Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Sep 2007 07:55 UTC, submitted by Augusto
Novell and Ximian "Two months ago, the Brazilian Linux community gathered around BR-Linux invited Novell to answer 10 questions sent and selected by the users, about the company's stance on Linux, open source, licenses, document formats and other subjects." "Novell has been very consistent on this issue and we have publicly stated that we do not believe that Linux infringes on any Microsoft patents. That being said, our agreement with Microsoft takes the patent issue off the table for customers. We have simply made the patent issue a non-event as part of a customer buying decision."
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patents
by raver31 on Thu 27th Sep 2007 08:14 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

once again the issue of Novell, Microsoft and patents comes up.
how many times in how many discussions does it have to be noted that both Microsoft and Novell have made a no sue policy with each other.
it simply means that in the future neither company can get the lawyers out over stupid stuff like double-click and slide bars.

if you would like it broken down in laymans terms here is an example.

during the cold war, nato had nuclear missles,(patents), purely to retaliate against the nuclear missiles,(patents) from the soviet block.
lately, the allied coalition has been invlolved in a conflict in iraq, trying to remove the wepons of mass destruction, (patents) from a corrupt government.

we are never told one side is good and one side is evil

oh, wait....

Reply Score: 2

RE: patents
by sard on Thu 27th Sep 2007 08:37 UTC in reply to "patents"
sard Member since:
2005-11-16

The agreement helps give Microsoft's as yet unsubstantiated patent infringement claims credence.

Edited 2007-09-27 08:48

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: patents
by apokryphos on Thu 27th Sep 2007 09:48 UTC in reply to "RE: patents"
apokryphos Member since:
2007-05-05

That is pure nonsense. Most of the agreement was already released please read it. There is an explicit point saying "NO PARTY, BY SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT, ADMITS TO ANY FORM OF PATENT INFRINGEMENT". Novell have also stated it a million times (and at least 5 times in that article). How clear could it be?

That kind of reasoning is just full of fallacies and doesn't help anyone.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: patents
by segedunum on Thu 27th Sep 2007 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: patents"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

That is pure nonsense. Most of the agreement was already released please read it.

Alas, the exact wording of the agreement matters little to Microsoft in terms of the impression they wanted to create.

There is an explicit point saying "NO PARTY, BY SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT, ADMITS TO ANY FORM OF PATENT INFRINGEMENT". Novell have also stated it a million times (and at least 5 times in that article). How clear could it be?

That may be the case, but Microsoft have got exactly what they wanted and they have had no qualms whatsoever about telling all and sundry that Linux and open source software infringes on Microsoft's 'IP' and that licensing is required. The Novell deal has helped create that impression amongst the corporate people Microsoft want to get their message over to.

Let's just admit the obvious and that Novell are exceptionally stupid here, OK?

Reply Score: 8

RE[4]: patents
by systyrant on Thu 27th Sep 2007 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: patents"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

I just realized I haven't heard anything about IP infringement from Microsoft in awhile. Has their been anything in last month or so about it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: patents
by apokryphos on Thu 27th Sep 2007 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: patents"
apokryphos Member since:
2007-05-05

> Let's just admit the obvious and that Novell are exceptionally stupid here, OK?

In what way has the deal turned out badly for them? I'm all ears; I'd love to hear. As I said:
* Their stocks are up (and have been for a long time now)
* Their making huge deals with large OEMs (you know, little companies like IBM+Lenovo, Dell, AMD) to make Linux on the desktop happen
* They've got more Linux engineers than ever
* SLE adoption has greatly increased

How could you possibly say they're "stupid" when pretty much nothing has turned out badly from the deal except some FUD that people have been spreading?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: patents
by segedunum on Thu 27th Sep 2007 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: patents"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Their stocks are up (and have been for a long time now)

Their stocks are up, they have a temporary cash boost, they've made the rate of slide in their revenues smaller (but Netware usage is still declining) - but they've had to get into bed with their biggest competitor to do it - Microsoft. The company who would like to see them go out of business and clean up. Ultimately, Novell don't have much of a long-term future.

Their making huge deals with large OEMs (you know, little companies like IBM+Lenovo, Dell, AMD) to make Linux on the desktop happen

They've been announcing these deal for years, and it has made no appreciable difference to them or Linux desktop usage. The Linux desktop is being made to happen mostly by individuals going out and doing it.

They've got more Linux engineers than ever

Wow.

SLE adoption has greatly increased

Suse Linux servers being sold by Microsoft are being put into networks controlled by Windows 2003 domain controllers. There is no future there. It's ironic that Novell have had to turn to their biggest competitor to sell their own products, which just shows how utterly incompetent they are.

How could you possibly say they're "stupid" when pretty much nothing has turned out badly from the deal except some FUD that people have been spreading?

Have you seen the FUD that Microsoft and Steve Ballmer have been spreading as a result of this deal? I think someone quoted some in a previous comment.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: patents
by twocents on Thu 27th Sep 2007 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: patents"
twocents Member since:
2006-07-30

apokryphos said:

pure nonsense.........


It doesn't make a difference what SUSE says after the fact... they knew what they were doing when they pocketed about $350 million. Some reminder quotes:

Ballmer: "Linux is a cancer..."
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/02/ballmer_linux_is_a_cancer/

Ballmer: "Novell pays us some money for the right to tell customers that anybody who uses SUSE Linux is appropriately covered,"
Ballmer: This "is important to us, because [otherwise] we believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability."
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleB...

Ballmer: "Only customers that use SUSE have paid properly for intellectual property from Microsoft,"
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleB...

Ballmer: "the fact that that product uses our patented intellectual property is a problem for our shareholders."
Ballmer: "our shareholders expect us to protect or license or get economic benefit from our patented innovations."
Ballmer: "They've (SUSE) appropriately compensated Microsoft for our intellectual property, which is important to us."
Ballmr: "we'll continue to try to grow Windows share at the expense of Linux"
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/108806.asp

Ballmer: "We are willing to do a deal with Red Hat and other Linux distributors."
http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/11/17/ballmer/index.php

Ballmer: "I'd put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1."
http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB20010110S0006

Ballmer: "Someday, for all countries that are entering the WTO [World Trade Organisation], somebody will come and look for money owing to the rights for that intellectual property"
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39174367,00.htm

Ballmer: Linux has "characteristics of communism..."
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/07/31/ms_ballmer_linux_is_communi...

he (Guitierrez) does break down the total number allegedly violated - 235 - into categories. He says that the Linux kernel - the deepest layer of the free operating system, which interacts most directly with the computer hardware - violates 42 Microsoft patents. The Linux graphical user interfaces - essentially, the way design elements like menus and toolbars are set up - run afoul of another 65, he claims. The Open Office suite of programs, which is analogous to Microsoft Office, infringes 45 more. E-mail programs infringe 15, while other assorted FOSS programs allegedly transgress 68.
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/05/28/1...

The pact calls for a Microsoft payment to Novell of about $348 million and Novell payments of at least $40 million over the course of the five-year deal to ensure that Microsoft won't sue Suse customers for patent infringement.
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6137444.html

Edited 2007-09-27 16:29

Reply Score: 4

RE: patents
by chrono13 on Thu 27th Sep 2007 08:43 UTC in reply to "patents"
chrono13 Member since:
2006-10-25

Your very peculiar choice of analogy aside, you are missing a few key points.

Microsoft used the deal with Novel to threaten Linux. Not Red Hat, not Ubuntu, but Linux itself.

M.A.D. (your analogy) exists in the patent world without deals. And there your analogy falls short.

Microsoft was not attempting to aid the legitimacy of Linux or protect itself from Novel patents. Microsoft very quickly made it clear that the entire purpose of agreeing not to sue Novel was to gain one or more major Linux distro to “admit” that Linux infringed upon Microsoft patents.

Novel made money off the deal. Microsoft paid them. When Microsoft betrayed them, Novel cried foul, but hasn’t actually done anything to stop or reverse the damage (fear) they have helped Microsoft spread.

Novel is a company, and any company’s primary goal is to make money. Microsoft gave Novel money, and then attempted to set fire to Novel’s product.

I repeat again: the patent deal Microsoft paid Novel to agree to has very little to do with patents. Novel may have been naive (perhaps conveniently so), but the real betrayer, the real backstabber is clear.

Novel says they accepted the deal because peace is better, and less costly. Then Microsoft said “See, Novel has joined our side of the war and agrees that you all owe us. Now who else will join us?”

Novel: “Wait. What?”

There, I hope that clears it up for you. The issue being discussed is whether Novel was stupidly naïve, or selling Linux out with a promise of exclusion form the subsequent damage.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: patents
by apokryphos on Thu 27th Sep 2007 09:50 UTC in reply to "RE: patents"
apokryphos Member since:
2007-05-05

It's "Novell" by the way, not "Novel". Anyway:

> Novel cried foul, but hasn’t actually done anything to stop or reverse the damage (fear) they have helped Microsoft spread.

This is not true. They've persistently said that Microsoft have no grounding on that point at all. So really it just makes Microsoft look silly.

> Novel may have been naive

Which part of Novell getting a lot of money, boosting its Linux engineering team significantly, selling more copies of SUSE Linux Enterprise, growing stocks... is Novell looking "naive"?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: patents
by segedunum on Thu 27th Sep 2007 11:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: patents"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

This is not true. They've persistently said that Microsoft have no grounding on that point at all.

Then the deal wasn't necessary.

So really it just makes Microsoft look silly.

You're just exceptionally naive if you believe that. All that's happened is that Microsoft have managed to create the impression amongst Novell's customers, and corpote customers elsewhere, that Linux and open source software infringes on Microsoft's patents and property.

Which part of Novell getting a lot of money, boosting its Linux engineering team significantly, selling more copies of SUSE Linux Enterprise, growing stocks... is Novell looking "naive"?

Which part of Novell getting a one-off payment to give Microsoft what it wants, Novell getting very little in the way of the interoperability we've all heard of and selling copies of SLES through Microsoft, where part of the agreement is that these servers have to be members of a Windows domain with Windows servers, did you fail to understand?

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: patents
by systyrant on Thu 27th Sep 2007 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: patents"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

The deal was business.

While it's no pie in the face of Bill Gates, I'd say Microsoft's barrage of IP infringement claims with no evidence to back it up might have stirred the turd pot, but over all has had little effect (in the big picture). A lot like SCO's claims. As you remember SCO got a few licensees when they took on Linux, but it wasn't long before people just laughed at them.

I truly think that Novell had the best intentions (in the business sense), but Microsoft being Microsoft tried to spin the agreement into something it wasn't.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: patents
by apokryphos on Thu 27th Sep 2007 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: patents"
apokryphos Member since:
2007-05-05

> Then the deal wasn't necessary.

Again, false by experience. Look how many customers Novell gained when they got it. When you've got billions of dollars (Wal-Mart, etc) then you're a big target. Having a _guarantee_ is a huge help.

If you weren't so bent on taking the customer patent protection negatively you'd see it doesn't do any harm.

> You're just exceptionally naive if you believe that. All that's happened is that Microsoft have managed to create the impression amongst Novell's customers, and corpote customers elsewhere, that Linux and open source software infringes on Microsoft's patents and property.

That's what _some_ vocal "poisonous" people in the OSS community have been saying. The reality is the direct opposite.

> You're just exceptionally naive if you believe that.

If you think this is something new then _you_ are being exceptionally naive. MS have been spreading FUD about Linux for years; this is old news. Trying to bend the Novell-MS deal to be negative because someone can use erroneous reasoning to get....an erroneous conclusion is not just strange but pointless.

> Which part of Novell getting a one-off payment to give Microsoft what it wants, Novell getting very little in the way of the interoperability we've all heard of and selling copies of SLES through Microsoft, where part of the agreement is that these servers have to be members of a Windows domain with Windows servers, did you fail to understand?

A payment is suddenly bad because it's one-off? It wasn't exactly a small payment either. And thinking that they were "bought out" or "sold their soul to the devil" (and similarly pointless emotive statements) are just nonsense. No-one has to "sell out" when money is suddenly involved.


Novell have got _plenty_ in the way of interoperability with virtualisation and document formats. It's pretty impossible to argue that it has been negative on _technical_ grounds. Without it they would obviously be doing worse.

> of the agreement is that these servers have to be members of a Windows domain with Windows servers, did you fail to understand?

I've never heard this, but even if it's the case, I'm interested in hearing why you think this could possibly be negative. Adoption of Linux in a company is suddenly bad if they want to choose to keep using Windows servers as well? Come on guy. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: patents
by segedunum on Thu 27th Sep 2007 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: patents"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Again, false by experience. Look how many customers Novell gained when they got it. When you've got billions of dollars (Wal-Mart, etc) then you're a big target. Having a _guarantee_ is a huge help.

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but these companies now firmly believe that Microsoft protection money is necessary when Novell has admitted that it isn't necessary - firmly cementing the impression that Microsoft wants to give. Microsoft now have Novell firmly by the balls.

Those deals are firmly at the behest of Novell's biggest competitor - Microsoft.

If you weren't so bent on taking the customer patent protection negatively...

If you're a Novell customer and you get one of these letters through your door it doesn't reassure you at all. It just gives you the impression that Novell have been silly and Microsoft's patent protection is necessary. You then start to wonder what Novell are actually selling you.

That's what _some_ vocal "poisonous" people in the OSS community have been saying.

Hmmmm. So people who point out the obvious impression that this deal gives, namely that Linux and open source software infringes on Microsoft's property, these people are poisonous are they? Novell have admitted themselves that that isn't the case, but Microsoft have been going around saying it anyway. This deal has given Microsoft ample fuel for the fire they wanted to create - and Novell handed them some lovely firewood.

The reality is the direct opposite.

Yer, black is the new white.

If you think this is something new then _you_ are being exceptionally naive. MS have been spreading FUD about Linux for years; this is old news. Trying to bend the Novell-MS deal to be negative...

The fact of the matter is that this deal has helped Microsoft's FUD offensive on Linux and open source software immensely. Squirming and trying to tell us that Microsoft has been using FUD for years, so a little bit more won't hurt, is just exceptionally silly.

A payment is suddenly bad because it's one-off? It wasn't exactly a small payment either.

Yer I know. It kept them in the black ;-).

Novell have got _plenty_ in the way of interoperability with virtualisation and document formats.

So what have the got from Microsoft exactly? Improvements to Samba? Nope. Samba is continuing as it always has. Dedicated help in implementing OOXML and interoperability with Office? Nope. They're merely implementing what everyone else can. Is Xen the only virtualisation option that can run Windows? Nope, VMware has been doing that for years.

So where is this interoperability they keep telling us about?

I've never heard this, but even if it's the case, I'm interested in hearing why you think this could possibly be negative.

Errrr, because several times the server numbers of their nearest and most direct competitor are being sold along with them?

Adoption of Linux in a company is suddenly bad if they want to choose to keep using Windows servers as well? Come on guy. :-)

It is if as part of the deal that they're having to buy into several times the numbers of Windows servers as Linux ones.

Your post pretty much sums up the naivety and stupidity of Novell over the years.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: patents
by sanctus on Fri 28th Sep 2007 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: patents"
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

Hmmmm. So people who point out the obvious impression that this deal gives, namely that Linux and open source software infringes on Microsoft's property, these people are poisonous are they? Novell have admitted themselves that that isn't the case, but Microsoft have been going around saying it anyway. This deal has given Microsoft ample fuel for the fire they wanted to create - and Novell handed them some lovely firewood.


This is what matter most. They politically said ( it's not a pragmatic programmer literature where the exact meaning of the sentence is the clear answer), maybe we used Microsoft patent, maybe we will also lose in court, so even if we think and say we dont, we'll take no chance and give them (Microsoft) what they want.

I think Novell should split mono in two parts. First, they have two incompatibles goals. [Mono provides the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix ....] AND […. positioned to become the leading choice for development of Linux applications.] http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page

The first one is a corporate goal to lower cost of software migration to other OS. The other one involve creating a community that use there tool to build free solution. A community that want open standard without patent restriction. But yet Novell promote the use of ADO.net and ASP.net even if they explaining in there FAQs that they’re patents restricted technologies. [… potential issues that might arise with ASP.NET, ADO.NET or Windows.Forms]

My solution would be to make all the microsoft high level blocks ship as a separated package for .net interoperability. and sign an agreement -only- on that part, even charge for it. This would satisfy the first goal without compromising the second one.

Then, Novell/mono should encourage open source new technologies base on the CLI. Which is a great technology, combine with the boo language, I would probably jump in. Anyway, solution like Django or pylons are superior of ASP.net, sqlalchemy or db4o is also a step forward ADO.net and wxsharp and gtk are quality substitute for winform. Mono needs the community to perceive them as a technology innovator and not a submissive follower where using they’re product is a potential danger.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: patents
by BluenoseJake on Thu 27th Sep 2007 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: patents"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"Novel made money off the deal. Microsoft paid them. When Microsoft betrayed them, Novel cried foul, but hasn’t actually done anything to stop or reverse the damage (fear) they have helped Microsoft spread. "

MS hasn't betrayed them.....yet

Reply Score: 2

A good interview
by apokryphos on Thu 27th Sep 2007 09:52 UTC
apokryphos
Member since:
2007-05-05

For myself, I really enjoyed the interview and I think it should eloquently put a vital "stab" into all the FUD that has circulated for so long.

Novell/SUSE is contributing to the Linux _desktop_ more than anyone else out there right now. That they endorse OOXML couldn't be further from the truth. They are part of the ODF alliance, and as they stated their, use it as their default format everywhere.

So, long live Novell and my personal thanks to them for contributing to so wonderfully to countless open source projects.

Reply Score: 3

RE: A good interview
by segedunum on Thu 27th Sep 2007 11:59 UTC in reply to "A good interview"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

For myself, I really enjoyed the interview and I think it should eloquently put a vital "stab" into all the FUD that has circulated for so long.

If you want to believe that, fair enough.

That they endorse OOXML couldn't be further from the truth. They are part of the ODF alliance, and as they stated their, use it as their default format everywhere.

Getting OOXML support into Open Office is a top priority for them, even though it's been proved that getting compatible OOXML as a format for people to use on a day-to-day basis is just not really achievable.

What they're not concentrating on is getting all those Microsoft Office documents converted to ODF, and using ODF as their defacto format that everything passes through. That is not helping the Linux desktop.

Edited 2007-09-27 11:59

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: A good interview
by PlatformAgnostic on Thu 27th Sep 2007 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE: A good interview"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

What's the point of the OSS community doing nothing but trying to destroy Microsoft's market share?

According to you, it's been "proved" (proven) that OOXML cannot be compatibly implemented. Well, Novell engineers are working on it, so it's hard to say that anything has been proven, except by the rhetoric of Rob Weir. Seeking to convert everything to ODF will not work since that format currently does not support everything that Office does, and in places where it does the internal structure is sometimes too different to accurately convert between the two. I'm not saying that one format is better than the other, but it is the case that there cannot be a bijective mapping between DOC and ODF. DOC is the common world-wide format. If you don't try to remain compatible with it, you run the risk of having your new format passed up by ordinary business customers because it really doesn't give them tangible benefits (they're just as happy buying Office as they are with paying for support on OOo or buying Lotus).

Apple has become successful because they thought carefully about what they could contribute and how they could define a lucrative market for themselves. As Steve Jobs put it, they learned that for them to win, Microsoft didn't have to lose. Currently, it's in Microsoft's interests to release their file formats in a way that could be accessed from other platforms. As much as you wish it to be the case, OOXML is not really tied into Windows. It has warts and it is a big spec, but it can be implemented, particularly by programs that already have an investment in fully processing the old binary files. Instead of bitching about OOXML and seeking petty world domination through ODF (chances of that actually happening are slim), why not use this OOXML move as Novell is: to find a way to win customers over slowly to OSS. Or one could build OSS document processing tools, so that you can use Linux servers to store and slice up Office documents or to process them for publication. This server-based document processing stack becomes more complete, OSS developers can move it closer and closer to an Office replacement.

If the OSS movement spent less time impotently raging against Microsoft on forums and more time actually doing things that average people want, Linux would actually have a shot on the desktop rather than being totally eclipsed by the Mac among the UNIX-using computer elite.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A good interview
by Matzon on Thu 27th Sep 2007 14:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A good interview"
Matzon Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, Novell engineers are working on it, so it's hard to say that anything has been proven, except by the rhetoric of Rob Weir.

have you actually READ the specification? - it's a clear cut case that no-one else but microsoft can implement it compatibly. Why do you think it lost its ISO fast track?
Try reading the Danish no, with comments - it's pretty good actually:
http://www.ds.dk/_root/scripts/getmedia.asp?media_id=2791

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: A good interview
by chrono13 on Thu 27th Sep 2007 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A good interview"
chrono13 Member since:
2006-10-25

Thank you very much for that link.

Just counting the "like" specs such as "autoSpaceLikeWord95" and "lineWrapLikeWord6" OOXML is worse than I though.

But it gets really interesting when they actually place provisions in the standard specific to fix or "combat" bugs and help compatibility with older versions of MS Office.

Every single one of those who voted yes either did so corrupted or on the good and reliable word of Microsoft (laugh, it's funny) that this insult to ISO was even an attempt at a standard.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: A good interview
by PlatformAgnostic on Thu 27th Sep 2007 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A good interview"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I looked through the first 30-40 comments in that Danish reply. Some of them are unnecessary ("make this change to do it like ODF") because ODF and OOXML are different specs and it's okay for them to diverge in minor ways (they are wildly different in overall structure anyway). Others are easily fixable (typos) or revisable (eliminating VML from the next version of the spec). The OLE comments in there are interesting: if you have some data linked into the document and you don't have OLE on your platform, what are you going to do? Regardless of whether you allow KParts or Bonobo or anything else, you still need a viewer for that embedded element and the document wouldn't work on the alternate platform anyway. The same is true of ODF or any other format which allows embedding data and rendering instructions from outside apps. This doesn't make an actual difference for interoperability, because one would only presume docs to be interoperable if they stay within the standard and are produced solely by the standardized implementation (i.e. not using non-standard pieces, like OLE embeddables).

Do you have something specific here from these comments, or is there some set of specific complaints that you think will make OOXML unimplementable by outsiders? Keep in mind that implementing an Office Suite is hard and that the file format isn't usually the biggest issue. (Incidentally, check out Jody Goldberg's post on dealing with SpreadsheetML for Gnumeric: http://blogs.gnome.org/jody/2007/09/10/odf-vs-oox-asking-the-wrong-...).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: A good interview
by segedunum on Thu 27th Sep 2007 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A good interview"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Others are easily fixable (typos) or revisable (eliminating VML from the next version of the spec).

If Office 2007 produces documents with VML in it (as a result of legacy Office documents being opened and saved) then on a practical level, this is absolutely meaningless.

Regardless of whether you allow KParts or Bonobo or anything else, you still need a viewer for that embedded element and the document wouldn't work on the alternate platform anyway. The same is true of ODF or any other format which allows embedding data and rendering instructions from outside apps.

The difference is that ODF references standards that have largely been implemented elsewhere in the open source world, such as SVG. Anyone implementing OOXML will need to recreate large amounts of technology that only runs on Windows.

This doesn't make an actual difference for interoperability, because one would only presume docs to be interoperable if they stay within the standard and are produced solely by the standardized implementation...

Errrrr, right, yer. Take a look at what Office 2007 produces:

http://www.codeproject.com/cs/library/office2007bin.asp

What was that about interoperability again?

Do you have something specific here from these comments, or is there some set of specific complaints that you think will make OOXML unimplementable by outsiders?

I would suggest some serious reading before asking that question, because it has been done to death.

(Incidentally, check out Jody Goldberg's post on dealing with SpreadsheetML for Gnumeric:

Have you seen how utterly basic that example file is? People have macros, charts, formulas etc. etc. in the real world. Jody also tells us this:

"Brian’s example of Numbers reading an OOX file written by Gnumeric could just as easily been an XLS file.....In contrast XLSX may be ugly, but it’’s concepts were very familiar from XLS. We already had much of the code required to handle it."

So in order to handle a naively simple spreadsheet file, they already largely had what they needed to implement it having mucked about with XLS for several years? Well that's just brilliant, and not exactly a ringing endorsement for OOXML.

I would advise reading Stephane Rodriguez's comments in that article for a fuller picture.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: A good interview
by PlatformAgnostic on Thu 27th Sep 2007 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: A good interview"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Have you seen Stephane Rodriguez's comments?? He's not exaclty an unbiased or particularly polite commenter. He goes around calling people "bitches."

What you've shown is that there are features in Office which do not fall under the purview of the OOXML standard. So what? If you want to interchange documents, then don't use those features. If you're writing an app which has special processing instructions (say, for instance AppleScript from iWork), you can include your stuff in the container as well without any problems. Can you explain why you think the BIN parts are a problem?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: A good interview
by segedunum on Thu 27th Sep 2007 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: A good interview"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Have you seen Stephane Rodriguez's comments?? He's not exaclty an unbiased or particularly polite commenter. He goes around calling people "bitches."

I haven't seen him call anyone that, but I daresay that everyone calls somebody something at some point. I'd rather just focus on the content of what he's saying to be perfectly honest, rather than this idiotic name calling when people have nothing left to say.

What you've shown is that there are features in Office which do not fall under the purview of the OOXML standard. So what?

Because Office 2007 is the only test container anyone has for testing OOXML compliance, since Microsoft hasn't provided anything else.

If you want to interchange documents, then don't use those features.

Then you'll end up with practically nothing that you can implement, and nothing that you can work with from people sending you documents produced in Office 2007. No interoperability, in other words.

If you're writing an app which has special processing instructions (say, for instance AppleScript from iWork), you can include your stuff in the container as well without any problems.

Yer, and that can be done with ODF as well in the instances where you really need to do that. However, it kills interoperability because it depends on all the various applications being able to understand what is there.

Extensions like that have absolutely no place in a completely new format that Microsoft has come up with to supposedly open the innards of Office in the name of interoperability. It's a contradiction in terms. There's no reason for them to be there.

Can you explain why you think the BIN parts are a problem?

That should be obvious. Because no application apart from Office can feasibly do anything about them (we now have BIFF12. Yay!). The average cross section of Excel documents are an awful lot more complex than a couple of columns of numbers, and are full of embedded objects and macros. The workbook, styles and other parts are also BIN parts as opposed to XML parts as well.

Whichever way that you cut this, on a practical level interoperability is just a sad joke.

Edited 2007-09-27 19:55

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: A good interview
by segedunum on Thu 27th Sep 2007 16:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A good interview"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

What's the point of the OSS community doing nothing but trying to destroy Microsoft's market share?

It's not about that at all. It's about getting a format that open source software can actually use and manipulate. If you think that's trying to destroy Microsoft's market share then that's more a reflection on Microsoft and how you view this.

If Microsoft doesn't want to play, that's up to them.

According to you, it's been "proved" (proven) that OOXML cannot be compatibly implemented. Well, Novell engineers are working on it

Novell are basically working on getting OOXML documents consisting of nothing but text, bold and italics to display in Open Office. Implementing it as a whole is an entirely different matter.

Seeking to convert everything to ODF will not work since that format currently does not support everything that Office does

LOL. It's the reverse actually. ODF actually supports a great deal more than OOXML does, which is where many of the conversion problems have actually come from:

http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=200701172052169...

Apple has become successful because they thought carefully about what they could contribute and how they could define a lucrative market for themselves. As Steve Jobs put it, they learned that for them to win, Microsoft didn't have to lose.

Which is why the Mac still has miniscule market share presumably. The markets that Apple now make real money from, Microsoft aren't involved or can't get involved.

Currently, it's in Microsoft's interests to release their file formats in a way that could be accessed from other platforms.

It's not practically implementable on other platforms, and we have seen the reasons why played out in articles and comment on here over many months.

As much as you wish it to be the case, OOXML is not really tied into Windows.

Saying it doesn't make it true. Can you prove that to me?

It has warts and it is a big spec, but it can be implemented

Can you prove to me that it can be implemented in full? Can you point me to a OOXML test suite that Microsoft has produced, apart from Office 2007?

Instead of bitching about OOXML and seeking petty world domination through ODF (chances of that actually happening are slim), why not use this OOXML move as Novell is

Because OOXML is simply not usable.

Or one could build OSS document processing tools, so that you can use Linux servers to store and slice up Office documents or to process them for publication.

The format and what Office 2007 churns out as a test suite makes that impossible.

If the OSS movement spent less time impotently raging against Microsoft on forums...

No one's raging against Microsoft sweetheart. I'm merely advocating that open source companies use what they know they can implement rather than promising something that they can't.

Linux would actually have a shot on the desktop rather than being totally eclipsed by the Mac among the UNIX-using computer elite.

Running around, fannying about with trying to get compatible OOXML support is what is going to keep Linux and the Mac where they are.

Reply Score: 4

RE: A good interview
by cyclops on Thu 27th Sep 2007 13:29 UTC in reply to "A good interview"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"Novell/SUSE is contributing to the Linux _desktop_ more than anyone else out there right now. That they endorse OOXML couldn't be further from the truth. They are part of the ODF alliance, and as they stated their, use it as their default format everywhere."

http://www.ecma-international.org/news/PressReleases/PR_TC45_Dec200...

look at the companies involved "Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the United States Library of Congress"

Reply Score: 3

on mono
by Matzon on Thu 27th Sep 2007 09:59 UTC
Matzon
Member since:
2005-07-06

That covenant would extend to Novell customers using Mono.

or in other words, if you use Mono on non-Novell platforms, you may be at risk. Good luck distributing the silverlight implementation - which has microsoft codecs, licensed only for Moonlight - enough to make me spurn it!

Edited 2007-09-27 10:03

Reply Score: 6

RE: on mono
by Kroc on Thu 27th Sep 2007 10:27 UTC in reply to "on mono"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Any bets on how long it takes until a primary Microsoft property's website requires silverlight to use? Hotmail, Live Search, XBox360, MSN?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: on mono
by nevali on Thu 27th Sep 2007 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE: on mono"
nevali Member since:
2006-10-12

Any bets on how long it takes until a primary Microsoft property's website requires silverlight to use? Hotmail, Live Search, XBox360, MSN?


A very long time, unless they bundle Silverlight with absolutely everything (which is, of course, plausible). The problem is that it doesn't have the market penetration—and probably never will—to enable that happening without Microsoft risking severe backlash from both users and web professionals who are sick and tired of Microsoft “proprietarising” (yes, I know, that's not a real word) the web.


(Edit: spelling)

Edited 2007-09-27 10:53

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: on mono
by Matzon on Thu 27th Sep 2007 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: on mono"
Matzon Member since:
2005-07-06

since MS has a decent amount of windows installations, they'll just tag silvelight as a "critical" update in Windows update - and tada, 80% penetration in a week :/

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: on mono
by Kroc on Thu 27th Sep 2007 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: on mono"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

All Microsoft have to do is require Silverlight to view something like the Halo website, and people /will/ install it. We're talking ravenous Halo fans here. There's even a Firefox plugin, so it's not like Microsoft are excluding a majority of people; you only have to go through a quick and simple step to get on the site, and bingo, Microsoft are bolstering the idea that it's a good idea to make Silverlight only sites (just like making flash-only sites is such a great idea).

Microsoft have been heavily pushing Silverlight at their recent Mix07 event. They want people to use it instead of flash for companies' unaccessible, unusable, slow-loading sites.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: on mono
by basket on Fri 28th Sep 2007 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: on mono"
basket Member since:
2007-09-28


All Microsoft have to do is require Silverlight to view something like the Halo website, and people /will/ install it.


The Halo3 Game Guide already requires Silverlight:

www.microsoft.com/silverlight/halo3.aspx

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: on mono
by Matzon on Fri 28th Sep 2007 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: on mono"
Matzon Member since:
2005-07-06

heh, at least it's the "proper" way to do it, compared to .net and windows update.

Reply Score: 1

MS/Novell agreement
by hussam on Thu 27th Sep 2007 13:03 UTC
hussam
Member since:
2006-08-17

There's nothing wrong with keeping discussions of Novell and Microsoft agreement as long as we keep those discussions mature enough. Neither of the two companies did this for the community or their customers. This is just business and whether we like it or not, business deals will happen.

Novell has already contributed a lot to Linux not just technology but also with popular applications such as compiz, beagle and evolution.
Microsoft also has contributions to the computer world that they did back in the days.

There's nothing wrong with this not passing by easily. If Pepsi united with Coca Cola, we would be talking about it for 10 years.

I'm not defending either Novell or Microsoft. You just can't expect a big company to always ask consumers whether company policy is good for those consumers. I bet there are Windows fans angry about Microsoft making a deal with a "Linux company" as much as there are Linux fans angry about Novell making a deal with Microsoft. And although that's childish, it is the normal behavior of people. It stems from people's justifications of their choice of operating systems.

As for ooxml, Novell's openoffice patches are a bit buggy according to OpenOffice issuezilla but I am sure the situation will eventually improve. It is however good that Microsoft has came out with ooxml. Staying stagnant with ".doc" for a long time wasn't good. But I still encourage OpenOffice users on both Linux and Windows to use ODF. It is really great.

One last thing, apart from the vfat issue, are there really patent issues in Linux? Even if Novell thinks/admits there is, I won't believe it until I hear it from Linus himself.

@raver31, please leave politics out of this. OSNews is a very popular technology related website and people from all over the globe read this website. Not everybody appreciates your Iraq analogies. Thanks.

Edited 2007-09-27 13:05

Reply Score: 1

Mono is a TROJAN HORSE
by daddio on Thu 27th Sep 2007 15:39 UTC
daddio
Member since:
2007-07-14

I have a tremendous respect for the way novell has jumped into linux development, and especially their focus on desktop useability, and interoperability. I think there is a real need for a company whose product is designed to operate in a mixed environment with windows.

Having said that, though The vocal desire of a certain Miguel to push C# and mono into the GNOME platform alarms me. As a non-windows platform, I can divine no benefit whatsoever to c#. If the kind of lazy coding that C# enables is desirable then Java is a good sight better and more portable tool for the job.

Reply Score: 4

pathetic interview and more pathetic threads
by karl on Sun 30th Sep 2007 10:28 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

The interview was juvenile at best and simply stupid at worst. But what's worse than the interview itself are the threads in this OSNEWS forum.


That Microsoft hasn't sued any FLOSS project for patent violation is conveniently forgotten. Microsoft does not have a history of suing over patent infringement. Although Microsoft holds some number of patents- IBM still gets more patents per year than Microsoft has in all 30 years of its existence. (IBM earns in excess of $2,000,000,000.00 in patent fees). But there are *some people* who *know* about Microsoft's plans to sue *Linux* for patent violations. What a joke.

That the agreement between Novell and Microsoft specifically excludes the possibility of such patent infringement claims is cleverly overlooked again and again. The only patent infringement claims which count are the ones which end up in court as part of a patent lawsuit. And explicitly these are forbidden by this agreement. Of course one or both of the parties could violate the terms of the agreements but then again Novell can sue Microsoft for patents it holds, and Novell has successfully sued Microsoft on a number of occasions. But those *people* who *know* that Microsoft is going to sue *Linux* are already saying "told you so..." What a joke.

That mono as it pertains to the GNOME desktop is completely and absolutely free of any potential patent violation is completely forgotten. There are only a couple of parts of mono which *might* be subject to some kind of claim-and explicitly these parts of mono are not being used in the mono applications targeting the GNOME desktop. Yet again more FUD.

That a good developer can write an application in mono in less than half the time than it would require to write in c/c++ is simply overlooked. That millions of young programmers are being weened on the .Net framework and c# is completely ignored. That the majority of in-house software being written must leverage both linux and windows is being ignored. But mono is a) a disease to poison Linux users b) a capitalist conspiracy to undermine Linux c) is proof that Miguel sold his soul and is working for Microsoft to actively hurt YOU. What a friggin joke-how stupid can it get.

What these juvenile simpletons keep forgetting is that it was Miguel de Icazas vision of a usable Linux desktop that brought us to the wonderful world of GNOME desktops from Ubuntu and pre-installed on Dell laptops of today. But then again no revolution is complete until the fathers of the revolution have been killed. How sad, how ignorant, how misinformed and pathetic our conspiracy-minded simpletons have become.

Now that we have kicked, beaten, hacked-up and mutilated this poor dead horse could we please move on....

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

That the agreement between Novell and Microsoft specifically excludes the possibility of such patent infringement claims is cleverly overlooked again and again.

The agreement is between Microsoft and Novell's customers. It might help if you educated yourself about what is in this deal.

There are only a couple of parts of mono which *might* be subject to some kind of claim-and explicitly these parts of mono are not being used in the mono applications targeting the GNOME desktop.

Given that I've made a comment above about how this is not the case and Microsoft has stuff within the ECMA and the CLR covered, can you provide some evidence to back this up?

That the majority of in-house software being written must leverage both linux and windows is being ignored.

Then you use something that can run on both Windows and Linux. Mono isn't required for that, nor is a clone of .Net. It's also highly questionable whether Mono will ever be able to get implementations of some of the parts behind .Net, such as Indigo.

Reply Score: 2