Friday, March 13, 2009

Future of the Web 03/14/2009

  • ptsefton continues his rant that OpenOffice does not support the Open Web. He's been on this rant for so long, i'm wondering if he really thinks there's a chance the lords of ODF and the OpenOffice source code are listening? In this post he describes how useless it is to submit his findings and frustrations with OOo in a bug report. Pretty funny stuff even if you do end up joining the Michael Meeks trek along this trail of tears. Maybe there's another way?

    What would happen if pt moved from targeting the not so open OpenOffice, to target governments and enterprises trying to set future information system requirements?

    NY State is next up on this endless list. Most likely they will follow the lessons of exhaustive pilot studies conducted by Massachusetts, California, Belgium, Denmark and England, and end up mandating the use of both open standard "XML" formats, ODF and OOXML.

    The pilots concluded that there was a need for both XML formats; depending on the needs of different departments and workgroups. The pilot studies scream out a general rule of thumb; if your department has day-to-day business processes bound to MSOffice workgroups, then it makes sense to use MSOffice OOXML going forward. If there is no legacy MSOffice bound workgroup or workflow, it makes sense to move to OpenOffice ODF.

    One thing the pilots make clear is that it is prohibitively costly and disruptive to try to replace MSOffice bound workgroups.

    What NY State might consider is that the Web is going to be an important part of their informations systems future. What a surprise. Every pilot recognized and indeed, emphasized this fact. Yet, they fell short of the obvious conclusion; mandating that desktop applications provide native support for Open Web formats, protocols and interfaces!

    What's wrong with insisting that desktop applciations and office suites support the rapidly advancing HTML+ technologies as well as the application specific XML formats? HTML+ after all is the most interoperable format set the world has ever seen, with over 60 billion documents public, and an estimated 30 billion behind the firewall.

    And what government/enterprise isn't also concerned about the revolution happening at the edge of the Web? Where the iPhone is leading a tsunami wave of advanced HTML+ visual documents based on the WebKit document model, but rapidly spreading to all Open Web browsers.\n\nHTML+ is here.

    Even though the HTML+ set of technologies (HTML5, CSS4, SVG/Canvas, JavaScript, JS Libraries, DOM2) looks too complicated and sprawling to hold up to Open Web expectations of global interoperability, the interop is nevertheless surprisingly there. Thanks to the invaluable ACID3 test, developers and Open Web users have the measurement tools needed to guarantee an extraordinary level of interop. Even as the visual document model pushes the envelope in unforeseen, but innovative ways. Peter Sefton's ICE Project attempts to re-purpose both MSOffice and OpenOffice to produce HTML. It's a great project, but with one glaring fault; no support for CSS! ICE instead invents it's own extensions to HTML styles.

    This is a huge mistake i think, but there may be good reasons for this fork from the future of the Open Web. ICE is designed to work inside applications that have uniquely specific layout engines with very different rendering methods.

    The reason why both OpenOffice and MSOffice use XML is that the XML language was designed to be a language for writing application and data domain specific languages. HTML-CSS however is an application independent language designed for Open Web interoperability. Big difference, and quite the challenge for either OpenOffice or MSOffice to accommodate. IMHO, the internal layout engines would have to be "fixed" for either application to produce HTML+; especially native (read/write in-process) HTML+. Perhaps ICE is trying to navigate that layout differential by coming up application compatible "styles"?

    No matter. At the end of the day, the world is going to want Open Web HTML+. And, given the revolution that is happening at the edge of the Web with iPhone and the rapidly advancing WebKit document model, it's logical to assume that governments and enterprises will want their documents to be both collaborative and edge of the Web ready - without breaking existing workflows and business processes.

    Say hello to HTML5, CSS4, SVG/Canvas, JavaScript4, DOM2 and the many interop friendly JavaScript libraries. This is the future of the Open Web. And yes, everyone wants their documents and applications Open Web ready.


    Tags: webkit, odf, ooxml, html, ptsefton

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Future of the Web group favorite links are here.

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