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Sun Responds -- Gently -- to Novell's OpenOffice.org FUD

Hands and sun





SUN Microsystems' OpenOffice.org team seems to be responding in a subtle fashion to Novell's most recent strikes against OpenOffice.org [1, 2].



It is crucial to remember that quality assurance is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to software which stores information like medical data and people's wages. Microsoft's quality assurance -- or lack thereof, especially in Microsoft Office -- has already proven to be detrimental, so the last thing the world needs is a leading open source office suite which is equally buggy, to the point where it gets its mathematics wrong (that would be Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OOXML).

Those who favour negligence and are willing to accept no level of authority in the development can just hop onto the Go-OOXML Web site, whose opening words and introduction to the software go like this: "Go-oo has built in OpenXML import filters and it will import your Microsoft Works files."

Yes, these are the very first words one finds in Novell's fork [1, 2, 3, 4] of OpenOffice.org. It's all about OOXML. Go, Go, OOXML. They even call it "OpenXML," thus lending credibility to the confusion which associates "OpenXML" with open source and OpenOffice ("Office Open OOXML"). It's important to remember that Novell helped the standardisation of OOXML, which was a corrupt affair.

OpenOffice.org is no sinner. It is also valuable to bear in mind that Linux (the kernel) is built in a similar fashion because of the need for quality control. Patchmasters like Andrew Morton and Linus Torvalds do run a receptive cathedral, not a bazaar (Pamela Jones applied this same analogy to her work in Groklaw).

As people may recall, Con Kolivas abandoned Linux development because his admirable role was not wholeheartedly accepted, but should we fault Linux like Novell want us all to fault OpenOffice.org by poisoning our minds? This is not the first time that Novell slams Sun products out in the open [1, 2], which is uncalled for and counter productive.

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