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Microsoft office 365 v/s Open Source Fedena (thehindu.com)
18 points by abdullahisham 854 days ago | 19 comments



Docx is an open standard built on Open XML. It is not Propietary. There is no licesnse to build an editor that supports it, and it is well documented.

The author contends that this is Proprietary. If they got this very obvious thing wrong and it is one of their biggest points for why you shouldn't use Office 365 I think it is safe to say they didn't go in to this with an impartial view.

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There are dark corners of Open XML. In particular, one has compatibility settings with names such as "autoSpaceLikeWord95", "footnoteLayoutLikeWW8", "lineWrapLikeWord6", "shapeLayoutLikeWW8", "truncateFontHeightsLikeWP6", "useWord2002TableStyleRules", "useWord97LineBreakRules"

Reading the spec, I get the impression that they made a serious attempt to document what these mean. However, some might still find it troublesome that, in practice, the only way to figure out what to do in the presence of such settings is to look at how those applications displayed text or, in many cases, how some Office version emulating WordPerfect or an older version of Word handled them.

Also, some will feel these should not have been part of the spec, or that the spec should be more explicit in stating that new documents should not write them (but then, what is a new document? Say, I do File-New, then paste in a few pages from a document having those settings, then save? Alternatively, I open a document, delete all content, then do File-Save As?)

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> some might still find it troublesome that, in practice, the only way to figure out what to do in the presence of such settings is to look at how those applications displayed text

Well, presumably, if you want to give your word processor the ability to "autoSpaceLikeWord95"--for a business use-case, not just as a feature to tick off on a checklist--then you already know what it means to "autoSpaceLikeWord95", because your clients are pointing to documents your program has created and saying that right here, there, and here too, the Word95-like autospacing is missing.

Basically, these compat flags are suggestions to activate the compat functionality it turns out you needed to build anyway; if you're adding compat for some old version of some app because the hook is there, without any of your own clients needing to preserve the old behavior in their documents, you're Doing It Wrong. It would be like Firefox parsing <!--if IE7--> tags just because there's a standard for how IE should handle them.

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Looks like autoSpaceLikeWord95 is defined in ISO/IEC 29500-4:2012 "Information technology -- Document description and processing languages -- Office Open XML File Formats -- Part 4: Transitional Migration Features" as compatibility feature for unicode handling bug and ever has full name "Incorrectly Adjust Text Spacing for Specific Unicode Ranges".

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"because your clients are pointing to documents your program has created and saying that right here, there, and here too, the Word95-like autospacing is missing."

Firstly, I think it is way more likely they will point to documents they created earlier or that they received over the mail that your word processor does not show correctly (page breaks will change, which means textual references such as 'line 2 of page 3' will break).

Secondly, I doubt they will phrase it as "look, Word95-like autospacing is missing" it's more likely that they will say "MS Word is way better than your #%$! product".

You and I know this is part of some compatibility section of the spec, but if a customer has thousands of documents somewhat depending on those features, you must support it.

In summary: it may not be a matter of wanting to support that feature, but of having to support it.

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Those are a bit misunderstood. Here's the use case they were put in for:

1. You have an existing workflow built around, say, WordPerfect 6 documents. You've got custom software that understands that format (possibly from reverse engineering).

2. You wish to adopt OOXML as your standard document storage format. You are going to write custom software that converts from your existing format to OOXML.

3. There are things in your existing format that cannot be represented in OOXML, but that need to preserved when you convert a document to OOXML, because your custom software needs that. For instance, your software might need to know about truncateFontHeightsLikeWP6 because it needs to be able to calculate what page something appeared on when the document was printed from Word Perfect 6. (I'm just guessing that font height truncation could affect this).

All they are really doing in the OOXML spec with these settings is acknowledging that people are out there with the legacy preservation needs described above, and giving them a way to all be on the same page (no pun intended!) when it comes to how they can store this information.

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Are not majority of such features was not included in "strict" version of specification?

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Is DOCX really an open standard? - http://brattahlid.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/is-docx-really-an...

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For those who follow tl;dr religiously, the answer is: Yes it is.

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>For those who follow tl;dr religiously, the answer is: Yes it is.

You should have noted that that is not actually a tl;dr of the blog post linked to by the GP. In fact, that post comes to the opposite conclusion:

"[A] problem arose when Microsoft decided not to fully implement the Strict version of the standard in Office 2010. As published by Microsoft [...] and stated by Wikipedia [...]:

>Microsoft Office 2010 provides read support for ECMA-376, read/write support for ISO/IEC 29500 Transitional, and read support for ISO/IEC 29500 Strict.

What this means is that when you save a document in MS Office 2010 or prior in any of the ‘X’ formats, you are not saving them in the advertised OpenXML format. [...]"

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Too bad no application in the world implements it.

Oh, and "implement as MS product X" isnt actually a specification.

We often complain when source code is the only real spec. But unless you are an MS employee, "implement as MS product X" comes down to reverse engineering. We dont even get the source code.

Also, if you remember back in the day .. How they even got this status .. MS was considered to be bribing institutions and blackmailing partners.

The downside of self regulation, is that messing with related institutions isnt actually illegal.

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Why is AICTE thinking that a company like Microsoft will give out server space for millions of students for free? Are they not aware of Microsoft's track record of feeding people with drugs until they become dependent on it? They did that with Windows, and now are trying to do that with online documents.

Is it not good enough that the same students who are handed out these "drugs" are the ones who have no clue about bash scripting or how to edit a .bashrc or how to create a new Rails project? (They don't know what Rails is either. They do know what ASP is though. ASP!) Or that all the "engineers" from AICTE colleges are worth doing is being a part of the army the US outsources small projects to?

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>Are they not aware of Microsoft's track record of feeding people with drugs until they become dependent on it?

You mean the same model that other companies on the Internet apply, namely Google, Amazon and even Apple? The Razor and Blade sales technique that has been touted for decades?

>They don't know what Rails is either. They do know what ASP is though. ASP!

I would assume most know what PHP is than what ASP is (ASP has no connection to the office suite, is not part of the curriculum). However, PHP is again frowned up by the elites despite being open.

Similarly, most know what Google is but a few know what DuckDuckGo or Bing is. Does this make Google evil? Heck NO!

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Here is the link to the first article which was published one week back. Engineering student locked into Microsoft Office - http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/issues/engineerin...

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Ridiculous, all this states is that the "cloud email and storage offering" for the uni will be provided by Microsoft, nobody's being forced to be "locked in" to only use those products.

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why is office being compared to an opensource school/college ERP ?

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The comparison is not on the features. It is on the purchase or engagement model.

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What is "Open Source Fedena"?

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http://www.projectfedena.org/

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2862755

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