Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Upgrades Microsoft Software

Docvert 3.0 Lessens Reliance On Microsoft Office 108

Posted by kdawson
from the weaning dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After 10 months of development Docvert 3.0 was released today. This open source web service converts DOC files to Oasis OpenDocument 1.0, and then to HTML, RSS, or any XML format. Try the ODF demo or download the source and install it on your own box. Version 3.0 comes with an MS Word Plugin, FTP/WebDAV upload, and an in-browser document editor."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Contradictory Nature of OOXML

Comments Filter:
  • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:59AM (#17663496)
    Ya, I'm on the edge of my seat. It will get adopted as a standard or it won't. Office will use it either way and anyone wanting to interoperate with Office will have to try to implement it as well.
    • Phew I hear you man... I'm staying up every night until I hear more! Its like that one time when the PS3 came out...
    • by Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:20AM (#17663820)
      All true, but if it does get adopted as a standard, then MS can use this to ensure the continued use of MS Office by government agencies around the globe. If it doesn't get adopted, MS will be under pressure to provide a supported, native, OOD format.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        What are the implications if it does get adopted as a standard? Can anybody implement for free? Can MS get fined for saying they support the standard when in fact their software actually does not (ala, Java, CSS, HTML, Kerberos, and others). If we could just get MS to follow some standard and actually implement it as the standard as written, then I think we could get long way to interoperability with MS word. If it's an open standard, and MS can't just go ahead and change it whenever, and they have to ac
        • by truthsearch (249536) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:01PM (#17664408) Homepage Journal
          In my opinion there are two reasons Microsoft is trying to create their own standard: PR and government contracts. The PR aspect is obvious. The US government is Microsoft's largest customer (by far) and also the most likely to demand open document standards. Other governments will likely do the same long before corporations demand it. So Microsoft needs to have their own standard which they implement first in order to get the contracts.

          They don't have to implement it correctly. They can claim support for a standard [msversus.org] for years without actually following it (e.g. CSS, Kerberos, etc.) and still get the contracts. They were actually involved in creating some CSS standards and still didn't follow them.

          It's all about the money. Get the big contracts and nothing else matters.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I don't *know* the answers but I believe:

          Can anybody implement for free?
          I think so! But, you'll need to get a copy of the standard first, and I believe ISO normally charge.. rather more than I'd like for that.

          Can MS get fined for saying they support the standard when in fact their software actually does not...
          I doubt it, but if a test case can be produced to prove the fault, they'll maybe/probably/hopefully/perhaps fix it. Depending on whos asking for a fix!

          You're right that *a standard* is far be
        • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:45PM (#17666226)
          Can anybody implement for free?

          No, because bits of it are patented (especially the "legacy compatibility" parts that basically just say "emulate old versions of Office").

          Can MS get fined for saying they support the standard when in fact their software actually does not (ala, Java, CSS, HTML, Kerberos, and others).

          In this case it won't matter, because the OOXML "standard" is effectively defined as "whatever MS Office does." In other words, MS basically documented Office's behavior down to the smallest detail, and submitted it to ECMA and now ISO.

    • by Divebus (860563)

      It only figures... Microsoft expecting a compendium of proprietary digital glop to be officially embraced by all. Why even submit this for standardization? De-facto "standards" have worked so well for them [ -and so badly for everyone else].

      Application Rejected. Thanks for Playing. Please Try Again.

  • by alispguru (72689) <baneNO@SPAMgst.com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:00AM (#17663520) Journal
    as:

    Object
    Oriented
    X
    M
    L

    and whimpered at the thought...
    • by parvenu74 (310712)
      That is exactly what I thought at first as well!

      But let's assume that this OOXML thing get through the approval process... with an open standard anyone can make import/export functionality for MS Office documents in non-MS applications. From iWork to KOffice to OpenOffice and whatever else is out there, will there be any need to have MS Office in order to read, edit, and forward on "MS Office documents?" To me, it seems like MS is creating a way for everyone else to erode their market share.
      • by Knuckles (8964) <knuckles@daTIGERntian.org minus cat> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:09PM (#17664546)
        That is exactly what I thought at first as well!

        And i wonder how you could. Even just reading the the /. blurb makes it clear that the "standard" as proposed is non-implementable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MoxFulder (159829)

        But let's assume that this OOXML thing get through the approval process... with an open standard anyone can make import/export functionality for MS Office documents in non-MS applications. From iWork to KOffice to OpenOffice and whatever else is out there, will there be any need to have MS Office in order to read, edit, and forward on "MS Office documents?" To me, it seems like MS is creating a way for everyone else to erode their market share.

        Indeed... that would be nice. Try reading the article to find o

    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      Me too, not a nice moment.
    • I read it and thought how childish MS can be. I've no idea what the OO stands for, but I can think of a related open software package it might be designed to frustrate...
    • by j1mc (912703)
      I originally read it as "open office xml," which is probably what microsoft wants me to think . . .
    • by ozbird (127571)
      Can't OpenOffice.org do them for trademark infringement? "Office Open XML" is both confusing and misleading.
      • Um, that would that be a hard sell coming from them. The reason OpenOffice.org has that stupid .org at the end is because OpenOffice is held as a trademark by someone else. If "OpenOffice.org" does not infringe "OpenOffice", then "Office, Open XML" does not infringe "OpenOffice.org".
  • by statusbar (314703) <jeffk@statusbar.com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:06AM (#17663596) Homepage Journal
    One of the things that bugs me are these 'enormous specifications' that are inconsistent. What we need is not just a document, but the tools necessary to verify a generated file. Not just for valid XML, but for all the little microsofty-bits hidden inside.

    --jeffk++
    • by Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:22AM (#17663846)
      Microsoft isn't doing this for you silly! The whole intent is likely that it is *hard* for anyone to implement.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xenocide2 (231786)
        On the contrary, when taking the article at face value, I think that the whole intent is to make it *easy* for Microsoft to implement the first time, because it's already done. This is of course backwards from how a community standard should work, it should be an effort that is repeatable. Instead we have whatever crap their contractors turned in, with apparent flaws turned into requirements. I doubt even Microsoft could write a second compatible handler for this document format. Well, perhaps instead of "o
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          I am beginning to think that a requirement for anything being a standard should be two independent implementations (i.e. no shared code). I would even like to require that at least one be under a license no more restrictive than the 3-clause BSD license (GrokLaw FUD aside), and ideally MIT-licensed or Public Domain.

          ODF has already been supported by several implementations, and some of these threw up some OpenOffice-isms; if the support had been finished before the standard had been finalised then this w

  • by splutty (43475) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:10AM (#17663662)
    Despite what Microsoft thinks and how they're been acting in the past with all their 'standards'; Describing all the exceptions doesn't make something a standard. Describing them in the context of a non-standardized environment, makes it even less so.

    Although I'm quite sure that Microsoft really doesn't give a and will push this through as 'their' standard that everyone else will have to adhere to to be able to do anything with Mickyshaft generated content anyway.

    Whether ISO approves of this or not is inconsequential, the only thing that matters is that M$ can now say: Look, we proposed a standard, it's not our fault 'they' think it's not good enough.
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)

      Whether ISO approves of this or not is inconsequential, the only thing that matters is that M$ can now say: Look, we proposed a standard, it's not our fault 'they' think it's not good enough.

      My response: I proposed a rational solution for the tech department that I control - it's not my fault that we decided to go to another vendor when you no longer support Office2K. Google gives its love and regards. As does OpenOffice, MySQL, and Linux. Sincerely,

      The guy who makes the tech decisions

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by suggsjc (726146)
        It was mentioned before, but since the US gov't is their biggest customer. Until you are the "guy who makes the tech decisions" for them, M$ won't care about your response.

        Idealism will only get you so far, especially when it squares off against practicality.
        • by Gazzonyx (982402)
          It is with deep regret that I acknowledge that validity of this assertion. That being said, I'll not give in simply because I have picked a fight I cannot win - call it hubris, idealism, stupidity, or whatever you'd like.

          I'm not necessarily anti-M$ (ducks), however, unless they tone down their schoolyard-bully tactics, they won't see another dime of my milk money.

          • by suggsjc (726146)
            I agree. Grass-roots movements can and do make differences on a large scale if given enough time and support. So, it doesn't mean that we should all just give up our goals and follow the crowd.

            There is only 24 hours in a day (roughly) so there are only so many battles we can fight. Pick the ones that matter most to you and do what you can. But I think the most important aspect is to acknowledge that we will all have different priorities. Just because your way makes most sense to you and the products/
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:41AM (#17664102)

      Whether ISO approves of this or not is inconsequential, the only thing that matters is that M$ can now say: Look, we proposed a standard, it's not our fault 'they' think it's not good enough.
      It matters to governments, who are coming under increasing pressure to rationalize their MS Office upgrade cycle (and why they're not getting out, via standards)

      But yeah it doesn't matter much to the private sector / industry.
    • Not true. As the AC above states, it does matter to governments who are finally starting to demand open standards for documents. The US government is Microsoft's largest customer. Microsoft would lose them if they finally decided to only use applications that have documented and standard file formats.
  • Deja Vu Docvert (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ei4anb (625481) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:14AM (#17663724)
    Way back before the web I worked in a Unix shop that was a development lab for a big multinational. Head office kept sending us e-mail with large MS Word attachments. We got tierd of having to go down to the library, where we kept the only PeeCee in the department, just to see what was in the attachment.

    I solved the issue by writing a program that ran on a Windows PC (an old one that had been discarded and was gathering dust in the closet) that received SMTP mail, detached the Word attachment, started up Microsoft's Word Viewer to read the attachment, then "printed" it to a file in PDF format and finaly SMTP mailed it back to the sender.

    From then on all we had to do was forward the email to the robot and wait for a readable version to bounce back. As I used Microsoft's own Word Viewer there were no problems whenever a new version of Word came out, I just downloaded the latest viewer :-)

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      That's a pretty smart Idea. It's a pretty good way to protect against Word Macro viruses too. I'm pretty sure the viewer doesn't support Macros, and even if it does, only the computer processing the documents would get infected, and that machine could be reimaged every night if it was a real problem.
      • by cnettel (836611)
        It should be noted that the recent Office exploits have been buffer overruns and similar effects, not directly related to macro handling. As the rendering mechanism in the Word Viewer is quite identical, it's not invulnerable. (So for an automated machine stuffed away to do only this, reimaging can be quite needed if no other checks are performed.)
      • There have been vulnerabilities that affect word viewer (I believe one is still in the wild). This could, however, be prevented from becoming a vulnerability by running the viewer in a VM that was restored to a snapshot state immediately after running. Ideally the document would be loaded from a disk image that would be generated before starting the VM and then printed to a generic PostScript printer over IPP on the host machine, which would then convert the PostScript to PDF. No connections other than t
    • That's a nice solution. Any chance you might release it under an open-source license?
    • by endrue (927487)
      If you had an old PC laying around, why didn't you just use that one to read the Word docs?

      - Andrew
      • by sootman (158191)
        Maybe because having dozens of users get up and leave their desks to read documents isn't really effective in a business setting?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      UNIX shop... before the web... only one PC... rendering to -- PDF?!

      I think I smell a tiny fib.

      I would have believed you if you had told me that you used Windows' (native since 3.1) Apple Laserwriter printer driver set up to print to a file, then mailed the resulting (PostScript) file to yourself to print or view with GhostScript/gv.

      Well, except that I didn't think the Word viewer was released until either '95 (or as late as '97?), and it was released because MS broke the Word 6.0 (Office 4.3) document forma
    • From then on all we had to do was forward the email to the robot and wait for a readable version to bounce back. As I used Microsoft's own Word Viewer there were no problems whenever a new version of Word came out, I just downloaded the latest viewer :-)

      That seems like the hard way to solve the problem...

      ...you can do largely the same thing with the unix "strings" command. You'll lose formatting, but you're interested mostly in content, right?

      Watch my example:
      computer:~/Documents wonkobeeblebrox$ ls Op*
      Op

  • It's to be expected as Open XML is a straight transliteration of the DOC "dumps" to XML format.

    I wonder how it ended this way: not enough time to properly develop and implement a more proper standard, or by design.

    I feel it's both.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:39AM (#17664078) Journal
      The design requirement of Microsoft's XML format was (obviously) that it be possible to convert existing Word documents to it without any loss. In order to do this, there must be a one-to-one mapping between the .DOC semantics and the OpenXML semantics.

      The second design requirement was that the spec be developed and released quickly, before ODF had time to gain much traction. Between these two objectives, it's hardly surprising that it ended up the way it did...

      • You know that's an interesting take.

        Microsoft is so huge now (and i work for a huge corporation as well) that it may be easier/more natural to just let the business mangle things in a natural way than to get a purposeful plan going to do this kind of thing.

        The project planning and meeting time alone would be bad plus you wouldn't want a documentation trail showing you intended to lock in to word or it might come back to bite you later.
      • by kalpaha (667921)
        Yes. And for the reasons you list, no one should adopt this "standard", which hopefully it will never be declared.
      • by spitzak (4019)
        must be possible to convert existing Word documents to it without any loss. In order to do this, there must be a one-to-one mapping between the .DOC semantics and the OpenXML semantics.

        Uh, no, that is wrong. A many-to-one mapping would work for that requirement. If doc has many ways of representing the same information, turning them all into the same way would work just fine and would be lossless.

        A requirement that it lossly convert *both* ways, however, would require this. Otherwise converting to XML and b
      • In Word documents and other OLE formats, the object responsible for rendering the content is also responsible for loading and saving its own state into the document format. In the DOC format this is mostly a binary dump of the objects state. For OOXML it seems they have done some kind of serialisation based on their internal variable names.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cnettel (836611)
      Well, the XML notation for Office 2003 was even more so. They broke that one now, and some changes are to the better. The requirement to be able to represent just about anything that was possible in the previous versions, faithfully, is still a great contaminant, as you say.


    • (Content of .doc file)
      • by Mythrix (779875) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:56AM (#17664318)
        <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
        <microsoft_word_document>
        (Content of .doc file)
        </microsoft_word_document>
        • by dascandy (869781)
          Doc files don't parse as UTF-8. Try application/octet-stream?
        • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
          <microsoft_word_document>
          <[!CDATA[
          (Content of .doc file)
          ]]>
          </microsoft_word_document>

          Got to make sure it's valid XML.
          • by dkf (304284)
            That doesn't work; you can't put arbitrary binary data in an XML file because some characters are forbidden (e.g. U+0000). The standard XML way of dealing with this is to base-64 encode the binary data. On the plus side, this does mean that you don't need to fiddle around with CDATA stuff.

            <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8">
            <microsoft_word_document encoding="base-64">

            [blob of nastiness, err, word document, suitably bloated by the encoding scheme]
            </microsoft_word_document>
            • You'd better include the CDATA block as well, since presumably this blob won't look like a single text node to an XML parser - it will contain things that look like XML tags.
    • Any format that allows you roundtrip from .doc to that format and back without altering formatting has to be like this, right? It has to support all the features the .doc format does.

      That's the reason for all the "render like WordPerfect 5.x" options that people have complained about [slashdot.org], because they have to allow people to convert to the XML format and then convert back without reducing the document to an unreadable mess.

      I remember reading some interview with the Office program manager where he said rountripp
      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:35PM (#17664978)

        That's the reason for all the "render like WordPerfect 5.x" options that people have complained about, because they have to allow people to convert to the XML format and then convert back without reducing the document to an unreadable mess.

        There is no reason I know of why the XML format cannot support all the features of Word and round trip, without relying on nasty hacks like this, it just takes more work. The problem with "Open"XML that I've seen is the concentrate entirely on supporting only the features of .doc files and their interactions with other programs to the exclusion of anything else. Rather than "render like WP 5.x" you need to define how WP 5.x renders that feature, then incorporate it into your conversion script in a way that makes sense in general for documents.

        The whole format is built upon the assumption that only MS and Word will be using it and it is not designed to abstract word processing documents in general, but to kowtow to the eccentricities of Word.

        The alternative is to not support roundtripping and then wait for slashdot headlines like "Users find that the new Office XML format mangles their documents".

        No, the alternative is to do it right and build hacks like the ones you mention into the import and export routines, rather than embedding them, without any definition, into the format.

        • The whole format is built upon the assumption that only MS and Word will be using it and it is not designed to abstract word processing documents in general, but to kowtow to the eccentricities of Word.

          Well it's a Microsoft format, and the only word processor they have is Word. What do you expect?

          Rather than "render like WP 5.x" you need to define how WP 5.x renders that feature, then incorporate it into your conversion script in a way that makes sense in general for documents.

          Microsoft spent lots of time a
          • Microsoft spent lots of time and money taking over the market from WP, and they have no incentive making it easy for someone to take over the market from Word.

            The point of having an open standard is the fact that anyone can do this. Once again, MS has promised to create something that is just like and almost as good as, what customers want, but which really is nothing of the sort. The advantages of open standards are that they allow any vendor to provide a solution, and in fact, multiple vendors to provi

  • by Durkheim (960021) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:26AM (#17663908)
    ...Some people think its fine that way. A friend of mine, quite pro-ms, told me that all those little strange things in the specification where normal to have backwards compatibility, and that reading the specification was a waste of time. Instead, he directed me towards a preview of Ms office 2007. Because for him, as for many more, what's important is the final product, the cuteness of the buttons, the way it works and displays its own format. Why bother using a free program that displays word documents badly, when Office is already perfect huh? I feel so misunderstood sometimes. What makes me sad is that they don't see the use of a clear straight-to-the-point format. Maybe only geeks can be horrified by this one.
    • by westlake (615356) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:58AM (#17664356)
      I feel so misunderstood sometimes. What makes me sad is that they don't see the use of a clear straight-to-the-point format. Maybe only geeks can be horrified by this one.

      The user cares only for the document he sees in print or on screen. The internal structure of the file interests him not at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        Give him a few years. Like Free Software, the need for Open Standards is only really apparent to people who haven't yet been bitten by their lack. I still have a load of ClarisWorks 1.0 documents from years ago that I can't open; even if I could find my copy of ClarisWorks and the disk hadn't been corrupted, I don't even own a disk drive that could read it anymore.
        • Do ClarisWorks files store text as text (i.e., without mangling it)? If so, just use strings to convert the files to plaintext, delete all the garbage (which used to be formatting) and be done with it.

          • For a lot of the documents, images (diagrams in particular) are quite significant components. Thus, extracting the text would not benefit me much (it might only be a few hundred words in a lot of cases).
      • The user cares only for the document he sees in print or on screen. The internal structure of the file interests him not at all.

        Actually, many users care about their ability to use the document, not just the appearance. Now, in the short-run, that means the applications that support it now; in the longer-run, though, the underlying format and its adaptability and limitations are a real-but-hidden issue that effects utility, though most users are not able to evaluate it directly.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Doesn't he feel bad that he has to pay hundreds of dollars for a new version of MS Word every couple of years. I mean, that's a lot of money to be spending on a tool that hasn't changed much in the last 10 years (at least in terms of the functionality that most people use). Could you imagine if you had to pay $100 for a hammer, and that even if you didn't use the hammer that much, you still had to buy a new one every 3 years?
      • Well, you wouldn't have to buy a new hammer, just like you can keep using Word 97 if you want. It would be more like, if after a few years, they came out with new nails and you had to buy the new hammer to use the new nails. As long as you only need to use the old nails you're fine with the old hammer.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          But what happens when you can't buy any old nails because they don't sell them anymore? And they start selling wood that isn't compatible with the old nails, so even if you have old nails you can't use them, because it doesn't work with the new wood.
          • Definitely valid problems, and why the analogy mostly works. In the case of Word, there actually is one advantage: You can make your own documents (nails) with Word 97 (the old hammer) as long as you want; the problem comes in when you try to use documents from other people (new nails). Most people can't make their own nails.
  • Divy it up? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plopez (54068) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:28AM (#17663928) Journal
    I wonder if you could get 60 people to review 100 pages each (or divide up chapters or sections in some logical manner). That may be feasible in 1 month. At least the glaring problems would be flagged. I have no idea how to organize this however.....
  • Submitting contradictions?


    Wait a minute, I know this! This is just Phoenix Wright!

  • by Catbeller (118204) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:30AM (#17663952) Homepage
    This is why we oldsters hate Microsoft. 25 YEARS of this.
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:36AM (#17664034)
    ...when you can have oo-mox? [memory-alpha.org]

    Chris Mattern
  • by RichMan (8097) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:40AM (#17664086)
    So it looks like the Open Source community is now debugging Microsofts Document format. I am sure Microsoft does not itself know what is going on in here half the time and much of this document was generated by code scrappers looking for structures and interfaces.

    Congrats to the world community but they should really submit a bill to Microsoft.

  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:42AM (#17664122) Homepage
    "additional Microsoft technology that must be emulated (but is not covered by the Microsoft patent pledge); elements that can't be implemented without Microsoft technical assistance; dependencies on Windows itself; mandatory bugs; and more. And then there's also the fact that OOXML heavily overlaps ODF -- a platform-independent, already-adopted ISO/IEC."

    Pretty much like everything they do.

    Wait - where are the virus APIs? Did they leave those out?

    Naah...

    Gotta be there somewhere. Keep looking.

  • Now We'll Now... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by segedunum (883035) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:58AM (#17664350)
    ...whether ISO has simply become a dumping ground for people simply wanting to market their stuff as standards (ECMA), or a real standards body.

    As it is, there is not a snowball in hell's chance that OpenXML can become an ISO standard. It is simply a dump of the existing awful doc format into a nice incomprehensible 6000 page document, and it doesn't even use existing ISO standards. There's even a set group of banners and bullet points defined in there which can by no stretch of the imagination be called international.

    I know Microsoft has managed to butter the ECMA up as their usual standards dumping ground, but I simply cannot see how they can get past the shortcomings in that article. To do so would be a huge amount of work (and Office 2007 is already using this format) and it would threaten their Office monopoly - which is what this obfuscation was about in the first place.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The biggest question to ask is not whether or not Microsoft provides access to the XML, nor whether Microsoft provides access to a schema, the question to ask is, "Is OOXML Truly Open Source?"

    The biggest issue I have with the OOXML "standard" (and I use the word quite losely) is there are BLOB's (binary large objects) in the OOXML file created by Microsoft. In this BLOB is all the byte code used in the Macros, etc for the file in question (i.e. an Excel file). Since Microsoft has not provided proper instr
  • More info @ groklaw (Score:5, Informative)

    by mario64 (573112) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:16PM (#17664650)
    Check out the article on Groklaw Searching for Openness in Microsoft's OOXML and Finding Contradictions [groklaw.net] for further comments. The article also has links to a couple of wiki pages with further comments.
  • by Pascal Sartoretti (454385) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:29PM (#17664852)
    Maybe they'll get an ISO standard, but I have the feeling that an IETF standard would be out of question. Look at the requirement for being just a "Draft standard" (see here [ietf.org]):

    A specification from which at least two independent and interoperable implementations from different code bases have been developed, and for which sufficient successful operational experience has been obtained, may be elevated to the "Draft Standard" level.

    Outside Office 2007, who would ever implement this "standard"?
  • If it's true, is anybody really surprised? This is MS after all.

    There is a another analysis [groklaw.net] on groklaw.

  • here's too it not getting adopted and I hope they kick it back out on the proprietary horse it rode in on.
  • by matt me (850665) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:01PM (#17666538)
    > there's also the fact that OOXML heavily overlaps ODF -- a platform-independent, already-adopted ISO/IEC.
    Couldn't the Microsoft people use the existing standard instead? That way everyone would be able to communicate. Someone should call to let them know about it.
  • They already know that everyone is locked-in to their proprietary Office formats. This XML "standard" is not created as a real product that Microsoft hopes to promote. That would be a conflict of interest. Instead, they want to make sure that it is a gigantic convoluted spec that no one can implement. It's designed as a distraction. They want the spec to leave you with a feeling of disgust for open XML formats because:
    1. You'll go back to your works-good-enough-for-me Office formats you've already been usin
  • Wikipedia has a good doc outlining the difference between OOXML and ODF:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_OpenDoc ument_and_Microsoft_XML_formats [wikipedia.org]

    It may not be an ISO standard, but it's a heck of a lot better than the completely proprietary older formats.

    How about a good "atta boy" for Microsoft at least? :)
  • Why is this still being called Oasis OpenDocument? Have you already forgotten that it's an ISO standard [iso.org]?

Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry up is not nailed down. -- Collis P. Huntingdon, railroad tycoon

Working...