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China has its own open document format
Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 01:49 PM EST

Put this in your pipe and smoke it: China has its own open document format, the Uniform Office Format (UOF), that they are working to harmonize with ODF. Andy Updegrove is just back from China with the news:
It includes word processing, spreadsheet and presentation modules, and comprises GUI, format and API specifications. Like both ODF and Office OpenXML, it is another "XML in a Zip file" format. ...

From what I understand, UOF was developed with less compulsion to follow the lead of Microsoft Office and its fifteen years of accumulating features, allowing UOF to be simpler rather than slavishly faithful to (and therefore constrained by) what has come before. I'm also told that the UOF format is based on existing Web standards, such as SVG....

There is already an effort in place to "harmonize" UOF and ODF, and from what I understand that process should be less challenging than making ODF and OpenOfficeXML play nicely together....Third, what of Office OpenXML? Implementation of UOF will continue the trend away from proprietary, "lock in" products, and towards an environment with more competition, more variety, and more freedom for end-users. Presumably, the proliferation of compatible open format alternatives will place added pressure on OOXML to become increasingly open and competitive in order to be relevant.

All the plotting and planning here in the US was for absolutely nothing. ODF wins.


China has its own open document format | 89 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here please
Authored by: scooterJRT on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 02:04 PM EST
... so PJ can find them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT here please
Authored by: scooterJRT on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 02:06 PM EST
... and please make your links clickable.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Major feat of programming
Authored by: tiger99 on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 02:43 PM EST
If they have pulled that off, they are very good indeed. Have a look at the Chinese language(s) and you will see what I mean.

No doubt they are using Unicode, but even so....

And did we read the other day about the number of computer users in China? I can't remember exactly where, but seem to recall over 100 million. That is getting close to the US or the EU, so it may indeed be a very significant long term loss for M$. The centre of power in the software indstry is shifting rapidly.....

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'm not so sanguine about it.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 02:44 PM EST
The Chinese position has been clear and consistent all along: they like any
format which will allow them absolute control over their machines and who uses
them. Their banning of the Chinese language wikipedias, which so far as I know
they have never explained, are a good example of this. As is that the one
Chinese contributer to the kernel project stopped contributing after he went
home, despite government assurances that was one reason they wanted him home.

Short term, I can see this as an advantage for the ODF. Long term, I have to
wonder if it's just another embrace, extend, extinguish.

jplatt39 (can't log in right now.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

I can't help thinking of the EVD
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 03:04 PM EST
Wikipedia article.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pop Quiz... People speaking Chinese vs everyone else in the world?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 03:45 PM EST
Here is a pop quiz:

How many people speak Chinese in the world vs every other language spoken

Then break down the languages and see the top one vs the next most population
spoken language, etc?

Now apply this to PJ's article and think for a while...

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Pulling out of China
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 03:58 PM EST
Didn't you guys see the announcement from MS saying they are considering pulling out of China? BBC Link

[ Reply to This | # ]

All politics is local - and not all is in the USA
Authored by: freeio on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 06:18 PM EST
This is where the large corporate thinkers lose their bearings. The entire
thought that there are at more than one gigapersons permanently outside their
realm is frightening, and the political differences make it unlikely that this
will ever be bridged.

To any self-respecting Chinese, they are in the center of the world, and we
westerners are out on the periphery somewhere. It makes sense. (Why exactly are
our maps drawn with north being up, for instance?) We are at the center of our
world, and they are at the center of theirs.

To have a fully capable format which works well in the various forms of written
Chinese, and which is locally developed, is a point of pride if nothing else.
The fact that it may be compatible with ODF is a way to spread their culture to
the west, and not on the corporate west's terms.

This should be interesting to watch.

Marty (still alive!)

Tux et bona et fortuna est.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I wonder what we're getting into here...
Authored by: shiptar on Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 06:58 PM EST
So uh, what's worse, communists or Novell?


[ Reply to This | # ]

ODF: clarification, please
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 02:05 AM EST

Is ODF completely Unicode-based?

Mandarin Chinese has a standard system, called pinyin, for writing it in the Latin alphabet. Four "accents" over vowels are required (they distinguish tones). Two of them, the "first tone" accent which is a horizontal line over a vowel, and the "third tone" accent which is like an upside-down ^, cannot be inserted into a document by my copy of OpenOffice. Maybe I don't have the very latest version of OpenOffice. And of course ODF != OpenOffice. But it did surprise me that OpenOffice ignored the language with the most speakers in the world.

[ Reply to This | # ]

China has its own open document format
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 03:10 AM EST
Yeah but... will it have some kind of mechanism for censorship too?

[ Reply to This | # ]

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