If You Want Open Source Software, Don’t Come Knocking on Novell’s Door

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following new post has caught some people’s attention:

I was on the Novell campus a few weeks ago attending the Utah Open Source Conference. One of the days I went to the Novell cafeteria for lunch. While I was filling my plate with food, a young man next to me asked, “So do you work here?”. I replied with “No, I’m here attending the open source conference.” A few seconds later I was hit with a question that I was not prepared to answer.

“What is open source?” he asked. I was speechless. Did he just ask me what open source was? Is he joking? Nope, he looks pretty serious. Ahh, well then where to start? I only have a few seconds to explain it to him. I managed to come up with a horribly composed answer, and followed it up with “You know, like Firefox and Linux.” He nodded and walked away.

Remember that Novell described itself as a mixed source company when people question Novell’s motives and strategy, but the company’s press releases make it clear that Novell seeks an open source identity. So what is going on at Novell? This other new review calls OpenSUSE 10.3 (RC) “a dissapointment” [sic]. Whether Novell is losing its way or not is something that remains to be seen. What Novell’s PR department says does not align with reality, once it’s explored.

More Document Format Links; OOXML is Disliked Even by Microsoft Employees, Apparently

Posted in Australia, Europe, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, KDE, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, SUN, Videos at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

At this point, it should be very important for Microsoft to have a Novell VP say that OOXML is a “superb standard” because, on the face of it, some of Microsoft’s own employees understand that OOXML deserves to be disliked. Watch this:

What does it say about Microsoft and its current OOXML push that our readers — essentially, the home field for Microsoft in this contest — are so clearly opposed to the Redmond-sponsored technology?

Be aware that the guy whom Microsoft paid to edit Wikipedia’s article on OOXML advised Australia to vote against OOXML. Even Brian Jones, who orchestrated a lot of the OOXML fiasco, has admitted that OOXML isn’t ready (or suitable) for standardisation. Surely, corruption which was identified (e.g. [1, [2]) had a lot to do with the final vote on OOXML. The ISO’s broken system did not help here. Nothing stands in the face of greed.

In the following new article about the ruling in Europe, it is advised that people should take a lesson and be steered away from Microsoft’s proprietary format, of which OOXML is one.

More importantly, people should save document files in a format that can be read by any word processor. It is called rich-text format, or RTF, and it keeps all the attributes (font, margins, indents etc) that most people need.

And do not give in to paying needlessly for software upgrades, particularly Office. The upgrades give you precious little extra for the money and indeed give you grief because you have to learn a whole lot of new tricks. And the stuff you create won’t be able to be read by people with older software unless you use RTF.

Meanwhile, KDE developers are bringing an open source, ODF-oriented office suite to Windows. They join a crowded market that includes AbiWord, Symphony, and OpenOffice.org, among other (mainly proprietary) office suites.

Yes, this is working copy of KWord 2.0 alpha running on KDE 4 under MS Windows, compiled during KDE-On-Windows meeting in Berlin. I must say local Trolltech’s office is great environment for developing.

In case anyone is interested, here is a video extolling the virtues of real standards, with a focus on accessibility.

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