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Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] Microsoft Puts Up Misstatements About ODF


On Tuesday 13 December 2005 21:44, Adam Moore wrote:
> Microsoft has put up misstatements about ODF in their new FAQ on the
> ECMA Standard.
> 
> http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/developers/ecmafaq.mspx
> 
> I am going to try to get a press release out from the OD Fellowship
> concerning this, but I need a few questions answered if possible.
> 
> Who was a member of the original committee before it was ratified?
> What changes were made from the original specification until it was
> ratified?  You don't have to be specific, but the general areas of
> importance.

Actually MS isn't so wrong there... 
"The OASIS committee did not focus on the requirements, constraints, and experiences of Microsoft customers."
That is most certainly true. The format is heavily based on the requirements, constraints, and experiences of
*Sun* customers and KOffice users and developers though, and nothing says that 
those requirements are totally different. But for sure we didn't target *Microsoft*'s customers.
The art of implying something without actually saying so...

"Almost no material changes" is certainly exaggerated, but yes, ODT is mostly
bsaed on OO-1.1, it wasn't completely redesigned; see below.

MS is just forgetting that the OD format was designed from the start to be as much independent
as possible from the implementation of the office suite applications, and that's why it
was a great basis for a standard.

Here's my short-list of changes that I was interested in; it's certainly not complete.

List of changes that I proposed and were accepted:
* a way to model copy-frames (frames with identical contents on multiple pages)
* hyphenation bool as character property, for more control
* diagonal lines in table cells
* line style for footnote separator
* table templates
* DTP mode using the draw:page element
* text:numbered-paragraph element (an alternative to <text:list> which is better suited for independent numbered paragraphs)
* number:denominator for fractions with a fixed denominator (spreadsheets)
* <number:month number:possessive-form="true"> date formatting
* more document statistics (sentence-count, syllable-count)
* draw:regular-polygon
* (after 1.0) border around a word or any run of text
* (after 1.0) style:join-border (default: true, but a way to set it to false to avoid the joining).

List of other changes that OASIS OpenDocument has compared to OO-1.1 :
* text:list replaces text:ordered-list and text:unordered-list
* style:default-outline-level attribute for heading styles.
* <draw:frame> element contains textbox/image/etc. + optional replacement image; this reduces some duplication.
* page-master renamed to page-layout for clarity (and to avoid mixing with master-page)
* style:properties was refined to style:paragraph-properties / style:text-properties / etc.
* style display name != style name
* and of course the new oasis mimetypes

Many small changes and additional features, but I would agree that ODT
is still very largely based on the OO-1.1 format.
But this only means OO-1.1 was a good basis, and ODT just wouldn't exist 
at all otherwise ;)

-- 
David Faure, faure@kde.org, sponsored by Trolltech to work on KDE,
Konqueror (http://www.konqueror.org), and KOffice (http://www.koffice.org).


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