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11.26.07

Australian Event Organised to Discuss OOXML

Posted in Australia, Boycott Novell, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 7:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Under normal circumstances, the following would not arouse my curiosity because the more we discuss OOXML, the more we help people realise that it is broken, proprietary, and absolutely not suitable for standardisation. However, I could not help noticing that even Microsoft is invited to an event that Pia Waugh helps coordinate.

I am helping coordinate the first ever Australian event to really delve into the technical and legal practical feasibility of OOXML. It will be on December 14th, and will include experts from Australia and around the world. The schedule is currently up, however all the speakers names will be published in the coming week. There will also be participation from Microsoft, so if you have outstanding technical or legal questions about OOXML, you should come along and participate! The attendees will be a combination of the general public, academia, standards people and our course domain experts.

Okay, so one might say that it’s better to attend and slam OOXML than not attend at all. Others might wonder if Linux-affiliated people are better off attending ODF events, rather than stand aloneside OOXML (let alone coordinating an event) , as we already saw in ECMA (the GNOME Foundation’s presence is perceived as support). Speaking of which, the mainstream press is getting filled at the moment with coverage that is damaging to ODF and quite supportive of OOXML. Ironically enough, the statement from the GNOME Foundation is being used against the “one standard to rule them all” principle (ODF).

The following statement now appears all over the place:

The [GNOME Foundation] group also argues that neither OOXML nor ODF will serve all needs, and that the development of standards overall could be in jeopardy: “We are deeply concerned that abuse of the standards process is eroding public trust in the value and independence of international standards. Both ODF and OOXML are very heavily influenced by their implementation heritage, neither are likely to deliver the “one true office format,” and both communities have — in their own way — played a role in this erosion of trust.

Oh, great. So the GNOME Foundation is now echoed to jutify a need for multiple standards, i.e. fragmentation that helps an abusive monopoly. Why keep denying the fact that this has done more damage to ODF than it ever did damage to OOXML’s prospects in the ISO?

OOXML

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2 Comments

  1. Pia Waugh said,

    November 27, 2007 at 12:23 am

    Gravatar

    Yes I’m helping organise an event that investigates the technical and legal feasibility of OOXML, and yes Microsoft will be there to see if they can in fact answer all the outstanding questions therein. I do not see what problem you could have with that considering they are the creators of this “standard”, and if we want the conversation to be taken seriously, boycotting their participation in the event would reduce the event credibility with Australian decision makers in this space.

    If indeed they are unable to competently answer technical and legal concerns, it makes the case for rejecting ISO standardisation of OOXML stronger.

    There will also be representation from Google, Fujitsu, IBM, Linux Australia, Open Source Industry Australia and expert representatives from New Zealand.

    The Australian standards body gave an abstaining vote last time round, and we are trying to ensure they have all the information to make a decisive vote, which given much of the evidence (and especially if Microsoft doesn’t have answers for the many questions asked) should be a no vote. I do not appreciate you inferring some foul play when I am trying to run an event that will clarify the situation to the people making the decisions. Please don’t be such an obstructionist, nor such a conspiracy theorist.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 27, 2007 at 1:43 am

    Gravatar

    Pia,

    Thanks for some enlightening additions, such as information about involvement by Google and IBM. I can honestly say that I’m still inclined to believe that:

    1. Being there to speak to those involved will be an excellent way to eliminate disinformation
    2. Being there in the first place gives the impression that the event is impartial

    To say more on the latter point, if Microsoft shows up at an event by itself, then it’s virtually a case of preaching to the converted or sharing one’s own insight (i.e. Kool-Aid). People can see that. More on this in my last point.

    I’ve been following the situation involving OOXML in Australia for quite some time and I’ve also come across manipulation and lies (e.g. someone arguing that IBM is affiliated with CompTIA, which is actually a Microsoft lobbying arm).

    Regarding the last sentence, there is no theory here. I only stated a fact when I progressed to the second point (press coverage). The fact is that the Foundation’s statement gets used against ODF. The presence alone is damaging (in my humble opinion).

    ODF = industry
    OOXML = one company

    By attending the latter, a one-man act suddenly becomes an symphony (no pun intended.

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