EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.10.08

Groklaw: Microsoft and Novell Poison OpenOffice.org; Watch Out, KDE

Posted in GNU/Linux, Java, KDE, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We have warned about this for ages (as far back as 2006), but some folks consider this Web site biased, so our words were not taken seriously by a few developers. Maybe it’s the right time to point out what Pamela Jones wrote some hours ago about this new article: “I told you. I told you. I told you. If you look at the go-oo.org site, you’ll see Mono and “OpenXML” being pushed. Please watch out, KDE. He says they want to share code between Gnome and KDE. Patents are still an issue, in my view. There is no new Microsoft. And I believe Microsoft plans to use their patents at some point, upon which Novell will suggest safety in their arms.”

We wrote about this article here. Novell, being a "Microsoft partner", just wants more customers, so Freedom becomes secondary. It chose not to play friendly with other GNU/Linux distributions. This observation is the raison d’etre of this Web site.

Mono

It is important to remain cautious. In the latest KDE Commit Digest, which was posted yesterday, you’ll find this:

Development Tools

Richard Dale committed changes in /trunk/KDE/kdebindings/csharp/plasma/examples:

* Added a tiger example C# applet.
It wasn’t possible to build an executable called ‘main’ as mono gave an error about it not having an extension.

Maybe some sort of special cmake macro is needed for building C# plasmoids.

Richard Dale might not understand the consequences. Is the 2004 April Fools’ Day story about Richard coming to fruition? Regardless, don’t allow Novell et al to contaminate KDE with software patents for which only they are ‘covered’ by Microsoft. Mono is only for Novell. Microsoft says so and Miguel de Icaza wants this to happen. He would want Mono widgets/Plasmoids to materialise. Remember that it’s all about the holder of the patents and they need a ‘smoking gun’ to make less deniable claims (threats). They wants to extract money and they needn’t sue because the secret extortions have already begun.

Personally, I sometimes wonder if the Vista-esque KDE menu from Novell (yes, it’s Novell’s work) is some grounds for a submarine patent from Microsoft. Many people resist that new menu. In fact, Mandriva has just decided to use the classical menu by default.

OOXML

OOXML is still not safe.

The impossibility of implementing the darn thing and the fact that Microsoft will ignore ECMA OOXML only to deviate into its proprietary trajectory aside, there are legal issues.

Will Microsoft support ODF? Of course not. It will do minimal work to just put an “ODF complaint” label on its boxes (the oldest and out-of-date version of the standard), but will then steer all users towards OOXML using intimidating dialogues that shout out “data loss”. Here is how SJVN puts it in this new article from Fox News:

The headline reads, “Microsoft Bows to Pressure to Interoperate with ODF.”

Oh no, Microsoft isn’t. The Redmond crew has an entirely different agenda for “supporting” the OpenDocument Format with its own Open XML Translator.

It’s not even news, actually, according to Andrew Updegrove, a partner with Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove, and the editor of ConsortiumInfo.org.

[...]

Why, oh why, do I think that Translator’s technical-support line will often be telling users that the fault for a botched document transfer lies at ODF’s door? And somehow I think Microsoft’s technical support’s usual suggested “fix” will be to just use Microsoft’s own Open XML instead. “It’s so much better,” they’ll say to annoyed users.

In conclusion, don’t play with the monopolist by embracing OOXML. Resist it instead. Study from history. There is no “new Microsoft” and the scorpion will always pinch the frog. A couple of days ago, Andy Updegrove brought back this oldie:

So, what I have gleaned from my researches (though that is probably too strong a word) so far is that while there are some valid discussions to be had, the majority of participants are either staunchly pro-ODF, or they are working for Microsoft. I do know that, were I an end-user, I would remain ignorant – but given the mud flying around, perhaps ignorance is bliss.

It rings a bell.

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

Miscellaneous ODF News

A tool that was mentioned here before, ODF@WWW, got some coverage in Linux.com. There is also this free Java library for manipulation of ODF files.

We are pleased to announce the last beta version of the next version of our open document library.

Remember ThinkFree, which may have been pressured by Microsoft not to support ODF? Well, the good news is that it has already come to GNU/Linux.

I tried out Thinkfree about a year ago and just recently check back and it was a pleasant surprise. The website looks much more professional and the user interface for the online version is total awesome. Best off all, Thinkfree offers an offline version that sync seemlessly with the online storage. I love it. This post will not be some kind of tutorial but only my opinion about the suit. Visit my tutorial on how to install ThinkFree office suit for instruction.

Here is an older story about it. As ECT reported a couple of days ago, there are more signs of ODF coming to Apple Macs, too.

“But the Mac presence grants CIOs and others tasked with choosing the right software for their organizations the assurance and confidence that they can adopt the OpenDocument Format (our native format and the only published ISO standard file format for office documents) and have an office array that includes Macs, Linux, Solaris, Windows and so on.

“In short: OpenOffice.org and the Mac version in particular, suture the wounds inflicted by 20 years of divergence. The connecting thread is the file format and the understanding that what counts is creating, communicating, preserving files in a format that resists the fragility of monopoly and the reliance on any one company. In fact, there is a plugin that gives users the ability to read/write ODF, and with Open Office 3.0 and StarOffice 9.0, we’ll have native support of OOXML, which MS Office 2007 uses.”

Here is a new academic study on document formats inter-operability. It uses ODF and OOXML as examples.

Open standards are widely considered to have significant economic and technological benefits. This has led many governments to consider mandating open standards for document formats. Document formats are how a computer stores memos or spreadsheets. Governments are moving away from Microsoft’s proprietary DOC format to open standard document formats, such as the OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Office Open XML (OOXML). The belief is that by shifting to open standards, governments will benefit from choice, competition, and the ability to seamlessly substitute different vendor implementations.

Last but not least, success stories from the FSF:

I’ve just made a couple of updates to the OpenDocument Campaign — adding some perspective on OOXML in India and an announcement from the Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) about their switch to OpenOffice.org.

Microsoft already knows about Malaysia and it appears to be responding to this 'threat' in the only way it truly understands: localised dumping.

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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,

    August 10, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Gravatar

    I suppose that is one reason why MS is getting people to yammer about forcing Sun to drop its lead in OpenOffice.org development.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 12, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Gravatar

    WOw… I did not realize Meeks was such an underhanded shit. I hope OOo and KDE shore up their development process to ensure that no Novell material can get injected. I guess we’ll see him and others promoting trojan horses like go-oo based on repackaged FOSS projects.

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft's Former Chief Patent Counsel Praises Elevation of Software Patents in Microsoft Case, Adds to Cherry-Picking and Lobbying by Patent Lawyers

    Microsoft, which is renowned (or notorious) for patent extortion against Linux, is still a big contributor to software patenting policy and Shelston IP -- much like Microsoft's front groups -- pretends to speak for small businesses in an effort to spread software patents outside the US (in spite of Alice)



  2. Extremely Dodgy Dealings at the European Patent Office

    Yet another dodgy contract between Battistelli's EPO and private contractors overseas, this time in an effort to whitewash or cleanse the image of the EPO's current regime



  3. The EPO's Media Partners Like Les Echos Already Produce EPO Puff Pieces (Marketing/Stenography)

    EPO promotion disguised as reporting or journalism, as seen in the media partners of the EPO well before these partnerships even begin



  4. Unitary Microsoft: EPO Excludes People Who Are Not Microsoft Customers From UPC Participation

    The EPO just can't help providing special treatment to Microsoft, not only when it comes to patent applications but also when it comes to rejecting stakeholders/applicants who dare not become Microsoft customers



  5. Links 30/5/2016: Linux 4.7 RC1, Best Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  6. Make Nothing, Sue Everybody: The Reality of Patent Trolls Increasingly Understood by the 'Mainstream'

    New patent stories and even extensive coverage at PBS, which dedicated a whole program to these matters but failed to address the core issue, which is software patenting



  7. [ES] Advertencia: La Vigilancia de la EPO Surveillance Puede Haberse Convertido en Más Intrusiva

    BlueCoat, que la EPO usa para oprimir a sus empleados en sus premisas Europeas, acaba de ajustar más y hacerse más intrusiva y los empleados pueden estar en riesgo



  8. [ES] Tarjeta de Victima Termina en Otra Torpeza para Battistelli Seis de su Guardia Pretoriana

    Battistelli esta destruyéndo lo que queda de la reputación de la EPO (después de las décadas que le costó a ella construírla) mientras los medios continúan escrutinando su desastroso régimen



  9. [ES] La EPO esta Excelente, Dice Sitio de ‘Noticias’ Conectado a Ella

    Los caraduras de la ‘revista’ IAM, viejo aliado de la EPO, da la impresión a la gente de que en la EPO todo esta bien y dandy aunque claramente ese no es el caso



  10. New EPO Caricature: Nouveaux Garde-Vélo (New Bicycle Guards)

    A new cartoon poking fun at Battistelli's bicycles and the perceived threat these are under



  11. Battistelli's 'Special Relationship' With Portugal and the 'Inventor of the Year' Charade

    What makes Portugal rather unique when it comes to Mr. Battistelli, who is allegedly desperate for support from smaller countries whose vote is easier to 'win'



  12. Patent Lawyers' Marketing Dominates and Marginalises Meaningful Analyses of Software Patenting in the US

    In an effort to create demand for software patents again, patent lawyers produce a huge heap of so-called 'analyses' which piggyback just one single decision (the exception, not the norm)



  13. A Mix of Patent Aggression and Sanctions/Raids (Using Controversial Patents) Against East Asian Companies

    New stories that demonstrate patent protectionism and show how Western industry, which barely makes anything anymore, relies on patents (software and design patents included) and this self-serving patent regime perpetuates itself even in Asia, where almost everything is actually being manufactured (and often/increasingly designed/developed too)



  14. Rumour: Battistelli Wants to Extend the Term of Topić's EPO Appointment in Spite of Criminal Charges Against Him

    The EPO's 'ringleader', Mr. Battistelli, is trying to keep his confidants (like Mr. Minnoye and Željko Topić) together for several more years to come, even defying rules regarding retirement age



  15. Links 29/5/2016: NetBSD 7.0.1, Genode OS 16.05

    Links for the day



  16. [ES] La Gerencia de la EPO Bajo Creciénte Estres por las Autoridades Legales Croatas, Políticas Alemanas, y los Medios Italianos

    Las cosas no son color rosa como la calma relativa sugiere, y esperamos en las próximas semanas mayores eventos otros que la protesta en todas las sedes de la EPO a través de Europa



  17. [ES] Los Medios de Comunicación Comienzan a Informar al Público Europeo Acercas de las Desventájas de la UPC Mientras que la EPO Acelera su Cabildeo por Ratificación

    La vergonzósa promoción de la UPC por parte de la EPO da otro paso adelánte mientras que venues de la prensa Europea (incluso canales de televisión) comienzan a explorar el arreglo secreto que es negociado por los abogados de patentes (con clientes corpórativos) y las oficinas de patentes, no el público o cualquier grupo que represente los intereses del público en general



  18. [ES] Algunos Detalles Acerca de ¿Cómo el Presidente de la EPO Es Rumoreado Estar Comprando Votos, y el Porqué es Suficientemente Base Para un Despido Inmediato?

    Algo de información tras las cortinas y una detallada explicación de la dependencia finánciera sistemática, creada por Battistelli a un costode €13 millónes o más, la cuál evita una efectiva supervisión de Battistelli



  19. Mishi Choudhary and Mike Masnick Explain Why India Should Reject Software Patents

    Both an Indian activist-lawyer and a widely-recognised author from the US explain to Indians why over-reliance on patents -- and acceptance of patents on software in particular -- is a very bad idea



  20. Microsoft Boosters Pretend Microsoft Fights for Privacy While the Company Uses Malware Tactics to Put Keyloggers on Everyone's Computers

    In spite of malware-inspired tactics that should land Microsoft in courts of law all around the world (as a defendant), Microsoft-friendly circles pretend that the company fights for people's rights like privacy -- all this when Microsoft installs keyloggers on people's PCs without their consent and obviously against their will



  21. Battistelli's Assault on EPO Staff's Right to Strike in Relation to French Politics and That 'Bicycle' Pretext for Crackdowns

    The latest bicycle 'gossip' and how it's being used, based on expectations from EPO staff, to introduce further crackdowns on human/labour rights



  22. Vice-President of the EPO Under Investigation: Treason, Abuse, Violations, Giving and Receiving Bribes

    An English translation of documents involving the Organised Crime Section of the Criminal Police Department in Zagreb, where the Vice-President of the EPO faces criminal charges



  23. EPO Management Warns People About Scams When the EPO's Management is Itself Falling for Scams

    Jesper Kongstad, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, helps demonstrate that not even the EPO is intelligent enough to spot an obvious scam



  24. Links 28/5/2016: Wine 1.9.11, New Gentoo

    Links for the day



  25. Links 27/5/2016: Android for Raspberry Pi, Google Beats Oracle in Court

    Links for the day



  26. Warning: EPO Surveillance May Have Just Gotten Even More Intrusive

    BlueCoat, which the EPO uses to enable oppression inside its European premises, has just gotten even nastier and staff may be at risk



  27. Victim Card Ends up in Another Blunder for Battistelli and His Six Bodyguards

    Battistelli is wrecking what's left of the EPO's reputation (after decades it took the Office to earn it) as the media continues to scrutinise his appalling regime



  28. Italian Report About EPO Now Available in English

    An English translation of a TV program which earlier this month documented some of the glaring problems at the EPO



  29. The EPO is Doing Great, Says EPO-Connected 'News' Site

    IAM 'magazine', a longtime ally of the EPO, gives people the impression that all is fine and dandy at the EPO even though that's clearly not the case



  30. Microsoft Has Killed Nokia (and Its Own Mobile Ambitions), But Watch What it Does With Patents

    Microsoft announces many more layoffs, having already caused tremendous damage to the Finnish economy, and patents are left astray for Microsoft's favourite patent trolls to pick


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts