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Subject: Re: [office] List Proposal Vote Deadline on Wednesday

On 5/3/07, Thomas Zander <zander@kde.org> wrote:
> On Thursday 03 May 2007 23:15:26 marbux wrote:
> > On 5/2/07, Thomas Zander <zander@kde.org> wrote:
> > > Its the other way around; WW has a 2 key model, with this vote ODF
> > > has a 3 key model.  So its simple to emulate a 2 key model in a 3
> > > keys one by ignoring one key.
> >
> > Am I wrong that it isn't all one way? The Foundation is working on a
> > plugin for Microsoft Office and so is Sun, as I understand the
> > situation. Won't they have to somehow implement a 3-key model in a
> > 2-day model in their plugins, given that they can't rewrite MS Word's
> > page layout engine?
> Sorry, marbux, you are not making any sense.
> If there are features in ODF that MS does not have, how do you think the
> ODF TC should behave?
> Since that is exactly what you are asking here, you are asking for us to
> not add features that WW can't handle as that might mean that docs
> created in OOo etc can't be coverted to WW.

No, I am asking for a commitment to determine if the problem in fact
exists as Gary says and to fix the problem if it does, before ODF 1.2
is released from the TC. If the problem is as simple as you suggest,
then it sounds like we need a formally declared ODF interoperability
subset or some such solution that apps can use to interoperate with
Microsoft's applications.
> And how you (have been) react(ing) speaks volumes, I lost a big chunk of
> my respect for you today.

I'm not going to respond in kind; I'll just say that I'm deeply
disappointed that you are unwilling to even discuss making that
commitment. I'm having trouble accepting that the only folks who are
even trying to achieve full fidelity conversions are saying the vote
broke their application and **no one** so far is willing even to
discuss whether they will commit to fixing what is broken if their
problem is real.

> > > Now; I'm afraid I won't go into details on the rest of your mail.  I
> > > said that as far as I know there is no such problem as you state
> > > there is, and there are quite some people on this list that share my
> > > feelings. In fact; even Florian never stated clearly that he thinks
> > > its impossible to have full interop with the now ok-ed proposal.
> > >
> > > I understand you have worries, and I fully agree that full interop is
> > > important. I'm surprised you do not know this since we have been
> > > talking for a long time now.
> >
> > I thought I knew that, which is why I was surprised you would press a
> > vote on the issue without knowing whether it would create an
> > interoperability barrier with MS Office.
> Corrections;
> 1) I never pushed for a vote.
> 2) I am very certain there is no interoperability barrier; I just
> suggested we suspend the talking and let me do some work we can actually
> judge.
You are back-pedaling, Thomas. You were crystal clear before that you
did not know whether the problem was real. Now to avoid even
discussing that commitment I asked for, you are dodging instead of
responding to my request by saying you are "very certain there is no
interoperability barrier." When I begin contacting the press, I assume
I may fairly characterize your position on whether you would commit to
removing the interoperability barrier if Gary is proved right as a
refusal to respond to the question. Is that incorrect?

> > Please help me here, Thomas. In particular, I need to know whether
> > this barrier -- if it proves to be a barrier -- will be fixed before
> > ODF 1.2 is released for a  ballot by the OASIS membership.
> With just about everyone technical on this TC telling you there is no
> problem, I am surprised, naj, disappointed you are still pushing.
Just about everyone but the developers who say the vote broke their
application. Michael Brauer was clear that Sun isn't interested in end
users being provided with the means to achieve full fidelity
conversions. Both IBM and Sun are on record as saying it's time to
move on without addressing the issue. Apparently not a soul on the TC
is willing to discuss the full fidelity conversion use cases I've
raised. And you are unwilling even to discuss whether you would commit
to fixing the problem if the list amendments to the specification did
in fact break the Foundation's plug-in.

I'm sorry that I have disappointed you by taking the position that
it's unacceptable to leave this issue on the shelf as you request, but
I have a lot of experience with negotiating agreements and I'm not
hearing anything from you but a refusal to negotiate even a commitment
to fixing the problem if it proves to be real despite your stated
recognition that you do not know whether the problem is real. I also
have a lot of experience with issues that get shelved in negotiations
staying on the shelf until it's too late to do anything about them and
all of that experience is telling me if I don't get a commitment to
fix the problem now, what I'll hear when and if the problem is
confirmed is that folks are too far down their implementation paths to
turn back at that point. Go read Michael Brauer's last post; Sun is
not enamored of full fidelity file conversions with MS Office formats.
If the problem proves to be real after you do your research, do you
seriously believe Sun will then agreeto scrap weeks or months of its
development work just so the Foundation can deliver a product with
conversion fidelity superior to Sun's own MS Office plug-in? Michael
has already said full fidelity isn't in Sun's list of requirements for
ODF 1.2.

> > As I explained, I'm dead in the water on my ODF advocacy work until
> > this issue is resolved and I am unwilling to accept an open-ended
> > postponement of its resolution, particularly in the absence of a
> > commitment to fix the problem if it turns out there is a barrier.
> Your choice.
> I choose to spent my spare time on things other then to take away your
> unfounded paranoia.

Let's see. You've said interoperability is important to you. You've
also said you don't know whether the Sun/KOffice proposal will break
interoperability. Sun and IBM are shrugging their shoulders and urging
us onward to the ODF 1.2 release without addressing the issue of
whether the proposal broke the Foundation's plug-in and full fidelity
interop with MS Office. (Never mind the irony that they've initiated
DG Competition proceedings in Europe via ECIS alleging in part that
Microsoft violated antitrust laws by refusing to implement ODF in MS
Office. A cynic -- and some of the European media and in DG
Competition -- might suspect that their expressed desire to have ODF
fully implemented in MS Office is less than a sincere litigation
position.) No one on the TC is thus far even willing to discuss the
full fidelity use cases. Sun and IBM have big financial incentives for
avoiding ODF being implemented in MS Office without data lossiness,
the sales figures for their competing office products. And you've gone
from not knowing whether there's an interoperability barrier to being
"very certain" that there isn't plus you've refused to discuss whether
the problem should be fixed if it turns out that the interop barrier
is real. And the manipulation of standardization bodies to give
particular vendors unfair advantages is so pervasive that we even have
international treaties to regulate such misconduct that are being
uniformly ignored across the entire software industry worldwide.

But you say I'm suffering from "unfounded paranoia" because I won't
agree to sit here twiddling my thumbs and just trust the TC to do the
right thing someday. Well you've at least put your finger on what's
bothering me. I do not trust the TC to do the right thing in the
present situation. That is precisely why I have asked for reassurances
and have extended the courtesy of a warning that I intend to publicize
the situation if I don't get those reassurances.

You might consider how much development time you stand to lose if I'm
left with no remedy but to publicize these issues. A little time spent
on negotiating these issues now might just save you a lot of time down
the line.

Best regards,


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