EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.27.07

OpenDocument, Microsoft Office, and Novell’s Open Source Presentation

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 8:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell is responsible for delivering a keynote talk on Open Source. Fortunately, no intellectual property is mentioned in the following article, unlike others.

Faigen is Novell’s vice president and general manager for Linux, which is an open source operating system. “Open source” is a type of computer program where the code is open for all to see, rewrite and improve upon. Open source programs, such as the Web browser Firefox, are generally free to download, although companies such as Novell charge a fee to provide support for open source systems.

More interesting, nonetheless, is the following short article. It shows that, despite Microsoft’s claims that ODF support would make Office unstable, supporting it should actually be trivial. This post even makes recommendations.

Even though it is true that the ODF Plugin for MS Office does only exist in advanced proof-of-concept form, this kind of reaction disappoints and sorely rankles on the personal level (not when coming from Microsoft .Net programmers, for example, but when coming from the open source or ODF communities who should better ken the levers of oppression; and, for example, the pro-open source companies who are either AWOL completely if not actively derrogatory of the Foundation’s plugin solution either out of fear, greed, ignorance or a potent cocktail of all three). We would expect — and I say here, damand — more flexibility of imagination under the circumstances that a good, working solution for Massachusetts and Europe would help significantly to turn the tide against entrenched bad habits that are very hard to change.

A lot more was said about ODF support in Microsoft Office just several days ago. To demonstrate the poor state of Microsoft’s ODF plugin, have a look at the following two items.

Taking Microsoft’s ODF Plugin for a Spin… Splat

If you were thinking that Microsoft’s newly announced ODF plugin means you could just stay with Microsoft and still easily save documents as ODF, which is I’m sure what they hope you are thinking, you need to see this.

[...]

So the question to ask is why Microsoft integrates ODF in a way which treats it as a 2nd class citizen, treated less favorably than even Plain Text?

Mind you, Microsoft built this plugin using some free software which it had grabbed from SourceForge. Also see the following confession of a ‘test dummy’.

I created a .doc in Word 2007. I used a variety of fonts and sizes of fonts to create it. I saved it as .doc, .rtf and .docx. I then opened, or tried to, the resultant files in OpenOffice Writer. The .doc opened fine and displayed the document with the formatting as I had made it on Word. The .rtf file opened as expected and the .docx wouldn’t open at all. I expected this to be the case.

I then saved the .doc as an .odt file in OOWriter and transferred it to the Windows machine and opened it via the Word2007 odt addon. After Word had converted it, it opened in Word and looked exactly the same as when I created it. I then saved it back to .doc (save as .odt is not working (at present?). I then transferred the saved .doc back to the Linux box and opened it in OOWriter and all the formatting had gone.

This is a stupid dirty trick (as far as I can tell). It basically means that Word (as it stands now) is deliberately stripping away the formatting in .odt files when it saves them to .doc (currently the only format that OOWriter can work with from Word). It’s not that Word can’t render the formatting from an odt file, just that it strips it away when saving back to .doc. Bear in mind that this part of the process does not require the odt addon.

This pretty much covers the state of OpenDocument support in Microsoft Office, although some references may be out of date.

A lot has been happening on the OOXML front in the post week, so here’s a good summary of events. Novell will, as expected, proabably follow Microsoft’s lead on the issue of formats and standards (or ‘standards’), although the promise was to make ODF the default format.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    January 28, 2007 at 2:38 am

    Gravatar

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but you need to do a little more work in regards to the DOCX ==> ODT limitations.

    First, you may see that both articles you refer to were written on July 2006, while the CleverAge project has been running full speed since approximately that period (as it became sponsored by Microsoft and officially announced). So you need to do the test right now with the latest ODF addon for your comment to have any merit.

    While you are at it, why not start crying foul about the poor support for XLSX ==> ODS spreadsheet conversion ? If you read the mission statement from CleverAge, you know they have not made any work in this area so far, and that it is supposed to happen once the work with Word documents is complete. Wishful thinking I know, but that’s it.

    Second, it is true that CleverAge has prioritized the ODT ==> DOCX conversion over the opposite way. Sorry again to have to tell you that this was clearly written in their agenda that they would do the work like this. If I am not wrong the work the other way has only begun since December 2006. I guess it would be fair right now, two months after, to take a fair look at where it is.

    Third, there are real round-trip limitations in the conversion, and this was pointed out by a number of people including the CleverAge guy himself, Jean Goffinet. This is, in my view, worth pointing out because it means their work will never achieve 100% round-trip. If 100% round-trip is required for government requirement purposes, then THIS is a show-stopper.

    Disclaimer : I don’t work for Microsoft, and am not part of CleverAge team either. I have even posted objections against OOXML so you get an idea where I am at. Just want to disambiguate true information from FUD.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 28, 2007 at 5:48 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks, Stephane, and many apologies for the misinterpretation. :-) Your input is a very valuable one.

  3. Bayerischer Wald said,

    November 10, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Gravatar

    I think these blog is really useful for new comers and Excellent resource list.
    It´s a very interesting Blog and simple answer of many questions.
    Keep up the good work!
    Thanks it helps me a lot…

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  2. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  3. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  4. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  5. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  6. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  7. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  8. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  12. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  13. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  14. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  15. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  16. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  17. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  18. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  19. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  20. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  21. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  22. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  23. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  24. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  25. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  26. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  27. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  28. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  30. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts