Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Dec 2006 20:54 UTC
Features, Office Microsoft has hit back at critics, including IBM, which voted against approving the company's Office OpenXML format as an Ecma standard, claiming it is nothing more than a vendor-dictated specification that documents proprietary products via XML. Ecma International announced the approval of the new standard Dec. 6 following a meeting of its general assembly and said it will begin the fast track process for adoption of the Office OpenXML formats as an ISO international standard in January 2007.
Order by: Score:
MS, take your doc format and shove it
by JeffS on Fri 8th Dec 2006 21:42 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

C'mon, everyone and their brother knows full well that "OpenXML" will not, nor will it ever be, fully "open". MS will always try to put in it's proprietary hooks. That is, always has been, and always will be, MS's business strategy. Lock-in is what drives the majority of their profits (the vastly lucrative Windows and Office franchises).

And why would we need a MS created "open" format, when the community, and multiple vendors, have already created ODF?

ODF works great, it's fully open source, fully implemented across platforms, can be read by any technically capable software, is not patent or copyright encumbered, and has no platform hooks.

MS's days of forcing the world to pay for Office to have access to documents will soon be over.

Let MS Office just compete on merit. That's the only way to go with any product.

If MS does not like true competition or true innovation, they can just shove it.

Edited 2006-12-08 21:42

Reply Score: 5

CrazyDude0 Member since:
2005-07-10

Another open source fanboys. Did you read the article?

1. ODF doesn't have support for embedding code in the document. Now it may not be required for new document but for supporting .doc which have for example visio image inserted in it, you need that support. Isn't it the case?
2. The members of ECMA voted 20:1 so most people feel that it is good for a standard.
3. Why should there not be multiple standard, after all it is about choice. You can't let one standard stand in the way of innovation. Just like Linux has 100 distributions and people say choice is good, why double standards now? Are you guys really that dishonest or is hate clouding your judgement?

Anyways Kudos to Microsoft for standing upto the fanatics.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

ODF doesn't have support for embedding code in the document.

ODF certainly can, but part of the reason why ODF does not mandate embedding binary code is because it attempts to be something called a standard. From TFA:

"This is a bogus argument. What OpenXML does is enable embedding code from any platform—whether that is Java code from Linux or ActiveX code from Windows"

Are the specifications for ActiveX and all of the Windows specific parts open for complete implementation on other platforms? No. Ergo, if you embed ActiveX in OpenXML as Microsoft Office does then it is not an open standard, and is tied to Windows. End.

Quite why some people have difficulty with this, and want to persist in pretending that OpenXML is some sort of standard I really have no idea. Microsoft will probably come back and tell us that using ActiveX is a choice that an end user makes *rolls eyes*.

Now it may not be required for new document but for supporting .doc which have for example visio image inserted in it, you need that support. Isn't it the case?

Then they submit the documentation for doing that as a standard, rather than the bogus XML that surrounds it because what you've described above is the real format, not the pointless XML. There's a simple answer to the problem of Microsoft's old binary format - they open and spec that fully as well.

The members of ECMA voted 20:1 so most people feel that it is good for a standard.

So what else is new with the ECMA? The other members of the ECMA, like Novell, probably blindly believe they are going to be able to finally implement a Microsoft file format that isn't closed. In practice, they're going to be in for a shock - again.

I'm just shocked that IBM actually had the backbone for once.

Why should there not be multiple standard

At the moment there's only one standard, and that's ODF, because no one else is going to be able to exchange OpenXML documents with Microsoft Office.

Just like Linux has 100 distributions and people say choice is good

Because those distributions are all built on the same code, with minor differences. Bizarrely, it shows just how open Linux really is when people can actually re-implement it and the open source software on top into a new distribution.

Can I implement the OpenXML spec and then handle an OpenXML document on Linux or a Mac that has an ActiveX control embedded in it? No, I bloody well can't.

Anyways Kudos to Microsoft for standing upto the fanatics.

Yer, everyone but Microsoft is a fanatic because Microsoft has a serious case of NIH syndrome for their own benefits. Yawn.

Edited 2006-12-08 23:56

Reply Score: 5

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

In that case you'd be happy to hear that ODF supports embedded formulas ;)

So be happy ;)

Reply Score: 5

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The point wasn't about binary code.

Yes it was.

It was about spreadsheet formulas. If you want to embed a spreadsheet into a word processing document, ODF doesn't have a spec

Yes it does, and Open Office is doing it.

Reply Score: 5

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes it does, and Open Office is doing it.

The way Open Office does it is not included in the standard, and other applications that support ODF store formulas in different, incompatible ways causing a lack of interoperability between ODF applications from different vendors. A standard for formulas is being worked on for inclusion into later versions of the ODF standard.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The way Open Office does it is not included in the standard, and other applications that support ODF store formulas in different

Which is the way I would expect a standard to be worked out - people going out and doing it and then providing feedback for the standard. It's another reason why open source software is the best place for this.

incompatible ways causing a lack of interoperability between ODF applications from different vendors

And how many vendors have a full and working implementation of OpenXML, today, that can open any document saved in Microsoft Office?

Reply Score: 4

baad_to_The_bone Member since:
2006-02-08

Are the specifications for ActiveX and all of the Windows specific parts open for complete implementation on other platforms? No. Ergo, if you embed ActiveX in OpenXML as Microsoft Office does then it is not an open standard, and is tied to Windows. End.

This logic is flawed in my opinion. By this logic the ELF executable format is not standard, because the actual program machine code is tied to one specific architecture.

Reply Score: 2

JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

Have you used ODF?

I have. I works great.

Not saying OpenXML doesn't - it's probably very good, I'm sure.

However, knowing Microsoft's track record, and knowing that the vast majority of their profits come from Windows and Office, they will surely sneak in some proprietary hooks.

To me, that just isn't worth it, now matter how good OpenXML may or may not be.

That's not being a fanatic. It's pure pragmatism.

Reply Score: 5

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Why should there not be multiple standard, after all it is about choice.

Double standards are never good. That's what caused the NASA Orbiter Crash. The idea behind a standard is that it is designed to reduce the need for blind decision making (choice) in areas where interoperability is needed. From screw-thread direction to document formats, having single, well-defined standards allows people to work together.

Just like Linux has 100 distributions

100 implementations, one POSIX standard.

ODF doesn't have support for embedding code

And yet everywhere we look, there are serious moves to restrict the number of ways that arbitrary code can get into people's system. Allowing code to masquerade as a document to trick users into running it is an already condemned practice.

Reply Score: 5

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Double standards are never good. That's what caused the NASA Orbiter Crash. The idea behind a standard is that it is designed to reduce the need for blind decision making (choice) in areas where interoperability is needed. From screw-thread direction to document formats, having single, well-defined standards allows people to work together.

The situation between ODF and OXML would be like ODF being the standard one team wanted even though it didn't fill the needs of both teams wheras OXML did. In any case, this has nothing to do with spaceships.

100 implementations, one POSIX standard.

Which either not all implementations follow, or there are interoperability needs in which it is useless.


And yet everywhere we look, there are serious moves to restrict the number of ways that arbitrary code can get into people's system. Allowing code to masquerade as a document to trick users into running it is an already condemned practice.

The comment you were replying to in this case was wrong. ODF does include support for embedding arbitrary code in it's standard. RE: Code tricking users into running it -- you can either not support that in your application, or just strip it out of the document. In any case, the code is only as powerful as the application and user allow it to be.

Reply Score: 3

ODF is awesome ideology.
by robojerk on Fri 8th Dec 2006 22:07 UTC
robojerk
Member since:
2006-01-10

I like the idea of ODF, a government or school can create a document that anyone can open. In never understood how a international standard could be proprietary.

Reply Score: 5

RE: ODF is awesome ideology.
by Doc Pain on Fri 8th Dec 2006 22:21 UTC in reply to "ODF is awesome ideology."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I like the idea of ODF, a government or school can create a document that anyone can open. "

Regardless of the used operating system or support programs. You even don't need the creation program or a specific viewer, because you can simply uncompress the file and read the XML content as plain text. (Remember: Plain text is the best interchange format.) XML is the future, open standards are too. Proprietary solutions will only be interesting for very special uses and applications, but the average user will want a format he can create and share with his buddies. ODF will surely serve this purpose.

"In never understood how a international standard could be proprietary."

This happens as soon as it gets modified, "extended" in terms of MICROS~1 and therefore is incompatible with existing standards; in fact, it isn't an international standard any more.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by MollyC on Fri 8th Dec 2006 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE: ODF is awesome ideology."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Regardless of the used operating system or support programs."

Corel, Novell, Apple, and Microsoft are making apps that support OpenXML on Windows, Linux, and Mac.


"You even don't need the creation program or a specific viewer, because you can simply uncompress the file and read the XML content as plain text. (Remember: Plain text is the best interchange format.)"

You can do the exact same thing with OpenXML.


"This happens as soon as it gets modified, "extended" in terms of MICROS~1 and therefore is incompatible with existing standards; in fact, it isn't an international standard any more."

OpenOffice has already extended ODF for its own purposes, to fill in the gaps that are present in the ODF spec (e.g. ODF lacks a standard way to store spreadsheet formulas). It's ODF that's being extended not OpenXML.

Speaking of the gaps in ODF, there are no less than three OASIS committees trying working on extending the ODF spec to fill in those gaps. OpenXML, on the other hand has no such gaps.

OpenXML also supports more features (since it supports the MS Office features that OpenOffice lacks), its file sizes are smaller and the files load faster (up to 10x faster for spreadsheets). There's really no reason to choose ODF over OpenXML (beyond fanboy politics).

ODF advocate IBM voted against the OpenXML standard, but came away looking isolated and foolish, as the vote went 20 to 1 against them. IBM is going around the world lobbying government entities to mandate exclusive use of ODF. They're afraid to compete on the merits.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by segedunum on Fri 8th Dec 2006 23:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ODF is awesome ideology."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Corel, Novell, Apple, and Microsoft are making apps that support OpenXML on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Are they implementing ActiveX and the OLE specifics that Microsoft have opened that will be embedded in Microsoft OpenXML documents? Additionally, will Microsoft being opening their rights management extensions as well?

You can do the exact same thing with OpenXML.

Yay. Microsoft have developed a compression format marked up in XML. Good for them.

Tell me. When I uncompress that file will I be able to open the resulting binary files from Microsoft Office in Open Office on a non-Windows platform or Pages on a Mac?

It's ODF that's being extended not OpenXML.

Alas, any extensions that Open Office has created are all open sourced, and by definition, can be included in the standard without any intervention or opening from anyone. Nothing in Windows or Office is.

OpenXML also supports more features (since it supports the MS Office features that OpenOffice lacks)

And those Microsoft Office features are closed, yes. Anything else you want to add?

There's really no reason to choose ODF over OpenXML (beyond fanboy politics).

Says the company who wants to protect its monopoly on Office suites, which has been enforced by closed file formats :-).

ODF advocate IBM voted against the OpenXML standard, but came away looking isolated and foolish

When Microsoft Office users start sending OpenXML documents embedded with ActiveX components wrapped in rights management protection that Novell's Open Office users and Apple's Pages users can't open, and Microsoft shrugs its shoulders and tells everyone that's what customers have chosen, guess who's going to look foolish?

The people defending Microsoft here look like the usual astroturfer characters and the laughable buffoons there have always been. Seriously, what banana boat do you and Microsoft think everyone has got off?

Edited 2006-12-09 00:00

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by eMagius on Sat 9th Dec 2006 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ODF is awesome ideology."
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Tell me. When I uncompress that file will I be able to open the resulting binary files from Microsoft Office in Open Office on a non-Windows platform or Pages on a Mac?

As much as you would with an OpenOffice.org file that embedded a RealAudio file. This has nothing to do with OOXML or ODF.

"OpenXML also supports more features"

And those Microsoft Office features are closed, yes.


They're entirely open and documented in the specification. Jeez, do you actually read the specs or just see the name "Microsoft" and fly off your handle?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by segedunum on Sat 9th Dec 2006 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ODF is awesome ideology."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

As much as you would with an OpenOffice.org file that embedded a RealAudio file. This has nothing to do with OOXML or ODF.

Yes it does, because it subverts the standard and makes it meaningless. What the hell is the point of OpenXML if Microsoft Office sends an OpenXML document with a rights management encumbered sound file to a Linux or Mac user?

Microsoft are not using and embedding industry standards like SVG and MathML into Microsoft Office and their formats either, so OpenXML is absolutely worthless.

They're entirely open and documented in the specification.

The features in Microsoft Office are implemented via the old embedded binary Office format with backwards compatibility in mind. The OpenXML side of things is simply a dump into a really broken XML schema of all of that proprietary binary Office format.

do you actually read the specs

No. Have you read them, and have you implemented them into separate office suite? If not, you're talking out of your posterior.

The specs are several thousand pages long, and as a standard, it will be impossible to implement well, if at all. Even if someone by some miracle does then the point I've made above about embedded Office specific binary data will stop it dead. Of course, that's the point ;-).

All OpenXML is for is to get a lot of silly people thinking that Microsoft have created a standard that they can implement, and then spending the next ten years implementing it and reverse engineering all the stuff they are having problems with.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by n4cer on Sat 9th Dec 2006 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ODF is awesome ideology."
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes it does, because it subverts the standard and makes it meaningless. What the hell is the point of OpenXML if Microsoft Office sends an OpenXML document with a rights management encumbered sound file to a Linux or Mac user?

This is a choice for the producer of the document. Both standards allow inclusion of arbitrary data in the document. In the case of OXML, you can ignore content you don't understand and render the rest of the document. I assume the same is true for ODF. The whole embedding argument is moot as it is allowed in either format and is basically the same issue you have with web pages that contain arbitrary formats that may or may not be accessible on a given platform.

The features in Microsoft Office are implemented via the old embedded binary Office format with backwards compatibility in mind. The OpenXML side of things is simply a dump into a really broken XML schema of all of that proprietary binary Office format.

This simply is not true.

The specs are several thousand pages long, and as a standard, it will be impossible to implement well, if at all. Even if someone by some miracle does then the point I've made above about embedded Office specific binary data will stop it dead. Of course, that's the point ;-).

The binary issue does not stop it dead. You can still render/process the rest of the document.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by segedunum on Sat 9th Dec 2006 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ODF is awesome ideology."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a choice for the producer of the document.

Which is exactly what I said Microsoft would say when this topic came up ;-).

Both standards allow inclusion of arbitrary data in the document.

However, OpenXML documents produced by Microsoft Office will mandate it. You simply will not be able to reliably open a document produced with Microsoft Office in Open Office.

This is the reason why ODF has still to nail down many specifics without resorting to binary blobs within the format, and I would expect it to mandate certain standards that you can use between vendors and software for sound etc.

Only Microsoft has convinced us all that dropping COM objects, WMA and various controls into an office document is necessary. It isn't.

In the case of OXML, you can ignore content you don't understand

No you can't, because that content is what makes the file of any use.

The whole embedding argument is moot

No, it isn't. See above.

This simply is not true.

Then prove it me that it isn't.

Embedding of binary blobs of ActiveX and previous Office formats is done by Microsoft for backwards compatibility, supposedly - so they say, and the 4000 page OpenXML spec is simply a meaningless and undecipherable dump of much of Microsoft's previous binary format into XML.

XML == open standard according to Microsoft. It doesn't mean it's of any use to anyone.

The binary issue does not stop it dead. You can still render/process the rest of the document.

What do you mean by the rest of the document? The whole point of a standard is so that I can render the whole of the document.

And as I said, rendering the rest of the document depends on whether the broken XML can be deciphered into something meaningful, and of course, Microsoft Office will have first choice on how something is rendered.

Edited 2006-12-09 21:03

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by Doc Pain on Sat 9th Dec 2006 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ODF is awesome ideology."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Corel, Novell, Apple, and Microsoft are making apps that support OpenXML on Windows, Linux, and Mac."

Wow, cool! Where can I download the source code? And what about Solaris, NetBSD, IRIX? (Personally, I don't like the idea of being tied to several OSes or program vendors).

Why reinvent something (ODF/XML) to have something similar with less advantages especially such as interoperability and program independance? If OpenXML is published as an open source project, it could really get very useful.

"OpenOffice has already extended ODF for its own purposes, to fill in the gaps that are present in the ODF spec (e.g. ODF lacks a standard way to store spreadsheet formulas). It's ODF that's being extended not OpenXML."

The extensions are well documented and viewable for everyone, so for developers and for (experienced) users.

"OpenXML also supports more features (since it supports the MS Office features that OpenOffice lacks), its file sizes are smaller and the files load faster (up to 10x faster for spreadsheets). There's really no reason to choose ODF over OpenXML (beyond fanboy politics)."

You're right. A good compression (such as provided by bzip2) are very useful. But I could imagine tons of features that OpemXML (and ODF) won't serve, e. g. reading a Geoworks Ensemble GeoPaint document. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by eMagius on Sat 9th Dec 2006 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ODF is awesome ideology."
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Wow, cool! Where can I download the source code?... If OpenXML is published as an open source project, it could really get very useful.

OpenXML is a format, not a program. There's no "source code".

You can't download the "source code" for ODF or RTF or HTML or whatever else. The concept doesn't even make sense.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by Doc Pain on Sat 9th Dec 2006 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ODF is awesome ideology."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"OpenXML is a format, not a program. There's no "source code"."

Sorry, you didn't understand the target of my reply reference. I didn't mean the format, I meant the programs that support OpenXML on operating systems different from "Windows". It was a rhethorical question to illustrate the bindings to MICROS~1 and some few software vendors if you want to use OpenXML. If OpenXML is not available for common OSes that are no PC or Mac OSes, I think it won't get much acceptance.

For formats there's a (complete) specification / documentation which can be downloaded and viewed. Standard formats are handeled this way so developers can see if it fit's their (and their potential customers') needs.

You mentioned "Corel, Novell, Apple, and Microsoft [...] making apps that support OpenXML on Windows, Linux, and Mac" and I asked what about OpenXML outside this setting. The answer surely is "no support"; I mentioned Solaris, NetBSD and IRIX to state where OpenXML won't play a role under these circumstances.

Time will tell if OpenXML gets widely used or if it just will replace the binary memory garbage .DOC format(s).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by eMagius on Sat 9th Dec 2006 02:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ODF is awesome ideology."
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

For formats there's a (complete) specification / documentation which can be downloaded and viewed. Standard formats are handeled this way so developers can see if it fit's their (and their potential customers') needs.

Such is readily and freely available for OOXML. Why do you continue to ignore it?

You mentioned "Corel, Novell, Apple, and Microsoft [...] making apps that support OpenXML on Windows, Linux, and Mac" and I asked what about OpenXML outside this setting. The answer surely is "no support"; I mentioned Solaris, NetBSD and IRIX to state where OpenXML won't play a role under these circumstances.

Well, that wasn't me, but OpenOffice.org does support OOXML (with Novell's latest patches; they'll be part of the mainstream OOo soon as well). OOo runs on Solaris and NetBSD.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by Finalzone on Sat 9th Dec 2006 02:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ODF is awesome ideology."
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

ODF advocate IBM voted against the OpenXML standard, but came away looking isolated and foolish, as the vote went 20 to 1 against them. IBM is going around the world lobbying government entities to mandate exclusive use of ODF. They're afraid to compete on the merits.

You cannot say IBM looks foolish because these votes were expected anyway.
http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20061...
[...]in that everyone knew that Ecma was going to approve OOXML. After you write up a working group charter that says, and I quote, "The goal of the Technical Committee is to produce a formal standard for office productivity applications within the Ecma International standards process which is fully compatible with the Office Open XML Formats," you haven't left much up in doubt.[...]

What it really means is for PR purpose Microsoft will be able to state that "OpenXML is international standard format".

The real test is on this quote:
What happens next is that Ecma will submit OOXML to JTC1 for a long and much more complex approval process that will take from nine months to a year (at least)

Edited 2006-12-09 02:55

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by jango on Sat 9th Dec 2006 05:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ODF is awesome ideology."
jango Member since:
2006-11-22

really youre a fool, were not afraid to compete on merit, but when was the last time MS showed merit, usually they just subvert governments, and use strongarm tactics to bully competition. this what its about, MS has screwed everyone in the industry, and IBM is still wary of their cowardice. IBM was overpowered this time yes, but soon you right winged drongo's will be shown up

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: ODF is awesome ideology.
by n4cer on Sat 9th Dec 2006 05:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ODF is awesome ideology."
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

really youre a fool, were not afraid to compete on merit, but when was the last time MS showed merit, usually they just subvert governments, and use strongarm tactics to bully competition.

That's funny as this is what IBM is doing to try and con governments into exclusive adoption of ODF. It's a good thing it isn't working.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

There is no gaps in relation to ODF and spreadsheet formulas. ODF doesn't lack a standard way. It already has several standard ways, and this how a standard works.

Didn't you know that?

Reply Score: 1

v ODF is worse than I thought!
by NotParker on Fri 8th Dec 2006 22:56 UTC
RE: ODF is worse than I thought!
by Doc Pain on Sat 9th Dec 2006 00:22 UTC in reply to "ODF is worse than I thought!"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Its kind of like making ASCII the preferred document standard. Sure, its somewhat universal. But it would be useless. "

LaTeX (as the most popular and professional typesetting system) uses plain text files to generate PS and PDF output from it. It's very universal and not useless. :-)

Back on topic: Representation for formulas and datas can be well done with XML (plus compressing by bzip2). Why not sharing the ideas of OpenXML with the community of ODF? Regarding security issues, there would be better control in development and use.

BTW: I think things like proprietary "ActiveX" stuff don't belong into an open document standard.

Reply Score: 5

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

XML _is_ ASCII. Is XML useless? ;)

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

A mail is text too, but it's still capable of embedding images. Same technique for documents. The question is whether or not the entire document is embedded as a binary blob. For ODF the answer is no. OpenXML is nothing but a wrapper around the old binary formats, as can be seen when opening .docx files on other platforms. It's not at all XML.

Somehow you think one cannot embed images in human-readable documents using ascii (well, utf-8 or another encoding in reality), but that merely proves you know next to nothing.

Reply Score: 5

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

A mail is text too, but it's still capable of embedding images. Same technique for documents. The question is whether or not the entire document is embedded as a binary blob. For ODF the answer is no. OpenXML is nothing but a wrapper around the old binary formats, as can be seen when opening .docx files on other platforms. It's not at all XML.

With that statement it's clear that you've never actually looked at a .docx file or any other file format covered under the Open XML standard. Neither images nor code is embedded as a blob in Open XML. XML element(s) are created and contain a reference to the binary object which is stored as-is in the package, allowing you to traverse the package manually or in an automated fashion to remove or otherwise manipulate the object(s) seperately from the document. It is the Office 2003 XML formats which Base64 encoded binary objects inline with the document. This method was dropped for the flexibility mentioned above. Open XML is totally different from the 2003 formats. Neither are wrappers around the binary formats. Look at the spec, syntax, and document samples freely available online instead of continuing to make false statements.

Edited 2006-12-09 05:54

Reply Score: 3

rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

You mean the trivial samples with little formatting and a jpeg?

OOXML has lots of places in the spec where it is little more than fields from a C struct with xml tags around it. Oh gee wiz, that XML around those hex values sure are helpful! This is even more so since the tags themselves are unreadable. OOXML a poster child for premature optimization. Leave it to MS to miss the point of XML.

Reply Score: 3

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

I mean the many samples available from or linked from sites like
http://openxmldeveloper.org/default.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/ (use the tags for Word, Excel, etc.)

As for optimization, the format is readable enough, and isn't as big a concern as storage and access performance. Since most people are going to be using tools to access the format and not manually cracking open and parsing it themselves, I'd rather have a format that is efficient and has access times comparable to the binary formats than one that is much slower.

http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/search.aspx?q=optimize&p=1

Reply Score: 4

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Try opening a .docx file. It isn't exactly XML in human-readable form. And that's the problem.

EDIT:

It is the Office 2003 XML formats which Base64 encoded binary objects inline with the document. <-- That would make it a wrapper around the binary objects. You are contradicting yourself. Either the data isn't represented in binary form in any way, or the binary data will be wrapped one way or the other. Make a decision.

Edited 2006-12-09 07:27

Reply Score: 3

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

I said neither was a wrapper around the binary formats (e.g., .doc, .xls, etc.). There is no contridiction. You can put a binary object in an email and it'll be Base64 encoded. That doesn't make the email format a wrapper around the email program's native format.

Reply Score: 3

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//I said neither was a wrapper around the binary formats//

The problem with OpenXML is that it is an open wrapper around over 1000 pages-worth of Microsoft proprietary fillings.

It has lock-in-to-Microsoft-platform written all over it. Heavens, it even speciifies an ability to embed executable code ... executable on Windows X86 that is. Talk about a lock-in and a security-problem-waiting-to-happen all rolled into the one disastrous package.

This is not what any "standard" should be. If OpenXML gets adopted as an IOS/IEC standard, then the system is shown to be corrupt.

Reply Score: 4

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I never said it would be a wrapper around the email program's native format. I specifically wrote the email program's native format would be a wrapper around the binary data. Just like Office's native format (.docx) is a wrapper around the binary information in Office's _old_ format (.doc, etc.).

Reply Score: 2

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

A mail is text too, but it's still capable of embedding images. Same technique for documents. The question is whether or not the entire document is embedded as a binary blob. For ODF the answer is no. OpenXML is nothing but a wrapper around the old binary formats, as can be seen when opening .docx files on other platforms. It's not at all XML.

Thats totally false.

What are you talking about?

I've got Office 2007. I created a word doc called smit.docx.

I rename smit.docx as smit.zip.

I unzip it.

Inside are severals folder.s One of those is word.

Inside the word folder are 5 .xml files representing the document all in plain text.


document.xml
fonttable.xml
settings.xml
styles.xml
websettings.xml

And there is a folder for the theme.

Everything is xml.

Didn't you know that a .docx. file is a zipped collection of xml files?

Edited 2006-12-09 16:47

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Didn't you know that a .docx. file is a zipped collection of xml files?

Of course I know that. It's a common approach. But it still doesn't help much when the xml-files themselves contains proprietary binary blobs. And that's the problem.

Reply Score: 2

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Of course I know that.

Not from your comments.

You clearly said: " OpenXML is nothing but a wrapper around the old binary formats."

That is completely and utterly false.

You said it here: http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=16674&comment_id=189942


It's a common approach. But it still doesn't help much when the xml-files themselves contains proprietary binary blobs. And that's the problem.

I don't see any proprietary binary blobs in the .docx files I've produced. None.

This is the document.xml file embedded in the .docx file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<w:document xmlns:ve="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/markup-compatibility/2006" xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns:r="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/officeDocument/2006/relationships... xmlns:m="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/officeDocument/2006/math" xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:wp="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/drawingml/2006/wordprocessingDraw... xmlns:w10="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns:w="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/wordprocessingml/2006/main" xmlns:wne="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/word/2006/wordml"><w:bod... w:rsidR="005E677F" w:rsidRDefault="00E7526B"><w:proofErr w:type="spellStart"/><w:r w:rsidRPr="00E7526B"><w:rPr><w:b/></w:rPr><w :t>Dylanmrjones</w:t></w:r><w:proofErr w:type="spellEnd"/><w:r><w:t xml:space="preserve"> is </w:t></w:r><w:r w:rsidRPr="00E7526B"><w:rPr><w:color w:val="FF0000"/></w:rPr><w:t>lying</w:t></w: r><w:r><w:t xml:space="preserve"> when he says .</w:t></w:r><w:proofErr w:type="spellStart"/><w:r><w:t>docx</w:t></w :r><w:proofErr w:type="spellEnd"/><w:r><w:t xml:space="preserve"> files contain proprietary binary blobs.</w:t></w:r></w:p><w:p w:rsidR="00E7526B" w:rsidRDefault="00E7526B"/><w:p w:rsidR="00E7526B" w:rsidRDefault="00E7526B"/><w:p w:rsidR="005E677F" w:rsidRDefault="005E677F"/><w:p w:rsidR="005E677F" w:rsidRDefault="005E677F"/><w:p w:rsidR="005E677F" w:rsidRDefault="005E677F"/><w:sectPr w:rsidR="005E677F" w:rsidSect="004B1342"><w:pgSz w:w="12240" w:h="15840"/><w:pgMar w:top="1440" w:right="1440" w:bottom="1440" w:left="1440" w:header="708" w:footer="708" w:gutter="0"/><w:cols w:space="708"/><w:docGrid w:linePitch="360"/></w:sectPr></w:body></w:documen t>

Edited 2006-12-09 19:15

Reply Score: 1

Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

What a mess! The tags are not even comprehensive at the first place. The address referred from xmlms are non-existent giving no way to access to the sources. The hexadecimal characters provide no explanation about their tasks.

Thank you for giving more reasons to not use docx or even MSOpenXML altogether.

Reply Score: 5

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I didn't say anything about XML-files not being present or XML not being used.

I'm impressed by your capability of linking to a post of mine and yey manage to misrepresent the content of that post.

Reply Score: 2

embedded ActiveX has no ties to Windows ?
by cyberkoa on Fri 8th Dec 2006 23:20 UTC
cyberkoa
Member since:
2006-10-18

[quote]
Asked about the claim that OpenXML is not universally interoperable as it has ties to Windows, which prevents full interoperability with other platforms, Yates said OpenXML has no ties to Windows.

"This is a bogus argument. What OpenXML does is enable embedding code from any platform—whether that is Java code from Linux or ActiveX code from Windows. Applications are allowed to do this as they have done this in the past. A lot of the committee's work was on ensuring it was cross-platform friendly," he said.
[/quote]
ActiveX is platform dependent, particular on Windows.
Therefore, the document created in OpenXML embedded with ActiveX code cannot be opened well (or compatible) in other platform than Windows.
And we come back to the argument VBA cannot opened well in OOo and bla bla bla ..
If MS really care about interoperable of users' document in the first place, should open the file format before the existance of ODF.

Reply Score: 3

An open standard should not allow
by Temcat on Sat 9th Dec 2006 00:39 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

embedding arbitrary binary blobs period. The ones it does allow must be fully documented and unencumbered. Otherwise it makes no sense as a standard. Say we adopted OpenXML as a standard format. But if somebody using MS Office embeds an ActiveX object in the document, this document won't in principle be fully functional on in OOo under Linux. OOo will presumably be able to read the document, but not interpret this binary part. This defeats the very goal of an open standard format. Therefore Open XML in its present state won't cut.

However, a good standard would allow private extensions to the format for adding features. And ODF allows exactly that.

Reply Score: 1

JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"embedding arbitrary binary blobs period. The ones it does allow must be fully documented and unencumbered."

This is just the sort of proprietary hook I was talking about.

Even though OpenXML is, technically speaking, "open", it does allow, according to the article (yes, I read it) allow embedding of binary bit blobs, and customized code.

You can bet your life that MS Office will do just that by default, rendering the document not fully accessible outside of MS Office.

So much for being "open".

Again, I'm not being a fanatic. It's pure, unadulterated pragmatism.

Thy're my documents, dammit, and no corporation has the right to dictate what software I can use to open my documents.

And it seems amazing to me that anyone would tolerate having their own documents locked into one software package that they have to pay to get access.

Whatever you own, you should have free access to. It should not require a paid license to some "thing", or in this case, a software package.

Edited 2006-12-09 00:56

Reply Score: 5

baad_to_The_bone Member since:
2006-02-08

Thy're my documents, dammit, and no corporation has the right to dictate what software I can use to open my documents.

So now Microsoft is properly documenting an easy-to-parse XML format (well, should be easier to parse than the old .doc/.xls formats).

So your sucky OpenOffice should have no problem reading it.

All you have to do, to not succumb to the infamous and wickedly evil vendor lock-in with your own documents, is very simply, just avoid putting ActiveX in your own precious documents.

BUT YOU'RE STILL COMPLAINING!?

Reply Score: 0

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Could it be because Microsoft hasn't documented any "easy-to-parse" XML format?

Reply Score: 4

Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

If a Windows ODF program allows embedding of ActiveX controls or any other object for which Linux did not have a program to read it then the ODF document's binary part would not be readable.

Now that's a pretty big IF, isn't it. So tell me does ODF standard allow embedding ActiveX controls as such - without a special non-standard extension (which 3rd party programs are of course free to define, but after that their output ceases to comply with the standard)? I wonder if you really don't understand it or just pretend to.

I suspect the primary objection is that anything that has to do with Windows (despite being on 95% of PC's) is a no no).

Your suspicion is wrong.

The goal seems to remove any advantage the rich ecosystem of programs on Windows gives.

Bullshit. The goal is to remove dependence on the platform altogether.

I think most people (including me) who object against OOXML in its present form, would adopt OOXML as a standard on the following conditions:

- That MS fully documents the formats of ALL possible binary parts that OOXML format allows, and grants a free patent-license or a covenant not to sue for all of them.

- That MS also commits to fully documenting and freely licensing all future modifications and extensions to any such formats.

But MS won't do it, because they don't want to allow wide interoperation -otherwise they'll lose their data lock-in.

FYI, I'm not a basher of all things Microsoft. For example, I use Microsoft Word 2000 which is overall a fine piece of software and lets me do my work efficiently. But the point in the ODF/OOXML war is not software, but vendor independence. And that is what MS is afraid of, because say OOo, despite its deficiencies (which make it unsuitable for me), is good enough for quite a lot of people.

UPDATE: Uh 0h I said "bullshit" so apparently I must be modded down urgently :-P Well, as I said on another occasion, feel free to do that.

Edited 2006-12-09 01:34

Reply Score: 5

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Addind such arbitrary data would violate the standard, but is possible to do.

Of course you don't embed platform specific data in a document you intend to be readable on any platform. In the end, it's the responsibility of the end user.

Reply Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

What's the difference between an ODF with private extensions and an OOXML doc with an activeX control in it if you're opening it on a program different from the one that created it?

For what it's worth, most office users don't put arbitrary activeX into their documents.

Both systems will support each other, so it will be fine in the end. Things will be settled in the marketplace.

Reply Score: 3

Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

What's the difference between an ODF with private extensions and an OOXML doc with an activeX control in it if you're opening it on a program different from the one that created it?

The goal of a standard format is to prevent the situation of an inherent inability to read a document that complies to the standard. OOXML specification as it is now defeats this goal by allowing binary components which are not documented or unencumbered. ODF, on the other hand doesn't allow them (private modifications are just that - private, non-standard), therefore ODF specification is suitable as an open standard for document formats.

Edited 2006-12-09 01:27

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The user won't put activeX in. Microsoft will make sure that ActiveX elements are added automagically in case you add pictures or colored fonts or capitals or if you use MS Office in general.

Reply Score: 3

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

The user won't put activeX in. Microsoft will make sure that ActiveX elements are added automagically in case you add pictures or colored fonts or capitals or if you use MS Office in general.

This just is not true. Users actions determine whether embedded objects are created, and none of your above examples result in this. Doing any of the above will produce either style elements or DrawingML, all of which is documented and portable, and again, a user can embed arbitrary objects in ODF just as easily as they can with Open XML. It is part of both standards.

Reply Score: 3

ODF viewer for Microsoft Office
by holywood on Sat 9th Dec 2006 01:21 UTC
holywood
Member since:
2006-09-25

If you want to use OpenDocumentFormat, there is still the ODF Viewer for Microsoft Office !

Reply Score: 1

Valid Criticism?
by Tyson on Sat 9th Dec 2006 01:33 UTC
Tyson
Member since:
2006-08-21

Although I'm no expert, I think Rob (from IBM) has raised several valid criticisms of OOXML (such as the use of bit fields in XML and incorporating date hacks into the standard):

http://www.robweir.com/blog/labels/OOXML.html

Reading his articles left me feeling like the "new and improved interoperability format" that OOXML is suppose to be is little more than a thin wrapper around a binary dump of the in memory format used by Office.

If this is true, it does not strike me as a good thing (talk about defeating the purpose of XML).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Valid Criticism?
by Temcat on Sat 9th Dec 2006 01:42 UTC in reply to "Valid Criticism?"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

OOXML is suppose to be is little more than a thin wrapper around a binary dump of the in memory format used by Office

This would be fine by itself - as long as each and every possible component included in the format would be fully documented and unencumbered. As far as pure basic structure goes, OOXML is OK.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Valid Criticism?
by n4cer on Sat 9th Dec 2006 05:06 UTC in reply to "Valid Criticism?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Although I'm no expert, I think Rob (from IBM) has raised several valid criticisms of OOXML (such as the use of bit fields in XML and incorporating date hacks into the standard):

He conveniently forgets to mention that the "date hack" originated with Lotus 1-2-3, and was adopted by Excel and subsequently every other spreadsheet application that wanted to be compatible with the many Lotus 1-2-3 documents that had been/were being produced. It would be more work (and error-prone) to create a new date representation and transform every Lotus and Lotus date-compatible spreadsheet format not only for the new format but also for the internal representation of many existing applications.

The bitmasks define unicode code pages and are documented in the spec. Neither tie the format to Windows nor present barriers to implementation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Valid Criticism?
by hal2k1 on Sat 9th Dec 2006 08:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Valid Criticism?"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//He conveniently forgets to mention that the "date hack" originated with Lotus 1-2-3, and was adopted by Excel and subsequently every other spreadsheet application that wanted to be compatible with the many Lotus 1-2-3 documents that had been/were being produced. //

You are trying to make it sound like Microsoft support compatibility. Nothing could be further from the truth here.

If Microsoft were truly out to achieve compatibility and interoperability, then why don't they just adopt the open standard formats that are designed to work on every platform?

There are a whole raft of these. SVG, Ogg, ODF, SMIL, Python Perl Java or Ruby, full PNG, full CSS ... and so on and so on. All open standards, all free to be implemented by any party, all unencumbered so no-one gets sued, and all of them promoting true croos-platform interoperability.

Why is it that in every single case, Microsoft refuses to support the perfectly viable suitable and available open standard, but instead tries to insist that its own proprietary, close, patented, single-platform only equivalent format is the only one Microsoft will support?

When Microsoft and Novell announce a deal to improve interoperability, why is it that the avenue to that turns out to be Microsoft's always-proprietary-lower-level-standard-OpenXML format to be implemented in OpenOffice and not the open-all-the-way-down ODF format implemeted instead in MS Office?

When will we see Microsoft announce MS Office for Linux?

Can you say "lock-in"?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Valid Criticism?
by n4cer on Sat 9th Dec 2006 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Valid Criticism?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

You are trying to make it sound like Microsoft support compatibility. Nothing could be further from the truth here.

This is exactly the truth. It was compatibility with Lotus that made them (and others) adopt Lotus' date behavior, and it is now compatibility that makes them carry that behavior forward in Open XML.

If Microsoft were truly out to achieve compatibility and interoperability, then why don't they just adopt the open standard formats that are designed to work on every platform?
There are a whole raft of these. SVG, Ogg, ODF, SMIL, Python Perl Java or Ruby, full PNG, full CSS ... and so on and so on. All open standards, all free to be implemented by any party, all unencumbered so no-one gets sued, and all of them promoting true croos-platform interoperability.


None of those, besides ODF, has anything to do with document formats, and none of those can represent the functionality of current Office formats that they need to bring forward with Open XML. Why you're suddenly trying to expand a discussion about legacy document compatibility into a discussion about adopting every technology under the sun is puzzling, though likely a wanted deflection from the actual topic.

Why is it that in every single case, Microsoft refuses to support the perfectly viable suitable and available open standard, but instead tries to insist that its own proprietary, close, patented, single-platform only equivalent format is the only one Microsoft will support?

First, you're wrong. Microsoft has both created and adopted several standards. They, as everyone, are not obligated to support every standard out there just because it's out there, and nothing stops anyone else from implementing support themselves or using what's already out there. PNG is supported by Microsoft in several products, as is SMIL. CSS support in IE is improving, and their various development tools support it. None of the major browsers provide full CSS support. ODF is supported via an open source translator they sponsor and other projects others sponsor. Python, Perl, Java, and Ruby run just fine on Windows. Besides their original implementations, Microsoft directly supports implementations of Python and Ruby on .NET, and has also worked to increase PHP performance on IIS (and given code to the project). There's virtually no demand for Ogg support compared to what their customers already have with WMA/V, and SVG did not fit their needs for usage in WPF, though it still may be supported in a future version of IE (taking lower presedence to other technologies like CSS). Ogg (and many other media formats) support is easily gained via an available DirectShow codec (long the standard media extensibility path for Windows). SVG support has been available via plugins for several years. Windows is extensible for a reason. Microsoft isn't going to support everything everyone wants. Where they lack support for something some people think is important, the path is open for others to fill the need.

Why is it that in every single case, Microsoft refuses to support the perfectly viable suitable and available open standard, but instead tries to insist that its own proprietary, close, patented, single-platform only equivalent format is the only one Microsoft will support?

Why is it you love to exaggerate and act as if Microsoft has never supported any standards? It just isn't true.

When Microsoft and Novell announce a deal to improve interoperability, why is it that the avenue to that turns out to be Microsoft's always-proprietary-lower-level-standard-OpenXML format to be implemented in OpenOffice and not the open-all-the-way-down ODF format implemeted instead in MS Office?

You're again mischaracterizing Open XML, and that wasn't the sum of the deal. IIRC, Novell is also contributing and/or using code from the ODF translator project. Either way, Microsoft isn't blocking support for ODF, unlike IBM and others, don't mind there being several formats available, are supporting ODF translation and have stated their intensions to include it in a future version of Office should there be significant demand for it. Righ now, most customers are satisfied with Open XML and understand the need for it. The most vocal cries for ODF support are coming directly from a minority trying to push the format without concern of the actual customers whose documents cannot be represented by ODF.

When will we see Microsoft announce MS Office for Linux?

When we see a good business case for it. Desktop Linux is an extremely small market, and only a fraction of those running Linux would actually buy Office instead of using OpenOffice or some other free product, and displaying the same narrow-mindedness towards Office or anything MS just as certain people are doing with regard to MS' format standardization.

Can you say "lock-in"?

Can you say "Not Applicable"?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Valid Criticism?
by hal2k1 on Sat 9th Dec 2006 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Valid Criticism?"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//None of those, besides ODF, has anything to do with document formats,//

Not true at all. Those open standards support the "inclusions" in your documents. "Inclusions" of graphics, audio files, macros, that type of thing.

//Why is it you love to exaggerate and act as if Microsoft has never supported any standards? It just isn't true. //

It IS true. Microsoft refuses point blank to properly support every single open standard. It is like Microsoft deliberately tries to sabotage it as a standard if it is open. Microsoft=="anything but open".

Instead, Microsoft try to pretend that "Microsoft stuff"=="standard". Only feeble-minded people buy this sort of thing, luckily.

No SVG graphics support, anywhere on Microsoft software. Poor support for PNG for ages and ages. No support for Ogg in Microsoft media players. On and on it goes.

//You're again mischaracterizing Open XML, and that wasn't the sum of the deal. IIRC, Novell is also contributing and/or using code from the ODF translator project.//

Not a bit. For example, why is the Microsoft-sponsored ODF "effort" a translator? It translates between OpenXML and ODF. That means one has to have the OpenXML support in the first place. OpenXML becomes a requirement in order to support ODF in Microsoft products, once again meaning one has to have a Windows platform in order to be compatible.

Why not instead make a true ODF plugin ... one that translates back and forth between the ODF file on disk and MS Office's internal memory structures. That is the type of ODF plugin that the opendocument foundation people are writing. With that plugin you can make ODF the default save format in MS Office, which you cannot do with Microsoft's ODF translator.

//The most vocal cries for ODF support are coming directly from a minority trying to push the format without concern of the actual customers whose documents cannot be represented by ODF. //

That is pure rubbish. ODF is fully capable of supporting complex documents. The one and ONLY reason Microsoft do not properly support ODF is that it is an open format, and all of the things it calls up are open as well, and it is platform agnostic and vendor neutral.

One does not need a Windows platform to support ODF, and ODF can fully support Office documents of all types. Therefore, Microsoft is trying to kill it.

//When we see a good business case for it.//

Rubbish. There is apparently a good enough business case for Microsoft to spend $500 mil on trying to sabotage SuSe. Why not just spend a fraction of that money and port MS Office to SuSe, and expand potential MS Office sales in the process?

Why not? Because such a move would mean that no-one had to buy Vista, that is why not.

There is your business case.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Valid Criticism?
by n4cer on Sat 9th Dec 2006 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Valid Criticism?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Not true at all. Those open standards support the "inclusions" in your documents. "Inclusions" of graphics, audio files, macros, that type of thing.

You can include whatever you want. There is no restriction on the type of the content.

It IS true. Microsoft refuses point blank to properly support every single open standard. It is like Microsoft deliberately tries to sabotage it as a standard if it is open. Microsoft=="anything but open".

Microsoft is not obligated to support every single open standard. Nobody supports every single open standard. No one has the resources to do so, and it's stupid to do so if there's no valid business case for it.

Not a bit. For example, why is the Microsoft-sponsored ODF "effort" a translator? It translates between OpenXML and ODF. That means one has to have the OpenXML support in the first place. OpenXML becomes a requirement in order to support ODF in Microsoft products, once again meaning one has to have a Windows platform in order to be compatible.
Why not instead make a true ODF plugin ... one that translates back and forth between the ODF file on disk and MS Office's internal memory structures. That is the type of ODF plugin that the opendocument foundation people are writing. With that plugin you can make ODF the default save format in MS Office, which you cannot do with Microsoft's ODF translator.


OpenXML does not require Windows or Office. It's a translator because ODF does not and cannot in its current form support all that Office and OXML can. The translator is also more valuable than a plugin tied to Office's internal data model because the code can be reused elsewhere.

That is pure rubbish. ODF is fully capable of supporting complex documents. The one and ONLY reason Microsoft do not properly support ODF is that it is an open format, and all of the things it calls up are open as well, and it is platform agnostic and vendor neutral.

ODF may support complex documents, but it does not support all the features of current Office documents. I don't even know why you continue to try and argue around this fact. As long as ODF cannot represent every feature of Office, it cannot be used as a default format for Office or a lossless conversion format because the risk of data loss is very real.

One does not need a Windows platform to support ODF, and ODF can fully support Office documents of all types. Therefore, Microsoft is trying to kill it.

Except many existing documents created with Microsoft Office, or the interchange of documents between multiple ODF producers.

Rubbish. There is apparently a good enough business case for Microsoft to spend $500 mil on trying to sabotage SuSe. Why not just spend a fraction of that money and port MS Office to SuSe, and expand potential MS Office sales in the process?
Why not? Because such a move would mean that no-one had to buy Vista, that is why not.


A potential expansion of 2% (a generous estimate) marketshare would likely not even cover the porting costs. If someone is running Suse, they likely have little interest in Office anyway, and there are currently other methods such as running it via RDP if they really want to use it. There is no (sane) business case.

Edited 2006-12-09 15:24

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Valid Criticism?
by cyberkoa on Sat 9th Dec 2006 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Valid Criticism?"
cyberkoa Member since:
2006-10-18

[quote]
OpenXML does not require Windows or Office. It's a translator because ODF does not and cannot in its current form support all that Office and OXML can. The translator is also more valuable than a plugin tied to Office's internal data model because the code can be reused elsewhere. [/quote]
As a user, I prefer to directly use save my document in ODF from MS Office instead of saving in other format then use an external translator to do conversion . Do you think MS cannot do that ? No, it just that MS do not want to do that.

[quote]
ODF may support complex documents, but it does not support all the features of current Office documents.
[/quote]
Can you mention some of those features that cannot be supported in ODF ? Maybe ActiveX code ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Valid Criticism?
by n4cer on Sat 9th Dec 2006 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Valid Criticism?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

As a user, I prefer to directly use save my document in ODF from MS Office instead of saving in other format then use an external translator to do conversion . Do you think MS cannot do that ? No, it just that MS do not want to do that.

Of course they don't want to do it. There's not enough demand for it to be a priority, and either way there's the potential for data loss.


Can you mention some of those features that cannot be supported in ODF ? Maybe ActiveX code ?

ActiveX is supported by ODF through OLE object embedding. A standard formula syntax and custom schemas are two things are not supported by ODF.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Valid Criticism?
by hal2k1 on Sun 10th Dec 2006 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Valid Criticism?"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//OpenXML does not require Windows or Office. It's a translator because ODF does not and cannot in its current form support all that Office and OXML can. The translator is also more valuable than a plugin tied to Office's internal data model because the code can be reused elsewhere.

ODF may support complex documents, but it does not support all the features of current Office documents. I don't even know why you continue to try and argue around this fact. As long as ODF cannot represent every feature of Office, it cannot be used as a default format for Office or a lossless conversion format because the risk of data loss is very real. //

This is all utter rubbish.

OpenXML calls up all sorts of Microsoft-only cruft, such as ActiveX, wmv, wma, Visual Basic ... on and on and on for over 1000 pages. Not a single open standard amongst it.

So Microsoft were on the ODF committee. If they wanted to support all that cruft, they could have just opened it all to the ODF committee.

But no, they kept it all to themselves. Proprietary lock-in cruft. Now they write this Microsoft-only lock-in cruft into their "OpenXML" specification, and they expect people to believe it is open?

Come on!

If Microsoft want legacy support, they had two options that would be in the interests of end-users:
(1) open up the old binary formats, and get them as part of ODF, or
(2) write good translators between the old binary stuff and the open-standard equivalents (eg wma to ogg, Visual Basic to Python or whatever), and then adopt the new open ODF format as the default format for MS Office.

What do Microsoft do? They write the translator in the wrong place (they make instead an OpenXML to ODF translator) and they make sure the whole thing then still depends on Windows platforms.

Every move Microsoft make is a deliberate move to try to sustain the lock-in to Microsoft software on Microsoft Windows platforms.

Everything they do translates into that mindset.

It is blatantly obvious that this is so. Every engineer on the planet can easily see far better and more open solutions than the one Microsoft end up adopting.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[7]: Valid Criticism?
by NotParker on Sun 10th Dec 2006 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Valid Criticism?"
RE[5]: Valid Criticism?
by JeffS on Sat 9th Dec 2006 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Valid Criticism?"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

Outstanding point, hal2k1.

The points you make should be completely, utterly, spectacularly obvious to any sane, intelligent person - that MS's business plan is to promote lock-in, and sabotage open standards. That is how Windows and Office remain so lucrative for them.

But some people just gleefully keep putting their heads in the sand, and try to convince themselves that MS is supporting open standards, and is offering the best technology, and has their customers best interests in mind.

Mostly, this just comes from ignorance - falling for MS's huge marketing budget and constant FUD - and not being truly aware of the great alternatives (in this case, ODF).

But, alas the FOSS community/market continues to grow, MS competitors are getting stronger, and people's awareness is getting better. So there is hope.

Reply Score: 5

Notparker finally has a good idea
by Shaman on Sat 9th Dec 2006 04:13 UTC
Shaman
Member since:
2005-11-15

It sounds to me like punishing Microsft is the goal.

Regardless of all the other insane things you've said, I'm onboard with this. Punishing Microsoft for its transgressions is a simply excellent idea. I'd be glad to join that team, along with EU, Stac, IBM, NCSA, Netscape, Adobe, Lotus, Borland, and the many others that have been harmed by Microsoft's unethical and illegal business practices.

The problem is... where to start?

As for ODF, it's not the hammer designed to punish Microsoft. Nope. It's the hammer designed to take our data back so that we can use it anytime, anywhere, on anything we want. OpenXML on the other hand stands firmly in the way of that - or should I say that Microsoft's implementation of OpenXML does. Wait... that's not really a question.

Edited 2006-12-09 04:16

Reply Score: 2

Standards that Aren't
by porcel on Sat 9th Dec 2006 06:02 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

Microsoft's standards are a parody of what that word is supposed to convey.

A poster on Slashdot made the following very insightful comment:

"The size of Microsoft's spec is a real problem. A Word developer estimates [msdn.com] more than 4 years for a team of 5 (within Microsoft) to implement just the Word portion in Word for Mac. Apparently, that's too much work, so they're just going to "port" the Windows version.

Is a standard with only one, proprietary implementation much use to anyone?"

References:
http://blogs.msdn.com/rick_schaut/archive/2006/12/07/open-xml-conve...

Reply Score: 5

development costs
by djangoxl on Sat 9th Dec 2006 10:38 UTC
djangoxl
Member since:
2006-03-10

Isn't this whole thing a way for Microsoft to put the development costs of supporting a new document at the competitors?

Like, if Microsoft had opted for ODF, they had to change all their code to use that. Now, if the competitors want to use OpenXML, the competitors have to fund their development themselves while Microsoft doesn't have to do anything.

So the real question will be now, will OpenOffice support OpenXML too?

My 2 cts

Reply Score: 1

RE: development costs
by n4cer on Sat 9th Dec 2006 12:15 UTC in reply to "development costs"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Like, if Microsoft had opted for ODF, they had to change all their code to use that. Now, if the competitors want to use OpenXML, the competitors have to fund their development themselves while Microsoft doesn't have to do anything.

Microsoft has had to change their code over the several years they've been moving to XML formats, and over the year of OpenXML's standardization. Changing ODF would've basically meant redoing what they'd already started, and the amount of necessary changes would've drawn complaints that they were trying to take over the format.

So the real question will be now, will OpenOffice support OpenXML too?

The answer is yes, and the support is being provided by Novell, who is a member of TC45 and has worked on standardization of OXML for the past year.

Edited 2006-12-09 12:17

Reply Score: 3

MS refused invite to ODF standardization
by JeffS on Sat 9th Dec 2006 18:51 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

That's right.

Microsoft was repeatedly invited to participate in the ODF technical specification and standardization processes, an invitation that they repeatedly, steadfastly refused.

Why?

Simple, they don't support open standards, they only support "standards" that they completely control, and can insert proprietary lock-in's.

Thus, OpenXML, MS's version of being "open" - something which they can completely control, and put in whatever insidious proprietary hooks they want.

The only exception to this rule is when the market forces MS to comply with a standard (otherwise they risk losing customers). Even that is with MS kicking and screaming, and trying to subvert any which way they can. Just look at what they tried with Java, and the subsequent lawsuits from Sun (which MS had to settle for nearly $2 billion).

That's just the way monopolies behave. Heck, it's the way many large corporations behave. Oracle, IBM, and others, are known to sneak in their own proprietary hooks on open standards.

The point is, don't trust a "standard" that is produced exclusively by one large corp, especially a convicted monopolist.

At this point, people want a truly open standard, and want total free access their own documents, ODF is the only way to go, period.

Reply Score: 5

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

The point is, don't trust a "standard" that is produced exclusively by one large corp,

Adobe's pdf is considered open by the FOSS crowd even though it is copyrighted and patented by Adobe and the license agreement threatens to sue if you don't abide by the DRM Adobe spec's out.

Don't you really mean ... the enemy of my enemy is trusted ... and we all hate Microsoft?

Reply Score: 2

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Traditionally, Adobe has been considered 'a good thing' by the FOSS community because of its open standards and connection to the FOSS world.

Traditionally, Microsoft has been Monopolistic, Anti-competitive, anti-FOSS and generally 'a bad thing' (google for references), manipulating the market for its own benefit (which implicitly means the detrement of others (see capitalism))

You have to see that when Microsoft turns round and suddenly tries to fast-track an 'open' file format standard, people are going to be pretty sceptical.

You keep attacking the FOSS community as if it is some anti-microsoft conspiracy. In reality, the FOSS community has been under attack from Microsoft for years, we're not just going to just kiss and make up until MS proves that it's changed its tune for real. When(If?) that happens, most of this community will accept Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Traditionally, Adobe has been considered 'a good thing' by the FOSS community because of its open standards and connection to the FOSS world.

PDF is not an ECMA standard. The PDF "standard" is copyrighted by Adobe and they have 8 or 9 patents on it.

PDF also has mandated DRM.

The FOSS "communtiy" just looks like hyprocrites when they give Adobe a pass on all the things they attack Microsoft for.

And now OpenXML is as open as ODF according to the ECMA standards body.

I'm just waiting for the cult to excommunicate the ECMA for making a pact with the DEVIL!

Reply Score: 1

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Did you actually read my comment?

I didn't claim that PDF was an ECMA standard.

I did explain some of the scepticism towards Microsofts business decisions. But of course, that doesn't fit with your propaganda, does it.

Reply Score: 2

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Did you actually read my comment?

I didn't claim that PDF was an ECMA standard.


Did you not use the term "open standards".

http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=16674&comment_id=190123

How can it be "open" if it is patented, copyrighted and forces you to abide by Adobe DRM.

Ir is this some new definition of "open standards" I'm not aware of?

OpenXML is an open standard. PDF is not.

[/i]I did explain some of the scepticism towards Microsofts business decisions. But of course, that doesn't fit with your propaganda, does it.[/i]

Isn't it "propaganda" to describe PDF as an "open standard"?

Reply Score: 2

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

ISO 19005-1:2005. opsie.

Reply Score: 1

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

ISO 19005-1:2005

Thats for pdf 1.4 from 2001-2003.

http://www.iso.org/iso/en/CatalogueDetailPage.CatalogueDetail?CSNUM...

Adobe is already at PDF 1.7.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/pdf/pdf_reference.html

Reply Score: 0

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

How can it be "open" if it is patented

Adobe has patents on some stuff that no one else implements or uses - such as the DRM stuff - from 1.3 and onwards. This is clarified here:

http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/support/topic_legal_noti...

It's not ideal, but Adobe actually disclose what these patents are (Microsoft simply never has) so you can choose not to implement stuff covered by them and they are licensed under a royalty free basis in a way that is completely unambiguous and clear:

"...patents are licensed on a royalty-free, nonexclusive basis for the term of each patent and for the sole purpose of developing software that produces, consumes, and interprets PDF files that are compliant with the Specification."

copyrighted

Look up the definition of copyright. If you build something (a reader or a writer) that is PDF compatible, then you can call the things it produce PDFs. From that point of view it's not copyrighted.

forces you to abide by Adobe DRM

No it doesn't. Practically nothing but Adobe's reader abides by it, and it can be safely ignored. Nothing in the standard will stop working if you do.

OpenXML is an open standard. PDF is not.

Where do you get that wacky idea from?

When OpenXML or Metro is implemented in a completely and practically compatible way between Apple, Ghostscript and just about every printer manufacturer in existence in some way, give us all a call, OK?

Isn't it "propaganda" to describe PDF as an "open standard"?

No, because it is an open standard. It has umpteen different implementations between many open source projects and vendors, and you can open PDF documents reliably in Acrobat produced by Open Office, KOffice and others and open PDFs in Acrobat, on a Mac and with various readers on a Linux system. Additionally, printer manufacturers will soon be moving (or have moved) from Postscript to PDF.

Reply Score: 4

h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

May I turn your attention towards[1]? Ok, it's not ECMA, but I guess ISO should suffice for the moment :-).

Furthermore, please consider reading (and understanding) the section "Adobe Patent Clarification Notice: Reading and writing PDF files" of[2]. For the impatient among us, I will try to highlight the imho most important part:


Adobe desires to promote the use of PDF for information interchange among diverse products and applications. Accordingly, the following patents are licensed on a royalty-free, nonexclusive basis for the term of each patent and for the sole purpose of developing software that produces, consumes, and interprets PDF files that are compliant with the Specification:
(emphasis mine)

You get an nonexclusive, royality-free (and thus FOSS compatible) patent license for the whole term of specifically mentioned patents.

(slightly off-topic):
Compare that to the "You get an IP license for five years, but we won't say you what patents are covered / this license doesn't cover comercial and compensated developers / you can't use this license to create
competing applications to word / excel / ... , etc.)" legalese only recently featured by MS.

While pdf may not be as-free/open-as-possible (and Adobe is definitly no saint either), this offers definitly a workable environment.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF/A
[2]http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/support/topic_legal_noti...

EDIT: the usual typo

Edited 2006-12-09 20:51

Reply Score: 1

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

One of Adobes patents has this rider:

In addition, the following patent is licensed on a royalty-free, nonexclusive basis for its term and for the sole purpose of developing software that produces PDF files that are compliant with the Specification (specifically excluding, however, software that consumes and/or interprets PDF files
U.S. Patent Number:

• 5,860,074
:

So not all the patents are licensed. No consuming or interpreting allowed. That mean no editing.

You also have to agree to respect Adobe DRM.

The ECMA OpenXMl spec allows you to edit files.

Edited 2006-12-09 21:06

Reply Score: 1

h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

IANAL (thank god!), but to me, the content of said write-only patent 5860074 indeed seems to cover[1] a (imho quite trivial, but what should one expect from most software patents, right?) procedure to create an "optimized" subset of an electronic document from a not-optimized document at download-time. Could you please provide me with informations, why I should need this specific patent also for reading? All other mentioned patents are only limited to instances, that produces, consumes, and interprets standard conform pdf, which is - again IANAL - reasonable, if one accepts the reasonableness of software patents.

As to your DRM remark, I've searched the whole PDF Reference 1.6[2] to find the section, where you have to abide by the DRM scheme. I could only find a remark in the section "1.5 Intellectual Property" (ouch, that word again), where they (to my laymans understanding)
- limit the possible usage of the term to compatible formats (reasonable, if you ask me),
- Reiterate the patent license mentioned before
- And assume, that all implementations adhere to the "access options" from table 3.20 (page 99, if you bother to look yourself). This table offers a scheme of numbers vs. accessmodes that are to be encoded in a version specifying bit.

If you meant other instances of DRM, could you please provide pointers where on could find them ?

If I understand this correctly, all DRM measures in PDF are - currently - pure software based and fully portable, e.g. the PDF reading / writing application is responsible for implementing this scheme as part of the standard.

Bottom line: The DRM scheme is to my understanding fully portable. If you compare this with situations, where "open standards" use a plattform specific implementation of a rights-modell, I can only come to the conclusion, that PDF is more "open".

Needless to say, that I would prefer a standard without mandatory DRM mechanisms. The next best thing is, however, a mechanism, that can be implemented cross-plattform.

[1]http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5860074.html
[2]http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/en/pdf/PDFReference16.pd...

EDIT: Changed in one sentence rely on ==> use

Edited 2006-12-09 21:50

Reply Score: 1

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

All other mentioned patents are only limited to instances, that produces, consumes, and interprets standard conform pdf, which is - again IANAL - reasonable, if one accepts the reasonableness of software patents.

How can you accept as "open" a spec that does not allow you to EDIT a document.

Is that open? Of course not.


The DRM scheme is to my understanding fully portable.

Thanks for admitting DRM exists in the PDF specification.

So ... you still claim a document format that doesn not allow you EDIT the document after creation and enforces DRM is "open"?

Please be serious.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

specifically excluding, however, software that consumes and/or interprets PDF files

You've misunderstood what this is. This has been know about for some time:

http://mail.gnome.org/archives/gnome-devel-list/2002-January/msg000...

"...it covers at least part of a variant of the PDF
format optimized for download which allows the PDF reader to display user specified parts of a document without having to download the whole thing."


You also have to agree to respect Adobe DRM.

No you don't. No one does.

Edited 2006-12-09 21:55

Reply Score: 3

Beware of Greeks bearing OpenXML gifts
by b3timmons on Sat 9th Dec 2006 21:08 UTC
b3timmons
Member since:
2006-08-26

Georg C. F. Greve shows how OpenXML threatens interoperability efforts in
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20061208135621706

Reply Score: 1

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Georg C. F. Greve shows how OpenXML threatens interoperability efforts in

"A common joke about Open Standards is that they are great because there are so many to choose from. In fact, a situation where each vendor has their own "Open Standard" is a situation in which there is no Open Standard, because having a standard means that multiple competing vendors all use the same protocol, format or specification. "

I've never heard such a joke. But its clear that the IBM fight against open standard not under its control has started.

I also see a lot of redefining "open standards" to included material patented and under control of companies like Adobe.

It really comes down to this: Non open standards controlled by Microsoft enemies are good. And open standards not controlled by IBM are bad.

As I've said before, open standards is just a club to attack Microsoft. Nobody on the FOSS really believes in them.

Edited 2006-12-09 21:18

Reply Score: 0

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

As I've said before, open standards is just a club to attack Microsoft. Nobody on the FOSS really believes in them.

The first part of this argument is just an ubstantiated allegation, while the second one can easily be disproven.

For the first part:

Open standards are necessary to increase interoperability while insuring that there will be no patent or license threats against those who develop applications that use them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_standard

They are not anti-Microsoft, except if you define Microsoft as a company whose sole goal is to exercise exclusive control on information technology. Well, I guess some people would argue that this is the case, but let's give MS the benefit of the doubt here.

In other words, it can only be construed as anti-MS if you admit that MS is out for total domination. I know that this is what you seem to wish for (considering who all of your posts are completely biased towards Microsoft, who may actually be your employer), but I doubt even you would admit this.

Therefore, unless you both agree that a) MS is out for complete domination of IT and b) this is a good thing, then you have no reason to claim that Open Standards are only a club to attack Microsoft.

(all it takes is a single FOSS advocate claiming that they believe in open standards). False, and false.

For the second part:

I am a FOSS advocate/enthusiast. I really believe in open standards. There, I've just disproven the second point.

And open standards not controlled by IBM are bad.

If they're open standards, then they are not controlled by any company. Your sentence is illogical, as is the rest of your argument.

Reply Score: 3

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

As the FSF representative from Europe says:

"From a naive stance, having two standards for documents may not seem so bad. But when considering that only ODF really is an Open Standard fully supported by multiple office applications and that the OpenXML format will be pushed with all the power of the dominant desktop vendor, it becomes obvious that accepting both ultimately means undoing the political efforts on Open Standards that have been undertaken in the past years."

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20061208135621706

This clearly and unequivocally says that "open standards" are a political tool to undermine Microsoft.

That is the official FSF position.

I stand by what I said. The FSF is honest enough to admit that ODF is a "political effort" against Microsoft and they are against "open standards" if it comes from Microsoft, despite the fact ODF came from Sun, and Sun has admitted they have patents on ODF.

http://xml.coverpages.org/ni2005-10-04-a.html

The message is clear. The FSF wants the a so-called patented ODF spec that comes from Sun, but rejects the ECMA OpenXML spec because it comes from Microsoft with an equivalent covenant.

ODF is a political tool to attack Microsoft. No more. No less.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

This clearly and unequivocally says that "open standards" are a political tool to undermine Microsoft.

I disagree with your narrow interpretation. The "political effort" isn't against Microsoft, but against any company who would try to lock users in by using a closed format. The fact that Microsoft has locked users in for years is a good example of why open standards are necessary, but it is not directed exclusively at MS, and if MS in fact adopted open standards then there wouldn't be any problem.

So yes, it is a political effort, but not one directed explicitly at MS.

If MS does indeed try to lock-in users, then that should be condemned. I know you never would, because then you'd probably get fired, but most reasonable people would.

Sun has admitted they have patents on ODF.

They have not "admitted" that they have patents, because they never hid that fact (another blatant example of how you routinely use "weasel words" to push your pro-MS agenda).

The fact is that Sun has made an irrevocable legal pledge not to enforce its patents except in defensive way, i.e. if someone tried to sue someone for using ODF by claiming they have patented parts of the the standard.

ODF is a political tool to attack Microsoft. No more. No less.

Only in the mind of a pro-MS astroturfer.

By the way, can you argue what was preventing MS from adopting ODF? It was invited to do so repeatedly, and it did participate in its elaboration...or do you think MS engineers are not capable enough to make Office support ODF?

Reply Score: 3

b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

"This clearly and unequivocally says that "open standards" are a political tool to undermine Microsoft.

That is the official FSF position.
"

I guess we can expect only increased pathological lying to sugarcoat Microsoft. I quote the above as only one of the more ridiculous, blatant lies, but readers should note Microsoft's wealth, their track record, how Bill Gates himself has complained about the brain drain to Google, and how apropos Upton Sinclair's words are here:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

Oh, and here is a recommendation to see how "natural" all of the underhandedness is. Watch "The Corporation" by Joel Bakan, if you have not already--awesome flick. You can then better evaluate OpenXML, the Microsoft-Novell deal, and much else involving the corporate world.

Edited 2006-12-10 15:03

Reply Score: 2

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

I guess we can expect only increased pathological lying to sugarcoat Microsoft.

Everything I've seen and read indicate that all the pathological lying is done by the FOSS side.

It started with the 4 freedoms that turn out to be 3 freedoms and an obligation.

If you lie about what you fundamentally believe, everything else is just a lie built up a foundationof lies.

Reply Score: 0

somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Everything I've seen and read indicate that all the pathological lying is done by the FOSS side.

Again big words from you. Again missed words from you.

It started with the 4 freedoms that turn out to be 3 freedoms and an obligation.

As I already stated, don't talk about things you don't know about.

Freedom "as by GPL" is not stated from users perspective. It is stated from the perspective of software piece. People who understand that love it for the same reason.

In translation, "Something set to be free MUST and WILL stay free". And for software to achieve that freedom, users are posed with obligation to protect it and behave accordingly. The "MUST stay FREE" part is also the so called "viral" part of the license. This part is also the reason some companies don't like GPL. And from the other side, this exact same part is the reason why me and most FOSS people love GPL so much.

p.s. Money is not involved here. Free doesn't mean free of charge. You can sell it. It is even encouraged.

If you lie about what you fundamentally believe, everything else is just a lie built up a foundationof lies.

And if you talk about something you fundamentally don't understand or comprehend result is the same. Ok, it is even worse.

Reply Score: 3

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

And for software to achieve that freedom, users are posed with obligation to protect it and behave accordingly.

As I said, 3 freedoms and an obligation.

Its better to be honest about it. It will set you free.

Reply Score: 0

somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

As I said, 3 freedoms and an obligation.

No, it is 4 freedoms for software and 3 freedoms and 1 obligation for users. And if you would read what FOSS is about, you'd see it is not about user. User is just beneficiary (or forced) from FOSS. Software is what matters.

Statement "Free software" is not "software for no charge", it means "let's free the software". Take BSD for example it provides complete freedom for user, but almost none to software. One can simply take it, add some things for which sources are never made public, meaning new incarnations of software can easy become non-free. With GPL is different, it guaranties the fact that all new incarnations will be free and open (free as in my all statements, not free of charge).

Now read your previous comment:
"Everything I've seen and read indicate that all the pathological lying is done by the FOSS side.

It started with the 4 freedoms that turn out to be 3 freedoms and an obligation."

You obviously talk about FOSS. FOSS is about software, not user. Meaning you spew bull as always.

Its better to be honest about it. It will set you free.

it is better to STFU if you don't know what you talk about.

Reply Score: 2

v Political Efforts and FSF
by NotParker on Sat 9th Dec 2006 22:29 UTC
v PDF and Adobe
by NotParker on Sat 9th Dec 2006 22:40 UTC
RE: PDF and Adobe
by h times nue equals e on Sat 9th Dec 2006 22:47 UTC in reply to "PDF and Adobe"
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Opens fine in xpdf, no problem here.

EDIT: So it does in gpdf, kpdf, evince and probably many other programms I've not installed at the moment. I guess, this "version 6.0 or later" referes to the pdf version used which is by coincidence PDF version 1.5, supported by Adobe Acrobat Reader versions 6.0 or later.

Edited 2006-12-09 22:58

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: PDF and Adobe
by NotParker on Sat 9th Dec 2006 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE: PDF and Adobe"
v RE[3]: PDF and Adobe
by NotParker on Sat 9th Dec 2006 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PDF and Adobe"
RE[4]: PDF and Adobe
by h times nue equals e on Sat 9th Dec 2006 23:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PDF and Adobe"
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Ok, I'm only a developer, so please bear with me, but if I would try to write something to edit a pdf, I would implement it somethow like this:

1.)Read .pdf file (including possible empty files)
2.)Interpret the content of the .pdf file. The contents
are moved to a raw representation (henceforth "raw data").
3.)The raw data is translated into an representation, that allows editing (xml tree, other markup language, ....)
4.)[optional]The user gets a frontend for the data manipulation
5.)The manipulated data is prepared for the pdf data structure
6.)The manipulated/edited and prepared data is written to the pdf file

Adobes pdf structure has relevance for some of this points:

1.) Should be no problem (reading binary file content wasn't illegal the last time I looked it up)
2.) Is clearly covered by Write software that accepts input in the form of the Portable Document Format and displays, prints, or otherwise interprets the contents
3.) - 4.) is not of Adobes buisness, since I deal only with the raw data, which has all conncetions to the pdf representation stripped of
5.) and 6.) are again covered by the license Write drivers and applications that produce output represented in the Portable Document Format

Note, that pdf is a format for representing data. You do not edit it directly, since it is in a binary form not very friendly to direct editing. (Quite in contrast to PostSCript, which you can edit directly. But that is another story)

EDIT : someting ==> somehow, "in a binary form" => "in a binary form not very friendly to direct editing"

Edited 2006-12-09 23:44

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: PDF and Adobe
by h times nue equals e on Sat 9th Dec 2006 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PDF and Adobe"
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

1.) xpdf is the programm I use mostly, as I have stated in the EDIT to the grandparent post, other programms work as well.

2.) Your point was, that one couldn't open the specification without Acrobat Reader 6, which I believe to have refuted quite easily. Moreover, to be an open standard it only has to be documented in a way to allow the reimplementation. If I had to get a properitary program to look at the specification (which you don't have, GOTO 2.) ) to implement my own program, I would definitly wonder why this is necessary. But this has nothing to do with the content of the reference, as long as I can get my hands on one.

3.) Have you actually read the site you linked, or have you just posted one of the first links a google querry returned (like xpdf + problem)? The section you cited deals with cosmetic problems , not "this can't be open" type of gripes. If you have issues with the fact, that some fonts are allowed to be not embedded (because they are usually available on most operating systems), I would again advise you to stick to the PDF/A ISO specification, since they mandate that all information to render the file correctly has to be part of the pdf.

Nice try, btw.

Reply Score: 3

people will learn the hard way
by arielb on Sun 10th Dec 2006 17:50 UTC
arielb
Member since:
2006-11-15

when nobody will be able to access their old files 30 years from now because they can be only be read by unsupported Microsoft versions.

Let them be screwed-I'll make sure MY stuff won't be locked in by MS or Apple (or even google which is why my gmail is set to POP and downloaded in thunderbird on my pc)

Reply Score: 2

well
by deanlinkous on Sun 10th Dec 2006 21:13 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

no lock in for me - call me paranoid!

Reply Score: 3

v Pity
by NotParker on Mon 11th Dec 2006 01:34 UTC
Whole argument seems pointless ...
by WorknMan on Mon 11th Dec 2006 02:29 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

When it comes to a business setting, basically I will use what my clients are using. If they all switch to openxml documents with embedded activex controls and such, then you can damn well bet I'll have something that can open them. On the other hand, if they all switch to something that can only be opened by some word processor on OS other than Windows, then I'll have a copy of that on hand.

My point is that when you're in a setting where you have customers and other contacts sending you documents that you need to open, you often times don't get to dictate what formats you will and will not accept. Is this a good thing? Certainly not. But sometimes, life just isn't fair ;)

Edited 2006-12-11 02:30

Reply Score: 2