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Best of 'The Source': Outercurve, LibreOffice, Mono, and Novell's Sale

The Source



Summary: New FUD-busting posts about threats to software freedom, courtesy of The Source (Web site)

AT TECHRIGHTS we like the site called The Source because -- much like Groklaw -- it covers many of the issues that we focus on, especially the opposition to Free software which opposes it by proactive attacks or infiltrations. Today we go through 4 of the latest new posts from The Source, posted over the past week or so (there were 5 in total).



Microsoft, the company which lays off and outsources people who are 'too expensive', has been trying an entryism charm manoeuvre for quite some time; it did not get so far with that in the Free software world, certainly not with the remarks its managers occasionally make (e.g. Hernán Rincón last month [1, 2, 3, 4]).

CodePlex has failed to be dissociated mentally from Microsoft (it is certainly technically associated with it), so Microsoft has it nymshift to "Outercurve" and The Source explains why this is a rubbish attempt to distance oneself from Microsoft, without making any real changes other than the name:

Case in point – Microsoft OuterCurve

By extension, then, independent foundations and non-profic organizations represent the most attractive attack vector for those hostile to Free Software. See, for example Microsoft CodePlex Microsoft OuterCurve, where you can get spin from Executive Director Paula Hunter like:

What distinguishes us from Eclipse and Apache is that we’re license agnostic and platform agnostic

“Platform agnostic”? Let’s look at the 6 Microsoft CodePlex Microsoft OuterCurve approved “galleries”:



  • Orchard – ASP.Net (Microsoft Windows)
  • MVC Contrib – ASP.Net (Microsoft Windows)
  • ASP.Net Ajax Library – ASP.Net (Microsoft Windows)
  • Web Forms MVP Project – ASP.Net (Microsoft Windows)
  • CoApp Project – Microsoft Windows
  • Network Monitor Parsers – Microsoft Network Monitor (Microsoft Windows)

Yes, indeed: real platform agnosticism there.



I also love how Ms Hunter says:

And to be direct, no, we are not distancing ourselves from Microsoft; we are very pleased with our relationship with them and their continued support of the foundation.

Of course you aren’t distancing yourselves from Microsoft –  you don’t have anywhere to distance yourselves to - every single project you have is based on a Microsoft platform!  Your relationship with Microsoft is your entire and sole reason for existing.

There is one bit of truth on the Microsoft CodePlex Microsoft Outercurve site:



We have changed our name, but not our mission.

Believe that.





The Source then compares Outercurve to some other so-called 'foundations' and deals separately with LibreOffice [1, 2, 3], which is also attached to a foundation that's rather diverse. The Source explains why Novell's limited role in this foundation makes LibreOffice nothing like Go-OO, at least in the long run (we have already addressed this typical trolls' argument and so does The Source).

Allowing Mr. Schulz a bit of satirical lee-way in his representation of those who are concerned with Novell’s behavior, this is a very solid and reassuring response.

It not only recognizes Novell has severe perception issues in the larger community, but it clearly addresses the main concern (Mono) in the context of LibreOffice. I also appreciate the acknowledgement of acceptable and non-acceptable patches from Novell.


Further on this subject of Novell and Mono, the latest Miguel de Icaza interview which we covered here is now being tackled by The Source, which addresses both Mono and Moonlight. To quote one part of this detailed response to the 'Microsoft press' promoting Mono:

I’m not sure that anyone ever was looking to Team Apologista to be convinced to move to the iPhone, Android or Mac platforms. Perhaps the meaning is “using-our-.NET-knock-off-instead-of-the-native-developent-platform”?

Also, I’m confused. I was told that bringing software to Linux was not really the point of Mono? But here, it seems like Mr. de Icaza is asserting that Team Apologista was out there “begging” for Mono to be used to bring software to Linux?


Lastly, argues The Source, Novell is worth more dead than alive:

The Gentle Reader may note that Your Distinguished Author has noted time and time again that Novell has very little product of value outside of SuSE Linux (and directly related products), which Novell promptly and idiotically hobbled with secretive deals with Linux Public Enemy #1.

The diplomatic way of phrasing it you’ll see? “[P]rivate equity buyers were balking over the price the company was asking for the [non SuSE Linux] assets” – this has been noted in many financial articles analyzing the difficulty Novell is having throwing itself at potential buyers.


Confer or revisit some of the latest posts about Novell's sale [1, 2].

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