U.S. Standards Committee Still Undecided on Open XML

A key U.S. standards committee remains undecided about whether it will support a document standard proposed by Microsoft Corp., even while the company asserted that the committee has already signalled its "yes" in an upcoming vote. The International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) said this week it still hasn't decided whether it will vote in favor of Open XML in the upcoming ISO vote that would make the file format an international standard. However, Microsoft believes the U.S. vote will be in favor of Open XML, a format it created for its Office 2007 suite, because of a proposed ballot it said the INCITS executive board put out last week.

The INCITS represents U.S. interests in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a global standards body that is scheduled to vote on standardizing Open XML on Sept. 2. Open XML is an alternative to Open Document Format for XML (ODF), which has already been approved by the ISO and is used in rival Office suites from IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

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PureLegend said,
Microsoft have never been ones for using free and open standards, for some reason. The Xbox 360 is a good example. They could have used SD cards like the PS3 and Wii, but they decide to spend more R&D money on proprietary memory units. It's insane.

Although that may be true, that is a bad example. The reason Microsoft chose to use proprietary memory cards instead of SD cards is that there is much more profit margin there. There's not really anything 'new' memory-wise with the Xbox 360 Memory Cards so the R&D was negligible... it's just there to increase profits.

Microsoft reviewed the ODF standard and found that it would not fit their needs. ODF, according to the top-notch, paid Microsoft software engineers, did not contain the flexibility, nor was as elegant as Microsoft wanted.

I still don't see the problem-in fact, I prefer the OOXML spec from a programming and performance perspective.

Bypass all the FUD, and see the real reasons why Microsoft built the OOXML spec here: http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/

NateB1 said,
Microsoft reviewed the ODF standard and found that it would not fit their needs. ODF, according to the top-notch, paid Microsoft software engineers, did not contain the flexibility, nor was as elegant as Microsoft wanted.

Surely the references to undocumented stuff, the broken spreadsheet formulas and the inconsistency with other ISOs (eg. dates) are up to Microsoft's flexibility and elegance standards

Bypass all the FUD, and see the real reasons why Microsoft built the OOXML spec here: http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/

Right, bypass the FUD reading a msdn blog

NateB1 said,
Microsoft reviewed the ODF standard and found that it would not fit their needs. ODF, according to the top-notch, paid Microsoft software engineers, did not contain the flexibility, nor was as elegant as Microsoft wanted.

I still don't see the problem-in fact, I prefer the OOXML spec from a programming and performance perspective.

Bypass all the FUD, and see the real reasons why Microsoft built the OOXML spec here: http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/

The problem is that their "standard" would lock users into Microsoft Word.

ichi said,
Right, bypass the FUD reading a msdn blog :laugh:


Yes, because it comes from the developer responsible for developing the OOXML format, as opposed to a press release from marketing. Look at his arguments - especially the ones dealing with spreadsheets with multiple worksheets and millions of cells of data. OOXML's performance is much greater.

simon360 said,

The problem is that their "standard" would lock users into Microsoft Word.


How so? I can unzip the OOXML file and edit the xml data directly (which I have done, BTW). The format is freely available and anyone can make a 100% compatible OOXML writer/reader. How is that locking users into Microsoft Word?

NateB1 said,
Yes, because it comes from the developer responsible for developing the OOXML format, as opposed to a press release from marketing. Look at his arguments - especially the ones dealing with spreadsheets with multiple worksheets and millions of cells of data. OOXML's performance is much greater.

Well, if I was that developer I'd rather try to get the spreadsheet formulas to work before bragging about performance, if only to avoid the embarrassment.

ichi said,

Well, if I was that developer I'd rather try to get the spreadsheet formulas to work before bragging about performance, if only to avoid the embarrassment.

What formulas do not work? I have used Excel 2007 since Beta 1 and have never had a formula not work.

NateB1 said,
How so? I can unzip the OOXML file and edit the xml data directly (which I have done, BTW). The format is freely available and anyone can make a 100% compatible OOXML writer/reader. How is that locking users into Microsoft Word?

AFAIK the MSOffice2007 implementation of OOXML is actually different from the proposed ISO candidate. The documentation doesn't describe the implementation of macros from previous binary formats, which are packed in binary blobs in MSOffice2007 documents.

Good luck unzipping that

ichi said,

AFAIK the MSOffice2007 implementation of OOXML is actually different from the proposed ISO candidate. The documentation doesn't describe the implementation of macros from previous binary formats, which are packed in binary blobs in MSOffice2007 documents.

Good luck unzipping that :happy:


And binary blobs that contain macros are useful to me as a programmer how? The extension is different, too; for instance, a regular Excel file that doesn't contain macros is *.xlsx. The macro-enabled Excel file is *.xlsm. How, exactly, is compiled VBA code supposed to be translated into .xml?

Regarding the spreadsheet formula issue, Excel has hundreds and hundreds of formulas, many of which perform extremely complicated calculations. The most telling quote in the article is:

ODF supporters have good reason to find fault with Microsoft's spreadsheet standard -- since ODF doesn't yet define spreadsheets.

ODF supporters don't even have a standard for spreadsheets and they are criticizing Microsoft's standard.

NateB1 said,
And binary blobs that contain macros are useful to me as a programmer how?

If you are a programmer trying to implement full OOXML compatibility in your office suit, they certainly don't help at all.

Regarding the spreadsheet formula issue, Excel has hundreds and hundreds of formulas, many of which perform extremely complicated calculations.

Good to know. What was your point again?

The most telling quote in the article is:

ODF supporters don't even have a standard for spreadsheets and they are criticizing Microsoft's standard.

ODF supporters didn't try to pass a broken spreadsheet implementation as standard. You could argue that ODF is incomplete in that aspect, but that's quite a bad excuse for the OOXML mess.

Diverging attention from OOXML flaws doesn't make it any more suitable to become an ISO standard.

ichi said,

If you are a programmer trying to implement full OOXML compatibility in your office suit, they certainly don't help at all.

As a programmer, I am trying to read/write data to the Excel spreadsheet, like numbers, formulas, and charts. I suppose if I were to make an Excel competitor with macro support, then yes, it could be a problem.

Good to know. What was your point again?

My point is that implementing formulas in .xml can be an extremely complex process, especially if you are looking at it from a performance perspective.

ODF supporters didn't try to pass a broken spreadsheet implementation as standard. You could argue that ODF is incomplete in that aspect, but that's quite a bad excuse for the OOXML mess.

Diverging attention from OOXML flaws doesn't make it any more suitable to become an ISO standard.

I brought that up because ODF supporters have no ground to criticize Microsoft's standard as "broken" when they don't have a complete, working spec. I challenge the ODF supporters to create a spec that (1) supports as many formulas as Microsoft's including the complex analysis functions, (2) performs as fast if not faster than Microsoft's, and (3) is as flexible and as scalable as Microsoft's spec.

NateB1 said,
Microsoft reviewed the ODF standard and found that it would not fit their needs. ODF, according to the top-notch, paid Microsoft software engineers, did not contain the flexibility, nor was as elegant as Microsoft wanted.

I still don't see the problem-in fact, I prefer the OOXML spec from a programming and performance perspective.

Bypass all the FUD, and see the real reasons why Microsoft built the OOXML spec here: http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/

looks l like MS hasnt yet paid off INCITS as they did this guy, albeit a higher amount.

PureLegend said,
Microsoft have never been ones for using free and open standards, for some reason. The Xbox 360 is a good example. They could have used SD cards like the PS3 and Wii, but they decide to spend more R&D money on proprietary memory units. It's insane.

Someone killed Steve Balmer.. It's a half Penguin/half Gnu mutant! and it's using his skin as a costume! or.. Balmer ran out of chairs?

http://www.microsoft.com/opensource/default.mspx - Read Microsoft and Mozilla, and check the news that's below this one, lmao

Here are some wikipedia entries for everyone:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of...n_XML_licensing

Oops... the page about "Comparison of OpenDocument and Office Open XML formats." doesn't exist anymore...

Regarding the spreadsheet formula issue, Excel has hundreds and hundreds of formulas, many of which perform extremely complicated calculations. The most telling quote in the article is:

ODF supporters don't even have a standard for spreadsheets and they are criticizing Microsoft's standard.

Interesting, I'm in Solaris x86 right now, I'll load up StarOffice 8 Calc, click on save - ooh, look at that, "OpenDocument Spreadsheets" - for something that doesn't exist, it looks very real to me!

Mcrosoft were given the opportunity to participate in the process of standardising and addressing any short comings, they chose NOT to contribute anything to the development of the ODF standard - Microsoft only have themselves to blame for the 'unresolved issues'.

NateB1 said,
I brought that up because ODF supporters have no ground to criticize Microsoft's standard as "broken" when they don't have a complete, working spec. I challenge the ODF supporters to create a spec that (1) supports as many formulas as Microsoft's including the complex analysis functions, (2) performs as fast if not faster than Microsoft's, and (3) is as flexible and as scalable as Microsoft's spec.

ODF is dealing with its problems, and they have fixed what you said, and it will be delivered in the next update.
Microsoft didn't.
Don't get me wrong, but sure, go on with your xml on OOXML, and then you'll find that the only interest on OOXML is intraoperability, and that kinda ****s up the process of openness. (Protip: the files produced by the Office2007 are not even OOXML.)
And yes, I really like Microsoft's corruption on this matter.

1 - done
2 - done?
3 - lmao?

magik said,
If there is already an open standard (ODF) why are we even bothering with another standard (OXML) ?

"If there is already a Ford why are we even bothering with another one (Ferrary) ?"
Are you really that dumb? Of course it's because Office documents CANNOT be saved in ODF.
Why is it so hard to understand?
Why do you need Ruby when you can code Brainfuсk?

ODF is dealing with its problems, and they have fixed what you said, and it will be delivered in the next update.

Update??
Update of WHAT?
They're changing STANDARD? it's called breaking.

RealFduch said,

"If there is already a Ford why are we even bothering with another one (Ferrary) ?"
Are you really that dumb? Of course it's because Office documents CANNOT be saved in ODF.
Why is it so hard to understand?
Why do you need Ruby when you can code Brainfuсk?

Are you on drugs? Seriously, I don't have time for this ****.
I'll just requote magik and you: If there is already an open standard (ODF) why are we even bothering with another standard (OXML)? Expecially when Office documents CANNOT be saved in ODF, because Microsoft WILL NOT IMPLEMENT IT, for it would LOSE MONEY OVER INTEROPERABILITY when the whole point of Microsoft Office is INTRAOPERABILITY. Plain and simple: They will not allow this threat for their monopoly.

RealFduch said,
Update??
Update of WHAT?
They're changing STANDARD? it's called breaking.

No. It's called you under the influence of some weird substance. May I remind you that standards are future-proof, and they will fix whatever needs to be fixed. That's why you had several changes over the HTML standard (bad example, but okay). And OpenDocument 1.2 will not break the previous ones.

Quote - NateB1 said
I suppose if I were to make an Excel competitor with macro support, then yes, it could be a problem.

And therefore it's also a problem for OOXML on it's way to being aproved.

Quote - NateB1 said
My point is that implementing formulas in .xml can be an extremely complex process, especially if you are looking at it from a performance perspective.

hmm not a good idea to cover it with a "but it's complex" excuse. Let's just check something simple: trigonometric functions. Woops: units are not specified.

AVEDEV function: it's not that there's some flaw in there, but rather that the formula calculates a whole different thing.

And we are to assume those flaws are there for performance's sake?

Quote - NateB1 said
I brought that up because ODF supporters have no ground to criticize Microsoft's standard as "broken" when they don't have a complete, working spec. I challenge the ODF supporters to create a spec that (1) supports as many formulas as Microsoft's including the complex analysis functions, (2) performs as fast if not faster than Microsoft's, and (3) is as flexible and as scalable as Microsoft's spec.

Everyone has ground to criticize any format that intends to be approved as ISO standard.

I challenge OOXML developers to step back and keep working on the documentation instead of trying to get it aproved ASAP.

How can an international standard be the child of a multi-billion dollar company who has been known to play very dirty in the past regarding its office suite and maintaining market share. Its just so ridiculous its not even funny. There are 2 motives here: microsoft wants the standard because it will ensure their place as top-dog in office suites, while openoffice, as far as i can tell, wants it because its a (truly) open standard.

Robgig1088 said,
How can an international standard be the child of a multi-billion dollar company who has been known to play very dirty in the past regarding its office suite and maintaining market share. Its just so ridiculous its not even funny. There are 2 motives here: microsoft wants the standard because it will ensure their place as top-dog in office suites, while openoffice, as far as i can tell, wants it because its a (truly) open standard.

That much is obvious to everyone, including the politicians still "considering" OOXML.

Microsoft lobby $$$ goes a long way in the US.

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