12.21.10

Groklaw Lashes Out at Novell for Promoting OOXML (With Lock-in and Patent/RAND Traps)

Posted in ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, RAND, Standard at 5:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New year promise

Summary: Novell is slammed by a longtime stickler for helping promote Microsoft’s proprietary rival to ODF, which is the international standard for documents

PEOPLE have begun leaving for their vacation, but earlier on Groklaw decided to speak about Novell’s massive betrayal (translation to Spanish), which is not exactly news at all. Novell’s betrayal has been clear to us for over 4 years and we wrote thousands of posts on the subject.

Groklaw turns to Comes exhibits, specifically IBM exhibits. Rob from IBM has just posted this chart which shows what an utter mess Microsoft Office can be for ODF (pretty much by design [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]) and Groklaw links this to what Novell did with Microsoft and what Microsoft did to IBM a couple of decades ago. To quote some parts:

First quietly create incompatibilities to make sure that Microsoft applications wouldn’t run right on OS/2. Then tell the world that they shouldn’t buy OS/2 because Microsoft applications wouldn’t run right on OS/2.

But 1991 is a long time ago, I hear some of you say, and there is a new Microsoft. Oh? Let’s see if that’s so by highlighting one of the recent Novell filings with the SEC, its work agreement with Microsoft titled “Improving Microsoft-Novell Interoperability through Open XML” and dated March of this very year.

It’s regarding work Microsoft was willing to pay Novell to do to make Microsoft’s cynically misnamed Open XML seem like it allows interoperability. Novell has been at work since March to make Novell’s version of OpenOffice.org interoperate, sort of, but as you will see not completely with Microsoft Office 2010 so that it would at least look like Open XML works and that somebody is implementing it.

What a role for Novell to agree to play. We’ve had our suspicions for years, since Microsoft and Novell entered into its patent peace agreement and technical work agreement, and now we know that everything we suspected Novell was doing with its version of OpenOffice.org, it was. It is. This is the smoking gun. And the work agreement runs through November of 2011, so this story isn’t over yet.

[...]

Remember that one of the big objections to OOXML becoming a standard in the first place was that it allowed for proprietary extensions, which it was pointed out would make it difficult and indeed impossible for anyone but Microsoft and any chosen pals to interoperate with the “standard”. And here you see it in real life. Under criticism, Microsoft hires Novell to be a Microsoft pal and to try to figure out a way to make Microsoft Office look like it interoperates with OpenOffice.org up to a point, not any version of it, but just Novell’s version of OpenOffice.

You are not supposed to have to hire people to figure out a private way to be compatible with a true standard.

[...]

Oh, Novell. What were you thinking? Why would you agree to this? I can read these words, so why couldn’t you? They say you are being used to prop up the reputation of Open XML, while not really making it compatible in the end. What kind of goals are these? For a *standard*? For a company selling GNU/Linux?

[...]

Irony is dead. Here you have a so-called standard being used for exclusivity, so Microsoft and Novell have special interoperability that others can’t enjoy.

And as for Novell’s awful role, obviously, Novell executives never grasped the essence of Linux or FOSS. That explains a lot, including the company’s downfall in the end, don’t you think? Selling out the community in secret does not a long-term business plan make. And to everyone who pushed for or accepted Novell’s version of OpenOffice.org, what’s the plan now? Seriously. Time to really make a plan. Microsoft does. How about the community? How stupid are we?

Groklaw also appends the exhibit (we will hopefully have its Spanish translation soon, courtesy of Eduardo Landaveri) and Microsoft’s booster/insider Alex Brown gets slammed for his role in this whole process (he is a Microsoft “mercenary” as Landaveri would probably call him). He is criticised severely not just for his abuse as OOXML convenor but also as a Microsoft booster after all these incidents. Brown also threatened me after I had leaked OOXML, for all the misconduct associated with it (even corruption like bribes). That’s the type of crowd Microsoft surrounds itself with, in order to defend itself from prosecution for crimes.

For those who can recall the debate from 2008, OOXML is filled with RAND traps although it’s not the only issue with this proprietary format. The news about EIFv2 [1, 2, 3] (also in Spanish) suggests that Europe will not exclude OOXML for its unacceptable RAND terms and there is a new analysis (supposedly impartial) of what EIFv2 will mean to Europe:

Whether or not by indirect reaction to some of these developments, Red Hat has this week issued a blog post outlining the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), which has been set out by the European Commission. The commission recognizes that open technologies are key to achieving interoperability and therefore recommends that public administrations should aim for openness at all times.

If the European Commission is right to back this initiative with its emphasis being on “open specifications” and open standards being implemented in practice, then it may help the wider cause of free and open source software application development (in the public sector at least) from the following perspectives:

* The promotion and support the delivery of public services by fostering cross-border and cross-sectoral interoperability;
* To guide public administrations in their work to provide public services to businesses and citizens; and
* To complement and tie together the various National Interoperability Frameworks (NIFs) where they exist.

Although this model is confined to Europe under the auspices of the European commission, if effective it may prove telling for procedural adoption in other developed countries of the Western world from the United States and beyond.

The EIF is more than just a typical paper from another government committee. It is the result of a multi-year, multi-stakeholder effort that sets out to shift the paradigm for IT deployment in the public sector. Indeed, in the words of the EIF, it… “should be taken into account when [governments are] making decisions on public services that support the implementation of policy initiatives… [and] should also be considered when establishing public services that in the future may be reused as part of public services.”

OOXML was never supposed to get anywhere near ISO, but Novell helped it along the way, in order to appease Microsoft which had paid Novell hundreds of millions of dollars. Boyott Novell and whatever comes after it (AttachMSFT is buying Novell, so the name of the target will change).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2010/12/21/novell-is-slammed-by-groklaw/

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

What Else is New


  1. [Meme] Bundestagate Series Spoiler

    The chain of command/s at the EPO typically leads to major tragedy



  2. Breaking News: Campinos to Appear Before the Legals Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Monday 12 April

    "Some MEPs have been briefed about ongoing governance deficits at the EPO, in particular the lack of GDPR compliance and the sell-out of "digital sovereignty" to Microsoft, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will dare to bring these issues up during the hearing."



  3. Pro-FSF Petition (“An Open Letter in Support of Richard Matthew Stallman Being Reinstated by the Free Software Foundation”) Tops 6,200 Signatures

    Monopolies and their media, along with their NGOs, have spoken and incited based on falsehoods; people now respond so the hate letter has a real crisis



  4. Links 10/4/2021: osbuild 28, KDE Frameworks 5.81.0

    Links for the day



  5. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?

    We examine the role of Christoph Ernst in EPO management, both in the Benoît Battistelli era and the António Campinos era (plenty to hide)



  6. USPTO for Monopolies, Keeping GNU/Linux in the Dark

    Growing evidence of gross discrimination against GNU/Linux (or Free software, even BSD/UNIX) users at the USPTO is too hard to ignore; some people out there challenge the Office over this travesty



  7. Accessibility and Availability First

    To make Techrights more widely accessible and more difficult to block/censor we've been making further changes, including self-hosting where possible



  8. Self-Hosting Videos With Free Formats and Animated Previews, Watermarks/Logos and Translucency

    We examine the power of video editing with ffmpeg, chained with command-line scripting and HTML5 features



  9. Links 10/4/2021: Linux on M1, Wine 6.6, ClamAV 0.103.2

    Links for the day



  10. Lunduke: On Mob Justice in the Tech Industry

    A new video from the former Microsofter who fears the phenomenon that’s adopted by companies like IBM



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 09, 2021



  12. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli's Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli

    Local copies with evidence of or something concrete about Benoît Battistelli’s connection to unsavoury — and by today’s standards outright fascistic — politics



  13. IBM Doubles Down on Masters Being an Acceptable Word in the Context of Technology

    3 days after this post which disproves IBM's stance or shows its double standards it once again says “Masters” in its official blog (won’t that offend and alienate some people as they insist?)



  14. Hate Letter Against Richard Matthew Stallman (RMS) Backfired So Spectacularly That Signers Asked to Revoke Their Own Signatures and the List Was Then Frozen Permanently (Updated)

    "An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation" tops 6,100 signatures (graph generated just moments ago)



  15. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 11: The BMJV's Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst

    The right-hand man of António Campinos plays a role similar to that of Herr Lutz before him



  16. Links 9/4/2021: Tanglet 1.6.0 and HPVM 1.0

    Links for the day



  17. The Libel Against Richard Stallman Did Not Age Well

    Almost 2 years down the line libel about the founder of the FSF remains online, uncorrected (in sites funded by Microsoft and IBM)



  18. The Letter in Support of the FSF and Richard Stallman is Backed by the International Community, Not American Monopolies and Nationalistic Elements

    Free software is for everybody to use, internationally, it is not the asset of a bunch of current and old monopolists (connected to the US military) that also control the media; the nature of the signatures says that out loud



  19. Gemini Over IPFS (Decentralised Web, Accessed Over Gemini Protocol)

    The Gemini protocol (gemini://) can already be used to fetch (at the back end) and present objects from a P2P-like network; we're currently exploring practical use cases and possibilities



  20. News Sites That Talk About Patents Have Become Shameless Self-Promotion 'Plugs' by Law Firms (and Sometimes Outright 'Spam' for Litigation)

    The sources of news about patent affairs have dried up; sites that actually used to investigate and report facts have since then shut down or defected to the Public Relations/marketing industry



  21. Links 9/4/2021: Kubernetes 1.21 and FFmpeg 4.4 Released

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 08, 2021



  23. [Meme] Self-styled Judges

    To suit a recurring theme at the EPO we hereby present Roland Lutz, a self-styled judge



  24. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 10: A Faithful Lapdog Despised and Reviled by EPO Staff

    "In any event, the "Nazi" jibes directed against Lutz seem to have triggered Battistelli who decided to take revenge on his perceived enemies inside the EPO by smearing them as “Nazis”."



  25. Links 8/4/2021: GnuPG 2.3.0, Xen 4.15, Xfdashboard 0.9.2

    Links for the day



  26. The Hate Letter Which Backfired

    The FSF is more closely aligned with its founder's vision, his antagonists have left or are leaving, and that old hate letter turned out to be a loud minority (made to appear louder by biased media) emboldened by a gish gallop of lies



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 07, 2021



  28. IBM: We Can Say It... You Cannot

    Blog posts such as this new one help show the hypocrisy or the double standards of IBM, looking to control speech while attacking people's (software) freedom/civil liberties and profiting from atomic bombs



  29. The Collapse of Microsoft Windows

    Although the corporate media keeps insisting that Microsoft is doing well, government (or military) bailouts keep the company afloat while its desperate attempts to remain relevant (as the common carrier languishes) merit a debate



  30. Links 8/4/2021: Mesa 21.0.2, GNU Releases, and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts