01.23.08

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Reminder: Support Standards, Reject a Single Company’s Format

Posted in Formats, Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, IBM, Interoperability, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 9:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There won’t be anything we won’t say to people to try and convince them that our way is the way to go.”

Bill Gates

The work done by an industry forum which revolves around HA middleware is interesting. Several companies are interoperating around the LGPL, which is an excellent illustration of the value of free open source code. Here are some of the details from LinuxDevices.

An open industry forum has been created to maintain and promote an open source (LGPL v2.1) implmentation of Service Availability Forum high-availability middleware specifications. Founded by Emerson Network Power (ENP), Ericsson, HP, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Sun Microsystems, the OpenSAF Foundation aims to standardize high-availability middleware for Linux-based carrier-grade systems.

ODF formatAs you can see, no single company is responsible for founding the group. This is very similar to what you find on ODF and very different from OOXML, which is a case of a single company with paid members rallying around it.

One sound of alarm comes from the Don of Free Software Magazine, who reminds us to abstain from touching OOXML because we already have one international standard. It’s called ODF.

Microsoft proposed a bogus Office file format while an ISO standard already existed. Their shady practices to get their format fast-tracked and approved by ISO didn’t work. But Microsoft is still trying—and I can guarantee, it will keep on trying until it succeeds.

The only possible answer for Microsoft and OOXML is simple: the world already has an office file format. The world doesn’t need nor want a “conversion nightmare”. The world’s ISO-approved Office format already exists: it’s called ODF. Microsoft: deal with it!

A second alarm bell comes from Bob Sutor who correctly suggests that saving document as OOXML is almost an irreversible mistake and the point of no return (at least if repeated en masse).

I thought I would point out something that I assume is fairly obvious to most people:

Saving your documents in OOXML format right now is probably
about the riskiest thing you can do if you are concerned with
long term interoperability.

First, the “official” ECMA OOXML that was submitted to ISO

As it stands, the only FOSS group that actually tactless enough to offer constructive criticism to OOXML is the GNOME Foundation. One could also include various Novell employees and a few others who merely serve Microsoft’s agenda (often because they have to, legally-speaking).

OOXML is about money

Prompt says 'No'

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A Single Comment

  1. scotty said,

    April 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Gravatar

    I have to take point with your statement that no one single company was responsible for forming the group. In fact, the open source project is simply an open-sourcing of the product that was formerly proprietary software written by a division at motorola that is now part of Emerson. The code was practically complete by the time it was released to the community. (Minus bugs, of course, and newer revisions.) So I’d have to say that it was not a case of “no single company” – it was definitely motorola/emerson driving this, likely due to other competing projects already being open-sourced prior to this.

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