Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Aug 2009 22:04 UTC
Microsoft Just when you thought the world couldn't get any crazier, something happens that makes you move your expectations of the world up a few nothces. We already have to deal with the browser ballot, but that's not the only ballot Microsoft will deliver. Hold on to your panties, as Microsoft will also offer a file format ballot in Microsoft Office 2010. On a happier note, Microsoft makes a whole load of promises to the EU about opening up technologies and file formats.
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Then the problem is in both ODF specification and its Microsoft implementation. What kind of "specification" can be interpreted in an "incompatible way"?

All of them. If you take any non-trivial specification and start "language-lawyering" it (as Linus like to say) you can make an implementation that isn't compatible.

To give a random example, Microsoft's .docx format didn't specify in the specification whether the sin(x) function, in Excel, should take radians or degrees.

Any computer scientist would know that they mean radians, and it can always be checked against Excel, but someone wanting an incompatible implementation could just take it to mean degrees.

Even in the POSIX world where specifications were made as specific as possible there are still some ambiguities - just see the kernel mailing list.

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