Linked by Tony Steidler-Dennison on Mon 28th Jul 2008 17:32 UTC, submitted by zaboing
Oracle and SUN In an interview with derStandard.at, Novell developer Michael Meeks talks mostly about Sun's lack of openness in regards to OpenOffice.org. He goes as far as stating that if Sun dropped out of OOo-development this "wouldn't be an entirely negative thing". He also goes on to talk about promoting Go-oo instead, and emphasizes the importance of breaking down the barriers between GNOME and KDE.
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Novell - Sun
by jbijnens on Mon 28th Jul 2008 17:48 UTC
jbijnens
Member since:
2005-12-30

Novell employees should take a bit more care about what they are saying.
Sun has bought StarDivision in the past. StarDivision is the original developer of StarOffice.
It was Sun who has opensourced StarOffice.
This was/is the basis of OpenOffice.
So without Sun there was no OpenOffice.

Just my 2c,

John Bijnens

Reply Score: 27

RE: Novell - Sun
by evangs on Mon 28th Jul 2008 17:52 UTC in reply to "Novell - Sun"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

This is essentially a Novell developer taking potshots at Sun while promoting a project he's involved in. Is it a project sponsored by Novell? They seem really coy about disclosing any of their affiliations on the go-oo.org website (notice the lack of any solid info in the About page).

Ironically, go-oo.org would not exist if Sun hadn't opened up Star Office in the first place and it's highly dubious what that project seeks to achieve.

Reply Score: 19

RE[2]: Novell - Sun
by Ford Prefect on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Novell - Sun"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

I don't like this project just for the reason you pointed out: It is obvious that it is ran by Novell but they don't openly admit it.

Instead they list individual employees as the developers of the project. Then they do press work like this, talking bad about OpenOffice while promoting their fork.

This is not the expected behaviour of a good free software citizen.


It is also obvious what the main goals of Novell are with this software suite: strengthening the relationship with Microsoft (while effectively weakening ODF) on several fronts. While better interoperability is always a good thing, the question remains unanswered what parts/developments of OpenOffice went missing in Go-OO for this.

As an individual developer, wether you work on OpenOffice or on Go-OO, you just get involved into a fight between some big software companies. At least on of these talks about openness and freedom, while signing contracts with on of the biggest enemys of this very freedom. No thanks.

Edited 2008-07-28 19:24 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: Novell - Sun
by KAMiKAZOW on Mon 28th Jul 2008 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Novell - Sun"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

the question remains unanswered what parts/developments of OpenOffice went missing in Go-OO for this.

If Go-OO is the same version of OpenOffice as the one in openSUSE, then (as far as I can see) nothing is missing.

At least on of these talks about openness and freedom, while signing contracts with on of the biggest enemys of this very freedom. No thanks.

To be fair: Almost every company has contracts with MS -- like AMD or Intel. Yet both are big supporters of free software.
I'm not defending the Novell-MS deal in any way but keep in mind that Novell still releases lots of free software. If you don't like Mono, just don't use it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Novell - Sun
by Ford Prefect on Mon 28th Jul 2008 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Novell - Sun"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Sure I don't have a problem using their software. Don't blame the software, it is free (not as in beer) after all.

I would not say that AMD or Intel are supporters of free software. They are supporters of their customers and their customers need support for the free software they apparently use. It makes sense for a hardware company to expand its markets and they have to play by the rules of these markets so they do.

After all, I just watch Novell's free software business with some scepticism in mind.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Novell - Sun
by danieldk on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Novell - Sun"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Is it a project sponsored by Novell?


Follow the whois ;) :

---
Registrant Name:Michael Meeks
Registrant Organization:Novell, Inc.
---

So, yes, it seems to be a Novell project.

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Novell - Sun
by evangs on Mon 28th Jul 2008 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Novell - Sun"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

But that should not be necessary for an Open Source project. After all, why would a good open source project go through such great lengths to hide their affiliations?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Novell - Sun
by alexandru_lz on Mon 28th Jul 2008 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Novell - Sun"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

Maybe because it's the kind of thing about which most open source fans would instantly brag? From what I understand, Go-OO is realy OpenOffice, patched with a couple of foamy extras -- but instead of contributing to the OpenOffice.org codebase, Novell is making its own.

Frankly, this is very cool tactics from Microsoft. How long before we see a third OpenOffice "distribution"? How long before a fifth, each having a set of features that the others don't have, while lacking a couple of features on their own. This kind of thing just begs for another Get the facts campaign.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Novell - Sun
by KAMiKAZOW on Mon 28th Jul 2008 21:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Novell - Sun"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

instead of contributing to the OpenOffice.org codebase, Novell is making its own.

OpenOffice is still under LGPL. Novell developed VBA support long ago but Sun (for whatever reason) refused to include it.
For that reason many Linux distributions ship Novell's OpenOffice -- including Ubuntu.

How long before we see a third OpenOffice "distribution"?

See NeoOffice. It's an OpenOffice fork for Mac OS X. The fork was founded because the previous CEO of Sun refused to support anything related to Mac OS. Thanks to the patches developed by Novell for Go-OO, NeoOffice was the first native Mac application that supported OpenXML. NeoOffice is still the only native Intel Mac application that has VBA suport (MS Office 2008 dropped VBA support, even though it will return sometime in the future).

IMHO both companies, Sun and Novell, have make compromises. Sun has to loose its copyright assignment rules, while Novell should stop trying to integrate Mono into OpenOffice. OpenOffice already starts up to two virtual machines (Java and Python). Adding a third one is just a waste of computer resources.

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: Novell - Sun
by alexandru_lz on Mon 28th Jul 2008 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Novell - Sun"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

Thanks for the well-informed lines -- I'd mod your comment up if I could :-). NeoOffice didn't even cross my mind, despite being a Mac user (I use OpenOffice, but only for occasionally viewing PPT/DOC files that I receive, I'm mainly a LaTeX/LyX user). I wasn't aware of Go-OO being included in Ubuntu, either.

However, I still feel it is somewhat wrong that Novell and Microsoft managed to reach a compromise, while Novell and Sun, two companies that are supposedly promoting open source software, could not.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Novell - Sun
by Phobos on Tue 29th Jul 2008 00:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Novell - Sun"
Phobos Member since:
2008-04-30

AFAIK, not many distros use Go-OO... including ubuntu.. last thing I knew was that Go-OO was downloadable from the ubuntu repos, but they used official OO.o

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Novell - Sun
by elsewhere on Tue 29th Jul 2008 03:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Novell - Sun"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

AFAIK, not many distros use Go-OO... including ubuntu.. last thing I knew was that Go-OO was downloadable from the ubuntu repos, but they used official OO.o


Go-OO is ooo-build, which is what many of the mainstream linux distributions are using, including Ubuntu. It's even supported by Debian. The build is available from Gnome.org. What more do you need for credibility?

ooo-build originated from Sun's bureaucracy, that's all. The lengths non-Sun developers had to go through to get patches accepted upstream was excrutiating, so they spun their own branch with patches and improvements incorporated, and most of the linux distros picked up on it.

And then there's Neo Office, as well.

"Forking" isn't necessarily a good thing for a project, but when forks start gaining acceptance beyond the parent project, it should be a wake-up call. Ask XFree86, they can tell you all about it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Novell - Sun
by elsewhere on Tue 29th Jul 2008 04:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Novell - Sun"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

After all, why would a good open source project go through such great lengths to hide their affiliations?


It's hardly great lengths when a simple whois inquiry shows Novell owning the domain. It's not like they created off-shore shell companies to hide it, for crying out loud. But to your point, Why should a good open source project be judged on their affiliations? Because that's your implication.

Six of one, half dozen of the other. It doesn't matter either way.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Novell - Sun
by calc on Thu 31st Jul 2008 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Novell - Sun"
calc Member since:
2005-07-06

Knowing him, I was actually surprised at how nice he was in the interview towards Sun. Yes, Go-OO is heavily contributed to and sponsored by Novell, but nearly all Linux distributions use it (Fedora uses patches from it but not go-oo directly) and contribute to it as well. All you have to do is look at the commit logs in subversion[0] to see that. And Go-OO isn't just a couple of patches like some people seem to think, there are currently over 750 patches that are applied to 3.0. Many if not most of those patches are licensed such that Sun could apply them to the official release if their commit process wasn't so slow and hard.

[0] http://svn.gnome.org/viewvc/ooo-build/

Reply Score: 1

tinfoil-hat anyone?
by l_km_n on Mon 28th Jul 2008 18:12 UTC
l_km_n
Member since:
2008-07-28

wait: novell and microsoft are in bed together, now novell-employee shoots at sun about successful office-software...

makes me a bit suspicious

Reply Score: 17

RE: tinfoil-hat anyone?
by zimbatm on Mon 28th Jul 2008 18:42 UTC in reply to "tinfoil-hat anyone?"
zimbatm Member since:
2005-08-22

So true. Translation from http://go-oo.org/discover :
* Added MS Office format
* Startup time is now 1 sec instead of 1.5 sec. Woot !
* Fixed a bug (see Improved Excel interoperability)
* Added Mono support

I love the part in the developer section where the howtos point to the OO wiki.

:-p

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: tinfoil-hat anyone?
by calc on Thu 31st Jul 2008 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE: tinfoil-hat anyone?"
calc Member since:
2005-07-06

So true. Translation from http://go-oo.org/discover :
* Added MS Office format
* Startup time is now 1 sec instead of 1.5 sec. Woot !
* Fixed a bug (see Improved Excel interoperability)
* Added Mono support

I love the part in the developer section where the howtos point to the OO wiki.

:-p


Fixed a lot more than 1 bug, there are 750+ patches for 3.0 currently in ooo-build.

Reply Score: 1

RE: tinfoil-hat anyone?
by KAMiKAZOW on Mon 28th Jul 2008 22:00 UTC in reply to "tinfoil-hat anyone?"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not like Sun and MS don't have any contracts.... http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001_3-5184297.html?hhTest=1

Reply Score: 5

RE: tinfoil-hat anyone?
by Phloptical on Tue 29th Jul 2008 01:20 UTC in reply to "tinfoil-hat anyone?"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

abso-tively, posi-lutely!

Reply Score: 3

Not news
by diegocg on Mon 28th Jul 2008 18:34 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

Sun requires contributors to transfer their copyright to them if you want to get your code merged in the official openoffice.org project (just like in opensolaris and java, BTW). And then, because they have copyright rights, they're allowed to add closed-source "addons" and sell it in a propietary way. Which is exactly what Sun does.

Yes, Sun opensourced OO.org, and opensolaris and java, but their projects do not exactly encourage opensource development in the same way other FOSS projects do. It feels kinda weird to contribute to a "open source project" and then see how the company that setup the project uses that to force a requeriment of "copyright assignment" if you want to get your code merged in the official repositories. And then see how they use that to release propietary versions of the code you contributed. Yes, you can fork the code. But a single person is not going to succeed, because the "official" version has more developers and your fork will quickly become obsolete.

Its not nice. And it has effectively harmed those projects. IBM put a lot of efforts (mainly performance and accesibility) in openoffice, but did not contribute it back to openoffice.org. Because of the copyright assignment (only recently they agreed to start working in OO.org - which means several years wasted and lots of improvements that are not useful because the divergences in the code). And other companies who contribute to OO.org, like Novell or redhat, they sign the assignment, but they clearly don't like it (that's why go-oo.org exists: they clearly want to encourage sun to drop the copyright assignment, or transfer the openoffice project to a FSF-like foundation), because it's unfair to them. It also doesn't encourages other companies to contribute.

Compare however with, say, the linux kernel: There's no copyright assignment, so nobody can make propietary versions. It's fair to everyone who contributes so everyone tries to contribute, while in opensolaris everything is too focused in what Sun research teams do or stop doing. Or compare it with the FSF: they also require copyright assignment in the GNU projects, but it's a foundation not a company that aims to money, and they don't use the copryright assignment to make propietary versions out of it (IOW: people knows they can trust the FSF)


Openoffice, opensolaris and java will improve so much the day sun kills the copyright asssignment, or the day other contributors join to completely fork the code and try to make sun-controled projects irrelevant.

Edited 2008-07-28 18:48 UTC

Reply Score: 14

RE: Not news
by -oblio- on Mon 28th Jul 2008 18:41 UTC in reply to "Not news"
-oblio- Member since:
2008-05-27

Do not forget that the Free Software Foundation also requires copyright assignment. In my humble opinion, the problem is not as much with licensing or copyright assignment, as it is with project management and control. Think about GCC and EGCS. FSF has a pretty centralized development methodology, which at some point can suffocate a project's development. Ironically, FSF is more cathedral than bazaar.
From what I hear/read, Sun is pretty similar, they tend to have a pretty tight grip on their OSS projects (see Java for example).

Classical "let's wait and see" material.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Not news
by diegocg on Mon 28th Jul 2008 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

Do not forget that the Free Software Foundation also requires copyright assignment.

I didn't not forget it.

Or compare it with the FSF: they also require copyright assignment in the GNU projects, but it's a foundation not a company that aims to money, and they don't use the copryright assignment to make propietary versions out of it (IOW: people knows they can trust the FSF)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Not news
by -oblio- on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not news"
-oblio- Member since:
2008-05-27

"Or compare it with the FSF: they also require copyright assignment in the GNU projects, but it's a foundation not a company that aims to money, and they don't use the copryright assignment to make propietary versions out of it (IOW: people knows they can trust the FSF) "

Yeah, but at this point Sun is pretty commited to FOSS. It's pretty hard to doubt their commitment, considering they Open Sourced software worth millions of dollars of work hours (Java, Open Office, Solaris, ...). Commercial != bad ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Not news
by diegocg on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not news"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

Commercial != bad


Sure. And I've even add "closed source != bad", which is probably what you meant.

It's unfairness what is bad, really bad. Everyone can release open-source commercial versions, but only Sun is allowed to release closed-source commercial versions.

Edited 2008-07-28 19:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Not news
by renox on Mon 28th Jul 2008 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not news"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure, but the question is: is-it truly open when you use a license incompatible with the majority of open source software which are GPLv2?

Imagine if each company was using its own "opensource" license incompatible with every other licenses, this wouldn't be a very good situation..

Sun has made a lot for open-source, yes, but playing the license fragmentation game is truly dangerous, the FSF does the same thing with the GPLv3 which wasn't really needed IMHO.

The recent exception is the AGPL which defines a framework for a different kind of collaboration for server software: this one is interesting..

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Not news
by danieldk on Mon 28th Jul 2008 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not news"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Sure, but the question is: is-it truly open when you use a license incompatible with the majority of open source software which are GPLv2?


I guess you are referring to OpenSolaris? Of course, they have done it to avoid integration of Linux ZFS and DTrace in Linux. If a compatible license had been used, they would have lost two of their major selling points compared to Linux. That's competition. Sun is a company that has a responsibility to their shareholders, they can't just give away their competitive advantage.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Not news
by kaiwai on Mon 28th Jul 2008 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not news"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure, but the question is: is-it truly open when you use a license incompatible with the majority of open source software which are GPLv2?


Why should they go GPL. GPL is a proprietary licence in nature where by it can seem to suck in any code it wants but unless you project is GPL2, you can't take anything back from it. It is a one way process that it just as vile and disgusting as when proprietary vendors take BSD source code and don't provide patches or improvements back.

If you actually *TOOK* the time and read FSF, there is a bloody good reason why Stallman doesn't call software licensed under the GPL as 'open source'. May I suggest you actually *READ* some literature on the matter instead of spouting the usual pro-GPL jingoisms without the slightest understanding of the background.

I don't see anything wrong with the CDDL; the licence that IS out of step is the GPL2; where code sharing in the the GPL is a one way street, it is like a leech on the opensource community where rather than sharing code with other projects, it deliberately creates walls to stop enhancements made in BSD-like code imported into a GPL project from making its way back to the original BSD-like licensed project.

I know I'm going to lose points but damn it all, I am sick and tired of the same rhetoric being spewed by GPL/GNU/Linux fanboys whose only exposure to the opensource world is in the last 5 years, and still hold the idea that Microsoft created the PC revolution. The stench of stupidity in this forum some days is almost unbearable.

Edited 2008-07-28 21:59 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: Not news
by chekr on Tue 29th Jul 2008 01:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Not news"
chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

+1 for you Matt.

While I wouldn't have put it in those words exactly I agree with your sentiments...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Not news
by shapeshifter on Tue 29th Jul 2008 07:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Not news"
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

Did your Macbook overheat and kill the hard drive or something?
Foaming at the mouth will not fix it. Gotta take it to the Mac store and make a sacrifice to his holiness Steve J. (a few hundred dollars and a new iPod should do).
Lol

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Not news
by kaiwai on Tue 29th Jul 2008 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Not news"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Did your Macbook overheat and kill the hard drive or something?
Foaming at the mouth will not fix it. Gotta take it to the Mac store and make a sacrifice to his holiness Steve J. (a few hundred dollars and a new iPod should do).
Lol


What are you prattling on about? When it doubt - name call. Very nice. What next - going to name call Balmer instead of point out what is wrong with Windows? oops, that's right! when you actually DO write something of substance on this forum you find that some numbskull moderates your post down.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Not news
by KAMiKAZOW on Mon 28th Jul 2008 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not news"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure, but the question is: is-it truly open when you use a license incompatible with the majority of open source software which are GPLv2?

From a legal standpoint, GPLv3 is way better. It clarifies some rules in better detail and it is modelled after international copyright laws, not just early 1990s U.S. copyright law.
The GPLv3 is very compatible with v2. By default, every GPL version contains the "or any later version" clause. Only very few FOSS projects (*cough* Linux *cough*) do not contain the "any later version" clause but that's mostly due personal conflicts with certain FSF members (Torvalds vs. Stallman).

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Not news
by elsewhere on Tue 29th Jul 2008 04:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Not news"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

By default, every GPL version contains the "or any later version" clause. Only very few FOSS projects (*cough* Linux *cough*) do not contain the "any later version" clause but that's mostly due personal conflicts with certain FSF members (Torvalds vs. Stallman).


OMFG, people are still spewing this? The GPL *never* contained an "or later" clause. It was contained in the boilerplate as a *recommendation*. Copyright holders still had to specifically state the "or later" clause, which very many didn't. This has been discussed and debated ad nauseum, please visit the interwebs a little more often to keep up to date.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Not news
by KAMiKAZOW on Tue 29th Jul 2008 07:25 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Not news"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

The GPL *never* contained an "or later" clause. It was contained in the boilerplate as a *recommendation*. Copyright holders still had to specifically state the "or later" clause, which very many didn't.

That's splitting hairs. I know what a boilerplate is but I wanted to keep my post simple.
To be exact:
The GPL includes a boilerplate for "About" windows and README files and that one has "any later version". If no GPL version is explicitly stated, then any GPL version may be used.

It's true that there are/were other FOSS projects that include(d) GPLv2-only code. The most prominent example is probably KDE. But -- unlike Linus who refuses to compromise on license compatibility with other projects -- the KDE project had a lengthy process to ensure that past GPLv2-only code is relicensed and all future KDE code is GPLv3 compatible. See http://techbase.kde.org/Policies/Licensing_Policy for KDE's current policy.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Not news
by elsewhere on Tue 29th Jul 2008 04:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not news"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Yeah, but at this point Sun is pretty commited to FOSS. It's pretty hard to doubt their commitment, considering they Open Sourced software worth millions of dollars of work hours (Java, Open Office, Solaris, ...). Commercial != bad ;)


How is it hard to doubt their commitment? The can close it off at any time, incorporating the work the OSS developers have contributed.

Their commitment to FOSS is in line with Canonical's, in which they talk a big game and try to leverage the community, but in the end they're not really investing anything to advance it beyond their own self interest.

As is their right, and the community can still benefit. But let's not make them out to be more than they are. Unless they're willing to commit ownership to the community and rely on a community-driven effort for development, a la the linux kernel or something similar, they're simply hedging their bets.

Don't get me wrong, I've always applauded Sun for taking the brave move towards opening their code. But their current view towards community development, Java GPL2 excepted, is little different than Microsoft's view towards community development with the MSL. Shared source isn't necessarily OSS.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Not news
by calc on Thu 31st Jul 2008 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not news"
calc Member since:
2005-07-06

Their commitment to FOSS is in line with Canonical's, in which they talk a big game and try to leverage the community, but in the end they're not really investing anything to advance it beyond their own self interest.


Sun has an estimated 35,000 employees from what I have read elsewhere and Canonical has around 180 employees. Sun is roughly 200x the size of Canonical. That is couting all departments, and Canonical's Ubuntu team has only roughly 50 employees, so yea Canonical might not be doing a lot in the community compared to other companies, which happen to be hundreds of times its size, but it is contributing in various areas.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not news
by pinky on Tue 29th Jul 2008 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

Ironically, FSF is more cathedral than bazaar.


It's not really ironically. The goal of the FSF and the GNU project was always software freedom. This has nothing to do with a special development model. Open Source advocates often want to focus on an development model (community prjects) but the Free Software movement doesn't really care how you develop the software as long as the users of the software have freedom.

Edited 2008-07-29 15:23 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not news
by javiercero1 on Mon 28th Jul 2008 18:48 UTC in reply to "Not news"
javiercero1 Member since:
2005-11-10

I take you don't know how the linux development works...

A lot of people seem to equate free software with lack of ownership (physical or intellectual), which is not even remotely the case.

If novell feels so strongly about OO they are welcome to start and open their own office suite.

The level of entitlement in certain circles is astounding.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not news
by diegocg on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

A lot of people seem to equate free software with lack of ownership (physical or intellectual), which is not even remotely the case.


And I've never said the contrary, so I just don't get your point. In fact, I couldn't have written my previous comment if I didn't know that. Care to explain yourself?

Edited 2008-07-28 19:01 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not news
by -oblio- on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
-oblio- Member since:
2008-05-27

"If novell feels so strongly about OO they are welcome to start and open their own office suite. "

This would be TERRIBLE. Presumably FOSS projects mean a common/shared source base, and less "NIH syndrome". And Novell seem to be investing quite a bit in OO.org, to be fair.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not news
by rjamorim on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:30 UTC in reply to "Not news"
rjamorim Member since:
2005-12-05

Sun requires contributors to transfer their copyright to them if you want to get your code merged in the official openoffice.org project (just like in opensolaris and java, BTW). And then, because they have copyright rights, they're allowed to add closed-source "addons" and sell it in a propietary way. Which is exactly what Sun does.

[...]

Openoffice, opensolaris and java will improve so much the day sun kills the copyright asssignment, or the day other contributors join to completely fork the code and try to make sun-controled projects irrelevant.


Well, what do you know... Novell also requires copyright assignment if you want your patch accepted into Evolution or Mono:
http://www.gnome.org/projects/evolution/patch.shtml
http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Licensing#Why_does_Novell_require_...

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Not news
by alexandru_lz on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

Well, yes, but apparenly, they do it for Everyone's Good while Sun is just ripping people off.

I call bullshiFt on this, really. I'm sure that if a Sun developer had been interviewed about Go-OO, he'd have said the same thing, only reversed (Novell is not open enough with Go=OO, bring us all your codez).

Business is still business, even if you're selling open-source work, and this is the best proof.


Edit: I can already see Balmer's argument. Why switch to open office, when these guys can't even decide which one is really open, and take their time to fight each other instead of actually writing some code? Frankly, I'd really buythat argument.

Edited 2008-07-28 19:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not news
by Amaranth on Mon 28th Jul 2008 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
Amaranth Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, what do you know... Novell also requires copyright assignment if you want your patch accepted into Evolution or Mono:
http://www.gnome.org/projects/evolution/patch.shtml
http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Licensing#Why_does_Novell_require_...

Actually Evolution no longer has this requirement. It's a recent announcement, the website has yet to be updated.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Not news
by miguel on Mon 28th Jul 2008 22:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
miguel Member since:
2005-07-27

[redundant post]

Edited 2008-07-28 22:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not news
by aent on Tue 29th Jul 2008 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

Actually, evolution stopped requiring copyright assignment a few weeks ago. Not sure about mono

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not news
by calc on Fri 1st Aug 2008 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
calc Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, what do you know... Novell also requires copyright assignment if you want your patch accepted into Evolution or Mono:
http://www.gnome.org/projects/evolution/patch.shtml
http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Licensing#Why_does_Novell_require_...


Wow it was hard to find that out, huh? What with him covering that in detail in the article...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not news
by danieldk on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:45 UTC in reply to "Not news"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Yes, Sun opensourced OO.org, and opensolaris and java, but their projects do not exactly encourage opensource development in the same way other FOSS projects do.


Oh, please. First there are complaints that their software is not FLOSS software, which may have been a valid criticism in some cases (e.g. Java as a development platform). In the meanwhile, they have open sourced projects that are worth millions if not billions of dollars, and now people tell them they are not FLOSS enough due to the way that they run their projects (or their use of the CDDL license).

These are their projects, so they choose how to run it. And if they want to use copyright assignment, I can fully understand, they have invested a lot in these code bases, so they want to be the owner. Does it slow down development? Maybe, but that's their choice.

Can we please stop talking about these issues as if it is morally wrong to choose different licenses, require copyright assignment, or whatever?

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Not news
by Ressev on Mon 28th Jul 2008 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
Ressev Member since:
2005-07-18

And just to follow through with your comment, it is not as if Sun is twisting your arm to contribute or pulling the wool over your eyes: you know what you are agreeing to when submitting code.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not news
by tomcat on Wed 30th Jul 2008 06:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Can we please stop talking about these issues as if it is morally wrong to choose different licenses, require copyright assignment, or whatever?

Ultimately, "open source" boils down to whether the source code is available. That's the heart of the issue, and pretending that the license is the litmus test for "open" is a load of crap. Just show me the source code, and then get the f out of the way, people.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not news
by trembovetski on Tue 29th Jul 2008 22:05 UTC in reply to "Not news"
trembovetski Member since:
2006-09-30

In SCA (Sun Contributor Agreement, required for contributing to OpenJDK and OpenSolaris) there's no "copyright assignment". There's copyright sharing, which is done by many other open source projects. You still retain your rights, but you share them with Sun.

Also, people who worked on free Java implementations don't seem to have any problems with signing the SCA to work on Openjdk.

Dmitri

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not news
by sakeniwefu on Wed 30th Jul 2008 01:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Not news"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

But it still means the code is GPL for everyone but Sun who can still release closed source versions without contributing the killer features back. If they used the BSD license everyone would have the same rights. In this case Sun has more rights than the other authors and users. I think it is clear they are abusing the community. Also, an OpenOffice branch that didn't have to be constantly pimping Java would probably be superior.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not news
by robilad on Wed 30th Jul 2008 02:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not news"
robilad Member since:
2006-01-02

If releasing 5 million lines of code under the GPL as part of OpenJDK is 'abusing the community', then I'd love to be 'abused' more often by more companies. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Yes, Novell, yes
by rohandhruva on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:13 UTC
rohandhruva
Member since:
2008-02-05

Yes Novell, you can still pretend that the Microsoft money has not influenced you. And we will believe you. All the way. To the hilt. We'll lap it up. Go ahead, Novell.

Oh and yes, I am removing OOo from all my systems to install Go-OO. Hey WAIT! Why can't I just install Office 2007? If you can be as unscrupulous so as to rip off a Sun product, add some shit features to it, and then urge people to promote it, I'll go ahead and download Office 2007 torrent too. Any more shit left, Novell?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Yes, Novell, yes
by elsewhere on Tue 29th Jul 2008 04:29 UTC in reply to "Yes, Novell, yes"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Oh and yes, I am removing OOo from all my systems to install Go-OO. Hey WAIT! Why can't I just install Office 2007? If you can be as unscrupulous so as to rip off a Sun product, add some shit features to it, and then urge people to promote it, I'll go ahead and download Office 2007 torrent too. Any more shit left, Novell?


Imagine you had an improvement to the linux kernel that you felt would make it much better from a usability perspective.

Now imagine that Linus and co. rejected it because they didn't approve of it, or that they wanted to run it through committees for evaluation and testing over several months, before they'd be willing to push it out for community testing.

Now imagine that you decided your improvement was good enough that you released your own patchset for the linux kernel in the belief that users might see immediate benefit from it.

Are you forking the linux kernel in doing so? Are you unscrupulously ripping off the kernel devs in doing so?

No, you're not. And many developers follow that same path. Did anybody criticize Con Kolivas, for instance, for "forking" the linux kernel? No, he just tried to make it better. Is that wrong?

Go-oo, and ooo-build, simply incorporate patches and improvements that Sun has not yet, or is unwilling to, incorporate upstream. The devs, including the Novell ones, still submit upstream patches with copyright assignment when it affects to core project.

What exactly is your issue? That somebody is trying to improve a project? Or that it simply involves Novell?

Reply Score: 5

Sun - copyright
by jbijnens on Mon 28th Jul 2008 19:25 UTC
jbijnens
Member since:
2005-12-30

I don't know whether the strict control Sun wants to have is so bad.
If you want to make certain you can maintain a certain level of "quality" and you want to make sure you stay on the development road you have planned to enroll you'll have no other choice than to maintain a strict control.

Perhaps I'm a bit too naive about these things but I have seen too much bad code.

Best regards,

John

Reply Score: 5

Ugh, Please Read The Article!
by AndrewDubya on Mon 28th Jul 2008 20:01 UTC
AndrewDubya
Member since:
2006-10-15

Honestly, the headline was a bit over the top, the interview wasn't nearly as bad as everyone is making it out to be.

The developer actually complimented the Sun developers, he just admitted to wanting a more open development environment, which he _also_ said Sun attempted to do. He even stated that he's not completely against Sun requiring the copyright stuff.

Why is it so wrong to state a preference? It sounds like a lot of developers are bothered by the process of getting stuff in to OO.org. It may or may not be in Sun's best interest to try to open up a bit -- it probably depends on whether external developer goals are in line with their own.

So, as many have stated, it sounds like Novell is deciding against assigning copyright in some cases and are starting to fight back with what is essentially a fork. This will put pressure on Sun to either open up a bit, whether that's with their development model or just to state clearly what their intentions are.

In all, I think they'll probably resolve the differences, and I'm glad Novell (and Ubuntu, etc) are pushing for more code sharing in open source. Hell, I thought the KDE/Gnome stuff was much more interesting than the OO.org discussion.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Ugh, Please Read The Article!
by evangs on Mon 28th Jul 2008 21:29 UTC in reply to "Ugh, Please Read The Article!"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

...He even stated that he's not completely against Sun requiring the copyright stuff....

...So, as many have stated, it sounds like Novell is deciding against assigning copyright in some cases and are starting to fight back with what is essentially a fork. This will put pressure on Sun to either open up a bit, whether that's with their development model or just to state clearly what their intentions are....


You realize that you have to assign copyright to Novell when you contribute to projects like Mono and Evolution? So it's ok for Novell to have such requirements but when Sun does it suddenly their intentions are dubious?

What Sun is doing is normal. They are a company who has a responsibility to turn a profit. They ultimately answer to their share holders. As such their intentions are very clear. They are doing it because it makes good business sense for them to do so, not because it makes some geeks feel good.

Edited 2008-07-28 21:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

AndrewDubya Member since:
2006-10-15

Nah, I wasn't attacking Sun (or Novell). I'm really impressed with what Sun has done with OpenSource. Honestly, I don't care so much about Mono (yeah, I shouldn't knock it just because it's based on MS technology) and Evolution so that's probably why it seems that way. I really hope they can work it out. I understand why a company wouldn't wanted copyright assignment, but I can see how it could turn off open source developers.

Forking any of the major projects is generally an option if devs don't trust the company or don't like the development process. I think forks suck and I think Novell and Sun can come to a reasonable agreement. I wouldn't expect Sun to back down on their copyright assignments in any way that Novell isn't willing to do the same for. Sorry for any confusion.

Edit: Oops, should have mentioned this as well: The fact that Sun has an open development model for OpenOffice kind of points to the fact that they do think having outside contributions is a benefit, which means keeping the people who assist in some way with their software efforts is part of their business model. I won't go in to possible motives against Open Source in general, because I neither believe them nor do I believe there is much evidence to suggest it's likely ;)

Edited 2008-07-28 22:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

No one read what Meeks was saying
by jakesdad on Mon 28th Jul 2008 22:07 UTC
jakesdad
Member since:
2005-12-28

If they did they would have seen he said

"Meeks: Right, but I'm not against copyright assignment per se. I think having a foundation or some kind of trusted entity handle this is fine. The Free Software Foundation do this for example - and they demand a much stronger assignment."

So I'm confused as to what everyone is complaining about.

Reply Score: 4

Site Confusion.
by systyrant on Tue 29th Jul 2008 02:25 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

The only thing I don't like is that Novell does seem to go out of it's way to not let people know it's Novell's rebranded version of OpenOffice. It doesn't take much to figure it out, but the site should probably reflect that fact a little more and maybe it will in the future.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Site Confusion.
by calc on Fri 1st Aug 2008 00:09 UTC in reply to "Site Confusion."
calc Member since:
2005-07-06

The only thing I don't like is that Novell does seem to go out of it's way to not let people know it's Novell's rebranded version of OpenOffice. It doesn't take much to figure it out, but the site should probably reflect that fact a little more and maybe it will in the future.


It isn't just Novell's... It is a combination of pretty much every Linux distributions efforts. It just happens that Novell has more OpenOffice.org developers than most groups outside of Sun itself.

Reply Score: 1

Perspective
by elsewhere on Tue 29th Jul 2008 04:49 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

I suspect that if any criticism of Sun's management of OOo had come from a Red Hat or Canonical dev, people would be circling their carts against Sun. But since Michael is a Novell developers, clearly there must be an agenda against poor Sun.

It's not like this is new. There have been criticims of Sun's management of OOo for years now, as well as their past reticence towards incorporating changes into ODF that would cause difficulties for OOo, the "source" benchmark for the document format.

Novell is the second only to Sun as the largest contributor to OOo. They have 15+ developers working on it. Have been for years now. It's not like they're trying to swoop in out of the blue and steal the project, which is the way many people are making it out to be. And the Novell/SuSE criticisms of OOo management predate the Microsoft pact, for what it's worth.

And despite all that, it's not a fork, any more than the *buntu derivatives are forks of Ubuntu. The go-oo website even states that they encourage upstream contribution to the core project. Go-oo is simply OOo with a collection of patches and improvements to help make it a better product.

And more to the point, most of the people complaining are very likely using go-oo without realizing it anyways, since many of the larger linux distributions picked up on build-ooo rather than using Sun vanilla OOo. Think about that.

This issue is being blown way out of proportion, as most topics involving Novell seem to do. It gets a bit tiresome.

Reply Score: 4

ZFS for FreeBSD, Mac OS X, etc
by Kebabbert on Tue 29th Jul 2008 08:13 UTC
Kebabbert
Member since:
2007-07-27

DANIELDK,

"I guess you are referring to OpenSolaris? Of course, they have done it to avoid integration of Linux ZFS and DTrace in Linux. If a compatible license had been used, they would have lost two of their major selling points compared to Linux. That's competition. Sun is a company that has a responsibility to their shareholders, they can't just give away their competitive advantage."

I dont get it, do you accuse SUN of not wanting other OS to include ZFS or DTrace? How about QNX that has incorporated DTrace? You know that Mac OS X has Dtrace and ZFS as well? As FreeBSD has ZFS? etc?

If Linux can not include them, it's not SUN's problem. Do you mean that SUN should open their crown jewels on Linus Torvalds conditions, or not open at all? Quite Linux centric view? Why this Linux centric view?







And, it is quite fun that on page two in this thread, there are links that show that NOVELL also has that copyright statement for contributing code, just as what they accuse SUN for. :o)

Reply Score: 3

RE: ZFS for FreeBSD, Mac OS X, etc
by -oblio- on Wed 30th Jul 2008 07:58 UTC in reply to "ZFS for FreeBSD, Mac OS X, etc"
-oblio- Member since:
2008-05-27

This will be probably be accused of flamebait, but:
"I dont get it, do you accuse SUN of not wanting other OS to include ZFS or DTrace? How about QNX that has incorporated DTrace? You know that Mac OS X has Dtrace and ZFS as well? As FreeBSD has ZFS? etc?"

Solaris's only direct threat from the OSS world is Linux. The other threat, but non-OSS, is Windows Server. Solaris is a server operating system mostly (that's its main use, it can be used as a desktop system, but so can OpenBSD ;) ).
Mac OS, FreeBSD, QNX are not direct threats. Solaris does not target embedded systems. Furthermore, QNX already has Java, so Sun has a foothold there. Mac OS is not very used on servers - because it's tied to their hardware, whereas Solaris is no longer tied to Sun hardware. FreeBSD doesn't have the same level of commercial backing as Linux. I don't mean for development, because FreeBSD development is financed by Yahoo for example, but for deployment (and deployment does matter a lot).

Now you see why Solaris can't have the same license as Linux? ;)

Edited 2008-07-30 08:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1