FEB
21
2008

More microsoft specs

For those that missed it, Microsoft recently released some of the specs relating to their office suite (http://www.microsoft.com/interop/docs/OfficeBinaryFormats.mspx).

Naturally, they probably aren't everything we'd like to have (various people have suggested that they aren't complete, and I'd be surprised if there wasn't something omitted, more likely because of incomplete records than because of deliberate omission - the PR downside to deliberate omission becoming public would be a disaster).

However for KOffice, the biggest problem isn't going to be incomplete specs - it is more likely going to be insufficient developers. Right now, it looks like there is a huge amount of work going into ODF, and .doc is clearly a lower priority.

So if you have time and interest, ODF or import for the legacy Microsoft stuff would be a great thing to work on!

Edit: forgot to mention that the format options are PDF and XPS. Interesting to see Microsoft continuing to push XPS.

Comments

How about collaborating with other free projects (eg. AbiWord) to create a common API for file format translators.


By kamikazow at Thu, 02/21/2008 - 11:35

Do you have a design in mind?

Or any feel for how it might work in terms of an implementation?

You may like to work on this at freedesktop.org.


By brad hards at Thu, 02/21/2008 - 20:36

Do you know if there's a list of formats that they're cooperating on? I'd dig it if the WMA specs happened to be no-so-retardedly-licensed at some point in the future, but at the moment I'm just seeing the old site...


By Scott Wheeler at Thu, 02/21/2008 - 13:07

While digging around on that site, I did see this:
http://www.microsoft.com/standards/participation.aspx
but it is mostly just a PR activity ("we are working in these standards organisations").

There is a list of specs here: http://www.microsoft.com/standards/osp.mspx, but again I think that relates to "what does it take to get our specs endorsed by some standards organisation".


By brad hards at Thu, 02/21/2008 - 20:34

All what is available is the same old documentation, most of it having been available until 1999 where it was taken off line from MSDN.
I suggest you to have a thorough read here:

http://standardsandfreedom.net/index.php/2008/02/19/when-is-sophism-not-sophism/

And here:

http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/19/office-binary-formats-specifications-trap/


By kosmonaut at Thu, 02/21/2008 - 16:35

Well, the content may have been previously available, but it hasn't been for a long time.

As for complete: did you read what I wrote?

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with either of your links - neither contains any evidence (just assertions). I wouldn't believe that sort of stuff from microsoft or their anti-fans.

The answer isn't more "microsoft did X or didn't do Y" claims.

The answer is perhaps working ODF support everywhere.


By brad hards at Thu, 02/21/2008 - 20:30