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HI :)
I can't believe i hadn't said that earlier!!  It was a great "press
release" :))

Almost all the comments, around 80-90% were extremely pro-ODF and
almost all of those were also anti-OOXML.

The 10-20% pro-OOXML comments almost entirely conceded that ODF should
be used but that OOXML should be included, in some cases just for a
restricted period to allow a smoother migration.  ALL such comments
were met with replies that covered;
1.  pointed out that MS Office itself and almost all other office
suites and programs can easily produce or convert to ODF
2.  that having 2 standards made the proposal pointless and a complete
waste of time
3.  that OOXML failed to achieve many of the stated aims of the
proposal especially the aim of allowing everyone to open government
documents without having to pay to buy/rent new versions of software
to do so.
or at least 2 out of 3 of those in some combination or other.  Most
times that was done already by someone other than me but i covered the
few comments that seemed to have been missed by other people.

One common bit of FUD that kept appearing was that people seem to
think each different office suite or program has it's own different
format. That got dealt with quite neatly each time.  A few comments
pointed out that Google-docs doesn't use ODF.  However Google
themselves posted there own statement saying that they support this
proposal to use ODF.

Some stats that i found interesting;

Microsoft's statement had 11,000 words and didn't go against using
ODF, just demanded that OOXML got added as a 2nd format.  1st reply
was quite swift and very critical.  None of the replies supported MS
despite their "call to arms" posted to their partners.  There were a
few fresh posts that quoted and supported them but not many.  Mostly
when it got quoted it was to criticise MS.

TDF's statement had under 900 words
Redhat's had around 500 (i think)

[There were "press release" type comments from other organisations
almost entirely in support of ODF but those were the only 2 that i
really noticed and still remember.]

Google's statement had around 80 words but it was more a response to
other comments rather than the type of press release made by the

Most pro-ODF press releases had replies supporting them and were
quoted elsewhere, particularly the TDF statement which seemed to be
very well received.  (I might be a tad biased there but i was trying
to be objective)

As was pointed out several times the OOXML ISO format's spec ran to
7,000 pages.  The ODF's ISO spec was variously quote as 1,200 or 800
pages.  Either way at least 6 times smaller!

Also it was quite often pointed out that OOXML's promise of
interoperability never seems to have worked in reality and that even
MS Office doesn't seem to use the ISO version of the spec and makes
excuses such as 2007 and 2010 using different "transitional" versions.
 That by contrast the ODF formats have been in use by many for quite a
few years.  Some comments pointed out that the "strict" OOXML in 2013
was not the default and still didn't appear to be the same as the ISO
version.  1 or 2 pointed out that OOXML contains proprietary blobs and
that's why no-one except MS can implement it.

So, i learned TONS from reading other people's comments.  Most of
which i kinda trust because they often explained problems that people
have brought to the Users List or seen or experienced elsewhere
("transitional" vs "strict" for example) and also why it's such a
problem for non-MS suites and programs to implement OOXML reliably.
Of course i'd still need to confirm much of that through external
reading but it gave me a LOT of good starting points to research such
issues.  Also a few posts gave great links to external resources.

All VERY interesting!

Annoyingly the final post of the whole consultation postulated that if
the proposal IS accepted and IF anyone attempted to implement it that
the Uk government might then find itself involved in protracted
court-cases brought on by one of the most powerful companies on the
planet, Microsoft.

My personal opinions on that and the rest ...
So, now we just wait and see if the Uk does dare to accept the
proposal or if the government turns out to be weak and ineffectual.
Based on past performance my guess is that it will crumble and just go
along with supporting MS's apparently (but rarely recognised)
extortionate prices.

However, even if the Uk government does feel to weak to challenge MS
at least we have seen a first attempt by them and maybe in 10 years
time (which is apparently the soonest time they can reassess again)
then it might finally be able to break free then (assuming MS is still
around then).

Hopefully other governments will be able to see that the attempt was
made and that through failure ensured that the Uk continues to pay far
more than any other European Government on IT and has the lowest
performance as a result.  Meanwhile other governments that HAVE
ALREADY broken free or that DO break freak free continue to find huge
cost-savings, plummeting costs and rapidly as a result.

Good luck all!
Regards from
Tom :)

On 2 March 2014 06:33, Marc Paré <> wrote:
Le 26/02/14 04:48 PM, Charles-H. Schulz a écrit :

... may be found here:


Nice article by Italo. Thanks to Italo for voicing the qualities of the


Marc Paré Supports OpenDocument Formats (ODF) Supports

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