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[8]: Say what you want
by n4cer on Tue 5th Dec 2006 02:47 UTC 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[9]: Say what you want
by hal2k1 on Tue 5th Dec 2006 03:54 in reply to "RE[8]: Say what you want"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//it also fails miserably at fully representing end users' existing Office documents//

... as does Office 2007. Documents saved in old legacy binary formats are susceptible to being lost even by Microsoft Office itself. That is why we must go for an open format with no dependencies on the underlying platform.

//What do you lose with format coexistance? You gain greater format visibility over legacy binary formats.//

No, you do not. Microsoft (and other proprietary vendors as well) have to this day refused to document the old legacy binary formats. Therefore, we must be rid of them. ODF provides a way to be rid of them, whereas Open XML is an attempt to perpetuate dependency on them.

//You gain the ability to process Office documents without Office.//

You do not, any more than the current situation allows. OpenOffice will interoperate with legacy binary format MS Office documents to a certain extent. Any move to Open XML will not improve this one iota.

//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.//

Despite the continued pleas of Microsoft supporters, this is indeed an issue. There is a current case between Microsoft and Novell on this very issue. It was an issue at the Microsoft anti-trust trial in the US, and also later in the EU. It is a huge issue.

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleB...

People do not want Microsoft lock-in. Open XML is a blatant attempt to perpetuate lock-in, and ODF is the solution to eliminate it.

Lock-in to Microsoft platforms serves only Microsoft.

There is a way to stop this, and save save yourself immense problems. That way is to refuse to save your documents in Open XML format. Avoid the lock-in! Everyone wins! (Everyone except Microsoft).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[10]: Say what you want
by n4cer on Tue 5th Dec 2006 08:10 in reply to "RE[9]: Say what you want"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

No, you do not. Microsoft (and other proprietary vendors as well) have to this day refused to document the old legacy binary formats. Therefore, we must be rid of them. ODF provides a way to be rid of them, whereas Open XML is an attempt to perpetuate dependency on them.

This is just not true. You say you want to be rid of the binary formats yet you ignore the easiest path towards ridding yourself of them. The current choices are to 1) convert all of your documents to OOXML, preserving their content and having a documented archival format for lossy conversion to ODF. 2) You move directly from binary to ODF, losing anything not supported and, assuming you keep the original binaries, maintaining the originals in a format not publicly documented and with no guaranteed future support.

You do not, any more than the current situation allows. OpenOffice will interoperate with legacy binary format MS Office documents to a certain extent. Any move to Open XML will not improve this one iota.

Wrong again, and Open Office isn't the only non-MS application around that will be able to process OOXML outside of Office. With the binary formats, you're largely tied to MS Office, using the object model to create and process documents. With OOXML, you can build an application to safely process OOXML documents without ever going near Office. You open the package, parse the XML, and pull out or add the content you need.

Despite the continued pleas of Microsoft supporters, this is indeed an issue. There is a current case between Microsoft and Novell on this very issue. It was an issue at the Microsoft anti-trust trial in the US, and also later in the EU. It is a huge issue.
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleB.....
People do not want Microsoft lock-in. Open XML is a blatant attempt to perpetuate lock-in, and ODF is the solution to eliminate it.


OOXML soes nothing to perpetuate lock-in. Microsoft trying to keep a government from mandating a single standard for documents should be applauded given the standard mandated did not meet the needs of many people and was falsely pushed as a universal document standard when it couldn't (and still can't) represent all documents. MS wanted a mandate for open formats in general, not a mandate for a single format.

People do not want Microsoft lock-in. Open XML is a blatant attempt to perpetuate lock-in, and ODF is the solution to eliminate it. Lock-in to Microsoft platforms serves only Microsoft.
There is a way to stop this, and save save yourself immense problems. That way is to refuse to save your documents in Open XML format. Avoid the lock-in! Everyone wins! (Everyone except Microsoft).


The only people complaining about OOXML lock-in are those pushing a single, less featureful format, that has interoperability issues even though it's an ISO standard. They view this as a contest (and hope it will earn them marketshare in the process). The same people are promoting lossy data conversion even though the better alternative for anyone that values their data is to move to OOXML and evaluate going to ODF when possible if they really care about that. Others are actually building tools around both formats, and most users just don't care about the format as long as their documents still work. There is no win or lose in this situation. Users pick what works, whatever the format. Whatever format is used as a consequence of their wants/needs Microsoft will make money from the sales of Office from those who choose to use it, not from OOXML or ODF.

Reply Parent Score: 4