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From Hagar Delest <hagar.del...@laposte.net>
Subject Re: <DKIM> In regards to Open Office
Date Sun, 02 Oct 2016 22:27:30 GMT
Top posting.

In fact, I came to OOo in 2006 because I used to use MS Word to compile data and one day a
file got corrupted for an unknown reason. I discovered that there was no way to recover the
file because it was proprietary. I think that at that time the .doc format was not disclosed
yet (but I may be wrong). What is sure is that I could not get my file back. So I searched
the net and found OOo and ODF. And I adopted OOo because of the file format (I had already
tried OOo 1 but did not like it).

If OOo had not gained popularity, I'm not sure MS would have created something similar with
their OOXML. And if the vendor lock-in policy is less an issue now, OOo and ODF may be for
something. What it would be if they hadn't been there?

Just to precise something: I'm not complaining, and I don't say Linux people are the best
or whatever. I just say that file format is an issue. I admit that I think MS do not play
fair (but that's logical, else, they would certainly lose users).
Up to the user to decide what is more important for him.

But if the focus is the application and not the file format, then what? Make a free clone
of MS Office? Just a lost cause then.
That's perhaps the problem today. Not that obvious when OOo was the leading software. But
now that there is LibO, if there is no discussion about what should the ODF become, it will
be a question of what poison to chose (to use Dennis' words).
In this case, there is a point supporting OOXML. But it would slightly become a de facto standard
(what was .doc, ...). But would never be fully implemented in all the applications due to
the references to the proprietary functions.

Hagar


Le 02/10/2016 à 23:06, Xen a écrit :
> Hagar Delest schreef op 02-10-2016 21:56:
>> Le 02/10/2016 à 19:29, Xen a écrit :
>>> Jörg was only mentioning that the ODF format was also designed without compatibility
in mind, and that it is an equal situation.
>>
>> I think that ODF was designed to be a fully open standard to give the
>> users back the property of their own data. This was to give users an
>> alternative to the proprietary formats like .doc, .xls, ...
>> The problem was that legacy file formats (.doc, .xls, ...) could not
>> allow intercompatibility between software. Hence the need of an open
>> standard.
>
> Well Jörg stated this:
>
> ODF 1.0 corresponded to 99% of the original OpenOffice-XML Formal (sxw, sxc, etc.)
> written only for OOo.
>
> So maybe I should have been more specific. The reality is that ODF was not designed;
it already existed and apparently, was only slightly adjusted and then turned into an "open
standard".
>
> But please, I want you to also look at the reality and not just the shoulds and wants.
>
> No one outside of the open source community really uses ODF. Probably, some new application
will see reasons to create its own format if only to provide extra features or whatever that
the old standard doesn't. Also, even if you are not commercial and trying to limit what another
can do with your files, you can have a reason to e.g. not use a zip file format, or whatever
else you might say.
>
> So, since ODF was not really designed, and since you can turn any standard into an open
standard, you could say e.g. Microsoft "should" implement and support that open standard,
but that's not really related to it being open; being open merely guarantees that it would
be easier.
>
> But the question was incompatibilities.
>
>> By design, there should not be any compatibility aspect in an open
>> format : if the file format is fully documented, then each software
>> should respect that format and then the compatibility with other
>> applications will be achieved.
>
> Tell that to the person who tried to open a Calligra document in LibreOffice: all of
the bulleting marks were replaced by something else and the document didn't look the same
at all.
>
> But moreover I think many "open standards" must or apparently always do accept a reduced
level of functionality, think of the specification for DLNA/UPNP in which some really useful
functionality is barely possible. Causing smaller companies that do want to provide a good
user experience to use their own format or protocol, or to extend the thing although hardly
possible.
>
> So the reason Microsoft is so hard to make compatible (and many others perhaps) is that
they do introduce stuff for their own that hardly anyone else can use.
>
> But that's also how you create a better user experience and be honest, most of the Linux
software world... If I must not speak of AOO here then I will mention GIMP, which has the
full top menu under the context popup (right mouse button) which is such a glaring deficiency
(no actually context menu, then) that no serious party or company that would want to earn
money would ever design such a product that way.
>
> GIMP is just near (or nigh) unusable. But I am straying from the subject.
>
> In the best case an open standard is going to force companies to reduce their level of
functionality. In the worst case it is just not going to be adopted and remain a pecularity
of a select few that can open their own documents but no one else does anyway.
>
> So without regard for principle or ideals, look at the actual outcomes today.
>
> - We have one side of the world using a closed standard and the other using an open standard,
and the only reason the "open product" can (or has tried to) read the "closed product" is
because of market share. OpenOffice *needed* to read MS-Word (for instance) but MS-Word did
not need to read OpenOffice all that much. Both are really doing their own thing and do not
communicate much.
>
> They are both "islands" in that sense.
>
> Meanwhile AOO and LibreOffice are infighting and Calligra is too under-developed to be
worth anything. And seeing my personal experiences, support for the format is no guarantee
that the document will look the same from supporting-application to supporting-application.
>
> Hence /format/ seems not to be the focus point but /application/. An application needs
to have a guaranteed, dependable way of rendering the format without quirks.
>
> If it does not, having an open format is of no use really. Microsoft's format is probably
quirky as hell (or its application is) and that is more of a problem than being closed.
>
> So closed or open does not seem to determine much of actual outcomes.
>
> Almost every program can open .doc documents so there never really was a threat (at least
not today) of your data being "hijacked" or 'locked' due to vendor-lock-in. That's not a realistic
situation. It is /more/ difficult to archive or migrate bookmarks. Of course Linux people
(perhaps) wanted to have something they could change and alter and control themselves. Sure.
>
> But that's an aspect of creativity and not being a company, the thing would need to be
document in order to cooperate.
>
> In a sense that is also a "company motive", so there are now two companies, one has one
operational model, the other a different one. As a consequence, the one company does not feel
much need to share information on its structure, while to the other it is its lifeblood.
>
> They are still both "enclaves" of their own, just using different strategies and mechanics.
That might be virtually opposed, but still. You could even call them diametrically opposed
but still they are still two islands of their own. So while you can claim superiority or prevalence
or relevance due to your format being "open" it is more of a necessity for the operation of
the machine (open source) than it is something that actually affects interoperation with the
other island.
>
> It is an internal requirement, not an external requirement. The closed-source nature
of the .doc format (etc.) is also an internal requirement, not an external requirement.
>
> So both 'companies' are actually using internal reasons for their choices, and it has
nothing really to do with being better than the other. You are both doing it for your own
reasons, that work for you.
>
> That is why the "it's not equal and we're better" is misplaced. What I see mostly is
s... I can call it complaining and I can call it "self-pity". Some would brag about their
format and at the same time yell "poor me" all the time because the big bad bully doesn't
comply. And the only reason for this complaining and this self-pitying is /THAT/ you have
called yourself "superior" because it might give a person a sense of entitlement, and when
that entitlement is not met (we are better, but they are still not cooperating with us and
making our lives easier) the 'suffering' starts.
>
> And it is self-created by even caring about what the other party does. Do stuff for your
own good, and not because of something else.
>
> If Linux people didn't care and really did their own thing they wouldn't need to constantly
blame Microsoft for all their misfortune.
>
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