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The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 06:01 AM EDT

Guess what the SC 34 committee, the ISO/IEC committee responsible for OOXML, is up to now? I call it a takeover attempt of ODF, according to my reading of the published notes of the most recent meeting held yesterday, October 1st, and starring a document titled "Request to JTC 1 for alignment of OASIS and JTC 1 Maintenance Procedures." Uh oh. That sounds polite, but it is what it is. An attempted coup. They have already sent a "Liaison Statement" to OASIS. Surrender or else, what? SC 34 asks JTC 1 "to establish with OASIS a synchronised mechanism for maintenance of ISO/IEC 26300 and to inform SC 34 of the outcome." I gather they think they can do a better job of maintaining ODF than OASIS. What will JTC 1 do, do you think? You doubt they will hop on to this wonderful plan?

I gather the hope is, if the takeover were to succeed, that SC 34 would get to maintain ODF as well as Microsoft's competing parody "standard," OOXML. How totally smooth and shark-like. Under the guise of "synchronised maintenance", without which they claim SC 34 can't fulfill its responsibilities, they get control of everything. So utterly Microsoft. Microsoft yearns for interoperability, it seems. More like yearning for ODF's air supply to be ... well, you know. Microsoft never seems to change, does it? Yoo hoo! EU Commission! Are you watching? You can read all the public resolutions of the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Plenary Meeting, 2008-10-01, held in Jeju, Republic of Korea. It will either make you laugh or throw up. I did both. Sequentially.

Actually, you can only read part of the resolutions passed by this stacked committee. As usual, there are deep secrets that the public can't access. That's just one part of what's wrong with those people and why ODF must never fall into their secretive clutches. If it does, I have little doubt that ODF will end up brain dead, on life support, turning blue for lack of oxygen, and then suddenly, sadly, we'll find it dead as a doornail.

Why do I say Microsoft, when this is SC 34? Look at this, will you? It has a list of participants in the July meeting in Japan of the SC 34 committee. The committee membership is so tilted by Microsoft employees and such, if it were a boat, it would capsize. In fact, I'd say it already has. Of the 19 attendees, 8 are outright Microsoft employees or consultants, and 2 of them are Ecma TC45 members. So 10 out of 19 are directly controlled by Microsoft/Ecma. Any questions?

And here's yesterday's Resolution 6:

Resolution 6: Liaison Statement to OASIS

SC 34 approves the liaison statement contained in SC 34 N 1095 and instructs its Secretariat to forward it to OASIS together with the defect report on ISO/IEC 26300: 2006 contained in SC 34 N 1078.

Unanimous

Resolution 6: Request to JTC 1 for alignment of OASIS and JTC 1 Maintenance Procedures

SC 34 approves SC 34 N 1098 for submittal to the JTC 1 Plenary meeting to be held in Nara, Japan in November 2008.

Unanimous

The liaison statement forwarded to OASIS is not being made public. Neither is the SC 34 N 1098 document "for submittal to the JTC 1 Plenary meeting" being planned for next month.

Here's the meat of the sooper seekrit document 1098, however, so you can see the scheme in all its glory:

Request to JTC 1 for alignment of OASIS and JTC 1 Maintenance Procedures

SC 34 is anxious to fulfil its obligations for maintenance of standards assigned to SC 34 by JTC 1. These standards now include both ISO/IEC 26300:2006 and the shortly-to-be-published ISO/IEC 29500:2008.

SC 34 and Ecma International have spent considerable time over the past two years discussing and agreeing maintenance arrangements for ISO/IEC 29500, and we believe that we now have agreed an arrangement that meets the goals of timely maintenance of an ISO/IEC standard in accordance with the procedures of both ISO/IEC and Ecma International.

SC 34 would like to have had a similar discussion with OASIS concerning the maintenance of ISO/IEC 26300.

The strong support that has recently been shown for SC 34 to produce a Technical Report on translation between ISO/IEC 26300 and ISO/IEC 29500, supported by 18 Members, demonstrates that SC 34 is the centre for standardization of editable document formats within JTC 1. To fulfil this role, SC 34 needs to be closely involved in the maintenance and revision of the standards for which it has responsibility.

OASIS and JTC 1 do not have a synchronised mechanism for maintenance of standards. The maintenance arrangement agreed between OASIS and JTC 1 fails to establish such a mechanism, so that SC 34 is unable to maintain ISO/IEC 26300 in accordance with the JTC 1 Directives and in fulfilment of SC 34’s responsibilities.

SC 34 therefore requests JTC 1 to establish with OASIS a synchronised mechanism for maintenance of ISO/IEC 26300 and to inform SC 34 of the outcome.

They imagine that they are better equipped to handle ODF than OASIS, I gather. Well, they are a day late and a dollar short, methinks. As it happens, there already is a technical committee set up to handle ODF issues, the just-announced OASIS ODF Interoperability and Conformance Technical Committee.

Here's a comical touch, how the SC 34 committee at the July meeting suggested handling defect reports regarding OOXML:

4.5 Defect Handling

- [Note: ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 34 Ad Hoc Group 2 is developing a web application for collecting defect report comments for 29500.]

- WG 4 should adopt the web application of AHG 2, but it shall be for the use of NBs only for the submission of defect report comments. JTC 1 Directives require the submission of defect reports through recognised bodies.

- [Note: Form G5 may still be used for comment submission by NBs.]

- The above does not prevent other, informal mechanisms existing outside the process for comment collection from non-NB contributors. We encourage the establishment of such mechanisms, so that public comments are properly routed through NBs to WG 4.

- SC 34 may wish to encourage NBs to engage with the broader community and submit defect reports.

They may. But I doubt they will. Should be a blast if they do, but really, why would anyone bother to submit a defect report, considering how many were totally ignored at the BRM and thereafter, even to today? Unless they decide to engage with us unwashed masses, you'll note that the formal process is for "member bodies" only. Us hoi polloi can just wait for "informal mechanisms" to be set up someday, if they decide to do so. That should keep the finger-pointing at mistakes down to the loyal few.

I suggest they start there at the BRM, though, if they want to find defects to fix. X marks the spot. Include the issues from the NBs whose microphones were turned off when they tried to speak, will you? That seems a logical place to get going fixing the unfixable OOXML. Then tackle the appeals next, I'd think.

Considering that ODF is already in use around the world, and OOXML is still being pulled together into a workable shape, why would ODF leave OASIS and go to the home of a "standard" that isn't done yet, my logical brain asks? Riddle me that, Batman. Send OOXML to OASIS, by all means, if synchronization is desired.

I know. I'm just saying, if they were sincere, it would reach the purported goal faster and more reliably, if the folks that actually were able to produce a workable standard took over OOXML instead of the other way around. Here's the latest adoption news, by the way, Brazil's announcement that it is using ODF. Seen any announcements lately about OOXML? Ever? Perchance because OOXML is an unfinished mess? And ODF is already working just fine, despite all the effort this committee has put forth to make ODF look bad. Here. Take a look. This is what the SC 34 folks came up with for defects in ODF. That's it. I'm sure they'll keep looking, here's the level of defects put on their list:

What does "the current chapter" mean?
No kidding. I couldn't make that up. It's Defect Report JPT2-5, "Request for clarification".

I have a suggestion. I suggest they could more profitably use their time fixing OOXML's rather significant defects. Alex Brown tells us, in his blog account of the recent meeting, that the UK had 600 changes mandated at the BRM that it will now need to check to make sure they were implemented correctly. It seems at least one from Japan was not:

The afternoon was devoted to OOXML matters. Evidently, the sudden appearance of the final text of ISO/IEC 29500:2008 has come as something of a surprise for many; and the appearance of the first defect report (from Japan) shortly thereafter was a shock. Suddenly it’s all real; the clock is ticking and the Project Editor is obliged to respond to Japan’s report in eight weeks. Murata Makoto (the convenor of WG 1) carefully explained the details of the maintenance regime and took us through an example of one of the Japanese defects, which centred on a BRM-mandated change (from Finland) that had not been properly implemented in the final OOXML text. No doubt other NBs, as a priority, will now scour OOXML to make sure “their” changes have been implemented, and submit defect reports accordingly where they have not. The UK, with its 600 or so accepted changes, has a lot of checking to do …

Obviously, these folks have their hands full. Let them get cracking on the task at hand, I say.

Who attended the SC 34 meeting in July?

Bergius, Kimmo (FI) [Tuesday only]
Brown, Alex (GB) [convenor]
Cave, Francis (GB)
Farquhar, Adam (Ecma)
Jaeschke, Rex (Ecma)
Lange, Pia Elleby (DK)
Leenaars, Michiel (NL)
Mahugh, Doug (Ecma)
Makoto, Murata (JP)
Nobik, Lajos (HU)
Opota, Wemba (CI)
Paoli, Jean (Ecma)
Roberts, Brett (NZ)
Sebestyen, Istvan (Ecma)
Setälä, Manu (FI)
Simonsen, Keld (NO)
Stocholm, Jesper Lund (DK)
Stride, Jean (GB)
Valet-Harper, Isabelle (Ecma)
Welsh, Dave (US)

They seem to have left off the affiliations here and there, so let's help them out. Here's my list:

Bergius, Kimmo (FI) [Microsoft employee]
Alex Brown (GB; convenor; founding director of Griffin Brown Digital Publishing "a UK-based company providing XML-based services and products" and member "British Standards Institute (BSI) Technical Committee IST/41, where he contributes to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34"]
Cave, Francis (GB) [chair "BSI Technical Committee IST/41, which represents the UK in the work of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34" and "has operated a successful freelance XML consultancy business since 1999" - Francis Cave Digital Publishing]
Farquhar, Adam (Ecma) [Ecma TC 45 member]
Jaeschke, Rex (Ecma) (Microsoft consultant, Project Editor for OOXML)
Lange, Pia Elleby (DK)
Leenaars, Michiel (NL)
Mahugh, Doug (Ecma) (Microsoft Employee)
Makoto, Murata (JP)
Nobik, Lajos (HU) (IBM)
Opota, Wemba (CI) (Microsoft Employee)
Paoli, Jean (Ecma) (Microsoft Employee)
Roberts, Brett (NZ) (Microsoft's, National Technology Officer for New Zealand)
Sebestyen, Istvan (Ecma) (President of Ecma)
Setälä, Manu (FI)
Simonsen, Keld (NO)
Stocholm, Jesper Lund (DK)[His mainly favorable report on the BRM]
Stride, Jean (GB)
Valet-Harper, Isabelle (Ecma) (Microsoft Employee, Chair of Ecma TC45)
Welsh, Dave (US) (Microsoft Employee)

There. That's better. Information wants to be free.

And here's Resolution 22 from yesterday, so we can all give credit where credit is due:

Resolution 22: Appointment/Confirmation of Liaison officers

SC 34 confirms its Liaisons and officers as follows:

Internal
IEC/TC 100 Dr. Yushi KOMACHI
ISO/TC 46 Dr. Sam Gyun OH
JTC 1/SC 22 Mr. Rex JAESCHKE
JTC 1/SC 29 Dr. Yushi KOMACHI
JTC 1/IT Vocabulary MT Dr. Patrick DURUSAU

External
ECMA/TC 45 Dr. Makoto MURATA and Mr. Rex JAESCHKE
OASIS Dr. Patrick DURUSAU
XML Guild Mr. G. Ken HOLMAN

Unanimous

One can't help but notice this from Brown's blog:

Day 0 had been concluded with a tasty Korean meal (washed down with possibly a tad too much Korean vodka) and it was very interesting to hear some of the views from NB members on how they thought the office formats future will play out (and no, there were no Microsoft, IBM or Ecma people at the table). One view was that ODF had served its purpose (to get MS formats out into the open) and should now declare victory before fading away gracefully; another was that OOXML would surely become the default format of the OpenOffice.org suite, and that this would crystallize the real option users had: to use FOSS or commercially-licensed Office packages. I'm not sure I'd go with either of these but still, it was refreshing to get some new perspectives rather than the stale repetitions that have too often characterised the exchanges of the past months. It will be interesting to see what really happens ... personally I think ODF is more likely to emerge as a kind of 'default choice' than OOXML (not perhaps, that most users care)....
Oh, we care. Speaking for myself, I'd like to hear from Sun and OpenOffice.org on these thoughts that Brown has run up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes, as they used to say in the enterprise. In short, they hope, if I've understood his words from his alternate universe, that ODF will gracefully accept being euthanized by them and slip away into nothingness, having forced Microsoft to become more open.

Mr. Durusau, Mr. Brown, and all you guys, listen up, please. That isn't the goal. Microsoft being "more open" isn't the appropriate end goal. If it's your goal, you have utterly failed. The goal is a standard that anyone can use equally, a truly open standard, available to both proprietary folks and FOSS. Microsoft being "more open" but not really fully interoperable and always a little bit ahead of everyone else in its ability to use a "standard" is by no means enough. We've lived in that kind of Microsoft world a long time now. We don't need "standards" that replicate it.


  


The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move | 206 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Newspicks here
Authored by: NigelWhitley on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 06:06 AM EDT
Please place comments on and suggestions for the ever-popular Newspicks section
here. Using the title of the article as the title of the thread makes
cross-referencing easier.

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

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: Erwan on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 06:12 AM EDT
If any. (This should be the first thread for convenience)

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT, the Off topic thread
Authored by: Erwan on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 06:13 AM EDT
As usual.

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why would anyone maintain OOXML
Authored by: LouS on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 06:42 AM EDT
Weird -I can see why MS wants to control maintenance of ODF, but why would
anyone spend any time maintaining OOXML? Does anyone think this spec will
ever be implemented even once?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oh goody.
Authored by: mobrien_12 on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 07:04 AM EDT
Does this mean that ODF can look forward to wonderful things like "Tables
like Word 95" and lots of Microsoft patents being included?

OOXML is such a bloody mess (and I don't care what Miguel deIcza says about it).


[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Authored by: grouch on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 07:09 AM EDT
ISO still lives?

Why?

It's no longer about standards, since it was purchased by Microsoft to rubber stamp a non-standard. It's no longer about being international, since Microsoft's non-standard contradicts international standards and presumes English.

I think maybe having to read the engineering horror that is MSOOXML may have driven SC 34 and all of ISO mad. They no longer seem connected to reality.

---
-- grouch

GNU/Linux obeys you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

There's A Rat In Mi Kitchen, What Am I Gonna Do?
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 07:13 AM EDT
Hey, everybody!

Okay, this is disgusting, sure. Now, for the real question: what exactly are
we up against?

Let's go nuts and assume M$ takes over ODF. Is that ALL ODF, or will previous
versions still be okay?

Can ODF simply fork into a non-M$ and an M$ version?

If the takeover is successful, what exactly can they do? Can they simply
stagnate it, or can they actually encumber it with submarine patents?

If OASIS has to basically hand off ODF to M$, what are the odds of them doing
so? I ask because, IIRC, the head of OASIS gave some sort of thumbs up to
UhOhXML during the approval process (I hope I'm misremembering that).

And after the UhOhXML, will anyone risk taking ODF over to destroy it?
Approving a standard is one thing. Removing one is another.

Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

Able to leap tall logic at a single bound
Authored by: NigelWhitley on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 07:14 AM EDT
"The strong support that has recently been shown for SC 34 to produce a
Technical Report on translation between ISO/IEC 26300 and ISO/IEC 29500,
supported by 18 Members, demonstrates that SC 34 is the centre for
standardization of editable document formats within JTC 1. To fulfil this role,
SC 34 needs to be closely involved in the maintenance and revision of the
standards for which it has responsibility. "

In other words, people have noticed that documents can't be translated between
the two ISO/IEC formats 26300 (ODF) and 29500 (OOXML). They have asked SC34, who
should have taken care of this mess in the first place, to tidy it up. SC34 has
taken this as a request to "standardize" the document formats rather
than simply examine to what degree they are compatible with each other. The
misrepresented request is then exaggerated as evidence that they are recognised
as the best people to do what they were never asked to do. In order to best do
the job they were never asked to do, they ask to be closely involved in the
revision of ODF (and OOXML).

I suspect that the Microsoft employees and the members of ECMA (including the
chair of that august body) are probably quite closely involved in the
much-needed maintenance and revision of OOXML already (and if not, why not). So,
as PJ has indicated, this amounts to a justification, based on misrepresentation
and exaggeration, for gaining greater control over the vastly more successful
alternative to the standard they have developed. No possibility of a conflict of
interest there.

I don't understand why some people are questioning the integrity of the
standards process.

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

[ Reply to This | # ]

Admission of their own crime
Authored by: jeevesbond on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 07:27 AM EDT
ISO are openly admitting that the two standards conflict.

Here's my resolution: un-standardise OOXML. Since SC-34 just said that it
shouldn't have been ratified in the first place.

There, job done. Plus some of ISO's credibility restored.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Authored by: dio gratia on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 07:44 AM EDT
OASIS and JTC 1 do not have a synchronised mechanism for maintenance of standards. The maintenance arrangement agreed between OASIS and JTC 1 fails to establish such a mechanism, so that SC 34 is unable to maintain ISO/IEC 26300 in accordance with the JTC 1 Directives and in fulfilment of SC 34’s responsibilities.
We knew given enough time someone at JTC 1 / SC 34 would eventually come up with an excuse to actually adhere to the JTC 1 Directives. Too bad it has nothing to do with OOXML, or otherwise actually doing their own business. Microsoft is an OASIS sponsor, I take it they don't have the traction there to undermined ODF? Maybe it's too much an "... open and transparent process" at OASIS (OASIS White Paper, Open by Design,The Advantages of the OpenDocument Format (ODF), 10 DEC 2006, PDF 1MB).

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 07:48 AM EDT
Acclamation C:

SC 34 expresses its appreciation to Microsoft Korea for sponsoring the dinner of
Sept 29th.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 08:07 AM EDT
microsoft is just typical of an american business don't do things our way you
are fired or we will assimilate - brain dead mentality

but hey the taxpayers will bail you out when you make billion dollar mistakes.


what a joke - just hope the rest of the world sees what is going on.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Man of many hats
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 08:32 AM EDT
Mahugh, Doug (Ecma) (Microsoft Employee)
My my. Mr. Mahugh does get around, doesn't he?
This wouldn't by any chance be the same Mr. Mahugh who had a fit when not being allowed to impersonate a representative from Malaysia at a OOXML meeting there, would it?
And now he represents ECMA, it seems. Did he stop working for Microsoft or has the lines been so effectively blurred that it really doesn't make a difference?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Keld Simonsen
Authored by: kattemann on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 08:43 AM EDT
- is a Dane, who has been involved in Denmark's Unix User Group and ISO for
many, many years.

from his personal website: "I am a member of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC34 and I was
involved in having SC34 asking OASIS to propose ODF as an ISO standard ..."
and proceeds to link to said ISO standard.

He's one of the good guys :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Rex Jaeschke
Authored by: elderlycynic on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 09:05 AM EDT
Boggle. Look up his name in combination with NCEG. OOXML and that
are not things I would have classed together!

Not that I am criticising a person with widely disparate interests,
of course - I strongly approve of such things - but I wasn't expecting
to see his name here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Authored by: servies on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 10:02 AM EDT
Michiel Leenaars is the director of Internet Society Netherlands. As far as I can see from the articles he has written he's pretty critical about the "standards soap" as he calls it himself. His homepage is Here

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 10:09 AM EDT
Just to play devil's advocate, did anyone expect that ISO _wouldn't_ maintain
ODF in some way? If you make it a standard, they are going to maintain that:
blessing all output of OASIS is one way of doing it, but obviously not great
from ISO's perspective.

[ Reply to This | # ]

JP2-27
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 10:26 AM EDT
Says that the specification should not require reference to an implemented
product (OpenOffice.org).

I hope they are willing to apply the same standard to OOXML, that should be fun.


---
Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 10:28 AM EDT
Finding defects in OOXML.

My apologies, but I am not qualified to do this. My time is limited, and
analyzing a 6000 page document for an un-implemented standard will take longer
than I have left to live. (I'm over fifty.) Regrettably I must leave this task
to the class of 2012.

[ Reply to This | # ]

re: published notes of the most recent meeting ..
Authored by: emacsuser on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 11:36 AM EDT
A link to a page that links to other pages that are password protected ..

http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/def/1095.htm

http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/def/1098.htm

http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/def/1097c.htm

http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/def/1096.htm

http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/def/1088c.htm

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun on DIS 29500 ..
Authored by: emacsuser on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 11:44 AM EDT
'We wish to make it completely clear that we support DIS 29500 becoming an ISO Standard and are in complete agreement with its stated purposes of enabling interoperability among different implementations and providing interoperable access to the legacy of Microsoft Office documents', Jon Bosak, SUN ..

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee - IBM pull-out?
Authored by: mtew on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 11:56 AM EDT
IIRC IBM is to reduce its participation in questionable standards bodies. (NP
of recent vintage.). I noticed one (IBM) person on the list. Has that person
said anything about future participation?

---
MTEW

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is funny. Thanks PJ.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 12:21 PM EDT
Such a good laugh after that ISO fiasco... Let's review it:

SC 34 is anxious to fulfil its obligations for maintenance of standards assigned to SC 34 by JTC 1. These standards now include both ISO/IEC 26300:2006 and the shortly-to-be-published ISO/IEC 29500:2008.

DC-34: OOXML isn't published yet, so unless we can work on ODF, we have nothing to do.

Me: HAHAHA!

SC 34 and Ecma International have spent considerable time over the past two years discussing and agreeing maintenance arrangements for ISO/IEC 29500, and we believe that we now have agreed an arrangement that meets the goals of timely maintenance of an ISO/IEC standard in accordance with the procedures of both ISO/IEC and Ecma International.

DC-34: Look at how good we are.

Me: Yawn.

SC 34 would like to have had a similar discussion with OASIS concerning the maintenance of ISO/IEC 26300.

DC-34: For some reason, OASIS ignored us.

Me: HAHAHA!

The strong support that has recently been shown for SC 34 to produce a Technical Report on translation between ISO/IEC 26300 and ISO/IEC 29500, supported by 18 Members, demonstrates that SC 34 is the centre for standardization of editable document formats within JTC 1.

DC-34: Look, our friends said we are good and should be in charge.

Me: Yawn.

To fulfil this role, SC 34 needs to be closely involved in the maintenance and revision of the standards for which it has responsibility.

SC-34: We finally figured out that unless OASIS let us, we can't do anything about ODF.

Me: HAHAHA!

OASIS and JTC 1 do not have a synchronised mechanism for maintenance of standards.

SC-34: OASIS isn't coming to us as we tough they would.

Me: HAHAHA!

The maintenance arrangement agreed between OASIS and JTC 1 fails to establish such a mechanism, so that SC 34 is unable to maintain ISO/IEC 26300 in accordance with the JTC 1 Directives and in fulfilment of SC 34’s responsibilities.

SC-34: There is NO maintenance arrangement between us ans OASIS on ODF. We can't touch ODF without it!

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...gasp...HAHAHAHAHA!

SC 34 therefore requests JTC 1 to establish with OASIS a synchronised mechanism for maintenance of ISO/IEC 26300 and to inform SC 34 of the outcome.

SC-34: CAn someone please force OASIS to do what we want?

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...gasp...HAHAHAHAHA!

In short: all of their nice plans go down crashing in flame unless OASIS goes along for the ride and gives them ODF. OASIS can, do and will ignore them and simply keep working on making ODF a better format. OASIS can't be bough the way ISO was.

SC-34: We spent so much money! Why isn't working?

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...gaspg...HAHAHAHAHA!

[ Reply to This | # ]

If SC34 takes over ODF ...
Authored by: kawabago on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 12:27 PM EDT
If SC34 takes over ODF maintenance then we do what we've done before when
threatened by a committee's bad decision. We fork it from ODF 1.1 and maintain
it ourselves. That's what we did with X window system when xfree86 maintainers
made egregious license changes and we can do it again with ODF.

That is why a truly free and open standard can remain that way. Microsoft can
buy SC 34 but they can't buy everyone that wants a true free and open
specification.

ISO swallowed a poison pill and now it's going to die slowly and painfully.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Unanimous resolutions
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 02:31 PM EDT
I agree with the view that SC34 has been twisted to sinister and nefarious
purposes by Microsoft, but I'm curious why some of the folks on the committee
who aren't Microsoft shills voted for these two outrageous resolutions?

[ Reply to This | # ]

OASIS' position
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 03:06 PM EDT

Considering that ISO's reputation has not yet fallen to the point that governments stop trusting it, I don't envy OASIS' position with respect to this petition.

MS (i.e. SC34) is trying to grab control over ODF and OASIS won't want that. However, it's not clear what would happen in case of a fork, which MS will try to force if OASIS don't respond to their convenience, but it's likely that governments will forget about OASIS ODF and stick to ISO ODF in case of a fork.

That's what I see coming, so OASIS will have to be prepared to face the attempt to fork ODF. With that pressure, they might end up giving up a substantial part of ODF's control to MSC34.

I'm eager to see OASIS' move.

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Pia Elleby Lange
Authored by: esni on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 04:38 PM EDT
Pia Elleby Lange works for Dansk Standard. She is secretary for the Danish SC34
commitee

---
Eskild
Denmark


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The Microsoft-Stacked SC 34 Committee Makes a Move
Authored by: gdt on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 10:17 PM EDT

It is in the consumer's interest for OOXML and ODF to have common elements. For example, the spreadsheet formulas are basically identical, coming from the VisiCalc, 1-2-3, Excel tradition. It would be a shame if you couldn't import a spreadsheet from one ISO standard document format and save it in another ISO standard document format and get different calculated results.

The core question is if SC34 are a trusted, competent and appropiate body to negotiate the required compatibility. Sadly for ISO, they are not.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Glass Half-Full
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 10:52 PM EDT
or a vaguely optimistic interpretation:
ISO has approved 29500, now they have to maintain it.
Ooops, we don't have anyone who knows about OOXML,
we'd better enrol some o' those MicroSofties to help.

Yes, I know, Standards, like Patents, should be written
so that anyone skilled in the art can implement them.
Oh, 29500's not like that? Tsk, tsk.

Andn there's always a danger the 'Softies will empty the
glass, half or completely full.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ODF defect report, LMFAO!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 03 2008 @ 03:09 AM EDT
From: http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/open/1078.htm
---------------------
DEFECT REPORT NUMBER JP2-27
QUALIFIER clarification required
REFERENCES IN DOCUMENT Clause 9.2.11
NATURE OF DEFECT

This clause fails to define what is a measure line.

The only way to understand this paragraph is to invoke OpenOffice.org and see its measure lines. Such descriptions would be acceptable if they appeared in manuals of OpenOffice.org. But standards should make clear what is meant without relying on commercial implementations.
---------------------

I think my head just a-sploded.

- - Alsee

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is news?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 04 2008 @ 07:30 PM EDT
You cannot defeat the foul player if you will play fair, there are none who can,
live not such fantasies.

You cannot compete on a level playing field which is lawful and moral, for there
is no such field.



[ Reply to This | # ]

Interesting comment from Rob Weir
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 08 2008 @ 12:28 PM EDT
(http://www.robweir.com/blog/2008/10/wheres-rob.html)

"There are several participants in SC34 who have had the stated goal of
taking control of OOXML and ODF and maintaining them both in SC34 WG's. They've
been quite open about this plan. The problem is that they are planning a future
for standards that they neither own nor control nor have technical expertise.

This was an interesting goal when they first articulated this idea, around two
years ago. However, now that we've seen that JTC1 is easily corruptible, both at
the NB, SC and administrative levels, that JTC1 is incapable of fairly carrying
out its own Directives, and that in practice SC34 is now so dominated by
Microsoft that we could consider it a fully integrated division of Microsoft
Corp., this push toward maintaining ODF in SC34 is both naive and dangerous. It
will not happen. Doing so would be a huge step backwards in
participation,openness, transparency, in IP rights and in technical quality.
Drain the swamp first, and then let's talk."

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[Thelinuxshow] "Sun Sells Out Open Office to Microsoft"
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 03:04 AM EDT
Ever since Microsoft shutup shut-up the rhetoric of Scott
McNealy with their ripoff fee of $2 billion, I knew that
OpenOffice.org was not parked in the right spot. And there
was a hidden reason that Microsoft went into the belly of
the beast back then :

http://mailman.ibssnet.com/pipermail/thelinuxshow/2004-September/thread.html

[Thelinuxshow] "Sun Sells Out Open Office to Microsoft"

Robert M. Stockmann thelinuxshow@mailman.ibssnet.com
Mon, 20 Sep 2004 00:35:09 +0200 (CEST)

Hi,

on linuxelectrons the editors started a interesting
thread :

"Sun Sells Out Open Office to Microsoft"
http://www.linuxelectrons.com/article.php/20040914141417417

where they presumably state that Sun Sells Out Open Office
to Microsoft. I would say Sun has received a large amount
of cash from Microsoft and in return handed over to
Microsoft the legal right to sue Anyone over Open Office
(Technology) except Sun itself.

Thats a typical pay-off deal?

There's a official SEC Filing on this at :
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/709519/000119312504155723/dex10109.htm


"EX-10.109 6 dex10109.htm
LIMITED PATENT COVENANT AND STAND-STILL AGREEMENT DATED
APRIL, 2004 ,
Exhibit 10.109
Sun and Microsoft Confidential "

in which i find the following two Sections interesting,
and maybe alarming :

"
IV. PROVISIONS RELATING TO OPEN OFFICE

1. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Agreement,
with respect solely to the product developed by Sun and
generally known as Open Office, the Covenants of Section
II above and the Releases of Section III above shall apply
fully to Sun but shall not apply to Authorized Licensees
of Open Office or any other third party. Accordingly,
Microsoft shall not be foreclosed by this Agreement from
seeking damages from Authorized Licensees of Open Office
for copies of Open Office made or acquired prior to the
Effective Date of this Agreement. Nor shall Microsoft be
foreclosed from seeking any damages from Sun, its
Affiliates, Authorized Licensees or any third party for
any copies of Open Office made or deployed by a User after
the Effective Date.

2. In the event that Microsoft elects to sue or otherwise
seek recovery from an Authorized Licensee of Open Office
for copies thereof that were made and deployed by a User
prior to the Effective Date of this Agreement ("Deployed
Copies"), upon request, Microsoft agrees to promptly
reimburse Sun for any "

"
V. PROVISIONS RELATING TO CLONE PRODUCTS AND FOUNDRY
PRODUCTS

Clone Products and Foundry Products shall be treated under
this Agreement in the same manner as products until April
1, 2007, after which they shall be treated in the same
manner as Open Office.
"

Anyone with access to a lawyer to clarify this ?

Regards,

Robert
--
Robert M. Stockmann - RHCE
Network Engineer - UNIX/Linux Specialist
crashrecovery.org stock@stokkie.net

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