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Weigh In On the OOXML Issue During Live Debate

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the better-than-daytime-television dept.

GNOME 71

lisah writes "Linux.com's Robin 'Roblimo' Miller will moderate a live debate today, Wednesday, December 5 at 1pm US EST (GMT -5), between the GNOME Foundation's press officer Jeff Waugh and fair competition advocate Roy Schestowitz. Both have strong — and opposing — points of view regarding GNOME's involvement with Microsoft's OOXML standard and vehemently defend their positions, so getting them together in the same virtual room ought to prove quite interesting. Although the broadcast will be archived as a podcast and available for free download, you can listen live as it's recorded and also call in to participate and ask questions."

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Iron Chef Opensource (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21583875)

"Welcome to Linux Kitchen Stadium, everyone. So, Alten, what is Iron Chef Roblimo cooking for us today?"

"Well, he's using a teapot, and he appears to be brewing up a tempest!"

Re:Iron Chef Opensource (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21583909)

OOXML itself might be the bastard mutant stepchild of DIVx [about.com] , but there is some room for open source projects to pose for themselves that eternal question:

You ever dance with the devil by the pale moonlight?--The Joker

Fun, fun, fun (5, Funny)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21583899)

This should be like the youtube debates, only more asinine.

Re:Fun, fun, fun (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21583905)

This book! (Holds the OOXML standard in his hand)

Do you believe every word of it?

Re:Fun, fun, fun (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584815)

One book? I decided to actually see how big the standard is one day (6000 pages, right?) It was eight encyclopedias (~750 pages each). I'd rather carry the ODF standard any day.

Re:Fun, fun, fun (0, Offtopic)

NickCatal (865805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584071)

That is not possible...

The Republican Youtube debate caused me to loose what little faith I had in CNN's ability to host a republican debate. It made the entire format look ridiculous (whereas I thought the Democratic one was great)

6pm in GMT (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21586247)

... for those who can't be bothered to do the maths...

Irony (2, Funny)

byolinux (535260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21583913)

"Those who do not wish to use proprietary software (Flash, MP3) to hear this conference over the Internet are also invited to use this call-in number. It will be active approximately 10 minutes before the live podcast begins."

Re:Irony (2, Insightful)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21583955)

Yes, it's funny how open source zealots have become something like vegans, and in some places (like linux.com) they have special menus (not so tasty, but good enough). It's like being allergic to mp3.

As a vegan (1)

lawnsprinkler (1012271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584045)

it seems reasonable to me that a slashdotter's diet isn't something worth killing for.

As a carnivore (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21586275)

I'm going to eat 3 animals today in your honor.

Re:As a carnivore (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21589731)

And I'm going to listen to 3 WMAs while watching a RealVideo clip in Vista-x64 in yours!

Re:Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21585053)

bump this ones score to a 6

Re:Irony (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585233)

most vegans I know don't eat vegetables take control of their body and make them hear and see things they can't stop. crap like Flash is the opposite of what open source is trying to achieve, but if you want to give control of your computer to those who want to turn it into a 24x7 revenue source you go right ahead

Re:Irony (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588541)

most vegans I know don't eat vegetables take control of their body and make them hear and see things they can't stop.

Did that make sense to you when you wrote it?

Re:Irony (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 6 years ago | (#21590983)

It didn't make much sense to me when I read it, but then I know some fish eating vegans and vegetarians. The vegans claim fish can't feel pain, because they have no central nervous system and the vegetarian hates fish and wants them all to die ASAP, he's quite amusing.

Re:Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21585579)

No, it's not exactly like an allergy. It's more like a warning label. You know, "cigarettes kill babies," "Microsoft Vista's DRM irradiates your testicles,"* that kind of thing.

* Of course, one would actually have to have gotten Vista to _RUN_ properly to experience the DRM in the first place...

Re:Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21586875)

The tell-tale sign of a zealot is the act of bringing up that meaningless accusation in the first place.

So what's the real problem, chief? I'll take a stab: You've got nothing of actual technical merit to add to the discussion, yet still feeling like you had something to prove, you fell back on ad-hominum attacks. Am I right or am I right?

I'll spell it out nicely for you: The word "zealot" has absolutely no place, no use, and ultimately no meaning, in a technical discussion.

Re:Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21583985)

Damn near the entire phone system is rune on EVIL proprietary software...

Just checking the link for Roy Schestowitz (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21583933)

... led me to a page saying "This Account Has Been Suspended" :-)


Slashdotted already ? Or maybe the Novell boycotter also boycotted the invoices from the webhost ?

Re:Just checking the link for Roy Schestowitz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584215)

This news item on Slashdot is the first I knew this guy was anything _other_ than an Internet troll. There's a "Schestowitz" that regularly pops up on digg.com - yes, I'm sorry; I do go there now and then - usually in order to berate and abuse Microsoft or Mac users for using Windows or OS X. There's no indication he's ever used either or knows the least about either environment.

We can all do without Microsoft's Office XML, and it can and ought to be resisted (although application developers may, unfortunately, need to support it to keep their market) but I'd have thought the FOSS movement could do without advocacy from the likes of that sort of person. It makes the movement look bad in the eyes of outsiders.

Re:Just checking the link for Roy Schestowitz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584381)

You do realize that Digg partners with Microsoft for add revenue, don't you?
Scroll to the bottom of the Digg page to see it.

Re:Just checking the link for Roy Schestowitz (0, Offtopic)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584591)

I am a separate Digg reader. Yes I do. Keep in mind there is also a lot stories on there that bash the hell out of MS and show off cool new things in Linux. It's like the vegan argument [slashdot.org] being made elsewhere. Yes I know that Digg has ties to things I wish it did not but if I always let things like that stop me then I would be living in a far more restricted life on the net. Hell, I remember seeing advertisements for MS studio on Slashdot. They might not have been from MS but since it's supporting MS in slightest should I have turned away?

No point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21583939)

de Icaza has made it that he and the GNOME foundation have been in bed with Microsoft for quite some time now...and now that Microsoft and Novell are cozying up the ties to GNOME are getting further and further twisted.

I'm sure some GNOME-droid trained to deny comments like this on Slashdot will be sure to chime in, but don't fall for the astroturfing. Neither Microsoft nor GNOME are beyond subversive tactics to defend their positions.

Re:No point. (2, Interesting)

aerthling (796790) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584009)

Does it strike anyone else as strange that GNOME (which, I understand, began as an alternative to KDE because of its reliance on non-free software) is apparently such an enthusiastic supporter of Microsoft technologies like OOXML and .NET?

Re:No point. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584135)

Not if you follow the money it doesn't. Then it starts to make quite a great deal of sense.

Re:No point. (3, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584193)

.Net? No. OOXML? Yes.

For the developer who wants to spend his time developing applications rather than worrying about memory management then .Net is a great framework. The fact that it is cross-platform (as long as you're careful with windowing toolkits) is also a bonus. Microsoft purposefully released specs for the framework and it seems to be fairly well specified based on the amount of support in Mono.

OOXML is a bit stranger for Gnome to get involved in. Surely it's something that apps like Open Office should be concerned about, not the desktop people? I'd rather they were putting their effort into improving some of the tools they do have rather than working in things they don't have to directly support.

.

Disclaimer: I use Linux, I even use Gnome (have done since Redhat 7.3), I enjoy the freedom and power of open source, and I do dual-boot Windows XP. I code my own projects in C# and don't hate things purely because they're MS, just because they're generally not as well specified or obviously flawed compared to alternatives.

Re:No point. (1)

anticlimate (1093749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584361)

.Net? No. OOXML? Yes.
Didn't you mean ".Net? Yes. OOXML? No." ?

OOXML is a bit stranger for Gnome to get involved in. Surely it's something that apps like Open Office should be concerned about, not the desktop people?
They are not only "desktop people". I'm not too familiar with Gnome developement but isn't Gnome Office (Abiword,Gnumeric etc.) part of the Gnome project? ... OK, I just checked the Gnome Foundation members list: both Jody Goldberg and Morten Welinder of Gnumeric fame are members. Definitely not just "desktop people".

Re:No point. (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584727)

No, the parent post to that said "don't you think it's strange that..." so I was saying no it's not strange for .Net but yes it is string for OOXML. It wasn't "do I want .Net? No. Do I want OOXML? Yes" as that would just be crazy ;)

Gnome people might not be just desktop people, but Gnome (to me and probably most people) is based around the desktop and the window management/appearance (yes, WM is metacity, but metacity is generally Gnome and not KDE). It includes various config apps and some of the core stuff (basic games, text editors, calculators, file compression, file management) but why should it bother about which complex proprietary format to support as a whole project?

Abiword isn't Gnome, although Gnumeric is. If there is a decision to be made in one of the sub-projects about whether they add support for a format or not then surely it should be within the sub-project as the ability to open/edit a file rather than in the whole of Gnome as whether format X should be approved or not?

Not sure that was clear, but basically: why is Gnome seemingly (as a project) fighting about what format to support to get standardised? Apps should decide what they open/edit and people can have their own personal opinions, but that kind of battle isn't something directly related to the whole of Gnome.

Re:No point. (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588579)

For the developer who wants to spend his time developing applications rather than worrying about memory management then .Net is a great framework.

Cross-platform, garbage collected languages existed long before .NET rolled around. Is it really that much better than Python? And now that Java is FOSS, is there truly still a niche for C# on Linux? Hint: "no" works well for both.

Re:No point. (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21590219)

I've never seen a "full app" written in Python, and especially not one for Windows, only small config utilities and the like for Gnome etc. It is possible, since Exaile is a Python app, but Python is still very much in the minority.

As for Java, it still doesn't have the direct runable-ness of an exe that .Net does that Windows users are used to. If you're publishing for the non-tech savvy then that counts for a lot.

There may have been other cross-platform, garbage collected languages before .Net, but how many of them are as widely installed?

Re:No point. (2, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#21590397)

As for Java, it still doesn't have the direct runable-ness of an exe that .Net does that Windows users are used to.

And whose fault is that?

Answer: Microsoft, for not including a JRE in Windows. Apple has a JRE, you can just directly run a .jar executable. It could be that way on Windows if Microsoft wasn't hell-bent to destroy Java.

(Also, I don't have a .NET runtime on any of my computers, and .NET exes are totally unrunnable on all of them, including the Windows ones.)

Re:No point. (2, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21590659)

Answer 2: it is also Sun's for having JAR files that aren't necessarily executable and can't be differentiated from library JARs. .Net, on the other hand, has .exe for executable and .dll for library code (normally). To your basic user then that's far more accessible and understandable than these strange JAR files that sometimes run and sometimes don't.

Even after I've installed Sun's JRE/JDK on Windows then JAR files end up with a "text file" icon. That's sure to confuse people and should be something that Sun have control over in their installer.

I'm not saying .Net is perfect, but for a .exe application then it is much closer to what the vast majority of the public consider "the norm" and is much easier for them to run (e.g. no command line with class path to mess around with as it is generally all in the right places). I've also yet to see a JAR that shows its own icon like an exe does in Windows.

Re:No point. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21590833)

Let me start by saying that i am EXTREMELY ignorant on the topic at hand.

But I have been using Azureus on windows and I never had to wonder about JAR or not JAR with it.

At the end of the day it's all up to the people who package the software.

Re:No point. (1)

gral (697468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21592941)

I actually like the fact that jar is both an executable and library.

In .Net, I HAVE to create a project as a library to use Classes in another project. I can't use classes in EXE files at all.

With a jar, I can execute it and it runs, or I can use it as a library, no problems. If it doesn't have an Executable class defined it fails.

Re:No point. (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21594835)

And, importantly from a non-techy point of view, it normally fails without a visible message.

Okay, so .Net apps aren't greatly better with their cryptic error and error number, but at least it gives you something to look for to work out why it isn't working.

Jars being libraries and executables can be advantageous in one way but at the same time then it is a bit like bending to rules and botching a solution. Yes, you can re-use an app that is Jared up as a library for another app, but that then means you've not properly separated your library code from your GUI code. The .Net app I'm writing at the moment purposefully has back-end DLLs and then an exe for the GUI so that I can easily write separate GUIs and plug them onto the same back end because of good separation.

Re:No point. (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21590613)

I've never seen a "full app" written in Python, and especially not one for Windows

I was under the impression that Bittorrent was rather popular with the kids.

There may have been other cross-platform, garbage collected languages before .Net, but how many of them are as widely installed?

On Linux, many of them. Since the question at hand involves Gnome software, that seems pretty relevant.

OMG... Look out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21591083)

Disclaimer: I use Linux, I even use Gnome (have done since Redhat 7.3), I enjoy the freedom and power of open source, and I do dual-boot Windows XP. I code my own projects in C# and don't hate things purely because they're MS, just because they're generally not as well specified or obviously flawed compared to alternatives.


You better watch out, that kind of stuff will get you kickbanned around here.

If you want to stay around Slashdot, you need to grind that "hate MS at all costs" axe nice and sharp... and constantly. Don't puss out and start bringing reality into it, dude.

Re:No point. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584417)

There's no smoking gun, but Miguel's own writings on the topic suggest that even GNOME was intended to be a playpen for him to start cloning Microsoft's technologies. From http://primates.ximian.com/~miguel/gnome-history.html [ximian.com] :

At Microsoft I learned the truth about ActiveX and COM and I got very interested in it inmediately. Upon my return to Mexico Federico and I started to design a GUI control infrastructure for Unix that we code named `GNOME'. He was working as the maintainer of the GIMP back then and our efforts were targeted towards its adoption on Tk at the time. This project was the seed for what later became the Bonobo component architecture (sixteen months would pass before I started working on Bonobo).

No fancy editing on my part - he really does go straight from describing his admiration for ActiveX to describing his work on GNOME - the GNU Network Object Model Environment.

Thank God other people wrested control of the project from him years ago.

Re:No point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584605)

Have they, though? What about supporting OOXML, the original topic of this debate, as well as the increasing integration of Mono (another clone of a Microsoft technology) into GNOME's core applications?

Perhaps he does not have control of the ship, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to change course, so to speak. The evidence would seem to suggest the contrary.

Re:No point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588611)

well the GTK leaves me cold, if you have a two button radio control and you dont use it every day you have absolutely no way of knowing which choice is active, just like a microsoft product really, I try to use the gimp, but the controls and file selection really, really sucks.

Re:No point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21593817)

GNOME is not an "enthusiastic supporter". The issue is that Microsoft is trying to standardize a format, and some GNOME developers are concerned that they may have to end up supporting OOXML format in applications in the future so they want to try to block Microsoft from slipping a spec past that can't be implemented easily. What GNOME is doing is sending people in there to say, "Hey this doesn't make sense. You need to be more specific." This doesn't mean we're all stuck with OOXML. They're doing this for everyone's benefit, not for any weird fucking conspiratorial reasons that everyone wants to imply. Besides, how many of you people who are bitching about this here are hackers who have to develop office software? What, none of you? Then fuck off and let Jody Goldberg and people who actually have to implement the code do their job. I see people in these comments talking about how this is all political and shit, but I think it's just you people who aren't hackers who are the ones making it political.

Re:No point. (1)

dhammabum (190105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21595503)

I'll bite - it has been Microsoft, ECMA and ISO that have made this political, not us armchair critics. DIS29500 is a shit document that doesn't stand scrutiny - why else has MS had to go through all these pathetic gyrations to get it recognised?

I agree, let people get on with their admirable task of development but from an honest need, not the machinations of a company bent on destroying open source software.

Which Side Will Say This First? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21583969)

"Look, GNOME and Microsoft are both in the business of restricting what users can do with their computers - we just have different approaches. So let's work together!"

It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (5, Insightful)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21583971)

Without trying to stir up a flamewar, it is things like this one that bug me, and have always bugged me about the GNOME project. Far more than the technical issues, as the project has clearly been producing a lot of high-quality software.

I see no reason why a project which was started as a direct response to another project perceived not to be completely Free (which was quite justified at that time) should have anything to do with certifying obfuscated formats made by monopolists or support their proprietary software platforms (see Mono) and pushes by some people within GNOME to make them a central part of the GNOME infrastructure. I don't understand experiments like Eazel, with big industry hotshots coming in to design proper interfaces for the masses who don't understand them, and there are other confusing examples. GNOME was originally a project with a political goal, so I don't understand how its politics have become so bizarre.

As an external observer who doesn't use much GNOME technology, but values the contributions that the project has done to the Free Software landscape, I have to wonder what the hell some people in there are thinking. I realise that there are many different viewpoints within the GNOME project and that this issue is likely not as grave as some are trying to make it, but there is simply no excuse for supporting OOXML in my eyes. None.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (4, Insightful)

R_Dorothy (1096635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584047)

GNOME was originally a project with a political goal, so I don't understand how its politics have become so bizarre.

The clue to the second clause lies in the first.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (1)

porpnorber (851345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585131)

Mod, I think, parent up.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (4, Interesting)

cloricus (691063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584107)

What does it all have to do with GNOME anyway? Why is my desktop of choice even entering into a debate on OOXML. If the chap is supporting OOXML because he happens to think that Microsoft has struck gold in their waste land of creativity then that's fine. However if he (and others) are supporting it in the name of GNOME or its community then some thing really needs to be done to decouple this situation from my desktop.

I think GNOME is the best thing since sliced bread and I defend its design chioces. I think OOXML has nothing to do with GNOME and therefor I ignore it completely (in this context). What is different between those on this bandwagon and myself?

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (2, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584467)

Doesn't gnumeric, abiword etc come under the umbrella term 'Gnome'? If so, then it is important to work out whether to support OOXML or not.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (0, Troll)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21586029)

No it doesn't

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21593277)

Yes.

I think it is more important to (try to) ensure Gnumeric works. So e.g. 1900 should be a leap year and ceiling() function rounds up (towards positive infinity). OOXML defines otherwise, btw.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585685)

I think OOXML has nothing to do with GNOME and therefor I ignore it completely (in this context).

Of course it does. This is about replacing GConfd with an Excel spreadsheet in OOXML format. The current system is too simple, and doesn't have enough things that can go wrong, so clearly complications need to be introduced.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588949)

I think GNOME is the best thing since sliced bread and I defend its design chioces. I think OOXML has nothing to do with GNOME

Oh, it will. Just like they are taking every opportunity to push .Net/Mono as far into the Linux ecology as possible, so too will they start to push everyone into using OOXML eventually. Then Miguel can start spreading some more thinly weiled threats that unless you pay to use Novell's version of Linux, you and your customers are probably going to sued by Microsoft in the near future.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584115)

support their proprietary software platforms (see Mono) and pushes by some people within GNOME

I thought Mono was an entirely seperate implementation of the technology that wasn't initially compatible with, or related to the microsoft .NET thing in any case.

Not that I care much, I don't much like all this .NET style stuff anyway, my needs are somewhat simpler. C or Python (or both together, Mmm embedding...) fulfill all of my requirements, and they don't have any platform issues.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584219)

Why? Money.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584667)

BTW, has anyone ever read and tried to understand this:

http://www.gnome.org/press/releases/ecma-tc45-statement.html [gnome.org]

I think having read this most of your points just do not stand anymore.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (1)

DavoMan (759653) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585375)

Good link.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (0, Troll)

jdub! (24149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21590837)

Of course, the problem with your comments is that the GNOME Foundation **doesn't** contribute to or endorse OOXML... We're drilling Microsoft for documentation, so we can make sure FLOSS products (not just GNOME products) can interoperate with it. In terms of conspiracy theories, that's not very potent. :-)

There is a very valid point of disagreement: whether engagement will be perceived (or should be perceived) as support, and whether Microsoft will try to do that themselves. I hope that as a community, we can agree to disagree in circumstances such as this, without demonising community participants in the process. Sadly, the black-and-white community outcry has done more to support the idea that "GNOME supports OOXML" than Microsoft have so far.

From our perspective, our goal here is about SOFTWARE FREEDOM. Making sure that we can interoperate with Microsoft products so that users are able to adopt FLOSS products without cutting off access to their old documents or interrupting co-operation with their friends or colleagues.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21591299)

I am certainly not one of those KDE fanboys who will jump at every opportunity to berate GNOME, I am simply a bit confused with how certain things have been handled.

Software freedom is something very important to me, as well as you, and I don't see how supporting an obfuscated, potentially patent-infested format designed not to be interoperable with anything, will do anything other than strengthen the position of the monopolist who is one of the main obstacles for more widespread adoption of Free Software in the first place. I say support here because the OOXML format will be far more powerful if it is certified as an open standard, and I understand that the GNOME Foundation is a part of this process.

The way I see it, the idea of forcing Microsoft to create a nice and well documented standard is a noble, but ultimately hopeless endeavour. But it does have real effect of giving legitimacy to the whole process and the OOXML format.

So what we may end up with is a somewhat less obfuscated format which is still too complex for anyone to implement to perfection, which is considered open because even the GNOME Foundation worked on its development/refinement. At the moment where governments and companies are increasingly standardising on ODF because they want truly open formats, the last thing we want is to have a Microsoft-created format with 6000 pages of documentation to be adopted instead, creating another lockin.

Only the reference implementation will load/save perfectly, and the reference implementation is proprietary software. The users of Free software would be better served, IMHO of course, if ODF and other truly open formats became more widespread, than if OOXML became accepted internationally as an open standard, with better documentation.

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (0, Troll)

jdub! (24149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21591499)

Well, let's deal with these issues:

I don't see how supporting an obfuscated, potentially patent-infested format designed not to be interoperable with anything, will do anything other than strengthen the position of the monopolist who is one of the main obstacles for more widespread adoption of Free Software in the first place.


Everything in the software world is patent infested, but in this case the Microsoft Open Specification Promise covers OOXML 1.0. It may not cover future versions, you may not trust them, but there it is. I am less concerned about Microsoft-owned patents than those owned by patent trolls. We're actually in a similar position to Microsoft on this front.

Microsoft will be in a stronger position if users don't have the opportunity to adopt FLOSS products because they don't interoperate with existing documents (including those of their friends and work colleagues). OpenOffice.org has been a success not just because it's "good enough" and "cheap", but because users don't have to drop everything to use it. If OpenOffice.org didn't support the binary Microsoft document formats, the barrier to entry would be way too high, and no one would bother.

I say support here because the OOXML format will be far more powerful if it is certified as an open standard, and I understand that the GNOME Foundation is a part of this process. [...] So what we may end up with is a somewhat less obfuscated format which is still too complex for anyone to implement to perfection, which is considered open because even the GNOME Foundation worked on its development/refinement.

The GNOME Foundation is not contributing to, endorsing, improving or developing OOXML independently or towards ISO standardisation. We are involved in ECMA TC45-M to get as much documentation out of Microsoft as possible. If OOXML is crappy, particularly on the terms of ISO voting bodies, having good documentation only helps to illustrate that crappiness. We're not making it less crap. :-)

At the moment where governments and companies are increasingly standardising on ODF because they want truly open formats, the last thing we want is to have a Microsoft-created format with 6000 pages of documentation to be adopted instead, creating another lockin.

No disagreements there! :-)

Re:It's things like this that bug me about GNOME (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21595667)

Thanks for your clarifications, I appreciate them.

If we can call in (1, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584007)

then can we also request a song and dedicate it to someone?

"Hello, who's that?"
"Hi Robin, it's Richard"
"Hello Richard, do you have a question?"
"Well actually, I wanted to request a song please"
"Um, I'm sorry Richard, but this isn't that kind of show"
"Oh, OK then."
*Hangs up*
"OK, if anyone has any questions, not song requests, then please call this number..."

Looks like Roy Schestowitz... (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584069)

This Account Has Been Suspended Please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible.
forgot to pay their bill. :P

Ad Hominem (3, Funny)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584345)

I'll be listening in and I'm really hoping for a lively debate with lots of ad hominem attacks.
Jeff: "... and the document size is excellent!"
Roy: "Yeah, but tell me one thing: why should we believe someone who cheats on his wife?"

Re:Ad Hominem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21585473)

Jeff Waugh cheats on his wife?

What!? Gnome supporting OOXML!? (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584969)

sudo aptitude install kdebase

Where have I been? Living under a rock?!

two fact-challenged foamy debaters (1)

EllynGeek (824747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21586309)

Just what we need, yet more sound and fury, absent any real information. Just two guys who never run out of words, and yet who never really say anything. Waste of time- go watch Springer; it's the same thing, plus chairs will be thrown.

Re:two fact-challenged foamy debaters (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587899)

Your post reminds me... I haven't been to illwillpress in awhile... has that wacky squirrel gotten out of his slump?

Re:two fact-challenged foamy debaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588033)

Personally, I won't watch any discussion that doesn't involve pixelated naughty bits.

WTF with that feed host? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588507)

TFA says the debate will be hosted at BlogTalkRadio [blogtalkradio.com] . Fine, but WTF is up with the meta tags on that page? Representative samples include:

  • AfroNerd
  • Field Negro
  • smart mobs
  • commercial space flight
  • pornography

No one says a blog has to stay on-topic, of course, but that's... diverse.

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