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Clarification: GNOME Foundation Does Not Endorse OOXML as an ISO Standard (But Cannot Oppose It, Either)

Posted in ECMA, Formats, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Open XML, Standard at 4:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

”…GNOME Foundation does not in any way approve or support OOXML as an ISO standard.“With apologies to Jeff Waugh, let it be clarified that the GNOME Foundation does not in any way approve or support OOXML as an ISO standard. Gnumeric may be allowing Microsoft to claim wider OOXML support, but GNOME as a whole does not approve the acceptance of OOXML as an international standard. This comes as a bit of a surprise because it seems to contradict the views expressed by Jody Goldberg and Miguel de Icaza, whose take on this issue is not welcomed by everyone in the GNOME community.

Jeff adds that “the GNOME Foundation doesn’t endorse, support or contribute to ISO standardisation of OOXML, as noted in the statement we released.” He also adds that “a majority of GNOME developers oppose ISO standardisation, but neither the GNOME Foundation or I can speak for all GNOME developers, nor will the GNOME Foundation or I control their views.”

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  1. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 26, 2007 at 4:43 am


    The GNOME Foundation released a very clear statement about our participation in ECMA TC45-M and our position on OOXML. I encourage readers of this site to read it instead of the utterly confusing and misquoted story above. Go right to the source, and ignore the FUD!


  2. Paul said,

    November 26, 2007 at 11:09 am


    Hi Jeff

    Thanks for the clarification and the press release. Please do not completely blame Roy for any misquotes. Some of his concerns are valid and need clarifications. Some of your high profile developers , they are either members of gnome or act like one of them, have been spreading various levels of misinformation. I think it’s important that you stay focused with the open source principles while not losing your ‘coolness’.



  3. rlilly@yahoo.com said,

    November 26, 2007 at 1:19 pm


    Jeff, you obviouslly new there would be some political fallout from ECMA
    participation and other activities with OOXML and that GNOME would take a hit. What is hard to understand, this fallout must be worth something! You seem prepared for it so this fall out must have some value and be beneficial.

    If influential voices from GNOME support OOXML its not to difficult for GNOME to start proceeding in the wrong direction and you by association
    start pushing in that direction.

    It is perplexing that the direction GNOME has taken, is opposite to Google, IBM, Redhat, Sun the largest financial contributors to FLOSS, so again, this direction must be bennifical even thou there is a political fallout.

  4. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 26, 2007 at 1:28 pm


    You seem prepared for it so this fall out must have some value and be beneficial.

    Of course it’s not beneficial. You’re looking for conspiracy theories again. I’m just foolishly wasting my time here defending it because I can’t stand seeing such offensive insinuations and FUD written about FLOSS projects and people. I shouldn’t participate in this.

  5. rlilly@yahoo.com said,

    November 26, 2007 at 2:07 pm


    OK Jeff, we know how much you strive to get the last comment in.

    OK putting aside the motives, insinuations and the rest you keep bringing up. Finally, the epic moment has arrived: it seems like there is a admision that the foundation made a mistake by Jeff because if its not beneficial in anyway but does damages, then its a MISTAKE.

    If its not a mistake then all those insinuations and what you call FUD is 100% true

  6. Jeff Waugh said,

    November 26, 2007 at 2:12 pm


    That’s a non-sequitur. Whether or not it was a mistake does not lead to the FUD being true. Sorry.

  7. Repre Hendor said,

    November 26, 2007 at 2:15 pm



    it looks funny that you are accusing others of “looking for conspiracy theories”, while on the other hand your own mates from the Gnome community do think that you are the one who sees conspiracies at work… against yourself:

    My first experience of the GNOME organization was when I joined the release team, way back in 2002 (I think). From the start, Jeff Waugh’s behavior was bizarrely evasive, irresponsible, and obstructive. At great effort, we managed to document the release process, actually create a list of modules in GNOME and their requirements, decide on new modules, and make the process clearer to the maintainers who release software, all against his best efforts to prevent it. He almost never told the other members what he was doing, even when he disappeared for months at a time, forcing us to evade questions about why scheduled releases or decisions didn’t happen rather than state the truth. We did occasionally get to hear from him via appearances in the press, where he would claim credit for our work. At various times the release team openly rebelled against him but he took years to finally get out of the way. As he told me years later, he “knew” even from the first moment I joined that I was plotting against him, though I didn’t even know who he was at the time. There’s not much you can do against that psychosis.

    (Source: GNOME Board 2007 candidates: The bad)

    With these kind of comments in the debate about the Gnome Foundation’s 2007 election candidates, it looks like your so-much self-quoted credibility and honesty is much in limbo…

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 26, 2007 at 2:57 pm


    By E-mail, I’ve been advised to stay away from Jeff, which is something that I’m unwilling to do while he carries on attacking me and discrediting this Web site.

  9. eet said,

    November 26, 2007 at 3:40 pm


    This site can’t become any more discredited than it already is, thanks to the horrible, slanderous, hateful conspiracy theories that you keep posting. Personally, I wouldn’t cry a tear over you if the GNOME foundation sued you and ruined your career prospects for good. But, hey, it’s your life.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known, pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll

  10. Repre Hendor said,

    November 26, 2007 at 6:33 pm


    Roy said:

    “[Miguel] actively supports OOXML and he is still very influential in GNOME (no matter how hard you try to deny this).”

    Jeff said:

    “Miguel is not influential in GNOME. I deny it because it’s the truth [....] If anything, these days, Miguel is seen as an irrelevant embarrassment among the majority of GNOME developers. But he is still respected as our founder.”

    According to the minutes of the Gnome Foundation Board meeting happeing on 15th of November 2007 (and published a week later, that was: last Thursday), for topic ’4)’ it is noted:

    GNOME President

    Miguel has officially resigned as the GNOME President.

    Uh huh. So up until a week ago, Miguel officially was the GNOME President?

    Looks like Jeff himself thinks Miguel is an irrelevant embarrassment to GNOME, so that he even avoids mentioning this ‘hot news’ which reached the public eye only 4 days ago (even though it could have served to strengthen his point).

    Why did Miguel resign? Was he put under pressure to do so? Was it because of the continuous negative wave of publicity he is causing for Gnome (see his infamous “OOXML is a superb standard” stance…)?

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