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ODF Alliance to Denounce Microsoft This Week?

Posted in Europe, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, SUN at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Girl holding note

Summary: Microsoft’s place in the ODF ecosystem is put to question

ACCORDING to Luc Bollen:

I received from the ODF Alliance the following response to my email:

That’s the plan for next week. A harder-hitting press release with Fact Sheet. Stay tuned!

For context, see:

Rob Weir has just posted a followup to his criticism of Microsoft. Other than for the use of strong words, he has no regrets or remorse for what he wrote. He also adds:

[A]ll of those Interoperability Directors and Interoperability Architects at Microsoft seem to have (hopefully temporarily) switched into Minimal Conformance Directors and Minimal Conformance Architects, and are gazing at their navels. I hope they did not suffer a reduction in salary commensurate with the reduction in their claimed responsibilities.


In any case, this comes down to why do you implement a standard. What are your goals? If your goal is be interoperable, then you perform interoperability testing and make those adjustments to your product necessary to make it be both conformant and interoperable. But if your goal is to simply fulfill a checkbox requirement without actually providing any tangible customer benefit, then you will do as little as needed. However, if your goal is to destroy a standard, then you will create a non-conformant, non-interoperable implementation, automatically download it to millions of users and sow confusion in the marketplace by flooding it with millions of incompatible documents. It all depends on your goals. Voluntary standards do not force, or prevent, one approach or another.

To wrap this up, I stand on the table of interoperability results in the previous post. SP2 has reduced the level of interoperability among ODF spreadsheets, by failing to produce conforming ODF documents, and failing to take note of the spreadsheet formula conventions that had been adopted by all of the other vendors and which are working their way through OASIS as a standard.

From the people at Sun (Oracle) comes this updated ODF validator.

Last week, the OASIS OpenDocument TC approved the most recent draft for part 1 of the ODF 1.2 specification as a Committee Draft 02. This was another large step toward finalizing ODF 1.2.

This appeared to be a good opportunity to update the ODF Validator at odftoolkit.org (which we are using at Sun’s OpenOffice.org development team to check ODF documents) to better support ODF 1.2. The update applies to the command line version of the tool, but also to the online version.

In other encouraging news, OpenOffice.org, which actually supports ODF properly and interoperates with other applications, is being adopted by Swedish authorities.

Nine Swedish municipalities have asked ten software application firms to start supporting OpenOffice.

As a quick reminder, Microsoft bribed people in Sweden to essentially fight ODF because the country is adopting Free software and ODF is already a national standard there.

With the approaching arrival of sub-notebooks running ARM chips and GNU/Linux there is also a push to build OpenOffice.org for ARM.

… some weeks ago I did blog about cross compiling OOo for ARM, it seemed that others were interested in doing so as well, especially as the available hardware still seems to be somewhat slow, so I do blog again about it :-)

ODF is an enabler of Free software, whereas OOXML promises only continued control by Microsoft, which constantly attacks GNU/Linux and Free software . And yes, it’s that simple.

“In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.

“Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

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A Single Comment

  1. aeshna23 said,

    May 10, 2009 at 10:12 am


    ODF is an enabler of Free software, whereas OOXML promises only continued control by Microsoft, which constantly attacks GNU/Linux and Free software . And yes, it’s that simple.

    This reads like Roy is announcing some important secret, but it’s just a common sense observation about Microsoft’s goals.

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