How to make OO the standard

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
31 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

How to make OO the standard

Wm Stewart-2

This message is meant to be forwarded to Oracle management.

I'm sure by now we've all heard about MS taking a shot at OO.  Criticism is
good, it makes us better.  The surefire way to win is to simply address the
problem issues and make them go away.

OpenOffice could be the world standard very quickly if it solved what users
say is the number one barrier to widespread adoption.  Slides 26 and 30 of
this presentation show that the feature OO users *themselves* most need is
complete compatibility with MS formats:
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/w/images/1/11/Renaissance-status-2009-01-30_wiki.odp

Writer and Calc have better compatibility than ever before, however they
have not yet reached the "tipping point", and Impress has many remaining
issues.  Ignore this compatibility problem, and remain a niche player.
Solve it, and very quickly win worldwide adoption.  That simple.

Additional excellent real world feedback, well worth reading:
http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=5691592

Bill Stewart
Eseri CEO
http://Eseri.com/



---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

M. Fioretti-2
On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 08:53:13 AM -0400, Wm Stewart
([hidden email]) wrote:

> OpenOffice could be the world standard very quickly if it solved
> what users say is the number one barrier to widespread adoption.
> Slides 26 and 30 of this presentation show that the feature OO users
> *themselves* most need is complete compatibility with MS formats:

this is impossible BY DEFINITION. And it has been already explained
many many times. You CANNOT achieve and maintain 100% compatibility
with a format that YOUR competitor can change at whim every time
you're over 95% compatibility. Period.

The first feature that the OO users asking 100% compatibility with MS
formats must achieve IN THEMSELVES is understanding and acceptance of
this concept.

The only way to achieve and maintain sufficient compatibility is to
get rid of the very concept that MS formats must continue to be
tolerated for NEW documents: demand law and regulations that mandate
OpenDocument as the only acceptable interchange and long storage
format of all public documents and the problem will solve itself.

If the people you must work with are addicted to some drug, the only
effective way to keep working with them in the long term is not to
take the same drug while asking for some antidote. It is to force/help
the drug addicts to realize their conditions and get out of it for
good. See here why I am speaking of drug addiction:

            http://stop.zona-m.net/node/198
HTH,
        Marco


---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Wm Stewart-2

On 10/16/2010 9:36 AM, M. Fioretti wrote:

> On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 08:53:13 AM -0400, Wm Stewart
> ([hidden email]) wrote:
>
>> OpenOffice could be the world standard very quickly if it solved
>> what users say is the number one barrier to widespread adoption.
>> Slides 26 and 30 of this presentation show that the feature OO users
>> *themselves* most need is complete compatibility with MS formats:
>
> this is impossible BY DEFINITION. And it has been already explained
> many many times. You CANNOT achieve and maintain 100% compatibility
> with a format that YOUR competitor can change at whim every time
> you're over 95% compatibility. Period.
>

Marco, stand back and look at the big picture.  Here is the decision that
must be made:

    1. Do we wish to achieve compatibility with the existing MS formats,
through docx, which is *absolutely possible* as the greatly increasing
compatibility over the past few years indicates - and then win?

    2. Or do you wish to continue to ask the world to throw out all of
their existing billions of documents and software, which is not possible as
the past few years shows - and continue to lose?

Compatibility is not easy.  However as a programmer I know it is possible,
even without a single page of documentation on the existing MS formats:
cleanroom it and solve the problems one by one.  The proof is that OO has
gone from 80% compatibility to 98% in the last five years.  However, my
point, the point of users, and the point of the regular folks on the Fark
thread I referenced, is that it is the last 2% that is the key to
widespread adoption.  *Future MS document formats are not the issue*.

Compatibility is what is required to win.  If we are not willing to do the
work to be completely compatible, we must be willing to lose, and have no
right to complain that the world will not change for us.  I for one believe
the advantages of open source software are so overwhelming I am willing to
push to win.  OO is so close.  Let's go that last 2%.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

M. Fioretti-2
On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 10:02:18 AM -0400, Wm Stewart ([hidden email]) wrote:

>
> On 10/16/2010 9:36 AM, M. Fioretti wrote:
> >On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 08:53:13 AM -0400, Wm Stewart
> >([hidden email]) wrote:
> >
> >>OpenOffice could be the world standard very quickly if it solved
> >>what users say is the number one barrier to widespread adoption.
> >>Slides 26 and 30 of this presentation show that the feature OO users
> >>*themselves* most need is complete compatibility with MS formats:
> >
> >this is impossible BY DEFINITION. And it has been already explained
> >many many times. You CANNOT achieve and maintain 100% compatibility
> >with a format that YOUR competitor can change at whim every time
> >you're over 95% compatibility. Period.
> >
>
> Marco, stand back and look at the big picture.

Bill, please stand back and look again at what I actually wrote,
pasted here for convenience:

> The only way to achieve and maintain sufficient compatibility is to
> get rid of the very concept that MS formats must continue to be
> tolerated for NEW documents: demand law and regulations that mandate
> OpenDocument as the only acceptable interchange and long storage
> format of all public documents and the problem will solve itself

I said NEW documents. Not already existing ones. And I meant NEW, and
new only, even in the last line above, which should read:

> format of all new public documents and the problem will solve itself

Sorry if I forgot to repeat "new" in that line, however this is what
my proposal is and remains.

Using OOXML (which is NOT today's docx!) as the preferred STORAGE
format to preserve already existing files is one thing. I have already
said several times that, limited to that usage, OOXML is the least
evil.

Tolerating OOXML or .docx for interchange and storage, that is
archival, of NEW files is an entirely different issue. That would be
really stupid.

Apart from, or in addition to this: 100% total compatibility as in
100% visual fidelity etc... on **editable formats** for every possible
document is achievable only if everybody uses the same version of the
same program with the same fonts, macros, multimedia plugins and so
on.

For the record, at the last OOoCon there was a Microsoft engineer that
explained this very well. His slideshow is on the OOocon website:
http://www.ooocon.org/index.php/ooocon/2010/paper/view/175

> Here is the decision
> that must be made:
>
> 1. Do we wish to achieve compatibility with the existing MS
> formats, through docx

No. More exactly, I say: if/when that happens, great. But it is much,
much more important to improve interoperability with other office
suites (not just MS office) on OpenDocument files.

> 2. Or do you wish to continue to ask the world to throw out all of
> their existing billions of documents and software, which is not
> possible as the past few years shows - and continue to lose?

The best way to lose is to keep running after a target that changes
just to keep you running. Fighting forever respecting unfair rules
(=the file formats) against somebody who decides those rules alone
makes much less sense than demanding a new game with new rules.

If you didn't understand this from my first message, I don't know how
to explain it simpler, so OK but we can and should stop here.

This said, please remember again that I spoke of new files. In other
words, change laws and regulations in governments so that:

- from now on, whenever a government archives a NEW public document or
  anybody sends to any government office a NEW document, that document
  can only be in the OpenDocument format. Not OOXML, not .docx. How
  the author complies with this requirement is nobody's business, its
  his responsibility. Ditto for the documents they keep for their
  internal use only.

> the point of users, and the point of the regular folks on the Fark
> thread I referenced, is that it is the last 2% that is the key to
> widespread adoption.

My point remains that such users and regular folks simply don't get
some basic truths and are fighting a battle that a) can't be won by
definition, b) isn't even really worth fighting. See above and the
link I provided in my earlier message.

Do you care more about the software you use, or about the documents
you create and manage with it? Microsoft never fought Linux and
OpenOffice with the same intensity which with they fought
OpenDocument. If this isn't enough to prove to you where their real
weakness (that is the best way to accomplish your goal, "making OO the
standard"), OK.

Now, the real reason why we're discussing now is that we have two
different objectives. You want OOo to be the standard. I want
OpenDocument to be the standard, because file formats are much more
important than software programs and we use software because we need
documents, not the other way around. But we do have different
objectives, maybe it's better to just acknowledge that, isn't it?

Marco

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Wm Stewart-2
On 10/16/2010 10:37 AM, M. Fioretti wrote:
> Now, the real reason why we're discussing now is that we have two
> different objectives. You want OOo to be the standard. I want
> OpenDocument to be the standard, because file formats are much more
> important than software programs and we use software because we need
> documents, not the other way around. But we do have different
> objectives, maybe it's better to just acknowledge that, isn't it?

Hi Marco, I absolutely agree that ODF should be the world-wide standard.
But what is the best way to get there?

The evidence so far shows it won't happen as long as MS Office is the
world-wide standard, ODF plugin or not.  However, it would happen much more
quickly if OO was the world-wide standard.  This is my point.  Switch the
software and the format will follow.

So, first things first.  The evidence, including the two links I included
in my original post with real user input, strongly shows that the simple
way to make OO the world wide standard is to provide it with complete
compatibility with existing MS formats, as the first step.

Fundamentally I believe "embrace and replace" is a much more clever and
successful strategy than an all or nothing fight, which so far we (OO) are
losing - a niche product not widely used in business or government because
it is not completely compatible with the "facts on the ground" - the vast
majority of existing documents.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

RA Brown
On Sat Oct 16 2010 08:48:18 GMT-0700 (PDT)  Wm Stewart wrote:

>
> Hi Marco, I absolutely agree that ODF should be the world-wide standard.
> But what is the best way to get there?
>
> The evidence so far shows it won't happen as long as MS Office is the
> world-wide standard, ODF plugin or not.  However, it would happen much
> more quickly if OO was the world-wide standard.  This is my point.  
> Switch the software and the format will follow.
>
> So, first things first.  The evidence, including the two links I
> included in my original post with real user input, strongly shows that
> the simple way to make OO the world wide standard is to provide it with
> complete compatibility with existing MS formats, as the first step.
>
> Fundamentally I believe "embrace and replace" is a much more clever and
> successful strategy than an all or nothing fight, which so far we (OO)
> are losing - a niche product not widely used in business or government
> because it is not completely compatible with the "facts on the ground" -
> the vast majority of existing documents.

How do you propose to make OOo 100% compatible with MSO?  The structure
of the files is closed so no one but MS has them.  Reverse engineering
can only do so much.  _IF_ MS used a published format that everyone
could access then it would be easy to do, but they don't.

Andy

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Wm Stewart-2
On 10/16/2010 12:07 PM, RA Brown wrote:
> How do you propose to make OOo 100% compatible with MSO? The structure of
> the files is closed so no one but MS has them. Reverse engineering can only
> do so much. _IF_ MS used a published format that everyone could access then
> it would be easy to do, but they don't.
>
> Andy

Hi Andy, the main evidence that it can be done is in the history of what
has been done: OO is so much more compatible than it was.  To go the rest
of the way is a matter of solving the issues one by one.  For example, most
of the remaining issues with Writer are alignment, headers, footers,
tables, images, that are misaligned from Word to Writer and vice versa.

I'm not saying it is easy, a few minutes work, to fix these issues.  I am
saying that:

    a. It can be done by taking input documents with problems and solving
them one by one, as the problems already solved have been.

    b. Solving compatibility is under the community's control and doable,
while the hurdle to get the world to change to Microsoft / ODF first is
much higher and has not yet worked.

    c. If we want to win the battle, the two links submitted with my
original post show that solving the remaining compatibility issues is
necessary.  Provide complete compatibility and the world will convert in a
relatively short period of time, because of the usual open source
advantages - low cost, and lower risk because the software is a shared
global resource and not owned by a single company.

We've been at this discussion for years now.  I believe evidence trumps
opinion.  We have the same goal, but the evidence shows that putting the
format before the software is not what users, business, or government want.
  And it has not worked.  If we "embrace and replace", OO will win quickly.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

RA Brown
On Sat Oct 16 2010 10:22:44 GMT-0700 (PDT)  Wm Stewart wrote:

> On 10/16/2010 12:07 PM, RA Brown wrote:
>> How do you propose to make OOo 100% compatible with MSO? The structure of
>> the files is closed so no one but MS has them. Reverse engineering can
>> only
>> do so much. _IF_ MS used a published format that everyone could access
>> then
>> it would be easy to do, but they don't.
>>
>> Andy
>
> Hi Andy, the main evidence that it can be done is in the history of what
> has been done: OO is so much more compatible than it was.  To go the
> rest of the way is a matter of solving the issues one by one.  For
> example, most of the remaining issues with Writer are alignment,
> headers, footers, tables, images, that are misaligned from Word to
> Writer and vice versa.
>
> I'm not saying it is easy, a few minutes work, to fix these issues.  I
> am saying that:
>
>    a. It can be done by taking input documents with problems and solving
> them one by one, as the problems already solved have been.
>
>    b. Solving compatibility is under the community's control and doable,
> while the hurdle to get the world to change to Microsoft / ODF first is
> much higher and has not yet worked.
>
>    c. If we want to win the battle, the two links submitted with my
> original post show that solving the remaining compatibility issues is
> necessary.  Provide complete compatibility and the world will convert in
> a relatively short period of time, because of the usual open source
> advantages - low cost, and lower risk because the software is a shared
> global resource and not owned by a single company.
>
> We've been at this discussion for years now.  I believe evidence trumps
> opinion.  We have the same goal, but the evidence shows that putting the
> format before the software is not what users, business, or government
> want.  And it has not worked.  If we "embrace and replace", OO will win
> quickly.
>


Ok. So the developers spend what, several hundred hours "fixing" the
compatibility issues.  Next release MS changes the format, as they just
did with making even older versions of their on software in compatible
and older documents useless.

The internet would be totally worthless if MS had their way.  Open
standards are the only way to level the playing field.  As long as MS
uses closed standards it can not be done.  Look how MS has tried to
change the "standards" with their own, claiming to embrace  open
standards.  OOXML is just one example.

Andy

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

M. Fioretti-2
In reply to this post by Wm Stewart-2
On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 13:22:44 PM -0400, Wm Stewart
([hidden email]) wrote:

>    b. Solving compatibility is under the community's control

NO. It isn't. By definition. Because it's not the community that
controls when the secret formats it's trying to catch will stop moving
and changing. UNLESS you limit this game to version of the formats
that no MS user produces anymore, surely not .docx. And even in that
case it would still require a very big effort

> We've been at this discussion for years now.  I believe evidence
> trumps opinion.

Bill,

at this point, what *I* see as evidence and believe in good faith is
that you're surely a great person with good intentions, but if you
don't understand what I've written 3 times today in shorter and
shorter sentences you shouldn't engage in certain discussions. I can't
get past this conclusion.

Maybe I'm totally right, maybe I'm totally wrong because my own brain
is limited. So be it. Don't worry about it because I really have no
time or wish to continue this discussion. I'll do my best to ignore
any other message in this thread. Have a nice weekend.

     Marco


---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Wm Stewart-2
In reply to this post by RA Brown
On 10/16/2010 2:59 PM, RA Brown wrote:
> Ok. So the developers spend what, several hundred hours "fixing" the
> compatibility issues. Next release MS changes the format, as they just did
> with making even older versions of their on software in compatible and
> older documents useless.
>

Hi Andy, my response to Marco at 10:02AM, attached, responds to this issue.

We can win, easily.  The users themselves repeatedly tell us how, see the
info in the links of my first post today.



On 10/16/2010 9:36 AM, M. Fioretti wrote:

> On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 08:53:13 AM -0400, Wm Stewart
> ([hidden email]) wrote:
>
>> OpenOffice could be the world standard very quickly if it solved
>> what users say is the number one barrier to widespread adoption.
>> Slides 26 and 30 of this presentation show that the feature OO users
>> *themselves* most need is complete compatibility with MS formats:
>
> this is impossible BY DEFINITION. And it has been already explained
> many many times. You CANNOT achieve and maintain 100% compatibility
> with a format that YOUR competitor can change at whim every time
> you're over 95% compatibility. Period.
>
Marco, stand back and look at the big picture.  Here is the decision that
must be made:

    1. Do we wish to achieve compatibility with the existing MS formats,
through docx, which is *absolutely possible* as the greatly increasing
compatibility over the past few years indicates - and then win?

    2. Or do you wish to continue to ask the world to throw out all of
their existing billions of documents and software, which is not possible as
the past few years shows - and continue to lose?

Compatibility is not easy.  However as a programmer I know it is possible,
even without a single page of documentation on the existing MS formats:
cleanroom it and solve the problems one by one.  The proof is that OO has
gone from 80% compatibility to 98% in the last five years.  However, my
point, the point of users, and the point of the regular folks on the Fark
thread I referenced, is that it is the last 2% that is the key to
widespread adoption.  *Future MS document formats are not the issue*.

Compatibility is what is required to win.  If we are not willing to do the
work to be completely compatible, we must be willing to lose, and have no
right to complain that the world will not change for us.  I for one believe
the advantages of open source software are so overwhelming I am willing to
push to win.  OO is so close.  Let's go that last 2%.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Wm Stewart-2
In reply to this post by M. Fioretti-2

Hi Marco, I'm a developer and completely understand your points.
Continuing disagreement with your position is not evidence that I don't.
Progress and learning cannot be achieved when one side says - "if you still
disagree with me it can only be because you don't understand my completely
correct position, so I'll just repeat it".

Specifically, I have tried as best as possible to respond, pointing for
example to the incredible progress already made, and the minor nature of
many of the remaining issues - i.e. alignment - and even suggested a
specific cleanroom process to proceed.  These are where your energy should
be spent if you want to help, instead of continually repeating your point
without responding to my points in a spirit of dialogue.

There is no need to get personal.  I will continue to advocate this
position, shared by the vast majority of actual OO users themselves as per
the surveys included in my original post.  I hope no-one pushing this
position will be discouraged by your suggestion they should not engage in
these discussions because they aren't intellecutally capable of
understanding what you say.  OO has not had the success we all wish it
would, and the problem I raise is the main reason why.  This is important.

Thanks,
Bill

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Bianca Gibson
Hi,
Another factor is perceived value based on price. Many people assume
things are better when they cost more/at all, without examining actual
quality and value even slightly. I unfortunately don't have a clue how
to address this, because I can't grasp the mentality behind it in
order to see how to change it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

David B Teague-3
  On 10/16/2010 8:56 PM, Bianca Gibson wrote:
> Hi,
> Another factor is perceived value based on price. Many people assume
> things are better when they cost more/at all, without examining actual
> quality and value even slightly. I unfortunately don't have a clue how
> to address this, because I can't grasp the mentality behind it in
> order to see how to change it.
I mentioned free software back when there wasn't much of it
out there. My office mate, who is an ultimate pessimist,
sarcastically suggested that you get what you pay for. My
experience since is that this is false. The ratio of
functionality to cost, where cost includes learning and
maintenance, is much higher with free software than with
commercial software. I moved to OO.o with 1.1 and have not
looked back.

David Teague



---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Bob Long
In reply to this post by RA Brown
RA Brown wrote,

[..]

> How do you propose to make OOo 100% compatible with MSO? The structure
> of the files is closed so no one but MS has them. Reverse engineering
> can only do so much. _IF_ MS used a published format that everyone could
> access then it would be easy to do, but they don't.
>
> Andy

But haven't Microsoft released specifications for their binary file formats?

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc313105.aspx

Just how accurate, complete or useful that information is, I have no idea.

--
Bob Long


---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

David B Teague-3
  On 10/16/2010 9:30 PM, Bob Long wrote:

> RA Brown wrote,
>
> [..]
>
>> How do you propose to make OOo 100% compatible with MSO?
>> The structure
>> of the files is closed so no one but MS has them. Reverse
>> engineering
>> can only do so much. _IF_ MS used a published format that
>> everyone could
>> access then it would be easy to do, but they don't.
>>
>> Andy
>
> But haven't Microsoft released specifications for their
> binary file formats?
>
> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc313105.aspx
>
> Just how accurate, complete or useful that information is,
> I have no idea.
>
I will be surprised if MS specs are complete enough for a
competitor to effectively use them. I understand they don't
appear to be able to manage backward compatibility with
their products, not even with the lowly .rtf format. I want
to hear further comment on this from those better informed
than I.

--David

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Bianca Gibson
In reply to this post by David B Teague-3
> I mentioned free software back when there wasn't much of it out there. My
> office mate, who is an ultimate pessimist, sarcastically suggested that you
> get what you pay for. My experience since is that this is false. The ratio
> of functionality to cost, where cost includes learning and maintenance, is
> much higher with free software than with commercial software. I moved to
> OO.o with 1.1 and have not looked back.
>
> David Teague

I completely agree with you, I was just saying people hold that view,
and for OO to become the standard it needs to be addressed.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

RA Brown
In reply to this post by Bob Long
On Sat Oct 16 2010 18:30:30 GMT-0700 (PDT)  Bob Long wrote:

> RA Brown wrote,
>
> [..]
>
>> How do you propose to make OOo 100% compatible with MSO? The structure
>> of the files is closed so no one but MS has them. Reverse engineering
>> can only do so much. _IF_ MS used a published format that everyone could
>> access then it would be easy to do, but they don't.
>>
>> Andy
>
> But haven't Microsoft released specifications for their binary file
> formats?
>
> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc313105.aspx
>
> Just how accurate, complete or useful that information is, I have no idea.
>

As I am not a programming I do not know either.  But with MS controlling
them there is not telling when those will change.  As one of their
updates removed compatibility for older file formats.  Which means
documents that the new programs will not open their on formats.



---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Michael Adams-2
On Sunday 17 October 2010 15:39, RA Brown wrote:

> On Sat Oct 16 2010 18:30:30 GMT-0700 (PDT)  Bob Long wrote:
> > But haven't Microsoft released specifications for their binary file
> > formats?
> > http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc313105.aspx
> > Just how accurate, complete or useful that information is, I have no
> > idea.
>
> As I am not a programming I do not know either.  But with MS controlling
> them there is not telling when those will change.  As one of their
> updates removed compatibility for older file formats.  Which means
> documents that the new programs will not open their on formats.

Microsofts binary formats are in theory deprecated. Thus the binary format
specs are a fixed playing field which to all intents and purposes should
never be updated again. There are very few hidden 'bits' in them though they
do have hooks for hidden technologies to be embedded in them.
DOC etc. were dropped in favour of DOCX etc. hence the deprecation. In reality
it is safer at this period in time to use DOC as both 2007 and 2010 use a
version of DOCX authored by Microsoft before the Standardisation process was
innitiated, a prerelease version which itself was deprecated by the ISO
process.

--
Michael

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Wm Stewart-2
In reply to this post by RA Brown
On 10/16/2010 10:39 PM, RA Brown wrote:
> As I am not a programming I do not know either. But with MS controlling
> them there is not telling when those will change. As one of their updates
> removed compatibility for older file formats. Which means documents that
> the new programs will not open their on formats.

The common concern that MS will just change their file formats again is
overblown, and not as important as it seems.  Consider:

    o  They don't change often.  And the frustration of users with the
change to docx a few years ago will slow down any future changes even more.

    o  The main issue is compatibility with the existing formats.  Solve
this, and you have solved the key problem.  OO would become the standard
office suite very quickly, as the number one barrier would be solved, and
the number one request of existing OO users would be met.  Existing users
could make more use of the software than many do now, and they could spread
the good news widely and with confidence new users would have a good
experience.

"Embrace and replace".  A win is so close...






---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to make OO the standard

Robert Derman-2
In reply to this post by M. Fioretti-2
M. Fioretti wrote:

> On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 13:22:44 PM -0400, Wm Stewart
> ([hidden email]) wrote:
>
>>    b. Solving compatibility is under the community's control
>
> NO. It isn't. By definition. Because it's not the community that
> controls when the secret formats it's trying to catch will stop moving
> and changing. UNLESS you limit this game to version of the formats
> that no MS user produces anymore, surely not .docx. And even in that
> case it would still require a very big effort
Here I have to disagree with Marco just a bit, Microsoft CANNOT change
formats just any time they feel like it, because their customers won't
accept that.  A good example is Windows Vista which was a commercial
failure*  because it changed things that customers didn't want
changed.   So what happened, thousands of companies refused to buy Vista
and stayed with Windows XP.  While I am just a small scale system
builder, over the years I have built slightly less than a thousand
computers.  Of those only 1 had Vista on it.  I tried Vista and hated it
so much I took it off of my own machine and went back to XP.
        I am using an older version of Thunderbird (2.0.0.24) because I
hated the recent versions, and it seemed that every time they changed it
I liked it even less than the last version.  I also refuse to update my
copy of OOo because I refuse to loose my personal spelling dictionary.  
I doubt that I will upgrade until version 4.0   Unless at some point the
developers get a version that doesn't trash your settings changes and
additions when you upgrade.

*Allowing for what MS spent to develop and promote Vista, and what
revenue they would likely have made from XP if they had kept it the
current product until the release of Win 7.


>> We've been at this discussion for years now.  I believe evidence
>> trumps opinion.
>
> Bill,
>
> at this point, what *I* see as evidence and believe in good faith is
> that you're surely a great person with good intentions, but if you
> don't understand what I've written 3 times today in shorter and
> shorter sentences you shouldn't engage in certain discussions. I can't
> get past this conclusion.
>
> Maybe I'm totally right, maybe I'm totally wrong because my own brain
> is limited. So be it. Don't worry about it because I really have no
> time or wish to continue this discussion. I'll do my best to ignore
> any other message in this thread. Have a nice weekend.
>
>      Marco
12