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Bruce Byfield’s One-sided Piece on GNOME and OOXML

Posted in ECMA, Formats, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 10:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bruce Byfield has just published another article about the recent frictions that involve GNOME over its involvement in OOXML ‘hardening’. It is very obvious from this articles whose side he takes, just as Sam Varghese recently suggested. To quote him again:

Sadly, Schestowitz hardly got a word in edgeways. He found himself up against Waugh, Miller and Bruce Byfield (also from Linux.com – both Byfield and Miller were quite obviously biased towards Waugh’s point of view), and also Miguel de Icaza, the co-founder of the GNOME project, who phoned in and was allowed to stay on and speak whenever he felt so inclined.

Anyway, that’s old news, and almost nothing new is presented in this newer article (shades of Peter Galli from eWeek). Bruce still refuses to consider Microsoft is a factor despite seemingly infinite evidence. Moving ahead, let’s consider software patents again.

As repeated many time before, OOXML is a patent time bomb and it is incompatible with the GNU GPL.

The next time you ponder OOXML, think about Novell’s software patent deal with Microsoft. Ask yourself:

Using OOXML, am I ‘protected’ and therefore permitted to save my documents, on my computer, with my program (Free software is owned, as opposed to ‘rented’ using a licence). Is that even possible?

If the answer is no, which it probably is, then you know for a fact that OOXML is a proprietary format that embodies other types of risk.

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  1. rfrdt45 said,

    December 19, 2007 at 7:34 am


    You’re a nutter.

  2. Bruce Byfield said,

    December 19, 2007 at 1:13 pm



    Why do you have the idea that anyone who is not in complete agreement with you is against you?

    I start the article by saying that “The tragedy of this controversy is not just that it is divisive, but that each side has a point,” and I grant points on both sides. Yet somehow you don’t seem to mention either of these facts.

    Instead, you seem more concerned that I don’t support your conspiracy ideas. You seem far more concerned with proving the Microsoft connection than you do with findng solutions to the situation.

    I don’t mind that you disagree with me. But can you at least do me the courtesy of disagreeing with what I actually said?

    - Bruce Byfield

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2007 at 2:35 pm



    This wasn’t intended to be disrespectful. However, describing things as “conspiracies” is often a way of just writing them off. We’re talking about possible involvements here of people with conflicting interests (at the Foundation).

    You know that you that I respect you a lot, Bruce. I wrote this item because I didn’t feel that both sides were fairly (and equally) represented. This wasn’t the first time, either.

  4. Bruce Byfield said,

    December 19, 2007 at 4:56 pm



    I would be interested in hearing how you think the article could be more neutral. I acknowledge points on both sides, and suggest that both sides should modify their behavior and look for solutions rather than continue their antagonism.

    Other feedback suggests that it largely succeeds in being balanced, but if you think a particular point was misrepresented, you would do everyone a service by listing them.

    As for the use of “conspiracy,” what else would you call allegations of Microsoft, Novell, and the GNOME Foundation secretly getting together to promote OOXML? That sounds like a conspiracy to me.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 19, 2007 at 5:48 pm



    The headline of the article, in my humble opinion, is already an insinuation that there is a problem with critics. This isn’t about Jeff’s “half-truths” about myself because the criticism flows in a single direction.

    In a previous article, which was published in Linux.com, there was a headline that suggests “there’s no problem, nothing to see here, please move along”. Jeff and I never reached an agreement on the issue, but the article made it seem like the issue had been resolved.

    I would like to add that, just as I continue to discover each day, Microsoft is still paying for people’s love and that includes Open XML (OOXML).

    As a general remark, about Microsoft being irrelevant to GNU/Linux, I suggest you read about proxies Microsoft has used to launch lawsuits against Linux. As long as they attack Linux, I refuse to ignore what they are up to. Maybe that relates to Gates’ “Keep your enemies closer” advice and Andy Groves’ ““Only the paranoid survive“. I didn’t use to care about Microsoft, but the deeper I look inside Linux, the more often I find Microsoft’s involvements. They leave fingerprints. The Mandriva story in Nigeria is a good and recent example.

  6. Bruce Byfield said,

    December 20, 2007 at 2:44 pm



    Your reading of the the titles is strange. The reference to half-truths colliding in the title of the Datamation article clearly suggests that the half-truths are on both sides.

    As for the other title, read in context of the article, it refers to the fact that both sides have a belief that what they are doing is right — but disagree on what “right” means in this situation. Anyway, even if read as you suggest, it doesn’t show bias against your position.

    As for your other comments, they have no relation to the Datamation article. Insofar as they refer to opinions that I’ve expressed in the past, they only show that you have failed to read my opinion accurately.

    What is missing from most of what you say is the sort of proof that would be needed in a legal case, or for a news source to publish and not get sued. In other words, you are dealing in supposition. They are interesting suppositions, and I take note of them, but mostly they are not credible.

    Even more to the point, in the case of the GNOME Foundation’s actions, they can only harm any attempt to modify or change what is happening. It would be much more to the point to concentrate on what the Foundation has actually been doing because that, unlike the chain of suppositions you have tried to build, is undeniable and can’t be used to discredit your beliefs.

    Incidentally, I can’t help smiling at the fact that, while you are busy accusing me of bias against your side, GNOME Foundation supporters are accuasing me of bias against their side. And they are just as wrong about my opinions as you are.

  7. htrztr said,

    December 20, 2007 at 4:48 pm


    For Roy, acknowledging that that the _other_ side (GNOME foundation) might also have a point is already ‘not neutral’. In other words, his truth is the only truth and who is not for him is against him. That’s what its like with religious extremists…

    Reminds me of Bush. These extremists are a shame for the whole of our community; certainly their understanding of ‘freedom’ is not mine. Roy, think of the words of Rosa Luxemburg: “Freedom always means the freedom of those who disagree with you.”

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 20, 2007 at 6:15 pm



    It is more complicated than this, for starters, to use an example from yesterday, there are some who are paid to agree or disagree. In other words, there is truth and there is truth for one’s wallet on the other hand. That, by the way, applies to Bush as well (since you brought this up). Truth is earned, not paid for (and there are no insinuations here, unless we’re talking about Novell).

  9. 9e9e9t9 said,

    December 21, 2007 at 8:28 am


    Nonsense. You couldn’t make a single case of bribery stick.

    If by ‘paid’ you mean that M$ does PR work — this is what every company does; GET OVER IT!

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 22, 2007 at 6:02 pm



    To say more on the use of the word “conspiracy”, watch the first 30 seconds of the following video (not that I condone its message):

    In recent news, China imprisoned bloggers, putting in mental institutes because they blogged about the government. How familiar a technique to shoot the messenger. In Russia (also recently), journalists were accused of copyrights infringements and send to jail if they wrote critically about the government.

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