OOXML, looking forward

by Miguel de Icaza

I have been reading the OOXML storm in a teacup for more than a year now. Am looking forward to the approval of OOXML as an ISO standard and to be able to move the discussion back to the things that actually matter: free and open source software.

For a year, countless bytes have been wasted on what is now a very difficult plot to follow, specially for people that have not followed it since the start (or as Bill Maher said last week "Its like trying to make sense of a LOST episode". Note: am a Lost fan).

When we go back to what matters, we should be ready to ask IBM to open source its Lotus Notes software based on Open Office (as staunch supporters of open formats, and open source, I think its in their best interest to do so). There are nice components in Lotus Notes that would be nice to integrate into the upcoming OpenOffice 3.

But most importantly, it is a time for all of those strong advocates of open standards to stop talking, and start walking. I look forward for all that energy that went into discussing the pros and cons of OOXML to join an open source project and start contributing code, documentation, support, create support forums, file good bug reports and help us make free and open source software better.

In case you have not been noticing, Apple is gaining market share on the desktop. Some of our own kernel hackers, desktop hackers, web hackers that used to be Linux or BSD users are flocking to the proprietary OSX.

We need to change that, lets reverse that trend, and lets focus on what actually matters: the free and open source desktop. To make this happen we will need all the help that we can get.

Punditry and lobbying will not get us very far, real work will.

Posted on 26 Mar 2008