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Most recent entries
Author: lakerdonald (1:27 pm)
In case anybody reads this anymore, the new URL is http://libervis.com/blogs/6/lakerdonald
Author: tbuitenh (9:42 am)
My weblog has moved, it can now be found here: http://www.libervis.com/blogs/3/tbuitenh
Author: charles (12:52 pm)
Dear and loyal readers,
you knew that my blog URL was: http://charles-blog.libervis.com .
This blogging platform has been changed although it is on the same site, because of several technical problems. Please change your links to:
My blog will still be available on that new blog. Just click on Old Blogs in the upper left part of the page.
Author: charles (10:54 am)
Following up the Microsoft announcement about their so-called new open file formats for office documents, I couldn't help but notice that Intel was part of the consortium backing the Microsoft initiative. Here's why it is suprizing at first glance: Intel was also part of the OpenDocument meeting in Armonk, New York, and it is also very close to contributing code to OpenOffice.org .
The rationale behind the decision of Intel to back Microsoft is clear if you consider that OpenOffice.org on both Windows and Linux does not account for more than 90% of machines running on Intel processors. At some point somebody at Microsoft may have called somebody else at Intel and asked who was their best buddy these days.
I hope though that the day we'll get to the point where OpenOffice.org on both Windows and Linux will reach 20% of the machines running on Intel processors, the CPU maker will consider a traditionnal and most welcome 20 - 80% approach with the FOSS community. This would mean that, just like the old marketing rule explains, 20% of your customers are more important to your business (for whatever reasons) than the 80% others.
So while I can forgive Intel's decision, I do not, of course, support it, and would like to know if they are still willing to support the OpenDocument Format.
Author: charles (11:57 am)
UPDATE: Here's the OpenOffice.org's official press release on the topic.
By announcing that its new format would be standardized, open, and XML based, Microsoft has also announced to the world that it had lost the initiative in the Office wars.
Microsoft latest move is the evidence that OpenOffice.org, and the OpenDocument Format are leading the way when it comes to innovation in the Office technology and the vendor-independant data formats. So thank you, Microsoft.
Thank you Microsoft? Actually, not that much. Whereas the validation of the MS Office next formats by the ECMA and the ISO remains to be seen, I'd like to point out that Microsoft did not choose the existing, state-of-the art open file format, OpenDocument. By choosing not to adopt OpenDocument and claiming for another standards, Microsoft has opened a WAR OF STANDARDS. A war of standards is exactly what Microsoft wants in order to stop, or try to stop the momentum behind OpenDocument.
Some may also object that these upcoming MS Office file formats are actually open. But it may not be the case if you consider these points:
-Microsoft truly opened its format, but did not open its former versions of the MS Office file formats.
-the openness of the file format has to be narrowed: open, according to Microsoft, is not open as in "open source" and the licensing scheme, IPR statements from Redmond are a progress but fall short of any comparison even with Sun's CDDL or BSD. Beside, Microsoft patented the XML technology used in its formats. What good is that?
-Microsoft, despite its claims, doesn't invite others and the community to work and decide collectively on the format specifications. Microsoft owns it anyway, and can change it overnight.
As for myself, I suggest that we keep pushing OpenDocument, no matter what Microsoft says and does. Let's keep an eye on Redmond, though. As time goes by, it may even release Windows under GPL...
Author: tbuitenh (10:56 am)
You can control who can access your data, but it is technically impossible to control what they do with it, including sharing it with others.
Author: Libervisco (8:49 pm)
This story asks a question: Is open source a bubble ready to burst?
It concludes in a rather positive light and I would agree that open source, that is Free Software investments aren't forming a "bubble ready to burst".
What article mentions as one of the most crucial things a Free Software business startup has to have is *community*. But it sounds like it's being put out as a requirement not existant in the proprietary business world, which is in my opinion actually a pretty silly presumption.
Even proprietary software businesses need sort of a community to form around their software; community of users, even if those are merely paying customers. It is their market. The only difference is that a proprietary software users community isn't and can't be so active as Free Software users community can be. Proprietary software users can't send in their own software code modifications and are usually much slower at submitting bug reports and any such feedback. It is a "we and them" approach where "we" is the software company and them are just "consumers". The "we" feeds "them" and there is generally no mingleing and no real cooperation between the two.
So, what the "community" is to a Free Software business is still actually a "market" that has to be won just as they'd need to win if they were a proprietary software company, only this "market" (the community) is more proactive, it wants and needs to have a say, it wonts to cooperate and it wants to have certain freedoms granted.
This kind of market, the market which we can call a community, not just "consumers" is what the market should have been in the first place. The "we and them" situation is corrupt as it assumes people should merely be consumers. Free Software business model changes that as it gives a face, voice and a tool to the people, the community, the Free Software market.
Author: skrye (7:41 pm)
Yet again, David Blunkett has managed to make a mockery of of his position in high office and the 'faith' Tony Blair has put in him. He has been forced to resign after completely disregarding ministerial rules by failing to consult with and gain the approval of the ministry before accepting a directorship in a DNA testing company. He said that it was an 'error in judgement' on his part, though I think he would have considered it less of a mis-judgement, if he had not been caught breaking the rules. This is the very same type of company, who's services he may be required to utilize, to verify if he is indeed the father of the child born to a woman he was having an illict and adulterous (on her part) affair with.
Tony Blair has spoken out against those calling for his sacking, and allowed him to resign gracefully, without any smears to his credits. There is no doubt in my mind that this has been to leave the door open for Blunkett to be re-appointed to another postion when the media frenzy has calmed down, and the tabloids have got their hooks into another scandel.
This whole mess come less than a year after David Blunkett was forced to resign as Home Secretary when he was caught personally approving and fast-tracking a Visa application for a woman who was to be the nanny of the above mentioned child. This was literally days after he had brought in tough new immigration laws. Several months later and he was re-instated as Works & Pension's secretary.......Can you see a pattern here?
Tony Blair should not have the kind of totalitarian powers he has to be lenient in these matters. Many other MP's would have been given the sack for half of the trouble Blunkett has caused. Also I think that the political avantages of having a blind person in high office have not gone unnoticed. (Talk about positive discrimination) I can understand being given a second chance, but for another scandel to happen ten months later just beggers belief. It forces me to question again, the ethics and democratic process in use in the highest levels of British government. A government that seems to be at the beck and call of a paranoid, muscle flexing, oil-grabbing, republican (totalitarian) US government and its devolved leader.
Author: charles (10:03 am)
Today I would like to explain something that is important to understand: the difference between OpenOffice.org (OOo) and the OpenDocument Format (ODF).
OpenOffice.org is the name of the international free and open source office suite project that was started by Sun and that has now grown to the success we know.
The OpenDocument Format is a document format specification that is both open and standard, and that has been developed by many parties (including mainly Sun and the community) on the basis of the OpenOffice.org native file format by a Technical Committee of the OASIS Consortium.
OpenOffice.org in its 2.0 version uses the OpenDocument Format as its default, native format, but we are not the only office suite to implement it: StarOffice, KOffice, TextMaker, Corel WordPerfect, Abiword, do implement or plan to implement the format in a near future and have even participated in the ODF development for some.
In this regard, it is now easy to understand that the OpenOffice.org project has a different focus and even a different population than the OpenDocument Format TC (Technical Committee) of the OASIS consortium, or for that matter, the OpenDocument Fellowship, a private, independent group portraying itself as "the OpenDocument community" but who is not endorsed neither by the OASIS Consortium, neither by the OpenOffice.org project itself (although they act as if they were) and who does not participate in the OpenDocument Format developement.
In this regard, it is also easy to understand that the OpenOffice.org project has almost nothing to gain from a potential OpenDocument Format alliance or foundation. The OpenOffice.org project is at best a leading force behind ODF, and we do fundamentally support this format, but we are not the "OpenDocument folks". After all, if Corel, KOffice or TextMaker implement the ODF by default, we are not the same software (some are and will remain proprietary) and we're essentially competitors on the same market.
All in all, the OpenDocument Format induces a technological revolution that I will attempt to write about in the near future, but it also does create the necessary conditions for a truly free market environment. In this free market, OpenOffice.org is for the moment the leader, and is actively competing against the others.
Signing the petition of the OpenDocument Fellowship asking Microsoft to implement the ODF is hence not a move that the OpenOffice.org project can endorse: we don't want a new competitor (or more exactly, we don't want a competitor gaining the same technology that differentiates us) and do not want to bring in Microsoft for a very simple reason: OpenOffice.org is not a pressure group designed to make MSOffice open source. And the OpenDocument Format won't make MSOffice any less close than it is now, for you can use ODF as an open standard in a proprietary software.
I hope to have clear up some misunderstandings.
Author: charles (11:32 am)