[odf-discuss] Response from a GNOME Foundation board director
pj at groklaw.net
Fri Nov 2 06:07:11 EDT 2007
Here are a few snips from another exhibit from the Comes v MS case, a
presentation titled "Effective Evangelism" by James Plamondon, Technical
Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Relations Group:
Mission Statement «Drive the success of Microsoft's platforms by
creating a critical mass of third-party software applications and
Platform Example: Win32
Win32 on Windows – Windows NT, Win32s, Windows 95
Win32 API on UNIX – Sun, WABI – Bristol, MainSoft
Win32 API on Mac – Visual C++ for Macintosh
Result: Win32 is the universal API – We win!
A sufficient mass of fissionable material to sustain a chain reaction»
Chain reaction – «A self-sustaining nuclear reaction yielding energy
that causes further reactions of the same kind.»
Result – Physics: Nuclear explosion – Evangelism: De facto standard
Not Microsoft or its competitors – First parties
Not our customers – Second parties
Other software vendors – Third parties
Why Not Do It All Ourselves?
Because we can't – There's just too much to be done
Because they won't let us – Lawyers 'R Us
Because third-parties are more efficient – in their respective markets
We help ISVs to help ourselves
But we really do help them
We fight for our ISV's – APIs, hooks, tool support – Design Reviews –
Strategies, timelines, etc – ...because we need their support for our
Too Many to Help
Can't help 'em all
We help those who can help us.
If they can't or won't help us – Screw 'em! – Help their competitors
Strategy of Sun Tzu
«Thus, the best military strategy is to attack the enemy's plans.
Next best is to disrupt his alliances.
The next best is to crush his army.
The worst policy is to attack his fortified cities. Attack cities only
when there is no alternative.»
Attack the Enemy's Plans
Do not attack directly – no debates, no white papers, no lawsuits
Do the unexpected; attack his assumptions
Example: Win32 API on Unix
Sun's plan – Implement Win32 on Unix (WABI) – Unix would run Windows
Assumption: MS would try to block WABI through legal action
Microsoft's response – Put Win32 on Unix ourselves
Through Bristol, Mainsoft, Locus, etc
They pay us a fee and a royalty
Don't sue; compete!
Disrupt The Enemy's Alliances
Alliances are weak
Circumstances change over time – Technology, personnel, regulation,
mergers Once-mutual interests, diverge – AppWare Foundation
Each ally schemes for advantage – And to minimize its costs
Example: OLE vs. OpenDoc The New Strategy
Allies – Apple, Novell, IBM
Strategy – Disrupt the alliance
Tactics – Reposition OpenDoc as an OLE dev. tool – Put OLE in the
pits Apple against IBM & Novell – Help Claris & WP support OLE in
Win95 pits part of an ally against itself
Ian Lynch wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-11-02 at 05:51 -0400, Jody Goldberg wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 11:00:14PM +0000, Ian Lynch wrote:
>>> To answer Marbux, I think that the Gnome issue is different from the
>>> profit making companies because the values of a not for profit
>>> organisation are not the same as for profit making company. Generally
>>> for profit companies exist for the benefit of their shareholder, not for
>>> profits exist for some noble cause. Its quite easy to see why Gnome's
>>> involvement with ECMA would be seen as different from Novell, Sun or
>>> Apple by the community.
>>> Again, think people, think emotions, think perception not technical
>>> details. This is about human and community relationships, not coding or
>>> legal analysis.
>> As an implementer I disagree with those priorities.
> They aren't priorities :-) Its interesting that you again rationalise
> something that is irrational by nature. The inability to understand the
> importance of the emotional dimension in human dealings is a good part
> of the reason why the Windows and Office mess has persisted for so long.
>> This is about technical details, not perception.
> Just saying it isn't going to change the outcomes. The fact is that
> people are emotional even if you think they shouldn't be. Organisations
> within the community are made up of emotional beings and are
> inextricable linked to their emotions. Digital freedom has the emotional
> power to make people devote their lives to it.
>> This is about writing the code necessary to get something done.
>> The gains from having better interoperability with MS (OOX and
>> binary formats) outweigh the miniscule political cost.
> You under-estimate the political cost because you are seeing it from
> your own political perspective. This discussion illustrates the fact
> that many people in the FOSS community are likely to see it differently.
> They might all be being irrational but in the end its the outcome that
>> As much as I
>> enjoy Gnumeric, the notion it is going to materially alter the
>> decisions by the national bodies in ISO the decision by ISO seems
> You seem to have missed the entire point. The political symbolism
> reaches far beyond Gnumeric. If it was just about Gnumeric and its take
> up I would agree with you, if Gnumeric disappeared tomorrow it would
> have no effect on my life as far as I can tell but if there is a very
> fine margin between getting ISO status and not for OOXML and MS are able
> to use any small amount of leverage from gaining FOSS credibility then
> there is a finite chance that its that that tips the balance. Then it
> affects everyone in the community, not just users of Gnumeric.
>> On the other hand it seems certain that there are already people who
>> will benefit from being able to use Gnumeric in place XL thanks to
>> improvements in our filters.
> And they couldn't do that for the next 6 months using XLS files exported
> from the relatively few people that use Office 2007? Doesn't seem very
> likely but then I don't know how good the Gnumeric XLS filters are so it
> might be true.
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