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

On 5/4/07, Thomas Zander <zander@kde.org> wrote:
> On Friday 04 May 2007 11:41:37 marbux wrote:
> > > 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
> Lets take a look at the issue from the other side, for a moment, please.
> For the last 5 months several people on this list have worked hard to make
> the lists proposal to everyones satisfaction.  In that time not one
> substantial claim of limiting interoperability came up. If it did, we
> would have addressed it. You have to realize that we deal in facts, not
> innuendo or hearsay. We have to, this is a technical committee, afterall.

So your position is that Florian's technical objections to the
Sun/KOffice proposal in regard to interoperability were insubstantial
and therefore can be ignored? I've gone back and looked at a lot of
the email and the round-trip fidelity between text:list and
text-numbered-paragraph  interoperability issue was unquestionably
raised forthrightly complete with detailed technical discussion. You
have yourself in this very thread said that there is no way of getting
from the Sun-KOffice list triples to the MS Office list tuples, but
excused it on grounds that ODF features should not be held back by
what Microsoft does or doesn't do.

I am not a code warrior, but I do have enough experience with the
issue to understand that an interoperability barrier with Microsoft
Office has in fact been created. You have conceded that it exists. And
coming from an end user perspective, I have no difficulty
understanding that as a result I won't be able to trust that my
round-tripping of documents among KWord, OOWriter, and MS Word won't
be lossy. Bingo, ODF is eliminated from consideration by the E-SIGN
and Sarbanes-Oxley acts for any shop in the U.S. that  has to
integrate legacy MS documents and ODF documents. There are similar
laws in other nations that reflect deep societal concerns/market
requirements with data integrity.

We can talk all we want about new features for ODF.  But we do not
paint on a blank canvas. if we ignore the law and the market realities
imposed by a decade of Microsoft monopolization of the relevant
markets, we are dooming ODF to obscurity. There are high-fidelity use
cases that require end users to interoperate with MS formats without
data loss. And you are still refusing to discuss those use cases and
the impact of the vote on them, other than conceding that an
interoperability barrier has been created. The unavoidable conclusion
is that in your mind what you want to do in your own application takes
precedence over the market's demand for interoperability with MS

Missing from the entire discussion is **why** it is so important to
you and to Sun to adopt a list model that breaks interoperability with
MS Office. I.e., what new capability do end users gain in your
applications as a result of these changes that justifies breaking
interoperability? Why the resistance to Florian's request that a way
of round-tripping between list triples and tuples be added to the spec
that doesn't depend on application-level hacks? Can you point to any
existing word processor with substantial market share that currently
implements list triples? What's the benefit for end users of using
list triples? Or have you just fallen into a Sun trap to break the
Foundation's MS Office plug-in? What is ***your*** justification for
this change?

> Now you come up with hand waving saying that there are some people that
> complained. I have not seen those complaints and I surely have not seen
> any technical arguments / examples.
Then you've been ignoring Florian's posts throughout the list
discussion as well as Gary's post at the beginning of this thread
stating that the TC just broke the Foundation's plug-in. Come on, if
you're going to argue at least adopt a principled position. You're
throwing sand in my face.

> I agreed that its worth investigating any problems, and offer to do so.

But still refuse even to discuss committing to fixing the problem if
your investigation shows it to be real and to do so before ODF 1.2 is
released by the TC. And why the need for an investigation? You've
already conceded in this thread that there is no way to get from the
list triples to the list tuples used by Microsoft's page layout
engine, that the Sun/KOffice list amendment to the specification does
in fact create an interoperability barrier with MS Office. How do you
propose that the Foundation's plug-in developers work around that
issue in the context of the business process ODF app interaction with
Microsoft formats use case? How can other plug-in developers implement
their application-level hacks in a way that produces results
compatible with the Foundation's hacks? Is the fact that there can now
be only one way MS Office >> ODF app full fidelity conversions what
you want? You've already said it's acceptable to you.

> Then you start threatening.
Perhaps we come from different backgrounds that have shaped our views
of what is polite. In the legal profession, it's considered dirty pool
to not let someone know that you care enough about an issue to file a
lawsuit or a motion about it if some accomodation can not be reached.
I intended what I have said in that sense. If you choose to regard
what I've said as a threat, you've got it wrong. It's a courtesy.

> This thread ends.

Well, looking at Michael's post, I see that you and Sun are united on
that issue too. :-)

So from your perspective, you're now prepared to endure whatever
external pressure I can bring to bear and are ending any attempts to
find a compromise that meets the needs of all concerned developers,
right? My understanding is that this TC has never before moved on if
there was a single dissenting vote. But no time like the present for
abandoning the consensus approach, eh? :-)

Best regards,


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