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The "death" of the ODF: what does it mean for OOo?
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PromptJock
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:17 am    Post subject: The "death" of the ODF: what does it mean for OOo? Reply with quote

I just read the "Open Document Foundation" (ODF) has "folded its' doors, etc." Will this event cause any problems for OOo in regards to future User Acceptance and further development/support?

Also, will it have any impact on Open Source projects, etc. in general?

I'm very curious to see what peoples' opinions are. Smile
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jeanweber
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Foundation was 3 people with a grandiose organisational name, who recently decided they were not in favour of OpenDocument after all. IMO, having them fold up their organisation will either have no effect whatsoever, or it will help OpenDocument (and OpenOffice) rather than cause any problems.

The OpenDocument Alliance, and the many governments and other organisations around the world which support and have adopted OpenDocument carry a lot more weight than one small organisation.
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acknak
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave a little talk on ODF (the Format, not the Foundation) last month, and without realizing how far off course they had gone, specifically pointed to the foundation as a sign of good health; that the OASIS committee included representation from non-industry people.

While I am embarrassed now over the foundation's meltdown, I am far more worried that I was also wrong about healthy non-industry representation in making decisions.
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jeanweber
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

acknak wrote:
I gave a little talk on ODF (the Format, not the Foundation) last month, and without realizing how far off course they had gone, specifically pointed to the foundation as a sign of good health; that the OASIS committee included representation from non-industry people.

While I am embarrassed now over the foundation's meltdown, I am far more worried that I was also wrong about healthy non-industry representation in making decisions.

There are several people on the OASIS committee who are there as independents. Some (possibly all) of them were previously there under the umbrella of the Foundation, but then OASIS began enforcing its rule that an organisation can have only 2 reps on the committee, so the extra people found other ways to fund their participation on OASIS. The people I'm thinking of are some of the biggest contributors of work on the format: David Wheeler, for example, who heads the OpenFormula project which is feeding formula specifications into the ODF(ormat)..
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BWF89
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if some organization says ODF is dead what difference does it make? OpenOffice still has to use some format to save stuff in. So does KOFfice and Gnome Office.

As long as we can continue to save as ODF and read/write files written in MS formats we'll be fine.
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jeanweber
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good article here: OpenDocument Foundation’s ‘woes’ have little to do with OpenDoc Format’s future
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acknak
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting--thanks for that link Jean.

I guess I'd like to hear from one of the "less powerful" members of the committee that they feel that they have a real voice in steering the boat.

Yes, the formula spec is nice and clearly needed, but--no disrespect intended--it's free labor. The new spec is very carefully codifying the existing practice, not adding something new. It's polishing the wheel, not steering it.

Sure, Sun and IBM have put a lot of money into this and they should have their votes, but could the committee make a choice that, e.g., Sun did not agree with? What would Sun do if that happened?

In all the brouhaha over OOXML, what clearly capped it for me was when MS came right out and said they had no commitment to an open standard process; to paraphrase their statement: "If ECMA ever changed the standard in a way we didn't agree with, we would not follow the standard".

So my question is: Is OASIS substantially different?
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jeanweber
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

acknak wrote:
I guess I'd like to hear from one of the "less powerful" members of the committee that they feel that they have a real voice in steering the boat. [...] The new spec is very carefully codifying the existing practice, not adding something new. It's polishing the wheel, not steering it.[...]
So my question is: Is OASIS substantially different?

My understanding is that the OASIS ODF spec is very much "adding something new" to what already exists, for example in the area of accessibility. But I readily admit that I am not technically knowledgeable enough to have a personal opinion.

I'm not sure what you mean by "one of the 'less powerful' members of the committee". Do you mean someone who is not employed by Sun or IBM? To the best of my (limited) knowledge, the independents on the OASIS ODF TC certainly think they have a real voice, or they would not be there.

Would Sun follow the spec if the committee made a choice they did not agree with? Good question, with opportunities for endless speculation. Smile However, note that the various flavours of OpenOffice.org are not the only products using the OpenDocument format; if one product isn't compliant, products from other sources (KOffice, Google, etc, including others to come) will offer alternatives.
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jeanweber
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is another link that may be of interest:
Document Formats: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Rob Weir
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acknak
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jean--good points. Rob's article was helpful as well.

BTW, does anyone know what happened to the OpenDocument Fellowship? They had a very nice web site, with some good information and resources, but it seems to have disappeared as of a couple of weeks ago. The website (opendocumentfellowship.org) is now just a parked domain. Maybe they were connected to the (now defunct) foundation, but I don't remember hearing that.
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jeanweber
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

acknak wrote:
... does anyone know what happened to the OpenDocument Fellowship? They had a very nice web site, with some good information and resources, but it seems to have disappeared as of a couple of weeks ago. The website (opendocumentfellowship.org) is now just a parked domain. ..

The Fellowship is still around. Our .org domain name was lost but we are still there under .com -- http://opendocumentfellowship.com

Some background info (which I must update) is here: http://opendocumentfellowship.com/press/name_change
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acknak
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh... good news!

Funny that I only found hits for the old .org url when I Googled it. I guess there are so many links still around to the .org domain that it still comes out at the top of the results.

Thanks, again.

PS: Wow, that's a real shame to lose your domain that way. I had heard about this happening, and have warned friends to check when they register a domain, but I couldn't find any details about actual examples. Now I have an example. Sorry you ran into these hijackers.
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TerryE
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: The "death" of the ODF: what does it mean for Reply with quote

I would have though that the only two stakeholders relevant to the use of ODF in OOo is OOo itself and OASIS who is the standards body.. So picking up PromptJock's Qs, as far as I can see:
  • Will this event cause any problems for OOo in regards to future User Acceptance and further development/support? — No
  • Will it have any impact on Open Source projects, etc. in general? — No

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PromptJock
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As some may know, A Study Recently Came Out indicating "the 'industry' agrees" that Microsoft's OOXML format is "easier to use, etc." than ODF.

What do y'all think about this? could this be "a sign" that ODF is really "on the rocks, etc." or is just a Microsoft smoke-screen?

FWIW, if you check out the Cnet and ZDNet web site articles from this past Monday, you'll see what I'm referring to...
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TerryE
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the link that I came across on this one. The Register — OOXML marks the spot, says research firml. One piece of analysis against the stream is a data point, no more no less.

What was also quite interesting was this one: Microsoft hit by two more EC probes.
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