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Subject: The 80K pound gorilla .. let's keep the baby

[Keep in mind that, with exceptions, I'm over a full day behind in the reading.]

Paul (marbux), in all of this discussion, you have said a very little amount about the only gorilla of any real size: Monopolysoft (aka Microsoft Inc).

You can't build the perfect framework and then have it be meaningless because of everyone's inability to see how MSOffice is implemented.

I have no problem with you trying to tighten the language on ODF as is and add whatever necessary fillers [ignoring all the details about where would that take place, this TC, elsewhere, etc]. The problem is in trying to change too many things, many of which are nitpicks when you consider the big picture, that OO.o is open source and that MSOffice is still an opaque monster and owns the market.

That is a very serious problem. I believe, for establishing a competitive market, anything that works against cutting Monopolysoft down in size is aiding and abetting Monopolysoft and would be illegal according to US antitrust law.

I find it difficult to get behind you, Paul, if THAT issue about Monopolysoft isn't addressed first and foremost. Nitpicks that would lead to trashing an imperfect ODF or stalling it would be akin to throwing a young less than fully mature baby out with the bathwater.. and into the belly of the 80K lb gorilla.

Keep in mind, people, that Sun stands to benefit as we move in this direction toward more fully specified ODF, but so will Open Source (which includes all open source apps, especially the GPL ones). That Sun would benefit should surprise no one that recognizes they open sourced and own the copyrights to OO.o.

Meanwhile Monopolysoft will hurt, unless of course, ODF gets slowed down and is given black eye after black eye.

I hope the technically minded realize that all of Paul's accusations of app-dependence apply to any specification that is not perfect, ie, less than fully specified for every feature wanted on the planet. I, thus, think "app-dependent" is a misleading term to use in this case and is best reserved, if at all, for works like OOXML.

Whatever he suggests be the next great thing will also fail, unless it takes the tack being taken by ODF, which is to continue to improve, to become more precise, to become more featured, to acquire test suites, etc....

Paul and anyone else advocating stopping ODF improvements and advancement, whether intentionally or not, are advocating continued control by Monopolysoft. Paul's battle is for another day.. within this ongoing effort of working to improve competition.

Paul, I would appreciate if you clearly specify, alongside any future attacks on IBM/Sun, how your alternatives actually help correct the current imbalance better than whatever else is currently on the table. Please do be foolish and continue to ignore that OpenOffice is open source. That means it can be forked, studied, and borrowed (for GPL apps) without any further permission from Sun or anyone else.


I won't discard anything Paul has said, but timing is important. Sun and IBM are not market controlling players by a long-shot, and we always reserve the ability to cry foul depending on what arises from their meetings with Monopolysoft. Openoffice will be forked as necessary. Then we will have their libraries for backwards compat to a large degree with existing MSOffice docs. Freedesktop is alive and kicking, as is the W3C. Let's take this a step at a time with eyes open and always working to correct the imbalances in the relevant markets. Finally, everyone, please feel free to discuss things as you see them if it impacts ODF and interop in any significant way -- if that isn't ON TOPIC, I don't know what is.


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