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Re: OOXML is broken by design: more evidence

  • Subject: Re: OOXML is broken by design: more evidence
  • From: "[H]omer" <spam@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2007 23:05:01 +0100
  • In-reply-to: <1188675842_81235@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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  • Organization: Slated.org
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  • Xref: ellandroad.demon.co.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:556011
Verily I say unto thee, that Richard Rasker spake thusly:

> In short: there shall only be one true implementation of OOXML, and 
> that is MS Office -- because OOXML is very closely modeled after the
> workings of MS Office, both past and present versions.

It is clear that a full implementation of OOXML is necessarily platform
(Windows) dependant, and that Microsoft cannot even implement their own
so-called standard properly, assuming that is possible at all, or that
they (or anyone else) actually knows what it is.

I was particularly dismayed to discover the rounding error condition
(Excel stores what /it/ wants, not what /you/ want), and that apparently
Microsoft believes the whole world should be speaking US English, rather
than standard English, without choice. This is no small issue, as the
blogger demonstrates WRT in-house developed tools.

And this section set alarm bells ringing:

| At this point, we are left with the obvious question, if the
| SpreadsheetML is made much more complex than we would have expected
| only to cope with performance problems, what is the rationale for
| the binary workbook (.xlsb) ?
| Microsoft won't tell. There are two reasons however : 1)
| embarassing reality of XML 2) embarassing reality of ECMA 376
| To illustrate the first untold reality, suffice to create a new
| spreadsheet, and then query external data. As you do this, Excel
| 2007 creates a part called the connection data source part, where
| it stores the connection strings in plain text, among other things.
| It should be clear by now that connection strings contain sensitive
| information such as server names, login and passwords. OOps!
| The quick Microsoft solution to this? Security by obscurity, just
| turn this stuff into binary records (BIFF12), and the problem goes
| away in theory.

What other sensitive information or garbage is Microsoft hiding in their
binary blobs?

What a mess.


| "Proprietary licenses, the crack cocaine of software finance."
|  - Matt Asay, CNET

Fedora release 7 (Moonshine) on sky, running kernel
 23:03:48 up 23 days, 21:58,  2 users,  load average: 0.15, 0.17, 0.16

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