It was about time this was done!

Let me first thank Microsoft for releasing the actual specs of their office documents [NOTE: as of Feb 16 2008 0615GMT, only the Word format document is available]. See, I do have something nice to say about MS (hear that friends at MS Singapore?). After all these years, they have released the formats of their documents. In one sweep, we can reduce all the contention that has been the abortive attempt to impose a broken proposal on the world. With that now in the open, we can finally just kill off the ooxml. I propose that the line 1 of page 1 till last line of the last page of ooxml be canceled and say that it is now not necessary as we have the formats of all the “billions” of ms documents that can be migrated out of vendor lock-in into ODF.

Perhaps we should not bring out the champagne yet. We need to verify that these documents are indeed truly representative of their formats. I would like to trust Microsoft, but as Reagan once said, “trust, but verify”. For their sake, I hope they have released *everything*.

They are putting this out on their OSP which I think is GPLv2. Why don’t they just put it out on GPLv2?


  1. Not sure if OSP is/is the same/is based on GPLv2, but GPLv2 is not really meant for these. GFDL or a type of CC license is probably more appropriate.

    • Re: first one-minute view: incomplete
      Thanks, friend from Córdoba, Argentina! Reading the comments to Brian’s post, one does indeed get affirmed that the “trust but verify” way of working with Microsoft is fundamental. They are struggling to be “seen” to be working in a fair and ethical manner with the FOSS community, while trying to ensure that they keep some key, undocumented part for themselves.
      They also have launced a binary -> ooxml converter project on sourceforge. Once code starts to appear there, it would make it worthwhile to fork it and go from binary -> ODF instead. That would be a worthy project to lead!

      • Re: first one-minute view: incomplete
        You won’t see any objections from us there Harish, that is exactally what he code is going up on sourceforge for.
        If you want to commit the time to building a binary to ODF converter then knock yourself out.

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