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A follow-up on Excel 2007 SP2's ODF support

May 13, 2009, 16:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Weir)

"Does this mean that you cannot create interoperable solutions with ODF? No, it just means that, like most standards in IT today, you need to do some interoperability testing with other vendor's products to make sure your product interoperates, and make conformant adjustments to your product in order to achieve real-world nteroperability. Most vendors who don't have a monopoly would do this naturally and in fact have done this, as my chart indicated. Complaining about this is like complaining about gravity or friction or entropy. Sure, it sucks. Deal with it. Although it may not pay as much as being a professional mourner, work as a programmer is more regular. And giving value to customers will always bring more satisfaction than than standing there weeping about how code is hard.

"In any case, this comes down to why do you implement a standard. What are your goals? If your goal is be interoperable, then you perform interoperability testing and make those adjustments to your product necessary to make it be both conformant and interoperable. But if your goal is to simply fulfill a checkbox requirement without actually providing any tangible customer benefit, then you will do as little as needed. However, if your goal is to destroy a standard, then you will create a non-conformant, non-interoperable implementation, automatically download it to millions of users and sow confusion in the marketplace by flooding it with millions of incompatible documents. It all depends on your goals. Voluntary standards do not force, or prevent, one approach or another."

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