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Re: DocView now supports OpenDocument & MS Office formats

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: DocView now supports OpenDocument & MS Office formats
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 13:14:13 +0900

Richard Stallman writes:

 >     Oracle's stated intent is to supply the Oracle OpenOffice deliverables
 >     with SaaS capabilities. This is not a theoretical matter, its
 >     happening.
 > "SaaS capabilities" is rather vague -- could you tell me what this
 > refers to?

This refers to running the software on the vendor's host, and
delivering only the service to the user.  This makes conventional
(free or proprietary) software licensing moot, of course.  Probably
the best way to think about SaaS is as ASP2.0.  SaaS fanchildren like
to claim that SaaS as a business model is qualitatively different from
ASP, but it really is not.  It is the marriage of the ASP business
model with Web2.0 technology, but the fundamental concept is enabling
a pay-per-play revenue stream.

The most basic implementation provides an AJAX interface, so that
redisplay is done by manipulating HTML (or XML) and CSS efficiently,
but the underlying data (such as an ODF document or an RDBMS) is never
directly accessed by the user.  I don't know what Oracle is planning
for OOo, perhaps turning the redisplay into an arm's-length client,
perhaps rewriting it to target Web2.0 technology instead of local GUIs.

I don't think this will change Oracle's opportunistic attitude toward
"open source" as they call it.  They'll use it, and contribute to it,
where they see an advantage, but they'll also use SaaS to generate
sustainable/predictable revenue streams without the risk inherent in
delivering software to entities not under NDA.

 > The issue is important because OpenOffice is important.

I suppose you're right, but I'm sad to hear you say so.  One wishes it
wasn't so.  WYSIWYG is one of the greatest productivity-sappers ever

 > People who want to use ODF need to install OpenOffice anyway,

I hope you're wrong.  It should be possible to have any2odf
converters, for values of "any" like "restructured text" or "perldoc"
as well as "TeX" or "DocBook", and odf2any, for values of "any" like
"TeX" and "PDF".

And Emacs itself should be adaptable to manipulating ODF just as it
handles DocBook or TeX.  "AUC-ODF", anyone?

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