Bonum Certa Men Certa

Monoculture Defines Bugs as Standards

"It's not a bug, it's feature and a standard"

The following new writeup reminds us of just one among many absurdities that make OOXML a ridiculous candidate for standardisation.

1900 is no leapyear. But what if once a programmer did a premature implementation and some users started to rely on the bugs. In the year 2007 these bugs can become features to justify a second international standard for Office applications, Open XML.


In a quick attempt to show that prevalence makes bugs acceptable, consider the following older articles about complacency in broken software.



Crashes in Microsoft Word 2007 are designed to improve security, says Microsoft




So while every other browser on the planet can handle javascript prompts -- and have done so, pretty much since javascript was first stuffed inside the browser -- Microsoft didn't have the resources to deal with it and so, effectively, disabled it.

[...]

This stops javascript from continuing until the prompt box is addressed, then and only then will the alert box appear. The modality of the prompt box prevents javascript from moving on until the user has performed some action on the box.




Other contradictions would seem to be impossible to resolve given the nature of OOXML itself, the stated purpose of which is to describe a single vendor's product -- bugs and all.




I don't believe there's been enough discussion of the weaknesses gradually being uncovered in Microsoft's 6,000-page dump of Office behavior, which they are trying to call a standard.

[...]

To help Office to become a standard, one adaptation governments could make would be to retroactively declare 1900 a leap year. This would require updates to history books and other documents (for instance, V-E day would change to May 7, and the World Trade Center attacks would have taken place on September 10) but I'd like to see a cost comparison with the alternative that businesses dread: migrating to open document formats.


There is clearly some pattern here, with many more such examples available on demand.

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