Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft is Trying to 'Bastardise' ODF

Protest against OOXML



WHEN it comes to OOXML shills, it's clear that they want to ruin ODF as much as they want OOXML to succeed. These two tasks are not mutually exclusive.



Last week we saw one familiar crony making his way into ODF mailing lists and this time we find another who is technically a Microsoft employee too. His mischiefs and misconduct we have already mentioned when his name came up, e.g. in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31]. We're talking about Doug Mahugh, who earned bad reputation and is known to some people as "Elephant in the Room" for pretty much faking his identity and breaking rules in the midst of many OOXML corruptions.

It is neither secret nor news that Microsoft wants to hijack ODF [1, 2, 3, 4], potentially with the intention of applying an embrace-extend-and-extinguish routine. Well, here they are going loose on the public ODF mailing lists. Microsoft says:

I still don't understand the intent of removing and/or deprecating support for foreign elements, however, which seems to be a direction that has only come up very recently. There are a growing number of organizations building custom solutions around those sorts of extensibility mechanisms, which allow for the best of both worlds: standards-based formatting markup for use by desktop apps (word processors, etc.), and custom markup for non-visual processing by custom systems.

I won't belabor the reasons I think this is a good approach, but for anyone who's interested, here are a few blog posts with more information on this topic: http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2007/03/03/microformats-and-open-xml.aspx http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2007/03/26/custom-xml-markup.aspx http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2007/05/19/custom-schemas-revisited.aspx

I think we all agree that introduction of foreign elements can cause interoperability problems, but I'd rather see us fix those problems than give up on custom schema support altogether. The use of class attributes in microformat-tagged HTML and the use of WordprocessingML's customXml element are both examples of approaches that allow rigorous standards-based validation without foregoing the benefits of custom schema support. It would be great if ODF 1.2 could offer similar capabilities, in my opinion.


You know that Microsoft entered a mailing list when there is no line wrapping, top-posting is practiced despite common conventions, and a flood of links to MSDN appears. Microsoft is interested in OOXML. It is also interested in ODF's... destruction.

“It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!“

--Doug Mahugh on OOXML



Steve Ballmer on ODF

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