Going offline for a week

I’ll be offline for the next week or so. Sorry if I don’t answer your e-mails or comments during that time. I’ll try to get caught up early August.

In the mean time though, check out this article up on eweek: Setting a New Standard

As a user of OpenOffice.org on Linux who works in a mostly Microsoft-formatted world, I’m somewhat of a stakeholder in the ODF-vs.-OOXML horse race, and I’d like to see OpenOffice.org take advantage of this marginal boost in openness. In particular, I’d like to see vendors and projects that back ODF and Open­Office.org attack the OOXML spec’s 6,000 pages that Microsoft has offered to standardization bodies and do so with less focus on teasing out ISO inadequacies and more on identifying methods for improving support for Microsoft’s legacy Office formats.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything Jason has to say, but it’s still a good read. There are certain things I like about ODF, but that doesn’t mean it’s the format I’d choose if I were building an application from scratch. It would really depend on the application. For example, if I were building a spreadsheet app that was going to handle large amounts of data, the features in spreadsheetML around splitting each worksheet out into its own part; shared string tables; etc. would be super valuable (see this post for more info). If I just wanted to do basic table manipulation though, then the ODF model where a spreadsheet is similar to an HTML table might be preferable.

The same is the case for documents and presentations. It’s really just dependent on what kind of model I’m using for my app and how I want it to behave. Either format would work in many cases, but there’s probably always one that’s more preferable (and it’s not the same one for all applications).


Comments (5)

  1. Sam Hiser says:

    "Going offline for a week."

    Don’t go, Brian!

    We need you here to keep making idiotic assertions about choice among standards.

  2. Wictor Wilen says:

    Here are some interesting links on the (summer) hot OOXML vs ODF discussion. INCITS issues a ballot of "yes" with comments by Doug Mahugh South Africa votes No with comments on the standardisation of…

  3. Andrew Hilton says:

    Sam Hiser,

    That kind of comment does not help your cause.

  4. Alan says:

    Hope you find some solace on your vacation – M$ is barking up the wrong tree. Get real and resign.

  5. hAl says:

    When opening ooxml documents created in MS Office the indententation,linebreaks and spacing often looks very ugly to me adding a lot of whitespace when viewing it in an editor.  

    Is there some logical reasoning for choosing the overly spacious look of the ooxml that is produced by MS office 2007 ?