After all the recent Office Open XML (OOXML for short) and KDE vs. GNOME debates, I began to think about what would be the easiest way to avoid this situation of constant fighting, and keep focus on our main objective of “world domination.” Obviously, GNOME’s decision to include OOXML in one of their applications and KDE’s dismissal of the document format was sure to attract some attention. While KDE’s decision not to use OOXML was more practical than political, it was still used to show why GNOME’s the bad guy, and KDE is perfect. That debate, of course, was bound to happen, as it continues every day. I have been thinking, “There must be an easier way…”
One thing is unavoidable: OOXML will be used — and is being used. A version (sub-version?) is already in MS Office 2007, and users are now creating more and more of those documents. Whether or not home users will be using this format, which is titled “(Enter program here) Document” in the save menu in Office 2007, or the 2003 legacy formats, it is almost too early to tell.
So, my thought is, why not include the format as a separate download?
It could be a link somewhere on the GNOME site (or for that matter, Novell, since they have buddied up to MSFT).
This would enable those who want or need to have access to the file format would be able to get it at their leisure. I have a feeling that a lot of this debate and rhetoric coming from both sides could have been avoided — only if people didn’t jump the gun, both on the GNOME side with the implementation, as well as on the opposing side of the format running around calling for everyone to move to KDE. Keeping the format as a separate download could have prevented this whole situation, and kept everyone busy focused on building the the community and the system they use, instead of trying to divide it.