Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Dec 2006 22:26 UTC
Novell and Ximian The first fruit of the recently announced Novell/Microsoft interoperability agreement arrived on Dec. 4, with Novell's announcement that its version of the OpenOffice productivity suite will now support the Microsoft Office Open XML format. The release candidate of Novell's modified version of OpenOffice.org 2.02 is now available for Windows for free download by registered Novell users.
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RE[6]: Say what you want
by n4cer on Tue 5th Dec 2006 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Say what you want"
n4cer
Member since:
2005-07-06

A far better outcome for end users would be for Windows & MS Office to support ODF fully.

For which end users? The 99.9% of the market that would be pissed that their documents won't move forward with full fidelity to a format that is also usable outside of Office and who couldn't continue to use features available in their product of choice because ODF can't currently support them, or the minority who just want to push a non-MS format at all costs with no consideration for data preservation and a misguided belief in ODF being a universal document format?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Say what you want
by hal2k1 on Tue 5th Dec 2006 01:59 in reply to "RE[6]: Say what you want"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//For which end users?//

For all end users.

All end users are served by an open, standard, encumebrance-free, cross-platform, interoperable format.

No end users are disadvantaged by such a format.

This cannot be said for any format which contains dependencies on a specific platform, available only from a single-source supplier.

Edited 2006-12-05 02:01

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Say what you want
by n4cer on Tue 5th Dec 2006 02:47 in reply to "RE[7]: Say what you want"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

For all end users.
All end users are served by an open, standard, encumebrance-free, cross-platform, interoperable format. No end users are disadvantaged by such a format.


Plenty of end users are disadvantaged by a format that can't represent their existing content. Why not just ask everyone to use HTML? It's just as open, standard, encumebrance-free, cross-platform, and interoperable as ODF and, like ODF, it also fails miserably at fully representing end users' existing Office documents. And with the exception of the desires of ODF backers, this isn't an either-or choice. What do you lose with format coexistance? You gain greater format visibility over legacy binary formats. You gain the ability to process Office documents without Office. You gain an easier path for conversion between formats. Heck, even without a tool that understands either format, you can crack them open and get at the content in it's native form.

This cannot be said for any format which contains dependencies on a specific platform, available only from a single-source supplier.

Last I checked, ECMA TC45 had a lot more than one member, and anyone is free to participate in the standardization process and in building implementations based on the spec. The platform dependencies apply to OOXML, ODF, and any format that does not restrict the data that may be included. This is just the cost of flexibility, but simply won't be an issue in most cases.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Say what you want
by hal2k1 on Tue 5th Dec 2006 02:08 in reply to "RE[6]: Say what you want"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//features available in their product of choice because ODF can't currently support them//

Which features are these?

Remember, Microsoft were a participant of the ODF committee. If there is any Microsoft-only feature within an office format and interoperation protocols that ODF cannot "connect" to, then it is that way only because Microsoft refused to open up the interface to let ODF interoperate with that.

Microsoft had two options that would have achieved interoperability: (1) support interoperability by adopting ODF and the other attendant features such as SVG, ogg & SIML, or (2) open up their own formats to allow competing products to be written (even as open source), including all of the attendant features such as ActiveX, wmv, wma, OLE, binary blobs from legacy MS Office formats, exchange connector, etc, etc, etc.

Microsoft have done neither of these. People should abandon Microsofts offerings for this reason.

Edited 2006-12-05 02:15

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[8]: Say what you want
by BluenoseJake on Tue 5th Dec 2006 16:25 in reply to "RE[7]: Say what you want"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

wmv and wma are supported on other OS's, so that point is not valid. Even if your distro does not distribute them, they are available for OS X,Linux and FreeBSD, among others.

If you embed an older Office doc into a new OpenXML document, Openoffice should be able to handle those, as it handles exisiting Office docs just fine, so I believe that is also a moot point.

as far as ActiveX/OLE are concerned, you are correct.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Say what you want
by archiesteel on Tue 5th Dec 2006 05:58 in reply to "RE[6]: Say what you want"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Are you claiming that Microsoft is that technically inept that they wouldn't be able to make an adequate ODF filter for MS Word? Gee, I would have thought you'd have more faith in the quality of MS's workforce.

The fact that Open XML cannot be completely ported to other platforms than Windows automatically means it is inadequate. It is not a question of numbers (and I must say your 99.9% figure is exaggerated, otherwise you'd have to agree that MS has a file format monopoly). It is a question of avoiding vendor lock-in.

Thank you for clarifying this issue for me. For a moment I though MS really wanted to play nice, but now I realize it's still up to its old monopolist tricks, trying to use one quasi-monopoly (Office file formats) to maintain another one (Operating Systems).

Reply Parent Score: 3