05.06.09

Don’t Let Novell (and Microsoft) Control GNU/Linux, Licences, and Open Office

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Oracle, SUN at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MS Novell

Summary: Dangers of Moonlight seen in a different light (but same angle); OpenOffice.org needs to be kept away from Novell

EARLIER on today we wrote about Microsoft's fanfare over the release of Microsoft Moonlight. The Microsoft-oriented Elizabeth Montalbano (at IDG) covered it promptly just like other reporters who pick the same theme. By contrast, Sean who is actually a GNU/Linux user talked about the problems which make Moonlight quite so controversial (and forbidden in Fedora's case).

Yes there is still a debate about the media codecs themselves which are still proprietary, even though Microsoft is making them freely available via Novell. Questions about Free Software purity aside, Moonlight is about enabling Linux users with the ability to view the same content as Windows users. With Moonlight in play, Microsoft can rightfully claim that Silverlight isn’t just for Windows.

Those who are not careful enough mistakenly call Microsoft Moonlight a “port” of Silverlight. It’s not a port by any stretch of imagination. And in a similar vein, Go-OO from Novell is a fork of OpenOffice.org [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], whose 3.1.0 release is currently being deployed across mirrors. If the following new articles bear truth, then Novell’s fork could spell trouble. The last thing the community needs is a Microsoft ally in virtual charge of Open Office development (whichever variant is dominant).

The setting Sun: responses to the acquisition

Another project with a cloudy future is OpenOffice.org, Sun’s open source office suite. Sun’s stewardship of OpenOffice.org has been mired in controversy. The company often clashed with other major contributors, especially Novell. Many critics of Sun’s conduct have called for OpenOffice.org to be spun off into an independent foundation with vendor-neutral governance so that all interested parties can participate in enhancing the project on even footing. Such advocacy has been renewed in the wake of the acquisition.

Saving OpenOffice From Itself (And Oracle)

The big question is: will Oracle let such a thing happen? If they don’t, the only alternative may be to fork it and let IBM (via the Lotus Symphony project) or Novell (via Go-OO) pick up the pieces. The former brought a great sense of design and integration to the suite; the latter a tenacity to improve the whole in ways that were previously neglected. Maybe the two of them can join forces on this one; they’d both have everything to gain.

The Sun ain’t gonna shine on OpenOffice any more

Everyone who has cheerfully been using OpenOffice for the past seven or eight years must face the prospect that the new owners will drop the project. As it’s open source, this is easily accomplished by “releasing it into the community”, which will make it reliant on Novell and IBM, the only other companies to put significant numbers of programmers into the work.

By all means, do not ever allow Microsoft’s close ally to control the rival of Microsoft’s #1 cash cow. It won’t work. SUSE never worked for Novell because the companies hardly compete, except Microsoft which mostly divides and conquers.

“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”

LinuxToday Managing Editor

Novell and Vista

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/2009/05/06/microsoft-novell-control-dangers/

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

8 Comments

  1. Will said,

    May 7, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Gravatar

    If I recall correctly, the version of OpenOffice in the official Ubuntu repositories is actually Go-OO, even though it doesn’t come right out and say that. Vanilla OO.org works just fine on Ubuntu though, as I’ve been manually updating it from the OO.org site since the official Ubuntu repos stay frozen on the same release version within an Ubuntu release.

    I’ve no idea how the Oracle-Sun thing will turn out for OO.org, and while it may turn out well in the end, I wonder what might have resulted if IBM had acquired Sun and subsequently fused OpenOffice 3.x with Lotus Symphony (which was forked from OO.org 1.x code) to perhaps create a new office suite better than either of them.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    IBM currently builds a version of Lotus Symphony which is based on OpenOffice.org 3.0. IBM won’t allow OpenOffice.org development to dry up.

  2. souskel said,

    May 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Gravatar

    “The last thing the community needs is a Microsoft ally in virtual charge of Open Office development (whichever variant is dominant).”

    Your argument that Go-OO is a hostile fork because of Novell’s association with Microsoft seems like a bit of a false dichotomy, Roy. Sun has a patent agreement with Microsoft that covers OpenOffice.org and it’s pretty much the same as the deal that Novell has with Microsoft. To make matters even more sketchy, Sun says that patent indemnification is a major selling point of their commercial StarOffice program.

    Why all the love for Sun? Wrt OOo, they are as much in bed with Microsoft as Novell is.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Oracle in bed with Microsoft? Tell that to Ellison.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Oh, they must be. You can buy Oracle for Windows.

    *cough*

    Personally, I’m sure they were sorely tempted to laugh in the face of the people who were asking for Oracle on Windows, of all the platforms. But there’s infinite sums of money in serving those who refuse to think.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    80% or 90% run UNIX/Linux, mostly Red Hat/Unbreakable. There are up-to-date statistics on their Web site somewhere.

    Oracle also releases software to GNU/Linux before it releases it to Windows.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Oracle is a serious performance database for when you need something with serious performance. Unix and Linux versions both involve ridiculous amounts of performance tweaking, custom file systems, etc. That sort of thing plus Windows is so stupid that anyone asking for it probably deserves to pay for it.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve found it.

    Oracle’s market share on Linux was 82.6 percent in 2006, up from 80.6 percent in 2005

    The newer figures are even better.

What Else is New


  1. Links 8/5/2021: GIMP 2.99.6, Wine 6.8 Released

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, May 07, 2021



  3. [Meme] Outsourcing Audacity Development to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Then Copying Microsoft Tactics (and 'Telemetry')

    They've had the audacity to call it "telemetry" and pretend that surveillance companies (spying giants) cannot figure out who you are based on IP addresses



  4. Links 7/5/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 156 and Diffoscope 174 Released

    Links for the day



  5. The New Microsoft? No, the New IBM.

    Microsoft GitHub and IBM: a strategic alliance between a monopolistic duo



  6. The Audacity Takeover by Muse Group is No Cause for Celebration

    Audacity is now part of an entity called Muse Group and if it doesn’t take or suck freedom out of Audacity, it will certainly deny users rather basic concepts (or anticipation) of privacy



  7. King of Linux

    If the entire operating system is being called "Linux", then we fall for a publicity or misattribution stunt



  8. The Biggest Troll is the Linux Foundation, Still Looking to Provoke and Defame Free Software Communities in Order to Help a Monopolistic Takeover and to Shoehorn Tyrants Into Leadership Positions

    Contrary to what the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is trying to say, the most toxic element is itself; it’s maligning the real community while protecting abusive and racist corporations that profit from war and tribalism-motivated hatred



  9. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 06, 2021



  10. “The Lolita Express” and Prince Bill

    “The Lolita Express” scandals return to haunt pool old Bill, as it turns out his wife was upset and it's quite likely the reason for their divorce



  11. Links 7/5/2021: GNU/Linux Preinstalled, Plamo 7.3, LibreOffice 7.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. The Latest Reports About Bill Gates Serve to Confirm or at Least Reaffirm Many People's Suspicions

    So, just as many people suspected, Melinda Gates did not appreciate her husband sneaking behind her back to meet someone who had trafficked thousands of underage girls for sexual exploitation and there are high-profile calls right now for greater transparency, seeing the impact on the world’s biggest tax evasion vehicle



  13. Disregard Web Sites That Call Themselves 'News' and Instead Promote Proprietary Software for Companies Like Microsoft

    Publishers like IDG have long been paid-for marketing in ‘article’ clothing, sometimes with the veneer of ‘reporting’ (as if they have some inside knowledge or insight, e.g. speaking with or for the company they secretly coordinate with or market for); but sadly we’ve been seeing some so-called ‘Linux’ sites doing the same thing, in effect acting like de facto Microsoft marketers



  14. [Meme] Who Needs Examination Anyway When There's 'Hey Hi' (AI)?

    The patent production line could do away with 'pesky' and 'opinionated' examiners who actually wish to scrutinise alleged 'inventions'



  15. Europe's Second-Largest Institution Corrupting the Media and Buying Expensive Puff Pieces

    As annual reports reveal, the EPO wastes an extraordinary amount of money on reputation laundering campaigns and it pollutes the signal by paying publishers; we examine this issue using the new 'reports' shown in the video above



  16. Links 6/5/2021: Fedora’s Compiler Policy and Celemony Software GmbH Adopting Free Software

    Links for the day



  17. Free Software Proponents Don't Fall for Bullshit (Same is True for EPO Examiners)

    There are parallels between what happens in the Free Software Movement and the EPO, where well-meaning people — and usually hard-working scientists — are besieged by people who never really contributed anything to society



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 05, 2021



  19. Lessons From Another Failed Coup Against the Free Software Movement

    The coup has very clearly failed and we should prepare for future attempts (they go in cycles); the monopolies really dislike software they cannot control fully (e.g. copyleft/GPL-licensed software)



  20. Links 5/5/2021: Mesa 21.1 Released and New Releases of Python

    Links for the day



  21. Links 5/5/2021: StarLabs, GNU Zile 2.6.2, Fedora i3 Spin

    Links for the day



  22. Phony 'Scandals' From Phony 'News' Site ZDNet

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet



  23. Links 5/5/2021: Windows Security Breaches and GNU Pokology Launched

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 04, 2021



  25. Links 4/5/2021: Taiwins 0.3, KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released

    Links for the day



  26. EPO Already Wasting Money on Media Manipulation Campaigns for European Inventor Award

    An online-only European Inventor Award 'event' is being used as a pretext/excuse to flood European publishers with money they can rightly perceive as 'hush money'; everyone out there with no spine would likely buckle at the sight of EPO euros and just produce mindless puff pieces that serve to distract from EPO corruption



  27. The Timing of This Melinda Gates Tweet Was Always Curious...

    Remarking on her trip to Africa, where the Gates family lobbies for monopolies on seeds (for profit or course, notably through Monsanto/Bayer, which the Gates family heavily invests in), she posted pure fluff and old photos. And it’s hard to believe she had nothing better to do at the time (better than such nostalgia). As we noted last year: “The above tweet of a beach was posted [by Melinda Gates] on the date of the arrest/search of their employee, who was at their residence at the time.” He was arrested around the very same time this tweet was posted. As we wrote last year (based on detailed documents obtained from the police department): “This tweet was posted 2 hours and 40 minutes after the door was breached and incriminating evidence collected.” He was arrested later that morning at the mansion of Bill and Melinda Gates (the police records contain detailed timelines to confirm the chronology). Melinda’s first name was also in the CP 'stash'.



  28. Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill's Crimes

    The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals



  29. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 03, 2021



  30. EPO Disregards Animal Welfare

    An often overlooked issue surrounding the second-largest institution in Europe is its impact on millions if not billions of animals; there's ongoing research into that


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