Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Mar 2007 23:08 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft Office program manager Brian Jones, whose work has centered around the Open XML document format, now says the so-called format war with OpenDocument is officially over. The winner, he says, is both. Jones made the statement in a blog post over the weekend following the release by Novell of an Open XML translator for OpenOffice. The plug-in enables the free, open source productivity suite to open documents created in the Microsoft format, as well as saving OpenDocument files into Open XML.
Thread beginning with comment 219160
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: because they lost...
by nberardi on Wed 7th Mar 2007 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: because they lost..."
nberardi
Member since:
2005-07-10

So what kind of Kool-Aid you drinking over there?

It's sort of cute how you ignore all his actually comments and points and focus right in on comments that really don't have to do with the ODF specification. You seem to conveniently skip over all his critiques of the ODF.

What about where he said the ODF is a very light weight when it comes to spreadsheet applications? He personally helped write Gnumeric a spreadsheet application, and he said there is no way you can provide the level of functionality that the users need only in the 15 or so pages ODF dedicated to the matter.

What about where he talks about the need for legacy support in a document format. Microsoft took a lot of guff over support Word Perfect formatting. Let me say that again Microsoft took a lot of guff over supporting IBM Lotus Word Perfect formatting. I noticed that IBM decided to ditch all these users. It's sort of nice that ODF is saying screw you to all the legacy documents that will have to be converted as far as formatting goes.

ODF is a light weight standard and the only reason it has gotten as far as it has, is because of personally grudges against Microsoft. OOXML is not supported in OOo, so now the only valid reason that all the pundits actually put forth. That it was going to be too hard to impliment, is now null and void, because Microsoft ponyed up the cash for one of their developers to make it.

You all need to ask your self if this is a personal grudge or do you actually believe the dribble coming out of your mouth. This is the reason I use BSD and support the BSD license whole heartily over GPL. GPL brings too many evangelistic wackos to the table.

Also it is really amazing how easily people in the OOS community leave a person out to dry that has given more than most to the OOS community.

Edited 2007-03-07 01:15

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: because they lost...
by segedunum on Wed 7th Mar 2007 10:58 in reply to "RE[3]: because they lost..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

So what kind of Kool-Aid you drinking over there?

Evidently not as strong as what you're drinking.

It's sort of cute how you ignore all his actually comments and points and focus right in on comments that really don't have to do with the ODF specification.

Dude. Those comments in my post are exact quotes from Miguel's article that focus right in on what he believes to be problems with ODF and why he's defending OOXML, and I've given my response as to why not a great deal of it stands up to any kind of logic.

If you are able to do that in response rather than skirting around with 'it's sort of cute' meaningless replies, I'm all ears.

What about where he said the ODF is a very light weight when it comes to spreadsheet applications?

Because it's not. KOffice, Open Office, Google, Lotus Workspace etc. are all doing it. That's just a very lightweight comment without any argument apart from "Oh, it's ten pages long so there's no way I could implement that".

What about where he talks about the need for legacy support in a document format.

The legacy support arguments, that Microsoft have come out with, are utter rubbish as well. OOXML is a totally new format that is simply not backwards compatible with the previous binary format (you can't read and write them without an add on) - and yet Microsoft has felt the need to dump all the elements from the binary format into the XML one.

The way to handle this was to create a new and independent format built for the purpose, much like ODF, and then use Microsoft Office to do the awful heavy lifting of getting the old formats and all their quirks into a new and clean format without the overhead of historical problems. The ludicrous situation where OOXML replicates the Excel date problem is a case in point.

Microsoft took a lot of guff over support Word Perfect formatting.

No they didn't. They supported it at a time when they really wanted and needed to get into the office suite market, and they were not number one. That format has suddenly gone right down the pecking order at Microsoft. What flack did Microsoft take, exactly, in supporting WordPerfect's formats - or was this pulled out of the wind?

What kind of feeble argument are you trying to make here?

It's sort of nice that ODF is saying screw you to all the legacy documents that will have to be converted as far as formatting goes.

Converting to a new format is up to an application to do. It is not up to the format itself, and the notion that a new format can be responsible for converting the old format to the new by itself is just so stupid it isn't even funny.

The backwards compatibility claims with regard to OOXML are non-existent. Think about it. The only way OOXML would be backwards compatible is if I could open a document in that format in Office 97, 2000, 2003 and Open Office without any add ons or modifications. I can't - because it's a new format!

ODF is a light weight standard and the only reason it has gotten as far as it has, is because of personally grudges against Microsoft.

There's no evidence that ODF is a lightweight standard at all in view of the people and projects that are currently implementing it. That's a wonderfully well reasoned argument, which dovetails well with Miguel's apparent view that the objections people have come together to create with regard to OOXML are politically motivated and how Microsoft is consistently whinging that it's all a big IBM conspiracy. Go figure.

ODF was created first, and has been in existence for years without any trouble whatsoever. Microsoft clearly didn't have to create a new format, but they did and it has some serious problems if it is ever to be considered an open format. I refer you back to the Groklaw objections page for information. That's all that matters. Anything else is just pointless whinging.

OOXML is not supported in OOo, so now the only valid reason that all the pundits actually put forth.

ODF existed years before OOXML, and ODF is not supported in Microsoft Office. The point here being?

That it was going to be too hard to impliment, is now null and void

The implementations outside of Microsoft Office are so incomplete it isn't even funny, and they would never be practically useful in exchanging documents with Office 2007. Given the usage of back end implementations such as WMF, Microsoft's own vector drawing and math libraries (which will have to have their own implementations on other platforms rather than re-using existing standards) there are solid technical reasons for suggesting that full implementation of OOXML will never be practically possible - which is the point.

You did read my comment rather than jumping up and down, right?

You all need to ask your self if this is a personal grudge or do you actually believe the dribble coming out of your mouth.

Whatever. That's a sour grapes, emotional statement by any stretch of the imagination and a pointless waste of time - something you and many people defending OOXML claim everyone else is doing!

This is the reason I use BSD and support the BSD license whole heartily over GPL. GPL brings too many evangelistic wackos to the table.

Goodness me. That's a tangent if ever I saw one.

Also it is really amazing how easily people in the OOS community leave a person out to dry that has given more than most to the OOS community.

No one is hanging Miguel out to dry. I'm afraid that he needs no help from anyone whatsoever in doing that, sadly. All people are doing is responding to some of the things he is coming out with, and the confused message he has always given regarding open source software in relation to Microsoft.

It just shows how sad Novell have become when they release a totally incomplete OOXML translator plugin, and then a Microsoft employee immediately bangs on his blog that this is evidence that OOXML is open and everything is OK.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: because they lost...
by nberardi on Wed 7th Mar 2007 13:01 in reply to "RE[4]: because they lost..."
nberardi Member since:
2005-07-10

Blah, Blah, Blah
Try the Cherry flavor.

segedunum - No they didn't. They supported it at a time when they really wanted and needed to get into the office suite market, and they were not number one. That format has suddenly gone right down the pecking order at Microsoft. What flack did Microsoft take, exactly, in supporting WordPerfect's formats - or was this pulled out of the wind?

Maybe you should know your history before you go blabbing that you know everything.

http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/05/0041212

From the article - "so not only must an interoperable OOXML implementation first acquire and reverse-engineer a 14-year old version of Microsoft Word, it must also do the same thing with a 16-year old version of WordPerfect." referring to suppressTopSpacingWP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML

Also lets not forget - "Possible legacy MS Office rendering compatibility issues are identified using (deprecated) tags: For example, book 4 section 2.15.3.6, autoSpaceLikeWord95, book 4 section 2.15.3.31, lineWrapLikeWord6."

segedunum - Converting to a new format is up to an application to do. It is not up to the format itself, and the notion that a new format can be responsible for converting the old format to the new by itself is just so stupid it isn't even funny.

Why not that sounds like defeatism, not good software engineering? How many documents do you think exist in government today that were created on Work6, WordPerfect, etc? I thought ODF was going to be the savior where all these documents could be suddenly read and available to the masses? Because that is what the pundits convinced the politicians was going to happen.

segedunum - The backwards compatibility claims with regard to OOXML are non-existent. Think about it. The only way OOXML would be backwards compatible is if I could open a document in that format in Office 97, 2000, 2003 and Open Office without any add ons or modifications. I can't - because it's a new format!

Again take a look at the links above. All that you need is a translator to convert it in to OOXML. Because the depreciated styles and formats are still supported. In ODF most of these legacy documents are going to have to be totally rewritten to perserve the formatting that was originally available.

There is also too much volatility in the ODF format. It only looks forward and says forget about everything that came before me. That is what I meant about light weight. And forgetting about your past is a luxury that a document format does not have.

The famous saying comes to mind, "those who don't know history or doomed to relive it." or in this case only a bunch of purist evangelical fanatics will use it because the masses still have documents that are 5+ years old in their original format.

Edited 2007-03-07 13:02

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: because they lost...
by g2devi on Wed 7th Mar 2007 14:34 in reply to "RE[4]: because they lost..."
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

> It just shows how sad Novell have become when they
> release a totally incomplete OOXML translator plugin,
> and then a Microsoft employee immediately bangs on his
> blog that this is evidence that OOXML is open and
> everything is OK.

Novell might be sad these days, but that has little to do with Miguel's comments (unless you know something I don't). Miguel simply went too far down a slippery slope and, because he's used to criticism to the point that he's immunized against it, he's unable to see how far down the slope he's gone.

It's interesting contrasting his early comments with his current ones. Originally, Mono was simply a way of solving the language binding problem in GNOME (most language bindings weren't consistently complete) and he chose the ECMA spec simply to avoid reinventing the wheel. Duplicating .NET was not the purpose and specs like XAML and Winforms had too many problems to even consider. Months later, he adjusted his opinion to .NET technologies could also be implemented, but only help people port Windows apps to Linux. It's no different than WINE in that it doesn't have to be complete to be useful (even if WINE needs to play catch up with each new Windows version). A year or so later, he adjusted his opinion to .NET technologies could also be implemented, but it should allow transparent and reliable porting of people who design portable .NET apps. More than a year later, he seems to be actively supporting XAML, full .NET support, OOXML and other Microsoft technologies as being better than open technologies and ignoring the fact that even open source applications like SharpDevelop, and Paint.NET still don't run 100% on Mono even after targeted Mono improvements, and OOXML has many issues that would prevent full implementation without a lot more reverse engineering.

Anyway, just so this post isn't too far off topic, I'd like to address some other comments:

nberardi Why not that [converting the old format to the new one instead of supporting it in the format] sounds like defeatism, not good software engineering?

You have it backwards. What segedunum is suggesting is good engineering (getting rid of special cases) and the MS approach is defeatism (adding hacks).

With the ODF approach, you pay for the backwards compatibility support once during the initial conversion. If ODF is not good enough to support backwards compatibility, then it should be extended so that it is generally more useful and not just for backwards compatibility. A word processor 1000 years in the future wouldn't need to know about long extinct Word2, just ODF. But for this most part, it's not needed. For instance, to handle the date issue, there's no reason to add a "handle broken dates" feature. Simply have the exporter automatically rewrite the formulas (e.g. the expression "date1+4" would be rewritten as "convertToBrokenDate(date1)+4" and then add convertToBrokenDate to the macro that's saved with the spreadsheet). The same comment goes for MS-specific styles -- just package the style currently used up for the specific document and be done with it instead of hard-coding them forever. It's not that hard.

With the OOXML approach, every time a new legacy format is supported (e.g. there are over 1000 formats not covered by OOXML, including ODF!) you would have to extend OOXML. This means that a word processor 1000 years in the future would have to deal with supporting all previous word processor formats instead of just "pure" OOXML sans hacks. So even if the legacy hacks are fully documented (which they aren't in the case of OOXML), the OOXML approach make every generation pay the conversion costs of importing the legacy formats because the OOXML team was too lazy to just define the format correctly the first time.

Personally, I don't see the need for OOXML. If there's something that's impossible to implement in ODF, it should be added to it instead of creating a new standard. I've yet to see a single argument why this is impossible. And if OOXML is just the XML version of DOC, why not just stick with DOC for legacy support since it's almost universally supported instead of OOXML which is not and needs years before the undocumented idiosyncrasies can be reverse engineered universally?

Edited 2007-03-07 14:38

Reply Parent Score: 3