Summary: Encouraging new signs in Australia (an OpenOffice.org pilot) amid a major blunder for Microsoft, whose dirty OOXML secrets are leaking out years after the acts
THE Cablegate stash has made available key evidence which we have covered a lot since the beginning of this month. The OOXML-related exhibits (cables) have gotten quite far by now, with articles that were written not just in English. The importance is this is that it brings back to international awareness the fact that OOXML relied on corruption at all levels. We most collected evidence to show this in 2007 and in 2008. Cablegate is like a wormhole that takes us back in time and lets us see back room string-pulling this will hopefully affect this AGIMO review of document standards in Australia. “Last month,” claims this new report, “Department of Defence chief technology officer Matt Yannopoulos revealed that 100 corporate staff had been using OpenOffice in a year-old, “semi-formal” trial.”
This is good news. They will hopefully realise that their initial leaning towards OOXML was a mistake also due to public awareness that OOXML correlates with crime, as once shown using a bar chart, just after a vote on OOXML (corrupt countries were more likely to vote “Yes”).
Cablegate posts will resume shortly. It’s just a matter of dedicating free time to the task. There is enough in there to last for a long time and have considerable impact. █
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Summary: Microsoft’s Linux ally, SUSE, is losing major talent, getting increasingly involved in the leading Free/libre office suite, and does nothing but offer a Microsoft-taxed distribution of GNU/Linux
IT DOES NOT take much to see that SUSE is a wreck of its former self, still looking for identity and finding new sugar daddies to give orders to it (scarily enough, a couple dozen LibreOffice developers are now indirectly funded by Microsoft, through SUSE).
While SUSE has some general news (not much of it) and updates about Factory, which comes from the OpenSUSE Web site (they also announced a coming event), the project in general seems to have little purpose other than offer a GNU/Linux distribution Microsoft will make money from and also use to validate its patent extortion.
Noyes is quoting some Microsoft proponents and talking points in her coverage of the SUSE-Microsoft deal, which helps not at all.
Meanwhile, having surveyed the location of some notable SUSE staff, it turns out that James Bottomley is now at Parallels and Bruce Lowry, Novell’s former head of PR, is still in Skoll Global Threats Fund. Markus Rex, who left and became Member of the Board at the Open Source Business Foundation, practically left the company in the hands of a gold-certified Microsoft partner, which soon thereafter gave Microsoft more control over SUSE. The old SUSE (S.u.S.E.) is very different from today’s SUSE. They just share the same name/brand. █
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(ODF | PDF | English/original)
Resumen: Un repaso a cómo Microsoft distorsiona el mercado de suites de oficina y una propuesta sincera para IBM para sacar a luz los problemas reales, no los detalles de menor importancia.
EL “DESPIADADO[http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/153351/20110527/microsoft-apple-bill-gates-david-einhorn-steve-ballmer-stand-down-fire-fired-question-ceo.htm]” Bill Gates está hoy en día comprando periódicos para llamarse a sí mismo otra cosa[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gates_Foundation_Critique] y distraer la atención de su lado malo, la reescritura de la historia en la medida suficiente para que la gente se olvide de su tóxico legado al mundo que lo sufre hasta la fecha. Se llama lavado de reputación. Hoy nos gustaría volver atrás y mostrarles el verdadero Bill Gates. A finales de este mes, esperamos obtener una mano de otro editor que pueden ayudarnos a mostrar algunos de los delitos actuales de Gates (pero que va a ser dejado de lado por ahora, ya que no es en parte del tema).
“En otra ocasión, Gates mostró no sólo su odio de las normas y la interoperabilidad, sino también su amor por las patentes.”Así que ayer escribimos acerca de cómo IBM se convierte en un jugador clave en ODF[http://techrights.org/2011/06/01/ibm-takes-odf-to-another-level/]. IBM y Microsoft son rivales tanto como Apple y Microsoft son rivales. De hecho colaboran en algunas áreas en las que es beneficioso para ambas empresas (no necesariamente a las externalidades). Microsoft, que está a cargo de sociópatas, tiene una historia bastante de copiar y también de arruinar a Lotus. Hemos demostrado esto usando las exposiciones del tribunal de Comes vs. Microsoft[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Comes_vs_Microsoft]. Un informante de Techrights nos acaba de recordar que, en Comes vs Microsoft, “PXE 3078 ha Lotus trabajo para la interoperabilidad y los Microsoft trabajando en contra de ella.” Cubrimos esto hace varios años. Bill Gates dijo que la administración de los formatos de Office 2000 a los competidores parece una locura[http://techrights.org/2007/04/13/office-formats-disclosure/] y este tipo de observación se produjo más tarde también[http://techrights.org/2009/08/17/bill-gates-vs-open-file-formats/]. En otra ocasión, Gates mostró no sólo su odio de las normas y la interoperabilidad, sino también su amor por las patentes. En varias ocasiones trató de utilizar las patentes de software en contra de OpenOffice.org[http://techrights.org/2009/02/10/bill-gates-patents-vs-free-office/], recurriendo incluso al chantaje de patentes contra Sun[http://techrights.org/2010/03/10/bill-gates-racketeering-revealed/]. Una gran cantidad de publicaciones hablan de las noticias de OpenOffice.org en el contexto que exceptúa y excluye las patentes (ver ejemplos en la parte inferior de este post). Esto es un error. Para dar sólo un ejemplo de una interpretación típica[http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/open-source-insider/2011/06/ibm-to-contribute-to-openofficeorg.html] de este anuncio[http://www.newsjunkyjournal.com/ibm-nyse-ibm-announces-support-of-new-openoffice-org-project/2511304/]:
Continuando con lo que describe como su “compromiso de larga plazo con el Código Abierto,” IBM ha confirmado esta semana que ahora tendrá un papel activo en la base de código nuevo OpenOffice.org presentado a la Incubadora de Apache Software Foundation.
IBM y de código abierto que usted dice? En caso de que sea excepcional?
Esto no cuenta toda la historia. Recuerde lo que escribimos acerca de la licencia de Apache hace unas semanas[http://techrights.org/2011/05/19/openlogic-on-licensing/] (lo que condujo a FUD[http://techrights.org/2011/05/19/openlogic-on-licensing/]). Recuerde a quienes le gusta este tipo de licencia, que los proponentes Microsoft halagan muchas veces (y ahora Microsoft da dinero a la ASF -Apache Software Foundation- también). Como dijimos ayer, mucho se ha escrito acerca de la noticia y deseamos no aburrir con la repetición. Pero, vamos a decir que Microsoft se opone con vehemencia a la interoperabilidad (el problema está en el centro, entre ellos Bill Gates), por lo que debemos defender ODF, incluso si esto significa tolerar IBM. Pero IBM no deben ser tratado como nuestro amigo (ni debe la Fundación Documento, que tiene algunos residuos de Novell). Después de muchas observaciones que se están realizando en nuestros canales de IRC, hemos llegado a la conclusión de que algunos de nosotros aceptamos. Es posible que IBM, que intercambia materia de licencias (las patentes de software) con Microsoft, ahora puede tomar su versión propietaria de OpenOffice.org (Lotus Symphony) y además extenderla legalmente sin contribuir de nuevo sus cambios. Eso es lo que una licencia de Apache hará en el supuesto de que el paso de los derechos de autor a las obras de Apache como IBM espera. Todo esto muestra los peligros de los acuerdos de cesión de derechos (¡presta atención, Canonical!) y si la LGPLv3 (Licencia Pública General Menor v3) se abandona como Bradley de la FSF (Fundación de Software Libre) sospecha , entonces será posible para IBM haga Simphony las única protegida de patentes de derivada de OpenOffice.org (indemnización por ejemplo). Los grandes vendedores están en juegos malos para aumentar su propio poder y ODF se acuña en algún punto intermedio. IBM podría haber unido sus manos con LibreOffice y su organización de cubierta. No lo ha hecho todavía. Hubo incluso sarcásticos comentarios de IBM. Una persona que pidió ser más relevantes al vicepresidente de IBM en este área afirmó que ésta no ha aprobado su comentario, aunque después de un debate y un e-mail de este vicepresidente nos enteramos de que estaba demasiado ocupado (que probablemente sea cierto y no una excusa/idea de último momento). De todos modos, IBM tiene que aclarar dos cosas ahora: 1) se sumarán LibreOffice? 2) ¿Cúal es su posición en el tema de la licencias o derechos de autor y las patentes? IBM es una empresa en general silenciosa después de sus complicaciones en defensa de la competencia, por lo que tiene problemas de comunicación[http://techrights.org/2011/06/01/ibm-pr-fails/] (incluso cuando se comunica está tratando de ocultar la comunicación). █
1. Declaración Acerca del Movimiento de Oracle para Donar OpenOffice.org a la Fundación Apache[http://blog.documentfoundation.org/2011/06/01/statement-about-oracles-move-to-donate-openoffice-org-assets-to-the-apache-foundation/]
La Fundación Documento acogería con satisfacción la reunificación de la OpenOffice.org y el proyecto LibreOffice en una sola comunidad de iguales en la raíz de la salida de Oracle. El paso de Oracle ha tomado hoy fue sin duda tomadas de buena fe, pero no parece alcanzar directamente este objetivo. La comunidad Apache, que respetamos enormemente, tiene expectativas muy diferentes y las normas – miembro de concesión de licencias, y mucho más – a los proyectos existentes OpenOffice.org y LibreOffice. Lamentamos la oportunidad perdida, pero estamos comprometidos a trabajar con todos los miembros activos de la comunidad para diseñar el mejor futuro posible para LibreOffice y OpenOffice.org.
2. Oracle Entrega OpenOffice a Apache[http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/oracle-gives-openoffice-to-apache/9035]
Kevin IBM Cavanaugh, vicepresidente de soluciones de colaboración., Que presionó para Oracle para deshacerce de OpenOffice después que se hizo claro que Oracle no iria a a poner mucho más recursos en en OpenOffice, dijo en un comunicado, “IBM da la bienvenida a la contribución de Oracle de OpenOffice software a la Apache Software Foundation. Esperamos poder colaborar con otros miembros de la comunidad para avanzar en la tecnología a partir de nuestro firme apoyo del proceso de incubación de OpenOffice en Apache. ”
3. ¿Recurre a Copyleft para competir con un Substituto?[http://ebb.org/bkuhn/blog/2011/06/01/open-office.html]
Me molestó hoy a leer que Oracle intentará relicenciar todo el código de OpenOffice bajo la licencia Apache 2.0 y OpenOffice pase a la Apache Software Foundation.
He escrito recientemente acerca de cómo entre las licencias permisivas, mi favorito es sin duda la licencia Apache 2.0. Sin embargo, creo que uno debe pasar de una licencia copyleft a una permisiva uno sólo en circunstancias excepcionales y con el mayor cuidado.
Obviamente, en este caso, me opongo a relicenciar de Oracle de OpenOffice.org bajo licencia Apache 2.0. Probablemente es obvio por qué me siento así, pero voy a explicar, sin embargo, por si acaso. Voy a pasar por alto sobre todo los motivos para hacerlo, que creo que son obvias: Oracle (e IBM, que se citan en apoyo de este movimiento) por sus propias razones no les gusta el “fork” de la Fundación Documento (LibreOffice) de OpenOffice.org. Se trata de un último esfuerzo por parte de IBM y Oracle para frustrar el progreso de LibreOffice, que ha sido reportado como muy exitosa y muchas distribuciones han comenzado a adoptar LibreOffice. (Incluso los no-software de sitios sitios como Metafilter en que los usuarios discuten el cambio a LibreOffice.)
4. Oracle propone OpenOffice.org para Apache Incubator[http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/oracle-proposes-openofficeorg-apache-incubato]
5. El Problema de Llevar Armonía a la Asignación de Derechos de Autor[http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/news/the-issue-of-bringing-harmony-to-copyright-assignment/]
Hay una clase completamente diferente de CAA en el que el desarrollador da a una compañía pleno derecho a su código, sin embargo. Sun (y más tarde Oracle) exigierón esto de las contribuciones a OpenOffice.org. Ellos lo necesitan para poder incorporar las aportaciones en las diferentes versiones que no son libres de OpenOffice como StarOffice o la Lotus Suite de IBM. Así pues, en esencia, tiene que darles el derecho de vender versiones no libres de su código o no puedes contribuir. En lo que a mí respecta, ¡este no es un buen uso de las CAA!
6. Oracle da a OpenOffice a la Fundación Apache – debemos preocuparnos?[http://blogs.dailynews.com/click/2011/06/oracle-gives-openoffice-to-the.html]
Creo que Oracle pensaba lo mismo. No hicieron caso de OpenOffice y sus colaboradores después de comprar Sun. Claro que primero mató a OpenSolaris. Era sólo cuestión de tiempo antes de que OpenOffice fuese deshechada.
Translation produced by Eduardo Landaveri, the esteemed administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.
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Summary: A look back at how Microsoft distorted the market of office suites and a candid suggestion for IBM to open up on the real issues, not the minor details
THE “RUTHLESS” Bill Gates is nowadays buying newspapers to call himself something else and distract from his evil side, rewriting history to a sufficient extent so that people will forget his poisonous legacy that everyone suffers from, to this date. It is called reputation laundering. Today we would like to go back and show people the real Bill Gates. Later this month we hope to get a helping hand from another editor who can help show some of today’s offences from Gates (but that’ll be left aside for now as it is partly off topic).
“On another occasion Gates showed not only his hatred of standards and interoperability but also his love of patents.”So yesterday we wrote about how IBM becomes a key player in ODF. IBM and Microsoft are rivals as much as Apple and Microsoft are rivals. They actually collaborate in some areas where it is beneficial to both companies (not necessarily to the externalities). Microsoft, which is is run by sociopaths, has quite a history of copying and also breaking Lotus. We showed this using Comes vs Microsoft court exhibits. A Techrights informant has just reminded us that, in Comes vs Microsoft, “PXE 3078 has Lotus working for interoperability and MS working against it.” We covered this several years ago. Bill Gates said that giving out the Office 2000 formats to competitors seems crazy and this type of remark occurred later too. On another occasion Gates showed not only his hatred of standards and interoperability but also his love of patents. On several occasions he tried to use software patents against OpenOffice.org, even resorting to patent blackmail against Sun. A lot of publications speak of the OpenOffice.org news in the context which excepts and excludes patents (see examples at the bottom of this post). This is a mistake. To give just one example of a typical interpretation of this announcement:
Continuing what it likes to describe as its “long-standing commitment to open source,” IBM has this week confirmed that it will now take an active role in the new OpenOffice.org code base submitted to The Apache Software Foundation Incubator.
IBM and open source you say? Should that be unusual?
This does not tell the whole story. Remember what we wrote about the Apache licence some weeks ago (this led to FUD). Remember who likes this type of licence, which Microsoft proponents sometimes champion (and Microsoft now gives money to the ASF too). As we stated yesterday, too much would have been written about the news and we wish not to bore with repetition. But what we shall say is that Microsoft is vehemently opposing interoperability (the problem is at the core, including Bill Gates), so we must defend ODF, even if it means tolerating IBM. But IBM should not be treated as our friend here (nor should The Document Foundation, which has some residues from Novell). After many observations were being made in our IRC channels we have reached the conclusion which some of us accept. It is possible that IBM, which cross-licenses (software patents) with Microsoft, can now take its proprietary version of OpenOffice.org (Lotus Symphony) and further extend it legally without contributing back the changes. That’s what an Apache licence will do assuming that the passage of copyrights to Apache works as IBM hoped. This whole thing shows the dangers of copyright assignment agreements (pay attention, Canonical) and if the LGPLv3 is abandoned as Bradley from the FSF suspects , then it will be possible for IBM to make Symphony the only patents-’covered’ derivative of OpenOffice.org (indemnification for example). The big vendors are playing evil games to increase their own power and ODF gets wedged somewhere in the middle. IBM could have joined hands with LibreOffice and its umbrella organisation. It hasn’t done so yet. There were even snide remarks from IBM. One person who urged IBM’s most relevant Vice President in this area claimed that the latter has not approved his comment, although after some discussion and an E-mail from this vice president we learned that he was too busy (which is probably true and not an excuse/afterthought). Anyway, IBM needs to clarify two things now: 1) will it join LibreOffice? 2) Where does it stand on the subject of licensing/copyrights and patents? IBM is generally a silent company after the antitrust complications, so it has communications problems (even when it communicates it is trying to hide the communication). █
The Document Foundation would welcome the reuniting of the OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects into a single community of equals in the wake of the departure of Oracle. The step Oracle has taken today was no doubt taken in good faith, but does not appear to directly achieve this goal. The Apache community, which we respect enormously, has very different expectations and norms – licensing, membership and more – to the existing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects. We regret the missed opportunity but are committed to working with all active community members to devise the best possible future for LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org.
IBM’s Kevin Cavanaugh, VP of Collaboration Solutions., which lobbied for Oracle to spin OpenOffice off after it became clear that Oracle wasn’t going to put much, if any, resources into OpenOffice, said in a statement, “IBM welcomes Oracle’s contribution of OpenOffice software to the Apache Software Foundation. We look forward to engaging with other community members to advance the technology beginning with our strong support of the incubation process for OpenOffice at Apache.”
I was disturbed today to read that Oracle will seek to relicense all OpenOffice code under the Apache-2.0 license and move OpenOffice into the Apache Software Foundation.
I’ve written recently about how among the permissive licenses, my favorite is clearly the Apache License 2.0. However, I think that one should switch from a copyleft license to a permissive one only in rare circumstances and with the greatest of care.
Obviously, in this case, I oppose Oracle’s relicense of OpenOffice.org under Apache-License-2.0. It is probably obvious why I feel that way, but I shall explain nonetheless, just in case. I’m going to mostly ignore the motives for doing so, which I think are obvious: Oracle (and IBM, who are quoted in support of this move) for their own reasons don’t like The Document Foundation fork (LibreOffice) of OpenOffice.org. This is a last-ditch effort by IBM and Oracle to thwart the progress of that fork, which has been reported as quite successful and many distributions have begun to adopt LibreOffice. (Even non-software sites sites like Metafilter have users discussing changing to LibreOffice .)
There is an entirely different class of CAAs where you give a company full right to your code, however. Sun (and later Oracle) demanded this for contributions to OpenOffice.org. They need this to be able to incorporate the contributions into non-free versions of OpenOffice like StarOffice or IBM’s Lotus Suite. So in essence, you have to give them the right to sell non-free versions of your code or you can’t contribute. As far as I’m concerned, this is clearly not a good use of CAAs!
I guess Oracle thought the same thing. They ignored OpenOffice and its contributors after buying Sun. Sure they killed OpenSolaris first. It was only a matter of time before they ankled OpenOffice.
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Photo by Dan Farber
Summary: OpenOffice.org is moving to Apache, which helps IBM after a short moment of uncertainty and doubt
PR blunders aside (IBM PR telling me, “if you blog about the end of this case, none of this information came from IBM, okay? Cheers…”), it has just been announced that, as SJVN told us all last night, OpenOffice.org is going to Apache and the IBM folks are quick to issue remarks about it, led by Brill, Weir, and Sutor. Weir says that:
Oracle has followed through with their earlier promise to “move OpenOffice.org to a purely community-based open source project.” OpenOffice is moving to Apache.
Prior to that Weir also said: “Disappointing to see so-called open source proponents desperately trying to squash an open source project. It must be Tuesday.” It is not clear if he was referring to the petition to Oracle. Perhaps he should clarify his statements, e.g. with a link.
Remember how IBM reacted after Oracle had sued Google. The issues of patents will be discussed here later. IBM almost bought Sun.
It’s been an interesting road to get to this point over the decades, with well and not-so-well publicized twists and turns, but I’m glad we got here.
We’ll have more about this shortly, hopefully something unique (although the Internet will be flooded by pundits). Let us remember that OpenOffice.org is Free software and so is LibreOffice. There is a lot to be said now which probably will be said by every FOSS/Linux site.
In defence of IBM, the company is bigger than Microsoft, but it is not fundamentally against Free software. Scale is not the problem (SCO, for example, was always quite small). Prepare for a lot of FUD from the Microsoft camp, which harbours the #1 cash cow. █
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Summary: Novell may be days away from approval of being acquired by AttachMSFT and passing almost 1,000 patents to Microsoft; in the mean time, Novell wants to monetise the project it polluted, forked, and to some extent wrecked
NOVELL is a proprietary software company which thinks like a proprietary software company but markets itself as an open source software company or a “Linux company”. Some journalists fall for it and propagate the illusion, even though Novell’s contributions to OpenOffice.org, for example, can almost be summarised as “adding the features Microsoft paid us to add to OpenOffice.org” (antifeatures like OOXML, which helped Microsoft ram is down ISO’s throat). Novell tries monetising Sun’s work to which they added OOXML and other such antifeatures. And who can ever forget Novell's Windows-only OpenOffice releases?
“Will Novell give its OpenOffice.org-related software patents to Microsoft now?”Based on Michael Applebaum’s latest PR piece, Novell’s marketers are back to their odd buzzterm, “agility”, as well as “cloud computing” (more on Fog Computing in this other PR post) and of course “innovation”, the bigger word for “invention” and sometimes a synonym or eurphemism for “patent” (which itself is a euphemism for monopoly). What ever happened to “open source” at Novell? It dissipated after the Microsoft deal.
Novell can go on and on about award nominations (for obscure awards like the CODiE we mentioned the other day), reviews and “success stories”, but the company is a total failure which now feeds Microsoft and some other foes of GNU/Linux with Linux-hostile patents. A lot of pressure is being put on regulatory agencies to stop the CPTN deal, but the OSI and FSF forget to place a lot of the blame and the pressure where it fits (more on that important subject will come later). The main problem is Novell, which could theoretically still withdraw its CPTN deal. Instead, Novell is eager to just sell its patents to Microsoft as soon as possible and an acquisition by attachMSFT is scheduled for 6 days from now, based on Novell. Nobody even raises the question about Novell’s motives. The issue was deflected by spin. Remember what we wrote in 2006 about Novell as a patent minefield in OpenOffice.org. Will Novell give its OpenOffice.org-related software patents to Microsoft now? Boycott Novell. █
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Summary: An overview of recent Novell news, of which there is a good deal about proprietary software, Red Hat leeching, LibreOffice/OpenOffice leeching, etc.
NOVELL has been a wasteland of news recently (OpenSUSE being the exception), especially now that the acquisition is put on hold amidst investigation. It leads to paralysis. To quote Redmonk’s “State of Novell” post:
My own is that SUSE faces some fundamental challenges.
Linux foes like Microsoft would love to ensure that it carries on because Microsoft is paid for SLE* sales, unlike RHEL sales. But Red Hat is still the market leader, despite Microsoft’s continued efforts to change that. In general, there is not much to say about Novell these days. News about the company is banal, but it sure seems like they still want Red Hat’s business based on statements by Michael Applebaum, who takes advantage of the patches controversy/blunder:
From a maintenance perspective, Novell doesn’t face any problem in providing regular kernel updates for RHEL.
On another front, Novell promotes proprietary GroupWise and abend.org keeps track of that when it reposts (it also covers new flaws [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]):
Novell today announced new partner solutions to meet the growing demands of its GroupWise(R) customer base and address the changing collaboration landscape. Within the past two months, Novell partners, including GWAVA, Notify Technology and SEP, unveiled eight new products which provide GroupWise customers with advanced security, compliance and mobile management features. Combined with more than 1,200 active GroupWise solution providers in 2010, the Novell ecosystem of ISVs and channel partners has driven more than 70 percent of GroupWise sales over the past year and continues to gain momentum.
“We have come to rely on GWAVA and Novell GroupWise as critical solutions to our overall messaging infrastructure,” said Andrew Simpson, head of ITT at Public and Commercial Services Union. “Having two partners work so well together gives us confidence into the future.”
This is just proprietary software, akin to this type of stuff which Novell PR people are pushing. Go-OO development has been moving resources to LibreOffice, which Novell tries to monetise using support, just like SUSE which Novell’s PR people carry on promoting [1, 2]. Meike Chabowski, the product marketing manager for Enterprise Linux Servers at Novell, is pushing SUSE content into ZDNet to strengthen SUSE in mainframes.
With funds from dubious sources and despite bankruptcy [1, 2], SCO or UnXis [1, 2, 3] wish to carry on threatening Linux with a tax. Groklaw pointed out that Novell would file for an appeal against SCO’s latest move.
I expect Novell will immediately appeal. You will notice that on page 11 of the Order there is a 14-day waiting period, so it can do so, something Novell requested at the hearing. When the judge said he’d have to make sure Novell had that time, I knew how he would rule.
At the end of the day, an insolvent Novell which will probably be forgotten a few years down the line, just like SCO. Both companies are no longer seen as creating much at all. Their virtual assets are being passed around. █
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Summary: The ‘umbrella’ of LibreOffice, The Document Foundation, explains that Novell’s deal with Microsoft does not apply to it
THIS Web site, Techrights, was one of the sites which broke the news about LibreOffice (to ensure no misunderstandings we were contacted weeks in advance). There has been criticism of this project, however, notably because of OOXML exporting [1, 2]. In order to clarify this situation, The Document Foundation has just released a LibreOffice FAQ relating only to OOXML doubts. Among the parts:
Ah! So Novell is bringing in odd software bits from Microsoft to betray Free Software!
That’s not really a question, but there are some things that are quite clear to the Document Foundation:
* Novell and the Document Foundation are not the same entities, nor does Novell own the Document Foundation. Novell is one contributor, among several others, to the Document Foundation.
* The patches related to the Microsoft Office formats support coming from Novell are the indirect result of the a specific agreement between Novell and Microsoft. We use the word “indirect” here, as the agreement covers the software known as “OpenOffice Novell Edition”, and that’s not the same as LibreOffice.
* To the best of the knowledge of the Document Foundation, there is no specific agreement between Novell and Microsoft about LibreOffice. (But then again, we are not Novell nor do we represent the company in any way).
“Excuse me,” wrote Groklaw in response to this, “but this is a little too smooth, because if LibreOffice includes those OpenOffice patches, and apparently it does, what in the world would require a specific contract regarding LibreOffice? If the patches are patent-encumbered, for example, would LibreOffice get a pass from the courts because the patch was designed for OpenOffice? Obviously not. If there is any chance of that, then why not make the patches optional by default, and the wiki says you can ship LibreOffice without those patches? That way those of us in countries with wacky patent laws can avoid difficulties.”
Techrights has covered this subject since 2007 and Groklaw woke up to it only a few weeks ago. Separately, Groklaw wrote: “If you do technical work for Microsoft to help it be more interoperable, then, are you helping or hurting FOSS in this context? Something to think about.” █
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