Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th Jan 2008 21:31 UTC, submitted by WillM
Microsoft "For years, the poster child of the anti-open source movement was Microsoft, with its proprietary software model. In recent years, however, the company has changed its views, starting an open source software lab to work on interoperability issues. It's even become a purveyor of its own open source-approved licenses. What do these efforts mean? For Sam Ramji, Microsoft's director of open source technology strategy, they indicate the company is 'open' for business."
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Whatever
by Buck on Fri 25th Jan 2008 21:46 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

Soo... they've hired a Linux developer. They've written some apps that use MS-P(R)L. Anything else I forgot?
Ah yeah, so now that makes them "Open for business".

Reply Score: 7

RE: Whatever
by TemporalBeing on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:47 UTC in reply to "Whatever"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

They've also written some apps that are 100% GPL - for example Wix ( http://wix.sf.net/ ), note too that Wix is apparently the primary installer platform used by Microsoft internally (Office, etc.) - at least from what I've heard.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Whatever
by ichi on Mon 28th Jan 2008 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Whatever"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

That's CPL, not GPL.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Whatever
by TemporalBeing on Mon 28th Jan 2008 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Whatever"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

That's CPL, not GPL.

Hmm....I think they might have changed it since I last looked at it (long ago). Can't find the software on my local system to verify though...so I may have been wrong. But I believe it was originally released under the GPLv2 license. Doesn't surprise me though.

Reply Score: 1

yeah yeah....
by raver31 on Fri 25th Jan 2008 21:48 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course we believe Microsoft are playing nice with the open source world, after all, the EU is not investigating them AGAIN

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7187750.stm

making them interoperable ? yeah, right.

Edited 2008-01-25 21:49 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Fri 25th Jan 2008 22:06 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Colour me sceptical, but I just visited the website for "Port 25", the Microsoft open source software lab. It's about as busy as a cemetery. Bill Hilf has managed one blog entry in six months, which is better than some of the others who've managed none in over a year. The only exception is Sam Ramji who blogs plenty. There's hardly anything to read or any menus on the site taking you to deeper and more interesting things and their most "active" visitor last turned up several months ago, then stopped. Maybe the plague got him. In short, there's no beef anywhere on view.

What happened? I'm wondering: has almost the entire Microsoft open source and interoperability labs crew been kidnapped by a borg and placed in an isolation cell on the planet Zanussi, or what?

Reply Score: 16

RE: Comment by moleskine
by segedunum on Sat 26th Jan 2008 15:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by moleskine"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Colour me sceptical, but I just visited the website for "Port 25", the Microsoft open source software lab. It's about as busy as a cemetery. Bill Hilf has managed one blog entry in six months...


I'm not surprised:

1. Open source development is an anathema to Microsoft. They don't get it and it threatens their business model. Culturally, the organisation will never accept it, so that means they will be incapable of spending any real time or effort on it.

2. It takes more than a couple of new licenses and a few funded projects to get some open source projects to a critical mass and have them survive. Just ask Sun. You have to get people involved doing a lot of diverse things to get anything really happening.

3. Those people also have to feel that they're getting something back in return, and they're not just doing market research for the parent company or that their code, produced in their own time and off their own bat, is simply used by someone else to make money:

http://weblogs.asp.net/nunitaddin/archive/2007/05/30/microsoft-vs-t...

The notion that somehow Microsoft can claim that they're now an open source company (look at the phrase they use - "Open for Business"!) is laughable, and it's funny and a bit sad to see them thrashing around and throwing out soundbites over something they don't get conceptually or culturally, and something their management will absolutely not accept unless it can be used as marketing.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Sat 26th Jan 2008 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by moleskine"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

Open source development is an anathema to Microsoft.

Of course. But shh!, the trick is not to say so too loudly. There's a certain black humour in watching their antics. The senior management cadre know the score full well, I'd imagine. From time to time they flick a lizard glance at such suckers typo incorrigible optimists as they've managed to rope in. An outfit from Utah is giving good dance for its 300 million bucks. Lizards approve. But there's also a sadness in seeing energetic, feisty young people becoming involved, taking a job with the Man and then running themselves into the sand because the organization doesn't get it and won't stand for it. I hope those young hires swifty find something better for themselves and their talents.

A nice quote from John Naughton's blog about the Davos gabfest sums this up rather well: "Bill Gates delivered his plea for a kinder, gentler capitalism, for example, which is bit like hoping that wild boars will learn to respect suburban flower-beds." Or Foss and the open source method.

Reply Score: 5

Matt Giacomini
Member since:
2005-07-06

ha ha ha ha

What efforts!!!? What a joke.

In all fairness I don't know if MS could get an open source community going, assuming they actually did want to. Most MS fan boys don't actually care about writing open source code they only like talking about. In the end all Microsoft has to do is talk about it, and they are happy.

Kind of a double reach around.

Reply Score: 2

Interoperability issues
by Vanders on Fri 25th Jan 2008 22:58 UTC
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, Microsoft are now actively helping to bring the world increased interoperability by creating new and important standards for us to all the interoperate with, like OOXML, Silverlight or Metro. I guess if you have one open standard that's good for interoperation, so if you have two standards that must be twice as good, right?

Not buying that huh? Well, IE8 will be standards compliant. Apart from stuff like ActiveX obviously, but who uses that on the web apart from er, Microsoft?

Damn. Help me out here!

Reply Score: 15

RE: Interoperability issues
by tomcat on Fri 25th Jan 2008 23:06 UTC in reply to "Interoperability issues"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Yes, Microsoft are now actively helping to bring the world increased interoperability by creating new and important standards for us to all the interoperate with, like OOXML, Silverlight or Metro. I guess if you have one open standard that's good for interoperation, so if you have two standards that must be twice as good, right?


Sometimes, yes. In the case of OOXML, for example, some people believe that OOXML simply provides a better overall solution than ODF (and its successor). See http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1107

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Interoperability issues
by Vanders on Fri 25th Jan 2008 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Interoperability issues"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

That's nice. Why couldn't Microsoft have simply sat on the Oasis committee to ensure their obviously deep seated concerns over ODF were addressed in the standard, instead of mucking about creating a new one of their very own after ODF was ratified?

That's a rhetorical question: anyone who's been awake the past two decades already knows the answer to this.

Reply Score: 18

RE[3]: Interoperability issues
by tomcat on Fri 25th Jan 2008 23:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interoperability issues"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

That's nice. Why couldn't Microsoft have simply sat on the Oasis committee to ensure their obviously deep seated concerns over ODF were addressed in the standard, instead of mucking about creating a new one of their very own after ODF was ratified?


Clue phone: It's for you. Microsoft was involved in Oasis but decided not to adopt the standard because ODF lacked a bunch of features required for full Office document fidelity -- and Sun, Novell, IBM, and other competitors weren't exactly interested in accomodating MS, so MS bailed. That's the history, and that's why OOXML exists. Read the link that I provided before you criticize.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Interoperability issues
by Vanders on Fri 25th Jan 2008 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability issues"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

full Office document fidelity


That's a great phrase. I'm going to try to work that phrase into an every day conversation now.

Sun, Novell, IBM, and other competitors weren't exactly interested in accomodating MS, so MS bailed.


Yuh huh. Sun, Novell, IBM and everyone else on OASIS decided that having Microsoft work with them on an Open Standard that would be submitted for ISO ratification was a bad thing, so they started being mean and nasty to poor old Microsoft. What bullies!

Reply Score: 16

RE[4]: Interoperability issues
by segedunum on Sat 26th Jan 2008 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability issues"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft was involved in Oasis but decided not to adopt the standard because ODF lacked a bunch of features required for full Office document fidelity


The clue train has left the station. Yes they were some kind of member in OASIS, and there is no reason in the universe that they couldn't have added the features that they needed trivially. That is an excuse for the NIH syndrome and coming up with their own pretty broken format.

and Sun, Novell, IBM, and other competitors weren't exactly interested in accomodating MS, so MS bailed.


Do you have any specific evidence for that, and any occasions where people would not have accommodated Microsoft's additions for their Office formats?

More to the point, do you have any evidence at all that Microsoft was even involved at all with ODF or OASIS and that they tried to make any contributions? If you can't do that then you're talking out of your posterior.

That's the history, and that's why OOXML exists. Read the link that I provided before you criticize.


As per usual, your link and what is in it is utterly worthless. There is no evidence that the independent study is all that independent, and has been regurgitated by clueless people the world over, and features absolutely cast-iron reasons as to why you would use Microsoft's OOXML (they're not the same thing) such as this:

ODF represents laudable design and standards work. It’s a clean and useful design, but it’s appropriate mostly for relatively unusual scenarios in which full Microsoft Office file format fidelity isn’t a requirement. Overall, ODF addresses only a subset of what most organizations do with productivity applications today.

It of course neglects to tell us what these reasons are, and the notion that ODF cannot replicate Microsoft Office fidelity is a lie. The problem is going the other way, and converting from ODF to OOXML. ODF supports an awful lot MSOOXML simply doesn't.

ODF is insufficient for complex real-world enterprise requirements, and it is indirectly controlled by Sun Microsystems, despite also being an ISO standard.

When you read a statement like that, you are entitled to question the independence of the report. Who is OOXML directly controlled by again? I forget.

Reply Score: 10

RE[5]: Interoperability issues
by mabhatter on Sun 27th Jan 2008 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Interoperability issues"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

there is some truth to the statement that the ODF people cut out the Microsoft people from putting all the features in MS office into ODF. Much of MS Office functionality things like OLE and such are implemented as binary program blobs inside the raw .doc/.xls/.ppt file. The choice was made in ODF to leave such programatic support out in favor of letting the Application take care of those features at this time thru open scripts. For the multiple, cross-integration that microsoft does, that would be a show stopper as was no Embedded language control at that level included in the ODF specs. It's a case where Microsoft's current path is really ahead of the pack, but it's also a dead-end road for anybody EXCEPT Microsoft to implement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Interoperability issues
by gustl on Sat 26th Jan 2008 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability issues"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Remaking history?

Microsoft has been asked repeatedly to join the ODF creating group, administratively it would have been easy as they already were in OASIS at the time.

Now what MS did, was to send in some feature requests from the outside. Those features would have worsened the ODF format, so they consequently were not included into ODF. When Microsoft was again asked to actively participate in the ODF work, and to find a compromize, or to rewrite a little bit of their - then alpha stage - Office12, Microsoft completely refused working with the ODF guys.

OpenOffice.org, as reference implementation had to undergo several severe modificationd in order to follow the then moving ODF specification. Microsoft could have done the same.

Microsoft obviously did NOT want a format that gave everybody else the same chances as MSOffice, and they did not want to change Office. The OOXML format is living proof, that MS simply wanted a dump of their internal Office12 structures onto an XML namespace.

And full fidelity is easily achieveable with old formats, what else would the extensibility of ODF be for?

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Interoperability issues
by sorpigal on Mon 28th Jan 2008 12:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability issues"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

ODF is based on XML, XML is (that's right!) eXtensible. If MS really was concerned about standards they could have produced "ODF +", a bunch of features on top of, integrated with and extending ODF.

Even if extending ODF were not an option Microsoft could have produced a document format with a feature set it considers realistic which is described in a way that does not rely on the inner workings of Microsoft's already existent code and which invites competing implementations. Do you know what MS says when people complain that OOXML is too complex? They say that they are expecting tool writers to make use of a subset of it for special purposes, not that anyone would write a complete implementation.

Now perhaps ODF is not sufficient for Microsoft's products to use it as their native format (almost nobody cares about that), but they could certainly have provided a built-in way to open and save to ODF.

I don't care how screwed up, limited or worthless ODF might be, the world did not need, does not need and should not use OOXML. Its production and introduction in the form in which it exists is not an honest effort but merely an attempt by Microsoft to stem the spread of a truly Open alternative. If customers were going to choose the open format and be content with its feature set, surely MS could have bowed to customer wishes and made its Office work with the format the customers chose. The only reason to introduce OOXML was to have a format which could be *called* Open, so customers would not be able to switch to a competitor.

As for OOXML... have you *read* that spec? The document part of it is basically the .doc binary format mechanically converted to XML. Except, of course, for some parts that weren't. OOXML may be "realistic" in terms of feature support but it's only nominally XML.

What about that name? With a competitor on the market called "Open Office" which uses a standard, open XML-based file format is there really any excuse that can be offered for calling your competing format "Office Open XML"? This is very clearly an attempt to confuse the marketplace; another nail in the coffin of the idea that MS is doing anything above board here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Interoperability issues
by TemporalBeing on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability issues"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

"That's nice. Why couldn't Microsoft have simply sat on the Oasis committee to ensure their obviously deep seated concerns over ODF were addressed in the standard, instead of mucking about creating a new one of their very own after ODF was ratified?

Clue phone: It's for you. Microsoft was involved in Oasis but decided not to adopt the standard because ODF lacked a bunch of features required for full Office document fidelity -- and Sun, Novell, IBM, and other competitors weren't exactly interested in accomodating MS, so MS bailed. That's the history, and that's why OOXML exists. Read the link that I provided before you criticize.
"

The GP was being quite sarcastic. yes, Microsoft sat on the OASIS committee for ODF, and yes, they said nothing. That is the problem. If they believed it to be incomplete for Office, they should have spoken up to help make it complete. The fact that they said nothing means that either (a) they believed it to be complete enough, or (b) they were doing it just for show.

More likely than not, they were doing it for 'b', but since they were on the committee, ODF supporters really could use 'a' against them. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Interoperability issues
by Jemm on Sun 27th Jan 2008 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interoperability issues"
Jemm Member since:
2005-07-25

That's nice. Why couldn't Microsoft have simply sat on the Oasis committee to ensure their obviously deep seated concerns over ODF were addressed in the standard


From: http://openxmlcommunity.org/openxmlmyths.aspx

"Why didn't Microsoft simply work with the original ODF people to help build their specification?

There are at least four good reasons why this was not a valid option:

1. ODF started out and was largely completed as an XML format specifically supporting OpenOffice with a tight scope around that product.
2. It was not until 2005 that the ODF specification was offered up as a general XML office document format and consequently renamed to ODF.
3. No opportunity existed for Microsoft to actually participate in this full process given both the original scope and the six months between the re-naming of the spec to ODF and its subsequent approval by OASIS as a standard.
4. The scope of the ODF specification never included even the basic requirements that Microsoft required to support a fully open format and nor did the OASIS technical committee want to include these requirements. They include:
* Spreadsheet formulas
* Tables in presentations
* Accessibility features
* Custom-defined schema support
* Custom metadata"


That link has many other myths explained, too.

I think ODF is good as a general format for exchanging information between products, a bit like RTF is for formatted text. Before ODF could work well with the Microsoft Office, it would have to be expanded to be as large as Open XML is now. Microsoft didn't make the spec that large just for the kicks.

I don't consider Open XML to be pretty as far as its XML is considered, but much better than previous binary formats. It is not a replacement for ODF, but it doesn't aim to be one, either (different goals).

I'm also curious to see, how all the implementors of the ODF aim to keep the format compatible between products in the future. Each new feature in the office suite will need modifications to the standard.

Will IBM's offering and OpenOffice be compatible after, say, next two versions? How about all the rest supporters? Or will the ODF-standard be revised and approved first and then implemented by each vendor? How can they compete with features if specs are done together? Or will it be like it is now with web browsers and HTML where someone is always behind (like IE is playing catchup now)?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Interoperability issues
by TemporalBeing on Mon 28th Jan 2008 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability issues"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22


I think ODF is good as a general format for exchanging information between products, a bit like RTF is for formatted text. Before ODF could work well with the Microsoft Office, it would have to be expanded to be as large as Open XML is now. Microsoft didn't make the spec that large just for the kicks.


OpenXML (OOXML) is that long because Microsoft just did a dump of their memory information to XML, just like their older binary formats were dumps to a binary file.

OpenXML does not need to be anywhere near as long as it is if it were truly focused around file formats as opposed to internal program notations. The sad fact is Microsoft is focused around "internal program notations" as a file format - thus OOXML and 6000+ pages of incomplete documentation.

I don't consider Open XML to be pretty as far as its XML is considered, but much better than previous binary formats. It is not a replacement for ODF, but it doesn't aim to be one, either (different goals).


I'll agree that OOXML is not trying to meet the same goals as ODF. While ODF aims to be a file format, OOXML just aims to be an XML version of the older binary memory dumps that Microsoft did for a file format previously. Their (Microsoft's) goal was simple - make it as length and incomprehensible as possible so that no one else could adequately implement it in such a manner as to actually be comparable to MS Office.

I'm also curious to see, how all the implementors of the ODF aim to keep the format compatible between products in the future. Each new feature in the office suite will need modifications to the standard.


It's in the ODF standard already, and you can already see how this functions by looking between ODF 1.0 and ODF 1.1. It's left to XML name spacing, and works beautifully. So it's no a problem for ODF at all.

Will IBM's offering and OpenOffice be compatible after, say, next two versions? How about all the rest supporters? Or will the ODF-standard be revised and approved first and then implemented by each vendor? How can they compete with features if specs are done together? Or will it be like it is now with web browsers and HTML where someone is always behind (like IE is playing catchup now)?


This is no different than how will two browsers compare to supporting current and future web standards. Or how any image program does with supporting image file formats. Or any number of similar things.

Fact is, people will support it, implement, and then add new features that don't break the implementation so that others can also be successful at reading the same file even if they don't support the extras. I'm thinking of doing such an extension to OpenOffice and perhaps another Open Source ODF office suite to try to add some functionality to ODF myself. If it gains support, it'll likely be pushed to the OASIS committee for consideration as part of ODF proper.

All the implementors have to do is implement the standard honestly and in such a way that any expanded functionality does not break the implementation.

Microsoft, however, likely has no plans of doing that with OOXML - they already implement a number of things in Office 2007 that break its against the spec. So even if you implement the spec as written (all 6000+ pages of it) you still won't be compatible with MS Office.

Comparatively, implement the 700+ (749?) pages of ODF and you'll be compatible with all ODF implementations. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Interoperability issues
by Jemm on Tue 29th Jan 2008 07:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Interoperability issues"
Jemm Member since:
2005-07-25

The sad fact is Microsoft is focused around "internal program notations" as a file format - thus OOXML and 6000+ pages of incomplete documentation.


Yes, more or less it can be called memory dumb or data that's serialized into XML. People also often forget that the 6000+ pages includes documentation for three products + common parts like packaging, DrawingML etc. That makes less than 2000 pages/product, which sounds quite realistic for that complex products. When line-spacing is halved, there are even less pages ;)

Also, if you leave some "maybe nobody needs these" -parts out, like say spreadsheet formulas (10 pages in original ODF spec vs. 384 pages in openxml spec), then you of course save many extra pages ;)

I think it is better that there is extra information available than too little. Btw for those complaining the documentation is incomplete; now the obscure "AutoSpaceLikeWord95" etc parts are fully documented (but deprecated as they will be phased out):

"Compatibility Settings - AutoSpaceLikeWord95

There has also been a lot of interest in the Compatibility Settings that include the famous “AutoSpaceLikeWord95” or “truncateFontHeightsLikeWP6”. Ecma worked to provide in this batch the full information necessary to implement all compatibility settings without any dependency on any product. This documentation is provided for the completeness of the spec, but these features should not be used when creating new documents. I’ll discuss the compatibility settings in more detail in my next post."

http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2007/12/21/500-national-b...

Fact is, people will support it, implement, and then add new features that don't break the implementation so that others can also be successful at reading the same file even if they don't support the extras.


Ok, I had always thought that ODF aims for full fidelity between products, but if the goal is just to be able to open the same document on different products, then it is easier to achieve. One can't really trust that the document will look exactly the same on all products, but I guess that's what PDF is for.

Even Microsoft will be able to add that level of support for ODF to Office easily (ODF was standardized too late for Office 2007 of which development had already started after O2003).

I'm quite sure Microsoft will officially support importing and exporting of ODF in the next version of their Office as ODF really isn't that big a threat to them technically. Microsoft is more worried that governments etc will choose ODF only because it is ISO (and OOXML is not).

Microsoft, however, likely has no plans of doing that with OOXML - they already implement a number of things in Office 2007 that break its against the spec. So even if you implement the spec as written (all 6000+ pages of it) you still won't be compatible with MS Office.


Sure they will update the Office to support the standard once it gets finalized after comments and updates. With patches and translators current products and Open XML documents can be moved to support the finalized spec, just like .doc files are converted now.

Open XML doesn't require to support all the features in the spec before you can create 100% compatible files. If 100% transferability can't be expected from the ODF, why it should be always expected from OOXML?

Full specs are for those that really want to support all the possible features or some segment specific to their needs. If I wanted to make a tool that reads/writes simple MS Office documents, it wouldn't be much harder than it would be for ODF.

So, one can ignore parts of the Open XML specs that they don't need and still make compatible documents. Just like in ODF the vendor specific extras can be ignored as long as the baseline requirements are met.

Comparatively, implement the 700+ (749?) pages of ODF and you'll be compatible with all ODF implementations. ;-)


As it just turned out in this thread, ODF won't be 100% transferable between products - just the lowest common denominator due to vendor-specific extras.

Also, one still needs to learn and implement completely the referenced standard formats, like SVG and build support for them from the start, since they are extended (see my another post). Already made third-party components won't help, unless sources are available.

After this thread I'm even more convinced it is better there are two formats as they really are for different needs. Combining them would be much bigger mess than asking other party which format they prefer (ooxml, odf, pdf, xps).

I just wish there wasn't so much FUD and hatred between the camps ;) If some co-operation required me to send ODF-documents, I'd just download some translator for the Office - no problem.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Interoperability issues
by raver31 on Fri 25th Jan 2008 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Interoperability issues"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Tomcat, sometimes you are just so full of it

Edited 2008-01-25 23:15 UTC

Reply Score: 4

v RE[3]: Interoperability issues
by tomcat on Fri 25th Jan 2008 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interoperability issues"
RE[4]: Interoperability issues
by SReilly on Sat 26th Jan 2008 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability issues"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Yeah, fully-functioning brain cells.

Uh huh. Towing the party line does not give off an air of intelligence, ignoring years of dirty tricks does not lend you an air of independent thought and quoting spoon fed drivel does not an intelligent comment make.

Sorry Tomcat, but you are gonna have to do better to be able to pull of a statement like that.

Edited 2008-01-26 13:27 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[5]: Interoperability issues
by tomcat on Sun 27th Jan 2008 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Interoperability issues"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Uh huh. Towing the party line does not give off an air of intelligence, ignoring years of dirty tricks does not lend you an air of independent thought and quoting spoon fed drivel does not an intelligent comment make. Sorry Tomcat, but you are gonna have to do better to be able to pull of a statement like that.

Perhaps you should read for comprehension before you criticize me. Here's what I said:

"Sometimes, yes. In the case of OOXML, for example, some people believe that OOXML simply provides a better overall solution than ODF (and its successor). See " rel="nofollow">http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1107"

You complain about me and yet, clearly, you never even read my post. Or, if you did, you must not have understood it, or you'd realize I wasn't expressing my opinion or "towing the party line". Rather, I linked to somebody else's opinion. I realize that I'll never win any popularity contests around here by daring to contradict the orthodoxy that you and people like you have been spoonfed. It's fashionable to hate MS. But I'm a pragmatist. I use many of Microsoft's products, as well as quite a few produced by its competitors. So, I can see the value that both sides provide; whereas, for many of you, it's OSS or nothing. Which is just another brand of tyranny, if you were honest with yourselves.

Edited 2008-01-27 07:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Interoperability issues
by SReilly on Sun 27th Jan 2008 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Interoperability issues"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

What you again fail to understand is that by pitting yourself against people in some kind of juvenile 'them against me' crusade, people like me who actually share your supposed opinion, you are singling yourself out for ridicule and derision.

By quoting just your last post and thereby possible wishing I would some how forget other posts you have made on this very subject, you are actually insulting my intelligence.

And finally, by labeling me some kind of FLOSS fanatic, without taking into account the many times I have openly stated that I use MS software (I even wrote an original complementary piece on Vista for this site) and thereby attempting to safely pass me off as some kind of kook or nut, in the possible hope to discredit me or at least marginalize what it seems quite a few fellow members of this forum agree is a valid statement, you are driving away potential supporters.

Although your opinions may or may not be popular, it's your attitude that makes you unpopular.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[7]: Interoperability issues
by tomcat on Mon 28th Jan 2008 06:41 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Interoperability issues"
RE[2]: Interoperability issues
by raboof on Sat 26th Jan 2008 14:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Interoperability issues"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

In the case of OOXML, for example, some people believe that OOXML simply provides a better overall solution than ODF (and its successor). See http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1107

I haven't read the Burton report, so I can't really judge it, but the quotes in the article you linked are terrible.

Some highlights:
* Saying ODF is worse than OOXML because it's 'indirectly controlled by Sun' is silly.
* The state 'OOXML is considerably more complex' - like that's a good thing.
* 'Building on other standards' is indeed the way to go - and is exactly what ODF does (unlike OOXML).

Perhaps there's stuff in the Burton report that supports the gratuitous claims in the article ('a better form-follows-function fit for most productivity application usage patterns', blah blah) - but on its own it's worth squat.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Interoperability issues
by Jemm on Sun 27th Jan 2008 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interoperability issues"
Jemm Member since:
2005-07-25

* 'Building on other standards' is indeed the way to go - and is exactly what ODF does (unlike OOXML).


Does "building on" mean extending the other standards so that they fit the need:

A couple of weeks ago I heard some rumours that ODF had not actually only used SVG as vector graphics format but also even extended it beyond the standardized format. My initial response was that it had to be wrong information. One of the corner stones of ODF is namely that it reuses existing standards and that there is a "clean cut" between ODF and the standard it utilizes.

Source: http://www.idippedut.dk/post/2008/01/Embrace-and-extend---SVG-revis...

Reply Score: 1

Business with MicroSoft?
by wannabe geek on Fri 25th Jan 2008 23:22 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

FOSS companies should read Aesop's fable "the sick lion" before doing business with Microsoft ;)


http://wiretap.area.com/Gopher/Library/Classic/aesop1.txt

Reply Score: 7

RE: Business with MicroSoft?
by stestagg on Sat 26th Jan 2008 11:53 UTC in reply to "Business with MicroSoft?"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Or even 'The wolf and the Sheep'

Reply Score: 2

RE: Business with MicroSoft?
by raver31 on Sun 27th Jan 2008 10:20 UTC in reply to "Business with MicroSoft?"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

great link thanks... busy downloading all those books to stick onto my PSP...

Reply Score: 2

Simple
by Xaero_Vincent on Sat 26th Jan 2008 01:48 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Heh.

The only standards Microsoft like are those they create.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Simple
by juvenile4909 on Sat 26th Jan 2008 04:16 UTC in reply to "Simple"
juvenile4909 Member since:
2007-08-04

And this i agree. MS are weasels.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Simple
by tomcat on Sun 27th Jan 2008 07:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Simple"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

And this i agree. MS are weasels.


I don't know who's the bigger weasel: A big, public company that does what it does in the open -- or some random dude on the Internet who hits-and-runs anonymously...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Simple
by PlatformAgnostic on Sun 27th Jan 2008 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Simple"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I think moderation voting can't come soon enough. The "MS are weasels" post by all rights should be modded down to -5 because it is personally insulting to a large group of people without adding anything to the conversation. Instead 5 people thought this purely emotional response was worthy of being pointed out as an exemplary OSNews comment. Good job, folks.

Reply Score: 4

Anything that works . . .
by RedIcculus on Sat 26th Jan 2008 16:47 UTC
RedIcculus
Member since:
2005-08-09

Microsoft will do anything, include courting open-source, as long as it helps keep a firm grip on their monopoly.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Anything that works . . .
by mabhatter on Sun 27th Jan 2008 20:36 UTC in reply to "Anything that works . . ."
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

Exactly, if you look closely at Microsoft's licenses they basically forbid you from using programs included in Microsoft products to replace other Microsoft products or services. You can write anything and give it away for free, but the license pretty much locks that program to windows platforms only.

Like the guy a while back that reimplemented some feature for Visual Studio. The feature was in the more expensive version program, basically disabled but included AFTER he wrote a free version, and because his program "touched" some DLLs that Microsoft installs on your machine but reserves for "their" use only, they made him pull the software even though I believe his was first, or something a normal user wouldn't have seen.

Their license will only be "free" as long as it doesn't step on THEIR toes, then they'll cut you off for "using their IP wrong". For corporate developers with the big bottle of kool-aide license agreements this is probably a good thing to have lots of resources with licenses that are free and sanctioned so it looks good to the execs. For fans of OSS it's useless.

Reply Score: 2

old news...
by antik on Sat 26th Jan 2008 22:18 UTC
antik
Member since:
2006-05-19

Surprise- Microsoft is open source company since 2002!

The Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) is the ECMA standard that describes the core of the .NET Framework world. The Shared Source CLI is a compressed archive of the source code to a working implementation of the ECMA CLI and the ECMA C# language specification.

This implementation builds and runs on Windows XP, the FreeBSD operating system, and Mac OS X 10.2. It is released under a shared source initiative. Please see the accompanying license.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3A1C93FA-7...

Reply Score: 1

RE: old news...
by ichi on Sun 27th Jan 2008 01:20 UTC in reply to "old news..."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Shared Source != Open Source.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: old news...
by antik on Sun 27th Jan 2008 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE: old news..."
antik Member since:
2006-05-19

Shared Source != Open Source.

You can read code? Are your sure? Then it is open. Case closed. If I'd want to be zealot like you then I'd say: GPL!=OpenSource because I can't do with GPL whatever I want.

Conclusion:
GPL==Shared Source

Edited 2008-01-27 18:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: old news...
by ichi on Mon 28th Jan 2008 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: old news..."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Are all Shared Source licenses OSI approved? No?
Then SS and OS are not the same thing. Period.

Now you can argue about how open you think Shared Source is, but that's a whole different issue.

Open Source is not just about being able to see the source code, do some reading about that.

Reply Score: 1

RE: old news...
by r_a_trip on Sun 27th Jan 2008 17:07 UTC in reply to "old news..."
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Call back if they have become a free software company. (GNU definition, I don't care if they charge.)

Open Source has lost so much meaning over the years, that it won't thrill me to hear that something is Open Source. Adherence to the OSI definition is all but lip service.

Reply Score: 3