12.20.07

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Have Yourself an OpenDocument Christmas

Posted in Boycott Novell, Formats, GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, SUN at 7:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…or whichever holiday is celebrated this winter

”The smear campaign against the site and its message is simply bound to fail.“There is a fair bit of stuff going on at the moment. Just before Christmas arrives, plenty of last-minute news is arriving. I’ve just returned from a Christmas dinner, so I’m feeling quite full and I’m definitely not sober, but let me try to catch up with ODF news. Don’t mind the types, whose frequency is increased by my poor (or non-existent) proofreading habits, never mind the alcohol.

The front page of OpenOffice is linking to us at the moment, so all those skeptics (yes, that includes you too, Jeff) should realise that our views are taken seriously. The smear campaign against the site and its message is simply bound to fail.

In ComputerWorld, the following new article on the role of StarOffice has just appeared.

Sun’s retreat from the enterprise arena will let IBM take a stab at Microsoft Office.

The beta of Symphony garnered 250,000 registered downloads in its first two months. By contrast, OpenOffice.org is being downloaded about 1 million times a week.

Considering this high pace, ODF is definitely going to get its claws on many people’s documents. Meanwhile, The Register writes about the ‘standards war’ and cares enough to mention story which the mainstream press is ‘kind’ enough to ignore.

Microsoft’s partners in Sweden, for example, were given “marketing incentives” in return for paying to join the national standards body. This “ballot stuffing” ploy, which Redmond claimed was down to the actions of one over zealous worker rather than company policy, backfired after Sweden invalidated its vote because of voting iregularaties after it was discovered someone had been allowed to vote twice.

The draft specification was amended in light of criticisms and will now be resubmitted for a further standards vote. Groklaw has published an informative article that highlights concerns about Redmond’s possible influence on the February vote, worries about the lack of discussion over patent issues or public accountability, and a run-down on the more colourful incidents in the on-going saga.

A somewhat misleading headline was chosen for this article. OOXML is not an open office standard. It’s not open and its not a standard (ECMA is a coin-in-the-slot exercise). Moving on, check out this update on the exciting news from Norway, which merely joined another country where Microsoft played very dirty.

So, now two European (I know Norway is not truly part of the EEC but, like Switzerland, it is in Europe) countries have mandated Open standards for electronic documentation. I wonder how stupid the UK’s National Archive feel now? Or perhaps, because their management are Microsoft puppets, they didn’t really have a say in the first place…

Indeed, they are (Microsoft puppets). We covered this here before. It’s rather amazing how many positions of power Microsoft has quietly conquered and then used to make decisions that favour itself (and lock citizens in). We last mentioned the BBC (aka MSBBC) just a few days ago.

In other OOXML-related news, Glyn Moody, whose Linux Journal article we mentioned only yesterday, receives an open letter from a prominent KDE developer.

Dear Glyn Moody:

I found how you trotted out an age old and long since dealt with issue, namely the licensing of Qt1, as a way to discuss what you consider to be “the growing tensions between the KDE and GNOME camps” to be tasteless and ironic. If you want to help mend fences (we need all the hands we can get), the last thing to do is drag long-since dealt with issues that have been irrelevant for years back to the surface.

A cynic might think you were trying to deflect the issues that have arisen around OOXML and the negative attention it has resulted in for GNOME by kicking the someone else’s dead horses. Personally, I think you were just being a bit clumsy while trying to make the point that everyone falters now and again and that nobody gains from conflict within our shared house. I think your intentions were good but unfortunately the road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions.

Aaron Seigo is right in this case, but Glyn didn’t mean to cause any harm. He was probably just trying to keep the article balanced, even if it involved some artificial things and plenty of imagination.

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