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Study Says OOXML Unsuitable For Norwegian Government

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the party-like-it's-1997 dept.

Government 145

angry tapir writes "Microsoft's XML-based office document format, OOXML, does not meet the requirements for governmental use, according to a new report published by the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (DIFI). The agency wants to start a debate over the report as part of its work on standards in the Norwegian government. (As we discussed a week ago, Denmark has already decided to choose ODF over OOXML.)"

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145 comments

And? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31067224)

And the Norweigan government matters, why? They're probably a drop in the bucket for Microsoft's revenue.

Re:And? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067268)

If Microsoft can get enough lock-in, even a small market can end up making them a lot of money with long term support and maintenance.

Remove one and unanimity is impossible (5, Insightful)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067564)

Why does this matter so much? Once one (now two) countries reject OOXML, it means it cannot become *the* international/European document standard for the public sector.

Re:Remove one and unanimity is impossible (0, Redundant)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068522)

Can't the same be said for ODF if any countries choose it instead?

But won't the top office suites just end up supporting both anyway?

Re:Remove one and unanimity is impossible (2, Insightful)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069412)

Can't the same be said for ODF if any countries choose it instead? But won't the top office suites just end up supporting both anyway?

They already do. You just have to worry about inconsistent behavior between the suites. And stupid crap like Office telling you you're a horrible person for not using the latest Microsoft document format.

Re:Remove one and unanimity is impossible (0, Flamebait)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068880)

Err ... Norway has nothing to say in EU. That is, about as much as Canada has about USA.

Re:Remove one and unanimity is impossible (3, Insightful)

janrinok (846318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069152)

He didn't say the EU - he said Europe. Norway remains a part of Europe regardless of whether it decides to join the EU or not.

Re:Remove one and unanimity is impossible (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069962)

In that case talk about a European document standard makes about as much sense as if you talked about a satandad for the continent of America or Asia or something like that

Re:Remove one and unanimity is impossible (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069428)

Besides that Norway is not a member of the EU, they are too small to dictate an "international standard". If the EU would opt of OOXML instead then Norway would surely give in and follow by at least exchanging documents in OOXML with other EU partners.

However as the rest has not (yet) made a choice, there is a good chance that instead they will have a close look at Norway, see how it works out for them, and follow the now tried and tested option. As long as no other country opts for OOXML instead this alone will be an advantage for ODF.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067360)

Because software costs money to make; but virtually no money to reproduce.

The Norwegian government likely spends somewhere between some hundreds of thousands and some millions on software that must interpret their chosen document format(ie. actual copies of an office suite, server-side components that generate documents in response to web input, data archive widgetry that needs to be able to read inside the files it stores, etc.) Those who must exchange documents with the Norwegian government presumably spend some millions more.

If that money is being spent on ODF-supporting software, the cost of ODF-supporting software goes down for everybody(or, more precisely, if they chose to build on OSS foundations, the cost for everybody stays the same, and the amount and quality available rises. If they end up going with something commercial, that commercial offering now has more customers across the same roughly fixed cost of development).

It isn't so much that Norway is a vital source of Microsoft revenue, as they likely aren't. It's that their future software demand is going to subsidize improvements to Microsoft's competitors, rather than being high-margin purchases of licences to code that Microsoft has already developed.

Re:And? (4, Interesting)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069614)

Amusing little story:

"Norwegian" is split into two languages. "Bokmål" and "Nynorsk". Directly translated one is Book-language and New Norwegian.

Bokmål is based on danish with norwegian pronunciation (overly simplified of course).
Nynorsk is based on a multitude of dialects from a large area of Norway.

Microsoft used to only support office for Bokmål. They were told as long as it wasnt available as Nynorsk it could not be used in the public sector. They quickly produced a localized version in Nynorsk.

So the market has to be of -some- importance.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067430)

When trying to debunk an obvious lie (such as "OOXML is a standard"), one reasonably visible dis-believer might be enough. All governments and organizations believing, or pretending to believe, that OOXML is a standard now know they're fools, and/or not fooling anyone.

Plus hopefully the Norwegian government has produced a document explaining their position, that will be quotable for reference.

Re:And? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067946)

When trying to debunk an obvious lie (such as "OOXML is a standard"), one reasonably visible dis-believer might be enough.

Except nowhere does the original article say that OOXML is not a standard. It does say that it "is not a standard that's in sync with the way one looks at documents in 2010", but that is actually refering to it as a standard. It is a strange claim too, given that the standard must really be in sync with the way one looks a documents because it is used by the most popular office application out there.

Re:And? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068280)

Except nowhere does the original article say that OOXML is not a standard.

One thing that's always struck me about the name OOXML ("Office Open XML") is the confusion it stirs up with OpenOffice. Seems to me that it would have made more sense for Microsoft to highlight a distinction from its OSS competitor.

Unless, of course Microsoft's marketing department has been taking its cues from Monty Python:
"Are you the Judean People's Front?"
"Fuck off! We're the People's Front of Judea!"

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069902)

I wonder instead if the government after this reevaluation will go on an ass-kicking spree on the iso committee that allowed it to exist in the first place http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/10/norwegian-standards-body-implodes-over-ooxml-controversy.ars

Re:And? (4, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069064)

Were you not around when Microsoft bribed and stacked the ISO meetings when voting for OOXML as a "standard"? Not only that, but it doesn't pass any kind of rigorous review as a standard... it is all but an XML representation of the original .doc format, just re-jiggered around, and is so convoluted that nobody but Microsoft has a hope of actually interoperating with it properly. And by the time someone might do so, they've got the next version out.

Seriously, just google around a bit:

http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/10/norwegian-standards-body-implodes-over-ooxml-controversy.ars [arstechnica.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standardization_of_Office_Open_XML [wikipedia.org]

Re:And? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069436)

Were you not around when Microsoft bribed and stacked the ISO meetings

All this has absolutely nothing to do with what the grand parent asserted. Obarthelemy claimed that the author of the report didn't think that OOXML was a standard. This was not backed up by the article. Also, at no stage did I make any judgement on whether OOXML was a standard or not, so telling me to go look up Google is not relevant.

As it happens I am well aware of what went on during the standards approval process. I suggest that a flawed standard is still a standard. The current ODF standard has its own flaws too, which is how Microsoft was able to stick to the letter of the standard in their implementation and still get chided for not being compatible with OpenOffice.org. This means that ODF contains its own versions of the famous "do like Word97". Does that make it not a standard too?

Fortunately, the next version of the ODF standard will fix these limitations. I think a lot of the problems stemmed from not specifying the spreadsheet functions. While I can understand why they wouldn't want to fix the standard to a specific set of functions (thus limiting what each program can add), but they should at least have some base functions in it, and also have a known way of implementing program specific extra functions.

Re:And? (2, Informative)

johnw (3725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069366)

because it is used by the most popular office application out there

Really?! At the time OOXML was approved as a "standard", no conforming implementation existed. Microsoft expressed an intention of implementing it at some point in the future, but AFAIK they haven't yet done so. They also announced that they'd be supporting import/export of ODF before they supported OOXML. Have they changed this?

Re:And? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067952)

When trying to debunk an obvious lie (such as "OOXML is a standard")

The first thing to do is to look up the definition of the word.

For instance, A technical standard is an established norm or requirement. [wikipedia.org]

Then you look up the facts relevant to the question. Office Open XML (also referred to as OOXML or Open XML) is an ISO/IEC standardized ZIP-compatible file format originally developed by Microsoft. [wikipedia.org]

Now, I know your confusion stems from the many uses of the word "standard" (OOXML is clearly not a type of flag), but you're the one that sound like a fool when you say it's a lie that OOXML is a standard.

P.S. I hate Microsoft, I also hate disinformation. This is a fight between standards, don't pretend otherwise.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068038)

There are many parts of the OOXML 'standard' which refer to documents not available to the public, or which say something along the lines of 'do this the way office 97 does it'. A standard must contain all the information necessary to implement it, or else it is incomplete and thus not a standard.

Parent = FUD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31068806)

Yawn. Keep repeating this FUD. Don't you anti-ms trolls come up with anything new? The standards document does have everything necessary to implement it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_software_that_supports_Office_Open_XML [wikipedia.org]

Re:Parent = FUD (2, Informative)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069424)

Except that not even Microsoft was able to write an OOXML-spec document writer. So no, it does not have everything necessary to implement it.

Re:Parent = FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069456)

And how do you know this was because of incomplete standards doc? Were you on the MS Office team that was tasked with writing it?

Add recursion, but to a DAG (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069570)

A standard must contain all the information necessary to implement it, or else it is incomplete and thus not a standard.

Or point to other documents which are standards.

For instance, you could have the Microsoft VBA Specification. If that was complete, then both the OOXML/Document spec and the OOXML/Spreadsheet spec could refer to it, kinda' like a subroutine. (Note: I said if. I don't know, and don't think, that Microsoft has done this.)

Don't some of the RFCs do something like this?

Re:Add recursion, but to a DAG (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070058)

Don't some of the RFCs do something like this?

RFCs can do it, because they are Request For Comments [wikipedia.org], not STDs [wikipedia.org]. And only few of RFCs are even designated to be a standard in the future.

Re:And? (2, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068862)

One of the core principles behind a standard I think is that it is immutable. It is a fixed, a priori known way of doing things. So that as long as you write a document following the standard, everyone can read and lay-out that document correctly by just following that same standard. Even if the document is from 10 years ago, or longer. Such as the standard with which a CD is recorded.

But obviously not so for Microsoft:

"It's natural in the development of standards that the standards evolve. That's the nature of standards,"

says a MS representative as quoted in TFA. This as reaction to the allegation by the Norwegian committee that OOXML is "unstable" and thus unsuitable as standard.

Of course during the DEVELOPMENT a standard evolves, that's what development is about. After that it becomes a standard, and it becomes frozen to that standard. One can of course continue development, but that is going to be a new standard. An OOXML1.1 or so. Like with HTML which now and then gets an update in the form of a new standard.

It seems to me that MS with such a statement confirms that from the beginning didn't plan on this to be a true standard, but that it would be a basis for them to start tacking on proprietary extensions, that then would prevent the standard to work across platforms. Luckily Norway saw through that, calls the standard "unstable" and refuses to included it in "recommended formats" for government use.

The standard being proprietary has obviously nothing to do with it, as they happily do include Adobe's pdf format.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070108)

The standard being proprietary has obviously nothing to do with it, as they happily do include Adobe's pdf format.

PDF was approved as an ISO standard before OOXML was.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31068054)

Plus hopefully the Norwegian government has produced a document explaining their position, that will be quotable for reference.

But nobody else can read it because they all use Microsoft Office :-P

(this is a joke)

Re:And? (1)

Maow (620678) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069480)

Plus hopefully the Norwegian government has produced a document explaining their position, that will be quotable for reference.

Newsflash from Oslo. In a press conference today, the Norwegian Gov't said, "Bjork Bjork Bjork."

And that's *after* translation.

Original text: "Bjork Bjork Bjork."

/sorry

Re:And? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31067468)

It's symptomatic.
The neat thing is, as more and more European governments make large scale use of ODF, the tool support should improve to match their needs. This makes it practical for more organizations to switch.

Re:And? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31067500)

For Norwegians, quite a lot I guess. As for giving Microsofts revenue, I'd say still to big but improvAs aing.

And of course having an investmentfond able to buy Microsoft, twice, gives the Norweigan government a possition not to be affected by potential MS strong arm tacticks.

Re:And? (2, Interesting)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067658)

It means something to those who care less about Microsoft's failure than they do about free formats' success.

Re:And? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070082)

You chose your nickname wisely.

You ARE full of shit.

Re:And? (3, Interesting)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069648)

And the Norweigan government matters, why? They're probably a drop in the bucket for Microsoft's revenue.

Then why do Microsoft pursue any dissent in their corporate customers so strongly? And no.. I'm not going to cite examples. We have all heard of the crack sales teams descending on companies and governments who dare to leave the MS embrace, armed with the authority to practically give the MS products away rather than lose an influential customer. You are absolutely correct. A government switching away from Office is trivial. But only if you are counting licenses. If you count influence, then MS are in for a decidedly nasty future. And another government rejecting MS file formats is a bad thing for MS. Even a city local government is enough to make MS bring in the heavy negotiators. If the file format goes from essential to optional, then so does Office. Right.. Said my piece. Astroturf away.

Re:And? (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069828)

The pattern is pretty similar to dictatorship and revolution...if one guy stands up against it, everybody is laughing, but somewhere someone is also standing up "Hey, if he can do it, I can do it, too!", and that's the point where the Domino-Effect kicks in.

Fredonia (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31067272)

The government of Fredonia chooses .txt, ASCII, with \n line endings.

Re:Fredonia (2, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069628)

The government of Fredonia chooses .txt, ASCII, with \n line endings.

Unfortunately, US-ASCII does not contain all characters that Fredonians use.

Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069758)

What a bunch of suckers the U.S. has become. On domestic issues, the Slashdot crowd is all gung-ho on open source. But as soon as someone mentions a foreign nation discarding some proprietary Merkin B.S. software, all principles and freedom ideals are thrown overboard. LOLOLOLO RETARDS!

has a larger backstory (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31067292)

The OOXML-standardization backstory is pretty convoluted, so I'm not sure I can give an accurate summary, but as far as I can tell this is basically another round in the ongoing fight that seems to have, for some reason, been more active in Norway than elsewhere. The article mentions that the main author of this report was involved in the controversy at the ISO, and there was also a related controversy [slashdot.org] in one of Norway's national standards bodies.

Re:has a larger backstory (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067526)

As much as I think OOXML is a joke (hell, most of the people I've seen using Office 2007 are setting their defaults back to 2003 document formats, and not using docx or xlsx at all), I don't think you're going to get a completely unbiased assessment on OOXML's suitability from a guy who has already made his mark as being opposed.

Despite all of that, OOXML is at least partially supported in OpenOffice, and hopefully in future versions support will be more complete. I think ODF is by far the superior standard if you have build an application to read it from spec (looking at OOXML's specs, it must be a frickin' nightmare).

What I don't think OOXML opponents should do is resort to Microsoft's tricks.

You'll never find an unbiased source then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070096)

You'll never find an unbiased source then. Your requirement is that someone must, ABSOLUTELY MUST, accept any and all proposals else they are partisan.

MSOOXML isn't even supported by Microsoft.

THAT is how unsupported MSOOXML is.

Re:has a larger backstory (3, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067916)

Government and industrial institutions, once they reach a certain size, are notoriously risk-adverse. If there's a change in the weather, they'd prefer someone else to be the weathervane. Things that happen in Norway can have a disproportionate amount of influence across the world.

It's not a phenomenon limited to the office software industry, either; in the electricity distribution industry, for example, many very large organisations are watching what's happening in Portugal and Spain and have stated they want to incorporate that experience before they launch their own programmes of change.

Why? Simply because they're doing it first. I guess it's because they're smaller and a bit more agile, I don't know. But it's much cheaper to watch someone else make mistakes and follow blind alleys rather than take the risk on yourself. Risk is expensive.

So, the electricity world watches Iberia. The bureaucracies of the world will be watching Norway, make no mistake.

What's in a name (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067300)

DIFI's[1] report was written by Hypatia, a Norwegian consultancy specializing in standardization and software accessibility.

Strange, that the name of the consultancy is Hypatia. She, after all, was a mathematician-philosopher who ascribed to Plotinus's ideal... that empirical research is inherently flawed, and only logic and mathematics can achieve truth.

I mean, there's a clear relationship here that I find very amusing. Microsoft's OOXML, while sure to be empirically more interoperable with most users due to the pervasity of Microsoft Office, is not logically more interoperable due to the nature of what MS has done to the "open" standard.

Delicious allegory.

[1] DIFI is the Norwegian Agency responsible for the decision.

Re:What's in a name (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067348)

Microsoft's OOXML I don't even think is true OOXML it is similar to OOXML but its different.

Re:What's in a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31067944)

The OOXML that can be seen is not the true OOXML.

How delightfully zen of Microsoft...

Re:What's in a name (5, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067472)

Microsoft's OOXML, while sure to be empirically more interoperable with most users due to the pervasity of Microsoft Office,

Doesn't interoperability [wikipedia.org] mean ability to work with diverse systems?

If users of MS Office share documents, that's not interoperability since they all use the same software family. You have to look at users who transfer documents back and forth between diverse software systems, eg MS Office, Open Office, Lotus Symphony, AppleWorks, etc.

Interoperability is about making faithful conversions easy.

Re:What's in a name (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067864)

Doesn't interoperability mean ability to work with diverse systems?

Yes and no. The hiccup is the semantics of 'diverse'.

I could, for example, argue that a random sampling of end users computers make for a collection of 'diverse systems'.

The wikipedia article you linked for example contains this bit of doublespeak:

According to ISO/IEC 2382-01, Information Technology Vocabulary, Fundamental Terms, interoperability is defined as follows: "The capability to communicate, execute programs, or transfer data among various functional units in a manner that requires the user to have little or no knowledge of the unique characteristics of those units"

If you were to interpret 'functional units' to be end users PCs, then the most interoperable format is the one that works seamlessly on the most PCs.

Interoperability is about making faithful conversions easy.

Interoperability is about making faithful conversions *unnecessary*.

Re:What's in a name (3, Funny)

willabr (684561) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067870)

Norway, hm..... How about Open Object Foundation Document Architecture (OOFDA)

Re:What's in a name (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067882)

If users of MS Office share documents, that's not interoperability since they all use the same software family.

Sure, OOXML works with both Country and Western!

Re:What's in a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31068220)

The people using the software are the diverse systems in his example.

Re:What's in a name (3, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068336)

To cut a long story short http://news.cnet.com/Office-2007-fails-OOXML-conformance-test/2100-7344_3-6237855.html [cnet.com], M$ Office fails it's own standards test, so as regards the monopoly office application the standard is obviously not standard to anything, even within it's own purpose designed program suite. I suppose for that you have to buy the next upgrade or even perhaps the one after that etc. etc..

For M$ to adhere to ODF is simply a choice, for others to adhere to OOXML represents high risk of patent infringement, licence fees, of the standard saying one thing whilst their program does another, ensuring all competitors will never end up being totally compatible and remain a bit buggy.

Re:What's in a name (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070100)

M$ Office fails it's own standards test

C|Net is way to politically-correct to spell it openly.

Large software standards are hard to conform to. Both OO.o and KOffice have problems complying with ODF here and there too. But they try to and the incompatibilities are treated as bugs.

The crucial difference is that M$ openly stated that they are not going to hold M$O release nor change its development model to ensure conformance to their own still-born standard.

Re:What's in a name (2, Interesting)

euxneks (516538) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067534)

This has got to be one of the most geeky and wonderful posts I have read on Slashdot in a long long time.

Re:What's in a name (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067612)



Every now and then I think perhaps I'm a pretender on slashdot, since it's been ages since I've done computer stuff as a hobby or profession. Sure, I use computers constantly, but only really as an end-user. At home, I spend more time on carpentry, or even painting, then I spend tinkering with my PCs or media server.

Then someone like you comes along and reaffirms my membership in the greater geek community.

Thanks.

Re:What's in a name (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069102)

Anybody that does anything other than consume media for a hobby can claim at least a passing level of geekiness, IMHO and to take this even further off-topic. It's really only the people who are leeches, who consume but never produce except to enable more consumption, that are not geeks. Making and changing and fixing things for the sake of doing so and improving one's knowledge and skills is what I would think is the hallmark of being a geek, whether it be PCs, software, furniture, cars, electronics, whatever.

Re:What's in a name (4, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067622)

To summarize; Microsoft sabotaged the standards body with their own people to solidify OOXML as t h e standard. Despite their boldness in daylight to buy a standards body, the irony is; of all groups of people, governments are recognizing Microsoft to be nothing more than a Mobster/racketeer in shrink wrap.

Re:What's in a name (0, Troll)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067886)

I mean, there's a clear relationship here that I find very amusing. Microsoft's OOXML, while sure to be empirically more interoperable with most users due to the pervasity of Microsoft Office, is not logically more interoperable due to the nature of what MS has done to the "open" standard.

Read both specs. Given two independent developers who have to implement entirely from the spec, they are for more likely to produce interoperable implementations if they use OOXML than if they use ODF.

Re:What's in a name (3, Informative)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067988)

Read both specs. Given two independent developers who have to implement entirely from the spec, they are for more likely to produce interoperable implementations if they use OOXML than if they use ODF.

Incorrect. Section after section of the OOXML spec give insufficient information for implementation.

Re:What's in a name (2, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069926)

Read both specs

As the OOXML 'spec' is over 6000 pages, I don't think anyone has. Definitely not the ISO standards body for sure :)

Re:What's in a name (0, Flamebait)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069944)

A large part of that is because it gives many examples and gives detailed specifications for spreadsheets functions (several pages per function for some of the more complicated functions).

ODF is quite a bit more concise, by completely leaving such things out.

Re:What's in a name (3, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067966)

Microsoft's OOXML, while sure to be empirically more interoperable with most users due to the pervasity of Microsoft Office

Actually that is not correct. Most Microsoft Office implementations found "in the wild" are *less* interoperable with the new MS Office than with Open Office.

Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (5, Insightful)

lotho brandybuck (720697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067376)

OOXML.. I'm a regular user of Openoffice. I'm pretty interested in it succeeding, and was pretty aware of the OOXML v. ODF issues a year ago. And still, when I saw the title of this article, my first thought for 10 seconds was... oh shit.. they're ditching Openoffice in Scandanavia! Almost like someone deliberately named OOXML to create a little confusion, isn't it?

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (5, Interesting)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067422)

Yeah, I'm 90% certain that OOXML/Open Office confusion is the basis for the name. I mean seriously, Office Open XML? Why not Word Open XML (WOX)? Microsoft Open XML Interchange (MOXI)? There's a million more marketable names than OOXML, that wouldn't cause any confusion with Open Office.

But then on the other hand, this is the company that brought us Bing.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067546)

Why not Word Open XML (WOX)?

I agwee, because Micwosoft Wuhd totawwy wocks!

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (2, Funny)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067582)

Try to start a movement to call it Microsoft's OOXML. Or MooXML :-)

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (2, Funny)

Trails (629752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067594)

It's not just Bing. You have to say BING!!! Like it's a bell. BING!!!

Say it! Fuck you, you're fired!!!

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067836)

It's not just Bing. You have to say BING!!! Like it's a bell. BING!!!

It's time for ...

      What's brown and sounds like a bell?

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31068928)

> What's brown and sounds like a bell?

Ubuntu BING?

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067876)

Office Open XML? Why not Word Open XML (WOX)? Microsoft Open XML Interchange (MOXI)?

I agree that OOXML is an unfortunate name, but naming a standard after a specific product or company name will not lend itself to becoming a standard format used by all your competitors. After all, ODF does not mention its pedigree either.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068144)

I agree that OOXML is an unfortunate name, but naming a standard after a specific product or company name will not lend itself to becoming a standard format used by all your competitors. After all, ODF does not mention its pedigree either.

Office Open XML.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068476)

Office Open XML.

As in:

  • Microsoft Office
  • OpenOffice.org
  • Star Office
  • Corel Wordperfect Office
  • Gnome Office (I use this one)
  • Ability Office (ah, that takes me back!)
  • KOffice
  • Siag Office
  • Kingsoft Office
  • SoftMaker Office
  • Breadbox Office
  • ... and so on ...

Yes, by the end I was pulling them from the Office Suite page [wikipedia.org]. The point is, office is a generic term for a suite of software.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (1)

bwbadger (706071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069914)

I always refer to it as MOO-XML (Microsoft Office Open - XML). It makes things clearer.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31067514)

Not only that, but it combines "OO" and "XML", two of the most powerful buzzwords the computing industry has ever seen.

I'm not trying to be funny, either. You wouldn't believe the number of managers I've had to deal with who see those terms, and go apeshit crazy about how good something is. Tell them your technology is "object-oriented", and they're sold. Then tell them it involves "XML", and they absolutely can't resist it.

Mind you, these people tend to not know a thing about the technical aspects of software development. They don't know any programming languages, but are convinced that "object-oriented" is the ONLY way. They haven't got a clue what an XML document even looks like, but insist that it can do anything.

The only thing managers these days slurp up more than "OO" and "XML" are "Web Services". If Microsoft had named it OOXMLWebServices instead of just OOXML, ODF would've been destroyed years ago.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31067544)

BOOBS also combines OO and BBS. Whats your point?

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (2, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067592)

Thank you AC for your post, for I feel I've now understood something deep about the universe.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (3, Insightful)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067618)

BOOBS also combines OO and BBS. Whats your point?

BOOBS are more popular that ODF and OOXML. That was the GP's point.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (2, Funny)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069528)

yeah, but slashdotters have got more chance playing with ODF/OOXML than they have with BOOBS

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067568)

It still leaves them time to add OOXML Cloud 2.0 in a future release.

Re:Such a nicely chosen name for the standard... (1)

linebackn (131821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069234)

Calling it "OOXML" certainly can be confusing since it is easy to not know or remember what the "OO" stands for. But on top of that, the average person knows this format only as the "Microsoft Office 2007" format.

And rightfully, the "Microsoft Office 2007" format is all it is.

It isn't OOXML.. (2, Informative)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31067820)

It isn't OOXML, it is MOOXML.

Re:It isn't OOXML.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31068704)

Or even MSO O XML, with the spaces. MSO since "Office" in practice means MS Office, even if on paper its not. O separate since the meaning (or at least intention) of Open is different to the other popular use of the word. XML since its just XML. So just call it MSOOX.

Re:It isn't OOXML.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069984)

No, that's an Aztec deity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Aztec_gods

Don't forget, MS is not locked out (3, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068070)

MS is just as free to implement the OpenDocument format as anyone else; and they have in fact implemented ODF support.[1] So, if ODF is chosen as the standard in Norway, the Norwegian government is still free to buy copies of Microsoft Office, as long as it can do a good job of reading and writing ODF files.

Of course, Microsoft will still view this as some kind of defeat, because they would prefer their own standard be adopted; OOXML will be just as much of a lockin trap as the older binary Microsoft formats. If OOXML is adopted, everyone has to buy Microsoft Office; if ODF is adopted, everyone can choose from among many alternatives, several of which are completely free.

It is obvious why Microsoft would prefer OOXML adoption for government (and everywhere else). It is less obvious why government should adopt OOXML instead of ODF.

[1] Microsoft resisted the inclusion of ODF import/export filters for some time, but finally decided to include them:
http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20050930181153972 [groklaw.net]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_software [wikipedia.org]

steveha

Re:Don't forget, MS is not locked out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069562)

Microsoft resisted the inclusion of ODF import/export filters for some time, but finally decided to include them:

There are these things called plugins. And apparently anyone can write a plugin for reading and writing to their own format in MS Office. Its all the rage now. All the cool kids are doing it. BTW Microsoft isn't obliged to bundle support for any formats other than what they want. And yet at times, when the do (e.g. PDF) people (Adobe) sue them.

http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2006/06/02/613702.aspx [msdn.com]

"Ha ha M$ sucks they don't support X,Y,Z formats!"

"M$ monopoly!! Remove support for X,Y,Z format! Antitrust! Antitrust!"

Office 2007 is not OOXML compliant (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31068134)

Last time I read about it, Office 2007 does not generate documents that comply with OOXML. Microsoft admitted that they would have to change their software to comply with their standard, and I think that might happen with the next release of Office.

Re:Office 2007 is not OOXML compliant (2, Informative)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31068674)

The first proposed amendment to the ISO standard will actually restore Office 2007 documents (which ARE ECMA-376 compliant) to being compliant OOXML Transitional documents. Because the entire point of the Transitional schema for OOXML was to make ECMA-376 documents ISO compliant as well, the modifications made that broke compatibility made absolutely no sense. If they were going to make ECMA-376 documents non-compliant, they should've thrown out the Transitional model and just made the Strict version the ONLY standard.

The change that made ECMA-376 non-compliant was allowing booleans to only have the value sof "true" and "false" rather than also allowing "on" and "off". A boneheaded change especially considering it was made to the portion of the standard intended to make legacy documents also ISO compliant...

I know this is Slashdot, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069028)

Does anyone have a link to the darned report itself?

Preferably, in English?

Thanks in advance if someone can help out.

Two corrections (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069242)

1. Norway has decided to use ODF allmost a year ago
2. Denmark has NOT choosen ODF, "we" made a positive list which contains one item, ODF, but may be expanded if the requirements a met. ...and several other countries has choosen ODF too.

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