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From Ian Lynch <>
Subject Re: Ask for advice:cloud office interoperability
Date Fri, 05 Oct 2012 17:53:30 GMT
On 5 October 2012 17:37, Dennis E. Hamilton <> wrote:

> Shortly after the publication of ODF 1.0, there were claims by some that
> ODF was a universal format and that MSFT should simply adopt it, because as
> a universal format, ODF can certainly carry anything that Microsoft Office
> then carried in its binary formats.  This was also a factor in the argument
> that OOXML was not needed at the ISO level since ODF was there already.
> As far as I can tell, that was some sort of magical thinking.  It
> completely ignored the reality of document models and what they do and do
> not afford as an expression of the documents of users.  It completely
> ignored the prospect that document models can be so disparate that their
> perfect bidirectional mapping is not only impractical but unknown.
> There is no indication that ODF of any version is a universal format in
> the sense that it is practical for all products to target it as a common
> interchange format.
> More to the point, there is no evidence that there is a practical
> universal format.
> Something else to consider: ODF is not the same as OpenOffice.  There are
> divergent implementations of ODF (even ignoring however close Microsoft
> comes, but however close Microsoft comes is practically of great
> importance).  There is no known *complete* implementation of ODF anywhere,
> ignoring the features that ODF does not even address or that leaves
> completely open to implementation-dependent variation.
> I favor ODF being perfected.  That is not a simple matter.  The OASIS ODF
> TC is, in my opinion, currently denting its spears on providing an
> understandable change-tracking mechanism that hurdles the bar set by
> current practice and user expectations.  The current direction is to
> abandon the change-tracking as it is currently, though imperfectly,
> specified.
> Meanwhile there is *no* scripting language or macro provision in ODF.
>  There is no provision for extensions in ODF (and having a
> platform-independent one of those would be quite remarkable).  These are
> all very practical problems that are very difficult to reconcile at a
> document-format standardization level.
> Work at the ODF TC is not that much different than working on an
> open-source project.  There have to be individuals who come to OASIS that
> can tolerant working on standards and that can make useful contributions.
>  Saying what could or should happen without there being appropriate
> capability brought to the ODF TC is not going to accomplish anything.
> I favor ODF as a document format.  It is necessary to be realistic about
> what can happen in its improvement and stabilization as a practical matter.
>  - Dennis
> PS: I agree with the remark of Yong Lin Ma.  The way to understand the
> difficulties in reconciling formats is to deal with the details involved in
> order to improve AOO's interoperability with OOXML.  It is tedious work in
> the trenches that will calibrate the areas of feature harmony and the
> places where bridging model incompatibility is intractable.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Lynch []
> Sent: Friday, October 05, 2012 08:13
> To:
> Subject: Re: Ask for advice:cloud office interoperability
> On 5 October 2012 13:28, Yong Lin Ma <> wrote:
> > That is an nice expectation.
> >
> > What do you suggest the AOO community do except improving AOO's
> > interoperability with ooxml?
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM, zhun guo <> wrote:
> > > To Yong Lin Ma,my proposal is to get all office software to be
> convenient
> > > for common user, include native office software or cloud office
> > software. I
> > > like ODF,OOXML,PDF or HTML. And you?
> >
> >
> For me I'd like to see convergence to a single XML based open standard that
> supported full data fidelity when transferring information between editors
> whether on line, desktop or mobile. This is quite a long way off but odf
> could be the starting point to get there. Other than MSFT I can't see
> anyone wanting to adopt OOXML as the native format in other non-microsoft
> products for fear of lock-in and intellectual property issues. MSFT shows
> no sign of replacing OOXML with odf so probably getting very good filters
> between odf and OOXML is the best hope. If that was achieved it would make
> sense for any new software to use one of those two formats as its default
> so there would be pressure for convergence.


I think we are saying the same thing. odf needs to be refined and improved
but in that process there have to be very good translations to and from it
from other dominant formats. Eventually we might get to a single format
that is universal. AOO and LibO are the best hope of implementing odf and
getting sufficient take up to drive it as the preferred standard.


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