Microsoft yesterday announced an alliance with vendors as the first step towards its brave, new world of interoperable software. The company said existing partners, DataViz, Quickoffice, and Novell were all working on the new "Document Interoperability Initiative" to test incompatibilities and to make it easier to shift …
Why not just build the ODF/OOXML translator into MS Office?
And save the bother of anyone ever needing to do the conversion manually.
OOXML not really a standard.
Its an XML version of what various Microsoft products spit out when you hit the save button.
As such only MS* is really in a position to support the standard and then only patchily -- how many documents have you had screwed up after upgrading to Office lastyear.
This standard is just a (very succesful!) attempt to derail the true open document format.
re: Why not?
'Cos it's then no longer M$ calling the shots, they believe that their products are far superior so putting the translator in to Office implies that they want others to use non-M$ products as Office stuff can then easily be exported.
Can't have that now, can we.
...and also save anyone the bother of buying Microsoft Office. Oh! Wait...
Mine's the wrap please, containing Broadcom wireless drivers...
How cheap he is.
So, we should give up on the standard we have and adopt M$'s superb "standard" (standard?) because with all that all we wanted was to have a chair when M$ starts discussing the OOXML 2.0!?
So it is a kind of bargain? We give you a ISO stamp and you "open" your file format.
Divide and rule
Notice that this is for *Excel* and *PowerPoint*, but not *Word*. Typical MS smokescreen - it will counter accusations of monopolistic behaviour by claiming to support ODF, but then anyone who actually wants to use it will find out that it's crippled by not working with Word.
The current brouhaha with OOXML is only on whether it should be allowed to use the fast track. Saying NO doesn't mean it will never become an ISO approved standard, it just means that it will have to undergo more rigorous review prior to being approved.
Although I guess that given the current state of said proposed standard, that's equivalent to saying it will never be approved.
Can't they all see?
Everything msft does is to protect itself from OpenOffice.
That's why they'll never do native ODF in MSOffice, nor any other standard (unless forced to).
For them a converter is by far preferable because users never bother to check what they 'save as', and just use the default. A converter looks like it might solve the problem but really its just an attempt to get them off the hook, because most users will not have it. This stuff needs to be a default, not an occasional option!
Did anyone else notice that the windows eeepc will be bundled with MSWorks (spit)? Why not OpenOffice like the Linux version? That's to protect MSOffice by keeping OpenOffice and ODF out - that's why!
ISO should reject all MSFT efforts and just force ODF formats on them at pain of huge fines by the EU.
And that goes not only for ODF (word processor), but also ODS (spreadsheet) and ODP (presentation)
End of Rant
"existing partners, DataViz, Quickoffice, and Novell"
.... all of them like subsidiaries of MSFT corp.
Like a corporation who speaks to itself, isn't it?
Talking of Works and Converters
For reasons that are patently obvious, MS Word cannot natively open MS Works documents.
So, on the plus side, they're only being as interoperable with OOo as they are their own products.
The fact that this is shit seems to have eluded most of their customers...
Perhaps MS means "approximator", rather than "translator". Have you worked with their "translator" for .docx files? Crap. And that's their attempt to "translate" their own format from Office 2007 format to an earlier Office version!
Fortunately for everyone, they should soon be abandoning their attempts at "standardizing" desktop applications in favor of pushing the bulk of their programs onto the web, where more-focused minds have greater sway with regard to "interoperability".
Who implements OOXML? Who will?
Microsoft certainly doesn't - they may have an application which is closer to OOXML compliance than any other, but it's certainly not even loosely compliant. Furthermore, there are Microsoft execs who have stated that Microsoft will not be incorporating any changes to OOXML made by ISO into their product.
Add to this the number of tags in OOXML which are not defined well enough for anyone to implement without significant help from Microsoft. *Can* anyone besides Microsoft develop a compliant product? Based on the amount of assistance Microsoft has given to competing interests in the past - for example, their infamous joint venture with IBM on OS/2 - I sincerely believe the answer is 'no'.
As such, all this interest in OOXML really mystifies me. No products currently support it, no products will support it in the future. Why make a converter that will translate ODF files into it, when nobody's going to be able to read any files written in it (apart from this converter - if it's actually even compliant. Which it won't be.)
Supposing MS manages to get OOXML accepted as an ISO standard, hasn't it then lost control of that very standard to the ISO? And will then find themselves in a very odd position when the ISO issues v.2 of that very standard?
I don't think ISO would release a v2 of the MS "standard" without MS defining it. So it doesn't really matter.
Mind you, if ISO allow the current state of MS "OOXML", then they sort of open the way for many more "open" "standards" to be made ISO standards without actually having any details.
And this is an IT site... Your subject line should have been "Unforeseen Consequences"...
Sorry OOXML is just a ZIP file with a XML page as a database and a tex document. No jumping for joy here. This document is too boring for words. M$ should actualy try and develop something someone has not done already and stop selling stupid ideas like this. It just leaves it open of spyware and what else. Another Failure. How long beofre some virus now infects the xml and every time you open a document you get Malware advertising in your DOC!!!! Stupid.
@ AC "No joy"
Erm, so what's ODF?
On my Ubuntu Linux box I appear to be able to open my .odt files as an archive and delve into the XML within... Dunno if you can on the Dark Side as well
Anyway, GO ODF!