Microsoft sponsored Open XML Translator contains questionable code

Microsoft sponsored Open XML Translator contains questionable code

Jan 01, 2019 / By : / Category : 老域名购买

Last week, Microsoft announced that it would be developing its own version of an ODF plug-in for Office 2007. The company claimed that it would be releasing the Open XML Translator via, a popular site for hosting open source applications. Since the Open XML Translator's source code is freely available, it's no wonder that people would not only be perusing through it but also comparing it to the OpenDocument Foundation's ODF Plugin code. Pamela Jones did just that, and she claims that Microsoft swiped some of its source from J. David Eisenberg's program that converts ODF to HTML which is licensed under both the LGPL and Apache 2.0. 老域名出售

Groklaw has a comparison of the pieces of code (XSL) in question, and while they do look very, very similar, they also have some minor differences. Still, Jones questions whether Microsoft is actually allowed to copy the code, and goes on a protracting, sarcasm-laden rant about what Eisenberg should do to Microsoft for being a copycat.

Naturally, David will be filing a major lawsuit asking for billions and gazillions in damages. He'll probably wait about 5 or 6 years though, until lots of folks are using the Microsoft plugin, and in the interim, he'll donate some code to the Microsoft project and distribute it himself, and *then* he'll announce he's shocked, shocked to discover his code inside the Microsoft plugin, call a press conference and let the media know he will be suing Microsoft. They have deep pockets, after all, and he has to consider his shareholders. A man can't just sit around the camp fire singing Kumbaya when there's money to be made.

And of course he'll also have to sue corporate end users and petition the courts to shut down their businesses under the DMCA, and he'll issue sanctimonious press releases about his stolen Most Holy IP and how Microsoft is made up of a bunch of lunatic fringe criminals who don't respect other people's intellectual property. Maybe he can grab some headlines by sending a letter to Congress.

Jones loathes Microsoft, but her mockery is mostly directed at SCO. Nevertheless, her point pertains to Microsoft as well and is worth talking about. Over the years, Microsoft has gone out of its way to bury open source projects, even if it is now starting to dabble in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). How could the company all of a sudden not only acknowledge open source software's popularity, but take a little code from it as well? It's easy—the company's in-house devs didn't write the Open XML Translator. A Microsoft partner did instead.

The Open XML Translator was developed by the French company Clever Age. Their site can be found here (translated). My guess is that, since the company creates open source projects on a regular basis, one of the developers probably didn't think anything of it when he borrowed the code. Credit was in fact given to Eisenberg in a comment where it says, "Extra spaces management from J. David Heisenberg." The programmer did misspell his name though, and that's kind of a slap in the face to Eisenberg. "Please fix the typo on my surname; I'm certain there's no H in it (obligatory Heisenberg joke)," he said.

So I ask if this is really a bad thing that Microsoft, or more precisely Clever Age, has done. Should Microsoft step in and change the code? Is this an embarrassment or an achievement for the king of proprietary code? Eisenberg told Jones that he'd be willing to license the code to Microsoft under the BSD license, and Microsoft will hopefully accept the offer once it's on the table.

Update: I missed the SCO connection completely. Everyone who said she was talking about SCO in her rant was right, and I've corrected the article.

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