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Brazil Votes NO to OOXML - Updated
Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 08:07 PM EDT

Another No to Microsoft's OOXML, this one from Brazil. Avi Alkalay has the news:
It is now official. Brazilian vote was decided by consensus of the entire technical team, including Microsoft crew’s: OOXML does not deserve to be an international ISO standard.

Our first vote, in august, was also NO, due to the same reasons: OOXML is an awful specification.

That outcome was expected because we simply followed the process: technically analyze the OOXML specification, make comments, wait for responses, analyze them and see if all problems were fixed. Is there any single remaining unresolved problem? Vote NO. And in fact there were many many unresolved problems.

If every country followed this simple process, OOXML would receive a NO from 100% of them.

But in some countries, how is the process? Invite a few companies and simply count their votes. The problem here: 10, 20 or 80 votes can never represent what is the best for that country. Only, maybe, if you collect one vote for each citizen.

What I am trying to say is that in this case a decision must be reached by technical consensus, not vote. It is not a matter of will, but a technical issue that can only be reached by rational analysis and deliberation.

Updated: Czechia however has voted Yes, which changes from their earlier Disapprove, adding these extraordinary words:

Czech Standards Institute agrees with the proposal of the international standard ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (Information technology – Office Open XML file formats)

Czech Standards Institute (CSI) sent to ISO/IEC secretariat in Geneva, on Thursday 20th March 2008, its acceptance of the proposal for establishing ISO/IEC DIS 29500 file format (Information technology – Office Open XML file formats)....

During processing the standard proposal ISO/IEC DIS 29500 CNI was observing the maximum openness and transparency of the whole process and created conditions allowing every interested person to join the expert discussion. All received suggestions were carefully discussed and their enlistment into the standard proposal considerably contributed to the improvement of its technical expertise.

Hahahaha. "Maximum openness and transparency of the whole process." Pinocchio, Pinocchio, wherefore art thou, Pinocchio? We want to see your nose!

Here is one comment that must have slipped off the table and got overlooked, a comment the Czech Republic attached to its vote in September:

Coexistence of two very similar international standards such as ODF and OOXML is undesirable in a long term perspective. Therefore we ask JTC1 to start work on a progressive harmonization of both formats in cooperation with OASIS and ECMA organizations which are originators of these document formats.


Brazil Votes NO to OOXML - Updated | 181 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 08:15 PM EDT
Please put nature of error & correction in Title

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic here
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 08:17 PM EDT
Please make all links clickable

<a href="">Like this</a>
and changing post mode to HTML.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Good. n/t
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 08:19 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks discussions here
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 08:19 PM EDT
Please state which news item in the title.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brazil Votes NO to OOXML - Updated
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 11:15 PM EDT
...and transparency of the whole process...

What strange double talk to hide what actually is transparent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Czechia Votes YES to OOXML
Authored by: John Hasler on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 11:26 PM EDT
> Czechia however has voted Yes, which changes from their
> earlier Abstain...

A document I found on the Web which purports to be the ISO tally from September
shows the Czech Republic, a P member, voting "Disapproval".

IOANAL. Licensed under the GNU General Public License

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brazil Votes NO to OOXML - Updated
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 11:40 PM EDT
"Maximum openness and transparency of the whole process."

No, you see, what happened is that they accidentally made this statement before
April 1st.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This news is a disaster
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 12:29 AM EDT

What counts is changes to the September vote. And the real news here is that the Czech Republic has changed its vote from "No" to "Yes".

How many more changes does Microsoft need to get MSOOXML accepted as an ISO standard?

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Chief and the Chairman
Authored by: fudnutz on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 12:30 AM EDT
The Chief: ... The free coders are stirring each other up, but no one else
either knows or cares. OOXML has been a done deal for almost a year. It's
going to be boom and bonus --everybody's biggest payday.

The Chairman: Just knocking off ODF alone is worth it. We didn't even have to
pull the switch. I know we couldn't fail but some of this bad PR is getting
around. I am detecting more negativity despite all our contributions.

The Chief: ... Don't worry. "We must accept that over which we don't yet
control." The free coders are restless..

The Chairman: That sounds like a buddhist proverb.

The Chief: Ha! What can you do? A lighter, some gas, a color camera and a
pesky monk. Such a waste! It's a PR nuisance that will pass. When that vote
is official, things are realy going to ramp up.

The Chairman: I know. Good job.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Czech statement...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 01:16 AM EDT
sounds exactly like the over the top statement that a tortured prisoner of war
would make in denouncing his country. In other words, "I'm being forced to
say this but don't take me seriously because I don't really mean it".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brazil Votes NO to OOXML - Updated
Authored by: DarkPhoenix on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 02:14 AM EDT
What sickens me about this mess is the attempt by certain parties out of the
blue to insist that there has to be a unanimous decision in order to change the
vote. I suspect Microsoft's cronies are pushing this viewpoint because it
allows them to prevent countries that voted "yes" or
"abstain" to switch to "no", as Microsoft and their cronies
will never agree and suddenly you don't have a unanimous decision.

On the other hand, countries that voted "no" before aren't having this
viewpoint pushed; there, it's "majority rules". What is up with this?

Please note that sections in quotes are NOT copied verbatim from articles, but
are my interpretations of the articles.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brazil Votes NO to OOXML - Updated
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 05:28 AM EDT
Comparing the 2 responses from Brazil and the Czech Republic gives an impression
to the outsider of the integrity of the personnel from each country involved in
the OOXML debacle. Perhaps they do not appreciate the ambassadorial nature of
their work.

This is beyond any consideration that has affected ISO. It looks like an
organisation that can be bullied around by a company that has never been checked
in its evil business practices by its own government. ISO's integrity is close
to being non-existent, much like that of the Czech Republic.

All ISO had to do was to stand up to Microsoft. Heck, if the EU can do it, why
not ISO?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • lawyers - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 07:12 AM EDT
    • innuendo - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 09:34 AM EDT
An alternative take?
Authored by: Peter Baker on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 06:13 AM EDT

I'm wondering if it isn't time for a slightly alternative approach, known as
"providing enough rope". We know the ISO process is rigged to a level
only equalled by the last US election (cough) so one has to plan for failure.

The fundamental problems with OOXML is that it's not a standard that's possible
to implement. This leads to an interesting question:

If a government mandates an ISO standard file format, could MS fulfil the

The answer, so far, is an emphatic NO. This means that awareness must be
created that there's no point mandating a format without it being FULLY
implemented, because otherwise you'll have deceptive marketing again (I refer
you to the current Vista class action suit).

Now, which Office suite does not only have a CONSENSUALLY AGREED, ISO
standardised document format which can also be found in a lot of alternative
products, and which also preserves a government department budget?

The idea would thus be that an ISO "victory" would be Phyrric in the


= P =

[ Reply to This | # ]

If it passes, how much will the approval be worth?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 07:29 AM EDT

Well, I keep wondering, Microsoft has abused the process
so badly, how much would approval be worth? Like the
results of every other rigged election.

No legitimacy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is sloppy journalism, PJ
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 12:34 PM EDT

There are 2 pieces of news in this article:

  1. Brazil votes No
  2. Czech Republic changes its vote from No to Yes

These 2 items are not equally important. The Czech Republic is a "Participating Country", so its vote is much more important than Brazil's - Brazil is only an Observing Country. The headline emphasizes the wrong fact.

The headline should have been about the Czech yes-vote. Of course, some people will say that's less "positive". But one reason we always lose battles against Microsoft is that we tend to hide our heads in the sand - the free-software cheerleaders keep telling us how we're winning, right up to the final announcement that Microsoft has won again.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft digging its grave with its teeth?
Authored by: Wesley_Parish on Sunday, March 30 2008 @ 03:48 AM EDT
It's an idiom I heard in the seventies, about people who
ate themselves to an obese death.

It seems quite appropriate in this situation, to use it to
describe Microsoft's strategy.

finagement: The Vampire's veins and Pacific torturers stretching back through
his own season. Well, cutting like a child on one of these states of view, I

[ Reply to This | # ]

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