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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Proposed Use case -- Interoperability in vertical and horizontal ODF markets

On Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 8:44 AM,  <robert_weir@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> When Paul talks about "round trip" interop you need to look very carefully.

I just realized that your discussion of round-tripping as used in the
da Vinci plug-ins also ignores and simply deflects from discussion of
the absolute requirement of high-fidelity integration with existing
silos of data stored in legacy formats as set forth in my use case's
Market 5. And of course it ignores all user requirements for
round-tripping documents with apps that do not support ODF, without
data loss.

Many users need to hold two way conversations with apps that do not
support ODF. E.g., in the law office market, many major law firms need
to round-trip documents between WordPerfect and MS Word for
conversations with clients and opposing counsel, in the negotiation of
a document's language. Whether such feats are accomplished through a
common intermediary language or by direct conversions of documents,
the issue of feature mismatches in the respective metadata languages
must be resolved to accomplish round-tripping.

Whether the markup that must be preserved to accomplish the
round-tripping is binary or XML, the metadata understood only by one
application must be preserved by the other for the return trip.

What Rob really attacks is round-trip interoperability itself between
apps with differing feature sets and user requirements,  not the da
Vinci plug-ins..Just another disguise for the IBM anti-DF interop
policy. Rob evades rather than addresses the use case's Market 5
requirements.  He does not address whether there is such a market
requirement; he only attempt to deflect discussion of it.

There unquestionably is such a market requirement. See e.g.,
("Because most companies have a significant investment in their legacy
infrastructure, management is typically not open to ripping out and
replacing legacy systems, regardless of the level of shortcomings
evident in the infrastructure. Rewriting or significantly modifying
large portions of a legacy environment is neither practical nor
realistically accomplishable in a reasonable time frame."). See also
(in-depth review of requirements for integrating ODF implementations
in existing business processes already locked into Microsoft Office
that addresses both the technical and legal asepcts).

Rob also attacks the very notion of enabling, through the ODF standard
and the profile-related work on the OIIC TC, any non-lossy conversions
between ODF and other formats. IBM wants to keep all conversion[
technology at the application level, i.e., application-level interop
rather than document-level interop.

This is in stark contrast with IBM and Sun's complaint through ECIS to
DG Competition that OOXML was an antitrust violation because it
neither specified the conformity requirements for converting between
the OOXML and Microsoft binary formats nor the conformity requirements
necessary to achieve round trip interop between less and more
featureful implemenations of OOXML. .

In other words, the same old IBM talk about ODF interop whilst doing
everything it can to avoid walking the ODF Interop walk.

It is a position based on hypocrisy, a position that what applies to
Microsoft does not apply to IBM and Sun. It is a double standard. IBM
and Sun want the Microsoft monopoly to be dismanted, only to advance
their own oligoply. I have yet to see an IBM proposal at this meeting
for actually leveling the competitive playing field in the ODF
horizontal and vertical markets. IBM and Sun want only to keep their
own implementations at the center of the ODF universe, denying
round-trip interoperability to all but the big vendors.

This is a Sherman Act conspiracy in restraint of Trade, an unlawful
agreement among undertakings under the E.U.'s treaties establishing
the E.U. and E.C., article 81, and the unlawful creation of
*unnecessary* obstacles to international trade under the Agreement on
Technical Barriers to Trade.

Best regards,

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. (Marbux)

Universal Interoperability Council

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