“There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.”
A newly-appointed patent bomb gardener, better known as ISO, is unlikely to get much rest. Standards experts continue to have it harshly criticised, but they are gentle and polite. Andy Updegrove uses some sense of humour in response to ISO’s horrific FAQ [1, 2, 3, 4]. He writes:
What could make more sense? ISO has issued a brief FAQ explaining why nothing is wrong, and nothing to worry about, in light of the OOXML experience. My favorite Q&A is the last one, which, if paraphrased to air safety, would sound like this:
Q: Following eye-witness reports that the the wings of the 747 fell off just before landing in Geneva, will the FAA launch a thorough investigation?
A: No. The vast majority of flights land safely. This suggests that the safety inspection process is credible, works well and is delivering the results needed. Of course, because continual improvement is public safety is an underlying aim of standardization, the FAA will certainly be continuing to review and improve its inspection procedures.
ISO appears to be adopting the low standards of ECMA and lobbyists such as Jan "you are well paid, shut up" van den Beld. It’s sad, but those who have followed this saga for a year or even for much longer will know that it has been dirty business right from the very start. As a result of this mess, some already make the distinction between free formats and open formats. This one tells the story very briefly.
Free Formats vs. Open Formats
And you likely already know about the whole OOXML debacle. How Microsoft got so afraid of OpenDocument (ODF) that they invested millions and millions on a 6000 page pile of — let’s face it — crap. Pure, pointless crap. To beat another office format. And they bribed every ISO jurisdiction they could. To beat another office format. Because it would mean everyone would use a single format and make Microsoft’s office suite obsolete. No way, ese!
This isn’t anymore about closed vs. open formats, and you don’t need me to rub it in your face. It’s time to leave those non-free formats behind and look forward for a world of interoperability, a world of doors free to trespass in whatever way you want, and where no one will be able to take that freedom away from anyone else.
Behind the scenes, more ‘smoking guns’ against the BSI and the patent bomb-gardening ISO are being accumulated at the moment. It’s not over until the fat lady sings, as the old saying goes. Prepare for more unpleasant findings to come. Stay tuned and please do inform us of reports we have missed.█