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OpenDocument Foundation Closes 177

Posted by kdawson
from the to-bed-without-your-supper dept.
Munchkinguy writes "First, they dropped support for their namesake OpenDocument Format and declared a switch to the W3C's 'Compound Document Format.' Then, W3C's Chris Lilley clarified that CDF 'was not created to be, and isn't suitable for use as, an office format.' Now, the Foundation has mysteriously closed up shop, leaving the following message: 'The OpenDocument Foundation, Inc. is closed. We sincerely wish our friends and associates in the OpenDocument Community all the best and much success going forward. Good-bye and good luck.'"
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OpenDocument Foundation Closes

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  • by JamesRose (1062530) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @03:43PM (#21315407)
    Oh come on, you were all thinking it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by d34thm0nk3y (653414)
      Probably... If nothing else it was a trademark suit waiting to happen.
    • [chorus]

      dum, dum, dum, another FUD bites the dust.
      dum, dum, dum, another FUD bites the dust.
      And another one gone, and another one gone,
      another FUD bites the dust
      Hey, I'm gonna see it on youtube
      another FUD bites the dust

      How do you think OpenDoc Foundations gonna get along
      When the M$ bux are gone?
      You got all the FUD that they could give,
      And kicked them out when you were done.

      Are you happy? Are you satisfied?
      How long can M$ stand the heat?
      Out of Redmond, the chairs do fly,
      To the sound of the FUD beat [chorus]

      dum, dum, dum, another FUD bites the dust.
      dum, dum, dum, another FUD bites the dust.
      And another one gone, and another one gone,
      another FUD bites the dust
      Hey, I'm gonna see it on youtube
      another FUD bites the dust

    • by semiotec (948062) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @03:59PM (#21315563)
      nope, I was thinking that they realised their gaffe has really backfired and there was nowhere else left for them to go. So they simply packed up and went home.

      On the assumption that these people are not entirely stupid:

      1. If they were really working to break MS Office dominance, they would have realised by now that what they have said was completely stupid, and may have brought harm to the "cause", as the damages were amplified by clueless "journalists" and "analysts" (e.g. http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=875 [zdnet.com])

      2. If they were MS stooges, the credibility required to carried out their work successfully was pretty much destroyed.

      Nothing more to do in either case, to continue hanging onto the empty name of OpenDocument Foundation would be farcical on the same scale as Enderle or DiDio.
    • Microsoft can't shut them down, but a nice fat check to each one of them certainly will make them shut up.

      Recently they tried to bribe their way to the Nigerians to get ahead of Mandriva. Then we hear of Blamer throwing chairs around the office yelling "I'm going to fucking kill Google", I really wouldn't put it above them trying to bribe this committee into submission.

      In other words, when everything else fails, look for the money trail.

      In all honesty, no matter how much I would care about some open s

      • I'm sensing a business plan here, plug a free, alternate version of something M$ doesn't want to succeed until they show up to bribe you. It's remarkably similar to the old business plan of creating a startup with a product better than something M$ already offers and wait for them to buy you out and let your former company (now a div of microsoft) flounder and collapse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Trogre (513942)
      "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."

      I read it in a book once.

    • by Jerry (6400)
      Isn't it obvious?

      They took the money and ran.
  • Fishy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by corychristison (951993) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @03:43PM (#21315411)
    This really does sound fishy to me... Especially since (last I checked) Microsoft was a large part of W3C?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pablochacin (1061488)
      Yes, Microsoft is a large member of W3C as almost any body else is the industry like IBM, SUN, HP and som 400 (four hundred) other companies. Please, give me a break, stop thinking that if some one doesn't agree with an open source project and prises that big pile of crap called Open Office, then is been paid by Microsoft.
    • by CarpetShark (865376) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @06:32PM (#21316665)
      I don't know why you'd be suspicious. Huge evil megacorp, known for bribery and corruption, is facing it's worst nightmare in the form of ODF. It's tried everything to get rid of it, and ODF is still slowly but surely progressing. Suddenly, one of the big organisations behind ODF declares that ODF is somehow a failure when it's on top, and then decides to blink out of existence altogether.

      Nope. Nothing fishy there. I'm sure the OpenDoc Foundation just accidentally ate a ring of teleportation or something.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by tehBoris (1120961)

        Checking on Wikihack [wikia.com], you can only eat rings when you are polymorphed into either a rock mole, a rust monster or xorn.

        So, if they DID eat a ring of teleportation as you say, the only remaining question would be, did Microsoft zap them with the wand of polymorph?



        I can't believe I just said that...

        • the only remaining question would be, did Microsoft zap them with the wand of polymorph?

          Nope. It was a RED ring of teleportation.

          They just stopped working and went away.

      • by The Iso (1088207) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @07:38PM (#21317197)
        They were never a "big organisation behind ODF." They were two guys who picked an authoritative-sounding name at got invited to conferences.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2007 @03:43PM (#21315417)
    But it was in .docx format, so no one is able to open it.
    • by vidarh (309115)
      That would imply that these people are smarter than the rest of us, which is not an impression I'd like to leave in any case.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @03:46PM (#21315431) Homepage Journal
    this story is just BEGGING to be tagged "thanksforallthefish"
  • Good riddance (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @03:49PM (#21315457) Homepage
    We don't need any official-sounding non-organizations spreading (F)UD.
    • by Burz (138833)
      Maybe they were hoping to get Microsoft's attention, and a nice fat donation to help spread their "message".
      • by Kalriath (849904)
        Wouldn't that be ironic. All the Slashdotters saying that they shut down because Microsoft gave them money, when the real reason was that Microsoft didn't give them money.
  • This sounds like someone forgot what they were there for, then gave up once they realized their issues.

    It's ok to say "we messed up" and call a mulligan. Right guys?
    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      It's ok to say "we messed up" and call a mulligan. Right guys?

      Only if they have either no lands or nothing but lands on their starting hand, of course.
  • by ral315 (741081) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @03:55PM (#21315531)
    As was said in the last story [slashdot.org], the OpenDocument Foundation has no official status -- it was merely a group founded by a few guys who have changed their minds about OpenDocument (whether they were paid to do so or not, no one knows). The closure of the Foundation has no impact, other than the ability for OOXML supporters to spread FUD headlines like this.
    • To elaborate, the format was actually put forth by OASIS [oasis-open.org] (which, the entire British parliament should agree is the best band ever), but that's just a little piece of what they do.

      The open document fellowship [opendocume...owship.com] are the community supporters (i.e., the ODF volunteer organization), while the ODF Alliance [odfalliance.org] are the industry supporters. What did the Open Document Foundation do? Muddy the waters.

      They're the Ross Perot [wikipedia.org] of open document foundations - making people think that if they listen to them, that they'll get the real skinny because of their seeming-official status. Good to see 'em go.

      • Why do I suddenly have an urge to watch "Life of Brian"?
        • To save you having to watch it again, (although feel free) here is an updated version, I assume its close to what you were thinking

          Brian:Are you the Open Document Foundation?
          Reg: Fuck off!
          Brian: What?
          Reg: Open Document Foundation. We're the Open Document Alliance*! Open Document Foundation. Cawk.
          Francis: Wankers.
          Brian: Can I... join your group?
          Reg: No. Piss off.
          Brian: I didn't want to code this stuff. It's only a job. I hate closed source formats as much as anybody.
          ODA: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.
          Reg: Schtum.
          Judith: Are you sure?
          Brian: Oh, dead sure. I hate closed source formats already.
          Reg: Listen. If you really wanted to join the Open Document Alliance*, you'd have to really hate closed source formats.
          Brian: I do!
          Reg: Oh, yeah? How much?
          Brian: A lot!
          Reg: Right. You're in. Listen. The only thing we hate more than closed source formats are the fucking Open Document Foundation.
          ODA: Yeah...
          Judith: Splitters.
          ODA: Splitters...
          Francis: And the Popular Alliance for Open Documents.
          ODA: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
          Loretta: And the Open Document Alliance.
          ODA: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
          Reg: What?
          Loretta: The Open Document Alliance*. Splitters.
          Reg: We're the Open Document Alliance*!
          Loretta: Oh. I thought we were the Open Document Group.
          Reg: Open Document Alliance*!
          Francis: Whatever happened to the Open Document Group, Reg?
          Reg: He's over there.
          ODA: Splitter!

          * I Know its ODF Alliance but that doesn't work as well and this is, after all humour/satire.(Based on Movie "the Life of Brian")
      • REG:
        Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People's Front.
        P.F.J.:
        Yeah...
        JUDITH:
        Splitters.
        FRANCIS:
        And the Judean Popular People's Front.
        P.F.J.:
        Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
        LORETTA:
        And the People's Front of Judea.
        P.F.J.:
        Yeah. Splitters. Splitters
  • by LM741N (258038) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @04:03PM (#21315613)
    The Republican Party released a similar piece saying the party was unsuitable for use in a Democracy. "We wish all the good luck too our Democratic colleagues in sustaining the intent of the US Constitution."
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In more related news, the Democratic party quickly issued a statement saying "Us too!" after poll numbers revealed a sudden surge in popularity for the Republican party.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      The Republican Party released a similar piece saying the party was unsuitable for use in a Democracy. "We wish all the good luck too our Democratic colleagues in sustaining the intent of the US Constitution."
      That would only be true if we lived in a Democracy. Your statement indicates you don't know what kind of government you live under, I recommend you look it up.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nagora (177841)
        That would only be true if we lived in a Democracy. Your statement indicates you don't know what kind of government you live under, I recommend you look it up.

        "Plutocracy".

        TWW

        • "Plutocracy"
          So your answer is socialism?
          • Step 1: Identify the problems.
            Step 2: Come up with potential solutions.
            Step 3: Don't give up when you realize that the potential solutions might be more radical than you expected.

            The fact of the matter is that the economic system in the United States is very likely incompatible with democracy. I'm not yet convinced that some sort socialist model is the only thing that would work, but hybrid-socialist systems (as in Northern Europe) are the best solution that has been demonstrated in practice.

            • by vandan (151516)

              I'm not yet convinced that some sort socialist model is the only thing that would work

              I accept this challenge then :)

              All political systems can basically be split into 2 camps, based on who controls how society is run. I won't go into elaborate details about how socialism works, etc.

              The main point, and this is something that Western society desperately needs to learn, is that money itself is an organising force. It attracts more money to itself, unless you specifically dis-allow this practice. What this

              • That's definitely the argument, and it absolutely provides a clear description of what has happened to economic systems in the real world.

                What I don't accept is your two camps premise. There may be forms of capitalism that don't degrade into imperialism. There are definitely different forms of socialism. There are a number possible hybrid systems. There are probably even other options (I keep thinking that there must be a way to do non-linear money).

                What I am sure of is this: Pretty much anything works on

                • by vandan (151516)

                  There may be forms of capitalism that don't degrade into imperialism.

                  Not if they're exposed to international markets.

                  There are definitely different forms of socialism.

                  The complete failure of Stalinism shows that you can't have 'socialism in a state'. It has to be international, for the same reasons that less profitable capitalist powers are doomed to assimilation - everyone has to compete with the most cut-throat capitalist.

                  There are a number possible hybrid systems.

                  As transitory systems, yes. But the

                  • You have a brilliant political system, that will only work if everyone, or the vast majority of people in the world supports it? So do I, so do I...

              • by Bent Mind (853241)
                I'm a bit confused by your analysis.

                Have you ever thought about starting your own oil drilling company? You can't, can you? Barriers to entry. What about a car company? Think you can navigate the patent mine-field just to produce an EFI system for an engine? You can't. Individuals can't enter any established industry.

                You can either make the means of production completely state-based ( collective ownership with democratic control over how they're used ), or you can NOT make them collectively owned ...

                Given that you end your analysis with:

                This is one of the key reasons why the remaining socialists call themselves internationalists - because we realise that there is no possible solution on a small scale - we'd be at the mercy of the world's imperial powers.

                I'll assume you don't advocate the capitalist system. You show capitalism as bad because it's hard to start a business due to monopolies. You then show "internationalists" as good because they advocate making the means of production completely state-based. However, state-based ownership of business makes starting a business illegal due to government monopoly. I'm not really what you are advocating at this point. As for:

                collective ownership with democratic control over how they're used

                I've done

          • by nagora (177841)
            So your answer is socialism?

            What a strange leap of logic. You need to study Lincoln.

            • What a strange leap of logic. You need to study Lincoln.

              What part of Lincoln? The man was a tyrant imprisoning thousand suspected Confederate sympathizers without trial, revoked habeas corpus and spent money on the Civil War without Congresses approval. Abraham Lincoln was so unpopular that in 1925 when Mount Rushmore commissioned his bust almost didn't make it because of the fear that anti Lincoln sympathizers would vandalize the bust, sixty years after his death.

              I would venture to say if there

              • Anti-Lincoln sympathizers? WTF is an anti-Lincoln?

                • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                  by Shai-kun (728212)
                  It's just like Lincoln, but with opposite charge. When a Lincoln and an anti-Lincoln meet, they annihilate each other in a flash of abolitionism and emancipation, releasing constitutional amendments in the process.
              • by Fred_A (10934)

                What a strange leap of logic. You need to study Lincoln.

                What part of Lincoln?
                Numerous scholars seem bo believe that his left knee was especialy worthy of study for some reason.
        • by ozbird (127571)
          Plutocracy: A minor government.
        • by argent (18001)
          Kleptocracy?
      • by belmolis (702863)

        You're confused. If you look it up, you'll find that the US is considered a democracy.

        • You're confused. If you look it up, you'll find that the US is considered a democracy.

          Your the one that is confused. Go find an American Flag, stand in front of if, place your rught hand over ypour heart and say:

          "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Democracy for which it stands, ..."

          Now is that right?

          • by belmolis (702863)

            I know perfectly well that the US is a republic. Your confusion is that you think that a republic is not a democracy, which is false. The US is a republic and a democracy. There's no conflict. You don't explain yourself, but the usual basis for this fallacy is the mistaken belief that only direct democracies are democracies. That just isn't the case: representative democracies like the United States are considered democracies by virtually everybody, and the definitions of democracy that you will find in di

            • Your confusion is that you think that a republic is not a democracy, ...

              You make it sound like it's a democratic republic much like the former USSR was a socialist republic. We do not have a democratic republic.

              • by belmolis (702863)

                You're confusing the names that countries give themselves with accurate characterizations of their systems of government. The US is correctly characterized as a democracy and as a republic in spite of the fact that neither word appears in its name. As you mention, many, perhaps most, countries that call themselves "democratic republic", are in fact dictatorships or oligarchies. Indeed, the reason that they call themselves "democratic republic" is precisely because they want to pretend to be something they

                • The US is correctly characterized as a democracy and as a republic in spite of the fact that neither word appears in its name.

                  The official form of government of the United States of America is a "federal constitutional republic" which is much more complex that just a democracy or republic. A group of self-governing states in republic held together by a constitution.

                  • by belmolis (702863)

                    You seem to think that descriptions of one aspect of a country exclude descriptions of others, which is false. The fact that the US is a federal constitutional republic does not mean that is not a democracy, which is the point at issue. Nothing you have said argues against the characterization of the US as a democracy. Further specifying what sort of democracy it is does not change this fact.

      • by HeroreV (869368)
        I don't know about way back in the day, but the term "democracy" has included representative democracy for quite a while. For the meaning you're thinking of, you should use the term "direct democracy" or "pure democracy".
  • Resurrect it then (Score:5, Interesting)

    by presidenteloco (659168) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @04:06PM (#21315641)
    Someone else (who isn't busy like me ;-) ) should form another organization by the same name then
    I suppose.

    Anyone?

    The worst that could happen is that M$ will pay you a bundle to close it down again.

    At best you could shepherd a format that we sorely need promoted.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >We sincerely wish our friends and associates in the OpenDocument Community

    And opendocumentcommunity (.org, .net, .com) domains are vacant. Quickly, choose one and spread FUD!! XD

  • Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by NetCow (117556) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @04:22PM (#21315731)
    The "Open Document Foundation" is and was never a crucial part of anything. The Open Document Format was developed by OASIS [oasis-open.org] - see http://docs.oasis-open.org/office/v1.1/OS/OpenDocument-v1.1-html/OpenDocument-v1.1.html/ [oasis-open.org].
  • Excellent precedent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposerNO@SPAMalum.mit.edu> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @04:31PM (#21315805) Homepage

    This is an excellent precedent. Maybe the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution [wikipedia.org] will follow their lead.

  • by mlauzon (818714)
    Why is this still making news, it has already been found out that the OpenDocument Foundation, Inc. has nothing to do with the OpenDocument Alliance...the real organisation behind ODF; so I ask again why this is still making news?!

  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @05:52PM (#21316405)
    ...I just made a new organisation called the Open Document Format Gathering and we are now closing because ODF sucks / whatever.. now give me my Microsoft check...
  • We already went over this, the open document foundation is just four guys in a garage with no real connection to the OpenDocument Format.
    This news is pointless.
  • Maybe I should found the OpenOffice XML Standardization Committee? Anyone interested in joining? Membership requires you prefer OOXML today, but plan to have a strong belief that ODF is superior to OOXML as per the announcement we'll make tomorrow. Don't worry, it won't take a lot of your time since we plan to dissolve in a week, and announce that to the tech press. ;)

  • Maybe they're just really upset that Robert Weir from IBM was given co-chair status [oasis-open.org] instead of one of them. After all they're in charge of a whole foundation.

    Good to see them gone.
  • Leading several prominent Ziff Davis publications to report, "The Open Document Format has been abandoned, as its parent organization has closed its doors."

    Goodbye and good riddance to the trolling trio and their self-serving vaporware specification.
  • In related news I have the pleasure of announcing that The Eric Conspiracy has commissioned a fully-owned subsidiary named "The Open Document Format Conspiracy" or ODFC. The ODFC has acquired all of the trademarks, intellectual property and desk accessories of the Open Document Foundation (not saying how) and will soon take over all of the rights, duties and responsibilities of the Open Document Foundation (if any exist).

    Watch this space for future announcements, news, and requests for donations.
  • by Trogre (513942)
    these MS shills don't let the door hit them on their way out.

  • by 3seas (184403) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @10:51PM (#21318617) Journal
    ...popular usage and not by committee.

    Ah, so this is a statement that we are getting back to that.

    We don't need a foundation. all we need is popular usage....
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      We don't need a foundation. all we need is popular usage....

      OK, so that makes Windows, .DOC(X?), and MSIE the standards. We can all pack up and go home now.

      The reason for standards committees is that de facto standards often suck for everyone except the people who invented them.

  • Looks like they finally got a "cease and desist" letter for trademark infringement (the relevant TM being "Open Document"). That didn't take long. Good riddance.

    --
    Toro

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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