iWork '09 OpenDocument speculation

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by kepardue, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    I'd assume that some sort of ODF capability will make it into iWork '09 (or '10, whenever we see a new version) since Leopard's TextEdit supports it. But does anyone speculate that Apple will provide anything close to complete support for ODF? After all, everyone seems to be moving toward a more open, data-portable way of doing things, and although Apple's iWork format is documented it's not implemented across platforms. Seems to me like native ODF support (or even native OOXML support) would do nothing but foster Apple's place in the Office program industry since files could be exchanged with everyone. Especially when you consider the alternative that we now have three different variations on Apple's own iWork document format (take yer choice, save in iWork '05, iWork '06' or iWork '08 formats!)

    Thing is, is Apple's feature set even implementable in ODF? I mean, I don't know much about the XML-based Office specs, but using Numbers as an example, all other spreadsheets support a one-table-per-sheet model. Could a many-tables-per-sheet model even be expressed in ODF? What would it look like to other applications?

    The sad thing about open standards is that they collide with innovation. I completely see Apple's need to make their own format so that they can bring an innovative, new user experience to the table. It's just a shame that they had to create their own format to do it rather than working with the ODF group to implement something like this in the spec.
  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Good questions. I think Apple should get behind ODF whole-heartedly, but I believe ODF will probably be limited to some extent to an interchange format, not a true native format for all applications -- sort of RTF on steroids.
  3. kepardue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    Realizing that I'm apparently beating a dead horse that nobody's interested in here, I've come to realize that I have a problem. There needs to be a 12 step program for people interested in Apple supported a *real* ISO approved, vendor neutral document format that's going to be around for a while and that can be used in a multi-platform environment.

    Anyway, I wasn't really expected an iWork update at WWDC, but now that it's passed I'm setting my sights on Macworld or the fall. Not that it matters but I have several reasons why Apple should support OpenDocument. Nobody seems interested in it here but I'd love to see some discussion:

    1) Apple has a history of supporting open standards where it bolsters its business and reduces the complexity on its own developers (FreeBSD, CalDav, Apache, Postfix, the printing components, etc.),

    2) OpenDocument would be FAR easier for Apple to implement than native support for OOXML (heck, ODF is even easier for Microsoft to implement in their OWN product than OOXML),

    3) No more dialogs asking, “Do you want to save this in iWork ‘06 format, iWork ‘08 format, iWork…. ” What’s good for one is good for everyone.

    4) OpenDocument is extensible so they could… possibly… implement such features as Numbers’ multi-table-on-a-single-sheet feature (not sure about the viability of this one), and

    5) it will make Apple not look like they’re drinking Microsoft’s Kool-Aid, while, when native ODF support is added to MS Office next year, Apple will be totally compatible and competitive with not just most Windows users but Linux/open source advocates too.

    6) Apple obviously has expressed interest in heating up competition with Microsoft on the desktop since the disaster called Vista. If Apple ever hopes to bring iWork to Windows, joining iTunes and Safari, they’ll need to have a document format that’s not based on bundles. A .pages file is just a folder as far as Windows is concerned.
  4. timmerk macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2008
    Not true. Apple already has code to read and write OOXML TextEdit, and code to read OOXML in Pages.

    Saving as a different format is not a default option. You have to check a box that says "Save a copy as:" and then pick a format if you wish to do this. I think having advanced options for power users is a good thing.

    This would be be trival. Apple would do what OO and Office 2007 already does: zip up the folder and rename the file extension. In fact, if you look inside a .pages bundle, Apple does this already. They have a zipped file that contains the XML and other resources. They would just have to zip up the parent directory instead.
  5. Island Dog macrumors 6502a

    Island Dog

    Sep 11, 2005
    St. Cloud, FL.
  6. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    iWork thoughts

    I think when Steve Jobs says "we make products that we want to use"... this philosophy really applies to iWork. iWork is great for creation of striking documents, and I really enjoy how simple it is to create a flyer in Pages. Keynote routinely draws wows from the crowds that see my talks. Interoperability with the rest of the document sharing world was obviously not the first thing on their minds when creating the iWork product. The iWork approach with regard to document sharing is, "export to pdf". For my uses, that is fine because I don't want my creations to be edited by others. (they are welcome to comment and I will make the changes myself!). This product is obviously not meant for an environment where multiple folks are working on the same set of documents. It is great for the home user who wants to make an exquisite document quickly, and for personal use.
  7. Aranince macrumors 65816

    Apr 18, 2007
    Actually, this notebook event might have a new iWork. Apple never has an event only for computers. There is a pretty good chance that he will talk about some sort of software.
  8. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Given that iWork 08 was delayed, I suspect iWork 09 wont be coming until March or so.

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