05.23.22

LibreOffice Conference 2022, As Before, Puts the Keynotes on Sale (the Rich Buy Influence, the Price Doubles)

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Office Suites at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The raw document as just advertised

2022 LibreOffice conference sponsorship

Summary: Discrimination against the community; talks and mentions are based on money, not merit ($2000 has become $4000 in just one year)

04.29.22

As Microsoft Vidal Takes Over USPTO the Push Towards Microsoft’s Proprietary and Defective Formats Takes the Next Step

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, Patents at 8:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rewarding corruption

New temporary backup option to help ease transition to DOCX
Why move away from standards and impose (using ‘fines’) Microsoft formats that involved corruption including bribery? Why does the USPTO push formats and products of just one USPTO applicant?

Summary: The Microsoft infestation in the USPTO shows no signs of stopping

WITH Microsoft Vidal [1, 2] in charge of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) we should not be surprised to see the world’s most influential patent office pushing Microsoft’s vendor lock-in more aggressively than ever before.

“I got this today from the USPTO,” a reader told us. “They are going to allow pdf back-ups*, because everybody knows DOCX doesn’t work.”

To quote:

New temporary backup option to help ease transition to DOCX

As part of our efforts to use all available technology to strengthen patents and reduce pendency times, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is transitioning to the DOCX format for patent application filings. In our latest initiative to ease the transition to DOCX, and to address concerns that the new format might result in conversion discrepancies, we have announced an interim, optional procedure.

Through December 31, 2022, applicants may upload a backup PDF version of their application with their DOCX version. There are no fees associated with this backup PDF. And, there is no obligation to provide a backup PDF. The backup PDF option will allow applicants concerned about the new format to gain confidence in the reliability and accuracy of filing applications in DOCX. Applicants can be assured that, should there be any conversion discrepancies, they can rely on the PDF to verify the substance of their original filing.

To learn more about how the transition to DOCX will improve patent quality and speed the application process, please read our latest blog. The Federal Register Notice announcing this process is available on our Patent Related Notices webpage. Please see the USPTO’s DOCX web page for more information about filing patent application documents in DOCX.

We encourage all applicants to start filing in DOCX so we can streamline the process for you and improve our ability to examine your application quickly and effectively.

They are basically imposing Microsoft on everybody. How is this even legal???

“I found patent attorneys on the Internet talking about how DOCX doesn’t work,” the reader told us. “But, as you can imagine, they never responded when I contacted them about my efforts to actually do something about the USPTO, Kappos, and Microsoft.”

“Kappos has a buddy named Bernie Knight who he installed as General Counsel at the USPTO, and Knight wrote an opinion that enabled the introduction of the $200 “electronic filing incentive” penalty, and, subsequently, the $400 penalty if DOCX isn’t used.”

“Knight is peddling himself in Washington as an “anger management” counselor. He charges $300-per-hour. Knight and Kappos have made thousands of people angry, and Kappos gets $1,000-per-hour, surely – maybe more – and Knight gets $300-per-hour for “anger management.” I never use this cliche, but, I’ll break my own rule: Only in America. Another link to Knight.
_____
* Free, apparently, initially, just so people think they care.

02.28.22

[Meme] Free Software is Inclusive…

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Office Suites, OSI at 9:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Smacks of collective punishment or guilt by association (and resembles so-called 'Ethical' Source)

libreoffice-cancels-rusbitech

1. Get companies banned; 2. Get developers banned; 3. Get code banned

Summary: Italo from the OSI, where he worked to 'cancel' Richard Stallman, has just announced the banning of a Russian firm; this raises several concerns about the promises/premises of Free (libre) software and it merits a difficult discussion because this is quite unprecedented

09.21.21

Agents of Monopoly: WIPO is Lobbying for or Reinforcing Microsoft Monopoly by Pushing Its Proprietary Software and Formats

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents at 8:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related (USPTO angle): USPTO Rewards Microsoft for Corruption at ISO by Teaching People Proprietary OOXML and Promoting Its Use | USPTO Craziness: Changing Rules to Punish PTAB Petitioners and Reward Microsoft for Corruption at ISO | Conflict of Interest: Microsoft and IBM Controlling the USPTO and Leaving GNU/Linux Users Shut Out (in the Cold) | Why Wouldn’t an Office That Grants Monopolies Support Microsoft Monopoly? | USPTO Promotes Microsoft Monopoly and Proprietary Software (Updatedx2) | David Kappos (IBM/Microsoft Lobbyist) Reported for Misuse of Authority and Conflict of Interest

“Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.”― Frank Herbert
The corrupt typically attracts the corrupt and protects the corrupt

Summary: The World Intellectual Property [sic] Organization — like the EPO (where António Campinos outsourced IT systems to Microsoft) — is choosing the most notorious/corrupt ‘tech’ ‘company’ (cult) instead of open standards and, as the links above show, this is nowadays done inside the United States and outside the United States as well, raising legal questions/ire

OVER a decade ago we wrote many hundreds of posts about corruption of Microsoft in the document formats dispute. Instead of accepting and adopting open standards Microsoft decided and insisted on openwashing its proprietary formats, which basically correspond just to Microsoft’s proprietary Office. The specifications contained not only Microsoft’s product name but also many versions of it. Retrofitting something proprietary — with binary enclosures! — into XML and then calling it “open” was an early example of the Open Source brand rotting to death. To quote Microsoft’s Jason Matusow, an integral part of the ‘Open’ XML corruption (further background in [1, 2, 3]): “More Open Than Open [...] I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”

Yes, it had already become almost meaningless when he wrote this (around the time we coined the term “openwashing”).

Anyway, here we are more than a decade later and the corruption of Microsoft paid off. Agencies around the world shamelessly promote Microsoft’s proprietary formats as a de facto standard, as a default, and moreover financially penalise people who refuse to (or cannot) use Microsoft’s proprietary formats.

“…here we are more than a decade later and the corruption of Microsoft paid off.”Bar complaints against David Kappos notwithstanding (links above, still ongoing), we recently learned that WIPO is also rotten in the sense that it promotes Microsoft and discriminates against Microsoft’s rivals. “The USPTO has been bombarding me with E-mails about DOCX,” a reader has told us. “Just got one from the WIPO.” (It says “ePCT-Filing in Docx”)

To quote:

Dear ePCT user,

You are invited to join our next ePCT webinars on ePCT-Filing in Docx.

In these sessions you will discover the advantages of using Docx and you will be guided through the different steps on how to create a Docx specification to be uploaded in ePCT for receiving Offices accepting Docx.

Two sessions with the same topic and content will be provided to cover different time zones and are free of charge.

-Tuesday 05 October 2021: 09-10:30 am Geneva Time (CET) for Asia, Europe time zones, etc.

Registration link: https://wipo-int.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-7j8UAt7QGiD7MHavzxwCg

-Thursday 07 October 2021: 4:30-6:00 pm Geneva Time (CET) for North and South America time zones, etc.

Registration link: https://wipo-int.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KH8E-RyYTOGtIl1sVzhUpw

The PowerPoint slides are already available for download at https://www.wipo.int/pct/en/seminar/webinars/index.html under ePCT-Filing in Docx.

The two webinars will be recorded and made available on the PCT Webinars web page https://www.wipo.int/pct/en/seminar/webinars/index.html.

If you require further details, please contact pct.eservices@wipo.int

Best regards,

PCT Operations Customer Support Section

So are they trying to train people for Microsoft? Is this even legal? Well, WIPO is immune and cannot be sued. It’s like the EPO. It would be interesting to know who exactly was behind this decision and what was behind it. As we’ve seen countless times before, Microsoft does not play by the rules — it bribes, cheats, infiltrates, blackmails, and worse.

“Really, I’m not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.”

Linus Torvalds

09.16.21

Deleted Post: “LibreOffice is Becoming Dominated by a Bunch of Corporates, and Has no Place for the Enthusiastic Amateur.”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Office Suites at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chris SherlockSummary: Chris Sherlock, an insider of LibreOffice, cautions about the direction of this very important and widely used project

The post “How to upset someone” has just been self-censored by Chris Sherlock, but it is important to see what he had to say (prior to the post’s disappearance):


Here is how you upset someone:

- You write a set of unit tests to test the moving of some files into a better directory and a way better name – say for instance renaming ImplDeviceFontList to PhysicalFontFaceCollection
- You tell that person that they used the wrong vim modeline, but then you say that you don’t know what a modeline is. But that’s what you do, and to be sure you do it on all the files you have touched to try to reduce the build churn
- You order them to add sal/config.h – which is a convention you don’t know about – to source files. So you do this. Again, to reduce build churn you do it to all files you touch.
- You add a header, so you regenerate the pch file.
- As you are adding sal/config.h, as so ordered, you fix the include guards and use #pragma once

A few other things you can do:

- Advise them to rename a class from PrinterOptions to Options, but then you get blowback because you made that change – on their recommendation.
- Tell them they aren’t careful with their patches, even though you spend hours and hours ensuring that they are tested and working as best you can.
- Tell them, on numerous occasions, that they way that you reorders the VCL headers wasn’t correct – then remember you had already asked about this and realised that you said it was OK.

You do all of these things because that is what you were told to do in the past. It’s not exactly easy to do this, as a lot of these things aren’t necessarily needed in that patch – but hey, that’s what you were told to do.

Evidently, LO doesn’t want unit tests, and the changes I’m making to try to make the codebase easier to read aren’t needed. To hell with it. LibreOffice is becoming dominated by a bunch of corporates, and has no place for the enthusiastic amateur.

Best of luck to LibreOffice!


This is worth documenting in light of the project selling keynotes, manuals, and adopting a sort of 'dual' approach. It also issued a statement against RMS earlier this year, based on a campaign of slander (and the person who did this was incidentally inside OSI).

07.26.21

Funding Sources Like Corporate Sponsors/Patrons/Masters Put at Risk the Freedom of Free Software

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, Office Suites at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 2c1236a74235b8218f02ec9b0f94aaaf

Summary: Sources of funding or “sponsors” such as large corporations typically come with some barely-visible or temporarily-invisible strings attached (an expectation of commercial reciprocity, rendering the recipients subservient like ‘slaves’) and we need to understand how to preserve software freedom in the face of such trends

THE ethical condundrum surrounding Free software funding is hardly new. Richard Stallman spoke about it more than two decades ago (he suggested ways to get paid for writing freedom-respecting software) but corporate media likes to pretend Free software can only succeed if monopolies fund to control it. They don’t even speak about freedom; they prefer shallow nonsense such as “Open Source”.

Red Hat statement about Richard Stallman’s return to the Free Software Foundation boardThis video is part of an ongoing series or a theme that explores the loss of collective control by users and communities; by encouraging non-reciprocal licensing, CLAs etc. the monopolists seek to control everything. Remember what IBM did with Red Hat only months after IBM had taken over (and then again a year and a half later) because money comes with demands. They want something in return. Audacity comes to mind and earlier on we mentioned LibreOffice, which relates to the links below:

This subject is part of a much broader problem; sponsorship and funding are a matter of control (coercion, subjugation and so on). And if the goal is to empower users and give them true control over their lives (on the platform or on-line), then we need to understand and accordingly tackle the emergent threats.

“This subject is part of a much broader problem; sponsorship and funding are a matter of control (coercion, subjugation and so on).”As always, we welcome guest posts and other contributions from readers. There seems to be a passionate and eager ‘base’ that recognises these risks and has a bunch of stories to tell, based on rumours heard somewhere like Microsoft and/or the Linux Foundation. People who see these from the inside are sometimes horrified to learn what a bunch of charlatans and frauds work there. They want to control Linux users; but they aren’t even Linux users themselves.

Free Software Projects Should Quit Selling Keynote Speeches to the Highest Bidders (Corporations) and Choose Based on Merit/Relevance

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Microsoft, Office Suites at 1:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TDF sponsors

Summary: OSI, SFC, FSF and Linux Foundation are in effect selling time and space (even to Microsoft, except the FSF was never foolish enough to do this). As of today, LibreOffice does the same thing (which might remain benign; just be sure to reject rivals as "sponsors" because it dooms projects and events).

05.31.21

A Need for Clarity on the Direction of LibreOffice

Posted in Office Suites, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Oracle at 10:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Millions of people who use and support the software deserve greater transparency

LibreOffice 'Personal Edition'

Summary: StarOffice, OpenOffice, LibreOffice and the languishing AOO (Go-OO is dead already) are still the go-to office suites for Free software users; they’re based on similar if not the same codebase (in the same sense many of today’s Web browsers are based on Chromium) and the business objectives of the main stewards (whose corporate DNA goes into the code) need to be understood because even longtime volunteers aren’t sure what’s going on

During the weekend, amid postings about the Annual Report 2020, TDF or LibreOffice published a blog post entitled “Get printed copies of LibreOffice handbooks!

Of course there’s nothing morally wrong with selling printed copies of something that’s online, but one reader asked us, “I am curious about where the funds from printed books for LibreOffice go… to the project or to the documentation volunteers?”

“We’ve always been supportive of LibreOffice because unlike Go-OO it had a real purpose, seeing the threat of neglect by Oracle.”So we’ve decided to ask around and research for a bit, as we have some key contacts. “I have not been doing anything there nor following it for ages,” one person told us. “Last I checked, most of the developers had gone over to LO from AOO anyway…” (from Apache OpenOffice to LibreOffice)

Every now and then, maybe a few times per month, the official LibreOffice account interacts with me in Twitter. In fact, we were one of the sites to first announce the LibreOffice project way back in 2010. We’ve always been supportive of LibreOffice because unlike Go-OO it had a real purpose, seeing the threat of neglect by Oracle.

Logo of LibreOffice“Having volunteered with both libre and apache openoffice.org, (majority of AOO documentation team going to Libre and not returning) I had felt as though Libre documentation team was all about selling manuals,” said our reader to us. “Just a feeling I had while there. When I went over to AOO (after Libreoffice’s rudeness toward AOO), and we were discussing licensing (cc by 3.0 then libre used cc 4.0), it seemed like the AOO documentation lead person was also moving in this direction (selling printed manuals) or had some work relation with Jean Weber, formerly of AOO, and now at Libre. I’m just curious if the funding for the printed books go to Libre project or to the authors. There are mailing list posts of Jean Weber and AOO where Lulu login/accounts are discussed.”

An informed person whom we spoke to, one who was involved in LibreOffice but especially in AOO, noted that the “latter was languishing.”

“It would be important to know how their finances are arranged,” the person noted. “They have a foundation based in Germany, but as mentioned I have not followed it nor know what their economic sources and priorities are. Perhaps that is published somewhere.”

I noted, based on my understanding, that there are companies like Collabora throwing some “added value” at it and now there’s some introduction of “community edition” or something along those lines… (they called it "Personal Edition" several months back)

“That sounds like it might be an unfortunate change of direction,” the person added. “It could end up “open core” instead soon in one of the worse scenarios.”

Are we moving back in the direction of StarOffice? Hopefully not…

As far as we’re aware, the TDF/LibreOffice folks never fully or entirely withdrew from this ambition of theirs. We’ll be watching this situation closely. The most important thing, or the aspect of utmost importance, is the freedom (libre) in LibreOffice. Dual licensing is one of the worst possible outcomes.

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