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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: OOo, ODF 1.2 extended format and Word: is the possibility to open OOo generated file by word ed as bug?
Date Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:18:33 GMT
On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<> wrote:
> Rob, I agree completely with your sentiment concerning slavish adherence to a specification
when that adherence breaks interoperability in unfortunate and costly (support-wise) ways.
> My only point is that such slavish adherence also exists in changes that show up in OOo-dev
3.4.0 and in the current developer snapshots at Apache OpenOffice.  So there is a pot-kettle-black
problem in making derisive comments about how LO has also fallen into that pot-hole.  Making
attributions about TDF process quality is unwarranted.

The Apache project was not responsible for the 3.4 beta.  TDF was
responsible for what they released.  When we release 3.4 we will be
responsible for that.  I sure hope that we don't have that bug.

> It would be good to put our (AOO, LO, etc.) heads together and ensure that there is a
mutual agreement on a way to preserve interoperability and also make the deviation from the
specification widely understood (i.e. with an ODF Interoperability and Conformance Advisory
and, ideally, an ODF 1.2 erratum and an ODF 1.3 correction).

It would be good to know what Microsoft will do with their next
version of Office as well, e.g., whether they will have this same
issue.  I'd hate to make a change, and then have next version of
Office suddenly require that attribute and reject docs otherwise.
Maybe something to try at the Brussels Plugfest.

>  - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rob Weir []
> Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 04:27
> To:
> Subject: Re: OOo, ODF 1.2 extended format and Word: is the possibility to open OOo generated
file by word ed as bug?
> On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 10:03 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
> <> wrote:
>> Rob,
>> I have no idea how get from a catch-22 between ODF 1.2 (latest), ODF 1.2 earlier,
and down-level ODF 1.1 consumers that are strict about it (like Microsoft Word 2007/2010)
to this outburst about LibreOffice.  There is no foundation for that departure into the stratosphere.
> I have no wish for the ODF standard, like the US Constitution or the
> Bible, being used as an excuse to justify stupidity.  ODF is a
> specification for document exchange.  If you are using it in a way
> that decreases interoperability then you really need to step back and
> ask yourself if your literal interpretation really makes sense.
> If you bought a hammer and the instructions had an ambiguous statement
> that lead you to think it was asking you to hit yourself in the head
> rather than the nail on the head, would you do it?  What if it was an
> ISO standard?  I assume not.
> Think of it from the user's perspective.  Are they really going to be
> satisfied with the argument "The standard told me to do it" when their
> documents show up as corrupt in MS Office 2007?  I don't think so.
> Standards may have errors.  User expectations do not, at least not for
> any viable software application.  And until we have 90% market share
> the user will assume that MS Office is correct.  Reality sucks.  Deal
> with it.
> -Rob.
>>  - Dennis
>> True, the situation has been over-simplified and everyone who says not-us presumes
it is some other guys instead.  But that is not what analysis reveals.
>> For the record, simple documents written in ODF 1.2 (extended) from the Apache OpenOffice
developer build of 3.4.0 have the same down-level interop problem with Microsoft Office.  A
simple ODF 1.2 (not extended) document from OOo-dev 3.4.0, the last beta produced by Oracle,
also has the problem.
>> A simple test against the Microsoft Word ODF 1.1 consumer with *any* document from
*any* of these producers could have detected the problem.
>> However, a simple document written in ODF 1.2 (not-extended) from
3.3.0 (Oracle distribution) does *not* have the down-level interop problem.  Which means
that, instead, it is in violation of the ODF 1.2 manifest schema, which was changed after
anticipatory claiming of ODF 1.2 happened.  You will be thrilled to learn that Lotus Symphony
3.0.0 FP3 is in the same boat: Word doesn't flinch, but a current ODF Conformance Checker
>> My money is on those who realize that the schema is not the thing to be slavish about,
especially for an inconsequential retro-active provision, if the goal is least friction for
interop with their own down-level and other ODF 1.0/1.1 implementations.  It is clear that,
with the confusion this situation has caused here and in the interop efforts of actual users,
the creation of this retro-active provision in ODF 1.2 was a stupid move at the ODF TC.  I
am embarrassed that I didn't catch it there.  Basically Michael Brauer and I are the culprits.
>> My direct experience with senior LibreOffice developers is that they are acutely
aware of changes in ODF 1.2 that are causing needless down-level interop problems and they
are attempting to navigate that morass.  At Apache OpenOffice the development effort is just
getting revivified enough to where some of these same provisions can be dealt with.  It would
be good to find a common basis for navigating these shoals.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Rob Weir []
>> Sent: Monday, January 16, 2012 12:23
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: OOo, ODF 1.2 extended format and Word: is the possibility to open OOo
generated file by word ed as bug?
>> [ ... ]
>> If a program does not meet user expectations then it is a bug.  If you
>> want to be compatible with Microsoft Office then you need to play by
>> their rules.  The existence of standards like ODF and OOXML does not
>> change the basic fact that interoperability is hard work.  It requires
>> testing.  It does not happen overnight. It is not merely the result of
>> an incantation that begins with the sacred syllables "ISO".
>> In any case Seeing responses like this from LibreOffice makes be very
>> optimistic about the future of Apache OpenOffice.  Whatever the cause,
>> the fact that LibreOffice ships with this problem shows either a
>> woefully inadequate QA program, or total indifference to real world
>> requirements.  Even testing a single LibreOffice document in Office
>> 2007 would have shown this bug.  Is that too much to expect?
>> [ ... ]
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