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04.15.08

Shame on You ISO, Shame On You. Total Disgrace.

Posted in ECMA, Formats, GPL, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 9:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ECMA 2.0 in the making, captured by ambitious monopolists

A gentler way to put this would be hard to find because ISO continues to show what a disgrace it has become. It was given a chance to change. It was given a chance to listen to polite critics and respond sensibly. It was given a chance to tell the world that it had been captured. But no. Despite its admission that OOXML is poor, it thinks of ODF and OOXML as a case of survival and competition, having approved a second and muchly inferior set of specifications that are GPL-hostile, vendor-specific, messy to the point of being unimplementable (buggy legacy as part of the ‘standard’), pushed forward by well-documented corruption and so forth.

Brief coverage of the latest you can find in the Inquirer, which picked out some more alarming bits.

Otherwise, the body expects Microsoft’s OOXML and the open source ODF document formats to face one another in a direct competition for “survival”. The outcome will be decided by the market, it said.

[...]

If Microsoft doesn’t misbehave, the standards body said that the standards would be left to prove themselves: “After a period of co-existence, it is basically the market that decides which survives,” a spokesman said.

Remember what we were told by a credible source recently about Microsoft's likely attempts to pressure out ODF. As we already know, Microsoft spends obscene amounts of money trying to achieve that goal. It goes as far as offering businesses incentives to choose OOXML over ODF. The same goes for developers such as those at Novell. It makes Novell a big part of this problem and also a Microsoft partner against ODF, against competition. Obligatory banner below.

Bad Novell

Groklaw makes some more comments on these latest bits from ISO. PJ is equally disappointed.

Dear ISO, damage control doesn’t work, if you let the damage remain. That’s like putting out a statement that if an oil spill you caused does any damage in the future, you’ll clean it up right away, but for now, you’ll leave the spill in place and wait to see what happens going forward. Oil spills need to be cleaned up before they do more damage.

[...]

There is a difference between market *place* and market *players*. Microsoft is a player, and we all saw how fairly they play. The market place tried to speak, and we were called emotional or secret operatives for a market player. For shame, ISO, for shame. So, after the monopoly-distorted market “chooses” OOXML and “kills” ODF, as the FAQ suggests, I’m sure ISO will withdraw OOXML. Not. And even if it did, the poor victim of Microsoft’s litigation pincer move will not benefit. It will be too late.

[...]

I am sure you are relieved to hear it. Anyway, now you know. If Microsoft plays dirty with patents, ISO might withdraw OOXML as a standard. And as we’ve seen watching the OOXML standards process play out, when ISO says something, they reeeeeally, reeealy mean it.

ISO seems unwilling to change its behaviour. Many times before it was caught disobeying rules and then and then attempting to sweep everything under the rug. This mustn’t be the way the International Standards Organisation operates. It’s an big embarrassment whose scale is global.

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7 Comments

  1. Logan said,

    April 16, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Gravatar

    Bitching again about ISO. ISO doesn’t care opensource, open standards or integrity. It’s like bitching about the Soviet Union not being democratic. Or the Mafia not being saints.

    They understand the real world. Like Novell.

    In the real world only 2 things matter: winning and money!

    Stop moaning. You’ll get nowhere!

    And, please, ask SUN why didn’t they submit ODF v1.2 to ISO approval!

  2. CoolGuy said,

    April 16, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Gravatar

    Its all going down for Microsoft. No one is going to regret their going down !!

    Hail to freedom baby !!

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 16, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Gravatar

    And, please, ask SUN why didn’t they submit ODF v1.2 to ISO approval!

    As far as I know, they will soon. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will stuff ballots against it as some already predict.

  4. Roy Bixler said,

    April 16, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Gravatar

    If the rumour mill is correct, then there was some sort of back room deal which was “IBM, Sun, et al drop their opposition to OOXML and, in return, Microsoft will not oppose ODF.” I suppose we will soon see.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 16, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy, in the OpenOffice.org blog it has just been stated that ODF 1.2 is on track, but interestingly enough, none of the IBM employees/bloggers has publicly criticised OOXML for a couple of weeks. It all stopped a few days before ISO’s announcement, which I found a tad suspicious. Shortly after ISO’s announcement, however, Weir and Sutor expressed great frustration, so I don’t know for sure.

    Be aware that the rumour you mention seems to have come from Marbux, who comes from the defunct OpenDocument Foundation. He E-mailed me these details, which later spread much further.

  6. Roy Bixler said,

    April 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Gravatar

    That sounds right to me and, also, there is the matter of the sudden change of heart of Patrick Durusau, chair of the US committee on JTC1 SC34, vis a vis OOXML. He had been unenthusiastic about OOXML but now, he believes it should be a standard:

    On The Importance Of Being Heard
    http://www.durusau.net/publications/onbeingheard.pdf

    That’s what first made me suspicious that something behind the scenes was going on.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 16, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Gravatar

    But IBM and Sun tried to extinguish that fire. I’ll write more about this shortly because there are some related reports.

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