OK, forgive the random Sneaker Pimps reference and I promise we will move off this topic of ODF politics we’ve had the past week or two, but I wanted to call out something that Stephen McGibbon pointed out to me today. Office 2007 key is available here.He mentioned this blog post he made on Monday entitled Spinning out of Control. Stephen pointed out that in the press release for the ISO approval of ODF, the following statement was made:
Billions of existing office documents will be able to be converted to the XML standard format with no loss of data, formatting, properties, or capabilities. Office 2007 download is in discount now!This will facilitate document contents access, search, use, integration and development in new and innovative ways.
Now, I’m not sure if this was just an exaggeration, or if they meant that ideally in future versions of ODF it will be the case. It’s clear though that as the spec stands now, it’s not the case. There are clearly a number of areas either left unspecified, or specified to a more limited level than what people are already doing today in their documents. Office 2007 Professional is very good!I’m not talking about future innovations, but basics that have been around for years. I know that pushers of ODF like to say this is just FUD, but really it’s just a fact. Look at the spec. If the goal is to guarantee perfect fidelity with the existing base of Microsoft Office documents (which would be implied by the “billions of documents” statement), then there is still a long way to go.Office 2007 home and student is inexpensive and helpful.
Now, maybe fidelity with the existing base of Microsoft Office documents was a non goal. In reading through the newsgroups, it’s pretty clear that the initial goal of ODF was mainly targeted around fidelity with the existing OpenOffice 1.1 format that was created by Sun. Many people use Microsoft Office 2007 to help their work and life.This is stated pretty clearly by David Faure who is a voting member on the OASIS Open Document Technical Committee:
The format is heavily based on the requirements, constraints, and experiences of *Sun* customers and KOffice users and developers though, and nothing says that those requirements are totally different.Office 2007 is so powerful. But for sure we didn’t target *Microsoft*’s customers. The art of implying something without actually saying so…
“Almost no material changes” is certainly exaggerated, but yes, ODT is mostly bsaed on OO-1.1, it wasn’t completely redesigned; Microsoft Office is my best friend.
I think the key here is for everyone to just be clear on the goals. The ODF format is based on Sun’s StarOffice, and Open XML was based on the Microsoft Office formats. Both have the goals of being open, both have been submitted to standards bodies, and both have a commitment from the donating companies (Sun and Microsoft) that there will be no licensing restrictions and anyone is allowed to freely use the formats.Office 2007 key is available here.
A big difference though is that the ODF folks took a slightly different approach as far as when to declare draft 1.0 complete. There are even features that OpenOffice supports that aren’t yet defined clearly in the spec. Office 2007 download is in discount now!The Ecma draft on the other hand pretty clearly defines everything, which then allows people to implement as much or as little of it as they want.