12.04.06

Novell OpenOffice Fork?

Posted in Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, VBA at 8:10 pm by Shane Coyle

Novell has released a new version of OpenOffice.org 2.0.2, replete with all kinds of fancy (and possibly patent-encumbered) “interoperability” features. Let’s count the number of times we see the words "Microsoft" or "Windows", shall we?

key features of OpenOffice.org 2.0.2

The Novell® Edition of OpenOffice.org contains enhancements that are not available in the standard edition. These include:

  • Enhanced Support for Microsoft Office File Formats: OpenOffice.org supports import and export of Microsoft Office file formats, even taking advantage of compatible fonts to match document length. Transparent document sharing makes OpenOffice.org the best choice if you are deploying it in a mixed Linux/Windows environment.
  • E-Mail as Microsoft Office Document: The standard edition of OpenOffice.org supports e-mailing of files as PDF files from within the OpenOffice.org application. With the Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org, you can also e-mail any document as a Microsoft Office file. For example, you can e-mail a Writer file as a Microsoft Word file, so the file is automatically converted and attached to an e-mail in your default e-mail application.
  • Excel VBA Macro Interoperability: The Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org eases the migration of many macros from Microsoft Excel. Although not all macros can be successfully migrated, this interoperability offers more than the standard edition, which does not support migration of macros.
  • Enhanced Fonts: For the Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org, Novell licensed fonts from AGFA that use the same or similar names as the fonts available in Microsoft Office. The fonts also look similar to those used by Microsoft and have identical metrics. This allows OpenOffice.org to match fonts when opening documents originally composed in Microsoft Office, and very closely match pagination and page formatting.
  • ODMA Integration: The Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org for Windows includes initial release of ODMA integration such as GroupWise.

Okay, I didn’t really count, but there were a bunch weren’t there? Interestingly, this article notes that Novell is adding the support to its Linux version of Novell OpenOffice.org, but the download page only indicates Windows 2000/XP as the platform:

Novell has announced that they are adding support for the recently launched MS Office 2007 document format to their version of the OpenOffice productivity suite for the Linux operating system.

Novell has provided a modified version of OpenOffice.org 2.02 as a free download for their registered users, which is compatible with Office 2007 documents.

Did you catch that last part about “free download for their registered users”? What do you want to bet that is so they have a counter for their royalty payment to Microsoft for their “Interoperability IP”? Why else restrict the downloading of an "Open-Source" product, or can Novell customers not redistribute the special Novell Edition now? Is the Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org under any license other than LGPL?

I have lots of questions about this announcement that I will be further researching, Pamela Jones of Groklaw is also on the case, so be sure to check out what she has come up with:

Well, if there are any Novell supporters left, here’s something else to put in your pipe and smoke it. Novell is forking OpenOffice.org.

There will be a Novell edition of OpenOffice.org and it will support Microsoft OpenXML. (The default will be ODF, they claim, but note that the subheading mentions OpenXML instead.) I am guessing this will be the only OpenOffice.org covered by the “patent agreement” with Microsoft. You think?

Yes, unfortunately I do.

UPDATE: Miguel De Icaza says Novell OpenOffice is not a fork, but a patched version of OpenOffice.org. I did get a kick out of this though:

Btw, I believe the translator that people are discussing is built with C# and XSLT and is available here. I wonder some of the posters on the Groklaw thread are going to have a stroke over the fact that the software is hosted at source forge.

The document converter they are working on is in C#? So, I need to use Mono to use their converter for MS OpenXML? How many lawsuits must I expose myself to just to get at my own information in those documents?

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2006/12/04/novell-openoffice-fork/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. konfusedkiwi said,

    December 4, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Your quote: Did you catch that last part about “free download for their registered users”?

    You clearly do not understand the difference between open source and proprietary commercial software. Businesses charge money for commercial software. Yes, that’s right. This might be a new concept for you, look it up sometime – lightweight.

    Obviously, this is not a “royalty payment to Microsoft for their Interoperability IP” as you assert, it is simply commercial software.

  2. Draconishinobi said,

    December 4, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    Gravatar

    The LGPL (like the GPL) requires that the source (in this case OpenOffice) be published. However, because it is the LGPL, not GPL, “programs that link to the library may be licensed under terms of your choice, so long as the library itself can be changed.” (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/LGPL/2.1/)

    Another reason to use GPL not LGPL. (of course, there are reasons for using one over the other, but if you want truly free software go with GPL)

  3. Joshua Bergland said,

    December 5, 2006 at 2:42 am

    Gravatar

    This is insane …

    Is there anyone on this site that has actually followed Novell before the deal?

    The Windows version of OpenOffice 2.0.2 on Novell’s website has been there for months. Its part of the Open Workgroup suite of products, but if you register a free account on their site you can download it and use it. It just lacks the support that is part of the Open Workgroup product.

    The Linux version is included in SLED and OpenSUSE, also for free with the source code of Novell’s additions. Novell is simply extending the product and making their enhancements available to the OpenOffice community for inclusion.

    OpenOffice already supports Microsoft Office documents, what’s wrong with them supporting the format in Office 2007? It’s called business. What company would switch to an office application that couldn’t guarantee compatibility with their clients?

    As much as you would like to pretend otherwise, Novell has lasted many years being the underdog. The problem (and its always been their problem) is that they are going to continue having poor press relations and marketing and let sites like this publishing opinions take down the company.

    Are you guys so anti Microsoft that you would take down any company that might try to work with them?

    Please actually use Open Enterprise Server and SLES 10, then tell me that Novell hasn’t worked to take Linux to the next level of corporate readiness.

  4. Draconishinobi said,

    December 6, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Gravatar

    “Are you guys so anti Microsoft that you would take down any company that might try to work with them?

    Please actually use Open Enterprise Server and SLES 10, then tell me that Novell hasn’t worked to take Linux to the next level of corporate readiness. ”

    Well, I don’t know about anyone else here, but for me …

    Yes, any company that joins the evil empire (M$) becomes a part of that empire and aids in its propagation. Thus, Novell must die ! And if any other company chooses to take the same path … they must die as well ! The evil empire will be destroyed no matter what it takes. Besides, there are plenty of other distros that work better than SUSE and Novell.

  5. Juan Fermin said,

    April 3, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m in the process of “Selling” a customer to swich over 20 desktops from XP to Suse Linux. One of the biggest selling points of Novell’s product was the fact that it came with a version of Open Office that’s compatible with Office 2007. This particular client gets a lot of documents, and many of them are beginning to come in on the new format, and they want to stay with the times, but can’t afford to switch to MS Office, and pay $6000.00 to get everyone switched over. They like the fact that once they go with a Suse server, they can switch their Exchange Server to Scalix, and not only save a ton of money, but also have a much more stable system that’s not subject to “How Good the Anti-Virus” is. Would you have preferred that Novell not offer this great product and they would have been Forced to buy more MS stuff? Get a Grip and wake up.

  6. Rico said,

    July 3, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Gravatar

    Well Draconishinobi, you sound more like a fundamentalist Muslim then someone with an actual working brain. Saying a company must die just because you don’t like the software. So in fact you want all those people get fire just because you don’t like the software.

    Who was it that once said: If you can beat them, join them.

    If you don’t want it, don’t use it. Now go get a life…

  7. nox said,

    November 30, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    Care! Seems that some other distros are silently adding the Novell patches into
    OOo, for example with mono and gstreamer support
    (and most of them are the same distro who complained about binary drivers, nonsense!!!!!).

What Else is New


  1. Video: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    12 days ago the FSF uploaded the video above, in which current threats to software freedom are explained by the FSF's founder



  2. FSF Web Site Now Lists the Seven Voting Members, Including Alexandre Oliva, Former Acting FSF President

    The FSF is now in good and reliable hands, which we're told are all supportive of the decision to bring back the FSF's founder to the Board; Oliva remains involved as a voting member



  3. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 11: The Rapporteur Who Once Was Vice-President

    EPO‘s former Vice-President of DG3 will be the person to decide on the EPO’s (mis)conduct



  4. [Meme] Captured EPO

    Put the EPO back in the hands of people who do all the work and actually understand the real goals of a patent office



  5. An Urgent Need to Fix the EPO, Which is Becoming Rogue at Every Level (Even the 'Legal' Level)

    Helpless examiners are being put in a grave dilemma: violate the EPC or lose the job; it's meanwhile clear that internal appeals, including referrals to the Boards of Appeal, are also hopeless because these courts or tribunals obey tyrants, not the EPC, and moreover they cover up past abuses of the tyrants



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 17, 2021



  7. 6,700 Signatures in Support of Richard Stallman's Return to the FSF's Board

    6,700 signatures will be secured any day now (maybe later today); we thought the graph is worth replotting again, even if only to remind people how badly the defamatory hate letter has backfired



  8. [Meme] The Real Gates Scandal is About Connections to Sex Trafficking (Epstein), Not Infidelity

    Some media is still trying to shift attention (some of the very same media that misdirected focus to Richard Stallman when a Gates-Epstein scandal unfolded at MIT), but people aren't gullible enough



  9. Links 17/5/2021: New GeckoLinux and Kdenlive 21.04.1

    Links for the day



  10. Richard Stallman Refers to Intel's Management Engine (ME) -- or a Back Door -- as 'Master', and the Processor Intel Lets Us Use as 'Slave'

    “The president and founder of the Free Software Foundation will speak about pressing issues in free software today, and will present the winners of the 2018 Free Software Awards,” says the summary (this was 3 years ago, i.e. before the purge of language, with a prominent role played by Intel)



  11. Links 17/5/2021: NetBSD 9.2 and Early Look at Bodhi Linux 6.0.0

    Links for the day



  12. Calle Josefsson as Living Proof That Attacking the Causes You Once Proclaimed to Stand for is Very Profitable

    Some thoughts on the situation of the Boards of Appeal in Haar; they're led by someone who receives a huge salary (a four- or five-fold increase) in exchange for an epic sellout and abandonment of principles; as a de facto legal slinger or imposter/poser he has already done incredible damage on several levels



  13. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 10: A Faustian Pact?

    Benoît Battistelli‘s rubber-stamping judge from Sweden saw his salary growing four- or five-fold and he has meanwhile lowered his public profile, fearing that people will see what he sold his soul for



  14. EPO Staff Representatives Not Amused to See an Office That Steals From Staff and Even From Pensioners

    The heist continues; the EPO isn't just a milking cow of Germany but also of EPO officials who keep the 'lid' or the 'cover' on this whole financial instrument, which would enrage member states if they truly understood what's going on



  15. [Meme] Virtual Prisons for Virtual Hearings (Haarings)

    Today’s EPO has a truly twisted notion of the “rule of law”



  16. President of the Boards of Appeal, the Star of the Haar Show

    It’s best in the metal version; burn in Hell, Lesley Gore



  17. Right To Repair: When You Don't Own What You Buy (and Cannot Even Repair It Legally)

    The second part of preliminary background regarding the Right To Repair; our associate who extracted the videos from YouTube says that both are relevant to “Freedom 0″ (as per the FSF’s definition of Free software)



  18. Right To Repair: What It's About and How That Relates to Software

    A short (less than one minute) video that offers some background or sheds light on the intersection between Software Freedom and the Right To Repair



  19. Brand as Distraction From the Core Issues Surrounding the Right To Repair

    Excerpt of a video from Odysee, in which an important point is explained regarding a very actual and relevant case, more so given a recent ruling that indirectly impacts software freedom, mostly in (but not limited to) the United States



  20. Virtual 'Courts' Aren't Courts and Aren't Suitable Substitutes, Either

    The cheapening of the concept of justice, even as the pandemic that serves to justify that cheapening is gradually being brought under control, is the real issue that should be debated in Haar (or from private homes, probably somewhere around Haar); whether it's compulsory or not ought to be a side question



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 16, 2021



  22. Links 17/5/2021: Linux 5.13 RC2 and a Lot About Patents

    Links for the day



  23. (All-Time) Archive of Techrights Videos Contains About 1,000 Videos, All Listed in One Place Now

    We're improving access to old material in the site and right now the focus is ways to improve discovery of old video/multimedia files



  24. Haar Song

    The Office in Munich is overseen by “a municipality near Munich,” according to Wikipedia (not inside Munich, so that in itself is a violation of the EPC)



  25. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 9: Squeezing Out the Lifeblood of Democracy?

    The lack of public discourse at the EPO (where tyrants like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos make up the rules and then have them rubber-stamped by kangaroo courts) helps explain an atrocious policy and moral abyss, which recently led to acceptance of European software patents and mass surveillance disguised as “access to justice”



  26. Luke Smith on Why Free Software Matters and 'Open Source' is Meaningless

    A video just released by a popular YouTube channel



  27. Links 16/5/2021: ExTiX 21.5, Drumstick Multiplatform MIDI File Player Refresh

    Links for the day



  28. EPO.org is a Really Awful Source of Information

    The site that bears a .org suffix is actually more like a private corporation lying about itself in order to save face and attract more money -- or in other words funds that will be squandered and stolen by corrupt administrators



  29. IBM Has Changed a Lot Since 2018, and Not for the Better

    IBM isn't that much of an ally of GNU/Linux as a community-led or community-centric operating system; IBM is in it all just for IBM and we need to treat IBM accordingly



  30. [Meme] Criticising IBM is Racist and Intolerant

    Systemd is becoming untouchable and its critics are framed as "toxic" or "trolls", no matter the facts and irrespective of the technical substance of their complaints


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts