Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Oct 2005 13:34 UTC, submitted by Mark Brunelli
Features, Office Massachusetts' plan to standardize desktop applications on OpenDocument, an open standard not supported by Microsoft Office, essentially comes down to a matter of control, according Stephen O'Grady. O'Grady has been following the story closely and explains that as a sovereign entity, Massachusetts feels the need to be in complete control of its desktop technology, rather than relying on a single company for its office productivity needs.
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RE[2]: re: history (cont)
by the_trapper on Mon 10th Oct 2005 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE: re: history (cont)"
the_trapper
Member since:
2005-07-07

We're talking about file formats. You don't fork a file format. Your post really makes no sense in this context.

Are you serious? File formats are extremely easy to fork. The Internet is based upon an open file format (HTML) and that has managed to be forked. It's entirely possible to create an HTML document that adheres to standards and yet renders differently on all major browsers. Microsoft until IE7 has had a serious bug in its PNG support that prevents it from supporting transparency. This is a fork, because the PNG standard has support for transparency, yet Microsoft's implementation has none.

The PKZIP format is a well documented, de-facto archiving standard, and yet several implementations have custom extensions for things like encryption.

Granted, some file formats are better designed than others. Things like JPEGs tend to look the same no matter what application is viewing it. However, all it takes to fork a file format is a slightly different implementation of the viewing/editing software. This is exactly how Microsoft's embrace, extend, and extinguish strategy works.

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