Help yourself, is more like it.
The OpenDocument Foundation (where the author has a role) is having a bit of fun at just about everybody's expense -- with a dreadfully serious purpose.
Go now to Gary Edwards' blog, "Brace Yourselves! ACME 376 Is Here!".
You see, the OpenDocument Foundation has taken a lot of stick this year for being the only entity to constructively and successfully address Massachusetts ITD's specific requirements for ODF with perfect fidelity to the legacy MS Office documents. The Foundation is successful in this due to its uniqueness as a truly vendor-neutral organization: it has no installed base to protect, no legacy biases, no other software to sell and can take a pure customer point of view.
People with nothing better to say and lacking the commitment to fully understand the, albeit complex, miasma of document format and software application permutations have called the OpenDocument Foundation's ODF Plugin for MS Office "vaporware". How dare they?
Even though it is true that the ODF Plugin for MS Office does only exist in advanced proof-of-concept form, this kind of reaction disappoints and sorely rankles on the personal level (not when coming from Microsoft .Net programmers, for example, but when coming from the open source or ODF communities who should better ken the levers of oppression; and, for example, the pro-open source companies who are either AWOL completely if not actively derrogatory of the Foundation's plugin solution either out of fear, greed, ignorance or a potent cocktail of all three). We would expect -- and I say here, damand -- more flexibility of imagination under the circumstances that a good, working solution for Massachusetts and Europe would help significantly to turn the tide against entrenched bad habits that are very hard to change. This particular solution has a unique window of opportunity, and it is very difficult to watch people in the process -- as if in slow motion, WWWWWwwwwaaaaaaaallllllll - kkkkkiiiiiiing - iiiing - iiiing -- walking past the main chance.
The major message we take from this is that the people want to be hog-tied to Microsoft -- forever. And, indeed, this confirms our feeling that Microsoft's domination of the document formats produces Stockholm Syndrome, a form of deep-seeded empathy that hostages develop for their captors (out of self-preservational instinct). I dare you to argue this is not the case.
So, our reaction at the OpenDocument Foundation is constructive. We offer today a way for everyone in the public to try the ACME 376 Plugin for MS Office. If there is any residual doubt about the possibility of inserting a small piece of software in existing installations of MS Office in order to create and edit ODF files with no visible alteration to the desktop, then ACME 376 will erase it -- utterly.
Download ACME 376 now to your Windows PC, install it, then open up MS Word and try saving any document in the brand new ACME 376 file format. (In the File->Save As routine of the Main Menu, select 'ACME 376 file format' in the 'Save as file type' drop-down list and then click 'Save'.) The file format produced is a kind of pure RTF-encoded XML; it's not something to work with but will demonstrate how smoothly the real thing -- a full-blown OpenDocument Foundation "da Vinci" class ODF Plugin for MS Office -- can integrate into the MS Office application and the workflow process.
We intend this to whet your appetite for the real thing.
Kindly e-mail Gary Edwards, President of the OpenDocument Foundation, to discuss how and when we can work together to get the ODF Plugin for MS Office completed for you and finish the job of getting ODF inserted onto 468 million PCs.