Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Trusting the New Document Formats

Today, I read a brilliant article;

Update on ODF Spreadsheet Interoperability

Rob Weir has repeated a series of tests he did a couple of months ago. This time on updated software. Specifically, he's testing to see how well spreadsheets transport (with their formulae intact) between the various Open Document Format (ODF) compatible applications.

The results of his earlier tests were quite encouraging and it was exciting to see that Microsoft were coming to the party with Service Pack 2 for Office 2007 offering support.

But what kind of support exactly?

Well, it turns out that they're VERY incompatible and very dangerous too. They happily import values into Excel but they lose all the formulae. Nasty. Imagine importing a critical financial spreadsheet without knowing that the formulae are gone.

There's a couple of Notes on the site for IBM Lotus Symphony to correct but since they concern the beta release, I think IBM are excused.

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