12.25.09

ODF Roundup: More Developer Support, But More FUD as Well

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, FUD, KDE, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 10:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Adopt standards

Summary: More software adds ODF support; ODF disinformation comes from sources supportive of Microsoft or actually paid directly by Microsoft

OOXML is facing a real struggle for acceptance and Microsoft understands this. OOXML is a proprietary format, but authorities are looking for open standards (preferably not associated with worldwide bribes and other misconduct). As one commenter in Groklaw points out, the United States may indeed go for ODF, just as Obama implicitly promised over a year ago.

What a wonderful Christmas Eve present! After Microsoft destroyed the ISO getting ooxml standardized, the Obama administrations goes and defines an open format as pretty much anything not Microsoft.

TerryC replies with:

Yes. It struck me that way too.

It’ll be interesting to see how MS responds to this. In a fair world, they should fully embrace, (and not extend), ODF. In MS’s world, that would be considered totally unfair, so I’m sure they’ll think of something that looks like they are complying, but are in fact locking out everyone else.

I suspect that OOXML will suddenly become important again.

In today’s post, which is a bit of a medley, we are hoping to show just how ODF continues to gain strong footing. As one person puts it, “Paulo Maia told us that the Brasilia Protocol involves almost 600.000 ODF users.”

The German press gives room to OpenOffice.org 3.2 and Sun’s ODF Plug-in for Microsoft Office. The news from Holland is a little disheartening and in Greece it is being claimed (wrongly) that Microsoft supports the open standard, ODF. Microsoft actually harms it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Ditesh says, “If only MS was anti-s/ware patent, pro Open Source, Open Standards & ODF – how great they would be now. The mighty are falling hard.”

Earlier this month we wrote about Hungary's move towards open standards, ODF included. eWEEK Europe wrote an article about the subject and also made a reference to Microsoft’s abuse.

In September, open source groups reacted angrily to the news that a Swiss government contract was given to Microsoft without any public bidding. Vendors including Red Hat and other open source players called on a Swiss federal court to overturn a three-year contract issued to Microsoft by the Swiss Federal Bureau for Building and Logistics, to provide Windows desktops and applications, with support and maintenance, for 14 million Swiss Francs (£8m) each year.

As many people may recall, some of the more serious cases of OOXML misconduct occurred in Switzerland. Regarding the lawsuit, we have gathered information under:

  1. Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
  2. Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
  3. 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
  4. Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
  5. Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
  6. ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
  7. Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
  8. Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
  9. Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
  10. Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
  11. Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
  12. Lawsuit Over Alleged Microsoft Corruption in Switzerland Escalates to Federal Court

Moving on a little, more software projects/products add ODF support and eZ Components is one new example.

With the new stable version 2009.2 of the eZ Components, the Document component get support for the OpenDocument format. You can convert OpenDocumentText (ODT) to the internally used Docbook XML and from there to any of the other formats supported by the component (like RST, Wiki markup or ezxml). The other way around works in addition, read any format supported by Document and convert it to ODT. You can nicely style the generated document using a CSS sub-set and even generate a PDF with the very same style settings.

Officeshots has just added ODF validators.

I am happy to announce an exciting new feature for Officeshots: Integrated ODF validators.

Symbian can now handle ODF files, as well.

Well, Office Reader is the ODF documents reader for Symbian and UIQ3 smartphones which is able to read OpenDocument text (.odt), spreadsheet (.ods) and presentation (.odp) as well as support for OpenOffice.org Hybrid PDF file.

Another new tool:

On “The hacker´s forge” you can make your odf files anonymous. Upload your files and you can immediately downlaod the results. And these results are excellent. Text is replaced by random characters, pictures are substituted by dummy graphic files, meta information is erased.

Bart Hanssens points to this original message that says: “Adam Pigg has harmonized A LOT of report xml elements with #ODF concepts: http://bit.ly/6uD7dy

It looks like KOffice too it making great progress with ODF.

A possibly older project is the ODF viewer for Firefox, which many people promote at the moment (Google too plays a role in people’s conversations).

This website is a platform for introducing the ODF Viewer for Firefox 3.+ extension.

The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an XML-based open international standard format for displaying, storing, and editing office document files (i.e. text, spreadsheets, presentations) that has been approved on May 2006 as ISO/IEC 26300. It is defined via an open and transparent process at OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards).

Great stuff.

One company that lags behind when it comes to ODF support would be Microsoft's friend, Apple. Their clients seem to be complaining (also here) by saying: “Apple should start supporting ODF in their iWork suite, competitive advantage over MS Office for Mac.”

According to Microsoft’s deal with the European Commission, it is committed to “implement ODF 1.1.., and include it in the “save as” drop down box”

“Even possible as default format,” says OpenForum Europe.

Well, if only Microsoft properly supported ODF. People would still be better off with the ODF Plug-in from Sun. Microsoft is inherently against ODF because its unethical management says so. This is a company that has always been shamelessly ferocious and brutal.

Dave Lane says: “I’m guessing the answer is NO (replying to my own question re MS Office 2010 using strict OOXML as default format). And default ODF support?”

Friends and supporters of Microsoft cite Durusau again, quoting him as saying that “Microsoft has been a valuable and contributing member of the ODF TC”. But Durusau is no credible source for this [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. And as we have shown many times before, Microsoft has been attacking ODF for several months now, all while pretending to be its friend. James Bryce Clark wrote: “Meeting with the #ODF tc about future version plans #OASISopen #jtc1″

With the latest i4i verdict arrive/return some of the same old rumours that are false and serve as a reminder that Microsoft cheated the world by keeping this case secret [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Jason Brooks, Ashutosh Mestry and few others (e.g. [1, 2]) raise concerns about custom XML, which is not a problem for ODF, contrary to their belief. In fact, i4i said so months ago after unnecessary fear mongering from the Microsoft-serving Gartner Group and Burton Group (they have always been anti-ODF as Microsoft paid them for it).

“If you want real security dont use a proprietary file format either. use ASCII or an ODF.”
      –Nicholas Butler
Here is Groklaw’s interpretation of the latest from i4i. Reactions from Twitter sometimes include promotion of ODF. For example:

#microsoft fail, must stop selling Office suite http://tr.im/Imai HAHA, they should have just gone with ODF from the beginning

And also:

“Microsoft had no commercially acceptable, non-infringing alternatives to using i4i’s patent” – should’ve used #ODF ! http://tr.im/IpLH

Nicholas Butler wrote: “If you want real security dont use a proprietary file format either. use ASCII or an ODF.”

Peter Krantz shared this unpleasant experience: “Received note from [government] offices IT dept that “you will be able to preview ODF docs when we upgrade Notes”. I want to write them. #fail”

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/12/25/odf-support-and-odf-disinformation/

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. Links 7/5/2021: GNU/Linux Preinstalled, Plamo 7.3, LibreOffice 7.1.3

    Links for the day



  2. The Latest Reports About Bill Gates Serve to Confirm or at Least Reaffirm Many People's Suspicions

    So, just as many people suspected, Melinda Gates did not appreciate her husband sneaking behind her back to meet someone who had trafficked thousands of underage girls for sexual exploitation and there are high-profile calls right now for greater transparency, seeing the impact on the world’s biggest tax evasion vehicle



  3. Disregard Web Sites That Call Themselves 'News' and Instead Promote Proprietary Software for Companies Like Microsoft

    Publishers like IDG have long been paid-for marketing in ‘article’ clothing, sometimes with the veneer of ‘reporting’ (as if they have some inside knowledge or insight, e.g. speaking with or for the company they secretly coordinate with or market for); but sadly we’ve been seeing some so-called ‘Linux’ sites doing the same thing, in effect acting like de facto Microsoft marketers



  4. [Meme] Who Needs Examination Anyway When There's 'Hey Hi' (AI)?

    The patent production line could do away with 'pesky' and 'opinionated' examiners who actually wish to scrutinise alleged 'inventions'



  5. Europe's Second-Largest Institution Corrupting the Media and Buying Expensive Puff Pieces

    As annual reports reveal, the EPO wastes an extraordinary amount of money on reputation laundering campaigns and it pollutes the signal by paying publishers; we examine this issue using the new 'reports' shown in the video above



  6. Links 6/5/2021: Fedora’s Compiler Policy and Celemony Software GmbH Adopting Free Software

    Links for the day



  7. Free Software Proponents Don't Fall for Bullshit (Same is True for EPO Examiners)

    There are parallels between what happens in the Free Software Movement and the EPO, where well-meaning people — and usually hard-working scientists — are besieged by people who never really contributed anything to society



  8. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 05, 2021



  9. Lessons From Another Failed Coup Against the Free Software Movement

    The coup has very clearly failed and we should prepare for future attempts (they go in cycles); the monopolies really dislike software they cannot control fully (e.g. copyleft/GPL-licensed software)



  10. Links 5/5/2021: Mesa 21.1 Released and New Releases of Python

    Links for the day



  11. Links 5/5/2021: StarLabs, GNU Zile 2.6.2, Fedora i3 Spin

    Links for the day



  12. Phony 'Scandals' From Phony 'News' Site ZDNet

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet



  13. Links 5/5/2021: Windows Security Breaches and GNU Pokology Launched

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 04, 2021



  15. Links 4/5/2021: Taiwins 0.3, KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released

    Links for the day



  16. EPO Already Wasting Money on Media Manipulation Campaigns for European Inventor Award

    An online-only European Inventor Award 'event' is being used as a pretext/excuse to flood European publishers with money they can rightly perceive as 'hush money'; everyone out there with no spine would likely buckle at the sight of EPO euros and just produce mindless puff pieces that serve to distract from EPO corruption



  17. The Timing of This Melinda Gates Tweet Was Always Curious...

    Remarking on her trip to Africa, where the Gates family lobbies for monopolies on seeds (for profit or course, notably through Monsanto/Bayer, which the Gates family heavily invests in), she posted pure fluff and old photos. And it’s hard to believe she had nothing better to do at the time (better than such nostalgia). As we noted last year: “The above tweet of a beach was posted [by Melinda Gates] on the date of the arrest/search of their employee, who was at their residence at the time.” He was arrested around the very same time this tweet was posted. As we wrote last year (based on detailed documents obtained from the police department): “This tweet was posted 2 hours and 40 minutes after the door was breached and incriminating evidence collected.” He was arrested later that morning at the mansion of Bill and Melinda Gates (the police records contain detailed timelines to confirm the chronology). Melinda’s first name was also in the CP 'stash'.



  18. Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill's Crimes

    The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals



  19. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 03, 2021



  20. EPO Disregards Animal Welfare

    An often overlooked issue surrounding the second-largest institution in Europe is its impact on millions if not billions of animals; there's ongoing research into that



  21. Links 3/5/2021: Sparky 5.15, Bill Gates Divorce, Netflix Fraud

    Links for the day



  22. Links 3/5/2021: New in OpenBSD 6.9 and Audacity Acquired By Muse Group

    Links for the day



  23. Adding, Seaming Together, Merging, or Concatenating Videos From the Command Line With FFMPEG (Scripting for Streamlining of Workflows)

    In order to enrich the looks of videos with almost no extra time/effort (all scripted, no GUIs should be needed) use ffmpeg with the concat operator; but there are several big gotchas, namely lack of sound and need for consistency across formats/codecs and even sampling rates



  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 02, 2021



  25. StatCounter: In May 2021 Windows Market Share Falls Sharply to Just 28%, Whereas GNU/Linux Climbs to 2.31% in Desktops/Laptops

    StatCounter isn't an authority on truth; nevertheless, it helps expose some trends and it shows that Windows is consistently falling, whereas GNU/Linux moves up steadily



  26. Links 3/5/2021: Ubuntu EoL Dates and Nitrux 1.4.0

    Links for the day



  27. Richard Stallman: “Google Can Forcibly Impose Software Changes and the User Can’t Say No.”

    "This is the same thing that Microsoft has in Windows," Stallman told me, "so Microsoft can also impose software changes. Any malicious feature that's not in the program today could be remotely installed tomorrow."



  28. It's Not About Richard Stallman

    First they came for the Founder...



  29. Links 2/5/2021: “Landlock” in Linux 5.13, Comics, Patents Catch-up

    Links for the day



  30. Audacity for Audio Editing With Free Software Only (GPL)

    Audacity is still our software of choice for audio editing; it had a new stable release just 10 days ago (GPL-licensed)


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