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It's pretty simple what happened.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.67.74.208] on November 07, 2007 10:46 PM
The Foundation wanted to sell a plugin which converted Microsoft files "flawlessly". In order to do this, they extended ODF with various attributes to stuff with bits of RTF - at the time they called this the "dark matter".

The problem with such an extension is that no other ODF app (e.g., OpenOffice.org) will recognise it, and such extra data gets jettisoned if you open it in such an app. So, they tried to persuade the OASIS TC to make it mandatory that ODF compliant apps treat non-ODF extensions with kid gloves: to not change it, to re-save it out, and to somehow perform magic when the document is modified. Of course, that was unreasonable.

The OpenDocument Foundation was all about this RTF trick to make ODF documents save as much proprietary Office info as possible, and they readily admitted that no ODF app like OOo would be able to open such ODF documents and achieve the same formatting as in Word (which is obvious, really - all the real data was in the dark matter). So what we're hearing now is the clip-clop sound of this one-trick interop pony trotting down to the knacker's yard.

For all their talk of grand plans, all they ever produced was a Word plugin which essentially serialized RTF into XML, and this was supposed to be impressive. Serializing and storing Word data isn't hard, stuffing it into ODF documents is only moderately more complex. I rather think people will wait to see something a bit more interesting before they listen to any more hype and hot air.

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