Last week, I wrote a blog entry that discussed Corel's mysterious withdrawl of its support of the OpenDocument standard and FUDbusted rumors that an ancient investment in Corel by Microsoft may have had something to do with it. Today, OpenOffice.org representative Gary Edwards wrote me an e-mail with the following update:
From: Gary Edwards
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2005 11:27 AM
To: David Berlind
Subject: The return of Corel
FYi. Paul Langille, the legendary WordPerfect - Corel Office developer who served on the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee (TC) during the first 18 months of phase I work, has returned. He logged into the Monday morning conference call, announcing the return of Corel to OpenDocument.
There is no doubt in my mind that Paul had WordPerfect Office ready to go OpenDocument at the time of Venture Capital's take over (which was just weeks before Corel's last release). We'll probably never know for sure what happened, and Paul is so damn professional, he would never talk about it. The first thing Venture did when they took over was to cancel XML in Corel Office, and sell off the enterprise XML tools such as XMetal. Tom Magliery of the XMetal team, had also represented Corel on the OpenDocument TC. He went with XMetal to Blast Radius Inc., continuing his work on the ODF TC until a few weeks ago. Tom was on the original XML 1.0 workgroup, and the original Mosaic Browser team.
We do live in interesting times. Paul pushed for and wrote the OpenDocument SVG implementation. He really knows his stuff, and, reluctant though they might be, Corel is taking action.
I asked Edwards for his permission to reprint the e-mail and he said it was OK but but also added one clarification. Wrote Edwards, "Mycomments about Paul having WordPerfect ready to go are pure speculation, based on the obvious. That is, given the the discussions that took place at the ODF TC, it's obvious Paul had previously worked through almost every XML issue confronting the TC."