Sunday, May 17, 2009

Microsoft's latest aggression on ODF, codenamed "cast lead"

Stéphane Rodriguez, May 2009

Previous articles :
- Beating a dead horse
- Follow up on Microsoft latest bullshit announcement
- Microsoft latest bullshit : native support of ODF in Office 2007
- Custom XML? What Custom XML?
- Backwards compatible? One more lie by omission
- Bad surprise in Microsoft Office binary documents : interoperability remains impossible
- Typical B.S. in technical articles about OOXML
- The truth about Microsoft Office compatibility
- OOXML is defective by design

Once again they did it. Microsoft is telling the world that they are improving interoperability across existing office formats and applications thanks to their native support for the ODF file format, a leading office file format based on existing ISO standards. But it could not be further from the truth.

Microsoft are actually killing ODF, like the digital nazis that they are. Kissinger is proud of their spiritual sons.

What kind of white phosphorus are they using ?

First they don't write to ODF but to a canada dry version that we shall call MS-ODF, a variant filled with countless exploding mines, thrown from the air like any coward would do. Namely they are implanting the proprietary Excel formula syntax right inside files expecting the ODF formula syntax as exposed by all the ODF compatible applications out there. Since formulas are used in many elements such as charts, conditional formattings and so on, it wrecks any serious spreadsheet.

Second this canada dry version only barely tries to look like ODF, by implementing a tiny subset of it (listed here for spreadsheets) and thereby making sure that it is a one-way trip only.

Third, and that is where it shows their true spirit, is that no matter how proprietary MS-ODF is, they make sure to read back what they write, and that alone, not what ODF applications write, thus faking the whole round-trip thing with utter lack of respect for actual users facing various files in their daily lives. In other words, it tells them they'd better keep using a Microsoft Office license and make a particular attention to only accepting MS-ODF files as correct or face the wrath of arbitrarily corrupt files. Here Microsoft is building 8-meter tall walls and every single user becomes a Palestinian.

It would not be so bad if Microsoft, the digital nazis of our time, had called this new proprietary file format MS-ODF, and put a new file extension to it,, or something like that. But calling MS-ODF .odf is all intentional, and fully budgeted by the neo-cons of the 4th reich, what they really do is steal the .odf brand, across the shell implementation. Which brings me to resistance.

How resistants should fight back the aggressor ? First, by telling the peaceful world the genocide that is being committed. Second, by making sure to distribute ODF applications that better take advantage of shell associations. Microsoft will not tell, but that is their achille heel.

Good luck!