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Saving in OOXML Format Now Probably A Bad Idea

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the good-idea-bad-idea dept.

Microsoft 150

orlando writes "Much drama is unfolding prior to the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, currently schedule for the end of February. After that there's a subsequent 30 day period while countries can still change their vote. As a result, Bob Sutor is recommending that saving your documents in OOXML format right now is probably about the riskiest thing you can do, if you are concerned with long term interoperability. At this point nobody has the vaguest idea what OOXML will look like in February, or even whether it will be in any sort of stable condition by the end of March. 'While we are talking about interoperability, who else do you think is going to provide long term complete support for this already-dead OOXML format that Microsoft Office 2007 uses today? Interoperability means that other applications can process the files fully and not just products from Microsoft. I would even go so far as to go back to those few OOXML files you have already created and create .doc, .ppt, and .xls versions of them for future use, if you want to make sure you can read them and you don't want to commit yourself to Microsoft's products for the rest of their lives.'"

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Unwarrented (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158338)

There's nothing to worry about. Microsoft will NOT be making any changes to the OOXML format. They will listen to all the suggestions/complaints, nod their heads and ignore them. The format will be passed, unchanged.

Re:Unwarrented (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159522)

And although it's a pain in the butt, we'll cope. OOo is already pretty good at reading MS proprietary files -- better than MS Office in some cases. Although I usually work in MS Office, I keep OOo on my computer as a recovery tool, because it will successfully read MS Office files that are too damaged for MS Office to read even in recovery mode. Yes, it would be better if OOXML didn't exist. Given that it exists, it would be better if it's not accepted as a standard. But even if it does get accepted as a standard then I bet the free (at least as in beer, hopefully as in speech) tools would be along smartish. Maybe not good enough to claim full standard compliance, but good enough for everyone to open their documents and get on with their jobs.

Office 2007 default switcher app? (2, Interesting)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 6 years ago | (#22160232)

Somebody - that people would trust to not be sending around viruses (Sun?, Google?) - ought to write a tiny downloadable app that will change your default format in Office 2007 back to .doc. Seriously, this .docx default is causing a lot of people problems, and not just ODF fans. You'd be surprised how many people can't figure out how to change the default. And without MS0 2007 as a reference, I can't walk some of the more literal users that end up asking through finding it in the entirely new menu system I've never seen (click File, click Print,... where's File?).

A nice little web link on google.com ("Are your friends complaining about not being able to open your Word 2007 documents? Fix it here") would do the trick.

This is crazy. (2, Insightful)

Columcille (88542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159580)

Fear mongering on Slashdot again? I am all for standards but when it comes to thinks like file support, it doesn't really matter all that much. OOXML is here and it will be around a while. And in 10 years when you are trying to open your old files, there will still be filters to open OOXML files, just like we can still open a whole host of old and obscure file formats. Why in the world go through the trouble of converting all of your files already created using OOXML?

For myself, I'm a pretty savvy computer user. I've been on them for a while and know their ins and outs better than even most Slashdotters (no, not better than YOU, of course!) I like standards and support them, moreso with web standards than file formats. I don't really care what file format I use so long as it works. My office product of choice is Office 2007. I happen to like it a lot and I could care less how it saves its files. I know that 5, 10, 20 years from now I would still be able to open the files, though I have no idea why I would want to.

Re:This is crazy. (3, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159652)

I know that 5, 10, 20 years from now I would still be able to open the files, though I have no idea why I would want to.

Or so you think. It seems that every MS "standard" is nothing more then just a memory dump of the product in question. For all we know, MS could release an Office 2007 Service Pack 1 that changes the format however could ignore all data on CDs/Flash drives when they update all the files. It doesn't help that chances are you are going to have to buy an Office 2009 to use the new OOXML format to even open newer OOXML files. The problem is MS is a company and a large one that doesn't care about stabbing its customers in the back to make a buck.

keeping records: audits, lawyers, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22161340)

I know that 5, 10, 20 years from now I would still be able to open the files, though I have no idea why I would want to.


Depending on your jurisdiction, you can be audited up to seven years after you file your finances. Teachers (where I live) also have to keep paper work for several years in case there's an issue with students' records (e.g., you had a grade nine student, and four years later, when they apply to college, there's a mix up). Of course there are lawyers, where if they appeal, things can drag on for years.

On a corporate level, insurance companies have to keep records for a long time as well.

It all depends on your situation, but it isn't hard to imagine why this could be important for many people, if it's not you personally (but maybe a family member).

Re:This is crazy. (1)

medge_42 (173874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159958)

It's not that files written in in MSOffice 2007 can be opened in MSOffice 2015 that is the issue here. It's files written in MSOffice 2015 able to be opened in MSOffice 2007. IE If someone I know sends me a word document, then I shouldn't have to upgrade to be able to read it (even if it doesn't handle all of the formatting and content correctly.
Of course in a perfect world, I would even need MSOffice 2007 to read it.

Re:This is crazy. (2, Insightful)

jdeisenberg (37914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22161262)

I know that 5, 10, 20 years from now I would still be able to open the files, though I have no idea why I would want to.

Governmental bodies, corporations, and other institutions may indeed have a need to keep their documents available and readable for more than 20 years. (Imagine birth certificates stored in a obsolete, proprietary, undocumented, binary format on media that can only be read on equipment that is no longer available. Hilarity ensues.)

Which app will be around longer? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22161156)

So, which app is more likely to be around longer: MS Office, which has been the market leader in integrated office applications since, well, since Microsoft created the FIRST integrated office suite? Or is it more likely that the latest version of an application which has already lost out to Microsoft, and makes no money whatsoever, is going to be around? Or is it more likely that a FOSS project can somehow keep it together, despite not making any money whatsoever, and they can avoid splintering into 300 million versions like every single other mildly successful FOSS application?

Yeah... I dunno. Looks pretty hard to predict. Oh wait, it actually doesn't, at all.

Niggers still a bad idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158370)

Slavery: Worst Idea Ever!

Comic Book Nigger

Re:Niggers still a bad idea (3, Informative)

kjkeefe (581605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158894)

Seriously, can't we block these IP's already? I mean this is happening in ever story...

Re:N*** still a bad idea (2, Insightful)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159176)

If you're going to reply to this crap, could you please at least take out the N-word in the subject?

Thanks!

Re:N*** still a bad idea (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159898)

why? seriously?

Re:N*** still a bad idea (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159984)

These are only my personal preferences, but I'll try to justify them:

1. Leaving the offensive word in the subject further publicizes the troll's message.
2. The word in and of itself is upsetting to many people.

I am not generally a 'PC' person, but I feel it's a good idea to obscure the offensive word in the subject, especially since [i]the poster them self was offended by the troll.[/i]

Of course, opinions differ on most anything.

Re:N*** still a bad idea (2, Insightful)

kjkeefe (581605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159950)

I can't tell you how many times I've replied and as I clicked submit I realized that I didn't change the subject... Now I have this stupid subject in my posting history from no until eternity... Great...

Re:N*** still a bad idea (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22160078)

Eh. We all make mistakes. Look at my italic tags above, which don't work on this forum. I need to use 'preview' each time.

Perhaps our foibles may enrich others.

Re:N*** still a bad idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22161182)

Nigger NIgger NiGger NigGer NiggEr NiggeR

Re:Niggers still a bad idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22159274)

No. Joining the discussions on Slashdot is open to everyone no matter how pointless, redundant, offensive, off-topic or obscene a comment is. Its called freedom. Thats why we're fighting in Iraq. What are you a commie/hippie/arab/nazi/insert_appropriate_minority?

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159444)

Well at the very least Slashdot could use decent CAPTCHAs. For a technology site it's pretty dumb of them to be using dictionary words.

Re:Niggers still a bad idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22160646)

Seriously, can't we block these IP's already? I mean this is happening in ever story...


Naggers are a bad idea?

Re:Trolls still a bad idea (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22160678)

Unfortunately IP-based blocking is *hopelessly* flawed for many reasons (dynamic IPs, transparent proxies etc.) ... in some cases significant percentages of entire countries are routed through clusters of transparent proxies (and the headers behind that to determine 'actual' IP are not necessarily reliable, plus could contain private IPs etc.). There seems to be little one can really do about this kind of thing, short of modding the trolls down as quickly as possible into oblivion, and giving them as little attention as possible.

OONHP adoption? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158402)

The Object-Oriented Nigger-Hating Protocol is something I feel we should all adopt.

DOCTOR RON PAUL.

Not risky (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158406)

Microsoft won't actually use whatever becomes standardized. They'll add a strict output mode toggle that meets those requirements burried somewhere in their user interface. That way they can claim OOXML is a standard and they support it to keep the ignorant bean counters happy. However what everyone actually reads and writes by default will be whatever Office 2007 currently outputs (until OOo supports it 95%, and then it will be time for Office 2010.)

I'm not too worried (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158410)

How can the format be dead if it's being supported by Office 2007 currently? It may continue on through that vein, and I certainly don't fear for saving my documents this way. Not to mention if it does continue on in the Office Suite, I would think competitors would still seek to work with it if the market demands it.

It's not the standards bodies that drive the market ( despite what most of us would prefer ), it's the demand in the market itself.

Re:I'm not too worried (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158564)

How can the format be dead if it's being supported by Office 2007 currently? It may continue on through that vein, and I certainly don't fear for saving my documents this way. Not to mention if it does continue on in the Office Suite, I would think competitors would still seek to work with it if the market demands it
So long as Microsoft products are the only products that will read and write this file correctly, with no formatting problems or anything, what makes you think that it isn't a bad idea?

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?

Re:I'm not too worried (3, Funny)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158590)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?


Wish that I had shorted Microsoft stock, and look for the price of Apple to go up.

Re:I'm not too worried (5, Insightful)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158678)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?
Invade some random country?

Re:I'm not too worried (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158752)

"What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?"

???
Profit?

Re:I'm STILL not too worried (1)

Phid (1225734) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158848)

I wouldn't suddenly stop using the software on my PC, and would be able to export or save in any format I wish, or continue using the same software. There is no situation where things stop dead in their tracks. I don't think this is a bad idea because traditionally, there hasn't exactly been a problem with .doc and .xls formats that have been proprietary and the same since 97.

I don't think it's a bad idea because I don't see any dangers of being stuck by surprise. Let's say something happens and a whole slew of folks are using these formats. Suddenly there's a market for working with OOXML, or whatever format is in question. It's solvable, there's nothing scary or end of the world here. There's not even anything too stressful involved.

Besides, let's say MS really wants OOXML to fly. They continue to doggedly push it, and they have the inertia to make it stick, regardless of what industry experts/influencers want. Good for them. Nothing says the world has to be governed by standards bodies.

Re:I'm STILL not too worried (1)

Darius_Acriter (981415) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159982)

That's fine for your documents that you are using currently. But extrapolate this for a large company with thousands-millions of documents and the scale of the problem become apparent. Or consider the disks that I have in my small office with Multi-mate spreadsheets or even 1-2-3. Sure *I* can open them if I try hard enough, but what about everyone else in my office? Think bigger. Document-format-lock-in is a really anti-competitive practice that needs to go away.

Re:I'm not too worried (3, Funny)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158884)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?
That's like asking what we would do if all of Robin's minstrels were eaten in the frozen land of Nador.

And there was much rejoicing.

Re:I'm not too worried (4, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158982)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?


Check my alibi!

Re:I'm not too worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22159044)

"Terrorists"? or..."Freedom Fighters"?

Re:I'm not too worried (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159576)

"Terrorists"? or..."Freedom Fighters"?
I think it depends on if they're French or not.

Re:I'm not too worried (1)

Nate-the-Gr8 (1003014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159282)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?
Somehow I don't think my copy of Office 2007 will be harmed. Worse case scenario and Office 07 is the last version of Office to support OOXML, I'll simply open up the documents I need and Save as.

Re:I'm not too worried (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159410)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?

Um, nothing different, because the software I have will continue to work, and MS does have their source code backed up offsite.

Re:I'm not too worried (2, Funny)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159538)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?
Um, is this a trick question?

Re: The video's already on Youtube (1)

hullabalucination (886901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22160484)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?

Proclaim loudly to anyone who would listen that the Bush Administration knew the attack was coming for at least a year in advance; produce some documents of questionable authenticity purporting to be a communication between CIA Director Hayden and the White House discussing an "Operation Chairtoss;" speculate wildly on the identity of the individual mentioned in said document and referred to only by the mysterious handle "12th Monkey Boy;" then begin a 16-city book signing tour as sales of my expose reached #4 on the 'New York Times' best-seller list.

* * * * *

The preceding poster is a wholly owned subsidiary of the the Mitsubishi Corporation and his post may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the consent of Major League Baseball.

Re:I'm not too worried (1)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22160542)

What would you do if a terrorist bombed Microsoft headquarters tomorrow?
By definition, bombing MS headquarters means you are not a terrorist, but a freedom fighter. You know, like the afghans back when they were firing at soviet tanks instead of US tanks.

Re:I'm not too worried (2, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159366)

Except that the current iteration of OOXML in Microsoft Office is not the OOXML that they submitted and changed throughout the ISO process. They implemented the 'old' OOXML and in the mean time they have deprecated lots of proprietary features that Office is actually using because nobody but Microsoft can implement those features (RenderLikeWord97 comes to mind).

Worst case goes like this (2, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22160230)

You save something in OOXML today. The standard gets re-written in February. Now Microsoft has a problem. Everybody running Office 2007 is saving in a non-standard-conformant format. What to do?

Windows Update to the rescue! So MS pushes out an update that patches Office. Now it saves in the real format, the one that came out of the February meeting...

But now nobody's saved stuff can be read back in.

But hey, that's all just hypothetical. Microsoft wouldn't be that stupid...

Would they?

Future compatibility? What about now? (4, Interesting)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158416)

It's a bad idea anyway, regardless of your future data needs. I've already received a handful of .docx files in my job and have had to email the person back, asking them to save as an alternate format. And inevitably the response is "Oh right, I always forget that not everyone can open these files."

Microsoft's done a crappy job introducing a crappy format, and only people on the latest office (or the ability to install the Windows-oriented Windows-installer for old Office for Windows) can even work with the files.

Let's just make one thing clear. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158486)

No matter what is in the published specification ... the ONLY implementation of OOXML that will matter will be the "de facto" standard that is whatever Microsoft is shipping at that moment.

You can be 100% compliant with the published spec ... but if you aren't 100% compliant with what Microsoft apps produce, your product is not an option.

That's the point (5, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158990)

You can be 100% compliant with the published spec ... but if you aren't 100% compliant with what Microsoft apps produce, your product is not an option.

You don't think Microsoft *planned* it this way, did you?

The *only* reason Microsoft purchased... I mean, went through the IEEE standardization process was to fast-track to ISO. This is because places like Massachusetts were pondering passing resolutions that would require certain government agencies (in the case of Mass, the executive branch) to publish documents in a standard, open format. Microsoft, of course, fought that with money, lobbying, and disinformation (Microsoft's best weapons).

By getting a rubber-stamp standard, Microsoft can continue doing exactly what they do now: locking in customers by creating the perception that theirs is the only office suite that can handle the "standard" correctly, making the other suites look inferior (despite the actual compliance of the other suites).

Notice the timing of OOXML-- it happened just as OOo was beginning to render .doc formats exceptionally well. The barrier to conversion to OOo was damned low. So, it was time to introduce another incompatible document format, which is what they have always done when the competition gets too hot.

I don't know why Microsoft doesn't believe they can compete on merit alone. They almost *always* resort to market manipulation to maintain the upper hand. It'd be funny, if they weren't teabagging capitalism in the process.

Re:That's the point (5, Interesting)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159744)

The barrier to conversion to OOo was damned low. So, it was time to introduce another incompatible document format, which is what they have always done when the competition gets too hot.
If it was low then, it's probably even lower now thanks to Ribbon. Given the choice between spending 5-15 minutes training employees to convert from Office 2003 to OpenOffice.org and spending 30+ minutes training employees to convert from Office 2003 to Office 2007, I know which suite I would deploy.

it was ECMA, not IEEE (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22161268)

The *only* reason Microsoft purchased... I mean, went through the IEEE standardization process was to fast-track to ISO.


It was ECMA they went through, not IEEE.

(I am an IEEE member.)

Re:Future compatibility? What about now? (1)

jayp00001 (267507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158514)

...only people on the latest office (or the ability to install the Windows-oriented Windows-installer for old Office for Windows) can even work with the files
no, you can download the word viewer to view those files. You do not need to purchase anything to view them. However unless I know the person has windows I'd probably send a PDF instead.

Re:Future compatibility? What about now? (4, Insightful)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158826)

You do not need to purchase anything to view them.

Apart from the OS, of course.

Re:Future compatibility? What about now? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158914)

Correct, but I'd rather teach people to use a format other people can readily use rather than require recipients to jump through hoops.

The burden of sending a conveniently readable file lies with the sender. .doc may be proprietary but at least it meets the conveniently readable threshold, nearly any office software can handle .doc adequately.

That said, I personally don't recommend sending .doc files for most inter-business communication. PDF is a lot more sensible in most (but not all) circumstances.

This who debate is like the those stupid outlook emails with .dat attachments, because the sender is using outlook rich text format instead of plaintext or html. Sure I and all the other recipients *could* download a .dat file viewer, they do exist... but I shouldn't have to. The sender should be instructed to use formats that are compatible, especially when sending to recipients outside his organization.

Re:Future compatibility? What about now? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159476)

Correct, but I'd rather teach people to use a format other people can readily use rather than require recipients to jump through hoops.

I know, I can't expect people to have a PDF reader on their workstation already. I just give them something that works.

Re:Future compatibility? What about now? (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159722)

This who debate is like the those stupid outlook emails with .dat attachments, because the sender is using outlook rich text format instead of plaintext or html.

Not to mention those users that are on networks that simply strip attachments (under the guise of "any files you work with should be accessed via a backed-up server, not email," which is worthwhile) or using crappy netware Groupwise (which doesn't support .dat, as far as I know -- and if it did, IT would never install it anyway!).

It's incredible how many people don't realize that just because you're using fancy markup, everyone else will see it the same way. They probably think all those unformatted emails they get are from "boring people" who don't "understand the web."

Re:Future compatibility? What about now? (3, Informative)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158518)

Not to mention that the various kinds of .doc are often problematic, when one party has a newer version of office (and has saved in said format) while the other party has not upgraded.

The 'classics' are always best, anyway--because, frankly, if you need more formatting than some basic markup that would be covered by rtf or html, you ought be using something aimed more towards desktop publishing than word processing--and for that, you can use TeX or something.

These fancy-schmancy formats are just feature creep, really, in my opinion. If you need clip art to say it, then perhaps you don't need to say it at all.

Re:Future compatibility? What about now? (2, Insightful)

norite (552330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159204)

Maybe you should send them files in .odt format, and when the inevitable reply comes back, saying that their latest and greatest version of word 2007 cannot open it, say "Oh, sorry, I keep forgetting, not everyone is using OpenOffice." Then email them the link to OpenOffice's download section ;)

Re:Future compatibility? What about now? (1, Funny)

paul.schulz (75696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159874)

Just received a Resume for a C Developer position, in docx format. Pity we can't open it.

The advertisement also specifically said that job applicants will only be contacted if they make the short list

Heath Ledger had a perfect butt, now he's gone :( (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158420)

No more buttfucking for that good ol' boy :_(

I desired buttfucking :(

Allow me to quote Scott McNealey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158430)


ASCII.

Of course, most Slashdotters have never heard of ASCII.

Re:Allow me to quote Scott McNealey (4, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158466)

Of course we have, it's the only type of porn that can be viewed without a GUI.

Re:Allow me to quote Scott McNealey (4, Funny)

netsavior (627338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158698)

I agree ascii porn is not good enough to achieve "gui" - I guess that's what the kids are calling it these days.

UTF8 (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158746)

Cause some people still like using their own funny looking character sets.

Zonk on acid (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158440)

Dude, sorry. Everybody has a bad day once in a while, but that was nearly unparseable. Here-

Much drama is unfolding prior to the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, which is currently scheduled for the end of February. There is a subsequent 30 day period when countries can still change their vote. As a result, Bob Sutor is recommending that if you are concerned with long term interoperability, then saving your documents in OOXML format is probably about the riskiest thing you can do.

At this point, nobody has the vaguest idea what OOXML will look like in February, or even whether it will be in any sort of stable condition by the end of March. 'While we are talking about interoperability, who else do you think is going to provide long term complete support for this already dead OOXML format that Microsoft Office 2007 uses today?

Interoperability means that other applications can process the files fully and not just products from Microsoft. I would even go so far as to go back to those few OOXML files you have already created and create .doc, .ppt, and .xls versions of them for future use, if you want to make sure you can read them and you don't want to commit yourself to Microsoft's products for the rest of their lives.'"

Re:Zonk on acid (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158566)

That's being rather picky, I think. I know it isn't saying much, but I routinely see much worse from the likes of CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post etc. Also, Slashdot tends to be a bit more niche-oriented while maintaining roughly the same timeliness, so the occasional rough grammar is to be expected, I'd think.

Re:Zonk on acid (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159030)

True, but you don't get a chance to correct CNN and those guys. And I did apologise, Zonk usually does an excellent job, at least he has on the stories I've submitted.

Bill Gates, OOXML, the Bilderberg group & 9/11 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158460)

As social issues all pale in comparison to the problem we as a society face when it comes time to confront the reality of niggers.

Vote Ron Paul
Clean up the streets.

Don't Panic (1)

Sweep The Leg (925950) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158512)

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

OOXML vs. RTF vs. N I G G E R P I E ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158516)

I'm not sure what "niggerpie" is, but it doesn't sound good.

It's probably 95% criminal.

DR RON PAUL MD

Nelson: Ha Ha! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158556)

In all seriousness, though, this is a bit of a sticky wicket. Not that it'll affect microsoft; but trying to introduce a nonstandard implementation of a standard that is still in considerable flux is a rather gutsy move. Particularly if you are doing so while insisting on the cardinal importance of backwards compatibility and so on.

Did he say that about ODF before approval? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158634)

I don't recall any dire warnings that we should avoid saving in ODF at the late stages of its journey through the standardization process. Why is it suddenly an issue for OOXML?

Re:Did he say that about ODF before approval? (3, Interesting)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158730)

Probably because back when it was being approved, it already existed as a standard, and was already implemented by multiple applications.

Unlike OOXML, ODF (or OASIS as IIRC it was referred to more often) was the main format for Open Office, and at least KDE was supporting it as well.

The fact is, if MS suddenly drops OOXML, everybody else will instantly lose interest in it. Meanwhile ODF has wide adoption: You can open it with OpenOffice, AbiWord, KWord or a MS Office plugin, for instance.

Re:Did he say that about ODF before approval? (5, Informative)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158766)

The biggest difference is that ODF did not go through Fast Track, it went trough a long and tedious process in OASIS. Besides, OOo did not save to ODF before it was done deal in ISO.

Then there is the problem that Office 2007 does not fully support the OOXML (so you cannot save to OOXML now, only OOXMLish).

Furthermore Microsoft has clearly stated they will not follow ISO-OOXML - unless it does exactly what Microsoft wants it to do.

So no matter what you do, your file will be outdated in a few years.

Re:Did he say that about ODF before approval? (3, Interesting)

mingot (665080) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159598)

The biggest difference is that ODF did not go through Fast Track, it went trough a long and tedious process in OASIS. Besides, OOo did not save to ODF before it was done deal in ISO.

Wrong.

Wikipedia Article on OASIS [wikipedia.org]

And although the WP article does not mention it ODF actually got to skip the one month contradictory period that was required of OOXML. So this long and tedious process for ISO certification you're talking about . . . Didn't exist.

Then there is the problem that Office 2007 does not fully support the OOXML (so you cannot save to OOXML now, only OOXMLish).

So someone has found bugs in Office 2007? Say it ain't so.

Furthermore Microsoft has clearly stated they will not follow ISO-OOXML - unless it does exactly what Microsoft wants it to do.

Can I get some sort of cite here?

Re:Did he say that about ODF before approval? (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159750)

No, that is WRONG. ODF went through PAS which is near identical to Fasttrack, comments were raised, no BRM was held and as yet non of the maintenence (which is all done in OASIS still) has been handed back to ISO for any further approval.

Re:Did he say that about ODF before approval? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22160034)

OOo supported ODF in version 2, which came out over a year before ODF was an ISO standard.

And furthermore, that ISO standard is quite incomplete. ODF 1.2, which is now in the process of being standardized, adds things like a specification for spreadsheet formulas. Should we refrain from using ODF until that is finished? Are we to believe that minor differences between Office 2007 and what will be finally standardized is fatal, but the gigantic additions ODF is currently undergoing are just fine?

This article was just another in a long line of articles that point out "flaws" in OOXML that also exist in ODF.

Plain text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22158832)

Um, so tell me again what is wrong with plain text? I find it is perfect for text documents, extremely portable and will almost certainly be readable millenia into the future .

XML of ANY kind is totally retarded.

Re:Plain text (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159090)

Look at it this way, CEOs are always going to want some sort of format they can put extraneous clipart and other useless eye candy into, so they'll never accept plain text. The advantage to xml, is when you get something from them, you can just s/<[^>]+/\n/g and get a semi-legible file out of the other end no matter what document viewer you use. Even better, you can find the XMLish equivalent of paragraph and header tags and use XSLT to strip everything but those.

Aw, c'mon (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158880)

At this point nobody has the vaguest idea what OOXML will look like in February
If this were Jeopardy, I'd ask Alex:
"What is the most-linked image in /. history?"

Re:Aw, c'mon (1)

Lordpidey (942444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159374)

Well its quite hard to know what it will look like, considering the huge gaping hole in what we know about the format.

I distinctly recall frowning.. (1)

MacarooMac (1222684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158882)

..when I booted my new laptop running Vista and MS Word 2007 started to save my docs with a suspicious looking new '.sucx' extension.
Foolishly I didn't take the time (nor had I the inclination) to investigate the implication of this change and I assumed it was just another completely unnecessary m$oft 'enhancement' designed to (i) annoy me (ii) make it harder for 'lesser mortals' to migrate their platform.

Yep, I know: what a naïve, conceited, presumptuous fuckwad, etc. etc.

At the time I had intended to - and have since - started dual-booting Linux K/ubuntu, on a separate partition, and so I didn't think that adopting Bill's new file format was something I should be at all concerned about...

And now that I've accumulated a truck stop full of .sucx docs - with all kinds of embedded attachments - you're telling me I should start thinking about going through 'em all and convert them *back* to the .doc?!

OMFG WTF USOBs. S.O.S. nearest Borg - please take me away from this place

DOCX Conversion (1)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158916)

I've started getting OOXML (docx) Word documents, which I've found take forever to convert using MS' own builting converter (2007 to 2003) and that the conversion frequently jacks-up the formatting, which doesn't bother me, but makes collabaration difficult, and I have to re-format the documents if we're in a crunch since my project lead is anal about asthetic things like that.

<rant>If it were up to me, I'd do reports in plaintext (or if necessary, PDF)</rant>

Tagging (4, Insightful)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158966)

A comment on tagging:
"whatcouldpossiblygowrong" is pretty entertaining when used sparingly, like maybe on a story about a new robotic dentist. But when we are talking about document formats, I think it starts to lose that special something.

Re:Tagging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22160626)

Aww come on, what could possibly go wrong?

Use MS-OOXML and reduce confusion (4, Insightful)

nadaou (535365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158972)

To reduce the (probably intended) market confusion over the pedigree of the format names, it would be nice if people used "MS-OOXML" to differentiate it from ODF and OpenOffice.

[repost]

Re:Use MS-OOXML and reduce confusion (1)

codemachine (245871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22160992)

What makes you think that the name Office Open XML was intended to be confused with the OpenOffice's XML file format (ie. ODF)?

Too bad OpenOffice.org doesn't even have the trademark for Open Office (hence the .org), otherwise they could probably do something about it.

Again (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22158998)

MS is going to try and force the issue with money, and sheer weight of numbers.

All together now: "MICROSOFT - BECAUSE IT'S THERE."

Isn't Google/IBM providing support for OOXML? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22159072)

What is the danger of these formats if this is true: http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1121 [zdnet.com]

Sutor has a point, but... (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159152)

Sutor is correct that it's quite possible that the OOXML that comes out of ISO will not be compatible with the OOXML that Office currently saves. But do keep in mind that Sutor works for IBM and has long been a vocal opponent of OOXML.

Re:Sutor has a point, but... (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159398)

Sutor is correct that it's quite possible that the OOXML that comes out of ISO will not be compatible with the OOXML that Office currently saves. But do keep in mind that Sutor works for IBM and has long been a vocal opponent of OOXML.

Ah, so what you're saying is that he has an agenda... to tell the truth?

Re:Sutor has a point, but... (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159532)

I'm saying he has an agenda against OOXML. But having an agenda doesn't make someone wrong...

dude.. (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159280)

They can't make an operating system; what makes anyone think they can make a standard file format for the ages?

Standards (1)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159322)

Sadly, it doesn't matter all that much what ISO has to say, since MS Office is the standard application choice in business. What ever it uses will continue to be the defacto "standard". Therefore Microsoft gets to set the standard for document formats. I'm not happy with this at all, but it's a fact of life I'm learning (aka being forced) to live with.

Saving in OOXML Format Now Probably A Bad Idea (1)

batquux (323697) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159396)

Thanks, but I'm way ahead of you on this one.

"standard" vs "de facto standard" (1)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159422)

Here's my serious & naive questions: Is Microsoft really under any obligation to follow a standard? Playing devil's advocate here, Microsoft can pretty much do whatever they want. They dominate the market, whatever format they see fit to save their documents in is what they'll do. They've always used their market share to get their own way, why would this one be any different? I'm already getting "how do I open this .docx" document?" questions, as are many others I'm sure. It's just another way for Microsoft to get people to buy their software. If the format was open & shared it could erode their market share.. eventually, maybe. Why would they possibly adopt an open standard?

Re:"standard" vs "de facto standard" (4, Interesting)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159496)

People are trying to get laws passed that say that government documents must be saved in an open, documented format. If OOXML gets forked into the ISO version and the MS version, then MS loses there since they don't save in a documented format.

One option for MS is to have a very hidden "save in ISO OOXML" switch that is hard to toggle, or only available in more expensive versions of office, with a converter between the MS and ISO versions of OOXML.

If MS uses the ISO version of OOXML, then as you say, anyone could make an office suite that used that format, and MS would have to compete on something more than "everybody uses office".

If it wasn't for those laws that people are trying to get passed, you would be completely correct.

Re:"standard" vs "de facto standard" (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159592)

There certainly is a moral obligation to support a standard that you've forced into existence. To force hundreds, if not thousands, of people around the world to work to vet your proposed standard and then not support it is... uh... bad form...

The XML schema should also change. (2, Informative)

iron Dan (1177883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159548)

When the document specification is revised, the XML schema should also change. Older documents will then still be readable because an application has to use the older (non OSI approved) XML schema.

Re:The XML schema should also change. (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159632)

Older documents will then still be readable because an application has to use the older (non OSI approved) XML schema.
They do? Says who?

Call me crazy, but... (1)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159688)

At this point nobody has the vaguest idea what OOXML will look like in February,

I'm guessing it's gonna look pretty similar to the current version. What does the guy expect, a complete re-write from a company that isn't known for making concessions and has the market share to mostly get their way?

No matter how many and how significant the changes made to OOXML as M$ forces it through the standards bodies, the situation then will be no different than now - OOXML is not yet supported by many applications, not many people are using it just yet, anyone on MS Office will be able to open it, there will be a spattering of converters out there for those that can be bothered to get hold of it.

To use the phrase "the riskiest thing you can do" (highlighted in bold in the centre of the page, no less) in reference to a format that - no matter how proprietary - consists of XML files and a zip container is basically just pathetic. Having no patience for FUD, I wonder if Sutor realises that posts like this simply inspire the hope (against my better instincts) that M$ get their way soon so I can stop reading pathetic whiney shite like this.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159786)

He doesn't expect it... look up the deffinition of FUD on Wikipedia, Gene Amdahl defined the term to describe IBMs marketing techniques. Bob is just doing all he can to try and muddy the waters.

There's an error in the article. (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22159928)

I would even go so far as to go back to those few OOXML files you have already created and create .odt, .odp, and .ods versions of them for future use, if you want to make sure you can read them and you don't want to commit yourself to Microsoft's products for the rest of their lives.
Fixed.
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