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Strip mining of open source (ITPro)

ITPro has posted a lengthy article looking at the differences in corporate behavior brought about by different free software licenses. "IBM has taken a three-year old version of OpenOffice, 1.1.4, which was the last release to be dual-licensed by Sun, and has heavily modified the code, which it has no obligation to release back to the community, and has clearly chosen this version precisely because this is the case. The perceived advantage for IBM is that the part-proprietary code can be marketed uniquely as an IBM product, and the extensions don't have to be released back to the community. As a result, IBM has effectively forked the code and cannot take advantage of later enhancements to OpenOffice."
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Strip mining of open source (ITPro)

Posted Sep 3, 2008 14:19 UTC (Wed) by job (guest, #670) [Link]

Let's not forget that many free software companies back in the days did equally dubious things, but that free as in freedom turned out to be a working business model in many ways. Few Linux distributions ship proprietary add-ons now, for example.

I think in time it will be obvious that their Open Office strategy is not a good one. IBM is a smart company. They should help establish the Open Office trademark instead, their product won't be a major player on its own.

Strip mining of open source (ITPro)

Posted Sep 3, 2008 19:47 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

They are pushing the open document format stuff, which is essentially the same thing as promoting One of the most difficult things to deal with nowadays while using Linux for business stuff is still proprietary Microsoft formats. So improving the acceptance of ODF and whatnot is good for everybody involved.

I wouldn't be surprised, also, if the codebase that IBM used is now pretty much unrecognizable in their existing products anyways.

Strip mining of open source (ITPro)

Posted Sep 4, 2008 9:51 UTC (Thu) by job (guest, #670) [Link]

Yes, pushing ODF is a good thing. But it would be even better to push Open Office. However IBM is a big company and I believe they have programmers working on upstream Open Office as well. From my very limited experience Lotus Symphony is already lacking in features compared to upstream. Hopefully in time they will recognize this as well.

Strip mining of open source (ITPro)

Posted Sep 4, 2008 19:26 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

I disagree, pushing ODF is far better than pushing openoffice.

if you push openoffice then it turns into product1 is better then product2 (which becomes very subjective)

if you push ODF you avoid all UI arguments and it won't matter what software you use.

I for one would not want to exchange the micrsoft office monopoly for a sun monopoly (and yes, openoffice if opensource, but most of the work is done by sun, developing a community to maintain it if sun were to go bad would be a major undertaking)

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