In each test bed, Fedora integrated with the printer with ease. However, on the HP Compaq device, Novell took more hands-on configuration to integrate with the printer. On balance, that left Fedora the winner of Round 2 – - but just barely – - over SLED 10.
It’s bad enough that companies like Corel and Novell seems to have been ‘bought’ (bribed) to defect to Microsoft’s side, with other possibilities as well. It’s even worse when you are not allowed to know what’s going on in a process that must thrive in transparency. Aren’t transparency and openness what standards are all about?
What is needed now is the public and unconditional access to the works of the TC 45. What is needed now is for the Ecma to give the password to their page. Give us the password!
Why is Microsoft so afraid of spectators? Why are there so many barriers? Isn’t the ‘openness’ of their standard something to boast and brag about? Or is it something to be embarrassed of and hide?
Gaming the Rules Again?
Andy Updegrove is already concerned. We’re still months ago from the BRM and questionable practices are all too commonplace.
A particularly contentious issue has been whether Ecma is trying to make it as easy as possible, or is trying to make it as difficult as possible while still scoring PR points, for interested parties to view proposed dispositions of comments, and whether it does, or does not, have the latitude under ISO rules to be more transparent. The fairly opaque, and sometimes contradictory nature of those rules, has not made the debate any easier, and gives rise to the possibility of confusion, at best, and serious mistakes, at worst, as Pamela Jones pointed out at Groklaw this morning.
The result is that there will be very little real data available to the general public until Ecma opens the curtains on January 19. And the import of what little data does become available is usually the subject of instant disagreement.
I read that as saying that delegates attend the meeting, and then they go home and talk things over as a group, and if the group decides it wishes to change its country’s vote, it has 30 days to do so.
However, if you visit ISO/IEC’s JTC 1/SC 34 – Document Description and Processing Languages page, it seems to say a country can change its vote at the meeting itself. And later wording in the FAQ seems to confirm that understanding, as I’ll show you. But we’re also hearing that there may not be room for everyone to fit into the room booked for the meeting. So, I’m seeing a potential for some gaming of the rules.
There was an incident some months ago where Microsoft deceived those who would vote, leaving them little or no time to prepare (6 months for 6,000+ pages was never sufficient in any case). An analogy made at the time. Think of an election day where someone names that wrong date so that you can’t vote. You show up when it’s too late. The lies never stopped.
…The meeting was well attended, both by (what might be called) the old guard, and by many new members who no doubt represent a wide spectrum of thinking on SC 34’s subject areas. There was no substantive discussion either of Ecma’s proposed maintenance agreement for OOXML (should it become a standard), or of the UK’s proposal to create a new working group for Office document formats. These will most likely be formally addressed in the next SC 34 meeting which will take place in Oslo in April 2008.
Finally, my own working group convenor Martin Bryan is stepping down in anticipation of his retirement next year.
Martin has been something of a mentor to me, guiding me along some of the more Byzantine passages of the ISO/IEC process. At the plenary Martin spoke to his paper which has been the subject of some comment in the blogosphere (and which was never intended for public circulation).
That is the report from the man who spoke about Microsoft's abuse of the whole process. It wasn’t a man watching from the outside, but one who has seen (from the inside) Microsoft bringing his group down to its knees. How shameful is the fact that this was not intended for public circulation. Should people not be aware of abuse in the system that is intended to serve them?
[The South African] Government’s decision to adopt open document format is a bold one and will not come unchallenged. In the wider market, open document format (ODF) could have an enormously positive impact, but gaining the benefits offered by the format depends on several key factors.
The possibility that the whole world could one day use open standards for documents is a positive one. In March, it will be decided whether Open XML will be ratified as an open standard. Should Microsoft’s standard successfully be approved, it will provide the company with much leverage to encourage doubt in government at its decision for ODF. By then, however, government will be well on its way to implementing the ODF standard and updating its departments, with a commitment to have finally completed the move by 2009. The public, therefore, should follow government’s lead. It was a bold move for government to put its documents where its mouth is and it should encourage the private sector to do the same.
At this stage of the ISO process the NZOSS would like to invite any technically and legally minded people in the free and open source communities to review ECMA responses: to New Zealand comments or to comments that might affect New Zealand interests.
Opera Software has filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft in the European Union, accusing it of stifling competition by tying its Internet Explorer web browser to Windows.
The complaint, which was filed by the Norwegian firm with the European Commission yesterday, says Microsoft is abusing its dominant position in the desktop PC market by offering only Internet Explorer as a standard part of Windows, and hindering interoperability by not following accepted standards with IE.
Opera is asking the Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, to force Microsoft to unbundle IE from Windows, or include other browsers as a standard part of its operating system. It also wants it to require Microsoft to adhere to industry standards with its Web browser.
It’s something for the ISO to watch, just in case it intends to allow Microsoft to continue treating documents standards like it treats Web standard. █
“We are pleased with our overall results for 2007. While undergoing transformational change, we grew revenue and exceeded our operating targets. We are on the right path to long-term, sustainable profitability,” said Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell.
As we mentioned yesterday, there are many signs (including some from Novell) that show manipulation of numbers. This only fools investors. According to the following video from the SEC‘s chair, protecting investors from deception is the SEC’s purpose.
The SEC’s approach looked symbolic at best. Structural changes at Novell are said to be on their way. The results show no real sign of recovery. █
Well, seems like Kubuntu is the clear winner for professional users and also for enthusiasts. For beginners there is a draw. So I would recommend to use the distribution that is used by a friend who is willing to help you with your first step. From the results it seems like a beginner cannot do much wrong.
Another new comparison comes from CRN. It leaves the pricey (now Microsoft tax-tainted) distributions which know as Linspire and Xandros well behind Ubuntu Linux. Here is the article.
But, clearly, Ubuntu shined. It has earned the right to play in the championship round of The World Series of Linux. The next round will determine its opponent, as the RPM Round pits SLED 10, Fedora 7 and PCLinuxOS to compete to pick the best out of those distributions.
The two major distributions, Ubuntu on the desktop and Red Hat on the server are likely to continue to thrive. Here is the latest good analysis, which excludes some important players like Mandriva.
What are Red Hat, Novell, and Canonical going to have to do in the next 52 weeks to in order to dominate the desktop and server Linux market?
There are only two problems with the inclusion of the Vole’s OOXML document format in this trial: OOXML is neither open nor a standard.
It’s only December and a few months remain before the BRM. As the day draws nearer, the more manipulation and dirty tricks we will see (with the exception of the Christmas vacation). This was expected.
“[OOXML] It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!“