Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 6th May 2006 22:05 UTC
Microsoft A group of software developers have created a program to make Microsoft Office work with files in the OpenDocument format, a move that would bridge currently incompatible desktop applications. Gary Edwards, an engineer involved in the open-source OpenOffice.org project and founder of the OpenDocument Foundation, on Thursday discussed the software plug-in on the Web site Groklaw.
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Two things...
by pooo on Sun 7th May 2006 04:26 UTC
pooo
Member since:
2006-04-22

1. I really think people who are constantly saying MS sucks technically should reconsider the opinion they formed in 1995 when they last used microsoft products. Office 2003 + Windows XP is without a doubt a first class computing experience that Linux cannot yet touch.

Now hold on! Before the zealots get into too much of a tizzy! I am one of you! A linux zealot! I simply think that by making arguments about technical merits (especially on the desktop) you are a) making an argument that has no justification and b) missing out on the *real* reason that Linux is so incredible and awesome which is the freedoms and principles it represents and fights for while still being a great OS and desktop! MS is a big evil blood sucking corporation that lies and steals and doesn't serve anyone but itself. Linux is about ethics and freedom and openness and it rocks! But please, don't let your love of linux lead you to make spurious comments about how OOo is better than MSO 2003. It just isn't. Saying so means you are either ignorant or a liar or just blind in your zeal and whichever the case is comments like that do hurt the linux cause when some newby, pumped up by bullshit talk like that, opens up OOo or boots their Ubuntu live CD and sees *at best* something that is in no way better than what microsoft can do (I'm being generous to OOo here because I belieive that Ubuntu is much closer to this standard than OOo which is frankly blown away by MS Office 2003).

One day, the computing world as a *whole* will be much much better because of Linux. But it probably won't be entirely because linux is just better. It will be because of the new culture of openness and standards that Linux drove in the computing worlds and the resultant explosion of interoperability and quality competitive applications on every platform, not just linux.

Get it?

2. I'm confused about why it is that Kwrite and Abiword don't have the same level of filters (inport and export) as OOo if they are using the same underlying document format ODF?? They are all OSS projects so why don't they all just run every doc that is not ODF through the same set of libDocFilters or whatever?? And why isn't making plugins for existing office suites that have ODF filters in OOo just as easy? I just was reading about the early status of MS doc filters in Abiword and I am frankly confused. I hope this isn't a GPL vs LGLP vs BSD licence issue is it??

Edited 2006-05-07 04:31

Reply Score: 5

RE: Two things...
by smitty on Sun 7th May 2006 04:43 in reply to "Two things..."
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I'm confused about why it is that Kwrite and Abiword don't have the same level of filters (inport and export) as OOo if they are using the same underlying document format ODF??

Well, the issue is that ODF is just an export filter - each program has a different internal format that is used in memory, which means that whether or not you support ODF is irrelevant. Most programs should be able to use the OOo import filters at least as a basis for their own, but I've heard that the OOo code is so ugly it is impossible to seperate the import filter code from the rest of the suite. It doesn't have anything to do with licensing issues, though.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Two things...
by pooo on Sun 7th May 2006 07:47 in reply to "RE: Two things..."
pooo Member since:
2006-04-22

Well if the OOo filters can't be broken off into a libDocFilters type library then that is a damn shame.

If there were a libDocFilters (or whatever) then:

a) Everyone could just convert from the foreign format to ODF before doing their own "internal" filter giving them the same level of filters as OOo.
b) This is the really major crime, if there were one libDocFilters that everyone used to convert back and forth between ODF then everyone could work on the same code instead of all that effort being duplicated! Bugs being created twice! Fixed twice! Features missed twice! Implemented twice! Shit that seriuosly makes me want to cry. What a total f--k up by the OOo people. We could be light years ahead if all OSS office apps had a high level of filtering for all document formats and the level of quality would be even higher than it is now because everyone would be helping out together. And, shit shit, all those proprietary apps would have the same high level of support for ODF because ODF.org (or whoever) could easily make and distribute plugins or at the very least standalone filters for the supported document types. Shit, what a shame.

Would there really be any question at all about document formats for these governments and big corporations if OOo had not f--ked up in such an important way?? It would be so easy for them to migrate, all the legitimate concerns they have about interoperability with the rest of the MS using world would just melt away.

Man they really were not thinking ahead on this. I hope the effort to lib-ize this code is underway soon before everyone implements their own versions creating a new era of incompatabilities and balkanizations that MS can leverage against ODF and the larger OSS cause.

I don't mean to blame OOo too much because they have spearheaded everything up to now and I realize that ODF is a recent development but what a shame that they didn't see the opportunity and take it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Two things...
by mabhatter on Sun 7th May 2006 14:08 in reply to "Two things..."
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

"2. I'm confused about why it is that Kwrite and Abiword don't have the same level of filters (inport and export) as OOo if they are using the same underlying document format ODF?? They are all OSS projects so why don't they all just run every doc that is not ODF through the same set of libDocFilters or whatever?? And why isn't making plugins for existing office suites that have ODF filters in OOo just as easy? I just was reading about the early status of MS doc filters in Abiword and I am frankly confused. I hope this isn't a GPL vs LGLP vs BSD licence issue is it??"

They have only been supporting OO.org formats for about 2 years now. Most of the projects started work with OOo 1.1 support which isn't the same as ODF support because they started before the spec was final and some things got changed. OO.org 2 is the first true ODF program and it's "barely" done. Also, they are just "bolting" on support to their own established programs.. and that makes some features hard to implement properly. Considering MS Word is 10 years old (and Word 97 still not perfect) and ODF not even final yet, I'd say they're doing just fine. See how much faster they can work with an open spec!

Reply Parent Score: 2