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Technical Document on the Technical Merits of OpenDocument Format

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Formats, FUD, Interoperability, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anonymous reader submits: “I read with concern one of your latest post about the FUD against ODF that is being spread by Microsoft shills, and about the article at LinuxWorld. In order to counter its ill-effects I am sending you a technical paper worth publishing in your site.

I just found this document in the United Nations UNDP Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme that might be of interest/useful to you:

Technical distinctions of ODF and OOXML [PDF]

This is a very interesting technical white paper written by Edward Macnaghten of the UK ODF Alliance Action Group and published by the United Nations IOSN that proves the problems that standardizing MSOOXML could bring. Specially interesting is the part from page 27 and on “Contradictions in OOXML”, which summarises both the blatant contradictions with existing ISO standards and the references to closed, patented and proprietary MSFT products and debunks every justifications Microsoft gives for it. And it does it from a strictly technical view, so no “political agenda” can be argued against the paper -although we know the motivations behind Microsoft forging its own fake standard are “political” i.e.:subverting ISO 26300 and its adoption by public and government bodies-. I think it is worth making everyone aware of the availability of this document.”

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  1. Sam Hiser said,

    July 27, 2007 at 10:38 am


    Seems there’s a misreading of the situation. I am within the group who contributed the LinuxWorld article.

    Does Mr McNaughten perceive we are supportive of OOXML? If so, that would be a mistaken conclusion.

    We think neither OOXML nor ODF — now that Sun has thoroughly castrated ODF’s universal interoperability facets — are palatable to customers. We were the most ardent supporters of ODF since the beginning years of OpenOffice.org. We protest that ODF has gone in the wrong direction.

    Readers are encouraged to read the LinuxWorld article carefully to see how ODF has been co-opted by Microsoft.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 27, 2007 at 11:01 am



    I have some more information on this, but having spoken to some sources, it turns out that there are inaccuracies and contradictions in the arguments (at least the ones which I received via E-mail).

  3. Sam Hiser said,

    July 28, 2007 at 4:44 am



    Go ahead and air them. Transparency is our friend. We can even address them here.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 28, 2007 at 5:31 am


    Okay, but I was asked to keep certain stuff confidential (Bob and Marbux are in alignment, whereas Pamela is not). In Novell’s spirit, think of this as a ‘redacted’ *** disclosure ***, which I was given permission to quote selectively.

    Re: LinuxWorld article –

    Yes, it’s correct and there is far more to come. We aren’t giving up on the goal of a truly open, universal, and interoperable set of rich document formats, although we have had it with trying to affect ODF development from inside OASIS. Sun managed to pretty much cripple ODF 1.2 in terms of interoperability not only with MS Office but also among ODF applications. We’re working to leave the big vendors in our dust and working toward community-developed standards. At this point we’re not committed either to forking ODF or to an entirely new set of formats. We think that’s for the community to decide once we get the story out on what’s been going on.

    I cannot say much more at this stage, but here is where Novell fits in:

    With Microsoft now driving enterprise free (as in beer) OOo enterprise users to the proprietary StarOffice and to Novell OOo on proprietary SLED, where all three companies profit, and with Sun, Novell, and Microsoft all taking active measures to prevent non-lossy round-tripping of documents, we have in effect declared a pox on all their houses, so to speak. We oppose both Ecma 376 and ODF 1.2 in the form we expect it to emerge from the TC. And the feature freeze for ODF 1.2 is scheduled for July 31. Once the features are frozen, we will have a sufficiently stable target to shoot at.

    There’s loads more, but I do not think it would be appropriate to share or discuss in public. From what I can gather, there are lies about Sun’s position, but that too is arguable/indecisive (they have been eerily quiet).

    Let’s discuss this via E-mail.

  5. Skeptic said,

    July 28, 2007 at 8:46 am


    Are Sun’s and Novell’s products the only proprietary ones that people are driven to by Microsoft? What about “IBM Workplace Managed Client”? That is proprietary also it seems. Why would it also not benefit? The suggestion is that IBM is somehow the nice guy here.

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