[odf-discuss] Sun's ODF Plug-ins

marbux marbux at gmail.com
Thu Aug 30 21:46:42 EDT 2007

On 8/30/07, Ian Lynch <ian.lynch at zmsl.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-08-30 at 18:26 +0300, Lars Noodén wrote:
> Realistically, MS have Office 2007 based on MOOX so its going to get
> export filters to and from ODF at some point. The irony is that while MS
> was reluctant to provide any interoperability with the likes of OOo
> previously its likely that they will have to actively encourage it now
> and its the OOo advocates that are discouraging such development. That
> does mark a significant shift. Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, its
> going to happen and really that is the best MS can hope for even if they
> manage to scrape through the ISO process. What a shame ;-)

I know of no one still planning to develop high fidelity native file support
filters in MS Office for ODF. As I understand it, Sun has managed to decode
enough of the Microsoft native file support APIs to patch those APIs to a
portion of the OOo code base that functions largely as a pre/post processor.
That allows ODF to appear in the MS Office file open and save dialogs. But
the Sun plug-ins offer no higher fidelity  conversions than OOo's filters
for the Microsoft binary formats that lack of fidelity disqualifies it for
use in existing Microsoft-bound business processes.

To our knowledge, the OpenDocument Foundation had the only development team
working on an ODF app/MS Office high fidelity round trip interop solution.
But we have abandoned all ODF development work because of the ODF TC's
hostility to high fidelity round-trip interop, both with other vendors'
solutions such as MS Office and among ODF applications.

We intend to make an announcement next week at the annual Office
2.0Conference in San Francisco regarding the interoperability
framework, XML
languages, and licensing scheme we will be working with for the foreseeable
future. We do not anticipate that ODF will be on our development roadmap
before such time as the specification acquires: [i] an interoperability
framework; [ii] interoperability conformance requirements; and [iii] at
least one conformant implementation is available.

Exceptions are conceivable for ODF application types whose developers have
agreed to support the interop framework we will be working with and standard
subsets/profiles of ODF with agreed interoperability conformance

We will, however, continue to push for the ODF standard to be amended to
acquire the necessary interoperability features and conformance
requirements. That work includes opposing ODF 1.2 at ISO if it emerges from
OASIS in the form we anticipate.

So there is no doubt, we will continue opposing standardization of Microsoft
Office Open XML. But software users deserve more than a choice of evils and
"interoperability someday" public relations statements by big vendors. Those
who treat "open" and "interoperability" as synonyms have done software users
a tremendous disservice. They are not synonyms.

Best regards,

Director of Legal Affairs
OpenDocument Foundation
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