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Office To Become Fully Open XML Compliant (at Last)

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the super-fast-turnaround dept.

Microsoft 110

Andy Updegrove writes "Between 2005 and 2008, an unparalleled standards war was waged between Microsoft, on the one hand, and IBM, Google, Oracle and additional companies on the other. At the heart of the battle were two document formats, one called ODF, developed by OASIS, a standards development consortium, and Open XML, a specification developed by Microsoft. Both were submitted to, and adopted by, global standards groups ISO/IEC. But then Microsoft never fully adopted its own standard. Instead, it implemented what it called 'Transitional Open XML,' which was better adapted for use in connection with documents created using older versions of Office. Yesterday, Microsoft announced in a blog entry that it will finally make it possible for Office users to open, edit and save documents in the format that ISO/IEC approved."

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Doubtful. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987579)

Several of the complaints registered by members of the ISO approval committee (which were ignored by the paid-off chair), involved sections of the specification that caused it to be physically impossible to actually implement.

Re:Doubtful. (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 2 years ago | (#40988377)

Several of the complaints registered by members of the ISO approval committee (which were ignored by the paid-off chair), involved sections of the specification that caused it to be physically impossible to actually implement.

How bizarre! So what exactly is it that makes it impossible to implement?

Re:Doubtful. (4, Informative)

Xtifr (1323) | about 2 years ago | (#40988635)

I suspect he's referring to the many tags whose only functional definition is by reference to undefined behavior of earlier MS products. Which is not so much impossible to implement (obviously MS can do so) as it is impossible for anyone but MS to verify. Which makes it a little hard to call it a standard.

Re:Doubtful. (3, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 2 years ago | (#40989665)

That is disappointing. I was hoping for some amusing inconsistencies in the spec, and it turns out that it is just a few optional elements in there to support ancient packages and which the standard recommends that you don't actually support!

Is this really the reason that the entire standards organisation is denigrated, and that this format said to be impossible to implement? That is pretty lame. Why does everyone worry about compatibility tags that date back to Windows 3.1 days when the ODF spec neglected to document the spreadsheet functions at all? If you are looking for an impossible to implement standard, then that would be a more likely candidate.

Re:Doubtful. (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | about 2 years ago | (#40993211)

While not the best way of doing things, in the case of ODF spreadsheets, well, the code is available to be copied(or data extracted from) for use in a new implementation. I don't think anyone would have minded if MS gave out the source to that part of word, for reverse engineering purposes.

Re:Doubtful. (2)

Lupu (815408) | about 2 years ago | (#40994159)

That is disappointing. I was hoping for some amusing inconsistencies in the spec, and it turns out that it is just a few optional elements in there to support ancient packages and which the standard recommends that you don't actually support!

Is this really the reason that the entire standards organisation is denigrated, and that this format said to be impossible to implement? That is pretty lame. Why does everyone worry about compatibility tags that date back to Windows 3.1 days when the ODF spec neglected to document the spreadsheet functions at all? If you are looking for an impossible to implement standard, then that would be a more likely candidate.

The whole point in standards is to provide compatibility between different implementations of that standard. If MS Word produces documents that qualify according to the OOXML specification, but rely on the deliberately vague parts referring to older document formats, any other implementation would not be able to process said document properly.

Re:Doubtful. (1)

dk90406 (797452) | about 2 years ago | (#40994343)

And having a vague standard that only MS can follow will allow MS to "rightfully" claim "Our is the only product that implements the whole standard", thus FUDding the market.

Re:Doubtful. (2)

jvillain (546827) | about 2 years ago | (#40992059)

It is Microsoft's standard method of corporate operation. Does that help? Bottom line is OOXML was aborted at birth and you would need to be insane to adopt it.

Re:Doubtful. (1)

ancienthart (924862) | about 2 years ago | (#40993411)

Didn't stop the Australian Government adopting it as their standard word format for all government departments. :/

Re:Doubtful. (4, Informative)

gerddie (173963) | about 2 years ago | (#40988681)

Several of the complaints registered by members of the ISO approval committee (which were ignored by the paid-off chair), involved sections of the specification that caused it to be physically impossible to actually implement.

How bizarre! So what exactly is it that makes it impossible to implement?

He probably meant impossble for anyone not being Microsoft. There is, for example a tag called autoSpaceLikeWord95 standing for Emulate Word 95 Full-Width Character Spacing; and there is more [robweir.com] .

Re:Doubtful. (2)

Dahan (130247) | about 2 years ago | (#40993039)

He probably meant impossble for anyone not being Microsoft. There is, for example a tag called autoSpaceLikeWord95 standing for Emulate Word 95 Full-Width Character Spacing; and there is more [robweir.com] .

That's a pretty old blog post... it's from 2007, but ISO 29500-1 wasn't officially standardized [iso.org] until 2008. IIRC, the issues he's talking about were problems with the draft standard that MS submitted. They were cleaned up for the final spec. The real ISO standards cost $$$ to get, but a quick Google search shows that MS has documented autoSpaceLikeWord95 [microsoft.com] as:

9.7.3.4 autoSpaceLikeWord95 (Incorrectly Adjust Text Spacing for Specific Unicode Ranges)

This element specifies adjustments (detailed below) which should be applied to the spacing between adjoining regions of non-ideographic and ideographic text when the autoSpaceDE (Part 1, 17.3.1.2) and autoSpaceDN (Part 1, 17.3.1.3) elements have a value of true (or equivalent). This algorithm typically results in the following:

  • An increase in the inter-character spacing added between non-ideographic and/or number characters and certain full-width characters
  • No inter-character spacing between non-ideographic and/or number characters and certain half-width characters

Typically, applications apply additional spacing between ideographic and non-ideographic characters/numeric characters when the autoSpaceDE / autoSpaceDN properties are applied. This element, when present with a val attribute value of true (or equivalent), specifies that applications shall apply the following adjustments to this logic:

  • Characters in the following Unicode ranges should be treated as ideographic, even though those characters are full-width forms of non-ideographic text: U+FF10–U+FF19, U+FF21–U+FF3A, and U+FF41–U+FF5A. [Note: This results in the unnecessary addition of space. end note]

  • Characters in the following Unicode ranges should be treated as non-ideographic, even though those characters are ideographic: U+FF66–U+FF9F. [Note: This results in the omission of the intended additional space. end note]

Re:Doubtful. (5, Informative)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 2 years ago | (#40989457)

How bizarre! So what exactly is it that makes it impossible to implement?

Well, for one, the OOXML specification allows binary blobs to be imbeded in the XML document, and many of the Microsoft specific blobs they embed are NOT documented anywhere. In fact, when Microsoft paid Novel to implement the OOXML specification for OpenOffice (so that MS could say theirs is not the only implimentation) the Contract dictated that Novell was NOT allowed to touch/render/interpret any binary blobs that Microsoft was currently using in their own implimentation. If you can't interpret or render everything then you can not possibly implement "the standard" in any working product. Complying 100%, with "the standard", without cheating, gives you an unworkable product right out of the gate.

http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=20051216153153504 [groklaw.net]

Re:Doubtful. (5, Interesting)

Pope Raymond Lama (57277) | about 2 years ago | (#40988879)

To whoever missed the "format wars" they are nicely (And fervently) documented on Jomar Silva's (A.K.A. Homembit) blog -
ending at 2008-09 entries: http://homembit.com/2008/09/popular-participation-on-international-standardization-process-opening-the-black-box.html [homembit.com]

Jomar, a core contributor to ODF, was one of Brazil's envoy to the ISO group in which Microsoft format were aproved, trying to prevent it from happening as it went.

ISO/IEC approved. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987591)

But the "standard" still is a travesty.

Re:ISO/IEC approved. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987825)

Unless you like documentation [ecma-international.org] . There's more than six-thousand pages to go through.

Re:ISO/IEC approved. (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40994611)

Is ODF an XML compatible format? Both LibreOffice and CalligraSuite support ODF. Is there anything in OXML that cannot be ODF compatible, or vice versa?

What the Fuck. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987623)

"Between 2005 and 2008, an unparalleled standards war was waged between Microsoft, on the one hand, and IBM, Google, Oracle and additional companies on the other. At the heart of the battle were two document formats, one called ODF, developed by OASIS, a standards development consortium, and Open XML, a specification developed by Microsoft."

What the fuck does that have to do with this:

"Microsoft never fully adopted its own standard. Instead, it implemented what it called 'Transitional Open XML,' which was better adapted for use in connection with documents created using older versions of Office. "

Seriously what the fuck.

Re:What the Fuck. (3, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#40987665)

It is called "establishing the history of the story".

Re:What the Fuck. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987671)

Rather a lot.

Re:What the Fuck. (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 2 years ago | (#40987815)

Read my post below.

MS got an ISO standard by buying it about 2 years after ODF was the approved.

But the approval for Microsoft Office Open (aka "MOO") was too lateand came with a a few changes so they shipped Office 2010 it as is with MOO-original flavour.

Now they want to give us MOO-ISO flavour.

Re:What the Fuck. (5, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40988071)

MS got an ISO standard by buying it about 2 years after ODF was the approved.

Destroying ISO as a credible organization in the process.

Re: What the Fuck. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992339)

Destroying ISO as a credible organization in the process.

I think you mean: Demonstrating that the ISO process had already lost its integrity.

Re:What the Fuck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40988433)

moo indeed.

Re:What the Fuck. (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | about 2 years ago | (#40990337)

Microsoft: Making "just good enough" products to keep people from using "Good" or "Great" products since 95'

How strangely appropriate for this context.

Re:What the Fuck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992615)

MS got an ISO standard by buying it

Not this again, if MS got the standard by buying it then nobody should respect anything the ISO does and it should be completely disbanded.

Re:What the Fuck. (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | about 2 years ago | (#40993287)

Well, /yeah/.

It will save them* (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987685)

Warning:
Features you have chosen in this document
are not compatible with OpenXML,
for best results please save in Microsoft format,
you may lose work if you continue.

[save in Word Format ][cancel][continue]

Re:It will save them* (5, Interesting)

Anpheus (908711) | about 2 years ago | (#40987867)

I just tried opening up the most complicated template in Word 2013 that I could find (the annual report template looked pretty busy) and I threw some charts in with data and tried saving as Strict Open XML.

It saved without any prompt.

Re:It will save them* (1)

hpa (7948) | about 2 years ago | (#40988143)

But still not by default, what it sounds like, which means it is still marginal at best.

Re:It will save them* (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 2 years ago | (#40988375)

Didn't sounded like that to me.

Re:It will save them* (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 years ago | (#40990463)

You can save your files in the new strict format, in the same way you can save your files in a decades old WordPerfect format.

Doesn't mean anyone does it, let alone knows it exists.

Re:It will save them* (1)

jvillain (546827) | about 2 years ago | (#40992109)

Or that it will actually work when you try to open the saved file.

Re:It will save them* (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#40993975)

Especially if you use any other program to open it!

Re:It will save them* (3, Informative)

casper75 (44745) | about 2 years ago | (#40988571)

You can set it as the default in the options dialog if you want. And I'm sure companies that use group policies could set it as the default company wide if they want.

Re:It will save them* (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#40989195)

Uhhh...so what? LO and OO.o save in over 2 dozen formats so why should anybody care? Most folks don't NEED to have their files in ODF or OXML, all they need is the person they are sending it to to be able to open it. For those that DO need ODF or OXML I'm sure they'll be smart enough to pull down a single list box and choose it or even go into the settings and set it as default.

If you wanna bitch about the whole ISO mess? Right there with ya pal, and it just shows how useless these "standards" are when they can so easily be bought IMHO. But to bitch that they don't set the default format to be something that nobody but those with the latest version will be able to open? That's just retarded. I've got customers on Office 2K, 2K3, 2K7, and 2K10 and they can all share docs with each other. Switch to OXML as default and that all goes to shit. Most businesses couldn't give a rat's ass about open formats, they just want the doc they sent to be opened easily, that's all.

Re:It will save them* (1)

jvillain (546827) | about 2 years ago | (#40992143)

Which is what you would have with ODF especially after Microsoft said they would implemented it as part of one of their antitrust suits. But then they produced a broken implementation of ODF in office proving once again that the legal system really doesn't involve them.

Re:It will save them* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992681)

There are numerous community events and products around ODF like ODF Plugfest [odfplugfest.org] and odf converter [sourceforge.net] that add this functionality, there's also Sun's ODF Plugin for Office so ODF functionality is there, unlike in applications like Apple's Pages (or any of the iWork suite).

Re:It will save them* (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#40989309)

I just tried opening up the most complicated template in Word 2013 that I could find (the annual report template looked pretty busy) and I threw some charts in with data and tried saving as Strict Open XML.

It saved without any prompt.

Try it with OneNote

the thought of involving (0, Troll)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#40987699)

any major multinational corporation in drafting a standard is preposterous. none of the largest technology companies in the world mentioned in the summary have a vested interest in ensuring interoperability between competing products at any level. Each will be forced to create their own bullshit standard when a truly open standards group gains enough participants, or they fail to steer a decent standards group straight into the ground or into their pockets.

between 2005 and 2008 a completely successful campaign to drag feet, litigate and stonewall any and all attempts toward interoperability was waged between the usual suspects. The people who actually wanted interoperability or a standard started using open office or google docs. Now we get to watch another 4 year pissing contest to see which of these navel-gazing billion dollar industries can shit all over their version of "cloud office" in the pursuit of floating their lock-ins and contracts.

Re:the thought of involving (5, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | about 2 years ago | (#40987741)

Yeah, this is why both Google Docs and Open/LiberOffice utilize and support ODF. Sure, it's just hand-waving.

Please.

Re:the thought of involving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987835)

> any major multinational corporation in drafting a standard is preposterous

For example, when Sun Microsystems invented "ODF" just so they could create a standards war and stick it to the market leaders.

Re:the thought of involving (4, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#40987917)

IBM, Oracle, and Google all have a vested interest in an interoperable format. IBM and Oracle are professional services companies. Interoperable formats means it is easier for them to implement custom services and provides more surfaces for them to provide integration services. Google wants to know everything so it can advertise everything, and a better format is easier to get information from.

Microsoft is a vendor-lock-in company. OpenXML is designed to lock you in to their platform. They are they ONLY company that benefits.

Re:the thought of involving (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40989169)

Microsoft is a vendor-lock-in company.

The claim above was much broader. Far more accurate would be: "Microsoft is a OS vendor-lock-in company" because Microsoft is incredibly open in the areas of: application software, hardware, parts, accessories, web services....

Re:the thought of involving (0)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#40989925)

Sure, Microsoft is open in the areas of application software and web services.

So long as you are using .Net on Windows.

Re:the thought of involving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992935)

Sure, Microsoft is open in the areas of application software and web services.

So long as you are using .Net on Windows.

Well the .Net part is obviously false, you don't need to use .Net (never heard of COM have you). And the web services part is false because you don't need .Net or Windows to consume web services.

Here's an example, the Skydrive API [windowsteamblog.com] which can be utilized across just about any application and platform, also here is neat article [wordpress.com] on using gSOAP to call WCF services from Linux in C++, these examples categorically prove that you have no idea what you're talking about, you can post anti-microsoft posts all you want but it won't change the fact that you're just ignorant or trolling.

Re:the thought of involving (2)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#40987965)

You'd better tell all the members of 3GPP. Most of them are companies that make equipment used in the mobile phone industry.

Allowing a single multinational corporation to draft the standard all by themselves, however - yeah, I'd agree with you there.

Re:the thought of involving (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#40988039)

the thought of involving any major multinational corporation in drafting a standard is preposterous

Ummm ... most standards I've ever seen have come out of industry groups all working to arrive at a workable solution -- IEEE 802 group being a fine example of this. Do you think a bunch of guys in academia come up with a reference standard that people actually adopt?

Now, in this case, this should never have really been called a "standard" in any way shape or form, since Microsoft had never actually implemented it, and the spec basically had loads of "should behave the same as this old format we never documented" in it. So nobody but Microsoft could ever really adhere to it, making it a complete joke. But Microsoft isn't really interested in interoperability, and haven't really ever been.

Telephones, cell phones, networks ... most of the things we think of as standards were hashed out by a bunch of multi-nationals.

The joke with standards has always been that if you don't like one, create (or use) another one, there's plenty.

Re:the thought of involving (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40989147)

any major multinational corporation in drafting a standard is preposterous. none of the largest technology companies in the world mentioned in the summary have a vested interest in ensuring interoperability between competing products at any level

Of course they do. They often have a strong interest in interoperability everywhere but where their core profits come from. So for example the entire success of the PC platform is based on the Intel / Microsoft / Western Digital Standard for x86 which has allowed hardware interoperability. It was a standard which parts manufacturers like Intel and Western Digital benefit from, and software producers like Microsoft benefited from that was however devastating to the box producers like IBM, Osborne, DEC...

Similarly Microsoft has a tremendous interest in coding standards and API standards for software to run against Windows and for programs to interoperate with one another. That's why they've spent a fortune laying the infrastructure for things like drag and drop and OLE to work as well as they do.

Sure... Now that it's no longer relevant... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987721)

Meanwhile ODF already has a huge seven year foothold, and all of this time the format and its applications have been in production use, and have become more and more robust.

Re:Sure... Now that it's no longer relevant... (4, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#40988771)

To minor effect. The people who give a shit about standards are the people that post here. The people that don't give a shit and just want their spreadsheet to work could care less if there is some industry supported open standard don't. You know, CEOs and grandmas and stuff.

Re:Sure... Now that it's no longer relevant... (3, Interesting)

supercrisp (936036) | about 2 years ago | (#40989335)

Well, I may be no true Scotsman, but I care about the standards because it means my students can use many more word processors, and it levels the playing field for students whose parents are wealthy and for those who are not.

Re:Sure... Now that it's no longer relevant... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40989579)

Well, I may be no true Scotsman, but I care about the standards because it means my students can use many more word processors, and it levels the playing field for students whose parents are wealthy and for those who are not.

After 20+ years of personal computers, and lots of free or reduced priced hardware and software to combat the wealth gap among children / students, that the choice among software would be about getting stuff done with it, and not about which freely available and well documented standard the files are produced in natively.

What I found really interesting about TFA is that it mentioned a new feature enabling Word to import PDF files and *edit* them. How often have you wished you had the ability to do _that_ (I have wished for a long, long time)? Why wasn't this mentioned on /.?

Also, there's this whole inconsistency around ODF 1.1 in Office 2010 and ODF 1.2 in Office 2013 where (unless ODF 1.2 is a superset via extension to ODF 1.1) you could theoretically round-trip content in ODF between Office 2010 and 2013 and by making minor updates lose the ability to edit it again in 2010.

Re:Sure... Now that it's no longer relevant... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#40994043)

What I found really interesting about TFA is that it mentioned a new feature enabling Word to import PDF files and *edit* them. How often have you wished you had the ability to do _that_ (I have wished for a long, long time)? Why wasn't this mentioned on /.?

Because there is already a mainstream office suite that does that [libreoffice.org] , but Microsoft's will be the first (and probably last seeing as the spec has undocumented sections) to be fully compatible with OXML.

Re:Sure... Now that it's no longer relevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40990885)

To minor effect. The people who give a shit about standards are the people that post here. The people that don't give a shit and just want their spreadsheet to work could care less if there is some industry supported open standard don't. You know, CEOs and grandmas and stuff.

Until they can't open their documents a few years from now.

Just because don't know enough to give a shit doesn't mean it's a good thing.

Re:Sure... Now that it's no longer relevant... (1)

jvillain (546827) | about 2 years ago | (#40992151)

Yet every one wants you to send them documents a word95 format.

Vendor lock-in now ISO-approved (5, Interesting)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 2 years ago | (#40987727)

Yay, another format change.

Bought for you by Microsoft.

**History lesson: How MS got Office Open XML approved**
MS paid the ISO membership fees for a bunch of new ISO members for that one critical ISO vote.
The new members were so happy, they voted to approve Open XML.

This way, the secretive and patent laden file format could be used in government bids where ISO file formats where required.

Soon after this outrageous manoeuvre,
ISO lost it's reputation and became known as I Sold Out.

Re:Vendor lock-in now ISO-approved (5, Informative)

HappyHead (11389) | about 2 years ago | (#40988181)

Soon after this outrageous manoeuvre,

ISO lost it's reputation and became known as I Sold Out.

Not only that, but soon after this outrageous manoeuvre, the vast majority of these new ISO members Microsoft had bought never showed up for another meeting - meetings requiring of course, a minimum percentage in attendance to actually approve anything, which then, due to the bulk of members having no interest in the committee except for casting their pro-MS vote in order to receive their bribes, did not have enough members present to actually do anything.

And this is the story of how Microsoft broke the ISO, so they could fake their way into government contracts by falsely claiming that their office software supported an ISO standard (which even Microsoft didn't actually support).

Re:Vendor lock-in now ISO-approved (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 2 years ago | (#40988205)

What this story doesn't tell you is that Office 2012 is going to be cloud-centric. Remember, they're trying to compete with Google (which, oddly, does not support ODF format on Drive). They are pushing Office Online pretty hard, and even Exchange wants to act as an auxiliary source to Office 365 now.

Microsoft very much wants to control your data in the way that desktop apps and "personal computing" prohibit - and that Google is now able to do through Drive/Gmail/etc. They previously attempted doing so by locking down the file formats to maintain your continued purchases - the stick approach.

Now they're trying the carrot approach to control. They've been interested in this model for at least 14 years (I remember reading it in PC Magazine prior to Windows 2000 coming out). They want their products to be SaaS. They noticed early on what a fiscal bonanza SaaS was for antivirus companies, in contrast to Microsoft's constant need to upsell their latest and greatest candy dispenser. With the iStore, iTunes, Steam, Android Market/Play, et cetera, this has become all the more apparent - particularly in light of many previous customers migrating from things like in-house Exchange systems to Gmail.

Never underestimate the buying power of a free lunch.

Re:Vendor lock-in now ISO-approved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40988357)

MS is just plain poo. I don't care what they do anymore.

Re:Vendor lock-in now ISO-approved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40994209)

I remember MSFT buying ISO members, but AFAIK the standard was never approved. I wouldn't accept it either with wording such as "date formatted like in Excel 97".

Sure it will (5, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | about 2 years ago | (#40987729)

It'll be fully compatible. It'll just be one big block like this:

<![CDATA[...]]>

Strangely Google Docs does not accept ODF (5, Informative)

Shompol (1690084) | about 2 years ago | (#40987759)

Google Documents (Drive) happily accepts .doc and .ppt and converts them to a Google Doc format, but not ODF. So to create a presentation in Libre Office I need to "Save as Office 2003 ppt", followed by import into Google Docs, for the obvious reason that no computer in a typical conference room can open an ODF presenation.

Re:Strangely Google Docs does not accept ODF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987959)

Try saving your slides as a pdf as almost all computers can display that format

have you ever given a presentation? (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#40988075)

How exactly would you display a PDF in "presenter view"? (Where the presenter can see the slides, slide thumbnails, and slide notes but the audience sees only the slides.)

Re:have you ever given a presentation? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40988507)

If you need those things to give an effective presentation then you need to spend more time practicing

Re:have you ever given a presentation? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40989145)

There are a number of helpful apps for that, one of which is called open-pdf-presenter:
https://code.google.com/p/open-pdf-presenter/

Especially useful for latex beamer presentations :)

Re:Strangely Google Docs does not accept ODF (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about 2 years ago | (#40988391)

I tried that, but Acrobat Reader did not open it in "presentation mode". Looks like I did not try hard enough, since this one opens just fine. [doe.gov] Thanx.

Re:Strangely Google Docs does not accept ODF (2)

mx+b (2078162) | about 2 years ago | (#40988155)

This has baffled me as well. Actually ODT is reasonable (can export ODT with decent success), but Google Presentation has no idea wtf an ODP is. I do not get it. Any googlers out there, please add support asap!

Re:Strangely Google Docs does not accept ODF (2)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#40988483)

Well, OpenOffice is a competitor to Google Docs. There would be no surprise if Microsoft chose not to support a format for competitive reasons (partially what TFA is about)

Re:Strangely Google Docs does not accept ODF (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40989245)

Ironically, Office Web Apps (the thing that lets you open/edit Word and Excel documents on SkyDrive), does support ODF, though I'm not sure about the version.

Also, I don't get the story. MS Office was able to open, edit and save ODF 1.1 docs since 2007 SP 1. Yeah, it was an interop mess vis a vis OO.org for spreadsheets because the formulas weren't covered by the spec, and they implemented that differently. But it was still technically an ISO/IEC format.

The real news here is that Office 2013 supports ODF 1.2 (there is a table in the blog post linked from TFA). Which means that spreadsheets should now be fully portable between MSOffice and other ODF implementations. With that there, who cares about ISO OpenXML?

Re:Strangely Google Docs does not accept ODF (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about 2 years ago | (#40990351)

There is a document somewhere on Groklaw quoting a contract between Microsoft and Novell, which shows that MS Office is "somewhat" compatible with ODF, and that MS intentionally makes sure that it stays that way.

Not only is the compatibility is almost guaranteed to be broken, but I also need to open each and every document in MS Office to verify that the charts are not dropped, and fonts did not float away, etc. This is an expensive extra work for me, and also not an easy task given that Microsoft never released an Office for Linux.

So the solution is to avoid MS product line entirely, which is not only possible but quite easy to do given new web technologies and a rising need to read documents on (MS-unsupported) systems like Andorid and iOS.

In a related move... (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#40987799)

In a related move, Microsoft has removed Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher from its Office suite, and is replacing them with the more popular Notepad, Calc, and Paint software.

Notepad Calc Paint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991063)

In a previous bout of Professional Engineering employment, which included as a "other duty as assigned" being the NT4 and IIS administrator, it was usually my FIRST action to ADD a shortcut to each of the three on the desktop for EVERY user.
The non-professionals soon realized that they could do almost EVERYTHING their jobs required, other than emailing copies of the dwg and xls files which the 'professionals' were responsible for producing, with only those three applications.
I remain amazed that the California courts system of mandatory use of SGML compliance has not "caught on" in any meaningful way.

Another hobbled MS implementation (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#40987839)

Just because they are implementing the functionality, does not mean they have to make it work well.

Re:Another hobbled MS implementation (2)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#40987991)

Quite the reverse - this isn't the format used by OpenOffice natively, this is Microsoft's own format. The problem is that for all practical purposes, it's virtually impossible for anyone who isn't Microsoft to implement.

Re:Another hobbled MS implementation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40988341)

It is impossible. Their "spec" wasn't complete as it was using internal Word APIs and binary dumps. There has never been a reference implementation. MS successfully destroyed the chance to have an open format where we can share documents without shitty filters and breakage, thus killing businesses, education and the great unwashed masses from moving over to free/open software.

Re:Another hobbled MS implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40988797)

I'd like to know how the hell they can accept something as a "standard" without (preferrably) a reference implementation, or at least some other proof that the format in question is easy (or at least possible) to implement. I don't know a whole lot about standards and standards organizations (just not my interests), but it sounds to me like that Microsoft "standard" needs to be revoked and the organization's rules need changed so this doesn't happen again. Maybe fire someone if they're found to have knowingly allow this to happen.

Re:Another hobbled MS implementation (2)

KingMotley (944240) | about 2 years ago | (#40989613)

What standard has a reference implementation?
Does HTML 5 have a reference implementation? No.
Does HTML 4 have a reference implementation? No.
Does CSS x.x have a reference implementation? No.
Does ODF have a reference implementation? No.

Re:Another hobbled MS implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40989561)

There has never been a reference implementation of ODF either. No company doing ODF currently implements all parts of ODF, and can store all it's data in ODF format without using proprietary extensions to it.

Also, impossible isn't the correct word. Unless you honestly believe that given 1000 programmers, 10,000 years, that they couldn't ever come up with code that worked according to the spec, which isn't true. It may be difficult, and it may require reverse engineering stuff -- *IF* you wanted to implement the OPTIONAL portions of the spec (Like spacingLikeWord95), but honestly, who would want to do that unless you want to be able to render old documents pixel perfect? No ODF-only software can do that now and will never be able to do so, so saying that other software can't use the OOXML spec is just FUD, and ignorance.

What about ISO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40987885)

How did ISO fare after redmond so blatantly filled it with shills who, as was obvious and fully expected, never showed up again afterward?

Not much use (1, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#40987935)

Unless it is the default save option. Otherwise it will be little used.

Remember though, in Soviet Russia, standard chooses you.

Promises, promises (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40988027)

Words are cheap. Should these words translate into verifiable fact then I will care. Otherwise, considering the history of this particular bad actor I must regard this announcement as just so much wide eyed spin aimed at slowing the exodus of potential customers to free, open and trustworthy alternatives.

Tangent: Is open office really stable? (0, Troll)

osssmkatz (734824) | about 2 years ago | (#40988269)

I was doing a major project in OpenOffice Base a while back, because that was what was specified. Trouble was it wasn't stable.. at least not on my Mac. How can I trust software that crashes? With no respect lost to the open source community, I did a substantial amount of work in OpenOffice Writer and in Abiword on my PC (Windows) without too much trouble.

Re:Tangent: Is open office really stable? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40988489)

Switching the conversation to be something offtopic: check.
Switching the conversation to be something that makes competing software look bad: check.
Not specifying concrete time frames: check.
Comparing an obviously old version of software instead of the new fork (LibreOffice): check.
Asking about trustworthiness of open source software: check.

I'm sorry, but your post looks like a complete troll. If not, please check out the latest version (3.4, if memory serves me correctly) for Mac, Windows, or Linux, and give us all an update as to its stability for you. There was quite a lot of work done on LibreOffice that OpenOffice didn't include in their codebase.

Re:Tangent: Is open office really stable? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40989075)

Double standard: check. /. likes to talk about how nothing of value has been added to Office since 2000 so why upgrade. Yet here you assert that anyone not running 3.4 of LibreOffice is an obvious troll. If the comparison is between the newest version of the latest fork of OpenOffice is better and more stable than the 12 year old version of Office running on their 11 year old Windows XP, then who here is the troll? Or will you actually suggest that people run Office 2010 on Windows 7 to draw a fair comparison?

Re:Tangent: Is open office really stable? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 2 years ago | (#40988587)

Funny, in my experience, MS-Office is the crashy one.

Re:Promises, promises (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40989283)

Words are cheap. Should these words translate into verifiable fact then I will care.

Office 2013 beta has been out for a month now. Install it and verify to your heart's content.

Re:Promises, promises (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#40993147)

I'll believe it when I see cars fly [slashdot.org] .

Why? (2)

kwerle (39371) | about 2 years ago | (#40988351)

What country/large organization is refusing to use their products without this stamp on it?

fear of dictator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40988457)

MS used standardization organizations to keep it's monopoly by stoppig real open standar ODF to spread and develop.
No standard is ever ready and now MS will modify it's interpretion of specs so that others remain incompatible and MS-Office as a monopoly.

We all should understarnd that competition is what keeps world developing. Monopoly is just like communism, no competition, monopoly is just owned by some corporation which makes it worse than communism.

Re:fear of dictator (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40989297)

MS used standardization organizations to keep it's monopoly by stoppig real open standar ODF to spread and develop.

MS is stopping the real open standard ODF - by implementing support for ODF (now 1.2) in MS Office?

Re:fear of dictator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40993145)

MS used standardization organizations to keep it's monopoly by stoppig real open standar ODF to spread and develop.

Oh bullshit! Of Microsoft's competitors, who 100% supports ODF? Apple? No. Google? No. But somehow Microsoft's move to support it is actually stopping it, logic FAIL!

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40989261)

Not that everyone else is moving to PHIGs and YXML, the Borg has finally caught up!

CAPTCHA = clamber

BUT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40989711)

We're just going to add this, and this, and some of this to our interpretation

see ya suckers

Correction (3, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | about 2 years ago | (#40990219)

Office To Become Fully Open XML Compliant (allegedly)

There, fixed that for you.

I'll believe it when I see it.

What about "View Correctly"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40990605)

I see the list discusses "Open", "Edit", and "Save". Given the previous behaviors of Office with regards to ITS OWN data formats (regularly shitting the bed while proclaiming compatibility) I suspect the omission of "View Correctly" from that list isn't an accident...

Meh (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40991045)

Call me when open / libre office calc does more than 1024 rows, then I will care about compatibility of MS files, cause I might have a reason to use something other than MS office

Stop lying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991171)

LibreOffice can handle 1,048,576 rows, and has been able to do so since version 3.3

It's slow, but it's coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40993189)

It's a very small thing here, but I recognize capitulation when I see it.

Moral of the story: Shareholders will bite anybody.

What about embedded VB Code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40993771)

Oooooh, burn.

Fact: When the same format is used between different vendors, nobody can differentiate themselves in the market. Adobe, Microsoft, Et cetra have differentiated themselves in the market with their respective software packages; they do COMPLETELY different things.

XML is just a text-based markup language with whatever fields you want to fill in. It's really no different than an ini file but at least ini files were easier to work with in notepad. FFS, If you've ever tried to work with USMT, or Windows Deployment Toolkit my GOD it's over f-ing complicated to edit, set up or understand ANYTHING; it's like trying to find decent documentation on the registry. It's also broken in some very key and important spots; e.g. Sysprep doesn't change your System GUID when it's run or during setup. Shouldn't be an issue but from a security and sanity standpoint it is.

I can see Windows 8 tablets running Office 2013 slow as molasses and end users poking at an on-screen touchpad to make jibberish.

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