[odf-discuss] Response from a GNOME Foundation board director

Pamela Jones pj at groklaw.net
Wed Oct 31 18:44:03 EDT 2007

You are assuming that Alex Brown will be addressing interoperability 
issues.  Is it a requirement that he do so?

Do you have any indication that this is on the table? He has after all 
said that only technical questions will be addressed in Feb. at the 
meeting he chairs.

So, is interoperability considered a technical or a political, so to 
speak, issue?  Anyone know?

marbux wrote:
> On 10/30/07, *robert_weir at us.ibm.com <mailto:robert_weir at us.ibm.com>* 
> <robert_weir at us.ibm.com <mailto:robert_weir at us.ibm.com>> wrote:
>     Certainly, Jody or any other Ecma TC45 member so inclined can help
>     Microsoft address the thousands of ISO comments that were received,
>     and help prep OOXML for approval by JTC1.  There is certainly a lot
>     of grunt work to be done there.  But let's not call that anything
>     but what it is -- helping Microsoft gain ISO approval. 
> I don't see how your conclusion necessarily follows from your premise. 
> Advocacy within Ecma for addressing comments Microsoft does not want to  
> address isn't exactly helping Microsoft gain ISO approval. And advance 
> knowledge of what Microsoft does intend to address can certain help in 
> Jody's interop efforts. To boot, one highly likely scenario at ISO is 
> that DIS 29500 will be approved but in a form that Microsoft will be 
> either unable or unwilling to implement. Pushing the interop issues at 
> Ecma, for example, could lessen the danger there. Because the last thing 
> Microsoft will do before bankruptcy is to enable high fidelity 
> interoperability in its file formats.
>     I wonder if GNOME's interests and energies might be better
>     appreciated by joining OASIS and working on ODF 1.2?  We would
>     certainly welcome Jody's participation there.  And unlike OOXML, ODF
>     1.2 is still under development, so his technical expertise and
>     insights can really make a difference now.
> Rob, I think you missed the part where Jody said he wants an 
> interoperable product. Given that five separate Novell proposals to 
> enable interop with MS Office -- three signed off on by Massachusetts 
> ITD -- never even made it onto the TC's agenda list of action items, you 
> might have more luck in enticing people to contribute to ODF if you used 
> your new power as TC co-chair and power to out-vote Sun to put the 
> Novell proposals on the agenda. As it is, the TC has run off the only 
> people who were actually working on high fidelity round-trip interop 
> between ODF apps and MS Office. And the decision on preservation of 
> xml:id attributes was the last straw for us. That broke interoperability 
> even among ODF apps.
> A visible signal that the TC has a new-found interest in enabling 
> interoperability might establish an incentive for folks who care about 
> interop to work on the spec. But as things stand, I personally think 
> Jody would be better advised to tell you to take the proverbial flying 
> leap unless you're ready to commit here and now to add an 
> interoperability framework to ODF and to eliminate the discretion for 
> ODF apps to trash each other's metadata.
> As Thomas Zander recently said:
> One thing I have always dreamed to be possible is that when I write a 
> doc in KOffice I can then open it in OOo to use that one feature that's 
> useful to me and then save it and continue in KOffice without loosing 
> lots of data.
> Its still a dream, of course. Most features are lost on opening and 
> saving it in OOo, but its a nice goal :)
> < http://www.oasis-open.org/archives/odf-adoption/200709/msg00032.html>
> Moral of the story: "open" and "interoperable" are not synonyms. ODF 
> needs interoperability conformance requirements and it needs to acquire 
> the features to enable lossless round-tripping of documents with MS 
> Office. And the TC needs to visibly show its willing to address the 
> business process and migration non-lossy interop use cases if it wants 
> to attract other developers to work on the standard. < 
> http://www.linuxworld.com/news/2007/072307-opendocuments-grounded.html>.
> Best regards,
> No Garage Marbux
> P.S. We know which company is the only one to have ever audited our 
> source code and who asked to be the head of the audit team. And we know 
> who doesn't share their own source code. Shame on you.
>   Director of Legal Affairs
>   OpenDocument Foundation
>   Contact:
> <http://www.opendocumentfoundation.us/contact.htm 
> <http://www.opendocumentfoundation.us/contact.htm>>
> Charter member, Two Guys without a Garage,
> <http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/10/cracks-in-foundation.html>
> -- Universal Interop Now!
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