a 'mooh' point

clearly an IBM drone

The happiness of solitude

Oh the lonelyness ... oh the solitude.

They say that parting is such sweet sorrow, but I beg to differ. Things have really, really cooled down in the otherwise warm and cozy OOXML/ODF-blogsphere. Rob and Arnoud seem to have gone back to their day-jobs and Brian has somehow completely dissapeared from the face of the Earth. Doug is mostly writing about what other people are writing about and Groklaw has gone back to their original angle - the SCO-Shenanigans. The only active blogger at the moment seems to be Rick, but even here, the normally so loyal Rick-bashers in the comment-threads seem to have gone AWOL.

Nothing seems to happen here in Denmark as well. The Danish NSB met about a week ago, and we decided to make the working documents public that formed the foundation of the arguments and decisions that took place in the last year. We formed a small technical sub-committee that did the technical work on first the responses to the Danish public hearing in Spring 2007 and later the responses from ISO to the Danish 168 comments to DIS 29500. The group consisted of CIBER Denmark, Ementor, IBM, Microsoft, ORACLE and the County of Aarhus. The technical group was an advisory group to the Danish SC34 mirror-committee. The working documents were made to allow us to keep up momentum and to document the progress we made. In short, for each meeting we made a list of the ISO editor responses that we could accept and those the we could not accept - and they were sent back to ISO editor for further processing. The documents are in Danish, but it still gives a good idea (regardless of native tongue) of what we did in the technical group and how we dealt with each issue. The documents are available at the Danish NSB website (last 7 documents at the bottom of the page in the section "Arbejdsgruppe-notater").

I have also more or less gotten back to my day-job as an Engineer with CIBER. I am currently investigating how to generate documents (ODF and OOXML) using .Net and is actually kind of fun. With that in mind I was interviewed for a video-cast by Microsoft for a small discussion about ODF and OOXML (they conveniently cut out the part where I said that I prefer the markup of ODF over the markup of OOXML but still prefer the tools for OOXML over the tools for ODF (for generating documents on e.g. a webserver or ERP-system), but what can you do?). One of the points I made in the interview was, that the tools were really important. If there are no good tools to create documents - it will slow down the adoption-rate of the particular file type. Regardless of SW-political view, the .Net-platform is rather large on a world-wide basis and the install-base of .Net-technology makes it a platform that should not be ignored (by size alone, if nothing more). And this puzzles me. If you look at the developer-hub of OOXML, you wil find libraries, scripts and tools for just about any operating system and programming language available. But if you want to generate an ODF-file using .Net technology - what do you do? Well, you will propably find that the only (OSS) library available is AODL, a project under the ODF Toolkit umbrella. Unfortunately, the project is not a priority of OpenOffice.org. I wrote an emails to the lead of the project (Dieter Loeschky from Sun) and he suggested that I joined the project as contributor. I have thought a bit about it, and I just might do so. I find it really important for the adoption of ODF that there are tools available for it, so if no one else will, I just might do it myself. I wonder if that will help everyone realize that I am a true ODF supporter.

And finally - the SC34 Ad Hoc Group 1 will convene in London in the end of July. We will meet and talk about what to do with both ODF and OOXML in the future. I am really looking forward to the meeting. The initial mail list reveales that there will be delegates from all over the world:

 
Country
 #
Austria  2
Canada  1
Chile  1
Czech Republic
 1
Germany  2
Denmark  3
Finland  3
India  4
Japan  3
Republic of Korea  2
Malaysia  2
Norway  3
New Zealand
 6
United Kingdom
 3
United States

 2


I hope we will have a couple of productive days in London. As Alex Brown wrote about after the Oslo plenary in April 2008, transparency of the process is a key point and any input from you, dear reader, to how this could be achieved would be appreciated.

And finally-finally, I seem to have been struck by a bad was of "YABS" - Yet Another Blog Syndrome. Within the next few weeks I will begin blogging on the best IT-website in Denmark, Version2.

Comments (12) -

Rene Løhde

Within the next few weeks I will begin blogging on the best IT-website in Denmark, Version2.

Well, I guess congrats is in order!? How will this effect your current blog?  

Hi René,

Well, it shouldn't affect it at all. I originally started blogging to create a "Danish voice" within the OOXML/ODF-discussions but I found that the influence I could get by writing in English was much, much bigger.

But with the approval of DIS 29500 the stage has shifted a bit. I will blog at V2 to provide a "Danish footprint" on the continued work on IS 29500/IS 26300 in ISO via my assignment to AHG1 (and possibly the new WG4 in SC34). A lot of Danish bloggers have requested more openness and transparency and a way to influence the work without actually joing the Danish NSB. I will try to be that entry for them.

... you could say that I am crowd-sourcing the standardisation work in much the same way GrokLaw did it with DIS 29500 (only this time in a postive way).

Smile

Doug Mahugh

But you and Rick and Orcmid and others are writing so much good stuff, why should I write anything of my own?  You guys make it too easy to just link away. Smile

Well, truth be told, I've been rather busy with the day job too.  But I'd like to question your premise here.  Let's look at the data (http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/pages/archives.aspx) ...

In 2007, I did 25 links posts out of 121 total, or 21%.
Jan-May of 2008, I did 13 links posts out of 53 total, or 25%.
So far in June, I've done 1 links post out of 6, or 17%.

I started to post this on my blog and claim 14% for the month (1 of 7, including this), but then I realized that you'd probably call this "writing about what other people are writing about" and say it bumped me up to 28% (2 of 7).  So I decided to comment here instead, to keep the data on my side.

Message received, though.  While you and the rest of Europe take July and August off, I'm going to have to blog up a storm.

We're all still here Jesper... some of us are just waiting to see what happens next!

Hi Oliver,

Well, if you have some time to spare, I'm sure the Microsoft Office dev teem can use an extra hand to implement IS 29500 for Microsoft Office 2007 SP2.

Smile

I do wonder though about Brian Jones blog.
It has gone very inactive and was a good source not just for ooxml but also for office related stuff so I would have expected him toblog some about the problems/experiences with creating odf support for ms office.

Ian Easson

It was announced that Brian is going to go back to Office 14 development, and that Doug will be taking his place on standards bodies.

Speaking of going quiet, I think a lot of people are taking a rest from it all.

Off topic, I just read that the most recent annual survey finds that the citizens of Denmark are the happiest in the world!

Ian,

I just read that the most recent annual survey finds that the citizens of Denmark are the happiest in the world!

Well, I don't know what the f*** kind of morons they talked to to get that result.

Wink

Ian Easson

Gotta watch it, Jesper, not everybody gets irony like yours.

Here's a quote from the movie "Roxanne" that illustrates this:

[Roxanne Kowalski is walking behind a hedge because she is nude]
Roxanne Kowalski: Nobody had a coat?
C.D. Bales: I thought you said you didn't want a coat...
Roxanne Kowalski: Why would I not want a coat?
C.D. Bales: You said you didn't want a coat!
Roxanne Kowalski: I was being ironic.
C.D. Bales: Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don't get that here. See, uh, people ski topless here while smoking dope, so irony's not really a, a high priority. We haven't had any irony here since about, uh, '83, when I was the only practitioner of it. And I stopped because I was tired of being stared at.

Ian,

Good one ... but still, a couple of points:

1.
Well, one of the other characteristics of Danes is that we take critizism very bad ... we don't like to be corrected by anyone.

2.
A would argue that having participated in the ODF/OOXML-blogsphere, as I would imagine most of my readers have, a strong sense of irony is really, really required - especially those of us dodging bullits from the FOSS-wolfpack. I would imagine that it (irony) was largely lost on their part, but you can't win every battle.

3.
I was actually being careful about the wording (I'm going to New York in October, and I'd hate to be stopped at JFK and have my blog flashed in front of me, accused of profanity). This is why I didn't spell out the little "four-letter-word".

Smile

Anonymous Coward

If you look at the developer-hub of OOXML, you wil find libraries, scripts and tools for just about any operating system and programming language available. But if you want to generate an ODF-file using .Net technology - what do you do?

I don't have any experience creating OpenXML documents but a lot of those examples, e.g. those in Python are using the standard XML and archiving/compressing functionality from the standard library (not fancy abstraction libraries). Only a couple examples seem to be using libraries such as OpenXML4J.

I don't have any experience creating OpenXML documents but a lot of those examples, e.g. those in Python are using the standard XML and archiving/compressing functionality from the standard library (not fancy abstraction libraries). Only a couple examples seem to be using libraries such as OpenXML
Well, the esoteric technicalities of the libraries are not really important - and really should not be important for those merely building applications around the libraries. It is not rocket science to create an ODT/DOCX-document, it's basically "just" creating a bunch of XML-files and zipping them up in an archive. But we need libraries to enable the creation documents without using the office applications themselves.

I am a bit surprised to see, that no-one seems to be in the need for an "ODF development hub" (or at least, not those reading my blog). So the question still remains:

If I am building a Ruby-based website and need to create an ODS-fil with financial data from my ERP-system - how do I do this? What if it's with PHP, Python, PERL, .Net etc?

Should I use Google as primary source for search? I found the "Ruby ODF"-project by doing just this and I suppose I could do the same for other languages.

Smile

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