colossal Institutional Failure Surrounding the European Patent Office (EPO) and EPO Chickens Out of Debate About It

    Shielded by a network of institutions, governments, and departments that facilitate the EPO's abuses by inexcusable inaction, Team Battistelli continues to hoard more money and power



  4. The United States Has Already Tackled Both Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    An outline of some notable responses to TC Heartland and where we go from here



  5. Cloudflare Wants to Completely Squash the Patent Troll Blackbird Technologies by Squashing the Only Thing It Has

    Putting more of its money to good use, for a change, Cloudflare goes for the kill against Blackbird Technologies, which has no technologies, just patents and lawsuits



  6. Links 25/5/2017: Mesa 17.1.1, Qt 5.9.0 RC, and Much More

    Links for the day



  7. Links 24/5/2017: New RHEL Beta, SteamOS Updated

    Links for the day



  8. Great News: While IBM et al Try to Undermine Patent Reform the Supreme Court Deepens the Reform in TC Heartland Case

    In a unanimous decision, with the court ruling 8-0 against TC Heartland, the monkey business in East Texas (beneficial to patent trolls and large businesses that leverage software patents) may have just come to an end



  9. Speculations About Battistelli's End of Term, Campinos at EUIPO, and Failed UPC Ambitions

    Rumours and speculations surrounding the fate of the EPO's leadership now that the UPC gravy train is stuck again and Battistelli's protector, Jesper Kongstad, is about to leave



  10. Martijn van Dam is Wrong to Believe That Battistelli's Abuses Are Somehow Acceptable or Tolerable Because His Term is Possibly Ending

    Coverage of Martijn van Dam’s stance (he is the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs) reveals that economic gain trumps ethics and justice, irrespective of what the law says



  11. Media and Staff Association Elections at EPO and WIPO Are Compromised

    A campaign of abuse (legal bullying) and gifting to the media, combined with a wide-ranging assault on critics who represent the interests of staff, have led WIPO and EPO down the route to totality



  12. New Documents Help Demonstrate That ILO Delivers Institutional Injustice to EPO Employees and Cushions Team Battistelli

    The International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) delivers not justice but merely the illusion of justice, probably in defiance of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)



  13. Leaked: 2017 European Inventor Award Finalists, or Stooges Whom the Tyrant Battistelli Exploits for PR Purposes and Media Manipulation

    The stupidest ceremony in Europe (turning serious science into something sketchy such as Eurovision) is disliked among EPO staff and is exploited by the person who destroys the EPO (Benoît Battistelli) to pretend all is fine and dandy, at huge expense to the Office (as extraordinary as about 5 million Euros for a ~2-hour show)



  14. EPO: Can the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) Still Save It?

    Genuine concerns about the slow process at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the lack of progress at ILO, which coincide with weakening of the unions and threat to jobs of patent examiners (leaving ordinary Europeans more vulnerable to meritless patent lawsuits)



  15. Links 21/5/2017: Linux 3.18.53, Tizen 4.0

    Links for the day



  16. Cloudflare's Enemy is Software Patents, Not Just One Software Patent or One Patent Troll

    With a bounty of $50,000, which is likely less than the cost of legal defense, Cloudflare looks for help with its own case rather than the underlying issues that need tackling worldwide



  17. Patent Laws -- and Especially Eligibility of Software Patents -- Are Being Hijacked by Large Corporations and Their Front Groups

    Intervention by large multinational corporations and their lawyers, front groups, etc. (like the classic lobbying model) gives room for concern in multiple continents where most software development is done



  18. Links 18/5/2017: Catching Up With the Past Three Days

    Links for the day



  19. The US Supreme Court Consults USPTO Director Michelle Lee Regarding the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Which is Invalidating Software Patents With CAFC's Approval

    Software patents continue to get knocked out by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) whose introduction of PTAB gave a helping hand to companies that are susceptible to abusive litigation (with bogus patents)



  20. IBM and Its Revolving Doors Lobby Are Plotting to Undermine Supreme Court Rulings to Restore Patentability of Software

    IBM has become so evil that it is now trying to steal democracy, label programmers "thieves", and basically attack the rule of law by extra-judicially overturning a Supreme Court decision



  21. 3 Years After the Alice Case at the Supreme Court the Plague of Software Patents is Easier to Cope With

    Litigation figures are down, rejection rates of software patents remain high, and only spin (e.g. cherry-picking) or constant lobbying can save those who used to profit from software patents



  22. The Attacks of Patent Trolls as Outlined in the Media This Past Week

    An outline of some of the latest troll cases to be aware of and their consequences too (e.g. software patents being used to literally shut down entire programs)



  23. Links 14/5/2017: Linux 4.12 RC1 and KDE Frameworks 5.34.0

    Links for the day



  24. Industry Giants Challenge Qualcomm's Patent Practices While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Closely Examines Such Behavior

    Scrutiny of Qualcomm's patent aggression and coercion -- scrutiny that can profoundly change the way software patents, SEPs and FRAND are viewed -- as seen in various amicus briefs (amici) from industry giants that are affected



  25. Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette Questions Whether Patents Work When Patent Scope is Too Broad

    Citing MIT economist (and MacArthur “genius”) Heidi Williams, Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette from Stanford challenges old myths and quotes: “we still have essentially no credible empirical evidence on the seemingly simple question of whether stronger patent rights—either longer patent terms or broader patent rights—encourage research investments.”



  26. OIN is Still a Distraction Unless We Want GNU/Linux to Coexist With Software Patents (Rather Than Eliminate Those)

    Another wave of media coverage by/for the Open Invention Network (OIN) necessitates a reminder of what OIN stands for and why it is not tackling the biggest problems which Free/Open Source software (FOSS) faces



  27. Links 13/5/2017: Neptune Plasma 5 ISO, a Shift to Free (FOSS) Databases

    Links for the day



  28. Countries With a Dozen European Patents Are an Easy Photo-Op 'Sell' for Battistelli While the EPO's Demise is Largely Ignored by the Patent Microcosm

    Behind the façade of legitimacy, the EPO suffers from an incompetent, insecure and delusional boss, whose actions will almost certainly lead to the collapse of both the Office and the entire Organisation (whose founding document he routinely shreds to pieces)



  29. Our Assessment: Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Crumble Along With Battistelli's Regime at the EPO

    A reflection and an opinion on where the EPO stands and what it means for the UPC, which doesn't seem to be going anywhere (it's all talk and lobbying)



  30. The European Patent Office Has a Long History/Track Record of 'Screwing' Contractors

    The European Patent Office (EPO) appears to have quite an extensive track record/reputation for ‘screwing’ contractors and then misusing immunity to get away with it


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