11.01.07

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Why You Should Not Listen to the ODF Foundation — for Now

Posted in Formats, FUD, Microsoft, OpenDocument at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They imply that ODF is rejected even by its own former supporter, but it this not the full story.”The OpenDocument Foundation has been doing a lot of legwork around journalists lately. I was among those who had received heaps of information. The press, consequently, uses this as a opportunity to write stories filled with drama. They imply that ODF is rejected even by its own former supporter, but this not the full story.

To put things in perspective, the funding for a project run by the OpenDocument Foundation ended some time ago after very aggressive lobbying and bullying in Massachusetts. Microsoft had people thrown out of their jobs for ‘daring’ to stick to ODF. Some of the systematic manipulation you can read about even in the mainstream press, but the depth of coverage wasn’t as great as the story deserved it to be. At the time, Andy Updegrove kept best track of the issues.

Spread ODFAfter the funding ended for the OpenDocument Foundation’s, the OpenDocument Foundation was truly glued to a corner, so the wise step to take was to turn somewhere else. What would make a better publicity stunt than throwing dirt at the face of OpenDocument format? The press then listened and gave exposure to the OpenDocument Foundation’s future path, which is not ODF format. The OpenDocument Foundation had its goals serves and so did Microsoft. That was selfish and tactless.

Truthfully, these stories need to be buried because they fail to reveal the full picture. It’s the OpenDocument Foundation’s revenge, and it’s very biased for personal reasons, among others.

ODF is an excellent standard. It’s the way to go and it’s the future. Don’t be misled here. I’ll admit that I was wrong to fuel and give exposure to early signs of The OpenDocument Foundation turning the tables. They made some valid points, but their recent attack on ODF (public attack even) is not the way of a gentleman. ODF Foundation ought to have stepped out quietly.

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4 Comments

  1. Eric Gearhart said,

    November 2, 2007 at 2:53 am

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    The “ODF Foundation” doesn’t matter. This Slashdot comment puts it quite succinctly. Actually the whole thread puts this in perspective.

    “Forgive me if my memory is bad, but aren’t they that unimportant bunch of nobodies who formed their own organization and decided that Microsoft compatibility was their #1 goal?

    As I recall, in spite of the grand-sounding name, the people in that organization don’t have anything to do with anything. They’re busy recommending this and that, but they don’t actually do anything.”
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=344999&cid=21177275

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 2, 2007 at 3:19 am

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    The Foundation maintains a Web site that (used to) promotes ODF, brings together supporters, and lobbies in every way possible. The phrase “they don’t actually do anything” is thus hurtful. It’s just a shame to see the direction that the Foundation has taken once it felt betrayed and excluded.

  3. Eric Gearhart said,

    November 2, 2007 at 3:34 am

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    Roy: You’re thinking that just because they have the name “OpenDocument Foundation” they carry more weight than they actually do… they’re actually hurting ODF now more than helping it, because the media is now reporting “The OpenDocument Foundation doesn’t even support ODF!!!” when in actuality “The OpenDocument Foundation” is just a pretty name that sounds official.

    ODF is a solid standard, and more importantly it’s an ISO standard. That battle has been won. Just because they couldn’t get Sun to budge they’re “taking their ball and going home”?

    IMO this justifies Novell forking to go-ooo.org – because Sun doesn’t WANT a community effort (of course they don’t – they want to sell StarOffice and get development for free) people are going to fork and walk away from Sun’s efforts. Sun had better start doing a better job of engendering a community, fast.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 2, 2007 at 3:52 am

    Gravatar

    You’re thinking that just because they have the name “OpenDocument Foundation” they carry more weight than they actually do… they’re actually hurting ODF now more than helping it, because the media is now reporting “The OpenDocument Foundation doesn’t even support ODF!!!” when in actuality “The OpenDocument Foundation” is just a pretty name that sounds official.

    Yes, I agree entirely. That’s just the point I was trying to get across without insulting or offending the Foundation, whose members I’m in good terms with.

    I have voiced the same type of stance elsewhere on the Web. It’s like a parent trying to defend a child that misbehaves at school. It’s a dilemma and it’s hard. I’m not implying that the Foundation is a child, by the way, but it’s a tactless analogy to have used.

    IMO this justifies Novell forking to go-ooo.org – because Sun doesn’t WANT a community effort (of course they don’t – they want to sell StarOffice and get development for free) people are going to fork and walk away from Sun’s efforts. Sun had better start doing a better job of engendering a community, fast.

    From E-mails I’ve received I know that you can’t just blame Sun in isolation. There are several parties involved, but it’s easier to point the finger at just one ‘mean’ company (which stole all the other children’s toys)..;-)

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