[odf-discuss] Fwd: W3C Lead on CDF says OpenDocument Fellowship
Position on CDF Makes No Sense
einfeldt at gmail.com
Fri Nov 16 11:57:19 EST 2007
On Nov 14, 2007 10:36 AM, Pamela Jones <pj at groklaw.net> wrote:
> My earlier email never appeared, so I'm trying again, shorter:
> You want folks like the OpenDocument Foundation to be able to do serious
> damage to ODT, and then the *rest* of us are supposed to pretend they
> didn't do it? If we notice and object, *that* causes "fragmentation"?
> Their course of action was the fragmentation, and we'd be fools to not
> notice or not care. Some things can't be undone. This is one of them.
I really cannot disagree with what Pamela is saying here. Eben Moglen, in
his "Be Very Afraid Tour" speach, linked below, does a really good job here
of describing what Pamela is saying above.
And yet, IMHO, it is important to remember that the upside of Novell's
contributions to FOSS are bigger than the very significant downside of the
Microsoft deal. Novell has been relatively good at supporting openSUSE,
GNOME, and Ximian, for starters. They have also gotten the trust of people
outside the FOSS movement for Linux. Examples are the San Francisco Board
of Education member whom I mentioned, and my conservative Republican father,
both of whom were impressed with the fact that Novell was able to force a
deal with Microsoft, who would much rather strangle Novell and be done with
And there is another point to consider here: who among here can raise their
hands and say that they use only gNewSense, which, along with Ututo-e, are
the only truly Free Software distros out there? It is true that the
difference between using, say, Ubuntu with non-Free packages as an
individual user, on the one hand, and making a Novell - type deal with
Microsoft on the other hand, is quite vast. But the point that I am making
is that our Free Software revolution is yet young, and we have a long road
ahead of us.
We are going to need a lot of allies if we are going to bring true
competition and freedom to the global desktop market. It's true that the
Novell - Microsoft deal raises a lot of problems as articulated by Pamela
Jones and Roy Schestowitz's "boycott Novell" site and Eben Moglen's "Be Very
Afraid Tour." So it is appropriate that we keep explaining to the press and
to Novell the reasons why we think the Novell - Microsoft deal was
problematic; and yet Miguel de Icaza and Novell continue to do some really
good things for FOSS, such as the very hilarious Novell ads spoofing the
Apple Mac vs PC commercials:
Those ads have generated well in excess of two million views, and presumably
not all of those views are clicks by FOSS fans. This is just one small
example of how Novell is helping us achieve what, arguably, is the most
important task ahead of us now: increasing the FOSS install base.
So I am asking that while we continue to remind Novell and the world about
those aspects of the Novell - Microsoft deal that we did not like, we
continue to exert our efforts to push Novell and GNOME toward support truly
open Free Software solutions. In order to do this, we will need to have
actual friendly relationships with Novell. Friends sometimes deeply
disappoint us, and yet, on balance, until they irretrievably cross the line,
we can still call them our friends. I am not convinced that Novell or
Miguel has crossed that line yet.
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