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Saturday, September 20 2014 @ 12:57 AM CDT

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Return to original subject: The Nuclear Option
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 28 2007 @ 11:25 PM CDT
"That OOXML can carry the same information as earlier binary formats can be verified by whether old files can be imported into Office"
So OOXML does not describe the older MS Office formats. ODF can import old office files too. So the world does not need OOXML to understand the older formats.

"That DIS 29500 describes all the output: it is clear that it does describe in enormous detail and that people have had no trouble implementing it, except for a handful of edge cases where there are flags to say that the document may have been affected by a bug from a particular version of Word, but not describing the bug in much detail."

Sorry, but that was not what I asked.

I wanted you to tell us that OOXML describes the output of Office 2007 in enough detail to read and write all of it. I have read a lot of comments that Office 2007 does not output just OOXML, but much more. Including stuff it should not use anymore according to OOXML (VML). If OOXML does not describe the output of Office 2007, what is the point. And extensions must be described too, you know. Just saying, "you need OLE to read MSO07 output" disqualifies it as an international standard.

And the "enormous detail", that was the complaint in the EU case against MS documentation: Many details, but not all of them. We don't need many details, we need all of it. Furthermore, "but not describing the bug in much detail." is an understatement. MS OOXML seems to be almost devoid of any (tag) semantics. It seems to look like a street directory without a map. The bugs were mostly merely mentioned.

If OOXML is not enough to understand MS Office output, why bother. Especially since the part that is not described is not available elsewhere. At least anything in an ODF document not is the standard is described and accessible somewhere else in detail.

"... and that people have had no trouble implementing it,"

Given the horrible quality of MS' commisioned Clever Age converter, I seriously doubt that. You are the expert here. What does it say if XSL cannot convert one XML document into another? I learned it meant one of the XML schema was defective. But maybe you can enlighten me? I really am a complete newby wrt XML.

"On the issue of what MS will do, it is important. If  FDIS29500 does not get accepted as a standard, what is there to stop them arbitrarily changing Office's format?  It plays directly into their hands to have OOXML non-standard, and you should not fool yourself that their enthusiasm for standards is not a cost of doing business that they would rather do without.  They are standardizing because the anti-trust writing is on the wall, so they are trying to get the best result they can, given that, IMHO.  Having MS open up, document, clarify their IP, get review, put a process where other stakeholders get some kind of input, all these are wins for users including the Open Source community."
 
So you say that, indeed, the only full implementation of OOXML might not continue to implement it. Actually, I still have to see to what extend MS Office 07 is OOXML compliant.

You wrote yourself that a standard without implementations is useless. So we can expect to have no compliant OOXML implementations left if the "open stewardship" committee that steers OOXML does anything MS doesn't like. If MS has so little trust in the ISO process, why did they bother with it?

Maybe a diversion because of the "They are standardizing because the anti-trust writing is on the wall, so they are trying to get the best result they can, given that, IMHO"? I think the procurement rules are a much better explanation.

On the other hand, OO.o and others do have committed themselves to ODF, future versions included. No buts and ifs. And these are open source applications (even free software), so if they give up, anyone can take over. Who can take over from MS if they chose to quit OOXML?

"Well, I have done maybe four or five weeks work  for them as a client (schema conversion, training courses, editing, seminars) in my life (excluding travel time), and I have never even signed a non-disclosure agreement.  I don't know if that counts as "working closely"...  

Or is it just that anyone who disagrees with you must be in the thrall of the enemy?"

My error. I read you "debunked various myths surrounding the ODF and the Microsoft-supported format when [you were] in Bangkok recently to attend a Microsoft-hosted event" (http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/software/0,39044164,62021038,00.htm). I erroneously assumed you were working for and with MS there.

Too bad. Brian Jones really works for MS and knows, but he never seems to answer the hard questions.

Winter
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