Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

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Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

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nabbler nabbler
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

On 23/02/2014, Alexander Wilms <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> I already posted this on the LibreOffice Google+ and Facebook pages, but
> there are probably quite a few people subscibed to this list who are not
> following either one.
>

Despite the self-generated hype, not every Tom, Dick and Harriet are
interested in these social data-collation (sorry "media") tools.

> The UK government plans to move to open standards like ODF and HTML and
> apparently Microsoft didn't know that people can voice their opinions on
> the proposal since January and started to spread some FUD  once again a
> few days ago.
>
> If you think that truly open standards are a better solution than OOXML,
> then it'd be beneficial if you registered on the standards.data.gov.uk
> page and commented. In 3 days, comments will be closed.
>

Thanks for informing us, but in addition users have to be educated
about the benefits of _not_ using LO and an m$ clone and actually
promote the odf standard themselves. Continual "bug reports" about m$
suggest otherwise.

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5v865bd64dvbv868b 5v865bd64dvbv868b
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

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TomD TomD
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

Hi :)
Don't worry about e-letter's comments!  If the proposals are about the
formats then it might be worth mentioning that all different programs
seem to have no trouble implementing ODF as written-up in the ISO spec
but almost everyone, even MS seem to have trouble implementing OOXML
consistently.  Hence why people have trouble sharing files, because
most people are using MS stuff that seems to have different
'accidents' implementing their own format each time (hence
'accidentally' forcing people to buy the newer and newer versions)

It's good that we are focussing on the formats for once!  I don't
think e-letter was expecting that! :)
Regards from
Tom :)

On 23 February 2014 13:10, alexanderW <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The proposal is only about using ODF, HTML, CSV and TXT as file formats.
> It doesn't mention which software would be used, so I don't see how your
> comment is relevant.
>
> Am 23.02.2014 13:49, schrieb nabbler [via Document Foundation Mail Archive]:
>> On 23/02/2014, Alexander Wilms <[hidden email]
>> </user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=4098644&i=0>> wrote:
>> > Hi everyone,
>> >
>> > I already posted this on the LibreOffice Google+ and Facebook pages,
>> but
>> > there are probably quite a few people subscibed to this list who are
>> not
>> > following either one.
>> >
>>
>> Despite the self-generated hype, not every Tom, Dick and Harriet are
>> interested in these social data-collation (sorry "media") tools.
>>
>> > The UK government plans to move to open standards like ODF and HTML and
>> > apparently Microsoft didn't know that people can voice their
>> opinions on
>> > the proposal since January and started to spread some FUD  once again a
>> > few days ago.
>> >
>> > If you think that truly open standards are a better solution than
>> OOXML,
>> > then it'd be beneficial if you registered on the standards.data.gov.uk
>> > page and commented. In 3 days, comments will be closed.
>> >
>>
>> Thanks for informing us, but in addition users have to be educated
>> about the benefits of _not_ using LO and an m$ clone and actually
>> promote the odf standard themselves. Continual "bug reports" about m$
>> suggest otherwise.
>>
>> --
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Stephan Weinberger-2 Stephan Weinberger-2
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

In reply to this post by 5v865bd64dvbv868b
On Sun, 23 Feb 2014 01:12:25 +0100, Alexander Wilms wrote

> If you think that truly open standards are a better solution than
> OOXML, then it'd be beneficial if you registered on the
> standards.data.gov.uk page and commented. In 3 days, comments will
> be closed.

Maybe i'm not going to make friends, but OOXML "strict" actually *is* an open
standard. The real problem is, that MS-Office until 2013 was not capable of
creating "strict" files, but wrote OOXML "transitional" instead (which may -
and as a matter of fact always did - contain proprietary stuff).
So almost all OOXML files out in the wild today are in fact not 'real' OOXML
but just proprietary, legacy office formats encoded in an XML-structure.

However, OOXML - without distinguishing between the two flavors - was
advertised by MS as being 'open' and you shall blame them for this. Of course
it was a marketing-move to ship Office for years with incomplete, de-facto
proprietary export filter, while claiming to be open... But nevertheless OOXML
in it's 'pure' form is an ISO certified open standard (and not even a bad one
as far as i can tell), and for the sake of open formats: if we can't get rid
of MS Office then we should at least promote the usage of OOXML "strict"
whenever possible.


I still believe that ODF is the better choice though, because of its longer
history as open standard, and i would of course appreciate it if MS would
include proper import and export filters (they already had very good support
in Office 2010, sadly they did not include it in Office 2012 for Mac - the
reasons for this being highly speculative IMHO).


cu
  Stephan

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Jay Lozier Jay Lozier
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

In reply to this post by 5v865bd64dvbv868b

On 02/23/2014 08:10 AM, alexanderW wrote:
> The proposal is only about using ODF, HTML, CSV and TXT as file formats.
> It doesn't mention which software would be used, so I don't see how your
> comment is relevant.
My understanding is that each ministry could use whatever application
they wish as long as they can set the default file formats to the
standards. MS's FUD is self-serving because using standard formats
avoids vendor lock-in but does not mean they are not an approved vendor.

> Am 23.02.2014 13:49, schrieb nabbler [via Document Foundation Mail Archive]:
>> On 23/02/2014, Alexander Wilms <[hidden email]
>> </user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=4098644&i=0>> wrote:
>>> Hi everyone,
>>>
>>> I already posted this on the LibreOffice Google+ and Facebook pages,
>> but
>>> there are probably quite a few people subscibed to this list who are
>> not
>>> following either one.
>>>
>> Despite the self-generated hype, not every Tom, Dick and Harriet are
>> interested in these social data-collation (sorry "media") tools.
>>
>>> The UK government plans to move to open standards like ODF and HTML and
>>> apparently Microsoft didn't know that people can voice their
>> opinions on
>>> the proposal since January and started to spread some FUD  once again a
>>> few days ago.
>>>
>>> If you think that truly open standards are a better solution than
>> OOXML,
>>> then it'd be beneficial if you registered on the standards.data.gov.uk
>>> page and commented. In 3 days, comments will be closed.
>>>
>> Thanks for informing us, but in addition users have to be educated
>> about the benefits of _not_ using LO and an m$ clone and actually
>> promote the odf standard themselves. Continual "bug reports" about m$
>> suggest otherwise.
>>
>> --
>> To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email]
>> </user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&node=4098644&i=1>
>> Problems?
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>> deleted
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>>
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James Knott James Knott
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

In reply to this post by Stephan Weinberger-2
Stephan Weinberger wrote:
> Maybe i'm not going to make friends, but OOXML "strict" actually *is* an open
> standard. The real problem is, that MS-Office until 2013 was not capable of
> creating "strict" files, but wrote OOXML "transitional" instead (which may -
> and as a matter of fact always did - contain proprietary stuff).
> So almost all OOXML files out in the wild today are in fact not 'real' OOXML
> but just proprietary, legacy office formats encoded in an XML-structure.

IIRC, that "strict" OOXML, as rammed through ISO, contains a lot of
proprietary blobs.

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TomD TomD
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

Hi :)
The strict vs transitional issue really doesn't bode well for future
implementations of the OOXML format.

Who would there be to notice when MS's implementation again deviates
from "strict"?  Is anyone or any organisation sufficiently well-versed
in the immensely wordy ISO standard for OOXML and would they notice
deviations?  Is there anything to stop MS from doing an "extended"
implementation?  Would there be anything to force them to properly
document any such extended bits?  Was there any adequate documentation
of the deviations between "transitional" and "strict"?

I think the whole issue about transitional vs strict is a question of
semantics to make promises that the future will be different when
there is nothing to ensure it will be so = except the promises of a
single profit-making company which would be ill-served if it did
fulfil it's promises and which doesn't seem to have fulfilled such
promises in the past.

Does anyone have good links to the court-case about the "Rtf" format?


ODF is set by a committee and has a history of real interoperability
between different programs made by different companies and
organisation.  The documentation set as the ISO standard is apparently
considerably shorter and easier to read.  Where programs fail to live
up to the standard it's relatively easy to see that and to see that
other programs are able to use that part of the standard.
Regards from
Tom :)








On 23 February 2014 20:41, James Knott <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Stephan Weinberger wrote:
>> Maybe i'm not going to make friends, but OOXML "strict" actually *is* an open
>> standard. The real problem is, that MS-Office until 2013 was not capable of
>> creating "strict" files, but wrote OOXML "transitional" instead (which may -
>> and as a matter of fact always did - contain proprietary stuff).
>> So almost all OOXML files out in the wild today are in fact not 'real' OOXML
>> but just proprietary, legacy office formats encoded in an XML-structure.
>
> IIRC, that "strict" OOXML, as rammed through ISO, contains a lot of
> proprietary blobs.
>
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nabbler nabbler
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

In reply to this post by 5v865bd64dvbv868b
On 23/02/2014, alexanderW <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The proposal is only about using ODF, HTML, CSV and TXT as file formats.
> It doesn't mention which software would be used, so I don't see how your
> comment is relevant.
>

You are unaware of the numbers of m$ fans that pollute this list
demanding that the priority of LO is not to produce high quality
native odf output, but instead to produce perfect m$ documents.

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Tanstaafl Tanstaafl
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

On 2014-02-24 1:10 PM, e-letter <[hidden email]> wrote:
> You are unaware of the numbers of m$ fans that pollute this list
> demanding that the priority of LO is not to produce high quality
> native odf output,

Never ever seen anyone say anything like that...

> but instead to produce perfect m$ documents.

Definitely seen people say this should be a priority, but not a higher
priority than for ODF documents.

On the other hand, I have seen *you* say crap like LO shouldn't even
support MS office file formats at all, which is pure rabid anti-MS rubbish.

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Jim Seymour Jim Seymour
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

On Mon, 24 Feb 2014 13:16:50 -0500
Tanstaafl <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2014-02-24 1:10 PM, e-letter <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > You are unaware of the numbers of m$ fans that pollute this list
> > demanding that the priority of LO is not to produce high quality
> > native odf output,
>
> Never ever seen anyone say anything like that...
>
> > but instead to produce perfect m$ documents.
>
> Definitely seen people say this should be a priority, but not a
> higher priority than for ODF documents.
>
> On the other hand, I have seen *you* say crap like LO shouldn't even
> support MS office file formats at all, which is pure rabid anti-MS
> rubbish.
>

This is all rather unbecoming, don't you guys think?

Regards,
Jim
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Pedro Pedro
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

Hi Jim

Jim Seymour wrote
This is all rather unbecoming, don't you guys think?
Not really. This is just the two extremist sides of the ODF vs MS-formats. There are indeed some users (not Tanstaafl) who just want a free office suite that perfectly supports MS-formats (and don't care about free file formats as long as they can get the software for free as in beer). And there are the ODF fundamentalists (like e-letter) that say that LO should only support MS-formats for Import and even so that developers shouldn't waste too much time on that :)

The problem here, as I see it, is that ODF is still in it's infancy. E.g. only recently ODF (under LibreOffice 4.1) started supporting font embedding which is an essential feature for anyone working with vector graphics, custom presentations or simply elegant text documents. MS supports font embedding since Word 6.0 (back in 1993!!!)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188324

LO and ODF are evolving quite fast but there is still a long way to go.

Just my 2 cents ;)
jonathon-6 jonathon-6
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

In reply to this post by TomD
On 2/23/2014 5:18 AM, Tom Davies wrote:

 >but almost everyone, even MS seem to have trouble implementing OOXML
consistently.

MS is waiting for a BSD licensed implementation of OOXML that they can
incorporate into MSO.

jonathon

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nabbler nabbler
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

In reply to this post by Pedro
On 24/02/2014, Pedro <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Jim
>
>
> Jim Seymour wrote
>> This is all rather unbecoming, don't you guys think?
>
> Not really. This is just the two extremist sides of the ODF vs MS-formats.
> There are indeed some users (not Tanstaafl) who just want a free office
> suite that perfectly supports MS-formats (and don't care about free file
> formats as long as they can get the software for free as in beer). And
> there
> are the ODF fundamentalists (like e-letter) that say that LO should only
> support MS-formats for Import and even so that developers shouldn't waste
> too much time on that :)
>

Good summary, worth more than 2 ¢! :)

> The problem here, as I see it, is that ODF is still in it's infancy. E.g.
> only recently ODF (under LibreOffice 4.1) started supporting font embedding
> which is an essential feature for anyone working with vector graphics,
> custom presentations or simply elegant text documents. MS supports font
> embedding since Word 6.0 (back in 1993!!!)
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188324
>

Isn't this issue affected by the fact that different operating systems
have different default fonts? If so, it would explain the relative
ease that the mono-platform m$ can solve this "problem".

> LO and ODF are evolving quite fast but there is still a long way to go.
>

and ignoring m$ fans (some paid by m$ perhaps?) would help by reducing
that evolution time...

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Pedro Pedro
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

nabbler wrote
Good summary, worth more than 2 ¢! :)
;)

nabbler wrote
> The problem here, as I see it, is that ODF is still in it's infancy. E.g.
> only recently ODF (under LibreOffice 4.1) started supporting font embedding
> which is an essential feature for anyone working with vector graphics,
> custom presentations or simply elegant text documents. MS supports font
> embedding since Word 6.0 (back in 1993!!!)
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188324
>

Isn't this issue affected by the fact that different operating systems
have different default fonts? If so, it would explain the relative
ease that the mono-platform m$ can solve this "problem".
Not really. PDF which is an ubiquitous file format also has had support for font embedding for years. All modern OSes support TrueType and OpenType fonts. I think this is mostly related to the copyright licenses of the fonts which is more problematic in editable files than in fundamentally non-editable files (like PDF)

nabbler wrote
and ignoring m$ fans (some paid by m$ perhaps?) would help by reducing
that evolution time...
It's complicated :) If you want to attract large companies who want to migrate, at least the Import filter needs to be nearly perfect. I think the developers are wise enough to know when to ignore cheap CEOs who just want a replacement for their Office suite for free while still demanding to have perfect MS format Export...

In any case LO (or any ODF based suite) can not afford to become an island. Not even Microsoft can :) That is why they pretend to support ODF (while at the same time most ODF files not created/modified in MS Office are either "corrupted" or will be "missing features"...)

At the end of the day: it's better not to be a fundamentalist ;)

Take care!
TomD TomD
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

Hi :)
Sadly it's not possible to avoid being a fundamentalist with regards
to this issue.  Avoiding being a fundamentalist for one means tacitly
encouraging the blocking of it by the dominant one.  People are so
unaware of their even being a choice that by not spreading knowledge
of ODF people are forcing others to use the other.
Regards from
Tom :)





On 25 February 2014 16:26, Pedro <[hidden email]> wrote:

> nabbler wrote
>> Good summary, worth more than 2 ¢! :)
>
> ;)
>
>
> nabbler wrote
>>> The problem here, as I see it, is that ODF is still in it's infancy. E.g.
>>> only recently ODF (under LibreOffice 4.1) started supporting font
>>> embedding
>>> which is an essential feature for anyone working with vector graphics,
>>> custom presentations or simply elegant text documents. MS supports font
>>> embedding since Word 6.0 (back in 1993!!!)
>>> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188324
>>>
>>
>> Isn't this issue affected by the fact that different operating systems
>> have different default fonts? If so, it would explain the relative
>> ease that the mono-platform m$ can solve this "problem".
>
> Not really. PDF which is an ubiquitous file format also has had support for
> font embedding for years. All modern OSes support TrueType and OpenType
> fonts. I think this is mostly related to the copyright licenses of the fonts
> which is more problematic in editable files than in fundamentally
> non-editable files (like PDF)
>
>
> nabbler wrote
>> and ignoring m$ fans (some paid by m$ perhaps?) would help by reducing
>> that evolution time...
>
> It's complicated :) If you want to attract large companies who want to
> migrate, at least the Import filter needs to be nearly perfect. I think the
> developers are wise enough to know when to ignore cheap CEOs who just want a
> replacement for their Office suite for free while still demanding to have
> perfect MS format Export...
>
> In any case LO (or any ODF based suite) can not afford to become an island.
> Not even Microsoft can :) That is why they pretend to support ODF (while at
> the same time most ODF files not created/modified in MS Office are either
> "corrupted" or will be "missing features"...)
>
> At the end of the day: it's better not to be a fundamentalist ;)
>
> Take care!
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/Defending-ODF-against-OOXML-in-the-UK-tp4098594p4098967.html
> Sent from the Users mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
> --
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Virgil Arrington Virgil Arrington
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

In reply to this post by Pedro
I haven't followed the entirety of this thread, but I live in a world which
is (sadly perhaps) dominated by M$.

Here in the U.S., Asus is running commercials about how good their netbooks
are because they run "Office" (as opposed to Google Apps online with a
Chromebook). In other words, they portray *real* computer users as using
*real* programs like M$ Office. Now, I don't particularly like the
commercials, but they indicate to me how mainstream M$ Office has become,
almost to the point of blending brand names with product times (Word is to
word processing as "Kleenex" is to facial tissues.) Again, I don't like it,
but it's a reality I live with.

I often have to write documents that are sent to colleagues who are using
M$. What I write *must* be readable by their chosen program. They are not
going to listen to an LO evangelist proclaiming the gospel of ODF. Heck,
half of them can't even figure out how to put page numbers on the bottom of
their pages, let alone learn an entirely new office suite with totally new
concepts (page styles anyone?).

For most of my word processing work, I save my documents as .ODT. When I
need to share with an M$ colleague, I convert it to .DOC (rather than
insisting that they use LO, which they simply won't do). It *generally*
works okay, but numbered lists and bulleted lists get messed up a bit, just
because of the different ways the two programs deal with those things.

Having used PCs since my first Commodore 64 thirty years ago, I have long
given up on any hope of seeing a true "standard" file format. Different
programs perform tasks differently, and those differences are reflected in
the information that gets stored in the native file formats. So, I don't see
any hope of a true standard until all programs work the same way. I had
great hope for RTF, but that bombed. Load an RTF file into four different
word processors, and you'll see four different documents.

Virgil

-----Original Message-----
From: Pedro
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:26 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [libreoffice-users] Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

nabbler wrote
> Good summary, worth more than 2 ¢! :)

;)


nabbler wrote

>> The problem here, as I see it, is that ODF is still in it's infancy. E.g.
>> only recently ODF (under LibreOffice 4.1) started supporting font
>> embedding
>> which is an essential feature for anyone working with vector graphics,
>> custom presentations or simply elegant text documents. MS supports font
>> embedding since Word 6.0 (back in 1993!!!)
>> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188324
>>
>
> Isn't this issue affected by the fact that different operating systems
> have different default fonts? If so, it would explain the relative
> ease that the mono-platform m$ can solve this "problem".

Not really. PDF which is an ubiquitous file format also has had support for
font embedding for years. All modern OSes support TrueType and OpenType
fonts. I think this is mostly related to the copyright licenses of the fonts
which is more problematic in editable files than in fundamentally
non-editable files (like PDF)


nabbler wrote
> and ignoring m$ fans (some paid by m$ perhaps?) would help by reducing
> that evolution time...

It's complicated :) If you want to attract large companies who want to
migrate, at least the Import filter needs to be nearly perfect. I think the
developers are wise enough to know when to ignore cheap CEOs who just want a
replacement for their Office suite for free while still demanding to have
perfect MS format Export...

In any case LO (or any ODF based suite) can not afford to become an island.
Not even Microsoft can :) That is why they pretend to support ODF (while at
the same time most ODF files not created/modified in MS Office are either
"corrupted" or will be "missing features"...)

At the end of the day: it's better not to be a fundamentalist ;)

Take care!



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Jim Seymour Jim Seymour
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

On Tue, 25 Feb 2014 13:21:29 -0500
"Virgil Arrington" <[hidden email]> wrote:

[snip]
>
> I often have to write documents that are sent to colleagues who are
> using M$. What I write *must* be readable by their chosen program.
> They are not going to listen to an LO evangelist proclaiming the
> gospel of ODF.
[snip]

Humourous aside: A few months ago one of my internal customers
complained they weren't able to open a document emailed to them by
somebody at A Very Large International Automobile Manufacturer.  Looked
at the attachment, and darned if it wasn't ODF :)

Regards,
Jim
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Jay Lozier Jay Lozier
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

In reply to this post by Virgil Arrington

On 02/25/2014 01:21 PM, Virgil Arrington wrote:

> I haven't followed the entirety of this thread, but I live in a world
> which is (sadly perhaps) dominated by M$.
>
> Here in the U.S., Asus is running commercials about how good their
> netbooks are because they run "Office" (as opposed to Google Apps
> online with a Chromebook). In other words, they portray *real*
> computer users as using *real* programs like M$ Office. Now, I don't
> particularly like the commercials, but they indicate to me how
> mainstream M$ Office has become, almost to the point of blending brand
> names with product times (Word is to word processing as "Kleenex" is
> to facial tissues.) Again, I don't like it, but it's a reality I live
> with.
>
> I often have to write documents that are sent to colleagues who are
> using M$. What I write *must* be readable by their chosen program.
> They are not going to listen to an LO evangelist proclaiming the
> gospel of ODF. Heck, half of them can't even figure out how to put
> page numbers on the bottom of their pages, let alone learn an entirely
> new office suite with totally new concepts (page styles anyone?).
>
> For most of my word processing work, I save my documents as .ODT. When
> I need to share with an M$ colleague, I convert it to .DOC (rather
> than insisting that they use LO, which they simply won't do). It
> *generally* works okay, but numbered lists and bulleted lists get
> messed up a bit, just because of the different ways the two programs
> deal with those things.
>
> Having used PCs since my first Commodore 64 thirty years ago, I have
> long given up on any hope of seeing a true "standard" file format.
> Different programs perform tasks differently, and those differences
> are reflected in the information that gets stored in the native file
> formats. So, I don't see any hope of a true standard until all
> programs work the same way. I had great hope for RTF, but that bombed.
> Load an RTF file into four different word processors, and you'll see
> four different documents.
>
> Virgil
>
I think the issue is MS claiming that using ODF formats as defaults will
somehow break MSO. As I understand the issue, the UK government is
specifying the file formats not the applications. Since they are
proposing using ODF formats this levels the playing field and allows any
application to compete on value not just LO or AOO. This includes other
commercial products also. If MS loses the ODF fight in the UK and
Europe, they are afraid that MSO market share will drop with time as
people look for alternatives to paying MS a fee. The only cudgel MS has
now file format lock-in but if many national governments refuse to play
they can change the default formats nationally.

If the UK goes through with ODF formats, first the UK government
switches, then businesses and people who routinely directly interact
with the government will change, then those on the periphery will
change. They will change for the reason you alluded to; they want to
keep up with only one version not two or three versions in different
formats. Eventually the UK will use ODF formats almost everywhere. Note,
I never said that users must change from MSO unless MS refuses to
support ODF formats and refuses to backport parsers for MSO 2007 and
2010. However, Since several suites properly handle ODF already then it
is easier for a user to switch to another suite (hopefully a FOSS
solution).

Assuming MS loses the ODF fight, then having MSO becomes less important
to all users. Many are currently staying with Windows because of MSO. So
a major impediment to using LO and Linux is removed for many, some will
migrate to LO (or something else) and Linux and become permanently lost
sales to MS. I am a Linux user and would love to only use ODF format for
office files. I am a lost sale to MS; no Windows, no MSO, no other MS
products because they do not release software for Linux. The longer I
use Linux without any MS applications the more likely in the future I
will ignore Linux releases from MS. I am becoming MS' worst nightmare; a
user who does not use their products or services for anything. Multiply
this in the UK, instead of a few percent of Linux desktop users you
could have 15-20% very easily and very rapidly. especially with ChromeOS
and SteamOS available. This is a noticeable effect in one country.

Another effect of ODF in the UK is that UK companies will be using ODF
formats in the future. Their overseas subsidiaries will be forced to
adopt ODF formats to communicate internally so beachheads will be made
unintentionally in other countries. This effect will be magnified if
Europe follows the UK lead.

The problem with RTF was it was another MS controlled format.
<snip>

--
Jay Lozier
[hidden email]


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Virgil Arrington Virgil Arrington
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Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK

Jay,

Makes perfect sense to me. I do think that software changes are often made
as a result of the file formats rather than the programs themselves.

A few years ago, most lawyers in the U.S. used WordPerfect, and they really
liked it. It had some features that were very suitable for the law office.
However, most of their corporate clients were using Word. (Nobody ever got
fired for buying Microsoft). Over time, law offices began migrating to Word,
not because they liked the program better, but because they needed file
compatibility with their clients. Now, WordPerfect is all but an
afterthought.

I formerly worked in a local government law department. For years, each
department was permitted to select its own programs. So, we used
WordPerfect's office suite, while the finance department (which preferred
Excel) used MS Office. The IT department got tired of supporting multiple
office suites and decided the government offices all needed to standardize
on one program. Since the IT department was under the authority of the
finance department, you can guess which office suite was chosen. Despite our
protestations, we were overruled and converted to Office. Even then, I would
use OpenOffice when I didn't need to share files with others, just to assert
my freedom.

Virgil

-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Lozier
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:46 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Re: Defending ODF against OOXML in the UK


On 02/25/2014 01:21 PM, Virgil Arrington wrote:

> I haven't followed the entirety of this thread, but I live in a world
> which is (sadly perhaps) dominated by M$.
>
> Here in the U.S., Asus is running commercials about how good their
> netbooks are because they run "Office" (as opposed to Google Apps online
> with a Chromebook). In other words, they portray *real* computer users as
> using *real* programs like M$ Office. Now, I don't particularly like the
> commercials, but they indicate to me how mainstream M$ Office has become,
> almost to the point of blending brand names with product times (Word is to
> word processing as "Kleenex" is to facial tissues.) Again, I don't like
> it, but it's a reality I live with.
>
> I often have to write documents that are sent to colleagues who are using
> M$. What I write *must* be readable by their chosen program. They are not
> going to listen to an LO evangelist proclaiming the gospel of ODF. Heck,
> half of them can't even figure out how to put page numbers on the bottom
> of their pages, let alone learn an entirely new office suite with totally
> new concepts (page styles anyone?).
>
> For most of my word processing work, I save my documents as .ODT. When I
> need to share with an M$ colleague, I convert it to .DOC (rather than
> insisting that they use LO, which they simply won't do). It *generally*
> works okay, but numbered lists and bulleted lists get messed up a bit,
> just because of the different ways the two programs deal with those
> things.
>
> Having used PCs since my first Commodore 64 thirty years ago, I have long
> given up on any hope of seeing a true "standard" file format. Different
> programs perform tasks differently, and those differences are reflected in
> the information that gets stored in the native file formats. So, I don't
> see any hope of a true standard until all programs work the same way. I
> had great hope for RTF, but that bombed. Load an RTF file into four
> different word processors, and you'll see four different documents.
>
> Virgil
>
I think the issue is MS claiming that using ODF formats as defaults will
somehow break MSO. As I understand the issue, the UK government is
specifying the file formats not the applications. Since they are
proposing using ODF formats this levels the playing field and allows any
application to compete on value not just LO or AOO. This includes other
commercial products also. If MS loses the ODF fight in the UK and
Europe, they are afraid that MSO market share will drop with time as
people look for alternatives to paying MS a fee. The only cudgel MS has
now file format lock-in but if many national governments refuse to play
they can change the default formats nationally.

If the UK goes through with ODF formats, first the UK government
switches, then businesses and people who routinely directly interact
with the government will change, then those on the periphery will
change. They will change for the reason you alluded to; they want to
keep up with only one version not two or three versions in different
formats. Eventually the UK will use ODF formats almost everywhere. Note,
I never said that users must change from MSO unless MS refuses to
support ODF formats and refuses to backport parsers for MSO 2007 and
2010. However, Since several suites properly handle ODF already then it
is easier for a user to switch to another suite (hopefully a FOSS
solution).

Assuming MS loses the ODF fight, then having MSO becomes less important
to all users. Many are currently staying with Windows because of MSO. So
a major impediment to using LO and Linux is removed for many, some will
migrate to LO (or something else) and Linux and become permanently lost
sales to MS. I am a Linux user and would love to only use ODF format for
office files. I am a lost sale to MS; no Windows, no MSO, no other MS
products because they do not release software for Linux. The longer I
use Linux without any MS applications the more likely in the future I
will ignore Linux releases from MS. I am becoming MS' worst nightmare; a
user who does not use their products or services for anything. Multiply
this in the UK, instead of a few percent of Linux desktop users you
could have 15-20% very easily and very rapidly. especially with ChromeOS
and SteamOS available. This is a noticeable effect in one country.

Another effect of ODF in the UK is that UK companies will be using ODF
formats in the future. Their overseas subsidiaries will be forced to
adopt ODF formats to communicate internally so beachheads will be made
unintentionally in other countries. This effect will be magnified if
Europe follows the UK lead.

The problem with RTF was it was another MS controlled format.
<snip>

--
Jay Lozier
[hidden email]


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