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Subject: Re: [office] Re: [office-metadata] Suggested Changes on the Metadata proposal

On 6/30/07, Thomas Zander <zander@kde.org> wrote:
I don't like replying to a post as cynical as yours, its not good for the
conversation as a whole, but I'll add my 2 cents to the below assertion.

The feeling is mutual, I guess.

On Saturday 30 June 2007 09:25:41 marbux wrote:
> market forces can not produce an ecosystem of ODF documents that are
> portable among all ODF applications. That takes conformance
> requirements and validators.

I have very different experiences. I suggest you look at the concept of
RFC which is what the internet is build on. I am of the opinion over time
all open source software implementing RFCs have grown and many, if not
most, support a big enough chunk of those specs that, indeed, there IS an
ecosystem.  And a pretty darn successfull one.
Its mostly proprietary apps that don't support the full standard. And the
effect has always been that, indeed, they are not very interoperable and
the more compliant ones take over the market.

I think RFC's have worked well for communications protocols but not so well for document formats. E.g., IIRC several browsers now for the most part pass the Acid2 test for CSS-HTML support, but the overwhelming market leader (MSIE--proprietary) still does not. This, by the time that HTML and CSS2 are on the verge of obsolescence.

But at the same time, most RFC's for document formats I have looked at have conformance requirements, so I don't see how this advances your argument anyway.

At the same time, I am hoping there will be move people that will spent
time working on the ODF testsuite.  Its very important for the consumer
to see which applications support ODF the best, but we (always) need more
people writing good tests.

Not to belittle your work on the test suite, but push come to shove I would much rather see sufficient ODF requirements that the less featureful apps can round-trip documents with the more featureful apps -- and with Microsoft Office and WordPerfect Office -- without data loss. Somehow we have to get past the TC's fixation on software as an end point rather than as routers of information. Indeed, there is no sign in the TC list archives that anyone other than Gary, Florian, and me even understand that concept.

So ODF is being forked. I hope you at least enjoy being stuck in 1995.

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