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Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] simple OO.org document goes awry in MS Office 2007 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.

> 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.

Or you could have a standards process that attempted to prioritize bug
fixes over new features. Oh, but that is the route the ODF TC decided not
to take. It is a bit much to decide to deprioritize bug fixes in a
standard, then complain that standards are slow, don't you think? The
challenge for committees and their chairs is how to organize themselves to
prevent death marches, I suppose.

By the way, Java did not fix the bugs in its HTML handling even though
they were on the books for 10 years. It is a myth that a corporation will
necessarily prioritize a user's particular bug fixes. It is even true of
some open source projects: I think it takes at least 6 months for fixes to
penetrate Apache Xerces, for example, IIRC.

Rick Jelliffe

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