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IBM To Support OpenDocument Next Year

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the happy-new-year-opendocument dept.

IBM 107

An anonymous reader writes "IBM announced this weekend that early next year it will begin supporting the OpenDocument standard in its WorkPlace line of products. They're planning on pushing this widely accessible format and their products in developing nations." From the article: "Rather than create an analog to Microsoft Office, IBM is offering editors for creating documents, spreadsheets or presentations within a Web browser. Documents are delivered via a Web portal and stored in shared directories. Access control and document management tools allow people to share and edit documents with others. Until now, Workplace supported the formats from open-source product OpenOffice, from which the OpenDocument was derived. Workplace Managed Client software also can read, write and edit documents created with Microsoft Office."

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OpenDocument is gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184193)

First post. IBM IS STUPID. So are Linux.

Re:OpenDocument is gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184417)

Hooray for OpenDocument!

Hooray for the victory of bloated XML over binary data-formats with efficient data-structures and over 40 years of useless CS-bullshit that those academics try to sell us!

Re:OpenDocument is gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14189049)

Bill? Is that you?

Good Move... (1, Informative)

TarrySingh (916400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184210)

It's time somwe heavy weights actuallt DID something in that regards.

Yeah (4, Funny)

martinmarv (920771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184231)

Let's hope a spell-checker is included

+5 Funny (-1, Redundant)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184251)

GP should check his spelling. Ahhh the famous first-post race :)

Re:Yeah (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184260)

WTF? A spell checker in a document format?

Do you by chance work for Microsoft?

Good for Open Document format (4, Informative)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184229)

Sun support, Novell support, Google and many many less-known software vendors supports. Now you can add IBM support and see that Open Document can become a huge success.

You can read OpenOffice.org developpers' blog [go-ooo.org] to see many simillar stories of companies or organizations adopting opendocument standard.

Re:Good for Open Document format (1)

hzs202 (932886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184629)

Sun support, Novell support, Google and many many less-known software vendors supports. Now you can add IBM support and see that Open Document can become a huge success.

Does it really matter... these companies are in the business of making money; if Open Document projects become unpopular and can nolonger be used for attracting clients, profit and political footing, the idea will be dumped like DEC's PDP-2.

Re:Good for Open Document format (1)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185034)

Does it really matter... these companies are in the business of making money; if Open Document projects become unpopular and can nolonger be used for attracting clients, profit and political footing, the idea will be dumped like DEC's PDP-2.

That's why I said *can* and not will. For OpenDocument format to become popular, it will IMHO also need government support. The best thing government could do is force Microsoft to adopt OpenDocument support for Office.

Re:Good for Open Document format (1)

hzs202 (932886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185462)

The best thing government could do is force Microsoft to adopt OpenDocument support for Office.

Agreed.

Re:Good for Open Document format (1)

islanduniverse (925110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184646)

I always thought that XML was supposed to by this mystical format that everything supported. Was I informed wrongly? And with this OpenDocument format, won't everyone simply go for the best word processor (for example) unless they have ties with a different one?

Re:Good for Open Document format (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185004)

As far as I know, OpenDocument is XML-based; the file is a Zip archive containing schema information, several XML files, and all "embedded" data like images.

So, yah. As far as I can tell XML is still the mystical format that everything supports (no matter how much of a bitch text parsing is to program).

Re:Good for Open Document format (1, Informative)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185271)

XML files are by themselves somewhat open, but the issue comes in to play when you put in binary information in your XML file. This is what Microsoft is doing with their next version of Office. They will NOT make those binary files open to the public and thus they still will have a vendor lock in type of situation.

Re:Good for Open Document format (1)

TimBrady (194951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186308)

That's just a rumor -- it's not true at all. See The Myth of the Binary Key [msdn.com] in Brian Jones's MSN blog. It sure does get repeated on Slashdot an aweful lot, though.

Re:Good for Open Document format (1)

GuyWithLag (621929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186413)

Bah, XML is, was, and will be overhyped. It's nothing more that a container format. The only thing in it's favor is that it's human (almost-)read/writeable.

Re:Good for Open Document format (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184902)

"Now you can add IBM support and see that Open Document can become a huge success."

Huge success? What, now they have the support of 2% of the market? What a joke!

Re:Good for Open Document format (2, Insightful)

hritcu (871613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186814)

Now you can add IBM support and see that Open Document can become a huge success.

IBM's support was there right from the start (making the standard). If you go here [oasis-open.org] you will see that the participants in the Open Document TC are:
  • Adobe Systems
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Novell
  • Sun Microsystems
IBM is also selling Workplace Documents [lotus.com] , based on source forked from OpenOffice.org about two years ago. Since this summer Sun droped SISSL [eweek.com] for OpenOffice.org (which is from 2.0 LGPL only) IBM cannot just fork OpenOffice 2 and get Open Document support for free. However, this doesn't mean that seeing IBM promote Open Document is new or surprising in some way.

I'm afraid... (0)

Timex (11710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184237)

...it won't mean a whole lot in the long run.

Massachussets is already arguing over whether or not to adopt ODF, but it's beginning to hit resistance. If it fails to do accept ODF now, it may never do it.

Re:I'm afraid... (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184270)

What about the rest of the world? Just because the American government will continue to support the convicted monopoly doesn't mean the rest of the world will. IBM is marketting this mostly to developing nations (I'm assuming developing nations who have computers with internet access). To them, saving the money from paying for Microsoft licenses is more then reason enough to swap over. Throwing in support from a large corporation is merely gravy.

But what I'm a bit confused about, is the usefulness of having it work as a web portal. "Good" nations do have trouble with internet connections, I can only assume it's as bad if not worse in developing nations. So why create an online solution, instead of a scaled down simple offline solution? Wouldn't that fit their needs better?

If your poor, any help is good. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184356)

Any help with backups, with data conservation, with access reliability, with machine portability.

Any help requiring private individuals and businesses to use fewer resources is good.

The individual network nodes may be less reliable but the network itself is not.

Where you don't have reliable wiring, wireless can take over. This is especially true in places in the develloping world where the last mile might take years to be built over.

Re:I'm afraid... (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184597)

The rest of the world isn't hurting for a lack of free word processors. When 3rd world countries are able to keep the power running 24x7, they'll be able to support business that need to produce lots of spreadsheets & documents -- and then they would be able to afford Excel.

Re:I'm afraid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14187073)

Yes, let's hope that one day California will be able to keep power running 24x7...

Re:I'm afraid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184680)

What about the rest of the world? Just because the American government will continue to support the convicted monopoly doesn't mean the rest of the world will.

The US government no longer supports the exclusive use of IBM hardware..what are you talking about? Oh the other monopoly, Microsoft. I'm sorry, your statement was a little ambiguous.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

Re:I'm afraid... (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184709)

(I'm assuming developing nations who have computers with internet access)

Uhm, care to name any of the nations that do not have computers with Internet access? Although 90% of the population of a country live in horrendous poverty, there are still those who have net access.

Re:I'm afraid... (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185501)

Supporting this post's parent, here's an IEEE article about computer/internet usage in some third world locations. There is a positive benefit, even if penetration doesn't take the same form as over here:

Taking the Internet to the People [ieee.org]

Since a web browser is a rather basic piece of software, making browser interfaces to ODF documents doesn't even technically require internet access. You could work on locally stored files through the browser. Some of those 3rd world countries didn't have persistent internet anyway, but did file up/downloads at the end of the day. ODF would work just fine for them, and a free browser interface? no problem there. FTFA, hard to say whether they would be making the "Web Portal" in the traditional sense (i.e., here's the ibm.com hosted web portal for downloading your documents), or more of a local interface (my network LAN fileserver has a portal interface for getting local files).

Re:I'm afraid... (5, Interesting)

miscz (888242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184380)

ODF is being adopted in many public institutions in Poland. I don't know what's the fuss about Massachussets, there are hundreds of places that already switched and you don't read about them on Slashdot everyday.

Re:I'm afraid... (1, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184487)

Come now, you know it doesn't count to slashdot unless it's in the US.

ODF in Poland (4, Interesting)

Skinny Rav (181822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184621)

ODF is being adopted in many public institutions in Poland


Exactly! I've just googled for "Open Document Format" with results in Polish only and one of the first hits is a document from the Polish goverment describing "minimal requirements for IT systems in public institutions" in Poland (text in Polish). If you scroll down to the section called "File formats" and a paragraph about text documents you will find 5 different formats: txt, rtf, pdf, doc and odf. Further details are even more interesting: requirement is that IT systems in institutions must be able to read doc documents - default format for read and write exchange of documents is either txt, rtf or odf.

Wow. I am mighty impressed: there is so much fuss about different countries/cities/states which are about to introduce some kind of such regulations while in my native Poland it is already done and it is not even news.

Cheers

Raf

P.S. And PNG and SVG are listed among graphics formats!

Re:I'm afraid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14187144)

Ooops ! It seems we forgot about poland !

Re:I'm afraid... (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187772)

All the development team at the company I work for recently migrated to ODF.

(btw, I am the dev team. Before, I used to use whatever Koffice's default format was)

Re:I'm afraid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184584)

You really should demand your government switch over to some kind of open document format, be it ODF or not, and here's why:

In the Bureau I've worked for, we've switched between different office packages every four or five years since I can remember. Applixware, WordPerfect, Word, whatever we could get a deal on for the particular hardware platform we were using at the time.

The practical result is, that we can not read any electronic documents we have that are older than four or five years. If it isn't on a dead tree somewhere, it doesn't exist. Needless to say, sifting through sheafs of paper isn't particularly efficient, and in many cases you could simply consider those documents lost.

Insisting on data standards, including a stardard document format, will keep your government from having to re-invent the wheel every time a new administration rolls into the White House.

Re:I'm afraid... (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184895)

You have brought up a major issue with the adoption of ODF which has been discussed on /. for quite sometime, I think the obvious strings being pulled behind this resistance which is a typical wool pulling excerise that MS engauges in quite regularaly.

Sadly they usually get their way just like the TCO issue with linux, come'on! for crist sakes! are people idiots? yes they are! MS knows this, MS knows that we (nerds) know this but still how many times do we hear their nonesense _independant_ studies where people use them as a basis of argument and really i dont want to hear any counter remarks about this particular issue (I know this is /. and we all love to argue in these parts) but if you argue this point my only comment will be you need to stop using a GUI's to run a server stop playing the cowboy and learn how to be a proper sever admin! (now back on topic)

Okay maybe am a little bit rash but heck, if people are buying the MS methods of persuasion to keep their product in use for their Govt, so be it. However, when will it be time for the counter attack to approach, where's Google amoungst all of this? I would like too see what will eventuate with all these companies detesting MS actions and as a result and build up in joint arms to attempt to slay the giant beast? The best way of doing this? Kill their office revenue, their biggest form of revenue but its definatly not going to be easy.

Now okay, MS currently on top, true by far but these other companies have all these wonderful strategies in play to work agaisnt MS and all i've heard so far is "oh ms has already won" BS! theres Google, IBM and Sun and whoever else who would love try to trip MS when ever the chance is available? and okay MS is smart and strategically minded, but you cant say the opposition isnt either?

I guess really only time will tell though, but there really has to be a counter attack somewhere otherwise why is Google offering a lending hand to OO?

Web 2.0. (-1, Redundant)

Bifacial (936244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184242)

Well, it can be called one of the first serious implementations of Web 2.0 frameworks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0 [wikipedia.org] , so we can hope times of "web as service" are soon. Cheers to IBM!

Re:Web 2.0. (1)

Pneuma ROCKS (906002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184296)

Well, it can be called one of the first serious implementations of Web 2.0 frameworks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0 [wikipedia.org] , so we can hope times of "web as service" are soon

Ah, nothing like a good cup of buzz in the morning.

Re:Web 2.0. (4, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184314)

Did you notice you actually said nothing ? Do you by any chance work in marketing ?

Here's a hint: throwing around buzzwords doesn't indicate you actually said anything.

Re:Web 2.0. (2, Informative)

Bifacial (936244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184450)

My friend - I really do work in marketing ;) Political marketing, btw ;) To the point: I mean that Web transforms. Slowly, but transforms. Web content is moving away from 'content' and more into 'application'. Just compare, for example, early Yahoo and Google. Early Yahoo is man-made list of links; Google is program for labelling sites with PageRanks and showing them to consumer. Compare early advertising programs and AdSense - AdSense works without any human input. ODF allows for web document editing - first stage of web applications; after mailers and task engineers; but before imaging programs and full-fledged Internet OSes. Is it contentful enough?

Re:Web 2.0. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14185008)

... content is moving away from 'content' .... Is it contentful enough?

Depends upon what 'is' is. Is 'is' a fully enabled being-ful form of being, or merely a "being-as-being-towards"-ness?

Is there a progression in the "moving away" or is it a localized "turning" with the movement of market perception happening.

When content moves away from content, does the contextual process move with it, or is there a realization of kinetic potential at the price point market share percentage return realization movement within the movement as the world turns and the marketing wonk blabs?

my friend, you really do "work" in marketing. Depending upon what "work" means, that is.

Re:Web 2.0. (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14191536)

You're still very very VERY close to saying nothing. Certainly you say nothing of consequence. Let's analyze:

"Web transforms" first, everything changes, including the web, so this is hardly groundbreaking. X transforms is pretty much true for any X, so even though you seem to think otherwise you actually say nothing specifically about the web. It's not a new insigth that the world is in constant change.

"contentful" must be a word you invented on the spot, as marketing loves to do. Can't possibly mean anything else than "full of content". But then it's a circular logic: Content is defined as "that which is contained", in other words, the contents of the web is that which is contained in the web.

So, in essence, you're saying: "The web is full of that which is contained in the web" which doesn't say anything. A garbage truck is also full of that which is contained in a garbage truck.

Get me rigth. I can see trough your cloudscreen. I see what you're *trying* to say. It's only, you seem so impressed with your own jargon that you fail to see that it *obscures* what you're trying to say rather than illuminate it.

This is frequently the case in marketing, so often that I've come to the conclusion it must be intentional, particularily when, as in this case, the real "message" is boring, obvious or old, in other cases the real message is just a lie, so hiding it is seen as an advantage.

Near as I can say you're saying: "The web is changing. There are more and more services offered over the web. Modern web-applications do more better than the old ones. This trend may continue in the future."

None of that is insigthful or interesting. It was all equally true 5 years ago, and it was all obvious to anyone even back then.

Re:Web 2.0. (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184448)

Zero install time, zero effort. Ideal product I would say.
Downside: It is a service which they can charge for, so my OpenOffice will be cheaper in the long run. Lets say two hours to download, install and configure per year, at $30 per hour= $60 per year for this online product.
It is an ideal office product though, just plug in a server or two for this application and you are done. Upgrade: Overnight for everybody, and everybody will have the same response, same bugs, so better to solve issues.

Re:Web 2.0. (1)

Bifacial (936244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184498)

What would you rather use - Wikipedia or Britannica? Slashdot or city's main square? That's the same.

The legacy of saving everything in MS Office (4, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184264)

"The governments of India, China and other emerging markets are very interested in this," Fontaine said. "They don't have the legacy of having everything saved in Microsoft Office to transition from...This is an opportunity to start out right."

What does this statement mean? Did China and India use pen and paper when doing their spreadsheets up until this year?
Article on MS in China: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5197528/site/newsweek [msn.com]

Re:The legacy of saving everything in MS Office (4, Insightful)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184301)

When I was in China a few years ago, I saw people in banks using abacuses. Not to denigrate them for that -- they were faster and more efficient with them than the average North American worker is with a computer. (at least, that's my subjective impression)

Re:The legacy of saving everything in MS Office (1, Funny)

bach37 (602070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184374)

When I was in China a few years ago, I saw people in banks using abacuses. Not to denigrate them for that -- they were faster and more efficient with them than the average North American worker is with a computer. (at least, that's my subjective impression)

I too prefer an abacus. Though I get weird looks walking around the grocery store carrying my shopping list and my abacus......

Re:The legacy of saving everything in MS Office (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184650)

I think they used an abacus in the trajectory calculations for the Mars Climate Orbiter.

Re:The legacy of saving everything in MS Office (2, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184968)

Nah, if they'd done that the calculations would've been correct!

Re:The legacy of saving everything in MS Office (1)

lloy0076 (624338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189291)

Much to the consternation of my fellow colleagues, I sometimes use an abacus to perform simple additions and multiplications. Why? I don't have a calculator lying around and the older xcalc - which used to be good - got replaced by some gtk+ calculator - which is crap.

Result: Abacus is actually more efficient for me than using the default xcalc on my Debian Sid system.

I think this demonstrates that the issue isn't open document standards or anything bizarre like that - even Microsoft believe there should be standards that are, for their definition, "open". It's the usability of the products that make open documents...

If they're unusable, useless, not available or anything like that, you're not going to get anything anyway and last time I like a zero length file was the same regardless of whether you used Windows, Linux or VMS.

Having all the bigger players jump on the band wagon simply increases the chances of getting user and geek friendly tools to deal with open documents.

Re:The legacy of saving everything in MS Office (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186600)

You say they use pen and paper like it is something something really old-fashioned. I don't know about you but I still use pen and paper every day for my assignments. And what is so wrong about doing spreadsheets with pen and paper anyway ?

Government is the key to Open Document Success (5, Interesting)

xoip (920266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184354)

Governments around the world have built on the M$ Word platform without an serious look at this defacto standard impacts the competitive environment and the choices of consumers. While there are formats available, the percieved lack of technical support and business model behind Open Office has slowed the adoption of alternatives. Support by IBM is crucial for the wide spread success of the Open Document movement and will go a long way to increasing market share.

Strategy (4, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184381)

OSS fans are always bitching about Microsoft, but they don't seem to have a good strategy for competing them. Microsoft did a lot of fairly simple but very strategic things to get their dominance, OSS developers need to do the same. Here are my ideas for increasing the use of open formats:

1) Make Firefox display OpenDocument formats by default. I know that everyone complains about keeping bloat down, but if the OpenDocument format is going to get widespread use them people are going to have to be able to read it. Besides which, Firefox must already have 95% of the code required to do this.

2) Make a standalone MS Office to OpenDocument translator from the OpenOffice code. I want a tool so that I can drag a Word Document onto an icon on my desktop and it automatically translates it to OpenDocument format. And it should be able to do batch converting too, and to output a log of what it's done and any problems.

3) Take out the MS Office compatibility from OpenOffice. Concentrate on making OpenOffice a great tool for creating OpenDocument format files.

I think many people approach this the wrong way, they say things like - "OpenOffice must be able to write MS Office files so that I can send them to people that only have MS Office." However, what we really should be aiming for is to get in a position so that anyone can happily say "Please send us the document in OpenOffice format" and so that if someone says "Can you send it in Word" you can say "Download Firefox - it reads all OpenOffice files."

People are going to criticise this as unrealistic, but these are exactly the type of strategies that Microsoft used to get their desktop dominance.

Re:Strategy (4, Insightful)

ken kenobi (849375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184459)

Dropping MS Office support would be the kiss of death to OpenOffice.

I promise you the average user does not want to go through a convoluted process to edit their existing docs, they just want to hit Open...

Keep in mind one of the ways MS Word overtook WordPerfect was by supporting the opening of WordPerfect files

Re:Strategy (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184614)

Dropping MS Office support would be the kiss of death to OpenOffice.

I strongly disagree. I think MS Office support is the kiss of death for OpenOffice, mainly because it encourages the continued use of MS formats and makes OpenOffice appear to be an (inferior) subtitute for MS Office.

Having people open an MS Word document in OpenOffice and then saving it again in Word format is just crazy, and yet this is what OpenOffice (inadvertantly) encourages people to do. Some issues

Firstly, it puts an increadable burden on the OpenOffice developers, any idea of how much of the bloat in OpenOffice is due to MS Office compatibility? It also distracts them from what should be their main aim - to make OpenOffice great.

Secondly, it doesn't work well enough, and it just isn't good enough for office use. It causes all sorts of little, annoying problems. Without MS Office compatibility, OpenOffice could be so much better.

Thirdly, we should be encouraging people to use only OpenDocument format - we should treat MS Office as a legacy and inferior format.

I promise you the average user does not want to go through a convoluted process to edit their existing docs, they just want to hit Open...

I don't think it would be a convoluted process to drag a doc onto an icon to convert it, or for an admin to batch convert directories of files and then send a report to the owners. Besides which, the conversion has to be done at some point, either you do it at the begining of the process, or at the end - the current version of OpenOffice asks "Are you sure you want to save in Office format" when you go to save, every time.

Keep in mind one of the ways MS Word overtook WordPerfect was by supporting the opening of WordPerfect files

Yes, one way. You couldn't save them. Also, I expect Microsoft had a considerably easier time supporting WordPerfect files because they weren't deliberately obfuscated.

I'm not saying don't support MS Office files, quite the opposite, I'm saying make it as easy as possible for people to convert all of their files to OpenDocument format, be they MS Word, WordPerfect or whatever, but encourage them to treat them as legacy documents, and not to treat OpenOffice as a poor version of MS Office.

Re:Strategy (2, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185918)

Personally, I'd have to drop OpenOffice if I couldn't read and write MS Office files. Why? Because that's what I receive and that's what people expect 90% of the time or more. That is THE feature I need in a word processor - anything else I can compromise on. Sad, I know, but that is what we have to deal with until Open Office has a far greater market share than it currently has.

Messing around with an external converter would piss me off, possibly enough that I'd write a patch to make open office automatically use it to get back to the current usability.

In other words, the functionality is there because it is what users want. And this is open source - you'd be able to take it out of the "official" version, but my bet is that practically any distro that includes Open Office would apply patches to include automatic MS Office filters.

Fighting your users is only an acceptable strategy if you're a monopolist and your users have nowhere they can reasonably go. It doesn't work if your users can just go elsewhere, because they will.

Re:Strategy (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184501)


3) Take out the MS Office compatibility from OpenOffice. Concentrate on making OpenOffice a great tool for creating OpenDocument format files.


People share documents in editable form so that changes can be made by all participants. There is no other reason for a standard.

I think that the wiki is the better alternative to all of these applications.

1) You can secure a wiki by resticting participants.
2) You can make the wiki available to anyone with a browser regardless of the systems OS or hardware.
3) You can design a wiki to "look and feel" like any of the applications.
4) A spreadsheet is a pathetic excuse for data storage compaired to a database. A wiki can store the fields in a database then display them in exactly the same way as a spreadsheet.
5) Keeping document copies "on my machine" is as simple as saving the current contents in any document format which pleases the person wanting the copy.

Re:Strategy (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184695)

People share documents in editable form so that changes can be made by all participants. There is no other reason for a standard.

I assume by this you mean MS Office is the standard... What I'm talking about is changing people's attitudes so that OpenDocument is the standard.

Yes, wiki's are nice. Wouldn't it be great if you could edit your wiki in OpenDocument format in OpenOffice, and you could view it Firefox? Wouldn't that be wonderful?
 

Re:Strategy (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184547)

3) Take out the MS Office compatibility from OpenOffice. Concentrate on making OpenOffice a great tool for creating OpenDocument format files.

You need compatibility with mainstream product in order to enter the market.

Re:Strategy (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184840)

You need compatibility with mainstream product in order to enter the market.

I don't think you need 2-way compatibility, though. As I recall, Microsoft Word could only open Wordperfect files, but not save them in the Wordperfect format. Why doesn't OO.o do the same?

Re:Strategy (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184610)

However, what we really should be aiming for is to get in a position so that anyone can happily say "Please send us the document in OpenOffice format" and so that if someone says "Can you send it in Word" you can say "Download Firefox - it reads all OpenOffice files."

"Sorry, Firefox is not in our default installation and I'm not authorized to install software (and IT will not support it)." Send them a document they can't open once, they get slightly annoyed. If they reply asking for a document in Word, and you still can't provide, they are considerably annoyed. If it was your jobb application, you're probably dropped at this point. If not, you're probably already marked as a "difficult" customer.

If you want to get to that position, you shouldn't be so quick to shoot yourself in the foot. What you are describing is a good strategy to close a market - to get you from largest player (maybe 30-50%?) to monopoly. It's probably one of the worst ideas for gaining initial market share, since you'll see more abandonment (OO can't interoperate with anything, I'm getting MS Office) than converts.

Re:Strategy (2, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184668)

"Sorry, Firefox is not in our default installation and I'm not authorized to install software (and IT will not support it)."

Well, of course in that kind of situation then the only thing to do is to send them a Word document, (or better - a PDF).

But it misses my point, it's about mindshare and attitude - we need to get to a point where people and companies will start to feel embarrassed that they can't read OpenDocument formats.

Re:Strategy (1)

ramparte (53311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186642)

I agree with this thread - one of the first things we got asked for when we got Writely running was word upload and download (and OpenOffice too).

BTW - now you can upload the file into us and send the recalcitrant user a link instead of a word file, if you like. That's why we wrote Writely the way we did, so that the "I can't use it, I can't install software" excuse doesn't work.

Re:Strategy (1)

Jadrano (641713) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189321)

But it misses my point, it's about mindshare and attitude - we need to get to a point where people and companies will start to feel embarrassed that they can't read OpenDocument formats.

I think this can be done without dropping support for any format in OpenOffice.org. When the document is not too large, it can be sent in several formats at once. When there are no specific requirements, I usually send people both OpenDocument and PDF versions of my documents - that way, almost anyone should be able to read it (at least the PDF version), and the recipients still see that my preferred format for text documents is OpenDocument.

Re:Strategy (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14188888)

If you've got a drag-and-drop standalone ODF/MS converter, it's no problem to convert the document if you don't think you're in a position to boss the recipient around. Ideally, you want to make Office compatibility a feature of your mail client, so that you can have it make Office files when you send a document to someone who can't deal with ODF.

Of course, what I really want to see is a Word macro for reading ODF. That shouldn't really be all that hard, since ODF is easy and Word's macro system obviously works well for generating Word documents.

Re:Strategy (2, Funny)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184638)

<i>People are going to criticise this as unrealistic, but these are exactly the type of strategies that Microsoft used to get their desktop dominance.</i>

Not really. I regularly open documents written in Wordperfect 5.1 in Word.

Re:Strategy (1)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185076)

But, can you write them back in Wordperfect 5.1 format and have Wordperfect 5.1 be able to open the files without error?

Re:Strategy (2, Interesting)

caudron (466327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184689)

these are exactly the type of strategies that Microsoft used to get their desktop dominance.

Those are the things MS did to /maintain/ dominance. To /get/ dominance, they did things like allow us to tweak the system (anyone else remember the joy of eeking another 3k on bootup in MSDOS?), being freindly to programmers (OSS will get no mainstream developers as long as they continue to beleive that Glade is the end-all-be-all GUI designer...Visual Studio has THE BEST in the biz. Deal with it), and all around nicer to their customers and programmers. After they got on top, they bent us over and screwed us square in the ass. Totally uncool.

But for the records, I really dif your idea of getting Firefox to read OpenOffice docs out of the box. A plugin for IE wouldn't be a bad thing either! I also think a stand alone converter is a great idea. If you are a developer, you should consider writing such a thing.

Re:Strategy (2, Interesting)

jc87 (882219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184717)

I for example , usually open my father work docs in ubuntu (he is a policeman , and around here , government unfortunally still uses M$ in almost every public place) , if OOO didnt suport it , i would be forced to have M$ wintendo plus M$ office to open them , and for me , wintendo is only for playing Counter strike source , not for anything else. Besides ,removing the M$ office compatibility , would be playing the same kind of dirty game that MS plays with theirs closed formats.

Re:Strategy (2, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185009)

3) Take out the MS Office compatibility from OpenOffice. Concentrate on making OpenOffice a great tool for creating OpenDocument format files.

Same argument I used to hear when I was running OS/2: "Don't buy WordPerfect 7 (probably the last Win 3.1 version) that would run on WinOS/2, buy an OS/2 word processor.

We can see how well that worked out. The important thing is that IBM (gulp) is helping to promote a _new_ standard.

Unrealistic, my foot. (1)

kurtmckee (870398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186111)

1) Make Firefox display OpenDocument formats by default.
2) Make a standalone MS Office to OpenDocument translator from the OpenOffice code.
3) Take out the MS Office compatibility from OpenOffice.
...these are exactly the type of strategies that Microsoft used to get their desktop dominance.


No it's not. Internet Explorer doesn't display Office formats by default and never has. There is no standlone other-to-Office translator and there never has been. And Microsoft initially had strong support for just about all of the competing formats so that people had upgrade options.

People are going to criticise this as unrealistic

No, I'm going to criticise you as desperately uninformed and woefully undeserving of the +4 Interesting you currently have.

Re:Unrealistic, my foot. (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186333)

Internet Explorer doesn't display Office formats by default and never has.

I said "type of" not "literally the same". IE wasn't even around when Microsoft was building its Office monopoly.

There is no standlone other-to-Office translator and there never has been.

So? Personally I think it would be a good thing to be able to translate directories full of MS Office documents into OpenDocument format.

And Microsoft initially had strong support for just about all of the competing formats so that people had upgrade options.

One way. You could import a lot of formats into MS Office, but not export them. And it's been like that for a long time.

Actually Microsoft's tatics were a lot worse - they not only had one way translation, but also made it deliberately very difficult for anyone other than Microsoft to read their formats properly.

desperately uninformed

Well, I've been using computers full time since the mid-70's, and I actually worked for WordPerfect for a while.

I am going to criticise you for being desperately literal.

Re:Strategy (1)

electronerdz (838825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186248)

Half of the people out there wouldn't be able to install OpenOffice to actually open the files. When you are sending to someone at a large corporation, they usually wouldn't have the admin rights to install programs. And half of my customers wouldn't know HOW to install it. I'd have to walk them through it. I'm not about to do that. Its a major change, and it will take time. But it will be a change for the good.

Re:Strategy (1)

RoLi (141856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14188269)

3) Take out the MS Office compatibility from OpenOffice. Concentrate on making OpenOffice a great tool for creating OpenDocument format files.

That would kill OpenOffice instantly. Even OpenOffice fans (like me) could no longer use it.

I agree on 1 and 2, though.

Great (2, Interesting)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184428)

Another IBM product you never heard of is going to use open document. Anyone who uses these obscure IBM products has been drinking so deep from IBM's koolaid well, that they will never use a non-IBM product anyway. Thus the adoption of open standards will have zero impact on those customers.

Re:Great (1)

Bifacial (936244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184526)

But, well, IBM is symbol of computing age. It is example for others to follow; and remember - almost everything we use now has its roots in IBM 20 years ago.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184540)

Actually if you go read the Lotus web site you will probably find that Workplace is the future client for Lotus Notes which is a fairly popular application from IBM.

Re:Great (1)

Bifacial (936244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184624)

...almost nearly close to fairly maybe someday will be popular.

Re:Great (2, Interesting)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184677)

Popular? Even IBMers hate Notes. And the Eclipse-based replacement (ie Workplace) has been "in the works" for like 3 years now.

Re:Great (1)

naelurec (552384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185079)

I think it ends up being a numbers game. If the Open Document format is used by many different applications and can show great interoperability between these different apps, it makes a MUCH stronger case for decision makers in companies to standardize on the format.

Furthermore, it can assist in putting pressure on developers to add support for the format (see: snowball effect).

The usual question... (4, Interesting)

Mjlner (609829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184460)

...for almost any post labled "Linux" on Slashdot is, of course, why is this labled "Linux"?

Granted, this is good news for the linux community, as much as it is good news for people who use lots of other operating systems which do not run certain proprietary programs. Most of all, it is good news for anybody interested in using an open format instead of a proprietary format, regardless of the platform which may or may not be proprietary.

Are open documents really an issue? (-1, Flamebait)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184573)

I mean, throw the word Open in front of any technology or concept, and suddenly it becomes the buzz word of the year.

Open Document, Open Source, OpenGl, etc, etc, etc.

Open is associated with a kind of grassroots mentality that it is supposed to be good, beneficial, and highly desireably. In the business community, Wall Street suddenly throws money at any company that uses Open along with their technology.

While I agree that better interactivity with operating systems and software is beneficial, when it comes to document formats, I think people are being deluded into thinking that open documents are better.

WHY?

I mean, out of the dozen or so different word processors I have used over the years I have never had a problem openning up documents from one version to another. Most ALWAYS come with convertors of some sort, either converting old formats of the same application, or converting between different applications. It never seemed to me that there was a big problem converting different formats of documents between different applications, except back in the days when Apple documents had to be dramatically different then the PC equivalents for the same application.

I also didn't think it was that difficult to reverse engineer a Word or WordPerfect document to support it in your software. I mean, these docs are simply binary and un-encrypted in a highly structured format, it would take any average programmer a few days to figure out the document structure and come up with a convertor. There will ALWAYS be little incompatibilites between software, you can't include a feature of a document in your software from another application if you don't support the same feature set. Even Open documents will not resolve these issues.

I think the real issue is that those "open" office products no longer want to hassle with having to reverse engineer the next Word document version, or any other proprietary document format. I mean, companies really don't make money off of "open" products (they get their money for those Wall Street dolts deluded into thinking free software is the next big step in the software industry). So, why would someone developing an Open office want to waste time and money they will never recouperate programming support for proprietary formats?

Anyways, with MS going to an XML document base, it is moot to believe their is a need for an open document format. XML IS OPEN, I mean, its a text document in a highly structured standardized format. The tags might mean something different from document to document, but XML is inherently an even easier document format to reverse engineer. By MS going with XML, they are almost implicating that they don't care about proprietary documents anymore.

In any regard, I think we will see TWO Open document standards emerging, one from MS and one from the rest. So has anything really changed? No. Ten years from now, word processors will still happily and easily convert documents from one format to another with a minimum of hassle. It may not be a nice and ubiquitous why-can't-we-all-just-get-along document format, but then, 10 years from now I think the whole "Open" software initiative will be a fad that has either morphed into some new buzz word all encompassing concept, or is killed off once Wall Street realizes Open != profits.

Re:Are open documents really an issue? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184696)

Anyways, with MS going to an XML document base, it is moot to believe their is a need for an open document format. XML IS OPEN, I mean, its a text document in a highly structured standardized format.

Then you will have no problem implementing a .doc-xml reader/writer without risking legal action from MS. Have a go, and do let us know how you get on!

Re:Are open documents really an issue? (1, Flamebait)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184972)

Anyways, with MS going to an XML document base, it is moot to believe their is a need for an open document format. XML IS OPEN, I mean, its a text document in a highly structured standardized format. The tags might mean something different from document to document, but XML is inherently an even easier document format to reverse engineer. By MS going with XML, they are almost implicating that they don't care about proprietary documents anymore.

First, MS has been calling their new format "Open-XML." Now I don't seem to have as big a problem as you do about sticking "open" on the beginning of everything, but it would be nice if the format actually was open so people like you aren't confused into thinking it is an open format.

Second, as I mentioned, their format is not open. It is an XML based format, but it relies upon embedded binaries in closed patented formats and the format itself is only licensed to developers, not truly open. Allow me to detail the practical ways in which MS's format differs. Future versions of the format will not need to be open. No one can add or propose innovative changes to the format without MS agreeing. There is no guarantee that it will be legal to offer a program that opens old version of the format. Technically (according to the license) if MS comes out with a new version of the format every word-processor that still offers the old version is in violation of their license. The license specifically prohibits redistribution, which means no GPL licensed application (like their biggest competitor) can offer that format. The spec as it now exists implements all images embedded in a proprietary format, owned by MS, that only has libraries for viewing available on Windows; instead of with one of the many well documented and supported image formats.

Now if you are being paid by MS you probably already know all this and are just astroturfing for them. If not, please actually read some information on the subject you are espousing opinions about. Preferable read information that is not just an MS press release.

Re:Are open documents really an issue? (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185322)

"Open" is hardly a new buzzword - they've been using it all over the past few decades. Usually, of course, "open" meaning "you can actually buy the specification and implement it yourself if you want to". It's only in the last decade when the grassroots sense has been rising, as in "you can get the whole specification free of charge and no strings attached, too".

Plus, I think [livejournal.com] it's a silly thing to stick "open" to the project title, especially in open source projects. But that's just me.

And yes, I agree with the conversions - in the future, we'll see awfully converted Word docs and vice versa. People need to stop thinking these as typesetting languages and think of them as a format to exchange textual contents and semantic structure. Word isn't a typesetting program, neither is OO.o, and people who scream that .docx to .odt conversion isn't "perfect" are using the wrong frigging tool - they should export the document to PDF, or go download Scribus or pay some serious money for InDesign or something if they're so concerned about maintaining perfect document layout.

Perhaps not an Issue for Fairy Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14185891)

Open is associated with a kind of grassroots mentality that it is supposed to be good, beneficial, and highly desireably.

You see it that way? I see it as a plain and practical term meaning anyone can see and use the item or standard without restiction. That may or may not be good etc according to circumstances.

I mean, out of the dozen or so different word processors I have used over the years I have never had a problem openning up documents from one version to another.

The documents you deal with are simple text, right? Perhaps you only write fairy stories! I work for a large engineering company with public safety a major concern. If something went wrong we could be World news headlines. Two years ago we went from WordPerfect to Word. Yet now, when we open a older WP document Word, apart from the fact that the original Times Roman font is rendered in a wacky "Impact" font in Word, the Greek micro symbol (sorry, I won't try to reproduce it here), as used in microvolts, is rendered as "3". So 3 microvolts is rendered as "3 3volts". Read that as "33 volts" and you are seven orders of magnitude out : you have no problem with that?

This and other problems were pointed out to management, but they seemed to regard being wedded to MS as their priority.

feed the troll (1)

Tharald (444591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186409)

Hard to decide whether to moderate you as a troll or to reply, but I figure it is best to reply.

Your main argument here is just patently false. Most word processors does not interoperate just fine. No wp program can read MS office documents right. Openoffice 1.x does not convert documents too good, and even though it is better with 2.0, it is still not perfect. This is exactly why people buy MS office. MS office has no way of reading Openoffice documents. So both ways the conversion is just not there. It is definitely not easy to reverse engineer binary formats. This is why there are no SW that does this perfectly with MS office formats.

And no, there will not always be incompatibilities between software. There will be when not using standards, but the whole point of the open standards is to eliminate this. Look at how the web works (even though there are some incompatibilities with IE on purpose). The whole web is built on open standards.

Aside from your false claims, there are no reason to have closed formats except to limit competition and cooperation. The possibilities that become available when you work in open formats are endless, from making information sorting software that access documents, to extracting numbers from spreadsheet formats. Just because we have not had open document formats does not mean they have no use.
 

Open Document Format != Open Source (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14184575)

This misconception is not helped by the presence of Tux at the top of this report. /. should know better.

ODF is a format for saving documents. It is platform independent and there is no reason why it should not be used by any application that creates documents, whether open or closed source.

Another crack in the dike... (3, Interesting)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184805)

This is just another crack in the MSOffice dike.

Several national governments are now mandating Open formats for thier documents, spreadsheets, etc. The more they are adopted, the more Bill and Company will have to compete on quality, features and price, not "Only we are 100% compatible with our proprietary format".

Now, if we can only convince the the Feds, or at least several more states, to make OD format the standard, we can make real progress. After all, most of Bill's bucks come from the US, and if we don't get the changes made here, we have so much less impact.

My 2 cents.

Re:Another crack in the dike... (1)

Bifacial (936244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14184869)

...you'll never nuke out Bill from US. China & Russia are our friends.

Re:Another crack in the dike... (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186909)

Several national governments are now mandating Open formats for thier documents, spreadsheets, etc. The more they are adopted, the more Bill and Company will have to compete on quality, features and price, not "Only we are 100% compatible with our proprietary format".

Quality and features are exactly the things that OO.o has been unable to compete on. That's why they developed OpenDoc (based on what was already the OO.o format, so it's not like there was much work there) so that they could compete simply based on "We have an *open* format" and nothing else. Office12 makes OO.o look like utter trash.

Re:Another crack in the dike... (1)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14187513)

That's why [OpenOffice.org] developed OpenDoc ... so that they could compete simply based on "We have an *open* format" and nothing else. Office12 makes OO.o look like utter trash.

That may be, but you are completely missing the point of having open standards.

This is not about "open source must crush Microsoft at any cost!" This is about making information available in a format that a single company does not control.

If Microsoft were to fully support the OpenDocument format in the next version of Office, then more power to them. MS Office is a fine program; the problem with it is that the formats it uses cannot be (properly/legally/fully) used outside of Microsoft Office. If someone wants to continue to read their old documents, they are forced to upgrade their installation of Office, because no other software fully supports the format (and cannot, legally). If, in the future, Microsoft stops making Office or stops supporting old versions of these files, then to read the files someone would have to go through a time-consuming, and legally dubious, process of reverse-engineering the proprietary format.

Contrast this with an open document standard: people are free to purchase Microsoft Office to create these open documents, but they also have a choice of many other products on the market, some proprietary, some open-source, some beer-free, some not. Thus the individual is able to make a choice based NOT on the format their files are already in, but on the merits of each piece of software individually. And if they decide at some point that they are not happy with the software they chose, they are welcome to try something else and not have to worry about converting all their existing documents.

Additionally, as governmental bodies are moving to digital archiving of important documents, there is a need to be able to open these documents on a much longer timescale than that of business. What if, 200 years from now, you need to read the original version of some obscure government document? If the documents are all stored in an open, well documented format, then writing a viewer would be a fairly simple task, and a viewer would be easy for the goverment to provide to its citizenry, at no cost (since government documents need to be available to the entire public, which means the cost should be zero). If the documents were in a long-lost proprietary format from a company that went under 100 years ago, that task would be much, much more difficult.

So, yes, I would agree that OpenOffice has a little way to go in feature catch-up before they are on par with Microsoft Office (but they are very, very close). But because of this new OpenDocument format, they are just one of several options in office suite software, and can now compete on an even playing field. Vendor lock-in for documents will be a thing of the past.

Re:Another crack in the dike... (1)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189203)

Quality and features are exactly the things that OO.o has been unable to compete on. That's why they developed OpenDoc (based on what was already the OO.o format, so it's not like there was much work there) so that they could compete simply based on "We have an *open* format" and nothing else. Office12 makes OO.o look like utter trash.



I beg to differ. While OOo may not be "cutting edge" on all features, it is mature and stable, more so than many office suites of just a few years ago.


And that's the problem the MS has. Too many people, even in a corporate enviroment, don't need all the features that MS Office has to offer, but are forced into it only because the company use MS formated docs.


If MS were forced to support Open Doc, many companies would utilize it for a majority of the personell, who don't need or use the advanced features, and use MS Office in those areas that require the advanced features.


I know someone will comment "No, they won't, no company wants to support multiple Office Suites", but many companies support multiple programs of duplicate functionality for those same reasons, or because the legacy program is needed because the vendor, (maybe even now defunct) had locked them into propriatary formats that nothing else supports.



   

Actually, this isn't a Web browser implementation (5, Informative)

Dutchmang (74300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185108)

One error in the report is that it's a Web-based implementation. It's actually an Eclipse-based implementation. The container for the ODF-compliant editors is IBM Workplace Managed Client [ibm.com] . The container itself is a very interesting thing because it lets you build applications of just about any type, which are then deployed with the client over the network (or added to existing deployed clients as the case may be.) It also runs unmodified across Windows and Linux, because the Eclipse/Workplace layer does all the interaction with the OS windows, file system etc.

The point about the ODF support is that, like all standards, it takes interoperability out of the equation and lets vendors compete on the implementations. OpenOffice is essentially a MS Office competitor, using the same desktop-centric deployment and support model, except with open source and cross-OS capabilities. This is good for folks who like the MS Office "way" but want choice. IBM is approaching the problem of desktop productivity tools a little differently, as a locally installed but network managed app. Again, innovating in the implementation because the standard lets you do that.

Re:Actually, this isn't a Web browser implementati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14190353)

There is in fact a web interface to WorkPlace too, so while you're right there is an eclipse based rich client, the article is also correct in that it can be a fully web based solution too, should you wish.

next year! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14185229)

next year? I've heard HURD is comming next year too!

IBM Office Suite. (2, Interesting)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185517)

What ever happened to SmartSuite, anyway? I used to have a roommate that swore up and down that it was the best office suite in the industry. Do they still make that?

--saint

Re:IBM Office Suite. (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185797)

I think they buried in the Lotus tomb, next to the OS/2.

Re:IBM Office Suite. (1)

markhb (11721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186294)

They may not talk about it much, but it's still available [ibm.com] .

Interestingly, they still have pages on SmartSuite for OS/2 [ibm.com] , but the "Buy now" link returns a 404.

Re:IBM Office Suite. (1)

KevinColyer (883316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14188609)

I still deeply mourn the passing of Wordpro 97. Zippy, strongly style orientated and had the nifty (or annoying) toolpalette thing. I so wish IBM would open source it... Imagine - ODF compatible and open source version of WordPro. Well it pleases me!

Oh Wow! (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14185959)

IBM announced this weekend that early next year it will begin supporting the OpenDocument standard in its WorkPlace line of products.

Oh, wow! I almost get the feeling that OpenDocument just appeared in final form and IBM is an early adopter -- NOT!

IBM is smart to try this in developing countries (1)

masinick (130975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14186563)

I think that IBM is smart to try this in developing countries first. For one thing, when you do not have a well established standard, it is much easier to try something else - and maybe even make that "something else" a standard in those countries. There have been well documented cases concerning the resistance to change in the U.S., even though there are now quite a few viable alternative desktop environments.

I have been using alternative desktop environments for the past twenty years. For many years, I used a development environment containing the proprietary VAX/VMS and OpenVMS environments, Then I used several different UNIX environments. These days, I use Windows XP, connected to UNIX and Linux environments in the workplace using Tarantella's terminal server software, which provides a desktop graphical user environment into remote systems (of various UNIX and Linux varieties). At home, I use predominantly Linux desktop software, but I also test BSD and Windows software. To me, there is no functional difference in which of them I use because my tools are predominantly Web and Internet based.

This FP for GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14187035)

clear she couldn'T be in a scene and Will recall that it states that there fucking market Started 3ork on 800 mhz machine All major surveys
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