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Re: OpenOffice.org and web technologies, was: Re: XForms Editor Review

From: Stefano Debenedetti <ste@demaledetti.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 17:18:28 +0100
Message-ID: <44159B54.5@demaledetti.net>
To: dev@openoffice.org
CC: www-forms@w3.org

Lars Oppermann ha scritto:
> I think we shouldn't mix up an issue like 'how can we bring OpenOffice
> closer to the web?' with a very spcific issue like XForms support, which
> is in a quite early state.

I disagree. The first step for tackling the big issue is to tackle the specific issue. I don't think we're too early on.
 
> I would thus like to take this topc to the dev@openoffice.org mailing
> list...

Ack but still disagree, here's why:
 
> They are. XForms+XHTML is just a bad example to base this discussion on.
> The integration of XForms into OpenOffice.org poses significant
> challenges that are much more fundamental than XHTML+XForms export.

One example of such challenges is: your solution seems to be that people can use XSLT to go back and forth between web based XForms apps and OO based XForms apps.

My argument against it is that it is too little an advancement that we can use a Turing-complete language for getting stuff in and out of our office documents.

It could be argued that we already had that before XML, do we want to say that the advancement is that the language of choice for getting data out of our docs is declarative? That it is "standard"? That we can also use other languages of our choice? That the framework and the licensing model is not controlled by a single company? I think it is wasted time.

Paradoxically, if OO included an app orthogonal to the suite that allowed one to easily customize the XSLT export in and out of OO, while preserving the doc functionality as opposed to only the content then OO could compete.

But it can compete better if it first tackles the easier task of getting an XForms editor for the web to work in that way.

Infopath failed because it wasn't XHTML+XForms based, not because it wasn't a good idea or a real need.

> Bringing OpenOffice closer to the web is an important topic. And I very
> much invite you to share your ideas on that topic with the
> OpenOffice.org community...

I have nothing more to say on OO specific topics if not "the network is the computer" ain't it? 

Then why separate between the web and legacy forms? 

Why separate between my computer and yours, can't we be separate XForms instances on a shared XForms model?

The semantic web is just around the corner. [1] OO has the fine chance of actively enabling it instead of simply waiting for others to integrate it with it.

Of course our countries' bureaucracies still are in the process of .doc de-addiction, but weren't we the ones who didn't like things to work in that way and that hoped better bureaucracy would mean more freedom?

Which would mean less need for "The One real world office" you need to go to at office times with a printed signed document in your hands, less need for "One-stop computer office" that takes care of everything unless what you want is to share your apps and contents with people who don't even (nor should) feel the need for computer offices. (and neither of operating systems and desktop applications for that matter, but that would perhaps be off-topic)
 
More need of apps that make you put your doc/app on the web as easily as (or hopefully more than) you can now assume your .doc attachments won't be scraped by the antivirus of the people you are sending them to, that they possess the app for editing it and that they find a way of sending it back "pretty-good-securely" to you.

To be really good, OO must be so good that you might never happen using it because somebody/something has done and does that for you so you are leveraging its full power delivered on the promise: you (or somebody/something) do keep track of your data using office productivity but you never happen to be in an office in front of an office desktop app. 

Your computer is then the network.

Isn't this what we want here? Should we discuss it there? I now notice the cross-post so here is already there anyway.

<rhetoric>Maybe the only possible target of their enforcement of trademarks is their own employees? "Don't think/speak this way or I fire you? Don't you see that if we really give what we promise we have a much harder time protecting our brand? Let's keep that restricted to what it's good for (a marketing-only slogan) and go on developing the other way around"</rhetoric>

> I'll post another reply to your very XForms specific remark to www-forms.

Thank you, kind regards.

ciao
ste
 
[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/semantic-web/2006Mar/0060.html


> All the best,
> Lars
> 
>> What company doesn't have an intranet? Who doesn't have a blog? Are
>> those your primary targets?
>>
>> I thought your primary targets were companies and users who already
>> have office productivity suites (and know how to use them) and have
>> intranets and blogs (and love them) and who lose a lot of time
>> everyday only because those things aren't integrated (and hate this).
>>
>>
>> Of course I assume this must be related to why you lead the
>> development of an office productivity suite and I don't, but that's
>> not the point here, I speak as a user who thinks his use cases should
>> be the first OO use cases, of course this opinion may spring out of a
>> misleading and incomplete perception but yes I didn't assume you
>> wanted to correct my perception.
> 
> 
> I do not lead the development of an office productivity suite. I am
> responsible for the integration of XForms into OpenOffice.org.
> 
> I don't want to go into detail about the rest of your posting. The
> general idea that you were expressing was, that the tighter integration
> with web technologies is a significant growth path for OpenOffice.org.
> With that I wholeheartedly agree. Lets not confuse a very specific issue
> (i.e. XForms support) with this more abstract topic.
> 
> I don't want to go into further detail on the following.
> 
>> It just is my opinion, what I think is non-constructive is to dub it
>> before having understood it. Of course nobody is deemed to even read
>> it, I can avoid non-constructive rhetorical remarks by myself very
>> quickly even when they are shoot at me in hideous ways via much more
>> invasive medias than a mailing list. I think other people on the list
>> can do the same without anybody "help" them by saying "I won't answer
>> to this 'cause it's noise to people reading".
>>
>> Unless you really think this is offtopic here, in which case I am
>> happy to gracefully shut up on the topic.
>>
>>>> OO must do that to be an office productivity application.
>>>>
>>>> Unless its agenda is really "introduce rich declarative XML based
>>>>  forms into the world fullstop".
>>>
>>>
>>> XML based forms have already been introduced to the world. They are
>>>  quite new in the domain of office productivity apps. Also the MVC
>>> based approach to forms is new in that realm, since traditionally
>>> those forms had an implicit model, mostly defined by the form
>>> layout, and custom coded logic, implemented mostly by scripts.
>>>
>>> The concepts introduced by XForms are very valuable even outside a
>>> web browser. Documents produced with the current XForms
>>> implementation include all the information that is required to
>>> translate them to XForms+XHTML. There is nothing preventing you
>>> from writing a filter, that outputs this particular combination. I
>>> bet a lot of other people would be interested in that too.
>>>
>>> XForms goes to great lengths in establishing independence of the
>>> host language. Thus, the claim of an implementation being unusable
>>> because of the fact that it is not exporting XHTML+XForms can only
>>> be bogus. It might be unusable for your particular intend. I am
>>> sorry about that - others are using it in a quite productive manner
>>> though.
>>
>>
>> Yes, I am sorry, I should have put it more clear in my mail that
>> office apps can be productive even in a non-web world and that my
>> negation of that is only related to my perception of no real future
>> in that market as I perceive the needs of both businesses and
>> individuals having fully embraced the web way since a few years.
>>
>> I mean: when competing office productivity suites integrate
>> seamlessly with the web, will OO be competitive?
>>
>> Only in the non-web world?
>>
>> Of course I don't assume you point the non-web world at me, I think
>> the non-web forms world is less relevant to this list than discussing
>> how far the XForms-based integration between web publishing and
>> office document formats and productivity suites can go.
>>
>> ciao ste
>>
>>
>>
> 
> 
Received on Monday, 13 March 2006 16:05:42 GMT

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