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

12.28.08

How ODF is Like JDK: Why Microsoft Supports ODF 1.1 and Not ODF 1.2 (Corrected)

Posted in Antitrust, Formats, Java, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, SUN at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blast from the past, regarding JDK

When Microsoft announced “support” for ODF, people were baffled to find that Microsoft rejected the newer version (1.2) of the standard and chose an older one instead (1.1). Microsoft does not mean well, but it sure pretends and fools a lot of reporters along the way. For a little bit of background on Microsoft’s promised “support” of ODF:

Microsoft must control the formats in order to promote its business. That’s just the way it operates and ethics can be neglected, even obedience of the law. It’s not just a corporate stigma but a well-proven pattern.

Microsoft’s long and brutal fight against Java is nothing new. It started with an embrace, but Microsoft developed its own surrogate, .NET/C#.

Bill Gates’ attitude towards JDK is telling [PDF]: “I think supporting JDK 1.1 is fine and I am hard core about NOT supporting JDK 1.2. I really needed to understand where we were going to dnaw the line because I am so afraid of the slippery slope.

“If you think we should support JDK 1.2 its ok but you will really have to explain why and where it stops.”

So Gates says OK to 1.1 but not to 1.2 of something related to Sun. Does that sound familiar? Same version numbers, similar companies at play, and a bizarre snub amid antitrust violations.

When Microsoft declared support for ODF 1.1 people were suspicious. Maybe it’s time to take this little voyage back in time and learn from history. When Microsoft says it will “support” something, it often just means it will “[E]mbrace” that something. And we all know what comes after the first “E” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

One reader said that we “could even mention the negative effect that Microsoft has had on Sun’s Java. First, they tried to “pollute” it with their own Windows-optimised version of Java APIs and then, when Sun’s lawsuit stopped that strategy, Microsoft’s responce was an embrace-and-extend ploy with C# and .NET.” Further, concludes this reader, “It still amazes me that someone who aligns himself with Sun could sneer at Microsoft as if they only fight FOSS and they don’t affect his preferred vendor.”

Caffe espresso
A nice cuppa Java that Microsoft tries spilling

Correction from a reader (02/01/2009): there is no ODF 1.2 standard. ODF 1.2 is under active development, but no one knows what it will say when adopted by OASIS. And it won’t be stable before it’s been through the JTC 1 wringer. OASIS ODF 1.1 is the latest adopted version of ODF. It’s ISO/IEC:26300 plus some accessibility extensions.

To suggest that Microsoft should implement a standard that does not yet exist is really taking things over the edge quite a bit. [...] There are far better issues to beat up Microsoft with than accusing it of malfeasance because it did not implement a standard that does not yet exist.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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

13 Comments

  1. Diamond Wakizashi said,

    December 28, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft is pure evil and Novell is their bitch.

  2. AlexH said,

    December 28, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Gravatar

    Encouraging Microsoft to implement their own version of an unfinished standard is tempting fate somewhat I suspect.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 28, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Gravatar

    That’s not the reaction that came from ODF people.

  4. AlexH said,

    December 28, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Gravatar

    It’s not the reaction from some Sun people, but they’re already claiming to be shipping ODF 1.2 as well.

    Either way, I think saying you implement a standard before (*well before*) it’s even feature complete is a very dangerous game indeed. I don’t think I need to explain further why; it’s pretty obvious.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 28, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Gravatar

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9089258&intsrc=hm_list

    “With its move, “if a government says ODF is our standard, then Microsoft can say, ‘It’s our standard, too,’ ” Creese said. But why isn’t Microsoft committing to ODF 1.2? It’s supposed to have better accessibility and spreadsheet features than ODF 1.1.”

  6. AlexH said,

    December 28, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Gravatar

    Well, of course ODF 1.2 will have when it’s finished more features than 1.1. That goes without saying.

    If you have a standard version of something, I’d prefer they implement the standard. 1.1 is forward compatible with 1.2 anyway, so it’s not like the rest of us lose out.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Gravatar

    Fair point, Alex. Let’s see how it develops (or does not develop) in the future.

  8. AlexH said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: what really worries me – and I mentioned this to Simon on his blog – is that OOo claims to be ODF 1.2 compliant, but cannot be: there are new features still being added – I pointed out one to do with numbering schemes.

    There’s nothing wrong with implementing new features that standards bodies are working on (vendor extensions in CSS spring immediately to mind), so long as they are clearly marked as such. But to claim you implement a standard which isn’t ratified: that’s a huge problem. Standards have to mean something. If you start causing interop problems because you can’t accept docs from other apps, that will cause people to doubt the standard.

    Personally, I feel if Microsoft get “complete” ODF 1.1 support, that will be a hugh triumph for the standard. It won’t be absolutely perfect by any means, and I’m sure people will poke holes in it, but I will bet significant amounts of money that by the time they ship they are the #2 ODF vendor behind OOo in terms of quality of implementation.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Gravatar

    A triumph to standards though is not necessarily a triumph of Free software. Microsoft is just trying to block sales(services)/downloads of OOo.

  10. AlexH said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Gravatar

    I said “triumph for the standard [ODF]“, not “triumph for standards”.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Gravatar

    My comment still stands. :-)

    It’s wonderful that ODF is adopted, but it’s just the first step.

  12. AlexH said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Gravatar

    No, but you’re implying that I was saying that ODF equates to a success for free software, which is entirely not what I was saying.

    For free software to succeed it doesn’t need any kind of document standard whatsoever.

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Gravatar

    I agree. I wasn’t insulting your intelligence.

What Else is New


  1. Links 10/7/2020: Wayland-Info, diffoscope 151 and Tor 0.4.4.2-alpha

    Links for the day



  2. European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It's Actually a “Scam”

    Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory "licensing" (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune



  3. Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News

    Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 09, 2020



  5. Racism in Technology (and Who Typically Lectures Us About the Subject)

    Racism is a real problem; some approaches to tackling racism, however, can also be problematic and those who take the lead 'on behalf' of victims tend to be opportunistic and privileged few (piggybacking others' grievances to further advance their financial agenda)



  6. Links 10/7/2020: Debian 8 Long Term Support EOL, Mobian Project, Mesa 20.1.3

    Links for the day



  7. [Humour] COVID-19 is Very, Very Afraid of Human Beings Making More Monopolies Instead of Fighting Together

    The European Patent Office (EPO) to the rescue! Fighting a dangerous pandemic one profitable monopoly at a time!



  8. The News is Never 'Slow', It's Just Journalism That's Slowing Down (and Investigative Journalism Coming Under Attack)

    A mix of censorship and subtle mind control contribute to misinformed societies that shape their perception or misunderstanding of the world based on false measures of authority (where money can determine what is true and what is untrue); many topics remain completely untouched, leading to apathy in a vacuum; it's very much applicable to international organisations, which are presumed benign by virtue of being multi-national or supranational



  9. Social Control Media is About Social Control and If It Doesn't Ban You It'll Shut Down Everyone's Account (One Day)

    It’s time to leave the ‘Internet rot’ which is social control media well behind us; blogging and RSS/XML may seem like a thing of the past, but they may as well become the future (again; if we make the correct and informed choices)



  10. Microsoft's Fingers in Every Pie: The Cult Mentality That Society Needs to Become Wary of

    Microsoft and its co-founder (pretending to do his for-profit 'charity' via the Gates Foundation) are trying to control the world; in the process they've moved to control even their most potent competitor, according to Gates himself, which is GNU/Linux



  11. Links 9/7/2020: Google’s Open Usage Commons, GNOME 3.36.4, Neptune 6.5

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 08, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 08, 2020



  13. Links 8/7/2020: SUSE to Acquire Rancher Labs, Btrfs as Default in Fedora, Qt Creator 4.12.4

    Links for the day



  14. Yes, Master

    When the Linux Foundation tells us to tone down our language we ought to remember what kind of hypocritical stance these people have (note: the above have nothing to do with slavery, either)



  15. Fraunhofer is Again Evergreening Software Patents to Maintain Its Codecs Cartel, Forcing Everyone to Pay to View/Stream Multimedia Files

    The roller-coaster of software patents on multimedia isn't stopping; we know the culprits who can be named for perpetuating this injustice



  16. [Humour/Meme] Focusing on the Bombings and Who's Included in the Bombings

    Supremacist agenda disguised as "tolerant and inclusive" is still objectionable supremacist agenda



  17. Manners Are a Good Thing. The Yardstick or the Standard of Manners Changes Over Time.

    Entirely legitimate grievances of African-Americans are being exploited by people who aren’t even African-American (and usually don’t speak for African-Americans) to warp the debate from one about software ethics and technical issues, not to mention war crimes of companies that employ many programmers, to something which is unlikely to really help African-Americans (also, they don't employ any African-Americans)



  18. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 07, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 07, 2020



  19. Links 8/7/2020: Huawei’s GNU/Linux PC, Sparky 5.12, and Endless OS 3.8.4 Released

    Links for the day



  20. [Humour] Television Channels That Don't Speak of Real Looting But Participate in Looting

    People may need to look beyond (or outside) the television screen to grasp what's going on



  21. (Software) Freedom is Elusive Without the Ability to Concentrate

    Software is consuming people's minds; to make matters worse, people have become so attached to such software that they're unable to see it and get away from it (they associate that software with "social life")



  22. Monopolies Erode Freedom, Freedom Erodes Monopolies

    "There are so many reasons that GitHub makes projects less free."



  23. Links 7/7/2020: NomadBSD 1.3.2, Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 and DRM Comes to Cars

    Links for the day



  24. [Humour] IAM Ranked Top for Quality of EPO Propaganda

    Contrary to what the European Patent Office (EPO) keeps saying, patent quality is slipping very fast in Europe (based on the EPO's own analysis!) but patent trolls-funded publishers deny that



  25. When They're Done With Patents on Foods and Recipes They'll Have Patents on Fashion, Taste and Smell

    The mental dysfunction — an infectious condition — that says everything in the world must be patented should be resisted; it overlooks the fact that patents were introduced to protect/promote actual invention, not thoughts, feelings, nature and art



  26. [Humour/Meme] IBM's Money is Unhealthy to the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    IBM will never be happy as long as RMS (Richard Stallman) has a say in the FSF — directly or indirectly — or even in the GNU Project, both of which he himself created back when IBM was the biggest monopolist



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, July 06, 2020



  28. Never Let IBM/Red Hat Lecture Us on Morality

    Ethics and morality should not be taught by those who themselves need a lesson; in the meantime we're losing the courage to speak freely and those who commit atrocious acts like it a lot better that way



  29. [Humour/Meme] Wear the Red Hat as the Open Org Becomes Openwash

    IBM is changing Red Hat and not for the better; sooner or later IBM will become another Microsoft and changing from one to the other will be like swapping 'masters'



  30. IBM is Imposing Non-Free, Privacy-Infringing Tools and Patent Tolls on Red Hat Staff

    There are signs that Red Hat under IBM will be more like assimilation to IBM, not IBM assimilating to the 'Red Hat way' or the so-called 'open org'


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

Recent Posts