Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 17:54 UTC, submitted by Almafeta
Features, Office "Microsoft's embattled Office Open XML document format received ISO fast-track approval after receiving support from approximately 86 percent of the national bodies that participated in the vote. ISO approval will be broadly perceived as a sign of validation for the document format which has received widespread criticism from technical experts and standards advocacy groups."
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What can I say?
by dado on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 18:20 UTC
dado
Member since:
2006-05-01

Money talks.

Reply Score: 21

RE: What can I say?
by de_wizze on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 23:09 UTC in reply to "What can I say?"
de_wizze Member since:
2005-10-31

And for the love of Money the greatest evil's have been perpetrated too right? With as much corruption and manipulation as has been claimed, i don't think 'Money' said anything in the matter.

Reply Score: 3

EU can help, let's hope
by cromo on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 18:34 UTC
cromo
Member since:
2006-06-17

I just hope that European Union Commission will help here somehow with their another investigation.

Reply Score: 9

April's Fool!! :D
by wannabe geek on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 18:48 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

... or is it?

Reply Score: 2

RE: April's Fool!! :D
by diegoviola on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 19:08 UTC in reply to "April's Fool!! :D"
diegoviola Member since:
2006-08-15

I hope it's a joke, please tell me it is... ;)

Reply Score: 3

ODF camp
by WorknMan on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 19:04 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Although OOXML has many critics, it was also gained numerous supporters over the past year—including some who are directly affiliated with ODF.


Why does the ODF camp have such a problem with OOXML? Apparently, having 9,000 package managers each using their own formats (and about as many distros and window managers) is a good thing because choice is good, but having more than one document standard is bad thing?

Reply Score: 2

RE: ODF camp
by Beta on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 19:13 UTC in reply to "ODF camp"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

What does the ODF camp have to do with package managers?

Oh, wait, you read that as “including some who are directly affiliated with Linux distributions”

Reply Score: 8

RE: ODF camp
by kensai on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 19:30 UTC in reply to "ODF camp"
kensai Member since:
2005-12-27

Do you really think this is a Linux thing? Don't you think people using other Operating Systems even Microsoft's OS did care about not having OOXML as an ISO standard? Man, this goes well beyond Linux or any other Operating System.

Reply Score: 10

RE: ODF camp
by irbis on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 20:18 UTC in reply to "ODF camp"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

having more than one document standard is bad thing?

Having more than one HTML standard would be a bad thing too, wouldn't it? Why should we need more than one good electronic document standard, and hopefully an open standard that is developed together by several companies and non-commercial entities? That is what ODF - an already accepted and truly open ISO standard would be.

The important question we should ask is why ODF wasn't enough? There might be some small technical issues, why some people would rather prefer OOXML. But more likely this is mostly just the result of enourmous amounts of Microsoft lobbying. Read Groklaw to find out more about all the odd politics and lobbying related to this whole process: http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=20051216153153504

Besides, there are many technical reasons why ODF is a better, and more open choice than OOXML. Now it is possible that the monopolistic position of Microsoft allows it to practically kill ODF, an already approved ISO standard for electronix documents. Great, just great...

For example, the president of the European Academy for Standardisation, Tineke Egyedi, "doubts whether ISO should have a taken into consideration a second standard for electronic documents at all. ISO approved the Open Document Format ODF in 2006, says Egyedi: 'What are we to do with a second standard, which is overlapping the first? This conflicts with rules of the World Trade Organisation.'"
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080327170359776

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: ODF camp
by WorknMan on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 22:30 UTC in reply to "RE: ODF camp"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The important question we should ask is why ODF wasn't enough?


Well, to answer that question with another question, when it comes to package managers, why isn't .rpm or .deb enough? Why can't we just have one standard for package management? Along those same lines, why not build just one solid toolkit for GUIs, one sound framework, and why do we need multiple distros, some with their own directory layout and startup procedures?

Look, I agree with you.. maybe ODF needs a little bit of work, bit it really should be enough.
But ODF is mainly a FOSS thing (which is why I bring up all those other examples above), and it seems that if the FOSS crowd wants only one standard for formatting documents, it should put its money where its mouth is and come up with one standard for everything else as well. Afterall, wouldn't that be better for everyone in the end?
For example, every time I suggest that maybe there should be a single way to build packages (well, maybe one binary and one source) that works across all distros that everyone standardize on, I am immediately rebuked for having the nerve to even utter such an abomination. (Note: I'm not talking about package managers, but rather a specific way packages could be built so that any package manager that supports the standard could use.)

Apparently, it's ok to have several dozen variations of everything else, but when it comes to ODF, that should've been enough.

Personally, I think people are just pissed because this is a Microsoft thing. I'm sure they had their reasons for inventing OOXML and I'm also reasonably sure that it had more to do with business reasons than technical. But hell, at least it's a stanard, which means that for the FOSS crowd, it is better than it was before, no? You didn't really expect MS to implement ODF did you? It might've been a great service to mankind, but it ain't going to earn them more bankroll.

Edited 2008-04-02 22:33 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: ODF camp
by irbis on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ODF camp"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

I think you are mixing completely different scale things.

When talking about package managers we are talking about software alternatives. There's nothing wrong in having lots of software alternatives in package management, or also in the world of office software, like word processors.

When talking about electronic document format standards, we are talking about an aim to have a common open document standard that could support not restrict the existence of competition and alternatives in the software world. So that an electronic document could be opened and edited as well as possible in all alternative apps now and in the future.

Now, having two main standards for electronic documents is not too much, and in itself might be quite ok. The potential problem with OOXML is, however, what kind of a standard it is. Is it really an open standard that supports and not restricts interoperability and competition in software? Maybe it will be and we may hope so - but lots of experts have had serious doubts about it so far, however.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ODF camp
by WorknMan on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ODF camp"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I think you are mixing completely different scale things.

When talking about package managers we are talking about software alternatives.


Except that, as I pointed out, I was talking about package formats, not package managers.

So, what I am saying is:

- Having 10 office suites using 1 document standard = good
- Having 10 office suites using 10 different document standards = bad

- Having 10 package managers using 1 standard package format = good
- Having 10 package managers using 10 different package formats = bad

To me, it is the same kind of deal. The same goes for GUI toolkits, sound frameworks, directory layouts, and everything else I mentioned, plus several things I didn't. Before the FOSS crowd starts hurling sh*t at MS for introducing more than one standard, they need to practice what they preach. As the old saying goes, those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

And for the guy who said rpm was the standard, if that is the case, how come Linspire with its 'Click n Run' and other Debian-based distros (along with others) don't use it as their default?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: ODF camp
by xiaokj on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 14:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ODF camp"
xiaokj Member since:
2005-06-30

Personally I can see your point. However, there is a fundamental difference between the ODF/OOXML debate and the RPM/DEB problem. I think that this fundamental difference, which may have been otherwise stated (I'm neither an expert nor an historian on this matter), is that the RPM/DEB problem is about variety in composing the standard ELF file format and LSB system structure into a package, whereas the ODF/OOXML debate is about the standard itself. Or in simple terms, RPM/DEB works at a much higher level, and with much interoperability compared to ODF/OOXML.

Although ODF and OOXML are basically zip-ed XML files, the crucial need for the document saved to be sufficiently reproducible by their implementations makes the argument a lot lower level than RPM/DEB. Additionally, the similarity between the role of both ODF/OOXML and RPM/DEB as containers of data do not correlate sufficiently since ODF/OOXML encapsulate so much crucial metadata that basic functionality will be lost if even the syntax of the metadata is changed. RPM/DEB, on the other hand, are so similar, converters exists that preserve all data and sufficient metadata for most functionality to survive conversion. This is simply due to the fact that RPM/DEB are constructed out of ELF and LSB that are high level enough for a common playground of innovation be viable, whereas XML is simply too implementation-specific and mission critical for them to coexist.

This is the reason I urge you to treat the discussions differently. Please do note that this discussion has begun to oppose OOXML before even touching on technical merits. Which is where the rest of the discussion will dwell upon.

As a simple google will verify, many people have stated that OOXML is not a viable standard because of various issues. Its documentation may be huge, but its size is self-detrimental -- it is huge but has little content, and the rest of the bulk is simply there to cloud judgement, as some point out.

Well, if content is little, at the least it should be implementable. However, with just the documentation alone, it is not possible since much of the documentation allows for binary blobs of older, proprietary technology and references to Microsoft Office (where behaviour is supposed to just mimic Microsoft Office, with no indication of what it might be, especially if access to Microsoft Office is not possible)

Moreover, ODF is an extensible standard which has shown that it can make up for shortcomings by revisions. The only example known to the author is ODF's Formulas, which are a later addition to the standard after much complaints from the Microsoft camp. Outrageously, since Microsoft was originally in the OASIS, they could have simply made improvements to the standard instead of competing with the standard in a lose-lose situation.

Last but not least, OOXML is so obviously an attempt by a monopolist to defend its monopoly through lobbying and the spreading of misleading terms (regardless of whether it is intentional, most notable in the example of Office Open XML which is confused with OpenOffice, the rival using ODF). A convicted monopolist trying to lobby for itself will surely hurt the consumer if allowed.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: ODF camp
by irbis on Fri 4th Apr 2008 15:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ODF camp"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

Blehh... Enough of this. The subject here is electronic document format standards, not package managers, package formats, or anything else. Please don't try to confuse the subject of this discussion.

If you want to compare the behavior of the open source camp to that of some others, by all means, do so, and criticize the open source camp as much as you want, as long as the criticism is well-based, but concentrate on the real topic of the discussion.

There's no point comparing apples to oranges, however, if you want to know what kind of an apple is good or not. Compare apples to apples and it makes some sense.

So, is OOXML really so much better in some sense or other than ODF that we need it besides of ODF? In what ways? Could it be the other way around, but there were some other reasons why some people wanted to force OOXML to become an ISO standard as soon as possible, and despite hundreds of problems in it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ODF camp
by ntheibaud on Fri 4th Apr 2008 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ODF camp"
ntheibaud Member since:
2008-04-04

"
- Having 10 package managers using 1 standard package format = good
- Having 10 package managers using 10 different package formats = bad
"
Hello ? Since when packages format are ISO 'standard' ?
When that happen I sure hope that there will be just ONE.
well, one, based on merit, for the world and certainly just after, one from microsoft, by microsoft, for microsoft that they'll buy from ISO.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ODF camp
by unoengborg on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 06:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ODF camp"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, to answer that question with another question, when it comes to package managers, why isn't .rpm or .deb enough? Why can't we just have one standard for package management?


Actually, when it comes to Linux package managers, the standard (as in Linux Standard Base) is that compliant distros should be able to handle rpms.

So, yes, there is ONE standard, and there should be ONE standard for document management as well. It could be ODF or something else. Now we already had ODF, so why was it so impossible to improve on that instead of making a new incompatible one, especially as Microsoft had all possibilities in the world to have add to it when it was made.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ODF camp
by gustl on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 20:41 UTC in reply to "ODF camp"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

What do YOU think is better: An Internet Explorer which which supports W3C standards, or the Internet Explorer HTML quirks to be declared W3C standards?

If that was too complicated, how about this:
Do you like the fact, that for your travel-hairdryer you need to carry a boatload of adapters on a trip around the world. Wouldn't a SINGLE plug standard be better?

Again other question:
What do you think is better for you as a buyer: Having to decide early on which Program from which company to use for all times, or beeing able to alternatively use a different program from a different vendor without entering a format conversion nightmare.

Honestly answer to yourself above questions, then you will begin to see the difference between competing distros and competing standards.

Reply Score: 10

RE: ODF camp
by agrouf on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 05:42 UTC in reply to "ODF camp"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

RPM is in LSB.
None of the package manager has been ISO certified.
There is no point in ISO certification if it certifies all package managers.
Having multiple format is ok if they each serve a purpose. However, ISO certifying 9000 formats is pure non-sense and the ISO organisation is loosing credibility.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ODF camp
by MollyC on Fri 4th Apr 2008 23:29 UTC in reply to "ODF camp"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Why does the ODF camp have such a problem with OOXML?


I'll tell you why (even though I'll get me modded down into oblivion).
ODF was a grand strategy to render MS Office, and in particular, MS Office's huge feature set, irrelevant. Essentually, OO.o and the others couldn't compete with MS Office on features, UI, etc, so they decided to compete on "Use us because our format is an open standard, so your file will be readable forever even if our software goes out of business; you can't say that about MS Office." The ODF camp has been lobbying governments to mandate exclusive use of ODF based on this premise. If governments passed such rules, then MS Office would be banned from government use by law.

Now, the ODF crowd will say, "Well, all Microsoft has to do is implement ODF in MS Office, then governments can continue to use it." But what they don't tell you is that ODF does not handle the full feature set of MS Office. Indeed, since ODF is based on OO.o 1.0 XML format, ODF is based on OO.o's feature set, and therefore codifying ODF into law is equivalent to codifying OO.o's feature set into law, which would actually make it illegal for governments to take advantage of features in MS Office that ODF can't handle and that OO.o lacks. OO.o and the others would no longer have to try to compete on features, since those extra MS Office features would be illegal for government use anyway. Indeed, MS Office's extra features become a disadvantage rather than an advantage - if Microsoft did implement ODF into MS Office to comply with some government rule, ODF files saved by MS Office couldn't go beyond OO.o's feature set and you'd get these "Saving as ODF will lose some features for this file" warnings like you get when saving to RTF and the like.

OOXML being recognized as an open standard undermines the above grand strategy, since governments that buy into the "only open standards can be used" stance can continue to use MS Office. Which is why the "ODF camp" is so upset about this.

The ODF camp doesn't like what I've said above and will mod me down, but I really don't care. They modded down all of my posts on this subject back when the vote on the original ECMA spec failed while modding up the most inane of posts that agreed with them, completely abusing the moderation system, but that doesn't change the fact that what I said above is pretty much spot-on regarding the motives of much of the "ODF camp".

Microsoft's motives weren't exactly pure either. They opened up their formats, not due to altruism, but to kill off ODF's grand strategy and respond to government requests that they open their formats. (An irony is that the EU is one of those that demanded that Microsoft submit their formats to ISO, and is now looking for a chance to fine Microsoft for violating their whimsical "we make it up as we go" antitrust laws for doing just that.)

I'll say one more thing, which I've said before. Neither ODF nor OOXML is an app-neutral, created from scratch, pure as the driven snow, be-all/end-all uber-format. ODF is based on the previous OO.o XML format and OOXML is based on the previous MSO XML formats, and as such, they inherently cater to the features and code structure of OO.o and MS Office, respectively. While Microsoft admits this wrt OOXML, the ODF camp likes to pretend otherwise wrt ODF.

Edited 2008-04-04 23:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Terminology error
by Almafeta on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 19:10 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

And here I am making a mistake I hate seeing...

This is a certified specification, not a standard. Sorry for the goof, I didn't mean to make OOXML out to be more than it was.

Reply Score: 2

Just another example...
by cmost on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 19:58 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Regardless of how the courts ruled on the matter in the U.S. (or were overruled as the case happened to be)Microsoft is indeed a huge monopoly entity. This nonsense of fast-tracking its own document standard through ISO however unethically is merely one of hundreds of similar examples perpetrated by Microsoft. It bullies and bribes (or squashes) its will, irregardless of the rules or laws that would hinder any lesser entity. The only way to stop this monstrosity of a company is to stop using its products. Period.

Reply Score: 9

guignome
Member since:
2007-08-31

There are still too many people that use Microsoft office just because they don't know openoffice exists, and assume that it cannot work well as it's free. OOXML being an ISO standard is one less reason for them to do the switch. An easy way to increase ODF's use is by promoting openoffice.You can easily do that by putting a "Get OpenOffice" button on your blog or website
http://marketing.openoffice.org/art/galleries/marketing/web_buttons...

Edited 2008-04-02 20:32 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Hozz Member since:
2007-03-19

I put OpenOffice on my sister's laptop when I re-installed XP for her, and after using it for a few weeks she asked for Office back. She simply couldn't find her way around OO. Me, a fairly technical user, I just fiddle around with it a bit until I figure out how it works, but many non-techies have grown used to MS' way of doing things, so it's not "just" making the switch, there is some effort involved. Unfortunately, the world isn't all pink and fluffy like that :p

Reply Score: 0

ISO standardisation processes broken?
by irbis on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 20:40 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

FSFE (the Free Software Foundation Europe) points out that there have been many severe technical and legal concerns with the OOXML specification that have been raised by various parties:

"FSFE published its 'Six questions to national standardisation bodies' before the September 2nd vote last year. Considering the statements about progress made on MS-OOXML, one would have hoped that at least one of these questions enjoyed a satisfactory response," states FSFE's German Deputy country coordinator Matthias Kirschner.

He continues: "Unfortunately that is not the case. Issues like the 'Converter Hoax' and the 'Questions on Open Formats' are still equally valid. As the 'Deprecated before use' and 'Interoperability woes with OOXML' documents demonstrate, MS-OOXML interoperability is severely limited in comparison to Open Standards. In addition to these issues, there are the legal concerns that were raised by various parties."

FSFE vice-president Jonas Öberg:
Now it seems that ISO could be the wrong forum for standards development in information technology in general. It seems to work too slowly or too poorly to make the ISO brand meaningful in the IT world. We'll have to see whether ISO can repair its own processes enough to become a meaningful participant.
http://mail.fsfeurope.org/pipermail/press-release/2008q2/000206.htm...

Even ISO itself agrees, although from a different point of view, that "the Microsoft OOXML process was a near-disaster" and that the ISO standardization processes in general are severely "broken" and "need radical reform", like the ISO president Håkan Murby told journalists at a press conference. http://www.fsdaily.com/Community/20080401_ISO_announces_radical_ref...

Edited 2008-04-02 20:53 UTC

Reply Score: 5

v Good job Microsoft!
by ronaldst on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 20:43 UTC
RE: Good job Microsoft!
by raver31 on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 21:08 UTC in reply to "Good job Microsoft!"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Clearly you have missed the whole point of open standards.

It is a standard for EVERYONE, not just people currently using Microsoft products.

From the Washington Post

"Even if the votes were legitimately won , which I doubt , OOXML is not an open standard because it isn't fully implemented on competing platforms, and its future shape is subject purely to Microsoft's control,"

also interesting is this:

"Confusingly, the Office Open XML format being assessed by the ISO "is not what Microsoft implements in the Office suite," Vinje said, adding that "If you implement OOXML, you don't get interoperability with Office."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/02/AR2...

Edited 2008-04-02 21:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Good job Microsoft!
by MollyC on Wed 9th Apr 2008 23:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Good job Microsoft!"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Clearly you have missed the whole point of open standards.

It is a standard for EVERYONE, not just people currently using Microsoft products.

From the Washington Post

"Even if the votes were legitimately won , which I doubt , OOXML is not an open standard because it isn't fully implemented on competing platforms, and its future shape is subject purely to Microsoft's control,"

also interesting is this:

"Confusingly, the Office Open XML format being assessed by the ISO "is not what Microsoft implements in the Office suite," Vinje said, adding that "If you implement OOXML, you don't get interoperability with Office."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/02/AR2...


Of course not. The standard was changed to meet ISO's hurdle. Is it any surprise that nobody implements it yet? If the Washington Post really thinks that this is "confusing", it doesn't say much for their understanding of the issue in general. Regardless, there are multiple imlementations of the original ECMA standard and those will be updated to handle the ISO standard. There is no software that fully complies with ISO ODF either. OO.o comes closest, but adds things that are outside the bounds of ODF. K-Office doesn't even come close.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good job Microsoft!
by melkor on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 22:51 UTC in reply to "Good job Microsoft!"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

ODF wasn't hijacked it was bloody well abducted and held to ransom by Microsoft and its political lackies in Massachusetts.

The real joke here is that the US DOJ doesn't have the balls to punish Microsoft for OBVIOUS monopolistic and anti competitive behaviour in regards to its attacks on ODF (and those supporting it as an open standard), and it's underhanded bribery and manipulation of national standards bodies and the ISO/ECMA process.

I know Microsoft would get it [OOXML] passed - money talks and it just shows me that any standards body that has non technical members that are attached to business interests should NOT EVER be trusted with a vote.

My suggestion is for groups to take legal action against each standards body in each and every country where anomolies were present, with the goal of showing up the irregularities etc and having OOXML rejected by the country on that basis. An ISO standard that is not supported by many countries will die a very quick and painful death.

We are better just ignoring the whole ISO organisation, as it has proven that it is corrupt and cannot be trusted with standards approval. I encourage governments to reject the ISO standard for OOXML, and in fact, to reject the ISO organisation altogether (and to publically do it, and to publically declare WHY they are doing so). Of course, the modern government is really the puppet of big business, so I am being naive and idealistic in expecting any governments "for the people" actually having the balls to do the right thing. The same goes with the judicial systems, which again are all corrupt and puppets of the governments and big business.

Dave

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Good job Microsoft!
by raver31 on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Good job Microsoft!"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I think this is a site you need to look at....

http://www.noooxml.org/petition

Reply Score: 2

ms office 2007 and 2008
by Mellin on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 20:47 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

ms office doesn't save in ooxml standard they don't even save in the same non standard ooxml

Reply Score: 2

MS has not changed
by polarbear on Wed 2nd Apr 2008 22:10 UTC
polarbear
Member since:
2006-06-13

In a private memo to the company's internal Office Group, 10 years ago, Microsoft head Bill Gates wrote: "Allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other people's browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company. We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities."

http://www.itweb.co.za/sections/columnists/doubletake/furber080402....

Interoperability is simply not in Microsoft's interests.

MS Office earns them so much money that if they finally only manage to delay the adaption of ODF by a year or so because of all this OOXML confusion, then it was worth it.

Edited 2008-04-02 22:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

daddio
Member since:
2007-07-14

ISO certification means a boatload less today than it did a year ago.

Data standards exist ONLY so that unlike applications can operate on the same data. The very idea that MSOOXML has released this gargantuan - GARGANTUAN - specification with undefined elements and (WORSE) elements that rely on and are designed solely to be backward compatible with older nonpublic microsoft specifications means it is not, and cannot be a standard in its extant form.

For heavens sake people, ieee 802.11n was in draft form for a couple of years!

Microsofts format could indeed become a real standard if it is allowed to be amended so that it will work (the whole thing, not just parts of it) with word processors and spreadsheets that are not MS Office.

It was a gross error on Microsoft's part to fast-track OOXML. But they are more concerned with an "ISO certified for Guv'mnts that require standards" sticker on the box than with actually coming up with anything resembling a standard document format. If they had done this the right way, they might have had Office 2010 running a real standard OOXML, and they would STILL have a tremendous advantage over their competitors. As it is I believe they will pay for this overt subversion of an international standards body over the long haul.

Reply Score: 1

Can we try to search positive from result?
by TusharG on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 02:18 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'll say if OOXML has been approved as a standard then OpenOffice, KOffice and other office suites now need to adopt the new file formats and ask MS to clear any ambiguity they may have in the format.
This may in one way help other office suites to bridge the gap between MS office suite and other office suite.
MS was claiming odf file format was a back step for them since it was not addressing all the features their office suite supports. So I see this is a good opportunity to bridge the gap. Also this will enable other office suites to add and address the features that are present in MS office.

Reply Score: 2

agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

There is no gap. The format is not superior to ODF. It's just an excuse from MS.

Reply Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

So the lack of spreadsheet formulas is not a gap?

Reply Score: 3

TusharG Member since:
2005-07-06

Absoulately I agree... MS Office is far superior to other office suites in features. Bridging gap is our responsibility.

Reply Score: 1

Please...
by TBPrince on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 09:16 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

I read many complains and rantings. Did you stop and think that having OOXML being declared ISO standard makes Microsoft's life MORE restrictive rather than easier?

Having OOXML as ISO standard means Office must adhere to that standard or will be, itself, declared non-standard. Thus, in turn, will make Microsoft's life with Goverments harder not easier.

Did you stop and think that Microsoft cannot now introduce incompatibilities into OOXML (as implemented by Office) because meddling with standards (expecially when you do that in your widespread application and could thus be seen as a way to introduce arbitrary incompatibilities) is a fast-track way to antitrust trials, faster track than it was earlier just because a ISO standard is affected?

Did you manage to think that, should OpenOffice or other office application (even an open-source small implementation) find that Office cannot produce 100%-compliant file, they could start a litigation and would 99,99999% win just because of ISO "standardness"?

Actually, the story behind OOXML is simple: Microsoft could not let ODF be the only standard for office applications because it's known that ODF has been drafted by OSS advocates who for sure designed it to be a good standard AND to make Microsoft's life harder, for example not supporting those features which MS needed to make their applications backward-compatible.

Now, I agree that process was a reply of years of anti-competitive MS tactics, including forcing arbitrary incompatibilities just to make others' life harder in implementing Office standard. However, given that, Microsoft could not let its competitors control and draft standards affecting their applications (and that's why MS is part of almost any standards' bodies and committees...) because it would have been sure companies like IBM would aim to design stuff to hit MS, expecially in relevant office market. So they needed to have their own standard which could serve their purpose expecially in designing new features and assuring compatibility with their platforms.

Not much to complain about.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Please...
by ichi on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 14:59 UTC in reply to "Please..."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Do you really think that MS is going to rebuild their MSOffice2007 document format so it's an actual implementation of the OOXML documentation?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Please...
by TBPrince on Fri 4th Apr 2008 00:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Please..."
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft is not forced to implement OOXML in Office 2007. I believe it had, but even when it hadn't, it will in next version.

I'm not sure if Office 2007 is 100% OOXML compliant.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Please...
by trenchsol on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 15:30 UTC in reply to "Please..."
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I was thinking the same, yes, standardization could prevent Microsoft from putting all kind of rubbish in Office documents.

On the other hand, I am personally irritated by the argumentation. Microsoft claim that their format needs to be a standard because it is compatible with old documents. Why should anyone care for that. It is Microsoft's responsibility to meet the needs of their customers. They should have provided converters at their own expense, like they once had converter for Word Perfect. The described their internal problem
as a global one.

Why all of us must deal with THEIR problems ?

DG

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Please...
by ichi on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Please..."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Maybe because backwards compatibility is being used to keep the lock-in, else it would be implemented at the application level where it actually belongs.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Please...
by Finalzone on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 16:22 UTC in reply to "Please..."
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Did you stop and think that Microsoft cannot now introduce incompatibilities into OOXML (as implemented by Office) because meddling with standards (expecially when you do that in your widespread application and could thus be seen as a way to introduce arbitrary incompatibilities) is a fast-track way to antitrust trials, faster track than it was earlier just because a ISO standard is affected?


Hopefully you are right. Microsoft have already stated they have no intention of supporting their own format once it is out of their hands. Their goal was to maintain the Office monopoly and lockin as it becomes clear it is one of their main revenue. On the other hand, ISO approval of MOOXML will be a Pyhrric victory now those complain about irregularities and Microsoft have themselves exposed their own dirty tricks once again. The real war only has begun.

Reply Score: 2

WHat!?
by Kshadowfox on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 17:48 UTC
Kshadowfox
Member since:
2008-04-03

According to wikipedia, OOXML is the format used by MS office 2007

Let me quote ¨Implementation

Office Open XML (as specified by Ecma 376) is the default Microsoft Office 2007 format. For older versions of Office (2000, XP and 2003) a compatibility pack is provided.[32] It is available for Windows 2000 and newer operating systems.[33]. The compatibility pack does not require Microsoft Office, but does require Microsoft Windows. It can be used as a standalone converter with products that read Office's older binary formats, such as OpenOffice.org.¨


So i don´t see what the fight is all about. This just means that now all vendors can implement at least read and write support for MS office 2007 into their products. I guess this is a win, it means no more reverse engineering of MS formats, its open.

Making the lisence GPL compatible should be a must now, and well, say we´ll all be using whatever format we want with opensource sorftware, and MS office will continue to be the defacto standard format.

Perhaps like many have said, it´s the death of ODF.

Reply Score: 1

RE: WHat!?
by ichi on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 18:34 UTC in reply to "WHat!?"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Office Open XML (as specified by Ecma 376) is the default Microsoft Office 2007 format.


MSOffice 2007 docx format adds undocumented extensions to the Ecma 376 OOXML. As such I don't think it can really be considered compliant, let alone being a reference implementation (which leaves us with 0 of those).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: WHat!?
by TBPrince on Fri 4th Apr 2008 00:42 UTC in reply to "RE: WHat!?"
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

An ISO standard doesn't prevent "undocumented extensions", as you call them. ISO standards just require *documented* features will be compliant.

You cannot prevent any company to add its own extensions to a format in order to support features others don't support and what standard didn't include. If formats are open and smart, they will include a way to add custom extensions without the need to mess with data.

The important thing is they don't introduce any incompatibility regarding the standard part of the specs. As I said, I don't believe they will just because now that's not in their interests.

Reply Score: 2

It's a joke folks...
by AnXa on Sat 5th Apr 2008 12:37 UTC
AnXa
Member since:
2008-02-10

Look at the day arstechnica posted their "news"...
"Published: April 01, 2008 - 05:15PM CT"

Lmao it to appear on Osnews means that somebody got fooled. ;)
lmao, it appears that even wikipedia has the same stuff. And links to some site which has posted approval things 02/04.. x|

Reply Score: 1