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.
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RE[5]: because they lost...
by nberardi on Wed 7th Mar 2007 13:01 UTC 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[6]: because they lost...
by segedunum on Wed 7th Mar 2007 16:42 in reply to "RE[5]: because they lost..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

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

Never did any such thing.

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


How you have come to believe that is relevant to what I had written is anyone's guess. Just because Microsoft have some WP elements and behaviour dumped into their own format as a result of some long lost (and now pointless) older support, it doesn't mean that they support WordPerfect today.

I think you need to read what you've quoted. The paragraph you are quoting is asking what on Earth the point is of referring to unspecified WordPerfect behaviour from 16 years ago and replicating it, rather than converting it over. I quite agree.

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."

Yer. And? What the hell is that doing in there? It is up to an application to work out what to do with that in terms of converting it to a new format. Additionally, those tags mean nothing simply because their behaviour isn't defined.

I thought ODF was going to be the savior where all these documents could be suddenly read and available to the masses?

No. Whether you use ODF or OOXML, it's the job of these things called office suites to convert the old format into the new. Quite what universe you or Microsoft live in where a new format can automatically convert older formats itself isn't quite clear.

All that you need is a translator to convert it in to OOXML.

Ergo, it isn't backwards compatible with older formats, therefore the Microsoft Office specific elements to OOXML are pointless. All I need is a translator to convert a document to ODF. So what?

In ODF most of these legacy documents are going to have to be totally rewritten to perserve the formatting that was originally available.

No. There's simply no reason why several thousand elements from the older Microsoft Office binary format needed to be dumped into an open format to preserve some form of non-existant backward compatibility. In reality, it's exactly the same format in different packaging with all the same old problems.

It only looks forward and says forget about everything that came before me.

That's because it's a new format.

And forgetting about your past is a luxury that a document format does not have.

Yes it does have that luxury, because it is the applications that do the heavy lifting of conversion, and not the formats. There's simply no reason for a new format to have several thousand elements from an old format dumped, literally, into it from an older binary format in the name of backwards compatibility.

You make the mistake that even Microsoft employees have made, which is to view the format and the application as the same thing. Easy mistake to make I suppose.

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

I refer you to your first comment above:

Blah, Blah, Blah
Try the Cherry flavor.


because the masses still have documents that are 5+ years old in their original format.

So what? You get an office suite that can open your older Microsoft Office documents and then 'Save As...' ODF. That has absolutely nothing to do with the new format that you've created, and there's simply no reason for your new format to simply dump every element of the old format into a new one just because it uses XML. In reality, it's still exactly the same format!

Mind you, that was the whole point. Microsoft just decided to change the Emperor's clothing just so they could say "Oh, it's XML!"

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[7]: because they lost...
by nberardi on Wed 7th Mar 2007 16:58 in reply to "RE[6]: because they lost..."
nberardi Member since:
2005-07-10

God I hope you are never in a position to make any lasting changes, because look out world segedunum is going to make policy based on his own bias.

I think you need to read what you've quoted. The paragraph you are quoting is asking what on Earth the point is of referring to unspecified WordPerfect behaviour from 16 years ago and replicating it, rather than converting it over.

If you convert it, it will never act like the original. So why not support the original specification, which is most definitely defined somewhere. I am sure IBM has the source that they could open, after all they are sitting on the panel.

So what? You get an office suite that can open your older Microsoft Office documents and then 'Save As...' ODF. That has absolutely nothing to do with the new format that you've created, and there's simply no reason for your new format to simply dump every element of the old format into a new one just because it uses XML. In reality, it's still exactly the same format!

Yes but obviously you don't really understand how software is developed. What are the chances that when you open up WordPerfect there is going to be a Save As ODF? What are the chances that when you open up Word6 that there is going to be a Save As ODF? What are the chances that when you open up Word 2000 that there is going to be a Save As ODF? I can quickly answer that as none.

Microsoft Office 2007 is the only one that can do that for most of these files listed. Sure OOo has rudimentary support for these file types, but if you want a direct conversion and keep the formatting you are going to have to use Office 2007. Then what are the chances that in the Microsoft platform that people will have these as ODF compared to OOXML? I bet the number is very close to zero.

You may say this is Microsoft domination, maybe, but it doesn't bode well for ODF, and why support a format that is never going to go anywhere. Thank god there is a Microsoft made plug-in for OOo that reads OOXML, because I run OOo under FreeBSD and my friends regularly safe their documents in Office 2007 and Office 2003 formats.

In the years ahead I hope they continue to save them in the Office 2007 format since I know now that it is totally supported in OOo. Unlike the half supported Microsoft Office documents that are currently supported in OOo.

Reply Parent Score: 1