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OpenDocument Foundation To Drop ODF 325

Posted by kdawson
from the microsoft-cheering-from-the-sidelines dept.
poet sends us to Computerworld for a story on the intention of the OpenDocument Foundation to drop support for Open Document Format, OASIS and ISO standards not withstanding, in favor of the Compound Documents Format being promoted by the W3C. The foundation's director of business affairs, Sam Hiser, dropped this bomb in a blog posting a couple of weeks ago. Hiser believes CDF has a better shot at compatibility with Microsoft's OOXML, and says that the foundation has been disappointed with the direction of ODF over the last year.
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OpenDocument Foundation To Drop ODF

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  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:05PM (#21177261) Journal
    My department has been migrating TO windows .doc format (over my objections) for internal documentation - apparently due to inertia among the managers.

    I'm not just annoyed by getting tied to a proprietary format: I'm particularly worried about all the windows tools running, since IMHO our company is a prime target for Spear Phising. (And I know there's been some harvesting going on by ordinary malware because, just today, I got some spam coming in from outside forged to claim it's FROM an internal mailing list.)

    I've been pushing for standardizing on an open format - specifically ODF - for some time now. (This has been hard, because the last time I edited a .doc format document with Open Office it broke the hyperlinks, and the last spreadsheet I touched ditto lost a bunch of graph annotation.)

    Now the rug gets pulled out from under my credibility (yet again) by the open community itself.

    I'm throwing in the towel on this. I'll just sit back and use the Microsoft tools and let IT handle the malware. Open documents can wait until somebody in upper management drives it when it becomes the latest management fad (which probably means when the winter olympics is held in hell). If the company's crown jewels get stolen by a spear-phisher I'm on record for an "I told you so!" and I have enough squirreled away to retire.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:07PM (#21177275)
    Forgive me if my memory is bad, but aren't they that unimportant bunch of nobodies who formed their own organization and decided that Microsoft compatibility was their #1 goal?

    As I recall, in spite of the grand-sounding name, the people in that organization don't have anything to do with anything. They're busy recommending this and that, but they don't actually do anything.

    Ahh, here we go, here's my source on this [robweir.com]:

    The mythology of Silicon Valley is filled with stories of two guys and a garage founding great enterprises. And here we have two guys, and through blogs, interviews, and constant attendance at conferences, they have become some of the most-heard voices on ODF. Maybe it is partly due to the power of the name? The "OpenDocument Foundation" sounds so official. Although it has no official role in the ODF standard, this name opens doors. The ODF Alliance , the ODF Fellowship, the OASIS ODF TC, ODF Adoption TC (and many other groups without "ODF" in their name) have done far more to promote and improve ODF, yet the OpenDocument Foundation, Inc. seems to score the panel invites. Not bad for two guys without a garage.
  • They are *nobody* (Score:5, Informative)

    by paugq (443696) <pgquiles@elpaTWAINuer.org minus author> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:12PM (#21177339) Homepage
    "The OpenDocument Foundation", in spite of its name, is nothing. They are not the "official" foundation backing ODF. They are just two guys, with a good name and without a garage, which used to develop a OOXML ODF converter. Read this for more information: Cracks in the Foundation [robweir.com].
  • Re:questions (Score:5, Informative)

    by cHiphead (17854) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:12PM (#21177343)
    Its blatantly obvious that Sam Hiser, proponent of the blog post that sparked this frenzy [typepad.com], doesn't know jack shit about the real specs of ODF, read the comments on the blog I linked, they more than make the point (aside from the initial long-winded comment attempting to discredit anyone with enough common sense to disagree with Hiser, its a nice try but anyone with a hint of mental forethought and reasoning ability, can see right through the propaganda). Twenty minutes of actual research would've saved Hiser and the ODFoundation a lot of grief.

    Additionally, if this isn't some backroom Microsoft inspired posturing, I'd be VERY surprised. The very essence of "CDF" in the way Hiser frames his argument is compatibility with MS OOXML. Who gives a rat's ass about specific compatibility within the framework of a particular document directly with another type of document, thats not the point of the whole exercise the odf format is attempting. The ODF is OPEN for any application to implement 100%, that allows for clearer communication between applications, and as a result, real living people.

    Cheers.
  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:15PM (#21177367)
    From what I'm reading in other comments, this "foundation" was never meant to promote ODF at all. Basically, it's a couple of shills, probably paid off by MS, who set up this cleverly-named "foundation" to make it appear as if they are some official body in charge of ODF (they're not), just so they could tarnish ODF by speaking out against it and in favor of Microsoft formats. Basically, they're a form of astroturfing.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:17PM (#21177393)

    I've been pushing for standardizing on an open format - specifically ODF - for some time now. (This has been hard, because the last time I edited a .doc format document with Open Office it broke the hyperlinks, and the last spreadsheet I touched ditto lost a bunch of graph annotation.)

    Now the rug gets pulled out from under my credibility (yet again) by the open community itself.


    This isn't the "open community", this is a group of shills paid by Microsoft who have cleverly selected a name for their "foundation" to make it appear as if they have some power over the ODF standard. Blame MS for pulling the rug.
  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:21PM (#21177425)
    I can't believe they bailed on ODF that quickly. Just makes my decision a no-brainer concerning other document standards they push in the future.

    Who's "they"? This OpenDocument Foundation has nothing to do with ODF the format. They're just some shills paid off by MS who picked a clever name for their "foundation" to convince people like you that they're in a position of authority over ODF, which they're not. They just run around trashing ODF, and get paid under the table by MS to do it.

  • by fejes (799784) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:22PM (#21177437)

    The Opendocument Foundation isn't officially related to the OpenDocument standard. They're just a bunch of guys who took the same name so that they could ride on the coattails of the ODF movement, and doing MS's bidding, derail the process... and look, they're trying hard.

    Before taking this article too seriously, you might want to read this posting too:
    Cracks in the Foundation [robweir.com]
  • Re:Does it matter? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hritcu (871613) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:31PM (#21177509) Homepage
    What foundation? Never heard about it until now.
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @06:38PM (#21177587) Homepage
    OpenDocument Foundation is not any sort of official or central proponent for ODF. Looks to me like Microsoft bought this two-man operation off and are attempting to throw in a little more chaos in with the threat to OOXML.
  • Re:unacceptable (Score:4, Informative)

    by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @07:01PM (#21177811) Homepage
    You've probably read this in other comments already, but "OpenDocument Foundation" has no official connection with ODF (the format) -- they're just a couple of losers with a grand-sounding name, who apparently got some MS shill money recently.
  • Umm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @07:11PM (#21177909)
    Yes, it's true that Rob Weir is an IBM employee. How does that impact the accuracy of his story? Can you point to any fact in that story which is wrong or misleading? It matters not who he likes or hates if his arguments are sound.

    Now then, it's also true that this "Foundation" has no official role in ODF whatsoever. It was started by a couple of random people who do little more than blog, attend meetings, and feed quotes to the press. And right now, the "OpenDocument Foundation" is abandoning ODF for CDF. Let the "Closed Document Format" jokes begin.

    So, really, why again should we care about their opinions? They're certainly entitled to them, but like so many Slashdot posts, do they actually matter? Or is this fuss unseemly given that the "support" the OpenDocument Foundation offers amounts to little more than words? It's not like they're actually coding anything, developing the standard, or any actual, useful work.

    It's tantamount to trumpeting "Anonymous Coward drops support for Windows!" when I can't really imagine that my opinion of Microsoft's code is worthy of front page news. Though I'll certainly settle for a (+5, Insightful) or two :-)
  • by UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @09:30PM (#21178901)

    Looking at CDF - "Compound Document Format" - appears that it is not so much a document format, but rather a "format aggregator".

    I don't see CDF itself replacing ODF, rather, ODF would be one of many formats that could be contained in a CDF file. OOXML very likely could be another such format.

  • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @01:08AM (#21180081)
    I'm sorry but $1000 for an OS and office suite?

    This would be list for the most expensive retail boxes of both.

    I have at least three options as a home user for a legit, discounted, price on Office 2007. The cheapest is through my employer: about $35 for the media with shipping and handling.

    Local adult education programs in Office start at a subdized $5 per course.

    No age restrictions. No income restrictions.

    Your ticket out of welfare, your chance for a job past retirement, if you have need of one.

  • Re:questions (Score:4, Informative)

    by SEE (7681) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @04:22AM (#21180843) Homepage

    or an ODF compatible software package is able to reach the level of expert-usability that Office has.
    No problem. I'm pretty sure Microsoft Office has 100% of the level of expert-usability that Microsoft Office has, and Microsoft Office is ODF compatible by just adding the free ODF plug-in [sun.com].

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