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Standards: Have Any Suggestions for the Next Version of ODF?
Monday, February 23 2009 @ 07:56 PM EST

I want you to know that your comments and emails on the last article asking how the two ISO standards (26300 and 29500, commonly known as ODF and OOXML) are doing these days on the openness graph have been read and appreciated. They are useful. There is room for more commenting, including personal experiences you've had struggling to interact with governmental agencies that make little or no allowance for users of Linux. You can comment on the article itself or email me privately.

And now comes news that there is a chance to have input into the next major version of ODF, for now being called 'ODF-Next'. There is a call for proposals that went out Friday from the ODF technical committee, and here's where you go to read all about it and to leave your comments. You can comment here too, of course, but you must input there if you wish your input to be registered and considered. What would you like to see in the feature set of the next major release of ODF? What capabilities does ODF need?

Personally, I'd say the main thing it needs is what only Microsoft can provide: true interoperability, guaranteed, with Microsoft's 'standard'. I am hearing from one and all that the crutches being offered for ODF to try to do so don't really work very well. That is wrong. Period. It's what I expected, but it needs to be fixed. What if there were another natural disaster, like Katrina? Interoperability and the ability to communicate with government agencies can mean your life. It's that serious, and who is to argue that the lives of Linux users don't matter?

Here's more on the Call for Proposals from Rob Weir's blog:

The ODF TC has decided to begin activities on the next version of ODF, called for now "ODF-Next", even before we have ODF 1.2 approved.... The Call for Proposals for ODF-Next went out on Friday.

So put on your thinking cap.... But now is the time to start collecting the ideas, big or small, and submit them to the ODF TC according to the instructions in the Call for Proposals linked to above.

We'll be collecting ideas at least until March 31st. The Requirements Subcommittee will then sort through the ideas, categorize and prioritize them, and generally try to make sense of it all, and then write up an ODF-Next Requirements document with their recommendations.

This is a good chance to get your ideas in early and have a real impact on where we go with ODF in the next major release. But please, do not give me ideas via blog comments. We can only accept ideas sent through the above linked OASIS comment submission procedure, which is necessary to ensure that ODF remains an open standard that anyone can implement. IANAL, but I believe an added benefit is that any idea you submit, even if speculative, even if not added to ODF-Next, will be permanently archived in the ODF comment list, and thus will establish prior art which could scuttle attempts to secure patents in this area. So by contributing your ideas publicly in this way, you help to establish an intellectual commons that will benefit free and open source applications in this area.


  


Standards: Have Any Suggestions for the Next Version of ODF? | 31 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
The envelope please...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 23 2009 @ 09:25 PM EST
"It's that serious, and who is to argue that the lives of Linux users don't
matter?"

PJ, I know you asked rhetorically, however, the answer is...open
envelope..."Bill Gates"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections thread
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Monday, February 23 2009 @ 09:50 PM EST
Please post corrections to the article beneath this comment. Include a brief summary in the title.

Thanks.

---
"Then you admit confirming not denying you ever said that?"
"NO! ... I mean Yes! WHAT?"
"I'll put `maybe.'"
--Bloom County

[ Reply to This | # ]

[NP] News Picks discussion
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Monday, February 23 2009 @ 09:52 PM EST
Discuss GL News Picks here. Please indicate which NP you are referring to.

Thanks.

---
"Then you admit confirming not denying you ever said that?"
"NO! ... I mean Yes! WHAT?"
"I'll put `maybe.'"
--Bloom County

[ Reply to This | # ]

[OT] Off Topic discussion
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Monday, February 23 2009 @ 09:55 PM EST
Please keep discussion off the topic of the article confined to this thread.

Please break up long lines of text such as URL's posted in plain text, so that we do not have to side-scroll on this page.

Thanks.

---
"Then you admit confirming not denying you ever said that?"
"NO! ... I mean Yes! WHAT?"
"I'll put `maybe.'"
--Bloom County

[ Reply to This | # ]

Losing face or spending too little
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Tuesday, February 24 2009 @ 03:31 AM EST
"There is room for more commenting, including personal experiences you've
had struggling to interact with governmental agencies that make little or no
allowance for users of Linux."


In 2002 I tried to convince our it-staff (in a governmental setting) that Linux
and JBoss were the most price competitive for my project. I wasn't prepared to
shell out for BEA from my budget.

The written reply I was given was something along the line "We don't do
open source. We have no experience with it. It is unsafe and it will not be
deployed here".

When I checked a little deeper it turned out that they happily used several open
source apps elsewhere! So, the open source was not the argument in itself and it
could not have been the price as it was unbeatable, for the software itself.

However, I think the it-manager did not want to

* lose face, admitting ignorance
* did not want to learn new software and was afraid of hidden education costs
* spend too little (as the budget might be cut down for the next year)

In the end the BEA alternative won, but with them paying from their budget, not
mine.





---
______
IMANAL


.

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Suggestion
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Tuesday, February 24 2009 @ 04:52 AM EST
My suggestion for ODF-Next is for one ODF, not three.

There is currently ODF, Uh-Oh XML and Red Flag ODF. The proprietary version and
the fork are not good ideas.

---
Monopolistic Ignominious Corporation Requiring Office $tandard Only For
Themselves

[ Reply to This | # ]

stuff not included from before
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 25 2009 @ 06:01 AM EST
Well - a good start would be the 10's of critical interop & other
improvement proposals excluded from ODF 1.2 because of 'not enough time' to
review them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Standards: Have Any Suggestions for the Next Version of ODF?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 25 2009 @ 08:45 AM EST
Not necessarily ODF specific, but Open Office has become
very annoying. Perhaps other "word processors" are better
in the following respect.

One thing that I would find most pleasing is a very visible
big button that allowed the user to turn off all those
annoying automatic-this-and-automatic-that features. Most
times, I really do want what I have typed, exactly as I have
typed it. I don't want it to be restructured, renumbered,
fixed, or otherwise modified in any fashion by un-asked for automatic
"helpful" actions.

Really. It's gotten so bad that that I dread having to use
it because I know that I will spend more time and effort
trying to undo the automatic changes than I will actually
spend typing my document. I often end up looking for other
alternatives.

The only reason I do use it now is because it produces
decent printouts from .doc documents that get attached
to some of the emails I receive.

An old long-time Linux user. Too old, perhaps.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Standards: Have Any Suggestions for the Next Version of ODF?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 25 2009 @ 01:51 PM EST
I'm using Open Office 2.0, so maybe this doesn't apply.

Tried to insert a graphic image, .xcf, which is the standard format that Gimp
exports but it couldn't find the file type. When I type it in specifically, I
get an unknown grapic format.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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