05.08.08

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Quote of the Day: OpenOffice.org Already Ahead of ODF 1.0, Microsoft Behind OOXML

Posted in Formats, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 10:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ODF is the future and OOXML is the past, claimed Bob Sutor last year

There is a lot of disinformative fuss at the moment with people claiming that OpenOffice.org 3 “supports OOXML.” It does not. The word “supports” has an active — as opposed to a negative — connotation. In reality, OpenOffice.org is all about ODF. The OOXML filter/importes are intended to help with converting Microsoft’s garbled mess (Office 2007 is not OOXML-compliant) into something standard, into ODF — for good.

Here is a nice way of laying out this situation: ODF implementations are already ahead of the existing elegant-yet-incomplete standard, whereas Microsoft is behind, never intending to actually obey its own broken specifications.

So what’s the difference between Microsoft/OOXML and OpenOffice.org/ODF ?

The difference is, that Microsoft Office is behind OOXML. OpenOffice.org is ahead of ODF. According to the ISO rules, a specification can only be approved as an ISO-standard, unless it has been implemented.

OOXML is not a standard yet. One thing which it sure is: a scandal.

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“37 letters with exactly the same words. Some of the senders didn’t even care to remove the ‘Type company name here’ text.


Simular letters has been circulating in Denmark as an e-mail from the Danish MD Jørgen Bardenfleth to customers and business partners.


I call it fraud, cheating and disgusting. If I wasn’t anti-Microsoft before, I am now. Disgusting !”

Leif Lodahl

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26 Comments

  1. Challenger said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Gravatar

    I like SUN – they are a decent company making nice products. They have carved a niche market for themself and dont seem to step on everyone toes where ever they go.

    Its good to see if Linux can get few killer solaris features in the near future :D

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Gravatar

    It’s not so likely with the CDDL, but maybe Sun will soften (as it did with OOo.

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=1295

  3. Challenger said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Gravatar

    http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/columns/bizarre_cathedral_3

    ROFL !!00LLLOL

  4. AlexH said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:44 am

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    I’m not sure about your “ODF for good” claim:

    “In addition to read and write support for the Microsoft Office binary file formats (.doc; .xls, .ppt, etc.), OpenOffice.org 3.0 is now capable of opening files created with Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac OS X (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.). Thus, OpenOffice.org users can interact with users still using Microsoft Office. The various filters for the Microsoft Office file formats also make mixed environments possible, so that some users stay on Microsoft Office while others use OpenOffice.org.”

    http://marketing.openoffice.org/3.0/featurelistbeta.html

    Being able to interoperate with Microsoft Office via the binary file support isn’t “ODF for good”.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:48 am

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    Once you save it as ODF (standard option), it’s there for good, properly documented for future extraction. The other options are peripheral.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:50 am

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    Challenger,

    Just a bad hair day for Darl, eh? It could be worse.

    http://www.stearns.org/fun/sco.jpg

  7. AlexH said,

    May 8, 2008 at 12:48 pm

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    “The other options are peripheral” – you don’t really believe that, otherwise you’d have no problem with OpenOffice.org addressing its user’s interoperability needs by implementing read/write OOXML.

    BTW, what’s with all the MS Money advertising on the front page?

  8. Nikolas Koswinkle said,

    May 8, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Gravatar

    A weak article. “Sure OpenOffice can read OOXML-files, but it’s not as though they really mean it!” Who are you kidding?

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  9. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    May 8, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Anyone who helped contribute so early to the support of “OOXML” (import only at the moment) in OpenOffice did a huge mistake. It’s too early, “OOXML” is far from ubiquitous at the moment, so there is no point working on it.

    In fact, what it allows now is anyone to say “OpenOffice now supports OOXML” including those hating open source, most notably Microsoft and their friends, which makes OOXML sound the de facto interoperation format of the future.

    Congrat to whoever who did so. Talk about shooting in the foot…

  10. AlexH said,

    May 8, 2008 at 2:23 pm

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    Stephane,

    Honestly, the success or not of OOXML has very little to do with its support in OOo. OOXML will live or die on its own merits in the Windows world amongst MS Office users; OOo’s users are basically irrelevant.

    Sun started OOXML support in OOo over a year ago, probably slightly more, and on the development pages I’ve counted about eight hackers working on it not counting the people working on the Writer support (as OOXML support is being integrated with re-worked .doc filters). In that time, with that amount of people, they only merged the first support for it at the start of this year, and have to release OOo 3 at the end of this year (or before).

    If they implement it and OOXML doesn’t become popular, there is no problem: OOo users don’t default to that format, and few people end up using it.

    If they don’t implement it and OOXML becomes popular, OOo users are totally screwed: then they spend a few years trying to catch up.

    Ignoring OOXML doesn’t make it go away. Asking OOo not to implement support won’t affect the success of the format in any measurable fashion, but it will measurable harm the free software community.

  11. ac said,

    May 8, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Gravatar

    ooXML was hacked in by M$ to be the dominent force of document standards, and if you dont know about that your living under a rock, or maybe under M$’s payment rock:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136711-c,techindustrytrends/article.html

    ^: Costly Loss

    You people seem to think nobody googles much, or is very naive I guess, when its you OSS dectractors that are the naive ones, if you think OSS will curtsey to the tactics of the foul and ‘for profit’ M$landeres.

    Very naive, and wrong.

    Just because something is done , doesn’t make it set in stone, or deemed acceptable by the greater global community, many of which dont have deep pockets, yet do have deep morals unlike other companies we are aware of.

    People prefer OSS and OSS standards ( where avilable, and more coming you can be sure of it ), because there is no axe to grind or market share to ‘pimp’.

    Get a clue.

  12. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    May 8, 2008 at 3:55 pm

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    AlexH said “If they don’t implement it and OOXML becomes popular”

    Do you think Office 2007′s default file format isn’t going to be popular?

    AlexH said “OOo users are totally screwed: then they spend a few years trying to catch up.”

    OpenOffice developers have been playing catch up for the best part of a decade. Only to hear that they implement just a fraction of .doc/.xls/.ppt. What is going to change now? The new graphics engine alone is two years of work.
    The trick was to ship OOXML applications as part of the OpenOffice suite, in a (clever) way that only OpenOffice can achieve. That’s how you play dirty with them. And win.

    It’s not about documents anymore. (this is bare minimum and taken for granted). It’s about applications. For instance Microsoft have this thing called “Custom XML” which in fact is short for “Custom XML applications”. See?

  13. Victor Soliz said,

    May 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm

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    The ISO vote has ended.

    Let me talk you about the main difference between Novell trying to inject MS code into OOo to make it use OOXML and Sun releasing OOXML import for this beta version.

    * Novell’s push happened before the ISO vote.

    Right now, all what remains is to allow users to survive in a world that is doomed to depend on OOXML, it is not the time anymore for lobbying, unlike the previous period in which Novell played so hard not to satisfy users but to satisfy their Lord.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 8, 2008 at 6:31 pm

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    I can’t help but recall de Icaza, whom Microsoft can cite as an open source VP and GNOME founder, not only promoting OOXML but also criticising ODF in public. So, comparing what Sun does to what Novell has done for a long time is not fair.

  15. Niklas Koswinkle said,

    May 9, 2008 at 2:10 am

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    It is hard keeping up your black-and-white word-view sometimes, isn’t it, Roy?

    Don’t think about the situation too hard, or you might get into an endless-loop… Fact is, neither is Novell evil, nor is Sun good; they only make what they think are good decisions for business. Supporting OOXML is vital for any office-suite, as long as it’s the format used by the de-facto-monopolist on the office-applications market. Whether we like it or not.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  16. Niklas Koswinkle said,

    May 9, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Gravatar

    ‘world’, not ‘word’

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  17. Niklas Koswinkle said,

    May 9, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Gravatar

    And before you say “but penetration of MS Office _2007_ does NOT make for a monopoly”, in practice I can say it soon will be. During the recent month, here at the office the weekly count of .docx etc. files that I have received by unwitting Office 2007 users has steadily climbed from none to about 5% (.odt-count still being ’0′ in total number… :-( ).

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  18. Niklas Koswinkle said,

    May 9, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Gravatar

    And stop abusing me with these flags, you troll!!!

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Gravatar

    Can’t even spell you own fake name, eet? Shouldn’t it say “Nikolas?. It’s not the first time that your pseudo identities have changing E-mail addresses and typos. How many different names have you already posted under? Like 8? Maybe more? Before you call other people “trolls”, think about yourself, you nym-shifting coward. What’s your real name anyway? Beranger thought he got your real name (Sebastian), but you insist on denying it. Are you affiliated with Microsoft and Novell, Sebastian?

  20. Alex H. said,

    May 9, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Gravatar

    Stephane: I think that’s the key comment, actually –

    “Do you think Office 2007’s default file format isn’t going to be popular?”

    I actually think Microsoft are going to have a harder time getting people to use the format than you might imagine, but no, of course it’s going to end up popular, and that’s exactly the point.

    At the end of the day, the ISO status makes very little difference to actual use. Lots of people use OOXML already – I get OOXML in my e-mail, I’ve had ODF on about three occasions – and OpenOffice.org needs to support people who receive OOXML documents.

    I didn’t understand the rest of your comments about ‘custom XML applications’. Both OOXML and ODF support custom XML natively.

  21. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    May 9, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Gravatar

    “I didn’t understand the rest of your comments about ‘custom XML applications’. Both OOXML and ODF support custom XML natively.”

    The “Custom XML” in Office 2007 (actually it’s been available since Office 2003, and the agenda was set even before that) is not meant to only store whatever XML. If it were, ODF and OOXML would be on equal footing. We are talking about data binding, actually “Custom XML applications”, not just “Custom XML”. Hence my comment that the OpenOffice contributors should prioritize on this, particularly if they find a way to do things that work better with OpenOffice than with Office 2007 or whatever version of the product comes next.

    Concentrating on this allows to avoid chasing the tail light (which is what Microsoft wants us to continue to do), and don’t need more than a very well implemented subset of OOXML.

    This is where the bright future is. Concentrating on reverse engineering every bit of OOXML is something that belongs to the past.

  22. Victor Soliz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 6:46 am

    Gravatar

    neither is Novell evil

    After the MS deal, and all what Novell has been doing since then, I can only consider Novell to be either evil or stupid. Given that they do make stuff used in FOSS , I hope they are the former…

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Gravatar

    I’d rather have the latter. Sloppy is better than malicious because you can retract mistakes (commits), but it’s harder to retract foolish/malicious deals and a selfish agenda.

  24. Niklas Koswinkle said,

    May 9, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, just for you I will from now on leave that typo in my name ( you might have realist I’m prone to typos?) and yes, I do ‘copy & paste’ my name to my e-mail address and only change capital letters because I’m LAZY!

    I am so sick and tired of your constant accusations and personal attacks! You have no social manners whatsoever, I believe; or maybe this Usenet thing ruined it afterwards. I really am amazed that nobody complained about your anti-social behavior before; the way you treat is visitors is simply unbelievable! Not only do I get accused of beind PAID(!) by a certain company because I vehemently disagree with your point of view; no, I even get accused of not being myself, I get my comments flagged in this respect, I get called a troll, I get “ad hominem” attacks etc. etc.!

    Have your parents not taught you how to treat visitors? Apparantly not! This blog is the really the most unfriendly website I have ever seen! And you are, by far, the worst host I can imagine.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  25. Niklas Koswinkle said,

    May 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Gravatar

    Anyway, your accusations let you comfortably get around answering critical questions, and that seems to be the complete motivation you need for accusing other people of this ‘nymshifting’ by what I suppose you Usenet-people describe changing identities.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  26. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Gravatar

    Take a hide, Sebastian (eet). You’ve abused this site for about a year now under different names. You’ll be happier away from here.

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