2008-03-22 01:03:25

Novell emphasizes its position as Microsoft mole with OpenOffice.org

Novell, the Microsoft contract partner who recently bought the Gesellschaft für Software- und Systementwicklung (SuSE) and as such entered the marktet of commercial Linux distributors, has again emphasized its position as Microsoft mole in the Open Source Community – with OpenOffice.org.

Nowadays, most Linux distributions use the Novell build of OpenOffice.org for historic reasons. Originally, the OpenOffice.org community did not have the capabilities to offer an up-to-date build in a timely manner, so everyone fell back to the Novell build, which was usually very much up to date.

Nowadays, OpenOffice.org provides its own, very useful and stable build. However, most distributions did not adapt their packaging tools to this fact so far, and are still distributing the Novell build. Which – as it turns out – has some interesting fallacities. These are mostly bugs or build environment incompatibilities which cause the experience of running OpenOffice.org to be significantly impaired.

It is of course nevertheless a good question whether or not this is caused by a policy on behalf of Novell, or pure negligence of their build environment. Either way, it does not show a high value associated with the Open Source Community on behalf of Novell.


In the past, speculations about the questionable usefulness of Novell to the Open Source community had already been raised – especially in the question of the Mono-ization of Gnome. Also, concerns had been raised about partiality in the debate about OOXML, which is closely related to the Office debate since OpenOffice.org is the most popular implementor of the Open Document Format (ISO 26300) and as such in direct competition to the MS-Office-only newcomer standard OOXML.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, standards