Corel apparently back on board with OpenDocument

Corel apparently back on board with OpenDocument

Summary: Last week, I wrote a blog entry that discussed Corel's mysterious withdrawl of its support of the OpenDocument standard and FUDbusted rumors that an ancient investment in Corel by Microsoft may have had something to do with it.  Today, OpenOffice.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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Last week, I wrote a blog entry that discussed Corel's mysterious withdrawl of its support of the OpenDocument standard and FUDbusted rumors that an ancient investment in Corel by Microsoft may have had something to do with it.  Today, OpenOffice.org representative Gary Edwards wrote me an e-mail with the following update:

From: Gary Edwards
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2005 11:27 AM
To: David Berlind
Subject: The return of Corel

Hi David,

FYi.  Paul Langille, the legendary WordPerfect - Corel Office developer who served on the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee (TC) during the first 18 months of phase I work, has returned.  He logged into the Monday morning conference call, announcing the return of Corel to OpenDocument.

There is no doubt in my mind that Paul had WordPerfect Office ready  to go OpenDocument at the time of Venture Capital's take over (which was just weeks before Corel's last release).  We'll probably never know for sure what happened, and Paul is so damn professional, he would never talk about it.  The first thing Venture did when they took over was to cancel XML in Corel Office, and sell off the enterprise XML tools such as XMetal.  Tom Magliery of the XMetal team, had also represented Corel on the OpenDocument TC.  He went with XMetal to Blast Radius Inc., continuing his work on the ODF TC until a few weeks ago.  Tom was on the original XML 1.0 workgroup, and the original Mosaic Browser team.

We do live in interesting times.  Paul pushed for and wrote the OpenDocument SVG implementation.  He really knows his stuff, and, reluctant though they might be, Corel is taking action.

~ge~

I asked Edwards for his permission to reprint the e-mail and he said it was OK but but also added one clarification.  Wrote Edwards, "Mycomments about Paul having WordPerfect ready to go are pure speculation, based on the obvious.  That is, given the the discussions that took place at the ODF TC, it's obvious Paul had previously worked through almost every XML issue confronting the TC."

 

Topic: Microsoft

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6 comments
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  • what does this mean in the future

    are you guys going to stop creating FUD and speculation and report the facts or in a day or two revert to the same.


    PS stating Microsoft was behind Corel not supporting ODF was seen by you guys as playing behind the scene hardball by Microsoft.
    zzz1234567890
    • You're confusing me.

      I said last week that Microsoft was NOT behind Corel's apparent move to not support ODF. This week's news that Corel officials are reinvolving themselves with the ODF TC is definitely news and is in no way FUD or anything else.

      db
      dberlind
      • Not FUD but not official either.

        I have no reason to doubt Mr. Edwards, but it's worth pointing out that you're reporting not a Corel statement but a speculation.

        Two quotes from Mr. Edwards:

        He logged into the Monday morning conference call, announcing the return of Corel to OpenDocument.

        and:

        "My comments about Paul having WordPerfect ready to go are pure speculation, based on the obvious. ..."

        Though the issue is newsworthy, it's a question whether the information available is significant enough to publish. You decided that it is, and I respect your experience. But others may disagree without being unreasonable.
        Anton Philidor
  • I don't get it

    This one developer is "on board" to bring it out, but apparently the investors were not keen on it. I don't see how this means that WP is "back on board" at all. I'd hardly call this story "conclusive". It sounds to me like there's some rebellion in the ranks, or something, which makes interesting copy, but I wouldn't call it "back on board" at all.

    David, I think you'd better wait until you have something more definitive before jumping to conclusions. The interview with a couple exec's at WP last week indicated pretty clearly that they didn't take ODF seriously.
    Mark Miller
    • Mis Underestimating

      Paul Langille isn't your normal developer. If he doesn't count for ten top code busters, no one does. My guess is that Paul spent years shepherding the Corel XML strategy, long before the ODF TC was born in 2003. Corel bet heavy on Linux and XML, and was fully positioned to be the lead provider of both desktop Linux and Open XML technologies. Much of the Corel XML effort was focused on connecting the desktop to the enterprise server realms. When SOA was still a wet dream in waiting for most analysts and systems providers, Corel was getting ready to do it. They had first mover advantage and no one in second place. Then came Microsoft, in search of the appearance of some competition they could toss back to Judge Jackson.

      IMHO, the return of Corel to the the ODF TC indicates that the shareholders have had enough of Vector Capitals canabolize the XML - Linux assets management style; the only purpose of which seems to be to clear the path for MS Office 12. No doubt Chairman Bill can kick in a half billion or so to quiet the shareholders. Otherwise, i think the Corel shareholders might be getting ready to boot Vector, and turn this sordid mess over to the SEC.

      One can only guess where Corel would be if they had sued Microsoft instead of accepting Chairman Bill's prop up money.
      garyedwards@...
      • Investors.

        Without commenting directly on Vector Capital's role, it's worth pointing out that investors concentrate on cutting expenses.

        Both Sun and Novell have had prominent investors suggesting that the companies more or less eliminate their own R & D and, of course, lay off the staff. Open source can be expected to provide a worthy replacement.

        It's possible Vector Capital is only continuing a long (and stupid) tradition.
        Anton Philidor