21 July 2007

OOXML hoax 8: ODF interoperability with MS documents

According to many opponents of Office Open XML the lack of interoperability between Microsoft documents formats and the new ODF format is all because Microsoft did not cooperate with the OASIS TC when they were developing ODF.
Stangly enough it seems that Gary Edwards who actually was a member of the OASIS TC developing ODF has a totally different view on why ODF has no feature for being compatible with Micrsoft Office documents.:

"For the near five years that i have been a member of the OASIS ODF TC, Sun has opposed any and all efforts to improve interoperability with Microsoft applications, documents, and bound workgroup-workflow business processes.
This goes all the way back to the very first TC meeting on December 14th, 2002, when the enterprise publication, content and archive management systems contingent of the OASIS TC wanted the "proposed" ODF charter amended to include as one of the primary objectives, "compatibility with existing file formats and interoperability with existing applications".
And yes, that proposed charter change specifically included compatibility and interoperability with Microsoft applications, documents and processes!!
Sun opposed that change and has consistently opposed all interoperability enhancements since."

But luckily it is still all Microsofts fault, at least according to Gary:
"Someone needs to go back to that 2004 agreement between Microsoft and Sun. You know, the one that saved Sun the company! There is clear evidence, stretching throughout the years of ODF discussions, that Sun has traded ODF universal interoperability for a sweet sweet hardware deal with Microsoft. Overwhelming evidence."
Which is a bit strange because he also claims that Sun blocking interoperability with MS office document started from the day the charter was made in 2002 when Sun and Microsoft were still bitter rivals in court.

So what about ODF interoperability with ODF now:
"There are three characteristics Sun has steadfastly opposed. And now we finally have an explanation other than that the StarOffice Hamburg group was terminally "stuck in 1995".
These characteristics are important because the world is not a clean slate. Microsoft Office controls over 95% of the existing documents, applications and bound workgroup-workflow business processes.
Without these three bridge characteristics, ODf becomes impossible to implement given where the world today finds itself – 95% bound to MSOffice:
... Compatibility with existing file formats – including MS binary documents
... Interoperability with existing applications – including MSOffice applications
... Convergence :: the application-platform-vendor independent portable file format ability to fluidly and transparently transition desktop-server-device-web information systems.
Sun's opposition to and failure to support the interoperability enhancements to ODf that would have addressed these concerns is a matter of public record"

A sound of bitter disappointment in the lack of interoperability in ODF but also and especially disappointment in Sun being responsible for it
"But what about those of us who really believed that ODf could become that elusive universal file format, and spent years trying?"
And reffering to Sun:
"They sold us out!"


Anonymous said...

So...how would it ever be possible to have compability with closed old binary microsoft documents and not require implementors of the new standard to implement it?

Microsoft could today open their current doc standard and explain how they resolve the flaws within when interpretating it. This information must exist since Microsoft Office can do it. It would most certainly mean all the competitiors would be able to resolve the remaining problems in reading microsoft documents.

In this situation binary compability between ODF and old binary windows files becomes an non issue since any application can convert them. It also becomes possible, yet pointless, to make ODF compatible with the old binary documents because everything will be open.

Microsoft did surely not propose binary compability for ODF with closed documents since they thought any other company would accept it, but to make sure that people like you will be duped into supporting OOXML despite the evidence against it.

This blog is rather funny...Microsoft fog screens are used to counter so called hoaxes.

The Wraith said...

You live in the past.

Microsoft already has released ALL of its binary Office formats under a covenant not to sue.
For free !!!

My blog isn't so much funny as your ignorance on the binary formats specifications already being available for free and with fully released patentclaims.

Anonymous said...

The critical problem you neglect to mention is that nobody can get access to the specifications without stating if they intend to use the information in a office contender product. This is all old news and it is a well known fact that Microsoft only answers emails to the address at the bottom if the intended use don't include creating stand alone products that could cut into Microsoft office market. The specification is indeed royalty free, but it is sure hell not open and accessable by other office creators.

Additionally I have not seen any relieable source that indicate the specification is complete in the first place. Everything speaks for that Microsoft has assembled information in "How to extract information from Office files by using Office file formats and schemas" for just extracting information out of the documents and not for specify how proper rendering is to be done (Like...what does really lineWrapLikeWord6 mean).

Finally we can note that if the old binary formats was indeed open like Wraith claims OOXML specification would include or reference that information. The lack of such information is a clear indication who is right.

The Wraith said...

Mayby yo u are living in the past. However the binary formats are available to everybody. So that includes Office builders.
Microsoft used to offer only limited access to those specifications but that is something of the past.
Nowadays the specs can be easily obtianed by other developers whatever ther are building.