It is interesting to witness vocal minority who insist Open XML and ODF become the same format. It must cause them terrible heartburn to know that their recommendation comes against the wishes of the ODF Editor. And yes, Rob, this is Mr. Durusau speaking as “the editor of OpenDocument.” So much for fine distinctions.
Mr. Patrick Durusau is again making his position on the issue clear:
“As the editor of OpenDocument, I want to promote OpenDocument, extol its features, urge the widest use of it as possible, none of which is accomplished by the anti-OpenXML position in ISO. Passage of OpenXML in ISO is going to benefit OpenDocument as much as anyone else. Here are some specifics:
OpenDocument currently lacks formula definitions for spreadsheets. (To appear in OpenDocument 1.2.) Many core financial functions in spreadsheets are undefined except for actual Excel output. That output varies by version and service pack of MS Office. What happens if OpenDocument and OpenXML reach different definitions of those functions?
OpenDocument does not presently support legacy features of Microsoft formats. That will be easier with a formal definition of those features. Without OpenXML, OpenDocument has no authoritative definition of those legacy features. That delays OpenDocument supporting them in some future release.
OpenDocument does not have a robust mapping to the current Microsoft format. That requires an OpenXML that has completed the standards process. If OpenXML is unclear, it must be fixed in order to create a robust mapping between the two.
The bottom line is that OpenDocument, among others, will lose if OpenXML loses.
Covington, 24 March 2008