04.28.10

Chem4Word Should Support Free Software Platforms/Office Suites to Better Qualify as Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Windows at 4:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OpenOffice.org app chooser
Who can port Chem4Word to OpenOffice.org?

Summary: Chem4Word is an example of Free software which is trapped deep inside Microsoft’s proprietary cage and needs rescuing

From an academic and scientific point of view, Chem4Word’s developer does the right thing by becoming a Free software proponent and choosing the Apache licence for the project (not GPL, which would have been better). The only problem is that Chem4Word helps sell Microsoft Office, which means that any user of Chem4Word (even as Free software) will be pressured to buy a standards-hostile and closed-source office suite. Those who are close to this project are aware of the issue.

A while ago, I asked whether we are seeing a trend to promote shallow layers of “open source” on top of a deep proprietary software stack. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action. [PMR: This refers to Microsoft’s funding of the British Library and the City of Edmonton; the phrase (from Goldfinger) argues that there is a concerted campaign by Microsoft to use Open Source to create lockin to its products].

As a lapsed chemist, it saddens me to criticise a project with such a worthy goal. But this software spreads proprietary lock-in, not freedom. Those wishing to use it can only do so by first buying a stack of proprietary software. Those receiving documents created using it may well not be able to open them unless they have the same software and the same plug-in. Those who distribute the software, or documents created using it, are making science less free.

[...]

First, to answer the questions:

1. There is currently no Microsoft funding to our group to translate Chem4Word into OpenOffice, but I will transmit the request to them and probably suggest they reply directly (although I can carry the message). Whether we are the best group to do it will depend on the scale of the project and what elements of research there are in it.

2. I cannot answer this from my personal interactions with Microsoft (I deal primarily with MSResearch). Microsoft has only fairly recently become active in the Open Source world. It has now joined the Apache Foundation. That means the issues will be more public and will be debated more openly. I would expect that Apache would be very concerned if it were to be converted to supporting “embrace, extend, etc.”. I am an optimist and believe that the influence is just as likely to be in the opposite direction where OSS successes get fed back into the culture of Microsoft and change it.

We have already remarked on Microsoft’s relationship with Apache in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]. This is yet another example where Microsoft is using (as in exploiting) Free software to sell its proprietary software.

Supporting Microsoft software is bad for a variety of reasons, not just because it’s proprietary and standards-hostile. Here for example is a new explanation from Omar, who exemplifies what Microsoft is doing to developing countries where cost matters a lot.

But then the grief doesn’t end here, because the problem will seem even worse if you ponder the fact that most people, around the world, who use computers can barely afford to pay their monthly bills, and that all these people are using pirated software because:

* A) That’s the only software they’ve ever known.

And:

* B) They cannot afford to pay for the annual licensing fee of a genuine copy.

These people have been mass-hypnotized, they’ve been indoctrinated into believing that whatever MS gives them is right, and that MS software is the only software on Earth that actually works. Now, take under consideration that MS is a for-profit organization after all (Actually, MS is a for-nothing-but-profit organization, but ya know), and that sooner or later, MS will start collecting money in all ways possible.

Let us hope that Chem4Word gets extended (or forked) to support Free software further down the stack. It can support all major platforms if it gets ported to office suites such as OpenOffice.org.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

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/2010/04/28/really-qualifying-as-foss/

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

2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Gravatar

    So, in addition to all the words and phrases that M$ is trying to re-define in their NewSpeak, the word ‘research’ appears to be targeted now also and is their new name for marketing.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    That or “R&D” (along with “innovation”).

    “What research is for, in cases like Microsoft, is status. It’s a very tax efficient, with many valuable and wonderful side effects that occasionally benefit the company, but its primary task is marketing. It’s proof, even in these most distressingly modern of times, that patronage works.”

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-10238446-75.html

What Else is New


  1. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit: Right to Repair

    Uploaded earlier this month was this talk and accompanying slides; summary below



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 15, 2021



  3. [Meme] When All That Matters is 'Production' and 'Timeliness'

    The EPO has gone down the same route as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when it comes to patent quality; as if the goal is to grant 11 million patents (most of them in just a few decades) rather than assess the impact of such patents



  4. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 8: The Radical Student “Brotherhood”

    The latest part in this series explores the roots of Judge Josefsson; that can help explain how Benoît Battistelli constructed his stacked EPO ‘court’, which he and António Campinos basically control to rubber-stamp whatever illegal practices they engage in (in pursuit of money and power, at the expense of the law)



  5. Christoph Ernst Lecturing Us on “Transparency” and EPO Corruption (as Well as Assault on the EPC) Becoming a “New Normal”

    The EPO’s administration continues rushing ahead with an unlawful agenda, exploiting a pandemic that’s gradually coming under control regardless to shred apart the EPC



  6. Richard Stallman's Talk About New/er Risks to Free Software (Free as in Freedom-Respecting, Libre)

    Richard M. Stallman (RMS) gave the above talk not too long before the attacks on him intensified greatly, serving to silence him for nearly 2 years



  7. Jacques Michel and Willy (Guillaume) Minnoye: Stakeholders in EPO Lawlessness

    Former EPO Vice-Presidents who wish not to be held accountable for what they did in the Office (or be chased after leaving their duties, finishing/ending terms there) are adding fuel to the illegal agenda of an EPOnian regime



  8. Links 15/5/2021: Godot 3.3.1 RC 2 and Pine64 Hardware in Focus

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 7: Calle's Strange Metamorphosis

    Sources believe the “legal anarchy” that EPOnia became notorious for, especially when it comes to handling referrals at the EPO‘s BoA, will become a dark legacy — a legacy that would, if he was alive, disappoint even Josefsson’s source of inspiration



  10. Making up Law at the EPO

    Another video about the ongoing EPO series and some news/commentary from around the Web



  11. Over a Thousand Videos (or Audio Files) and More Protocols Supported

    From just a Web site (ordinary HTTP/S protocol) we've expanded to alternative channels of communication; this is a quick roundup, with focus on last night's development work (already pushed into our self-hosted Git repository)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, May 14, 2021



  13. Nathan Proctor: Right to Repair and the DMCA

    LibrePlanet 2019 video



  14. [Meme] Calle Calling...

    The values of the Habermasian EPO judge depend on who’s paying the salary



  15. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 6: The Habermasian Who Warned About “Legal Anarchy”

    The political orientation of a Benoît Battistelli-appointed EPO judge who has the audacity to talk about legal anarchy and bemoan abuse of the law; the António Campinos administration extended his term until (at least) 2027



  16. Paid-for Plugs and Coordinated Marketing Fluff (PR Campaigns) Are Ruining 'Linux' Sites

    Junk 'articles' (just marketing disguised as 'news') spoil the World Wide Web; companies repeat the same sales pitch over and over again, sometimes leveraging what they perceive to be avenues read by geeks



  17. Links 15/5/2021: GCC 8.5, Fedora Community Revamp

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/5/2021: FreeBSD on the Pine H6, Red Hat Hiring

    Links for the day



  19. Protecting Freenode is Protecting the Free Software Movement

    Freenode may seem like a negligible corner of the Internet, which media never bothers mentioning at all; but Freenode, which many have come to take for granted, is core infrastructure for many Free software projects and protecting the network is essential for the Free Software Movement



  20. EPO Justice

    Justice in Europe's second-largest institution, where the law itself is a second-class citizen



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 13, 2021



  22. Understanding How Freenode (IRC) Works -- or Doesn't Work -- in 2021

    There is a conflict going on behind the scenes at Freenode, but there are also sincere and well-meaning attempts to undo the damage and get back to normal



  23. [Meme] Judges the Office Cannot Control Are Just Nazis With Weapons in Their Office...

    The EPO hasn’t been run by grown-ups for over ten years; Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their confidants cannot grasp the concept of law, just blind loyalty



  24. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 5: Battistelli's “Swedish Chef”

    The EPO's 'courts' are controlled by the people whom they're supposed to judge on; this has been the case for at least half a decade



  25. Links 14/5/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta and GNOME 40 in Gentoo

    Links for the day



  26. Audio: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    The FSF has finally uploaded the LibrePlanet talk of Richard Stallman



  27. Links 13/5/2021: KDE Gear 21.04.1 and LibreOffice 7.0.6

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 4: The President of the Boards of Appeal

    A deeper look into the ‘sausage factory’ that is EPO tribunals certainly helps us understand the inherent bias of many decisions, including a recent decision on European software patents like a controversial simulation patent



  29. Judging the Judges

    Today we shall take a closer look at Carl Josefsson, a person who shall become a figure of interest if he sends EPO courts to the United States in clear violation of the EPC (looking to rubber-stamp an unlawful decision already made before this case even started)



  30. When EU Authorities Tell You to Complain to the EPO Itself About EPO Privacy Violations...

    “Kafkaesque” at the EPO; Kafka could do a whole novel about the flirtations with or affairs of ‘justice’ at the EPO


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