A free software developer adventure

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A File Format Timeline

Here is an interresting retrospective from Rob Weir on microsoft way of thinking file formats. There is a very nice chart and not so much text to read (exactly what I need at 7 pm) : http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/06/file-format-timeline.html A quote :
My guess is that OOXML is merely a transitional format, much like Windows ME was in the OS space, a temporary hybrid used to ease the transition from 16-bit to the 32-bit platform that would eventually come (Windows 2000). Microsoft doesn't want to support all of the quirks of their legacy formats forever. That just leads to bloated, fragile code, more expensive development and support costs. They would rather have clean, structured markup, like ODF. But the question is, how do you get there? The answer is straightforward: First, eliminate the competition. Second, move users in small steps, promising the comfort of continuity and safety. Third, once you have eliminated competition and have the users on the OOXML format that no one but Microsoft fully understands, then you may have your will of them. For example, introduce a new format that drops support for legacy formats and force everyone to upgrade. They are pretty much doing this already on the Mac by dropping support for VBA in the next version of the Mac Office.


  • Interesting notation; however, there is a typo in your initial paragraph. Note: There si a very nice chart and not so much text to read (exactly what I need at 7 pm) :

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 PM  

  • Thanks, for noticing. I corrected the typo.

    By Blogger pagalmes, at 6:42 AM  

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