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03.24.08

Sticking Fingers in Pies (or: “How Microsoft Controls Patrick Durusau’s Committee”)

Posted in America, Asia, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 11:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Keeping enemies closer paying off?

It gets increasingly hard to trust those who claim independence. We mentioned Patrick Durusau a couple of weeks ago. His role and his words are sometimes misused and taken out of context, respectively. Here are some of the latest accounts: The first one comes from Malaysia, which presents this in a rather comical way.

I thanked Mr Cheong, for bringing up this important letter from Mr Patrick Durusau. His case just highlights the strange situation we are in today. If you know the background history of Mr Durusau, you will understand why he may have to write a letter like this.

You see, Mr Durusau is the Editor of ODF, but more importantly he is also the Chair of the US Technical Committee V1, which is equivalent to Malaysia’s TC4 here. What is interesting, is that because of this OOXML issue, his committee has been stacked. Now it’s OK for them in the US to stack their committees because that’s how their system works, so they grew from a committee of 7 members before OOXML to 26 members after it started. Fortunately, in Malaysia, ISC-G prevented this from happening at TC4.

[...]

So in essence, V1 has been taken over by Microsofties, and Mr Durusau is in a tight situation. If he were to be negative towards OOXML, his stacked V1 will retaliate and bar the progress of his normal work: work on ODF 1.2.

The best and most logical option for Mr Durusau is of course to “agree” with his captors ‘demands, and hopefuly they would be merciful later on. So its a strange political play which he has to act out.

Then there’s the story about the trip to Seattle. But in any case, some of Durusau’s words are highlighted very selectively and enthusiastically, the evidence being things like these. To quote a portion that concludes:

The bottom line is that Durusau is either illoyal to the ISO standard ODF which he edits or he is held hostage by the fact that Microsoft totally controls the committees that will be crucial for ODF 1.2

This concurs with the observations from Malaysia. Just what Microsoft is doing, who knows? With stories like these [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14], everything is possible. It’s not as though any trust was ever earned as the whole process became more of a laughing stock. The next post will present yet another new example of this.

“Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.”

Bill Gates

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