Friday, February 08, 2008

Collaboration and Content Strategies Blog: Burton Group's Response to the ODF Alliance (Part 1)

See the full post for more details -- and please comment there rather than here, if you have (ideally constructive...) thoughts to share.

What follows is Burton Group’s response to the ODF Alliance’s response to our “What’s Up .DOC?” overview report on ODF and OOXML. At the outset, we’d like to clarify some things before getting into the point-by-point responses:

  1. The utility of a model is assessed relative to stated objectives in a given domain; a modeling endeavor never has a simple right or wrong answer (page 18 of our overview). A key part of this debate is the subjective assessment of how important Office file format interoperability is—we believe it will be very important for most enterprises—and that Office file format interoperability was not a goal for the group that designed ODF.
  2. Standards initiatives participants are often at least partly politically motivated, generally with significant business issues at stake. That’s certainly not new to the ODF/OOXML debate.
  3. We reviewed the current versions of the published standards, so the intention to more completely integrate ODF with RDF in the future is not an immediate consideration for enterprises making format decisions today. Burton Group believes that ODF 1.2 is a much richer and useful specification than previous versions, and we will update the overview to reflect that when ODF 1.2 is approved.

A couple additional points for people who found their way here from the Burton Group/ODF/OOXML discussion thread on Ed Brill's blog:

1.  We had hoped to have an open teleconference with representatives from the ODF Alliance, but that didn't work out; we're still open to having such a discussion with representatives from the ODF and/or OOXML camps.

2.  I introduced an error in the original overview doc on Adobe Buzzword -- I meant to include a projection about Adobe supporting both ODF and OOXML, but, as a commenter on Ed Brill's blog noted, I didn't (to be precise, I projected OOXML support but not ODF support) -- that was an inadvertent omission, and we'll fix it in an update to the overview.  I apologize for the error and appreciate the catch.

Collaboration and Content Strategies Blog: Burton Group's Response to the ODF Alliance (Part 1)

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