The Wannabe Java Rockstar: About the Uselessness of OpenDocument

About the Uselessness of OpenDocument

OpenDocument is a waste of time and money. At least if you believe Dave Winer, who wrote about Microsoft's new XML-based file format for Word:

One would think that [the new format] would spawn an explosion of new products designed to please Office users but that's not what's happening. A group of large technology companies is proposing a competing set of formats, and has formed an alliance to confuse the market, and at least double the work of any developer who might want to support their products (with almost no installed base) alongside Microsoft's (with a monopolistic dominant installed base).

Unfortunately, Dave got the facts wrong. According to Wikipedia, the standardization of OpenDocument at OASIS started in 2002. It was decided to build on an earlier version of the OpenOffice.org format, which was already in XML and had been in use since 2000.

At this time, nobody at Microsoft talked about the XMLification of the DOC format. So one could argue that OpenOffice.org's file format together with the standardization process at OASIS actually forced Microsoft to develop the XML-based file format we'll see in Office 12.

Who knows, maybe that's OpenDocument's only success. In any case, it is not a waste of time or money.

Thu, 20 Oct 2005, 22:40 | Technology | PermaLink
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