14 August 2006

What's it Open *for*?

I was scrolling through an ElReg article linked from Lxer on ODF vs XMLRS (Microsoft’s answer to ODF), when I stumbled across a link to another blog (apparently since unlinked) which asked an important question:

What job does each do?

That could sound odd, since each purports to be an Open document standard, but it’s a very real question.

ODF was indeed written into OpenOffice as a literally Open document format (and their default), whereas XMLRS’ primary purpose is to support o single office suite by making it look more accessible.

The consequences will become more obvious with time, but we’re being asked to decide between them now (or soon). The ’blog mentions that they’re aimed at the same job — sorta — and makes the point that our decision should be based on what each format was designed for.

If we want to live in a MS-controlled (MS-owned) world, then XMLRC is appropriate, but otherwise ODF is the clear winner.

It’s a question which is too-seldom asked: “What is it for?’

My choice is obvious, how is yours?

1 comment:

Leon Brooks said...

Uh, the XMLRC spec is about 2.5 times as large as ODF. Some of that will be due to incorporating ancient formatting barnacles (ie, more exceptions to consider), but most of it is not.