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ODF 1.2 Is Approved 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the boy-that-was-fast dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that the Open Document Format 1.2 specification has finally been approved. "The most important improvement to ODF 1.2 is the newly built spreadsheet support. The old format was buggy and had a lot of legacy problems. Therefore the new spreadsheet module was written from scratch. 'A complete clean room implementation of the spreadsheet formula was built,' said [Michiel Leenaars, director of the Internet Society Netherlands]. ... Another important improvement in ODF 1.2 is the support for Resource Description Framework (RDF) metadata, a W3C standard model for data interchange on the Web. ... Instead of only being able to link to a URL, RDF allows users to link text in documents to other things like a V-Card or a calendar item. Companies can use this technology to structure their workflow."
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ODF 1.2 Is Approved

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  • It would have been great to see them do some work towards importing excel macros into openoffice. Obviously there are ample good reasons not to do it; but plenty of reasons in favor of it as well. And really, anything that encourages MSOffice -> openoffice migration should get some attention, IMHO.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's a specification! 'Them', for clarity, are standards developers - not necessarily OpenOffice.org coders. OpenOffice.org is not the Open Document Format if that helps to make it any clearer.

      That said, OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice both import Excel macro's quite well and have for a very long time. Unless you have failing examples I'm pretty sure you're just sucking that assumption out of thin air.

      It might be worth noting that the part of ODF1.2 that deals with spreadsheet formulae started first by docume

    • by Anonymous Coward

      First of all, drop openoffice and switch to libreoffice. Then go and read this http://help.libreoffice.org/Common/Using_Microsoft_Office_and#Macros_in_Microsoft_Office_and_LibreOffice [libreoffice.org]

    • by rvw (755107)

      It would have been great to see them do some work towards importing excel macros into openoffice. Obviously there are ample good reasons not to do it; but plenty of reasons in favor of it as well. And really, anything that encourages MSOffice -> openoffice migration should get some attention, IMHO.

      This is about ODF, not about OpenOffice. Aside from that, I think it would be wasted time. Importing macros means that you need to translate VBscript into something else. If you translate macros, there is always something that's not going to work. Those excel-scripts that some companies use can be very complex. You can never trust it completely without testing it extensively, and probably having to change a few things. Just that is enough for most IT-managers to decide not to use it. If OO would completely

      • by jbengt (874751)
        I'm pretty sure that vbscript is not the same as VBA. MS Office uses VBA for its' macros.
  • Will my old .odf files be updated, then? I often worry about not being able to properly open my old writings and such. I'd hate to have to manually re-save everything.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's the whole point of having these standards. Excel is a great app, but if MS decides to make a non-backward compatible change, it's on individual users to maintain their documents and software so as not to be in the situation you describe. On the other hand, when a standard gets an update, the old versions of said standard haven't gone anywhere, which means that if there were versions of open software available that were in compliance with that version of the standard, you can still get it. And if f

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        and just how many times have they actually done that? I can open excel files I made in the early 90's on a mac on excel 2010

        • by hedwards (940851)

          As long as it's a one way trip you shouldn't have much trouble. The main reason that office files are such a mess is that they maintain backwards compatibility more or less to version 1.0. But the problem tends to be that not everybody uses the same version of Office which can and does lead to problems.

          I've personally seen it myself where formatting and all that goes to hell because I'm not using the correct version of Word. And good luck if you don't want to upgrade your copy to match everybody else' copy.

        • Hey, get off my lawn. I am still using Excel for DOS 3.3 on my Zenith laptop.
        • by holloway (46404)
          Their 2003 service pack removed support for many old formats and they did the same in 2007. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/08/01/01/137257/office-2003-service-pack-disables-older-file-formats [slashdot.org]
  • So, is this actually going to ruin compatibility?
    Just when office finally has started supporting ODF, it's time to make it even harder?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412)

      if you by office mean microsoft office - so is the support for 1.0 so that is already ancient and useless since Microsoft deliberatly made sure their implementation differ from all other implementations of ODF 1.0

      The part that was made incompatible was the spreadsheet part where everyone else just used microsofts office format - and microsoft used something else....

      Microsofts implementation shows that they are intentionally trying to undermine the standardardisation on ODF by making incompatible versions.
      Mi

      • So stop buying Ms office and get a real office package

        That's sort of hard if your business depends on commercial off-the-shelf applications that run in Access+VBA, such as Stone Edge Order Manager [stoneedge.com].

      • From TFA:

        Organizations that work with Microsoft Office have to wait to take advantage of improvements to the specification. While other vendors have implemented ODF 1.2, Microsoft has been at version 1.1 since Office 2007 SP2. "Microsoft addicts will have to wait," said Leenaars, adding that Microsoft is actively working on support for ODF 1.2. The software giant will host the eighth ODF plugfest in Brussels where they are expected to announce ODF 1.2 support. The event is scheduled to take place April 26 and 27.

  • > Companies can use this technology to structure their workflow.
    Yesh indeed.
  • RDF implementation? V-cards? Who cares about this?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have two wishes.
    Polynomial regression on ods
    Write code to convert mathematical formulas from word to odt and back again.
    When these two wishes have been fulfilled. Libreoffice will be ready for use in high schools.

  • by lennier (44736) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:32PM (#37585328) Homepage

    "The old format was buggy and had a lot of legacy problems. Therefore the new spreadsheet module was written from scratch."

    O rly? And whose fault was it that the old format was buggy? Was it perchance the the same organisation which is releasing the new format? So why exactly should we believe that the new one is "better"?

    I'm tired of format churn. 90% of it doesn't need to happen. Just get it right and stick with it, and if you try to tell me that you can't tell whether or not you've ever "got it right" because there's, like, no right or wrong, dude, and I should just lighten up and sorta go with the flow of the vibe of the zeitgeist of the moment and buy this month's iPad -- well, then you've just invalidated your claim to have got it right this time.

    Surely data formats aren't rocket surgery. Just build it so it's a bit extensible, doesn't hardcode any silly assumptions, doesn't embed a Turing-complete binary format which can root your OS, and you'll be pretty much there.

    • If we'd just be content with the status quo, we'd still be using quite a lot of these ideas: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-famous-scientific-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-wrong.php [toptenz.net]

      It's one thing to complain that it's a hassle to change into a newer format, it's quite another to complain about progress.

      Besides, if you really think it's _that_easy_ to create a data format that stands the test of time, go ahead: Make your own.

      • by lennier (44736)

        If we'd just be content with the status quo, we'd still be using quite a lot of these ideas: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-famous-scientific-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-wrong.php [toptenz.net]

        No, see, that's my entire point. We're not using newer scientific ideas just because they're new; we're using them because they're objectively, testably better. We're also still using a lot of very old scientific ideas (like, say, Pythagoras' theorem of the hypotenuse) because despite being old, they're still correct, and don't magically become incorrect just because of the passing of time.

        If someone can point to objective metrics that show why a new data format is better than an old one - and also explain

    • O rly? And whose fault was it that the old format was buggy? Was it perchance the the same organisation which is releasing the new format? So why exactly should we believe that the new one is "better"?

      Perhaps because people can learn from their mistakes, and put new insights to good use?

      Naaah!

  • You must have noted that OpenOffice doesn't figure in the list. I believe that the old buggy implementation was in Open Office. I think i'll change to gNumeric. OK

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