You've just gotta love Open XML zealots (pass the popcorn)
Fri 19 Jan 2007, 08:21 PMTweet
by Ben Langhinrichs
ODF zealots are a diverse bunch, but Office Open XML (OOXML) zealots are a much more homogenous breed. They stick together, post on each other's blogs, and generally prop up each other's arguments. It helps that they all seem to work for the same employer, even though they spend a whole lot of time arguing about the "Big Brother" attitude IBM has towards Open Document Format (ODF). Here is a good example, which, like many, contains a kernel of truth and tries to pop it into a whole bucket of popcorn.
In his post, Diversity vs. Conformity (note: in Microsoft-speak, diversity means everybody in the whole world using Microsoft Office, whereas conformity means people using different tools), Doug Mahugh thinks he has scored a real gotcha. He searched on IBM's website, and found no ODF documents! How could this be? Pop. Pop. Pop. Bring out the butter somebody.
Now, he might have a point, but guess what? The search he uses in Google (and, yes, he is very proud of his "diversity" for using Google) is:
odt filetype:odt site:ibm.comNothing wrong with that, but if it is such a big deal, you would certainly expect to see something different on Microsoft's site. So what results do you see for this search?
docx filetype:docx site:microsoft.comAmazingly enough, there are no Office Open XML documents on Microsoft's site.
Could it be, possibly, that neither IBM nor Microsoft is stupid enough to put content in a format that most of the world does not yet support, whether or not they support that format? IBM certainly uses ODF. For example, they sent my presentation template for Lotusphere in .odp format, but posting such content on a public website may be seen as fairly limiting at this time.
Darn, now I have all this butter, and nothing but a lousy little kernel. Thanks a heap, Doug!
Minor update: There actually are .ods files on the IBM website, so there technically are ODF files on IBM's website, but just spreadsheets, not documents.
Copyright © 2007 Genii Software Ltd.
What has been said:
560.1. W^L+ (01/20/2007 11:26 AM)
Yes, you are correct. You rarely see anyone really pushing OOXML unless they work for Redmond.
On the other hand, those of us who desire to see a variety of different applications that support standard formats (so that people can exchange documents without reference to what particular software someone has) -- which describes most of us "ODF zealots" -- tend to work in widely scattered places where we have to deal with the effects of a software monoculture.
I believe that office's status as one of the cash cows for Microsoft is the reason for this whole thing. I would ask both Brian and Doug to "put up or shut up"--if they support "diversity," then put full ODF support inside of office as a peer to OOXML, and if not, stop pretending that they do support diversity. What's Wrong With Choice?
At least from my perspective, it is not a desire to extinguish Microsoft, but to see them become one of several potential sources for applications.