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The France Shift From No to Abstain -- HP helped Microsoft France do it - Updated
Monday, March 31 2008 @ 09:46 PM EDT

Here's the scoop from Les Echos.fr on France's sudden change from its No vote to Abstain. Microsoft France's President Eric Boustouller sent AFNOR a letter [PDF] in French, of course. He tells a tale about OOXML and ODF progressing side by side and how if OOXML is approved, a group will be working hard to make the two more interoperable. Attached was a an HP statement of support for OOXML. HP sings the same song. And AFNOR?
"A la lumière des contributions et des commentaires, il nous est apparu qu'une "Désapprobation" n'était plus justifiée. Pour autant, il demeure encore des incertitudes sur les textes et les engagements, ce qui nous a conduit à nous prononcer par une "Abstention"", a expliqué dans un message électronique samedi Tony Hittema, directeur technique de l'Afnor.

That's saying that in light of the new information, it seemed to them that disapprove was not justified. But neither was a Yes vote, because there remain issues with OOXML. So that's why they did it.

Here's the HP statement:

HP Position Statement on Standardization of Office Document Formats

Hewlett-Packard Company is in favor of standards for office document formats, including the Office Open XML (OOXML) and Open Document Format (ODF) standards. We believe that the two standards will co-exist interoperably, and that customers should have the opportunity to select the standards which best fit their needs.

HP believes that the international standardization process is working. This process has already significantly improved the OOXML specification and additional evolution of it will take place under control of the global community if the specification is ratified by ISO/IEC JTC 1.

In the current vote on OOXML at JTC 1, HP is supporting an affirmative vote in those national standards bodies in which HP is active.

Could it be any more cynical? So, now we know that HP is not supportive of Linux and FOSS as we thought. Knock me over with a feather. So, they got them to change on the basis of promises for the future. I'm sure there's more to the story, of course.

Here is the part about HP in French:

La dernière contribution adressée par Eric Boustouller, Pdg France de Microsoft, (cf ci-dessous) ainsi qu'un soutien de la société Hewlett-Packard ont changé le vote de la direction générale de la modernisation de l'Etat (DGME) et de la direction générale des Entreprises (DGE). "On a pu voir les limites d'une procédure accélérée dans un dossier aussi complexe", a reconnu Olivier Peyrat, directeur général de l'Afnor. Dans son courrier daté de vendredi soir, Eric Boustouller propose la création d'un groupe de travail qui "sera en charge de l'harmonisation pour aboutir a une meilleure interopérabilité des deux standards ouverts et distincts Open XML et ODF".

It says HP helped turn the tide, that and the Microsoft promise that there would be a working group set up to fix OOXML. How about the Microsoft OSP? Anybody planning to fix that so FOSS is not strangled to death with patents? No. Really.

Update: Here's an odd announcement:

Nicolas Sarkozy will personally announce in a few days the creation of a brand new great public entity that will encapsulates the strength of the French Industry in the field of Open-Source software.

The project - named “Opération Lafayette” - is thought to include Marc Fleury (previously CEO of JBoss) as its brand new CEO. People close to the source believe the initial list of companies will include : XWIKI (collaboration solutions), TALEND (Open Data Solutions), NUXEO (ECM), MANDRIVA (Operating System), EXOPLATFORM (portal & WebOS), EBM WEBSOURCING (enterprise service bus) and BULL (IT services).


  


The France Shift From No to Abstain -- HP helped Microsoft France do it - Updated | 317 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here, Please
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 09:56 PM EDT
Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Here, Please
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 09:57 PM EDT
Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspick Discussions Here, Please
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 09:59 PM EDT
Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

Classic References Here, Please
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:01 PM EDT
"What is honor? A word. What is that word, honor? Air."

Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

The France Shift From No to Abstain -- HP helped Microsoft France do it
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:12 PM EDT
It seems strange to me to me the meanings of Yes, No and Abstain are:

Yes = It is a good specification and should become a standard at this point in
time
No = It is not a good specification and should not become a standard at this
point in time
Abstain = We can't decide if it is a good standard or it somehow doesn't affect
us so we wont vote.

Some people seem to be treating 'abstain' and 'yes' as "it is NOT a good
specification but we _hope_ MS will fix it". Going by technical comments it
seems quite a few others are using 'abstain' to say 'no' without hurting
Microsoft's feelings.

Am I missing something? Trust (or lack of) should have nothing to do with it.
Almost ANYTHING can be fixed (even Vista, I think) so why not approve everything
that comes before them, after all, it can be fixed later!?

Steven.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How does OOXML+ODF make any sense at all?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:22 PM EDT
Is anybody really that stupid? Why is everybody straining so hard to give msft
the benefit of the doubt?

OOXML obviously has one purpose, to stomp out ODF, and preserve msft's monopoly,
any fool can see that.

[ Reply to This | # ]

New slogan for the ISO
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:51 PM EDT

When you need to buy a standard,
Choose the ISO

[ Reply to This | # ]

...HP is not supportive of Linux... (eh?)
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:54 PM EDT
"So, now we know that HP is not supportive of Linux and FOSS as we
thought."

That was heavy enough to comment on. What does Linux have to do with that? I
believe HP is a or possibly _the_ leading Linux-installed-at-the-factory OEM.
Even their Windows Server installs come with some kind of Linux PE.

As nasty as Microsoft's involvement is with just about everything - I think
making HP out to be not-Linux-friendly on this topic is kinda out there.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Translation
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:54 PM EDT
I took several years of French, but that was some time ago. I'll do my best to translate these, but I have no dictionary on hand, only my memory. So if someone more knowledgeable shows up, trust their words instead of mine :-) It looks like part of one quote is missing a word (?), too, but I may be misreading something. I'll mark my uncertainties with a [?].
"A la lumière des contributions et des commentaires, il nous est apparu qu'une "Désapprobation" n'était plus justifiée. Pour autant, il demeure encore des incertitudes sur les textes et les engagements, ce qui nous a conduit à nous prononcer par une "Abstention"", a expliqué dans un message électronique samedi Tony Hittema, directeur technique de l'Afnor.
In light of the contributions and comments, it is apparent to us that a "Disapproval" vote is not justified. For that matter, uncertainties remain in the texts and engagements [processes ?], which lead us to support an "Abstain" vote, as explained in a Saturday email [to or from?] Tony Hittema, technical director of AFNOR.
La dernière contribution adressée par Eric Boustouller, Pdg France de Microsoft, (cf ci-dessous) ainsi qu'un soutien de la société Hewlett-Packard ont changé le vote de la direction générale de la modernisation de l'Etat (DGME) et de la direction générale des Entreprises (DGE). "On a pu voir les limites d'une procédure accélérée dans un dossier aussi complexe", a reconnu Olivier Peyrat, directeur général de l'Afnor. Dans son courrier daté de vendredi soir, Eric Boustouller propose la création d'un groupe de travail qui "sera en charge de l'harmonisation pour aboutir a une meilleure interopérabilité des deux standards ouverts et distincts Open XML et ODF".
The last contribution sent by Eric Boustouller, chairman of Microsoft France, (cf below) as well as the support of the Hewlett-Packard company changed the vote of the Director General of the Modernization of the State (DGME) [?] and the Director General of Companies (DGE) [?]. "One could see the limits of an accelerated procedure on such a complex format [Ed: This is hard to word. I think he's admitting that OOXML was rushed through.]", recognized Olivier Peyrat, general manager of AFNOR. In a message last Friday evening, Eric Boustouller proposed the creation of a working group which "will be in charge of harmonization so as to create a better interoperability between the two distinct open standards, Open XML and ODF."

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Translation - Authored by: roxyb on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 03:35 AM EDT
  • Translation - Authored by: FrnchFrgg on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 05:35 AM EDT
  • Translation - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 09:45 AM EDT
  • Thanks - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 01:51 PM EDT
Maybe I was mistaken about ISO's suicide; MS desends to SCO's depths
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:59 PM EDT

A couple of days ago, I opined that it was rare for an organization
to willfully commit suicide and to tolerate disrespect and contempt.

It seems this may be one of those rare instances. I'm getting a sore
face from my jaw hitting the floor so often.

I still can't believe what I'm seeing. Unapologetic, daylight cheating.
Microsoft truly believes they will get away with it. They may be right.

My only consolation is that it is all so blatant, the imprimatur of an ISO
standard will be debased to worthlessness. Let's see how much good
this will do Microsoft.

It also may be that the price Microsoft pays will be perpetual bribery.

Last, but not least, it calls into question the integrity of every Microsoft
executive, just as the integrity of SCO's executives has been reduced
to zero.

And, I guess we can add Hewlett Packard to the hall of shame.

I guess it's yet another test of democratic societies: how long will
they violate their social contracts with their people?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Amazing
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 11:04 PM EDT


The more I hear about ISO and Microsoft XML, the more the entire situation looks
like an overflowing septic tank. And HP has just done damage to their own
reputation.

I have been wondering if the EU Competition Bureau is going to investigate the
voting by the various National Bodies. Every extra article detailing another
suspect act makes it more likely that an investigation will occur, and the
articles keep piling up...


---
Wayne

http://sourceforge.net/projects/twgs-toolkit/

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Amazing - Authored by: RPN on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 05:49 AM EDT
    • Amazing - Authored by: lukep on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 07:21 AM EDT
So HP gets a "Sweet Heart Deal" on OEM Vista
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 11:17 PM EDT
Which is probably what happened....Has not any one told them that the market
does not want it at any prince and besides that, Microsoft will be bringing in
Win7 in a year or so and chances are any deal made to day will not cover it at
all. So all HP gets for helping MS is a bad rep.

[ Reply to This | # ]

2 things: conflict of interest and ANSI?
Authored by: designerfx on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 11:57 PM EDT
Remember 2 things here:

HP sells vista and office as package with their products....so I'd say that
should have been a conflict of interest in the first place.

Remember that HP was on the ANSI board and supported MS as well. I believe
someone mentioned before, isn't there supposed to be some kind of rule about the
same company voting twice? I seem to wonder just how ISO would work if all the
MS owned and MS companies counted as one vote, same for HP, etc etc. Would be
very interesting to see voting like that (although its ripe for its own abuse by
hidden subsidiaries)

[ Reply to This | # ]

The France Shift From No to Abstain -- HP helped Microsoft France do it
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 12:29 AM EDT
Microsoft is obviously frantic to get this standard approved.

It's telling how very desperate they are...

[ Reply to This | # ]

What if this were a construction standard...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 01:03 AM EDT
Would it work? Would it even have a chance to fly this far?

Just wondering.

Scott

[ Reply to This | # ]

The France Shift From No to Abstain -- HP helped Microsoft France do it
Authored by: billposer on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 01:31 AM EDT
Well, there could be a silver lining. The Bush administration hates France.
Maybe in response the US will change its vote to "No". :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Massive financial pressure on politicians by Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 01:43 AM EDT
Again, there are rumours that Bill Gates personally pushed people (politician on the very highest level) to change the NO-vote of AFNOR.

I have no idea what threats where spoken out but I am quite sure that AFNOR did not make this change voluntarily but by extreme political pressure.

Here is again the Heise and the French report about the French NO:

Heise report

French newspaper Les Echos

[ Reply to This | # ]

Durusau is French, right?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 01:53 AM EDT
Patrick Durusau is French, isn't he? As he was one of the editors of the ODF
standard, could his defection from that camp have been decisive in the French
reversal?

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO suddenly looks like Zimbabwe
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 02:45 AM EDT
Lets define a standard for election fraude.

[ Reply to This | # ]

a posible method of lobying.
Authored by: giskard on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 05:49 AM EDT
I've been following the ooxml story with the dismay i think many of us feel that
such an important process could be so corrupted. lobbying for change in the
tech community is obviously impossible, as so many of the major players are in
Microsoft's pocket. However, the ISO has standards for far more that document
formats. they do everything from steel bolts to shipping containers. perhaps
if other industries that rely on ISO standards were aware of the way the process
can be perverted to the detriment of all but on player in the market, they would
apply pressure to fix the process.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The France Shift From No to Abstain -- HP helped Microsoft France do it
Authored by: TropicalCoder on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 05:56 AM EDT

"HP believes that the international standardization process is working."

...and I believe in unicorns.

It is now blatantly obvious that quite the contrary is true, specifically, that the standardization process was seriously flawed.
There has to be some way that we can bring this to the attention of HP so that they may correct their error?

"additional evolution of it will take place under control of the global community"

...another error - in no way whatsoever could we conclude that the decision for MSOOXML to become an ISO standard was made by the "global community". I believe that decision was made by Microsoft its partners, and AFAIK, additional evolution will be done by ECMA, who is controlled by Microsoft.

HP must be taken to task on this somehow

[ Reply to This | # ]

Has anyone filed to stop this madness?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 06:23 AM EDT
IANAL, so sorry if these are stupid questions.

1) If some entity (e.g., individual, company, government or the EU) filed now to
an appropriate court, could this process be stopped before it gose any further?
(i.e., get by getting an injunction on ISO).

2) If yes, has anyone done this yet?

3) Which court(s) could or would they be likely to file at?

4) How could we find out whether they have filed?

TIA.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Support your local whitebox businesses; you can still buy blank hard drives
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 06:42 AM EDT

Where I live, white boxes (no OS installed, specs made to order)
are a cottage industry. People build these inside their homes to
supplement income. Others are small shopkeepers.

Even if large businesses are forced to pay Microsoft protection
money, it's still possible for the rest of us to buy blank hard drives.

But, who knows, maybe Microsoft can reach deals with hard drive
manufacturers to force us to buy Windows on those, too.

In that case, I'll move to flash drives and USB hubs for my
comoputing. For the moment, at least, you can't run Windows
off a flash drive.



[ Reply to This | # ]

Why so many European countries selling out to a large American corporation?
Authored by: electron on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 06:53 AM EDT
Why so many European countries selling out to a large American corporation?

Why so willing to so quickly approve such a defective standard?

What is so important to the ISO that this must be so brutally shoved through the
fastest process possible?

I was shocked that the ISO even considered fast tracking such a bulky standard.
But the fact that it continued to do so even after it became apparent that there
were so very many flaws that simply could not be addressed and a consensus
decision reached on what to do with them...

The ISO already has a tarnished reputation as a result of fast-tracking this
insane standard.

But it would have completely lost all credibility as an international standards
setting body if such a very obviously defective "standard" as
Microsoft's Office Open XML gets approved without ALL comments from all NBs
having been properly address and a consensus decision reached.

That Microsoft would attempt this did not surprise me.

That the ISO has apparently acted complicity in this matter has shocked and
appalled me! :o(


---
Electron

"A life? Sounds great! Do you know where I could download one?"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft assume this will all be forgotten in 6 months
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 06:57 AM EDT

Microsoft will spout diplomatic balm for the immediate future,
and will assume no one will care six months from now.

Anyone who disagrees with Microsoft will be a "zealot."

[ Reply to This | # ]

A Pyrrhic victory ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 07:24 AM EDT
It look like the battle to ensure the quality of standards, particularly for
interchange of office documents, has been lost. While that in itself is
lamentable, a greater failure would be to focus on the wrong message sent by
this outcome. The issue is not whether the standards process could be usurped by
someone with enough leverage, but why Micrososft applied so much leverage for
this standard.

In order to get a bad standard accepted, Microsoft have had to push so hard that
everyone could see the sweat on their brow. The question we need people to ask
is "Why was this 'standard' so important to MS?". The simple answer is
that MS need proprietary lock-in in order to compete effectively with FLOSS.
Without the competitive advantage of a proprietary data format, MS would
irretrievably lose share in the marketplace : how many would willingly choose to
go back to jail after tasting freedom?

Rather than simply pointing out all the bad things MS have done, and they are
legion, we should be pressing the debate towards the question of why Microsoft
really chose to push OOXML. To quote Sherlock Holmes "It is an old maxim of
mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however
improbable, must be the truth". Plainly it wasn't because they want to
achieve interoperability with competitor products - they could have just
supported ODF if they wanted that. Similarly they didn't simply feel the
existing ISO standard needed improvement on technical grounds - Microsoft were
on the committee for ODF but declined to actively participate. It wasn't because
they wanted to provide support for "legacy" formats - the OOXML
specification doesn't contain the information needed for that, just placeholders
for MS quirks. It wasn't because of widespread implementation for OOXML - there
are no firm commitments to implement OOXML, although MS may yet choose to do
so.

While we have not excluded all other possibilities, the purported reasons for MS
pressing for OOXML as a standard do not stand up to close scrutiny. The truth
must therefore lie elsewhere. It is important, IMHO, that we focus attention on
identifying that truth. Microsoft have repeatedly proposed "solutions"
which would make Microsoft the key-holders of the world's data. OOXML is just
one more attempt to lock data away and charge for retrieving it. In such a
scenario, the access fee is only enforceable if there are no cheaper
alternatives. That is why the standard is so bad and why MS have worked so
determinedly to get it accepted anyway. Microsoft's revenue plan relies on
repeat business from those whose office data is locked away : an open standard
for documents which could be fully implemented by competitors (like ODF) would
destroy that plan.

If in exposing the activities around OOXML we can show people how Microsoft are
able to keep charging exorbitant fees to allow customers to access their own
data, it may yet cause those customers to make smarter choices. A useful
argument may be that Microsoft is tacitly admitting they can only compete with
FLOSS if the playing field is unfair - in a fair fight they know they will lose.
Once that truth becomes self-evident fewer companies (and particularly PHBs)
will be prepared to sign orders for second-rate software at premium prices. MS
are playing a short game with OOXML and relying on inertia until they have the
bolts on the door. We need to remind customers the locksmith is standing ready.
If we do then Microsoft may have to bundle blood and tears with their sweat.

------------------
Nigel Whitley

[ Reply to This | # ]

The result has been leaked!
Authored by: theopensourcerer on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 07:26 AM EDT
http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2008/04/01/ooxml-dis29500-result-approved/ ...

---
The Way Out Is Open

[ Reply to This | # ]

Refs of Interest
Authored by: schestowitz on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 07:32 AM EDT
Microsoft, HP expand business alliance

A new deal announced Wednesday calls for, among other things, more HP workers to be trained to sell Microsoft products.

http://news.zdnet.com/210 0-3513_22-6143540.html

French consumer protectionists are demanding PCs without preinstalled software

The consumer protectionists of the French organization UFC-Que Choisir are demanding of the IT group Hewlett-Packard and the vendors Auchan and Darty that they offer PCs without preinstalled software.

[...]

UFC-Que Choisir last year also took action against Sony and Apple, taking the two companies to court for allegedly putting their customers at a disadvantage through proprietary DRM technologies and curtailing their choice of devices.
http://www.h eise.de/english/newsticker/news/82605/from/rss09

Microsoft dirty tricks, part two (Bob Cringely)

...

"So the outside vendor was Hewlett-Packard, one of Microsoft's hardware OEMs, which is to say Microsoft's bitch.

The tape disappearance was blamed on HP, which accepted the blame, and the employees directly involved kept expecting there to be repurcussions, especially legal ones. They expected to be deposed by Burst lawyers. But it never happened.

This was, for Microsoft, a perfect ending. ..."
h ttp://www.technologyevangelist.com/2007/02/microsoft_dirty_tric_4.html
Hope it helps,

Roy

---
Roy S. Schestowitz, Ph.D. Candidate in Medical Biophysics
http://Schestowitz.com | GNU/Linux | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • A small quibble - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 07:46 AM EDT
An open letter to HP
Authored by: TropicalCoder on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 07:54 AM EDT

Take a look at HP's Ethics and compliance page and you will see how concerned HP is of public perceptions after recent events connected with HP's investigation into leaks of confidential information from the Board of Directors tarnished HP's reputation in this area.

HP tells us they have a long-standing commitment to conducting business with uncompromising integrity, which is core to everything they stand for as a company.

In light of this, you may wish to help them understand the errors presented by the "HP Position Statement on Standardization of Office Document Formats" and you may comment directly to their board of ethics on the Comments page to rate HP's Global Citizenship Report. That is where I just posted the following letter...


Dear members of the Board of Ethics and Compliance at HP

It is clear that your company is deeply concerned about conducting business with uncompromising integrity. In light of your commitment to being a leader in global citizenship and corporate ethics, I wish to direct your attention to a serious error in judgment by somebody there at HP who formulated the “HP Position Statement on Standardization of Office Document Formats”.

I refer to the following statements…

"HP believes that the international standardization process is working."

It is now blatantly obvious that quite the contrary is true, specifically, that the standardization process was seriously flawed. Please see the current discussion on Groklaw about this at http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080331212042460#c684749 and you will quickly realize that your statement is a serious error.

"additional evolution of it will take place under control of the global community"

...another error - in no way whatsoever could we conclude that the decision for MSOOXML to become an ISO standard was made by the "global community". I believe that decision was made by Microsoft and its partners who overwhelmed the ISO voting process, and AFAIK, additional evolution will be done by ECMA, who is controlled by Microsoft.

“Hewlett-Packard Company …believe[s] that the two standards will co-exist interoperably, and that customers should have the opportunity to select the standards which best fit their needs.”

The phrase boggles the mind when you try to parse it. Let us imagine that the two standards, MSOOXML and ODF are interoperable – then why would we need both? Why would the end user choose one over the other if they both do the same job? Interoperability implies that we could easily convert from one to the other. If this were possible, than that in itself is a demonstration that MSOOXML is a duplication of an existing standard – ODF – and therefore should not be/have been approved.

…and if they don’t work the same way – for example, if one standard is better for Microsoft documents and the other is better for, say, OpenOffice products, then they are not interoperable, and the use of the word interoperable is a contradiction. If MSOOXML only works for Microsoft documents, then it should not be an ISO standard, as it only benefits Microsoft. We cannot have an ISO standard for the benefit of a single company.

I believe that HP is serious about corporate ethics and perceptions thereof, and I wish you all success in developing leadership in this area. Your position statement appears to be contrary to everything you are trying to achieve, and seems to be formulated to support your business partner Microsoft to the detriment of global standards and interoperability, at the expense of citizens of the world. I would suggest your clarify your position ASAP.

Sincerely,

[ Reply to This | # ]

Writing to MP and MEP - concise summary of problems needed
Authored by: Michelle Readman on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 08:47 AM EDT
Sadly and confusingly, the British Standards Institute seems to have changed its vote from Disapprove to Approve, despite pres sure from a MP. Furthermore, the entire ISO process has been made into somewhat of a farce and international pressure will be needed to prevent this from happening again.

To be honest, there has been so much wrong with OOXML and the fast track process that I simply don't know where to start! And the cynic in me wonders about the timing of the result and of exam season for us techie types in university (which at the least means I can't do much more than letter writing :( ).

Is there any website out there with a succinct summary for the non-technical of the problems with OOXML as a prospective international standard? Such a resource would be essential in protesting a NB's Approve vote.

Similarly, is there any such resource for the process irregularities and gaming that has been going on?

As a British student at an Engineering department within a major university, I am utterly ashamed of the decision to change the vote.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Phillipines looks really smelly too.
Authored by: theopensourcerer on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 08:48 AM EDT
On the OpenMalaysia blog, there are a few comments that seem to show that the vote was 5/4 in favour of OOXML when it should have been 5/4 in favour of retaining their disapprove position... http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2008/03/the-last-lap.html#comment-108981962 PS - I believe the ISO voting documents here to be authentic and NOT an April fool.

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The Way Out Is Open

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How can MRB's allow Micosoft to vote for itself?
Authored by: KW on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 08:52 AM EDT
Is this democracy?

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LateLinuxer

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France seems confused
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 10:51 AM EDT
It is odd reading AFNOR comments that were sent together with their vote. Their
122 page comment report begins as follows:

"In accordance with 9.8 of the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives, AFNOR disapproves
Fast Track ISO/IEC DIS 29500 “Information technology -- Office Open XML file
formats » for the reasons, stated below, albeit with proposals for changes that
would possibly make the document acceptable as a two-part Technical
Specification*). Acceptance of these proposals shall be subject to a two-months
letter ballot for confirmation that the vote can be changed to an
approval."

France's change of heart was apparently so sudden that they did not have time to
update their comments.

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ISO and SCO linkage
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 11:30 AM EDT
At this point me thinks there is a linkage between the two. I recall many moons
ago it seemed that the Noordas were being fed "the truth" as seen by
SCO and everything seemed fine and dandy for them, until one day they discovered
that real truth and the truth that SCO had been feeding them was not the same.
Mr Mustard then came in and cleaned house for the Noordas (unfortunately not for
everyone).

Now in OOXML what if the people in Switzerland have up to recently had no real
idea what's been happening (there's also the possibility that they have known
what's happening but have chosen to ignore it).

I know that Norway has now sent a formal protest to them, but has anyone with a
DIRECT connection to the ISC Central Secretariat taken and made a package of ALL
the irregularities that have occurred and placed it on their desk.

If not then like the Noorda's they could be in a position of having no idea of
the full extent of what happened is. and can say in the future "sorry we
thought it was only Norway".

But if all is shown to them then it will not be possible to say that.




ISO Central Secretariat


Telephone +41 22 749 01 11
Fax +41 22 733 34 30

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Something just occured to me as an outsider to all this
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 12:05 PM EDT
We are about to have a standard that only one company will ever be able to
implement.


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Google news states it has officiall passed
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 01:18 PM EDT
http://www.betanews.com/article/1207064735#c1538188

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How can you stay positive? - The France Shift From No to Abstain -- HP helped Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 01:23 PM EDT
The more I see of this garbage, the more depressed I become. If I were to try
to get a standard ratified by the ISO, I would have to jump through buku hoops
and make sure every i was dotted and t crossed, and that all the reviews showed
no signifcant problems before it would even be allowed to be considered for
ratification.

If I had the billions on billions of bucks MS has, it would have to be spent to
make this happen, instead of on ....

Well perhaps I'd better not say it, wouldn't want to be sued for slander now,
would I?

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