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Re: Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

  • From: "Stephen D. Williams" <sdw@l...>
  • To: Rick Jelliffe <rjelliffe@a...>
  • Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 17:39:47 -0400

Re:  Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?
There have been a number of published technical comparisons, some more 
or less comprehensive, and I am now convinced that OOXML is a technical 
flop compared to ODF.  Additionally, it certainly seems like one good 
standard is much better than two.  Given that, all of these shenanigans 
seem like a play to overcome those inconvenient details.

Unless I start seeing some very good arguments about the technical 
merits of OOXML vs. ODF, my vote would be that Microsoft should rewrite 
their software to use ODF.

If, for the sake of at least documenting the entrenched proprietary 
office app market, there is a MS Office XML standard, then it at least 
should be fully and completely documented so that a complete and 
interoperable implementation could be reasonably constructed, from 
scratch without proprietary libraries, to be compatible.  My 
understanding is that, even at 6000+ pages, it isn't anywhere close to 
that yet.


Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> ...
> But your view, that the world would be better off if Microsoft was
> completely unencumbered by friction and interaction from the
> international standards communities, is really bad thinking. When MS
> comes up to the European Union, and the EU asks "Did you put your format
> up for standardization, as we recommended to stop anti-trust
> considerations?" and MS will say "Oh we tried, but they didn't let us."
> And the EU will say "Oh, darn. We cannot penalize you when you were
> blocked from doing what we requested."
> Tim, do you really want to perpetuate the current system of business as
> usual, with MS entirely a law unto itself? I suppose it gives MS'
> competitors a consistent message and they don't want to find themselves
> pantsless. But legislators have failed to split up or trammel MS, open
> source has focus problems, and ISO ODF is no-where near ready to cause
> any kind of serious disruption. Standards may not be much, but they are
> almost the only game left in town, and it is an opportunity that we
> should be grabbing, not Chicken Little-ing.
> Tim, it is you who don't see the big picture in this. (And I write this
> with enormous respect and genuine affection.)  It is true that we are in
> a room full of elephants, and that standards won't tame the elephants;
> but standards are an umbrella nevertheless, and we would be better with
> the umbrella than without.
> Cheers
> Rick Jelliffe

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