09.27.07

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OpenDocument News: ODF at Sun, Google, IBM, and Novell

Posted in Formats, Google, IBM, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, Turbolinux at 7:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It is no secret that there are at least 3 large companies that are out to steal Microsoft’s lunch. They are all united by a single unified format, and a single standard that promotes healthy competition and defends the user’s data.

OpenOffice and Symphony are compatible with the OpenDocument format (ODf), an industry standard that allows programs from different developers to read each other’s documents and preserve typefaces, paragraphs, indents, tabs, bullets, numbering and so forth.

As always, Dr. Sutor is optimistic and calm. He celebrates a wonderful September for open standards and ODF in particular.

In early August I stated in this blog that after the OOXML JTC1 ballot closed on September 2, the sun would rise, the birds would sing, and so on. As we are now at the end of the month and about to move into October, I can state that those things all happened. Indeed, from my perspective, September was a very good month, maybe a historic month, for open standards and open source.

[...]

I like to say that every day, every week, every month, the world gets more open. In September this was measurably true.

IBM is very pleased with the download rates of its blue OpenOffice.org ‘sister’. It even unleashed a press release and here is one article that expands upon the fact that IBM’s Symphony was downloaded 100,000 times in just one week.

IBM and ODF supporters such as Sun Microsystems and Google have been waging a public battle against Microsoft to promote their interest in ODF, on which all three companies have based productivity applications.

Stephane has already warned us by suggesting that Novell’s Michael Meeks has a mindset which possibly aligns with Miguel “Superb Standar^H^H^H^Hd” de Icaza’s. The following article presents Michael’s latest views on the issue.

Michael Meeks has a tough job. Anyone who’s struggled with making documents not created in the Word interface with Microsoft Office should be able to sympathise.

Novell is still supporting OOXML is the sense that it implements ‘translators’. These would not have been necessary had Novell not signed an binding ‘interoperability’ deal which required and started a chain reaction (TurboLinux was the latest company to join in).

Related articles: (never to be forgotten)

Is this just a random coincidence? The median of the CPI index of the above mentioned 70 countries is 3.95. Of the most corrupted half (CPI index less than 3.95) 23 or 77% voted for approval (approval or approval with comments) and 7 or 23% for disapproval; 5 abstained. Of the least corrupted half (CPI index more than 3.95) 13 or 54% voted for approval and 11 or 46% voted for disapproval; 11 abstained – see the table below.

However the 11 new countries are refusing to say how they will vote. These include Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malta, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most people seem to think that these have been put there by Vole [Microsoft] to make sure the standard gets pushed through.

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5 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    September 28, 2007 at 3:28 am

    Gravatar

    I only have one question regarding Symphony: will it suck as badly as Lotus Notes? Someone speculated that IBM could pick up the now orphaned Thunderbird for a major change, in that they could now offer a *good* e-mail client. Now that might be a nice foundation for building an applications suite!

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 28, 2007 at 5:32 am

    Gravatar

    mcinsand, Dana (ZDNet blogs) spoke to one of the developers, IIRC, about a week ago. They said they would offer a mail solution through loose integration with an unnamed open source mail client.

  3. Anon said,

    September 28, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Gravatar

    They are likely going to use Evolution.

  4. Finland calling said,

    October 2, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Gravatar

    I woke up a bit from this newsbit:
    http://www.tietokone.fi/uutta/uutinen.asp?news_id=31500

    As usual, a quick translation of the facts:

    SFS (The Finnish Standards Association) has FIRED its recently hired expert Lassi Nirhamo. Just last week he still participated in SFS’s press conference.
    He told Tietokone-magazine that he was informed last Thursday, as his trial period of four months was coming to an end.
    (Over here employers can legally fire anyone during trial, up to 6 months, without telling them even a reason.)

    Pekka Järvinen, MD of SFS stated lack of confidence as the reason for firing Nirhamo.

    SFS is already seeking for a new expert, who will carry the burden of many information technology standardization projects, including handling of OOXML in ISO during next spring.


    Let me guess: it’ll be someone who fully sympathizes with Microsoft. Only Microsoft. And the paychecks, under the table of course.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 2, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Gravatar

    ‘Finland calling’,

    I passed some of your previous postings to relevant people and I appreciate the input. If you want to see several people getting sacked for supporting open standards, read the following story:

    Massachusetts — Bullied, Battered, and Defeated

    They replaced not one CIO, but two (a CIO and his successor), only to be replaced by a Microsoft lobbyist.

    Shocking, isn’t it?

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