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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards

CDF: Computable Document Format for Interactive Content from Wolfram - 0 views

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    Introducing the Computable Document Format
    Today's online documents are like yesterday's paper-flat, lifeless, inactive. Instead, the Computable Document Format (CDF) puts easy-to-author interactivity at its core, empowering readers to drive content and generate results live.

    Launched by the Wolfram Group, the CDF standard is a computation-powered knowledge container-as everyday as a document, but as interactive as an app.

    Adopting CDF gives ideas a broad communication pipeline-accelerating research, education, technical development, and progress.
Gary Edwards

AMERICA'S RULING CLASS AND THE PERILS OF REVOLUTION - 1 views

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    This is the article that shut down the Web on Monday morning, when Rush Limbaugh dedicated a whole show to it.  Also appears in American Spectator!

    excerpt:
    As over-leveraged investment houses began to fail in September 2008, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, of major corporations, and opinion leaders stretching from the National Review magazine (and the Wall Street Journal) on the right to the Nation magazine on the left, agreed that spending some $700 billion to buy the investors' "toxic assets" was the only alternative to the U.S. economy's "systemic collapse." In this, President George W. Bush and his would-be Republican successor John McCain agreed with the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. Many, if not most, people around them also agreed upon the eventual commitment of some 10 trillion nonexistent dollars in ways unprecedented in America. They explained neither the difference between the assets' nominal and real values, nor precisely why letting the market find the latter would collapse America. The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one. 
    When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term "political class" came into use. Then, after those in power changed their plans from buying toxic assets to buying up equity in banks and major industries but refused to explain why, when they reasserted their right to decide ad hoc on these and so many other matters, supposing them to be beyond the general public's understanding, the American people started referring to those in and around government as the "ruling class." And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to domin
Gary Edwards

The better Office alternative: SoftMaker Office bests OpenOffice.org ( - Soft... - 0 views

shared by Gary Edwards on 30 Jun 09 - Cached
  • Frankly, from Microsoft's perspective, the danger may have been overstated. Though the free open source crowd talks a good fight, the truth is that they keep missing the real target. Instead of investing in new features that nobody will use, the team behind OpenOffice should take a page from the SoftMaker playbook and focus on interoperability first. Until OpenOffice works out its import/export filter issues, it'll never be taken seriously as a Microsoft alternative.

    More troubling (for Microsoft) is the challenge from the SoftMaker camp. These folks have gotten the file-format compatibility issue licked, and this gives them the freedom to focus on building out their product's already respectable feature set. I wouldn't be surprised if SoftMaker got gobbled up by a major enterprise player in the near, thus creating a viable third way for IT shops seeking to kick the Redmond habit.

    • Gary Edwards
       
      This quote is an excerpt from the article :)
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    Finally! Someone who gets it. For an office suite to be considered as an alternative to MSOffice, it must be designed with multiple levels of compatibility. It's not just that the "feature sets" that must be comparable. The guts of the suite must be compatible at both the file format level, and the environment level.

    Randall put's it this way; "It's the ecosystem stupid".

    The reason ODF failed in Massachusetts is that neither OpenOffice nor OpenOffice ODF are designed to be compatible with legacy and existing MSOffice applications, binary formats, and, the MSOffice productivity environment. Instead, OOo and OOo-ODF are designed to be competitively comparable.

    As an alternative to MSOffice, OpenOffice and OpenOffice ODF cannot fit into existing MSOffice workgroups and producitivity environments. Because it s was not designed to be compatible, OOo demands that the environment be replaced, rebuilt and re-engineered. Making OOo and OOo-ODF costly and disruptive to critical day-to-day business processes.

    The lesson of Massachusetts is simple; compatibility matters. Conversion of workgroup/workflow documents from the MSOffice productivity environment to OpenOffice ODF will break those documents at two levels: fidelity and embedded "ecosystem" logic.

    Fidelity is what most end-users point to since that's the aspect of the document conversion they can see. However, it's what they can't see that is the show stopper. The hidden side of workgroup/workflow documents is embedded logic that includes scripts, macros, formulas, OLE, data bindings, security settings, application specific settings, and productivity environment settings. Breaks these aspects of the document, and you stop important business processes bound to the MSOffice productivity environment.

    There is no such thing as an OpenOffice productivity environment designed to be a compatible alternative to the MSOffice productivity environment.

    Another lesson from Massach
Gary Edwards

Google's Microsoft Fight Starts With Smartphones | BNET Technology Blog | BNET - 0 views

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    .... "I recently described how Google's Wave, a collaboration tool based on the new HTML 5 standard, demonstrated the potential for Web applications to unglue Microsoft's hold on customers. My post quoted Gary Edwards, the former president of the Open Document Foundation, a first-hand witness to the failed attempt by Massachusetts to dump Microsoft and as experienced a hand at Microsoft-tilting as anyone I know......"
Gary Edwards

Alex Brown on the ODF Zero Interop problem: The discussion to limit the use of Foreign ... - 0 views

  • So I think users need to understand, very clearly, that an ODF document/app of *either* conformance class has an EXTREMELY WEAK CLAIM TO INTEROPERABILITY. The "pure ODF conformance" sticker would be at best valueless and at worst positively misleading. So what I'd like to see is some real effort from the TC going into resolving this problem ...
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    So I think users need to understand, very clearly, that an ODF
    document/app of *either* conformance class has an EXTREMELY WEAK CLAIM
    TO INTEROPERABILITY. The "pure ODF conformance" sticker would be at best
    valueless and at worst positively misleading.

    So what I'd like to see is some real effort from the TC going into
    resolving this problem ... Alex Brown

    What Alex fails to mention is that the "foreign elements and alien attributes" components in the ODF Section 1.5 "Compliance and Conformance" clause was originally put there in early 2003 to provide a compatibility layer for MSOffice binary documents. Without this clause, it would be impossible to convert the billions of legacy MSOffice binary documents to ODF without breaking the fidelity. Now th OASIS ODF TC wants to limit the use of the compatiblity clause. An action that would seriously cripple Microsoft's efforts to implement ODF in MSOffice 14.

    No surprises here. It was only a matter of time until IBM and Sun ganged up on the newest TC member, Microsoft.
Gary Edwards

Europe: Microsoft's behavior has changed, interop docs already complete | Tech Policy &... - 0 views

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    "In light of changes in Microsoft's behaviour, the increased opportunity for third parties to exercise their rights directly before national courts and experience gained since the adoption of the 2004 Decision," this morning's statement reads, "the Commission no longer requires a full time monitoring trustee to assess Microsoft's compliance. In future, the Commission intends to rely on the ad hoc assistance of technical consultants.


    "Microsoft has an ongoing obligation to supply complete and accurate interoperability information as specified in the Commission's 2004 Microsoft Decision," the EC goes on. "However, given that the original set of interoperability information has already been documented by Microsoft, increased opportunities through private enforcement provisions in Microsoft's license agreements for third parties to exercise their rights directly before national courts, and experience gained since the adoption of the 2004 Decision, the nature of the technical assistance that the Commission requires is now of a more ad hoc character."
Gary Edwards

An Interop Nightmare: The Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate Review of OpenOffice... - 0 views

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    Marbux at his best! Let's hope the OASIS ODF and OpenOffice.org groups get to work on real interop, and stop with the phony baloney. It can be done, bu tnothing is going to happen until people face up to the harsh reality that today there is zero interop between ODF compliant applications. This must change .... unless of course the world decides to move to the most interoperable but high performance format ever invented: HTML-CSS.

    And maybe from there the world can move onto the WebKit sugarplum document model, and truly set the future of the Open Web. One thing obviously missing for the Open Web is an office suite of high performance editors capable of natively producing high end WebKit documents (or basic HTML-CSS for that matter!!!!!!!)

    Good on marbux. Now, can you persuade OASIS and OpenOffice to change their application specific ways? Take on the desktop as well as the future of the Open Web?
Gary Edwards

Microsoft, Google Search and the Future of the Open Web - Google Docs - 0 views

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    The InformationWeek series of articles outlining the challenges Microsoft faces does not cover the recent anti-trust actions by the EU - DG Competition group. Even so, the series does paint a pretty gloomy scenario. Especially if you're a Microsoft shareholder. No doubt the IW guys are shorting Microsoft.

    All in all, this series is an accurate assessment except for one thing; they don't credit the strength of Microsoft's monopoly position and their ability to leverage the desktop monopoly into a full fledged "business" Web monopoly. MOSS (Microsoft Office - SharePoint Server) system is kicking ass, and the world is worried that browsers like Opera are not getting a fair shake on the desktop. Microsoft is a platform player, and you can't fight that at the application level.

    Connecting the desktop platform to backend relational and transaction servers defines the 1995 monopoly. Connecting the desktop platform to the Web platform will define the next big monopoly play. The EU has got to get off the application layer and out of the open standards vendor consortia if they are to stop this juggernaut.

    The reason they need to get out of the standards consortia and write/demand their own "advanced recommendations" - like WebKit, is the cleverness of Microsoft's "duality" approach. The target has to be that of restoring competition at the high end of collaborative Web computing, where Microsoft's proprietary WPF-.NET technologies rule. Any format, protocol, or interface used to connect platforms, applications or services must be open and available to all - including the reverse engineering rights.

    So far the EU has left me less than hopeful. I do however believe that WebKit can get the job done. It would be nice if the EU could at the least slow the beast of Redmond down.

    ~ge~
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    Response to the InformationWeek article "Remaking Microsoft: Get Out of Web Search!". Covers "The Myth of Google Enterprise Search", and the refusal of Google to implement or recognize W3C Semantic Web technologies. This refusal protects Google's proprietary search and categorization algorithms, but it opens the door wide for Microsoft Office editors to totally exploit the end-user semantic interface opportunities. If Microsoft can pull this off, they will take "search" to the Enterprise and beyond into every high end discipline using MSOffice to edit Web ready documents (private and public use). Also a bit about WebKit as the most disruptive technology Microsoft has faced since the advent of the Web.
Gary Edwards

Report: Companies Use Word Out of Habit, Not Necessity > Comments by ge - 0 views

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    I doubt that MSOffice ODF will make a difference. ODF was not designed to be compatible with MSOffice, and conversion from native binary to ODF will result in a serious loss of fidelity and business process markup. If the many ODF pilots are an indication, the real killer is that application specific processing logic will be lost on conversion even if it is Microsoft doing the conversion to ODF. This logic is expressed as scripts, macros, OLE, data binding, media binding, add-on specifics, and security settings.

    These components are vital to existing business processes. Besides, Microsoft will support ISO 26300, which is not compatible with the many aspects of ODF 1.2 currently implemented by most ODF applications.

    The most difficult barrier to entry is that of MSOffice bound business processes so vital to workgroups and day-to-day business systems. Maybe the report is right in saying that day-to-day business routines become habit, but not understanding the true nature of these barriers is certain to cloud our way forward. We need to dig deeper, as demonstrated by the many ODF pilot studies.
Gary Edwards

Can a file be ODF and Open XML at the same time? (and HTML? and a Java servlet? and a P... - 0 views

  • The recent bomb in the ODF world from Gary Edward’s claims that Sun successfully blocked the addition of features to ODF that would be needed for full interchange with Office are explosive not only because they demonstrate how ODF was (properly, in my view) developed to cope with the particular features of the participants, not really as a universal format, but also because the prop up Microsoft’s position that Open XML is required because it exposes particular features that ISO ODF is not capable of exposing. Both because ODF is still in progress and because sometimes the features are simply incompatible in the details.
  • Actually, ODF is about to get a new manifest along with the new metadata stuff. Because we base that on RDF, the manifest will also be RDF-based. It gives us the extensibility we want to provide (extension developers, for example, can add extra metadata they may need), without having to worry about breaking compatibility. The primary addition we've made is a mechanism to bind a stable URI to in-document content node ids and files. This is conceptually not all that different than what I see in OPC; it's just that the unique IDs are in fact URIs. Among other things, in the RDF context that allows further statements to be bound to those URIs.

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    What Bruce doesn't explain in this highlighted clip is that Sun decided to limit the "extra metadata" developer might need to just a handful of elements Sun and IBM needed to use in OpenOffice. The original OpenDocument Foundation metadata proposal was to open up the use of metadata to the extent that metadata could be used for all aspects of presentation (formatting AND layout!).
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    This vendor specific - application specific limiting ended the last hope we had for ODF interoperability and backwards compatibility with the billions of "in-process" MSOffice documents known to be populating business processes the world over. In fact, the problem ODF adoption faces is primarily that of MSOffice bound business processes, reflected in these billions of workgroup-workflow documents.
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    Proposal to have a standard packaging for combining application specific XML formats, Open HTML, and PDF. Great comments. This July 2007 article links to a January 2009 article: http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/01/packaging-formats-of-famous-ap.html
Gary Edwards

Interoperability, more and less | Bob Sutor's Website and Blog - 0 views

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    IBM'sl Bob Sutor defines interop in terms of formats, protocols and interfaces: "To be clear, I'm talking about software interoperability. That technically boils down to the formats used to exchange information, the protocols by which the formatted information is exchanged, and the application programming interfaces (APIs) that software implements to allow the interchange to concretely take place. Collectively I'll call these interchange formats and methods".
Gary Edwards

MIcrosot's latest kiss of death: ODF - 0 views

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    Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

    That's how Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) killed Netscape many moons ago. Embrace this newfangled "Web browser" market with a new product. Extend the existing Web standards with proprietary technologies like ActiveX. Extinguish the competition by denying them access to those fancy new features. When it works, this is a great way to build and maintain wide, alligator-filled business moats.

    It seems to me that Mr. Softy is up to his old tricks again. The target this time is the OpenDocument standard, a free and open alternative to Microsoft's own Office formats for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.
Gary Edwards

Document Interoperability Initiative: Appendix H - 0 views

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    Microsoft recently released their blueprint for implementing ISO 26300 (ODF 1.0 - dated May 1, 2005), and referenced this Web site. Appendix H is interesting in that it lists 13 of the 28 contributors sponsored by The OpenDocument Foundation. This contributor list contradicts the determined liars (er, editors) at Wikipedia who insist that The OpenDocument Foundation was two guys without a garage. The OpenDocument Foundation was founded in 2005 (shortly after OASIS approval of ODF 1.0) for the express purpose of balancing out the rapidly growing participation in the ODF technical committee of corporate contributors. IBM, Oracle, Novel, Intel and Adobe led a corporate wave joining the ODF TC following the May 2005 OASIS approval of ODF 1.0 and subsequent submission to ISO. The Foundation was set up to fund the participation of expert individuals representing both open source communities and groups interested in an Open Web future.
Gary Edwards

Microsoft Details Open Document Format Support For Office -- Microsoft Office -- Inform... - 0 views

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    With the release of documentation Tuesday describing the company's implementation of the Open Document Format in Office 2007 Service Pack 2, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) continues to deliver tangible results of a set of interoperability principles it announced in February 2008.
    Microsoft unveiled a Web site that goes into great detail about how Microsoft will implement ODF in Office, describing things like how Word does text formatting, how it determines and sets margins in ODF documents, or what font weight gradations describe bold and normal text. Though Microsoft doesn't have default ODF support in Office 2007, it will add support in Office 2007 SP2 (service pack 2).
Gary Edwards

Apache POI - Java API To Access Microsoft Format Files - 0 views

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    POI 3.5 beta 3, and Office Open XML Support (2008-07-18) now supported by Microsoft through the Document Interoperability Initiative Project (DII)

    The Apache POI Project is currently working to support the new Office Open XML file formats, such as XLSX and PPTX, which were introduced in Office 2007.

    The POI project consists of APIs for manipulating various file formats based upon Microsoft's OLE 2 Compound Document format, and Office OpenXML format, using pure Java. In short, you can read and write MS Excel files using Java. In addition, you can read and write MS Word and MS PowerPoint files using Java. POI is your Java Excel solution (for Excel 97-2007). However, we have a complete API for porting other OLE 2 Compound Document formats and welcome others to participate.

    OLE 2 Compound Document Format based files include most Microsoft Office files such as XLS and DOC as well as MFC serialization API based file formats.

    Office OpenXML Format based files include the new (2007+) xml based file formats, including Microsoft office files such as XLSX, DOCX and PPTX.
Gary Edwards

The Document Interoperability Initiative: "DII" - 0 views

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    Vendor - developer group sponsored by Microsoft ... "What's seriously lacking is a conversion or locking of scripts, macros, OLE, data - media bindings, and security settings .... the logic parts so important to any business process or productivity environment setting embedded in the original MSOffice document."
Gary Edwards

OpenXML Viewer Project - 0 views

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    Technology Considerations
    The Microsoft OpenXml Viewer is a cross browser cross OS plugin. The core of the application has to be OS independent. Therefore, the application is developed using C++.

    Future possibilities
    The generated html from the docx file can be rendered using silverlight and similar rich platforms. The same can be used in a server scenario to render docx files as html.
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    Interesting project based on an XSLT "one-way" conversion from OOXML to HTML. The conversion process will break any kind of business or application specific logic embedded in the document. There is a conversion of VML to SVG that i think will be important to watch.
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    What's seriously lacking is a conversion or locking of scripts, macros, OLE, data - media bindings, and security settings .... the logic parts so important to any business process or productivity environment setting embedded in the original MSOffice document.
Gary Edwards

Document Interoperability Initiative Demonstrates Momentum and Results: Industry collab... - 0 views

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    Through the Document Interoperability Initiative (DII) global forums, technology leaders have been working together to promote interoperability between different document format implementations to provide greater value and choice to customers, and the events - including one held in Belgium this week - are yielding practical results.
    Interoperability solutions announced today translate Open XML documents to a Web page (HTML) allowing readability on Web-friendly browsers such as Firefox, improve translations between different formats through optimized templates, and enable features that provide greater choice for customers and opportunities for independent software developers as they create and use business applications built on Java that manipulate business documents. At the DII events, discussions were also held about developing document test libraries and schema validators, and vendors had the opportunity to test their implementations of document formats in a lab environment to identify potential issues to be addressed.
Gary Edwards

Microsoft OOXML viewers, translators, SDK to help interop with Firefox and OpenOffice? - 0 views

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    On Dec 3, Microsoft officially announced the availability of its Open XML Document Viewer, Open XML/ODF Translators Version 2.5 and the Apache POI Java SDKfor OpenXML.
Gary Edwards

Next version of Office heads to the browser | Beyond Binary - A blog by Ina Fried - CNE... - 0 views

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    Microsoft will offer browser-based Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in two ways. For consumers, they will be offered via Microsoft's Office Live Web site, while businesses will be able to offer browser-based Office capabilities through Microsoft's SharePoint Server product.
    The company has been pushed into this arena by Google, which has been offering its free Google Apps programs for some time. In competing with Google, Microsoft is touting the ability to use Microsoft's familiar user interface, as well as the fact that all of the document's characteristics are preserved.
    "If you go into some competitive products right now and take a Word document in and then spit it out afterword, it's unrecognizable," Elop said. "You lose a lot of fidelity.
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