Sun To Ship "highly optimised build of OpenOffice.org as a conversion engine" as Plug-In to MSFT Word
Great news today. Sun has announced that it will make available a plug-in for Microsoft Office that adds seamless support for ISO/IEC 26300 OpenDocument format. It works by using a highly optimised build of OpenOffice.org as a conversion engine and then inserting code into Word that adds ODF as just another peer file format, so that users can open and save ODF files just they way they would expect to, the same way as RTF, Doc and any other file format. You can even set ODF as the default file format.
Okay, so I have to take issue with the “No unmaintainable XSLT.” comment further down the post, but that should be expected from someone in whom looks at XSLT and sees art, where others see tin-foil (you may not get that, and if you don’t, I wouldn’t stress over it… it’s not that funny ;)
Beyond Simon’s obvious lack of appreciation for XSLT, when companies are making an effort to make peoples lives better, more efficient, and ultimately more productive, you have to throw them props, and it seems to me that’s exactly what Sun has done with this announcement. And let’s be honest… who couldn’t trust a face like this,
Good on ya, Sun!.
Quick-Update: As I recently pointed out in a follow-up to my ODF vs. EOOXML post, I have a lot of respect for Simon Phipps. Now one might look at that and think “Simon is just as critical of MSFT and EOOXML as anyone else, if not more so” and find themselves scratching their head as to why then would I be making such a claim.
The answer is simple,
Microsoft patents BlueJ
This is pretty disgusting behaviour from the monopolist. “After blatantly copying BlueJ (without reference or attribution), Microsoft have now filed for patent for the functionality they knowingly copied from us.”
Update: It’s not just my view, Microsoft admits it…
Update 2: Excellent news - Microsoft withdraws the threat and apologises. Kudos to their team.
In other words, I could care less if you are critical of MSFT if being critical is exactly what they deserve. It’s those who have been critical that are responsible for helping to bring about the changes for good over the past five years. What bothers me is when there are those who will not let go of the criticism, even after they have won, looking instead to find even more criticism for doing what was being requested of them in the original critique.
Critic: “Open up and standardize your document formats”
Critic: “We don’t want your stinkin’ open document formats!”
I’ve noticed that as critical as Simon can be, like the example from above, he also makes note of the times when MSFT has done the right thing. He’s also leads the OSS efforts of one of MSFT’s competitors — (update: actually his job is to lead the OSS efforts of Sun, but like every other job on the planet, part of what is expected of you ->)
his job is to find and expose flaws in the competition… That’s part of doing business, and is to be expected. What’s not to be expected is to then turn around and state “good on ya for doing the right thing” when in fact thats exactly what takes place, and it’s for this reason that I state that I have a lot of respect and trust for Simon. It’s for good reason, in my opinion.