From: Martin Sevior (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 17 2003 - 21:51:31 EDT
On Thu, 2003-09-18 at 07:42, M. Fioretti wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 28, 2003 16:22:55 at 04:22:55PM +0100, Alan Horkan (email@example.com) wrote:
> > > KOffice will switch to OpenOffice.org file format "We will switch
> > > to the OASIS (OpenOffice.org) file format for all the major
> > > applications. This has many advantages:
> > >
> > > * file format shared with the OpenOffice.org suite,
> > > we don't have to reinvent the wheel
> > > * we'll be able to drop our OOo import filters and
> > > * we can actively participate in the standard file
> > > format creation in the the case of Kexi and Kugar
> > http://abisource.com/mailinglists/abiword-dev/2003/Apr/0161.html
> > Abiword and the OASIS/OpenOffice file formats have been brought up a few
> > times, the most recent one that I can remember is as a result of questions
> > from Marco Fioretti see the above link. (I have CC'ed him as he may no
> > longer be subscribed to the list).
> First of all, hello, and thanks for AbiWord 2.0.
> In the second place, thanks to Alan who CC'ed me. I have never
> unsubscribed since that question of mine, because I think AbiWord is
> necessary. I didn't answer before because up to my hair in other
> things, both professional and private.
> Back to the OASIS issue now.
> Predictably, I am extremely happy to hear these news from KOffice. I
> am also extremely happy that AbiWord can set it as default
> save-format. I feel this way for two kinds of reasons. The first is
> efficiency (as in saving coding time), and equal opportunities for all
> developers to contribute where it really matters. This corresponds to
> the three bullets I copied above.
> The second and most important reason is that this is wonderful for end
> users. I refer here always to the format on disk, not to how any
> program structures data internally to work on them at run time
> (piecetable, right?). You all explained to me very well in that thread
> last april how and why the two things are different, and I have no
> problem with that.
> For the end users all that matters is that whatever is saved on disk
> or emailed can be *fully* interpreted when opened with another app,
> and that this continues to happen when the filed is edited time and
> again with different programs. This is really Free speech,
> cooperation, communication, understanding, better business, time
> saving and much more. A bunch of good things just too great and
> important to discuss whether it really is the best possible technical
> solution. Even if true, the right way to change it is by changing the
> standard. No progress is lost if file formats change much less
> frequently than applications.
> My not really humble opinion on this remains that the world does need
> and can afford as many apps and GUIs as people, but that it needs the
> smallest possible number of file formats for each type of
> content. Keeping another format because OASIS XML is not the most
> efficient choice for this or that sounds to me like proposing to draw
> the letter A in another way because it feels better.
> I say this not to dismiss the wonderful work that you are doing. Take
> this as a demonstration that I consider the application and the format
> (on disk again) as things that must be kept separated. The freedom to
> program whatever you like however you like is not put in discussion.
> If one wants his application to be really useful to the greatest
> number of people however he should take this approach.
> I had private discussions with members of this list about how
> "uncooperative", shall we say, some developers of other office suites
> are, and about why one should really work with them or use their
> stuff. Sorry if I couldn't answer before, however see above.
> Programmers are humans, all make mistakes or have some relation
> problem sometime. Programming for one's ego is perfectly OK,
> programming for users, if this is what one likes, requires ignoring
> these things. Ignore their code, ignore their spelling checker and
> their comments on other spelling checkers. But do whatever you can to
> provide *one* disk file format, and possibly *one* dictionary file.
> I'll repeat the same things to those other programmers as soon as
> Oh, I almost forgot. The article for which I showed up here in April
> was put on hold, but the editor asked me last week to update it
> because he wants to publish it now. May I ask you to take another
> short look at that request (link above) and come back with anything
> that changed since then, as far as AbiWord is concerned?
Thank you very much for your email. Regarding a file
interchange format. I really don't understand why everyone keeps harping
on about OASIS. Their is a perfectly good interface format already in
widespread use supported by every word processor worthy of the name.
It's open, it's fully documented, it has a large developer community
already. Many 3rd and 4th party suppliers of documentation use it.
It's Rich Text Format, (RTF). Fully supported by MicroSoft, Word
Perfect, Lotus, OOo, AbiWord, Applix, Applewrite, Kword (as much they
support anything) and umpteen other Word Processors.
>From the point of view of ordinary users, if everybody used RTF there
would be no problem at all. And in fact everyone does.
So while I'm always happy to have AbiWord support more formats, I don't
see OASIS as the Nirvana others appear to.
(Good luck trying to get MS to support OASIS)
> Thank you for your time,
> Marco Fioretti
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