Do not support writing to OOXML format

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Gordon Burgess-Parker Gordon Burgess-Parker
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

On 30/12/10 17:27, Larry Gusaas wrote:

> I will not support or use LibreOffice
>  until it stops helping spread OOXML by enabling writing in this file
> format. There is absolutely no need to write in this proprietary
> format. To do so is contrary to the principle of using ODF and open
> source formats.
>
> See the following:
> http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=2493&p=169740#p169507 
>
> http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101219121621828
>
> Unless this changes I will strongly advocate in the support groups I
> participate the people stay with OpenOffice.org and not switch to
> LibreOffice.
>
>
The answer to ALL this nonsense is surely this.
If you receive an OOXML document, politely reply to the sender and
request that they send it in another format, explaining why.
And BTW, the latest Open Office ALSO supports writing to OOXML format...

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RGB.ES RGB.ES
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

2010/12/31 Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>:
> And BTW, the latest Open Office ALSO supports writing to OOXML format...
As someone already said, that's absolutely wrong: I have 3.3rc8 and
300m95 running here and none of them support writing to whateverX
formats.
Maybe you are using some go-oo derivative, but oracle's OOo do not
support writing to those formats, not even the development version for
3.4.

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Gordon Burgess-Parker Gordon Burgess-Parker
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

On 31/12/10 13:17, RGB ES wrote:
>
> As someone already said, that's absolutely wrong: I have 3.3rc8 and
> 300m95 running here and none of them support writing to whateverX
> formats.
> Maybe you are using some go-oo derivative, but oracle's OOo do not
> support writing to those formats, not even the development version for
> 3.4.
>
Well, Open Office 3.2.1 running on Ubuntu 10.04 has a Save-As option of
Office 2007 xml (docx). So i don't know what THAT is then, if it's not
OOXML....

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RGB.ES RGB.ES
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

Ubuntu's (and openSUSE's and sabayon's and...) "OOo" is go-oo, not oracle's OOo.

2010/12/31 Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>:

> On 31/12/10 13:17, RGB ES wrote:
>>
>> As someone already said, that's absolutely wrong: I have 3.3rc8 and
>> 300m95 running here and none of them support writing to whateverX
>> formats.
>> Maybe you are using some go-oo derivative, but oracle's OOo do not
>> support writing to those formats, not even the development version for
>> 3.4.
>>
> Well, Open Office 3.2.1 running on Ubuntu 10.04 has a Save-As option of
> Office 2007 xml (docx). So i don't know what THAT is then, if it's not
> OOXML....
>
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>

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Gordon Burgess-Parker Gordon Burgess-Parker
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Gordon Burgess-Parker
On 31/12/10 13:21, Gordon Burgess-Parker wrote:

> On 31/12/10 13:17, RGB ES wrote:
>>
>> As someone already said, that's absolutely wrong: I have 3.3rc8 and
>> 300m95 running here and none of them support writing to whateverX
>> formats.
>> Maybe you are using some go-oo derivative, but oracle's OOo do not
>> support writing to those formats, not even the development version for
>> 3.4.
>>
> Well, Open Office 3.2.1 running on Ubuntu 10.04 has a Save-As option
> of Office 2007 xml (docx). So i don't know what THAT is then, if it's
> not OOXML....

And it's the ORACLE version as well.....

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Gordon Burgess-Parker Gordon Burgess-Parker
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by RGB.ES
On 31/12/10 13:23, RGB ES wrote:
> Ubuntu's (and openSUSE's and sabayon's and...) "OOo" is go-oo, not oracle's OOo.
>
>

So that's why it says ORACLE on the OO splash screen then....

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RGB.ES RGB.ES
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

It says oracle ("based on oracle" to be precise) because most of the
code is copyrighted by oracle. Please, google a bit, it does not
hurt...

2010/12/31 Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>:

> On 31/12/10 13:23, RGB ES wrote:
>>
>> Ubuntu's (and openSUSE's and sabayon's and...) "OOo" is go-oo, not
>> oracle's OOo.
>>
>>
>
> So that's why it says ORACLE on the OO splash screen then....
>
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>

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sophi sophi
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

Hi,
On 31/12/2010 16:27, RGB ES wrote:
> It says oracle ("based on oracle" to be precise) because most of the
> code is copyrighted by oracle. Please, google a bit, it does not
> hurt...
Both of you are right. In fact, it's the official version plus some
go-oo patches. So you get a mix of the two versions (that brings a lot
of bugs unfortunately).

Kind regards
Sophie


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italovignoli italovignoli
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by RGB.ES
Sorry for stepping in so late in the discussion.

I have seen many messages, but they all miss the key issue:
interoperability.

TDF is FOR interoperability, which is a user (and a market) need.

TDF is not AGAINST Microsoft, although many of its founding members -
including myself - have been strong opponents of OOXML during the
standardization process.

We have worked inside committeees in order to improve OOXML, or - if you
prefer - to make is a less flawed standard.

TDF is FOR ODF, and being FOR ODF in a "strong" way means that you do
not support OOXML (but not to the point of creating problems to users
wanting to save in a specific document format).

Of course, TDF is also a member of OpenDoc Society (announcement in
early January) and is represented at the highest level inside OASIS.
Inside these bodies, TDF will fight FOR making ODF a successful document
standard over OOXML.

I would really like to handle the negative attitude to Oracle and the
OOo community. If you share the idea of being AGAINST Microsoft, TDF and
users, then we are happy if you choose the OOo community.

Happy 2011 to everyone. Ciao, Italo

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Kevin André Kevin André
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Ian Lynch
On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 11:51, Ian Lynch <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 31 December 2010 10:37, Kevin André <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 11:07, Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > 1. It is arrogant to return a document in a format different to that
>> which
>> > was sent to you. (That's why email clients always reply in the same
>> format
>> > in which the original message was received)
>>
>> I agree. And users will wonder why they can open a document they
>> received, make some simple changes, but are asked for different name
>> when saving the file. They will say "why can't this program simply
>> save my changes?".
>
>
> You can get away with being arrogant when you have 80% of the market.

Right. But LibreOffice doesn't have that kind of market share...

> Most
> of the people using a WP have no idea about file formats, they will assume
> if it comes in as xxxx it needs to go out as xxxx. (Actually a lot will
> never even have used save as..) If there is no facility to do this there is
> a reasonable chance they will reject the use of the software out of hand.

Indeed. I argued that forcing users to save an OOXML document in
another format is something that users will not understand at first,
and they probably won't like it either.
As for the save as, with the read-only OOXML policy they will see a
dialog appear that they only expect to see when saving a brand new
document (that has no filename yet) or when explicitly doing "save
as".

> This isn't about logic to a sophisticated computer user, it is about the
> average user who has no technical knowledge and has picked up a WP by trial
> and error.

And that is why I think it's a bad idea to have the application do
something they do not expect.

> MS by luck or judgement have been very good at exploiting
> ignorance. School systems don't teach word processing, they teach MS Word.
> It's why we need better education and a certification programme for users
> that covers stuff like file formats and the principles of WP not just one
> product.

Better education for users would be the optimal solution, but it's not
something you can force to happen. And it will not 'fix' all those
people that already got their 'education' in the past.

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Olivier Hallot Olivier Hallot
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Gordon Burgess-Parker
Hi Gordon

Em 31-12-2010 08:07, Gordon Burgess-Parker escreveu:
> On 30/12/10 20:41, Larry Gusaas wrote:
>>
>> On 2010/12/30 2:19 PM Gordon Burgess-Parker wrote:
>>>

(snip)
> None of you get the point, do you.
> 1. It is arrogant to return a document in a format different to that
> which was sent to you. (That's why email clients always reply in the
> same format in which the original message was received)

Actually I am more pragmatic. I do ask myself who *signs* the check, and
how many digits it bears. Then I choose the file format I have to work. :-)

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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Kevin André
A possible compromise???: move all (I mean ALL) non native formats to
the Export menu and let save/save as for the native formats only.
Also, disable the possibility to change the default format for saving
documents: in my experience on forums, many problems are fixed when
you explain users that it is not good idea to use ms formats to
_store_ files, that they need to use ODF to store and export only when
needed.

2010/12/31 Kevin André <[hidden email]>:

> On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 11:51, Ian Lynch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 31 December 2010 10:37, Kevin André <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 11:07, Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> > 1. It is arrogant to return a document in a format different to that
>>> which
>>> > was sent to you. (That's why email clients always reply in the same
>>> format
>>> > in which the original message was received)
>>>
>>> I agree. And users will wonder why they can open a document they
>>> received, make some simple changes, but are asked for different name
>>> when saving the file. They will say "why can't this program simply
>>> save my changes?".
>>
>>
>> You can get away with being arrogant when you have 80% of the market.
>
> Right. But LibreOffice doesn't have that kind of market share...
>
>> Most
>> of the people using a WP have no idea about file formats, they will assume
>> if it comes in as xxxx it needs to go out as xxxx. (Actually a lot will
>> never even have used save as..) If there is no facility to do this there is
>> a reasonable chance they will reject the use of the software out of hand.
>
> Indeed. I argued that forcing users to save an OOXML document in
> another format is something that users will not understand at first,
> and they probably won't like it either.
> As for the save as, with the read-only OOXML policy they will see a
> dialog appear that they only expect to see when saving a brand new
> document (that has no filename yet) or when explicitly doing "save
> as".
>
>> This isn't about logic to a sophisticated computer user, it is about the
>> average user who has no technical knowledge and has picked up a WP by trial
>> and error.
>
> And that is why I think it's a bad idea to have the application do
> something they do not expect.
>
>> MS by luck or judgement have been very good at exploiting
>> ignorance. School systems don't teach word processing, they teach MS Word.
>> It's why we need better education and a certification programme for users
>> that covers stuff like file formats and the principles of WP not just one
>> product.
>
> Better education for users would be the optimal solution, but it's not
> something you can force to happen. And it will not 'fix' all those
> people that already got their 'education' in the past.
>
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Kevin André Kevin André
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 15:31, RGB ES <[hidden email]> wrote:
> A possible compromise???: move all (I mean ALL) non native formats to
> the Export menu and let save/save as for the native formats only.
> Also, disable the possibility to change the default format for saving
> documents: in my experience on forums, many problems are fixed when
> you explain users that it is not good idea to use ms formats to
> _store_ files, that they need to use ODF to store and export only when
> needed.

There are still people who can actually use OOo instead of MSO,
because of the option to change the default format.

I would suggest the following instead. Support OOXML completely, but
when the user saves his/her document in a proprietary format display a
confirmation message which says something like: "You are saving your
file in a proprietary format. We cannot guarantee that the file will
still open correctly in another program. Please use an open file
format for saving your document if possible. Are you still sure you
wish to save in the current format?" And display a checkbox below that
can disable the message, or maybe add a note "You can disable this
message by going to Options->....." and have no checkbox at all. And
the message would appear by default even for the binary MS formats
(.doc, .xls, .ppt, ...).

MS Office does the same thing when saving in ODF format, and they seem
to lack an option to disable the message, even when the document to be
saved uses only features that are completely supported by ODF.

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Mark Preston Mark Preston
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Gordon Burgess-Parker
If I may inject what I hope is a little sense into this argument:-

A major strength of Open Office is and always was that it could read
and often write documents in many proprietary formats. That strength
should remain solidly a feature of Libre Office and for exactly the
same reasons.

When it comes to the Microsoft formats there is a significant issue
with writing the formats - specifically, that even Microsoft cannot
fully adhere to the standards they set. This is a major fault and it
is one which Microsoft has placed into the marketplace.

It leaves Libre Office with three choices when it comes to these
formats. It can either:-

1. Write in the format as used by Microsoft.
2. Write in the format as specified in the ISO standard.
3. Refuse to write in the new formats at all.

The problem with option 1 is that it is a strictly proprietary form
which even Microsoft admits does not actually meet the open standard.
It is therefore open to attacks using patent and other legislation if
adopted by Libre Office.

The problem with option 2 is that while it is an open standard it does
not actually fully work with Microsoft Office and is therefore a
pointless choice until (according to Microsoft) at least 2014.

The problem with option 3 is that Libre Office would be left in the
situation where its own files would need to be read by the ODF open
feature in Microsoft Office, thus making Microsoft appear to be the
ones making efforts to read "incompatible" formats. I would suggest
that this is the very reason why Microsoft has taken this action with
these formats.

We are left, in short, with just two realistic choices. Either we
reverse-engineer the OOXML as actually used and let Microsoft scream
about it (as they certainly would) or we simply ignore the format for
written documents and write them in the old "doc" format... while
telling people clearly on the download website that this is because we
are prevented from using the Microsoft "open" standard. Given the work
involved in these choices, I would suggest the only realistic option
is the latter one.


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Steven Shelton Steven Shelton
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Kevin André

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1
 
On 12/31/2010 10:03 AM, Kevin André wrote:

> I would suggest the following instead. Support OOXML completely,
> but when the user saves his/her document in a proprietary format
> display a confirmation message which says something like: "You are
> saving your file in a proprietary format. We cannot guarantee that
> the file will still open correctly in another program. Please use
> an open file format for saving your document if possible. Are you
> still sure you wish to save in the current format?" And display a
> checkbox below that can disable the message, or maybe add a note
> "You can disable this message by going to Options->....." and have
> no checkbox at all. And the message would appear by default even
> for the binary MS formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, ...).

This is a much better idea. However, I should note that even ODF
files--despite the hype--are not 100% on preserving formatting when
moved from one application to another. I have my letterhead saved as
ODF done in OOo, but when I open it in AbiWord the formatting is all
over the place.


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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by RGB.ES
Il 31/12/2010 15:31, RGB ES ha scritto:
> A possible compromise???: move all (I mean ALL) non native formats to
> the Export menu and let save/save as for the native formats only.
> Also, disable the possibility to change the default format for saving
> documents: in my experience on forums, many problems are fixed when
> you explain users that it is not good idea to use ms formats to
> _store_ files, that they need to use ODF to store and export only when
> needed.

very good idea:-) +1

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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by BRM

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On 12/30/2010 5:14 PM, BRM wrote:
> Agree. LibO should only read OOXML if anything at all.

[snip]

> ODF for that matter - should treat OOXML like Microsoft treats ODF
> and other formats - as third party as possible. In other words,
> read support should be something that users must enable; Save
> support should not be possible - it must be converted to either an
> older MS format (e.g. doc, xls) or ODF.

Ah . . .  so your solution is to make our application harder to use
than MS Office so that users will come to us instead of MS Office?

Interesting concept . . .


> We need to force MS to support ODF - as others have pointed out ODF
> is quickly becoming the world standard at least at the government
> level - which means in a few years most organizations that support
> governments will need to support ODF too, and a few years after
> that organizations that support those organizations, and so forth.
> MS has lost the file format battle to ODF - it's just time before
> OOXML (especially) and their legacy formats are gone.

In case you haven't noticed, the open source community isn't in a
position to "force" MS to do anything. And it never will be as long as
OS applications are aimed only at power users, with documentation that
is written in geek and features useful to a significant portion of
users that have to be manually turned on by the users. So far, OOo has
been really good about aiming at intermediate-level office users, and
it's easy enough for a lot of entry-level use. I would hope that LibO
would continue that trend. But as has already been pointed out, 90% of
office software users honestly don't care a thing about (or even know
about) file formats, open source v proprietary, or the politics of
software. All they want to know is: (1) How much does it cost? (2)
Does it do what I need it to do? (3) How easily does it do what I need
it to do? (4) Will I have to spend a ton of time retraining myself and
setting things up to get it to do what I need it to do?

Making LibO by default not read (or not be able to exchange) files
written in the format set by default by the market dominator because
of a philosophical or political stance is highly impractical and will
make the application less useful to end users . . . thus reducing your
own market share.  In other words: if you want to "stick it to
Microsoft", this is not the way to do it. All you are doing is making
their office suite more attractive than ours.


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Kevin André Kevin André
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Steven Shelton
On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 17:14, Steven Shelton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 12/31/2010 10:03 AM, Kevin André wrote:
>> I would suggest the following instead. Support OOXML completely,
>> but when the user saves his/her document in a proprietary format
>> display a confirmation message which says something like: "You are
>> saving your file in a proprietary format. We cannot guarantee that
>> the file will still open correctly in another program. Please use
>> an open file format for saving your document if possible. Are you
>> still sure you wish to save in the current format?" And display a
>> checkbox below that can disable the message, or maybe add a note
>> "You can disable this message by going to Options->....." and have
>> no checkbox at all. And the message would appear by default even
>> for the binary MS formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, ...).
>
> This is a much better idea. However, I should note that even ODF
> files--despite the hype--are not 100% on preserving formatting when
> moved from one application to another. I have my letterhead saved as
> ODF done in OOo, but when I open it in AbiWord the formatting is all
> over the place.

I know. But users need to be informed, even if it's with a short
message that is not 100 percent accurate.
Maybe a longer explanation could be provided in a help file or
something, and then provide a reference to it from the short message.

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Larry Gusaas Larry Gusaas
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Gordon Burgess-Parker

On 2010/12/31 7:23 AM  Gordon Burgess-Parker wrote:

> On 31/12/10 13:21, Gordon Burgess-Parker wrote:
>> On 31/12/10 13:17, RGB ES wrote:
>>>
>>> As someone already said, that's absolutely wrong: I have 3.3rc8 and
>>> 300m95 running here and none of them support writing to whateverX
>>> formats.
>>> Maybe you are using some go-oo derivative, but oracle's OOo do not
>>> support writing to those formats, not even the development version for
>>> 3.4.
>>>
>> Well, Open Office 3.2.1 running on Ubuntu 10.04 has a Save-As option of Office 2007 xml
>> (docx). So i don't know what THAT is then, if it's not OOXML....
>
> And it's the ORACLE version as well.....
>

Ubuntu and most Linux distros use the Go-oo derivative of OOo. It is based on the Oracle
version with many additions, including the ability to save in Office 2007 formats (probably
because of the Novell and Microsoft marketing agreement).

OOo downloaded from the OpenOffice.org does not save in Office 2007 formats.

Larry
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Website: http://larry-gusaas.com
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Cor Nouws Cor Nouws
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Re: Do not support writing to OOXML format

In reply to this post by Mark Preston
Hi Mark, all,

Mark Preston wrote (31-12-10 16:11)

> If I may inject what I hope is a little sense into this argument:-
>
> A major strength of Open Office is and always was that it could read
> and often write documents in many proprietary formats. That strength
> should remain solidly a feature of Libre Office and for exactly the
> same reasons.
>
> When it comes to the Microsoft formats there is a significant issue
> with writing the formats - specifically, that even Microsoft cannot
> fully adhere to the standards they set. This is a major fault and it
> is one which Microsoft has placed into the marketplace.
>
> It leaves Libre Office with three choices when it comes to these
> formats. It can either:-
>
> 1. Write in the format as used by Microsoft.
> 2. Write in the format as specified in the ISO standard.
> 3. Refuse to write in the new formats at all.
>
> The problem with option 1 is that it is a strictly proprietary form
> which even Microsoft admits does not actually meet the open standard.
> It is therefore open to attacks using patent and other legislation if
> adopted by Libre Office.
>
> The problem with option 2 is that while it is an open standard it does
> not actually fully work with Microsoft Office and is therefore a
> pointless choice until (according to Microsoft) at least 2014.
>
> The problem with option 3 is that Libre Office would be left in the
> situation where its own files would need to be read by the ODF open
> feature in Microsoft Office, thus making Microsoft appear to be the
> ones making efforts to read "incompatible" formats. I would suggest
> that this is the very reason why Microsoft has taken this action with
> these formats.
>
> We are left, in short, with just two realistic choices. Either we
> reverse-engineer the OOXML as actually used and let Microsoft scream
> about it (as they certainly would) or we simply ignore the format for
> written documents and write them in the old "doc" format... while
> telling people clearly on the download website that this is because we
> are prevented from using the Microsoft "open" standard. Given the work
> involved in these choices, I would suggest the only realistic option
> is the latter one.

Thanks for the clear analyses.
And interesting discussion.

One thing I think that could be considered as well:
The choice seems to boil down to either:
  a- ignore saving in  OOXML, because supporting that would support the
  non-open, MS dominated file format; or
  b- support saving in OOXML, because this enables users of LibreOffice
to better cooperate with (part of the) people/organizations using MsO.

For the people that choose based on certain principles, a. seems the best.
For people that have to/want to work in a practical way, b. might be
better, provided that the save-as-OOXML reaches a level where it is of
practical use. If that is not the case, it is not more then window
dressing that will leave users with a bad experience and again people
pointing at the other application (LibO in this case) that does not
support the file format properly.
Another side note: efforts spent to develop save-as-OOXML might have
possible side effects for the save-as-DOC, I guess, since OOXML is
partly based on the old binary format.

Indeed, not a clear a or b, but just some components for the frame to
help making the choice.

How does that sound?

Best,
Cor


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