David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

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  • The Open XML Vote (OOXML) and why I hate politics

    This is a rant and it is my opinion and does not reflect that of Microsoft or others - It is my Opinion! From 1992 to 1995 I had to write document converters - I had to pick apart binary file formats and translate them to another format. It was hard work and I JUST WISHED people would create a largely encompassing standard for documents that was documented so I did not have to do all the work myself. Role forward to today, Office is still the prominent document format (which is now documented on http://msdn.microsoft.com ), but there is a new kid in town that encompass everything that an Office document is and more. This is the Open XML document format. People have cried for years that they wanted the Office Document standard to become more than a defacto standard, they wanted it to become a format an open standard. It was always going to be large, but to cover all the features and functions available in Office, it would have to be. There is no point in the standard being something different to that used in Office...
  • Spreadsheets and documents based on standards - OpenXML and ODF, ODF and Excel or all 3

    I have been using and referencing standards for a long time. They are great. C# is an ECMA standard for example as are parts of .Net which is how project Mono has managed to come great strides in delivering part of the .Net experience on non-Microsoft platforms. Also my 1st job out after University was writing document converters. So there are two things here - one, what is wrong with more than 1 standard - we have several for networks, several for character sets. Often one standard will work where another will not. Nearly always one standard is driven by an interested party. Open Office is very keen to see greater adoption of ODF. Microsoft is very keen to seen greater adoption of OpenXML. OpenXML is already a European standard (ECMA) and one of the nice things about that is the stability you are offered if you are developing against it. There is no requirement to have Office to use this file format. OK, so we could say "lets not use the European standard and create a similar one, but not quite the same"...

(c)David Overton 2006-18