12.28.08

Is Novell Attacking OpenOffice.org Again?

Posted in Fork, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, SUN at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reuse of old trash

Novell or its lackeys might be spreading old posts from months ago at this very moment. Why else would such old ‘news’ reach the front page of Slashdot and Digg despite being a repetition and a duplicate? The modified headline is “Michael Meeks Says OO.o Project is “Profoundly Sick”.” What a nice Christmas gift from Novell to the company which did much of the heavy lifting.

We mentioned this yesterday and we wrote about it at the time when it was first published. A couple of months later, wrote Anivar Aravind: “Novell was mainly promoting their fork of OpenOffice 3.0 (after they implemented notorious OOXML support & forked it after OOO3 moved to to LGPLv3)& SUSE in their stall. Most of the participants in the Conference were newbies and Novell is the only GNU/Linux distro widely promoted in the exhibition. Our protest is not targeted at Organizers or Novell. It was just a way to spread awareness on Novell’s evil trends through the posters to protect new users being misguided.”

One of our readers points out that “Meeks isn’t even an OOo developer. He’s be working on a hostile fork. The fork has been used to inject Microsoft technology and to attack Sun. It’s time to point out publicly again that Meeks is not an OOo developer.”

We’ll write some more about it later. Microsoft hopes to eliminate competition such as Java — via gradual weakening of Sun — because lacking competition means that they can set the rules. Internet Explorer and Netscape are good examples of such battles. It’s worth remembering that Novell promotes Microsoft technologies (it supports ActiveX, Windows Vista, Internet Explorer, .NET, and even XAML).

Novell seems to be spending an awful lot of time attacking Red Hat and Sun/OpenOffice.org rather than Windows and Microsoft Office, respectively. That’s the price to pay for allowing Novell to become a Microsoft ally.

Novell gets 'bribed'

12.27.08

Novell SUSE and Go-OO[XML] Damage

Posted in Fork, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, SUN at 3:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Grenade planet

EARLY REVIEWS of OpenSUSE 11.1 were mixed, but the more recent ones were slightly better. There are several types that we rarely include here as that would be perceived as an ‘attack’ on a ‘community’ (never mind if OpenSUSE is truly controlled by Novell). To give just one example of OpenSUSE disappointments, there is this one guy who tried it before finalisation (GrandMastering):

…I sold my soul to openSUSE and then I stole it back…

I don’t know if it is the right place…
But I just want to renew my appreciation to Ubuntu…

I wanted to try something different, so I installed openSUSE 11…
It was a mess… shortly after the installation I could not update, because the update engine freezed up…
My viedo card was not recognized… so I installed the driver from the official site… It took me 3 hours to make it work..
And so on…

More interestingly, this Vista-themed blog claims that the OpenSUSE 11.1 Live CD can damage hardware. Is this true? Can anybody verify or falsify?

If you want to run the openSUSE Live CD, you must think about it twice. Because a critical mistake can ruin your PC. There is a configuration file “/etc/sysconfig/clock”, who sets the Hardware clock when the PC is rebooted or halts. The trouble is that some old motherboards do not update correctly (or the opeSUSE’s code is wrong). This “default” configuration can ruin the hardware and affect to other systems.

Meanwhile, someone in Digg has submitted old news that's a Novell attack on OpenOffice.org, but the modified headline is ugly. “The future of Open Office.org is at risk,” says the title and it reached the front page. It’s important never to allow Microsoft/Novell to destroy OpenOffice by taking control or momentum away from Sun to promote .NET and OOXML (with patents) at the expense of Java and ODF. That’s just what they want to achieve with the fork, Go-OO[XML][1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Microsoft is once again controlling its biggest rivals via Novell. Other sites are well aware of this problem.

The issue with Go-OO is that it is badly influenced by Novell. In the name of interoperability, the dirty M$ technologies are infused to it by them. On the other hand, Sun’s OpenOffice is a heavily branded one.

We strongly advise people not to approach Go-OO[OOXML] or SUSE. Only this way Novell might get the message and reform its behaviour.

12.06.08

Why is Linux.com Promoting Microsoft/Novell’s Fork of OpenOffice.org?

Posted in Deception, Fork, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenOffice at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft must be pleased with Novell’s disruption

Background

For Microsoft to provoke or to cause infighting is not something new [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. As the father of MINIX put it at the time (just a couple of years ago):

“A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me… It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this…”

Andrew S Tanenbaum

As Microsoft’s top secret presentation reveals:

“Gathering intelligence on enemy activities is critical to the success of the Slog. We need to know who their allies are and what differences exist between them and their allies (there are always sources of tension between allies), so that we can find ways to split ‘em apart. Reading the trade press, lurking on newsgroups, attending conferences, and (above all) talking to ISVs is essential to gathering this intelligence.”

The emphasis in red is ours. This is from Microsoft’s own mouth (in obligatory training seminars).

Promoting by Demotion

We turn our attention to Novell’s fork [1, 2, 3, 4] of a Sun Microsystems crown jewel, OpenOffice.org. It’s bad enough that Novell does this to incorporate Java-hostile, Microsoft-serving technologies like Mono into its fork, but the press that accompanies this merely ridicules OpenOffice.org, thus helping Novell and Microsoft.

Discs and fork
Go-OO: a fork is sometimes a pitchfork

Worth taking a glance at is this new Linux.com article about Go-OO (we don't trust Linux.com too much). It contains what seems like a promotional pitch. Not so long ago, Linux.com promoted the proprietary SoftMaker by dismissing OpenOffice.org as well.

Go-OO includes enhancements and functions that haven’t been accepted by Sun, and that may never be, because of licensing, business, or other reasons.

Low blow there.

Here is the first comment:

Since it’s Novell behind this move, I wonder if this is really an improvement or an attempt to get mono code integrated into OO.o
If so, no one with a functioning brain is wise to touch it. I don’t have much respect for Sun, but even less for the games Novell is playing on MS’ behalf.

Here is another comment among very many (they created some sort of a Sun/Novell flamewar):

The go-ooo fork of OpenOffice.org is very much a bleeding edge developers’ version, which has not been through the full QA process run by the OpenOffice.org folks. Reporting go-ooo bugs is a good way of winding up people on the genuine OpenOffice.org support forums :-)

As has been stated above, open-source purists might also worry about go-ooo’s origins in Novell, with their close links to Microsoft (and getting closer every day).

I’m amazed why so many otherwise sane distros continue to ship go-ooo in preference to genuine OpenOffice.org.

“This is a classic Microsoft action. Divide your enemies (not that I’d call Novell an enemy to Microsoft). It divides the community,” says one of our readers. “Microsoft would be happy with something that echoes the Unix wars.”

Instead of OpenOffice.org fighting Microsoft Office, part of what remains here is Novell fighting Sun and OpenOffice.org. In the same vein, it has been said that Novell is now targeting Red Hat instead of Windows.

For what it’s worth, Boycott Novell never intends to aggravate or to divide. It points out areas where the friction exists. It’s companies (i.e. managers) that instruct programmers who do the damage for a paycheck. Why has Novell decided to focus on .NET, for example? They routinely use money and favouritism to hurt Freedom.

11.12.08

Novell Still Insults Competing GNU/Linux Distributions and Sun’s OpenOffice.org

Posted in Fork, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Red Hat, Servers at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sellout

Yesterday we wrote to mention very briefly Novell’s “attack” (not our word) on Red Hat. Given the people involved [1, 2], this should not be surprising.

In the press release, what does Novell mean by “third-party Linux distribution”? Is there now a distinction between Novell SUSE and some “third parties”, which is an insulting term?

Novell today announced the availability of a new subscription and support program designed to aid customers making the transition from their existing third-party Linux* distribution to SUSE(R) Linux Enterprise Server. The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Subscription with Expanded Support program includes a three-year subscription to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server that provides technical support for a customer’s existing Linux deployments for up to two years while they make the transition to SUSE Linux Enterprise.

“Third parties” are mentioned again further down in the press release:

The new program is in response to growing customer demand for help as they make the strategic decision to transition their data center Linux infrastructure from existing third-party distributions, such as Red Hat* Enterprise Linux and CentOS, to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

At the bottom it says:

Novell and SUSE are registered trademarks of Novell Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. *All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

What do they mean by third parties? That it’s merely a compromise? That it’s “unsupported” (another derogatory term)? That it’s inferior and foreign? It’s a very xenophobic term, as we explained before. We have already criticised the term "non-proprietary", which we saw repeated in [1, 2, 3]. It can sometimes be used when striving to suggest that there is something wrong with Free(dom) software and that it is “non appropriate”. Wording is always important due to mental and verbal connotations.

One of our regular trolls (a site heckler) accused us yesterday of inappropriately calling Novell’s latest tactics “predatory”. Well, when one GNU/Linux vendor antagonises another in this way (by cutting its revenue stream while still exploiting its product), then it’s bound to be called an attack, even in the ‘mainstream’ press. From IDG (NetworkWorld) comes the headline:

Novell lays out Red Hat attack plan

Matt Asay put a sarcastic spin on it, saying that “Novell builds bridges…from Red Hat to SUSE.” Wasn’t Novell supposed to accommodate migrations to GNU/Linux from other platforms, through so-called bridges to other platforms?

I continue to believe the real revenue opportunity for Novell (and Red Hat) is Unix replacements, not internecine competition between Linux vendors.

Why doesn't Novell compete against Microsoft Windows anymore? Could it be because Novell is now working with (and for) Microsoft? Well, not in the literal sense.

Novell is not only pulling such tricks against Red Hat. It’s doing something similar to Sun Microsystems, as well. Novell forked OpenOffice.org [1, 2] and Sam Dean unfortunately brings attention to this dangerous fork and promotes it with the headline “Go-oo: A Lighter, Faster OpenOffice, With Extras.”

Go-oo is a fork of OpenOffice version 2.4, for Windows and Linux.

“Be aware of this,” says longtime LinuxToday reader GreyGeek.

from a comment:

“by masoman on Nov. 11, 2008

Your readers need to be aware that the go-oo fork of OpenOffice.org is very much a bleeding edge developers’ version, which has not been through the full QA process run by the OpenOffice.org folks. It’s also paid for indirectly by Microsoft licence fees, through Microsoft’s funding of Novell (the home of go-oo).”

As another commenter said:
“Maybe I’m off-base, but it looks to me like MS-infected OOo. It’s coming from Novell (which I refuse to use), and is paid for by MS-license fees.

Sure, I’m paranoid, but I’m not touching this….”

We have already shown how Novell insults OpenOffice.org in order to market its own fork of the popular software and grab customers away from Sun. Shouldn’t Novell try to appeal more to Microsoft Office users (by far the majority), preferably by working together with Sun, as opposed to stomping it (along with ODF)?

Speaking of liaising with Microsoft, check out this new story from Ken.

In an effort to help proliferate the Linux Desktop, HeliOS Solutions has contacted a number of Big Box stores and smaller businesses throughout the Austin Metro Area and asked them if we could set up professional and attractive displays for Linux Live CD’s.

The response has been surprisingly positive…and I’m talking about some really BIG big box stores.

However, one of those stores asked me to meet with them and discuss some of the anticipated ramifications of them doing so.

They are concerned about Microsoft engaging them legally.

They are worried about Steve Ballmer coming in with a figurative ball bat and legally demolishing the displays….and then suing them amidst the rubble.

Is legal intimidation doing its harms now? If it’s related to patents, then remember company helped fuel this. Novell of course.

Gates on SUSE

10.24.08

Novell’s Fork of OpenOffice.org Promoted in OpenOffice.org’s Own Turf

Posted in Debian, Fork, GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenOffice, SUN at 1:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Forkers and disruptors in the #openoffice.org channel? Well, it’s hard to tell for sure, but one reader has notified us about someone in this channel who is promoting #go-oo. “There’s a guy in #openoffice.org sending people to #go-oo,” he writes. Moreover, we were told that the person is not trolling, he’s talking to people in private and we append proof of this.

For the uninitiated, go-oo is Novell's fork of OpenOffice.org. it has been that way since the patchset became rather isolated without changes going upstream. There is some discussion of this in LWN.net and we last mentioned this a couple of hours ago.

Finally, here are the logs showing promotion of go-oo in the #openoffice.org IRC channel and in private.


* In #openoffice.org:
 
16:34 < [anon]> is it possible to have KDE‘s file dialog in openoffice?
16:36 < Mirra> it‘s called #go-oo :>

16:36 < MechtiIde> unfortunaly not [anon]
16:37 < [anon]> MechtiIde: but i had that in 2.4
16:37 < [anon]> was it removed in 3.0?
16:37 < Mirra> [anon]: listen to my >:)
16:37 < MechtiIde> where do you get 2.4 from [anon] ?
16:37 < [anon]> 2.4.1
16:37 < [anon]> from gentoo
16:37 < [anon]> maybe its not vanila

 
* In private:
 
16:37 -!- Irssi: Starting query in freenode with Mirra
16:37 <Mirra> DUDE
16:38 <[anon]> hey
16:38 <Mirra> #go-oo it‘s a fork of openoffice (which is used in the major distributions like suse and debian and I dont know) :)
16:38 <Mirra> it‘s an improved version – with native file dialog

16:38 <Mirra> join the channel and check out the latest version :)
16:38 <[anon]> who‘s driving the project, novell ?
16:39 <Mirra> not officially I think
16:43 <Mirra> it seems novell sponsors some developers to work on go-oo, but they do a good job
16:43 <[anon]> ok
16:43 <[anon]> i‘ll try it when it gets to gentoo

16:44 <Mirra> due to the novell deal you also profit from an increased compatibility between microsoft formats :)
16:44 <Mirra> http://go-oo.org/download/ it says gentoo provides it in their repos..

Novell Markets Its OpenOffice.org Fork Using Patents-Encumbered Microsoft Add-ons

Posted in Fork, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, SUN, Ubuntu at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Become a Novell customer, be ‘safe’?

Novell’s attempt to steal Sun Microsystems’ thunder (OpenOffice.org charm) was previously covered in [1, 2]. It’s a fork. It’s there for everyone to see, even with some software patents on top of it. Well, Ubuntu’s coming release will exclude OpenOffice.org 3.0, in part because of Novell’s Microsoft-esque version of the software, which contains patent poison and helps the spreading of OOXML.

Finally, one of the headline features of OpenOffice.org 3.0 that many people have asked about is support for Microsoft Office 2007 documents. Thanks to our use of the Go-oo patch set, we already support this important feature with 2.4.1.

We encouraged GNU/Linux users to lobby against this. It’s not the nature of the fork that makes it dangerous; it is the forker, a Microsoft ally, which makes this untrustworthy.

Had Novell been serious about Free software and open standards, it would not have sold out to Microsoft and OOXML back in 2006. In fact, some time next year, even Microsoft will have surrendered to ODF, thus confirming that the real international standard is growing dominant and never going away. The Register has this new article regarding Microsoft’s time line.

In May Microsoft moved to appease its critics and reassure regulators by proclaiming that Office 2007 SP2 will support rival file format OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.1 used by openistas such as IBM and Sun Microsystems.

As another side note worthy of a mention, Microsoft’s accessibility smear against ODF is FUD that’s growing thinner than ever before owing to this announcement: [via Glyn Moody]

Today I am more than pleased to share with you news of the AEGIS project, a €12.6m investment in accessibility, with the vast majority of it focused on open source solutions.

What is AEGIS?

AEGIS stands for “open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards”. It is a major research and development investment in building accessibility into future mainstream Information & Communication Technologies.

ODF comes complete with many of the necessary features, yet it is not based on a single reference implementation, which makes it elegant. Why again is Novell helping OOXML? Oh, that’s right. Microsoft bribed paid Novell to do so.

Novell gets 'bribed'

10.14.08

ODF, New OpenOffice.org off to a Great Start, Despite Novell’s ‘Sabotage’ Attempts

Posted in Deception, Fork, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Java, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Review, Standard, SUN at 9:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Downtime and Novell hecklers out of the way

The word “sabotage” is a bit strong, so we put it in scare quotes. But the word sabotage was previously used to describe Microsoft’s malicious interception of a big OSDL announcement [1, 2], the sabotage of PlayStation3 launch parties, and similar not-so-laudable conflicts throughout VMware’s big event [1, 2, 3]. There is a whole long history there and Novell is inheriting Microsoft’s tactics now [1, 2].

Ryan Paul sort of fell into Novell’s trap in his coverage of the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0. It does begin with some good bits though.

OOo supports several file formats, but uses OASIS’s OpenDocument Format (ODF) by default. ODF is rapidly gaining widespread acceptance and is also supported by Google Docs, Zoho, IBM’s Lotus Notes, and KDE’s KOffice project. ODF is increasingly being adopted as the preferred format by government agencies in many different countries. This trend has placed pressure on Microsoft, which has agreed to include native ODF support in future versions of Office.

Towards the end, it becomes rather clear that Novell — albeit through its programmers (well, companies are just people) — is trying to throw mud at this announcement in order to gain greater control over the project.

“There is a whole long history there and Novell is inheriting Microsoft’s tactics now.”The headline used by Ars Technica is deceiving because it’s based on the words of a senior Novell employee, whose message is disguised in a seemingly-innocent post about the success of OpenOffice.org. The gentle insults are piggybacking the limelight earned by Sun for a few days.

For clarification, see the other side of this debate. There is no “development stagnation.”

Why would Novell do this? And no, please don’t buy the “I’m just a hacker” defence — an excuse or exemption from “an uncontrolled community” that shelters Novell from many critics (same tactics are being used to defend Mono). It’s possibly done in order to give this illusion that CIOs cannot depend on OpenOffice.org or that “the future is not bright.” It’s a contamination of an important announcement and message at a very strategic time. This timing is not a coincidence and there was possibly a plan and preparation of this.

Either way, the timing of this actual release was good. This came at a good time for special reasons:

OpenOffice 3 launch timed perfectly but will Sun, IBM exploit opportunity?

[...]

As the global economic crisis dries up credit and whacks IT budgets, corporate chiefs and administrators are going to be more open to a Microsoft Office alternative that is more compatible with Microsoft Office.

Novell wants to make more/most of the money from the project (support contracts) while at the same time ably adding some unwanted elements (and potential costs) to this hugely popular software. Novell/Microsoft use as an excuse Sun’s control, but it’s intended to increase their own control (Novell along with Microsoft) as they exaggerate existing and perceived issues in the process. It’s self serving, brutal, and dishonest. It’s about choking Sun, not just subverting Free software using patents, OOXML, and .NET (Sun is a JAVA company).

OOXML patent issue prompt

There is a rebuttal to the Novell FUD, which was posted in the GullFOSS blog. It draws some figures and concludes with the following:

OOo 3.0 was a Major Release and in it many general restructuring and refactoring was started. Also from now on the default file format is based on ODF 1.2 (the standard will be approved soon) instead of ODF 1.1 in OOo 2.x. All these changes could be done in a major step only, because of possible incompatibilities to the the 2.x code line.

This major release was a challenge for all release driver on OOo. Also the OOo teams for QA and L10N had many new things to organize, which didn’t exists on OOo 2.x code line or wasn’t a problem for that updates. Thanks to all the teams for their hard work.

The release was a success if demand is something to judge by, but enormous demand knocked down the key server (index to mirrors) at a most crucial of times. NBR has some more details on that:

One major hitch: intial interest in Open Office 3 was such that the openoffice.org download site crashed, unable to cope with the traffic (and as I write, half a day into the release, there are still “technical difficulties”).

As the world turns to cost savings and real standards like ODF, such demand needs to be expected and appropriate preparations made. As Bob Sutor indicates in his latest essay, the world is rapidly embracing ODF as a national standard. He presents a map of nations extracted from his presentation slides.

What always strikes me at such gatherings is the passion of those who have committed to adopting ODF. You get people who have decided for all the usual reasons that ODF makes sense for their use, or that of their department, or their agency, or their government. We’re seeing interesting and varying bottom up, top down, and middle out patterns of adoption in different parts of the world.

Any smart CIO (or small business) should invest in software which is controlled by customers and end users. Anything other than that, especially in schools, is a case of letting people become ‘addicted’ — as Bill Gates put it — to a particular vendor. Moreover, in the case of education, there is a chance and even a responsibility to teach children transferable skills using Free(dom) software. This can help them build their own economy (just watch Brazil go). All countries should do this and some already do.

Lastly, Ovum has this so-and-so analysis of argumentation involving document formats.

The debate on ODF versus OOXML continues to rage, with ISO offering to take on the maintenance of the ODF standard that is currently under the care of the standards body OASIS. This follows resignations from the Norwegian standards body, Standard Norge, with accusations that there were improprieties in the OOXML adoption vote.

Added below is some press coverage for a sense of completeness.

Release Coverage

Here is the press release.

Celebrated at a launch party in Paris today, and just in time for the eighth birthday of the project, the OpenOffice.org Community today announced the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0. The third major update of the leading productivity suite delivers significant enhancements and advanced, extensible, productivity tools for all users, including Mac users, as OpenOffice.org now runs natively on the Mac OS X platform.

Other coverage includes:

Heise: OpenOffice.org 3.0 Reviewed

OpenOffice.org is a free cross-platform office suite, originally developed as the proprietary StarOffice suite. It combined a word processor, spreadsheet, database and presentation tools and was available for Unix and Windows based systems. The StarOffice code was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1999 and released under a LGPL/Sun licence in 2000. In 2005, OpenOffice.org’s licence became LGPL only, prompting greater adoption by the open source community and Linux distributions. Now, OpenOffice.org is about to release their third major version of what is the de facto standard in open source office productivity.

iTWire: OpenOffice 3.0 released, ready for download

Finally out of the beta and release candidate versions, Sun Microsystems’ OpenOffice.org 3.0 has been released for anyone to download and try for themselves. Here’s my “first look” at this brand new Office suite!

Linux.com: OpenOffice.org 3.0 is an incremental improvement

At least OpenOffice.org’s frumpy interface is familiar. And with all the changes in version 3.0, most users will probably discover at least half a dozen ways in which their office productivity is suddenly easier.

Ars Technica: OpenOffice.org 3.0 officially released

The new version offers some aesthetic enhancements and usability improvements, including a new icon set that makes the user interface cleaner and a convenient slider control for adjusting page zoom. OpenOffice.org 3.0 also has a new launcher interface, improved support for annotations, and a handful of other new features.

Examiner: Treat yourself to a suite alternative: OpenOffice.org 3.0

Your mileage will definitely vary, and how much it varies depends on just how you use these productivity applications. Although, given the fact that OpenOffice.org is one free 150MB-ish download away, it can’t hurt to give it a run in your own productivity environment.

IT Pro: OpenOffice 3.0 now available for download

New features in the word processing software ‘Writer’ include multilingual support, better zoom tools for editing, and the ability to edit web-based wiki documents. The spreadsheet, called ‘Calc’ now supports 1024 columns per sheet and a collaboration mode for multiple users, as well as a new equation solver. Graphics program ‘Draw’ can now manage images up to three square meters in size, while presentation software ‘Impress’ now has a table designer.

Web Monkey: OpenOffice 3.0 Embraces Microsoft File Formats and Adds Mac Support

Other changes include a “Start Center”, some new, more legible icons, and a zoom control in the status bar. On the whole the beta doesn’t look much different than previous versions, but each of OpenOffice’s apps have received some welcome new changes features like improved PDF creation throughout and a much better Notes tool in Writer, the OpenOffice word processor.

This last article wrongly claims that “OpenOffice 3.0 Embraces Microsoft File Formats.” It’s a common mistake that’s repeated in some other Web sites.

There will be many more articles, but most of the actual news is already out there for everyone to see.

A certain Novell hacker contacted us a couple of hours ago, so the contents of this post were changed slightly.

OOXML data vacuum

05.30.08

Novell and Mono: The Kiss of Death to Free Software

Posted in Fork, Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, SLES/SLED at 3:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft-Miguel-Novell tag team extraordinaire

A reader contacted us regarding a serious problem. He said that he “pointed out on a forum that .NET had died on the vine and that when .NET projects run out of time and money people turn back to Java to get the task finished. That appears to have got the Microsoft fans going with this one.”

To conclude, he added: “.NET really does seem to have died on the vine, but Microsoft boosters see the value of tainting as many FOSS projects with software patents as possible.”

This reader is not alone. have a look at this new analysis of the direction of GNOME:

When such an important project as GNOME obviously lacks a direction, has a poor governance and a missing leadership, how can I trust it not to get more and more Mono-encumbered?

Some people object that there are very few Mono-based applications in GNOME (mainly Tomboy and F-Spot), however they are always advertised with each and every GNOME release!

* Let’s now take a historical look of how some guy wanted to screw GNOME since 2002 (Red Hat, were you sleeping those days?):
* 2002-02-01: Gnome to be based on .NET – de Icaza. «”I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET,” he told us.»

* 2002-06-01: Mono and GNOME. The long reply. (Miguel de Icaza). «As you might realize by now, GNOME 4 is not planned, it is not possible to know what is in there. So my comments on GNOME 4 only reflect the fact that I personally believe that people will see that Mono is an interesting platform to write new applications.»

* 2002-06-04: one more message from de Icaza: «I was not trying to force Mono on anyone. The only reason why I thought that GNOME would move to Mono on the long term is because our goals are aligned. [...] But the real reason is that .NET (and hence Mono) was designed to be an evolutionary path for applications. [...] For example, it would be silly to rewrite Gnumeric or StarOffice with C#, that would be a complete waste of time. But one really useful feature for Gnumeric would be to have its VB interpreter running on Mono.»

* If the KDE flock is going with KDE4, why should we assume there isn’t a similar bunch of GNOME sheep to go with Miguel de Icaza’s Mono?

Miguel de Icaza is currently the Vice President of Developer Platform at Novell Inc. That’s the company somebody chose to write a thesis about: Managing Firm-Sponsored Open Source Communities. That’s a company for the future. And Miguel is a smart guy.

So it’s very likely that GNOME 3.0 or 4.0 will indeed be Mono-based.

And no, tiny bugs in Gedit won’t get fixed in the meantime. It’s not “sexy”, you know.

As the first comment states (and to an extent demonstrates too), it’s an eye opener to some.

People were brainwashed by the likes of Slashdot — essentially pushed to the point of believing Miguel was an open source hero. Well, by Microsoft's definition of it, maybe he is.

Shortly afterward there was a less restrained outburst, especially at the sight of Moonlight's legal implications, which we warned about all along (since the project’s inception and even a couple of days ago).

Mono, The Road To Hell: Final Proof

[...]

This is a Microsoft-branded piece of shit.

Now, if there are still Linux users still loving Mono, and still believing they have anything in common with FREEDOM & Open Source, they’re idiots like hell.

Proofs of MALA FIDE from Microsoft’s part:

1. NOBODY interested in a good-faith patent protection would restrict the protection to the downstream recipients of a UNIQUE source — but this is what Microsoft is doing!

2. NOBODY interested in a good-faith patent protection would restrict the protection to the UNMODIFIED AND USED “AS INTENDED” (“for the intended purpose”) for an OPEN-SOURCE project — but this is what Microsoft is doing!

3. NOBODY interested in a good-faith patent protection would restrict the protection in any ways. Simply imposing restrictions means WHATEVER FALLS OUTSIDE THE SPECIFIC CONDITIONS IS SUBJECT TO FEAR, UNCERTAINTY AND DOUBT!

Yes, this is Microsoft. Yes, this covenant is ONLY and ONLY for the benefit of Novell’s SLED and SLES, and for the benefit of openSUSE. This is for people to ONLY consider openSUSE as a “safe” Linux way to use Moonlight and Mono, and therefore to increase the penetration of SLED/SLES as “the” Linux for the Enterprise.

This is the abjection of the Microsoft-Novell fascist conspiracy.

Will somebody. Anybody. Somewhere. Please stop Novell and Miguel already. I’m sure that the typical Microsoft/Novell boosters/apologists will continue to attack this Web site and do gymnastics in logic to deny all of this. That’s pointless. In fact, this item will be closed to comments.

As another reminder of the 'political' corruption that's striving to phase in software patents everywhere, here are some news picks (mostly from Digital Majority):

The following bit is about applying a taxation mechanism to patents. The hope is to hinder abuse/misuse of the system.

Merpel adds, as for patent renewal fees, their adjustment will presumably affect the behaviour of the small fry far more than that of the big battalions — but it’s not the tiddlers that create the thickets and do the trolling, is it?

That all sounds good in theory, but

Patent Reform Act “dead in the water,” eh? So says the following article, which merely repeats what we already know: the system is too corrupt to repair itself (exhorting against the corruption would be a cyclic thing). It seems hopeless, unless the system totally collapses and people take it to the streets.

The efficacy of the patent system is not equivalent across all industries, and appears to be particularly ineffective in software, said a panel at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference held at Yale University last week.

[...]

A lot of unpatented prior art, which does not make it into considerations at the patent and trademark office, said Berger, could add to this problem. She added that EFF is working with open source company Mozilla to crease a wiki-style platform of prior art in software they hope can be eventually used by patent examiners.

Efforts have failed so far in terms of patent reform, she said, citing the status of the Patent Reform Act as “dead in the water” in the US Congress for the time being, and asking what people interested in technology policy might do about this problem.

More debates on software patents in the UK:

Patent attorneys, lawyers, judges and businesses have often had trouble determining exactly what inventions are and are not eligible for patent protection, particularly where the invention involves software. A 2006 ruling in the Court of Appeal was designed to settle the issue by clarifying the rules that patent examiners and judges should apply to assess whether inventions are for patentable subject matter.

[...]

“The election to solicit pre-pay clientele is unarguably a ‘business method’,” wrote Judge Fysh. “The consequence in ‘computer terms’ forms no part of the invention; it is done with appropriate software. Moreover, even if it did form part of the invention, it would therefore only involve the construction of appropriate computer programs and would also be excluded from patentability.”

Lots of the gory details are here. [via Digital Majority] Bear in mind that the likes of Finjan (London-base, sponsored by Microsoft) are already doing what they can to totally ruin the UK as well.

Last but not least, lookie here! Look who’s back. Commissioner McCreevy [1, 2, 3] talks about harmonisation, but one that revolves around legal destruction, not peace and harmony.

Ministers will discuss a progress report on this issue prepared by the Slovenian Presidency. Commissioner McCreevy will encourage Member States to continue to work constructively in this process.

For interesting information about patents and Linux in the Halloween memo, see this document. Mono’s greatest and most vocal among defenders would tell us to just “shut us and code.” Those Mono defenders who ‘know better’ blindly accept the abuse of GNOME by Novell and Miguel. After all, who needs to ever bother with all that tiresome ‘politics’, right? Well…

“Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone.”

Richard Stallman

No Mo’!

Nomo

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