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From Armin Le Grand <>
Subject Re: binfilter (was RE: OOO340 to svn)
Date Sat, 06 Aug 2011 11:56:45 GMT
Am 05.08.2011 22:22, schrieb Eric Hoch:
> Hi Armin,
> Am Fri, 05 Aug 2011 19:01:52 +0200 schrieb Armin Le Grand:
>> Am 05.08.2011 18:47, schrieb Dennis E. Hamilton:
>>> The only problem with [2] is that it assumes conversion is
>>> possible/permissible.  That is not always the case.  Now, I do
>>> not know there is anyone who has that problem and is (or will
>>> soon be) unable to run older software that accesses those
>>> formats, but we do need to be careful in considering this.
>> The current 3.2 version would be the last one to have both, how
>> ling will it be installable and runnable on evolving systems? Can
>> only be guessed, but usually it's another 7-8 years.
>> I have no numbers, but how many people still have files in old
>> formats? With introduction ODF years ago it was preselected as
>> the standard.
> I don't know how it is in the country you live in but here in
> Germany documents, especially tax relevant ones from companies,
> must be archived for 10 years or even longer. 2011 minus 10 years
> makes it 2001 and in 2001 there was no ODF.

Germany, too :-)

> At another place I worked before I had a request to open a Works
> 2.0 file which hadn't been used for ages but contained informations
> that years later were needed. At the time of creation of those
> files nobody thought that there would be a time where there would
> be no MS Works that will read old 2.0 formats or that you would
> have even trouble to find a Computer old enough to run MS-DOS or
> Win 95 not to mention the actions it took to get a version of MS
> Works that would read Works 2.0 formats and convert them into a
> format that todays MS Office version would read without totally
> messing up the layout to a point were the file unusable.

What does this show? Others behave much worse as we would do. If the 
first AOO release will be the last with binfilters and we assume a 
runnalble/installable state of 5-10 years (depending on OS, unforseeable 
progress, etc...) this will be fine from my POV.

>> When you load old files, change and safe them you are invited to
>> use ODF for the file save.
> That's true but in some cases, see above, you must preserve not
> only the content of the document but also how it looked and the
> digital signature because otherwise there is no proof that you
> didn't edit it. Worst case would be that you convert the document
> with a batch run into ODF, it reads 1000 instead of 100, which you
> don't notice, and convert this in a signed PDF/A. This of course
> can happen also when you use the original StarOffice format but you
> would have eliminated one possible source of errors in the first
> conversion into ODF.

One more reason not to use the most current AOO in five years, but an 
older one which is installable and capable of doing the job. I agree 
that this would be safer for conversion anyways.

Noone tests binfilter nowadays when during version progress the 
underlying libraries (tools, vcl, etc) get changed. This does have 
influence on binfilter, but as long as noone using the old formats 
stumbles over one (and reports it), it will just stay hidden. Thats what 
I meant with that it's even dangerous to keep these last, low-level 

>   The office was not even as widely
>> spread as it is now before ODF was added as default format, thus
>> potentially much less documents in the old formats were created,
>> compared to ODF.
>> I think something like old file formats have to be deprecated one
>> day, and in my opinion there was a quite long
>> conversion/transition period now. As others already mentioned,
>> binfilter is not even installed by default for 3.2 (if I remember
>> correctly), and I have not seen any complaints about that yet.
>> To All: Does anyone use one of the old binary formats or knows
>> anyone who does actively nowdays? Please answer if you know about
>> something like that, this would be valuable input in this
>> discussion.
> Not used actively but needed in order to open old documents which
> cannot be converted into ODF because of the above reason that you
> cannot rule out that you make 100 out of 1000 or the other way
> round.

Use the last version doing both, the first AOO release as it looks. It's 
not even released, so there will be some time where it will be installable.

One concrete question: DO you have documents in the old formats or is 
this just hypothetical..?

> Eric Hoch


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