Random roundup..23rd May 2007


I feel I should wait until the weekend to do random roundups but just back from holiday and there is too much stacked up so here it is early for once 🙂

Study shows open source devs don’t want GPL 3.0 to enforce patents

The ongoing debate over patent abuse by open source takes an interesting turn when a study funded by Microsoft found that open-source developers do not believe that licenses such as the upcoming GNU General Public License 3.0 should enforce software patents or prevent deals like the Microsoft-Novell patent agreement.  Most respondents use open-source licenses to tap into the open-source development approach for their projects, and that their focus is on developing a great product rather than a moral imperative to ensure that all software was “free.” 

Source Forge converter project now to include UOF

The Unified Office Format is another open format used in China and the Open Source project we fund on Source Forge will be expanded to include this as well.  Official press release.

File format converter for Mac Office Word out in beta

download the converter for Word documents here. More info at the ever useful macmojo blog.  Meanwhile Sun pitch in to move OpenOffice to the mac.

PGR used in PS3 promotion.. again

unbelievably, they did it again.

Microsoft supports ODF through to ANSI

MS votes yes to ODF but is accused of pr stunt.

Bill agrees with OfficeRocker!

OK I made that up.  but like my “my deskphone is stupid” post, Bill also thinks the office phone’s days are numbered

Craig Mundie Interview on post-Gates Microsoft

Quite interesting interview if you have time.

Microsoft allows 90% of staff to work flexibly

As I sit working from home for the 3rd day this week I can vouch for this.  The Telegraph did an interview with the UK HR director, Dave Gartenburg.  I must say, since I moved out to the countryside, I love working from home and communicator is my lifeline.

The premiership sues YouTube

Premier League is to sue over “knowingly misappropriated” footage.

Office 2003 to get security upgrade

sp3 packed with security goodies for 2003.  My friend Josh is extensively quoted not actually saying anything.  Nice work Josh 🙂

Stoke College deploy Office 2007

Nice little case study of Stoke College implementing Office 2007.  In December 2006, [David] Moss [ICT coordinator] piloted the 2007 Office system on a group of senior pupils studying GCSE IT, and was amazed by the results. “You couldn’t get them off the computers,” he says. “They were finding functionality that they had struggled to find before”

Comments (12)

  1. Linus Torvalds and the other Linux Kernel maintainers have publicly stated that they will not move to GPL v3, so it’s unclear what this is going to mean for a future Linux distribution.

    However, I would say that Microsoft should stop this patent silliness against Linux and just compete and innovate in the market place. This is best way to keep ahead!

    The Port 25 guys are showing there are market opportunities for Microsoft in the Open Source arena. VCs are still willing to back Open Source strategies e.g. SugarCRM, Zimbra.

  2. Charles says:

    Ahem.. about that converter..

    http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,2086166,00.html

    No readme, no way to find out what it’s going to install where, and it demands my admin password. Sorry, but no – I don’t allow files like that on my machine. It’s bad form even to offer something like that, IMO. Yes, it’s Microsoft, which one would expect to not mess it up, but even Apple has managed to screw up peoples’ machines –

    http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/11/04/0412209&mode=nested&threshold=3

    So that beta remains in limbo for me..

  3. dstrange says:

    Charles, glad my humble blog could provide you with more material for your newspaper column.  You might want to add your thoughts to the macmojo blog post as these are the guys who write the converter beta.  Maybe they’ll get it right with a bit more real world insight.  thanks, Darren

  4. Charles says:

    Hi Darren..

    good point, I will!

  5. Charles says:

    ..OK, I have, but it seems other people find the same lack of love for the Converter:

    http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20070518102508235

    When third parties – individual 3rd party apps, online web services (if ya trust them..) do the conversion better, I think MacBU should be wondering why.

  6. dstrange says:

    yeah this is disappointing.  The MacBU does operate very independently from the IW group but I’ll see what I can find out.

  7. Following on from some of your less than exuberant feedback about the new Mac converters, I looked into

  8. Charles says:

    Hmm, and now <a href="http://prorev.com/2007/05/science-pubs-reject-articles-written-in.html">this</a&gt;: Science and Nature (the two biggest science journals) won’t accept Word 2007 (docx) files because, well, they’re not compatible. And it gets worse….

    "“Users of Word 2007 should also be aware that equations created with the default equation editor included in Microsoft Word 2007 will be unacceptable in revision, even if the file is converted to a format compatible with earlier versions of Word; this is because conversion will render equations as graphics and prevent electronic printing of equations, and because the default equation editor packaged with Word 2007 — for reasons that, quite frankly, utterly baffle us — was not designed to be compatible with MathML. "

    Bucket of water and high-pressure hose for Mr Strange…

    (also, what happened to your comment above?)

  9. dstrange says:

    thanks for the heads up Charles,

    the comment above is just a line from the later post that references it – it adds a track back itself.

    I’ll get the US guys to see what we can do to help the publications with this issue.  We should look into the MathML point in particular.  I can imagine the file compatibility pack might turn an equation into an image but it shouldn’t do that when the author saves as .doc before submitting.  This is probably the workaround in the short term.

  10. Charles says:

    The original post re Science and Nature is http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/04/math-markup-marked-down.html

    Beware, tigers.

  11. dstrange says:

    So the US teams have been engaging with Science and Nature over the last few months since this came out.  There is a good post today about this situation actually from Murray Sargent which explains more about the MathML conversion.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/murrays/archive/2007/06/05/science-and-nature-have-difficulties-with-word-2007-mathematics.aspx

  12. I saw this and thought those of you with Mac customers might find this useful if Office 2007 is around