LCA: Addressing the failure of open source
Posted Jan 18, 2012 7:27 UTC (Wed) by pkern
In reply to: LCA: Addressing the failure of open source
Parent article: LCA: Addressing the failure of open source
Adobe's software is closed source, but the PDF format is sufficiently documented that lots of other programs can read it.
They might claim that they're able to read it. Given the PDF format's insanity it's actually quite hard to do it right and there are still documents that are only readable (or printable) with Adobe's software. Even if the standard might be open.
I don't have a problem with someone sending me a Microsoft Office document anymore, because libreoffice can read it perfectly well most of the time.
My experience tells me that while this is mostly true for the old binary formats, it's not the case for the new XML-based "standards". And given all the discussions I read about this so-called open standard I'm pretty sure it doesn't contain everything you need to know to implement a reader and a writer correctly.
Interop is a hard problem. And while it is great to have it (and I really appreciate what the folks of Samba have done), I'd rather like a program that's sufficiently cross-platform and libre with its own file format, than MS dumping yet another file format to implement over the fence. They'll always have an advantage for years while the folks using Linux can't read those files properly, who are then often being forced to use Windows in some way, depending on the company environment.
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