Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Apr 2008 20:14 UTC
Microsoft "Microsoft will make available the preliminary versions of technical documentation for the protocols built into Microsoft Office 2007, SharePoint Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007. This documentation, which defines how these high-volume Microsoft products communicate with some of its other products, is 14000 pages and is in addition to the 30000 pages posted when the software giant first introduced its new Interoperability Principles last month. They will be made available April 8."
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waste of time
by mabhatter on Tue 8th Apr 2008 23:54 UTC
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the whole thing is a waste of time. The deal with the EU went thru only because they got the EU to basically honor software patents just for Microsoft protocols. All the open source projects that fought hard to get the open specs got stabbed in the back at the last minute.

This is probably the same dreck the EU denied was acceptable 3 times around. The stuff then wasn't SPECIFICATION, it was code examples, data traces, developer notes... all proprietary "IP" and not an instruction manual for how the product communicated that was asked for.

Like others said the whole thing is poisoned by their claim of random patents over unspecified parts of this documentation... it's all mixed together and they aren't bothering to say what's got patents and what's just spec. To any open source project this is worse than useless. The ones that need these specs, like EXT2win, Abiword or Gnumeric, or Samba already have better documentation than Microsoft in most cases (because Microsoft calls the commented code "documentation" when it's really not) What these projects need to wrap up will only be in undocumented code samples... exactly what an open source project CAN'T use.

At this point we should be working to bring OSS tools to Windows (and Mac) users. Open file systems, data formats, and programs in droves. Rather than trying to hack our way into their world. Stop trying to connect to windows stuff and force the non-free side to keep up. Put our data in ODF, OGG, and use directory services that are openly developed and work 100% with open source projects. It's time to move on without them. I understand Windows in particular is completely locked down in some areas that make adding new types of drivers needed for file systems nearly impossible, but that's their problem. Much like the IE7/IE8 debates it's time to simply take the W3C and WHATAG spec and walk away... tell people to get Opera/webkit/firefox if they want to be on the net and stop living 7 years ago!

Let Windows and Mac deal with opening files and connecting to shares. I keep including Mac because Apple is very willing to take from open source, but unwilling to share the fame or spotlight by using proprietary file systems and formats all over on top of free software. (I'm sure it's because they can pay, so shun the little guy) Apple has little ODF support and no vorbis, theora, no ext2/3 etc.

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