Friday, 28 March 2008

How Microsoft killed ODF

Hasn't anyone learned anything over the last few years. It doesn't matter if OOXML is approved or not. All that matters is that the process that gave ODF it's international standing is ruined. ODF got where it is today because it is an international standard, not because it is necessarily the answer to every possible question. People believed in the ISO process and believed that a standard with their seal of approval was actually worth something in the real world. By badgering, bribing and threatening, Microsoft has effectively destroyed the ISO process. So who cares if OOXML becomes a standard or not? No one if there isn't gold standard for it to be judged against. While ODF was a saint, the sinner of OOXML looked very dark and shabby. Now Microsoft has cast doubt on the lineage of ODF everyone is a sinner. If you will excuse an awful analogy, which would you prefer to eat, ice cream or sawdust? Easy choice eh! Now everyone knows that the ISO process can be corrupted the choice can then be portrayed as one dodgy standard versus another. So, what do you want to eat now, sawdust or coal? Not as clear cut any more is it! As soon as one national body fell to the manipulation of Microsoft, OOXML had won. In the world of FUD and dirty deals Microsoft is king. It's made a career out of muddying the waters to hide it's own inadequacies and inconsistencies. There is ( or maybe these days, was ) a saying that says 'My country right or wrong'. For some ISO members maybe we should change it to 'My company, right or wrong'


In this whole sordid tale, some people stood above the crud and for that they should be saluted... and some didn't ....

4 comments:

Jan said...

Come on mate, M$ hasn't killed off ODF! To be fair, the worst that could possibly happen is that M$ might throw, as you mentioned, an amount of FUD to try and cloudy the ISO process. In reality, what would most likely happen is that the FUD would slow down the whole process, exactly the opposite of what Microsoft would want. And time is what is needed to sort out through the muddy crap. Another fact that will definitely count against the M$ campaign is them employing just about every dubious tactic in the book to try and force the hand of the ISO to ratify their own format. We should have a bit of faith in the international computing community, as a rule these people tend to be rather bright and would eventually see through any smokescreen (given enough time).

zaine_ridling said...

ODF will be fine. What will kill MS-OOXML is Microsoft's recent interoperability pledge, which Redmond has no intention of MS-OOXML following. So Microsoft was able to *completely* game ISO with Karl Rove tactics. The reality is that Microsoft was able to get a product specification approved as a standard. Only Microsoft products will be able to create MS-OOXML files (and not by the Ecma 376 spec either).

Sam said...

The perception that ODF is a "saint" is the biggest misconception of all.

ODF brought down ISO because ISO NB's know that ODF has too many application-dependencies and undocumented facets (check if KOffice can work with OpenOffice.org ***after 5 years of trying*** -- this assertion is unassailable if you check the document behavior) and it is impossible not to pass OOXML which has about similar -- roughly equivalent -- flaws because OOXML "is" the application interface which everyone uses: MS Office. (The erroneous conflation of format & application is not mine.)

Sun stopped "developing" ODF meaningfully as of the May 2005 ISO ratification. It was a parlor show; I was there!

Microsoft will stop OOXML too after ratification.

People are complaining that Microsoft is trashing the ISO process that validates ODF. Of COURSE they are!

But it wouldn't have been possible if ODF was a saint. If ODF was a saint (which means that it would accommodate working interop extensions to permit MS legacy formats to roundtrip with OpenOffice) then Microsoft would have had to de-provision OOXML and take down the lingua-franca of its entire next-gen attack on the Internet.

The mistakes here are on the ODF side.

Sam said...

The perception that ODF is a "saint" is the biggest misconception of all.

ODF brought down ISO because ISO NB's know that ODF has too many application-dependencies and undocumented facets (check if KOffice can work with OpenOffice.org ***after 5 years of trying*** -- this assertion is unassailable if you check the document behavior) and it is impossible not to pass OOXML which has about similar -- roughly equivalent -- flaws because OOXML "is" the application interface which everyone uses: MS Office. (The erroneous conflation of format & application is not mine.)

Sun stopped "developing" ODF meaningfully as of the May 2005 ISO ratification. It was a parlor show; I was there!

Microsoft will stop OOXML too after ratification. The interop game they are playing post the EU fine is already bullshit Microsoft-driven terms of play based around their applications.

What? Are they going to HAND us their customers?

People are complaining that Microsoft is trashing the ISO process that validates ODF. Of COURSE they are!

But it wouldn't have been possible if ODF was a saint. If ODF was a saint (which means that it would have long ago accommodated working interop extensions to permit MS legacy formats to roundtrip with OpenOffice.org) then Microsoft would have had to de-provision OOXML and take down the lingua-franca of its entire next-gen attack on the Internet.

The mistakes here are on the ODF side.