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New York Decision On ODF Vs. OOXML Approaching 160

Posted by kdawson
from the choose-wisely-young-jedi dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "In August of 2007, the State of New York passed legislation requiring its CIO, Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, to gather information on the advantages and disadvantages of adopting either ODF or OOXML as a document standard, and to report her findings by 15 January 2008. As part of her duties under that legislation, the CIO issued a Request For Public Comment to get feedback on the topic. The deadline for that public comment is 28 December 2007 — so there is still time for the Slashdot crowd to be heard."
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New York Decision On ODF Vs. OOXML Approaching

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  • anybody? (Score:3, Funny)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:11PM (#21746896)
    Am I the only one surprised that this was actually posted here before the deadline?
    • Of course we're surprised. But don't let your surprise stop you objecting to "OOXMLWTF?"
    • Before the deadline, but after the announcement (...and to report her findings by 15 January 2007).
  • Write! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:13PM (#21746908) Journal

    If you don't do something as quick and simple as writing to ask for something, what right do you have to complain when you don't get it. If just a small fraction of the people here write in support of ODF, that will be a huge and impressive response.

    There's enough complaining about OOXML et al on this site. Put your money where you mouth is.
    • Re:Write! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:48PM (#21747232)
      what right do you have to complain when you don't get it

      Let's see - the NY taxpayers are already paying this CIO's (probably hefty) salary, and she is supposed to recommend that which is best for her constituents.

      From all the info I've seen regarding the matter, ODF and OOXML are two document standards. One was written by committee and has the support of multiple companies, organizations, and individuals. The other is written by a monopoly and has support of no one except MS and their paid shills.

      The fact is there is absolutely no reason for a government body to go with MS's lock-in format considering the technical merits of both, and most especially the past behavior of MS. OOXML is a pseudo-standard, purposefully obfuscated to keep the MS monopoly gravy-train running smoothly.

      If these government agencies can't start making no-brainer decisions in the interest of their constituents, perhaps it's time that these positions were simply abolished...

      • From all the info I've seen regarding the matter, ODF and OOXML are two document standards. One was written by committee and has the support of multiple companies, organizations, and individuals. The other is written by a monopoly and has support of no one except MS and their paid shills.

        That's not exactly a fair assessment. Microsoft's name-recognition alone carries quite a lot of weight with companies, organizations, and individuals.

        Although I don't particularly like Microsoft, if two salesmen were tryin

    • Re:Write! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:55PM (#21747284)
      The following are the minimal characteristics that a specification and its attendant documents must have in order to be considered an open standard:
              * The standard is adopted and will be maintained by a not-for-profit organization, and its ongoing development occurs on the basis of an open decision-making procedure available to all interested parties (consensus or majority decision etc.).
              * The standard has been published and the standard specification document is available either freely or at a nominal charge. It must be permissible to all to copy, distribute and use it for no fee or at a nominal fee.
              * The intellectual property - i.e. patents possibly present - of (parts of) the standard is made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis.
              * There are no constraints on the re-use of the standard.

      These commonly accepted criteria are enough to ignore the whole OOXML vs ODF discussions as OOXML patent licesing conditions only fake compliance. No one trusts the OSP and the CNS from Microsoft. And openness of the ongoing ISO process is a running gag.
    • by dpilot (134227)
      Any suggestions for how to phrase it if you're not a New York resident?

      This is a New York government function, they would be perfectly within their rights to throw away all input that isn't from New York residents. ...except of course for the "expert testimony" from Redmond, WA.
      • Re:Write! (Score:4, Funny)

        by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @11:34PM (#21747904) Homepage

        Any suggestions for how to phrase it if you're not a New York resident?

        How about this?

        Dear CIO;

        I'm not from New York, but I'm on the Internet. The same Internet that thinks Ron Paul, lolcats, and "2 girls 1 cup" are great, so I obviously know more than anyone technical.

        I don't know anything about your actual requirements, but you should pick ODF, because OOXML is from Microsoft. ODF 1.2 is in committee right now, and it will plug all those holes in ODF, like spreadsheet formulas not being specified, so don't let the fact that you can't do anything useful in the current version without lots of vendor-specific non-standard extensions bother you. Vote for Ron Paul!

        • Anyone who's a citizen knows enough about the requirements to make the fundamental point: that the information a government generates belongs to the people, and should not be tied up in a format that is controlled by a single organisation. OOXML is just such a format. More than that, it's a hugely stupid format, that no developer in their right (read: unbought) mind could possibly endorse.
          • Anyone who's a citizen knows enough about the requirements to make the fundamental point: that the information a government generates belongs to the people, and should not be tied up in a format that is controlled by a single organisation.

            The latter does not follow from the former.

            A responsible government should make the information it generates available to the people, for as long as it may be useful (which may be indefinitely). Whether they do this by publishing it in some popular electronic format(s), or by providing reference copies and any hardware/software necessary to read them at public libraries, or by posting a printed copy to every citizen, or through some combination of means, doesn't really matter. What counts is that the pe

            • Whether they do this by publishing it in some popular electronic format(s), or by providing reference copies and any hardware/software necessary to read them at public libraries, or by posting a printed copy to every citizen, or through some combination of means, doesn't really matter.

              Of course it matters! You've obviously never tried to interface different systems or to find some way of using legacy data that no one makes a reader for any more. When a commercial company goes bust (or deliberately shuts d

              • Of course it matters! You've obviously never tried to interface different systems or to find some way of using legacy data that no one makes a reader for any more. When a commercial company goes bust (or deliberately shuts down a division), all of the contracts you have for support are null and void.

                No, it really doesn't.

                No matter how "standard" some electronic format is today, it's still unlikely that 50 years from now your average home computer (or whatever the equivalent is by then) will read the legacy file format, or that any standard server (or whatever the equivalent is by then) will read the legacy physical media on which the original data resides. In the meantime, even if some business with a proprietary electronic file format goes bust, it's not like their software suddenly stops working,

                • No, it really doesn't.
                  No matter how "standard" some electronic format is today, it's still unlikely that 50 years from now your average home computer (or whatever the equivalent is by then) will read the legacy file format

                  Do you actually have any experience of government's need for historical archiving? It doesn't sound like it. Just go listen to Peter Quinn's speech on ODF, if you want some evidence against what you're saying.

                  As for it not being my problem. I'm a citizen. In a democracy, citizens are R

        • Sorry buddy, that' just your personal letter. The rest of us are not as generalizing and can separate Ron Paul from the internet, and realize the stupid humor in some things.
  • Being Diplomatic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:13PM (#21746914)
    Please folks, if you're going to comment on this issue be polite and don't use form letters. Refer to government open standards, how OOXML isn't a stable standard and is ungoing massive changes at Ecma, that kind of thing.

    Mostly though emphasis on the "polite" part. Imagine how persuasive someone can be when they're not a dick about it and when they just lay out some good clear arguments :)

    • Re:Being Diplomatic (Score:4, Informative)

      by kc2keo (694222) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:32PM (#21747086) Homepage
      correct... another words use constructive criticism should you add input before the decision is made. List the pros and cons and be clear and to the point. Its kind of like a resume... If the employer sees many misspelled words, way to long, or with a font thats hard to read, etc will be ignored. If I was to write in with feedback I would put what I want in bullet points and have the text bold. Under that I will argue the pros and cons etc... I would follow the same form throughout my commenting. I find it to be the best way to get your point across. Forgive my horrible comment grammer but I just wanted to add my comment to the discussion. Getting back to History final exam prep along with the Spanish one... :-(
      • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:49PM (#21747240) Homepage Journal
        "in other words" is not spelled "another words".
        Grammar on a final examination is as important as grammar in a letter to your congresscritter.
        May your professor mod up your exam score.
      • by Raenex (947668)
        Sentences end in a single period. "..." implies that you are trailing off and haven't completed your thoughts. Grammar (not "grammer") and spelling is important in getting your message across on Slashdot, too.
    • Re:Being Diplomatic (Score:5, Informative)

      by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @11:44PM (#21747974) Homepage

      Refer to government open standards, how OOXML isn't a stable standard and is ungoing massive changes at Ecma

      The problem with that is that ODF is also undergoing massive changes. The version currently working its way through standardization adds the OpenFormula spec to ODF, which is something like 25% of the size of ODF. That's a pretty massive change!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        There is a huge difference between changing the existing spec, so your old code is suddenly incompatible and extending an existing spec. There was no description for formulas, now there is.
      • by Cyclops (1852)
        "the problem"? "problem"? 25% more of nearly 700 pages (to add formulas) is 175 pages more, making it about 850 pages total. OOXML has over 6000 pages just in the direct information, which is absolutely lacking.

        Plus: that's nearly 700 pages that are reutilized , so the bulk is just a few pages, most of which is already compatible with Excel's formulas (minus the bugs, I hope) and as such already used by software such as GNUmeric or OpenOffice.org

        That's not a problem, that's a relief! It would be a problem i
    • by gartogg (317481)
      Also, answer the question. More important than politeness is what you respond to. Maybe our discussion here on Slashdot could even center around the actual issues they are considering. (And by the way, Point 1 probably means "we don't care about out of state, ill-informed public opinion, only about those who either have qualifications, or vested interests because they interact with this state government.")

      (And the correct url is http://www.oft.state.ny.us/News/erecords-study.htm [state.ny.us])

      From the site:

      With those cav
  • When is.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:14PM (#21746924)
    When is a standard not a standard?

    Perhaps... it's when the company who wrote it won't pass it over to standards bodies [slashdot.org].

    Perhaps we ought to have "varying" standards for road design... or we should have ever-changing standards for building construction.

    Considering this is public documents are at stake, it is our history. It is no less important than safety.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      or we should have ever-changing standards for building construction.
      Like we don't now? Standards change all the time due to problems, mistakes, unforeseen circumstances, etc. There are many good arguments against OOXML, but this is not one of them. A standard set in stone is soon irrelevant.
    • by jd (1658)
      Perhaps we ought to have "varying" standards for road design... or we should have ever-changing standards for building construction.

      South Carolina doesn't give even highways a foundation - their roads are built on piles of sand, with maybe a little gravel crushed on top. Not even the three-layer roads of Macadam and nowhere near the five-layers of Telford. As for building construction, building codes change after disasters (rarely before, when it might have been useful) and aren't exactly impressive. Part

    • Re:When is.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @11:47PM (#21747986) Homepage
      So when is Sun going to turn control of ODF over to a standards body? (There is a difference between letting a standards body approve a particular version, and turning control over).

      There are zillions of things wrong with OOXML, so why do people keep picking things that are ALSO problems with ODF? It would be a lot more effective to pick those areas where ODF is actually different and better, and push those.

      • ---So when is Sun going to turn control of ODF over to a standards body?

        They don't have to. The source is opened and what ODF is has been released to the community at large.

        Anybody with the appropriate manpower can effectively freeze what ODF is.. just call it GAODF- government approved ODF.
        • They don't have to. The source is opened and what ODF is has been released to the community at large

          That's not quite correct. ODF is covered by Sun patents. They have made those patents available for free under a license that covers ODF 1.0, plus any future versions whose development Sun participates in past the point where OASIS would require a patent license. (You can find the complete text of the license at the OASIS web site if you want to see for yourself). So, future versions have to have Sun parti

      • by Carewolf (581105)
        Sun turned the control of ODF over to a standards body a long long time ago, before it was even a standard. This is what made it much easier to pass the ISO process than OOXML.
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:15PM (#21746930)
    ...I've just about given up on politicians in this state. Albany has not been able to pass an on time budget for...actually, I don't think I was even born the last time they passed an on time budget. Governor Pataki was a union-busting asshole, and Governor Spitzer has failed to fulfill his promise of restoring integrity to Albany. Hillary Clinton votes for one idiotic bill after another, and Chuck Schumer voted in favor of Mukasey (need I say more?).
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Albany has not been able to pass... Governor Pataki was a union-busting asshole... Governor Spitzer has failed... Hillary Clinton votes for one idiotic bill... Chuck Schumer...

      Which means now is definitely NOT the time to give up.
    • by calebt3 (1098475)
      IIRC, California hasn't passed a budget on time for 20 years (I think).
  • would the gathering of requirements not work out better if the deadline were in 1 month from now, not 11 months before now?
    • by slomike1 (1125421)
      It sounds like the backwards many things work in New York. Report the findings first (Jan 2007), then collect the data (Dec 2007).
  • by webmaster404 (1148909) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:23PM (#21747008)
    Not even Windows users like OOXML. Even the ones with Office 2007 usually save into .doc format. I don't see why we can't just go with plain old .doc. Sure it isn't as "open" as ODF, but OOo and Office can read them well enough (now if I got to make the plans, it would just be plain .txt, fast and easy to read, who needs formatting) to see what they are saying. But OOXML just plain isn't adopted anywhere, it lacks support for non Windows platforms and no one really knows what the "standard" actually is, and knowing MS's previous actions, they will soon "extend" OOXML to have "features" that will make the free/open source document readers have yet another thing to deal with. So why can't they go with .doc? Or better yet HTML? Even .txt would be better then OOXML, even though ODF is nice, Windows systems with Office need "plugins" to view them.
    • by corsec67 (627446) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:28PM (#21747056) Homepage Journal
      Which version of .doc?
      They are fairly incompatable, and not even Office can open all of the versions correctly:
      95, 2000, XP, 2003?
      There is no "doc" standard, it is just the memory dump of the version of Office, which changes with each release, and that is the problem.

      TXT would indeed be better, if only because it isn't going to change in the future.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sodki (621717)

        TXT would indeed be better, if only because it isn't going to change in the future.

        What kind of TXT? ANSI? Unicode? UTF-16? Big endian? Little endian? etc, etc.. I know, my examples are probably wrong, but the point isn't.
        • by corsec67 (627446)
          I think UTF-8 and UTF-16 specify the endian-ness, but you do have to choose an encoding for the "text" document, you are very much correct there.
      • by evilviper (135110)

        TXT would indeed be better, if only because it isn't going to change in the future.

        Notepad in Windows XP forces you to chose between 3 different text formats (with useless names), and there really are many, many more.
      • There is no "doc" standard, it is just the memory dump of the version of Office

        I keep seeing this repeated everywhere, but, same as with many things considered "common wisdom" on Slashdot, was not able to find any authoritative reference to back the fact. In fact, for one thing, it is definite that .doc is a COM Structured Storage file [wikipedia.org] - so it's certainly not exactly a plain memory dump. Knowing how structured storage is usually used, it's most likely a serialized graph of COM objects. Anyone care to find

    • by Heir Of The Mess (939658) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:37PM (#21747130) Homepage

      I know the parent is probably going to get modded into oblivion, but they made an interesting point that will probably be missed. Why do we need to store all the information in a fully formatted document. I know that good ol' A4...or American Letter standard will persist for a long time, but surely if it's just the information we need to retain there would be a better way of storing it without all the formatting cruft thrown in that makes it hard to decipher if you don't have a massive spec to write a loader from.

      Afterall everyone here is mainly worried about retaining the information in a format that is readable by future generations right? right!?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by webmaster404 (1148909)
        That is a good point... Just look at the floppy disks, there is lots of them yet readers are hard to find for non 3.5 sized ones. The same could happen to OOXML and other propriatary formats.
        • by socsoc (1116769)
          Except that floppy disks require unique hardware to read them. I'm against OOXML, but soft formats would not suffer in the same manner as floppies.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mabhatter654 (561290)
          ODF at its heart is a zipped folder of unicode formated text files. In 10 years when nobody cares you can still fire up a perl parser and run thru the files in a standard fashion to pick out your data. OOXML doesn't ever guarantee you will get by with anything less than a full office suite.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You're missing the point entirely. OOo can read .doc files without plugins because the formats were reverse engineered and are included as part of the OOo install. It's far from perfect however, because there's still a lot of missing puzzle pieces that haven't been figured out; but the fact of the matter is, MS Office is such a juggernaut that if OOo couldn't read .doc files, OOo would be long dead by now.

      Here's the rub; ODF is open, but even though Microsoft doesn't have to go through the trouble of revers
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I don't see why we can't just go with plain old .doc. Sure it isn't as "open" as ODF, but OOo and Office can read them well enough (now if I got to make the plans, it would just be plain .txt, fast and easy to read, who needs formatting) to see what they are saying.

      There are too many, different versions of .doc and no, the majority of programs cannot read and write them "well enough" now. Anyone who's ever managed an archive of documents has probably run into .doc files that cannot be opened by any currently available version of Word. One of the things ODF is solving is the security to know in another 5 years you'll still be able to open your files. The .doc format mess does not provide that security.

      So why can't they go with .doc?

      If the reasons I mentioned above are not enough, it is anti-com

      • HTML does not handle all the use cases of office documents smoothly and is a pretty terrible format for exchanging documents since in many cases you'd be exchanging entire directories of files instead of a single file since all the resources in HTML are stored by reference.

        I wholeheartedly agree that HTML isn't really the optimal format for document exchange, and your first point (that it doesn't handle all the necessary use cases) is quite valid. However, the latter point is not necessarily a big problem. Everybody and their dog has an implementation of zip by now, so something as trivial as a zip file with an index.html file and a resources/ directory with all the needed external stuff would be a pretty open and portable way to address the issue. Also, refer to the Apple

        • I wholeheartedly agree that HTML isn't really the optimal format for document exchange, and your first point (that it doesn't handle all the necessary use cases) is quite valid. However, the latter point is not necessarily a big problem. Everybody and their dog has an implementation of zip by now, so something as trivial as a zip file with an index.html file and a resources/ directory with all the needed external stuff would be a pretty open and portable way to address the issue.

          So you're saying if only there were a format that was a superset of HTML (like XML) and would provide the needed functions and it and its resources were organized into a standard set of directories and then zipped up that would work? (I'm being a bit sarcastic here, since that is a pretty good description of what ODF is.) Rename a .odf file to .zip and you can unzip it and browse through the "pictures" directory easily.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:29PM (#21747068)
    Fuck all these document formats. XHTML, CSS, PNG, SVG and PDF work just fine for displaying virtually any sort of data.

    XHTML is the container. It allows for textual documentation to be represented, and allows for other data representations to be embedded within that container. Its native support for tables makes it usable even as a spreadsheet (which can be powered by JavaScript).

    CSS allows for very complex document layout and stylings to specified with ease and conciseness.

    SVG can represent nearly all vector-based pictorials, including many forms of graphs. Bar charts are easily represented with rectangles, and a pie chart is easily represented as a collection of filled arcs. SVG's scalability allows for these charts to be resized really easily.

    PNG images can be used for all other images that aren't best represented using SVG.

    PDF is the perfect format for bundling all of those other resources together in a medium that displays on almost any system.

    Best of all, those are all open standards, with free implementations available for almost every operating system and platform. There's just no need for this ODF and OOXML bullshit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mmcuh (1088773)
      Except that no one would want to use a JavaScript-powered spreadsheet for anything more advanced that a few simple arithmetic formulas. But sure, as an interchange format it would probably work. Everyone can get their hands on a free standards-compliant browser.
    • by Ghaoth (1196241)
      XHTML is a standard. CSS is a standard. PNG is a standard, ODF is a standard. etc. The issue here is that public documents need to be written in an open and globally agreed upon standard, not a proprietary one owned by one or more companies that can revoke or change the standard without consultation and agreement.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      In case you didn't know, ODF is basically just what you mentioned. If you rename your ODF file to .zip, you can open it and see all those files inside. It doesn't use XHTML, but it does use XML to store the document text and structure. It stores all the style information in another XML document, and it stores all the pictures in a folder called Pictures. All this is wrapped up in a little zip file.
      • Interestingly, this is pretty much what OOXML does too--directories containing XML for text/structure and binary files for images, movies, etc. zipped up and renamed docx/xlsx/pptx.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cafelatte (99544)
      Ask yourself this question: "Which format would be acceptable by a book publisher?" Books have table of contents, footnotes and indexes. Depending on the typeface size and page width, the footnotes can vary on which page they're on the bottom of. The file formats you mentioned doesn't accommodate this requirement. But you make a good point, those formats should be used more often.
      • PDF (Score:3, Informative)

        by blueZ3 (744446)
        I work in publishing, and the format that we generally use is PDF, for just the reason you state. The typeface, page sizes, etc. are all contained in the PDF file, so there's no problem with footnotes moving pages, because the contents of the pages are fixed in the file.

        I wish PDF were completely open and that we could convince everyone who distributes documents to use PDF for that purpose. All the problems you mention are just as troublesome when opening a Word file on two different machines (which is why
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xouumalperxe (815707)

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are several issues with the idea you posted.

      PDF is a great format for publication, but crap for information exchange. You need some sort of "work format" to do the heavy lifting for you before you can commit the document to its published .pdf form. Regarding that "work format", I'll assume that by "XHTML" you actually meant "XML", since the latter is a general purpose mark-up language, and the former a domain-specific application of the latter, and this whole discussi

    • XHTML, CSS, PNG, SVG and PDF work just fine for displaying virtually any sort of data.
      Yes, they do.. NOW.

      What about in 10 years time, or 100 years time then the W3C spec have changed, or your HTML files on the census of people in NY for the year 2007 don't display correctly anymore.

      It's not about today, it's about tomorrow and the next day.
      • by canuck57 (662392)

        What about in 10 years time, or 100 years time then the W3C spec have changed, or your HTML files on the census of people in NY for the year 2007 don't display correctly anymore.

        That is very true. It is unlikely a web document written today will render well, even in as little as 10 years.

        However, if in a 100% open well defined (no fuzziness) specification, there will be relatively lossless converters that can be run over the data to convert it with minimal effort.

        If in a spec like MOOXML, there is suff

  • by kseise (1012927) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:32PM (#21747084)
    Was she required to invent a time machine to meet that deadline? ""In August of 2007, the State of New York passed legislation requiring its CIO, Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, to gather information on the advantages and disadvantages of adopting either ODF or OOXML as a document standard, and to report her findings by 15 January 2007. "
  • is when Microsoft is going to stop the shennannigans and start playing ball with the rest of the world.

    Can someone tell me when the last time they tried to compete on innovation rather than vendor lock-in?

    Can someone make the argument that OOXML is all about document protection for the consumer and not about keeping everyone else on the run?

    Can someone tell me that Vista was supposed to make everything better for the USER?

    Can someone tell me why I need DRM in my life?

    Can someone tell me that C# is open and
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ls -la (937805)

      is when Microsoft is going to stop the shennannigans and start playing ball with the rest of the world.

      When they stop making money off of shenanigans. Innovation takes time and money, it's cheaper to copy other people.

      Can someone tell me when the last time they tried to compete on innovation rather than vendor lock-in?

      I'm pretty sure that was before I was born.

      Can someone make the argument that OOXML is all about document protection for the consumer and not about keeping everyone else on the run?

      Probably, but I doubt it would be a very compelling argument.

      Can someone tell me that Vista was supposed to make everything better for the USER?

      Well, it's supposedly more secure...

      Can someone tell me why I need DRM in my life?

      I'm sorry, it's not your life. Read the EULA on the last piece of music you heard: "We, the RIAA own your soul. By listening to any music in any form, you agree to this binding contract."

      Can someone tell me that C# is open and not proprietary? It only runs on one platform, theirs? How is that better than writing natively? The UI is only for IE with .NET? Why would I want Silverlight over Flash?

      Does Microsoft even pretend C# is open? If so, is it covered

    • by th3rmite (938737)

      Can someone tell me that C# is open and not proprietary? It only runs on one platform, theirs? How is that better than writing natively?

      I'm no MS fan but check this link Mono [mono-project.com]

    • by ekhben (628371)

      *cracks knuckles* Ok!

      1. is when Microsoft is going to stop the shennannigans and start playing ball with the rest of the world.
        When it's no longer profitable to play shenanigans. Which has two fewer 'n's in it, by the way... Firefox has an auto spell checker built right in these days, y'know.
      2. Can someone tell me when the last time they tried to compete on innovation rather than vendor lock-in?
        The XBOX line of products, off the top of my head.
      3. Can someone make the argument that OOXML is all about
  • I think someone should notify Cleveland [cleveland.oh.us] that Melodie is the CIO of New York now.
  • report her findings by 15 January 2007
    Jeeves, break-out the Time Machine
  • by Vengance Daemon (946173) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @10:59PM (#21747688)
    Think about it: New York, politics, Microsoft's money, the need for an objective decision. It is just so cute that everyone on Slashdot is discussing this seriously and talking about sending comments in; I wish I had a camera.
  • Who cares what CIO Mayberry-Stewart decides? Standards are decided by international committees and not by individual states within a country. The future of OOXML and it becoming a standard rests with the ISO. Even then the ISO has published many standards that just sit on the shelf and are never implemented by anyone. Standardization doesn't equal adoption!
    • You do (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Titoxd (1116095) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @01:03AM (#21748422) Homepage
      You answered your own question. Standardization does not equal adoption, but the State of New York is asking its CIO which format it should adopt. PDF became popular and a de-facto standard before ISO 32000 was approved, so it is important to note that a government is asking for public comment about which format to implement, regardless of ISO status.
  • by osssmkatz (734824)
    anything you print can be made into a pdf with all the formatting exactly retained from the original. I also like RTF.. remember that? Word actually saves into it, rather well, although MS uses curly quotes to screw other competitors' translators up.. I got the idea for PDF because Sun Microsystems has new server software that will convert several formats into PDF, including I assume word and wordperfect.

    --Sam
  • Dear New York,

    I would like it realy realy much if you would use Microsoft one, because that would help my cause much better. As we have a history together, I am sure you will do this.

    O. B. Laden

    Then IF they select for Microsoft you can suddenly 'produce' the email/letter and those who choose for Microsoft will be send to Guantanamo and be an example for the rest of the USofA.
  • The page linked in the article comes up not found. I'm a NY resident, I want to put in my 2 cents - how the hell do I do it?

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

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