How curious. Everywhere you look, it seems as though voting on OOXML involves one form of corruption or another, so the ISO’s credibility is in serious trouble. Last week, for example, we found out that Russia voted blindly on OOXML. This week we find that a supposedly-open voting process was somewhat of an exclusive club in other nations that voted “Yes”.
Microsoft’s secretive standards orgs in Former Yugoslavia
Croatian laws keep its national body’s votes secret, so the only way for the Croatian public to find out how the process went would be if a board member illegally leaked information out of CSI. This is, of course, unlikely to happen. And the Serbian national standardization body is not officially formed, so those two votes were easy for Microsoft, and probably not only ones around the globe.
Microsoft has admitted resorting to such things simply because of money. This is unacceptable and we shall continue to explore this issue and document the truth. It is frustrating to see that people move on and forget that Microsoft bribed, deceived, lied, pulled people out of their jobs, and even bullied diplomats.
In more positive news, it turns out that Australia has turned to open source and open standards (ODF) for digital preservation.
Xena is free and open source software developed by the National Archives of Australia to aid in the long term preservation of digital records. Xena is an acronym meaning ‘Xml Electronic Normalising for Archives’.
This is a smart move for Australia to make. No country should have its assets tied to a single vendor. In the UK, on the contrast, National Archives is headed by a Microsoft employee, so national assets will be held hostage in the hands of Microsoft, with the proprietary, Windows-only, patent-encumbered, buggy, incomplete, intra-incompatible (between versions of Office) OOXML. This is the result of a conflict of interest and it’s truly a crime giving our precious information away to a monopoly with such a shady history.
The future is open standards, which OOXML is not.
Also of interest:
- Rob Weir covered some highlights from the OOo conference (published yesterday)
- The Second “O” in OOXML Stands for “Oligarchy”, Not “Open”
Update: remember Rob Weir’s essay about critical OOXML bugs that can put life at risk? Have a look at this newly-discovered bug in OOXML (the proprietary format of Excel 2007). It’s receiving a lot of publicity at the moment and it’ll be discussed in days to come.