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FOSS (F == "Free as in Freedom") folks declare war on NOVL

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: FOSS (F == "Free as in Freedom") folks declare war on NOVL
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006 12:52:03 +0100

Here's just one example.

By: cryptareopagite

Novell the Enemy and OpenXML

For those who missed it (hah!), Novell have embraced Microsoft, blown
their rights to distribute Linux under the GPL, and announced they're
going to help Microsoft try to kill OpenOffice.

I just posted this on Groklaw under the title "Remember one thing about

Before I say what that is, let me say that I'm so glad that, after being
a very happy Suse user from version 6 on, I switched to Ubuntu four
months ago. Novell have so blown it.

The point about "OpenXML" is that it is *impossible* in any practical
way to do a 100% two-way translation between it and *any* open format,
OO XML or anything else, for the simple reason that "OpenXML" includes
closed, proprietary, binary, extensions - the definition of important
parts of multi-component documents explicitly includes M$oft proprietary

Exporting from Open formats to closed proprietary is easy; the
definitions are clear, what anyone has to do is at most know how to
write *one* method of getting the required result in the proprietary

The other direction is the problem. I'd give good odds that even M$oft
don't have the full definition of what all their proprietary file
generators do; and to be able to reduce all possible methods of doing
particular things to a simple clear open format is virtually beyond the
wit of Man.

The practical outcome is clear, if Novell produce something worthwhile.
M$oft Office is OK as a creator of content - with the Novell code,
OpenOffice can read M$oft docs. The reverse is *not* true; many OO docs
will not be properly rendered in M$oft Office, so OO is not OK as a
creator of content.

Result - M$oft wins for another generation.

What should we do?

I think the answer is clear. This is a resounding declaration of war on
Open Source by Novell. We have to fight them as strongly as we have
fought SCO.

Novell is now as much the enemy as Microsoft.


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