What's wrong with DOCX?

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calher

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If people use MP4, then why not use DOCX? Both are patent-encumbered
formats that can easily be written and read by free software, right?

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Magic Banana

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OOXML is a standard (a requirement for many administrations), which was accepted in a fast-track process thanks to bought votes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standardization_of_Office_Open_XML

It makes little technical sense: it is huge (~7200 pages nowadays, vs. ~1000 pages for ODF) because it standardizes all the weird things (including bugs!) present in the Microsoft Office suite. It contains elements such as "autoSpaceLikeWord95", "footnoteLayoutLikeWW8", "lineWrapLikeWord6", "shapeLayoutLikeWW8", "truncateFontHeightsLikeWP6", "uiCompat97To2003", "useWord2002TableStyleRules", "useWord97LineBreakRules", etc.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML_file_formats#Compatibility_settings

It was the first (and only?) time ISO was co-opted to accept a useless (ODF was already an international standard) and technically inferior format, which even contradicts with other ISO standards (e.g., to specify dates, colors, etc.). OOXML allows to embed binary blobs, which is completely absurd for what is supposedly a standard. Even two years after OOXML become an ISO standard, no office suite (not even Microsoft Office 2010) was strictly implementing it. Normally, the ISO committee insists on a reference implementation.

In the end, OOXML is not vendor-neutral. It is designed so that only Microsoft Office could properly read/write DOCX and the likes. Not really a standard...

onpon4
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In my experience, OOXML files don't work well on LibreOffice, probably because of those things MB mentioned. Everything always seems to render differently between MS Office and LibreOffice.

I actually remember the whole controversy back when I was in school. My dad was a vocal critic of OOXML and its standardization. One thing I recall is that Microsoft Office at that time had no support at all for ODF, and wanting their office suite to be "standard" without adding support for the already standard ODF seemed to be a major motivation for pushing through OOXML as a redundant standard. It was only years later that they finally added ODF support as an add-on for... Microsoft Office 2010? I think that was it.

Microsoft Office supports ODF now, so that's good. It also means there's no longer any reason whatsoever to use either the proprietary MS formats, or OOXML.

h.264, on the other hand, is unfortunately more widely supported than WebM, and even has a lot of hardware-level support whereas WebM doesn't (meaning a lot of GPUs can help render h.264 video more smoothly). So unfortunately, it seems there's going to be a reason to use MP4 for years to come. Maybe VP9 can get as much as or more traction than h.265. One can hope.

RMK
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> In my experience, OOXML files don't work well on LibreOffice, probably because of those
> things MB mentioned. Everything always seems to render differently between MS Office
> and LibreOffice.
That's been my experience as well, e.g. presentations created in PowerPoint don't look right in LibreOffice Impress. And LibreOffice Writer has no support (AFAIK) for DOCX-specific equation objects.

Abdullah Ramazanoglu
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> Everything always seems to render differently
> between MS Office and LibreOffice.

And Microsoft will make sure that it will always be so, *if* I understand Microsoft's general marketing policies correctly.

> Microsoft Office supports ODF now, so that's good.

I am not sure that it will amount to much, because it is a "lip service" by Microsoft, never meant to work properly in large/professional scale. Had Microsoft supported ODF before OOXML was standardized (which they never would, as it would have undermined OOXML's standardization) then *that* would have been good.

Now that Microsoft have managed to usher the game into their own backyard (OOXML), they can now support ODF as a symbolic gesture and this will never amount to anything serious. They will deliberately make ODF support subtly buggy and semi-compatible in order to sustain subtle incompatibility between MS-Office and LibreOffice. They must stay incompatible.

I also suspect they will introduce "improvements" in their version of OOXML to effectively lock customers into MS Office.

The ultimate idea is, to my understanding, MS Office and Libre Office should not blend together well, so Microsoft can get to offer "either all MS or no MS" proposition to their corporate customer base. This is kind of wrist-wrestling: While on top, Microsoft will try everything they can in order to sustain subtle incompatibility - subtle enough to block mixed usage in large deployments. But when/if ODF becomes more popular, then Microsoft will be championing the compatibility issue more than anyone else.

Cheap cheap corporate tricks.

onpon4
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> I am not sure that it will amount to much, because it is a "lip service" by Microsoft, never meant to work properly in large/professional scale.

I meant that the fact that they support the standard means you can safely ignore OOXML as a "standard" and just use ODF. I don't know if it renders properly (I haven't used Microsoft Office since I left school), but if it doesn't, you can tell anyone who complains about it that the file is fine and they can see it properly just by installing LibreOffice. It's nowhere near the problem that it used to be and at this point, I'm actually more concerned about Google Docs than Microsoft Office.

William5565
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Joined: 07/24/2017

I am glad that Microsoft office supports open formats now because I remember years ago when I was at school my teachers actually had open office installed so they could read open formats and that was great but when they upgraded there computers they didn't want to bother installing it for some reason so you were forced to go back to closed formats. Actually convincing people to install open office and read files in open formats was damn near impossible as they would just use Microsoft Office. It was a nice freedom goal to have but I doubt you would ever convince the masses to do it.

ADFENO
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Joined: 12/31/2012

Personally, a year ago I started to depend less on
document/spreadsheet/presentation formats which are not easily readable,
understandable and editable with plain text editors.

So I decided to start writing my things using Org mode
syntax/markup. Besides being easily readable by humans in plain text
editors, it has support for various things such as spreadsheets (even
with advanced calculations and some builtin formulas), linking to files,
scripting, making use of BibTeX references (if you are going to export
to LaTeX and related), exporting to other formats --- such as LaTeX, PDF
(through LaTeX), Beamer presentation PDF (through LaTeX), ODT, HTML,
Markdown, iCalendar, plain text, Texinfo/Info, man, and the list goes
on...

Also its a format understood by multiple interpreters/exporters, GNU
Emacs is the most known, but I heard that Pandoc also deals with Org
mode files.

Finally, you can also use Org mode in "publishing" mode, in which case
you have various Org mode files in the same "project" and you tell the
exporter to do its job to various formats at once and can also configure
it to upload the results (and their dependencies) to a webserver
somewhere. I didn't have time to check the other exporters, but I know
that GNU Emacs has this "publishing" mode.

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- Arquivos comuns aceitos (apenas sem DRM): Corel Draw, Microsoft
Office, MP3, MP4, WMA, WMV.
- Arquivos comuns aceitos e enviados: CSV, GNU Dia, GNU Emacs Org, GNU
GIMP, Inkscape SVG, JPG, LibreOffice (padrão ODF), OGG, OPUS, PDF
(apenas sem DRM), PNG, TXT, WEBM.

calher

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I appreciate your enthusiasm for Org Mode, but using it won't help me
to assimilate into society while keeping my promise to the world that
I will not pressure them to put them in a helpless position as a user
of technology.

ADFENO
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Joined: 12/31/2012

> I appreciate your enthusiasm for Org Mode, but using it won't help me
> to assimilate into society while keeping my promise to the world that
> I will not pressure them to put them in a helpless position as a user
> of technology.

Hm... I didn't understand this message. Both Org mode community and
LaTeX one are very large.

You can even costumize your PDF output using LaTeX inside your Org mode
document.