Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

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NATO supports ODF open document format

Postby Phil » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:32 pm

According to an article at heise online UK, "NATO has included the International Standardization Organization's (ISO) certified Open Document Format (ODF) in its list of mandatory standards to promote interoperability."
Office Open XML (OOXML) is not included in this list.

Regards, phil
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby RandomProductions » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:25 pm

Although OOXML is now an ISO standard (I believe), no-one will implement it because it is NOT open. In fact, over 10% of the examples provided with the standard do not validate as XML (according to noooxml.org). I say we ignore the thing. People are already using ODF, and I hardly think they're going to pay hundreds of dollars to use OOXML. I refuse to touch it.

And on top of it all, Microsoft has recently joined the ODF committee thingy. Rather suspicious.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby keme » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:50 pm

RandomProductions wrote:Although OOXML is now an ISO standard (I believe), no-one will implement it because it is NOT open.
You are wrong.
The ISO certification of OOXML has been a matter of dispute for some time now. According to ISO's web, a revised proposal (in four parts) is now in the final step of the enquiry stage, awaiting registration for the approval stage.
Furthermore, it has already been implemented, maybe not in full, but to a large extent. Microsoft Office 2007 already does a fairly good job of implementing the standard. Some filters for other software also makes a decent effort in this direction, and improvement is to be expected.

Partial implementations of standards is quite common, weighing needs against cost when implementing each feature in the standard.
E.g.: Most SQL servers use a subset of a SQL definition, and hardly any RS232 device uses the full RS232 specification.


RandomProductions wrote:In fact, over 10% of the examples provided with the standard do not validate as XML (according to noooxml.org).
...which is one of the objections made to ISO against the proposal, and probably one reason why it's not yet finally approved.

RandomProductions wrote: I say we ignore the thing. People are already using ODF, and I hardly think they're going to pay hundreds of dollars to use OOXML. I refuse to touch it.
In fact, many companies and individuals have forked out the cash to have MS Office 2007, which is the software suite when it comes to using OOXML. Ignoring it would be stupid for most of us. Some have the liberty to ignore a format that has gained a major impact. For the rest of us, the viable approach would be accepting the facts while encouraging use of the approved standard.

RandomProductions wrote:And on top of it all, Microsoft has recently joined the ODF committee thingy. Rather suspicious.
Well, IIRC someone from Microsoft gave a statement to the effect that ODF "has won the first battle". Accepting that, and attempting to lead the development of ODF towards supporting all functions of MS Office (which MS claims that ODF doesn't at the moment) is the logical next step. (That doesn't mean we should extend unlimited trust. Wariness is always in order when dealing with large commercial entities.)
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby acknak » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:55 pm

Partial implementations of standards is quite common, weighing needs against cost when implementing each feature in the standard.
E.g.: Most SQL servers use a subset of a SQL definition, and hardly any RS232 device uses the full RS232 specification.

And it's no coincidence that those two technologies also bring huge problems when you try to interoperate with them.

I've yet to find a network connection over 10/100baseT/RJ45 cable that didn't "just work", but the same is absolutely not true for SQL statements and RS-232 connections.

Any standard that is so complex or off-target that it leads to wide-spread subsetting or supersetting is a broken standard.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby keme » Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:19 pm

acknak wrote:
Partial implementations of standards is quite common, weighing needs against cost when implementing each feature in the standard.
E.g.: Most SQL servers use a subset of a SQL definition, and hardly any RS232 device uses the full RS232 specification.

And it's no coincidence that those two technologies also bring huge problems when you try to interoperate with them.

I've yet to find a network connection over 10/100baseT/RJ45 cable that didn't "just work", but the same is absolutely not true for SQL statements and RS-232 connections.

Any standard that is so complex or off-target that it leads to wide-spread subsetting or supersetting is a broken standard.

Absolutely true.

Still, my point was that they're still in widespread use. So if we "ignore the thing", as RandomProductions suggested with OOXML, many of us would have put ourselves out of business. Broken (and sometimes badly patched up) standard or not.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby acknak » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:24 pm

Agreed.

Sorry, that was really the more important point, wasn't it. :oops:
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:45 pm

Broken (and sometimes badly patched up) standard or not.

Don't forget the "extended" standards. It was always in the interest of MS to brake and patch standards, so other applications look bad ("It looks fine in Internet Explorer, why not in the other browser?")
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:44 pm

ISO and IEC members give go ahead on ISO/IEC DIS 29500
So we'll have ODF, OOXML, the old binary MSOffice formats and Microsoft's next "extended de-facto standard" as introduced with MSO 2007. The latter is not conformant with what has been acknowleged to be an ISO standard. Microsoft's next save-as dialogs may look like:
OfficeOpen XML (*.docx) full featured since 2007, everybody uses that!
Office binary (*.doc) full featured since 1997
OfficeOpen XML strict (*isox) compatible with 3rd party applications, raise warning on save!
ODF (*.odt) beware of the freaks, raise warning on save!
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Phil » Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:47 am

Villeroy wrote:Microsoft's next save-as dialogs may look like:
OfficeOpen XML (*.docx) full featured since 2007, everybody uses that!
Office binary (*.doc) full featured since 1997
OfficeOpen XML strict (*isox) compatible with 3rd party applications, raise warning on save!
ODF (*.odt) beware of the freaks, raise warning on save!

That hits the nail on the head! :D

But when really thinking about it, it's rather sad. :cry:
Because this is really what it boils down to: real interoperability will remain impeded.

The only remaining hope is that the pressure on M$ will increase from the side of the industry and public administration, where more and more open source software is being adopted.

Regards, phil
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby TheGurkha » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:19 pm

Villeroy wrote:ODF (*.odt) beware of the freaks, raise warning on save!


I'm a freak and proud of it!

The bit that really annoys me is that the holy grail of interoperability is being placed somewhere unreachable, by the ones making all the noise about suddenly using their new open formats!
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:47 am

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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:03 am

But still the undermining of ODF is under progress: Rob Weir Exposes an Anti-ODF Whisper Campaign. About the pros and contras of Wikipedia and its lack of control.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:02 pm

Some update, after 2 years. Microsoft Fails the Standards Test. But not really surprising. It only confirms that MS just wanted an ISO stamp somewhere to compete with the true open formats.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby petras » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:08 am

What will happen now? ISO is still on their side?
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:33 am

petras wrote:What will happen now?

Nothing. As they don't support the ISO flavor of OOXML, nobody will use it neither. Since their own flavour won't be fully documented, they will continue their vendor lock-in policy. But this time, they will claim that their format is open and give customers the feeling that they are fair, playing the interoperability game. So anyone not aware of the whole story will be mislead. MS will also use the flaws in 3rd party applications to claim that they are of lesser quality since they can't implement filters for a [so called] documented file format.

As I don't think users can get free by themselves (only a small part of them is aware of the issues linked to vendor lock-in policy), my only hope is that some big player (Oracle? IBM?) will make a heavy move by switching to ODF in their commercial products.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby donjoe » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:15 am

Hagar de l'Est wrote:An interesting move: MS Office 2007 to support ODF in SP2.
That's bull, I just opened an ODS full of formulas in Excel 2007 and all I got were the static numbers that had been the last results of those formulas - the formulas themselves were all gone. :crazy:
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:28 pm

It is not in the Microsoft's interest to be compatible with any document formats other than their own ones.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:55 pm

donjoe wrote:
Hagar de l'Est wrote:An interesting move: MS Office 2007 to support ODF in SP2.
That's bull

Of course that's bull. Everyone here is aware of the hypocrisy: MS claims to be open to interoperability but won't implement it in the facts.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby henke54 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:23 pm

EC heckled over its framework software procurement :
http://www.osor.eu/news/ec-heckled-over ... rocurement

http://www.dewereldmorgen.be/artikels/2 ... gen-regels
'poor' google translate from above Dutch site to English :
http://translate.google.com/translate?j ... ls&act=url
Although the EC says the Open Document Format (ODF) to stand you up to date, for example, the text of the Digital Agenda not available in ODF (or in the closed Microsoft. Doc format).

bold text must be(i send goog a better translate) :
not available in ODF (BUT in the closed Microsoft. Doc format)
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby henke54 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:07 pm

As a 'sidenote' ... I had the 'idea' on a Flemish(Belgium) Government 'brainstorm-site' to 'impose' ODF in schools, and was selected in a group of 16 to go to the 'second-level-poll' (sorry for my poor English) ... Anyone willing can vote(and/or place a comment) on my idea here :
http://flemish.brightidea.com/ct/ct_a_v ... 33E9226FE7

thanks... :mrgreen: ;)
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby henke54 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:36 pm

Villeroy wrote:It is not in the Microsoft's interest to be compatible with any document formats other than their own ones.

saying no to OOXML is even more necessary today than it was in 2007; please let’s all make this as clear as possible...

http://stop.zona-m.net/2010/11/three-th ... f-succeed/
:roll:
http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/146300/index.html
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:25 pm

I do not understand why LibreOffice helps spreading OOXML by writing this pestilence of a file format. There is no technical reason to do so. The MS applications will support the old binary formats for the years to come and OOo's feature set is much closer to the binary formats. OOXML includes lots of features that are specific to the latest office versions.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby henke54 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:29 pm

Villeroy wrote:I do not understand why LibreOffice helps spreading OOXML by writing this pestilence of a file format. There is no technical reason to do so. The MS applications will support the old binary formats for the years to come and OOo's feature set is much closer to the binary formats. OOXML includes lots of features that are specific to the latest office versions.

Here is more to read about that :
Update: Novell's Michael Meeks has responded, although it's a personal response, not a Novell one. I find it profoundly disturbing. Boiled down to its essence:

Of course, those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and caution is useful, however - the Novell association is via a published agreement whereby Microsoft helps to fund the development of improved interoperability between the Free Software desktop world, and Microsoft Office - which at least on the face of it appears to be the opposite of creating incompatibility.

Why would they do that ? and is Novell per-se evil for writing this software ? In part, it is true that having a second implementation of OOXML is helpful to improve the standard, and make it more acceptable. Given their need for that, I prefer a Free Software second implementation (available to all under the LGPLv3) instead of a proprietary alternative. Novell has different needs: to serve its customers, who have real interoperability requirements which this work helps to meet.

Another, interesting charge is that this creates private interoperability between only Novell and Microsoft's Office suites at everyone else' expense. Indeed by reading the repeated mention of things like "Novell OpenOffice productivity suite" you could easily be annoyed into that conclusion. Of course, this is not the case. Since we cannot promise something that other people deliver - it is necessary to phrase everything in terms of an abstract Novell Office product; obviously. However, all of our code is publicly available to others under the LGPLv3. Furthermore, there is no private or special information we have on the standard or implementation beyond what is published and public.

It's a published agreement *now* but it was secret since March. It's now required to be public, because Novell is a public company looking to sell its assets. And the incompatibility I worry about is due to Microsoft's aggressive patent stance. Novell entered a "patent peace" with Microsoft, so they don't need to worry about patents. But the rest of us do. So the fact that the code is available for everyone isn't actually good news, if it's contaminated. Can Meeks promise it isn't? Can Novell offer the world indemnification?

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?stor ... 9121621828

http://planet.documentfoundation.org/
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:54 pm

OOXML does not provide interoperability. It is a closed format. A standard not yet published. Not even MS supports the file format they bribed through the standardization boards. You've got to pay for a license agreement when you want to use it for your own application.
The file format for interoperability is ODF. It is free by any means and by far not as complex as OOXML. It would be comparatively easy for MS to support ODF like many other applications already do.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:37 pm

+1 with Villeroy. Very bad news for opensource ecosystem. Novell is being used by MS to advertise its OOXML format. Novell's users may be disappointed in the future with the features not implemented.

Let's see what is the TDF position about such code (in LibO). I'm not sure R. Stallman would agree with this code being included in LibO.
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