Thursday, November 29, 2007

Novell's "latest discrimination"

Story here.

This posting at "Boycott Novell" makes a two main claims we'll deal with here:
  1. Novell is "forking" OOo,
  2. that the fork is advantageous on Windows.
The "fork" is the repository at This has been covered a number of times before by many people. Here are some facts about go-oo which aren't usually mentioned:
  • this "fork" is actually used by many in the community, such as Debian, Mandriva, Gentoo. In fact, there's an extremely useful page which can show you exactly who takes which patches. For example, Debian take the calc-solver work Kohei did, if you examine the DebianBase rule.
  • if we look at which patches are Win32Only, there is only one: accept-underscores-in-hostnames.diff
  • if you look at that patch, all it does is make the "_" acceptable in a URI.
Rather than serving Novell alone, it seems go-oo serves the needs of a wide variety of Linux distributions by providing the build tools, patches and extra features which many people need. It does help building on Windows, but it is unclear where any advantage might lie: sadly, the original posting only makes claims, and doesn't back those up with references which we can analyze deeper.

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