Pascal's TechBlog

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Microsoft: One open document standard good, two better

In this article a Microsoft dude makes the following comment:

Microsoft’s Yates said that OpenDocument and Open XML come from very different design points. “In the future at some point there will be convergence,” he said. In the near term, the transition period from proprietary document formats to Open XML-based ones will be “messy and complex,” he added. “Competition between standards we believe is a very good thing.”

Well, how insightfull, he just forgot to mention that Microsoft was purposefully instrumental in creating that very same mess.

Anyway for a while I've been wondering what the technical differences would be between these competing formats. A comment taken from slashdot:
Compared to ODF, the format Microsoft is proposing is vastly less suitable for XMLT transforms. It fails to leverage preexisting standards, so other implementations can't take advantage of existing code to render and manipulate SVG, MathML and the like.

This would suggest that (not surprisingly) Microsoft missed the point of using XML in general, by not re-using SVG and MathML, how very typical of them...

Anyway when I get a chance it'll be educative to do some digging on the topic to see whether these claims are actually true.


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