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

05.20.09

ODF Alliance, Jeremy Allison and Others Tell Microsoft to Fix Its Broken ODF Implementation

Posted in Google, IBM, Microsoft, OpenDocument, Samba, Standard at 10:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gray Knowlton

Summary: The pressure is rising for Microsoft to stop vandalising interoperability while keeping disingenuous

WE KNEW that the ODF Alliance would issue such a statement and eventually, as promised, it did. Here is their document [PDF] and also the press release, which they have channeled further via PRNewsWire.

The OpenDocument Format (ODF) Alliance today cautioned that serious deficiencies in Microsoft’s support for ODF needed to be addressed to ensure greater interoperability with other ODF-supporting software.

Groklaw has already elaborated on it:

ODF Alliance Tests Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 ODF Support – Finds Serious Shortcomings

The ODF Alliance has prepared a Fact Sheet [PDF; also available as text on their website, if you scroll down] for governments and others interested in how Microsoft’s SP2 for Office 2007 handles ODF. The ODF Allliance says their testing revealed “serious shortcomings that, left unaddressed, would break the open standards based interoperability that the marketplace, especially governments, is demanding”. The Fact Sheet itemizes the major problems testing revealed. Marino Marcich, managing director of ODF Alliance, points to one huge shortcoming:

“For example, even the most basic spreadsheet functions, such as adding the numbers contained in two cells, were simply stripped in an ODF file when opened and re-saved in Microsoft Office 2007. A document created in one ODF-supporting application, when re-saved in Microsoft Office 2007, rendered differently – missing bullets, page numbers, charts and other objects, changed fonts – making collaboration on an ODF file with Office 2007 very difficult. Indeed, some of the so-called ‘plug-ins’ were revealed to provide better support for ODF than the recently released Microsoft Office 2007 SP2. This is no way to achieve the interoperability around ODF that the marketplace is demanding.”

For context, see:

For those who think that only the ODF Alliance was disappointed with Microsoft’s work, here are some more new examples of opposition. Rob Weir from IBM writes:

Last year, when I was socializing the idea of creating the OASIS ODF Interoperability and Conformance TC, I gave a presentation I called “ODF Interoperability: The Price of Success”. The observation was that standards that fail never need to deal with interoperability. The creation of test suites, convening of multi-vendor interoperability workshops and plugfests is a sign of a successful standard, one which is implemented by many vendors, one which is adopted by many users, one which has vendor-neutral venues for testing implementations and iteratively refining the standard itself.

[...]

The pretty words have been shown to be hollow words. Microsoft has not enabled choice. Their implementation is not robust. They have, in effect, taken your ODF document, written by you by your choice in an interoperable format, with demonstrated interoperability among several implementations, and corrupted it, without your knowledge or consent.

Stephane writes:

Once again they did it. Microsoft is telling the world that they are improving interoperability across existing office formats and applications thanks to their native support for the ODF file format, a leading office file format based on existing ISO standards. But it could not be further from the truth.

Microsoft are actually killing ODF, like the digital nazis that they are. Kissinger is proud of their spiritual sons.

What kind of white phosphorus are they using ?

First they don’t write to ODF but to a canada dry version that we shall call MS-ODF, a variant filled with countless exploding mines, thrown from the air like any coward would do. Namely they are implanting the proprietary Excel formula syntax right inside files expecting the ODF formula syntax as exposed by all the ODF compatible applications out there. Since formulas are used in many elements such as charts, conditional formattings and so on, it wrecks any serious spreadsheet.

The SolidOffice team was apparently angry as well:

While Microsoft Office 2007’s latest service pack purports ODF support, it’s not complete, nor does it appear designed to provide usable interoperabilty with other ODF-capable applications.

For users of MS Office who need better compatibility, the solution is the Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office:

* The Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office gives users of Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint the ability to read, edit and save to the ISO-standard Open Document Format (ODF).
* The plugin works with Microsoft Office 2007 (Service Pack 1 or higher), Microsoft Office 2003, XP and Microsoft Office 2000.

Jeremy Allison (Google) denounces Microsoft too, despite being one who works with Microsoft on so-called “interoperability” (Microsoft promised to assist Samba):

Yet Microsoft Office SP2 claims to have a fully compliant version of ODF, and that’s probably true, as defined by the specification. It’s just completely useless at interoperating with other vendors products. This is not interoperability, it’s an attack on the very concept.

This discussion can be also seen in ZDNet where Microsoft is claimed to be sending employees to spin (based on a whistle-blowing Microsoft employee). Here is a collection of links criticising Microsoft’s ODF approach. There is also related coverage in non-English languages.

“Microsoft is already propagating fluffy press releases about “interoperability”. It talks about ODF, so maybe they try to drown out the many critics.”Microsoft is already propagating fluffy press releases about “interoperability”. It talks about ODF, so maybe they try to drown out the many critics. Matthew Broersma parroted Microsoft at ZDNet and Elizabeth Montalbano, who is focused on Microsoft at IDG, did the same thing. This means that the real news about Microsoft destroying interoperability will be washed away by its PR. Microsoft employees and their partners twitter in harmony about a Patrick Durusau writing a letter on MSODF. He has not been reliable ever since his trip to Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

As someone who is close to the process (Jomar Silva) put it (in two parts), “Microsoft is always supported by independent consultants (as Patrick Durusau, Rick Jelliffee, and Alex Brown)… Strange, isn’t it ? [...] If the[ir] partners supports them, ok, but always being supported by the same group of independent folks is, at least, weird.”

The same guy also wrote this:

As most of you already know, I spent the month of October in a marathon of speeches about ODF. During the marathon, I had the opportunity to attend some presentations about Microsoft Interoperability and would like to share with you here some information about that cool experience (the post is long but worth a read).

The first opportunity to see our friends from Redmond featuring the theme was at the rally held by them at the end of Latinoware 2008. I do not call that a presentation, because they did not allow questions from the audience, as a rally. Luckily the audience was not that big and I was on that room just be able to “write the facts” about the speech.

Another notorious Microsoft booster, Wouter van Vugt, is prodding the Microsoft line. They all pretend to be innocent, as though they are the poor victim in forking of ODF. They mess about with ODF while smiling and pretending nothing they do is ever wrong. As Microsoft’s Vice President Jim Allchin once explained it, “We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.” To twist this quote a little, Microsoft realises that it needs to slaughter ODF before it gets stronger….If they are going to kill something, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. They just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. Microsoft needs to smile at ODF while it pulls the trigger.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 21, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 21, 2019



  2. SUEPO Protest Tomorrow. All EPO Staff in Munich Ought to Attend and Prepare to Strike Too.

    Tomorrow’s planned protest should be a bridge towards a full strike, which takes more time to plan for and get authorisation for (because of increasingly strict restrictions)



  3. Looking for Explanations About Samsung's DeX and Other FOSS Initiatives Being Canned

    DeX was primarily a threat to the desktop/laptop monopoly of Microsoft, so its sudden abandonment — without even an explanation — continues to attract speculations



  4. EPO Will Need a Lot More Than Photo Ops and Hoax 'Studies' to Restore the Perception of Lawfulness

    Battistelli‘s illegal attacks on European Patent Office (EPO) judges have tarnished any impression that the EPO serves justice and the current regime torpedoes an assessment of these attacks; EPO workers understand that to follow guidelines from the management may be a breach of the EPC



  5. Links 21/10/2019: More on DeX, Disney DRM and Linux 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  6. GNU/Linux is Bigger Than Ever (Used More Than Ever Before), But Communication Means and Brands Have Changed

    The GNU/Linux market is alive and healthy; it's how we measure its health that ought to adapt because things are constantly changing, more rapidly in the realm of technology than anywhere else



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 20, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 20, 2019



  8. Samsung Does Not Say Why It's Dropping DeX, But the ASUS EEE Story Might Offer Clues

    It's not at all outlandish or unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft used patents or bribes or kickbacks as incentives for Samsung to abandon GNU/Linux as a desktop platform



  9. EPO: It's Only Getting Worse

    Inhaling Seagull meme for EPO presidents



  10. It Has Begun: EPO Staff Protests Against António Campinos (Starting Wednesday)

    Wednesday marks the resumption of EPO protests; it’s happening for the first time under Campinos and only a year after he took Office. Even Battistelli, the notorious thug, lasted longer before such escalations/actions or — put another way — he did better than that (if one checks the timeline of his presidency)



  11. Links 20/10/2019: GNU/Linux at Penn Manor School District, Wine-Staging 4.18, Xfce 4.16 Development, FreeBSD 12.1 RC2

    Links for the day



  12. Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

    "...assuming that autistic people are all the same isn't only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings."



  13. Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

    The concept of "Freedom of Choice" and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of "Freedom"



  14. Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing 'Market Share'

    "The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the "free beer" side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the "free beer" part of free software."



  15. The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined



  16. European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

    The world's patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 19, 2019



  18. “The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

    Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation



  19. The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

    Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug



  20. Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

    Links for the day



  21. 'Corporate Linux' Will Not Protect Software Freedom

    The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 18, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 18, 2019



  23. 26,000 Posts

    We want to thank those who help spread the word; it gives us moral support and morale.



  24. The Myth of 'Analysts'

    People with exaggerated roles (exaggerated by corporate media and corporations that control them) distort public perceptions about their clients; they're in effect just elevated marketing or Public Relations (PR) operatives



  25. The FSF Has Two Acting Presidents Now

    Alexandre Oliva, who acted as a sort of deputy of Richard Stallman in recent weeks, sheds some much-needed light on the current situation



  26. Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

    "There's a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn't produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever."



  27. Links 18/10/2019: More KDE Events and OpenBSD 6.6

    Links for the day



  28. We Don't Know Who Will Run the Free Software Foundation, But We Know Who Will Run the GNU Project

    Software Freedom is under a heavy and perhaps unprecedented attack; some people out there are paid by the attackers to celebrate this attack and defame people (cheering for corporate takeover under the blanket of “Open Source”), but the founder of the Free software movement remains alive, well, and very much active



  29. New EPO Meme: Who Wants to Make Billions From a 'Public' Monopoly?

    What was supposed to be a cash-balanced patent office became a money-making monster that fakes ‘crises’ to attack hard-working examiners



  30. EmacsConf Without Richard Stallman

    Now that emacs is being 'rebranded' this kind of meme seems apt


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