Genii Weblog

Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Tue 29 Aug 2006, 10:20 PM
One of the major criticisms of Open Document Format was summed up by M. David Peterson in this post, when he said that the oft-repeated claim:
Well, ODF was designed for people who use spreadsheets, word processors, and presentations. Office Open XML (OOXML) was designed for people who use Microsoft spreadsheets, word processors and presentations.
should be changed to read
Well, ODF was designed for people who use Open Office spreadsheets, word processors documents, and presentations. Office Open XML was designed for people who use Microsoft spreadsheets, word processors and presentations.
I don't agree with a lot of what Mr. Peterson says, but he has a point that ODF has been quite closely tied to the office suite.  I was recently reminded of this when I was searching for the specific options for a particular parameter, and came upon Chapter 3 - Text Document Basics of the OASIS OpenDocument Essentials, which is subtitled Using OASIS OpenDocument XML.  It was very handy, but when I searched for it again at a different point, I came up with the eerily similar  Chapter 3 - Text Document Basics of the XML Essentials book, which is subtitled Using's XML Data Format.  Now, it is no surprise that ODF was created originally from the specs, but there are lots of places in the OpenDocument Essentials book where they forget that this is a general standard and specifically address how Writer handles such and such a parameter.

Some would cheer this on, and say that should be the reference example of ODF.  Not me.  I don't want ODF to be the horse and to be the driver, which is what has happened until recently.  If Open Document Format is only really suitable for one implementation, then why bother?

But of course, Open Document Format is greater than  We are just starting to see signs of it, but there are innovators out there looking at reinventing the whole idea of a spreadsheet, or integrating presentations and documents in whole new ways.  The true test for Open Document Format is how well it supports these innovations and innovators, and whether it can grow up beyond its roots.  The true test for those of us who would like to be the innovators is whether we can seize the opportunity and go beyond copying Microsoft Office and start inventing the future.

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.


Tue 29 Aug 2006, 10:48 AM
Show and Tell Thursday logoA developer in the IBM Business Partner Forum (Dietmar Hoehmann of IT-Con Beratung und Service, to be exact) posted a series of wishes, including this old favorite
The help databases display in a custom window with a special layout. I want this option for my applications, too.
Mark Jourdain of IBM responded, and described the hidden magic voodoo ritual (my description, not his) that is described in Technote #1095308.  I thought reprinting this would be a good Show 'n Tell Thursday contribution, even worthy of being printed a couple of days early:


How to have a database open in a new window without bookmark bar and SmartIcons. The goal is to have the database resemble the look of the Notes Client, Designer and Administrator Help Databases.


This functionality is available using a setting in Database Properties. To access this setting:

1.   Select the database icon on the workspace.

2.   From the Notes menu, select File, Database Properties, and click the Design tab.

3.   Select (enable) the option for "List in Database Catalog."

4.   In the corresponding field for Categories, enter the following: NotesHelp

A database with these window settings:

  • Opens in its own window with a size determined by a NOTES.INI setting.
  • Has its own set of menus that includes the item View - Always on Top (which is off by default).

Note: If you wish to disable this window setting, you must first remove the NotesHelp category and deselect the option for List in Database Catalog. Then, you must remove and then re-add the database icon on the workspace. If you only disable the options in the Database Properties, the changes do not take effect.

Additional note for blog readers: No innocent chickens need be harmed in the performance of this ritual.

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.