Metaphorical Meanderings: Standardization and ODF

by Kurt Cagle

Over the last few years I've noticed that I go through periods of intense writing and periods where the words seem to stumble reluctantly from my fingertips. The last month or so has been one of those latter periods, a time better spent planting the seeds rather than harvesting the grounds. No doubt I will move out of that period, I always have in the past, but if the posts seem fewer and farther between of late, t'is only that there are ideas coming to germination here (I hope).

The Canadian economy continues to hum along; I've become a net seeker after talent rather than a talent to be sought, and am discovering how thin on the ground good development talent has become. In British Columbia, the IT unemployment rate is roughly 1.75%, which is absurd - IT is by its nature a field where there are always people coming off assignments or just taking a break from the fairly intensive grind of producing software, so in many ways its healthiest state seems to be at about 4% unemployment. At 1.75%, projects are being cancelled because there aren't enough competent programmers to be able to complete them, and competition for programmers begins to get extraordinarily silly.

5 Comments

len
2006-06-06 06:32:15
Umm... if the trend toward high bonuses and stock options for upper management (say financial wizards with no technical background) while holding down the raises for technical staff to the sub 3% range, gutting health benefits and insisting on gratis overtime as a condition of employment continues, unionization of american software is not unthinkable.


When control over the personal environment is removed from a culture that has experienced it by any agency, that culture will accept almost any proposal to restore it. Executives who train in a world of privilege and expect it (the Ownership Society) are in for a real AHA moment sooner than they think.

M. David Peterson
2006-06-07 08:54:05
Hey Kurt,


I know you've been snowed under for a while, so it would make sense that you haven't seen all of the answers to your questions already answered. For example:


> Will there be service packs to get one of the most significant feature of MS Office 2007 - the full XML support - into older versions of Office? <


See: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/converter.mspx


Where you can download the "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats (Beta 2)"


I have seen elsewhere from reliable sources that the support is provided as far back as Office 2000, although I am now having a hard time locating where it is that I read this. The above download covers Office XP and 2003. I'll see if I can locate the note that suggests there is support for 2000 as well, and where you can download that support a bit later today when I have some more time.


Rick Jelliffe has been providing a fantastic play-by-play of what's really happening behind the scenes in regards to the ECMA process and ISO's attitude toward all of this. Brian Jones has provided a really solid summary of all of this @ http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2006/06/05/618089.aspx


As mentioned, as soon as I find a few spare moments, I will locate the information for Office 2000 and update with a comment accordingly.

M. David Peterson
2006-06-07 08:57:15
Note: Kurt, I keep forgetting that more than one link forces the MT engine to hold the comment for approval. Such that folks can gain access to this info ASAP, I am going to pull one of the links out into a separate follow up comment. Please disregard the comment waiting to be approved.
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Hey Kurt,


I know you've been snowed under for a while, so it would make sense that you haven't seen all of the answers to your questions already answered. For example:


> Will there be service packs to get one of the most significant feature of MS Office 2007 - the full XML support - into older versions of Office? <


See follow-up comment [One]


Where you can download the "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats (Beta 2)"


I have seen elsewhere from reliable sources that the support is provided as far back as Office 2000, although I am now having a hard time locating where it is that I read this. The above download covers Office XP and 2003. I'll see if I can locate the note that suggests there is support for 2000 as well, and where you can download that support a bit later today when I have some more time.


Rick Jelliffe has been providing a fantastic play-by-play of what's really happening behind the scenes in regards to the ECMA process and ISO's attitude toward all of this. Brian Jones has provided a really solid summary of all of this @ http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2006/06/05/618089.aspx


As mentioned, as soon as I find a few spare moments, I will locate the information for Office 2000 and update with a comment accordingly.

M. David Peterson
2006-06-07 08:58:02
[One] http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/converter.mspx
M. David Peterson
2006-06-07 09:42:39
To clarify:


"I have seen elsewhere from reliable sources that the support is provided as far back as Office 2000, although I am now having a hard time locating where it is that I read this."


To help validate what I mean by "reliable sources" and yet still maintain "although I am now having a hard time locating where it is that I read this." as both accurate and legitimate...


I know it was on one of three possible blogs... Joe Friend (Office UI), Brian Jones (Office XML), or (possibly) something that Rick mentioned in one of his follow-up pieces. Between these three folks who could easily give us both of us a run for our money in a "who can write more blog entries in the shortest space of time" blogging competition, there's to much content to sort through in comparison to how much time I can spend sorting through things at the moment. When that changes, I will update accordingly.