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ODF Award Insults the Community, Rewards Proponent of Non-Free Software (Corrected)

Summary: An ODF award is granted to a man who seems to have harmed Free software and contributed little or nothing to ODF

THE ODF Alliance has just announced the winners of an award for contribution to OpenDocument Format (ODF), but there must have been some horrible mistake. In order to understand why, background and some history are necessary.



For those who are well familiar with the matters in India, skipping to the second part is advised.

Background



One subject that we covered in the past are Free(dom) software proponents in India who get sacked or pressured out for doing their job, which is to advance technology in the interest of the Indian people. Some neo-imperialists or digital colonialists (and locals whom they liaise/conspire with) are not particularly happy about such Free software proponents, obviously. They even frown upon and harass professors who watch their country being looted and offer their humble, technical opinion.

Links to extensive articles with evidence from the press are already there for those who need to catch up, so it would be wasteful to repeat what has happened, even though it's tempting.

“...Microsoft is ousting 'problematic' and charismatic people in India, putting "Trojan horses" in their places.”At the moment, based on what we've seen, Microsoft is ousting 'problematic' and charismatic people in India, putting "Trojan horses" in their places. It is a typical and familiar maneuver that we've seen in other places, Massachusetts included.

Microsoft has not only done the same thing in ISO, which it brutally corrupted. The convicted monopolist is doing it at the moment even inside ODF where it is planting henchmen like Jesper Lund Stocholm and employees like Doug Mahugh [1, 2]. Alex Brown is watching from nearby as well.

What is their purpose?

Obviously, it is to instill more Microsoft influence inside disruptive rivals and then pretend that any opposition to them come from "zealots" or somesuch. It's a defence mechanism similar to the "hater" label -- a form of stigmatisation [1, 2] ("Microsoft hater" is the new "terrorist", no matter how many crimes Microsoft committed to justify polite criticism and skepticism).

Microsoft always tries to devour the competition by intruding it and then extending and extinguishing it [1, 2, 3]. This time is no exception as Microsoft is invading the ODF scene, trying to make it more of its own, but at the same time advancing OOXML and publicly characterising it as superior. Using its sympathetic figures that gradually get appointed to replace those whom Microsoft expelled, they may try to push Microsoft software under the claim that it 'supports' ODF. They throw away freedom from this debate, too, having already hijacked "open source".

Microsoft is always pretending to be your friend (see the comments), even when they sue you and try to ban you. As Microsoft's Jim Allchin once said, "We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger." (emphasis is ours)

Who is Anvar Sadath?



Anvar Sadath is among those who received an award from the ODF Alliance and this is bizarre for so many reasons. It has already led to an outage in India and we shall come to it in a moment.

Anvar Sadath is an MSDN user who also worked in a company where he used .NET. He is basically a Windows developer (in 2007 he used Windows 98) and his title is "Senior Software Engineer, .NET COE."

To quote some more, Anvar Sadath "was part of the .NET COE team and since then there was no looking back as the organization implanted in me focus on innovation and taught me smart business practices." (correction: this is a different Anvar Sadath, see comments)

He is mentioned in this article about Indian schools which says: "After attaining e-literacy, the individual would be able to use word processing, gaming, and entertainment programs, and use the Internet for e-mail, browsing, chatting, and so on. Those who have achieved basic e-literacy could enrol in advanced programmes such as e-Vidya-Microsoft Office Package, Internet for all, Arabic typing tutor, Microsoft Unlimited Potential Programme, and more."

This is all classic EDGI -- the programme for "addicting" children in India [1, 2], to paraphrase Bill Gates. They want those children stuck with Microsoft, thus helpless, divided and unable to help their local economy, let alone themselves.

How can apologists of a company that constantly fights against ODF and Free software using blackmail, smear campaigns, lawsuits and bribes receive an award from the ODF Alliance? Some people call for it to be retracted. Microsoft's great zealotry against people's desire for independence is glaringly obvious, so this is hardly acceptable. "Ask them to contact odf alliance , and protest to get back the award," said one of our readers from India.

Backlash



Other messages that we found in India are not much better off. Here is the most informative messages among the bunch (from the secretary of FSFI):

Dear Friends,

It was really shocking to see the press release from ODF alliance which has attributed the entire credit for promotion of ODF in the schools of Kerala wrongly to Mr. Anvar Sadath. Giving credits wrongly can be discouraging and painful to those who had done the real work. There are several hundreds of people in Kerala whose painstaking effort and dedication lead to the integration of Free Software and ODF in the schools of Kerala. It has a long history starting from year 2001.

Today we find that ODF alliance has credited the entire work to one person who had no role to play in the process. ODF alliance should have recognised the real individuals who worked for what we see as IT@school today.

You should have recognised Sri V. S Achuthandan, Chief Minister of Kerala ( Opposition leader then), whose political endorsement lead to the introduction of free software and ODF in the schools of Kerala.

You should have recognised hundreds of teachers who took the pain to learn and promote Free Software and ODF. Without their political courage nothing would have happend.

You should have recognised Mr. Biju Prabhakar, the former director of IT @school who initiated the introduction of FS and ODF in Schools of Kerala.

You should have recognised Mr. V K Sasidharan, who was the leading master trainer whose leadership brought together the entire change.

You should have recognised volunteers of Free Software community who communicated the importance of digital freedom in the schools of Kerala.

It's a shame that a community organisation like ODF alliance could not to recognise the real heroes of this project. This press release can be seen only as a black humor.

“Anvar Sadath has bridged the digital divide in Kerala,” commented the ODF Alliance's Marcich. “He was among the first to recognize that an open format like ODF means giving students, teachers, and parents alike the flexibility to use a wide range of software than they currently have, including free solutions. Just as importantly, Sadath translated ideas into actions for the benefit of educational development in Kerala.”


I would like to know how this statement can be substantiated. May be I'm missing something here! I would like to hear from you all.


Says one person:

Anwar is a bureaucrat came on top of IT@School project before 2 years. Actual Free Software & Open standards Adoption was done Much before that

Crediting an Individual who tried to Introduce windows and Photoshop in Completely Free Software powered schools (in the name of some e-gov works http://www.gnu.org.in/fsf-india-sends-letter-to-education-minister-of ) is now awarded in the name of a collective effort done by other people..

He was also part of Controversial Information Kerala Mission Project which tried to Computerise all Local self Goverments with Microsoft Technmology.. At that time he wrote a lot of articles defending MIcrosoft when Free Software Foundation Criticized them

These are the Trojan Horses.. Target Them..


Another person adds:

We need to Push ODF Alliance to provide the rationale for Blanket statements like "Anvar Sadath is bridged digital divide in Kerala"

They must explain that.


And another:

As far as I know from my experience with teachers, Freedom was the primary motivation in promoting Free Software. I suspect this is an effort to push proprietary software implementing ODF, using the momentum the community have built up in the past years with their hard work. If people look carefully, they can easily see, who would benefit from such a move.

I tend to think the quote below is true, because he may be first one to see the potential of "the flexibility to use a wide range of software than they currently have, including free solutions". We adopted OpenOffice.org much before ODF came, in the days of sxw, because it was Free Software.


Lastly:

Crediting a bureaucrat who pushed to Introduce windows and Photoshop in Completely Free Software powered schools using his power position(in the name of some e-gov works http://www.gnu.org.in/fsf-india-sends-letter-to-education-minister-of ) is now awarded in the name of a collective effort done by other people & Departments like SCERT who designed the syllabus. I Dont have a problem if it is awarded to IT@school Project because it worth it.


Having electronic systems at schools is one thing, but if those systems are used as tools of suppression that turn children and their data into hostages for some foreign companies, then this can do more harm than good. It creates a dangerous dependence that cannot be afforded and therefore harms the economy in the long term.

The Latest Yahoo! Lesson



What we find above are Trojan horses that Microsoft can use, just like it did with Yahoo quite recently. We covered a lot of this before and here is the latest development:

Microsoft’s new search team is starting to look a lot like Yahoo’s old one. In just the latest example, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has brought on Jan Pedersen, a Yahoo search veteran, to be chief scientist of Live Search, a spokeswoman confirmed Thursday. Pedersen, who most recently worked at Amazon.com’s a9.com search subsidiary, spent several years as the chief scientist for the search and advertising technology group at Yahoo, according to his website.


This is also covered here and here. On the one hand, Microsoft 'steals' Yahoo's staff and on the other hand it agitates and empties Yahoo until it becomes dysfunctional and thus can be conquered too.

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

                 -- George Santayana

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