Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 7th Mar 2008 21:38 UTC, submitted by SReilly
Novell and Ximian Open-source pioneer and Novell Vice President Miguel de Icaza Thursday for the first time publicly slammed his company's cross-patent licensing agreement with Microsoft as he defended himself against lack of patent protection for third parties that distribute his company's Moonlight project, which ports Microsoft's Silverlight technology to Linux.
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RE[4]: Interesting
by segedunum on Sat 8th Mar 2008 19:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting"
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

if you read his full reasoning on it here http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Jan-30.html, you will see that his opinion on OOXML is well reasoned


Is it?

1. He tries to defend the 6000 pages of OOXML by trying to somehow argue that this gives us more detail than we've ever had before from Microsoft. Alas, those 6000 pages are largely a dump of the huge number of quirks of Microsoft Office, and gives little away in terms of how to actually implement them.

2. He tries to argue that with the information available on formulas in ODF that formulas simply cannot be implemented. However, given that Lotus, Open Office, KOffice, Google and Corel are all implementing ODF formulas, and there is feedback into improving and changing ODF in successive versions, his evidence for this is thin on the ground. I don't see anyone that has managed to implement the functions and formulas system as specified in OOXML, apart from that which has already been reverse engineered from Excel, which ironically makes the job easier. That doesn't make the spec any better, however.

3. He tries to criticise Groklaw for keeping track of problems and inconsistencies with OOXML. He tries to point out that OOXML references seven ISO standards where ODF only references three. While I can't verify that off-hand, that isn't the point. The fact is that OOXML comes up with, and references a lot of Windows-only implemented technology at the moment, where existing ISO or other standards could have been logically used to better benefit. He completely ignores the W3C standards that ODF uses as well.

4. He tries to claim that the information for Windows Metafiles is publicly available. WMF is a one-to-one mapping of Windows API calls. He would vote to add such information to the specification, but of course, Microsoft hasn't and won't do this. The complete lack of any amendments to OOXML after comments have been submitted shows this up. ODF, on the other hand, has successive versions.

5. He tries to give a weak justification as to why SVG shouldn't be used. Basically, he argues that it's too much work and would pull in too many other W3C specs. Incredible. However, other developers are using SVG now, or are at least using a subset of it, and if Microsoft actually had a web engine that adhered to many W3C standards properly then they wouldn't have such a problem.

6. He tries to argue that it is within reach to bring XAML and WPF to non-Windows platforms, but this just shows up where Miguel conceptually just doesn't get it. You can get 20%, 40%, 60% or even 80% of what Microsoft has implemented, but you can never have a situation where you have a 100% drop-in replacement. As Microsoft will also be first with any new implementation, you can never, ever be on a par with what they're doing. That's not what standards are about.

7. Like people like Rick Jelliffe, he brings up the response to OOXML's 6000 pages that seems to be doing the rounds - OOXML uses 1.5 line spacing versus ODF's single spacing! If this isn't straw grasping, I don't know what is.

and coming from his position as the creator of the most used spreadsheet in the free software world


I wasn't aware that he wrote Open Office Calc.

not as the VP of a company which has partnered with MS.


There's no evidence for that I'm afraid.

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