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Michael Cowpland Resigns From Corel 138

Scowling writes "It's been confirmed now that Cowpland has resigned from Corel in order to pursue opportunities supporting Linux start-ups." What sort of support he can provide for them remains to be seen considering Corel's history of with Linux (Releasing Word Perfect:Good, Screwing Debian: Bad)
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Michael Cowpland Resigns From Corel

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  • by Master Bait ( 115103 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:14PM (#852933) Homepage Journal
    Hear hear!

    Maybe Cowpland left Corel to pursue Linux interests from his jail cell. Isn't he under a lot of heat for insider trading?

    Anyway, he's a nut. He made Corel happen in the first place, but he also caused their difficulties. I wish some good software company would buy them out.


  • My father is a lawyer, and he is addicted to WordPerfect for much the same reasons that the Engineering community is addicted to LaTeX. He has years of templates and experience using them, and his brain is now hardwired with WordPerfect key shortcuts. Not too mention the fact that, in many ways, WordPerfect is better suited to the creation of legal documents than say MS Word.

    Documents are a big deal to lawyers, and they want to get them exactly right. Their idea of exactly right is quite a bit different than most people's idea of exactly right. WordPerfect allows them to get their documents to look like they feel they should. I have no idea why their sense of document aesthetics is so weird, but I personally think that it has something to do with the funny sized paper they use.

  • "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate" Oh, that's nice. I've never heard that one before. That's a sweetie right there. I'm very impressed. I plan to borrow that one.
  • Is it just me or has everyone else missed the parallels between Corel today and Borland, circa Summer 1994?


    -- Both CEO's were flamboyant and had been accused of various, er, "hijinks" at Industry events.

    -- Both CEO's were renowned for their contempt of Chairman Bill.

    -- Both companies had recently made questionable purchases/acquisitions.

    -- Both companies were involved with stock related legistation.

    I mention this simply because Borland has managed to survive PK's departure. Yes, it's taken a while, but they have managed to eke out a decent reputation recently.

    Given that Corel has a tendency to hire better marketeers than Borland does and that the rest of senior management can now focus on running a good company, I suspect we'll see good things after a time.

    If history is any guide, I expect we'll see new versions of the suite in reasonably short order. I would guess within four to six months.

    Personally, I find Corel more credible than Borland was at the time (Delphi not withstanding).

    Their future depends, however, on the person tapped to succeed Mr. Cowpland.
  • Ummm.... In Slack, a .tgz is a package type. It is akin to Debian using .deb or Stampede's .pkg formats. RPMs are Red Hat's "thing". I myself don't like rpm either.

  • Maybe you should know that he's wanted for insider trading in Ontario. From the CBC []: Cowpland denied that his departure has anything to do with the insider-trading allegations. Cowpland has been charged by the Ontario Securities Commission with violating securities laws in the sale of $20.5 million worth of Corel stock in 1997. He has denied any wrongdoing. It's very common for bosses (or public figures generally) to resign just before being brought to justice. It's even more common for them to deny everything...
  • Word Perfect was the first word processor to automatically line-number documents, which are required for the legal profession.
  • WINE is a good thing... what I'm not sure about is "porting" WordPerfect 9 (aka WP 2000) to run on top of it. Let me catalog just some of its problems:
    • It crashes hard after opening 3 files with moderate formatting.
    • The TrueType font installer talks to your normal xfs and crashes it (on port 7100), instead of to Bitstream's font server (on port 7102).
    • The file selector, no matter what your CWD is, always opens in ~.
    • The window tries to take over the front of your desktop. You can't send it to back... it will even hide your dialogs from you.
    Frankly, for any real work I have to revert to WP8 (or WP9 under Windows): even though WP8 only knows about 4 fonts, it at least can open files and you can edit them. As it stands now, Abiword is a better word processor than WP9 on Linux, and I didn't pay $140 for Abiword.
  • That petition is wrong to begin with.

    You can't argue that Red hat Linux isn't Linux.

    You can argue, however, and on good grounds, that Linux isn't just Red Hat.

    Hence, the petition should say Linux is not Red Hat and not Red Hat is not Linux. There is a difference there, one that makes me wonder how people can support Red Hat is not Linux as that statement itself is obviously false.

  • I hate it when package management software bitches at you "PACKAGE X IS NOT INSTALLED" when in fact it is installed; you just compiled it by yourself instead...

    Yea...That is annoying, but at least you can tell it to force the install when you get a dependentcy error. What I hate worse is when RPM bitches that a file in the package conflicts with a file allready on the system, and the only option is to abort.


    That, IMO, is a really braindead way of handling file conflicts, what it should do instead is give you the choice of aborting the install, contunuing without replacing the file, and contunuing with replacing the file. Nice if it would also tell you which file is newer.

    MS Win already handles file conflicts this way (which, IMO, is a much more intelagent way of handling file conflicts), I don't see why package management systems under linux couldn't be improved to also handle file conflicts this way.

    BTW, I already know about telling RPM to replace files before starting an install, but, really, how many people do you know who have ESP? The improvment I descibed above certainly couldn't hurt, and, in fact, is quite benafical.
  • I suggest you think before _you_ post. I was saying if corel had bothered to contact any debian developer -- including me -- and shown us their system before it was released, we could have fixed their KDE problems in half an hour.
  • >trigger-finger-itching fence-sitters eh? I'd hate to see the Debian extremists

    In that light I guess I mistyped. The spirit of what I wanted to say was:
    * some people were immediately hostile even before Corel made mistakes
    * Some people couldn't WAIT to pounce on them like Tigger..
    * Some people are swayed by the Angry Mob Mentality... beat up on anyone who is down, even if they were being nice to you.

    That said - and I *hope* this was obvious, 99% of the Debian folks are not like that any more than Slashdot trolls who have infiltrated the moderation system, represent moderators as a whole :)

    I myself am very proud to run Debian. I suspect most Debian packagers are also proud that Corel selected their distribution as the foundation of a new distro. Lastly, #debian on has to be the MOST helpful Linux channel anywhere... (much better than #linux @ EFnet where I've seen ops tolerate other ops being downright rude to newbies, overzealous kick/banning etc.).
  • ... and then they worked it out.

    Seemed like an honest enough mistake to me. Certainly doesn't qualify as `screwing' Debian.

  • I believe he was involved in some tricky business issues regarding insider trading or something. I don't mean to sling mud but I don't think his resignment is dude to crimes against linux.
  • ...he's accepted a CEO position for an Amiga "comeback" company, using transmeta chips running the Linux kernel.

    By the hammer of Grabthar, I swear it to be true.

    Feel sorry for those people, though...death spirals suck.
  • You only just did this today? You are quite a few months late there budy.

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • Since it's apparently not newsworthy for the front page of /. (News for Rich Nerds, Stuff that Matters if You Own Stock in the Company), Corel has also very recently released Corel Linux 2 [], and CorelDRAW for Linux [] is available to be ordered now...($199 US) the best part of this, though, is that they're giving away Corel PhotoPaint [] for Linux.

    Look out, it's a 92M download, though!

    I hope Cowpland leaving doesn't mean they'll abandon their Linux efforts...I actually like (and bought) WordPerfect for Linux, it's far better than StarOffice, and seeing a good vector-based drawing program out there would be a wonderful thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Nerds the world over today mourned the resignation of Corel CEO Michael Cowpland.. but what they're really missing is wife Marlen's bizarre xposed dresses at Corel's annual product launch party!

    "Aw dang" said one LinuxWorld attendee, "I was soo looking forward to Mike yanking Marlen's gold plated chain!"

    "Goodie" said Pamela Anderson, "Now I can get a diamond-studded boob and not look out of place"

  • I just dumped all of my Corel stock today. Coincidence? I think not!

    I think you may end up regretting this move as many investors place most of the blame for current stock prices on Cowpland. I have no idea of the blame is warranted or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if stock prices were to rise dramatically because of this. As an investor who is holding on to his stocks, I eagerly anticipating it.
  • its quite interesting how everyone seems to flooding into Linux startups.
  • I must have missed it, but how did Corel "screw" Debian?

  • Actually, I think WordPerfect has a few larger markets as well - the legal profession still uses WP quite a bit.

    Not that I don't agree with you about the need for updating WP, just that they might take a lot longer to die than you might think at first, and have a better chance of a comeback.
  • This guy was the leader of corels effort for linux push. Im sad I was looking forward to buying software from corel. I wonder know how is it going to do with out the leader worse or better? Only time will tell.
  • A couple of weeks back I played in the finals of the biggest rugby tourney in the Western Hemisphere (near Lake Placid, NY) and one of the major sponsors was Corel. It was pretty cool playing in front of three tv networks and 3-4,000 spectators with the pitch lined with Corel/Tux banners. After we won (beating a team from Ottowa, no less) we were all got copies of Office 2000 as part of the prize package. It was cool trying to explain to my team-mates in my semi-concussed state what they were supposed to do with it.

  • You looked at MetaCreations' site lately? Take a gander at their Products the impression of a company on the ropes. They've sold off almost everything, and not just to Corel. Looks to me like they basically sold everything with any market value.
  • by Phexro ( 9814 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:26PM (#852958)
    would someone please explain how corel screwed debian?
  • dedicate his time and resources to new Linux ventures

    Another suit enters the fray. Does anyone think he's actually visionary? Methinks a good barometer would be to see how Corel fairs without him. If it prospers then when you see him walking toward you run!

    Vote [] Naked 2000
  • by ywwg ( 20925 )
    If by "released Wordperfect" you mean "cheated me out of 140$ by releasing a crappy pre-beta," then I guess they did release Wordperfect.

    Wordperfect 9 is unusable. Period. Dialog boxed appear behind main windows, or they flicker unendingly. It crashes, it's slow, it sucks. What a waste of money
  • As cruel as it sounds, Corel's stock price [] went up today on news Cowpland is out.
    I've been expecting this for a while. Corel has had many blunders in recent years. Word Perfect has pretty much lost the entire ground to MS Office, except the Linux version of course.
    Does anyone remember the attempt to produce a Java version of the Office Suite?? At the end it got shelved, what a waste of money and manpower. And then there was the merger with Borland that went up in flames [].
    That was probably the coup de grâce Corel. With sadness with my heart because of all the good things Michael did to Corel back in the early days, the company is better off without him.

  • I like the things Corel are doing, especially WINE support, but alot of the negative image of the company lately is derived from his personality at the helm in the Linux era at the end of 1999: frothing at the mouth at tradeshows, showing stock graphs of Corel versus RedHat, and his insider trading scandals following him. I like Corel as a company: they put out pretty good software at fairly reasonable price, sold their prior version numbers of software at steep discounts, and gave free software out to the business offices of most non-profit charities I was a part of. Cowpland, though, just isn't a good front man to represent the company at this time.
    I think Corel, after an initial jitter, will be better off without Cowpland right now. I hope that they can get someone with the right attitude and direction with some degree of star power to be the front man for the company as Linus is to Transmeta.

    "And the beast shall be made legion. Its numbers shall be increased a thousand thousand fold."
  • I'm still a newb when it comes to Linux. I've been using it now for about 5 months and I've been feeling really comfortable with it. No Windows, Just Linux. Now - the first distro I tried was Corel Linux, why? Working at a large retail store, the Corel rep gave me a CD - same as the web version. Tried it out and was like "wow - this is a lot easier to install than Redhat 5.2". Got frustrated with it though since it would not detect my sblive, and i NEED my mp3's while I'm trying to learn an app, OS, you name it. Then I began to get REALLY frustrated when I found out that every version of drivers for my SBlive were tested under Redhat and found out Corel was based on Debian. At that point immediately it left me with a bad taste of what Debian is - and I STILL haven't tried using Debian (since i'm quite satisfied how Mandrake is working). I just began assuming that the packages would not work right because I was using a non-Redhat based distro. Anyways - to end a long story short - Corel did leave me with a bad impression of Debian afterwards. Later i've learned there are other ways around this whole "RedHat" as a standard - thanks to a co-worker (avid linux user, programmer etc - just won't help me :) )... Hope this was somewhat enlightening.
  • Corel made some technical decisions to break compatability with Slink (if you were not careful).

    That is 100% pure slashdot bullshit.

    The ways Corel managed to produce broken debian packages that messed up upgrades from Corel Linux to Debian could have been fixed by any debian developer in about half an hour. Debian has ample infrastructure to allow people to do the kinds of things Corel needed to do; they neglected to learn about and use that infrastructure.
  • I know exactly what went on - I worked for the company for a time.

    Yes, they wanted to get rid of stuff. I'm just saying it from a "That's my baby" point of view. I'm sure the developers of software that got sold (I was working on other stuff) are totally down about how their software has basically disappeared from development because one company decided to sell it, and another decided to drop it.
  • The RedHat as a standard is good PR work by RedHat and laziness on the part of some software writers. Sign the petition [] if you don't like it.
  • Linkage: news/0-1005-200-331625.html? [] [] http://www.pcwor [] ml
  • First, it's a PR event to infuse (maybe) new blood and new dynamic into the management and direction of the company.

    Isn't it time for change? Come on, frankly, if you are an investor in the company, that is....

    Second, Cowpland can now start something new and bitch at M$ again, without having to respond to all those investors inquiry whether it's a nice thing to do that can add value to the company and to the investors' pocket.

  • by AT ( 21754 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:33PM (#852969)
    A lot of people are involved with Corel, and few of its failures are entirely Cowpland's fault. (It's always easy to pin crimes on a public figure, but that doesn't make them guilty!)

    Sorry, but Cowpland is/was the President and CEO of Corel, so he is responsible its failures. It is his responsibility to ensure the company makes the right decisions -- whether by him or someone accountable to him. The buck stops with him. If he has incompetent people working for him, it is duty to replace them.

    I don't know how Corel screwed Debian, they certainly contributed a lot to Wine and were responsive to licensing issues, but if Corel screwed up, Cowpland takes the heat in the end.
  • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:33PM (#852970) Homepage Journal

    Exactly, Corel is going to end up as a classic case of "too little, too late." Their waning marketshare on Windows is not going to save them. Outside the legal profession PerfectOffice users are about as likely to upgrade to MS Office as they are to buy the newest version of PerfectOffice. And on the Linux side there is little chance that they are going to be able to compete with the coming Gnome Office/StarOffice juggernaut. A component based Free Software office suite is going to clean up in the Linux sphere. It will be included with all of the distributions, and will become a critical part of the GNU/Linux infrastructure.

    That leaves Corel with some nice graphics programs, in a market that appears to be moving in Adobe's favor. I would be getting out too.

  • tanks fer heepin' me wit da spilling ting.
  • That's just too sick!
  • Some much of what I have read here talks as if Corel is dead. As far as I know they are far from dead. The release of CorelLinux 2 and Draw are prime examples. I think this is a media stunt to get investors more interested in them. They are cash strapped and perhaps investors will be more eager to throw some money their way if they had a new CEO. Maybe they have someone REALLY respected to take his place in the near future. Just a thought... Freedom Surfer
  • I can't recall whether or not Corel fixed this or not, but I believe that they changed the licensing or something when they released Corel Linux. But don't quote me on that.
  • umm... as far as your sblive goes, you can download the source from []. Most every new distro already comes with the module already there anyway. It's called emu10k1.

    Now, if you're talking about the horribly incompabtible binary "enhanced" driver Creative provides, then your Redhat argument carries some weight, but I don't think a kernel module that you compile yourself can be in any way related to Redhat.

  • Now that CorelDRAW for Linux is there - does anybody know if it is a native Linux app or just the good old Windows app running in Wine?
  • Because they have to pay for it.

    StarOffice and WordPerfect are free for download and use by private individuals, but last I checked, the same doesn't hold true for Applix.

    I actually think StarOffice is pretty good. Sure, it's large, but at least it isn't yet another wine-app like Corel and IBM (etc) seem content to push out.
  • It's yet another case of companies thinking they're writing Linux software by releasing kludged wine-ports. I've yet to see any real productivity app that works quickly and well using wine (no doubt someone will contradict me) - and they've always suffered the flickering dialog boxes and half-drawn widgets.

    I can see why they do it (development costs), but the end results are a tragic missed opportunity.

  • by Tet ( 2721 )
    The window tries to take over the front of your desktop. You can't send it to back...

    I logged this as a bug report for CorelDRAW beta 1 (CorelDRAW for Linux also uses WINE), and they had fixed it by beta 2. Has WP9 been officially released yet? If not, this will probably be fixed by the release date. If it *has* been released, maybe you should pester them for an update :-)

  • I hate it when package management software bitches at you "PACKAGE X IS NOT INSTALLED" when in fact it is installed; you just compiled it by yourself instead of installing a retarded package

    If that's how you feel, then why bother with using a package management system? You're the one that's trying to install a precompiled package. If you want the convenience of doing that, then why not create packages for the things you compile yourself, too. That way, the package management system still gets its dependencies right when you try and add extra packages.

  • Ahem. Not always. Remember a company called Symantec? In spite of a huge internal program to drive stock price up ("Moving Forward" or some other newspeak thing. Still got a t-shirt somewhere.) stock kept hovering around 11 or 14 dollar or something. CEO Gordon Eubanks resigns (Well, by that time I had resigned as well) and stock goes vooom. Looks like that was exactly what was everybody had been waiting for.
  • Ah I see, but why are .tgz's better than .rpms ?

    Oh and BTW Suse use .rpms as well.

  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:38PM (#852983)

    Us Canucks do owe Cowpland something for helping kickstart tech in Ottawa; He's been there a long time. That, and who can miss his enhancement of the landscape with plastic mates *cough* and italian cars.. :)

    I have to wonder though - what's corel doing now, anyhow? It seems like they haven't done anything interesting in a long time, and the more I think about it, they haven't done anything new in an even longer time! They drew a lot of attention to Linux, but if the company goes under, that could backfire too - "Linux can't compete" FUD.

    Corel Draw and Wordperfect are dead horses. Photoshop who? Office? Now the Gnome Foundation effort looks a lot more promising. Lots of people don't know the Wordperfect for Linux is a REALLY bad port of Wordperfect that has been around on Slowaris for a long time; My school had it on the sun boxes, right down to the horrible fonts. Gnome really needs a font manager like windows.

    Corel has some nice vector drawing packages, and I think they still do Ventura, but that's been old school for some time now. It's a pale shadow of what they used to be (I think Photoshop might have done them in; Adobe has always been a bigger threat to them than Microsoft ever was).

    There's more than enough Linux distributions already. From what I can tell, none of the for profit ones are making any money, either, but I could be wrong. Hardly a good thing to base a company model on. They did great work on Wine, but they're planning on use it to sell already obsolete non-native software.

    I don't really know what corel is going to do now, though. Support old software? Ick. I bet there's money to be made in selling their stock short though! :)

  • WINE rules, I just ran Bryce4 under WINE and it was almost flawless.
  • I'm not going to slag Cowpland for screwing Debian. I'm going to slag him for being a meglomaniac fool that rose far, far beyond his own personal level of incompetence. Self indulgent, greedy, vain, short sighted and dense are some of the more charitable things one can say about his character as a CEO. Not to mention his choice in spouse.
    Corel used to be a good company that made good products and satisfactory profits. That all ended some time ago. In the last five years, Cowpland turned the company into a laughingstock. They did manage occasionally to spit out some good software. That is probably when Cowpland is on vacation.

    Lest we all forget, the strategic direction of Corel for the last few years has been dictated by whatever subject was getting the most press on CNet. I can only imagine that the board finally rose off their collective knees when Cowpland floated a plan to create a Linux-Word Perfect-Napster style convergence for downloading MP3s.

    Fantastic business sense and industry experience? With those qualifications, Cowpland can now go on to claim his place in the Shareholder Value Destruction Derby. He will join John Akers, Bill Gates, Dr. Wang, Gil Amelio and John Scully on the starting line. Dr. Cowpland can go on to bigger and better things with the certain knowledge that during his watch, Corel never once missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
  • This is a rant, not really directed at this post.

    People around here myself included easily critisize and complain about decisions of people who run companies.

    Its easy, Hey you cant you see this is how to do it we say. Our perspective is from the trenches more or less.

    I just dont think its all clear cut up on the upper echelon of big business either. Interfacing with Clients and the public is a *talen* just like interfacing with a computer and writing programs is a *talent*. Things can get very lopsided when you forget the kind of pressure some of these kinds of decisions are made under.

    This is in NO WAY reffering to cowplands insider trading, just the supposed 'difficulties' hes caused it.

    When you have the general public going 'Doh!' and you dont listen thats when you are making a mistake that everyone can see. But its not always clear cut, its just not always this is right this is wrong, stuff thats wrong may seem righta t the time etc, I just say cut companies slack you cant just drop a really huge change on a company like OpenSource development and expect it to take instantly, businesses DO have stock holders and families to feed, they have to evaluate strategize and incorporate sometihng and that has long lasting ramnifications so..

    I say just cut some of these companies a lil slack some of the time they arent perfect.


    If you think education is expensive, try ignornace
  • Actually trading was stopped on CORL before the announcement. We'll see if the market likes the news tomorrow. I think it will. Cowpland has been a negative for Corel for years.
  • He was fighting with new ideas trying out new busness plans and hoping to find the neglected nitch.

    He would buy populare but dying software and try to breath life into it.
    He tried to find groundwork to proffit from open source software.

    His cutting edge busness plans cut to deep. Did to much damage. He didn't have the cool or the persona to stay strong.

    More over he did not fully understand the arenas he was entring. Doing battle with Microsoft in far to many fronts when Microsoft not only has the lead but the experence. Cowpland was outmached.

    I was hopping he'd come on top in the end. In his enept nature he showed us how to work with companys new to the whole open source arena.

    He was a path blazer.. maybe not the ideal canidate for the job. Not quite the stuff of RMS and Linus or even Henry Ford. But he had one thing in commen with them all... he had... and still has.. balls....
  • I don't thing Corel screwed Debian anymore than stormlinux,or the fine libranet version of Debian. It inhances Debian, more than anything. One thing Coerel can do is go to GNOME in their release. Then it may be half as good as libranet!
  • Correct me if I am wrong but doesnt stock usually *drop* when companies change helms? heh it would be rather telling if he is publicly thought of that badly.

    If you think education is expensive, try ignornace
  • helping out your wife with her fashion interests [].
  • by iamnotaclown ( 169747 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @03:21PM (#852992)
    Speaking as someone who has worked for Corel in the past, it's FANTASTIC that Cowpland finally resigned. He may be great at starting a business, but he's terrible at actually running one. Writing Wordperfect office from scratch in Java was his brainchild. Anyone remember that little gem? Most people don't know that Corel was writing an office suite for Windows from scratch in the year before they bought Wordperfect. (it was discarded after the Wordperfect purchase). Cowpland's habit of directing the company to work on ridiculously ambitious projects, then abandoning them when they become obviously stinky has cost them dearly, in both high employee turnover (particularly managers - 4 out of 5 in my area quit when WPforJava was canned) and in taking both talent and focus away from their core product lines (Draw! and Paint!). Some other examples of Corel side projects (from my personal Corel experience): Corel Family Tree (team of about 15 people) - project was sold to another company for a pittance when they finally clued in that the family tree software market wasn't exactly huge. Corel WEB.DATA (team of about 10) - wow, use your favourite Paradox database to generate dynamic web pages. (estimated 3 copies sold). Corel WEB.Forms (team of 5) - hey, let's ignore JetForm, also based in Ottawa, a company completely devoted to corporate form entry software, and write our own from scratch! Even better, let's tell our programmers to "just write something and develop it from there". Who needs market analysis? To be fair, Cowpland had nothing to do with this one, and the product manager responsible was subsequently sacked... But... Why did he have all this time on his hands in the first place?? Corel has pretended to be a database company (paradox), a web company (Corel Barista), an Office competitor (WP Suite), a video phone maker (CorelVIDEO!). And I almost forgot about Corel's first foray into hardware... At one point, everyone in the company had a CorelVIDEO box, a miniature video camera, and a 14" colour TV on their desk. 'Cause everyone needs a video phone! No one used them after the novelty wore off. Except of course, for the Pointy Haired Bosses who teleconferenced with the WordPerfect PHBs in Orem, Utah. Good riddance, Cowpland! Maybe Corel will be able to concentrate on making a decent product instead of flitting from buzzword to buzzword. Bahhhh...
  • If I remember correctly, Corel changed the license agreement by stating minors can't enter into a legal contract. Although the statement is redundant, at least in the U.S. (minors can't enter into legal contracts) the Slashdot legal scholars don't see it that way.
  • I'd disagree that it is a poor product. I've found annoyances caused by it's reliance on WINE (Anyone know how difficult it is to upgrade the included version?), but all in all I've been happy with the product. I've looked at it is realistically, version 1.0 of a very complex application. WordPerfect 8 and WordPerfect Office 2000 probably share around 0 code in the interface. If WINE could be upgraded ( Service Anyone?) then many bugs would probably dissappear.
  • Bruce and Micheal had a talk....
    It got fixed....

    They only oppsed on the beta... and Bruce and Taco kinda botched it too by being public about the whole deal...
    Most GPL violations are handled in private... this was one exeption...
    Apparently even Microsoft violated the GPL once and made good...
  • Their land sharks weren't as familiar with the GPL as they should have been, they put a standard boilerplate on the beta release, and got called on it, and best I remember fixed things right up.

    I can't believe people are still holding that against em. I've been called a GPL zealot over and over for my opinions here, and even I didn't think it was that big a deal.

  • the link on the main /. thread changed. Find it here: http://www.canoe.c a/MoneyNewsTechnology/aug15_cowplandquits.html []
  • Wordperfect contains a bunch of proprietary third party libraries and code. So GPLing it would require either release of that code or realeasing just WP and supplying the libs as binaries.

    Neither sounds very attractive does it?

  • ZDNet is running this article [] suggesting possible plans for Corel in the wake of this. It is shot and worth the read, but I will quote the final item from their list of possibilities:

    7. Go out of business, but leave a legacy. We know this isn't considered much of an option, but the facts are still grim. Corel doesn't have a lot of cash and competes against Microsoft, Adobe and Red Hat to name a few. Even if Corel gets its act together, it's going to be tough to build its market capitalization. If all fails -- and it might -- go out of business and open the code to all of Corel's software so anyone who wants it can still use it and modify it. There won't be a Corel, but there'll be a legacy.

  • Ummm .....he's founded both Mitel and Corel so I think he does know what he's doing when starting up a new company. Whether or not he's good at running them long-term, that's another question...
  • Why not use source RPMs when you want to mess with the code? That's what they're for. :)

  • This has been asked and answered about Corel Linux products a million times: it uses WineLib, so it's half way between native Linux and emulated Windows, basically. I personally find that the speed is great, I've had no problems with it.
  • Well considering the stock was halted most of the day before the announcement, I kinda have to wonder why the hell you did that. Before the halt Corel was up Tuesday, and they also announced the release of Draw for Linux and Corel Linux Second Edition. So I guess the only thing you've proved is that you're a moron....
  • You must be kidding. This woman is a skag.

  • I agree with you 100%. From down river here in Montreal Cowpland looks and acts like an idiot. And, being an idiot myself, I know from where I speak. Hopefully he'll leave the country and I'll never have to see his butt ugly wife in the papers again either. Feh!
  • by Jon Shaft ( 208648 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:56PM (#853006) Homepage Journal
    I must have missed it, but how did Corel "screw" Debian? /09/20/1051226.shtml []

    I beleive that should answer the question. They violated the license ...

  • by Fluffy the Cat ( 29157 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:59PM (#853007) Homepage
    Corel's package management tool was linked against both libqt (version 1, not 2) and libapt (Debian's package management library, and GPLed). This was construed as a breach of the GPL, but was sorted out after the maintainer of libapt gave permission for it to be used. As well as this, the beta agreement stated that further redistribution of the software (pretty much all GPLed, remember) was forbidden.

    I don't know, though. They sound like mistakes made by people who haven't really checked the GPL properly on one hand and an overzealous legal department on the other. Both were resolved fairly amicably, so I wouldn't call it "screwing" Debian.
  • I don't disagree that MC needed to go, but I'd like an explanation of the Debian remark. How is creating a distribution based upon Debian a negative thing. I figure that if anything it raised awareness of Debian. I sure would never have ventured out the the Red Hat camp had it not been for Corel's Linux distribution and I've been quite happy and successful using it.
  • by consumer ( 9588 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @02:19PM (#853009)
    Probably no one will give a satisfactory explanation of what Corel is accused of, or ask for their side of the story. Instead, Slashdot editors will make off-hand comments about it which will be accepted as truth by most readers without any further information. This is fairly typical.

    I do appreciate getting opinions from the editors, and I know they aren't striving for objectivity in any way, but it would be nice to have links to the old stories that explained these topics so that readers can decide for themselves if Corel is truly evil or not.
  • I read the link to the license agreement problems. Evidently my memory isn't that good. Disregard my previous post.
  • Any shareholders want to join me in a class action? Like Bob Dylan says "You gotta sue somebody".
  • NO there isn't but anybody who ran Corel for more than 2 months and Debian for longer can see it.
    One of the many good things in Debian is the way the system can be upgraded in place and the
    numbers and availabillity of mirrors.Also at any time a user can run stuff from unstable
    without screwing too much the system.
    Enter Corel Linux.-at any given time during Corel 1.0 and 1.1 any apt-get dist-upgrade
    would've remove the corel-kde monster leaving you with twm as WM-ugh.
    There is NO ftp,http upgrade from Corel 1.0 to 1.1 without downloading the whole ISO-ouch!
    What Corel screwed up in regard to Debian was the image that the users,mostly newbies with no clue whatsoever about Linux got about Debian.
    I can go on but that's enough.Let them die in peace.
  • If I read it right, investment types have long thought that Corel was poorly managed and unresponsive to them. It was the same with Apple until recently.

    Cowpland leaving looks like a good thing to me too. The company *is* very well positioned to be a commercial Linux software company, all the slagging comments here to the contrary. They have linux experience, talent, and code -- plus infrastructure/experience for big distribution and operations, and name recognition. Valuable assets still. But they haven't executed well, and, of course, there's no guarantee that they will. But the opportunity is still there if they can get their house back in order.
  • Add "doing a Netscape" to the English dictionary! I think it is a cool and clear term :-)

    (Definition: something like "giving the competition a major blow by opensourcing your software after it has become clear that you are on the edge of bankrupcy".)

    It's... It's...
  • ...but it may not be the answer they would like.

    Let them keep their graphics software for some profit, but open source Word Perfect. The filters are very very good IMHO and I'm sure all could benefit of it. It might do well in showing even more goodwill to the community? No?

  • by Sleepy ( 4551 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @03:45PM (#853016) Homepage
    There's some FUD about Corel these days, and the Slashdot/Linux community does not do it better when they abandon responsible journalism with slanted posts like "Corel screwed Debian". Back up your assertions, or shut up I say. Corel did not screw Debian -- screwing someone is deliberate and somethng I usually reserve for Microsoft (like they screwed Bristol, Spyglass, Citrix, Apple, Netscape and the regular user who doesn't understand they've been screwed...)

    It's safe to say that Debian more than any other distro, adheres to the "Free Software" philosophy. As such, there will be factions all over the map. Some do not want ANY commercialization of Debian and those fence-sitters have their fingers on the trigger itching for any company to make a mistake. Well, Corel made mistakes. Corel made mistakes with licensing, and Corel made some technical decisions that could be interpreted as mistakes (or arrogance). I do not think Corel has bad karma like say Microsoft or Sun, or we wouldn't see tremendous GIFTS such as WINE patches, free Corel Photopaint (amazing app!), and a staunch promotion of Linux knowing this can't turn them around overnight... and then some of us feel the need to spit in their face.

    These people are still working their asses off to mature a necessary part of the applications market knowing that they've got another painful amputation/layoff on the way. If Corel disappears tomorrow, I feel they have made a positive impact on Linux that is every bit as good as Red Hat's, even if they were clumsy at times.

    Corel made some technical decisions to break compatability with Slink (if you were not careful). What did that give them? It gave them a clear lead over anyone else in terms of usability from a Windows-convert point of view. Sure, it's all window dressing: the Printer Setup Wizard, Samba Wizard, the neat fonts, X-based dselect clone, the flash bootup and shutdown screens that look better than WIndows, and an installer my grandmother could sail through in 20 mins (it even handles booting NT correctly). This is all stuff you won't see as GPL'd Linux tools until 2001. I ran Corel 1.1 in the office, and 3 coworkers were so impressed they copied the CD. They've never run Linux before. Me, I run Debian Potato w/ some Woody, but if it weren't for the still-awful browser landscape in Linux I'm sure it could replace Windows for MOST people rather than some people. (Yeah, I know the browser stuff is getting better... Galeon w/ Gecko has motion blur these days it moves so fast).

    Leave the FUD to that computer illiterate guy at ABC News -- he'll be writing gardening advice in a few years ;)
  • Thanks for the reasoned response to the baseless charges against Corel. In light of Microsoft, Sun, &c, antics Corel's "screwing" of Dubious^WDebian was a friendly gesture.

    Now hiring experienced client- & server-side developers

  • by nconway ( 86640 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:06PM (#853022)
    I don't know how badly Copeland screwed Debian (I use it, and I've only heard this event referred to vaguely), but the one thing that puts Corel in a good light in my mind is their contribution to the WINE effort. Corel has been crucial in getting WINE to the state it is today (not perfect, but definately promising). Corel are definately not angels, and probably haven't been as nice to Free Software as IBM or SGI have, but Corel's extensive support of Linux was a very important factor in legitimizing Linux in the eyes of PHBs everywhere.
  • >>Corel made some technical decisions to break compatability with Slink (if you were not careful).

    >That is 100% pure slashdot bullshit. >>

    Really? How so? What, no facts to back yourself up? THAT is "Slashdot bullshit" my friend. :)

    One of the things Corel broke was KDE, because they heavily patched it with their own stuff. First of all, you imply Corel does NOT have the right to fork which everyone else seems to enjoy.

    Half an hour to fix, eh? Oh, I get it... half an hour for someone to MERGE IN Corel's proprietary enhancements to a desktop Debian does *not* even support? And do this in a "released" stable distro? Please. Think before you speak. Corel's not even in a position to demand Debian do this or that to allow a class of users (newbies) that the Linux community hasn't even decided if they should be ALLOWED to run Linux (yet we call them sheeple for running WIndows blindly).

    If not for the WINE contribs I might have also concluded Corel was playing "Bad Guy", but I think COrel is good. Corel will in my book rank up there with Hero Companies that made really nice gestures to Linux. They don't quite have the funding say Red Hat or Caldera has either...

    Most Corel users don't CARE about the internals... Corel probably picked Debian because it's simply the BEST distribution. This also means that Corel users will never even hit these upgrade to Debian problems I mentioned.

    Lastly, so I am not misinterpreted, I wholeheartedly support Debian -- the best quality, the best packages, and the best people, OK? I don't always reccomend it (depends on the user), but I use it myself whereever I use Linux.

  • Wow. This is big. Corel was his baby. Although, if we look at his history, he left mitel when it was in the dumps to start Corel. Corel soared. Now that Corel is in the dumps, he has jumped ship. Do you think the same will happen to the "Linux" company that he starts/joins?

    I would argue that it would be a "start" as he does not seem to like inheriting other peoples problems/companies!

  • when I owned some corel stock. Hopefully a stable, responsible, replacement CEO will get the company back in business and raise the stock value...
  • by Phrogman ( 80473 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @02:32PM (#853035) Homepage

    I know folks here on Slashdot will no doubt mailbomb me for saying so, but I have installed Corel Linux on a couple of machines and I have to say I was very pleased with both the install proceedure and the results. It installed flawlessly on my wife's Toshiba laptop as well. I have used various other distros from (RH, Mandrake (which is almost the same thing as RH in any case), Storm, Turbolinux, etc) and overall preferred either RH or Mandrake, but Corel was certainly a good distro to let someone who is new to Linux loose with.

    Of course, now I am playing with FreeBSD and loving the experience. I guess I am an OS junkie...(BeOS was fun too)

  • Corel screwed Xara years before they screwed Debian.
  • Click here for a picture of his wife. (See the second pic on the page.) []

    Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi!!!! Whoooooa! Pant-pant-pant-drool-drool-drool etc.

    (thanx TA for the link)

  • Because I don't quite grasp where it is that Debian is crawling away feeling particularly violated.

    There are several possibilities that come to mind as faintly plausible alternatives:

    • Corel Linux uses some pieces of KDE, and "Of course that is against all the principles Debian holds dear."

      Mind you, the KDE/Debian Packaging Project [] disproves that that is the case...

    • Corel Linux doesn't include all the development tools.

      ... And prevents you from adding them precisely how?

      I installed Corel Linux on a laptop and added in all sorts of development tools from "Debian most-modern."

    • Corel has released "evil, proprietary" software like WordPerfect, CorelDraw, and Paradox that run on top of Corel Linux, as well as atop Debian.

      ... And if you can see the "violation" in this, you should probably see this as being a "violation" of the FSF rather than of Debian...

    But none of these seem particularly convincing.

    Presumably the person that contributed the story can elaborate on this by augmenting such a list with a real and true violation of Debian that Corel is responsible for?

  • by Shaheen ( 313 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @04:57PM (#853043) Homepage
    They also screwed up MetaCreations' product line. They bought up almost all of MetaCreations' products, and now where are they? In development limbo. Dammit...
  • From the article:,
    Cowpland said he would dedicate his time and resources to new Linux ventures. Linux is an open source computer operating system which supporters claim is more reliable and flexible than Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT.O) Windows, which is a closed proprietary system.
  • by flikx ( 191915 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:08PM (#853046) Homepage Journal
    ... I've said it before, and I will say it again.

    Please test the KatzBot in tacohell [] ONLY.

    Thank you

  • by emufreak ( 83564 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:09PM (#853049) Homepage
    If anything, Corel increased Debian's popularity by allowing people unfamiliar with Linux to get started with it. Doesn't sound like "screwing Debian" to me.

    Personally, I use Slackware. There is nothing better than .tgz packages (and I'm not being sarcastic -- I hate it when package management software bitches at you "PACKAGE X IS NOT INSTALLED" when in fact it is installed; you just compiled it by yourself instead of installing a retarded package).
  • by Carey ( 2195 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2000 @01:10PM (#853050)
    IMHO, there is no future for WordPerfect/Corel Office on either the UNIX or Windows platform.

    Without open source code or a component model for developers, I don't see how they can progress with those products and expect support in marketplace.

    Competing against Microsoft Office and now against the GNOME foundation, they look to be left out in the cold.

    There are a lot of small offices and legacy applications built around WordPerfect functionality but I don't see a profitable business strategy there.

    Hopefully with Cowpland leaving, someone can step up and save Corel as a company even if they have to strip it down.

    Micheal Cowpland has done a lot of good for the high-tech industry in Ottawa and in Canada. I hope he can keep it going.
  • I don't know how feasible or even ideal this is, but I think that if Corel released their WordPerfect app (or the suite) to the public as GPL or MPL, I'm pretty sure that they would have a lot more support. Look at how much good press StarOffice has gotten since Sun announced that they were going to GPL it- and at this point, it's still technically vapor. (Yes, it looks great that they're doing that- but we don't have their source yet...)

    A lot of people seem to forget about the experience of using StarOffice. Not to slander Sun or StarDivision (the original owners, for those who don't remember), but StarOffice 5.1 was crap. It was bloated and buggy, and it committed greivous crimes against the entire idea of a Window Manager. It had some good importing features and some crappy ones- on a Celery300A, oc'ed to 450 (who doesn't do that to a 300A?) with 128 MB of RAM, it was still slow at times; it was especially so when I was using StarCalc and importing Excel97 spreadsheets. I would never recommend it to a business for real work. Gnumeric, in my experience, has had much better memory usage and import features (except for tables, charts, and graphs.... d'oh!) as long as GNOME was running.

    In any event, I wasn't too surprised to see this announcement- I just hope that Corel doesn't go under, because as others have noted, they have made some great contributions to the community. Sure, they were clumsy with the licensing issues at times, but they did contribute a LOT to both WINE *and* KDE. People forget that KDE benefitted a lot from Corel's intervention in some areas.
  • Well, its the windows version on top of wine all the way down to the binaries themselves. Quattro-pro "for linux" will run under windows if you just copy the files over.

    I agree that it is slow and unstable. Most of this is due to the alpha nature of wine itself. Even so, there is a huge service pack for wp02k for windows, but not one for linux. I'll be glad when wine gets closer to prime time and I can just run the windows version of wp on top of it.


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