This begs the question...

Story: Linspire to help develop ODF-OpenXML translatorsTotal Replies: 2
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Jul 03, 2007
9:33 AM EDT
If Microsoft's Open XML format is truly 'open', why does anyone have to enter into a patent agreement in order to develop translators for the format?

If it were truly 'open', you would just have to read the specs.

Jul 03, 2007
10:26 AM EDT
>If it were truly 'open', you would just have to read the specs.


My personal test is whether you can change OOXML from Office to ODF for, well, anything else, with a simply transform. I could even live with a few glitches if the basic document came out mostly right.

If you can't do these things, then the format isn't open.

Jul 03, 2007
11:23 AM EDT
This is a crucial moment in time for Microsoft. If they don't control the standard, they will lose customers. But even if MS "wins," an open standard for document formatting will cost it market share.

In the unlikely even that ODF is adopted by any large entities in the face of Microsoft's "marketing," Open Office and open source gains legitimacy. MS will have to add ODF as one of its formats.

In the likely event that OpenXML gains traction (and how, with Microsoft behind it, can it fail?), can Microsoft prevent Sun and other developers from incorporating it into their product? That would make it less than open, no?

As long as the format is open, who cares which one "wins"? As long as everybody is free to use ODF or OpenXML, I don't think it matters so much -- and how can OpenXML be "open" unless every developer has equal access to it?

What I'm also wondering is what do each of these "standards" offer, and how do they differ? Rather than play off evil empire vs. FOSS, I think it's time for us all to figure out what's going on from both a technical and legal standpoint.

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