[odf-discuss] Miguel on OXML
Lars D. Noodén
lars at umich.edu
Wed Jan 31 08:53:35 EST 2007
On Wed, 31 Jan 2007, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> I doubt that MS asked him to write an article.
No need to. He may have spotted the opportunity on his own.
> "We need to talk to MS Office reliably. We've been trying to figure out
> the .doc/.xls formats for ages and finally we have documentation. And
> for this, a very detailed spec is good."
Maybe, if someone else wrote it but this fellows activies and statements
for the last 7 or 8 years gives a differrent context.
The fault with Ecma 376 (I'll try the right number) there is just that:
It seems to be very unspecific and even undefined in regards to figuring
out the menagerie of different .doc formats and .xls formats.
> This is a valid point, but it doesn't at all mean that OXML should be an
> ISO standard. Michael Meeks has been able to use OXML to figure out
> stuff about the _binary_ formats. This is a positive outcome of OXML
> (those binary files will be around for a long time). For that reason,
> I'm glad that OXML exists. I, however, dispute that it should be an ISO
Ok, I can see also from that perspective. But more, I see Ecma 376 as a
solution in search of a problem. If the question is one of getting the
legacy formats documented, then it would be much more straightforward to
simply document them. IIRC several courts have orderd just that and if
the group in Redmond had complied, with the courts, a lot of effort will
be and would have been saved.
> ...He didn't say any opposition was politically motivated. He said that
> the GrokDoc page was politically motivated.
It comes up more than once in the page. The GrokDoc pages seem to address
technical concerns, so it's a stretch to dismiss most or all criticism of
Ecma 376 as political, which is what he seems to be participating in.
It could be corrent then that MS is now a political movement. In which
case opposition, even on technical or economic or legal grounds, would be
by definition political. ;)
>> One of the main marketing points, the alleged support for older MS
>> formats, appears to be not documented in the spec. An item which he
> He definitely missed that. He also said a few half-truths.
Yes and he should through his work be familiar enough with the issues here
to realize that he is presenting half-truths.
> ... * The issue is mis-represented as "how many standards can you
> reference?" but rather "how many standards do you *conflict* with?".
Yes. He and several others have had the almost identical
misrepresentations. Feeding from the same trough perhaps.
>> He also seems to imply that OOo and ODF are somehow the same, the format
>> is not an application nor, unlike Ecma 372, not bound to any individual
> Yeah, he did say that ODF was based on the internal model of OOo. I
> find that surprising in that ODF is really quite generic. I don't see it
> being modelled after the internal structures of _any_ application....
That's part another common recurring theme in which MS tries to equate ODF
as OOo. Never mind the nearly three dozen applications other which
support ODF already. It hurts the MS party's ability to keep users locked
in if they form the idea that applications are independent of the data
formats they happen to use.
So what's happening there is that he's not trying to show Ecma 376, but
instead cast uncertainty and doubt on the current acceptance and market
penetration of ODF.
>> So basically, the whole article appears to be a troll, but does bring
>> up which points the MS movement is pushing in their current lobbying
> A more positive way to say this: This article brings our weakest points,
> and it's good to know what they are.
It does that. But apparent use of misdirection and half truths kind of
drown out the legitimate weaknesses. I don't have any problem with
legitimate criticism, but do seem have difficulty in finding an effective
way with dealing with deceptiveness and apparent intent to harm.
>> He seems to be part of the FUD team MS is running full time these days.
>> I do wish he would simply go away and take Enderle, Thurrot and Didiot
> Be careful to not take all criticism (even that which infuriates you) as
> evidence that the opponent is an MS shill. This is bad strategy and is
> more likely to make you lose in the end.
Agreed. However, for more than a few years, there is more than enough
overlap in the content and timing of his statements and the official MS
party line that he appears to be a compensated official representative
masquerading as an independent: in my book that's a shill
> For example, his point about the image format was bang on. If the
> GrokDoc article was still editable I would modify that section to refer
> to "any image format, preferably a standard like PNG or JPEG". In
> hindsight, that seems more appropriate.
Like I said, the legitimate criticism gets lost in the half-truths and
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