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Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] simple OO.org document goes awry in MS Office2007 w/SP2 - what went wrong?

The point is users want interoperability now.  Fixes to code can occur 
much faster than fixes to a standard.  So if we find a problem, fix it in 
the code now.  Of course, if the problem stemmed from an ambiguity in the 
standard, then fix it there as well, but know that ODF releases will be 
years apart, whereas applications often issue patches every quarter.

Remember, a change to the standard alone fixes no interoperability 
problems whatsoever.  It only changes paper.  Unless and until the 
application code changes, the problem continues.  Except for Paul, I know 
of no user who would be satisfied by this an approach like:

Customer: Hello, a friend sent me a ODF document with an embedded chart, 
but the chart doesn't show up on my machine?
Support:  OK.  Have you reported this to the ODF TC?
Customer: No, why should I?  That's your job.  I'm paying you for support.
Support: Well, they own the standard.  Like the FCC.  You should report 
the bug to them.
Customer: Will that make the bug go away?
Support: No.  But they'll look at the problem, and maybe change the 
Customer: How long will that take?
Support: Around two years.
Customer: That is a long time.  I was hoping to read the document today, 
not in 2011.
Support: Oh, I didn't say changing the standard would allow you to read 
your document. 
Customer:  What?!
Support: Yes, the two years is just the time to author, review, approve 
and publish the standard.  We would need extra time on top of that to 
change our code.
Customer: And when would that be?
Support: Because the next version of the ODF standard contains so many 
other new features, unrelated to your bug, this will be a large update for 
us, not just a patch.  So maybe another 2 to 3 years.
Customer: So you will not fix my bug until in your code until 2014?
Support: That's our best estimate, yes.
Customer: Well, let me ask you a different question.  Suppose I reported a 
bug that was not related to ODF, like if my file printed wrong.  What 
would happen then?
Support: Oh, that is entirely different.  We'd get a patch out to you and 
other customers quickly, perhaps within a couple of weeks.  The customer 
is Number One, as you know.
Customer:  Then why not fix my chart bug?
Support: Because that bug is related to a standard and the UN's "Agreement 
Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial 
Bodies", requires that we wait for the standard to be updated.
Customer: Is the UN paying your bills?
Support: Excuse me sir, I think we have a bad connection.  I can't hear 
you.  Please check your phone.  If it is not working, please call the FCC 
and escalate to the IEC and the World Court if needed.  <click>


"Jan Wildeboer" <jwildebo@redhat.com>
<marbux@gmail.com>, <robert_weir@us.ibm.com>
06/17/2009 10:10 AM
Re: [opendocument-users] simple OO.org document goes awry in MS Office 
2007 w/SP2 - what went wrong?

I understand Rob in the following way:

"If there is an interop problem, let's solve it. Identify the root cause, 
fix it. If the root cause is ambiguity in the ODF standard, it should get 
fixed in the standard using the normal processes. But interop wins over 
standard amendments."

And I fully support that. I would call it the difference between a living 
standard or an authority driven standstill. If the applications can be 
by using the same interpretation of the standard, if this common 
understanding is published so that other implementors can fix the same 
by using the same interpretation, we have solved a poblem by cooperating.

This is the way it should be. This is the way we worked at the Plugfest. 
It's the implementors that drive the standard. Not the theoretical experts 

IMHO. And that is why I value implementors higher.

Which brings us back to the original question that started the discussion 
in this case John has problems using an OOo document with MS Office 2007 

First he should inform the vendors and they should talk to the TC, OIC if 
needed. Becauae effectively the implementors will have to fix their 
products. John can "only" assist by testing, he *couldA help patching OOo 
needed as it is Open Source, but he would not gain much from talking to 

Jan H Wildeboer          |
EMEA Open Source Affairs | Office: +49 (0)89 205071-207
Red Hat GmbH             | Mobile: +49 (0)174 33 23 249
Otto-Hahn-Str.20         | Fax:    +49 (0)89 205071-111
D-85609 Dornach/Munich   | eMail:  jan.wildeboer@redhat.com

Reg. Adresse: Red Hat GmbH, Otto-Hahn-Strasse 20, 85609 Dornach bei 
Handelsregister: Amtsgericht Muenchen HRB 153243
Geschaeftsfuehrer: Brendan Lane,Charlie Peters,Michael Cunningham,
Charles Cachera

----- Original Message -----
From: marbux <marbux@gmail.com>
To: robert_weir@us.ibm.com <robert_weir@us.ibm.com>
Cc: opendocument-users@lists.oasis-open.org 
Sent: Tue Jun 16 22:04:41 2009
Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] simple OO.org document goes awry in MS 
Office 2007 w/SP2 - what went wrong?

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 4:03 PM, <robert_weir@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> marbux <marbux@gmail.com> wrote on 06/16/2009 01:16:31 PM:
>> On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 12:37 AM, <robert_weir@us.ibm.com> wrote:
>> So I understand it, are you saying that every bug report I or anyone
>> else sends you on an interop failure between Lotus Symphony and other
>> ODF implementations will result in you promptly submitting a TC
>> proposal to fix the relevant spec(s) with as many mandatory interop
>> requirements as are needed to remove the relevant ambiguity if the
>> failure is due to an ambiguity or other flaw in the spec, Rob? And
>> that you'll shepherd that proposal through the TC and implement the
>> fix?
> If you find an interop bug, then you can certainly submit a defect 
> online at the support forums at http://symphony.lotus.com
> Of course, those with a support contract will get a more rapid response.
> But if you write up a defect report, preferably with an example file, 
> it will certainly be looked at.

That doesn't answer what I asked, Rob. Take another swing at it, please?

> As for the ODF Plugfest, we tested a number of multi-vendor interop
> scenarios, found a few bugs, but almost all of them were application
> errors.  I still need to write up the details on the wiki (we were 
> network connectivity problems), but all the issues we found were traced 
> their causes and the only ones that I noticed that were due to issues in
> the standard were issues that we already knew about and have already 
> in ODF 1.2.

Given the grossly under-specified state of the specs in regard to
interoperability requirements, including the latest ODF 1.2 draft, I
find that a rather incredible statement, Rob.

> In any case, you should not expect the ODF TC to take raw customer 
> bug reports any more than you would expect the FCC to answer a call from 
> consumer with a broken radio.  You need to talk to your vendor first.

You're talking past what I wrote on the subject, Rob, rather than
addressing its merits. I expect that from politicians and public
relations flacks but not from the co-chair of the ODF TC. Also, I
happen to know that the FCC actively solicits consumer reports of
radios that cause signal interference, which roughly equates to ODF
interoperability failures. Interference breaks the interoperability of
the assigned radio spectrum frequencies. So I don't think your
metaphor helps your position at all.

Best regards,


Universal Interoperability Council

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