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. The EPO's Dutch Scandal Leaves Battistelli and His Cronies on the Run

    EPO management is making concessions and issues statements which admit defeat, allowing the staff union to continue its activities



  2. Microsoft Won't Let People Wipe (Off) Windows But Happily Wipes Android, Wipes Android Apps Through Cyanogen and Blackmailed 'Partners'

    Microsoft's obscene double-standards leave Android and Linux between a rock and a hard place



  3. Links 26/3/2015: GNOME 3.16 Officially Released

    Links for the day



  4. Links 25/3/2015: India Moving to Free Software

    Links for the day



  5. Another Reason to Boycott UEFI: Back Doors or Crackers

    UEFI makes computers more prone to infections, according to some security experts



  6. The EPO's Administrative Council is Under Increased Pressure to Rein in and to Finally Stop Benoît Battistelli

    The EPO's Administrative Council (AC) is about to have a meeting, so the Member States' delegations are urged to call for action



  7. IRC Proceedings: February 22nd - March 21st, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  8. The Latest Microsoft Attacks on GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    Microsoft is still hiding behind the façade of 'love' whilst actively attacking GNU/Linux and Free software from many directions



  9. Attempts to Disrupt Android by Pushing Microsoft Software Into It (Using Patent Blackmail and Cyanogen)

    Microsoft's Android coup d'état is succeeding owing to public apathy and poor comprehension of what Microsoft really is up to, partly due to media misdirection



  10. Links 24/3/2015: WebKitGTK+ 2.8.0, Black Lab Linux 6.5

    Links for the day



  11. Concerns Over Željko Topić's Alleged Powerful Links in Croatian Diplomacy

    Rikard Frgačić explains the powerful connections acquired though Ivan Šimonović, who is himself connected to EPO Vice-President Željko Topić



  12. Benoît Battistelli's EPO Comes Under Fire From Prominent Figures Who Are Key EPO Stakeholders, Expect Battistelli to Resign 'in the Longer Term'

    The ‘reign of terror’ which is primarily attributed to Battistelli and his cronies may be about to end; the Luxembourg parliament approves the Unified Patent Court



  13. Benoît Battistelli's EPO is Under Attack From French Politicians Yet Again

    More EPO interventions -- this time from France -- target Benoît Battistelli over his abuses and take it up to Eurocrats for political actions



  14. Bribes and Extortion Help Turn Android (Linux-powered) Into 'Microsoft Android'

    A strategy involving harassment and bribes drives large Android players into Microsoft's arms (PRISM and lock-in), much to Google's (and users') detriment and beyond regulators' range of visibility



  15. Microsoft-connected Black Duck Software Created by Microsoft Marketing Man as an Anti-GPL Operation, Admits the Management

    Black Duck "was founded [on] the idea ... to keep GPL-licensed code out of corporate codebases entirely," according to a new report



  16. Links 23/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC5, Kubuntu Celebrates Ten Years

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft Admits Lying (or Deceiving) About the Cost of Vista 10

    After much hype in the press about Windows being 'free' it turns out that Microsoft just lied yet again, leaving that lingering perception that Windows is as inexpensive as GNU/Linux



  18. Politics of Blackmail at the EPO

    Comments serve to highlight the role of bribes (or contrariwise blackmail), as allegedly exercised by the current management of the European Patent Office



  19. Benoît Battistelli's EPO Comes Under Attack From the British

    A British MEP criticises Battistelli and the management of the European Patent Office (EPO) while Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, UK Minister for Intellectual Property, gets closer to Battistelli in a tactless effort to improve relations



  20. The Royal Norwegian Department of Labour on the Right of European Patent Office (EPO) Workers to Strike

    The role of bureaucrats from Norway in defending (or not) the rights of EPO workers -- rights that the EPO's management is actively trying to deny and punish for



  21. Michael Silver Back to Acting as Gartner's Microsoft Agent, Promoting Vista 10 Based on False Promises

    Vista 10 in the headlines as its marketing propaganda zones in on false perceptions around cost, aided in part by longtime foes of GNU/Linux such as Gartner, especially its Microsoft-embedded elements (Michael Silver and co-workers)



  22. Despite Media Propaganda About Security, Microsoft Windows Remains the Least Secure Operating System, by Design

    Amid highly misleading security-centric reports that rely on Microsoft's bogus number of vulnerabilities (Microsoft already admitted hiding many of them) Techrights presents recent news about Windows 'security'



  23. Canonical Goes to Bed With Company That Sues Linux Using Software Patents and Copyrights (Through SCO)

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on GNU/Linux, Canonical is foolish enough to give Microsoft control over many Ubuntu instances



  24. Links 22/3/2015: GNOME 3.16 Shaping Up, LibrePlanet 2015

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part VI - Propaganda Wars Against Free Software Facilitated While Media Control is Secured and Abused

    How Microsoft systematically lies to the public, including decision-makers and officials who can be tricked into choosing proprietary software, thinking it is in fact "open"



  26. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part V - Dumping and Surveillance to Counter GNU/Linux Insurgence

    Microsoft makes false claims about future versions of Windows (with more surveillance) becoming 'free' in order to stop migrations to GNU/Linux



  27. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part IV - Deleting, Attacking Android/Linux From Within

    Microsoft 'loves' Linux so much that it is trying to get on top of Linux and then delete Linux



  28. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part III - Abducting the Competition (Android)

    How Microsoft tried to destroy Android using a coup d'état approach, just shortly before getting caught, then retreating and rewriting the public record



  29. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part II - Patent Lawsuits Against Android/Linux Still Going On, New Ones Filed

    Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures are suing Android companies using software patents while some Android vendors settle by becoming slaves of Microsoft



  30. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part I - The UEFI Attack on GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's highly abusive tactics against GNU/Linux live on in UEFI form, dispelling any myths that someone may still cling onto regarding a 'reformed' Microsoft


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts