LibreOffice Document Foundation and OOXML

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LibreOffice Clarifies OOXML Situation and Role of Novell’s Influence

--Schestowitz 04:59, 30 January 2011 (UTC)


LibreOffice Clarifies OOXML Situation and Role of Novell Influence

Summary: The 'umbrella' of LibreOffice, The Document Foundation, explains that Novell's deal with Microsoft does not apply to it

<a name="top">T</a>HIS 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 [[cref 43946 1], [cref 43760 2]]. In order to clarify this situation, The Document Foundation has just released <a href="http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/LibreOffice_OOXML#Ah.21_So_Novell_is_bringing_in_odd_software_bits_from_Microsoft_to_betray_Free_Software.21" title="LibreOffice OOXML">an LibreOffice FAQ relating only to OOXML doubts</a>. 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." <a href="#top">█</a>

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