[odf-discuss] Gnome Foundation and ECMA
daniel at zmsl.com
Wed Oct 31 03:56:59 EDT 2007
From: "Russell Ossendryver" <worldlabel at gmail.com>
> Although Jeff Waugh states "The GNOME Foundation does not support
> ISO standardisation of OOXML" they are sponsoring the development
> of OOXML.
Guys, let's relax a bit. Russell, I know you didn't mean to, but I think that your email could be seen provocatively. You are one of the most even-tempered people I know, let's try to avoid a flame war between us and Gnome, or between any ODF/FOSS/open-standards camp and Gnome.
Jeff as shown willingness to discuss the issue here, so let's discuss it.
Now I'll add my personal opinion:
1. Jody improving OOXML is a *good* thing. Whether we like it or not, OOXML exists and MS will use it. It is to our advantage (and everyone's) that OOXML be made more inter-operable and easier to implement, because many ODF supporting apps will have to support it. And we don't have to be negative about this, you can think of OOXML as the .doc documentation that we've been asking for for so many years.
2. That said, OOXML should not be an ISO standard. It is an MS-specific format, it is not designed for simplicity or ease of implementation, and there already is an ISO standard that covers the same functionality.
3. Therefore, I think that it is a good thing that Gnome sponsors Jody to make OOXML more interoperable. I don't like that Jody is pro-OOXML, but I do not feel that this should be extended to imply a Gnome-wide policy. Yet, I see how the situation can be construed (e.g. by MS) as "Gnome supports OOXML", which is bad because MS can claim that some FOSS projects are in favour of OOXML. But I think that this is an unintended consequence rather than a deliberate effort by the entire Gnome Foundation to put down ODF.
I wonder if there is a way to obtain the benefits (more interoperable OOXML) without the drawbacks (risk of it becoming ISO). Maybe the discussion should be shifted to "what can we do to improve keep Jody's work while avoiding the risks?". That could be a constructive discussion.
Note: Sorry I'm not participating in this discussion as much as usual. I'm having a dispute with my ISP.
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