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ODF Alliance Warns Governments About Office 2007 ODF Support

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the please-sub-in-the-new-bullet-points dept.

Microsoft 312

omz writes "The ODF Alliance has prepared a Fact Sheet for governments and others interested in how Microsoft's SP2 for Office 2007 handles ODF. The report revealed 'serious shortcomings that, left unaddressed, would break the open standards based interoperability that the marketplace, especially governments, is demanding.'"

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first (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030071)

post?

Nope (0, Offtopic)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030703)

Nope, that was 12 years ago.

Are we done with these yet?

Re:Nope (0, Offtopic)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031207)

58th post!!!

So, which is it? (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030151)

Malice, or simple incompetence? Given Microsoft's track record, I can believe either one.

I know there are a lot of smart people working for Microsoft. But somehow it's as if there's a reverse gestalt phenomenon going on in their company - the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

It's already been stated... (3, Insightful)

Surrounded (1487683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030243)

That the standards created for the ODF formats are no where near perfect.

In fact, the ODF specification for spreadsheets doesn't state where formulas should go in a document. Something OpenOffice and Microsoft handle very differently. Because of these loopholes it's possible for software deveopers (Not just Microsoft) to do what they think is best instead of follow the standard.

What the OpenOffice and Open Source communities should be doing is working to resolve these loopholes so Microsoft and other developers can follow.

Re:It's already been stated... (5, Insightful)

simplu (522692) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030345)

Doesn't seems strange to you that only Microsoft handle it very differently?

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

Surrounded (1487683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030453)

Yes, a little, but do you expect them to break down how OpenOffice does it? Could cause legal issues. "How did you (Microsoft) know to save the formulas at X? It's not in the standard, only we (OpenOffice) save there.."

I think Microsoft saw a standard that had loopholes and instead of match the existing product's method, followed the standard and used their own way of storing it.

Re:It's already been stated... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030783)

Uhh, because the source of Open Office is... open? And it's free to look at?

Re:It's already been stated... (3, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030937)

MS would probably claim that OpenOffice is GPL-licensed and therefore is legal "poison" to their copyright to Office for their developers to look at the source code.

Where as, all they had to do is look at a *document* that OO created and mimic it.

Re:It's already been stated... (2, Interesting)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031643)

Or, to do it perfectly, clean-room it. Have one team create an internal ODF spec based on the OpenOffice source. Give that spec along with the OpenOffice source to the lawyers, have them approve it. Give the spec to your Office devs.

But, that assumes that they WANT compatibility.

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031789)

nonononono

All they need is to go into oo.o, save an odf spreadsheet file and look at the results.

There is NO WAY to claim that an odf or any outputed FILE from odf is gpl.

In other words, they only need to treat oo.o as a blackbox what you say is of concern (which, imho, isnt).

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032055)

Yes, a little, but do you expect them to break down how OpenOffice does it? Could cause legal issues. "How did you (Microsoft) know to save the formulas at X? It's not in the standard, only we (OpenOffice) save there.."
  [snip]
 

Microsoft:Well, we just created a file in OOo Calc (the spreadsheet thingie) and then unarchived it, examined its pieces, etc.

Re:It's already been stated... (5, Informative)

LO0G (606364) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030467)

If you can believe Microsoft, they're not the only ones. Lots of ODF implementations have interoperability issues.

Doug Mahugh at MSFT has been blogging about this: http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2009/05/09/1-2-1.aspx [msdn.com]
and

http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2009/05/13/tracked-changes.aspx [msdn.com]

Re:It's already been stated... (0, Troll)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030483)

No, not at all. The others are open source projects, and can look at each other's code. MS can't, or they'd have to open source their code. So they only looked at the standard... which is seriously lacking.

So if you read MS's Shared Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030567)

your code written from it is MS licensed too?

Bullshit.

Algorithms are not copyrightable. Non-expressive elements are not copyrightable. If there's only one way to do something, you can't copyright it.

Re:It's already been stated... (5, Informative)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030963)

The others are open source projects, and can look at each other's code. MS can't, or they'd have to open source their code.

This is a completely misleading statement and totally misses the point. Well done!

You don't need to look at the source code to see what other products do. You just need to look at the ODF files they produce. Indeed, given the licenses of the products that implement ODF, you can obtain the copies you need for testing FOR FREE.

Similarly, while your legal department might bar you from reading competitors code for fear of copyright co-mingling, there is nothing to stop you employing a third party to go look on your behalf and write a report on what was done. So you can have your cake and eat it.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:It's already been stated... (4, Insightful)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031379)

Or they could ask the proper author (I don't know who owns the copyright on that particular portion of OOo) for a license to do so. I betcha that someone interested enough in OOo's future to write a save/load algorithm for it would let Microsoft use it (in part or in whole) for Office. Complete compatibility between the two program suites would work heavily in OOo's favor, for reasons that seem obvious (to me) and that I won't go into to avoid creating a tl;dr situation.

Maybe if someone out there knows anyone (or is on) the OOo team drops the idea of a public offer to give Microsoft a special license to their already working code, some traction could be gained, or at least some light could be shed on the willingness of Microsoft to rectify the situation. I hope they are honestly willing to achieve cross-compatibility, but my guess is that that is likely too optimistic.

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032109)

Do you really think Microsoft wants perfect compatibility? Sun/etc. will have to pay MS to use such code (and MS is too rich for that to work anyway).

Re:It's already been stated... (2, Informative)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031807)

Not true: looking at GPL code and then coding your own thing is NOT a gpl violation. Taking the written code into your software is.

Re:It's already been stated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28032091)

looking at GPL code and then coding your own thing is NOT a gpl violation.

Just to be pedantic: that isn't the issue. The concern is that looking at the other code (which happens to be GPLed but that is utterly irrelevant) makes your code a derived work.

Now, that concern is wrong to approximately 100% of people polled, but regardless of whether it's right or wrong, one thing is for sure: if you did that, then you don't have the "clean room" defense against claims that you made a derived work. Should you end up in court, instead of being virtually invincible, you have to actually defend yourself and show that you didn't copy code.

Once it's determined that your code is a derived work (which wouldn't happen, but this is the risk we're talking about), then you consult licenses (GPL in this case) to see what you're allowed to do vs what is a violation.

No, not at all (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031321)

There's a couple reasons why they'd do it differently:

1) The whole reason they are doing the ODF thing is pressure from the EU with regards to anti-trust. Part of that pressure is that "You have to do it according to the standard." They don't want MS to go and say "Well we implemented some of the standard, but changed it in ways we like." So MS has been sticking strictly to the standard. Not all the other implementations do. So, you get a difference in results. Now you can argue that the right way of doing things is everyone else doing the same thing, even if it isn't the standard, but that really isn't an option for MS. They need the CYA ability to say "We implemented the standard 100% to spec, no deviation."

2) All the other ODF stuff I've seen is open source. As with most open source, they borrow heavily form other open source projects. In the case of ODF, the modus operandi seems to be "Do what Open Office does." Ok that's great, but again not an option for MS. They can't take OOs code, of course, or they'd have to open up their software which they don't want to do. In theory they could look at it and then "reverse engineer" it so to speak and reimplement but that's dangerous. They won't want to fight claims of violating the GPL. So best to just have your dev team pretend it doesn't exist and do their own thing.

Basically the ODF spec isn't clear and precise. So there are areas where you kinda have to decide how you want to do shit. MS isn't going to look at how it was done in OO's code, so their own design culture, which is different, will dictate how things are done. So you get differences right there. Then there are cases where the popular ODF implementations aren't compliant with the spec. They work because they are all not compliant in the same way, but then that won't work with MS's compliant implementation.

More or less it looks like the ODF alliance needs to shut up, and write a better standard. For something like this, a good standard will be very complex and extremely specific. There's just no avoiding that. If you want to be able to have all of this different, rich functionality, and you want it to work the same way and display the same way everywhere, the standard has to be very very detailed. Everything has to be specified precisely. You can't leave it up to the developer on how to do anything, or you are going to get differences.

Re:No, not at all (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031761)

The whole reason they are doing the ODF thing is pressure from the EU with regards to anti-trust. Part of that pressure is that "You have to do it according to the standard."

So you're arguing that MS's lawyers are completely incompetent and didn't know that being incompatible was a violation of antirust law and that antitrust law doesn't mention anything about standards compliance? I think that's a naive.

All the other ODF stuff I've seen is open source. As with most open source, they borrow heavily form other open source projects. In the case of ODF, the modus operandi seems to be "Do what Open Office does." Ok that's great, but again not an option for MS. They can't take OOs code...

They already own BSD licensed code that works on MS Office. Next argument please!

Basically the ODF spec isn't clear and precise.

But it's clear an precise enough that it worked for everyone else and there are multiple working open source implementations, one of which they can literally copy and paste from and which they helped fund the creation of and probably have full rights to it even if it wasn't BSD licensed. Sorry, that argument doesn't fly either.

Then there are cases where the popular ODF implementations aren't compliant with the spec.

Example please.

More or less it looks like the ODF alliance needs to shut up, and write a better standard.

They already did. MS doesn't want a standard for interoperability. They are simply looking for any way they can be compliant but still be incompatible.

Everything has to be specified precisely.

Not really, that's what reference implementations are for. If you have any doubt about how to handle this, see the reference implementations and do it that way.

The only argument you made that has any legs is the first one regarding compliance with the spec, but only if you assume ignorance of the law (I assume you perhaps aren't that familiar with antitrust law). I assure you, while it may at times appear that all of MS's lawyers have never heard of antitrust law, that is not the case in reality.

Re:No, not at all (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031843)

OK...

NO, microsoft DOES NOT NEED to "borrow" any oo.o code. They ONLY need to look at oo.o produced FILES.

And, BTW, they could LOOK AT THE CODE and then implement themselves another version: that is NOT a copyright violation.

Copy-paste is a violation, looking at code and then writing your own ISNT.

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031397)

I'm confused.

There are two implementations: OpenOffice and Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office does it differently from OpenOffice, and you conclude that "only Microsoft handles it very differently?" Or is there another reference implementation to compare to?

Re:It's already been stated... (3, Informative)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031865)

Plenty: google doc, koffice and another MSOffice plugin.

The lead of odf posted an interoperability table: ONLY MSOFFICE is completely incompatible to ALL of the other implementations.

Re:It's already been stated... (5, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031969)

There's a lot more than 2 implementations. Besides OpenOffice and MS Office there's AbiWord, KOffice, Google Docs, WordPerfect Office X4, IBM's Lotus Symphony, the Sun ODF plug-in for MS Word and the BSD-licensed ODF plug-in for Word that Microsoft funded and hosted on SourceForge. That last is important, BTW. Not only is Office 2007's implementation of ODF incompatible with OpenOffice, it's incompatible with Microsoft's own other implementation of ODF.

Re:It's already been stated... (5, Interesting)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030445)

Already done, spreadsheet formulas are being specifically addressed in ODF 1.2. But in 1.1 there was already a set of conventions for handling formulas, and Microsoft were the only ones out of all the ODF 1.1-using applications that couldn't follow those conventions. In fact their implementation even specifically violated one of the bits that was in the ODF 1.1 spec: the spec calls for cell names to be enclosed in square brackets, while Microsoft's implementation omits the brackets. Then you have just plain malicious stuff like actively removing formula information that's present. Even if you can't parse the formulas, XML makes it easy to preserve what was there. Every other implementation behaves that way: if they can't understand the formulas at least they leave them intact for applications that do understand them. Microsoft's is the only implementation that deliberately removes formulas from the spreadsheet.

What annoys me most about Microsoft's pseudo-support is that it had to be deliberate. They had to actually expend additional effort to be this incompatible. If they'd simply been lazy and taken the easiest way out, they would've been far more compatible with everybody else than they ended up being.

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030573)

So, it's lazier to load up & store something you don't recognize, than to ignore it?

Gotcha.

Re:It's already been stated... (5, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030923)

Pretty much, yes. Bear in mind that Microsoft already has code that does handle the spreadsheet formulas correctly. The plug-in that Microsoft itself commissioned and that they own the code for not only preserves the formulas, it correctly parses and interprets them so that cells get recalculated properly as data changes and it correctly writes changed formulas back out. All Microsoft had to do was to not do all the work a second time. And even if they had re-done the work, the XML parser automatically populates the DOM with the formula strings and the internal implementation in Excel already can preserve arbitrary metadata from external formats even when it can't interpret it. All they'd've had to do is not touch things the user hadn't edited and the preservation would've happened automatically. I do this all the time when dealing with XML code, to the point where I have to make a deliberate effort not to write data-preserving code.

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030971)

So, it's lazier to load up & store something you don't recognize, than to ignore it?

They don't ignore it, they reference the last value then strip out the formula information from files on import.

Re:It's already been stated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031167)

Thinking he's saying it is lazier to copy some BSD code that works than to invent your own that doesn't.

Re:It's already been stated... (2, Insightful)

Surrounded (1487683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030705)

To me, this is all whining by the anti-Microsoft folks. When Microsoft supports ODF 1.2, and if they goof up, then complain.

ODF 1.1 was to vague and to somehow blame Microsoft because they followed a poorly written spec and had to make judgement calls to fill in the blanks just seems sad.

The blame still rests on the ODF standards. If people want to have interopability between applications then set strict standards otherwise this will continue happen.

Re:It's already been stated... (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031073)

To me, this is all whining by the anti-Microsoft folks. When Microsoft supports ODF 1.2, and if they goof up, then complain.

At which point you'll still be apologizing for them and say we should wait till 1.3 to complain?

ODF 1.1 was to[sic] vague and to somehow blame Microsoft because they followed a poorly written spec...

Yeah it was so vague every other company managed to implement it just fine, including Microsoft in the plug-in they hired someone to write and whose code is BSD licensed so they could have just copied and pasted, since it was already working with MSOffice as a plug in. I have this bridge you might be interested in Brooklyn.

The blame still rests on the ODF standards.

Bullshit! There are multiple reference implementations and free code available and even small hobbyist projects had no problem. Even MS is not that incompetent. Their failure to insure their product worked with all the other products out there that work fine is inexcusable and any judge who buys your crap is an idiot. This is clearly an antitrust violation. Hopefully MS won't be able to settle their way out of a conviction this time.

Re:It's already been stated... (1, Informative)

Surrounded (1487683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031267)

At which point you'll still be apologizing for them and say we should wait till 1.3 to complain?

If the standard is strict like other open standards, and they still fail to be compatiable, I wouldn't "apologize" for them.

Yeah it was so vague every other company managed to implement it just fine, including Microsoft in the plug-in they hired someone to write and whose code is BSD licensed so they could have just copied and pasted, since it was already working with MSOffice as a plug in. I have this bridge you might be interested in Brooklyn.

Actually, if you read another comment on this article, you'd see that other applications actually didn't handle the standard all that well like you claim.

Bullshit! There are multiple reference implementations and free code available and even small hobbyist projects had no problem. Even MS is not that incompetent. Their failure to insure their product worked with all the other products out there that work fine is inexcusable and any judge who buys your crap is an idiot. This is clearly an antitrust violation. Hopefully MS won't be able to settle their way out of a conviction this time.

"Free code". You do realize that many of those "free" code samples are licensed that would require Microsoft to open source Office or portions of Office. This is about a standard that was weak and failed to state everything clearly. Asking any company to follow it is insane. Microsoft could of copied OpenOffice, but even OpenOffice wasn't perfect. Who do you follow, your competitor or the standard? I'd follow the standard.

Re:It's already been stated... (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031535)

If the standard is strict like other open standards, and they still fail to be compatiable[sic], I wouldn't "apologize" for them.

Please. The standard is just fine for any honest company trying to make a product that works. It just wasn't written as an ironclad legal contract to keep MS from playing dumb and intentionally breaking compatibility.

Actually, if you read another comment on this article, you'd see that other applications actually didn't handle the standard all that well like you claim.

Other comments? I don't have to because I actually bothered to read about the topic before discussing it. There is one other compatibility problem among the programs tested and it is because one of the programs is using the newer version of the spec. Saving from OO as ODF 1.1 is compatible. Thats completely different from being incompatible with every other program implementing the same version of the spec.

"Free code". You do realize that many of those "free" code samples are licensed that would require Microsoft to open source Office or portions of Office.

Please educate yourself before trying to argue. There is a working plug-in for MSOffice licensed under the BSD license so MS can simply copy and paste if they want. They've done it before with BSD code.

This is about a standard that was weak and failed to state everything clearly.

Bullcrap. This is about a standard that is fine for any honest company and about one company intentionally trying to break things to harm competition.

Asking any company to follow it is insane.

Yeah, except nobody else had any real problems including small hobbyist groups. Believing your crap is insane. In fact, your position is so unbelievable, I strongly suspect you're an astroturfer. You have a history of all of 13 comments, almost all of which are defending Microsoft. You're either a paid shill or you really drank to kool-aid.

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

Surrounded (1487683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031875)

Please. The standard is just fine for any honest company trying to make a product that works. It just wasn't written as an ironclad legal contract to keep MS from playing dumb and intentionally breaking compatibility.

Standards are created to make sure something, like software, can output a verifiable item that others can use. If you have a standard that says to do certain things, but makes no mention of others, you don't just copy your competitor. You follow the standard or wait for it to get updated.

Other comments? I don't have to because I actually bothered to read about the topic before discussing it. There is one other compatibility problem among the programs tested and it is because one of the programs is using the newer version of the spec. Saving from OO as ODF 1.1 is compatible. Thats completely different from being incompatible with every other program implementing the same version of the spec.

Microsoft followed a standard and because OpenOffice or anyother program can't actually open it always, you blame the company for following the standard set out?

Please educate yourself before trying to argue. There is a working plug-in for MSOffice licensed under the BSD license so MS can simply copy and paste if they want. They've done it before with BSD code.

Sure they could use that code or inspect the ODF files, but you miss the point everyone here is making: The standard is what Microsoft follows, not the competitor's method of implementation.

Bullcrap. This is about a standard that is fine for any honest company and about one company intentionally trying to break things to harm competition.

Again, they followed a broken standard, just because OpenOffice and others copied eachother doesn't mean Microsoft or others should. You follow the standard otherwise what is the point?

Yeah, except nobody else had any real problems including small hobbyist groups. Believing your crap is insane. In fact, your position is so unbelievable, I strongly suspect you're an astroturfer. You have a history of all of 13 comments, almost all of which are defending Microsoft. You're either a paid shill or you really drank to kool-aid.

Oh look, I can click on your name too and recount how many comments you posted. You seem to support Mac/Google/OpenOffice and love to bash people of opposing views. I don't care that you like open source, in some cases I do as well, but I use and work with Microsoft products daily and reading comments that always blame Microsoft is sickening. Microsoft and Open Source have their problems, quit pretending that OS is perfect and Microsoft is the anti-christ. They are no different than any other corporation (Google? Sun? IBM? Don't be evil, yeah, right).

Re:It's already been stated... (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031889)

Okay, look. Some head honcho from ODF put it this way: "Microsoft has plenty 'interoperability Directors', but no 'compliance directors', what are they aiming for by aiming for plain compliance"

Re:It's already been stated... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031219)

That the standards created for the ODF formats are no where near perfect.

This is indeed the case with the spreadsheet formulas. However, there's more. From TFA:

Microsoft Office 2007 does not support encryption (password-protection) in ODF files.

[...]

Encryption and password protection are fully specified in ODF 1.0/1.1 (item 17.3 of the
specification), so the failure to define this feature in ODF cannot be cited as a plausible
explanation.

Also,

Microsoft Office 2007 does not support tracked changes in ODF.

[...]

Tracked changes are specified in ODF 1.0/1.1 so the failure to define this feature in ODF cannot
be cited as a plausible explanation.

Furthermore, one could note that

Commitment to Support Future Versions of ODF

Microsoft has dragged its feet for over 3 years (ODF 1.0 was approved as an OASIS standard in
May 2005 and as an ISO standard in May 2006; ODF 1.1 by OASIS in Feb. 2007), despite
repeated calls by governments throughout Europe and elsewhere to implement support for ODF.

Implementing incompatible, down-level versions of open standards will break interoperability
on the desktop, especially considering Microsoft's potentially large ODF installed user base.

Microsoft has a rich history of implementing down-level versions of open standards;
e.g., Java in Internet Explorer, where Microsoft pre-installed an incompatible version
with proprietary extensions and then to let it languish, failing to update it as the Java technology evolved.

In other words, it's business as usual.

  -AC

Re:So, which is it? (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030255)

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

Re:So, which is it? (0, Flamebait)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030713)

Heh like the part of the summary :

would break the open standards based interoperability that the marketplace, especially governments, is demanding.'

the marketplace, especially governments ... hello ?

What are you, Stalin ?

Re:So, which is it? (3, Interesting)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031007)

Governments buy software, ergo are part of the customers (aka marketplace)

Re:So, which is it? (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031999)

What rock did you crawl under from?

Any IT pro will tell you .gov is the most important buyer of IT all over the world.

Re:So, which is it? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030609)

Malice, or simple incompetence?

Why take one when you can have both? It was intended to be broken by method X, but the programming teams didn't talk to each other well enough, so it was broken by method Y, and the testing showed it matched the intended result by 80%, so it was shippable.

Re:So, which is it? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031393)

Both: malicious incompetence.
However, it is unlikely to be incompetent malice, since Microsoft has repeatedly demonstrated competence in that field.

Re:So, which is it? (2, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031769)

There is a lengthy discussion about the microsoft appointed staf to ODF. They even requested current lead of ODF to stand down cause hes "biased".

And well... having non-biased-against-microsoft people in a non profit organization, id say, would be contrary to their keeping their good money.

Only people in their wallet could ever support their petty arguments. They say "we comply!", but make no effort to actually be interoperable with ANY other ODF supporting suite (google, koffice and some office plugins).

PDF fact sheet? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030175)

Shouldn't the file be an ODF format?

Re:PDF fact sheet? (1)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030259)

Rather comply with an ODF schema. Format is a bit shortsighted.

No. PDF is right. (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030373)

Shouldn't the file be an ODF format?

You're not trying to let them edit it. You're trying to influence them with a fixed document. So a display-only format is fine.

Further: You're trying to influence people who are NOT YET onboard with ODF. So you want a format that is viewable by as wide an audience as possible while displaying conveniently in an easy-on-the-eyes form. Right now that's PDF.

Putting it out in ODF means it's only viewable by people who already have ODF installed. That's mainly the people who are already onboard and don't need to be convinced. So it would be a case of "preaching to the choir" rather than "converting the heathen". Useful for giving your evangelists more talking points perhaps. But not all that useful for the purpose intended.

Re:No. PDF is right. (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031991)

Also, PDF is a ISO standard aswell (ISO 32000-1:2008).

The Best Microsoft Patch: +1 (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030179)

is Ctl-Alt-Del.

Yours In Socialism,
K. Trout, C.I.O.

MS really put its balls in its mouth this time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030187)

Yeah, ever since the whole 'teabagging' thing, this is officially the replacement for 'foot in mouth.'

what's good for the goose... (4, Funny)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030191)

Just wondering, is Microsoft warning governments about OpenOffice's .DOC support?

Re:what's good for the goose... (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030223)

Probably already part of the FUD machine.

Re:what's good for the goose... (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030237)

"They're breaking our standard, but we won't tell you how; that's a secret."

Re:what's good for the goose... (2, Insightful)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030429)

kinda like "They're violating our patents but we won't tell you which ones" right?

no, they'll do more than that (4, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031417)

They don't warn people about it, but they do consider anyone running or develping for openoffice eligible to be sued. Here's a news article from 2004 [crmbuyer.com] about the settlement between Sun and MS over staroffice that states:

In the document, it is stated that Microsoft agrees not to sue Sun for commercial distribution of StarOffice, which is based on OpenOffice.org, but that Microsoft can still seek damages from OpenOffice users or distributors for any copy installed after April 1, 2004.

Watch what happens if openoffice makes any kind of real dent in office's market share. It'll be just like the RIAA going after downloaders...

Why no certification program? (5, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030257)

I know Microsoft is being its usual self, but perhaps the ODF alliance should promoting a certification program and a compliance logo to raise the quality of interoperability of ALL ODF based applications.

Re:Why no certification program? (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030413)

And more than just a logo. We need the equivalent of acid test. Round trip testing. Great opp for non programmers who have been enjoying Open Source software for so long. Test the ODF export/import in MSWord and submit bugs.

If you have been saying, "I support Open Source, but since I am not a coder, I cant do much", this is your chance to contribute positively and advance the cause for open standards.

Mod parent up (4, Interesting)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030797)

That's a very insightful, proactive suggestion. Why bitch about the usual MS attitudes if you can provide a constructive path ahead, right?

Actually, it shouldn't be all that hard (but, it may well be tedious work) to put together a document that includes samples of *all* features of the spreadsheet / text editor / drawing / presentation document.

Providing verification is probably a bigger challenge. I wonder if it could be done as macros in any of the ODF-supporting suites, or if that's akin to an SOD violation?

Re:Why no certification program? (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031449)

+1 to this. The Office Acid Test. It doesn't exist yet. People are already used to the idea of it in the browser space and may hev already heard of it from their nerdy friends telling them why Internet Explorer sucks so much. Its a simple way to enforce and be transparent about compatibility. Nobody should be able to "work around" the standard. It would be a HUGE plus if there was a way for the ACID test to also check for "embrace and extends"

Re:Why no certification program? (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031887)

Submitted to digg [digg.com]

Re:Why no certification program? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030441)

That's just crazy talk.

Re:Why no certification program? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030481)

Or maybe the ODF Alliance should actually complete the standard without leaving gaping holes, such as a complete lack of ODS functions. Then Microsoft would actually be on the hook to implement the ODS functions spec allowing for interop between Office and OpenOffice. Instead everyone would rather bitch that Microsoft didn't implement the proprietary and non-standard OpenOffice implementation of functions within ODS.

As for certification and compliance testing, if W3C CSS2.1 is any indication then Microsoft will probably dictate that as well as nobody seems terribly interested in actually coming up with public test cases for anything. Making those test cases must be terribly boring which is why nobody is actually bothered to do anything about it.

Office 2007 SP2 does what ODF 1.1 says, not what OpenOffice bastardized. If you want better, fix ODF.

Focus on new software/patches (2, Insightful)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030265)

I don't get the section on Office 2003. Their gripe is that it doesn't support ODF. Well if MS doesn't release a service pack, why complain that 2003 doesn't support ODF when 2007 doesn't either (without SP2)? Focus on their current (insufficient) efforts to update software, not on software they haven't yet decided to update. There's no threat to ODF interop in 2003 if it can't read them at all...

Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (-1, Flamebait)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030281)

Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments about OpenOffice's subpar support for Office 2007 formats. Assuming you want to be fair on this one, of course.

Re:Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030335)

The difference is that one is an open standard and the other is a closed standard. MS's docs on docx come nowhere near close enough to implement it and office relies on many proprietary extensions to the standard.

Re:Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (1)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030589)

Actually, the difference is one is a standard used by most businesses and governments in the world. The other is used by very people people. Guess which is which. Remember, open source software isn't a goal in itself to anyone who matters. You have to come up with a good reason. Simply saying "It doesn't work with our stuff!!11" isn't a good reason.

Re:Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030393)

Um, the difference is Office 2007 formats aren't a standard. OOXML is, but even MS's own implementation doesn't match up to the specs.

ODF on the other hand has an open implementation, free source code, open specs, royalty free, etc.

ODF alliance warning about sub-par ODF support on Office 2007 which ODF is totally open, is different than MS warning about not supporting their closed, undocumented format.

Re:Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (1, Interesting)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030529)

Perhaps, but the format is in plain xml for Office2007; xlsx, docx, etc are merely zip files containing xml documents which could be transformed to other formats. As long as you have the schemas for the right and left the program to make the document becomes irrelevant.

Re:Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030751)

why is this a troll? its a fact

Re:Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031037)

It makes Open Office look bad!

Re:Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (1)

lavacano201014 (999580) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031155)

Must have been modded by an angry troll, and that's how he signs his name.

For a commercial vendor, (-1, Flamebait)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030653)

For a commercial vendor, GPL licensed code is not "open" or "available" at all. They have to code it to the spec, and code to the spec they did. How is it their fault that the spec is busted?

Re:For a commercial vendor, (1, Redundant)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031177)

For a commercial vendor, GPL licensed code is not "open" or "available" at all.

No, but BSD licensed code is and MS has already incorporated BSD code into several of their important products (TCP/IP stack for Windows for example). There exists a BSD licensed plug-in for MSOffice which MS helped to fund the creation of, but they somehow managed to make their new implementation incompatible with that plug-in and every other implementation.

They have to code it to the spec, and code to the spec they did.

Excepting, of course, that complying with the spec does not mean crap when it comes to antitrust law. Complying with the letter of the spec while still being incompatible with every competitor when such compliance is not difficult, is still leveraging their monopoly influence to harm competition and artificially break competing products... but then when did MS ever have scruples about breaking antitrust law.

How is it their fault that the spec is busted?

They broke the spec. They didn't test to make sure they are compatible. They failed at a task even small hobbyist projects managed. They did so in a way that harms competition because they are so dominant in that market. That is 100% their fault.

Re:For a commercial vendor, (1)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031513)

By that token, then, OO's poor support of Microsoft formats is also OO's fault. Which was my original point earlier in the thread.

Re:For a commercial vendor, (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031641)

By that token, then, OO's poor support of Microsoft formats is also OO's fault. Which was my original point earlier in the thread.

Really, where is the fully documented spec for docx? Where is the open source reference implementation of MSWord? Where is the BSD licensed version of Word formats on Linux that they can just copy and paste?

When your format is not open and documented and you don't implement it in an open source reference it is a hell of a lot harder to be compatible and that is absolutely MSs fault and their legal liability. Your point is excessively flawed.

Re:For a commercial vendor, (1)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031767)

Re:For a commercial vendor, (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031909)

Plenty of info here:

You seem to have fallen for marketing nonsense. There exists a spec, which no one including MS has implemented. Then there exists the docx files MS office creates which are not compliant with the standards you link to and which are not fully documented anywhere.

From the first link you posted, a quote about when MS will be compliant with the published version of the spec:

On March 13, 2008 Doug Mahugh, a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft specializing in Office client interoperability and the Open XML file formats confirmed that version 1.0 of the Open XML Format SDK "will definitely be 100% compliant with the final ISO/IEC 29500 spec, including the changes accepted at the BRM"

To date they have not managed to comply fully with their own format specification and no other company has a fully compatible version either, that I know of.

So where is the documentation for the docx format Word creates today? Where is the fully compliant, BSD licensed reference implementation for Linux that OO can copy and paste code from? I think your argument pretty much went down the crapper at this point.

Re:Microsoft, in turn, should warn governments (0, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031819)

Um, the difference is Office 2007 formats aren't a standard.

They arent?

Some standards (the good ones) are set by an un-stated popularity contest, and only THEN codified into a specification, which was the word you meant. The problem with all of these open document formats is that they were not refined in this manner, leading to what we have today: specifications that aren't even sufficient for something trivial and obvious like encoding formula in spread-sheets.

It's like they didn't even imagine what the format was going to be used for! When I first heard about this my first thought was 'you gotta be shitting me' but god damn... they really did define a spread-sheet format that doesn't encode formula
Leave the document formats to the people in the business of storing real documents with real software for real people.

(and ISO should be ashamed of themselves for publishing a 'standard in progress')

OOo's O2k7 support is better than O2K's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030509)

So maybe MS should warn governments about MS Office's sub-par support for MS Office formats.
To be fair, and all...

No sympathy (5, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030291)

If you write a standard and clamor to get it adopted by law, don't leave Redmond-sized holes in it. Someone might just try to drive a Microsoft through it.

This won't change anything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030337)

Really.

Whatever sort of incentives or punishment officials come up with, MS will make the odf support half assed on purpose. Simply because they see that as the most lucrative solution for themselves.

Of course third party plugins and open source office suites have better support for odf, they are made by people trying to implement the best possible support. MS want lock-in, "forcing" them otherwise is not going to help.

MS' business model haven't changed. And it won't in a long time.

Re:This won't change anything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030463)

To its defense MS Office is more than just document, spreadsheet, blah. Its also a development platform (just as OO is becoming) with many tools and aspects. It is astonishing whenever these types articles arise there is so much ignorance in the comments about the matter (i.e. "its a document bro, man i write that"). Probably because most complainers work in an small office as an it guy/pseudo programmer writing the same app over and over with a chin beard griping at the establishment and going home at night drinking pbr and masturbating to old facebook photos on facebook.

Let the market work it out (5, Insightful)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030357)

Although nobody is really surprised that Microsoft has made their software comply with the letter of the law and not the spirit, is this really a big issue? If, as the summary says, the marketplace is demanding a grand interoperability between software products, then we might see the rapid uptake of OOO in the near future. Failing that, if nobody switches, then the market has spoken loud and clear, Nobody cares.

Honestly, the single most productive thing you could do to ensure the rapid uptake of open standards would be to make openoffice.org an amazing product. Put all of your time and effort into making it clearly superior, and at that point everyone will use an ODF by default.

Re:Let the market work it out (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030763)

Although nobody is really surprised that Microsoft has made their software comply with the letter of the law and not the spirit, is this really a big issue?

First, they didn't comply with the letter of the law. This is clearly a violation of antitrust law. Second, they didn't comply with the letter of the spec, both failing to implement it properly and going out of their way to not implement features they already had working code for and ignoring both reference implementations.

If, as the summary says, the marketplace is demanding a grand interoperability between software products, then we might see the rapid uptake of OOO in the near future.

We might or we might not because monopoly influence on several markets allows Microsoft to undermine and break the normal operation of the free market system by violating antitrust law. In doing so they hurt competitors, consumers, and slow innovation.

Failing that, if nobody switches, then the market has spoken loud and clear, Nobody cares.

Yeah and the market spoke and nobody wanted answering machines, speed dial, or to own instead of rent a telephone while AT&T had a monopoly on phone service. The free market cannot operate and determine the best products at the best price when undermined by abuse. That's why it is illegal.

Honestly, the single most productive thing you could do to ensure the rapid uptake of open standards would be to make openoffice.org an amazing product. Put all of your time and effort into making it clearly superior, and at that point everyone will use an ODF by default.

When faced with a monopoly, having the better product does not mean you win in the market. Clearly superior products can and do lose because of artificial problems introduced to them; artificial problems like being unable to open most ODF files which were made intentionally incompatible by a company with monopoly influence on the market.

Re:Let the market work it out (4, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031675)

Honestly, the single most productive thing you could do to ensure the rapid uptake of open standards would be to make openoffice.org an amazing product. Put all of your time and effort into making it clearly superior, and at that point everyone will use an ODF by default.

(a) You're making the common mistake of conflating ODF with OOo. The two are completely separate entities. People who advocate the use of ODF are not necessarily OOo fans; they may prefer Abiword, KOffice, or even Microsoft Office. The whole point of open standards is that it shouldn't matter what software you use.

(b) Even if you take your goal to be the promotion of OOo (a particular software product) rather than ODF (a document standard), then it's naive to think that all you have to do is make a product that's better than MS Office. The sad truth is that no matter how good your product is, most people will be reluctant to switch to it. People hate change. The product would need not only to be better, but to be about 10 times better. And then you would need to communicate that fact, in the face of the best marketing that one of the world's richest companies can buy. Not an easy task.

But if you can get open standards adopted, then there's no longer any reason to care about increasing OOo market share, because it won't matter what software people use: you'll still be able to read their documents and they'll still be able to read yours.

ODF vs Office 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030477)

Having spent three years as the sysadmin for a high school, managing the imaging for several computer labs, I observed the following:

- Even as late as 2007, I used Office XP on everything, mainly to eliminate the XP->2003 learning curve.

- I had to install some Microsoft add-on to allow Office 2007 documents to be opened in Office XP, since some students came in with Office 2007 documents.

- I think I had to install some add-on for Office 97 too, for the same reason.

- Ditto for MS Works, IIRC.

- I also installed OpenOffice in the labs, for the very small number of students who had OpenOffice documents from home.

- Even though I had OpenOffice, I could not remove MS Office, since I would be accused of "removing the Microsofts" from computers. The word "Microsoft" is apparently very reassuring to idiots/teachers.

Re:ODF vs Office 2007 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030911)

[...] three years as the sysadmin [...]
[...] install some add-on [...]
[...] OpenOffice [...] very small number of students [...]
The word "Microsoft" is apparently very reassuring to idiots/teachers.

Yes, you had a perfectly valid reason to remove the program (which has already been installed and for which the district has already paid) with which the majority of the students are familiar in order to appease your 'free as in speech' desire for your bosses'* equipment.

* - Bosses can either[/both] refer to the school board or[/and] tax payers who already purchased Office for the school's computers.

I can't wait for a story on /. which allows me to make unwarranted complaints about my job without looking like a jackass.

I'm sorry to hear that you had to 1. install a handful of add-ons (and push it down to the other computers), 2. leave a program (with which the students and teachers are familiar) on the computers, and 3. vent your aggravation over these two daunting tasks which resulted from your job as a sysadmin.

Wahwahwah (-1, Troll)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030557)

This smells of arse covering wrapped up in finger-pointing.

Microsoft followed the ODF specification to the letter [archivum.info] and now the ODF Alliance have the cheek to blame them for the fact that the documentation turns out to be incomplete, poorly written and makes a bucket load of assumptions?

This is going to do nothing to help ODF adoption and whilst Microsoft deserve some critisism for not being flexible when came to implementing it, the Alliance shouldn't think it is entirely blameless in the whole matter.

Re:Wahwahwah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030755)

No spec can be so thorough that someone cannot find a loophole. It is a simple job to create something that complies to the letter of a spec and yet is totally worthless.

"Nowhere in the spec does it say that, upon loading an ODF document, all fonts should NOT be changed to Wingdings!"

Re:Wahwahwah (4, Interesting)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030803)

If anyone is interested in specifically what is "broken"(read: incompatible with OpenOffice.org 3.0)... which I doubt... here is some very good information detailing which decisions were made in implementing ODF and why they were made:

http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/default.aspx [msdn.com]

The last couple blog posts should be what everyone is looking for.

Beyond this, Microsoft is simply implementing ODF 1.1 because ODF 1.2 is not done yet. If Microsoft is going to support a standard, they will support the standard not the most popular implementation's interpretation of the standard.

Re:Wahwahwah (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030881)

Microsoft followed the ODF specification to the letter

Are you paid to astroturf? Thy did not follow it to the letter and they ignored the reference implementations and if they tested for compatibility like everyone else they did so to make sure things would not work. Given their market share, that's criminal.

Re:Wahwahwah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031059)

ODF 1.1 was a very simple standard to follow. It was only one page. In fact, it's only one sentence: "Do whatever OpenOffice does."

Is that your idea of a "reference implementation"? So, when MS Office SP2 implements ODF 1.1 with MathML to the letter and OpenOffice cannot read it because of a bug in OpenOffice, who is to blame? Oh, right, you think that MS should have followed OpenOffice's bug, not the ODF spec. How about all of the implementation bugs between OpenOffice and other non-MS ODF suites? How come OpenOffice and Symphony can't agree on whether or not 1+2 is 3 or 1? Who is the evil conspirator in that case?

Fix your fucking spec or shut the fuck up.

Re:Wahwahwah (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031399)

ODF 1.1 was a very simple standard to follow. It was only one page. In fact, it's only one sentence: "Do whatever OpenOffice does." Is that your idea of a "reference implementation"?

If that was the case, sure since OO is open source and well documented code. That isn't that case though. It's much better to simply code to the standards and look at one of the several interoperable open source implementations when there is question about what to do. And, or course, when you have a working version you should test it for interoperability with the existing implementations, or at least the working implementation for your program, already in use, which you helped to fund.

So, when MS Office SP2 implements ODF 1.1 with MathML to the letter and OpenOffice cannot read it because of a bug in OpenOffice, who is to blame?

If it is a bug in OpenOffice they are to blame, assuming MS tested and tried to be compliant and interoperable. If, however, OO is compliant and MS is complaint and MS manages to create a compliant solution which does not work with all the other existing implementations, which all work with one another... yeah that's MS's fault.

Oh, right, you think that MS should have followed OpenOffice's bug, not the ODF spec.

Are you trying to imply that MS had to break the standard to work with OO and all the other implementations?

How about all of the implementation bugs between OpenOffice and other non-MS ODF suites?

There is only one of those that I know of, which is a problem with OO writing files using the 1.2 version of ODF by default and the program in question not handling it gracefully enough. MS, on the other hand is incompatible with every other implementation.

Fix your fucking spec or shut the fuck up.

If you're going to be profane at least have some guts worm. Anonymous coward indeed.

Re:Wahwahwah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031737)

ODF 1.1 was a very simple standard to follow. It was only one page. In fact, it's only one sentence: "Do whatever OpenOffice does." Is that your idea of a "reference implementation"?

If that was the case, sure since OO is open source and well documented code. That isn't that case though. It's much better to simply code to the standards and look at one of the several interoperable open source implementations when there is question about what to do. And, or course, when you have a working version you should test it for interoperability with the existing implementations, or at least the working implementation for your program, already in use, which you helped to fund.

So you admit that the spec is entirely useless? You should just copy whatever OpenOffice does. Alright, so then why does Symphony and OpenOffice disagree as to what 1 + "2" equals? Who is at fault? Which violates ODF?

So, when MS Office SP2 implements ODF 1.1 with MathML to the letter and OpenOffice cannot read it because of a bug in OpenOffice, who is to blame?

If it is a bug in OpenOffice they are to blame, assuming MS tested and tried to be compliant and interoperable. If, however, OO is compliant and MS is complaint and MS manages to create a compliant solution which does not work with all the other existing implementations, which all work with one another... yeah that's MS's fault.

Try MathML between OpenOffice and Amaya and enjoy your fail.

Oh, right, you think that MS should have followed OpenOffice's bug, not the ODF spec.

Are you trying to imply that MS had to break the standard to work with OO and all the other implementations?

It's not Microsoft's responsibility to clone OpenOffice. It is OpenOffice's responsibility to adhere to ODF.

How about all of the implementation bugs between OpenOffice and other non-MS ODF suites?

There is only one of those that I know of, which is a problem with OO writing files using the 1.2 version of ODF by default and the program in question not handling it gracefully enough. MS, on the other hand is incompatible with every other implementation.

ODF 1.2 is not a specification, it is a draft and it is not complete. Implementing ODF 1.2 into production is inherently dangerous as any change or clarification of the specification will lead to deviation from that specification and existing broken documents. OpenOffice already fucked that up enough.

Fix your fucking spec or shut the fuck up.

If you're going to be profane at least have some guts worm. Anonymous coward indeed.

Fix your fucking spec or shut the fuck up.

This is a document for nerds ... (3, Informative)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031331)

Unfortunately, so it will be ignored.

What do I mean ? It starts by assuming that you know what ODF is, giving it a name ''the OpenDocument Format'' doesn't really help -- the average Member of Parliament/Senate/Dictatorship/... will not have a clue what you are talking about. All sorts of other buzz words abound, there are names of unknown things like KSpread and Symphony -- who has heard of them ?

I am sympathetic to what they are doing - it is a great idea, unfortunately it won't get much legislator/bureaucrat/... eyeball time because it doesn't explain what it is all about. It needs to be prefixed by a page that explains it all in nice, friendly words that everyone can understand and say that the technical details are on the next pages -- which starts with page 1 of what they have produced.

Piss Poor Presentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031629)

The only way this document could have been presented more sloppily is if it were made from old newspaper cuttings: "suPPoRt Odf oR we BReaK l3Gs". Then again it could just have been done in OpenOffice (ducks)

I can has cheezburger? (0, Offtopic)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031731)

Governments is demanding interoperability! And cats is demanding lol!

Web standards web standards web standards (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031917)

People are seriously arguing that Microsoft should munge the standard to go along with the most common implementation? Welcome to the web, circa 1996. That's exactly how web standards got to be the mess they are. Browser manufacturers wrote browsers to be compatible with each other and to support new features, instead of following the standards. And thus the standard fell behind and became increasingly useless.

Microsoft is writing an ODF document, *not* an OpenOffice document. And, long-term, that's exactly the correct thing to do.

If you want them to follow the standard, write a decent standard for them to follow and stop whining. And, just like the web failed to do, if you want the standard to be worth the paper it's written on, the resources have to be committed to get them out in a timely fashion.

Whiney Bitches (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031975)

Honestly, this document could have been three lines:

1. When reading an ODF spreadsheet, MS Office Excel 2007 strips out formulas.
2. Microsoft Office 2007 does not support encryption (password-protection) in ODF files.
3. Microsoft Office 2007 does not support tracked changes in ODF.

The majority of the rest of the doc is just whining about how other ODF supporters did things right, and that Microsoft promised that they would get it right but they didn't! Waaahhh I want my mommy!

Seriously, write up a fact finding report that states in technical details what is wrong, and be done with it. Anything else is fluff to make MS look bad and ODF look like something worth caring about.

The last two bolded items are total bs:
- ODF Support in MS Office 2007 Only
- Commitment to Support Future Versions of ODF

The doc is supposed to be about how O2K7 is non-compliant. Not about support for previous versions, and not about future versions.
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