ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy? - Linux

This is a discussion on ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy? - Linux ; * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo: > In article , > Bob Hauck wrote: > >> And Microsoft doesn't? Consider standards to be strategic weapons I >> maen. Sure they do. And that's part of the problem. Everybody ...

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Thread: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

  1. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > In article ,
    > Bob Hauck wrote:
    >
    >> And Microsoft doesn't? Consider standards to be strategic weapons I
    >> maen. Sure they do. And that's part of the problem. Everybody is

    >
    > So? Last I checked, Microsoft wasn't in charge of ODF standardization,
    > so their view on standards doesn't excuse Sun's limiting ODF.
    >
    >> At least ODF has multiple existing implementations, imperfect though
    >> they may be. Sun doesn't control KOffice or Abiword. So however bad
    >> Sun is, they seem to be better for users than Microsoft.

    >
    > Last I checked, Microsoft doesn't control Apple, Corel, Thinkfree,
    > QuickOffice, Dataviz, and the various others that have implement OOXML.


    OOXML the ECMA draft standard?

    Or Office 2007's implementation of it?

    --
    To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand
    the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.
    -- Niccolo Machiavelli

  2. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > Last I checked, Microsoft doesn't control Apple, Corel, Thinkfree,
    > QuickOffice, Dataviz, and the various others that have implement OOXML.


    I'm confused. (Don't laff!)

    Here:

    http://www.openxmlcommunity.org/about.aspx

    Ecma Office Open XML ("Open XML") is an international, open standard
    for word-processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that
    can be freely implemented by multiple applications on multiple
    platforms. Open XML is currently in the process of obtaining
    ratification as a global standard with the ISO (International
    Standards Organization).

    Microsoft Office (2007, 2003, XP, 2000), OpenOffice Novell Edition,
    open-source project Gnumeric, Neo-Office 2.1, and PalmOS (Dataviz)
    already support Open XML. Corel has announced Open XML support for
    WordPerfect 2007 and developers worldwide are building solutions
    using Open XML.

    It says Gnumeric supports it. So I install Gnumeric (1.6.3) from Debian
    unstable, and run it. I try to save as, and I don't find any "Open XML"
    format. I see CSV, DIF, Gnumeric XML, three HTML formats, LaTeX,
    Microsoft 95/97/2000/XP, OpenOffice OASIS_UNFINISHED, Troff, text, and
    XHTML.

    Am I missing something? Jody says:

    http://www.linux.com/feature/121930

    ...Goldberg blogged that implementing ODF support in Gnumeric was
    "significantly more difficult" than adding OOXML support.

    He even said so here in COLA. So why no OOXML (as far as I can see) in
    Gnumeric, even though the Open XML Community says it is implemented?

    Just curious, really.

    Ah, I go to my 32-bit laptop and install Gnumeric there, and it is a
    later version: 1.8.1.

    Multiplan and PDF output are added, but still no OOXML.

    Odd. Also odd that the 64-bit version is 1.6, not 1.8. Both systems
    are lenny here.

    --
    Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves
    against attack, and then they attack others.
    -- Niccolo Machiavelli

  3. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 23:08:54 -0500, Linonut wrote:

    > Ah, I go to my 32-bit laptop and install Gnumeric there, and it is a
    > later version: 1.8.1.
    >
    > Multiplan and PDF output are added, but still no OOXML.
    >
    > Odd. Also odd that the 64-bit version is 1.6, not 1.8. Both systems
    > are lenny here.


    According to this page, it should be there:

    http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnumer...eric-1.8.shtml

    Note: it calls it 'export', which may be a different function.

    Also note: "The Gnumeric team does not envision using the OpenDocument
    Format as it's native format".

    "The spreadsheet part of ODF, in its current form, is ill defined and has
    many, many problems. For example: (1) there is no meaningful discussion of
    what functions a spreadsheet should support and what they should do.
    Without that, there is little point in trying to move a spreadsheet from
    one program to another; (2) there is no provision for sharing formulas
    between cells; (3) there is no implementation -- writing an ODF exporter
    consists of reverse-engineering OpenOffice to see what parts of the
    standard it can handle. (Note: the preceding comments relate to the
    spreadsheet part of ODF only; we do not have an informed opinion on ODF for
    word processing documents, for example.)"

  4. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    In article ,
    Linonut wrote:
    > Ah, I go to my 32-bit laptop and install Gnumeric there, and it is a
    > later version: 1.8.1.
    >
    > Multiplan and PDF output are added, but still no OOXML.


    It's in the source code for 1.8.1, in the plugins/excel directory.
    Plugins sound optional, so maybe your distribution doesn't build that
    one?

    I was going to build gnumeric from source and check, but it has a
    dependency on a version of some library (libglade, I think it was) that
    is later than the latest that is in the repositories for the version of
    Ubuntu I use. My curiosity over what's going on here is not enough to
    overcome my desire to keep the system matching the official repositories.

    --
    --Tim Smith

  5. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    In article ,
    Linonut wrote:
    > Am I missing something? Jody says:
    >
    > http://www.linux.com/feature/121930
    >
    > ...Goldberg blogged that implementing ODF support in Gnumeric was
    > "significantly more difficult" than adding OOXML support.


    What he said was this:


    it was significantly more difficult. To be clear, ODF support was
    nowhere near as much work as the old binary filters, we are talking
    about XML here. However, while Import filters start with parsing the
    structure, in the end, extracting the basic state is no more than
    the ante for the real work. You need to handle the impedance
    mismatches between the concepts in the file format, and your
    implementation. ODF¹s model of Œchartness¹ didn¹t fit well with
    Gnumeric. In contrast XLSX may be ugly, but it¹¹s concepts were very
    familiar from XLS. We already had much of the code required to
    handle it.

    I suspect most spreadsheet implementers are in the same position.

    <http://blogs.gnome.org/jody/2007/09/...he-wrong-quest
    ions/>

    --
    --Tim Smith

  6. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    On 2008-02-23, Tim Smith wrote:
    > In article ,
    > Linonut wrote:
    >> Ah, I go to my 32-bit laptop and install Gnumeric there, and it is a
    >> later version: 1.8.1.
    >>
    >> Multiplan and PDF output are added, but still no OOXML.

    >
    > It's in the source code for 1.8.1, in the plugins/excel directory.
    > Plugins sound optional, so maybe your distribution doesn't build that
    > one?


    Would that show up as "OpenDocument"?

    That's in the version that is in the Ubuntu 7.10 repositories.

    >
    > I was going to build gnumeric from source and check, but it has a
    > dependency on a version of some library (libglade, I think it was) that
    > is later than the latest that is in the repositories for the version of
    > Ubuntu I use. My curiosity over what's going on here is not enough to
    > overcome my desire to keep the system matching the official repositories.
    >



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  7. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    alt espoused:
    > On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 19:20:52 -0800, Tim Smith wrote:
    >
    >> In article ,
    >> Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >>> The funny thing is, if ODF had received 1/10th of the scrutiny that
    >>> OOXML has received, it would be a far better format.

    >>
    >> And the sad thing is, it would be possible to come up with a format that
    >> is pretty close to ODF, but that has the legacy support Microsoft needs,
    >> and many in OASIS wanted to do that, and Microsoft likely would have
    >> supported it, but Sun wouldn't allow it.
    >>
    >> We could have one format that would have truly become universal. Oh
    >> well, I forgot--choice is good, so I guess it is supposed to be good
    >> that people will have to deal with two formats for the foreseeable
    >> future.

    >
    > Why should the document format support all of Microsoft's (undocumented)
    > legacy crap? Shouldn't that be the job of the application?


    This is the illusion of choice, not real choice. If it were a choice
    between two fully open file formats, then it would simply be a matter of
    which one became superior for the job. Considering the phenomenon of
    natural monopolies, it's likely that a single system would emerge, in
    the end, combining the best properties of both, if it be that a single
    system could serve all needs.

    The spin of the shills is amazing.

    --
    | Mark Kent -- mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk |
    | Cola faq: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/linux/advocacy/faq-and-primer/ |
    | Cola trolls: http://colatrolls.blogspot.com/ |
    | My (new) blog: http://www.thereisnomagic.org |

  8. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    Bob Hauck writes:

    > On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 16:29:23 -0800, Tim Smith
    > wrote:
    >
    >> But Sun considers standards a strategic weapon, and made sure that ODF
    >> would not include anything that StarOffice didn't need, and so we are
    >> doomed to at least two standards. :-(

    >
    > And Microsoft doesn't? Consider standards to be strategic weapons I
    > maen. Sure they do. And that's part of the problem. Everybody is
    > concerned about winning the chess match and they're all thinking that
    > the users are just pawns in the game.
    >
    > At least ODF has multiple existing implementations, imperfect though
    > they may be.


    Well Bob, there we go. Thanks for that.

  9. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    Linonut writes:

    > * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    >> Last I checked, Microsoft doesn't control Apple, Corel, Thinkfree,
    >> QuickOffice, Dataviz, and the various others that have implement OOXML.

    >
    > I'm confused. (Don't laff!)


    It's "laugh" Liarnut.

    And we know you are.

  10. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    Erik Funkenbusch writes:

    > On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 23:08:54 -0500, Linonut wrote:
    >
    >> Ah, I go to my 32-bit laptop and install Gnumeric there, and it is a
    >> later version: 1.8.1.
    >>
    >> Multiplan and PDF output are added, but still no OOXML.
    >>
    >> Odd. Also odd that the 64-bit version is 1.6, not 1.8. Both systems
    >> are lenny here.

    >
    > According to this page, it should be there:
    >
    > http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnumer...eric-1.8.shtml
    >
    > Note: it calls it 'export', which may be a different function.
    >
    > Also note: "The Gnumeric team does not envision using the OpenDocument
    > Format as it's native format".
    >
    > "The spreadsheet part of ODF, in its current form, is ill defined and has
    > many, many problems. For example: (1) there is no meaningful discussion of
    > what functions a spreadsheet should support and what they should do.
    > Without that, there is little point in trying to move a spreadsheet from
    > one program to another; (2) there is no provision for sharing formulas
    > between cells; (3) there is no implementation -- writing an ODF exporter
    > consists of reverse-engineering OpenOffice to see what parts of the
    > standard it can handle. (Note: the preceding comments relate to the
    > spreadsheet part of ODF only; we do not have an informed opinion on ODF for
    > word processing documents, for example.)"



    Hmmm.

    I would like to see HPT and WronG argue here. A little sprinkling of
    Liarnut arguing against the people who have to implement this stuff
    would be perfect.

  11. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    Linonut writes:

    > * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    >> In article ,
    >> Bob Hauck wrote:
    >>
    >>> And Microsoft doesn't? Consider standards to be strategic weapons I
    >>> maen. Sure they do. And that's part of the problem. Everybody is

    >>
    >> So? Last I checked, Microsoft wasn't in charge of ODF standardization,
    >> so their view on standards doesn't excuse Sun's limiting ODF.
    >>
    >>> At least ODF has multiple existing implementations, imperfect though
    >>> they may be. Sun doesn't control KOffice or Abiword. So however bad
    >>> Sun is, they seem to be better for users than Microsoft.

    >>
    >> Last I checked, Microsoft doesn't control Apple, Corel, Thinkfree,
    >> QuickOffice, Dataviz, and the various others that have implement OOXML.

    >
    > OOXML the ECMA draft standard?
    >
    > Or Office 2007's implementation of it?


    Err? Your point being?

  12. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    Tom Shelton writes:

    > On 2008-02-22, Jim Richardson wrote:
    >>
    >> On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 17:16:59 +0100,
    >> Hadron wrote:
    >>> Linonut writes:
    >>>
    >>>> * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >>>>
    >>>>> In article ,
    >>>>> alt wrote:
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> Why should the document format support all of Microsoft's (undocumented)
    >>>>>> legacy crap? Shouldn't that be the job of the application?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The application needs to be able to save information about that legacy
    >>>>> "crap", hence there is a need for some way to do that in the document
    >>>>> format.
    >>>>
    >>>> Where's the 'need' for that? You want to have access to all features of
    >>>> those old documents? Keep an old copy of the proprietary operating
    >>>> system and proprietary Word processor around.
    >>>
    >>> LOL. I am not sure if it is stupidity or naivety on your part. Did it
    >>> never cross your mind that you need to access the contents on an
    >>> uptodate OS? For *obvious* reasons I won't even bother to go into.
    >>>

    >>
    >> makes no sense. We are discussing document formats, not the OS. Are you
    >> saying that the MS document formats rely on the OS for something?
    >>

    >
    > They might - for OLE automation. In other words, there are lots of
    > things besides other documents that can be embedded in a word doc.


    For *goodness* sake. It must even be something as simple as only
    licensing ONE version of windows and wanting to cut and paste for friks
    sake.

  13. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    In article ,
    Mark Kent wrote:
    > >> We could have one format that would have truly become universal. Oh
    > >> well, I forgot--choice is good, so I guess it is supposed to be good
    > >> that people will have to deal with two formats for the foreseeable
    > >> future.

    > >
    > > Why should the document format support all of Microsoft's (undocumented)
    > > legacy crap? Shouldn't that be the job of the application?

    >
    > This is the illusion of choice, not real choice. If it were a choice
    > between two fully open file formats, then it would simply be a matter of
    > which one became superior for the job. Considering the phenomenon of


    Well, then, maybe people could start lobbying to make ODF open, so we'll
    have two open file formats?

    --
    --Tim Smith

  14. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    In article ,
    JEDIDIAH wrote:
    > > It's in the source code for 1.8.1, in the plugins/excel directory.
    > > Plugins sound optional, so maybe your distribution doesn't build that
    > > one?

    >
    > Would that show up as "OpenDocument"?
    >
    > That's in the version that is in the Ubuntu 7.10 repositories.


    That's ODF, I think.



    --
    --Tim Smith

  15. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 18:38:37 -0800, Tim Smith
    wrote:

    > In article ,
    > Bob Hauck wrote:
    >
    >> On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 16:29:23 -0800, Tim Smith
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> > But Sun considers standards a strategic weapon, and made sure that ODF
    >> > would not include anything that StarOffice didn't need, and so we are
    >> > doomed to at least two standards. :-(

    >>
    >> And Microsoft doesn't? Consider standards to be strategic weapons I
    >> maen. Sure they do. And that's part of the problem. Everybody is

    >
    > So? Last I checked, Microsoft wasn't in charge of ODF standardization,
    > so their view on standards doesn't excuse Sun's limiting ODF.


    If Sun believes their competitor's view of standards is bad for Sun,
    then they will react to that. Likewise for Microsoft. Nobody is
    operating in a vacuum here.


    >> At least ODF has multiple existing implementations, imperfect though
    >> they may be.


    > Last I checked, Microsoft doesn't control Apple, Corel, Thinkfree,
    > QuickOffice, Dataviz, and the various others that have implement
    > OOXML.


    Ok, point taken.


    --
    -| Bob Hauck
    -| http://www.haucks.org/

  16. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    * Erik Funkenbusch peremptorily fired off this memo:

    >> Odd. Also odd that the 64-bit version is 1.6, not 1.8. Both systems
    >> are lenny here.

    >
    > According to this page, it should be there:
    >
    > http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnumer...eric-1.8.shtml
    >
    > Note: it calls it 'export', which may be a different function.


    Can't find it.

    > Also note: "The Gnumeric team does not envision using the OpenDocument
    > Format as it's native format".
    >
    > "The spreadsheet part of ODF, in its current form, is ill defined and has
    > many, many problems. For example: (1) there is no meaningful discussion of
    > what functions a spreadsheet should support and what they should do.
    > Without that, there is little point in trying to move a spreadsheet from
    > one program to another; (2) there is no provision for sharing formulas
    > between cells; (3) there is no implementation -- writing an ODF exporter
    > consists of reverse-engineering OpenOffice to see what parts of the
    > standard it can handle. (Note: the preceding comments relate to the
    > spreadsheet part of ODF only; we do not have an informed opinion on ODF for
    > word processing documents, for example.)"


    It's always puzzled me as to the fracas about a document format
    supporting the way functions do things. It is a document, not a
    calculation engine. The application should be defining the functions'
    implementation in terms of proven, time-tested algorithms.

    The only support for a function in the format that would be needed would
    be a code for the function.

    Point (2) I don't understand. I thought a cell-reference is a
    cell-reference is a cell-reference.

    Point (3) is absolutely bizarre.

    --
    If I'd had some set idea of a finish line, don't you think I would have crossed
    it years ago?
    -- Bill Gates

  17. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > In article ,
    > Linonut wrote:
    >> Ah, I go to my 32-bit laptop and install Gnumeric there, and it is a
    >> later version: 1.8.1.
    >>
    >> Multiplan and PDF output are added, but still no OOXML.

    >
    > It's in the source code for 1.8.1, in the plugins/excel directory.
    > Plugins sound optional, so maybe your distribution doesn't build that
    > one?
    >
    > I was going to build gnumeric from source and check, but it has a
    > dependency on a version of some library (libglade, I think it was) that
    > is later than the latest that is in the repositories for the version of
    > Ubuntu I use. My curiosity over what's going on here is not enough to
    > overcome my desire to keep the system matching the official repositories.


    Yeah, I'd feel the same way. I guess Debian feels that OOXML isn't even
    free enough to go into the non-free repository.

    --
    I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions
    they will be moved to act.
    -- Bill Gates

  18. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > In article ,
    > Mark Kent wrote:
    >> >> We could have one format that would have truly become universal. Oh
    >> >> well, I forgot--choice is good, so I guess it is supposed to be good
    >> >> that people will have to deal with two formats for the foreseeable
    >> >> future.
    >> >
    >> > Why should the document format support all of Microsoft's (undocumented)
    >> > legacy crap? Shouldn't that be the job of the application?

    >>
    >> This is the illusion of choice, not real choice. If it were a choice
    >> between two fully open file formats, then it would simply be a matter of
    >> which one became superior for the job. Considering the phenomenon of

    >
    > Well, then, maybe people could start lobbying to make ODF open, so we'll
    > have two open file formats?


    ODF already made it through ISO.

    --
    The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should
    see through it.
    -- Niccolo Machiavelli

  19. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    Linonut wrote in
    news:M_Dvj.107046$L%6.14812@bignews3.bellsouth.net :

    > * Jesper Lund Stocholm peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    >> toolassembler@gmail.com skrev:
    >>
    >>> The question was: How many countries did not raise their hand when
    >>> the ODF format was proposed at ISO?
    >>>
    >>> I believe they call that *unanimity*.

    >>
    >> True - it was because no-one really cared about ODF in the beginning.

    >
    > Why would people vote for something they don't care about?


    You tell me. A bit less than 30 countries bothered to show interest in
    ODF when it was but through ISO and a bit more than 80 did the same for
    OOXML. Please also check the comments from the ODF-vote and compare also
    the proposed ODF-spec with the final text - they are almost identical
    and none of the comments from the vote was incorporated in the text.

    Before you conclude that this was because ODF was perfect - please check
    the list of more than 100 corrections by the Japaneese NSB or posts on
    my blog for the same. ODF is not a perfect standard. It is a good
    standard but reading the spec to find answers to concrete questions when
    implementing it quickly reveals quite a few holes and ambiguities.

    My conclusion is that NSBs voted for ODF - not because they had given it
    proper review - but because they didn't want to stand in the way of
    others wanting ODF to be ISO-approved.

    Denmark voted "Abstain" because there was simply no interest in Denmark
    for standardization of the format so work on ODF was done.

    )

    --
    Jesper Lund Stocholm

  20. Re: ODF and binary data--why do you ignore it, Roy?

    In article ,
    Linonut wrote:
    > > Also note: "The Gnumeric team does not envision using the OpenDocument
    > > Format as it's native format".
    > >
    > > "The spreadsheet part of ODF, in its current form, is ill defined and has
    > > many, many problems. For example: (1) there is no meaningful discussion of
    > > what functions a spreadsheet should support and what they should do.
    > > Without that, there is little point in trying to move a spreadsheet from
    > > one program to another; (2) there is no provision for sharing formulas
    > > between cells; (3) there is no implementation -- writing an ODF exporter
    > > consists of reverse-engineering OpenOffice to see what parts of the
    > > standard it can handle. (Note: the preceding comments relate to the
    > > spreadsheet part of ODF only; we do not have an informed opinion on ODF for
    > > word processing documents, for example.)"

    >
    > It's always puzzled me as to the fracas about a document format
    > supporting the way functions do things. It is a document, not a
    > calculation engine. The application should be defining the functions'
    > implementation in terms of proven, time-tested algorithms.
    >
    > The only support for a function in the format that would be needed would
    > be a code for the function.


    That's what they are talking about, I believe. OOXML, and ODF 1.2,
    specify the names of a large number of functions, and tells what they
    should do. Neither tell how the application must implement them. You
    can implement cos() or IPMT() anyway you want that calculates the result
    according the spec.

    ODF 1.0 just leaves this out. So, if you are implementing an ODF 1.0
    spreadsheet application, and want to provide a formula to calculate the
    present value of a series of future payments, the spec doesn't tell you
    what to name this function, or what arguments it has, or whether
    payments are the beginning or end of periods (or can be specified by an
    argument). So what you end up doing is either just coming up with
    something of your own (and then your spreadsheets won't work in other
    ODF programs), or you copy Excel (either directly, by looking in the
    Excel manual, or indirectly, by looking at OpenOffice documentation and
    code to see what they did when they copied Excel).

    --
    --Tim Smith

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