[odf-discuss] Response from a GNOME Foundation board director
ian.lynch at zmsl.com
Fri Nov 2 09:58:32 EDT 2007
On Fri, 2007-11-02 at 05:51 -0400, Jody Goldberg wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 11:00:14PM +0000, Ian Lynch wrote:
> > To answer Marbux, I think that the Gnome issue is different from the
> > profit making companies because the values of a not for profit
> > organisation are not the same as for profit making company. Generally
> > for profit companies exist for the benefit of their shareholder, not for
> > profits exist for some noble cause. Its quite easy to see why Gnome's
> > involvement with ECMA would be seen as different from Novell, Sun or
> > Apple by the community.
> > Again, think people, think emotions, think perception not technical
> > details. This is about human and community relationships, not coding or
> > legal analysis.
> As an implementer I disagree with those priorities.
They aren't priorities :-) Its interesting that you again rationalise
something that is irrational by nature. The inability to understand the
importance of the emotional dimension in human dealings is a good part
of the reason why the Windows and Office mess has persisted for so long.
> This is about technical details, not perception.
Just saying it isn't going to change the outcomes. The fact is that
people are emotional even if you think they shouldn't be. Organisations
within the community are made up of emotional beings and are
inextricable linked to their emotions. Digital freedom has the emotional
power to make people devote their lives to it.
> This is about writing the code necessary to get something done.
> The gains from having better interoperability with MS (OOX and
> binary formats) outweigh the miniscule political cost.
You under-estimate the political cost because you are seeing it from
your own political perspective. This discussion illustrates the fact
that many people in the FOSS community are likely to see it differently.
They might all be being irrational but in the end its the outcome that
> As much as I
> enjoy Gnumeric, the notion it is going to materially alter the
> decisions by the national bodies in ISO the decision by ISO seems
You seem to have missed the entire point. The political symbolism
reaches far beyond Gnumeric. If it was just about Gnumeric and its take
up I would agree with you, if Gnumeric disappeared tomorrow it would
have no effect on my life as far as I can tell but if there is a very
fine margin between getting ISO status and not for OOXML and MS are able
to use any small amount of leverage from gaining FOSS credibility then
there is a finite chance that its that that tips the balance. Then it
affects everyone in the community, not just users of Gnumeric.
> On the other hand it seems certain that there are already people who
> will benefit from being able to use Gnumeric in place XL thanks to
> improvements in our filters.
And they couldn't do that for the next 6 months using XLS files exported
from the relatively few people that use Office 2007? Doesn't seem very
likely but then I don't know how good the Gnumeric XLS filters are so it
might be true.
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