Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] simple OO.org document goes awry in MS Office 2007 w/SP2 - what went wrong?
On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 1:59 AM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > 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. Hey, Rob. I've got a great idea. How about we just get rid of the standard and just hold plugfests? That way you won't be slowed down by all that work of creating a real standard But wait, how are folks who don't have the budget to flit around the globe attending all those plugfests supposed to implement ODF? And what about folks who don't even decide to enter the ODF implementation market until years from now? Oh, right, "if the problem stemmed from an ambiguity in the standard, then fix it there as well, knowing that releases will be years apart." Impossible to release standard errata in the meantime, I suppose. That approach has worked so well over the last 6+ years since the ODF TC was founded. I remember those interop proposals submitted by IBM to the TC that were so numerous that they nearly overwhelmed the list server. Not. IBM even abstained when the ballot came round on Sun's proposal to allow it to trash xml:id metadata. I never saw a single interop proposal out of IBM during my time on the TC. I suppose that was because IBM never had a single interop failure reported by a customer that was related to the spec's under-specification, yes? Can't take you seriously, Rob. But if you want an interop bug report to demonstrate just how devoted you are to getting specification interop break points fixed, how about this one: The conformance section in ODF 1.0 Second Edition, ODF 1.1, and IS 26300 says in relevant portions: "Documents that conform to the OpenDocument specification may contain elements and attributes not specified within the OpenDocument schema. Such elements and attributes must not be part of a namespace that is defined within this specification and are called foreign elements and attributes." ... "There are no rules regarding the elements and attributes that actually have to be supported by conforming applications, except that applications should not use foreign elements and attributes for features defined in the OpenDocument schema." Interop failure 1: OOo trashes all conforming foreign elements and attributes other than its own and paragraphs and text spans. Interop failure 2: Microsoft Office 2007 trashes all conforming ODF elements and attributes that it doesn't understand. IBM is a heavy contributor to the OOo code base and is in the process of switching from the OOo 1.4 code base to the ODF 3.x codebase, slated for release as Symphony 2.0 in the second half of 2010. So pump out that code to fix OOo and the proposal to fix the corespondibng problems in the specs, Rob. Impress me by how fast you get it done. "There are no rules regarding the elements and attributes that actually have to be supported by conforming applications." ***"[S]hould not*** use foreign elements and attributes for features defined in the OpenDocument schema" Do you remember me warning you a couple of years ago that the conformance section was so lax that someone could create the file headers required by the spec and write the rest of the document in OOXML yet still validly claim conformance? You got right on fixing that problem, didn't you, Rob? Not. Please try your "we'll fix the standard if it needs it" snake oil on folks who don't realize just how grossly under-specified the specification is, Rob. It won't float my boat. > 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[.]: E.U. eGov at the ODEF Workshop 2007: Hello, big vendors, we've got a problem because your standards are so crappy that there are no competing interoperable implementations. We want you to fix your apps and your standards so there's no more vendor lock-in. E.U. eGov: Hello .... Hello ... Are you still there? Big Vendors: Er, Yes. We'll be happy to work with you to fulfill your requirements. E.U. Egov: we want full implementations only, no proprietary extensions. Big Vendors: We'll be happy to work with you to fulfill your requirements. E.U. eGov: We want interoperability in the documents, not in the applications. Big Vendors: We'll be happy to work with you to fulfill your requirements. E.U. eGov: We want one standard, not two. Big Vendors. We'll be happy to work with you to fulfill your requirements. E.U. eGov. What will it take to get you big vendors to sit down at a table together and work things out instead of fighting with each other? Big Vendors: We'll be happy to work with you to fulfill your requirements. E.U. eGov. We really mean it about the interoperability. That is very important to us. Big Vendors: We'll be happy to work with you to fulfill your requirements. So let's see. What have the big vendors accomplished since? -- Document level interop vs. application-level interop? To heck with the standard. let's do ODF plugfests. -- Standard-based competition. Sorry, our suppliers have that on back-order. You might try checking whether it's come in every few years. -- Proprietary extensions: ODF and OOXML still confer conformant status on extensions. The ODF TC is even cranking out an Extended Conformance Class for ODF 1.2. -- Single standard: We've got 2 OOXML standards, 4 ODF standards, and a new ODF standard in the brew. Sorry bout the international standard not having any full featured implementations anymore. Couldn't be helped. -- Collaboration and an end to the fighting: Microsoft's interop proposals get shelved by the ODF TC because it's more important to get ODF 1.2 out the door than to worry about interop and IBM is slinging more mud than ever. -- Vendor lock-in: Big vendors say, "sorry, our business models require that we lock you in to our apps." Gee, I think I'm not the only user who's not happy with the Plugfest approach, Rob. From here it just looks like another excuse for pumping out yet another ODF standard that does not "clearly and unambiguously specify the conformity requirements that are essential to achieve the interoperability," as required by JTC 1 Directives. And I'd still like to hear your explanation of how folks who miss the plugfests can still enter and compete effectively in the ODF implementation market without those conformity requirements being specified. And for sure, IBM is pushing DG Competition for an antitrust order requiring Microsoft to sponsor Office/Sharepoint Plugfests rather than disclosure of data format and communication protocol specifications with sufficient specificity to place competitors on an equal footing in regard to interoperability. To heck with what the Court of First Instance said. IBM wants plugfests, not specifications. Right, Rob? Why, no, IBM really is asking for specifications. Why is that an antitrust problem when Microsoft under-specifies what's necessary to interoperate with Office/Sharepoint but not when IBM under-specifies what's necessary to interoperate with Symphony/Notes/Domino via ODF? Looks like a double standard from here, Rob. Best regards, Paul -- Universal Interoperability Council <http:www.universal-interop-council.org>