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OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Friday, April 04 2008 @ 04:25 AM EDT

Not to burst any bubbles, but I think the ISO folks have failed to follow the rules. I know. How could *that* happen? Someone tell Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Here. Read it for yourself, from the relevant Directive [PDF], clause 13.12 on page 60:
13.12 The time period for post ballot activities by the respective responsible parties shall be as follows:
  • Immediately after the vote, ITTF shall send the results of the vote to the JTC 1 Secretariat and to the SC Secretariat, and for the latter to distribute the results without delay to its NBs, to any NBs having voted that are not members of the SC and to the proposer.
  • As soon as possible after the distribution of the results of the vote to its NBs but in not less than two and one-half months the SC Secretariat shall convene a ballot resolution group meeting if required;
  • In not more than one month after the ballot resolution group meeting the SC Secretariat shall distribute the final report of the meeting and final DIS text in case of acceptance.

So where is it? It's been more than a month. The BRM was from February 25 to 29. Uh oh. Anybody get one?

Well, what are nitpicky rules among friends? And what's the point of crossing a legal T or dotting a supposedly required I, when I gather no one plans on enforcing any rules that get in the way of a happy result anyhow?

Wait. I have it. It must be "out of respect for the standards process" -- they don't wish to seem to interfere with the appeals. Legally that makes no sense to me, since the rule doesn't say, "... unless there are formal appeals filed, in which case a final text shall be distributed three months after the ballot resolution meeting." Say. I'm thinking any ISO guys looking for work should apply at SCO's bankruptcy law firm. They'd fit in perfectly. SCO's lawyers just said to the court about SCO's third attempt at a reorganization plan, "We don't have a new deal, but when we get the deal we think we're going to get, it's going to be better." ISO has just said to the world, in effect, "We don't have OOXML finished despite it being accepted as a standard, but when it gets finished someday, it's going to be better." It's a match!

By the way, you might keep an eye out for clause 13.14 to sail by on the horizon someday:

13.14 Subsequent revisions shall be in the format prescribed by the ISO/IEC Directives Part 2. In this case, the ITTF editor shall check the text received to ensure that it is in conformance with the ISO/IEC Directives Part 2. If modifications are considered necessary, the ITTF editor shall submit proposals for modification to the Project Editor for approval. No IS shall be published without such approval.

ITTF shall prepare a proof of the IS and send this to the Project Editor for endorsement including identification of the changes made. The only changes permissable at this stage are corrections of recognized errors in the revised text or errors introduced by ITTF in preparing the proof.

Hmm. I predict a very odd "maintenance mode" if that is all they are allowed to change. I read that first language as saying that thou shalt not do XYZ, unless you want to do XYZ, in which event you have to get the project editor to go along with it. I'm sure that will be hard, what the Greeks called an agōniā. I have the perfect suggestion. They should get Patrick Durusau as project editor, I think. He's clearly well-qualified for the job. And he fell in love with OOXML.

If not now, surely in an afterlife. There must be a special rung in Dante's Inferno for all those who urged that OOXML be approved and those who voted for it, where throughout eternity they have to not only use it, they have to keep editing it until it actually works. Oh! The humanity! Joke. Joke. I don't believe in hell and eternal punishment. But I can dream, can't I?

I don't think we need to worry, no matter who is project editor, because that section of the Directive's all in purple text, meaning it's been revised in the middle of the OOXML process, and they seem to be some mighty flexible dudes over at ISO, so they can just rewrite the Directives again as needed to match OOXML's state of actual development, as opposed to the other way around. That's the ticket. Trying to get OOXML to match the Directives was *too hard*.

Anyway, my job is just to point out the need for another revision. It needs to read: "You have to distribute the final text within a month after the ballot resolution meeting, unless you failed to. Then you should do it as soon after you read Groklaw as humanly possible." There. That should give us all enough wiggle room. Just kidding around. But seriously. If OOXML is so wonderful it deserves to be a standard, and everyone knew what they were voting on, how hard can it be to get a final text done in a month?

Here's the Directive Part 2 [PDF], by the way, that they claim must be followed, in case you're finding this all fascinating and have a local wager on as to how many rules can be broken before OOXML is declared Ready for Prime Time. You'll find all the relevant Directives, procedures, supplements, supplementary rules and drafting standards on Groklaw's permanent ODF/MSOOXML page, although why we bothered to collect them when they are like the shifting sands and just for show, I can't imagine. For gamblers and historians, I guess. It'll be like Stonehenge. Someday, some researcher will stumble across them, and say to himself, "Why ever did they write that?" It's a mystery.

Personally, I seem to be losing count already of rules breached, but some of you are anal types and probably have charts and graphs and spreadsheets, because you haven't yet fully grasped the insouciant breeziness of the standards process in our modern world.


  


OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month? | 427 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections
Authored by: Rudisaurus on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 04:39 AM EDT
Please point out any necessary corrections here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: Rudisaurus on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 04:40 AM EDT
Rust never sleeps ... and, apparently, neither does PJ!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks
Authored by: Rudisaurus on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 04:43 AM EDT
Please reference the articles -- and don't forget to make 'em clicky (if you
can).

[ Reply to This | # ]

The BRM didn't ask the project editor to do anything
Authored by: Alan Bell on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 05:04 AM EDT
the agenda states: (my bold)
The output of the Ballot Resolution Meeting shall be a single resolution that instructs the Project Editor to prepare a revised text. The resolution shall list the changes that the meeting has decided on.
There were 43 resolutions to the meeting most of which were in the form "The BRM accepts the editing instruction . . . " None of the resolutions instruct the project editor to prepare a revised text.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 05:11 AM EDT
OOXML should be scraped by default considering the way "everything"
has been conducted to make OOXML an ISO Standard.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How ISO/IEC ITTF interprets the 30 days document editing deadline
Authored by: nb on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 05:17 AM EDT
The ISO/IEC "Information Technology Task Force" (ITTF) interprets the deadline for completion of the document editing (and double-checking the edits, which is the greater problem right now) is that the 30 days start from the day of the approval decision, which would be 29 March or maybe April 1. This was explained orally at the BRM.

Note that in actual practice, it is not the JTC1 directives which govern the process, but the ITTF interpretations of the directives. I have a somewhat detailed analysis of this phenomenon here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ: the wordsmith, slaved over this ending
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 05:31 AM EDT
"...but some of you are anal types and probably have charts and graphs and
spreadsheets because you haven't yet fully grasped the insouciant breeziness of
the standards process in our modern world."

Oh -- how I wish I had crafted that ending.
Hats off to you, master word_smith .
How do you craft such a fine turn of phrase?
How without grasping the mental and emotional state,
that "insouciant breeziness" of suave, jaded, world-weary
XML experts and ISO admins, and making it your own?
Then able to contrast it to us plodders.
. . [Grasp] . . [gasp] . . [Grasp]
My wishes and understanding of such simply; exceed my grasp.
Oh woe. I'm a plodder, such a feather-light existence eludes me.


However, for those of us rooted in the real world ...
a simple reference to the vagaries of low paid staffers leads to a plausible
explanation for the error you allude to.
They just got confused. It was a mistake!

They meant to schedule the BRM for February ...
then set a release date for the final published result.
Some staffer with a red, blue and green crayons
was supposed to check off the calendar dates.

THEY ... were supposed to allow 3-4 weeks for distribution,
then add a period of 3-4 weeks for review of the final output.
Then mark off a 2 week period for final balloting,
between 8 and 10 weeks after the end of the BRM.

BUT ... their new-found beloved called while they were marking the dates.
She/he forgot where they were and what crayon matched each cycle.
The result was, ... the new guy ..., doing e-mail updates thought
- -- BALLOTING -- -
took place 4 weeks after the BRM, and he electronically misspoke.
He meant to say, look for the final text in 30 days,
review for 30 days, then VOTE over the final 14 days.
A simple dumb mistake, anyone could make.

SO it was not really an ISO issue. It was bad help.
Don't blame the ISO, Eczema or Microdaft.
It was a matter of misguided young love
and blossoming relationships, over the New Year holiday
that caused the dates to be set as they were.
Unskilled labor. Phfafph! What can you do these days?

In this case, since everyone has done the work ...
No harm? No foul? Why waste time and money redoing what's done.

Rules, schmules ... stuff happens, but we patch it together.
We're loose, we're smart, we're fast and we're free. We'll make it work.
And we promise! It won't happen again?
Don't be a hater, remember, everyone loves a lover?

OK? We good? See it wasn't evil.
Just a mistake.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO ignored rules during approval, it will ignore rules during appeal
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 06:53 AM EDT

ISO ignored the rules for the approval process. I'm not sure
why they would bother to quote rules for appeals.

But look on the bright side. OOXML will be of the same high
quality as Vista.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why pretend?
Authored by: Prototrm on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 07:53 AM EDT
ISO just told the world that the standard is the latest version of Microsoft
Office, nothing more and nothing less, accept no substitutes. This whole farce
wasn't about a file format, it was about getting governments to accept the
Microsoft lock-in by purchasing lots and lots of copies of Office 2007
(especially since their existing copies of Office 2000, 2003, and 2003 don't
support the ISO standard, and must therefore be replaced by 2007).

Why pretend this has anything to do with the customers or this
"interoperability" fantasy? At the moment, Microsoft's only real
competition is old copies of its own software. I don't think it cares about
FLOSS (not in the Office space, anyway).

---
"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the
exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them."

[ Reply to This | # ]

OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 07:53 AM EDT

Microsoft unofficial statement:

Please, wait. We are cooking the final text of DIS 29500, this is a real mess, see for example the BRM text of handling of dates in OOXML:

Extract the file "Response-dates-V9.doc" from this zip:

http://www. itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/open/0989_reference_docs.zip

( this zip contains the documents generated at the rushed BRM[1] when it was quick and dirty decided to change scope, conformance and lot of normative text of the beast, including a "kind of" fix of the weird date handling mess )

Can you see the circus of kaleidoscopian colors? we are reading this right now and we sincerely don't understand what we decided in the BRM about this ! If you have any clue, please contact the Microsoft/ECMA OOXML ISO Text Preparation Readiness Team ( lead by Brian Jones ).

The show must go on !!

[1] http://adjb.net/index. php?entry=entry080306-082306

[ Reply to This | # ]

No, no, PJ -- THESE are the rules
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 08:12 AM EDT

I think you missed the last revision of ISO's rules. The latest version reads as follows.

  1. Vendors wishing to have their proprietary file formats designated "ISO standards" shall give substantial discounts and/or other benefits to organizations designated by the members of National Bodies who report results to ISO. Amounts are at the discretion of the vendor, but sums in the vicinity of $33 million are suggested.
  2. A vendor which complies with Rule 1, to the satisfaction of enough recipients, shall be unconditionally entitled to have its proprietary format designated as an International Standard.
  3. If the submitted format definition is not a complete specification, see Rule 2.
  4. If the submitted format definition is inconsistent with existing International Standards, see Rule 2.
  5. If the submitted format cannot be used by Free Software because the vendor has attached patent-licensing conditions to it which restrict re-use of parts of an implementation, see Rule 2.
  6. If the submitted format definition is incomplete, inconsistent with existing standards, unusable by Free Software because of patent-licensing conditions, internally inconsistent, and in addition has just undergone hundreds of hurried changes which nobody has had time to review properly, Rule 2 applies.

I don't see any violations of these rules in the procedure leading to the acceptance of MSOOXML.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Standard? What Standard?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 08:37 AM EDT
If no revised version of the Standard Document was sent to the various ISO
comities, how can they have voted for it to be approved?

What standard? That's the message we want to get out, before they change the
rules again.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 08:41 AM EDT
ISO has just said to the world, in effect, "We don't have OOXML finished despite it being accepted as a standard, but when it gets finished someday, it's going to be better." It's a match!
They have - it's called ODF. ;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO is selling DIS 29500
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 08:48 AM EDT

I don't know if the text is ready, but ISO is just collecting bucks from it:

http://www.iso.org /iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=45515

[ Reply to This | # ]

Directives rewrite
Authored by: PolR on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 09:12 AM EDT
so they can just rewrite the Directives again as needed to match OOXML's state of actual development, as opposed to the other way around. That's the ticket. Trying to get OOXML to match the Directives was *too hard*.
If you are interested on an account on how such rewrite was done in the past, here it is. Sorry if this is a repeat link, I thought it would be useful to include for convenience.

It escaped noone that the main topic of this article, as well as the Directives rewrite are grounds for appeals. I want to stress that these matters allow appeals that don't undiplomatically disparage the work of other nations NBs, even if they would have deserved so.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't hold your breath...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 09:47 AM EDT
...you'll have serious breathing problems.

It's going to take a while. They want to show us their not complete idiots, so
they have done the only thing possible to silence all you doubting critics. They
will release the text only in MS OOXML only for MS Office 2012 only on MS
Windows Montana(due any minute starting 2020). That will show you haters! So
there.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Trouble is ... - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 11:02 AM EDT
Discredit the entire standards process
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 09:49 AM EDT

Is is possible that Microsoft's intent was to discredit the entire standards
process.

I can see it now next time an issue between how MS does it and a standard. MS
will use this to show that standards are meaningless.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Call for ISO Breaches: The "Insouciant Breeziness" collection
Authored by: jss on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 09:51 AM EDT
Personally, I seem to be losing count already of rules breached, but some of you are anal types and probably have charts and graphs and spreadsheets, because you haven't yet fully grasped the insouciant breeziness of the standards process in our modern world.
I would like to ask the Groklaw community to help enumerate the many breaches in policy/procedure by ISO in the review and subsequent "approval" of DIS29500. A collection of links to the relevant ISO documents can be found h ere on Groklaw. A simple reply to this comment with a citation from the relevant document and a brief description of the breach is sufficient. Links to "charts and graphs and spreadsheets" would be welcome also. Thanks.

---
- jss

[ Reply to This | # ]

OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Authored by: JamesK on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 10:05 AM EDT
"Say. I'm thinking any ISO guys looking for work should apply at SCO's
bankruptcy law firm. They'd fit in perfectly. SCO's lawyers just said to the
court about SCO's third attempt at a reorganization plan, "We don't have a
new deal, but when we get the deal we think we're going to get, it's going to be
better." ISO has just said to the world, in effect, "We don't have
OOXML finished despite it being accepted as a standard, but when it gets
finished someday, it's going to be better." It's a match!"

Perhaps we should get Morrison & Foerster involved. ;-)


---
This space intentionally left blank.

[ Reply to This | # ]

It really exists!
Authored by: JamesK on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 10:07 AM EDT
"I don't believe in hell and eternal punishment. But I can dream, can't
I?"

It's called "Vista". ;-)

---
This space intentionally left blank.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Say. I'm thinking any ISO guys looking for work should apply at SCO's bankruptcy law firm.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 10:11 AM EDT
PJ wrote, "Say. I'm thinking any ISO guys looking for work should apply at
SCO's bankruptcy law firm. They'd fit in perfectly."

Going a bit far!

Who knows, maybe it's only one or two "bad apples".

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Month"
Authored by: overshoot on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 10:51 AM EDT
Be nice, cut them some slack.

They were caught by surprise, unprepared for Holy Week and the Ides of March.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • "Month" - Authored by: PJ on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 11:43 AM EDT
    • "Month" - Authored by: Wol on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 02:13 PM EDT
      • "Kilt" - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 04:53 PM EDT
        • "Kilt" - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 06:49 PM EDT
        • I don't think so - Authored by: tyche on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 11:46 PM EDT
          • Kilts cost! - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 12:08 AM EDT
OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 11:41 AM EDT
IIRC my Intro to Engineering Law class, ASTM set a standard that required a
patented safety valve and got itself successfully sued.

ISO may have openned itself to endless lawsuits with the many traps in OOXML.

Or has that classic case been eclipsed by more recent case law?

[ Reply to This | # ]

OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Authored by: Tweeker on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 12:56 PM EDT
Nice use of insouciant. That is all.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT : The troll menace crosses the Atlantic
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 02:13 PM EDT
BBC report

[ Reply to This | # ]

Former Head of Ecma calls PJ, IBM and Google out.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 02:55 PM EDT
I actually found Jan's post to be pretty damning of Google and IBM's activities. Regardless of the fact that he's now working for CompTIA, his details are pretty specific about Google joining late and IBM doing the same kind of Committee stuffing Microsoft is accused of - here's some of the hairier stuff:

IBM also claims that it believes in the importance of national standards bodies’ independence. Yet this is belied by the fact that Michael Breidthardt, an IBM Germany employee and member of the Ecma Co-ordinating Committee, is listed as the author of the critical comments submitted by the Kenyan national standards body during the contradiction period at the start of the ISO/IEC process. These negative comments are the same as or similar to others that IBM pushed around the world in its failed attempt to block choice in the marketplace and international control over Open XML. It’s unclear what role IBM Germany should play in the Kenyan decision, and how that reflects the Kenyan national experience. When IBM talks about independence, it really means that national standards bodies should be independent of anyone who disagrees with IBM’s position.

and

Google’s Late Arrival. Despite its claims that late entry into the standards process are improper, IBM happily welcomed Google’s entry into the 14 month process at the very last minute in a futile attempt to shore up its ultimately unsuccessful efforts to block global ratification of Open XML. In three national standards bodies, Google joined very late, sometimes a matter of just a few days before the final vote:
· Denmark – Google joined on March 26th.
· Norway – Google joined on March 14th.
· Finland – Google first participated in the March 27th meeting.
In others, Google joined just in the weeks leading up to the BRM (Brazil, Germany, and Ireland). And in France, it joined the day of the national standards body’s vote during the initial balloting period. In Switzerland we had the representative of FSFE being hired by Google, then participating both in Switzerland AND Germany as representing Google, and additionally preparing contributions to Norway and Serbia. Indeed, there are no frontiers for Google’s behavior.

I want to understand – how is it a violation of the standards process for companies to join national bodies at the beginning of this process but not a problem for Google to march in and vote ‘no’ at the last minute? Have you ever heard IBM or its proxies complain about this?

Is this stuff true?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Specifically...
Authored by: Ted Powell on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 04:08 PM EDT
There must be a special rung in Dante's Inferno for all those who urged that OOXML be approved and those who voted for it...
I would suggest the Eighth Circle, Bolgia 8: fraudulent advisors.

See Canto 26, beginning at:

With flames as manifold resplendent all
Was the eighth Bolgia, as I grew aware
As soon as I was where the depth appeared.
Two of the occupants are Ulysses and Diomed: "And there within their flame do they lament / The ambush of the horse..."

And if MS-OOXML isn't a Trojan Horse, I don't know what is. (.sig notwithstanding!)

---
MS-OOXML is a dead parrot nailed to the ISO/IEC perch.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Authored by: Alan Bell on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 05:13 PM EDT
There was an article in the Finan cial Times in the UK. They call it Open Office XML rather than Office Open XML in a couple of places.
Microsoft has been pushing hard for international certification for its Open Office XML, the default file format for Microsoft Office 2007, to improve its chances of winning government work.
...
“Ratification of Open Office XML makes it easier for governments to chose this format. The ISO decision sends a message that the global community has embraced this standard,” said Tom Robertson, head of standards at Microsoft.
now that second part is interesting. Did the FT missquote, or did Tom Robertson misspeak?

[ Reply to This | # ]

13.14 isn't about maintenance ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 05:58 PM EDT
I think your comment "Hmm. I predict a very odd "maintenance
mode" if that is all they are allowed to change." isn't justified.

13.14 is about converting the draft, as modified by the BRM, for formal
publication as an IS. Notice that the text that is supposed to be published one
month after the BRM is still referred to as DIS. The restriction on the kind of
changes permitted during the process of preparing the IS from the DIS is
entirely reasonable.

So, from what I see, this isn't about the future maintenance of the standard.
Perhaps the confusion comes from this task being assigned to the group who will
do the future maintenance of the standard.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OOXML: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Final Text Within a Month?
Authored by: Yossarian on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 06:02 PM EDT
The short answer is "so what?"

The longer answer is along the old joke of:
Q: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Bill Gates will just redefine Darkness as the
new industry standard.

In other word, Microsoft defined a new document standard *and*
a new ISO standard for approving standards. It can probably
demand royalties from the ISO for that faster way to
approve "standards".

[ Reply to This | # ]

ROFLMAO N/T
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 07:18 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

Appeal criteria
Authored by: seantellis on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 07:48 PM EDT

I've been reading the ISO JTC1 directives document (it's all go on a Friday night round here) and I've found a couple of interesting bits on appeals.

But first, a quick note from Section 9.8 on Fast Track process:

[Note: Conditional approval should be submitted as a disapproval vote.]

Does that mean that those "yes with comments" votes should really be counted as "no"? I'm guessing not, but just checking.

Be that as it may, the appeals text says (11.1.1):

Appeals shall be made within two months after receipt by the P-members of the report of JTC 1 or SC on the relevant meeting or vote by correspondence.

My understanding of this is that, if the BRM report has not yet been delivered, the clock hasn't started yet on the appeals process. This means that 2 months still remain in which one of the P-members can appeal.

As for the grounds for appeal, these include this one from 11.1.2:

Not in the best interests of international trade and commerce

and this one from 11.1.3:

The contents of a draft may be detrimental to the reputation of IEC or ISO

I think a good case could be made for either or both of these, by a sutiably motivated party.

What do you guys think?

---
Sean Ellis (groklaw@moteprime.remove-this.org)

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS-ISO will now try to repeal non-MS standards
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 08:07 AM EDT

After MS-ISO approves all Microsoft products as standards,
it will repeal all non-Microsoft standards.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Melinda Gates' Washington Post ignores OOXML
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 09:34 AM EDT

Interesting to see the New York Times has had one of its
own reporters do a story on OOXML.

Nothing from the Washington Post, where Melinda Gates
is a board of directors member.

Only Web stuff from IDG, PC World and Reuters show up
in a search of the Post's Web site.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The "Patriot Act" for data
Authored by: Superbowl H5N1 on Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 12:28 PM EDT
Ok. So wouldn't this be sort of like the Patriot Act? It's not like they even
read it, since it was not available.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What is wrong with OOXML?
Authored by: AndyC on Monday, April 07 2008 @ 06:15 AM EDT
In brief, how can we, as a community, influence the decision makers in our
respective places of work to reject MSOOXML as a "standard"?

Basically, I think what I'm asking is whether there is a simple set of bullet
points that outline the (many) problems with OOXML and compares them to ODF.

Say, for example, the specification says in many places "Use Word 97 binary
blob" or something like that. How can a proprietary (secret) binary blob
be implimented by someone else?

Can someone point me in the right direction for this?

Thanks

Andy

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Maybe OXML as an ISO Standard is for the best
Authored by: devil's advocate on Monday, April 07 2008 @ 09:53 PM EDT
I have been thinking about this infernal OOXML. Maybe it is a good thing after
all that it got approved as an ISO standard. When there was only one office
document standard - ODF - the "good" guys were winning. Large users of
office applications would have no other means of archiving their data in a
standard format unless they chose ODF, which MS Office doesn't support. Now the
battle formerly played out in the non-standard field of action has simply moved
on to the standardised field of action. ODF can compete with OOXML on a level
playing field just as free software competes in general with proprietary
software. The reason OOXML won was simply that too many people had a vested
interest in its success. Who then cares if it is a standard from Hell?

[ Reply to This | # ]

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