Corel confirms OpenDocument commitment. Novell's 'in' too

Corel confirms OpenDocument commitment. Novell's 'in' too

Summary: While Dan Farber was busy getting comment from Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie regarding the chances that Microsoft Office may one day support the OpenDocument Format (ODF), Corel officials were apparently preparing their official response to a report (seen here on ZDNet's Between the Lines) that the company decided to reaffirm its commitment to ODF after originally saying it wasn't ready for prime-time.  That report, based on an e-mail to me from OpenOffice.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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While Dan Farber was busy getting comment from Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie regarding the chances that Microsoft Office may one day support the OpenDocument Format (ODF), Corel officials were apparently preparing their official response to a report (seen here on ZDNet's Between the Lines) that the company decided to reaffirm its commitment to ODF after originally saying it wasn't ready for prime-time.  That report, based on an e-mail to me from OpenOffice.org representative Gary Edwards, was confirmed by another e-mail; this time from Corel's communication manager for WordPerfect Greg Wood.  Here, republished with Wood's permission, is what the quotable portion of the e-mail said:

Corel is a strong supporter of the continued development and adoption of the OASIS Open Document Format, and Corel strongly endorses ODF. Corel views Open Standards as a way for customers to maintain seamless and timeless access to their documents, and Open Standards free customers from the risks and costs related to reliance on a single vendor.

For these reasons, Corel is actively expressing its strong support for the adoption of open standards industry-wide. We’ve indicated as much to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and we’re very optimistic about the potential that ODF, PDF and other open standards hold in helping advance the cause of alternatives to Microsoft.

In terms of Gary Edwards’ comments Monday, he’s correct that Corel is an original member of the OASIS Technical Committee on the Open Document Format, and indeed, Paul Langille, one of our senior developers, is among the original contributors to the ODF specification (and we know how lucky we are to have him).

Although I sincerely appreciate his kind words about Paul and Corel’s founding membership in the ODF TC, Gary didn’t accurately portray Corel or WordPerfect Office. Corel's dedication to WordPerfect Office's success has been clearly articulated in a series of new product releases, continued product updates, ongoing customer wins and a clear commitment to provide real customer value. I won’t respond to Gary's comments further, although I will say that WordPerfect Office today possesses very robust XML capabilities and Corel’s willingness and enthusiasm in support of open standards generally is unassailable.

Suffice to say, Corel remains committed to working alongside OASIS and other technology vendors to ensure the continued evolution of the ODF standard and the adoption of open standards industry-wide.

In other news, again by way of Gary Edwards, Novell has apparently climbed aboard the OpenDocument Format train as well.  Although Novell's representatives participated in the deliberations that led to Massachusetts' standardization on the ODF, today is the first day that a Novell representative is being listed as a member of the technical committee at the OASIS consortium that's responsible for the standard.

Topic: Open Source

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15 comments
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  • So the losers are having a pity party?

    Hmmm, OD is not ready for primetime but it'll keep the encumbered source folks happy so do it regardless of it's being worth the time and effort.

    That is what I call a very shallow victory and one that won't matter at all.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • No problem then

      You've made a telling case for Microsoft not supporting ODF.

      Why all the whinging then?
      Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Encumbered Source

      You mean like this junk http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20051024/0057225_F.shtml

      Have you actually read the EULA for MS Visual Studio or other Visual tools- depending on which version you have you may not be able to distribute any of your own work.
      Ed_Meyers
    • Question

      No Ax, In Star Wars you rooted for the Empire didn't you?
      tima_z
  • I don't think they really said that

    David, I think you're giving Corel more credit than you should on this. Yes, they've clearly changed the messaging. No, they haven't actually said that they plan to support OpenDocument -- give it a read again with that in mind. They're really saying everything but that, hoping it will look like they plan to support.

    I've gone into this (and Dan Farber's report on Ray Ozzie's statements) at: http://www.consortiuminfo.org/newsblog/blog.php?ID=1679
    Andy Updegrove
    • I agree

      If you read the statement carefully you can see it doesn't negate what they said last week. In that interview, the WP reps. also said "we support ODF" (in principle), and "we support OASIS, and we endorse open standards", but then they went on to say that they had no plans in the near future to implement ODF in WP. This statement didn't include the "no ODF soon" statement, but it said everything else that was stated in the interview. So what this tells me is they're trying to "ride the wave" of the MA decision, and the "buzz" about ODF without actually supporting it in their product. If they were going to do an about face, he would have said something more definitive, like, "We will add ODF support next year." Something to that effect. But hey, they don't call it "PR" for nothing, and personally I think they're doing a fairly good job at it. However I doubt it's going to please the more discerning readers who look forward to widespread adoption of the format.
      Mark Miller
    • You're right; enthusiasm can be blinding...

      ... and lead people to see things that aren't there. Both Microsoft and Corel have not said they will include support for ODF, but Messrs. Farber and Berlind have seen what they want to see.

      You do ask the right question, too: Why not support one more format?
      If the format atrophies in the future, that's less work.

      I'll make a guess: XML is the next big thing, facilitating reasons for people to buy software. Providing a product with unique advantages makes selling easier.

      To the extent ODF is used, any office suite maker is going to be unable to differentiate. Not without extending, and that has its own problems, not least the waste of other efforts over the past few years. Extending may be difficult.

      So this may be a flash point in the use of open standards, a place where the mediocrity of a standard is significantly inconveniencing.

      We have to guess about motives from actions responding to those motives, but this appears reasonable.
      Anton Philidor
      • ODF will open the door to a Competitive Market!

        Instead of buying an office suite just for the sake of file format
        compatibility, businesses and consumers will be able to buy any
        office suite that supports a universal and open file format and be
        able to make choices on a particular office suite based on technical
        merit, rather than the former lock-in factor!

        Web browsers are a prime example of this phenomenon.
        JuggerNaut_z
  • Thanks but no thanks Corel, at least for those

    who are quite happy using the free Open Office. You can support my limited edition download copy of Corel Linux though, you're commitment there would be appreciated as well as returning adequate documentation of such to your site. No, OO has you and some other commercial office suites in a bind, but thanks for continuing to be present.
    Boot_Agnostic
  • OO or Corel - I'll take Corel

    I've been using WordPerfect for 20 years. I tried OO 1 and it wasn't ready. I downloaded the latest OO release and was really excited about what I saw. I did a simple multi-page cut and paste from email to OO and it didn't work correctly. Tried again, and still not correct. I saved the document and reloaded it, then got both pastes in the document. Tried some further editing and it didn't work the way I expected. I'll continue to work with OO, but for now my critical work will be done in WordPerfect.

    Did a simple 120 page presentation with Impress, 1 picture per page, nothing else. Went to move it, then noticed it told me not to move my pictures from their original location. That seemed to imply that I couldn't move my presentation between computers, something I do frequently. I returned to Presentations until I could play with OO to see how it works.

    I know my problems may be me and my lack of experience with OO. The developers have done a beautiful job with the software. But I will pay the $'s for Corels product just because I know what to expect and don't have to spent time learning it.
    wjarvis@...
    • Call by value vs. call by reference

      [i]Did a simple 120 page presentation with Impress, 1 picture per page, nothing else. Went to move it, then noticed it told me not to move my pictures from their original location. That seemed to imply that I couldn't move my presentation between computers, something I do frequently. I returned to Presentations until I could play with OO to see how it works.[/i]

      If you include the pictures by reference, the reference breaks if you move it. The feature is useful if you're working with dynamic URLs but if all you want is to include a JPEG or whatever in the document itself you're better off copying it in instead of referring to it.

      The same distinction appears in just about every system I've used, by the way -- nothing special one way or another about OO.o
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Agree

        The same thing would happen in Word if pictures were put in as "links" rather than embedded in the document.
        Mark Miller
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