Backups

It’s well known that you should back up your data. If your hard disk crashes, it can be a major problem to recover your information. On my Mac I use Time Machine with an external hard disk. This is better than nothing and very useful, but is still a problem…

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Compatibility, interoperability, and interchangeability

I often find it amusing when people pull out a very significant sounding, obviously committee-written definition of “interoperability.” If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that the definition was written and then delivered on a stone tablet. Is this necessary, or is interoperability one of those things that…

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LaTeX revisited

Back in my math days before 1999 or so, I needed a document preparation system that could handle formulas and was programmable. That really meant one thing, TeX, or its somewhat easier to use set of extension packages, LaTeX. I did my doctoral dissertation using this and I did the…

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NATO: ODF is fine with us

A colleague just sent me a link to the NATO “3.4. NNEC Core Enterprise Services” which is part of the NATO Interoperability Standards and Profiles document. Lo and behold, about half way down the document in the Standards section is “OpenDocument ISO/IEC 26300:2006.” That is ODF. Adopter by adopter, person…

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Alex Brown: OOXML will be second to ODF

You’ve got to love Google Alerts. This morning I got this link to a Press Release from Giffin Brown with the title “OOXML will take second place following Microsoft’s announcement to support ODF, says Dr Alex Brown”. Alex was the convenor of the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva in…

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Microsoft says they will support ODF natively, join OASIS ODF committee?

At various times in the three years in which I’ve been working on OpenDocument Format (ODF) adoption I’ve asked myself “What would success look like?”. In full, success would mean that consumers, governments, and businesses would recognize the value of open standards developed in a transparent, community-based, and collaborative way,…

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Searching for document formats

I just read the article in InformationWeek called “Microsoft’s Search Share Continues To Decline”. I use Google search almost exclusively but occasionally I poke around on the other engines to see if they turn up anything interesting. While Microsoft did lose some search share, it was only 0.2%. It’s not…

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Great ODF news from Malaysia

The Open Malaysia blog is reporting the following: The Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) has announced that the agency will be migrating to OpenOffice.org office suite as well as adopt the OpenDocument Format (ODF). In addition, Microsoft Office is to be phased out by end of 2008.

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Some “OOXML has trouble” items from around the web

From the Financial Times, “Brussels to probe votes on Microsoft standard”: It asked standards organisations for views on these charges and any supporting details. It was unclear on Tuesday how many standards organisations worldwide had been contacted by the Commission. However, several national organisations in Europe confirmed they had received…

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Descriptions of Microsoft Office binary formats

Evidently Microsoft made the descriptions of the binary formats for Office available on February 15 on their website. This was, of course, before the BRM so if anyone had questions or proposals about the binary formats in Geneva, the information was publicly available. Presumably a lot of people knew this.…

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Some metrics for measuring the success of the OOXML BRM

A very strange thing happened at the beginning of September, 2007. Microsoft issued a press release following the close of balloting on OOXML that began Today the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released the results of the preliminary ballot to participating National Body members for the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (Ecma…

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While you’re waiting, don’t save in OOXML format

While all the drama is unfolding before the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva at the end of February and the subsequent 30 day period while countries can still change their vote, I thought I would point out something that I assume is fairly obvious to most people: Saving your…

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Comments on ECMA’s (aka Microsoft’s) OOXML comment resolutions

We’re starting to hear about how Microsoft (under ECMA’s name) is resolving the technical comments on OOXML. What do you need to know about this? Where are they? If this is a transparent process, we need to see the comments as well as all the proposed resolutions. What is there…

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An “OOXML is a bad idea” blog entry compendium

I thought I would put together a list of some of my blog entries that touch on the OOXML issue now being considered in the JTC1 Fast Track Procedure. This isn’t everything I’ve ever written, but it includes most of the main points. I’ve also included a few related entries.…

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Secrets and anonymous comments

Every once is a while I get an anonymous comment or a tip about something that happened in “closed” standards meetings. This is especially true lately where the various national bodies are deliberating whether they should support Microsoft’s OOXML product specification for Microsoft Office. I’m not going to publish this…

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Why OOXML will not be an ISO/IEC standard in 2007

Even though the JTC1 ballot closes on September 2 on Microsoft’s product description for Microsoft Office, namely OOXML or DIS 29500, this will not become an ISO/IEC standard in 2007. This most pointedly means: At this time, you should make no policy decisions based on OOXML becoming an ISO/IEC standard…

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ODF is not open source, but it is an open standard

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this, but there’s been a curious conflation of the ideas of the open standard OpenDocument format (ODF) and the concept of open source. Now there has long been confusion between open standards and open source, and that’s why I wrote the four part series…

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The age old Mac debate

Over on ZDNet, Christopher Dawson rekindles the old Apple Macintosh debate in his piece “Macintosh…Help me understand why.” I’ve observed these discussions from a distance for over twenty years, but they were always abstract to me since I didn’t own nor particularly have any experience with a Mac. I do…

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Moving to the Mac

Per my last post, I now have an iMac. My previous home environment was a Windows XP/Ubuntu Linux dual boot machine. Now dual boot situations work, but they’re a bit of a pain, because you often find you want exactly the other environment for some task. I know I could…

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Technical comparison of ODF and OOXML

See “ODF/OOXML technical white paper: A white paper based on a technical comparison between the ODF and OOXML formats” by Edward Macnaghten. From the conclusion: OOXML was designed by a single vendor, Microsoft, with no extensive public consultation or design input. It was largely designed to co-exist with their legacy…

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Open source software as market competition

I was reading a comment in a blog that expressed a typical whine I’ve heard a lot of lately: that Open Office was designed from the start to compete with Microsoft Office and steal precious marketshare. The secondary attitude that came through was “How dare they! The nerve! Someone help…

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Second Life February metrics now available in OpenDocument Format

There’s an interesting paragraph over in a blog posting on the official Linden Labs Second Life site: The Excel document of these metrics is available here, and by popular (and logical – thank you JayR) demand, the OpenOffice format of the figures is available here. For those not equipped with…

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Avoid the single supplier document taxes

When I wrote about the five major areas that you need to consider when looking at the relative openness of two specifications, one of them was “implementation.” I will admit that my primary thoughts at that time concerned intellectual property: when a specification or standard has no IP hindrances that…

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Robin Bloor on Google Apps vs. Microsoft Office

Robin has a very interesting analysis of what may happen in the office suite market now that Google seems to starting putting it’s full weight behind its online applications. See “Google set to challenge Microsoft’s office monopoly.” One thing that occurred to me in reading his article is the idea…

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…, 18, 19, … 20!

Andy Updegrove tells an interesting story about a slight miscount regarding the JTC1 contradiction period for the Microsoft Office formats. Evidently it was not 19 countries that submitted comments, but rather 20 with Italy now properly included in the list. As I mentioned in an earlier post, ODF is now…

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Evidently Microsoft’s ODF converter has “issues”

Last Friday, directly ahead of Monday’s ISO deadline for contradictions on Microsoft’s OOXML, a number of rather positive articles appeared celebrating “completion” of the open source plugin to support ODF in Microsoft Office suites. Now that people have actually looked at what it does and the performance with which it…

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#5. Contradicting Microsoft Office Open XML – The definitive statements

Groklaw has now finished in great detail the definitive case for why Open XML is problematic as a potential ISO standard, and certainly problematic to be shoved through a fast track process: “Deadline Looms to Express Concerns about ECMA 376 Office Open XML.” If upon reading this you feel you…

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