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From Eric Hoch <eric_openoff...@gmx.de>
Subject Re: binfilter (was RE: OOO340 to svn)
Date Fri, 05 Aug 2011 20:22:11 GMT
Hi Armin, 
Am Fri, 05 Aug 2011 19:01:52 +0200 schrieb Armin Le Grand:
> Am 05.08.2011 18:47, schrieb Dennis E. Hamilton:
>> The only problem with [2] is that it assumes conversion is 
>> possible/permissible.  That is not always the case.  Now, I do 
>> not know there is anyone who has that problem and is (or will 
>> soon be) unable to run older software that accesses those 
>> formats, but we do need to be careful in considering this.
> 
> The current 3.2 version would be the last one to have both, how 
> ling will it be installable and runnable on evolving systems? Can 
> only be guessed, but usually it's another 7-8 years.
> 
> I have no numbers, but how many people still have files in old 
> formats? With introduction ODF years ago it was preselected as 
> the standard.

I don't know how it is in the country you live in but here in 
Germany documents, especially tax relevant ones from companies, 
must be archived for 10 years or even longer. 2011 minus 10 years 
makes it 2001 and in 2001 there was no ODF. 

At another place I worked before I had a request to open a Works 
2.0 file which hadn't been used for ages but contained informations 
that years later were needed. At the time of creation of those 
files nobody thought that there would be a time where there would 
be no MS Works that will read old 2.0 formats or that you would 
have even trouble to find a Computer old enough to run MS-DOS or 
Win 95 not to mention the actions it took to get a version of MS 
Works that would read Works 2.0 formats and convert them into a 
format that todays MS Office version would read without totally 
messing up the layout to a point were the file unusable.  

> When you load old files, change and safe them you are invited to 
> use ODF for the file save.

That's true but in some cases, see above, you must preserve not 
only the content of the document but also how it looked and the 
digital signature because otherwise there is no proof that you 
didn't edit it. Worst case would be that you convert the document 
with a batch run into ODF, it reads 1000 instead of 100, which you 
don't notice, and convert this in a signed PDF/A. This of course 
can happen also when you use the original StarOffice format but you 
would have eliminated one possible source of errors in the first 
conversion into ODF. 

 The office was not even as widely 
> spread as it is now before ODF was added as default format, thus 
> potentially much less documents in the old formats were created, 
> compared to ODF.
> 
> I think something like old file formats have to be deprecated one 
> day, and in my opinion there was a quite long 
> conversion/transition period now. As others already mentioned, 
> binfilter is not even installed by default for 3.2 (if I remember 
> correctly), and I have not seen any complaints about that yet.
> 
> To All: Does anyone use one of the old binary formats or knows 
> anyone who does actively nowdays? Please answer if you know about 
> something like that, this would be valuable input in this 
> discussion.

Not used actively but needed in order to open old documents which 
cannot be converted into ODF because of the above reason that you 
cannot rule out that you make 100 out of 1000 or the other way 
round. 

Eric Hoch

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