Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Sun Microsystems

Sun Offers To Relax OpenOffice.org License 196

An anonymous reader writes "This article at The Register says Sun has offered to relax licensing terms for contributers' code. "The moves should go some way towards muting criticism from the OpenOffice.org community that Sun was treating members as free labour and nothing else, and taking them at face value...""
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sun Offers To Relax OpenOffice.org License

Comments Filter:
  • Jesus, YANSFL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2002 @10:56PM (#4080780)
    yet another not so free license.

    A commercial company trying to use open source, like the contributor said, as a source for free labor.

    People, wake up. Strong copyleft licenses are the only way to go [gnu.org]. If the FSF has a problem with the license, you should too! The reasons are REAL!

    - Cdub

    • Make Free Software Free! Unrestricted licenses [bsdnewsletter.com] are the only way to go. The reasons are FREEDOM!
    • It is a (actually two) new assignment contracts.
  • by truth_revealed ( 593493 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @10:57PM (#4080785)
    Contrast that press release with this recent statement [com.com] by Bill Joy:

    Joy said the SCSL, which he helped develop to cover Java and several
    other Sun software technologies, "fixed the flaws in the open-source
    licensing"
    by providing a better foundation for profiting off the
    software. The SCSL permits others to see and modify source code,
    but gives Sun the authority to accept or reject those changes. Sun
    also has the authority to charge royalties to companies shipping
    products using the software.
    • Bill Joy is an open source god (BSD). Have some respect. Don't make him out to be a big meanie who has never helped anyone.
      • by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @12:31AM (#4081100)
        I suspect the reason that BSD is open source is more the enlightened policies (at the time) of Berkeley towards software developed at the university than Bill Joy's influence. Keep in mind that Sun has built a huge company around taking Berkeley UNIX and turning it into a proprietary OS.
        • I would very much disagree. Sun has built a huge company from designing and manufacturing (well, more outsourcing on the low end stuff nowadays) hardware.

          I imagine Solaris/SunOS was a bit of an afterthought in the early days.
        • So why did they switch from BSD to SVR4 in SunOS 5/Solaris?
          • Because a very large sale to AT&T was contingent on it? At the same time they announced they planned to switch they announced AT&T had signed a partnership agreement and select Sun as a preferred provider.
            • Not at all true. Bill Joy is on record as saying that System V was the more mature and scalable branch of Unix at that time, as BSD had fallen fairly badly behind, and in particular, the internals of BSD were not up to doing the large-scale multiprocessing that Sun had in its sights.

              To a large degree, this is still true: although both have improved tremendously recently (to the point where they no longer totally embarass themselves), niether BSD nor Linux are capable of serious SMP scaling. Solaris, onthe other hand, scales darn near linearly with processor count for threaded apps.

              BSD today is hardly comparable with BSD then, but Solaris is still in a class of its own w.r.t. SMP scalability. Of course, Moore's law makes such scalability less important all the time, except for the really high-end stuff...
    • Let's hear it for out of context quotes! They are the key to true insight.
      (not bashing the parent post at all, just wish the author of article had included the full sentence).

      Anyone got the original sentence that quote came from? The fact that it says "fixed the flaws in the open source licencing" rather than "fixed the flaws in open source licencing" suggest to me there is more to that sentence...
    • SCSL permits others to see and modify source code, but gives Sun the authority to accept or reject those changes.

      Strange. Anybody can maintain their own source code branch, and accept or reject any changes from anybody in the tree he maintains. Do we now need a license for it? Why Sun needed this license?

      • "Strange. Anybody can maintain their own source code branch, and accept or reject any changes from anybody in the tree he maintains. Do we now need a license for it? Why Sun needed this license?"

        Sun's point is that they want to be in control not only of what's in the source but also in control of forking. That's why they [think] they need this license.

        They fear that something like Microsoft's Java will happen again, where some company just decides that they will develop the code in another direction, not compatible with their own. While the new code might be better (like in the case of Microsoft's Java, back in those days), it will mean that the term "Java" would no longer mean just one thing but rather that there would be MS-Java, Sun-Java, IBM-Java, HP-Java, etc.
        • The problem with MS code base for Java as not that is was better or worse than Suns implementation but that it was tightly tied towards the MS platform so that it would not run on any other platform.

          Sun never had any problems with IBM versions - even though some thought they were better than Suns - since IBM made sure it conformed to the Java specifications.

          What Suns wants to prevent is that Micosoft takes OpenOffice change the document format to a propriatory one and sell it as MS Word 2005.

          • What Suns wants to prevent is that Micosoft takes OpenOffice change the document format to a propriatory one and sell it as MS Word 2005.

            This is what the GPL prevents, you sell modified GPLed software you have to provide the code. They cannot hide thier propritary formats that way. Also, if they are using openoffice for thier star office whats to prevent MS from using openoffice?

            Sun must know this, they are just control freaks. They are making source code available to the public, while holding thier nose. Suns corperate culture still does not embrace real open source

            pitty, because they could really put the hurt on MS if they could get past thier control freakishness.

        • While the new code might be better (like in the case of Microsoft's Java, back in those days), it will mean that the term "Java" would no longer mean just one thing

          The source code license on Sun's implementation of the Java(TM) platform has nothing to do with rights to use the Java Compatible(TM) mark, which are covered under a separate trademark license agreement.

    • What Bill Joy *really* thinks...

      http://monkey.org/geeks/archive/9911/msg00006.ht mlEntitled

      "Free means FREE GODDAMMIT! (the GPL is EVIL)" Mr. Joy eloquently presented his opinion on the Free Software licensing debate which has raged through engineering circles ever since East Coast programmer and Free Software advocate Richard Stallman hired several copyright attorneys to develop his so-called "CopyLeft" General Public License. Here is an excerpt:
      Free means
      FREE GODDAMMIT! (the GPL is EVIL) I sit here at my terminal coding a storm in my vi, a malloc() for some array, while strncpy() bounds a check, but inside I seethe -- inside I rumble, at all the lines locked up, and the derived headers claimed with glee, for I know the caged free() consumed by the GPL! Free means FREE GODDAMMIT, it means I take and offer as I please, it doesn't mean to taint my work, just because I swiped some header, or one little readline, it's the state of being FREE, as opposed to the state of being NOT FREE! Don't you understand RMS, the GPL is EVIL!, it's a blight of a free license, and a virus to behold, consuming all code afterwards, in an atomic chain reaction, like red tide spread across our ocean, all our oysters now inedible! Free coders far and wide, listen to my swan-song by the sea, for while Solaris kicks BSD's ass, and my SCSL is a sight to see, at least BSD and MIT leave code FREE, unlike that UNAMERICAN red GPL crap, with it RMS will suck you dry, Because Free means FREE GODDAMMIT! and The GPL is EVIL!
      When asked for comment Richard Stallman had only this to say,"Wow, Bill is a terrible poet!"
    • http://www.upsidetoday.com/texis/mvm/richard_brand t?id=380f8e2b0

      I am a professor of finance at Troy State University in Troy, Ala. I am intrigued by your articles on Sun's half-hearted and potentially deceptive acceptance of the open source model. Here is a fable you might find amusing. It is cited by the U. S. Tax Court in a case I have long since forgotten, but which had to do with the intent to form a partnership. The fable was originally reported in a Roman civil case, over 1,000 years ago. The lion approached the wolf and the fox, and suggested that they form a partnership for the purpose of hunting game. The lion explained that each had particular talents that would lend themselves to such a partnership. The fox was wily and could trick the quarry into the open; and the wolf was swift of foot, so that he could direct the quarry to where the lion lay in wait to complete the kill. After some discussion, the wolf and the fox agreed to enter into a partnership with the lion. All went as planned and a deer was killed, but when the wolf and the fox tried to share in the kill, the lion challenged them. They stood by, helplessly, and watched the lion devour the entire carcass. Afterward, they asked the lion why he had only left them a few scraps. The lion replied, "All I took was the lion's share."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:00PM (#4080793)
    Just make this your new homepage: The Register [theregister.co.uk] Slashdot: News for Nerds found on the Register.
    • Yeah, but The Register doesn't have comment boards for the rabid hordes of zealots to make themselves heard.
      • Hey, I'm sure VA Software is looking to make a quick buck -- maybe they could sell Slasdot to the Reg. :) My karma-whoring* would be so much more fun with a vulture lording it over every comment...

        * Just kidding.


    • > Just make this your new homepage: The Register [theregister.co.uk]

      Yeah, but Slashdot is still handy for when you get behind on your reading and miss the story when it comes out on The Register.

      And on Slashdot you get two chances to catch it.

    • Re:Save some trouble (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think it's good journalism to acknowledge your sources, unless there is a good reason to keep them secret. It should be encouraged and rewarded here as well as at the register.

      It's good seeing discussion about the issues here, you don't get that at the register.
    • comentary for the stories. That is, after all, the point of Slashdot. Of course Slashdot is late with the news, to become a Slashdot story it is *required* that it appear somewhere else first. Slashdot, by design, only points to stories. If there is a single source that tends to be first with the news interesting to Slashdot readers it's only natural that a large percentage of such readers will go there for news.

      Then they come here to *comment* on it, and to read, and perhaps ridicule, the comments of others.

      If all you want are the facts, ma'am, this isn't the ideal place.

      KFG
  • smart move sun. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dcstimm ( 556797 )
    I was reading a article on newsforge on how sun is currently using redhat for their "Sun Distro" they just rebranded it.. I wonder if Sun will be offering OpenOffice or StarOffice for their box set distro. only time will tell Lets just hope next time I compile openoffice 1.0.1 it wont take 5 hours and 4gb disk space.
    • RedHat's latest sparc port is 6.2. Yeah 6.2
      Since we have more and more suns running linux, we decided to switch to Debian (which is more lightweight anyway) for all our servers, including the x86 ones.
      If RedHat ported 7.3 to sparc, all the better, but Debian's commitment to sparc seems a tad more serious than RedHat's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:07PM (#4080816)
    1) company looks at the GPL
    2) company thinks it should create a different license
    3) company receives criticism
    4) company updates license
    5) (repeat steps 3-4)
    6) finally, company license is like the GPL but with a different name.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:11PM (#4080835)
      1) company looks at the GPL
      2) company thinks it should create a different license
      3) company receives criticism
      4) company updates license
      5) (repeat steps 3-4)
      6) finally, company license is like the GPL but with a different name.

      might as well get this over with...

      7) ????
      8) Profit!

    • 6) finally, company license is like the GPL but with a different name.

      It is not like the GPL by a long shot.
      Under the GPL no other party may sell your contribution (beyond, say, a reasonable price for the media it is distributed on).
      If I interpret Sun's new agreement correctly, under the JCA [openoffice.org] any contribution to OpenOffice.org is still owned (actually now jointly owned) by Sun.
      Basically this agreement suggests that only Sun - not a contributor or any other company - can profit from OpenOffice with the work of all third party contributors since Sun alone either owns or jointly owns all the OpenOffice code AND every contributors' contribution.
      If the contributor is fine with Sun (and only Sun) making money off the contributor's work, then there is no problem.
      Yes, the end result may be that people may be able to use OpenOffice for no cost, but the GPL it clearly ain't.
      • "Under the GPL no other party may sell your contribution (beyond, say, a reasonable price for the media it is distributed on)."

        References, please. AFAIK, if I want to resell a GPL'ed piece of software for $ 100.000,00 I am free to do so.

        • References, please. AFAIK, if I want to resell a GPL'ed piece of software for $ 100.000,00 I am free to do so.

          Please see section 3b of the GPL, and then re-read sections 1 and 2. I guess the phrase "for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution" is up to interpretation. There are obviously many Linux distributions (for example) that include GPL code that sell for considerably more than the cost of physically performing source distribution. Perhaps they are charging for proprietary packages on the same medium as the GPL code? I've never really understood that. AFAIK this has never been challenged in court either, so you may be right.
          • "for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution"
            If one has already gotten the binaries of a GPLed programm, then, and only then, he must be able to get the sources for the cost of distribution only. Nothing stops me from selling the binaries for 100000$ in the first place, as long as the source is then for (nearly) free.
            • Well, if *anyone* has been given the binaries, then *eveyone* has the right to the source.
              • Well, if *anyone* has been given the binaries, then *eveyone* has the right to the source.

                No, just the people who get the binaries have the right to the source code from the author.

                The people who have the binaries have the right to redistribute the source as they see fit, but if none of them exercise that right (Let's say they're all Sun employees/contractors/partners who don't want to lose their jobs/contracts) then no one else has a right to that code.

                IANAL, but copyleft licenses are a hobby of mine. (look at the homepage, or http://www.thefga.org/ )
          • Section 1 says you can charge for copying and support. It sets no limits to these charges.

            Section 2b prevents you from charging a licensing fee - so you can't stop others from distributing derived code.

            Please re-read section 3 and section 3b. You cannot charge for supplying the source code, except for reasonable fees. The binaries you can charge whatever you can get for.

  • OpenOffice is the most important application in Open Source. Its importance is no less than that of the Linux kernel, and it should have a community as large. Yet, in the entire existence of the OpenOffice project, about 100 people have signed a copyright assignment agreement with Sun, and most of them did it for porting work or documentation, not new feature development.

    There are still structural problems that keep the project from working. It doesn't yet offer a fair quid-pro-quo for the developers, and this is underscored by Sun's recent actions on MacOS - they forked their own project without a word to their community. Sun promised to transfer the code base to an OpenOffice.org foundation and backed out. They have made no covenant to keep the project free as long as they develop it. So, why would someone on the outside want to invest the huge time (possibly close to a year) to ramp up on that project to the point that they can make a contribution? They'll spend that time on GNOME, KDE, or something equally complex where there's a more fair proposition for the outside developers.

    I was at the OpenOffice BOF last night. There were about a dozen people. Many of them were not programmers. Imagine a Bof with Linus - how big would that have been? The OO BOF should be no smaller. This was embarassing.

    Sun spent a lot of money on StarOffice, but they must realize that the value of this product isn't its revenue capture, it's an MS Office killer. They must now do what's necessary to make a real community work for OpenOffice. Yesterday's announcement is only a baby step in that direction.

    Thanks

    Bruce


    • OpenOffice is the most important application in Open Source. Its importance is no less than that of the Linux kernel, and it should have a community as large.

      No disrespect intened, Bruce, but, are you serious? Can you explain this? I can't imagine most people agreeing with this, especially those people, like me, who don't find OO useful (LaTeX and Emacs are two incedibly powerful and amazing applications).
      • Sure, no problem.

        Look at all of the bad legal stuff going on in Washington and elsewhere. If we want to have the freedom to code the way we like, we are going to need lots of friends. Users, vendors with money, companies that use us instead of Windows, governments, and so on. OpenOffice is for them, not you. They won't ever be Emacs users, their brains don't work that way, and they don't want their brains to work that way. We don't have to do anything to make you happy any longer, you're already there. They need OpenOffice, and easy installation and management, which are less of a problem than the office suite.

        Does that make sense?

        Thanks

        Bruce

        • I understand your point. I wasn't suggesting that Emacs and/or LaTeX be used in the mainstream. However, I don't think it's a bad thing if certain OSS is used by only a minority of us. Just... why Open Office in particular? If the (what I consider) more serious threats are dealt with (bogus software patents, U.S. federal laws being written by large corporations) so that we can code and use whatever free software we want, I don't think it will matter if almost everyone still uses MS Office. I just see OSS as being a minority culture that will do just fine if the majority culture doesn't get in the way. I now see how OO can help with this, but I just didn't think this particular app would have that effect. Anyway, I do appreciate all you've done, and especially what you're going to do in the future. Keep up the good work. Your fan.
          • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot&hackish,org> on Friday August 16, 2002 @12:54AM (#4081160)
            I think Bruce's point is that if something like OO is finished (along with easier installation and configuration for Linux), and that results in lots of people (especially companies) switching to a Free/Open platform, we'll be in a lot stronger position to deal with those threats, since we'll have more powerful friends. It might be harder to do that if Free/OSS culture remains just a fairly small minority culture, while everyone important/influential uses WinXP/MSOffice and doesn't really care what we have to think.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        And both (LaTeX and Emacs) have shown absolutely no interest in becoming mass-market cross-platform applications, unlike Open Office. Because of this people use MS Office, on the MS platform, support MS-only formats, and MS-only drivers, and surrounding 'limpet' software that only has to run on MS Windows. Even Linus agrees that most people don't care about the kernel, most people just use applications. What applications do most people need at the least? Email / Browser / Office. It has nothing to do with hate of microsoft, it has to do with cross-platform and an appreciation of not being locked in. Sun keeps screwing around with OpenOffice, they just can't seem to make their minds up.

        ps. LaTeX doesn't have to be destroyed to be mass market. You could have a beautiful and usable interface like this [conglomerate.org], but every version I have seen of it I wouldn't doesn't have a good interface. The software is good, it's excellent, but no one will ever get to see it when it's cloaked behind something so unfriendly. A usable and pretty high-level XML word-processer is the killer app.

        -- Not Bruce (sorry kids!)

        • by foobar104 ( 206452 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:56PM (#4080993) Journal
          A usable and pretty high-level XML word-processer is the killer app.

          Lately one of my core responsibilities at my job has been taking documentation from another company, which came to us as part of an acquisition of one of the other company's business units, and revising and reformatting it for publication. To do this I have to do simple things, like replace certain trademarks with other trademarks, but also some complex things. For instance, the company that sold us the software and IP produced their documents on an odd-sized sheet of paper, about 10" square. Our corporate style calls for a different size page, along with different typesetting and layout and whatnot. Converting 2,000 pages of documentation this way is not a trivial task.

          So I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about word processors, and page layout apps. The other company did everything with FrameMaker on UNIX. Since it's not 1991 any more, we do things with Adobe InCopy, for galley production, and InDesign, for pagination. Getting the documents from one format to another is a tedious process.

          My boss's boss wanted to know why we didn't just do everything in MS Word, so documents could be emailed around the company using that "track changes" feature. We had to explain the difference between formatted documents, like what Word products, and structured documents, like you get out of FrameMaker or InCopy.

          After that little run-in, I think an XML-based word processor would be a terrible idea. People who use word processors aren't looking to create structured documents. They just want to bang out a memo, or a fax cover sheet, or a letter to grandma. Forcing those users to work in a structured environment would be murder, and would result in a terrible user experience.

          On the other hand, I think there's a place in certain environments-- like mine, for instance-- for a structured document processor. Such a program would have only the most basic formatting features, like the ability to italicize text. It would also be able to import style sheets and apply paragraph-level styles to parts of the document, structuring it implicitly. I've managed to turn Microsoft Word into that kind of tool by setting up my own document template and style sheet, so the suits at the C-level can create documents that we can bring into InDesign. But the best tool for this that I've found so far is really InCopy.

          I know I'm rambling, but my point is simply to say that formatted documents and structured documents are very different things, and a tool for producing one doesn't automatically equate into a tool for producing the other. An XML word processor might end up being a very poor word processor indeed.
          • An XML word processor might end up being a very poor word processor indeed.

            If the architects of the new file format do their job well, the structure will be transparent to end users who don't know or care about it.

            Given a person who uses the word processor simply as a point and click "make this italic and that green" type editor, the software should be able to adapt the structure to accomodate this. The file itself will be messy with structural overhead for each whim of the user, but it will still be a correct and interchangable file.

            A person who wants to carefully lay out the content and design a separate stylesheet should be able to do that, too. The resulting file will be cleaner but still correct and interchangable.

            Let's just hope that the people developing the new file format have learned from history and will make something that is useful and flexible without being a kludge. Good document formats have been designed already; it is mainly a matter of taking the best ideas and reimplementing them.
          • After that little run-in, I think an XML-based word processor would be a terrible idea. People who use word processors aren't looking to create structured documents. They just want to bang out a memo, or a fax cover sheet, or a letter to grandma. Forcing those users to work in a structured environment would be murder, and would result in a terrible user experience.

            I don't agree. It does not have to be any harder to define structure and then let the look be defined by a style sheet applied to that structure than it is to arbitrarily define the style without any structure. Which is harder for your secretary: selecting some text and choosing "headline" or selecing the text and choosing "bold", "Garamond", "18 Point", and "Center" (and maybe "blue" because she things it looks nice) in succession? And of course every other secretary is choosing different fonts, sizes, styles.

            And while fax cover sheets don't need to be structured it would probably be a good idea if memos were structured. Which is easier when you are looking for that policy clarification from your boss: crossindexing all the "Memo" documents on the server by "subject" and "author" or looking through a folder filled with undifferentiated .doc files and hoping the file name was something more informative than "memo"? (or God forbid, searching through all the papers in your file cabinet?)

            And of course MS Office not just used for memo's it is regularly used for longer documents that are just crying out to benefit from a defined structure.

            , but my point is simply to say that formatted documents and structured documents are very different things,

            Again, I disagree. Documents DO have a structure (memo's for instance generally have lines dedicated to "subject" "from" "to" etc.) It's just nobody has bothered to define that structure in a way the computer can access. There are obvious advantages to making that structure explicit rather than implicitly defined it by visual formatting (for instance my example above of searching through memos by subject and author). Furthermore a structured document can also be a formatted.

            Finally the situation you described is exactly WHY structured documents with formatting independently applied to them is vastly superior to simply formatted documents. If the original documents had been done in an open format defining structure and the strange 10"x10" layout defined by a style sheet. Then all you would have to do is take the XML and apply your new style sheet. No tedious file conversions. Imagine how much MORE tedious it would be to have to go through the new subsidiaries old memo's in .doc format to find just the ones with a particular type of information (say memos related to a particular product) and then convert them to use with another word processor, or to be put in a searchable database, or converted to html for use on the intranet. All tedious jobs with a propriety format that only defines visual formatting, all easy jobs with an open format that defines structure.
      • by foobar104 ( 206452 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:43PM (#4080950) Journal
        I don't want to put words in Bruce's mouth, but I'm sure he was trying to say that the road to open source respectability lies through a quality suite of productivity applications. The business world runs on Microsoft Office-- for better or for worse-- and as long as no such software is available on other platforms, those platforms will be unable to penetrate into corporate IT. If the goal is to create a platform that is adopted by a significant fraction of the computer market, an office productivity suite is the only way to get there.

        Of course, if I'm misinterpreting Bruce's comments, he'll be on here in about three seconds correcting me.
        • We were editing our posts at the same time. Yours is correct, and there's one more thing to consider. Isn't it in our interest to kill an MS cash cow? They are too darned powerful for comfort.

          Bruce

          • by foobar104 ( 206452 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @12:06AM (#4081020) Journal
            Isn't it in our interest to kill an MS cash cow? They are too darned powerful for comfort.

            I personally try to stay away from anti-Microsoft agendas, no matter what their motivation. I'm just a little concerned about the effect of a power vacuum. If Microsoft were to vanish tomorrow (or partially vanish, say from the office software market), how sure are you that what would rise up to take its place would be better than the status quo? I'm not saying you should or shouldn't act in a certain way; I'm just explaining my opinion on the subject.

            But look at it from a different perspective: MS Office, for all its market penetration, is pretty dreadful software. It's complex and inconsistent, and I frequently find myself struggling to get work done in spite of it. There's a lot of room for improvement in office software, and there are a lot of users who would benefit from it. Of course, that means there are also a lot of people who will form a negative impression if the alternative product-- whatever it happens to be-- should stumble.

            I think you and I are saying the same thing, only for different reasons. Which is fine by me.
            • This type of thing screams 'AppleScript!' take a look over at Apple's Site [apple.com]
              It's a high-level, object-oriented, event-driven, event-driving scripting language that should be able to automate what you're trying to do. Most AppleScripters consider it Apple's secret weapon.

            • If Microsoft were to vanish tomorrow (or partially vanish, say from the office software market), how sure are you that what would rise up to take its place would be better than the status quo?

              There's nothing wrong with not preaching the same anti-MS rhetoric that everyone else here dribbles. In fact, it's kind of refreshing. But the idea of refusing to remove a menace for fear of what might replace it is pretty asinine logic.

              MS Office, for all its market penetration, is pretty dreadful software. [...] I frequently find myself struggling to get work done in spite of it.

              I'd say Office is probably one of the few things that MS has actually done right. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than any other comparably featured office suite out there. Why else is MS able to charge whatever price they want for it? Hint: it's not the file formats anymore. There are open source file converters for Word and Excel, yet the world still chooses to run Office.
              • But the idea of refusing to remove a menace for fear of what might replace it is pretty asinine logic.

                No, it isn't. It's a very mature and well-established idea embodied in the old saw, "Let sleeping dogs lie." Nature abhors a vacuum, and a political ecosystem abhors a power vacuum. Summarily eradicating one evil can quite easily lead to the eruption of an even worse one. Consider Russia. The revolutionists got rid of the Tsars, but an even worse regime rose up to take their place. There's a lesson in that.
          • [hippie_stereotype] Woa... like, bad karma man... ;)

            I can see the temptation to look at the issue in this manner. After all, cash income is lifeblood to a corporation. It is power. Begin to staunch that cash flow and you begin to limit the power of a force that has... frankly... began direct attacks against Open Source and its future.

            But then - you also take the focus away from the real issue. Microsoft's success is not the issue. It is their tactics. And it is the end user, their work, and their data that is at the basis of the Open Source movement.

            An Open Source Office suite should be about providing the needed functionality of business as well as a standard data format that can be read by any software. On any platform. It should be about giving control of a business' data back to the owner. And once they have control of their data again, they will be free to make their own decisions on what platforms or software (and the merits of software upgrades) they wish to run - not just what works with the lock-in strategy of Microsoft's flagship product.

            If Microsoft wanted to change its spots and play along, more power to them. They will have to eventually. Commodity hardware put IBM where they are now. Commodity software will do the same for Microsoft.

            Of course - I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here.
        • by xant ( 99438 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @02:12AM (#4081301) Homepage
          Really, I'm kind of a jerk that way. But seriously, I think there's another point here, which is that the reason why we want Open Source to gain respectability is to provide ourselves with popular support, and the protection it provides.

          In the past there has been a lot of talk about "it doesn't matter what Microsoft does, and it doesn't matter if anyone ever adopts Linux, because Linux will never die. We'll just keep building it and using it, and I don't care if anyone else likes it, because I do."

          That talk has been shown in recent years to be slightly--not totally--naive. There has been a very real legal movement in this country to squelch those things that make Open Source possible, to kill our right to use our own property--computers--and our own ideas, as we see fit. Everything from horrible management of patents to the Big Bad Acronyms (DRM, DMCA, and UCITA to name a few) are all having a negative impact on our coding freedom. And don't pretend it's just in this country. The US has the power to push its unfavorable laws onto other nations, and it has already started to do so. France and Australia in particular seem to be a in race with America to see who can squelch intellectual freedom faster.

          The drive to Open everything is the force opposing that. OpenOffice is a flagship product of that force, our flapping banner (to mix a metaphor). So for one thing, how does it look that one of our banner products isn't truly free? Next, OO is an important tool for winning converts to our platform, and from there to our cause. If Sun doesn't give OO the freedom it needs to attract developers, it won't develop, and therefore its power to help our cause for freedom will be lost.

          I'm with ya, Bruce.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "I can't imagine most people agreeing with this, especially those people, like me, who don't find OO useful (LaTeX and Emacs are two incedibly powerful and amazing applications)."

        Try telling 90% of the userbase for mass installed based software like Windows and MacOS to use LaTex and Emacs. Most will trade them for a free compatible standards supporting multiple platform GUI Office Suite in a heartbeat.

        Already we have seen great opensource software come to Windows but have negligable effect in getting users to switch and feel comfortable with said switch. OpenOffice is something that with more work could in my opinion do it. Mozilla might help the snowball but I am not so optimistic.

        See it is one thing to offer a port from another system but quite another to make the user believe software for their system will work similary on another thus making switching viable. Then there is the whole common document format that the OO team is pushing. A document standard that is good and will keep working (like WordPerfect has been doing for years in the paid space) and is better (robustness, feature rich) than the other open standards present at the moment(SGML ect.)will make even my grandfather use OO and he doesn't even know a thing about the background. He just wants it to work.

      • I would think that the purpose and functionality of OO has actually little to do with the purpose and functionality of Emacs and LaTeX.

        Of course, most people end up using an Office for the most stupid things, and smart people can make do using Emacs/LaTeX for what most people use an Office suite.

        That doesn't mean it's a good idea to do either, or to force people to use tools that are not meant for the job they intend to do.

        I'd like to see someone teaching the average secretary to use LaTeX/Emacs for the trivial document production at her job.

        That's the target of an Office suite; people who are worried about making a memo readable, spell-checked and pretty in seconds without technical training. Not people who have to worry about precise typesetting, mathematical formulas, complex text manipulation through regexp, etc.

        Asking them to use Emacs/LaTex for what they do would be, I suspect, as effective as asking programmers to use Word2K to write code.

      • by ComputerSlicer23 ( 516509 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @12:15AM (#4081051)
        I can't begin to enumerate the number of people I know, who if given an opportunity to get a free as in beer and/or speech word processor wouldn't jump at the chance. Emacs (I'm a vim bigot) is probably worderful. LaTeX is just incredible. So is Linux. However, 90% of all people I know stay with Windows or a Mac because they need MS Office. Ponder the possiblity of commoditizing the Office Suite market. Linux has effectively made an high quality OS a commodity. If you don't feel like paying for an OS, you don't have to any more. I know BSD did it first, but for a long time they didn't do it well on x86 hardware. Play along for a moment, if you get OpenOffice up to snuff with the kind of quality and commitment that Linux has, it would be possible to get commodity hardware (x86), a commodity OS, and a commodity Office Suite. With a handful of exceptions of the 60 machines at my office maybe we'd need 3 windows machines instead of 57 we have. We keep 57 Windows machines so people can run Excel, Word, and Internet Explorer. It's that simple. A platform that doesn't exchange data in those Excel and Word formats is a useless platform to them.

        Now when you add to that Mozilla finally has come around to being high quality. It'd mean Linux finally has the 3 of the last 4 major (Word Processor, SpreadSheet, Web Browsing are the new ones, it's had decent e-mail forever) killer apps that Windows has had for 5-10 years.

        It'd mean I could buy my Mom a machine for $400, and put all free (as in beer) software on it, and she'd be happy if OpenOffice we're good enough.

        Linux is grand and glorious, but it's a Server OS. It's based on a Server OS, it'll always be a Server OS. OS X is the first UNIX like OS that has a real quality desktop with full application inter-operability with the MS Suite. If Open Office could do that, it'd move a number of UNIX platforms into that category. Not being in that category will move you right off the list of desktop OS'es at every single place I've ever worked. Yeah the developers use it but that's it.

        For that matter, screw Linux. Lets just talk about on the Windows platform. Do you know how much money is pissed away on licensing for Office? I think it's something on the order of 2-3 Billion dollars a year. That represents an incredibly amount of economic resources spent on this one little thing. I know MS does get it, and does good things for the economy, but personally, I'd rather see that money used by the business for developing their business rather then giving it all to a single company (even if it wasn't MS). Freeing people up from the burden of paying for a high quality office suite, would have incredible impact on the economics of computing. Probably more so then Linux ever has or will. A free high quality word processor that was cross platform would be a much bigger deal to people outside of the IT industry then Linux ever will be.

        It'll take forever, just like people believing in Linux. Just step back and remember where Linux was in 1993/4. Lets see RedHat had just released it's first edition. SLS and Slackware were king of the distribution Hill. People had heard of it, but nobody actually used it publically. Open Office is probably in the same boat. Yet it works, its good, but not good enough to base a business on just yet. It'll get there. It could easily grow to have a much larger user base then Linux does. It could easily make Linux look like small potatoes to be honest. Because the set of people who need a UNIX like OS is much smaller then the set of people who need to be able to reliable create new content, and generate valuable information on a spreadsheet.

        Neither Emacs nor LaTeX has any chance of filling that niche for the general public. They've been around long enough that if they we're going to, we'd have seen a lot more push in that direction by now.

        Kirby

        • Office is worth nearly as much as Windows to Microsoft. They don't specifically separate office from their other applications, like Project or Visio, but I be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that Office is at least 80% of their applications group, which generated about $9.5 Billion in revenue last year.
          Sun didn't spend all that money on Star expecting to make it back selling Office Suites, they want to reduce Microsoft's strength, to make it easier to compete at the server level. Similar to Dell's plan to start selling printers, to eat into HP's main profit line, with the goal to break even, but capture more profits from the PC business.
          I happen to fit directly into the target Office suite marktet, and Star Office is the only suite out there that is competitive with MS Office. Nothing against GNUmeric, KOffice, SmartSuite, or Word perfect, which all are nice, but they cant do everything as well as MS and Star Office do.
          To put you in my shoes about office suites, imagine how unproductive you would be using notepad. That is whre the free office suites were 2 years ago. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but you get the point. Yeah you could use them, but it was not going to be easy or fun. Alos realize that the people who use an office suite for their job do not care about their text editor. As long as it can open the occasional text file we get, it will be fine.
        • It'd mean I could buy my Mom a machine for $400, and put all free (as in beer) software on it, and she'd be happy if OpenOffice we're good enough.

          The latest version is good enough for Mom. She can bang out recipies, letter, whatever, all she wants. If Aunt Jane sends her a recipe once a year and the bullets are screwed up because Jane made it in Word, then Mom can fix the bullets.

          I feel I have to make this point, because people keep saying "Mozilla isn't quite good enough, OOo isn't quite good enough". That isn't true anymore (uninstall your year-old betas, and get the latest versions). They are good enough for Mom NOW. It's only a busy office with legacy apps exchanging a bunch of docs with partners and customers where it might be a problem.

    • I disagree about OpenOffice's importance; there are several other office suites for Linux and, as an end-user application, there are little other software packages that depend on OpenOffice.

      What would matter (or rather, would have mattered) is true open source licensing for Java, because it could have made application development for open source platforms so much easier. But Sun missed that opportunity. Maybe C# will fill the niche.

      • While Sun's licensing of Java might have set it back initially, the GCC people are reimplementing it as a Free compiler (that can compile both to native code and to Java bytecode), so Java's licensing should no longer be an issue.

        For more information see the GCJ page [gnu.org] (GCJ -- the GNU Compiler for Java -- is the name of the Java compiler component of GCC -- the GNU Compiler Collection).
        • There are a bunch of open projects that implement bits and pieces of the Java platform. But that's not the same as implementing Java, and there is no standard or agreement on what constitutes an implementation of a core Java feature set.

          As for GCJ, I have my doubts it is, or will ever become, a replacement for Sun Java. What makes Java do really well in practice is the good JIT that comes with Sun's implementation. The existence of such a JIT lets Java get by without a lot of the declarations that exist in C++ and still perform very well. GCJ's approach to compiling Java just isn't all that competitive with that.

          • There are a bunch of open projects that implement bits and pieces of the Java platform

            Right.

            there is no standard or agreement on what constitutes an implementation of a core Java feature set.

            Wrong.

            J2ME, J2SE and J2EE are very well defined in public specifications. These are backed by comprehensive conformance test suites, the use of which was a significant source of revenue for Sun, and which they are now offering to open source developments to under their "Scholarship Fund" [sun.com].
            • J2ME, J2SE and J2EE are very well defined in public specifications.

              They are neither "very well defined", nor are the specifications "public" in a sense particularly useful for open source implementations, nor do those define anything that could be considered a "core feature set".

              These are backed by comprehensive conformance test suites, the use of which was a significant source of revenue for Sun, and which they are now offering to open source developments to under their "Scholarship Fund" [sun.com].

              This is yet another indication that Sun is even more of a control freak than Microsoft, and it makes Java an unattractive target for open source efforts.

              Besides, as a Java developer, I don't give a damn about Sun's conformance tests. If an open source implementation attempts full conformance with, say, J2SE, then the conformance tests consist of the programs end users like myself run on both platforms. Conformance with Sun's test suite is neither necessary nor sufficient.

    • Hi Bruce,

      I agree with your final conclusions (OOo should have a lot more developers, and Sun needs to do more work to become more open), but I also know that the situation is more nuanced. There are several barriers to starting development on the OOo codebase, some of which you recognise in your post.

      First of all, there is the complexity of the code itself. OOo is written mainly in C++, using all kinds of goodies such as templates etc. With the vast majority of OpenSource developers disliking writing code in C++, this kind of narrows the field a bit. Also, sun has a pretty large team of developers writing OpenOffice.org code, and volunteer coders have to try and fit into a group of devs that all share the same two offices. Many decisions on many levels are made within these offices. This is not on purpose, to keep people out, but simply due to the fact that this type of decision taking is easier. However, to the credit of the devs, 99% of the stuff still passes on the mailing lists. But you are stuck on an issue, it is easier to take a stroll down the hallway to ask someone then it is to wait for a reply to a mail.
      Even so, there are quite a few successfull volunteer devs, like Kevin B. Hendricks, who do a tremendous job despite the difficulties.

      Then there were the legal issues. Before the current JCA, all your work belonged to Sun. Period. This raised the hackles of many, including myself - I am the "vocal critic" quoted in the article - and we have worked hard for a long time to get the current agreement on the table and approved. I really believe that this JCA is the best compromise possible given the circumstances. OpenOffice.org is LGPL, and the copyright of your stuff now remains yours. But you also give Sun the rights to your work, meaning that Sun has some assurance about the future availabillity of your work, if and when it gets included in their commercial product. Microsoft is not very likely to come after volunteers for infringing patents on the MSOffice file format, for example, but it can and will go after Sun for the same. Without copyright assignment, Sun cannot ever mount a legal defense to such a case. So in the end, the current deal is a compromise that should work for all.

      The there are the Sun politics. As you have been with HP for some time, I guess you know how this works. Within Sun, there are those who think that OpenSource is cool, and those who think OpenSource sucks. Within Sun, OOo/SO is a large project, and people from both camps work on the project. Tony siress, and his ridiculous statements on the whole MacOS issue are a case in point.Note, however, that Tony publicly apologised about his statements, and Sun claims he spoke out-of-line i.e. the whole MacOS thing is not going to happen, if it ever was. So not all issues that need to be cleared by Sun go as fast. for example, this particular JCA/PDL deal has been on the table for quite some time (months). However, getting cleared by the lawyers and passing through the strata of anti-OpenSource elements inside Sun has really kept it back for much longer then needed.

      The Foundation is another sore point inside the community. The whole issue of the foundation has been formally scrapped by Sun, to much discontent form the community. However, we *are* moving in the right direction. This deal is one step, and pretty soon some other developments will move, in terms of project governance. I am sure, that with the right amount of pressure, the Foundation will eventually be set up. The JCA is a critical piece in this issue, since developers can now, potentially, assign copyright to a future Foundation instead of to Sun. This means that Sun is no longer a required (although desired) party to a Foundation.

      In the meantime, OOo/SO are MS Office killers, and takeup and interest are massive. This is a good thing. It needs to be better, though, and for that we need more programmers. Unfortunately, the OOo code is hard, and crufty. There are areas *nobody* dares to touch. So in many cases, the true hobbyist programmers back out due to complexity. KOffice were going to use our MSOffice filters. After going through the code, they kindly declined, and started looking at other solutions. On the positive side, we are talking with many groups, commercial as well as non-commercial, about building on the OOo XML file format. More suites using a standard file format is also a good thing. oeone are apperantly working with us on the groupware components - another step in the right direction.

      Bruce, Sun has a long ways to go yet in the OpenOffice.org adventure, but I firmly believe that with the right kind of pressure, the right kind of volunteer mentality and the right kind of love, it will become a huge success - both for the OpenSource community as a whole, as well as for Sun. At the end of the day, the focus is on creating a win-win situation for all involved.

      • With the vast majority of OpenSource developers disliking writing code in C++...

        That so? I agree, but I thought I was in a tiny minority. So presumably more Java APIs would be a step forward?
        • The vas tmajority of Open Source/Free Software programmers write in C. C is unparalleled in support, portability and speed. C++ and Java are its bastard stepchildren.

          As far as pretty languages go, I'm much more fond of the Lisp family: Common Lisp for full-fledged apps, and Scheme for smaller apps (say, extensibility). But C has and will ever have a place which languages such as C++ and Java never will.

          Even now, I daresay that most of the real development in the world goes on in C, despite the hype for Java and, once upon a time, C++.

          • Duh! Thanks, I really didn't twig that - C instead of C++, of course.

            Not entirely convinced that good old C is unparalleled in portability. And flexibility is also a problem since people are forced into writing their own OO mechanisms, serialization formats etc. etc.

            I think you hit the nail on the head w.r.t. Scheme/Lisp. As things stand, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Linux-the-platform is doomed unless either:

            1) It embraces Java with the support of Sun and starts moving desktop and other apps to the VM.

            2) It leapfrogs Java and Dotnet by developing a Guile or Parrot-like VM for an-extended-Scheme-but-not-as-big-as-CL, maybe with an optional Perl-like surface syntax.

            As you will know, programs-as-data is the big attraction of the Lisp family - this is both where Dotnet/Java start to crumble and where Open Source could really benefit (it would be impossible to ship code without shipping the source, among other features).

            So all we have to do is:

            i) drop Mono and DotGNU
            ii) merge Parrot, Guile and possibly Kawa into a common VM targeted at a Scheme-like intermediate language
            iii) have Java as a fallback in case it gets nowhere

            Easy really!
        • I personally hate C++ with a vengeance, because I'm at the wrong end of the learning curve (and have been since g++ first came out).

          I reluctantly agree that something as complex as OOo or Mozilla has no choice, really, to use C++ in todays market place.

          However, I firmly believe that anything low-level enough to require OS specific ifdefs should be in a plain ole C module with a seperate test suite. In the pre-C++ days of Mozilla, I could isolate, fix and verify an issue in about an hour. Now, it's really hit or miss, with misses being predominant. I know that tells a lot about my C++ skills, but I do tend to be a guy that finds really nasty OS specific stuff in the language of my choice :-)

          The bottom line is that you have to pick the language that your most proficient coders and bug fixers prefer. For complex stuff, that means C++, for low level stuff, that usually means C.

          And I have to insist on letting the proficient staff pick the language. I see way to much C++ code that compiles with the C compiler if you take the // comments out and change all occurances of "class" to "struct", so I personally feel that the easy market access to C++ programmers is overrated.
      • With the vast majority of OpenSource developers disliking writing code in C++

        Do you have even the slightest bit of evidence to back this absurd claim? It's true that a number of Linux kernel developers don't think C++ belongs in the kernel, but that's a far cry from what you're claiming.

  • by rosewood ( 99925 ) <[rosewood] [at] [chat.ru]> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:30PM (#4080908) Homepage Journal
    The Sun and linux and open-source relationship has always been quite queer.

    For example, check out this: An article on ZDNez [com.com]

    SAN FRANCISCO--Sun Microsystems began selling its first general-purpose Linux servers this week, but Bill Joy, Sun's chief scientist and a pioneer in designing Unix, has voiced doubts about Linux's open-source underpinnings.
  • by jukal ( 523582 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @12:38AM (#4081119) Journal
    Did I understand the agreement [openoffice.org] correctly this chapter: "Contributor retains the right to use the Contribution for Contributor's own purposes."

    Does it smell? Can for example releasing the same Contribution under GPL be considered as Contributor's own purpose? I doubt it.

    • You can't go from LGPL to GPL generally without all the involved parties permission. So I don't see your point.
      • > You can't go from LGPL to GPL generally without all the involved parties permission. So I don't see your point

        Maybe I should not have used GPL as an example. My point is that the wording in the agreement may make it look to the developer like they could do anything what they want with the contributed code. Bun in fact, if I understood the agreement correctly, the developer can only use the contribution him/herself. I believe that in many cases the developer does not have anything other use for the code (because he does not have the right to publish it anywhere else because of this license), but particapted only in the project because he thougth it was open source. So, in that sense this new agreement does not change anything.

        Is there any point in this? Maybe not, maybe it is completely ok, but it still does not seem fair to me.

        • actually, I might be totally lost in what I am trying to say. I mean, as openoffice is licensed under LGPL, why do they need this agreement at all. Yeah, I am lost. Sorry for causing confusion, I previously thought that main difference between LGPL and GPL is that LGPL allows linking to non-free-modules, but I quess there's something that I don't see in this case.

          Could someone now please clarify to me and everyone else what the use of LGPL in this case exactly means in practise??

          • Could someone now please clarify to me and everyone else what the use of LGPL in this case exactly means in practise??

            With LGPL you can statically link a single function from a library into your program. This means you don't have to ship the entire library, and if you have not modified the library, or have published the modified library somewhere else as an LGPL library, you don't have to distribute the source in the same manner as the code.

            It was designed so that people implementing open source versions of libraries widely available royalty free in closed source, could enforce the publishing of discovered bugs while still allowing the same ease of use that the closed source version users enjoyed. (By not having to leave a note for the release team to include some source, cuz you used printf from an open source library you didn't modify.)

            RMS discourages the use of this library because it has some faults, like if no one knows someone has published the changes. Like Microsoft leaving little source snippets on random ftp sites in directories no one ever looks at as x452fgsd.zip. And as a LISPer he doesn't really care about performance or ease of use so he wants you to use dynamic linking. Dynamic linking has some bonuses like when there is a bug in a widely used library only the library has to be redistributed if it is dynamically linked.
    • I read the JCA as saying that the contributor can do anything at all with his contribution, including licensing it under restrictive terms. However, Sun can do likewise. I'd like to see what a lawyer has to say about it, though.
  • by MrLinuxHead ( 528693 ) <mrlinuxhead@NOspAm.yahoo.com> on Friday August 16, 2002 @04:38AM (#4081509) Homepage Journal

    I have to agree with Bruce, OpenOffice is crucial to Open Source becoming widespread. I would place it along with the Linux kernel, Mozilla, Samba, and Apache. All of these have a vast number of supporters and end-users. They are the crown jewels of Open Source and get a good bit of ink from the media.

    Tonight I did a re-install of a friend's PC that lost a hard drive. She got a new hard drive sent under warranty. It came with 7 CD's to re-install the system (WinXP). After 2 hours of feeding it CD's it finally came up. Microsoft Works and Quicken were installed, and some other crud programs. My friend asked if it had MS Office, we looked and no, no MS Office. My friend wanted to know if I could install Office as the Office CD was lost. (Ever heard that one?). I had to politly refuse, as that would be wrong.

    The next thing I did was go to OpenOffice.org and D/L Open Office. 10 min later I am installing it, and explaning how this is Open Source, it is free of any EULA's or licencing restrictions, and will open (and save) Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. After going through a lot of EULA's in the course of installing WinXP, this was like a breath of fresh air!

    So if you have a friend that asks to "borrow" your copy of Office, just say no. And point them to freedom that is OpenOffice.

    Next time I am over there I am installing Mozilla as it is more secure than IE.

    • and you started the virus that is open source...

      you need to start mentioning over the next year how , "Oh XP does it that way? under linux it's easier." or "Wow, I just heard that XP and media-player will try and lock you out of your own music! did you know that? I'm glad linux wont try and control what I hear and see."

      eventually they will ask you about it, and then you can slip a dual boot in there.... then you're in like flynn..

    • My friend wanted to know if I could install Office as the Office CD was lost. (Ever heard that one?). I had to politly refuse, as that would be wrong.


      Refusing to install 'warez' on a computer is a great way to install OSS on people's machines. It's something I've done with computers I have repaired. My roommate's PC has all free(, but not necessarily OSS) software on it and she seems to be having no difficulty with it. Now, after she gets used to using this open source stuff on her PC, her second attempt to use Linux might not be so difficult.


      Not that this might happen now, but imagine how you would feel in the near future if you help a friend out by installing a copy of his/her "lost" copy of Office and got a knock at the door from representatives of a CASST/BSA type organisaton a few days/weeks later?

    • I would place it along with the Linux kernel, Mozilla, Samba, and Apache. All of these have a vast number of supporters and end-users. They are the crown jewels of Open Source and get a good bit of ink from the media.

      I've seen quite a few comparisons to Mozilla. It should be remembered that at the start of the Mozilla project, virtually all the developers were Netscape employed. Gradudally the code was properly licensed, and the code became easier to work, and everybody got into the swing of it. Nowadays it has lots of developers. I'm sure OOo will do the same thing.

  • IBM is telling everybody how their open source souls are been mimic by Sun and HP. But if IBM is so embeded in the open source movement why do they don't open Lotus Office Suit?. They are not making money with it now, isn't it?.
  • blackdown anyone? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Didn't they piss off the blackdown developers who were brining Java to Linux by treating them like dirt too?

I've looked at the listing, and it's right! -- Joel Halpern

Working...