EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.11.07

ISO / JTC 1/SC 34 / OOXML: What is Really Going on There???

Posted in Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 1:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Standardisation efforts behind OOXML are not over and it would be naive to assume that they are. When a multi-billion dollar cash cow is at stake, people will work relentlessly and resort to dirty tricks. The closer we look at the latest details, the more irregularities appear. Yesterday, we said we would keep an eye on developments, so indeed we do. Here are some of the latest findings. You can explore a trail of previous incidents by following the hyperlinks (cross references in particular), thereby moving backward in time to get a broader and more complete picture.

Comment Recycling

Remember the alleged spamming of ANSI? Repeated comments that overwhelm decision makers in a very ineffective way? Watch the following:

The DIS 29500 ballot comments have been published on the SC34 web site (ZIP of Word documents).

Glancing through them, I am struck by how much is word-for-word identical between countries. Maybe countries shared comments (and certainly the open Wiki for UK comments may have been a source), or maybe some of the larger multi-national organisations reviewing DIS 29500 their fed pooled comments down to many different nations. Ultimately, though, the source of comments does not matter; what matters is whether they have technical merit.

The fact that Word format is used here (see jtc1sc34.org) gives away some possible biases. The remainder of this essay talks about the fact that the comment will not be effective when it comes to squashing deficiencies. Gross reuse, rather than independent thinking, leads to a situation where there is no constructive criticism. it’s just repeated criticism, whose scope is narrower, thus it’s easier to address. This begs the question: did the panels just ‘import’ some arguments? Were panelists thinking for themselves? The next bit reveals more disturbing evidence.

Assessment of a Misinformed Puppet

Good critics are strong critics. For good criticism, one must understand the position he or she defends. In the past, Microsoft was ‘caught’ sending non-technical people to introduce OOXML. It’s no coincidence. Such a strategy turns a discussion about technically poor specifications into a powwow about industrial ‘politics’.

If you thought that was bad, have a look at those who are supposed to be competent enough and party neutral. Look who is actually deciding on future formats.

One is the “I don’t understand” role. When the technical experts get going, they decide on something, and then they need to figure out how to word it in the specification. Making these experts come up with a good way of explaining the issue and the resolution is incredibly important, but often doesn’t happen as the others on the committee are too embarrassed to admit that they don’t understand.

[...]

In the end, technical committees need members who can talk to other people; who listen to a different point of view and can respectfully disagree; who can admit when someone has a better idea; and who can check their ego at the door.

Related & recent articles:

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Understanding Thierry Breton: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France

    "In each of these cases, the suicide served as a symbolic act of protest to denounce workplace conditions at France Télécom and attract public attention to its practices."



  2. Thierry Breton's Video/Live Grilling is Over, But the Grilling Continues Online

    Elite politicians aren't reluctant to give Thierry Breton the high seat (or throne); but everyone else realises that this resembles a corporate takeover more than anything



  3. The EPO's Low Patent Quality is Not Just Suicidal; It is Illegal

    With help from the besieged Boards of Appeal (BoAs), which complain that they can no longer judge cases (appeals/referrals) autonomously and independently, the Office in Munich continues to grossly violate the EPC and mimic China's ridiculously low patent bar, which even formally permits patents on algorithms



  4. Links 14/11/2019: Mesa 19.2.4 and GCC 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft is Not an Open Source Company But Microsoft Bribed and Took Over Many Open Source Authorities (Rivals' Voice Hijacked)

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux are being taken over by Microsoft moles, bought by Microsoft Corporation, and the collective voice of the alternative to Microsoft and Windows is being muzzled (they tell us they "love" us while they're attacking us and sometimes suing us)



  6. Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO: The EPO's Management Still Attacks Staff Representatives

    The EPO hopes to get its victims (of EPO abuse) to not only foot their own bills but also the EPO's



  7. Understanding Thierry Breton: “Mister Cash” Arrives at France Télécom

    The psychological harassment of the France Télécom workforce led the "suicide wave" after Breton had left France Télécom



  8. The Breton-Battistelli Relationship and Breton Hiding His Employment Record at Rothschild & Cie Banque

    EPO scoundrels such as Battistelli are closer to Breton than most people care to realise; Breton is hiding part of his career ahead of today's grilling



  9. A Lot of EPO Staff on Dutch Land Protested (Despite Abusive Threats From Management) and a Strike is Reportedly Next

    EPO management in Rijswijk tried hard to prevent workers from protesting on their free time (lunch break), reaffirming that same old belief that nothing is changing at the EPO and nothing will change without truly disruptive action



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 13, 2019



  11. Links 13/11/2019: Docker Enterprise Bought, WordPress 5.3, Qt 5.12.6 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Rebranding Malware and Spyware as 'Linux' to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

    Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of "Linux" news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software



  13. Understanding Thierry Breton: In the Beginning...

    Career roundup of Thierry Breton, possibly the next EU Commissioner



  14. Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

    Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 12, 2019



  16. Links 12/11/2019: Plasma 5.17.3, More Intel Defects, Bytecode Alliance

    Links for the day



  17. You've Gotta Go When You've Gotta Go

    How most staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) feels these days



  18. Teaser: Thierry Breton and His Disquieting Past

    "The company attracted notoriety and loathing in the UK for its role in assessing disability benefit eligibility."



  19. EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

    It’s no secret that the EPO breaks the law and European officials have taken no concrete steps to intervene; to make matters worse, potentially new EPO allies may soon be put in charge of the EU Commission



  20. Maintaining the 'Delete Github' page

    "This list really is a starting point, which can hopefully increase awareness about the issue of concern."



  21. Linux Foundation Picking Money

    The dating standards of the Linux Foundation



  22. Microsoft 'Borrows' the Linux Brand

    With help from the likes of the Linux Foundation Microsoft continues to misuse and ‘dilute’ the Linux brand (and registered trademark)



  23. EPO Corruption Compared to Cocaine Scandals in Antwerp

    Days after the Dutch protest discussion is sort of 'uncorked' regarding EPO corruption (published, as usual, in the form of anonymous comments)



  24. SUEPO Showed That the Media Won't Cover EPO Corruption Until Half the Workers March in the Streets

    What ought to have been a central (if not 'the' central) issue of debate in Europe is still being treated as borderline irrelevant or marginal



  25. Meanwhile in California

    News from California is being spun by Microsoft this week, owing to weak journalism that's more like PR than journalism



  26. Privacy-Centric Services and Even Drupal/Acquia Defect to the Camp of Mass Surveillance

    In search of money [pun intended] companies and services that are supposed to respect their customers and users turn out to be doing the opposite; this merits research and public discussions



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, November 11, 2019



  28. Links 12/11/2019: Sparky 2019.11 Special Editions and Twisted 19.10.0 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Abduction of the Voice of Its Opposition Highlights the Urgency of the Movement/Campaign to Delete GitHub

    Microsoft understands that by entrapping FOSS and GNU/Linux inside proprietary software platforms like GitHub and Azure it can utilise the false perception that it somehow speaks on behalf of both (whilst attacking both)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 10, 2019


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts