M$ Still Messing Up IT In 2014

When M$ forced it’s XML file-format on the world for office suites“For the typical daily use of a connected company or a municipality working with customers, citizens or partners, the inconsistencies around the OOXML standard are likely to cause problems sooner or later. Typically, a document might be created by someone using MS Office 2013, then edited and re-saved by a colleague with MS Office 2007 or 2010. Because the old versions of Microsoft Office do not comply with the latest, ‘Strict’ OOXML standard, metadata is very likely to get lost during such round-trips. And since the ‘Strict’ standard used by Microsoft is still neither fully documented nor open (it contains references to Microsoft websites, some of which no longer exist), data loss on conversion is a widespread and well-documented phenomenon. What makes this problem even worse is the absence of error messages, and a file extension (for example .docx for text documents) that does not show the user which format has been used to save the document.” it deliberately created lock-in. However, the complexity of the format and the diversity of M$’s product-versions messes up even those who use nothing but M$’s products. The solution is simple. Dump M$ as soon as all the files get converted to ODF…

Those of you who stayed with M$ over the last decade are in such a deep tar-pit you may not survive. I am thankful I got off the Wintel treadmill starting around 2000. Today my home is an M$-free zone and all my PCs communicate in proper standards with each other and the world with no problems as far as I can see.

Please, read Complex singularity versus openness. You will be glad you did.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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12 Responses to M$ Still Messing Up IT In 2014

  1. ram says:

    When I get a document in a secret Microsoft proprietary format (including OOXML) I just send the sender a request for them to resend the document in an open standard format such as ODF or pdf. When this happens enough to them they migrate from Microsoft. Simple really!

  2. oiaohm says:


    Ok at long last Microsoft has released an Official validator for OOXML. kurkosdr it going to take a while for Libreoffice project to integrate it in. C# application on Linux not particularly fun. Of course Microsoft could not code it cross platform in java or mono compatible box so it only currently runs on Windows no OS X or Linux support.

    This here contains the test results of the 50 000+ test documents libreoffice uses. From this we will be able to take a sane guess at percentages once it has the Official validator. The Libreoffice test suite does not just check reading the documents it also checks export possibilities.

    So it taken Microsoft 7 years to give us a validator for ooxml.

    kurkosdr give it 6 months and most likely by then will be able to answer your questions on percentage of OOXML supported in Libreoffice backed with testsuite data. Its also going to be very interesting to point Microsoft own validator against MS Office at least we should be able to get somewhere with bugs in versions of MS Office implementations of OOXML.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Link1: https://msv.java.net/
    Link2: https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=office#technical
    To be correct there is a prior validator before the ODF validator.

    Link1: was from Sun Microsystems takes Relax-NG Schema data in Link2. These Relax-NG files of ODF are normative. So don’t conform you are breaching standard. Only Relax-NG files that exist for OOXML are non-normative. So not required to obey them. This is one of the big problems.

    DrLoser I guess you missed that Relax-NG files are part of the ODF standard. Even so openoffice particular versions have issues passing the ODF standard.

    Have all the test cases in the world if you don’t have strict rules you are stuffed.

  4. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser you need to get this http://incubator.apache.org/odftoolkit/conformance/ODFValidator.html
    This validates if the application output conforms to standard. If it does not it yells. Its one to be able to read its another to be able to save it properly.

    kurkosdr in fact there is no promise that the latest MS Office will read an OOXML file either. There are complaints out there of MS Office 2013 not opening its own files.

    Also with my example MS Office 365 and MS Office 2013 are incompatible. Yes 64 bit and 32 bit versions of MS Office 2013 generate different OOXML at times for the same input data.

    MS Office 2010 is not promised to be able to read 2013 documents. MS Office 2010 in fact fails many of the reference ODF tests. Most relate to spreadsheets. There are issues with MS Word 2010 when you take a docx file and tell it to spit out a ODF you will find at times it fails the validator.

    The testing on ODF is that you save the right thing. If you cannot read the documents you can save you have a big problem.

  5. DrLoser says:

    Incidentally, Dougie has already pointed out the major flaw in the argument already.

    Even though he’s too bigoted to realise that he has done so.

    Read three or four posts down …

  6. DrLoser says:

    I read it, Robert. As usual, it was a waste of time.

    Now, I’m open to criticism of any protocol whatsoever. I’ve been criticising protocols since practically the birth of bisync. And therefore I ran a little test:

    Here’s the only reference test suite for ODF I can find. (Others welcome.)

    Ran them past Microsoft Word 2010 Starter, which came for free with my PC, and they pass with flying colours. (Sorry about that, Kurks. I hate to burst your bubble.)

    Naturally this means diddly-squat when it comes to FOSS projects reading OOXML, as per the cite.

    I’ll let you all babble on a bit longer before I point out the flaws in your cite’s “argument.”

  7. kurkosdr says:

    ” Yep, you can convert docx to odt, no sweat. Just use Libreoffice from the start, problem solved buddy. ”

    There is no guarantee LibreOffice will read docx (and pptx) files correctly with 100% certainity.

    The latest version of MS Office will read docx and pptx correctly, but there is no guarantee it will *write* to ODF correctly.

    OOXML is like WMV. An information trap. Avoid the format if possible and use userland software which writes to standard documented formats.

    I use Windows with non-MS userland software (Pinnacle Studio, PowerDVD, PowerDirector, Kingsoft Office, Nero Express etc).

  8. dougman says:

    Yep, you can convert docx to odt, no sweat.

    Just use Libreoffice from the start, problem solved buddy.

  9. kurkosdr says:

    “Dump M$ as soon as all the files get converted to ODF… ”

    Is it even possible to convert a docx to odf with 100% certainity nothimg will get lost? MS Office doesn’t do saving in ODF well, and Libre may not open the docx well. Avoid the format if you want compatibility.

    OOXML Strict is undocumented? I thought some governments and some companies require a standard documented format for documents. Guess they think “docx” is one format instead of two (transitional and strict). Oh crap, it’s .doc all over again.

    FU MS, I moved to Kingsoft Office.

  10. luvr says:

    “The sad part is one day Libreoffice might be the most compatible OOXML implementation in existence.”
    You mean, just as it is already the most compatible implementation of the old, binary MSOffice formats around? I lost count of the many occasions where MSOffice crashed when trying to read an MSWord document or an MSExcel spreadsheet, while OpenOffice/LibreOffice could read the file just fine…

  11. dougman says:

    LOL, this mess is crazy.

    If someone created work 10-years ago using M$ good-lick in attempting to get it to work with the newer so-called standard.

    Imagine composing something now in MS docx, and in 10-15 years trying to re-edit the dern thing, its not happening!

  12. oiaohm says:

    Nice another document saying that OOXML is a huge mess waiting to eat your documents.

    Yes it also documents the frustration Libreoffice and OpenOffice developers have been having with OOXML.

    The sad part is one day Libreoffice might be the most compatible OOXML implementation in existence.

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